Friday, July 10, 2009

Monee Reservoir - July 10, 2009

More photos from today:

Great morning for Fishing

I went to the Monee Reservoir this morning for a couple hours. I was planning on fishing the shoreline for a little bit before the rain hit, but the rain looked like it was going to hold off for longer than I originally expected so I rented a boat. On the way into the parking lot, a buck almost ran right into my truck. He crossed the street and was across the field in no time flat.

Heading out in the rental boat

There were already several boats out by the time I got on the water. The sun that was barely visible by the time I got there was becoming more obscured by clouds with each passing minute. I have no idea what the water temp was but I’m guessing the upper 70s. There was also some algae bloom visible.

Lily Pads

I noticed more Bullfrogs this time out than what I’ve seen there for the past few years. That’s a great sign.

I started out by catching a real nice fish. It hit a crank bait that broke on the next cast. The front of it was cracked and it split in half.

4.5 lb Largemouth Bass

I tied another one on and caught a couple smaller Largemouth.

2nd fish of the Day

I saw a guy catch a nice Bass on the other side of the section I was fishing (same guy who took a couple pictures of the big fish for me – Thanks!). Shortly after that I tied into a good one on a plastic worm. I thought it might have been a big catfish by the way it was fighting. It made several powerful runs and was probably one of the strongest Largemouth Bass I’ve ever fought. When I saw it I was really wishing I would have brought the net that I have specifically for fishing that place.

6 lb or better Largemouth Bass

I got the fish to the boat and was able to lip it on the first attempt. After a few photos, I lowered it back into the water and it took off with a splash of its tail fin. I got the brunt of it right in my face too. That was ok though because it let me know the fish was no worse for the wear and tear I put on him.

Released to fight another day

I took a few more casts and realized it was time to turn the boat back in. Perfect timing too as the rain was just starting.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Des Plaines River - July 6, 2009

More photos from today:
I took my neighbor and his son to the river to do some fishing today. What a great time! Fishing was slow by my standards but there were enough bites to keep us going after them. Just like my previous trip to the river, I struck out at the first couple spots, but Mike scored the first fish which was a nice Bluegill at spot number one. We were quickly displaced from that spot by a tugboat that needed to get into our spot so it could tie up to a barge parked nearby.

First fish of the day

We didn't spend much time at spot number two either. We saw a lot of Gar porpoising which got our hopes up, but we caught nothing but water. At spot number three (which was where we caught most of our fish the previous trip), we finally started seeing fish. We tried throwing some night crawlers at some of the Carp and Drum we saw along the banks but we only managed to spook them.

I changed the way little Mikes pole was rigged and a short time later he was yelling "I got something". He sure did. His pole was bent way over and there was a big fish pulling on the other end. I got the net out and scooped up the fish for him, then handed him the net so he could pose for a couple pictures with what turned out to be the biggest fish of the day. It was a nice Freshwater Drum.
Best catch of the day
A short time later we set Mikes dad (also Mike) up the same way (as I should have done in the first place), and he started catching fish. I caught a couple fish on the crank bait I was throwing too.

One of my fish

Mike caught the first Largemouth of the day.
Mike with a Largemouth Bass
While we were in that area we saw a few snakes including one that was curled up in a tree over the water.

Snake in a tree

Big Mike caught a few more fish in that area before we moved on again. I think I caught one more Drum in the next spot we tried, but since nothing was happening, we moved to one last spot. Here we found a lot of fish.

The guys caught.........

Largemouth, ......


a small catfish,......

Green Sunfish, ......

and more Bluegills.

We would have like to stay longer but it was getting late and I wanted to take them for a ride to see the rest of that section of the river. We traveled between the Brandon Lock in Joliet to the Dresden Lock in Morris.

While riding in the boat we saw a deer along the shoreline with a little baby nearby. We saw the same thing from the car on the way home too. There were all kinds of egrets, herons, and other birds like belted kingfishers all along the river. We missed the turtles and other creatures I sometimes see but with this being the busiest time of year on the river, those creatures usually come out very late in the day.

Two deer by the water

The water temp was 78 in most places with it being in the 80s at the discharges we went by. Just like last time, the bright sunshine wasn't helping us catch fish, but the breeze that developed later in the day sure made it a nice day to be out on the water.

One more fish in the boat

Des Plaines River - July 3, 2009

Photos from this trip:

Chris and I got an early start. We got to the river and hit the "usual" spots only to strike out. After a while of throwing lures and catching nothing but dirty river water, we moved to a spot I haven't fished for a while and finally found fish.

Before we got there, we saw the coolest thing. A raccoon climbed up an access ladder to reach a conveyor belt that moves material across the river from one power plant to another, then hopped a ride across the river. Smart creature - I wouldn't want to swim in that river either. Every cast we made left a mist of black spray on the white surface of the boat from the line flying off the reels.

We spent some time moving around the area where we found fish. Chris tried a few different lures and caught fish on a couple of them before settling on the same thing I was throwing. He even caught a Northern Pike that I was able to get one photo of before it snapped his line and flopped over the back of the boat into the water with his lure. Same thing happened with a couple other fish, but the important thing was that he got them in the boat.

We didn't catch a lot of big fish, but there were enough to keep it interesting. We later went to try one of the discharges and there was more current flowing out of it than I've ever seen. The only spot where we would have been able to fish it from already had a boat on it so we moved on and tried an area I'd never fished before. By this time the river was a zoo. There were a lot of pleasure boats, water skiers, and jet skies. How folks can get in that water is beyond me. It amazes me that the fish do so well.

We hit the road and got the boat home and then scrubbed it down, inside and out. The water temp was in the mid to upper 70s with the discharge being only 80 which was 10 degrees cooler than the last trip. The bright sunshine we had most of the day didn't help the fishing, but we made the best of it. I was able to get some decent photos of some of the wildlife we saw including snakes and birds. that always makes for a worth while trip.