Showing posts with label kayak fishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kayak fishing. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series

With a new year comes a whole new Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series aka GLKFS is a lot of fun and organized by some knowledgeable kayak anglers such as +Colin Belle and Brookfield Angler.  I have participated in a few of the events the past 2 years, and have always had a great time.  Unfortunately, I do not think any of the dates will work out for me this year, but I highly recommend you give 1 or all the stops a shot!


May 14th - Fox Chain O'Lakes
Target Species - Walleye, Catfish, and Panfish

June 11th - Madison Chain of Lakes
Target Species - Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass

July 24th - Mazonia/Braidwood
Target Species - Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass

September 10th - Manitowoc/Lake Michigan
Target Species - All Trout/Salmon

Tournament entry fee is $45 per event, but if you pay up front for all 4, it's $160, and that nets you a total of $20 in savings.  There are cash and gear prizes for placing in each event, but there are also a ton of door prizes to be raffled away to everyone at the event after the winners are announced.  Like I said, I had a great time at past events, and while I never placed, I walked away with some pretty sweet gear won in the raffle/door prizes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fish Da Kish

     My homie DanK asked if I wanted to fish, and I said, yes.

He asked where, and I said, I'm down for where ever.

DanK said, the Kishwaukee, it is!

He fished the "Kish" for the first time a weekend prior, and the smallies and pike kept him busy, so, he was eager to return.  I, on the other hand, was simply excited to see some new waters.

Having done a bit of homework...I asked my buddy Kurt from "a Tight Loop" magazine about some intel on the river, and he gave me a quick run down of what to expect, and he mentioned 1 fly - a yellow and white clouser, tossed on a 5 wt.

Armed with my 5 wt, a freshly tied yellow/white clouser minnow, and my ultra light spinning rod, with a 1/16 jig and a white twisty tail grub, I was ready for the Kish.

The start of a great day.

Check out that water clarity!!!
The water was low and crystal clear.  The day was started slow.  There were quite a few places that we had to get out of our kayaks and drag them, because, the water was so low.  In the areas the water was not low, you can betcha we caught some fish!!!!

The smallmouth just could not resist the freshly tied yellow/white clouser or the white jig that I tossed with my spinning rod.  It was one of those days where you just couldn't wipe the smile of joy and excitement off of your face.  Thanks, for the tip, KURT!!!

Tons of fun!

One of the bigger ones you'll find in this river.
I just love floating the rivers in Fall.  The change in colors just makes everything so scenic and beautiful.  With the arrival of off the Fall season, there were a ton of leaves on the water, so, between the two of us, we caught well over a hundred leaf fish.  High Five!
Fall on the Kishwaukee River.
I wasn't the only one to hook up with some fishy friends.  DanK found his fair share of smallies with a small jerk bait, and skirted jig.  He caught the biggest smallie of the day on a jig, while I was fighting a 30 lb carp that was foul hooked with my 5 wt.  The carp shook free after a 4 minute fight and sleigh ride.  DanK was also able to find and hook up with 3 pike, and one even stole a hook from his lure, and he didn't even know.  He had a pike hit his jerk bait 15 times without a hook up, and that's when I noticed he was missing one of the hooks from his lure. Ha.

Biggest Northern Musky of the day.
Biggest smalljaw of the day.
Solid fish.  He's been after this one for years!
Oh, I also, caught a chunky little largemouth bass.  Check out those colors!

Love those predominant markings.
It was a solid day of fishing, especially, on new water, and always a pleasure fishing with my boy DanK.  Smallmouth bass galore and 40 minutes from the house, it's a no brainer...I'll be back (Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator voice). 

Thanks, to SkiFish, for showing DanK the Kish, and to DanK, for passing the knowledge.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


This past Labor Day weekend, I got out with a bunch of guys from a local fishing forum -  I believe there were 13 of us that made it out to the Des Plains River with kayaks and canoes.  It was a great time.  I got to meet some good people from the forum that I haven't met, yet.  After the float there was food and drink provided by a few guys.  

Big thanks, to all of them for throwing this all together.

I made a video of the outing.  Everyone contributed to the video, so, I can only take credit for throwing it together.  Hope you enjoy it!  Hopefully, I'll be able to make the next one.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Popping For Backyard Bass

Went out with my FSA Custom Rods built 3 wt, and tossed a Boogle Bug with hopes of finding top water bass.  Needless to say, I found them.

Check out the video!!!!

Hopefully, the next one will have a better camera angle, and some better video quality.  Working out some kinks on my PC and iPad.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Exploring the Northwoods: 2015 - Part 1

Few weeks ago, I had a last minute opportunity to do whatever I wanted, so, I decided to quickly pack my car, load my kayak, and head to the Northwoods.  The weekend forecast called for clear sunny skies, and 90 degree weather.  I was hoping to arrive with time to spare on a Friday night, so, I was racing the sun.  Fall and Winter are on their way, because, the sun is starting to set at 8 PM and rise shortly after 6 AM.  Need to take advantage of what strange summer we have left.

Racing the sun on beautiful open roads.
Almost there.
I made it to my destination with minutes to spare.  I grabbed my bait caster and tossed a few top water lures into the river with no luck.  After providing many mosquitoes with a 5 star meal, I decided to call it a night, and head over to a familiar campsite.

There were a few strong storms that passed through the area throughout the day, and I'm sure this tree fell casualty of the high winds.  Luckily it left just enough space on one side of the dirt for me to pass.  There would have been no way I would have been able to remove it.  I do carry an SOG tomahawk in my trunk, but I would have been chopping away at that tree for quite a long time, if it came to that.

Bumps in the road.
The next morning I got my waders on, loaded up my kayak, and tied a rope from the front of it and attached it to my wading belt with a carabiner.  Wading up river, I was dragging my kayak, and I didn't even know it was there.  It glided over the water and didn't hinder me once.  With the kayak I was able to bring a spare fly rod, my bait caster, extra water, tackle boxes, and a dry bag with some miscellaneous stuff.  In hindsight, I could have just loaded up my Yeti Cooler and had a really nice lunch out on the water.  Hell, I could have just brought everything in my car. Haha

The smallies were en fuego, and still loving the brown fly I had so much success on them my last trip back in June.  So enjoy some fish porn!

I really cannot get enough of these fish.
Catch and Release.
Got some from the kayak.
And more tanks!!!
This place is special to me, and I pick up any trash I find along the way, I only found 1 can of Old Style this trip, but 1 piece of trash is usually all I find.  Another good reason for the kayak.  As I reached the end of what should be a 2 day wade, I hopped in my kayak and floated all the way back to where I launched....BRILLIANT.

Athletic tape saves my wrist and fingers from blisters before they even start.
Be on the look out for Part 2.  I did quite a bit of exploring of new waters this time.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Poppin' for Pike

Got our for a float with some cool dudes.  Met up at a boat launch on a Northern stretch of the Des Plains River (DPR) about 7 AM.  Spotted this at the boat launch out of the corner of my eye, and got a good lauch out of it.  I have a simple humor, and I'm a little upset, I didn't think about this. HA!

Here's looking at you!
The Float Crew this trip......

Urban Assault Fly Fishing - Dave
Marcus - DPR Pro
No Intro needed.
Not pictured are Dan and Saul.
4 Kayaks, 1 Canoe, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Dave tied up some big weedless frog flies, and gave me one.  It's just a super sized version of a Gutless Frog pattern, and they're awesome!  Both Dave and I tossed the top water for awhile.  I had a small pike fly completely out of the water trying to eat it...It was AWESOME!!  Unfortunately, none of us hooked up with any top water pike.  I was 0 for 3 or 4...I forget.  Dave hooked up with 2 pike, and I forgot how the others fared.

9 it too early for a cold one on the river????.................NAHHHHH

Thanks, for bringing the brewski's, Dave!! I got 'em next time.
UA Dave and a solid DPR Pike.
DanK got a good shot of UA Dave and I in his canoe approaching the take out spot, and getting in some lasts casts.  This is the very spot that I caught my first pike on the DPR.  T'was a good float Gents.  You would have thought with the overcast conditions that the fishing would have been popping off, but it wasn't.  Next time!

Friday, August 7, 2015


We've had an extremely wet June and mid July here in the Chicagoland area.  That means that one of my favorite fisheries has been blown out or not to my liking to fish.  Finally, the rain let up for a few days, and the Des Plains River returned to it's normal levels, and allowed me to finally get some fishing in.

One of my favorite shirts to wear out on the DPR is a $3 shirt with a shark on it for "Shark Week."  Well, this past Spring I was checking out the clearance section of a store and stumbled across this gem of a shirt.  It's a Shark Week shirt, and it says "I <3 Snuffy"...I'm not familiar with Snuffy, but someone told me that's what they named one of the seals at the infamous spot where Great White Sharks fly out of the water.  The best part about this find is that it was another $3 shirt! SCORE!!  I couldn't wait to wear it out on the DPR, and I finally received my chance.

There were 4 of us that day...DanK, Keith, and Piker Mike.  We floated a section that Keith was familiar with, and it proved to be tough.  DanK, Keith, and Piker Mike tossed spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and some other lures.  I tossed some flies, with the occasional soft plastic swimbait (I wanted to try something different).

Cleaning up all of the missed pike. :)
I ended the day with 3 pike caught all on a firetiger baitfish pattern of mine on a size 2 hook.  Nothing with crazy size, but the normal hammer handles that love to keep me busy.  I really with all of the ones that missed came back for a 2nd run.  DanK hooked up with 1 little "pickle" and missed about 25 others using a buzzbait.  He was really determined to hook up with all of his pike top water.  Keith caught the biggest one of the day toward the end of the float trip, and missed quite a few others.  Piker Mike finished the 8 beers he brought too early and didn't even see pike.  I'm sure he had some unseen follows, the pike are getting hungry!!

This one exploded out of the water when it hit my sub-surface fly.  Great strike!

DanK got caught playing with his Pickle!
Great company to go on a float with.  Looking forward to our next outing Gents.

Catch n Release

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Windy City Fishing BBQ at Beck Lake

This past weekend, I was invited out to a local lake that I have never fished before, to participate in a small gathering with some guys from a local fishing forum that I frequent WindyCityFishing.  The man organizing this shin dig is Kevin aka "Bassman29" but he should also be known as the Grill Master! ...or cigar man, because, he owns Utopia Cigars (Great place BTW and he is extremely knowledgeable.)

Grill Mater Kevin
I was at a Lake X this Spring with DanK and Kevin showed up to fish, but he also brought his grill, and grilled us up some sausage when we took a break around lunch time.  Man, what a great guy!  If you're reading this, Kevin, thanks, for the hot dogs!!!
Before cheese was added.  Kevin is a master of char...and I love charred burgers.
These sausages were absolutely delicious!
It was a fun outing.  I seriously got almost next to no fishing in, because, I spend most of my time talking with some new and familiar faces.  It's always great to put a face to a screen name behind the many reports that are put up, and to see who is reading your stuff.

There were quite a few Ascend kayaks that showed up.  Here is mine and Kevins. Awww aren't they cute.
A fellow Windy City Fisher, Keith, has this really badass kayak.  It's called a "SCANOE."  I have never heard of these, and I thought that it was a nickname for his boat, but I was wrong, it's the actual name.  There's a lot of DIY mounts on this water craft.  Those seats are definitely not stock, they're from the bar stools at his parents house...and yes, they still swivel.  My other favorite part is his outriggers.  2 Scotty mounts on each side paired with crab pot floats.  WHAT!!!

I wish I was able to stay longer than I did, but I had to leave early.  I caught zero fish, but had many many laughs.  After I had left, I learned that there were a few fish caught, and the biggest one of the day went to Keith.  I don't have the picture here, but I'll link you to the post.  It was a very nice LMB.

More SCANOE with Kevin and Keith.

Looking forward to the next BBQ, and I'll be sure to clear my entire schedule for it!

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.