Smallie hunting

Excellent fishing opportunities in the western suburbs.

Smallie hunting

Postby jonny2can » Oct Tue 13, 2020 8:10 pm

Headed out early afternoon to west branch. Started at the dam in naperville. Caught around 6 bass. Mix of smallies and largies. Nothing special just smaller sized bass. Only one other guy fishing opposite side. We kinda had a understanding without talking to each other to switch back and forth between fishing right in front of dam and fishing the rapids just a stone throw from the dam. Both spots were holding fish. Rapids seemed better but hard to get a aggressive hit. Few rides on the line but no hooksets. Other guy left gave me a wave goodbye and i had the dam to myself for about an hour. Then a kid came up to the dam ready to go. Three rods and a bunch of tackle so I gave up the spot to him. Moved up north to the next structured park and was regretting giving up the dam but 15 minutes in got a nice 16 inch smallie to hit my swimbait. Fun fight. Pic, measured and weighed and put back in. Pic came out crappy but didn't want to keep it out of water longer than needed. Caught two more in general area but a bit smaller. Good to hook into some dupage smallies. Been too long for me.
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby RonG » Oct Wed 14, 2020 12:39 am

Super very nice! :clap: :thumbup: :thumbup: :clap:
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby joetrain » Oct Wed 14, 2020 4:47 am

Yeah that’s a good one. :D
~JOE~
ad maioram Dei gloriam
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby ganz1960 » Oct Wed 14, 2020 6:08 am

Very cool. Nice fish and report.
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby jmdog2003 » Oct Wed 14, 2020 9:58 am

Fall smallies :thumbup:
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 14, 2020 12:27 pm

Bridges and brown bass go together like peas and carrots.
Nature and shit.
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby grems » Oct Wed 14, 2020 12:56 pm

Nice catches! I fished the downtown river walk area after work and tied into a nice smallie about the same size, wow do they put up a great fight for sure. Lots of rock bass too, the bigger ones are fun.

That dam is a popular spot, I often see people on it and below it, nice of you to let the kid have it. Good to hear you caught a largemouth too, impressive diversity of fish out of there.

I got blanked the only time I've tried that new bridge earlier this year when the water was super high but I couldn't wait, great to see it produced some decent catches for you. What were they biting on? Did you wade or stay on shore? I like to get in the water but shore access is pretty easy there. The water is so low right now that muck boots are all you need to access most of the river.
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby DPMike » Oct Wed 14, 2020 5:03 pm

Nice job!
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby BrookeT » Oct Wed 14, 2020 5:31 pm

Well done! Karma still exists in the age of CoVid
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby jonny2can » Oct Wed 14, 2020 9:12 pm

Been meaning to get to the Riverwalk but I try to avoid people when I'm out. Any spots there to recommend? Some day i will get there. I've been doing well with a bluegill flash keitech swing impact 4" swimbait. They practically catch any species. Just durability is beyond awful. Lucky if they last more than one fish. I bought a package of white pearl but had far less success with white this year for some reason. There wasn't much need to wade north of the dam since shore access allows you to cast anywhere needed but you are right about the muck boots. I didn't wear my boots yesterday cause wasn't planning on wading and releasing this smallie I stepped into a muddy spot and sneakers got covered in mud. Wading this section looks like it would be tough. The restoration added tons of huge boulders and water levels are random. I wanted the go north of this bridge cause there are some nice rapids but a couple kayaks were practicing their river rapid tipping and making a lot of noise.
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby jonny2can » Oct Wed 14, 2020 9:16 pm

I would recommend pioneer park. South of lot is ideal for wading. Had good luck with wading that area in years past. Haven't been back this year though.
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby cyanatic » Oct Thu 15, 2020 11:51 am

Nice smallies! Good job!
Good fishing,

Steve

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-Harry Middleton-
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby Rambler » Oct Thu 15, 2020 3:30 pm

Very good work.
Keep calm and fish on...

There's a fine line between fishing and just sitting there looking stupid
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby grems » Oct Thu 15, 2020 6:39 pm

Jonny, various paddle tails have been the ticket for me too. Agree that there are too many people on the Riverwalk but I live super close and am lazy so I just put up with them! I fish the whole downtown stretch and just keep walking and casting, it amazes me that fish seem to hold just about anywhere, especially under present conditions. It would be so simple to just walk right up the middle, but I would attract too much unwanted attention and probably get chased out so I stick to the sidewalks. I'm sure other stretches hold bigger and more fish, but like I said it's convenient and easy so I keep going back. Hope to see you out there sometime!

Here's a brute I caught the other night (I go after work and it gets dark early now):
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby jonny2can » Oct Thu 15, 2020 9:21 pm

Nice dusk small jaw! Probably a dumb question but don't laugh too hard. Where is the best place to park for the riverwalk? Think I seen 2 hour parking signs at one lot but 2 hours fishing is three words i never use together :)
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby grems » Oct Fri 16, 2020 2:07 pm

I actually have never checked the parking time limits, maybe I should!

I usually use the municipal lot on Eagle St. where I always find open spots, and there is a smaller public lot next to the Walgreens that fills up faster with restaurant traffic but usually accessible on weeknights.

All of it will be ripped up pretty good over the next few years as they continue to add walks, access, overlooks, etc. as part of a long term improvement plan, so eventually I will be forced to go further up and down the river. But I'm still amazed at the quality and diversity of fish in that glorified drainage ditch...
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Re: Smallie hunting

Postby mike son » Oct Sat 17, 2020 8:33 am

Solid smallies!

Grems - night fishing for smallies on the riverwalk sounds fun! I hadn't even considered it.
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