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I know this last week to 2 weeks have been real hard to fish, but im in only my second "serious" year of fishing. I pretty much know all the basics to fishing especially with live bait, but DAMN i cannot catch a damn thing on any lure ive ever tossed out. Granted im fishing in cook county and i dont have any kind of real honey hole or anything, but i just seriously have not had any luck with senkos, shad masters, gum worms, or anything, i had 1 big pig catfish that got away on me off a senko at beck lake wich was amazing, because i fought the damn thing on 12 pound line for 20 minutes, and when i got a look at him he had alrdy 2-3 hooks that werent mine in him so i knew i tied into the big boy of the lake, but other than that ive had absilutly no success on any kind of artificial coming from spinners, to senkos to shads and top waters. Im 26, and only in my second year of serious fishing as i said, and really lookin to see if any1 is up to show me some pointers on retrieves, if any1 is up for it that knows what they are doing, ill buy dinner/beer/whatever your poison is in return if u would take me out for a day. Im serious about fishing and want to become the best i can be, im out on or at the water 3-4 times a week, if any1 can meet up with me and give me some tips, i would be very greatfull, as long as you arent 1 of the weirdos ive meet at park ridge area =D
 

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Don't get discouraged. Like you said, after a huge rain, fishing can be rough. Fishing with artificials can also be rough, at first. You said you caught a catfish with a senko. Not many people can say that. Browse around the site, and you'll read that the senko is, by far, one of the best artificial lures out there today.

I would stick with the senko, for several reasons. You already caught something on it. That will stick out in your mind, giving you a bit of confidence. Also, it's a proven bait. Time and time again.
 

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stick with it - like anything else it's a learned skill.

I might suggest safety-pin type spinnerbaits in addition to the senkos. Dark colors after the sun goes down, white or silver in daylight. The $1.00 Wal-mart black single-colorado blade spinnerbait has been good to us all summer after the sun starts to fade.

they're simple to use for a beginner. Cast near structure - steady retrieve just fast enough for the blades to spin. Since the fish take it while it's moving the hits are easy to distinguish & I think tend to hook themselves easier. Also, because of their design they tend to buck snags - again lowering the frustration level of use.

My experience is that they tend to work better in darker water though as opposed to clear water. I haven't had any luck with chartruse or flashier colored spinnerbaits.
 

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Don't worry flipside, you are on the right track.

Fishing anywhere, for quality game fish is tough enough. But the forest preserve lakes, though they often hold some great fish, can be tougher, especially for the shore angler. But that's exactly why this site is here.

Keep at it my friend. And all the help you need is always right here at WCF.
 
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