Salt Creek NIGHT REPORT 3/25/03 - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 03-26-2003, 09:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 667
Default Salt Creek NIGHT REPORT 3/25/03

Hey guys,

I drove out of Lee's parking lot just past 8:00. I had 2 dozen large fathead minnows and high hopes for my first night fishing experience at Salt Creek. I parked at the High School (only I parked at the first parking lot and not the one adjacent to Salt Creek) and walked down the long, curved road to the bridge. I had my fully loaded vest, a flashlight, my trusty camera, 5'6" ultralight with 4lb line and a 1/32 oz jig. Walking down the wooded slope, I was unprepared for what I was to encounter at the water.

The night was clear and around 50 degrees. The quiet night was distured every once in a while by the passing cars and the crazy animal screeches from across the pool. It was very peaceful and had I a chair, I'm sure I could have stayed all night.

Then it happened - splash here, splash there. I'm not talking bluegill sized slashes. I'm talking splashes so large that it sent chills down my spine. They weren't out in the deep either - they were 4 feet from shore. So I tip the jig (unpainted roundhead jig, 1/32 oz) and give it a little toss. "Plop" in the distance as my jig hits the calm, cool, black water.

After a couple casts, I see what was making the splashing. Near the end of my retrieve I feel a *bump* *bump* *TUG*! I give the rod a quick snap of the wrists and the drag screams into the black night. No longer do I hear the passing traffic and all the hooting and howling from across the water ceased to exist. After about 6 dog runs, I get the beast to break the surface. In the moonlight I see that it is a nice walleye. I'm no good at estimating lengths, but it was the longest and THICKEST walleye that I have ever hooked up with. On the outside I was calm and composed, but on the inside I was saying, "PLEASE GOD LET ME LAND THIS FISH!" Perhaps I didn't pray hard enough.

I started to bring him to the muddy, slick, not so gradually sloping shore and I find that I have a problem - I can't reach the fish and I'm afraid to lift him out because the line might snap. My toes in the soft mud, I reach out and only my finger tips touch its sharp gill plates. While pulling the rod father back with my other arm and straining to get a hold of the walleye, the unexpected happens - my 1/32 jig rockets towards the trees behind me and the walleye's head slaped against the cold water. I tried to hold the fish in the 3 inches of water with my rod, but the fast action, ultralight rod was no match for the beast. With a couple flops and the flick of his tail, he made his way back to the pool taking with him my joy, my glory and my much needed picture.

The word "MORON!" rang lound and clear in the 30 seconds of silence following the ordeal. I'm still unclear whether these words came from the fish or from my ego.

Things that I have learned from this ordeal:

1) Night fishing is AWESOME!
2) No more using and ultralight setup unless I have a net or
3) Use a heavier rod and line to lift fish out from the water
4) I should go again on Thursday night.

I was only there for 1.5 hours and I hooked up with two fish. It was slow going, but the excitement of hooking up with a large walleye for the first time was enough to get me through. The next time I post a report, I'll be sure to have a story of victory and the pictures to illustrate it. 24lb fusion and a 6'6" meduim action rod will be at my side for my next outing.

Good fishing,
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Old 03-26-2003, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 214

Great post Dave. But, unfortunately, that part of Salt Creek is within the Busse Woods limits. It is illegal to fish there at night even if you walk in. I'm not telling you what to do, I'm just saying that it's illegal and if the police catch you, you may get ticketed.
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Old 03-26-2003, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 667

Hmmmm... maybe I should stand under the bridge and pitch my jig really far. LOL.

I heard that the DNR officers are pretty good about letting you fish there. So long as you don't make a mess or start any fires. To your point, you are absolutely right. For anyone fishing there, you CAN be ticket for being there after dark. I follow the rules and if I break them, I accpet the consequences of my actions.

Maybe I'll just stick to fishing in the mornings. But something about catching them in the dark is exciting.

By the way Dances with Fish, do you talk to John from the baitstore often? He told me about a guy that was fishing with his father and did really well on the walleye's. I thought he was talking about you.

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Old 03-26-2003, 11:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 214

I've only been to John's store a few times. I'll agree with everyone who posts that he is a genuinely nice guy and has some of the most lively bait I have seen. But, I usually fish Busse from late Fall through early Spring. I usually get my minnows from a bait shop near my house the night before. I like to fish early and at that time of the year, John's hours don't work for me. Also, I haven't been to Busse since the swap meet at the Knights of Columbus hall. After reading all of the pressure that that small area is recieving, It's a little discouraging. I know you and I don't keep fish from this FRAGILE fishery, but there are many, many that do. Please remember, these fish are not stocked in Salt Creek. They are there from sporadic reproduction and what falls over the dam. I recently read a post of someone claiming the FPD 18"size limit is that, I have to just shake my head. I'm not gonna go on about this subject...I think everyone gets the picture about how I feel.
To give you an idea about how pressure hurts an area.....about 10 years ago, you could go to the WWD in the Winter and catch numbers of 14 to 16 inch largemouth (5-10 in an outing). A certain Chicago paper labled it as "THE HOTSPOT". I've caught very few fish of that size there since.
Good fishing, Bob
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Old 03-26-2003, 02:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Posts: 103
Default Whoops!!!!!

What the???!!!! Holy mackeral!! I think I accidentally stold your name Dances with "Fish". Sorry 'bout that. I think I'll have to change my name. Is it possible to alter my profile or do I have to register again I wonder. Either way, it looks like this is the end of "Dances With Carp". From this day forth, I shall be known as--- <Trumpet Fanfair>--- "El Carpo." "DWC is dead--Long live El Carpo!! Viva la revolucion!! Viva!!"
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Old 03-26-2003, 02:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Testing

This is just a test to see if I changed my profile name correctly. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
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Old 03-26-2003, 03:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Argh!

Well, I've tried to register under the new name 4 times now and it hasn't worked. I can't login. So if I can ever get it to work I will change. If not, I'm stuck with DWC. Sorry DWF.
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Posts: 214

Not a can dance with all the carp you want.....I'll dance with the rest of the fishes :wink: :P
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Old 03-26-2003, 05:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You guys are right they have really done a number at the discharge sure you can land some lmb in the 9-12 range but just a few years ago I would get a limit of 14inchers I feel that all the fish should be released back there so we will be able to enjoy it for years to come. To bad not everyone feels the same way we do. Wonny yes the creek back is part of Busse but I have been back there at night and sometimes there are are up to 10 poeple fishing. Like you say everyone that does knows they can be fined. I have seen some nice over 20 in. walleye and 25 in. pike taken from back there during the day.
"Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it..
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Old 03-27-2003, 04:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default DWF

Dances with fish. Thanks for being cool about it man. Again, sorry about the accidental rip-off. Like they say, great minds think alike. And it's a deal, I'll get the carp you take care of the "lesser" species. Nyuk! nyuk! nyuk! :wink:

Also, I didn't mean to ignore your post Wonny. That sounded like one heck of a nice fish you had. Don't think of it as losing a fish, think of it as issuing a challenge. It's like saying, "That's right fishie, I'm on to you. Consider this a warning. Next time, I'll take no prisoners!" You'll get him next time.
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