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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 10:34pm - Dec 8,07 
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Went 1/1 on a Steelie in the 4-5 lb range on Trail Friday. Caught it floating a small piece of shrimp. Fished from 7-1:30 and covered a lot of area. Fishing was slowwwwww.......Saw 1 other fish and heard of a few more caught.



(Sorry no pics because the fish slipped out of my hand as I was adjusting my grip to take the picture)

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Post Posted: 10:39am - Dec 9,07 
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Ventured out to the creeks Saturday, expecting the NWIS tourney to flood the area with people. My fears were overblown as I never ran into more than a couple of guys here or there. Although I did stay away from the most popular roadside hangouts.

I focused on trail creek since I know MC pretty well, and although I didn't get any steelies of keeper size for my efforts, I did see one guy who had 3 fish and he was working one hole in the lower trail area. The smolts were like pirahnahs, so spawn needs to be in sacs, otherwise, its gone within seconds. (unfortunately for my wife, she missed out on the annual tying of the spawn sacs!)

Water was slightly murky, but bottom was visible I'd say up to 2 ft depths.

Although I have been to Indiana stream fishing a few of times, I'm really still a novice at it, so it takes me a lot of trial and error (read hiking) to scout out the good locations. I found myself walking long distances along shorelines that included frozen mud banks, snow-covered logs crossing feeder creeks, briars and brambles, etc. It's definitely more effort than other types of shore fishing. My scraped up knuckles and sore hips from falling are proof.

I tried the upper and middle areas of trail and did not see much in the way of fish moving around, although I'm sure they are there tucked up under log jams. I saw more fish in the lower areas.

I'd like to go back with someone who knows these waters and the specific presentations a little better. How long is the winter fishing good there?

Dale

NWIS Tourney results: There were 38 competitors for the tournament. There were 18 fish brought to the weigh in. The tournament was won by Chris Rogers with 11 lbs. 8 oz / 9 lbs. 12 oz.

This is the guy I was fishing across the stream from on Trail.

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Post Posted: 12:08pm - Dec 9,07 
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Delirious wrote


Quote:
I'm really still a novice at it, so it takes me a lot of trial and error (read hiking) to scout out the good locations. I found myself walking long distances along shorelines that included frozen mud banks, snow-covered logs crossing feeder creeks, briars and brambles, etc. It's definitely more effort than other types of shore fishing. My scraped up knuckles and sore hips from falling are proof



If ya come back with mud and blood your doing everything correctly. LOL

Quote:
How long is the winter fishing good there?



Till spring. :wink:



Quote:
I'd like to go back with someone who knows these waters and the specific presentations a little better.



There is not much to the presentation. The main thing is good coverage of the section your are fishing and change up baits.

When I say good coverage I like to use this example I told Cory about.

The cuts in the banks for fish to slide in next to are always changing and sometimes are hard to see.
I was fishing the Little Cal one time just below the dam .
The stream split into a few slots and bottom was sticking up between and I was standing on a high spot between the slots.
The slot were maybe 2-3 foot wide and just as deep.
I could see everything with the Polaroids, so I thought.
I see this 15+ lb king coming up the slot in front of me and I freeze.
I watch this big boy get closer and as he gets directly in front of me he disappears.
I am standing there like a statue as the sun is up and my shadow falls on the water and I don't want to spook him.
After what seem like foreverer( maybe 3-5 minutes) I decide he must have gone past me and I did not see him go upstream.
I make one step to the right and my shadow makes that fish bolt like a fuel dragster from the line.
I was watching as he bolted and saw the area he came from.
When the silt cleared I could see that he was tucked up into a very shallow cut in the bank of that slot.
Just enough of a cut to let him hover and rest and hide from my view.
My point is after you have drifted an area and get frustrated, drift again.
Many drifts and depth presentations are needed as you dissect each part of a cut or pool.

This fish was caught one X-Mas morning, as I said "OK one more drift and we'll go".
Cory had caught his fish from the same pool a little earlier.
I think this is the correct pic. Cory can correct me if I am wrong, which happens alot. LOL

Image

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Post Posted: 06:49pm - Dec 9,07 
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If ya come back with mud and blood your doing everything correctly. LOL


I guess I did everything perfectly then, except catch a fish! Thanks for taking the time to write such a good response.

On my way home yesterday I called my brother to give him an update on how my trip went. He used to fish the creeks a lot. He told me a story of how he was fishing a spot where he thought for sure there would be fish. He had fished that one spot for an hour or so, without a single taker. He heard an outboard motor coming and he watched a DNR Jon boat approach. They were shocking the water to survey the fish population. They got to his spot, lowered the probes and sent a jolt into the water. He said about a dozen nice stunned steelies floated to the surface out of that one hole!

So I keep that in mind when I'm working an area over. I'll be going back there lots of times this winter.

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Post Posted: 04:59pm - Dec 10,07 
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Delirious wrote:
Ventured out to the creeks Saturday, expecting the NWIS tourney to flood the area with people. My fears were overblown as I never ran into more than a couple of guys here or there. Although I did stay away from the most popular roadside hangouts.

I focused on trail creek since I know MC pretty well, and although I didn't get any steelies of keeper size for my efforts, I did see one guy who had 3 fish and he was working one hole in the lower trail area. The smolts were like pirahnahs, so spawn needs to be in sacs, otherwise, its gone within seconds. (unfortunately for my wife, she missed out on the annual tying of the spawn sacs!)

Water was slightly murky, but bottom was visible I'd say up to 2 ft depths.

Although I have been to Indiana stream fishing a few of times, I'm really still a novice at it, so it takes me a lot of trial and error (read hiking) to scout out the good locations. I found myself walking long distances along shorelines that included frozen mud banks, snow-covered logs crossing feeder creeks, briars and brambles, etc. It's definitely more effort than other types of shore fishing. My scraped up knuckles and sore hips from falling are proof.

I tried the upper and middle areas of trail and did not see much in the way of fish moving around, although I'm sure they are there tucked up under log jams. I saw more fish in the lower areas.

I'd like to go back with someone who knows these waters and the specific presentations a little better. How long is the winter fishing good there?

Dale

NWIS Tourney results: There were 38 competitors for the tournament. There were 18 fish brought to the weigh in. The tournament was won by Chris Rogers with 11 lbs. 8 oz / 9 lbs. 12 oz.

This is the guy I was fishing across the stream from on Trail.


You were fishing across from me on Trail? Don't remember seeing ya bud, but was in a zone, I don't remember really seeing much of anybody.

Chris

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Post Posted: 05:15pm - Dec 10,07 
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Nope. That was not you I saw. The guy I was fishing near looks like the older guy wearing the red shirt in the trophy photo, standing right next to you. I thought he was the winner (he was smiling), but now that I look more closely at the photo, you have the bigger trophies.

In any case Chris, good job on winning.

Dale

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Post Posted: 06:56pm - Dec 10,07 
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Thanks man...

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Post Posted: 07:04pm - Dec 10,07 
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Chris, can you fill us in a little on what and how you took your fish.

Thanks and congrats.

Tom

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Post Posted: 07:36pm - Dec 10,07 
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Tom wrote:
Chris, can you fill us in a little on what and how you took your fish.

Thanks and congrats.

Tom


No problem...I was running my pin w/bags under a float!

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Post Posted: 07:57am - Dec 11,07 
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The tournament was won by Chris Rogers with 11 lbs. 8 oz / 9 lbs. 12 oz.




congrats to MCSTEEL on his win in the tourney!!!


Great job chris!!

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Post Posted: 08:00am - Dec 11,07 
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When floating sacs, is the general consensus to have the sac just barely up off the bottom?

How about when floating past undercut banks?

Has anyone ever tried a Hi/Lo rig?



-Sorry to change topics, but it seems there are plenty of "creek-sperts" watching this thread...... :lol:

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Post Posted: 09:51am - Dec 11,07 
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SpecialEd-
I would not say there is a consensus period when steelhead fishing.
1)I like to fish the sac barely off the bottom when first fishing a hole, but I will also adjust my float and change depths before moving spots. I have also noticed people who put there float at about 3 feet and never move it no matter how deep the run...and I have seen them catch fish as well. Was it because the fish were @3feet and it floated past their face or that the fish smelled it and came from the bottom? I cannot answer this question definitively but I am guessing it floated past there face unless on this day the fish were particularly active or aggresive.
2)Undercut banks are great spots to fish. The same principles apply...fish the bottom and middle water column.
3)I am sure someone has tried a high low rig and there is no reason they would not work. However, many of the best spots in the creeks have numerous snags and this would multiply the headaches this causes.
Hope this helps....

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Post Posted: 09:56am - Dec 11,07 
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There is no reason to do that, you just adjust your float for the proper presentation. Alot of times on and undercut bank if you have your splits set up properly your bait will end up underneath that bank anyways right in front of that fish.
You also do not always need your bait right on the bottom. I work almost the entire water column as the fish is more likely to come up after a bait than go down after one. I have caught fish that are up in the water column because they were moving thru the hole or because there happen to be a current break nearby that offered an underwater eddy. I have found these just by watching my float and what it was doing.
The key is to adjust to the conditions and let your bait and float tell you what is going on with the creek.

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Post Posted: 11:54am - Dec 11,07 
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Great info guys!

How about float preference? I really like the mini shy bite from Thill for floating bait for trout in still water.

I have to be careful with splits though, 1/16th is about all I can get away with with a dime sized egg cluster.

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Post Posted: 12:33pm - Dec 11,07 
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I run the Phantom Redbird steelhead floats in the 1.5 and 2gram sizes and I really like them. I have seen the Drennens, but for the money the Phantoms are what I like.

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Post Posted: 12:47pm - Dec 13,07 
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Cory wrote:
I run the Phantom Redbird steelhead floats in the 1.5 and 2gram sizes and I really like them. I have seen the Drennens, but for the money the Phantoms are what I like.


Cory-

I saw Blackbird's Phantom steelhead floats in a quick google search, and correct me if I'm wrong, they seem to be the ones you are refering to.

I'm definately heading out to the Trail on Dec. 21st, come heck or high water. Haven't figured out where to start yet, guess it will depend on how much precip. we get next week.

If anyone else is heading out, let me know. I'll have hot coffee and donuts available for anyone willing to let me pick their brain for advice.

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Post Posted: 11:34am - Dec 14,07 
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Yes those are the floats.
Dick's carries them as well as Fishing connection in Tinley Park. I also get them at Gander mountain.

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