Saturday, October 15, 2011

Smallmouth Bass on the Fox River

My buddy Angel and I wanted to hit the Fox up before I leave for California, we decided to meet at my house and head to the Fox. I contacted a few people of the Forum and combined their advice, planning on hitting the Fox in Batavia, Illinois and park hopping south to end up in Montgomery if we had the time. 
Got out to the first spot, Slid my waders on and felt my feet getting wet! I left them on the porch the other night and it started raining, I never turned the upside down to dry so I had me some wet feet. :evil: 
The first spot was some sort of island park, smelled of feces a bit. Got the first bite off a yellow perch colored Flat Rap, not a giant but still a fish. 

We were fishing south of an island park right next to some kind of water treatment plant, it smelled a little like feces but down stream it looked better. 
There were a lot of cool looking feeder creeks, some were fishable some weren't, I didn't get any hits on any but in a deep one I spooked something when my lure hit the water. 
 Fall is in hitting the river but only in small splashes. We packed up and headed to another spot downstream.
 We got to the new spot, waded past an island and the wind started picking up. It was blowing up from the south and gusty enough to redirect downstream casts upstream so we chose to seek calmer water for our own benefit. Angel cast his jig towards the shore and hooked up with this nice small mouth.
 He really had an emotional connection with this fish. :D
A closer look. 
 He cast to the same spot and caught this little guy. 
 Angel seemed to be having a pretty good time, we felt like we were on a pattern for once, it was a good spot for sure.
 I cast just down stream of the last fish caught and got this little guy.
 We decided to move on, I cast into a pool and on the end of the retrieve with about 3 inches of line a good sized fish exploded at the surface. we fished the area and Angel got one but he came off the hook, we moved on.
Further down was a rocky stretch, I cast towards a pool and pulled out this red eye.
Most of the fish were this size, got him off a salt n' pepper blue pearl grub on a 1/16oz white jig head.
 I am sure going to miss Illinois and catching these great fish but most of all I am going to miss the great people.
 We were on our way back upstream when Angel broke his rod when he snagged a tree, well that means the trip is over.
 On the way back all there were were small guys, they barely even made mustaches at all.

The fox treated us well, I wish i could spend a lot more time on this river.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lake Shabbona

A gentlemen by the name of Gary, AKA Beachpig posted he was going to have a week off work and was looking for fishing partners to fish, i emailed him deciding on Shabbona State Park. I woke up and got ready took a few casts in the back yard and caught a few smallies before it was time to go
Caught this one on the first cast, I could not help but think that was the same thing I did before going out with Joe on the DesPlaines when we got skunked...
I got on the road headed west the only thing to slow me down was stop signs...

Large tractors
and other over sized farming equipment. I got to the lake around 10 AM and it was beautiful, I felt like I was in a different state. Fall was in full force and the colors were amazing.
 The wind started picking up as soon as I got there by the time Gary got there it was breezy and we had problems keeping the boat in one place.
there were many submerged trees that looked great to fish but letting a jig fall straight 30 feet of water with that wind was impossible, I had one take it but botched the hook set.
Gary got one on a dark plastic Texas rigged worm off a weedline, shad were popping and we thought we were close to finding a pattern. Nope.
  We kept fishing and the clouds started rolling in, we hit a back bay that seemed to block the wind but did not even get a bump. I fished almost everything I had, the only way I could have gotten more lures wet would have been to throw the box in the water.
What salvaged the trip was Gary's company and the beautiful scenery, you can not complain about that.
We motored back to hit the spot where Gary caught his fish and on the way the wind picked up again,dropped the trolling motor and it started raining.
It was great to get out and try this lake, if you have a chance check it out for the scenery if nothing else.
Gary you da man.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Long day fishing.

Today was a long day, My buddy Angel 

called me late last night to see if we could hit the river for smallies at sunrise to noon and then after lunch I get a message from ED
 (The Four Season Angler) that he was going out around 4 and I was welcome to join him. What is an angler to do?

Angel got here around 6 with a pair of brand new waders ready to fish. We got our gear together tied a white 1/16oz jig with a glow yamagrub.
Angel made a few casts before he hooked up with a 17 incher, he got it all the way to his knees before the knot gave and it shot away. My heart sank, I wish I could have grabbd that fish for him, but he shrugged it off determined to catch another.
I got a small largemouth on a grub
(about this size, I caught this one a day or two before) I went to take a pic and my battery was dead, let the fish go and high tailed to to the house to grab my other camera. While I was gone Angel hooked up and landed a good average sized DuPage river small mouth.
Now I could relax, my job was to get his a fish and he got one. Now I could let my mind wander and fish.
I switched up to my favorite search bait a shallow runner Bluefox hooked into a little smallmouth, Angel followed up with a grub and connected with a carbon copy of the first one.

There were some cool spiders.

All and all great day to get out.
but i had more fishing to do, met up with Ed at his fishing hole, it was nice meeting his brother and son. My first bite came on a Biffel Hardhead jig with a KVD Rodent in black with blue speck.
 This is another look at the same fish.
 Got the second fish on the same bait about 4 feet of shore
The sun started setting so I switched to a black Booyah Buzz bait
I had 3 misses before I hooked up a few feet away from shore. The bass hit so had he launched himself out of the water and did a back flip. I got the fish in and Ed said it was time to go. What a great way to end the day on a high note.
Thanks for reading
Check out Ed's site http://www.fourseasonangler.com/
Click on the images to get a closer look and let me know what you think.
Dan

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Had a few hits but they got away, so I decided to share this picture of a butterfly I shot a while ago, enjoy.
Lake County Illinois Forest Preserve

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Smallie success before the gar hunt.

Woke up and had breakfast with my niece and mother, they left at 7 and I had an hour to kill before I had to leave to rondevu with my buddy Boilingbrook BPS to head to Big Basin to see if we could get a gar in the boat.
I cast out the rebel Pop-R Plus and after two pumps, this guy hit.
 I was very excited to have a fish of this quality on the first cast, He fought hard.
 When you are photographing a fish up close make sure you use a macro setting on your camera for a good shot. As you can see from the shot below the background is more in focus than the foreground.
 I let that guy go and made another cast 2 feet to the left and after 3 pumps had this guy on.
 My buddy called and said he was on his way, I made a few more casts but did not have another hit. We spent the day down on the DPR chasing gar but could not connect. Maybe next time. The best thing I caught was this fall photo of this dam.
Think I am going to hit the DuPage again in the morning and see how I do.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving

It has been busy, in the middle of the process of moving to central California. No internet at the house, I planned on writing up a blog post at Starbucks but ran out of power. It has been a little crazy but I am still getting out fishing, heading out for some gar action, I'll let you know how it goes.

Dan

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ling cod get my blood pumping.

Let me start by saying, I have not caught a Ling Cod, it is like my white whale. The things look like dragons, they are super tuff, have blue blood and fight like the devil.

I bought my kayak with the plans to move to Washington state and hopefully battle these beasts. Just look at this shot of Jim Sammons, that looks fun.
Things did not work out that way, I'm moving to California and have to put the big Ling dream on hold.
Well a Navy buddy of mine Donny just moved back to the Pudget sound and being the "all things extreme" awesome guy his is posted up this video of a Ling in it's home. I am just stewing in my jealousy.

Check it out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Double Skunk.

Great way to start this blog off.
Headed up north to the land of cheese, pit the kayak in and saw fish jumping like crazy, the water was a milky color. I tied on a firetiger Hot N Tot

and a Thunderstick Jr
Only one bump on the Thunderstick the entire 4 hours on the water. tried a few other lures with out success. I got hungry and needed lunch, ate and then headed down to my parents house to spend some time with my niece. I told her we could fish or fly kites. Guess what she picked...
I picked up the kites from an Ace hardware for $3 a kite, all they had was aliens and robots, she wanted the alien one. 
After 20minutes of kite flying we were hot and thirsty so it was time to call it and I figured i'd do some wading.... Well...
I got skunked on a 1/16 jig head with a  2 inch grub, oh well, still a nice night to get out. 
The water was very low and there were no fish under the bridge. 
I could not believe it, only a few weak hits but no fish landed. I am starting to think I am in a slump, I need to snap out of this funk. The sun went down and I called it a day. Hopefully I can catch something tomorrow. 
Click on the pictures to get a better view.