DPR - The skunks continue

From the south suburbs to the northwest suburbs, the Des Plaines River provides some excellent fishing opportunities.

DPR - The skunks continue

Postby cyanatic » Jan Sun 17, 2021 12:57 pm

I've fished the DPR about once each week for the last 6 weeks. Nada. I've tried a section around Glenview that was a good producer for me, but all I've managed to accomplish is muddy boots and the loss of a brand new Blue Fox Vibrax spinner.

I also tried a section of the river in Des Plaines near a dam and sacrificed a Panther Martin spinner that I had previously caught pike with.

I even bought a number of new spinners in various sizes and color combos hoping that the flash might produce a strike. Mepps, Blue Fox, Rooster Tail. Also bought several packs of flukes and rigged them weedless. Never used them before. I love the action on them and I was sure no self-respecting pike would be able to resist. But the drought continues. Not that it matters because that's fishing and I still love getting out there. My enthusiasm and optimism about "next time" remains.

Conditions in both locations have been about the same. Even with the snow, water levels haven't been real high, but the visibility is still not what is was in late summer, early fall. 1-2 feet at best in Glenview, and often a little less than that. I've also tried rattling spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, squarebills, and chatterbaits.

Hope you guys are having better luck!


ImageDPR Des Plaines by Steve, on Flickr


ImageDPR Glenview by Steve, on Flickr
Good fishing,

Steve

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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby Rambler » Jan Sun 17, 2021 1:34 pm

Haven't been fishing in a few weeks. Good to see you're getting out there.

Try slowing down your retrieves.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby jmdog2003 » Jan Sun 17, 2021 11:32 pm

Some of the best stuff about winter fishing is the scenery and solitude. Fish are a welcome bonus, but certainly not the only enjoyable part of the quest. And just getting out beats what I've been doing. Staring at the same walls and packing on pounds.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby jonny2can » Jan Mon 18, 2021 8:55 am

Not too seasoned on the DPR but there got to be some warm water discharges holding fish this time of year. Maybe others will share.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby joetrain » Jan Mon 18, 2021 9:01 am

There is a discharge in the Gurnee area.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby joetrain » Jan Mon 18, 2021 9:08 am

In the past I have parked in the highlighted area. Walked to the river and waded both sides of 120.

To the NE is a discharge. A bike on the trail will get you close. When the ground is frozen would be a good time to avoid the mud.

~JOE~
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby joetrain » Jan Mon 18, 2021 9:13 am

Here’s the discharge. I have parked in this highlighted area as well.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby Aux Pleins » Jan Mon 18, 2021 12:31 pm

I can attest its been one of the slower winters for me as well. Usually you can count on 1 or 2 big bites out there. But its been tough and its odd because conditions haven't been bad at all. I'm probably just being pessimistic because I haven't been out as much as usual.

Good luck the rest of the way. You are due!!!
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby cyanatic » Jan Mon 18, 2021 3:36 pm

jmdog2003 wrote:Some of the best stuff about winter fishing is the scenery and solitude. Fish are a welcome bonus, but certainly not the only enjoyable part of the quest. And just getting out beats what I've been doing. Staring at the same walls and packing on pounds.


Agree! I used to hate winter mostly because of the lack of fishing or other outdoor activities. Fish or not, I've been going out on a fairly regular basis and it really makes a difference in my mental attitude. And yes, the solitude. One of my neighbors saw me heading out with my fishing gear on Saturday and couldn't believe I still fish at this time of year. Since November, I haven't seen anyone else fishing the spots I've been going to on the DPR.

joetrain wrote:In the past I have parked in the highlighted area. Walked to the river and waded both sides of 120.

To the NE is a discharge. A bike on the trail will get you close. When the ground is frozen would be a good time to avoid the mud.

~JOE~


Thanks Joe! I've been wanting to head up north for a while now and this gives me a new destination to check out.

Aux Pleins wrote:I can attest its been one of the slower winters for me as well. Usually you can count on 1 or 2 big bites out there. But its been tough and its odd because conditions haven't been bad at all. I'm probably just being pessimistic because I haven't been out as much as usual.

Good luck the rest of the way. You are due!!!


I'm usually pretty optimistic. Maybe it's the way the pike were slamming my lures the first few times I seriously fished the DPR a few months back, but I always feel like there's a good chance. That feeling of them suddenly nailing a buzzbait or a spinner gets my blood pumping.
Good fishing,

Steve

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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby Skifish1 » Jan Tue 19, 2021 7:08 am

DPR pike is not fishing like it use to, like compared to several years or so ago. Increased fishing pressure, mortality, and some people keeping fish. Unmanaged urban river that's unfortunate for the pike. Anyways the mild winter has made it such that the fishing is easier. I'm catching pike fishing cold water sections i fish in summer. Put the spinners away. Think large stop and go lures you can fish slow. For winter you still got to cover a lot of water and think 1 bite per hour average.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby joetrain » Jan Tue 19, 2021 7:48 am

^^^^ Joe is right about the stop and go. Those flukes are that style of bait. I would use larger ones 6-7 inches. I always preferred white or pearl something in that family.

Suspending jerk baits are good too. Because of the cost I would use a wire, titanium or some type of leader. Even 100lb mono.

Don’t discount a buzz bait in the winter. It was rare but I have nabbed a few pike in the dead of winter on a buzzer. Could be worth it for a search bait. If a fish happens to swirl on it follow it up with the fluke.

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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby joetrain » Jan Wed 20, 2021 6:58 am

Steve I tried to reply to your pm with a picture but I kept getting an error message. The picture posts here though. Weird.
D519E2E4-210A-4591-91C5-AC4C61F91B46.jpeg


Anyways I don’t know what hook size I use. I like the hook gap to be wide enough that the hook point protrudes out of the body of the bait. No need to bury it. I have also added a small treble for a stinger hook.

Winters here are good. Hovering around freezing in the morning but warming up to 40-50s maybe 60 in the afternoon. Since before Christmas I switched over to catfishing. https://www.windycityfishing.com/forums ... 66#p968556

We had a good amount of rain a few weeks ago and the Corp has been pulling water out of the lake since. It’s now about 3 feet lower than normal pool.

I’m a novice at catfishing but from what I have read skunks or 1-2 fish a day are what’s to be expected. I have had those days and multiple fish days too.

One other positive is I no longer own a snow shovel.

~JOE~
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby ccorso » Jan Wed 20, 2021 3:33 pm

I've been out a handful of times this winter and have come up empty every time. It's interesting to hear that I'm not the only one. Hopefully the luck will turn around sooner or later for us.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby Peter Piper » Feb Fri 26, 2021 6:08 pm

yesterday skunked by washington st gurnee, fukin fence on the north side of the bridge and still got ice by wadsworth today. should be a good spring. say it.
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby cyanatic » Feb Sun 28, 2021 12:51 pm

Peter Piper wrote:yesterday skunked by washington st gurnee, fukin fence on the north side of the bridge and still got ice by wadsworth today. should be a good spring. say it.


Good to hear that someone's out there, regardless of the skunk. I'm headed out to DPR near Glenview right now just to be able to wet my line.

joetrain wrote:Steve I tried to reply to your pm with a picture but I kept getting an error message. The picture posts here though. Weird.
D519E2E4-210A-4591-91C5-AC4C61F91B46.jpeg


Anyways I don’t know what hook size I use. I like the hook gap to be wide enough that the hook point protrudes out of the body of the bait. No need to bury it. I have also added a small treble for a stinger hook.

Winters here are good. Hovering around freezing in the morning but warming up to 40-50s maybe 60 in the afternoon. Since before Christmas I switched over to catfishing. https://www.windycityfishing.com/forums ... 66#p968556

We had a good amount of rain a few weeks ago and the Corp has been pulling water out of the lake since. It’s now about 3 feet lower than normal pool.

I’m a novice at catfishing but from what I have read skunks or 1-2 fish a day are what’s to be expected. I have had those days and multiple fish days too.

One other positive is I no longer own a snow shovel.

~JOE~


Sorry I didn't say "thanks" earlier Joe. Looks like you might be using a 5/0, maybe a 6/0? I use a Superline 4/0 Gamakatsu with the standard size flukes.
Good fishing,

Steve

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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby Aux Pleins » Feb Sun 28, 2021 2:22 pm

1 or 2 pike on my last 3 kayak outings, all February. Seen Skifish out there. Got 2 bass in one outing the other day from shore while using a Jake for pike. I thought that was interesting.

Screenshot_20210228-132431_Gallery.jpg
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby cyanatic » Feb Sun 28, 2021 6:52 pm

Aux Pleins wrote:1 or 2 pike on my last 3 kayak outings, all February. Seen Skifish out there. Got 2 bass in one outing the other day from shore while using a Jake for pike. I thought that was interesting.

Screenshot_20210228-132431_Gallery.jpg


Dang! Good for you, Aux! Nice job.
Good fishing,

Steve

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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby Rambler » Mar Mon 01, 2021 10:07 am

Nice bass!
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Re: DPR - The skunks continue

Postby JB » Mar Fri 05, 2021 3:28 pm

I’m with Skifish. Over pressure, dated regs and people keeping fish. IMO those 3 reasons will put an end to an exceptional fishery.
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