Thursday, April 25, 2013

Master Angler Award and Certificate for Region One Hybrid Striped Bass 2012

I sure some of you remember when I posted about my crazy hybrid striper catch and I wrote how excited I was that my fish qualified for the master angler award program, which earned me a letter and patch, and was on the In-Fisherman website.Today I found out that my fish won the entire region for that species!!! I received a certificate and a pin!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quick Post Flood Crappie

We had a HUGE rain and much of the area was completed flooded. Rivers were out of the question and I thought the ponds would be too. I had planned to kayak a couple bigger lakes for crappie and leftover trout. My thinking was that they would not be so dramatically effected by 4-7 inches of rain. However 2 days after the rain the ponds in my area dropped down quite a bit. So I decided to drive 45 minutes north because that area did not get quite as much as we did. 

I kayaked a small lake I have had permission to fish. The water was up 4 feet and was very muddy. To be honest I was not expecting anything In these post flood and cold front conditions. But if I get a chance to fish I am going!!

I paddled around and just could not find any concentration of fish just small roaming schools of a few fish. the fish were 4-5 feet down in 7-9 feet of water. I rigged up ice fishing jigs and either wax worms or minnows using ultra light combos and slip floats

One spot number three I miss a fish. Son of a..... Spot four I repeat the same thing!!! WTH! The next three spots I managed to pick up one nice 10 inch crappie per spot. Whew. I really had to move around and keep at it in order to score. But looking at what mother nature dumped on the area I consider myself lucky just to get on the board.

Fish can be caught post storm or even flood. You have to just stick with it and be willing to move and change spots, presentations and even species or locations at times. Being able to change or roll with the punches will give you more fish and success in tough conditions.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

High Water Spring Smallies

Just after our onslaught of spring rain hit I managed to get in the Dupage River near Naperville before the water got to high. The water was up 2 feet and dirty. When the water is up please practice safe wading. A Couple fish is not worth your life.

The fish as the water goes up spread out as there is more place to swim and feed. I fished for 2 hours I was using Raven products in my standard drift rig. I managed to catch two small mouth. I aligned myself with a stone wall there was a 1-2 foot ribbon of slower current right along the wall and this is were I caught my smallies and several panfish.

The key to high water smallies whether you can wade or not, is slack water and slow sections. You may not have a banner day, but you might catch a few fish in these slack areas. Just keep a look out for calmer sections that you allow to control and maintain a proper presentation.

A fellow member Woz and a life long friend hit the fox in high conditions and manage to do very well. Here is his story.

With a little free time late this afternoon, I decided to take a quick trip to the Fox. Not wanting to waste the little time I had, decided on North Aurora. I figured with water levels up, I could hit the small dam by the police station, and if that doesn't pay out, pick apart the rocks by the main dam. After arriving, I realized the river was higher, and flowing faster than I had anticipated. The eddy's usually created along the rocks on the east side were non existent. Just a fast, steady flow. I didn't bother with the main river.

Walked over to the smaller dam, a saw some promise. Started out throwing a small x-rap in the seams, but nothing. Switched over to the trusty craw papi, and started flipping into any current break I could find. Behind boulders  stumps, and along cement walls. Almost right away, I felt a tug. Set the hook, and landed a nice 15" smallie. I repeated the presentation on any structure I could find. In a little less than an hour, landed six smallies. All were in the 14"-17" range.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fall Trout Fishing 2013

Excitement took over the tired as 330 came and the alarm screamed in my ears. Brim Reaper and JcCrappie met me with their yaks in tow ready to hit the water. We had planned on Silver Lake but a forecast of high winds made us change locations. We chose Loon Lake at Silver Springs because it is a long narrow lake that runs east to west and the winds were out of the south. We did not realize just how windy it had gotten until we were finished and pulled out of the park and my van was blown all over the road!!
Loon was the perfect choice it totally shielded us. The south shore has a high ridge and block of forest which completely saved the day for a group of addicts in small yaks!

We arrived at 530 and a score of shore angler were already pounding the water in the dark. The shoreline was riddled in night bobbers and head lamps. We were unaware that you could start at 5.

Once on the water we had space for ourselves and only had a handful of other watercraft to share with.  The trout were grouped in schools. All swimming from 2-5 feet down I tried spinners but no luck. I watched a group of anglers score several trout quickly from shore. I paddled out of their casting range and dropped anchor. The school I marked on my Lowrance was much thicker here. That’s when the fun started, my floats disappeared quickly as minnows were attacked at 4.5 feet. At one point I had 2 on at once! Chunsum hooked a couple as well.

At one point I lost feeling in my ass and needed a break. Brim and I headed to shore. The great thing about Loon is that they were prepared for fisherman. Bathrooms, bait, and food were available. We enjoyed a hot dog and shot the shit as we watched the guys fish for a while.

Later Sooner bass joined our DuPage Angler Kayak Trout Party and scored a large trout.  I believe it was fooled by a sassy shad. We found a fish crib and managed to catch some crappie off of it before the wind was too bad on that end of the lake and had to move.

Back were we started, I finally got a Loon yellow bass! This was my first yellow in years since the die off in the Fox River and Chain. It didn’t matter how small it was, I was excited.

It was pretty cool to four guys from on the water all in kayaks!! I had a blast and cannot wait until the 2013 fall opener.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gearing up for Spring Podcast

The podcast are on a regular schedule now Wednesday at 830 and the site has a new chat feature to chat in questions and comments during the live show. There is always the option to call in as well!!


The Podcasts are also available on iTunes!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Crappie Day Turns to Bass Blast

After a very cold one fish day a couple of weeks ago, I needed to settle the score. I decided to take my kayak for crappies. I arrive to a lake of glass and just a hint of mist on the water. The air even this early is twice as warm as the last trip. I took the first hour just to paddle around looking for structure, memorizing depths, and searching for a school of crappie. Next to a large flat of 5 feet the bottom sloped to 7.5 feet and there were the fish. There was nothing from 5ft down and the bottom was void of life 9 feet and deeper.

The crappie bite started and man was I relieved. I was starting to doubt my decision to hit the crappie instead of going to LaSalle for hybrids and cats.

The bite was not as fast as I would have liked. My old friend Steven Murray of Tarpon Headquarters use to bring a container of crawlers every time we went fishing even on our most hardcore artificial largemouth bass days. This drove me crazy. UNTIL those crawlers saved our asses on more then one occasion. I learned my lesson and always have crawlers in my bait fridge.

I rigged a spinning rod with a raven float, raven shot, and a raven #4 specialist hook. I set it 4 feet down and baited with a ½ crawler hooked in the nose. To be honest I was searching for bonus hand size gills when the onslaught started. BAM! BAM! BAM! The bass came one after another. They totaled 15 fish with 3 of them over 15 inches!! It was a blast. 

I managed to scrape up about 9 crappies as well on minnows, waxies, and tube jigs. One big white measured out at 13 inches. The funny part I only caught one gill all day and it was not even on the crawlers.

The lesson here is to have a back up plan such as crawlers. Don’t be a stuck up idiot and look down on bait or certain lures. The truth is if your eyes are closed, you just cannot see. Don’t miss out on a great day, please keep an open mind and expect to learn from old, young, expert, and new fisherman. In this case going old school gave me the edge to achieve a great day and a wonderful angling adventure.