Winter, spring, summer or fall, you can find people fishing in Chicago. Though it’s far from the mind of most urban-dwellers, Chicago is one of the most popular fishing destinations for anglers world-wide. Although summer is winding down, Lake Michigan shorelines are full of people testing their luck on the many different types and sizes of fish you can catch. From the multitude of Harbors, neighborhood lagoons, the Rivers, or even Wolf Lake, you can find a spot to fish in the Windy City.
Variety is the spice of life
If you don’t want to fish for one certain type of fish, then Chicago is the place for you! Coho, Kings, Perch, Smallmouth, Largemouth, Rock Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Channel Catfish, Carp, Steelhead, Brown Trout, Drum, and Walleye, to name a few. Some say that the popular Bass are over-fished and hard to catch because of it. So keep an open-mind and see what lands on the end of your line.
What’s your style?
Do you dream of fly-fishing? Or are you more of a troller, spinner or caster? In Chicago, you can do it all! And why not mix-up your baiting technique? Try floats, live bait, tight-lining or artificial. Or you might check with some locals down at Henry’s shop to find out the secret winning combinations for where/what you are fishing. While you are there, be sure to pick-up your fishing license and inquire about the special fisherman’s parking passes available for various locations downtown.
Henry’s Sports, Bait & Marine
3130 S. Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60616
Sports hours (subject to seasonal changes):
Mon-Thurs: 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fri. 5:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 4:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: 4:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Rods and Reads
Take the kids along for a fun family day of fishing! The Chicago Public Library Nature Connections offers a “Rods and Reads” program where you can get all your needed supplies for free. Simply visit one of the nine participating branches and flash your library card to get a rod, kit, and most of the supplies you need for a seven day lending period. While you’re there getting your “Rod,” check out some of the “Reads” on fishing to peek the kids interest even more.
Chicago Public Library:
Albany Park Branch, Blackstone Branch, Douglass Branch, Hegiwisch Branch, Humboldt Park Branch McKinley Park Branch, Rogers Park Branch, Sherman Park Branch, Uptown Branch
Hours vary by branch
Family Fish Fest
Another way to try fishing with your family in Chicago is through the Chicago Park District Nature Oasis programs. They offer everything from family camping to fishing, canoe rides, crafts and live animals.
Chicago Park District
Sherman Park Fish Fest
1301 52nd Street
Chicago, IL 60609
Saturday July 16th: 10 a.m.
Douglas Park Fish Fest
1401 S. Sacramento Drive
Chicago, IL 60623
Saturday July 30th: 10 a.m.
Northerly Island Family Camping
1400 S. Lynn White Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Saturday August 13th: 3:00 p.m.
Saturday August 20th: 3:00 p.m.
Montrose Harbor 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive
Belmont Harbor 3200 N. Lake Shore Drive
Diversey Harbor 2800 N. Lake Shore Drive
DuSable Harbor 300 N. Lake Shore Drive
Monroe Harbor 100 N. Lake Shore Drive
Burnham Harbor 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
59th St. Harbor 5900 S. Lake Shore Drive
Jackson Inner/Outer Harbor 6400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Auburn Park Lagoon 7800 S. Fielding Avenue & Winneconna Parkway
Calumet Park: 9600 S. Walton Drive
Columbus Park Lagoon: South Central Ave and Jackson Blvd.
Douglas Park Lagoon: California Ave. & Roosevelt Road
Garfield Park Lagoon: Washington Blvd. & Central Park Ave.
Gompers Park Lagoon: Pulaski Rd. & Foster Ave.
Humboldt Park Lagoon: California Ave. & North Ave.
Jackson Park Lagoon: Stony Island Ave. & Midway Plaisance (No fishing from the wooded island)
Marquette Park Lagoon: 6700 S. Kedzie Ave.
McKinley Park Lagoon: 37th St. & Damen Ave.
Sherman Park Lagoon: 52nd St. & Racine Ave.
Washington Park Lagoon: Cottage Grove Ave. & 59th St.