New to Baitcasting and Caught a 23" Pike in the DPR! (p - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New to Baitcasting and Caught a 23" Pike in the DPR! (p



I decided to go to Big Bend Lake in Des Plaines today and got there around 4:00 PM. After throwing some casts into the lake, I saw another angler out on the other side of the lake and so I decided I'd get closer to where he was to try my luck. I wasn't sure how to get there, but since the lake isn't all that large, I figured my best bet would be to just start walking along the perimeter of the lake until I got to him. Along the way, I kept casting into the lake but I got nothing. I finally reached his area and saw two other people fishing there too. I looked over to the left side of the pathway and found a "stream" there and thought I'd give it a try since I didn't really want to disturb the other people there. It turns out that it wasn't really a stream, but rather it was the Des Plaines River (DPR) which runs right next to Big Bend Lake at that point.

I threw out my line into the DPR perhaps 10 times and was just about to decide that maybe it wasn't worth fishing in this area and then WHAM! I actually saw the fish strike my lure and then jump! It was maybe 8 feet away from me because I could clearly see him strike it. Man, he hit it hard! It took me totally by surprise! The fight wasn't too long since he was so close to me already, but it did take some pulling and tugging to get him to shore. When he hit, I could clearly see him... a Northern Pike! After dragging him onto the shore (I could not lift him easily on the fishing rod), I put my my gear next to him to take a photo of him with my cell phone. I didn't have camera gear with me, so the phone was the best I could do. I had pre-measured my rod so I knew exactly where 18 inches was and he was way past that point. Later, I measured the rod to the point where he lay and it turns out he was 23 inches! I used my Boga Grip to hold onto him (pike have sharp teeth) and to weigh him... 3 lbs.

To date, he's the largest fish I ever caught and I released him with the help of the other angler whom I had seen from across the lake. He came over to see what I got. Afterwards, we had a good time talking a little about fishing in general and then he went back to his own fishing. He was fishing for carp, which to me is a little boring since you just put some corn on your line and put it in the water and wait for something to grab it.

For me, I prefer to continuously cast and retrieve. For this pike, I caught him with a "buzz bait." I used my new baitcaster rod and reel to catch this fish, also my first time using this kind of equipment. In the past, I only used spinning gear, but I always thought that baitcasting gear would allow me to be more precise in my casts. I was right. This is better for me!

The other angler told me that he had never seen anyone ever catch a pike with a buzz bait before. Apparently, pike usually lie in wait and then ambuse their prey, so maybe they don't usually go to the top of the water to attack? I don't really know...

Persistence finally paid off! I had had a really bad run of luck this season, but then again, I have been using this season to learn different techniques in fishing. I have fun just being out there to cast and retrieve even if I don't catch anything.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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you used the magic color WHITE youll get lots of northern in that river on that color dont know why but it sets em off
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yep whites the color in the Lyons area thats for sure, and the bigger the better.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice creature bud, plenty of northerns in that DPR stretch, while they do like white when they are on prowl they'll hit just about anything.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good Job Photoguy, I like your enthusiastic post! White works all over the DPR, that's for sure. I usually fish around Gurnee/Wadsworth area but last week I was in Park Ridge and pulled out 4 with the largest being 19". I was using shallow crankbaits like husky jerks and thundersticks. There a blast to catch, and your certainly right, you can catch em really close to you, so fish the lure all the way to shore.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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nice job
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! I was really excited to get SOMETHING this year! I've only been catching small fish this year... nothing to write about. So at least this year wasn't a total loss for me. I'm going to try going back there soon to see how I do with WHITE buzzbait and spinnerbaits. For this pike, I had a cheap $2 Bass Pro Shops buzzbait that was chartreuse in color.

When he grabbed it, it was in fairly shallow water. I didn't even see him until he hit.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh, I may try my Husky Jerk here as well since it was mention on this thread. I had bought it for trying Salmon fishing, but I didn't have any luck. Maybe the pike might like it though!
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Congratulations on the pike. If you like catching them You should definitely consider learning the des planes. There are some big fish in there just waiting to get caught by some lucky angler. That river is an incredible fishery and I'm going to fish the **** out of it myself until the Asian carp get there. Then I'm going bowfishin!
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyFinky
Congratulations on the pike. If you like catching them You should definitely consider learning the des planes. There are some big fish in there just waiting to get caught by some lucky angler. That river is an incredible fishery and I'm going to fish the **** out of it myself until the Asian carp get there. Then I'm going bowfishin!
Thanks. I guess my problem with the Des Plaines River is that I don't know where the easiest access points are to it that still have car parking not too far away.

I just happened onto this portion of the river and that was strictly by luck! I didn't even know it was the Des Plaines River until some guys on a canoe told me it was! I thought it was part of Big Bend Lake! How naive of me!

Yes, I'm going to try the river again and would definitely like it if someone can tell me where you can park and just walk up near it. I'm in the northwest suburbs not far from Big Bend Lake. Where else can it be accessed near there?
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