I guess technically I got my season started in January when I hit the Fox River in search of a few bites. That didn’t happen. The bites part, that is. Next, Cam and I hit the Shelbyville Spillway in February hopeful to find a fish or two. Nada, again. Then the weather to begin March stayed so cold we couldn’t really get out. Talk about frustrating! I know plenty of guys felt exactly the same way. Then we get to the weekend and the weather sucks again. This time it was rain, cold, and wind. Reguardless, we were determined to at least venture out. I have to admit this seemed kinda stupid as we drove through rain almost the entire trip to the lake. The temperature gauge read 36 degrees. The wind was blowing around 12 to 15 mph.
We sat at the launch in a driving rain. We had sat around at home much later than usual and now we looked out at fishable water and didn’t want to leave the car. There were two other cars in the lot. I called home to ask my wife to look at the radar for me. I could have sworn I saw info that the clouds should have been breaking up by now. She said there was a break coming and it looked like that should happen around 2 o’clock. Bummer! At least the temp. had gone up to 39!
After sitting in the car for another half hour one of the boats that had been out came in. Cam ran to the dock to ask how they had done. They said they had seen a couple fish but hadn’t caught one. The guys pulled up next to us to begin packing up. They were soaked to the skin and clearly freezing cold. They mentioned they were prefishing for the IMTT event next weekend. I wasn’t too happy to hear that as it means the lake will be packed next saturday and sunday. As Cam and I watched the rain come down we began talking about entering the tournament next weekend. While it is a fun thought, the reality is it would cost a couple hundred bucks and I’m sure guys who tournament fish are really good and finishing high in the tournament would be very difficult. Still, it was fun to consider.
It took us the better part of 20 minutes to pile on all our clothes. Before we even launched we could feel our hands going numb. But we pressed on. I have to admit excitement began to take over as I snapped on a plug. We motored out to or first spot and the rain began to stop. The first half hour is always the same. I’m so excited to be fishing I can barely slow down. Its just as well that I don’t hook up as I’m not calm enough to do a good job fighting a fish anyhow. The rain stopped. The wind died a bit. And about an hour in, my lure stopped. Fish On! Cam scrambled for the net as I battled the fish. Before long he slipped the net under this nice 33 inch ski.
Cam had gotten me a bump board so we slid the fish on to get that measurement. You can know with certainty this year that the length I give you is pretty much exact. That’s fun as mostly I’ve just estimated over the years.
I’d like to say there were many more fish but we only got one more in the boat. It came a couple hours after the first fish. It was 36 1/2 inches. Cam had one hooked just before the end of the day but unfortunately that one pulled off just before we got it in the net.
We fished hard and had 3 other small fish follow but that was it. And after the way this day started, and how muskie fishing is always pretty tough, we were happy with 2. Unfortunately Sunday the weather was just too nasty. So now its back to waiting for the weekend. At some point the weather has to improve, right?
If your looking to get out, now is a good time to give me a call. LaSalle opens later this week and fishing is going to be good all over as the season begins.
Fishing Friend Guide Service 815 433-6109
Is it already Thursday? Wow. Ok, this is a little late but Cam and I did fish a bit last Sunday. The weekend was pretty slow but it did have a few fishing highlights. First, on Saturday, Scott came by and showed me how to change the bearings on my new small boat trailer. He made it seem easy but it was a challenge for me. It took a couple trips to the hardware store and made quite a mess but we did get it done. Thanks Scott. My daughter was in so we decided when we took her back that Cam would come along and we would drive over to the Shelbyville Spillway and try our luck. After the 3 hour journey to Eastern we said our goodbyes to Emma and started down Rt. 16 towards Shelbyville. It was a bit farther than we expected but about 45 minutes later we were putting on our big clothes and stringing up our rods. I’d like to say there was some fish action to report but 3 hours of casting produced nothing. There were about half a dozen guys out and we didn’t see anything caught by any of them either. We were throwing crankbaits hoping for a muskie. At least two of the guys we saw fishing were tossing jigs looking for walleye. It was a neat looking spot with plenty of water to fish but on this day nothing was happening. About 4 o’clock we decided to pack up and hit the road. We still had a near 3 hour trip home. So far this year we got in one January trip to the Fox River and now this February trip to Shelbyville. At least we got out to some soft water.
Why is it in the winter guys driving behind you always have to creep up on your bumper instead of going around? And why is it the guy driving ahead of you is always going too slow? And why is it the sun can never be blocked by the cars sun visor. No matter what, it always sits in the cracks between the rearview mirror and blinds you! Thinking about these and other weighty winter thoughts I’m always glad to let fishing wander into my mind. Lately those wandering thoughs have been about all the places we want to fish this season. One thing that has come up over and over again was that in not having a “little boat” we didn’t fish Emiquon and a few other places our Lowe doesn’t fit. So of course Cam and I have been searching Craigslist just to kill some time. That is until last week when I saw a little boat that we thought might work for us. We headed out Saturday for Rockford to take a look. This was a tough call because we were going to go to the Tinley Park Show but this seemed like a better option. And the way Cam likes to by gear this was probably cheaper!
And yes we liked the boat and bought it.
We now have a nice little 14 ft. semi-v on a very large trailer. The owner had taken nice care of it for an old boat and trailer. Besides doing the hubs about all I need to get it going down the road is new lights. You can see from the picture he put some nice indoor/outdoor carpet down along with building a little platform that fits perfectly between the seats. He also has a nice anchormate on it and threw in a locator to boot. Even in the crappy weather yesterday Cam and I must have gone out to the driveway 3 or 4 times to play with cleaning it up a little and talking about what to do next.
Now the possibilities seem endless. And winter is that much closer to over.