Day 1 -
We went up to Visit Rachel’s Dad at his new house, and I was given the thumbs up for fishing. Unfortunately, between the time I planned to get up there and we actually went, excessive amounts of rain blew out all of the rivers.
The other bad (good) part of the trip was that I didn’t take many pictures because I was trying to conserve my cell phone power, being as I was fishing from dawn till dusk every day.
First spot was one of the bridge crossings on the Mazon river. I sat and stared at it longingly, because I just knew there were all the Suckers and Red Horse I wanted to catch in there somewhere, but there was no place to even stand where you could get a line out. I looked at it for a little while, and then moved on to Mazonia. I drove around hitting the little lakes on the North Unit, and started catching little sunfish. I made my way down to Carp and Gar Lake for gar. It took me a good 45 minutes to walk in to a fishable spot at the channel that connects them, which made me feel like a fishing Kayak is a worthy investment. I tried some inline spinners, and got nothing. I switched to rope lures, and had several follows by longnose gar back to my feet where I was standing in the water. I figure-8’ed them just like musky, but they were not hitting. This water is SUPER clear, and while they were interested in the lures, they wouldn’t take them.
After I left there, I headed to the South Unit lakes and caught a bunch of sunfish. I should have kept them, but it was still early in the day, and I wasn’t really prepared for it. I should have got a picture of the red ear, but my phone was at 5% and won’t take pictures at that point. It was probably the biggest sunfish I’ve ever caught. They were all hitting hard on Carolina Rigs on the bottom.
I also caught this little top minnow, which I was convinced was a new species, but Ben Cantrell crushed my hopes and dreams, and informed me it was just the male pattern of Blackstriped Topminnow, which I already had caught.
I also headed over to Kankakee where it meets Rock Creek, in the hopes that the creek might be flooded, but not have so much flow.
Started at Monster Lake, at the Granary Creek cutoff. I caught a few nice bluegill there, and a couple little ones, which promptly became flathead bait. The bite was pretty slow, and I didn’t get any flatheads – but I live near a super flathead spot, so I’ll just have to hit it when the waters are right.
Late Afternoon, I went down to Ponderosa, which has a 10 sunfish limit, and caught a nice mix of bluegill, redear, and green sunfish. Right before I ran out of worms (that doesn’t happen too often). Yellow Perch started biting, hitting #40 of the 50 species I want to catch this year.
Went back to Duane’s and cleaned the sunfish, which took forever since I am terrible at it. However, after watching a quick youtube video on how to clean and de-bone perch, I made quick work of them. I’m a much better perch cleaner than bluegill cleaner.
All in all, I had a great time. It was rainy, muddy, and flooded and I got enough hiking in to last me a while but I’ve got a huge number of spots that are already scouted fully for when I go back up there. I have to get a redhorse, something about them appeals to my catfishing nature.