Chicago Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday seemed like a nice day for a leisurely paddle with some fishing. Launched at my recently favorite spot and headed up. A bit chilly in the morning, but it warmed up quickly. Despite the recent rain water level is low, perhaps the lowest I've seen this year. I knew that I will have to step out and navigate kayak through a tight spot, but it happened much sooner than I expected. Water is not that cold it turns out. On the way up I was throwing chatterbait towards structure, or slowly dragging it along the cover. Caught a bunch of small bass in 7-9" range. Interestingly enough, I saw a few fish in the open water, but they wanted nothing to do with me. Had a few pikes jump out from under the cover, but none of them committed, until a 20" guy decided to go for it. A side note: people are fawning at Keitech, but the first trailer I used lost the tail after like 5 casts, Yum survived a year and it took a toothy fish to finally trash it. Having lost the trailer I decided to turn around - it was already afternoon and I was about to come upon a bunch of spots where I scrape the bottom even on better days. So I retied for pike and headed back. Again, I saw a few follows but no takers until I arrived at one of my favorite holes. The fish hit it like a tank and started running away from me - definitely one of the feistiest pikes I've ever encountered, I managed to get it into the net, then he thrashed, jumped out and started running away, so I had to do it all over again. Got totally soaked in the process. Unhooked him, took a photo, tried to get him out of the net and he thrashed yet again and managed to slice up my thumb, which ended my day earlier than I wanted as the cut started bleeding profusely. Another side note: when it pushes 30" and won't calm down just use fish grips, you have them, or just dump the damn thing out of the net.
Still, it was a very good day. Another positive - I saw a group of sandhill cranes who were much calmer than egrets and herons and only took off when I got within 25-30'.

Water Hood Grille Automotive lighting Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Awesome.
I tried to head out yesterday but life got in the way. Hopefully I will find time tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome.
I tried to head out yesterday but life got in the way. Hopefully I will find time tomorrow.
I thought I'd go out today as well, but the thumb on my retrieving hand hurts. Anyone wants to see a moderately gross picture of it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,728 Posts
Sure - you have to ask?
 
  • Haha
Reactions: cyanatic

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,513 Posts
Nice fish. Start fishing some bigger baits. I like a Rapala J13 and Mepps Musky Killer. Try some suspending jerk baits too.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice fish. Start fishing some bigger baits. I like a Rapala J13 and Mepps Musky Killer. Try some suspending jerk baits too.
I appreciate the value of larger lures, don't think that I don't, but I need a different rod for that. Right now my river rod is MH, rated to 3/4 oz, and when I throw #5/6 dressed Vibraxes which weigh about that much, it gets completely overloaded.

Sure - you have to ask?
Skin Hand Watch Gesture Thumb
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,110 Posts
Great fish. Pike are nasty. Even with surgery I still have very little feeling on the inside tip of my left thumb from a pike slash a few years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,728 Posts
Yeah - that's pretty nasty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Ouch! A while back I posted a photo on Instagram of a pike I caught on the DPR and I was using grippers. Somebody gave me guff for using metal grippers. Believe me, I want to get the fish back in the water as healthy as possible but if it comes down to me or the pike I'm using whatever method is safest for my physical well being.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Luckydawg13

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Even with surgery I still have very little feeling on the inside tip of my left thumb from a pike slash a few years ago.
I hear you. I once sliced off a large chunk of skin of the side of my thumb, and I think it took 2-3 years before it was like before. And I consider myself lucky because the doctor told me that it might never be the same.

Somebody gave me guff for using metal grippers.
I use Rapala plastic gripper and it makes me feel much safer, I even use it with bass when dealing with multiple trebles, but with pikes it is sometimes hard to get in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,513 Posts
Haters are everywhere. Warm water conditions it’s to not fish for pike. Worst case scenario if you do catch a pike and use metal grips it’s best to leave the fish in the water. They tend to be a little calmer.

I have Lucid grips. They’re metal but they also spin.
I also have some super long needle nose pliers that can get in pretty far.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
I have the rapala grippers, but most often I just prefer to use my hands. I haven’t learn my lesson yet.
On the other hand my plans worked out and I managed to finally hit the river on the yak. It’s been a while. Three setups: suspending jerk bait, spinner bait, and Ned rig. Only Ned rig produced. Lots of dinks and one really solid guy that made the drag sing.
Fisherman Fish Recreational fishing Fishing Ray-finned fish
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,728 Posts
I use Rapala floating grippers. Finger savers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have the rapala grippers, but most often I just prefer to use my hands. I haven’t learn my lesson yet.
On the other hand my plans worked out and I managed to finally hit the river on the yak. It’s been a while. Three setups: suspending jerk bait, spinner bait, and Ned rig. Only Ned rig produced. Lots of dinks and one really solid guy that made the drag sing.
I so wish there were smallies in the upper DPR! Re:multiple setups: this is the disadvantage of my kayak: at 40-42 lb it is super-portable, but the space is аt a premium, and paddling around with two rods is really cumbersome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,513 Posts
There are smallies up north just in limited numbers. I caught them in Park Ridge.

I have found good fishing water here in NC but I still miss my DPR days.
~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
I so wish there were smallies in the upper DPR! Re:multiple setups: this is the disadvantage of my kayak: at 40-42 lb it is super-portable, but the space is аt a premium, and paddling around with two rods is really cumbersome.
I consider the stretch I fished today upper and there is tons of smallies here.
I fish out of tarpon 120. At 63lb I car top it on my outback no problem. It is not a very roomy kayak but I am a smaller guy so it does not bother me. My storage is milk crate. I attached pvc pipes on it’s exterior as rod holders. My setup is very very basic to spend as little time loading unloading as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,726 Posts
Well done. A really odd ball year for Northern Lake county for sure so way to make the most of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I consider the stretch I fished today upper and there is tons of smallies here.
I fish out of tarpon 120. At 63lb I car top it on my outback no problem.
I mostly fish the stretch from Half Day road and up, that's upper to me. I do want to explore areas downstream, but it really has been such a weird year when it comes to water levels, that I tend to stick to the waters I know best. Although I guess drought is better than flood. What year was it when the entire fall river season got washed out, 2018?
I am a big fan of Wilderness Systems kayaks, and I am considering getting one of their sit on tops. May be one of the Tarpons, or may be a Ride 115, which I occasionally see for very palatable prices, although 80lb weight scares me a bit. As for getting it on top of the car, I feel it may actually be easier to get a heavy boat on top of the SUV, particularly if you have a saddle/roller type holder. With a sedan it's a bit trickier since you have to navigate your way around the trunk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Honestly, if I was shopping for a river kayak again in the same price range I would go for a nucanoe flint. It looks like a spectacular boat with a very comfortable seat and a lot more room. On the other hand I would consider investing significantly more money into hobie compass.
My biggest gripe with tarpon is the the seat. It is great boat for going fast and straight, but not the most comfortable ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Honestly, if I was shopping for a river kayak again in the same price range I would go for a nucanoe flint. It looks like a spectacular boat with a very comfortable seat and a lot more room. On the other hand I would consider investing significantly more money into hobie compass.
My biggest gripe with tarpon is the the seat. It is great boat for going fast and straight, but not the most comfortable ride.
Yeah, I think once you get to that $1000-1200 price level there's an enormous number of options. I am a bit surprised you don't like the seat - my sit-in has a Phase3 seat which I assume is similar to what Tarpons have and I can spend all day in it.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top