Saturday, June 29, 2013

Want a Ride?

If you talk with me about fishing I'll undoubtedly bring up DuPage Angler and the impact it's had on my life angling and otherwise.  The site gets anglers together in a friendly place to talk about fishing, get to know other fishermen and learn from them.

Last night I got off the Metra, drove home in the rain knowing that it would clear.  I hooked my boat up to my hitch and headed out to launch the boat solo for the evening bite.  The hour closest to dark can be a magical time on the water.

I had backed in and was just beaching my 15' jonboat when I heard a familiar voice say hi.  It was Ted (SoonerBass) from the DuPage Angler forums.  I've fished with Ted before for blue catfish and for bass in several ponds.

The first words out of my mouth were, "Want a ride"?

Ted thought that would be a good idea and loaded his gear into my boat and we headed off to fish around the islands. 

There are two islands on the north half of the lake.  Weeds are getting thick around them but the water is clear and the weed edges drop off to 12-15 foot water in most areas.  Water temperatures were 77-78 degrees.  I was throwing a Bass Pro Egg crankbait running very shallow just under the surface.  Ted was using a walk-the-dog style topwater bait.  We cast around weedy spots surrounding the island when off one point my egg gets hit.  

It's a pounder, maybe pound and a halfer.  I took the picture because I've yet to crack the code to catching the bigger bass at Whalon.  Not to worry, I'll learn.

It was about the time we rounded the second island when Ted spotted surface boils.  We motored over near the disturbance and saw largemouth bass busting on tiny hatchlings of some sort.  Inch long bait fish balls chased by bucket-mouth fish.

Ted and I worked our cranks in and out of the busting bass.  It paid off for Ted with a nice two pounder.

We both looked like our necks were on swivels, pivoting around to see what made the splash behind me?  Crud, a duck.  What was that to the right?  Bass!!!  Cast!!!!

This was a better fish.  2.5 pounds by both of our educated guesses.  The fact that the water was so clear meant we could see what the fish were eating.  When bass fight they sometimes regurgitate what they've been eating recently.  We saw the tiny bait fish and probably should have downsized our tackle to take advantage of the hatch.  

The night encroached upon the day more and more as I secured the boat to the trailer and unloaded my gear to the car.  We'd had a decent evening.  Three fish were caught and released and we got to see nature at it's finest in the form of big fish chasing and eating little fish; circle of life stuff.

I'll be back at Whalon around dusk.  I want to experiment with different lures and see what will let me land more bass.  Maybe I'll bump into Ted again.  Maybe I'll see another DuPage Angler member fishing.  If you know me from the site and you see me launching solo come say hi.  I may just ask if you want a ride.