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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 1090

Post Posted: 09:15pm - May 23,16 
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Seeing that I had some luck in the morning, I took the ultralight and again hit the west branch about 5pm. If I was on the Price Is Right, I would have won the car, the boat and the vacation. Initially, I started with a 9" or so smallmouth and just as I unhooked it, the mono broke on the hook's eye and my plastic worm fell into the water. I thought it was a bad omen but, in reality, it was good that it failed early because I started in what became about an hour's worth of unreal smallmouth action. I use 2 small splitshot about 6" above the Chompers and let the rig just bounce along just outside the current. I must have landed (again, no net) between 8 and 10 fish that measuered against my Falcon rod to the Made In USA emblem. That put them in the 17-1/2" to 18" category and they were not lean. I must have missed another 4 of the same size which threw the hook after a few runs. I was hoping that one (which threw) was a carp (although it fought like a smallmouth) since it started to spool my reel and this was the only time I was concerned about the 6lb line. In between the big'uns, I must have landed another 4 smaller (in the 10"-12" range) fish.
Some fishers showed up and asked if I had any luck. While talking to them, I took another small one. Then, about 7pm, the action just stopped so I started walking downstream and caught my last smallie as I pitched my worm along the far bank.
Today was awesome. It felt like a jmdog moment!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:47am - Feb 24,10
Posts: 159

Post Posted: 06:26am - May 24,16 
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Way to go. He was probably lurking in the bushes, getting a lesson or 2. Your guys are working hard and deserve everything the rive gives up.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 1090

Post Posted: 06:27pm - May 24,16 
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Giving jmdog a lesson? No way! I am only fit to carry his wading boots. But it was like one of his moments of which he regularly posts.

I am wondering that the smallmouth population in the Naperville portion of the river may have been helped by the river not flooding, this past year. We had been getting yearly floods that scoured the river bottom (must do a ton of damage tothe roe) so the river has been reasonably calm allowing all forms ofanimal life to propogate.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:24pm - Nov 14,08
Posts: 1011
Location: Naperville

Post Posted: 06:41pm - May 25,16 
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Holy smokes chuck, nice job! That's a day you'll remember. The river has fished better in the last two seasons than any time since I started wading it. It truly is a great smallmouth factory and a fishery success story.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 1090

Post Posted: 08:52pm - May 25,16 
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I thought of following up the action with another visit the next morning. But then I thought that the females may be bedding down and I really did not want to catch the same fish again so I decided to let them be. I did think of bringing the fly rod, the next time, just to see if the bite would be the same. Maybe another day (maybe bring the camera and the net---leading to a nice quiet time on the water---no bites. :lol: ).

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:16pm - Jul 29,06
Posts: 358

Post Posted: 09:50am - May 28,16 
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Great post, thanks for sharing!

I've never really used soft plastics like chompers. Mind describing how it's rigged, etc? I assume you use one of those creature baits? Do you typically feel the strike or does it just stop tumbling downstream and you try a hookset? Great day out!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 1090

Post Posted: 11:14am - May 28,16 
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Chompers have that oily, garlic substance on them. In fact, the first time I used them, I thought they were gross and actually dropped the first one in the river. Since then, I got used to them (they are not as bad as those little plastic minnows made by another mfr). I use a #6 baitholder hook and pinch off 1/2 of the worm since I had too many fish strike short and only get the tail and not the hook. I thread the worm onto the hook like one would do with a Mister Twister. The split shot (2) are small (I need to watch when I retrieve since the shot can go through my tippett ferrule on the rod) and this is good becasue the small shot means less algae and grass getting caught. I tie on the hook with the same know I use on a fly.
With the rig set up, I cast downstream but at an angle of 45 degrees or better and let the bait just follow the current. That way, it bounces along more naturally since it is not encumbered by the line as it is once it is directly downstream of me and the current causes it to ride up.
The bite varies since smallmouth will hit it pretty hard and run. In a quiet piece of water, the bait and line just started moving in a different direction. Thursday, I just shore fished and caught a crappie and missed a few before catching. That bite is pretty soft.
I use the Chompers watermelon color but have found that the white grubs also get bites. Many a member of this site will probably second the grub color.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:16pm - Jul 29,06
Posts: 358

Post Posted: 11:40am - May 28,16 
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Much appreciated!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 1090

Post Posted: 12:33pm - May 29,16 
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No guarantees!
I took the ultralight and hit the same spot, yesterday evening, and could only coax one smallmouth (about 12") and a rockbass to get caught. I did change to a #2 Mepps black Beauty and caugh another rock bass but I really don't like to use treble hooks since they are so hard to remove and they injure the fish. I am not keeping them so why not return them with as little harm as possible.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:16pm - Jul 29,06
Posts: 358

Post Posted: 11:40am - May 31,16 
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Hit the east branch near the confluence yesterday. 170 cfs, water was 76F, hot and sunny out. Threw everything I had, one dink long released. Duper never has been good to me.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:06am - Jun 23,09
Posts: 1090

Post Posted: 09:09pm - May 31,16 
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Hurlburt, just hang in there. Upon walking back to the car, I fished the small inlet, from the west branch, by the Weigand park on Washington Blvd. I was throwing everything and was going to conclude that the fish were elsewhere. Wrapped up and was just looking at the water when it boiled near the far edge and something big just started to chase something else. They are there. Also, try the evening right before dusk.

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