Mike Matlock and I had the boat in the water at Braidwood before the sun was up thanks to the fact that the gate was opened early. Our goal was to catch a few Largemouth Bass. Braidwood is a cooling lake for the Braidwood nuclear plant so the water is artificially warmed. When we launched, the air was 24 and the water was 57.
My First Largemouth of the DayWe ran to our first spot and started catching fish right away. My first fish was nothing to really brag about but a short time after he was released I hooked and lost a real good fish. We took that as a good sign. Mike started out-fishing me at least 2 to 1, and he also tied into a big carp that we brought into the boat to make sure we got his lure back.
The Sun Peeking over the Hills
By this time the sun was starting to show itself above the horizon. The wind wasn't too bad and once the sun came up, the air warmed into the 30s quickly. It hit the mid 40s by late afternoon.
Despite the frigid morning air, we saw a few turtles on logs. The water on their shells had frozen, but quickly melted as soon as they returned to the warmer water.
Mike about to Release a Chunky Largemouth
We continued catching fish on plastics and crank baits. I tried tubes and plastic worms and struck out while Mike had the magic touch and landed a few fish on the plastic worms. I had a couple fish hit the worm and tube I was throwing but failed to hook anything. I had no trouble getting them to hit my crank baits.
One of many Deer we saw today
We saw a lot of deer as we went from spot to spot. From the time we got there to the time we left we saw flock after flock of migrating geese. All were heading north.
We tried a couple more spots that failed to produce anything and as the day progressed, the bite slowed down.
In one spot I managed to have a Carp hit my crank bait. It was a little smaller than the one that Mike had landed earlier in the morning.
Mike with a Nice Fish
Mike continued to out-fish me despite not having fished the lake in years. There was just enough wind to make fishing plastics tough in some of the places we really would have liked to, but we did the best we could.
My Best Fish of the Day
On the way back to the ramp we found out the hard way that I had a bad prop seal (due to hitting fishing line) and all the gear lube had leaked out and was replaced by water. We were still a good distance from the ramps and had to use the trolling motor to get back. It took us a while but we made it. A friend of my sons came over and dropped the lower unit and suggested it might not be as bad as it sounds. We'll have to wait until he gets it back to the shop for the verdict. I'm without a boat for the time being though.