Saturday, July 25, 2015

We're Huntin' Musky

Friday 7/24, I received a text from my buddy, Mario, informing me that Friday night basketball has been cancelled.  Damn.  Then I received a text from my buddy, Mike, that said, "Open seat if you want to chase some Ski's today.".....Yeah!!!

We put the boat in at 6 PM, and what a perfect time.  There were still a few pleasure boaters out and about, but they were decreasing in numbers as time went on.  The waves in the lakes were starting to go down, and it was a cool sight to see.  I've never seen these lakes without waves.  It was a beautiful thing.

We started out casting inline spinners, and then we began to toss some big top water lures that splash down in the water like a cannonballs.

My new favorite July beer.

As the night progressed, we did not see any fish.  There were a few other musky hunters out, and they were having the same luck that we were having.  

It was getting late, and the time was 11:30 PM, and we were just talking about heading back.  As I was making a few more casts into the darkness of night, one of my casts did not find water.  Instead we could only hear the not so joyful sound of leaves.  I just casted an expensive lure of Mikes into a tree.  No other words can describe how I felt other than "SHIT."

We tried everything from the boat, and then Mike decided to climb the tree...and he did.  Turns out, I cast the lure so far, that it went beyond the tree that was nearest to the water, and into the tree behind it.  Hilarious...but not really.

Motoring to another fishy spot.
There were no fish caught, no follows spotted, but there were a few beers drunk, and a good time had.  

 How's that old saying go - "That's musky fishing."

Big THANKS goes out to Mike for inviting me out.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Froggin' with DanK


A short story.

Kind of.....

Not really...

DanK and I met up at Lake X to do some froggin'. The lake was calm, and there was overcast...those two added together equal, a great time. The lily pads were thick, and seemed endless. I fished this lake once in the early Spring, but have never fished it in the summer months. One of my very first casts into the thick lily pads warranted an explosion, I waited, waited, set the hook, and FISH ON!

....or not. I thought the fish was tangled in the lily pads, so, I paddled over to it. I reached my hand in the water and started to remove all of the vegetation that accumulated from trying to reel this bass in. Wait a minute...what was that I as I was doing this, I felt something that was not a fish hidden in the mess of vegetation. You have got to be kidding me haha it was a huge snapping turtle! I am so glad I didn't accidentally put my hand by it's face, otherwise I might be typing this with a few less digits on my hand. Thankfully, I had brought my Backwater Assault Hand Paddle that I won at the Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series in May of this year. I was able to pop my frog free of the jaws of this mean ole turtle, and it was free to live without a lure in it's mouth. Without that Assault Paddle, I have no idea how I would have been able to get that frog free from that turtle.

A few snaps at my paddle startled me. What a wimp!
After that, it was a turtle free morning of frog fishing.

DanK with the nicest one of the day.
The bass were flying out of the water when I had the camera out. They knew I would be featuring them on my blog. 

2 Thumbs can't see DanK's
I finally shook the skunk off one of my Slaunch Mob shirts. I've 2 shirts from my buddy Slaunch Mob for 2 months now, and I have been skunked on each outing I wore them. The curse has been lifted. I'll drink to that!

Hiding my big smile.
DanK is having a great year. New baby, new home, and he's killing it out on the water. Seems no matter what technique he's using, he's brilliant. The fish just don't stop coming his way, and it's been a blast to withness!
The Master.
As I was floating and fishing around, I took notice that this lake had trash everywhere. It was a shame. It probably would have taken me the entire day to pick it all up. I picked up what ever I crossed paths with. I'm going to start doing it more when I'm out on the water. I already do it whenever I'm fishing at a lake, I'll just start tossing stuff in my sling pack and toss it on my way out. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Floats


I was hoping to fish early and beat the heat, but that plan did not work out. I woke up late. It was forecast to be cloudy and 70/80 until Noon, and then it was going to be clear skies, sunny and in the 90's. I got to the Des Plains River around 9:30ish, unloaded my kayak, and paddled upriver.

What a workout! The water was high, stained, and moving fast due to some recent storms we've had. That did not make paddling up river easy at all, but I toughed it out. I brought some beers with me, and that helped offset the calories I burned paddling. Haha.

A local Chicago brewery - Revolution Brewing - Fist City
There's a very busy road that runs along the river, and it's appropriately named River Road. I started to hear some rumbling, and figured it was just some semi trucks hitting one of the many potholes. Started to hear it some more, and I saw the sky get a little darker west. I quickly checked my phones weather app, and nothing. Same forecast as before. Then I heard the rumbling, again, but that time I was damn sure that it was thunder. The fishing was terrible, so, I decided to just paddle back the rest of the way. The wind picked up and it started to drizzle as I approached the launch.

Right after I got my kayak and gear loaded, and sat down in my car, it started to downpour. LUCKY!


I arrived at Busse Lake around 8 and fished until 11:30...I think. Ha ...I really don't remember looking at the clock.

I had an are of the lake known as CWB all to myself. The rogue storm from Saturday churned the water up, so, it was murky everywhere. The water was up, too, so, the weeds that I normally fish with a frog were all submerged. I tossed a frog with my casting gear, and some flies out in some open water parts of the lake. I was receiving a skunk, so, decided to call it a day.

On the way back to my put in, I decided to make a few more casts before I paddled the 25 yards to the take out. Boom! I was rewarded with a froggin' bass, and beat the skunk!

Decided to wear a Hoo Rag so that my racoon eye tan lines don't get any worse.
All in all, it was a rather interesting weekend. That rogue storm was really something else. I should also note that I'm happy to hear that some friends that were out fishing on Lake Michigan were able to make it off of the water before it got too hairy out there.

Side note - My farmers tan is looking killer!!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Creek Time

My buddy DanK and I decided to meet up for a wade on our favorite small creek. I was up extra early, so, I decided to fish the backyard lake a little bit, and work on my wacky rigged worm technique. Caught a decent one before I called it quits and hopped in the car to leave.

I was tossing a fly on my 5wt, and DanK was using his spinning rod. There was no action on the creek, and with the rising sun, the temperature started to rise. It was not making for a fun wade. Now if we were catching fish, I wouldn't mind being in my waders sweating my butt off, but as a skunked outing loomed over our heads, I just wanted to be out of my waders.

DanK under one of the many bridges we cross on this urban creek.
We decided to fish on until we reached our determined turning point on the creek. Immediately, DanK got a follow from a very small pike, and then on his next cast he hooked up. At first we were both thinking it was the pike, of course.

....but it actually turned out to be a quilback! I have only ever seen 2 of this species in my time fishing, and both have been caught by, DanK. He's like the quilback whisperer. Haha

Big Quilly Style
As we approached where our cars were parked, BOOM, we doubled up to end the day. Pretty awesome. I was able to shake the skunk in the final moments.

Doubled Up!
After we finished up the wade, we headed on over to my house. DanK hasn't seen the new place, yet, and I've been ranting and raving about the fishing I have in my backyard. DanK is like a Jedi Master with a jig and soft plastic trailer. He was tossing a Tight Rope Jig with a small crawfish pattern plastic as a trailer, and he killed it! 

I never knew there were bass of this size in my backyard lake until DanK started landing monsters. With every bass he caught, it seemed like they just kept getting bigger. It's really good to know this exists in my backyard. I have yet to catch these big ones, but I sure do like knowing their in there, regardless if I catch them or not.

Biggest one of the day. WOW.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


So, I went camping at Jellystone.

There was a big group of us. My GF's 2 brothers and their families, and her cousin and his family.  We played basketball, spent some money at the arcade, met Yogi Bear, and Boo Boo, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  A good time was had by all.

My favorite part about camping is in the evening and night.  There's just something about a nice cold beer and a campfire that really relaxes me.
Beer and campfires go together like peanut butter and jelly.
There is a downfall to campfires and kids, for me anyway....and that is marshmallows.  I hate marshmallows! Gross!!  I do love the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, and would totally befriend him, but I just cannot stand marshmallows.

Let's just be friends.
There were 2 lakes on the campground, but due to an influx in rain during the week, they were both blown out and overflowing.  Now that I think about it, a few day prior to our arrival, a tornado touched down not far away from the campground, and my GF's brothers were worried that they were going to be closed.  I was able to take my GF's brothers fiance's boys fishing, and they even caught the same damn time!!!!  How awesome of a guide am I, that the boys doubled up on some warmouths.  I was proud.

My lovely GF cooking up some bacon. Can't have enough of that stuff.
Before we left for the trip, I started to put my extensive collection of decals and stickers to use by decorating my Nautilus Reels Yeti Cooler.  I spent more time on this than I probably should have.  There are a few spots open, but they're already reserved. Actually, I have already filled them in, and just haven't updated the photo.

Deeking out the Nautilus Reels Yeti Cooler.