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I spent most of my childhood south of Joliet in places with lots of little creeks, ponds, and low populations. Fishing was enjoyable, using live bait or lures, I still caught fish and had a nice day.

Then I joined the military and spent time fishing in South Carolina, Idaho, and Washington. Wonderful fishing in these places...I swear you could at times catch bass on a bare hook.

Well after coming back to the area I see a ton of fishing pressure on everything from mud puddles on up. I see horrible practices of keeping anything and everything being caught from shoreline fishermen. Many public areas are trashed...litter and lots of disrespect for the landscape. I'm currently shorebound, I can't justify having a large gas guzzler just to tow a boat.

So onto the point, I had horrible shoreline luck for anything other than a few cats and carp. I went out every weekend from June to Sept. of 2007 to various spots around Turtle Lake, Des Plaines Conservation Area, Dupage River, Kankakee River, and Fox River all without much luck...and every spot was just packed.

Does anyone have a good location for conservation minded fishermen? Part of my enjoyment of the sport is being out in nature, looking at a shoreline of empty beer cans and bait containers is not something I like. I don't mind needing skill and patience to catch fish, but it seems like a waste of time to keep throwing my line in fished out holes while being forced to stand around in trash.

Is there any hope for those of us who remain shorebound?
 

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buy a kayak

You should buy a kayak. I just got one last week I can't wait to use it. I have fished from kayaks In florida. I dont have a place for a boat are the money for a boat. but I can't be near most of those shorefisherman I just want to kill them. Not all but most. They keep every fish even bass that are under 7 inches. :evil: a
 

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After you get ten posts in, and your able to send/recieve
private messages, shoot me a PM and we'll talk about canoeing the DuPage river this season.

Paul
 

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I have a 14' canoe with a fairly wide (44"?) beam.
It is rated for 750 pounds total.

Anchoring a canoe can be a little hazardous.
Especially in rivers.

Trying to pull up the anchor is when the trouble begins.

Dragging a large chain will slow down your drift in a river current,
but you still could have a problem when it gets lodged in rocks or other debris.

The DuPage is pretty shallow through MOST of its course, though there are some pretty deep stretches, so generally not a real risky river to capsize in. But losing gear or getting things like cameras, remote vehicle
alarms etc. dunked in the water is no fun.

The real cool thing about canoeing is that it is so easy to pull up on shore,
get out , and thouroughly wade-fish a run or pool.
 

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hey im a big guy i have a gruman 17 ft and have no problems...if your worried about turning over go to.... canoegear.com .... i bought the out riggers and sail and portageing wheels ect... and i have a BLAST ! heck i can stand up and fish....
 

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Even Though I have enough disposable income, I chose to sell my Ranger Commanchee bass boat and newer loaded Explorer last year. I relized that the gas insanity in this country was for me at a breaking point. This was when gas was still under $3. I have never looked back. Although I do miss going out with the misses to the cooling lakes. I dont miss the insurance, repair costs on a 10,000 dollar motor. And the top it off, a fillup of 34 gallons of fuel in the boat alone. Last year I bought a bass tender and found a new boat trailer online for 300 dollars. The best thing about it is whever I go to Mazonia, the Dupe or Hennipen and Hopper ( a secret that many have never even heard of) I find less then 4-5 people there as well. By the way the new boat and trailer way less then a few hundred pounds so thenew honda civic that gets 30-40 mpgs has no problem towing it. the boat and trailer even fit in the garage with room to spare. if you want to get away from shore and not break the bank I would definitely recommend it.
 

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wading the hickory creek at the foreset preserve right off of gougar and francis... good fishing
 

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I can truly say with out hesitation that I am jealous that you were able to fish in Washington and Idaho! Coming back here obviously makes you respect those areas fished before. I could only imagine the backdrops on some of those areas you encountered. With that being said I do like the recommendations on the kayak. I think it will provide the tranquility that you desire. Finding coves and fingers and inlets on areas already mentioned requires a flotatable navigation device. If you like the outdoors but don't want to travel I would suggest the forest preserve areas of the duper. Mazonia has lots of smaller lakes that you definately want to google earth on and get out there before the grass gets to high. Another area that you may want to venture out onto is the Kankakee River. Same approach, but along with the duper( which in my eyes can be a mini Kank, if ya squint your eyes a bit) you can wade with similar enjoyment. Work the state park area and you will find a hint of nature's best offerings, close to home.
As far as Hopper is concerned, it's been a few years, but it has restrictions that provide for a potentially prosperous outing. It's a bit of a drive tho.

JB
 

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Joliet fishing

I have lived all over the country and can say without a doubt, the fishing here is the poorest of any of the places I've lived... but not impossible. Shoreline fishing Lake Michigan for salmon in spring and perch in the summer. Wading any of the rivers in the summer and fall. Ice fishing Mazonia and Chain of Lakes in winter. You just have to pay your dues and find the spots and techniques- that's what make it rewarding.

I too have a big boat- $30,000.00+, and I too am getting ready to bail out. Just makes me sick to buy gas. Don't mind paying for the boat or the truck to pull it... but the gas puts it over the top. And launching at some ramps is $20.00+. I have caught more fish here just wading the rivers.
 

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I do not think I would waste my money on a conoe. I think I would invest on some waders and wade the local rivers. I am a bigger guy and feel the threat of tipping everytime I would get in one. :-?
 

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shore fishing

Just my .02 - i second the recommendations of a kayak and/or canoe and/or a little boat like the bass tender. personally - i've had two bigger boats and got sick of it all - i bought a nice fishing kayak (pungo) that I've fished with all over the place. a year or two ago when i sold my large boat i picked up a 14 foot jon boat w. a 8hp motor. i tow this w. my civic - it's light and no problem to take everywhere - the kayak is great but i'm using it less now that i've got the jon. i also think places like mazonia are phenomenal - with the exception of monster lake - ive not ever encountered too many other fisherman out there. it's just south of braidwood - good luck and best wishes
 
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