Friday, October 2, 2009

A Surprise on the River

Des Plaines River - October 1, 2009

My plan for today was to go to LaSalle Lake, but the cloudy skies that were forecast were nowhere to be found, so I opted for the Des Plaines River instead. The clouds showed up eventually, and fishing was pretty good.

Fishing Tackle

I ran upriver first. The tugs were already busy moving the barges around in the fog, and there were noticeably more geese flying. The increased number of geese is a sure sign of fall.

I got to my first spot and beat it up pretty good. Eventually I hooked into a good fish… and lost it. That was it. I took a few of those crank baits out and removed the sure-set treble hooks and replaced them with standard hooks. I caught the next fish I hooked, but it wasn’t as big. I threw a few more casts and hooked one of the biggest shad I’ve ever seen.

Gizzard Shad

I ran back down river and stopped several hundred yards above one of the places where I had caught fish during the last trip. I started fan casting the area and caught a couple fish right away. They were a little nicer than the previous one I put in the boat.

Largemouth Bass

I continued working my way down towards what was the magic spot last week and got a few more Largemouth. The average size seemed to be a little better than last week too. After I got one real good Largemouth, I headed down river to one of the discharges, but it wasn’t pumping. I fished the area anyway but didn’t catch anything.

One of the better Bass of the day

On the way back upriver, I stopped well below of the spot where I was catching fish earlier. I caught two nice ones, but that was it.

Largemouth Bass

I decided I’d run back to my first spot and see if anyone else was home. Lucky for me a nice Northern Pike was there and willing to hit the crank bait. That was a big surprise since 99% of what we catch in that spot are Bass. I couldn’t interest anyone else in the plastic worms or tubes so I called it a day and headed back.

Northern Pike

It was a fairly chilly morning that started out in the low 40s and made its way up to the mid 50s. The water temperature was cooler than the past several trips and ranged from 70 to 76. With the breeze, there was no taking off the jacket today. In fact, I had to dig out my gloves after taking a couple of casts.

Belted Kingfisher

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