Monday, June 28, 2010

fly fishing bass (grundy county, il)

My morning started with the aspirations of trout fishing in SW Wisconsin, but an incoming storm changed everything. This seemed to be a decent front pushing in from the west, local weather predicted rain for 6 hours. It was 4:30am and I was already awake with half a Red Bull already downed, what do I do now? I did what any hard core weekend warrior would do, I packed the rain gear and decided to drive 2 hours in the opposite direction. I hoped the shift in location would take me out of the direct path of the storm and buy me a couple more “dry” hours of fishing time. After 20 minutes of swapping gear is was heading south searching for some river smallmouth.
a grundy county creek
I made great time and was at my destination quickly. I was running my normal recon routine, following the river downstream by car, looking for some promising stretches of water. The river was running high and murky, but the further south I went the water looked more and more promising. I was following the stream down a farm road, when it happened. Rather nothing happened, my car just died. One second I was driving and the next the car completely shut off as it was moving down the road. I came to a stop and gave it a few minutes and tried to turn the engine over again and again and again, nothing. So there I was, stuck on a gravel farm road 2 hours from home with the storm front I was trying to dodge starting to roll in on top of me.

same creek just upriver from last phot
Needless to say, the day from that point forward was filled with tons of waiting. Waiting out the storm, waiting for a tow, and waiting for my unhappy but willing wife to drive 2 hours with my 3 kids to pick me up. I did spend the middle of the day getting acquainted with a small town by foot, my car is currently still there getting fixed. Maybe I’ll get my redemption next weekend. I know one thing, I’m going back sometime soon.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

carp fishing (fox chain of lakes, il)

Fathers day was awesome. It had been awhile since I was able to take Lucas (my youngest son) out fishing with me. Last week I was out in Las Vegas for a national sales meeting with my company and had no time to fish. The 5 weeks prior to that I was making a long drive out to the driftless area of Wisconsin, and didn’t want to have my son deal with 5 hours of driving. Needless to say, he was itching to get out and fathers day was the perfect day to be together.

luke's carp, i just help with holding it
We met Neal and his girlfriends father (Dan) around 7:00am. Neal’s friend Eric and his brother made it out a little later. We were all set for a solid day of carp fishing and a home cooked breakfast on the shore from chef Neal. The weather conditions changed just about every 5 minutes. We experienced everything from wind, drizzle, and blue bird skies.
a fox lake carp
The fishing wasn’t anything out of this world. We were scratching a fish every now and again, but we sure were waiting a long time in-between bites. To keep busy, my son combed the beach for shells and bugs and filled the rest of his time with throwing rocks and sticks in the water. Its really amazing how my son can entertain himself for a long period of time as long as he is in the outdoors. We were out fishing for 6 hours and didn’t hear one complaint or have to discipline my son once.

dan's slob carp
The highlights for me was watching my son catch 5 fish all on his own, other then the help I gave him holding onto his belt loop to keep him on shore. Also, watching Dan hook into a slob and running through a third of his spool on the initial run was awesome. All together we caught 8 carp, 1 small cat, and 3 drum. The fishing was marginal at best, but the company was outstanding.. What a great fathers day!

me with another carp (neal's brother luke in background)
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

bass fishing (lake coutny forest preserve, il)

Neal and I headed out for a quick trip to Independence Grove in hopes dropshotting up some decent bass. The weather was overcast early in the morning and we were fighting off an ugly storm moving in from the west. This would be my only fishing trip for the next week due to an upcoming sales meeting with my company in Las Vegas, so I really wanted to bend a rod on some fish. Being early June, I really was surprised at the amount of weed growth that was already taking control of the lake. The weeds were thicker now then they were at the end of last year! We settled on fishing plastics around the deep weed edges in the early morning and switching to some of the deep timber later.

The morning was just awesome for Neal, and he was quickly catching fish after fish. They were just hammering the Berkley hand poured 4 inch worms he was dropshotting. I finally started to catch up by the time we left and I think we caught a total of 14 fish. Here’s the nicest fish landed.

a healthy lake county, il bass
The one that got away….. I’m not going to make up some astronomical number on its size or weight. Typically when people do that to me, I tend not to trust what they are saying. I will tell you this, it was the biggest bass I had ever seen. Mid morning fishing timber with a cotton candy zoom finesse worm on a dropshot I hooked this sea-donkey. I wasn’t working the bait aggressive, I was locating the timber and just shaking the dropshot stationary. I felt a solid tug and set the hook on this slob. I knew from the second it was hooked that this fish had some shoulders. I played it slow only to have the fish spit the hook when it jumped. I felt like I gave it plenty of slack when it came up to jump but it wasn’t meant to be. Just another fish story I guess…..?
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