Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Fishing information and reports for for the rest of the Cook County Forest Preserve District waters.

Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby cyanatic » Jul Sat 04, 2020 8:35 pm

I wanted to start trying out some of the lakes in my area (Niles/Morton Grove) that I haven't been to before. I went to Techny Prairie Park the other morning and decided I also wanted to hit Lake Shermerville and Lake Potawatomi. For what it's worth, here's a report from what some old fishing buddies and I used to call a "NFGMF" (No Fish Getting Mother ******)

Lake Shermverville -- Went there with the wife on Friday afternoon, just to do a scouting expedition. Air temp was close to 90, bluebird sky, and it was about 2 pm, arguably the worst possible fishing conditions imaginable.

Man-made lake (aren't most them in this area?) with a rimmed wall most of the way around. I parked in the lot off of Sanders Road and walked over to the southeast corner. There's a bridge over the west end and then a small pinched bay but I didn't walk down there to check it out. I don't think they allow boats or yaks. The north shore is all private homes and inaccessible (unless you live in one of them). There were a fair number of still fisherman sitting under the occasional trees that dot the park. Not much vegetation to speak of. From the southeast corner of the lake and up along the eastern end there were a lot of overhanging trees. The most promising spot looked to be along that bank so that's where I started. Water was very stained and silty looking. There's a few drainpipes on the east end so I wonder if this was still runoff from the last series of storms or maybe the lake is always like that. I used a black buzzbait with a dark horny toad trailer to start. Worked the bank, then fan casted around the whole area, including parallel to the south wall. I did see the occasional blowup and some baitfish close to shore. I swtiched to a watermelon wacky with a chartreuse tail. When I'd bring it up, I couldn't see it until it was just a few inches below the surface. Visibility was very low. Bottom in that area is not very weedy, I didn't have anything drag or catch. Spent about 40 minutes trying other lures (spinner bait and chatterbait) and then we left. I'm not sure if a dawn expedition might yield anything from that area but it looked promising.

Potwatomi Lake -- Went there about 9 am on the morning of July 4th. Nice looking little pond, very similar to some pond fishing videos I watched on YouTube by Flukemaster the night before. There were a few people working some laydowns on the west end. I headed to the east end so my wife could sit in the shade. Water visibility was very good, maybe 4-5 feet? Again, I started out with a buzzbait, worked my way around, then came back with a weedless rigged watermelon senko. A lot of mossy weeds. Did see the occasional blowup and even spotted a bass hunkered right in the shallows at my feet. So at the very least I know there's at least one bass in there. Tried dropping a ned rig in front of him. He didn't even flinch and showed no interest. The bluegill on the other hand would chase everything including my line itself. I've probably watched one too many videos on catching bass in ponds, but I wonder if Potawatomi might be a good candidate for a dawn trip.

So, no fish to speak of but I thought I would share some information about these two lakes in case anyone wanted to check them out some day.

One weird thing that did happen at both places is that I have apparently lost the ability to tie a decent fishing knot. I've been using an improved clinch knot for tying on hooks and lures since I was 12 years old. Everything from 4 lb test for trout and panfish up to 20 & 30 lb test for tuna and dorado in the Pacific. Never recall ever having a problem. At Shermerville I was heaving a brand new Cavitron buzzbait I just bought at Fish Tech in Morton Grove. I also had on a brand new Gamakatsu trailer hook and a brand new Zoom horny toad. After about 10 casts, I watched my buzzbait fly off the line and go sailing into the lake. The same thing happened this morning at Potawatomi with 1/8 oz Ned rig. I think I've been keeping my finger in the first loop to keep it big instead of just letting it close down normally before I pass the tag end through. I've had to drag the knot down to the eye with my thumbnail to cinch it properly and maybe I'm weakening the line and it's snapping on me or it's pulling out because I'm not tying it correctly. Very embarrassing to admit but it's driving me crazy. I just reviewed a video on the improved clinch and I know for sure that I'm doing it wrong by keeping my index finger in the first loop. For splicing fluoro or mono to braid I've been using either a double Uni knot or a GT knot. So far those have held fine, thank goodness.

Happy Fourth of July to everybody!


ImageLake Shermerville 3 by Steve, on Flickr

ImageLake Shermerville 2 by Steve, on Flickr

ImageLake Shermerville, Southeast corner, southern bank with trees by Steve, on Flickr

ImageLake Potawatomi looking west by Steve, on Flickr

ImageLake Potawatomi east and laydown by Steve, on Flickr

ImagePotawatomi east end by Steve, on Flickr

ImagePotawatomi Bluegill spawning beds by Steve, on Flickr

ImagePotawatomi Bass in shallows, upper left corner of photo by Steve, on Flickr
Good fishing,

Steve

" Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it"
-Harry Middleton-
User avatar
cyanatic
Game Fish
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Sep Thu 18, 2008 6:27 pm
Location: Morton Grove

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby joetrain » Jul Sun 05, 2020 5:08 am

Nice pictures and report. As far as the knot dilemma do you lubricate the knot before tightening and how old is your line?
That is strange that something you have been doing successfully for a long period is now not working for you.
~JOE~
ad maioram Dei gloriam
User avatar
joetrain
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 3154
Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby Rambler » Jul Sun 05, 2020 10:29 am

It's cool to search out new places - especially these day. Guess you missed my posts re Potawatomi last year when I was still running the granddaddy shuttle service. I found it to be surprisingly productive for such a small pond.

Re knots - try tying palomars. Improved clinches are fine with mono but flouro and braid are too slick for them. There are lots of on-line vids on how to tie palomars.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Keep calm and fish on...

There's a fine line between fishing and just sitting there looking stupid
User avatar
Rambler
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 4912
Joined: Sep Wed 03, 2014 1:25 pm
Location: Near West suburbs

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby cyanatic » Jul Sun 05, 2020 11:22 am

Rambler wrote:It's cool to search out new places - especially these day. Guess you missed my posts re Potawatomi last year when I was still running the granddaddy shuttle service. I found it to be surprisingly productive for such a small pond.


"Grandaddy shuttle service"? :lol:

Yes, I did miss your posts! Nice bass! Gives me hope that I might find one in there. The vegetation is different in midsummer of course, but where you're standing looks like an area I tried working yesterday morning. I will definitely be giving Potawatomi another try. Smaller 1/8 spinner bait like you used or a Pond Magic buzzbait seems like they're appropriate for this body of water.

joetrain wrote:Nice pictures and report. As far as the knot dilemma do you lubricate the knot before tightening and how old is your line?
That is strange that something you have been doing successfully for a long period is now not working for you.
~JOE~


Rambler wrote:Re knots - try tying palomars. Improved clinches are fine with mono but flouro and braid are too slick for them. There are lots of on-line vids on how to tie palomars.


Thanks guys! Joe, you and Rambler are right, I didn't lubricate. And the leader on my St. Croix 7' medium/fast is the last few winds from an old spool of fluorocarbon, probably 4-5 years old. I'm waiting for a delivery from Tackle Warehouse. Among other items, I bought some 30lb high vis PowerPro Spectra braid and some 10lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro. I use 8lb mono on my light rod. And it's probably time to at least try a Palomar.
Good fishing,

Steve

" Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it"
-Harry Middleton-
User avatar
cyanatic
Game Fish
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Sep Thu 18, 2008 6:27 pm
Location: Morton Grove

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby Rambler » Jul Mon 06, 2020 9:56 am

Granddaddy shuttle service - last summer my daughter who works in Arlington Hgts was on maternity leave after having our 2nd granddaughter. Our 1st 1 was in pre school in prospect Hgts & her mom din't want to upset her schedule so 2-3 days a week I'd take her to school, spend the day fishing & pick her up later. Got in some good fishing.

BTW - I caught a bunch of bass at Potawatomi and Cap. Wright Woods on buzzbaits. Keep up the good work.
Keep calm and fish on...

There's a fine line between fishing and just sitting there looking stupid
User avatar
Rambler
Ichthyoid Artimus
 
Posts: 4912
Joined: Sep Wed 03, 2014 1:25 pm
Location: Near West suburbs

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby JasonN » Jul Mon 06, 2020 11:12 am

I've fished Shermerville a handful of times a few years ago. Got a few bass but nothing to write home about. I'd heard from credible sources that there's northern in there, but don't know for certain.
Jason W. Norris
Managing Editor - WindyCityFishing.com
User avatar
JasonN
WCF Managing Editor
 
Posts: 5348
Joined: Oct Sat 08, 2005 9:29 am
Location: Niles, IL

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby cyanatic » Jul Mon 06, 2020 3:41 pm

Rambler wrote:Granddaddy shuttle service - last summer my daughter who works in Arlington Hgts was on maternity leave after having our 2nd granddaughter. Our 1st 1 was in pre school in prospect Hgts & her mom din't want to upset her schedule so 2-3 days a week I'd take her to school, spend the day fishing & pick her up later. Got in some good fishing.

BTW - I caught a bunch of bass at Potawatomi and Cap. Wright Woods on buzzbaits. Keep up the good work.


Grandchildren, that's nice! I'm not quite at Grandad status yet, but I may get there eventually. Potawatomi is earmarked for an early morning trip as soon as I can swing it. I like the look of the lake.

JasonN wrote:I've fished Shermerville a handful of times a few years ago. Got a few bass but nothing to write home about. I'd heard from credible sources that there's northern in there, but don't know for certain.
It's a nice enough lake, but not on the top of my priority list to return any time soon based on what you're telling me. Thanks for the info!
Good fishing,

Steve

" Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it"
-Harry Middleton-
User avatar
cyanatic
Game Fish
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Sep Thu 18, 2008 6:27 pm
Location: Morton Grove

Re: Lake Shermerville and Potawatomi Lake

Postby Grain » Jul Mon 06, 2020 8:28 pm

cyanatic wrote:One weird thing that did happen at both places is that I have apparently lost the ability to tie a decent fishing knot.


Have you considered something like this? :D

hook.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Grain
Fishing Fanatic
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Jul Tue 12, 2016 11:34 pm
Location: Buffalo Grove


Return to Other Cook County Forest Preserve Lakes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest