This past weekend had temperatures climbing over 60 degrees in Illinois. I decided to take a walk across the street and give the development ponds a shot on Sunday afternoon.
While there are some legitimate fishing opportunities in urban northern Illinois (Fox River, Kankakee River, Forest Preserve ponds), the fishing opportunities have increasingly been related to ponds in housing developments. These are either accidental fisheries, or designed to be fisheries for the residents. The 3 acre ponds on my development are primarily for stormwater retention, but they have a very good population of bluegills, largemouth, crappies, and other occasional entrants. I've seen honest 11" gills come from these waters, and a fair amount of 3-4 pound largemouth. There is a lot of algae and aquatic weed growth in these ponds. When I fish these ponds, and just want to hook something, I put a few Cubby Mini-Mites in my pocket along with some 1/16 oz. jigheads and 2" Munchie grubs. Armed with an old Fenwick HMG ultralite, I went for a walk around the ponds.
Nothing spectacular happened, but the action was pretty steady. a few small LM, 3 gills (largest was 7"), and 3 nice crappies. Then, ... I got a hit on a pumpkinseed grub. Another gill, decent size. It was on for a second or 2, and then my drag started peeling off the reel. A second or 2 later, a very large head poked through some weeds, and the bluegill popped out of its mouth!! A largemouth had eaten my 'gill. It was certainly the largest bass I've ever seen in these little ponds - I'd say it was a solid 6 pounds, maybe a little larger. Of course I didn't land it, and don't really care, but it proves a point I like to make very well.
Nothing neat will happen to you unless you make the effort to get out on the water!