Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blustery Day at Braidwood

Braidwood Lake - March 28, 2010

Clouds and light rain at Braidwood Lake

The goal today was to test the new Lower Unit. I put the boat in the water and everything worked fine. Everything worked fine that is - until the engine alarm went off. I looked back and saw the outboard was not spitting water so I powered it off and used the trolling motor to fish a little by the boat ramp.

A 12 inch Largemouth about to be released

I managed to catch a 12 inch Largemouth very quickly. The wind would catch the lures and take them quite a distance which allowed me cover more water rather quickly. I didn't want to get far from the ramp in those conditions so I stayed tight to the bank and worked my way down the shoreline.

Best fish of the day

A short time later I caught a real nice Largemouth that was almost 20 inches long. It put up a good fight.

No sooner did I release the fish when I spotted another boat that looked like it was going to move in to the bank in front of me. It made another quick turn, then pulled up along side me and two IL Conservation Police Officers proceeded to check my fishing license and inspect my boat for all the required safety equipment. They made sure I had life jackets, a throwable cushion, a working fire extinguisher, a horn or whistle, and they also checked my live well to make I didn't have any undersized fish or more than the allowed limit. Mine was empty and I had everything I was supposed to have so I was good to go.

Rain moving down the lake

After working my way down the bank a little I decided to fire up the outboard again and when I looked back it was spitting water like it was supposed to. I ran at just above idle for quite a ways with no alarm before I decided I'd go check out one more spot further away. Just as I got there, the alarm went off again so I shut the engine down right away. It didn't sound for more than a second or two.

I fished until I was sure the engine had cooled down completely before I decided to try to head back. During that time I caught and released an 8 inch Largemouth and lost a smaller one. I had a tough time getting the motor started which told me it was probably still a bit warm. As I was struggling with it, the two Conservation Officers pulled up again and offered to follow me back to make sure I didn't get stuck out in the wind. I got the motor started and it was spitting water again as it was supposed to. I made the run to the ramp but when I turned around to look at the motor I didn't see any water coming out so I didn't wait for the alarm and shut it down, then went the rest of the way using the trolling motor. I was almost right in front of the ramps anyway. I called a good friend and he agreed to take a look at the boat for me within the next couple of days. Since the lower unit was just replaced, he thought he had a good idea what might be wrong.

Despite the engine trouble, I was very happy that the lower unit issue was resolved. That worked like a charm. I caught a couple fish including one real nice one, and the clouds and rain departed leaving sunny skies and warmer temperatures in their wake.

Interesting clouds over an island


  1. Great report and awesome photos. I hope you get the impeller problem fixed.
    Tight lines

  2. Glad to find someone who is bass fishing, on the trout blogs. I enjoyed your post on landing some bass. I am going to become one of your followers because I like to read post concerning warm water fishing------along with trout fishing. I like blogs who focus on more than one species of fish. I am one of those blogers who covers more than one fish species.

  3. With any luck, my next trip will be for Musky, Walleye, and Stripers.