Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Fox River - Northern Illinois
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Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby AL-Quatics » Apr Mon 09, 2012 5:58 pm

Let the wife have a girls' night out on Saturday & opted to stay home with the boy & clean the house prior to company coming over on Easter Sunday. Am I a nice guy & stellar husband? I'd like to think so, but I had ulterior motives, which involved waking up early Sunday to fish without the boss freaking out about last minute cleaning & house prep.

Stepped into the river just after 7 & stepped out around 10. Water down enough to allow me to explore to my heart's content (finally). Casted along the way to my desired spot to no avail. Once there I threw spinnerbaits, cranks, & jigs w/ only a 12" bronzer to show for it. The spot is large enough that I dissected it for quite awhile, but eventually gave up when the fish did not cooperate & the lack of signs of food being present drowned my confidence.

Looked at my watch & decided to press my luck w/ another 1/2 mile wade down river. Casted a pearl/olive Clackin' rap along the way, tying into something heavy next to some wood & deep water as I finished clearing up a bird's nest. Battle was hard but short as it came unbuttoned - had the feel & strength of a toothy critter or a kit-cat. Nearly walked into an unsuspecting water snake coiled up in a tree branch - his reaction indicated he was startled; if he only knew what the guy w/ shit in his waders felt...

Rounded the bend & made it to my destination: A wide bend in the river where the water goes from about 7' up to a quick bouldery riffle & large gravel bar that varies from 18"-36" in depth. Conditions seemed ripe for the picking, but it wasn't to be. Ran into a school of 10"-12" channel cats sitting shallow that loved my X-Rap shad. Finally found a mini school of "Mega-Dinks" that wanted a jig & Gulp Crawler bounced off the bottom. Landed 4 in short order & lost a better fish on crawfish colored crank. Looked at my watch & the long wade against the current ahead of me & called it a day.

Began bombing casts with the craw-crank upstream & parallel to the bank & cover on my way back & was finally rewarded with two very nice & VERY HARD fighting Smallies that were beneath a mid-stream log jam. Both went arund 17"-18" - Took my only pic of the day with the first of the two:

DSCN0694.JPG


Headed home to start cooking the ham & prepping my stomach for the feast to be. River's in fine shape by me, & even though the level is perfect, a little fresh water couldn't hurt. Water has cooled considerably in the past couple weeks - where I was comfortable in shorts a little while back, long underwear beneath my jeans & double socks still had me feeling the chill. I'm sure the fish are feeling similar, so don't let the early Spring fool you into summer tactics out there. It's still the first half of April. Until next time, good fishing.

Alex
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby WaterGuy » Apr Mon 09, 2012 6:22 pm

Great report!

Looks like we'll get plenty of rain this weekend..hopefully not too much.
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby jwojo2 » Apr Mon 09, 2012 6:38 pm

AL-Quatics wrote: but I had ulterior motives, which involved waking up early Sunday to fish without the boss freaking out about last minute cleaning & house prep.


If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy........ :D

Nice fish and write-up. And you're right about not getting fooled into summer tactics. I've done better bouncing on the bottom and fishing pretty slow. Fish do seem to be eating, though, in preparation for the spawn.
"Do or do not....there is no try." - Yoda
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby Ken G » Apr Mon 09, 2012 7:22 pm

You tell a good story, always liked that.

I've been concentrating on the second half of the days, but you gotta go when you can.
The fish seem to take as long to wake up as I do this time of year.
I've noticed the bug hatches have been intense around 4-5 PM everyday and the fish turn on.
Caught a smallie on Sunday with it's mouth so full of bugs I don't know why he hit the lure. There was no room for it.
Nothing like having a smallie puke bugs all over you.
Stand still like the hummingbird.
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby RamblingBen » Apr Tue 10, 2012 7:38 am

I really enjoyed this read, thanks for the report.
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby AL-Quatics » Apr Tue 10, 2012 9:11 am

Thanks Ken, really appreciate that comment coming from you, especially considering I've been enjoying your posts & blogs since the days of the Fox being a foreign place to me & the pike on the DPR being a relative secret of mine.

And yes, I had meant to point out the observation on the fish activity & time of the day. Definitely increased as the sun got higher, especially on the shallow gravel bars. Half knew this going into my excursion, but like you said, go when you can.

You once said that sunset always seems to last longer than sunrise, which I find to be completely true. However, ignoring what either time means for quality of fishing, there's something about waking up with the river & all it's critters that is uniquely irreplaceable.
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby Ken G » Apr Tue 10, 2012 1:20 pm

AL-Quatics wrote:You once said that sunset always seems to last longer than sunrise, which I find to be completely true. However, ignoring what either time means for quality of fishing, there's something about waking up with the river & all it's critters that is uniquely irreplaceable.


Writing things down all the time, going on for years, can be tough. A lot of guys have disappeared that I thought were good writers. I much prefer the observations over the technical details. I know how to fish and what to use, but there might be something I didn't notice and you did and it might help. Don't make it a chore, write it down like you talk and it just becomes part of the conversation. For me, I have to edit out all the swearing :D
I cringe when I read my stuff from 1998-99. I'll probably cringe when I read the current stuff 10 years from now. I still keep hacking away.

When my daughters were young, I'd be out before sunrise and home by the time they were stirring out of bed, usually late. Then I'd spend the day with them.

Now, who needs dad around.

Besides, I'm much more alert at the end of the day.

Next full moon, get out there before daylight and fish by the light of the moon. Used to do that up from the mouths of creeks using topwaters. About as good as it gets.
Stand still like the hummingbird.
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby AL-Quatics » Apr Tue 10, 2012 1:50 pm

Family is part of the reason I default to early jaunts also. Work too much during the week to give them quality time, so I sneak out early to the river & am back by brunch.

Already got May 6th circled on my calendar (ok, created an event on my Google Calendar). Pre-dawn moon-lit smallies it will be!
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby Boogaloo » Apr Wed 11, 2012 8:58 pm

Real nice post Alex!
A Day without fishing
is like a day without.........
well, I don't want to
think about it!
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Re: Easter Egg & Smallie Hunt - 4/8 Report

Postby Dos » Apr Wed 11, 2012 10:05 pm

RamblingBen wrote:I really enjoyed this read, thanks for the report.



Agreed, enjoyed this post very much.
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