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Discussion Starter #1
I need some help I plan on Fishing Lasalle or Hedekie on April 1. What time does the ramp open and will they even be open on April 1 Monday? I have never fished a cooling lake and need some help. I will be fishing from my boat with my 10yr. old son. Is this a good time for Bass? WHich of the 3 would be our best bet? Braidwood, Heideke, or Lasalle?
CPR
Thanks in advance,
Gonefishin
 
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Discussion Starter #2
LaSalle is (presently) your ONLY option, Braidwood & Heidecke remain closed due to the tragic events of 9-11-01. There are hopes to get both of these lakes opened sometime in early April but at present the April 1st "On Time" season opener for Heidecki is not looking very likely. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong, I wouldn't mind eating a big slice of Humble Pie in exchange for getting these Lakes opened by April 1st!
 

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Since you've never fished a cooling lake before, there are a few things to keep in mind.... first is the wind. Cooling lakes are "perched", meaning they were designed to catch as much wind as possible to cool the water coming from the discharge. They can get rough in a hot minute. Pay attention to the weather conditions. There is no place to beach your boat on LaSalle. The shoreline is all riprap.
The water temp is near 80 closer to the discharge. Fish are very active already. We braved the nasty weather last Saturday and didn't do too bad.
You'll notice the numbered marker posts all around the lake. It was about 70 degrees near the 500 marker. We fished from there all the way to the 600 marker.
Weather permitting, I'm planning on going April 1st also and I'd be more than happy to show you what I know of LaSalle.
Good luck.

Keep em wet.
 

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As mentioned, you're going to want to watch the weather. Not only for wind but it can be pretty cold on the Nukes - expecially for a ten year old.

Lasalle has always been my favorite. But, I suspect once people find out the lake is open you're going to be dealing with crowds. In years past I've pulled in the night before at 9 pm to sleep in line and was greeted by 100+ other boats!

IMHO, Lasalle is the easiest of the three to find active fish. But, maybe it's because I've fished it most. A lot of guys will bat the shoreline. I've been focusing on the humps in the last few years and have done well. Start out with Lindy Rigs and minnows and throw the windsock out. Lasalle is notorious for scattered fish and this is the best way to find them. Once 10 oclock rolls around and the sun gets up I'll usually switch to crank baits - shad raps. Make sure they're hitting bottom occasionally. That's it - no rocket science at this lake! One other suggestion, if the wind is near zero mph (highly unlikely but possible) go to one of the other two lakes. At Lasalle you need wind otherwise the fishing shuts down (in my experience) Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your help I will try Lasalle this Friday hopefully it will not be as packed as you say it might be.

Thanks,
Gonefishin
CPR
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Better dress warm friend! The weatherman is calling for high temps only in the mid-30ºs and west winds 10-15mph which means 15-25 mph or better up on this perched lake (as mentioned earlier it's designed to catch the wind) that should give you at least 2ft whitecap's! I'm sure I wouldn't bring a 10 yr old out there with those conditions...unless you can trace his lineage back to both Jeremiah Johnson & Capt. Ahab! The fastest way I know to turn a young kid off on fishing is to take him out were he will be miserable, even if it's just for a short time. The tough ones will fake it and say they are having a great time but will decline your next invitation to go fishing faster than you can say "Big Black Bass Boat" ....take my advice, wait for a better day to take the young'n!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Bob,

Point well taken I did not mean this Friday I meant to say the 29th if conditions are good. Thanks for the concern,
Gonefishin
 

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Even though the kids are off school, I think you'll be okay on a weekday - it shouldn't be a nuthouse. Don't forget to p/u bait on the way as the concession stand is closed. Good Luck and bring lots of munchies for the youngun!

BTW (addendum to previous post), I use light line - 6# test (max.) Seems to get much more activity than anything heavier. Possibly because of the water clarity???
 
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