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Joined: 11:22am - Oct 9,17
Posts: 16

Post Posted: 07:58pm - Mar 12,19 
Went out today for a shakedown run on the Illinois. 2 Goals, make sure our new to us kicker motor ran right, and that big motor's newly installed impeller was working correctly. If we got to fish that would be the cherry on top. Stopped in to get bait from the guy with the cat, and headed to Barto's since we knew those docks were in. Bartos had about 1/4 inch of ice in the area but another boat was in the water already. Put the boat in at the crack of 1, started the engine, and the motor started but was pushing water with the throttle in neutral. Hmm weird, found that I could not move the throttle into forward or reverse, and it seemed like the motor was in forward gear at all times. But why would the motor start then? Checked the cables, and the mechanical mechanism that switches gears and all looked ok. Well the last time we did work on the boat was when my Dad changed the impeller, and the video on youtube told him to put the throttle in forward or reverse when taking off the lower unit.

Well back to Utica, take off the lower unit, throttle switches ok to forward, neutral, and reverse so that must have been it. Put the lower unit back on with the throttle in NEUTRAL and sure enough the motor can shift again. This time instead of making the treck to Barto's again we put in at Starved Rock. Obviously no dock in, I think that gets put in around June and then taken out again after July 4th for the winter. Water was chocolate milk and current was ripping as expected with about 5" visibility if that. Water Temp was 36.8 F. Went North of Plum Island, found some slack water and marked a bunch of bait fish and fish in around 12-14 ft. Trolled 3 ways with no luck and then tried dragging jigs as the current was non existent there. Dad hooked into a bigger fish but we never saw it as it shook loose.

Best of luck to those fishing the tournament this weekend, if we get any of that rain they are calling for, it will be a very difficult bite.

Also want to give a shout out to some really nice guys at the Barto's landing that were just coming in that had no luck with fish either. They gave us some advice about the motor and then turns out they paint custom baits and have a company called Illinois Valley Custom Tackle. In fact, they even gave us some of their custom painted crankbaits to try out and said they had a Facebook page. Never caught your name, but Thanks guys!



Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 741
Location: United States

Post Posted: 12:48pm - Mar 13,19 
Thanks for the report ES19.I had a lake in my yard this morning so the near future doesn't look good.If the farmland is thawed it might soak up some of the rain.

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