Oh boy, my 4th year of Breakfast Time Bassin' in the Chicagoland area! This is by far the earliest I've gotten started, hopefully this early season means more fishes this year. Usually I don't get started until April, and its kind of slow until May. Last year the first couple of weeks of May were cold too. So, we will see...
I heard bassedhard and his boy were whacking the Pike and got a smallmouth at Vulcan so I made that my first trip Saturday after work. The weather was perfect with a storm coming on the horizon and the barometer dropping or whatever it does that makes the fish bite real good before the storm. I started off trying out various jerkbaits since I'm hearing all over the place that jerkbaits are the way to go for early season bass, and pike like 'em too. So, I threw an X-Rap XR10, a Pointer 78 and a Husky Jerk HJ10 for about 45 minutes until my arms got tired (so out of shape.) People don't believe me when I tell them fishing is excercise, but there's no doubt about it. I feel like a fat slob from sitting on my butt stuffing my face all winter. So looking forward to getting fit.
Anyway, no action on the jerks so I figured I'd do something easy that I have confidence in - jigging. No action there either so as a last resort I tried wacky rigging a Senko. Still nothing. Oh well, at least I got a workout. This morning I headed for my favorite spot on the DuPage River, but got there early not knowing what time the Sun really rises. So, I went to the Des Plaines Backwaters first. Only stayed for about 45 minutes until the Sun was good and out, and I managed to catch my first fish of the year (on a Rapala Floating Minnow F7 Silver Vampire.) It had a fat belly just like me!
Then I hit the river and got my first Smallmouth of the year on my first cast:
The action was pretty good. Altogether landed 9 bass on the river, 8 Largemouth and 1 Smallie. Also lost 3 Smallies that jumped and shook off. Plus snagged 2 big carp. One got snagged close to the mouth so that might count as a catch. Whatever, they were fun to fight.
Started with the Rapala F7 Silver Vampire and got the 1 Smallie and 3 Largemouth then switched to a 3" curly tail grub on a 1/8oz jig but got no love there so tried a Rebel Wee Crawfish Texas Red and got 1 Largemouth then ended up with a Rapala Husky Jerk HJ10 Gold and got 4 more Largemouth and snagged the carps. For me the minnow baits were working a lot better than the jig/grub again.
So, I got off to a decent start I think. Better than last year for sure. Maybe next I'll try Lake Michigan for some Coho...
Oh yeah, I think I saw Tomo and a 5lb 2oz Smallmouth as the Fish of the Week in the newspaper. Where you at Tomo?
And a shout out to all the guys who have my phone number. Text me and lets fish!
Thanks for the shout out Maliboo- Im still around, little posting though. Yeah that was a hell of a day for the fish of the week. We were targeting Coho and Browns, slow action they just moved, so we took a shot in the dark with the crazy spring we are having and it paid off big. I caught 3 smallies in about 45 minutes- all beasts- went 4 14oz, 4 14oz, and the one for FOTW at 5 2oz. Unreal. Nice to see yourself back in the groove.
Yes sir, it feels good to get back in the saddle. My son is still hooked and will tolerate the old man for some fishing. Should be an interesting year. He wants to add musky to his "did that list". Since I've only caught one myself I told him were on even ground. Look to get out with you in April!!!!!
Maliboo, I always enjoy reading about your travels. I am not sure if you have an iphone but cabelas has an app called fish recon that uses GPS on your phone to document where you are and when you catch a fish, you can mark where and take a picture or type in what you caught and on what. Might be worth checking out for you with how much you document things. I just started using it and really like it.
Maliboo, good job on the fish! i am all over the place fishing, mostly Mazonia the last week or so and been catching largemouth like crazy! haven't fished alot up north. where you fishing up there? I am in Naperville and pretty close to the north suburbs.
i was looking for that app you mentioned. i can't seem to find it. i do have an iphone. can you post a little more info? its not in the App store. thanks.
I'm not a kid or a little old lady so I don't have an iPhone, I have an Android. Alright, take it easy, I'm just kiddin' I tried every fishing logger app in the Android Market before realizing the best one is Fish Logger Pro. It does that GPS marking thing plus you can export to KML file so you can use it with Google Earth or email the KML to other people. Its a little hard to figure out at first, it took me a while just to realize you have to check the "active" box when you setup a trip, but its pretty awesome once you learn it. The reviews in the Android Market are kind of old so the things they complain about are fixed now. Worth the $5 for sure. That Cabela's one for Android is kind of useless unless you pay the $30 yearly membership. Maybe the iPhone version is better. The other fishing apps I have on my phone are Time2Fish Pro which is a great Solunar thingamajig, Knot Wars which is the awesome app for tying knots, and WFN Portal which I don't open too much.
I hooked up with Johnny Amato this morning to do some breakfast time bassin' We started at the Fox River in St. Charles and fished for 90 minutes but I only got 3 small smallmouths on a Silver Rapala F7. Then we hit Fermi Lab for 90 minutes but I only got 1 large largemouth on a Clear w/Gold,Silver & Black Flake 5" Senko:
Then we went back to the Fox in Aurora, but the water was chocolate milk and there were literally billions of dead bugs flowing down stream so we figure the fish were pretty well stuffed on them and that's why we skunked. Of course there was a good reason. As a last resort we hit a retention pond and got a bunch of dink largemouths and a couple bluegills on a Silver Rapala F7 and Johnny's Red Bass Pro Shallow Crankbait. Not sure why only the little guys were biting, but there must be a good reason...
Went up to Waukegan this morning after work to see if I could pick up a 'ho or a brownie. Hit the water at 8:30 it was 39 degrees out and 10 fishermen on Government pier. 1 guy was powerlining and the rest were chucking spoons. So, I started with a 1/3oz chartreuse Little Cleo and after about 45 minutes everybody except the powerliner left! Nobody had a fish so I figured spoons must not be getting the job done so I switched to a red Wiggle Wart crankbait. Another 45 minutes and I couldn't take the cold any longer.
Over at Johnson Pier there were still 7 fishermen compared to the 1 on Government so I headed over there but they were all bait fishing and I didn't want to be the only one casting into the wind/waves and try to work my way in-between their lines, so I flipped a bitch and came home.
I think my main fishing goal for this year is to learn where to fish the Chicago Harbors, its too damn far to go to Waukegan when I want to fish the big lake. Plus I'd like to get some LM Smallmouth action too...
I don't think the Fermi Lab ponds are off-limits. I dunno, first time I ever fished there.
My #1 fishing goal this year is to catch a big (20") hybrid/striper and pretty much the only place to do that around here is the cooling lakes, so I planned to visit LaSalle for the first time this morning but as I was on the road I changed my mind and decided to really pound Heidecke from the ground. The Shad Rap has been my most successful lure there so I decided to not fool around and just tie on a Firetiger SR5 and leave it. At first I focused on the stretch of land between the handicapped pier and the NE corner. Stood in a spot, fan-cast the area and then move down and repeat until every square foot of water has been covered. Nothing.
So, the next area I focused on was the dyke way down past the outhouse. At 9:30 got a nice 20" Waldo:
And then at 10:40 on the other side of the dyke got another keeper Walter:
A little while later I hooked something big and strong which pulled so hard it came off the hook. So 2 for 3, not too bad. Still need to find a big hybrid/striper though...
It was nice an warm this morning, felt like the start of Bassin' season so I made a quick jaunt to a local park with a Rapala Floating Minnow F7 Gold Vampire after work. Tossed it for around 45 minutes and got 3 dink Largemouth and 2 lunker bluegills. Nice to have something to look forward to after work in the mornings now...
the Fox smallies are in prespawn and loaded with eggs right now. Went out for an hour in St C yesterday and got 3 smallies, best was ~17". Jigs got nothing, all fish on my preferred brand of lipless. Today, no fish on anything though. We gotta find time to hit that river again, bro.
Yeah, the last couple Mays have been pretty good for me on the Fox in St. Charles. I think I will hit it middle of the week. If you can get out in a morning text me up. I'm still gonna be trying for hybrid/stripers on the weekend...
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