Sunday, September 9, 2012

A crisp morning on the Fox

The last text I received from Dave Saturday night mentioned the fact the temperature would hit a low of 50 degrees overnight.  It still felt like 50 degrees at 6:00 AM when I pulled into Dave's driveway.

We loaded up the car and headed off to the Fox for some much needed walking in the water.  Our first steps were greeted by smallmouth bass jumping across the river from us. Busting the surface after bugs or minnows or whatever they were interested in.

Dave was drifting crawlers and I was minnow man today.  When a fish busted the surface near me by luck I shot a quick cast to the perfect spot.  My float went down, my hook sank home.  First fish on the board and a healthy 15 inches to boot.

Dave quickly picked up a few channel cats on his worms but didn't feel they were photo worthy so they were released without their photo op.

This 4-5 pounder got the full paparazzi treatment without the TMZ questions.

More cats and a 12" smallie were caught but it was chilly.  The air was still cold and the sunshine at that hour of the morning didn't warm us enough to make us want to stay in the water.

After dropping off Dave I still had over a dozen minnows and some worms left over.  What could I do to get rid of my extra live bait?

Off to the Naperville Riverwalk to fish the DuPage River West Branch.  I scored a few rock bass and this nice smallmouth bass in front of the small groups of people out walking the Riverwalk this crisp morning.

I changed spots and that was when I missed my white whale.  I drifted a minnow down at about a foot and a half when my float went down.  I waited and then pulled to set the circle hook.  It felt heavy, It looked big!  I saw the side of the fish as I pulled it from the weeds by my minnow. It opened it's mouth, let my minnow go, and rolled back under the grasses mid-river.

I threw almost every minnow and crawler I had at the area that fish was in.  That or another fish kept grabbing my minnow or the worm by the body and ripped it off the hook.  I did catch another good sized rock bass but the bait thief didn't stop.

Don't start calling me Ishmael or anything but I spent an hour casting at that one section of river trying to get my hook in that fish.  Color me obsessed; I can live with that.

A chill to the car window and a nip to the air on this early September morning.  Fish were caught and released while the stresses of the work week and a very well fed bait thief drift down the river.

9/9/2012 USGS Fox River 10.87 ft 269 cfs @ Montgomery Gauge

9/9/2012 USGS DuPage River West Branch 7.64 ft 76 cfs @ Warrenville Gauge