Wednesday, June 29, 2011

golf course and small pond bass fishing

Brought to you from somewhere in Lake County on a hot summer day. Fishing in a dress shirt and a tie just after work. This isn't the most technical type of fishing around but for me its getting back to my roots. Nothing huge, nothing to brag about, but it sure feels good to bend the rod on a couple largemouth bass. With a little diligence, there are some big ones to be had.

golf course bass fishing
When fishing ponds, its best to keep it simple. Cranks, spinnerbaits, plastics and topwater baits are all super choices. My best luck has come close to shore, usually right where the bottom begins to taper off. Rocky shorelines and extra cover is always an added bonus. You may have a problem when your wife finds the loose plastic worms in your dress pants pocket. Working late... sure you are!
dropshot pond bass
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

chicago perch fishing report

Damien made it out both today and back on Tuesday locally for some tasty Chicago perch. He did very well both days with good numbers and a few of the fish were over 14 inches. The bite still seems strong if you know where to look. As for me, I've been going back and forth on where to fish tomorrow, but its hard to walk away from a hot bite!

chicago harbor perch from tuesday

chicago harbor perch from today
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Friday, June 24, 2011

three hours and three minutes

Here is the video that goes along with the article "Three Hours and Three Minutes" from the guys over at

Remember, you can find them on-

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

montrose harbor perch fishing report

sunrise over montrose harbor
This was my maiden voyage into the fantastic world of harbor perch fishing. Many of these harbors are found just a stones throw from downtown Chicago and have the tendency to attract some really big crowds. I met Damien and his father down there for a short morning perch outing and was happy to have a few guys with some experience show me the ropes. Damien recommended an early start to get a jump on the crowds and catch that early morning bite so we all met down there around 4:45am.

5:00am and the crowds are starting to develop at montrose harbor
In the beginning, the entire scene kinda looked like a hodge-podge of people lined up and down the pier casting baits blindly into the huge lake waiting for a bite, but as time went on the different intricacy began to show themselves to me. People from all walks of life and all different skill levels were present. You had those who preferred using live bait and others who insisted on using lures. Others were fishing to eat and some were just fishing for the thrill of catching an Illinois jumbo perch. The one thing that stood out above anything else was the amount of guys that fished these waters on a regular basis. It is almost like a secret society that exists within this jumbled mess of people and many may not even pick up on it if they are not looking hard. Regulars will exchange and share information quickly in passing almost like two people on motorcycles will exchange those half cock downward waves. I’m not suggesting you ease drop on conversations, but you sure as hell can learn a lot just by watching them. The types of baits they fish and the subtle differences in presentation go along way when casting from a pier.

my first montrose harbor perch
Even though (according to Damien) it was a slow bite, we all managed a nice handful of fish for only fishing for two and a half hours. I heard lots of talk on the pier about the weather and the wind not being just right and too much bait in the water resulting in full fish but I knew no different. Here are the 3 main tactics I saw used.

  • Live bait fishing- Mostly on slip bobbers and some with jigs. It didn’t seem to be nearly as effective due to the gobies harassing the minnows.

  • Finesse plastics- We fished these on a tandem jig head rig. While tying your knot leave the tag end long and attach another jig head to the tag. Twice the baits, twice the chances, and twice the casting weight. Seems like a win win all around. Counted down to deeper depths before jigging it back in. Watch out for the rocks!

  • Slim profile crank baits- Fished with a heavy split shot and also counted down to the deeper depths. Seemed very effective for Damien but resulted in some smaller fish (that day). He threw mostly shad raps. Retrieve was varied.
my modest haul of perch from montrose harbor
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here's to all things local and all things fishing! A new e-magizine from the guys at was just released. I have to show them some love because they are based out of Wheeling Illinois (my childhood home town). The northwest suburbs was a great place to grow up and I cut my teeth fishing Wheeling's ponds, lakes, and rivers. It wasn't till many years later, when I moved north to the border area, that I was exposed to the local coldwater species. I gave those fish hell!

A Tight Loop - June 2011
 Inside there's a great write up on driftless area trout fishing. "Three Hours and Three Minutes" is an insightful look into a Chicago road tripper's voyage to the driftless area. Please be sure to subscribe by email and help these fellows get this magazine rolling.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

lake michigan harbor perch fishing

lake michigan harbor perch
If the bite keeps up and the weather permits, then look for me and Damien out on the big lake. I'm excited to see what Chicago's perch fishing is all about and it will be nice to get down in Damien's neck of the woods. It will be a nice break from crawling through the weeds and bugs. Come to think about it, its been forever since I've kept or eaten a fish and I've got a taste for it.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

whitewater lake bass fishing

Tri-County Anglers brings you the winners
Whitewater Lake Tournament from 06/04/2011
Congratulations to Andy Fossum and Jason Lasko
They take First and Big Bass

congrats on the nice whitewater lake bass
The Tri-County Anglers are on facebook
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Monday, June 13, 2011

dane county trout report

Summer is quickly locking a lot of the streams up tight with a neck high wall of weeds and brush making access hard (but not impossible). As the temperatures rise, my enthusiasm for crawling through the brush diminishes. The long drive trout excursions will be saved for some of the milder, cooler, or overcast days. With the storms that rolled through end of last week, we dropped almost twenty degrees. They sure left a lot of the water stained and muddy but with the cooler temps I decided to check out some upstream holes and headwater areas of a couple Dane county streams.

a naturally reproducing dane county trout stream
Conditions were worse then I expected (muddy) when I first arrived but the marsh land did its job and filtered the rain water quickly. An hour and a half later, there was just a light stain on the water. No fish were rising and no hatches seemed to be coming off so I opted for a nymph. A pink squirrel seemed a logical choice for the cloudy water and went to work nymphing some pools and lunker structures. As the time passed, the fishing seemed to get better. I took a dozen fish between 8:00am and 10:00am starting with the pink squirrel and as conditions improved switching to grey scuds and a hares ear with a big brown marabou tail. After a lull in the action, I decided to try to find some hatches coming off on a nearby stream. On the way out I bumped into a nice angler who was visiting from Minnesota. He was pleasant and was happy to exchange some information about his day. I think he must have been visiting somebody he knew cause he drove past some of the best water in the state to get here.

a hares ear brown trout
a naturally reproducing wisconsin brown trout
The head waters were flowing clear at the second creek and found fish rising on my third stop. This section of water was shallower then most of the pool water I look for but the slurps and splashes were a sure sign that fish were hiding down under the weeds. I missed 2 strikes and had a couple nice fish turn back on my elk hair caddis. Switched to a parachute adams which got even less attention then the caddis? Fished this pool till I got the call. Homeward bound

I’ve been fishing stream trout for just 13 months now and have made some dramatic improvements this summer over last. My trips have been more consistent when it comes to catching fish and have done a whole lot more exploring since the beginning. I’ve mastered about a dozen basic nymph patterns, a few necessary streamers, and finally started to dive into the overwhelming world of dry flies. So far this year I have yet to land a fish on a store bought fly. I haven’t taken any really big fish since beginning my endeavor into the world of trout but since the addition of a three weight rod even landing a twelve inch fish feels like a monster. The fight on my ultra light fly rod is where its at and I can ask for nothing more. If size really was what I considered important I would be fishing the down stream areas with Damien who been throwing jerk baits and spinners and streamers. He has kicked ass catching some big browns down low. As the temps start to push consistently into the 80’s and 90’s and water temps start to rise into the 70’s I’m sure a lot of those fish will be forced up into the spring fed tributaries. Fly fishing for Wisconsin trout has got me and I'm forever in search of the next perfect drift.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

powers lake wisconsin bass fishing

Winners of the Powers Lake Tournament
May 22nd 2011
Larry Whitt and Everett Benn
Congratulations Larry and Everett!
bass fishing powers lake

Brought to you by the Tri-County Anglers bass fishing club
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Monday, June 6, 2011

bass fishing independence grove

Simple as summer fishing gets- Illinois Lake County Forest Preserves- slip bobbers and live bait

lucas got the first bass of the day

independence grove largemouth bass
Check out their information online at Lake County Forest Preserves web site

independence grove lake map
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

memorial day trout

my best brown of the day
Here’s some fish from the Memorial Day weekend we found while bouncing from stream to stream in Dane county. Fifty percent of the streams we encountered were muddy and high and we just continued on until we found ideal conditions. A lot of the places we caught fish were places we had never fished before, we just happened to be close by and decided to give it a shot. We defiantly added a couple streams to our favorites list.

damien with a dane county brown

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Friday, June 3, 2011

a "how to" for finding new wisconsin trout water

Recently, a few people have inquired about how I go about finding trout streams in a particular area. Most trout fisherman are very tight lipped when it comes to sharing the exact location of their favorite streams (they believe that good trout water is something earned and not just given away for free). This is a mindset that I support to a certain extent, but I’m always willing to point a person in the right direction. From personal experience, any information received from strangers should be taken lightly until proven to be true. Research and time on the water is the only sure fire way to add stream to your own personal list of quality trout water. Here are a few tools I utilize in my pursuit for quality streams.

southern wisconsin all outdoors atlas
Southern Wisconsin All Outdoors Atlas & Field Guide- Published by Sportsman’s Connection (the maker of fine quality fishing maps), this atlas gives users clearly marked classified trout water, public access, campground, trails, and ect. The trout streams are on this map are identified with a darker, thicker, shade of blue. I use this map in conjunction with a page off the Wisconsin DNR website called Stream Maps by County. On this page, they color coordinate the streams by the class of the water in each specific county. Blue is used for class one and green is for class two. The class three water is yellow on their website but I will ignore all class 3 water. I take the DNR information and transfer it to my map using the same color highlighter to correspond with the DNR stream class. This information is a valuable tool for research, but we also carry the map while on the road. It’s a great map when used for navigation because it contains some of the smallest streets in Western Wisconsin. But more importantly, we use this map to jump from stream to stream when fishing is slow or conditions are poor.

flyfisher's guide to wisconsin and iowa
Flyfisher’s Guide To Wisconsin & Iowa- It’s most comprehensive list of trout waters and fly fishing destinations for Wisconsin and Iowa anywhere. John Motoviloff has done a wonderful job of compiling detailed information regarding access, steam history, angling opportunities, and accommodations for hundreds of trout streams throughout the state. The information in this book is as close to reliable as you get. It’s a great read that can be found on Amazon for fewer than fifteen dollars.

Another good resource is the Wisconsin DNR Stocking data for 2011, I’m sure the data contained on this page is self explanatory.

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