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Where are all the Illinois Guys ?


Tom H.

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28 minutes ago, TheBaitMonkey said:

The big girls are starting to move up to feed. I caught this ~21" on a vision 110 then a 19.5" a few casts later this afternoon - 

IMG_5242.jpg

Fantastic healthy prespawn looking fish.

 

Us rednecks need weights not lengths though ?

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1 minute ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Fantastic healthy prespawn looking fish.

 

Us rednecks need weights not lengths though ?


I was kicking myself for not having my scale in my bag! I went out to test some new glidebaits not thinking I would catch anything but decided to put a jerkbait on right before leaving and bam, a few good strikes. ? 

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1 minute ago, TheBaitMonkey said:


I was kicking myself for not having my scale in my bag! I went out to test some new glidebaits not thinking I would catch anything but decided to put a jerkbait on right before leaving and bam, a few good strikes. ? 

Yeah half the time I turn off the GoPro because how bad I'm sucking, I end up catching a toad with it off ?

 

Look forward to seeing some fish you catch on that new Shimano 190sf you Baitmonkey'd me into buying ?

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47 minutes ago, AlabamaSpothunter said:

Yeah half the time I turn off the GoPro because how bad I'm sucking, I end up catching a toad with it off ?

 

Look forward to seeing some fish you catch on that new Shimano 190sf you Baitmonkey'd me into buying ?


That’s one of the baits I tested out today, it’s gonna crush em!

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Hit up Newton on Monday.  The water was heavily stained and the air temperature had dropped 10+ from Sunday.  Water temps were anywhere from 50 to 56.  I was not very optimistic about my chances.   In my first 2 hours I caught 5 bass that would have totaled 17-18 pounds with a 6.3 lb toad.  Caught everything on fast-moving baits- spinnerbaits and chatterbaits.  Then the sun came out and things really slowed down. 

 

The following day I hit up Glen O Jones lake in southern Illinois and caught probably 50 fish but nothing was bigger than 15".  While I enjoy the scenic lake and the clear water, they really need to remove some of the smaller bass in that lake.  I caught 'em on everything I threw from jerkbaits to spinnerbaits to Neds to Neko rigs.  On Wednesday, I hit up Cedar Lake and it was easily the nicest day of the year.  While the day started out cold at around 35 degrees, I was down to 1 layer by noon when it was 65 degrees.  Water temperature was 49 to start the day and ended around 55 degrees.  I was disappointed I didn't catch more but I'd have ended up with a 5 fish limit around 12 lbs or so.   Everything I caught was on a chatterbait.     Hit up Newton again on Thursday on my journey back home and the water was even muddier than Monday even though it hadn't rained since the weekend.  I struggled on Thursday and threw a lot of different baits both shallow and on staging points but I couldn't figure 'em out.  Temps on Thursday were anywhere from 52 to 56.  It was a nice spring break fishing trip for me.  In a couple more weeks I'll be primarily focused on smallmouth for the rest of the season.  

 

Newton Bass.jpg

banana.jpg

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On 3/31/2023 at 11:25 AM, Junk Fisherman said:

Hit up Newton on Monday.  The water was heavily stained and the air temperature had dropped 10+ from Sunday.  Water temps were anywhere from 50 to 56.  I was not very optimistic about my chances.   In my first 2 hours I caught 5 bass that would have totaled 17-18 pounds with a 6.3 lb toad.  Caught everything on fast-moving baits- spinnerbaits and chatterbaits.  Then the sun came out and things really slowed down. 

 

The following day I hit up Glen O Jones lake in southern Illinois and caught probably 50 fish but nothing was bigger than 15".  While I enjoy the scenic lake and the clear water, they really need to remove some of the smaller bass in that lake.  I caught 'em on everything I threw from jerkbaits to spinnerbaits to Neds to Neko rigs.  On Wednesday, I hit up Cedar Lake and it was easily the nicest day of the year.  While the day started out cold at around 35 degrees, I was down to 1 layer by noon when it was 65 degrees.  Water temperature was 49 to start the day and ended around 55 degrees.  I was disappointed I didn't catch more but I'd have ended up with a 5 fish limit around 12 lbs or so.   Everything I caught was on a chatterbait.     Hit up Newton again on Thursday on my journey back home and the water was even muddier than Monday even though it hadn't rained since the weekend.  I struggled on Thursday and threw a lot of different baits both shallow and on staging points but I couldn't figure 'em out.  Temps on Thursday were anywhere from 52 to 56.  It was a nice spring break fishing trip for me.  In a couple more weeks I'll be primarily focused on smallmouth for the rest of the season.  

 

Newton Bass.jpg

banana.jpg

What's the thing with the banana in the boat? I know I've heard it, I just can't remember--good luck or something?

Beautiful fish and nice trip.

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9 hours ago, Jig Rookie said:

What's the thing with the banana in the boat? I know I've heard it, I just can't remember--good luck or something?

Beautiful fish and nice trip.

lol- It's supposed to be bad luck which obviously is ridiculous.  I just like to point that out.    

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Finally got my first of the season--the float-and-fly got it done in a small neighborhood pond.  I've been out a bunch but still haven't gotten bit on the big baits, but it's coming.  Got a trip planned for next Friday to my PB lake, a forest preserve spot in the area.  Almost certain that'll be the day.  Good luck everyone, the bite's not far off.

2023first.jpg

2023first2.jpg

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Late Feb early March was good from the bank with the ice-out-high water and little warm fronts. All dropshotting a 5" jerk shad. This last dropping barometric pressure trend/front started the swim jig bite for me. This year the 3/16 uoze gold blade dark profile Warm fronts/pre-storms in late March/early April, always bring small swim jig/paddletail confidence for me. End of last storm system produced the first muddy water spinnerbait bite. Looks like the forecast for the rest of April, if it holds true, is going to produce a solid pre-spawn bite. 

Feb 2023 drop shot bass.jpg

drop shot 5 inch jerk shad.jpg

uoze.jpg

Battle Baits Money Gill in the mouth.jpg

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28 minutes ago, Fat Ika said:

Late Feb early March was good from the bank with the ice-out-high water and little warm fronts. All dropshotting a 5" jerk shad. This last dropping barometric pressure trend/front started the swim jig bite for me. This year the 3/16 uoze gold blade dark profile Warm fronts/pre-storms in late March/early April, always bring small swim jig/paddletail confidence for me. End of last storm system produced the first muddy water spinnerbait bite. Looks like the forecast for the rest of April, if it holds true, is going to produce a solid pre-spawn bite. 

Feb 2023 drop shot bass.jpg

drop shot 5 inch jerk shad.jpg

uoze.jpg

Battle Baits Money Gill in the mouth.jpg

SOLID fish, man, legit tanks!  Great write-up about the patterns you're on too, very helpful.  You're on 'em early!

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1 hour ago, Jig Rookie said:

SOLID fish, man, legit tanks!  Great write-up about the patterns you're on too, very helpful.  You're on 'em early!

Thanks bud. That's a beast you got on the float n fly! I was running floats side by side with the dropshot early, but my confidence always ends up

leaning to the buoyant dropshot. See OutKast's new offering coming out?


https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Outkast_Float_N_Fly_Hair_Jig_2pk/descpage-OFNFH.html

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6 hours ago, Fat Ika said:

Thanks bud. That's a beast you got on the float n fly! I was running floats side by side with the dropshot early, but my confidence always ends up

leaning to the buoyant dropshot. See OutKast's new offering coming out?


https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Outkast_Float_N_Fly_Hair_Jig_2pk/descpage-OFNFH.html

Yeah those do look nice--I'm learning there's a whole other baitmonkey rabbit hole to go down with hair jigs.

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Caught a ton of them today at a little lake by the house! ~40 total but this 3lber was the biggest of the day.

 

Tried a chatterbait, spinnerbait, and a magdraft but they mainly wanted a 3” Largo Shad and that did most of the damage.

1A09777D-9CE6-471B-BB1D-F585EA29F0A5.jpeg

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On 4/8/2023 at 3:36 PM, Jig Rookie said:

Yeah those do look nice--I'm learning there's a whole other baitmonkey rabbit hole to go down with hair jigs.

Yes there is. Bucktail is getting scarce right now. And there is always another color. Rabbit zonkers dont go far at all in the small packs, but if you buy bulk you are going to have a large investment. Marabou is alittle better. But it does payoff to use higher quality blood quill or extra select. 

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Fishing in the middle of the state has been a struggle so far because of the weird weather but this morning I saw the first identifiable spring pattern of the year.  Water temps were 65-67.  I checked all of my marked beds and there weren't fish on them.  I did, however, find them in the area of the beds.  Caught them in current breaks (strong wind) and cruising the banks dirt shallow looking for food near spawning spots.  Went out for 2.5hrs, caught 9, the top five weighed 16-12oz and the biggest was this 4-12.  Not a great pic because she was bleeding on my carpet.  Feeling a little better about spring now.  Unfortunately the weather the next two days is going to put a complete stop to the bite for at least as short while. 

 

thumbnail_IMG_1221.jpg.6f4b4da0f44ff1408a6bbe261690af9f.jpg

 

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Bought my IL and WI licenses today, emptied all the crap out of the boat that piled up over winter, and respooled the reels. Still need to get rid of the old gas and get the motor started.

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2 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

Fishing in the middle of the state has been a struggle so far because of the weird weather but this morning I saw the first identifiable spring pattern of the year.  Water temps were 65-67.  I checked all of my marked beds and there weren't fish on them.  I did, however, find them in the area of the beds.  Caught them in current breaks (strong wind) and cruising the banks dirt shallow looking for food near spawning spots.  Went out for 2.5hrs, caught 9, the top five weighed 16-12oz and the biggest was this 4-12.  Not a great pic because she was bleeding on my carpet.  Feeling a little better about spring now.  Unfortunately the weather the next two days is going to put a complete stop to the bite for at least as short while. 

 

thumbnail_IMG_1221.jpg.6f4b4da0f44ff1408a6bbe261690af9f.jpg

 


Sounds like a good trip! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We ended up winning our sectional at Busse Woods in a row boat! Looking to see if anyone has been down to Carlyle Lake recently?  Always a grind as a "northerner" going downstate on that lake.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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On 5/11/2023 at 12:53 PM, dgkasper58 said:

We ended up winning our sectional at Busse Woods in a row boat! Looking to see if anyone has been down to Carlyle Lake recently?  Always a grind as a "northerner" going downstate on that lake.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Haven’t been on Carlyle this year. So take this with a grain of salt - In the past, the luck I’ve had for bass is work the riprap with the old river channel nearby. Hazlet south to sailboat harbor, spillway, trestles, some of the riprap near keysport.

Baits - swimming superfluke, fire tiger cranks both jointed and non jointed, jigs (green pumpkin, black/blue), zoom speed craw (green pumpkin if I recall).

CAUTION ! - this lake gets rough, quick! It can be smooth as glass, someone farts and there’s whitecaps, someone else sneezes, and there’s two footers!! Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, not much though. Stay aware of forecast and conditions.

Also, study a contours map before going, several “humps” or high spots in the lake. More than one lower unit on the lake bed.

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Yesterday. Bass are in some form of spawning mode, bluegills are staging and should be on the beds in another week or so. No crappies to be found. Lost a 3 pounder when I was hoisting it into the boat.

 

 

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On 5/14/2023 at 8:15 AM, Skunked again said:

Haven’t been on Carlyle this year. So take this with a grain of salt - In the past, the luck I’ve had for bass is work the riprap with the old river channel nearby. Hazlet south to sailboat harbor, spillway, trestles, some of the riprap near keysport.

Baits - swimming superfluke, fire tiger cranks both jointed and non jointed, jigs (green pumpkin, black/blue), zoom speed craw (green pumpkin if I recall).

CAUTION ! - this lake gets rough, quick! It can be smooth as glass, someone farts and there’s whitecaps, someone else sneezes, and there’s two footers!! Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, not much though. Stay aware of forecast and conditions.

Also, study a contours map before going, several “humps” or high spots in the lake. More than one lower unit on the lake bed.

Definitely have had some sketchy moments in years past from how dangerous that lake gets.  Thanks!

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