should I put the rods away ? - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default should I put the rods away ?

I am retired and cabin fever has already set in !!! I drove from the dam in downtown Kankakee, to the State Park, to Warner Bridge, to the dam in Wilmington. I had 2 rods one with a white twister tail and the other a black/silver original Rapala. I fished for maybe 45 minutes to an hour in each area and no bites. I got warm driving to each area and saw no one else out along the river. Minnows would have probably been a better choice, but does anyone else fish in mid-30 degree weather , am I wasting my time ? Any suggestions on a better method at this time of year ? Those 2 set ups are successful all year long, but I have never fished when it is this cold. HELP !!!!
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I never stop unless it frozen. Slow presentations into the slack water behind structure.
Smaller baits is whats recommended. Fish won't move much for a bite to eat, you have to make it a no brainer. Being a crank guy I rip it the winter too. Try both, keep at it, you'll get em.
Location location location. Look for incoming water, runoff, creek, sewer discharge anything that may bring a little warmer water with some flow, find the structure by that and there will be a fish there..
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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pretty much what Kodiak said..going out this weekend, supposed to be in the high 40's. it ain't over yet
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am retired and cabin fever has already set in !!! I drove from the dam in downtown Kankakee, to the State Park, to Warner Bridge, to the dam in Wilmington. I had 2 rods one with a white twister tail and the other a black/silver original Rapala. I fished for maybe 45 minutes to an hour in each area and no bites. I got warm driving to each area and saw no one else out along the river. Minnows would have probably been a better choice, but does anyone else fish in mid-30 degree weather , am I wasting my time ? Any suggestions on a better method at this time of year ? Those 2 set ups are successful all year long, but I have never fished when it is this cold. HELP !!!!

What are you targeting? Pike? Walleye? Water temps in the mid 30's, the Rapala would be ok for those species. For bass, a much slower presentation with plastic would be best. Falling levels and increasing clarity makes for a very tough shoreline bite. Look for deeper areas at least 3-4 feet deep, with a eddie or pool or break of some type. Cold water fishing is tough. Hard to stay motivated when fishing for very few bites. Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Fish feed year round, unless it's froze over I'm on the river.

Big fat dumb slow eat me is just as valid as small and slow .
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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From a walleye standpoint I'm a fan of the suspending Rogues when the water gets below 40.Use a slow retrieve and vary your pauses, biggest downfall is they get hung up quite a bit in water less than 3ft. The K3 dam thru bourbonnais park is a good stretch with plenty of deeper water. Overcast days and into the night produce the best results for me. Larger twisters are a good bet too. This time of the year is quality not quantity.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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From a walleye standpoint I'm a fan of the suspending Rogues when the water gets below 40.Use a slow retrieve and vary your pauses, biggest downfall is they get hung up quite a bit in water less than 3ft. The K3 dam thru bourbonnais park is a good stretch with plenty of deeper water. Overcast days and into the night produce the best results for me. Larger twisters are a good bet too. This time of the year is quality not quantity.

My main man. You ok down there?
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Fish may feed, but they are as cold as the water, and their metabolism is slow. Also, how much light is there at this time of year. 8-9 hours? Photo period should be taken into consideration. Many conditions and circumstances need to line up to be successful. Odds are against an angler, but rewarding when successful. I am not saying, not to fish, but keep a realistic frame of mind.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most definitely one must have lowered expectations of the amount of smallmouth bass to be caught in an outing. Getting skunked happens more frequently, days of fishing for a single bite , 2 to 3 fish days when the temps get into the low thirties are to be treasured.

look for periods of stable conditions over several days, however if the water is rising, getting there as it does at many times is more fruitful in that condition .
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I appreciate all the input, using 2 rods, #1 rod with a 4" twister and a weighted keeper hook gets me down and to some degree colors determine sm bass or walleye, the same for #2 rod, a floating original Rapala in black/silver or fire tiger for walleye have worked year round for me for many years. I am retired and there are only so many house chores I can perform before I become Jack Nickelson in the "SHINNING". so I have been fishing much more, like 3X a week or more when I can get away with it, but I have not fished the river when it is this cold. I have a little trouble getting around so my wading days are over and I fish close to where I park my truck so I don't have to walk to far and use a lawn chair, it sucks but I am at least on the right side of the grass, I know being limited like this cuts down on my chances but I am ok with that, I just enjoy doing it. Thanks again for your tips.
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