Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lost and Found!!!!!!

I have not posted in a while because I have been in a fishing rut but now that is all over. This morning was to be an epic journey that will not soon be forgotten!!!

Well me and a friend decided to go fish early today because he had some work to do on his new house. This was to be an interesting day for sure but started out unremarkably with me arriving at my friend's house at 5am. We were going out to Look Lake in Lake County to try and get some bass and or a northern because Dave has never caught a northern. The drive up was pleasant and we got to the boat launch as the sun began to rise. Dave forgot some stuff in the care but once he got his hat and glasses, the boat was fired up and ran great. We made it to the channel first and started to cast frogs in search of some early topwater action.

Topwater has been disappointing this year for sure but Dave got a blow up on his first or second cast and I thought this was going to be the ticket. We did not get anything after that and proceeded to move out a bit into 3-5fow to throw flukes. This yielded nothing as well. I was wondering, is this going to be a typical July outing for us???? Dave decided to throw on a shallow running bomber and within a few casts he got a nice almost 2lb largie. I decided that I wanted to use a KVD 1.5 chartreuse and black back and I got a good one that made up over 3lbs. We continued in 7-9fow and threw exclusively cranks and got steady action with largies for most of the early morning. Then I got a small hammer handle pike. We continued with out pattern until we noticed a change in the weed line where it was apparent weed killer had been applied. We went back to our starting position and began the troll again.

This is where things get interesting. On about the third or forth cast I see Dave hook a good one. The fish was not fighting hard so I thought it was a nice bass but it was his first northern and it was a nicer one. No hammer handle there. Now I had just casted out and began to retrieve when I saw this and recognizing it would be Dave's first northern, I sprung into action. I put my rod down and helped him land the fish. After some struggling with his sweatshirt, he had a nice 4lb northern that was pretty long and just as I gave him the fish to get a quick pic before releasing it, the unthinkable happened.

In the blink of an eye my Abu Garcia Veritas and Shimano Chronarch Combo is ripped over the transom of the boat. Now this was terrible and I think I was in shock as I saw the 500 dollar + combo slowly sink into the depths of East Look Lake. I was not paying attention however, in the distance as Dave maneuvered the boat with the Ipilot to get to where the rod entered the water, a nice little pike comes out of the water. I was ready to give up at this point because I was so depressed that one of my favorite combos just went into the drink. Long story longer, Dave kept his composure and 10 minutes later or so says, "Dude, I see it!!!!" I could not believe it and he expertly moved the boat into position to make the rescue. As we got to the rod, another pike jumped and we both thought this was weird and Dave said " Do you think there is a fish on your line. I said there is no way but as I reeled in the slack, there was a tug on the other end. We had unknowingly got our first northern double and this little feisty pike was the culprit of how my rod got ripped over the transom.

Moral of the story, never, and I mean never, leave a rod and reel with line and a lure out in the lake because you never know when a crazy little fish may come along and want your rig more than you do!!!!! This was a great morning of fishing with several bigger bass taken along with three nice little northerns. I took the reel home and she came apart for some maintenance and is now back in service. I have two vids one is the fishing portion of the morning and the second is just the chaos that ensued after the rod was stolen!!! Hope you enjoy the vids!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

East Loon Breakfast Slaunch Pike!!!!

Had some time in the morning to get out and planned to be a frog bonanza on some largies at East Loon Lake in Lake County. I had a friend Captain Jim in the FV Quack Kills and we were at the launch on West Loon at 5:30am. No problems there and we were the first boat to launch. It was a calm and windless clear morning, so the topwater bite looked promising. We got the boat launched and proceeded over to the channel between the two lakes and made our way into an endless field of weeds, lay-downs and lily pads. The water temperature was 67 and thought the frog bite would be on. Well that was not the case as we only had on blow up for about an hour of fishing.

We decided to head out into some deeper water on the edge of the first drop were some other boats had now gathered. We started with spinner baits and lipless crank baits in hopes that some of the bass were out in deeper water. Nothing again and I was begining to feel lost again like last week at Delavan. I read a post on another fishing website about using flukes on the first drop to lure in some hungry bass so I put a white fluke on. It was game on. In about 5 mins I had the first of five pike and one bass for me on. I was upset because the first pike did not make it onto the video because I screwed up when turning on my new GoPro Black Edition. After that the pike were hitting very aggressively and they were fighting mad. This was one of the best days on the water because all this action happened in just over an hour.

Just like they turned on, they turned off and we could not find the fish again. We fished until about 9:00am and the morning was great. Hopefully this pattern holds for another week or two so that I can get into em again.

Here is a vid of the morning and it was a good one!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Every Dog Has His Day!!!!!

...... And for me it was yesterday at Independence Grove!!!!! My friend Dave called me up and wanted to get out but after the beating I took at another lake on Sunday, I was not to keen on getting out. I was not going to go but he talked me into it and we began heading towards the lake at about 6pm. We got to the lake and the plan was to run and gun with fast moving lipless cranks until finding some active fish.

Well, it did not take long to find the active fish and on the second cast we had a double which we converted. Two casts later, I had another fish, and a few cast later, another!!!! And they just kept attacking the chartreuse sexy shad red eye like sharks in a feeding frenzy! We did get a few decent fish with Dave getting the biggest slauuuuuuunch of the night and it was probably a solid 2.5 to 3lbs. 

The final totals were 20 fish all together and I got 16 and Dave got 4 but he had big fish of the night. All of the fish came on the end of long casts in the transition zones between deep water haunts and the spawning beds. The fish seemed to be just outside of weed lines in 4-8fow and the lures were retrieved with a feverish pace. Hopefully as the weather warms and we get some stable temps, the big females will be appearing soon. Good luck out there and here is a video as always to highlight the outing. Enjoy!!!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Introducing, TIno Cam!!!!!

Well after yesterdays beating at the lake and not catching fish once again, I was thinking of how to mount a camera to my dog for hunting videos. I recently bought a new Go Pro Hero Black and this camera seemed to have more mounting options than my Contour Roam Cameras. I used the chest harness and that fit perfectly over his chest as well. The mount seems to be solid enough but I will not know until we get to next years hunting season and the system is put to the test in the field.

It just so happened that a cotton tail was sitting in the yard and when the Tino Cam was mounted, he instantly went out and pointed the rabbit. He only moved because I was giving him the ok to do so and you can see how he holds point. I cut out some of the video because he was holding for about 4 minutes. He is a great dog and can really hold point. Well here is the debut of the Tino Cam. More to come next waterfowl and pheasant season!!!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Red Eye Green Fish!!!!!!!

I tied on the old red eye shad and was off to Beck Lake with my dog Tino in hopes to get the first legal fish of the season. I must say I did not have high hopes because of the weather this year but I was going to try anyway. I also had a KVD 1.5 in red craw. I pounded the water to no avail and then it happened. A leviathan from the first deep drop came up and smacked the red eye and took off on a tear. I must say that it felt great to have a fish on this season because it has been tough. I recently read a piece from about using a square bill in shallow and it inspired me to get out. I would have thought this would have been the ticket today with the warm sunny temps however, the fish was on the end of a long cast toward the drop off.

I was running the red eye at medium speed and just keeping it out of the junk as the lure approached the shore. As I fought the fish I knew he was not a giant but just wanted to get the fish to the bank for my first legal of the year. Well I got him up and my dog was extremely interested in the fish. He stayed right by me as I took the pic of the fish and then seemed to be completely befuddled on where the fish went when I released it. This was really funny to see his reaction. Well nothing special but to me it was a great fish and I finally have the skunk of my back this year.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Warm Weather, Wind, and A Big Fat Skunk!!!!!!

Ready for a strike!
Last week was tough because of the cold temps and just not finding fish. This week however, was different because the temperature warmed up and I had high hopes with Sam gave me a call and said that he wanted to hit the river on Saturday. This was the plan and the weather held up and the water temps were sure to be warmer. This was encouraging, and my hopes were high for the day. I picked up my daughter from dance and was jacked up and had the boat ready to go. Dropped her off and away I went.

Now, at the time I left, the wind did not seem to be furious at all and I was thinking, this is great because I like some wind while fishing. I figured the temps would be up, I knew shad were moving up, and I thought the bass and eyeballs would be on the move. I got to Sam's house and could not believe the way the wind picked up. This could not even be considered moderate wind and surely the river would be severely blown up with the wind out of the South. Sam asked if I still wanted to go, and needless to say, we were off to the launch.

Got down to the river and could not believe my eyes. The wind was right down the main channel and there were full one footers with a two footer with whitecaps. I have never seen The Fox or any other river with this type of wave action. I still thought we would be able to find some fish with the warmer temps. It was tough just to get the boat off the trailer and I should have known what kind of day it would be. We trolled at first and our speed was perfect to no avail. We tried running down the river but it was reminiscent of the North Atlantic so I could not even do that. We found a stretch of river that went East, West and thought this would be the ticket for some action. The current was fast but the bottom was nice with chunk rock. We tossed square bills and lipless rattle baits again to no avail.

You can't see the height of the waves from this angle!

It was after fishing this stretch for a good while we decided to run the gauntlet back down stream to a bridge to flip the bridge pilings. Surely, there would be something hanging around the pilings waiting for baitfish to be blown into striking range by the current. Fished all the pilings and zip, zilch, nada, nothing!!!!!

We trolled a bit more and than readied to recover the boat at the launch that was right in the teeth of the wind. I knew this would not be an easy task and made the decision to drive the boat on because of the wind. I proceeded to back the boat out and she died. Something the Yammie rarely does and now I was at the mercy of the wind. I had no camera rolling at this time but sure wish I did. I know now the reasons for a bilge pump. The current spun me around and the waves were directly hitting the back of the boat and all it took to put about 3 inches of water in the bottom of the boat was two big waves and they crashed over the transom and got me soaked. I restarted her and made it to the trailer and miraculously got the boat on the trailer on the first try. My bilge was running full on and pumping a lot of water out of the boat and we made it. Another tough, windy day and for some reason this year the skunk will not leave me alone. Another great day to be out and I promise next time, Sam, we will get into em out there. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Here Kitty Kitty!

Easter morning got a chance to fish with a buddy and get his boat out for the first run of the season and ensure he was ready for the upcoming tournament season. It was sunny but deceivingly cold. When we got up by the launch it was apparent that the State of Illinois was still in hibernation because the launch at the state park was closed. We then went to another local launch that was closed for a different reason, ICE!!!! There was a bit of open water in the back channel however it was locked in with a solid inch of ice. Not looking good. We headed to our third launch site and struck pay dirt, a nice open stretch of the river.

After stopping to check out the first spot, the trolling motor had some minor issues that we quickly dispatched with some pliers and mechanical prowess. The boat was fixed and we proceeded to look for some suitable spots to fish. First spot, ICE!!! Second spot, ICE!!!! Seems like we were finding ice in the back channels but this did not stop us from fishing. I think we both have a problem. At one point my partner said that he could not believe that others were not out practicing for a tournament that is next week and I thought the same thing. If I was in a tourney, I would be out fishing. As I thought this to myself, it was evident that we definitely do have the same problem, because there were people on shore, and I bet they were saying, "Look at those two guys, I can't believe they are out fishing!" I guess that is the difference between fishing addicts and regular people. We had a laugh and then pounded the water in between ice flows. 

The boat ran great and was a very stable platform to fish from and it was a great day to go chase fish. The wind made it challenging with the current but the temps seemed right to run into an eyeball or two up at a local dam but they were still hibernating with all of the people that were not out. On the way in we stopped at a back water hoping for a toothy critter in spawning mode but got this nice Kitty Kat. I think the more I have been researching it is a Channel but I am not ruling out a blue because of the noticable blue coloring under the gills and pectoral fins. I am by no means an expert catfisherguy and the jury is still out as to if it is a channel or blue. Hope the spring arrives soon from its hiatus because this cold weather is just not conducive to me catching fish.

Here is a video of the boat running and a pic of the Kitty. I know it is nothing special however; it just shows the level of nerd I possess, because I just love the rooster tail that thing was throwing up!!!!

Well thanks for tuning in, and hope I get some videos that actually produce some nice footage of fish!!!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The morning started off like any other pheasant hunting morning. Got up, got Tino out to do his business and then it happened. My buddy Bill came over and Tino was happy to see him. In his jovial moment. Tino hit Bill's bumper and cut himself deeply. The weird thing was that Tino was not bleeding and I did not even find the ensuing cut. We made our way out to Quarrry Ridge Hunt Club were Corey was putting out birds frantically.

As we made our way out to the field, Tino made sure that every bird was discovered and flushed a bird that was not ours. No problem, because you can't keep this dog off any bird. He has an amazing nose and finds everything within a country mile. We finally made it to our field and Tino went to work. He pointed bird after bird but within about a half hour it was apparent, Tino suffered a very deep cut to his ribcage. Tino did great and pointed out all of our birds, but definitely had a bad cut on his side on his ribcage.

We finished our last hunt and I am sure Tino was as disappionted as we were, but it was over nonetheless. Tino was not in good shape suffering the cut as well as some internal problems from that pheasant that ran him into the trees early in the video. The hunt was great and me, my uncle, my cousin, and friend Bill did great. Tino, despite his injury did not fail to impress and pointed out all the birds. We however; did miss a few and showed that we need some shooting practice.

Now it is on to fishing season but be assured, Tino will be out practicing for next waterfowl season and yes, he is a pointer, however; pointers can be great waterfowl dogs too!!!! Wait till next year and I will show you. Thanks for tuning into my blog, and don't forget to check out my youtube channel.

So I got the video to upload. Here it is, enjoy!!!! Sorry about the video being sideways, I forgot to realign my Contour Roam's lens because the camera was on my bow last. I know it really narrows things down and will not forget this in the future.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Early Season On The Fox

Got out today and was hoping to find some water temps out of the 30's however; with the weather over the past few weeks, that was an impossibility. Met a new partner in crime at about 9:40 because I missed the turn off to his house and hit the river. We started in 4 fow looking for any fish up close to cover because the river was high and fast. Nothing was happening and we used several different lures to try and hook into a smallie or eyeball. We stayed out for about five hours and did more searching and looking for promising spots for warmer weather.

One bright spot was this Bald Eagle that we saw several time during the outing. He seemed to be upset with us as we moved in on the tree that he was sitting in. The eagle flew off but that was great to see so close to home. I know he is kindof hard to see but my current camera lacks a good zoom.

Also I did hook into something large at the end of our trip and never did get to see what that fish was. It hit tight to the lay down we were in front of and made its way around the boat into the deeper water. As I tried to life the fish it just hugged the bottom and would not budge. The fish eventually headed back into the shallower water and then the hook pulled. Even though I did not land the fish it was great to have something on and something that big. We fished for a while after that and then called it a day. Hope the temps come up soon and trigger some spawning action. 

On another note it was great to meet another fellow fishermen that could stand the cold temps and really fish the area extensively. Good to meet you Sam and we will definitely be getting out more as the season progresses.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Winter continues to hang on!!!!

Well I was hoping to have a tale of many fish but it was not meant to be. Another fisherman and I planned to do some winter smallie fishing on The Fox River however, there was ice over the whole river on Sunday morning. This was disappointing but I have just seen the forecast for the next three days and apparently we are going to get somewhere between 5" to a foot of snow! Oh well, I guess after last year's drought, we need all the water we can get.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to get out on some spawning pike and pre-spawn eyeballs and smallies. I am on a quest to catch a mount worthy specimen to hoan my taxidermy skills on. Now I am catch and release only so I will be doing a reproduction of the fish so that I can return the monster (when I catch him or her) to the river. I will be keeping you guys posted as to my progress in this area. Hope to get one quick because we all know the best time of year is right around the corner. Until ice out, I will be patiently waiting. The boat is ready to go, now I just have to put her in the garage so the inside does not fill up with this foot of snow we are going to get in the Chi-Town area

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So this is my first post and venture into the world of blogging. I have some affiliation with other blogs and have been somewhat non-existant on those sites and for that I am sorry. Time just seems to slip away so fast especially with going back to school and working. I have been documenting my outtings on youtube with video documentation that ranges from fishing and hunting, gear reviews, and taxidermy. Yes, I completed three ducks that came out pretty nice and will be doing more of them next hunting season. I am also planning on reproducing fish as well and we will see how that goes as the year wears on.

I recently bought a new compound bow, a Hoyt Spyder 30 because last year when I purchased my fishing/hunting boat, I sold my Diamond Marquis to finance that project. I have never had a flagship bow and was dead set on a Mathews Creed, however; when I shot all the different bows that the archery shop had available the Hoyt Spyder 30 was the best feeling out of the lot for me.

I went last Sunday and sighted the bow in at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee Illinois and they have a nice setup for archery there. The only criticism of the range was the lighting was not very good and it was wierd because it was difficult to see the arrows in the targets just downrange at 20-27 yards. A minor issue for sure and they were doing some maintanence and gave me and my cousin both a free half hour of range time. They have a nice elevated area to shoot from and even have a mock treestand mounted on a fake tree to shoot from. This is important is you are shooting from a tree stand. I got the bow sighted in and took some video of the whole thing.

So I will be updating as often as I can and I hope that you will find some entertaining and valuable substance in my blog entries. Thanks for taking the time and visting my blog! Hope to see you back often!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Just a test to see how this blog may look. I am interested in creating a blog to document my hunting and fishing adventures around the Midwest and beyond!