Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fishing in the wind and the rain

Wading in the rain

Sunday afternoon I found myself standing in the water on the Fox River, watching storm clouds fly far over my head. Occasionally they decided to open up and sprinkle me with water. Thankfully there was no thunder or lightening, so I stayed in the water fishing.

Counting up my trips now, I count this as my 45th fishing trip since January 1. That's a lot of fishing! But just like saxophone or anything else, practice makes perfect.

I worked a slightly different stretch than I usually do (thanks for the tips Ken) and it was great to do some exploring. This was my first time wading where I started in short sleeves (got my waders in October) but I quickly put on a sweatshirt on account of the hurricane-like winds.

Storms coming...
Lately I've been torn between working one lure in many different ways or many different lures more quickly... This trip I gave each lure about 20 minutes each to prove itself, trying to find out what the fish wanted. I mostly stuck with white jig and twister and olive tube jig, but I also threw a white spinnerbait, crankbaits, and a swimjig. I actually got hits on the spinnerbait, but they were surprisingly light. I mostly fished a particular seam, as well as an area right next to a rock wall.

They were hanging right up against the wall
I had it on good authority that there might be fish in this spot... I stood here for quite some time, throwing lures into the wall and watching them plop down into the water. My first cast here I got a hit right on the drop, but couldn't connect. Second cast with my olive tube jig, and a smallie smashes it like a semi running over a watermelon!

Chunky Fox River smallie
This one put up quite a fight too- I was surprised it didn't jump out of the water though... So far none of the smallies I've caught this year have done that. I guess the water is still a little cold- I bet in a few weeks they'll be back throwing my hook like in October.

What are these bones from?
Taking a break from fishing, I did a little exploring and found a bunch of interesting bones. They seemed like fish bones, but I couldn't figure out where on the fish they would come from... I wondered if they were the work of a lazy fisherman or a hungry animal.

Then I noticed a lure sitting on the rocks a few inches from the bones, which made me think it was the work of a fisherman. Looked like a lure a smallie would go for. I don't have anything against people keeping legal-sized fish for the table- but I always think of the smallmouth bass as a game fish, a fighting fish, not really for eating. I hope this one was of a legal size, if that's what the bones were from.

And I hope it was tasty, whatever it was. That's actually one of my greatest worries about harvesting fish- catching a nice fish and not giving it the honor of a delicious preparation.

If it's a nice fish with a nice fight, the least you could do is cook it up real nice out of respect.

Another new lure
Turns out this was my first found lure on the Fox! The lip was gone, but I have lure making supplies at home... I could fix it. It occurred to me that only one of the crankbaits I've been using was actually purchased by me- all the rest were found while fishing or kayaking. I think it evens out when I think about how many expensive lures I've lost on the first cast.

After about four hours of fishing with only a few light bites and one fish, I decided to throw in the towel and head home.


  1. I hope you took those bones home. That's too cool to leave behind. If from a fish, which is likely, it would explain all the clean bite offs I get in that area.

    As for the devilish details, just write your stories. I don't particularly care if you were running a particular type of lure with swapped out custom hooks at 2.75 feet in 4 feet of water. Damn, I almost fell asleep making that up.

  2. I would have snagged those bones as well, my wife hates my pack rat like tendicies. Keep the smallie pics coming, largeandsmall. There is not a lot of places to catch them out here an I miss seeing them. Keep it up Chris.


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