Twas the night before the night before Christmas

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Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby mike son » Dec Mon 23, 2019 9:56 pm

Fished the main branch of the Dupage today. Fished a few stretches on the hike to the hole I planned on fishing but I blanked. The areas were long sweeping bends with ~4ft depth and moderate to slow current. Tons of boulders and great rock but no bites. I'll admit I didn't have the most confidence in those areas but it was along the way upstream. I threw a squarebill slowly dredging bottom to allow me to keep some pace as I hiked upstream. Perhaps slowing down to a crawl could have convinced a fish or two. The main channel of those sections were nearly barren of weeds but the slower areas adjacent to them were filled with dead weeds, made fishing a treble hook lure tough.

A lot of the area on my hike is barren shallow water. I'd rather hike on the shoreline gravel or inches of water if possible rather than a hike through the woods and brush. Gives me the opportunity find some crap.

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Made it to the hole I planned on fishing as I had assumed it would serve as a wintering hole and fish as good as it does the rest of the year. The spot is a long, relatively skinny pool, with a small a second large eddy that cuts in toward shore. A couple casts inside the current seam got my first smallies. Slow bottom grind and a pause and float up every several feet. Ate it on the pause.

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Decided to then slow it down and pick apart the area with an 1/8oz texas rigged super fluke in some shad pattern. Just moving it with the current at a crawl, popping over rocks and keeping the head of the bait pointed downstream. These bites were ridiculously light. I would feel the bait moving over rocks, tick tick tick, and then nothing. I'd pull the line tighter to check on it only to be pulled back a hair. Missed a few that felt me before I could set the hook. Did get some definite discernible hits but for the most part it was incredibly light. I stood below the lift at the end of the pool and I will say that several of my bites came just at the lift.

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I'd go up river to give the spot a break and come back after 45mins or so to then start getting bites again. Up river in that pool it is a little faster water but plenty of slack just adjacent. Found one aggressive lil guy who I saw shoot out and flash on my jerkbait a few times as I worked it. Swung the bait downstream from the slack water to main current. In the pic, I stood on the shore on the right and casted directly to the other side and let the current swing it downstream. He choked it, flashed on it a few times to try and eat it head first.

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That was the only bite I got so it would seem most fish were just hanging downstream in the slower pool. After a handful of hours I was starting to freeze despite layering. Standing in one spot waist deep for an hour at a time took its toll. The hike out.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year WCF!
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby joetrain » Dec Mon 23, 2019 11:51 pm

Great post and Merry Christmas.
~JOE~
ad maioram Dei gloriam
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby Aux Pleins » Dec Tue 24, 2019 3:33 am

Quality December fishing man :clap: :clap:
Nature and shit.
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby Rambler » Dec Tue 24, 2019 7:59 am

Great post. I'm going to give the DPR a try later today. Gotta take advantage of this weather!
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby polishfly » Dec Tue 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Awesome fishing dude!! So jealous
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby jmdog2003 » Dec Tue 24, 2019 10:54 pm

Christmas came early for you, great post :clap:
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby HEDDONFROG » Dec Wed 25, 2019 1:35 am

Great day on the river Mike with some nice smallies. Merry Christmas to you and your family as well
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby Woohoodude11 » Dec Wed 25, 2019 7:37 am

Sweet winter bronze man. As much as we love seeing Joe's warm salt posts, it warms the cockles to see fish being caught here after most of us have hung it up.
Lets Go Sharks!

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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby HEDDONFROG » Dec Wed 25, 2019 12:31 pm

Woohoodude11 wrote:Sweet winter bronze man. As much as we love seeing Joe's warm salt posts, it warms the cockles to see fish being caught here after most of us have hung it up.


Never hang it up. If nothing else keep one caster around and practice casting. Roll casts, pitches and if we have clear smooth ice that’s the time to practice skipping a caster
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby badger75 » Dec Thu 26, 2019 6:25 pm

Beautiful December bronze!
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby mike son » Dec Thu 26, 2019 9:32 pm

More pic dump warning. Got out again today on the Dupage. Really making good use of my time off work. I'd have fished Christmas eve and day if it weren't for family :roll:. Same spot as 12/23 and another spot with the same kind of water. USGS Plainfield: 194 cf/s and 6.88ft. Rolled with the texas rigged fluke and nabbed several smallies. Bites were still light as hell and I definitely missed several bites. I did notice some fish held on longer after a quick tightening up the slack check. Forgot to mention it in the OP but the fish were fighting pretty hard and one even jumped twice. He might have thought it was Spring, at least it felt like it seeing as it was 62 degrees today. Realized some were short biting it as they never hooked up on hook set too.

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Speaking of feeling like Spring, it was odd to see minnows way up this little ditch.

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Still threw the squarebill and hooked up with two on a steady slow retrieve just crawling bottom. Lost the first one after a nice fight when it darted between my legs downstream. Unfortunately, as what seems to always be the case, it was the biggest fish of the day and it got away. Got this nice one on an inside bend with around 4-5' depth and fair current. Both fish hooked on just the rear treble. Same fish, can't decide which pic I like better.

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Feeling pretty good about my first real foray into winter fishing but don't let these posts fool you. I put in over 20hrs and probably 12 miles of hiking and wading the last month or so on Saturdays or Sundays across the West, East, and main branch of the Dupage for two fish. One smallie on 11/16 and one carp that actually ate a jerkbait on 12/8. That'll be it for the year for me, sights on 2020.
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby jonny2can » Dec Fri 27, 2019 1:17 am

Good stuff! Wish I had gone out myself but between work and holiday stuff I crashed all day yesterday. This time of year makes the Bush whacking a lot easier. Glad to see you got out and caught some beauties!
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby ganz1960 » Dec Fri 27, 2019 8:02 am

Amazing!!! Great fish and posts.
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby Rambler » Dec Fri 27, 2019 11:35 am

Whatever that thing is you're standing on in the 1st picture it reminds me of the Hindu offering to the fishing gods I saw at Potawatomi Pond last summer.

Who knew there was a Hindu god of fishing? :shock:
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Keep calm and fish on...

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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby Phil6 » Dec Fri 27, 2019 12:40 pm

Rambler wrote:Whatever that thing is you're standing on in the 1st picture it reminds me of the Hindu offering to the fishing gods I saw at Potawatomi Pond last summer.

Who knew there was a Hindu god of fishing? :shock:


We found a couple of these at lake arlington and were confused as hell for a while
I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news. - JM
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby badger75 » Dec Sun 29, 2019 5:53 pm

Great bunch of winter SMB.
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Re: Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Postby cletedius » Dec Mon 30, 2019 9:07 pm

badger75 wrote:Great bunch of winter SMB.


X2. Nice pile of bronze!
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