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Recent entries


Just Fishing

Not Just Fishing

Mon, July 07, 2014

Its just too much fun to have weekday time to chase muskies all over northern Illinois in the summer. You avoid much of the crowd, you can hit the best of the conditions, in short, you can set up to really do some damage. Or not. That’s just how muskie fishing goes. Cam and I have been into a stretch going on two weeks where we can’t catch s@&%! We are still having a blast but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.

When these stretches come we often punt. Sometimes we switch to other fish, sometimes we do other things all together. Lately we’ve done both. On a recent beautiful day we gave up on fishing and headed out to the Indiana State Dunes with the whole family. Outside of crazy traffic we had a wonderful time in a new spot that I’m sure we’ll return to in the near future. Exploring the dunes, walking the beach, and people watching made for a memorable day. My wife and daughter took lots of pictures of this amazing place.

Me, Emma, and Cam on a life guard chair.
At the Indiana Dunes


Emma making fun of me thinking.(probably about fishing)
More Dunes

After an adventured like this Cam and I would get back to fishing and promptly get skunked again. So I do have this little 14 foot boat I bought awhile back that wound up being pretty leaky once the paint on the bottom cracked off. I’m not much of a project guy but at the end of last season I actually bought a couple cans of flex seal and tried that. Are you laughing yet? Yeah, it didn’t work. The bottom of the boat was real bad so my next idea was to try truck bedliner. Over the last week or so Cam and I have gotten off what we could of the flex seal and then I have applied a couple coats to every place that looked like it could leak. From the start this boat has been a pain. I wanted a little boat so I could go down to Emiquon and maybe a few other ponds. I tried to sell it on craigslist last winter and couldn’t get any takers. That wasn’t a surprise. Now I had slathered it with bedliner and was driving a long way to potentially stand in water all day long again. Not to smart right?

So we head out early going over and over all the things we need for small boat fishing. I’m pretty sure we have everything when it dawns on me what we don’t have. You guys already know don’t you? Yep. No drain plug. Lost in the grass over the winter. So we’re an hour from home at 5 in the morning with no plug. We use Cam’s phone to make a trip to Washington to their Walmart. And does that solve the problem? No. They only have 1 inch plugs and we need a half incher. I decide we’re into it now and we head down to Riverside Bait and Tackle in Pekin. We called and they said they had what we needed. They didn’t. Their plug was also too big. While Cam and I were headed back to the car talking out loud about our bad drain plug luck, our luck changed. A stanger going to his car with his daughter said he might have what we needed and proceeded to pull a spare plug from his tackle box and give it to us. Wow. Cam and I headed to the lake in such a good mood. What a great guy.

We got to the ;lake and there were only 2 cars in the parking lot on a saturday. That told us about all we were going to need to know about the fishing. We launched and glory be, the boat was mostly dry. There was a little seep of water but nothing to worry about. Cool. Now as for the fishing. It was tough. The wind was out of the south and already blowing over 10 mph. This made it tough with ony a 30 lb. thrust troll to get us around. It took an hour until I finally got a bite. It was nice to finally land a fish. And soon after I got another one.


emiquon largie


another bassie


We went for a good long time with another bite as we looked around for some type of structure to fish. That I could tell, most of the trees that I usually fished were now either gone or well back in the weeds and unfishable. Finally, out in what seemed like open water I got a nice bite and caught the fish of the day.

big bass


Cam was trying hard but not having much luck. He did get a crappie that fell off as he lifted it out of the water and then this bass after mostly nothing all morning.

Cam's Bass

We dropped the anchor around noon to have lunch mid-lake. By this time the wind was really blowing.Some of the white cap waves were over two feet and while we felt we needed to throw plastics and fish slowly to catch fish, it just wasn’t possible. We decided to work are way back to the launch and then call it a day. I got one more nice one on the way in but it was too rough for a picture.

Trailering the boat was tough. Our little troll was no match for those conditions. We got around 10 fish which isn’t too good for the amount of effort we have to put into a trip to Emiquon, but we still had fun and hope to get back now that we have a mostly dry boat. Unless someone wants to buy it!

Tomorrow were headed up to Wisconsin for another shot at Northwoods muskies. Hopefully we’ll hit it right this time and have more to report when we return. Until then, good luck to everyone. Get out there and catch um.


Try this stuff for your boat. It’s amazing, and cures in less than 12hrs. Welded or riveted, doesn’t matter.

Posted by Andrew Ragas on July 08

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