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East Branch ~85cf/s and 14.9' measured out of Bolingbrook. Clarity about 1.5'. 50 degree air temps and mostly cloudy. Got on the river right around 3pm. Really just wanted to just try out a new rod after work. The rod is way overkill for smallmouth but I figured it could drag a 1/4oz football head and skinny dipper. Fished one short stretch with about four good spots to hit quickly. Took a water temp right away and was very surprised to see 47.1 degrees. Fish were pretty active. Got most on a keitech tungsten guard jig and 2.8" rhythm wave swimbait in goby pattern. Popping it off the first break along shore into the deeper water or popping it over rocks and it would get thumped. Got one on the large skinny dipper, shad pattern. I would kinda get sloppy with my popping the keitech jig and it would almost swim it back to me as I was kind of in a rush against daylight, saw one chase and eat a rod length away. Most fish tight to shoreline cover in winter spots. A bald eagle circling overhead on the East Branch cool too.



Two face




 

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East Branch ~85cf/s and 14.9' measured out of Bolingbrook. Clarity about 1.5'. 50 degree air temps and mostly cloudy. Got on the river right around 3pm. Really just wanted to just try out a new rod after work. The rod is way overkill for smallmouth but I figured it could drag a 1/4oz football head and skinny dipper. Fished one short stretch with about four good spots to hit quickly. Took a water temp right away and was very surprised to see 47.1 degrees. Fish were pretty active. Got most on a keitech tungsten guard jig and 2.8" rhythm wave swimbait in goby pattern. Popping it off the first break along shore into the deeper water or popping it over rocks and it would get thumped. Got one on the large skinny dipper, shad pattern. I would kinda get sloppy with my popping the keitech jig and it would almost swim it back to me as I was kind of in a rush against daylight, saw one chase and eat a rod length away. Most fish tight to shoreline cover in winter spots. A bald eagle circling overhead on the East Branch cool too.



Two face




I bow to your excellence. 🫵
 

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Nice outing and report!

I tried the West Branch late that evening and absolutely zero action, but I have no winter spots to try just my usuals on the river walk. Flow was decent but murky, seemed to smell more than usual too, maybe should have tried something shiny, just threw my paddle tail go to lure. Might be tempted to get back out there on Monday if the forecast holds, your success is inspiring!
 
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