Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Just Won The Small Lake Lottery

Last night I drove to an undisclosed location in Naperville. The plan was to catch some crappies before the sunset. There is no way I could of dreamed of what happened next. Armed with only an ultra light rod loaded with 2 lb Cajun Red line and a Swedish Pimple I made ONE cast. I make the one cast let it drop for two seconds, I go to lift and my arm stops dead and is pulled down instead. WTF?? My drag starts to peel but the fish is too big. This lake is NOT Known for any big fish, I only go there for fun with small crappies. I have fished there on and off since I moved here eight years ago. The only way this fish is going to stay on is if I RUN!!! I start running with it, then walking, and then jogging again. Maybe a catfish? I switch to back reel as my drag is not giving up line smooth enough. A giant bass? I never got anything over 2 pounds here. A carp maybe? I felt it strong head shake. 3/4 down the lake I am sweating trying to keep this thing on. The I see a flash of STRIPES!! Jesus what the hell is that?  Now my asthma kicks in, my chest is tight, and although I catch some big fish this is NOT what I signed up for. My old friend panic sets in as I walk with this beast down the lake. Finally ten minutes later, I climb down the hill and lip my 3 foot 10-12 pound hybrid striper!! Obviously someone let this thing go and by the looks of it, the fish has had years to load up on small crappies and shad with no competition. I have just landed the fish and story of a life time. Let me answer the obvious questions.

no they are not stocked.

I am 100% it is the only one.

I cannot tell you were this private lake is as it is in a friends neighborhood I promised if I posted there would not be 50 guys trying to catch it.

It was released.

yes I crapped myself.

Of course as I get older this will become an exaggerated catfish hunter type of story. Example: No I did not loose my teeth from drinking pop. That striper bit me and I bit him back loosing four teeth on its iron sides!!

A week after this post I entered my story on the infisherman website and they posted it!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Trout Opener 2012 - 2 Days of Fun.

1am, crap, 2am sh-t,  3am come on, 4:30 woohoo lets go!!! I had not fished in-land trout for at least 4 years, tired increasingly of un-sportman wanna be anglers that break rules and seem to have no character as they cast over your line. I had not thought about it in some time but since I now have a kayak in my possession, why not? I will now have some space to breath. After our DuPage Angler Podcast on trout, my plans were made to return. Since I had a yak I got there a half hour before open instead of an hour and was met with at least 30 guys that had the same idea. 

This line of tail lights instantly made my stomach turn as I remembered why I had stopped doing this. I got on the water and it was still dark and somewhat quiet considering the amount of people that were somewhere around me in the darkness. I rigged up two slip float rigs and cast my minnow out into the night. My locator was covered with fish from top to bottom so I set it at seven feet and said a prayer. Where in the hell is my float? GONE? HOLY....... I had my first trout in sometime, yes I rock! LOL! I was actually shocked to score in 5 minutes. My first three fish came in a hurry with me missing fish as well, my minnows coming back covered in teeth marks and ripped.

Once the sun came up the ballgame changed completely. I moved my yak up wind, and then would drift back over a lot of water to cover as much ground as possible looking for active fish. I hooked a few more, and lost a few more including the biggest of the day. I played them longer than I needed to. I was excited to be catching a species I had not battled in forever. I could of cranked them in and been on my way home in the first 2 hours. The higher the sun got the slower the trout bite became. I had four and needed to land one more to tuck away a limit. Now I was thinking that I should not of goofed around with those other fish! I got a couple crappie and bass before I managed to catch the last one.

I now looked up and saw just how many people had arrived. WOW! It was worse than I thought! I was happy to be surrounded by a few boaters, all of which I must say were nice guys and kept space between us.

Look at that dock!! I know right?? I would not fish there as a ghost. I got my limit earlier then I thought, so a packed up and went to a soccer game. Day one was fantastic.

I woke up on day two with plans to hit the fox but with no wind I had to go back and hit it again. I got there later by a half hour and was shocked at the lower turn out. The water was perfect.

The trout had very different plans today. The only active fish were over by that dock and the hordes  I really did not want to go over there. I fished trout hard for the first quarter of my morning. I used the same drifting technique and only hooked and lost two. However I noticed when ever I started a drift In the shallower water I would catch a crappie off the weed line in 15-20 feet of water. At this point I said the hell with the trout, parked on the edge, and I was handsomely rewarded!! The crappies came in fast and I caught over a dozen with some bonus bass!! A few trout would of been great, but I had a great day. I only saw two guys with a limit and many guys went empty handed or only had a couple. Since I have the kayak and had such a good time, I will continue going back for the inland trout angling adventures.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thunder the sound after Crappie strikes

My buddy Ted Yates and I went to a sports authority that was having a great sale. They had a few Road Runner Crappie Thunders on sale. As i watched him grab them all I remembered him hooking several smallmouth the week before on the same baits baits. He did not want the white ones so I grabbed them quickly. Tonight I fished a pressured lake not known for its crappie. Low numbers and no schools I have never been able to get more than one in any given spot. However tonight with the help of the Thunder I caught the biggest crappie I have ever seen from the lake and several bass. I did not get another crappie but the one was more than worth it. THANK TED!!! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Basappie Bite!!

We had a warm front come in from the south and dump some much need rain. In the early spring and fall I shift my attention from a bass pipe bite after a rain to a crappie pipe bite. The cool thing about a crappie pipe bite is you can usually spend a day at just a pipe or two when the bite is on. Schools of golden freckled goodness pull right into the current breaks giving out ultra light fun by handfuls!!

The warm front seemed to draw the crappies to the end of the current caused by the rain. They were not right in close or in the big numbers I expected. However someone sent a text to the bass and gills that the bite was on today. What resulted was a chex mix of fishing fun.

I used minnows and a ice jig/micro nuggie combo for the lion's share of hits. I did manage a couple fish on a castmaster spoon.

I missed several fish. (bast-rds) 

An older gentleman came up and scared the crap out of me since i was concentrating on the fast action and I jumped like a school girl. He was surprised to see me in his spot he said and asked if he could join me. That is class. He did not just come right up and park next to me. He was cool and he slammed several large gills on a red and white tiny tube jig. The gills were in droves and we scored a few really nice fish. I ended the day with about 8 bass as well. It was a great day to shoot the sh-t in the wind and rain.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 12th Quick Trip

I got off work and had to get my admissions test. I put my stuff in the car because the Warrenville stretch of river was not far from testing facility. I had a dozen minnows left over from the previous weekend. It was already getting dark when I arrived i managed to miss two and score two smallmouth before my light ran out. If I had more time I am sure I could of picked up more fish. My friend and DA member Chunsum, managed to get six down river from where I was. It will be interesting to see what effect this warm front and rain will have on the local bite.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An October Banner Day on the Fox River

 After 3 mornings in the 30's I was not expecting much of day. I took a vacation to go Salmon fishing but after a slow night casting and rivers levels very low I changed my plans to the Fox River.

Ted Yates aka Sonnerbass on www.DuPageAngler.com Had the day off as well. When we met at the river it was frigid out and we had the river to ourselves. All the candy ass mamma's boys started showing up at noon once it had warmed up.

The hole I was fishing, I was hoping to find a walleye or two but with this years incredibly low water I believe the flow just is not there to trigger the eyes to move up. The hole is chest deep and trucking in normal conditions. Today 4 foot maybe at the deepest. 

With the hole being so low and slower I did not have to pull out the Lindy rigs. My standard drift rig would do the trick. I was armed with the trio of awesomeness crawlers, leeches, and minnows. The floats I use come in different shapes for different depths and current speeds which can be switched out in seconds. These floats have really been the icing on my drifting cake. I truly believe My numbers have gone up by a quarter since I switched float companies.

It didn't take long maybe 2 drifts before I had the first of 40 cats, Yes 40, I know right? Anyway these fish were a blast. All small 5-18 inches most being around 10 inches. They were stacked up like cord wood in this hole which in the past had only been good for an occasional fork-tail. I just wish I had brought my ultra light or lighter drifting rod instead of my stiffer 7ft falcon walleye rod.

Sooner was scoring fish left and right as well. We also caught 3 baby flatheads between us.

We also scored some white bass 3-4 between us.

To make the day perfect we scored at least 8 smallies between us. Both of us lost two big fish each. Since we did not see them we are going with shad, yeh that's it shad.

It was a perfect day on the Fox River. Despite the low water and chilly temps. Remember just because it gets cold does not mean hang up the rods for the season!!

If anyone is interested in learning my methods first hand, or just want to wade we can  make that happen just contact me at www.dupagefishingguide.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Walleyes a Swing and a Miss!

Always looking for new water on the Fox, a friend pointed me to an area that was near Yorkville. I have been looking for more walleye water as my consistent spots are an hour north for me. This spot was just past water I already explored, but knowing there was a deeper hole were walleyes bite on a regular basis I had to make the journey. I asked Ted Yates aka Sooner Bass (on DuPageAngler.com) to go with. We brought our yaks to fish deeper water and mine is armed with a locator so finding the hole would be a breeze. Finding the hole was a breeze, a nice 6 foot deep stretch surrounded by 2 foot of water. The spot is perfect. Problem is the fish didn't know that, well at least on this day. I fished it thoroughly with drift rigs and lindy rigs that only fish interested was a baby Flathead. 

Was it just a bad day? Is this a night bite only spot? I don't know the answer but I like it enough to go back again next season and find out. After fishing the hole inside and out ted suggested that we explore and paddle up river for a short stretch (note to self: Ted is in better shape then you next time tell him to bite it.) After paddling forever and ever, we could not find anything deeper than 2.5 feet. Funny thing was all the fish we were to catch for the day came from the shallow flats. Ted caught 3 smallies, 1 large mouth, 1 crappie and a catfish, I managed to scrape up 5 small channels myself. Teds came mostly on minnows and leeches. my fish came dragging a crawler behind the yak as I drifted. We caught enough fish to salvage the day but as for the walleyes it was a swing and a miss. So far this fall it's Eyes 2 - Pondboy 0.