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I have been fishing for about 10 days now the last two weeks and have caught nothing - absolutely nothing. I have fished at Busse, Shabbona, Mallard, Axehead, and just recently, Skokie Lagoons (Browns hat, black nike sweatpants - perhaps you may have seen me). I have tried virtually every largemouth bass fishing presentation, and many northern pike presentations, still with no success to report.

IF THERE IS ANYONE WHO KNOWS OF ANY GOOD PLACES TO FISH FOR BASS or PIKE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN OVERFISHED, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

This is extremely frustrating and starting to not be fun, I welcome any response.

My personal opinions/thoughts/feelings:

The only possible explanation i can think of to explain the overall lack of success is that these lakes is that they have been over fished by the bucketfiisherman or the weekend fisherman in search of a quick fish. I find it increasingly frustrating to find only people simply fishing for their own personal enjoyment. Not only is it frustrating to see, but it is detrimental to panfish numbers. Panfish numbers that ultimately have a say on species like Bass and Pike.
 

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Well first off, let me welcome you to WCF. We are glad to have you here. You will find that most of the people on this site practice C&R fishing. There is a lot to be learned from this site on fishing all of those places that you mention. The best advice I can give is to go back and read old posts and see what has worked in the past taking into consideration the time of year.
 

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Welcome to the site AA. Don't worry though, you're gonna catch some GREAT fish at most of the location you mentioned.

Like toothdoc says, take a look at previous posts on the various lakes, there have been some quality fish caught on a regular basis.

As for the "bucketheads", they will always exist. But look in their buckets sometime. You will usually find a bunch of small bluegill, crappie, or bullhead. Bass, pike, and other gamefish rarely are caught in abundance with worms and corn. There will undoubtedly be the occasional gamefish in these buckets, but hardly enough to fish out a body of water.

Part of the beauty of places like Busse, Skokie Lagoons, etc., is that they are usually fished by the worm and corn crowd, yet hold plenty of quality gamefish that are in spots off the beaten path, just waiting for a properly presented spinnerbait, crankbait or jig.

It's been a tough couple of weeks for all of us. Hell, I haven't caught a damned fish in 3 weeks! Keep at it my friend. You're on the right path and WCF will undoubtedly be your source for information to getting some great fish in no time.
 

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I know the feeling Aspiring, I probably go out fishing 3-4 times a week at busse, beck, axe and dpr. Just like Jason says, i always try to peak in at what the buckheads have in their buckets and it is RARELY a gamefish, biggest is usually a cat. I however am younger and cant afford or have the space for a boat, so i get alot of peaks in the buckets usually. All the lakes have really been turned off with that big rain because it seems like the water got too stirred up, could be just me, but thats how to seems. Hang in there, ive caught some decent stuff, and if you are REALLY having a hard time, i would suggest going at the buttcrack of dawn and walking around a lake and look for the biggest surface action areas before launching a boat for the best success. I have been skunked about 5 times in a row now myself :(
 

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Like ToothDoc and Jason said, you have to read older reports from this time of year, last year. Busse is such a huge body of water that you have to at least have a general idea of where to start.

That being said, I tend to stray from the main dam. Between getting hung on the rocks and other fishing lines, there's much better spots.
 
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