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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 10:30am - Mar 20,03
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Post Posted: 12:12am - Jan 30,08 
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Water temps 39.6 , about 4 inches visibilty in trib , zilch in main stem . Gauges screwed up due to seasonal hydrological events . I would guess the flowrate at about 10,000 CFS and the USGS at about 5 . Air temps up to 50 , overcast , slight breeze in AM got stronger as day wore on, rain in late afternoon . I spent the day slogging thru the mud and the blood and the beer , I now have achy legs and a knotty back but it was well worth it .

There was lots of animal activity today , herons fishing , minnows flitting , carp rolling , squirrels and rabbits chasing [ mebbe some prespawn itchies ] , turkeys and deer in the woods , a few ducks and more geese than I wanted to hear .

I fished creek mouths , flooded trees , shoreline related slackwater spots , current seams , cobblestone flats , debris piles at bridges and some of the last ice shelfs on that part of the flow , all produced either bass , walleye or pike .

I caught all the pike at the same creekmouth on a singlespin . Two of them hit the spinnerbait after I pulled it off the ice shelf and let it drop . It didn't drop far mostly because there was only about a foot of water there and they took it quickly . The other pike were relating to some flooded brush right off the riprap , they also took the spinnerbait on the drop .

I caught all the walleye on suspending Rogues on a steady retrieve over cobblestone flats . I went back over the flats with swimjigs/walleyeassassains , weighted keeper hooks with sassy grubs , twisters and flukes but nothing doing . Ditto for Wally Divers , Tail Dancers and Shad Raps .

In the slackwater pockets the bass were relating to the current seam , I didn't get a single pick up near shore or in the slower slackwater . I tried topwaters , singlespins and a Bandit 100 to no avail .
I was able to pick up fish on a weighted keeper hook with a powerpulse worm bounced along the current seam and a couple out into the faster water . Quarter cast was the way to go.

At the creekmouth , I got all my bass at the mudline . They were holding on the muddy river side of the line looking in to the slightly clearer water on the inflow . Once again a weighted keeper hook and power pulse worm did the trick . By making short casts first and progressively working my way further out , I was able to take multiple fish from the mudline . Topwaters , cranks and singlespins all struck out here .

I went to another area and was skinning barkwith singlespins on some flooded trees , got a couple fish but not as many as the other spots . I tried tossing a chatterbait next to the trees and popping it back but the fish didn't seem to want to chase a bait or move real fast . They wanted the bait dropped right on thier nose .

I hit a bridge that had some trees and other junk piled up , was able to coax one bass by letting the jig swing down under the root ball . I checked some flooded brush and a flat that was nearby but got no takers . About that time it started raining pretty hard to I hiked back to the car , of course it quit as I started driving away .

It was getting close to time to get the kids from school so I hit one last spot , a point bar with a nice seam and a slackwater spot behind it . For a short while the sun was actually shining through a bit , took that as a sign the rivergods were smiling on me . Sure enough found a Shad Rap in a debris pile , little elbow grease and new hooks and it's ready to go . I was able to get a good enough angle that I could get a downstream cast and work upstream along the current seam , got a couple bass doing that . Tried the topwater again in the slackwater pocket , had one kinda roll on it but never really committed . I kept at it for a few minutes but no repeat . I tied on a 1/4 ozswim jigs , tipped with a walleye assassain rigged upside down with a bit of the tail bit off down where it slims down . I picked up the nicest bass of the day toward the end of the seam and the pocket on a steady retrieve just off the bottom[actually let it touch bottom every now and then to make sure] . I kept at it longer than I should have , got back just in time to pick up the first kid .

The temps are supposed to drop from 50 to 0 with subzero wind chills in the morning , at least I'll be able to walk on top of the mud rather than slog ankle deep thru it .

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Joined: 12:05pm - Oct 8,04
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Location: Downers Grove

Post Posted: 09:44am - Jan 30,08 
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Very nice report Norm! Glad you shared! Was this a better day than usual for winter fishing? I assume the warm weather helped a bit. The only reason I ask is because the news said the pressure was the lowest it's been in about 11 or 30 years yesterday. There were two weather extremes and I can't remember which was 11 years and which was 30. I wonder what effect that had on things?

I knew I should have taken yesterday off. I'm going to have to start going w/those gut "feelings".

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Joined: 09:52pm - May 1,05
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Location: Tinley Park

Post Posted: 05:06pm - Jan 30,08 
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Glad to hear you got on the water and found some fish! This is my first free Saturday coming up and I wanted to hit the river but it sounds to be quite a mess.

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Post Posted: 09:08pm - Jan 30,08 
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Kevin ,

The numbers of bass exceeded my wildest expectations . It was almost like a months worth of results in a single day .

I don't know why the fish were chewing like that , but I'm not complaining . It just goes to show that I don't know as much as I think I do about this coldwater thing .

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