One of the main differences between going out fishing and going out to catch fish is the readiness of the angler. Having the information or how to when approaching unique conditions more than doubles your chances on getting a few tugs.
Theres a lot of guys who fish the Kishwaukee River. I wrote this to guide them as well as anyone looking to head out there for the first time.
You guys heard people talk of fishing "structure," like weeds, stumps or rocks, when what they're actually referring to is "cover." "Structure" actually refers to the topographical parts of the river, including creek and river channels, points, flats, humps, etc. "Cover" refers to objects associated with these components, including submerged logs, standing timber, stumps, rocks, weeds and bridges.
Ever heard of organic structure?
Here's my report:
About 50 yards downstream from the put in I looked to be running out of water. Appeared to be a rifle infront of me, an immediate get out drag over. (Structure or cover?)
As my kayak reached the base of the rifle I pushed through like butter exposing the mirage to not be a shallow rifle, but a million fish swarm of the native silver redhorse piled up to make some nice eddys and swirls of current. Perfect smallmouth territory in those swirls I thought to myself.
My next approach was to sneak up on the nearest swarm of piled up redhorse and fish the eddys surrounding the nest. But just then my buddy who was wading and towing his kayak told me I wouldn't have to go far to find more redhorse while pointing his finger down. I looked down to see the entire river bed moving, that's right folks the entire river bed of the kishwaukee river is made up of golden redhorse.
Now what do I do? How do you fish a stream that has little or no weeds and the only structure is sucker faced fish?
That's when I started looking closer. I could now see that hovering within the herds of golden and silver redhorse were quillbacks, common carp, and probably the most abundant were flocks of the native Northern Hogsucker. Easily spotted with the tiger stripes on back.
My plan was to use what I was given for structure and cover and catch tons of smallmouth bass. And that's what I did. Using a 3/8oz Dirty Jig and speed shad I racked some nice skinny water smallies under redhorse rifles and behind piled quillbacks.
Later on, I thought I hooked a toothy critter when my rod doubled over in a flash. I was pitching my jig over the backs of a Hogsucker school into about a foot of water lined with golden horse at the bottom.
Turned out to be a giant piece of cover.
Big numbers on the smalljaws, a few incidental pike and one lrg mouth.
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Nature and shit.