Wednesday, July 18, 2012

fox river illinois smallmouth


fishing the fox river in Illinois
I remember this boy named Michael from grade school who happened to live in the next sub-divison over. He was never somebody that I was overly friendly with but never a guy who I ever had any trouble with either. To be honest, he was quite the awkward boy. A tad bit more then slightly overweight, with sweaty palms, a noticeable lisp, and a mild odd odor, one couldn’t help feeling bad for the kid. Needless to say, he wasn’t the most popular kid on the block. Quite often he was last on my list of neighborhood kids to hang with after school and it wasn’t until I exhausted the possibilities that Jimmy, Peter, Russell, and Bobby were around that I would finally pick up the phone and dial Michael’s number.

Kids are so superficial, they always want the flashy friends with the newest gear, games or whatever. Really it’s sad because what Michael had was a good natured personality, harmless as a fly, willing to bend over backwards just to have a friend.

One may wonder where exactly I’m heading with this one right now, or exactly how does this relate to fishing the Fox River. Well, for me fishing the Fox River has always been like hanging out with the fat smelly kid down the street. It’s the place or person who doesn’t fit the mold in my brain as ideal, that last resort if you will. The Fox is a tad bit bigger river then I normally like, and it sure has mild odor to say the least. It lacks any sort of clear water and where the hell are the plunge pools that I have grown to love from fishing the rivers and trout streams of Wisconsin.

my boy Matt and his first smallie ever!
Society, television, magazines and the internet are a bitch sometimes. They put these images of what perfect is or should be in your head and sometimes its super hard to look past things that aren’t perfect. The drought of 2012 has basically turned most of the rivers in our area into nothing more then a trickle. Fish are bunched up in deeper water and on these clear water rivers they have been spooky as all get out. So, as I cross out option after option I start to search for some of those last resort places.

Being a larger river with a decent base flow, mostly from treatment discharge, right now there are some excellent spots on the Fox that are producing and in a big way. The reduced visibility here has actually helped the bite in these low water conditions keeping the fish feeling secure and willing to spread out. It doesn’t take a dummy to see that our biggest smallmouth bites this summer have come from the Fox, fishing from Algonquin and south in Illinois and from Burlington and north in Wisconsin. This river has treated us well and has given a big fish opportunity every time out regardless if landed or not.

a nice Fox river smallmouth bass
My point here is, so what if wet wading here kinda creeps me out or if my sneakers smell like death the next day. The Fox River has been kind to me when no others would, so this summer I feel like I've been taken back to my youth and am hanging with Michael.

19 comments:

  1. Both the Fox and Dupage Rivers have been fantastic. The drought although not good overall has made wading success sky rocket. That fish is awesome, like that hat too thinking about losing my ball cap in 90+ for something with more shade.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I believe your right about the wading success going up. Not too sure if I could pull off a hat like that though...

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  2. Spent some time in MN over the last week or so and forgot how much fun those smallies are to catch...well done guys, looks like a lot of fun and some good water to be fishing.

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    1. Smallies sure are up there as one of my favorites, hope your trip was wonderful.

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  3. Those are some nice smallies! The heat wave we are having in the north east is getting old fast and my A C took a dump. Wet wadding seems to be the answer to cool off and have fun.

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    1. Sorry about the A C that's gotta make for some hot days. Summer wet waded are my favorite way to stay cool in the summer. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Blake
    Those are some nice smallies no matter where you land them. As for the drought we in Alabama need to give you guys some of our rain. It rains everyday in the afternoon, mainly because of the high humidity levels, They are through the roof. Glad you guys are landing fish.

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  5. Wet wading the fox, you are a brave man Blake. That is a great river smallie with good color too.

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    1. Brave for sure, I'm waiting for the day I step on a snapper. The fox does have some excellent fish though.

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  6. Just goes to show that the idea of "perfect" isn't always what it's cracked up to be! Great post! :)

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    1. Thanks, gotta get outside the box every once and a while!

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  7. Nicely put, and sounds like my kind of water.

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  8. Well told Blake, that's finding the good in a bad situation.

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  9. Are there any trout in the fox river or anywhere else in Illinois where the DNR is not throwing them out of a truck?

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  10. Are there any trout in the fox river or anywhere else in Illinois where the DNR is not throwing them out of a truck?

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  11. Are there any trout in the fox river or anywhere else in Illinois where the DNR is not throwing them out of a truck?

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  12. Are there any trout in the fox river or anywhere else in Illinois where the DNR is not throwing them out of a truck?

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