I made a comment on another thread that I've been fishing, just haven't had any report worthy outings. Between having a pretty good day today, being able to report on a neglected lake, and having the chance to kill some crickets on WCF, I figured today's the day to break my silence.
I took some time today mulling over where to fish after work on this damn near perfect day. I've been meaning to check this place out since Heddon's son had his tournament here to hopefully get on some off-river smallies. The sun was up and bright, and although I figured this time of year they'd be deep I thought maaaaybe there might be a few up close to shore. The drive from Lake Forest to Crystal Lake was about an hour, putting me on the water a little before 4 PM. I set out with a Bruised Green Pumpkin Jackhammer, my spinning setup which alternated different types of worms, and my topwater setup with a 130 size Whopper Plopper for when the sun started going down.
I quickly saw how insanely clear the water is here. I didn't think to tie on flouro leaders, but I figured if I go awhile without a catch i could always tie em on. 9 minutes later, I already hooked into one. Ended up being my biggest of the day at 2 lbs. 10 oz. I lost my qualms of having straight braid as my chatterbait setup was sporting 50 lb. braid and I still got bit quickly.
Headed east toward the end of the trail and quickly hooked into 2 more, 2 lbs. 9 oz and 2 lbs, respectively. Headed back west and got one more that was in the mid 1 lb. Region. After noting that there were a lot of activites heading west of the beach, I decided to retrace my steps east. At this point, the sun was down enough to start chucking the big Whopper Plopper. Ended up having a swing and a miss and one hooked, but due to my piss poor left to right hookset I lost it before I could ever get eyes on it. Shame, it was a real wrist torquer. I packed it in right at close at 8:30.
All 4 fish came within the first 2 hours of being there, with them all being Largemouth I was pretty surprised. All 4 fought well outside of their weight class and hit closer to the beginning of the retrieve, so 4 awesome fights were had. I didn't see any carp, although for the first time in my life I saw TONS of +/- 5 lb catfish patrolling the shores. Signage states there are Largemouth, Smallmouth, Walleye, Pike, Channel Cats, and 'Gills. Albeit I didn't catch any, I saw several 1-2 lb smallmouth near shore, they're out there! Shore fishing really has me excited for the day I decide to rent a boat and try to pick the place apart. The only downside is the $5 pay to park, but if it helps this fun fishery I'll be happy to pay it. Gorgeous park, I suggest checking it out if you haven't already!
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Lets Go Sharks!