Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Right Way to End a Winter

One of our taglines for DuPageAngler.com is Be Part of Something Special. This is not just a tagline. The members have real interactions in real life. This weekend was one of those moments.

A fury of emails and calls bounced back and forth and before it was done, over 7 DA members converged on Lake Harrier for some late season ice fishing. There was a line of cars waiting for the ranger to open the gates. The cool part is that the whole line was made up of Dupage Anglers!!! RocknFish, JcCrappies, Brim, Sooner, Aczr711  JTC24 , dbenner, and JTC24's father.

Most of us headed to an area where James(JTC24) and Dylan(dbenner) had got some big walleyes. We all caught fish but the boys were on fire early, besides two huge eyes they rallied up a pile of crappies, bluegills, and perch. The others guys came back with a volley of walleyes, bass, and perch. Rocknfish and I started late out of the gate but we scored huge with a great gill spot and caught 35 between us in short order. 

Many of us myself included are quick to point out what our forest preserve districts do wrong. Harrier is a great example of something done right. First and foremost the lake is catch and release only for ALL species!!! This one rule has made it possible for any angler to have very good chance of catching something on a trip to this lake. The district takes the catch and release seriously. Every trip I have made here I have been checked for my license. This catch and release policy combined with a vigilance of protection from the district will give the county its first true gem. I have never enjoyed the forest preserves do to the lack of numbers, bucket heads, and law breaking. But harrier I will return to. This catch and release fishing could be the road to fantastic fishing for all in Illinois and other pressured areas around the country.

The variety of species found here made it possible for us to catch fish all over the lake. bass, gills, crappies, perch, catfish, and walleye were all caught on this day. Minnows, jigs, spikes, waxies, spoons, Little Atom micro plastics and tip-ups all tricked fish into battles under the ice.

Having a large group ice fishing is a blast. Lots of drilling and electronics everywhere is pretty cool. Everyone is talking and helping each other out. Some smack talk here and there, yahoos of success, and the occasional curse of a fish lost. DA members got to put faces with the guys they talk with online and make some real friends and fishing partners for the future. This was so much fun and the right way to end the winter.

Harrier Walleye from Daniel Byrne on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Out of all the fishing activities I've done, ice fishing has always been my favorite. It always thrills me to see the fish swimming just beneath my feet – under the ice – until it bites the bait and makes me a happy fisherman. I am delighted to hear that you have organized a group of ice fishers and that you all had a great time doing it. Well, see you next winter! Bernita Sloan