With some pressing auto repairs needed I was only able to sneak out fishing on Sunday morning. The temps since Friday have been down right nasty which was perfect weather to try out my new Clam Kenai shanty. I gave the sun time to rise before venturing out and finally pulled out of the driveway around 8:00am. Quickly stopping for bait I arrived at a Lake County Forest Preserve with the intentions of a quick but productive morning catching some panfish. The lake was a good distance through the trees and I found myself lost a few too many times (pulling the larger sled is hard work). After what seemed like an eternity I finally made it out of the forest and was walking on water. I was winded enough to take a quick breather and took this as an opportunity to snap some scenery shots…
lake county forest preserve lake
Across the lake was where I decided to drill my first hole. The first was in 4 feet of water and seemed too shallow for late winter panfishing. The second was roughly about 9 feet deep and with some bottom activity the jig and waxie combo was dropped quickly down the hole. Instantly, there was a solid tug on my pole which I wasn’t expecting because I was already trying to untangle the line that was wrapped on the transducer. Just after missing the first bite of the day another hungry fish decided to the slurp down the small maggot offering. One minute later the lake county water delivered up some gold.
lake county illinois perch
This first perch happened to be the biggest of the entire day and 8 perch were caught and released in total. All of the perch were hugging bottom and the best success came from a hole in 14 feet of water. The rest of the day was made up of bluegill. Most were suspended in the upper 1/3rd of the water column. I found myself fishing towards the bottom for the perch and the gills would rocket downwards to steal the bait. A dozen gills also fell victim to my size 12 tungsten jig (fire tiger) and every fish was turned back to swim again.
one of many gills
It was a great morning to be out if equipped to handle the almost 0 degree temps. Most importantly the new shanty passed the test. Click here to read the review.