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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:15pm - Apr 1,04
Posts: 306

Post Posted: 04:42pm - Sep 10,08 
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Every once in a while the catfish Gods line up the planets with the moon and sun, or clouds and stars………whatever it is they do and provide enough fresh cool water, to wake up the fish ………….and a guy or guys get Luckee and catch so many catfish that you call it a day because you get tired of rebaiting hooks and reeling in fish.

TODAY (Wed) was one of them days where a guy HAS to look back on and realize just how LUCKEE he is/was to have been on the water.

Striper01 came out and again Shad were so plentiful I had to empty part of the catch to get my net out of the water. First toss yielded 100 PLUS pounds of 3 inch shad. Figured Id toss again in some deeper water looking for bigger shad, but the second toss was just more of the same. Net FULL of 3 inch shad.After struggling to get it back up, I just opened it up and let that batch go and we headed down river.

First spot we hit was a rock pile surrounded on three sides with 8-10 feet of water and another side with 4-6 fow.

Within ½ hour of anchoring we had 14 fish in the boat ranging from 3 to 6 pounds. All good SOLID hits and quick in between. As we sat and watched our rods dip to the water every few minutes we noticed some bigger fish swimming just under the surface, over 10 feet of water………. and once in a while exploding on the surface to eat whatever it was they were feeding on. We assumed it was shad. After watching this for a while happening 20-30 feet behind the boat we realized it was CATFISH……..BIG CATFISH…feeding on the surface after actually seeing their faces when they came up to feed.

While we were well prepared for typical catfishing, lots o lead and sharp hooks, we werent quite prepared to chase after the surface feeding cats. Ole Billy gave it a try anyway with what little we could scrounge together for a bobber, but it just wasn’t happening. Meanwhile the fish kept coming off that rock pile until things slowed to a more normal pace of a fish every 5 minutes or so.

Spoiled from our first spot and the 14 QUICK decent fish we headed off to see what else the day and other areas might bring.
We fished deep, we fished shallow……we fished rock strewn bottoms and underwater sand dune like areas that rose and dropped in a rhythm like pattern below us. We fished mid channel, channel edges everything BUT wood and were treated to at least 4 fish per area we fished.

LOTS of 3-4 pound fish and MANY 5 and ups mixed in. If I had to guess an average, I would say looking back at all the fish the average size was probably in the 4 plus pound range. When We finally called it a day we were in the 80’s FOR SURE and probably actually flirting with 90-100 ………….EIGHTY plus fish from 6 am to 1pm.

We did take These two pictures while we were out there just for the sake of taking a couple……the fish were coming so fast we didn’t want to take the time to wipe our hands clean to handle the camera.


Image

Image

This boat just had a new floor put in by me a few weeks ago and had a fresh coat of anti skid paint to top it off. It was nice and CLEAN 3 days ago……heres what the floor looks like now from 2 days of flinging shad and catching cats.

Image

LUCKEE me,I get to try to get the boat clean, but I also had the pleasure to enjoy an unusually busy day of catching fish in many areas neither Billy or I had fished before on the Illinois, and come away with memories of a near perfect day.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:14am - Feb 14,03
Posts: 350

Post Posted: 04:08am - Sep 11,08 
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Ed and I both commented how we wish we would have had a video camera mounted on the boat somewhere so people could really appreciate the type of catfish day yesterday was. We would have been satisfied just getting movies of the pig channel cats feeding on the surface 20 feet away from us. They would come up to the surface in a nice liesurly cruise and then WHAM grab something and I mean right next to us. Ive seen smaller ones do it in front of the turbines and have been able to target them with slip float rigs, spinners, poppers and blades but we didnt have any to speak of so we could only watch. Ed forgot to mention how many double and triple headers we had during the day and at one point we had three on and dont I mention it would be nice to get a quadrouple and no sooner it comes out of my mouth and we have 4 on on the four rods we were using. We went through so much bait but its amazing that as full as the river is of shad that the fish keep hitting. In all the 25 years I have fished the river I have never seen the amount of shad like this year. They are thick everywhere. below and above the dam. I hope it bodes well for the future of the river. The nice thing about fall fishing is all day yesterday, as beautiful a day as it was, we never saw another boat fishing but the big rigs are starting to leave the great lakes for their winter haunts down south so we are starting to see the floatillas of the rigs people live on year around heading down the illinois into the mississippi. Next week is another day unless the weather is right for the chinooks at the Port of Indiana. So many places to fish now and so little time, good thing Im retired.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:14am - Feb 14,03
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Post Posted: 09:23am - Sep 11,08 
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Also forgot to mention every fish released to bite again, circle hooks are great, very little damage to the fish and nothing gut or gill hooked!!!!!!!

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:56pm - Mar 7,05
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Location: LaGrange

Post Posted: 10:07am - Sep 11,08 
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Well done guys. Sounds pretty exciting. Thanks for the report and pictures.
Scott

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:08pm - Sep 7,08
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Post Posted: 03:39pm - Sep 11,08 
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What was the general area? How do you get there?

Bro. G(newbie)

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:15pm - Apr 1,04
Posts: 306

Post Posted: 04:01pm - Sep 11,08 
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Quote:
What was the general area? How do you get there?



Illinois River.....Ottawa Illinois Pool

ANYPLACE downriver of the Allen Park Launch was working yesterday.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:08pm - Sep 7,08
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Post Posted: 04:05pm - Sep 11,08 
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Thanks dude!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:54am - Feb 12,03
Posts: 561

Post Posted: 10:23am - Sep 12,08 
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Very nice report. I haven't catfished the River in 2 years. Shame on me ! I will make a point of it to fish the beautiful Illinois River in the next 2 weeks. Thanks !

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