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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was fishing weekly in 2019 with decent results. Toward the end of the year in September I had 2 outings off the south rocks in Waukegan. First time getting on my kayak off the south rocks with some light rolling waves I flipped getting on from the rocks. Had my vest and didn’t lose anything so got back on and fished about 2 hours with no luck. Second time took the canoe down to the same spot and all went well but still got zero for the trip. Fish were jumping around us on both trips but no takers. Then I had a shift in priorities.

In August of 2020 I was out in the garage on a nice day straightening up and looked over to the kayak in the corner, thought maybe it was time to give it a shot. Went to gather some gear and the sky turned black, wind kicked up and tornados ran thru the area. In those few seconds between when you hear the wind singing thru the branches and loud crack of branches breaking you can imagine numerous places they might land. Fortunately, not much damage to the house from one and another of those branches did nail my old truck pretty good. Thicker steel and something I could fix myself but needless to say I didn’t think about looking at that kayak again.

Jump forward to August 2021, the old truck is looking good and boom storms dropped some more branches and they missed everything this time. Locust and pine trees are taking the beating and after some clean-up the kayak made it out to a local FP lake in September. I mostly played with the fish finder and paddle to record some sonar but managed a small bass and pike before loading up and shooting down to Waukegan harbor to fish a bit more that evening. Fished from shore catching another small bass before they closed at 9pm to keep the trouble down.

2 days later on 9/10 I had some time in the evening and went back down to the harbor around 8pm. You could hear the band playing at the tiki bar and there was one other man down there who said he had caught some small bass but he left shortly after I arrived. I had my baitcaster set-up with me and I’m still not great with it. Well with no one around and plenty of room I started throwing a Kastmaster in blue/chrome and hooked up on about my 6th cast. Fish Immediately stop my retrieve and started pulling the drag taking a couple runs out and 4 or five multiple leaps above the water, which was cool seeing some moonlight reflections off the fish. Now I start thinking, hey I don’t have a net. Long and short of it the fish liked to jump and when I got it moving toward me coming up in the water column, I was able to use the 40lb braid to get him on deck. Shortly after landing the fish the man that had left in his van returned and snapped the photo for me while we talked fishing. Only a 24” long male and my PB was 34” a few years back but now the port guy came around and we had to go.
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I made 2 more trips down spending an hour casting with the same set-up and with no luck. That changed on 9/22 after arriving around 8:15pm I started casting using my same set-up again. Band was playing and my friend that snapped the photo from my previous catch was fishing down a way from me with some other folks. Wham I got hit again and I could tell this was a bigger fish then last time. This fish did not want to come up and I called down to the group to see it they had a net for some help

The answer was yes and the group came over to see the action. A young man brought the net over however it was about 10” maybe something for bait. I laughed and said look at my rod tip as the fish was steady running and I was steady reeling. One of the really young girls shouted "he has a whale" and by that time most were using phones to capture a look at the beast filming as they for the fish to show and shortly there after it did come up for a few second before diving deep again and never broke water. My new friend from the previous catch came with a 14-16” net that we used to bring it out of the water and as we cleared the edge of the concrete the head broke through the netting. The fish was hooked solid in the gums and the port authority man showed up just in time to clear the lot but not before providing his hemostats to get the lure free. Fish was a 39” long male and a new PB for me. Had some good fun and met some nice folks as well.
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Great post. Welcome back.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all that responded for your comments. Still high on the big catch I went back a week later to try again but the area I fish was shut down for diving training. Went over to the government pier and it was swarming with snaggers. Getting late in the season now for good kings.
 
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