Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Evening at Ogden Slip

Sunset at Ogden Slip
One of my students has been wanting to go fishing with me for a while- apparently I post about fishing a lot on Facebook and make it look real fun- so today was the day I obliged him. I figured it would be good to put him on some fish, and so far I haven't been skunked at Ogden Slip. Set a meetup time of 5:30pm, and hopefully we would catch some fish!

not bad!
Left work, grabbed some Jimmy johns, hopped on the #29 to navy pier, and in a few short minutes I was at the spot. Pick arrived a few minutes later. I warned him about the no fishing sign, the security guard, and the imminent threat of hard prison time if we were caught fishing there, but he was game! So fished we did.

We didn't slay'em, and they weren't huge, but we did catch some fish. Over on the north side of Ogden Slip, the part where the security guards have a standing order to keep people from fishing, I ended up landing the first beast. A fair sized, maybe 10" largemouth that gave a great fight. Nice! I got in on, you guessed it, my prized tube jig. A few weeks ago that tube saved the day, catching a myriad of species- including catfish- so of course I had to bust it out first.

Pick's rock bass
Soon Pick had a fish on, an awesome looking rock bass. The rock bass at this spot have the most gnarly coloring, so gnarly at first I didn't know they were rock bass. Figuring my fishing guide duties were satisfied, I proceeded to catch a bunch more bass.

Actually we had to move right after Pick's first fish. A guard came over (not the cool one who is ok with us fishing there) and told us we had to leave. I figured I had two choices: fight it, as we certainly were in the right and should be able to fish there, or just say ok and move. I didn't want to spend any precious fishing time arguing, so I just said ok and we headed over to the other side.

We saw some weird looking fish coming toward the surface, looking like they were eating the algae. Of course I had no idea what they were.

There were no fish (besides tiny bluegills) over on our side, and it was difficult to cast to the other side. I needed some more weight. I switched out my tube for a wacky rigged dark purple 6" senko- with a bullet weight. I've never seen anybody rig a wacky rig like that, but hey I needed more weight!

Sure enough I was able to easily cast all the way to the other cement overhang so the worm was actually on the ground, then lightly yank it so it fell off the edge into the water. I've read about crayfish living in the piles falling into the water and the bass are accustomed to the sound, so I thought maybe that would get their attention.

Around this time Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass (and Sun Times contributor) showed up on his boat with his dog Molly.  Always cool to run into a friend! Especially since he hipped me to the spot. He told us about a big fish he fought for 20 minutes last night right at that spot, and at the last minute it snapped the line. Oh man, I would have loved to see that. I started to dream of hooking into a coho some random weekday after work, and that's when I noticed some resistance on my lure. Snagged again, I moved to get it free... And it moved! Fish on!

check out the pattern on this guy
It was another nice bass- not huge, but a good fighter. After a quick fight, I got on land.. As he flopped around I saw my senko fly into the air, plop on the surface, and do that awesome horizontal sinking thing they makes them such great lures. Although I much prefer to have my line attached to then when they do that.

I was happy to catch a bass in front of the maestro, then I noticed he was also throwing a wacky rigged worm. I told I hadn't seen him with his wacky rig, I just wanted to try it.

It's so great to catch a fish regardless, but it's even better to successfully land one using new techniques! This was my first wacky-rig catch, and it was definitely working. I caught two more nice bass, both around 10", both on wacky rigged worms. One was on a senko, the other on a random brown worm I happened to have. Is this what "dialing in" is? If so, maybe that's what I was doing.. Finding out what the fish wanted today, and using that info to catch them.

I felt bad Pick wasn't catching tons of fish, but at least we had some action. We decided to head back to the first spot - in front of the no fishing sign- and try and catch us some more fish.

I caught one more bass over there, bringing my total to 4 bass for the evening. 1 on a tube, 3 on a wacky rigged worm. See, I DO use more than just my beloved tube jigs!

On Jeff's suggestion, I wanted to try the water under Lake Shore Drive (he had just landed a nice fish over there), and Pick decided to call it a day. I headed over there, tried the wacky rig and the tube, but nobody would commit. It was getting late anyway, and I had to catch a train, so I called it a day as well. 

I packed up my stuff, walked to the #140 bus stop, and waited. A real nice evening of fishing, and always great to have a fishing buddy or two!

Maybe Pick will get obsessed with fishing like I am. What if his work in my class suffers because of fishing... Would i lower his grade, or raise it for fishing extra credit? I think it would probably depend how many bass he caught.

what a cute little guy (the fish)

1 comment:

  1. If only my teachers gave me extra credit for fishing...maybe then I would have been accepted to a real school like Harvard or Yale. Love the determination and patience while teaching others. Great stuff.


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