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Where are all the Illinois Guys ?


Tom H.

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Hit up a couple local lakes this past week.

 

Tuesday 5-30 Braidwood:  Water temps were anywhere from 83-88.  Caught quite a few bass with the biggest being 18". Stupid tubes, swimbaits and Ned rigs did the damage.  I did catch one of my biggest catfish ever on a free rig.  Caught this on a ML rod and 12 lb braid and 6 lb leader.  Helluva fight and I'm happy I got it in the boat.  Wish my scale worked.  

 

Thursday 6-1 Wolf:  Actually forgot my front fish finder so I had to fish blind.  Thankfully, I have fished that lake so much that I don't really need sonar.  The key development here was WEEDS.  The lake has exploded with weeds over the last 3 weeks.  I suspect they'll treat it soon.  But frogs, topwater, and punching is going to be the ticket until they spray.  Once they spray, I won't fish there again this year.  Anyways, it was a frustrating day since I had to constantly navigate around big weed patches.  Caught all my fish on Ned rigs on dropoffs and roadbeds.  Threw the crap out of a frog and a buzzbait but never had any reaction to those baits.  Caught a pike and a bowfish too.  Caught several bass in the 16"-18" range. 

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10 hours ago, Junk Fisherman said:

Hit up a couple local lakes this past week.

 

Tuesday 5-30 Braidwood:  Water temps were anywhere from 83-88.  Caught quite a few bass with the biggest being 18". Stupid tubes, swimbaits and Ned rigs did the damage.  I did catch one of my biggest catfish ever on a free rig.  Caught this on a ML rod and 12 lb braid and 6 lb leader.  Helluva fight and I'm happy I got it in the boat.  Wish my scale worked.  

 

Thursday 6-1 Wolf:  Actually forgot my front fish finder so I had to fish blind.  Thankfully, I have fished that lake so much that I don't really need sonar.  The key development here was WEEDS.  The lake has exploded with weeds over the last 3 weeks.  I suspect they'll treat it soon.  But frogs, topwater, and punching is going to be the ticket until they spray.  Once they spray, I won't fish there again this year.  Anyways, it was a frustrating day since I had to constantly navigate around big weed patches.  Caught all my fish on Ned rigs on dropoffs and roadbeds.  Threw the crap out of a frog and a buzzbait but never had any reaction to those baits.  Caught a pike and a bowfish too.  Caught several bass in the 16"-18" range. 

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Paul

 

Flathead? She looks in the 10-15lb range. Braidwood still have a good population of channel cats? My grandson has his heart set on catching one. Seems I catch cats whenever he's not with me. I did hit up Braidwood with him last year from shore and we got skunked. 

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14 hours ago, slonezp said:

Paul

 

Flathead? She looks in the 10-15lb range. Braidwood still have a good population of channel cats? My grandson has his heart set on catching one. Seems I catch cats whenever he's not with me. I did hit up Braidwood with him last year from shore and we got skunked. 

That's a big channel cat.  I'm angry that my scale didn't work cause that thing was heavy.  It was a lot more than 15 lbs.  My dog is 20 lbs and that fish was a lot heavier than my dog (who I carry way too much).  

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10 hours ago, Junk Fisherman said:

That's a big channel cat.  I'm angry that my scale didn't work cause that thing was heavy.  It was a lot more than 15 lbs.  My dog is 20 lbs and that fish was a lot heavier than my dog (who I carry way too much).  

She's real dark colored for a channel.

Caught my biggest on Erie a few years back. No scale. I'd guess she was 25 or so.

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Island lake today. 15 bass in 5 hours. Caught most in the first and last hour on the water. Water is 70* and maybe a foot low. Weeds were treated last week. We need rain. Biggest was 19-1/2", most in 15"-16" range.

 

Happy Father's Day all

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Has this season been as tough for everyone else as it has for me??  These high-sky/no wind/drought conditions have been royally kicking my butt; I'd definitely do better if I threw some finessier stuff, but I just keep force-feeding em jigs, frogs and big baits.  I've only caught three picture-worthy fish over the last month-plus: a 4.11lb on the Tiny Klash and a 3.7 and 3.11 on the frog.  Man we need a week of consistent rain in the WORST way in my neck of the woods.  Good luck and tight lines to everyone; unfortunately for me, no rain in the forecast for at least the next ten days.  I'm DYING over here fellas, somebody go get some for me ha!

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@Jig Rookie Agree we need rain. Get some fresh water in these lakes, especially the shallow ones. Island lake, where I fished on Sunday, has a max depth of 9ft and they did a weed kill a week ago. Fish are normally relatively easy to find. Places that always hold fish had none or just dinks. I didn't fish it as thoroughly as normal, because I had my 83yo dad in the boat. I also couldn't get the boat in some areas I wanted to because of the low water. On top of it, there was a bunch of "weed sludge" from the weed kill, that made fishing less than fun. 

 

I don't have much faith in the rain showing up. We're allegedly experiencing a "super" El Nino this year and the trajectory of the weather patterns had the Midwest and Central Plains drier than normal, and Northeast and Southeast wetter than normal.  

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3 hours ago, Jig Rookie said:

Has this season been as tough for everyone else as it has for me??

I was just thinking as I was driving home from the lake this morning how much this year has turned around.  Spring was as tough as any spring I've ever fished, but about four weeks ago the lights when on. I've been going 2 to 4 times a week because I'm hammering them for 3 to 4 weeks now.  Good numbers and excellent size. Fishing has been great here in the middle of the state.  It's going to make August and September hurt even more than usual.

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On 6/19/2023 at 3:14 PM, Jig Rookie said:

Has this season been as tough for everyone else as it has for me??  These high-sky/no wind/drought conditions have been royally kicking my butt; I'd definitely do better if I threw some finessier stuff, but I just keep force-feeding em jigs, frogs and big baits.  I've only caught three picture-worthy fish over the last month-plus: a 4.11lb on the Tiny Klash and a 3.7 and 3.11 on the frog.  Man we need a week of consistent rain in the WORST way in my neck of the woods.  Good luck and tight lines to everyone; unfortunately for me, no rain in the forecast for at least the next ten days.  I'm DYING over here fellas, somebody go get some for me ha!

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On 6/19/2023 at 5:43 PM, slonezp said:

@Jig Rookie Agree we need rain. Get some fresh water in these lakes, especially the shallow ones. Island lake, where I fished on Sunday, has a max depth of 9ft and they did a weed kill a week ago. Fish are normally relatively easy to find. Places that always hold fish had none or just dinks. I didn't fish it as thoroughly as normal, because I had my 83yo dad in the boat. I also couldn't get the boat in some areas I wanted to because of the low water. On top of it, there was a bunch of "weed sludge" from the weed kill, that made fishing less than fun. 

 

I don't have much faith in the rain showing up. We're allegedly experiencing a "super" El Nino this year and the trajectory of the weather patterns had the Midwest and Central Plains drier than normal, and Northeast and Southeast wetter than normal.  

Agreed. Need significant water level increases and fishy weather patterns. I brought this up to someone who immediately disagreed and was stearn on opinion it was solely related to water temp, not water level/other variables. I said, it's a factor and mostly affecting the topwater bite close to the bank, due to poor fish positioning or lack of fish positioning. My opinion is all the other seasonal variables that animals sense plays a larger role than water temp. Still my opinion and wasting my time with the discussion. I should've just send him a pic of a dry bush in the middle the desert. 

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5 hours ago, Fat Ika said:

 

Agreed. Need significant water level increases and fishy weather patterns. I brought this up to someone who immediately disagreed and was stearn on opinion it was solely related to water temp, not water level/other variables. I said, it's a factor and mostly affecting the topwater bite close to the bank, due to poor fish positioning or lack of fish positioning. My opinion is all the other seasonal variables that animals sense plays a larger role than water temp. Still my opinion and wasting my time with the discussion. I should've just send him a pic of a dry bush in the middle the desert. 

Agreed. The rock is already back down to its lowest levels last year. Positioning definitely is affected in rivers. In small streams it almost makes the fish better because they arent nearly as spread out, you can focus on holes. In the rock it definitely changes where i fish as the rip rap areas are dryed up to the point the water edge is pretty much in the channel. Just have to be flexible and change my locations/ approach. It also makes traveling the river more risky in a boat and i dont know if i could travel one side of the long island where i fish.

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20 hours ago, Bdnoble84 said:

Agreed. The rock is already back down to its lowest levels last year. Positioning definitely is affected in rivers. In small streams it almost makes the fish better because they arent nearly as spread out, you can focus on holes. In the rock it definitely changes where i fish as the rip rap areas are dryed up to the point the water edge is pretty much in the channel. Just have to be flexible and change my locations/ approach. It also makes traveling the river more risky in a boat and i dont know if i could travel one side of the long island where i fish.

Where do you fish the Rock? It's been quite some time since I've been there. I used to go walleye fishing at the Oregon Dam 

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On 6/3/2023 at 8:09 AM, Junk Fisherman said:

Braidwood

How do you decide which lake/where to start in Braidwood?

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2 hours ago, waymont said:

How do you decide which lake/where to start in Braidwood?

In May and June I usually stick to the Walleye Rearing pond area or areas by the north launch.  In June in particular, the water will be way over 90 as you go towards the south ramp.  I hit 100 degrees by the south ramp last June.  Even by the WRP the temps will be into the mid 80s.  I used to do better there in early June but I still usually go there once a season.  I'm focused now on Lake Michigan.  

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Finally got that bit of rain the other day; my pond levels went up maybe a couple inches, not a ton but really makes a difference in these ponds.  Took my own advice from my last post and decided to stop force-feeding them big baits--went finesse with the 5-inch Yamasenko and found a decent bite (18.5", 3.52lb).

 

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On 6/27/2023 at 8:30 AM, Jig Rookie said:

Finally got that bit of rain the other day; my pond levels went up maybe a couple inches, not a ton but really makes a difference in these ponds.  Took my own advice from my last post and decided to stop force-feeding them big baits--went finesse with the 5-inch Yamasenko and found a decent bite (18.5", 3.52lb).

 

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What rain do you speak of? LOL

 

It was pouring rain in buckets when I left work today in Morton Grove. I got home and had to water the garden because not a drop had fallen.

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On 6/19/2023 at 3:14 PM, Jig Rookie said:

These high-sky/no wind/drought conditions have been royally kicking my butt; I'd definitely do better if I threw some finessier stuff, but I just keep force-feeding em jigs, frogs and big baits.

Back in 2021 we had a very similar pattern. Nothing but high sunny skies, minimal wind, drought. No rain or low pressure to speak of for months. It was a brutal 2+ months for me that season too because ultra finesse fishing is not my jam.

 

That season the pattern shifted in early August and we got a series of rapid weather changes. The bite took off like a rocket too. Nothing but big fish on aggressive, power fishing.

 

Guess the point I’m trying to make is that if the pattern shifts there, the fishing should too.

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Caught this one over in Homer Lake a couple weeks ago in ~3 feet of water on a LC Moonsault 100.

 

Saw what seemed to be a large fish creating swirls in the water near some branches by shore, thought maybe could've been carp but I crept up and figured I'd try my luck. Threw the crank about 10 feet past all the commotion and slow-rolled it back, all of a sudden I thought I got hung up on the submerged branch before I felt that sharp tug and the fight was on. 

 

First 6 lber in IL for me, pretty happy about it.

 

Lost that same crank a week later at the same spot to someone else's cut-off line in the water, but that's life haha

 

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On 6/22/2023 at 6:31 PM, slonezp said:

Where do you fish the Rock? It's been quite some time since I've been there. I used to go walleye fishing at the Oregon Dam 

Well then you went where I go lol. I live right in town so its about as convinient as i get. I fish the whole stretch from the dam down to castle rock.

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I don’t know if any of you IL guys are specifically in the Chicago area but my brother said the northern portion of the city received about 9 inches of rain recently. That is a freaking monsoon.

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@gimruis Yes your brother is correct but the biggest problem is because we’ve been in drought mode for quite awhile the water isn’t getting down as far as it should which is causing our water table to be higher. My mother in laws sump pump was running so much I was worried it was going to burn out?

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On 7/14/2023 at 7:36 PM, gimruis said:

I don’t know if any of you IL guys are specifically in the Chicago area but my brother said the northern portion of the city received about 9 inches of rain recently. That is a freaking monsoon.

And all that rain still didn't bring our lakes and rivers up to summer levels

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12 hours ago, slonezp said:

And all that rain still didn't bring our lakes and rivers up to summer levels

It did in highland Il, for silver lake. Lake actually ran over for a bit. Which makes things look deceiving. Ground still has cracks, the grass has greened back up.  All our rain has come in big downpours.

pH in the lake is 9+. Weather man calling for 95 the next couple of days. 

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Hi everyone,

 

My name is Umair. I've been fishing since I was a kid but got more serious about bass fishing the past 3-4 years. I love fishing local suburban ponds, wading in the fox for smallies, and recently joined a fishing club which I've been enjoying competing in so far!

 

I'm a little bit of a gear junkie but it keeps me busy during the offseason for sure haha. Used to make my own baits but don't have the space to do so anymore at the moment. Will definitely get back to making them again once I get a bigger space. Possibly get into kayak fishing too.

 

Hope I'm not too late this forum. I see that it's been running for around 15 years now so I'm hoping that there's a lot of knowledge and anglers willing to share their experiences or advice on anything. I'm in the Chicagoland suburbs but if anyone wants a fishing buddy, whether it's pond hopping or in a boat, please feel free to reach out!

 

I'm looking for a couple ponds to fish that have more of a rocky bottom kind of similar to Vulcan lakes that I can fish from the shoreline in the suburbs. Want some more practice on dropshots, football jigs, and crankbaits. Anywhere with lots of laydowns and brushpiles would be another spot I'd like to practice at as well. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

 

Looking forward to meeting you guys on here :)

 

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Welcome aboard Umair, I’m  from New Lenox 

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