Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DuPage River Smallies

Smallmouth bass mustache
         It is so great to be back in the Land if Lincoln. Just being in a place as green as it is up here in northern Illinois is doing me well. I even have a little pep in my step. Being able to spend time with my niece has been awesome in more ways than I could have imagined, she has grown so much since I last saw her. Seeing family after two years of being away has brought me more joy than I have felt in a while, but I have to say that watching my sister get married was the highlight of the weekend. Seeing family I have not seen in over two years feels pretty good too. Helping prep for the wedding was fun, and I am glad I could help it run a little smoother.

         My wife left early in the morning to drive to Maryland to see her mother so I had a little extra time on my hands. I started the day off with a trip to Cabelas   where I picked up two packs of grubs, a pack of jigs, and a ten day non-resident Illinois fishing licence. I also bought a kite which I flew with my niece before hitting the water. I just wish the wind was a little more steady, I couldn't get the kite higher than thirty feet. The first time I had to buy a non-resident licence in Illinois, and it felt a little weird, but the water still feels like home.

        I can honestly say I owe Ken G of the Waterdog Journal  for my favorite small river smallmouth pattern. It is just a simple grub on a jig, but with all the great looking lures on the shelves I don't think I would have bothered with a simple grub and jig without the direction of this man. I took a special shine to the five inch Kalin's Lunker Grubs in blue salt and pepper pearl, watermelon, and bluegill. These things simply catch fish, and do not take up much room. Going out with a lure that produces, fishes shallow water, and is cheap allows me to focus on my footing, reading the river, and taking a photo or two. It is better than therapy.
Both of these colors do well in stained and clear water. I got six off the pearl today and  six off the bluegill color. 
Simple 1/16th ounce jig and a medium light rig, the Fireline helps cut through the current so the jig can get closer to the bottom of deep pockets. 
The first few were pretty small, but fought hard leaping several times before I could catch them. 
Most of the smallmouth bass were a dark brown color on their backs much like the clay banks of the river with white bellies with no bars or blotches on the bodies at all. 
I missed  a lot of fish that followed my lure all the way to my feet only to strike as I was lifting it out of the water, but only one of these was of any good size. 
Minus the road noise I felt as though I was thousands of miles away. I only saw two people the entire two hour trip. 
              I am not sure how many I missed, but it was a lot. I caught twelve, I think that is pretty good seeing as I have not fished this river in over two years and we have been getting thunderstorms every other day or so. Hopefully I will get to go out three or four more times before I leave Illinois for California next week.

Thank you for reading,

Check out Ken at The Waterdog Journals in the link below. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Nick, it was good to get back.

  2. Nice Smallmouth! They are one of my favorite fish. I only wish I had more opportunities to fish for them. Happy Hook Ups!

  3. Great Smallies, man! I am going to have to use some grubs and see if I can catch some in the sac! Glad you are enjoying your time away!

    1. Get on it, you will not be disappointed. Everything eats a grub, so it is a pretty good lure to sling.

  4. Nice read... I fish the DuPage all the time. Usually around Carol Stream. I've been wanting to get further South but never have enough time.

    1. Glad you liked it. The area I have always wanted to hit is where the east and west branches come together. I bet there is some great fishing there.

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  6. Hello,

    The 6th picture down...it was taken at a (unmarked) spot right off the east side of a road and across from the dog park? Just curious, as I fish a spot that looks identical to it,if not. I won't tell if you won't ��

    Nice post about the Duper!

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