Wednesday, April 25, 2012

fox lake shore fishing report

some fox chain perch and a rouge white bass
For a little better then a month now a few friends have been beating up the shorelines of the Fox Chain Of Lakes. Mostly we have been out in the late afternoon into the early evening hours after work. The bite has remained pretty consistent and just as most days fishing the chain, a good mix bag can be expected. The perch and white bass have been fairly aggressive and good numbers of small walleyes have been showing up. Dozens of eyes have been caught in shallow but only a couple have been beaten the 17 inch mark.

Live bait fished in various fashions remains king and is always a safe bet. Sheepshead and drum populations are stronger then ever and can be real difficult to keep of the live bait. With some sorting it isn’t too difficult to come up with a nice bag.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Jig & Pig Continues To Produce

 Saturday I was able to sneak back out on Candlewick Lake with my son. The program of a jig and pork trailer has been working great for me, so I continued to pitch the rocky shore line. I set my son up with a slip bobber with a jig head and night crawler to try and catch some gills. Although the results where not as numerous as trips before, the quality had defiantly boosted quite a bit. I landed 3 Largemouth with a few misses ,and my son came away with 3 nice gills in the 9in. range.  Two of the bucket mouth Bass I landed where nice and fat. One was 16 1/4" and the other was 18in. All in all it was another great father/son outing on the lake.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Jig And A Pig

   After my last post and little success while out searching for some Largemouth, I figured it was time to change tactics and follow some friendly advise. I switched to throwing a pumpkinseed jig with a rattle and attached on a Uncle Josh's Pork Trailer. It paid off! Fish on all night long.
I was using something similar to the blue trailer except it had green glitter flakes in it.

  I proceeded  to a rocky drop off  and was pitching the jigs to the shoreline and working them down the rocky slope. I fished for about 2 1/2 hours and caught over a dozen Bass. All in all it was a great trip out, and it got me to fish a different presentation that I haven't used in a couple years. I think with the cooler temps, the Bass have been hunkered down on the bottom. As soon as the jig crossed there path, or they picked up the aroma of the pork trailer, it was dinner time.
My good friend Tim caught this guy on a quad tail twister
Geese where on nest all along the rocky shoreline
This guy was looking for dinner too!
A beautiful sunset to conclude a great evening on the water
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

sunset on fox lake

sunset on fox lake in illinois
Been trying to sharpen my graphic skills a bit. Let me know what you think!
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

fish the kish

With a watershed totaling nearly 800,000 acres and covering 7 different counties, the Kishwaukee River can appear to be an intimidating river to learn.
a tributary to the main branch of the kishwaukee river
Where does one start? With so much water out there I felt more like I was just throwing darts at the map rather then making an educated decision. Reaching to just fill in some of the pieces of the puzzle, I was compelled to just cover as much water as possible and try a bunch of different tactics.

Beginning the exploration on the south branch, I fished the succession of forest preserves from Genoa through Kirkland. Burning baits through a ton of promising looking water resulted in a big fat goose egg and very quickly half my day was eaten away with not even a strike. High noon and no fish called for a dramatic change of scenery.

Working my way home I crossed over a few different spots on the north branch and a couple of its tributaries. Here my fortunes turned around and I was able to smoke a few pike. I took one decent fish from under the spillway and another small pike from up one of the tribs.

kishwaukee river pike
Until game fish season opens in the dairyland you can bet I’ll be beating up some rivers in Northern Illinois. I really think the tribs that flow into the Kish have some serious potential and can't wait to do a bit more exploration on some of these branches!
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hair Jiggin & Crankbait Trollin

  A few weeks ago I had tied up some hair jigs, and I was anxiously awaiting to put them to the test. Saturday brought us some warmer temps and the rain stayed away so it was time to get em wet. I pulled the old Sylvan out of the garage to get her dusted off and run some fresh fuel through the Johnson. I headed out around 4 P.M. to Candlewick Lake just around the bend from my house. To my surprise the Johnson fired up on one pull of the rope, it was like it was running just yesterday.

   As this was my first time out on the open lake this year, I knew the main task of the day was going to be locating fish. With the warmer temps and it being spawn time, I figured the fish may be in shallow. I headed to a big flat in the lake that consisted of mostly 5 foot depths. I started by casting the hair jigs with a crawler attached, slowly reeling and jigging them back to the boat. This caught me 1 fish in an hours worth of time. It was no monster, but a nice 12 inch Largemouth Bass.

  A little time had passed without much success so I moved on to the next tactic to see if I could locate some more quality fish. 

 When the time is right in the year, especially spring time, I like to troll crankbaits over the shallows as fish move in to spawn. This is a great tactic when searching for fish because you can cover a lot of water in a short period of time. Once you find the fish you can set-up and start throwing some hardware at them. I started trolling one of my favorite shorelines of this lake for this time of year where I have had a decent amount of success. I was trolling a rapala size 7 in a firetiger pattern running the boat between 1.7 and 1.9 mph. First pass I missed 2 fish and one felt nice. I made 3 more passes with no luck, so I started back at the jig and crawler where I had missed the fish on the first pass. No luck... time to move on. While I was trolling though I had some company following a mere 4 feet from the boat.

  After no trolling success, I was at a loss of where to head next. Candlewick is a man made lake that was formed back in the late 60's. It has a dam on its Southern edge with a steep break that usually is a good jigging spot. I had recently heard of some nice Walleye being caught here and figured I should give it a shot. I started pitching jigs toward the shore and jigging them back, and had one miss down towards 14 fow. So I started the vertical jig. Pounding my jig against the bottom with a nice chunk of crawler attached to my hook. I finally found some fish! I ended up catching 3-4 Bluegill that where all 8+ inches in length and fully loaded with eggs.

   After a quick photo shoot with the gills I released them back to there spawning beds. The sun was setting on the horizon and I called it a day. All in all it was great to be out on the water, and I even caught a couple fish to make it worth while.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

IL DNR Sharpshooting, A Conservation Concern

  Back in January  when I was brought on to Illinois Wisconsin Fishing, Blake and I had talked about bringing some hunting reports to the blog. As a lot of anglers are also hunters. This topic is more of  a conservation issue then a hunting report that I feel should be brought to the attention of all residents of these two states.

  Over the past 10 years the IL DNR has spent close to 10 Million dollars or more on setting sharpshooters in our woods and communities. The reason being is the spread of CWD Disease among Whitetail Deer. CWD stands for Chronic Waste Disease. It is a disease that is spread mostly through saliva among deer. This disease was heavily started in Wisconsin and has slowly moved South over the border into IL. In the state of Wisconsin you are allowed to bait deer, in IL this is illegal. A hunter will put out a mound of corn to draw deer in and sit over the pile waiting to strike. This is a big problem when it comes to trying to control the disease. A non infected deer comes into a bait pile that an infected deer was just feeding off of and gets a kernel with the infected slobber on it, and that deer will more than likely become infected as well. CWD pretty much destroys the deer causing it to lose control of its functions and pretty much lose weight until it dies.

 Over the past 10 years or so that the IL DNR has been trying to get control of the disease there has only been 336 deer found infected with CWD between 2003-2011 in Northern IL. That 336 is out of more than half of million plus deer populated in the northern counties. Every year in the state of IL. there is anywhere between 180,000 to 220,000 deer harvested statewide. So the amount of deer that we have in the state that are infected are very small compared to the total population of deer. IS this worth 10 million dollars? The money is spent on high powered rifles, man power, and night vision so DNR can sit and wait over bait piles. The very same bait piles that help the disease spread. Double negative??? Last year the DNR sniped a total of 46 deer out of a very small area in Huntley,IL near where I hunt every fall. This year they proposed to take a total of 150 out of that same area. Many petitions have been filed already. There is a billboard in Crystal Lake,IL that was recently put up to basically protest the sharpshooting program.

  This has sparked many conversations and conflicts with the IL DNR. Recently an archery shop owner had posted the very same picture above to the IL DNR Facebook page asking questions and asking how they felt about the situation. They removed the photo from the page and a few days later a DNR officer was visiting his shop. The DNR said he was there to educate him so the shop owner could educate his patrons. The shop owner proceeded to ask him some very interesting questions.

1. How much money does the DNR spend to sharp shoot deer? DNR replies roughly a million dollars a year

2.What is going to stop the poaching of deer?  DNR replies that it will be one of two things, funding or politics

3.What does the state rank as far as record book deer? IL. is ranked number 2 currently because of all the deer in or near the Mississippi river valley. IL. used to be number 6 back in the mid to late 80's.

4. The shop owner then proceeded to asked why McHenry Co.IL. was ranked number 2 in the US for producing  pope and young record book deer 10 years ago and now  we are ranked in the high 50's or low 60's? DNR officer replies that it because of all the poaching of deer for CWD.

  In the hunting community this has become quite disturbing. Now the disturbance has gone even farther. Homeowners are becoming even more disturbed by the sounds of gun shots near their homes. In the state of IL. we are only allowed to hunt with shotguns bolstering slugged ammo. Max range on most shotguns with slugs is 100-150 yards. The hi tech high powered rifle ammo the DNR is using can range 1,000 plus yards all the way up to a mile and a half away  in distance. A stray bullet can do some damage to homes, pets, and persons.

 I also posted the pic of the billboard on the IL DNR Facebook page asking questions and proposing ideas. They soon deleted the post. My question where the following and wondered what you all thought on them.

1. Rather than spending the million a year on having sharp shooters take out deer, why not open it to the hunters?  Issue site specific deer tags drawn by lottery with set check stations. The hunter would obviously pay a fee for the tag and would have to check the deer at the station so the officer could take samples from the deer to see if they are infected. The WI DNR has done this check station set-up for years. IL has some stations set during the normal hunting season in some counties. The fee from the tags issued would pay for the check stations and the man power to run them rather than spending tax dollars and license fees on the program. The fees could even make some extra money to put toward other conservation programs.

 I received no response from this proposition. To me it makes no sense to do what they are doing when they could make money rather than spend it. For more info check out the following links.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

IL Trout Opener

  Saturday April 7th was the opening of the IL. inland Trout Opener. As the sun rose on the horizon and turkeys cackled in the background, thousands of IL. anglers hit various streams,lakes, and ponds in hopes of landing a Rainbow Trout. Twice a year the IL DNR stocks farm raised Rainbows throughout the state, once in spring and again in the fall.  Every year the Spring opener has kind of become a tradition to me. Ever since I was 13 years old I have fished the opener. Now it has become a tradition for my son as well.

 3:30 A.M. on that Saturday it was up and adam. We gathered our gear, stopped for doughnuts and coffee, and off to the stream to claim our spot. We soon arrived at our destination, Pickasaw Creek in Chemung. There were about a hundred or so anglers sitting on the shore anxiously awaiting the 5 A.M. start of opening day. As soon as 5A.M. struck the clock it sounded like rocks hitting the water as everyone tossed there lines in the water.

 In the first hour we had caught 2 fish and soon there after we had 3 more. Most anglers that had fished the Pickasaw that morning didn't walk away empty handed. There where tons of kids on the banks with ear to ear smiles ringing in on there face. The trout season is a great way to get kids involved in fishing, and I recommend it to all.

 The most interesting part of this trip was when I got to talking with an older gentleman that was tossing flies after the crowd had cleared. We both agreed that most waters in IL. aren't necessarily suitable for Rainbow Trout to survive. As most of the trout that where stocked in the Pickasaw where probably going to die off in the summer months if they weren't caught and consumed. Then this older gentleman proceeded to inform me that years ago they used to stock Brown Trout rather than Rainbows because the survival rate of a Brown in these waters was much greater.  Over the past few years I have heard rumors of Big Browns being caught in this stream, but never really thought twice about it, and now it clearly makes sense. I think I am going to be investigating these waters a little more this summer.

 Here are a few pics from the days catch, hope you enjoy!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

back to the root

Back to the Root
Back To The Root is an urban river revitalization plan brought to you by the Root River Council, a group form by concerned community members and public officials. The council’s focus is a revitalized waterfront that will cater to not only the public, but also to the economy.

Back To The Root is a project limited just to the “urban” corridor and areas that fall in the downtown city sections of the river. These are not the residential neighborhoods but rather the heavy use industrial areas of the past and present.

the target area
Here they have proposed a plan to increase public access with parks and an expanded river path and bike trail. By remediation of hazardous industrial areas, controlling runoff, and promoting “green” solutions the council hopes to improve the quality of the water that flows from the city back into the river and ultimately into the big lake.

This newly created waterfront, the city hopes, will attract some higher rent clients and boost tax revenue across the board. This is a similar plan to that of Milwaukee’s Menomonee River where their restoration boosted property values by 1400% but also claimed an extra million dollars in tax revenue per year. In my mind, this is a win-win situation for everyone.

From the perspective of an angler, these lower reaches are perfect for crank bait and slip bobber fishing. This will open up a whole new destination within the city for anglers to target some fresher fish from the lake. If done right, it will provide fishing access to those who spin fish and don’t necessarily have the mobility to climb the rocks in Racine Harbor.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the Root River Council's website-

Download a detailed PDF file-
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

dane county trout hunt

while not considered the "driftless" area, dane county still is pretty darn scenic
We threw hardware (spinning gear) in hopes of getting a few big bites. No such luck, we fought our ass off for just a handful of browns apiece.  I shook a trout a few inches bigger then the one in the picture from under a bridge. He tossed my Rapala when he went airborn and that was all she wrote.

the best trout i could muster up 
I did roll a monster from under a cut bank but it was a short strike on a #6 panther martin that never did connect.

Location- Dane County
Conditions- Ideal
Species Caught- All Brown Trout
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