Tuesday, July 31, 2012

East Branch Dupage Smallmouth

When I was 12 I would ride my bike a long way across town with a handful of fishing gear to meet my grade school friends at a mud hole called Lenzes Lake. It was tiny and we would play in and around it as we sometimes caught carp and bullhead. The east branch of the DuPage River was right there as well and the filthy water would sometimes produce some bullheads if we were lucky. 

Today at 42 I went back, back to a river I had written off. I heard it was cleaning up and that some fish were being caught. But there was not the effort or the buzz I had heard about the other branch. Ted or Soonerbass was nice enough to be my guide today as we searched the depths of the East in the summer heat. It took a good 15 minutes to walk to our first spot. But what aggravated my chubby ass about walking and sweating was matched by the beauty of the woods that surrounded us.

Ted wanted to try drifting this stretch and of course I was more then happy to go with that plan! However drifting just was not the solution here. The drift was very slow because there was not a lot of current and the holes here where very deep for such a narrow river. Some holes were at least 7 feet deep and even in this drought. Sooner managed to pick up a few gills but no bass. We switched gears to artificial baits. Ted tossed a senko, fluke, and top water bait and I a craw pappi and the grub of life. Mr Ted soon had one large-mouth and two smallies!!

Then all of the sudden right at the far bank a bronze train slammed my grub the second it hit the water. This was my FIRST EAST BRANCH SMALL MOUTH!! I was sooo freaking excited to catch this fish out of what use to be in my mind, a watery garbage dump.
A few casts later another both beautiful fish!!

The East Branch has come a long way as well and I am delighted to of had the honor of catching two of its treasures. I also want to thank Ted in sharing his passion for this branch and getting out there to renew my vision of what the East Branch of the DuPage River can be.

River Happiness

Just a short video of some fishing from the 22nd.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hand full of Cats

Early Saturday I went to a stretch of the Fox I knew had large schools of smaller cats and I just wanted somequick fun and tight Lines. I was happy. Not only do I like catching anything I also don't mind smaller fish. The  St.Croix I use is medium light with a fast action so smaller cats and smallies are still a blast! I figure i had about 15 or so cats and a handful of smallies.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finesse Bass in Summer Heat

I went out for a few hours Saturday morning. I got to the DuPage early. The river was up and murky I managed to score a few pan-fish and rock-bass but only two smallies. Unwilling to work that hard I decided to switch gears and try my hand at some largemouth. I started at 2 ponds I had not fished since spring an the bite was tough. I could see fish hitting shad on the surface and I threw all the baits you are suppose to when that happens but I could not get a fish to go. I was about to leave when I saw one lone pipe with a trickle of cold water coming from it. I quickly caught two and missed a nice fish. 

Today was also the first time I got to try Pivothead Video Recording Eyewear!!! Let me tell you not having to wear a camera is a huge relief! The way I see it I have to wear glasses for fishing anyway, what a great idea! I am excited about future shoots. Its so cool the my readers can see it my way; the way it happens before my eyes.

After a short break in the noon high heat I wanted to see if the small plastic pattern would still yield results. To my delight it did plus with one very large surprise!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dupage Angling Network Radio is Back!! (lets talk about the Dupage River!!)

DuPage Angler Marty Rogers and Pond Boy (Dan Byrne) talk about the site, the community and fishing for HUGE smallies on the DuPage River.  Recorded 07/18/12 (This takes a moment to load)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RocknFish Learns The Force (The Force of the Grub)

I get a call from my brother-in-law Al and he wants to fish. Great! I get the stuff ready and wait for him and my sister to arrive. When they get there my sister and wife leave to pick up my daughter from a party, since Al and I have to watch the boys until they get back we whip up a great batch of tacos. (word of advise don't do this before you go fishing...just sayin)

After dinner, We decide to do some classic bank and bait fishing with minnows and crawlers. We both catch 3 or so, but for bait fishing it was too slow. Rocknfish loves bank fishing so it took some convincing to get him to go bass fishing with artificial bait. I show him the grub of life. Its a Producto spring grub paired with a 1/8oz Cabelas 1/o jig head.
The bait is a great search bait and good for any angler. You just aim shoot and reel. That is it, no smoke or mirrors.

On his third cast he nails a nice bass and the man is hooked! By his second bass he is checking the bait straightening it out on the jig head and we are off to the races! I threw the Black and the Green ones, he tossed the purl white. We had a great time. When we got home the wife had all the makings for sundaes which was perfect when we came in from the heat.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Slow Rollin' on the River for Catfish

Slow Rollin' on the River- written by Ted Yates aka Soonerbass

Got an invite from pondboy yesterday askin' if I was up for some drift fishing on the Fox. It had been a while since I had drift fished live bait in a river and I'd never fished the Fox but I am always lookin for an excuse to fish and I figured PB would be a good guide. 
As you can imagine with the drought conditions we have been under, the river was very low, as low as PB had ever seen it at this location. This required a shallow presentation and most of the trip we only had our nightcrawlers set 1-2 feet below our floats.
We got out to the river about 5:30pm and things started out slow but PB got the skunk off the trip with a small channel cat.

We caught several more little guys as we worked our way downriver and PB was able to get a little larger one as well.

We eventually got down to an area where some cooler water was coming into the river and started catching some smallies. Nothing big but still fun on light tackle.

This little guy may be the lightest colored smallie I have ever caught, 
this fish had a very distinct pattern

As we began to slowly wade our way back up river and call it a night, 
I watched my float disappear. As I set the hook I could immediately tell I had a 
bigger fish than what we had been catching. After a good battle I landed this channel cat, 
the biggest of the trip. This fish was a blast to fight on light spinning gear and only 6lb 
test line.

I caught one more nice cat that was slightly smaller than the biggest fish before we decided to call it a night.

In the end we probably caught around a dozen channel catfish and maybe 8 or so smallmouth bass.
All fish were caught and released.

Thanks again for the lesson on drift fishin' PB!
I promise next time I'll try to wade a little faster

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stellar 4th on The DuPage River

The sun was just coming out when I left for the DuPage. This was an unplanned trip so I did not have my drifting trio of crawlers, leeches, and minnows. I only had crawlers, I also grabbed some assorted helgies and some assorted crankbaits.

I started out drifting as I usually do, I cannot argue with the increased bite the technique promises. Right of the bat,1,2,3 fish and three species to boot. The bite continued and I went through my bait at a record pace, at my second spot I hooked into something heavy! The fish rolled and it was a huge smallie, the reason I have come to love the DuPage River. I was dressed to wet wade so I jumped in to land the beautiful fish. It taped out at exactly 18 inches!!! This was a DuPage trophy to be sure. By my third spot I was using the scraps of my bait as I hooked and lost 2 big fish I never saw. With the building heat I was happy to be wading knee high in my shorts. Out of bait, I stepped out got some water and tied on a search bait. As I walked to the fourth spot I could see smallies swimming around the flats in the clear water but they wanted no part of my search bait. These timid fish were asking for something subtle. I tried my ol’ go to bait at the duper which is a Case helgie with one small shot and an octopus hook. They looked but would not take. I then grabbed a Crabby Bass Helgie which is very small half the size of the case. Bam bam bam they came. Within an hour I doubled my days catch. Out of the 30 fish caught, 18 were smallmouth. I caught 7 species and even caught two crawdads. I ripped the pinchers off and fished with them hoping they would produce, especially since one of my smallies had one in its throat when I caught it. It didn’t work. I fished from 530 to 1030 until the heat was just to much. It was a stellar day on the DuPage River.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Illinois Wisconsin Fishing: Exploring the Kish

Illinois Wisconsin Fishing: Exploring the Kish: Summer has finally rolled in at full force, and brought a heat wave with it. I have been over consumed with the summer activities. Kids base...

Don't buy St.Croix from Gander Mountain -Triumph ML-Power Spinning Rod

Don't Buy St Croix from Gander!!!
By pondboy from Dupage County Illinois on 7/2/2012
1out of 5
Cons: Breaks Easily
Best Uses: River Fishing
Describe Yourself: Professional
Was this a gift?: No
St Croix makes a great product however They DO NOT reimburse Gander for a broken rod. This means if it breaks(rare but happens) you have to go back to Croix. A huge pain in the ---. I will never buy a rod at Gander Again. When I buy a premium rod, I expect in the rare instance of a rod flaw that I would be helped right away. When I spend good money(that is hard to come buy when times are tough) I expect better service. My next top shelf rod purchase will be elsewhere. Manager at Geneva IL, John was completely unwilling to help and did not care.
I have been a huge fan of Croix for years and own several rods. I have one 15 years old good as new. I was shocked that my triumph broke. I went to lift an average bass over some rip-rap and SNAP! My guess that the fast temperature change, cool to 100 plus outside may have caused the break. I had already caught over 100 fish on the rod in the short time I have had it. I am going to contact Croix and I will see if I should remain a fan.

update: after $17 to send the rod and $20 to fix/send it back, St.Croix will be my last choice for a premium rod. When i buy a premium rod I expect premium service. If I spend 100 dollars I should be able to bring it back for an exchange. I know the rod was not damage by me but by a flaw in the rod. $37 to ship/fix my rod and two weeks without the rod. I would of rather put that money into a new rod I can exchange if the unthinkable happens. $37.00 Is a lot to spend on shipping and the time spent without the rod was an issue for me. Ask about the return policy on any rod you buy.

Croix did fix my rod.
according to Croix:

. Write a note explaining the problem. Send the note, a check for $20* and your entire rod to St. Croix. We suggest using our Discount Shipping Program, which is described elsewhere on this page.
2. If your rod was damaged due to faulty workmanship, then of course we will cover the cost of the repair or replacement during the warranty period.
3. However, if evidence indicates that the damage is due to an accident, normal wear or neglect, then we’ll advise you of the additional cost to repair or replace your rod.
* The $20 s&h charge applies to shipments within the continental USA.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Drift Fishing smallies is catchin on!

I was talking with DA Member Simon about drifting. It really sums up to presenting your live bait presentation and a natural depth in the water column at a natural speed.  The floats, long rods,shot, and hooks we use are all to achieve this purpose.