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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I'm hoping to make it out to the river a few times this upcoming week. If anyone wants to join me, just PM me. I'll probably be fishing before 9am or after 3pm near Foster.

As you might have noticed from my previous posts, I like to toss rooster-tail spinners in the river. While they seem to work fine for me, I'd really like to improve my jigging and soft plastics skills. If not else, soft plastics are less prone to snags than inline spinners and are cheaper to replace. And it seems to me that they're the way to go for targeting the bigger bass. (My personal goal this year is to catch a 3-lb. LM bass in the river :wink:) Arguably, they also require more skill/finese.

In the past, I've tried fishing with small (1-2") curly tails on tiny jig heads, 3-4" plastic worms and tubes off the bottom with small twitches and a slow retrieve. But so far I've only come up with one crappie with the cury tail jig and nothing on any other soft plastics.

If anyone has tips on how to improve my chances with soft plastics on the Chicago River, I'd really appreciate it :)

Fan
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, not much to report from two trips this week. Lost more lures than number of fish caught, which was pretty frustrating. No sizable bass worth mentioning, and the crappie action seems to have slowed down considerably as well from a few weeks ago.

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can't help you with jigging but have you tried texas rigged senkos? virtually snag free and big bass slam em. no need to use weight, they are heavy and cast like missles.

i fish them two ways.

first method is to cast, let fall to bottom then reel to surface and let fall again. works great when lots of weeds are present. find the holes in the weeds and toss it right in there. whamo!

2nd method I like is to use it like a slugo. rod tip down...tug tug stop, reel in slack...tug tug stop all the way back to in. when you tug on them, if it's rigged properly, they shouldn't come in straight. they will swerve in different directions each time you tug the rod.

5" green pumpkin is my go to senko. they are salt impregnated so bass hold on to them longer giving you a second or two longer to set the hook.

i also fish with the cheap plastic worms from walmart in the $.99 bin. I've caught many bass on their bright pink worm. bass like pink, what can i say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips, Augy. Actually, I have tried texas rigged senkos, and in fact, also 5" green pumpkin ones -- but just once and briefly, without luck. I'll definitely try them again the next time I go out (not sure when) and will report back results.
 

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Fan...

I've had a lot of success using soft plastics on the Chicago River. Especially at Foster. Right now Case Hellgrammites creature baits are good. As the weather and water temps warm up, lizards and texas-rigged worms are great!

The key, Fan, is to find the structure and drop-offs and work those baits in those areas. And at Foster, on that west bank where I was last week, there are a lot of great areas to work soft plastics.

Just have patience and make the soft plastics "come alive" in the water.
 

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IN THE FOSTER AREA THE AMOUNT OF SMALL BAIT FISH/SHINERS/SHAD ARE AMAZING... ANY MINNOW/BAITFISH MIMICING BAIT WILL PRODUCE NICE FISH. THE CHICAGO RIVER REMAINS FISHABLE ALL SEASON SO... PRETTY MUCH THE SAME TECHNIQUES WORK JUST HAVE TO TAKE ACCOUNT THE DEPTH AND BARO. PRESSURE. MOST DAYS ARE GOOD DAYS. ANY BAIT THAT HAS A SLENDER SLIM BODY WILL PRODUCE FISH ABOUT A 1.5" - 2" PLASTIC IS PERFECT. USUALLY IN WHITE... GRAY... MAYBE A DARK GREEN ARE THE BEST COLORS. MINI-MITES WORK WELL. ON CLEAR SUNNY DAYS I LIKE TO SWITCH TO A BALKY YUM BEAVER TAIL IN FIRETIGER/OR BALCK/GREEN COLOR... BUT MAINLY STICK TO SMALL STARIGHT TAILS. IF YOUR LOOKING FOR LARGE MOUTH RIGHT NOW... THROWING A MEDIUM DIVER CRANK IN BLUE MATALIC/GREEN/OR WHITE SHAD IS PERFECT. ON THIS RIVER AND LURE WITH THE BLACK DOT ON THE TAIL OR CHEST OF THE LURE WILL DO WELL. BUT JIGGING, YOU CAN USE SASSY SHADS.... LITTLE MINNOW BAITS... EVEN TUBES.. CRAPPIE TUBES WORK WELL ALSO.. YOU HAVE TO CONSIDER THE LINE YOU USE WHILE FISHING NO MORE THEN 6LB MONO IS FINE. ALSO FISHING IN BACK OF THE FOOTBALL FEILD.. UNLESS YOUR WEARING EARTH TONE COLORS AND NOT MOVING AROUND TO MUCH THOSE FISH WILL MOVE DEEPER. I FOCUS MORE ON LINE AND CAMOFLAGING MYSELF THEN ANYTHING ELSE.. BAIT PRESENTATION COMES THIRD FOR ME BECAUSE FISH ARE SO EASY TO CATCH... BUT IF THOSE BIG GUYS DONT REALIZE YOUR THERE YOU HAVE A WAY BETTER CHANCE HOOKING INTO THEM. JUST STICK WITH THE SMALL MINNOW BAITS FOR NOW... LOOK AT MINNOW MOVEMENTS IN A BUCKET... PUT YOUR HAND OVER THE TOP SEE HOW THEY DART EVERY WHICH WAY WHEN THEY SEE YOUR HAND... THIS IS THE SAME THEY DO WHEN FISH ARE AFTER THEM... CHANGE UP MOVEMENTS WHILE YOUR JIGGING EVERY NOW AND THEN.. THIS PRODUCES SOME BIG ONES TO. 3 OUT OF 5 CAST AT THE RIVER A FISH FOLLOWS YOUR LURE.... YOU JUST HAVE TO ADJUST YOUR JIGGING TECHNIGUE... JIGGING ISN'T HARD AT ALL.... YOU'LL GET ACCUSTOMED TO JIGGING BIG FISH OUT OF THERE SOON. WHEN YOU GO FISHING LOOK FOR BAIT FISH... WATCH THE MOVEMENTS THEY DO... AND ADD ALITTLE INTO YOUR PRESENTAION THE BEST YOU CAN.

gEORGE

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot, Jason and George! I'll definitely try to keep your tips in mind the next time I'm out there.
 
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