West Branch 4/11

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West Branch 4/11

Postby SpecialEd » Apr Mon 12, 2021 8:24 am

I was up at 4AM on this Sunday, waiting for a call from our charter captain to confirm or cancel a planned Lake Michigan fishing trip for me, my brother, and my brother-in-law. It wasn't till around 6:45AM that he finally made the decision to cancel the trip due to weather conditions. It sucked to lose out on this trip again. It's been 4 years in a row that this trip with my brothers has been scraped due to weather. The worst part is that all day long I kept seeing reports come in from Chicago and NWI. Relatively calm water, waves less than 1ft, light winds from the East/Southeast... it might be time to find another charter service.

Anyway, I was frustrated and still wanted to fish. It wasn't until about 9:00AM though that me and my youngest were finally packed up and out the door to fish, we just took our time getting ready I guess. It didn't help that I had to switch gears from having my gear ready for L.M. smallmouth to DuPage River smallies. Same fish, totally different situation though. We knew what we wanted to fish with, that was an easy decision.

A few weeks ago, him and I started pouring our own soft plastic baits. It spurred from necessity actually. One of our favorite lures for catching Duper smallies is a 2.5" ribbed mini swimbait that is part Charlie Brewer Slider, and part Keitech Swing Impact. StankX used to sell these but they've since stopped selling baits and only sell the molds now. Anyway, my last order from them before they quit was dwindling and I needed to find a way to get more. I ended up buying the mold for it, and 2 other sizes. Then I needed plastisol, and colorant, and glitter, and a microwave, and, and, and... long story short, I now own about $500 worth of bait making stuff. :shock: (so if you want some custom plastics, LMK... it'd be nice to recoup some of this investment :lol: )

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We rigged up some of the green/watermelon black flake w/ivory belly 3.25" swimmys on jig heads and gave them the old clip-on spinner treatment in order to keep the jigs higher in the water column while maintaining a slow retrieve. This proved to be deadly on the Dupe that morning.

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I cracked a handful of smallies in the areas we fished all on the same bait, and my youngest cracked a few more than me. Including his biggest smallmouth to-date.

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He was super excited and made quite a commotion on shore when we were finally able to land the big ole girl. I think he may be watching a bit too much Mike Iaconelli! :lol: We took some pics and released her back into the Dupe to reproduce and get bigger so we can catch her again when we fish there next time.

It's been a lot of fun the last few weeks tinkering around in the garage with him, picking bait colors, glitter/flake combinations, and going through the learning process together. I hope we can continue to work on this stuff together for years to come. Fishing with baits you made yourself has an extra layer of enjoyment added to the experience.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby FishinMatt » Apr Mon 12, 2021 8:40 am

Wow, PB with a homemade bait. Your boy is lucky to have such a great teacher.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby grems » Apr Mon 12, 2021 1:13 pm

Sorry about the cancelled trip but what a great way to salvage it, super cool your boy caught his PB on baits you made together! Nice looking fish.

I would have been out on the Dupe myself yesterday but got volunteered to do yard work for my in-laws, hope to get back out on the water this week. Might have to try adding a spinner myself, slow retrieves are mandatory but it seems like every cast comes back with weeds already.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby joetrain » Apr Mon 12, 2021 2:42 pm

Very cool. Getting them on your own baits makes it way cooler.
~JOE~
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby billebob5 » Apr Mon 12, 2021 4:36 pm

I'll take a 3 or 4 inch firetiger and same sized anything white/white pearl if you have them or can make them. Seriously let me know!
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby mike son » Apr Mon 12, 2021 9:12 pm

Nice fish and pics! The first two patterns on those swimbaits remind me of gummy worms lol. Was there a lot of that green stringy algae floating? I was on the main dupe for an hour last week before the rain and it was bad, covered most of the bottom of the river as well.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby matt_ski » Apr Mon 12, 2021 10:03 pm

Solid fish and solid baits. Those gobies swimmies got my attention. Next time I plan to head that way I will shoot you a pm.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby Aux Pleins » Apr Tue 13, 2021 5:46 am

Fishing trip canceled due to weather. I know that feeling all too well. Way to make up for it on the local stream dad.
Nature and shit.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby SpecialEd » Apr Tue 13, 2021 8:22 am

billebob5 wrote:I'll take a 3 or 4 inch firetiger and same sized anything white/white pearl if you have them or can make them. Seriously let me know!


Those baits pictured are 3.75" length. Those firetiger are available and I have a few variations of white pearl:
1) plain white pearl
2) white pearl with blue-green iridescent highlight (hint of blue-green when viewed at an angle)
3) white pearl with silver flake

Bags of 10 baits are $5, so gimme a quantity for each color. I'll have whatever you need poured and bagged Wednesday evening. I can ship on your dime or meet you in the burbs near Naperville/Bolingbrook for a pick-up before the weekend if you want.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby SpecialEd » Apr Tue 13, 2021 8:24 am

matt_ski wrote:Solid fish and solid baits. Those gobies swimmies got my attention. Next time I plan to head that way I will shoot you a pm.


Sounds good. I have a few color variations going with those goby baits. I'll try to get some pictures of them up in a new post over in the trading post sub-group.
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby Rambler » Apr Tue 13, 2021 9:14 am

Great post. Suggest you try selling your stuff on eBay.

Be sure to specify 'Made in USA' and that you're a veteran.
Keep calm and fish on...

There's a fine line between fishing and just sitting there looking stupid
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby SpecialEd » Apr Tue 13, 2021 10:49 am

Rambler wrote:Great post. Suggest you try selling your stuff on eBay.

Be sure to specify 'Made in USA' and that you're a veteran.


:thumbup:
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby RonG » Apr Tue 13, 2021 11:17 am

Home school special education field trip. Excellent!
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby billebob5 » Apr Tue 13, 2021 1:07 pm

SpecialEd wrote:
billebob5 wrote:I'll take a 3 or 4 inch firetiger and same sized anything white/white pearl if you have them or can make them. Seriously let me know!


Those baits pictured are 3.75" length. Those firetiger are available and I have a few variations of white pearl:
1) plain white pearl
2) white pearl with blue-green iridescent highlight (hint of blue-green when viewed at an angle)
3) white pearl with silver flake

Bags of 10 baits are $5, so gimme a quantity for each color. I'll have whatever you need poured and bagged Wednesday evening. I can ship on your dime or meet you in the burbs near Naperville/Bolingbrook for a pick-up before the weekend if you want.


1 bag fire tiger
1 bag white / blue
1 bag plain white pearl

PM me your address and I can pick up this weekend
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby CBatt2 » Apr Tue 13, 2021 2:59 pm

"Meet me in the parking lot. I'll have a bag of White-pearl, and a bag of Fire-Tiger."
I've never heard anything legal, sound SO illegal, in my life!! LOL!
Seriously though, good luck with sales, and nice smallies!
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Re: West Branch 4/11

Postby SpecialEd » Apr Tue 13, 2021 3:38 pm

CBatt2 wrote:"Meet me in the parking lot. I'll have a bag of White-pearl, and a bag of Fire-Tiger."
I've never heard anything legal, sound SO illegal, in my life!! LOL!
Seriously though, good luck with sales, and nice smallies!


:lol: :lol:
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