Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Eager to roll on Rock

Man, I have enjoyed watching the river begin to break this week … even if it has been at a snail-like pace. But at least progress is being made, and the end of the hard water period is very, very close.

I was finally able to hit local open water earlier this week, as I headed to the mighty Mississippi over in LeClaire, Iowa. It was great fishing open river water that day, but still pales in comparison to fishing the Rock.

But scootin’ up and down the river felt really, really good.

With the opening of the river imminent over the next few days, another tournament has been announced. It will be held on April 12th, and it will launch from the old Route 2 boat ramp between Rock Falls and Lyndon. The tournament will run from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and will cost just 60 bucks per team to enter.

I would expect that, after our near 4-month-long forced hiatus from the river, many would be excited to jump into this tourney and have a little bit of fun. Local fisherman Mark Sanders will be running the tournament, and there is an announcement on his Facebook page. So, if you have any questions about it, you can easily get answers there, or by shooting me an email –
I will get answers for you. Again, my email is

Now, I’m almost feeling like thinking about picking morel mushrooms is more than just a pipe dream. With temperatures warming and snow quickly disappearing, we start to think about when the first fantastic fungus may break the earth surface. Well, typically the mycelium – the root system of the morel – needs the ground temperature to be 51 degrees for some 72 hours straight to begin to bloom.

Now, this is one weird fungus though, people, and sometimes these things pop up in the most unlikely of places where nothing seems to be right. I have found first clusters of tiny grey ‘shrooms on shaded hillsides under thick overgrowth, with ground temperatures barely above 49.

My advice is to just grab a ground thermometer – i.e. meat thermometer – and when you start reaching the upper 40s, start hiking. Of course, rain and sunlight are an absolute must. Looking at the extended forecast and current conditions, I would say we are looking at a very late April bloom, which is a tiny bit late, but not much.

Compare it to last season, when abnormally warm temps had mushrooms poppin’ in late March … that was just crazy. Then we had inconsistent rainfall and sunshine, and what started off with great promise faded fast into a barely average season.

Is this going to be the year you finally get that boat you’ve been thinking about forever and a Sunday? If it is, G3 is running some great deals with some great rebates right now. Oh sure, you have to drive to Albany to take advantage of these opportunities, but so what? Tom and the gang there at Bitler Marine will take great care of you, and put you into a fantastic boat.

I mean, how long can you live close to all this fantastic fishing and boating fun and not take advantage?

Now, I can actually say I hope to see you on the river soon … and actually mean it. Take care, and until next week …

Go Catfish!

Loading more