Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 


Author
Search for:
Message

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 10:30am - Mar 20,03
Posts: 1203

Post Posted: 08:56pm - Feb 11,04 
Top  
Northern Illinois Stream Report

It was a perfect day for some coldwater fishing. Mostly sunny with just a smattering of clouds and not enough wind to really be a factor. The air temps hit 33 degrees by mid afternoon. The squirrels , rabbits and even a beaver were all moving about. All the birds from finches to geese were active , my only regret was that I didn't spot any eagles today. Shoot, I even saw a couple of crawdads moving on one shallow flat on the sun drenched northside.

The flow was about 3000 CFS and the USGS was around 1.70. The water temp was 34 degrees with about 2 feet of visibility. All the slack water pockets were still covered with ice and most of the shore had an ice ledge extending out from 1 to 20 feet or so. There were slush eddies on the downstream side of many of the ice points but that turned out to be a good thing[more later] .

I decided to shore fish today as I didn't feel that walking out on the ice and slipping into the water was such a great idea after seeing some of the outside edges break free and wash away. It did limit my game plan for the day but safety and sanity won out over visions of freshly fried walleye.

I was traveling very light today. A box of jigs , some Ika's and some Gulp stuff. The Gulp stuff was being tried for the profile/functionability not for the supposed "taste" or whatever you want to call it. Add some clippers , pliers , temp gauge and measuring tape , I can't believe all I had was three pockets of stuff.

Usually I avoid dams but at least there was open water . Most of the rest of it was either completely ice covered or had too large of an ice shelf along the shore. The flow off the dam was really funky because half the dam is blocked off for construction purposes and the other half still had the boards up from summer. All of it except for 25 feet or so closest to the shore , here the flow was concentrated and extremely heavy. I tried a 1/2 oz jig and had trouble maintaining good bottom contact. After about 15 minutes of trying various casting angles and casting into different parts of the flow , I decided that I just couldn't fish effectively enough for this time of year.

I moved downstream a bit to fish a bridge piling that sits on a limestone flat. The flat has various size rock from hand sized to ouch sized if you bang against one while wading. There is also riprap piled against the base of the abutment. I tried the front face and the side of of the abutment to no avail. I also jigged the flat downstream and upstream with nary a touch. Oh by the way , I've been using the Ika/weighted keeper hook for everything but the upstream jigging. For that I put on the Gulp 4 inch minnow worm which has a thinner profile.

I finally reached a position where I could cover the water behind the abutment so I put the Ika back on the weigthed keeper hook. The first cast was on the very edge of the abutment and was nudged to the outside edge of the current break. The second cast was made right into the slack pocket about a foot behind the abutment . There was a definite hit on the first hop , several hook sets , a short as fight as possible and an 18 inch smallie being lipped. Not bad for this time of year , a smallie in only an hour or so of fishing. I fished the rest of the current break but did nothing but clean out all the fishing line that got snagged there all summer. It was a good thing I had an extra pocket as I filled it full of that crap.

I decided to change gears and try for some pike along the shoreline ice shelf. I added a jig spinner to the line and snapped my weighted keeper hook to it. I changed back to thr Gulp minnow worm as it had a ripple tail and I thought that might be more appealing to the pike. I cast it along the edge of the ice shelf both upstream and downstream and did everything from jigging and slowrolling to a steady swimming retrieve just below the edge of the ice. Nothing happened until I got to an ice point with a slush eddy. I cast to the outside edge of the slush eddy and got hit before it dropped more than six inches. Once again a couple of solid hook sets and as short a fight as possible. I lucked out as the pike was hooked right in the corner of the jaw as I wasn't using a leader[ back on the seat of the van] . It was a 27 inch pike that released to the water instead of the beer batter . It was a close call , that pike doesn't know how lucky it was.

After covering all the shoreline , it was back to the slackwater behind the abutment. I decided to leave the jig spinner on in case some walleyes had moved in. I started back up behind the abutment and worked my way down toward the end of the break. About halfway down at the widest part of the current break , I hooked into something big, strong and very determined. I never stopped it or saw it , it just had it's way with me. It took off on a line peeling run and I felt that gut wrenching pop. I reeled in to retie and at the end of my line was the jig spinner. That fish popped open and straightened out the metal wire that connects to the jig. I wish I could have at least seen the fish , but it was fun while it lasted. I decided to bow to the gods of fishing and let that be the end of that spot for the day. Besides a Pepsi and Hershey bar were sounding good right about then.

I was driving to another dam while eating yet another quality fishing lunch when I spotted some open water near one of my coldwater spots. I changed course and hiked back thru the woods to check it out. The really good slackwater spots were still iced up but I saw some minnows and crawdads moving about on a cobblestone shelf below a riffle. This time I had a Rattlin Rouge and a couple of Rebel Craws with in place of the Gulp stuff. After about an hour and a half of no fish with the Ika's and the hardbaits , it was time to get the kid's from school. I know I could have caught some fish there if I just hadn't run out of time.

All in all , it was a great day on the water.

_________________
taint no feesh here , it's just a fragment of your imagination

Adapt, overcome. improvise

 Profile  

Offline
Support Staff
User avatar

Joined: 03:35pm - Feb 11,03
Posts: 5982
Location: Not too far from Windy

Post Posted: 09:33pm - Feb 11,04 
Top  
Thank you Norm.
My minds eye took me along on that outing right at your side.
Thank you so very much once again.
I really needed that.

_________________
"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive yet obtainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." John Buchan

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 09:47pm - Feb 12,03
Posts: 1152

Post Posted: 09:45pm - Feb 11,04 
Top  
:wink:

I knew it was coming...thanks Norm.
hey can you do me a favor and tell the masses about your low cost temp gauge and where ya got it?

Murph

_________________
Hell's Anglers F.C.--Chicago South Branch


Last edited by Mike M on 11:56pm - Feb 11,04, edited 1 time in total.
 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler

Joined: 03:56pm - Feb 12,03
Posts: 620
Location: frankfort, il

Post Posted: 10:00pm - Feb 11,04 
Top  
great report norm. you painted some great images. you were hitting the kank right? what do you think that big catch you lost was? musky?

 Profile WWW  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 10:30am - Mar 20,03
Posts: 1203

Post Posted: 09:50am - Feb 12,04 
Top  
Thanks Luc,

One day we have to get out together and share some water.

Tank,

No muskies where I was fishing, it felt more like a hybrid striper run.


Murph,

My thermomter that I use now is a meat thermometer with a battery operated digital read out. I got it at a hardware store for $15. My other thermometer that I got from Wallyworld for $10 bit the dust after 3 years of hard use. It was a indoor/outdoor unit that fit in the palm of my hand and had a 10 foot wire lead.
I like the new one better because I don't have to worry about the wire lead getting tangled with other stuff in the pocket.

_________________
taint no feesh here , it's just a fragment of your imagination

Adapt, overcome. improvise

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 09:47pm - Feb 12,03
Posts: 1152

Post Posted: 11:10am - Feb 12,04 
Top  
Interesting. I kinda liked the wire thing when I saw it. But I hear what your saying about the new model you have. Especially with all the junk you carry, the tie ups in the pocket whould ultimately lead to a quick bath for some unsuspecting fishing gear item :P

Murph

_________________
Hell's Anglers F.C.--Chicago South Branch

 Profile  

Offline
Salmon Unlimited Member
Salmon Unlimited Member
User avatar

Joined: 10:35am - Feb 11,03
Posts: 8088
Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 05:18pm - Feb 12,04 
Top  
That was nice!!! Thanks for that report.

Tom

_________________
I've got to stop wishin'. Gota go fishin'...

Twin Fins

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:54am - Feb 25,03
Posts: 160
Location: Yorkville, IL

Post Posted: 08:15pm - Feb 12,04 
Top  
jnapodano wrote:
Any pictures?


Norm does not carry a camera usually, I think he is a little "supersticious"!!

Norm thanks for the report, it sure makes me wish I was fishing!

Jeff

_________________
A good day of fishing is better than any day at school!

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 10:30am - Mar 20,03
Posts: 1203

Post Posted: 12:41am - Feb 13,04 
Top  
Carrying a camera is definitely taboo. The only time I have one is when I am taking pictures of the exposed river bottom during low water episodes .

Besides if it comes to a camera or a half dozen crankbaits, well you can't catch fish on a camera. :wink:

_________________
taint no feesh here , it's just a fragment of your imagination

Adapt, overcome. improvise

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:54am - Feb 25,03
Posts: 160
Location: Yorkville, IL

Post Posted: 03:52pm - Feb 13,04 
Top  
Oh well it all works, he got the report up and all, thats all that counts!

As for catching fish on a camera, you never know what you might be able to catch fish on, although I am not saying you can on a camera! :wink:

_________________
A good day of fishing is better than any day at school!

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 09:47pm - Feb 12,03
Posts: 1152

Post Posted: 06:24pm - Feb 13,04 
Top  
Randy, don't ya think if he wanted to say that he would have put it there?
Ya mentioned it three times in the 50 words you posted. Good call on the wrong forum
The wrong forum comment is just your way of saying screw you Creekyknees.
It's a jab, and ya know it. Keep your political bs off our sight. As Vice President of the ISA, you should know that.
Absolutely pathetic.


Murph

_________________
Hell's Anglers F.C.--Chicago South Branch


Last edited by Mike M on 10:00am - Feb 14,04, edited 3 times in total.
 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:33am - Feb 15,03
Posts: 1593
Location: Yorkville

Post Posted: 08:46pm - Feb 13,04 
Top  
Speaking of muskie . . .
Do you ever see any down your way?
I would imagine if any, they would show up in Wilmington and down.

Even Mullady never mentions them.

Was out hunting on the Kank and got my first goose near Warner Bridge. Got a lot of questions for you on other areas around there.

Quit writing so well, you make me look like the hack that I am.

 Profile WWW  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 09:47pm - Feb 12,03
Posts: 1152

Post Posted: 12:20am - Feb 14,04 
Top  
JNapodano
When you reply to a post, the basic icons are to the left of the message box as you probably already know. Below them, it says "View More Emoticons". Click on that, and a window of about 75 more icons will show up. Click on the one of your choosing, and it will insert the text creating the icon in your message. Your emoticon choices just trippled :wink:

Murph

_________________
Hell's Anglers F.C.--Chicago South Branch

 Profile  

Offline
Chitown-Angler
User avatar

Joined: 10:30am - Mar 20,03
Posts: 1203

Post Posted: 01:01am - Feb 14,04 
Top  
Shoot Ken , one day I hope to write as well as you and Any Luc do .

_________________
taint no feesh here , it's just a fragment of your imagination

Adapt, overcome. improvise

 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic Latest Topics  [ 14 posts ] 

Board index » Rivers » Creeks, Streams, Ditches
Jump to:  


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum