Opeka 5-19 & 20

Lake Opeka at Lake Park - Des Plaines, IL
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Opeka 5-19 & 20

Postby Brett » May Mon 21, 2018 10:00 pm

Finally remembered the portable sonar and headed out to Opeka for my first full fledged outing, except the sonar wouldn't turn on. No big deal, I know Opeka quite well as you might guess and am fine with an excuse to upgrade from my 1985 fishin buddy. Unless I can fix it ;). Anyway got there and the water is pretty high. Did the jerkbait thing for a bit and picked up a couple of green sunfish. Got a couple last summer when the water was up like this, I only see them in those conditions at Opeka. After not finding a bass up the entire western shoreline, I switched to a shaky head and power worm (7" per Aux Plaines) and targeted the same steep drop offs on the way back, just working the bottoms of them this time around. Picked up a dink. Also got a very nice bass up to the boat and lost it trying to seal the deal. Would have been top 5 for me easy. I have come to realise I have a problem landing big fish. I'm pretty good at keeping pressure on and winching them to the boat but I'm doing something wrong boatside and have lost most of the best fish I hook into. Would love to get out with someone and take some pointers or something. Anyway had a good time, and a more productive day Sunday which I'll post about later. No internet yet at the new place, sucks typing on my phone.

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Re: Opeka 5-19 & 20

Postby Aux Pleins » May Tue 22, 2018 3:04 am

Good stuff Brett. Almost went down there last Saturday. Good chance I'll be there this weekend. Only pointer I can give on landing big bass is, try to copy what the pros do in their tourneys. They absolutely set the shit out of the hook followed by a super sonic retrieval to the boat. Sometimes you go boat flip, sometimes you go net. However, an absolute cure for an unbuckling fish might just make you a millionaire.
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Re: Opeka 5-19 & 20

Postby Brett » May Tue 22, 2018 6:37 am

Thanks. Sounds like what I currently do except the last part at the boat which is interestingly enough where it all falls apart for me. I've started yanking them up by grabbing the line which is working well so far but no big ones yet. I have to say I would wince a little trying to flip them up on a medium power rod.
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Re: Opeka 5-19 & 20

Postby Brett » May Tue 22, 2018 10:38 am

Sunday. Cold front, wind, 61 degree water was warmer than the air. After detecting a shift in location of the bass Saturday I came rigged for the ground game, with a jig and pig and shaky head, also a deep diving jerkbait tied on which I just receieved and wanted to play with. I started back in the deep corner in the same spot I hooked up with the lunker yesterday that got away. Nothing on either jig for an hour or so along several spots back there. I know the area is holding fish and the wind is blowing to the shore so I took off the jerkbait and tied on a spinner and worked open water too. 90 minutes or so with that still nothing. Decided to move to shallower structure on the western shore and got a dink on the spinner. After that I kept hitting similar spots with the spinner, a Fred roumbanis boom boom plus swim jig, and the shaky head (lost my 2 lead jig n pigs on the rocks and decided to sit on my tungsten). Picked up 4 or 5 more fish, all presentations contributed. Best was on the shakyhead and it was a fun battle. When my lure hit the water I noticed it draped over something which I figured was rock and going to saw me off. At the same time the lure got smashed as soon as it hit water. Turned out it was a tree branch I cast over and had a good time horsing him back over it and out of his corner. Males Seem a bit bigger this year so far btw.

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Last fish was a dink, tore up the power worm and i had to pick up the gf from work so I bit the head off (the worm) and threaded it back in the shaky head like a grub and trolled it to the docks. Right by the very slight point by the boathouse it was crushed. After a couple second stalemate battle whatever it was came loose. Bent up the jig pretty nice though.

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Started as a brutal cold front with strong northerly winds and no action. Soon as the wind let up and thing calmed down it started up quick. Seems they are eager to get things going, looking forward to the long weekend and bringing the lady out on the boat.
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Re: Opeka 5-19 & 20

Postby grems » May Tue 22, 2018 12:28 pm

Had to be a hawg to bend out the hook like that, hope you get him next time.
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