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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 02:03pm - Dec 14,12
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Location: Chi-area

Post Posted: 11:00am - Apr 29,13 
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The Popper met Bossman at the office around 5am on Saturday morning with a plan to bag some big bass. No time was wasted getting to the lake in the dark. The pair were the first boat out of the marina in the morning, and were eager to reel in huge quantities of fish.

The boys dropped crank baits running at 20+ft and 15-17ft, and proceeded to troll across the front of the islands. No marks on screen and no hits made the boys circle to the back shoreline. The Popper pulled his cranks and dropped a Johnson's silver minnow and a Pulsator in Chart./Orange tipped with a Yamamoto Creature. Bossman pulled one of the cranks to drop a Red/Black Pulsator. They trolled the bottom of the drop on the far shoreline in a single pass, and only marked fish inside the submerged tree. At this point, the Popper switched to an orange Jig-a-whopper tipped with a half nightcrawler to cast to shore and Bossman proceeded with a Blue/Orange Husky Jerk. They cast to shore near the culverts and only saw one fish splash at the shore. The only mark on the fishfinder was a Kitty running along the bottom. By this point in the morning there were 6 other boats on the water, and the boys decided to move to jig around the islands. They dropped a 20+ft crank, a Daredevil, and a 1/2oz Chart Jighead with a glow paddletail with a green tail as the slow-trolled to the islands. The fishfinder did not pick up any marks during the cruise.

Once in the islands the Popper kept on with the paddletail, bouncing it down the drop from shore, and Bossman worked a smaller spinner bait. Fish were being marked every so often, but were most likely catfish. The pair came close enough to three groups to ask how they had been doing, but none had caught anything with the best report being of one guy seeing a smallie swimming by his boat. No luck for the pair as they worked the islands thoroughly. The light breeze started as they worked the islands, so they decided to work a bottom transition near a wind-swept shoreline for the last 45 minutes they had the boat. Bossman did his best to set the pair up for a good drift across the transition from rock to mud. The Popper made some casts to shore with a couple possible hits on the paddletail, but nothing substantial. He made a cast as Bossman started up the motor to move the boat from hitting the rocks, so he let the paddletail sit until the boat was finished moving. The Popper twitched the bait twice, and on the fall something latched on to the hook. The fish did not put up much fight, but was a welcome sight and got rid of that pep~ stank. About ten feet from the boat, the 2lbs Smallie got a little air before finding its way into the net. The fish marked two firsts for the Popper as he had never caught a Small Mouth Bass before, nor had he ever caught a fish on a paddletail/swimbait. With ten minutes left before the boat needed to be turned in, the Popper made a final cast. At the end of a 30 count the Popper twitched his bait, jerked it, let it fall, and on the next jerk, something jerked back. The needle of a pike was released healthy, and the boat was returned on time. Time on the water 6:45am-10:45am. Average water temp. 48 degrees.

(Intermission - Lunch Break)

Around 2:30pm, the pair arrived back at the lake, ready to jump on the afternoon bite. They made their way straight to the area where the two fish were caught earlier in the day. Unfortunately, the wind had picked up and made it difficult to stay on the line/ spot. After making some casts with the paddletail, the Popper missed three solid hits; the bait revealed the fish were short-hitting the bait. He switched to a PowerBait Swimbait in the Holographic shad pattern. The lighter bait took over 30 seconds to reach the bottom, gradual jigging up through the water column brought a pike up to about 6ft under the boat before it struck, no dice on the hook up though because the Popper was startled by the huge flash he didn't see coming. After a few more casts they moved to an area that was protected from the wind. On the way to the spot the pair saw a man pull a stick pike up during his troll near the islands. The man was using a 10ft crank bait across the center of a drop-off.

Once into the protected area, Bossman switched to a shallower running crank bait, and the Popper kept on with the Paddletail and a Powerbait Swimbait in the perch pattern. The boat drifted into the "bay" area slow enough to allow the fishermen to cast the entire area of water. As the depth dropped, the pair looked down to see a bunch of dark targets. The Popper let his Perch swimbait drop 6 ft next to the boat and WHAM! a gorgeous 12"crappie. At this point Bossman decided he would also try a swimbait, he slowly worked the tigerstriped piece of plastic. The boys came back to the area where they had seen all of the marks, and dropped anchor. Bossman kept up switching between the Husky Jerk and the swimbait. The Popper worked the swimbait a couple more casts before leaving it sit 7ft down next to the boat, because, as he said, "a fish isn't going to just take the bait motionless in the water." Well, after two or three casts with the jig and paddletail the deadsticked rod doubled over and a 13" crappie was landed. The Popper went ahead and caught another three crappies on his next three casts, all crappies in the 12-13.5" range with a possible PB. The sun started to fall and Bossman had a train to catch, so the pair decided they'd make one more trolling run in front of the islands on their way back to the marina. Bossman dropped his deep crank again and the Popper dropped the jig and paddletail. Halfway back to the marina, Bossman's Heavy Powered rod doubled over and the fight was on. Five minutes later Bossman's pike was in the boat, and his skunk was chased off. His pike was definitely big fish for the day.
Time on the water 2:30pm-5:45pm. Average water temp. 50 degrees.

1/2oz Chart Jig head with a 3" glow paddletail with a green tail produced the SMB and one of the Northerns. 3" Perch patterned Powerbait Swimbaits caught the most fish, all big crappies. Water was cold, and the fish were pretty tighlipped. No reaction from bass when spinners or spoons were retrieved in front of them.

The Popper

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:26pm - Jan 28,13
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Post Posted: 11:38am - Apr 29,13 
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good job popper at least ypu got to wet a line went up north rock river real bad flooded big time going to try delavan next week hope to wet a line then any reports on delavan lets hear them thanks :drink

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Post Posted: 12:33pm - Apr 29,13 
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When we got in to the marina, the kids working the boat rental said that only one other boat had reported catching a fish all day, and it was a juvenile Smallie, everyone else had left with a skunk. Hopefully a couple of the boats that stayed out later got into a fish or two before getting off.

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Joined: 09:30am - Feb 18,12
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Location: Mchenry, IL

Post Posted: 12:49pm - Apr 29,13 
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Nice job pannie. Good to see the swimbsits worked for you as well. 50 degrees water temperature sounds nice.

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Post Posted: 01:09pm - Apr 29,13 
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I also threw an Alabama rig a couple of casts, each cast produced a follow or a hit, but none were on a bait that had a hook. It was pretty cool to see the bait swimming towards you and then seeing a single pike pull the entire "school" 3 feet to the side.

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Post Posted: 01:12pm - Apr 29,13 
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I heard guys putting a small leader on the middle bait to make it stick out.

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Post Posted: 01:57pm - Apr 29,13 
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I put on hook on the bottom most wire, and one on the bottom shallow side. All of the hits came from the deep side of the bait.

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Joined: 06:37pm - Feb 8,05
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Post Posted: 02:18pm - Apr 29,13 
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As Tatertot said try to do something to make the baits with hooks stand out when throwing A-rig w/ only two hooks. Whether it be a larger profile, different color or using a stiff fluoro or wire extension to make one of the baits look like it is lagging behind the school. If the rig is seeing as much action as described, small alterations like those should increase the likelihood the fish focuses on the correct baits.

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Joined: 11:50am - Jan 26,13
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Post Posted: 08:05am - May 14,13 
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Hey congrats on the first smallie! Sounds like a nice day. Got some fun sport and some good eats too.

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Post Posted: 09:51am - May 14,13 
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Next time fish the other side by Rakow. Nice drop there, that is where I find the bass. The "pike islands" are not a bass honey hole. Right now they are in pre-spawn, I'd have looked on the opposite side in the more shallow areas, like the bay opposite the boat launch, or the bay that tucks around the shore casting pier where you found the crappie. Plastic craw imitations,waky worms and deep running cranks do well for me.

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Post Posted: 12:20pm - May 14,13 
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We usually focus our efforts on the shoreline by Rakow, but we didn't get any marks or hits on our first pass. The only spot we marked anything over there was inside the submerged tree. I am right there with you on the shallower areas, Bossman was pretty set on catching something out deep with a crankbait. Bossman threw an imitation craw a couple casts, but he had no patience for that presentation.

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