Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fox River Musky!

I met up with pondboy (Dan) early this morning to try for some white bass on the Fox River at the Geneva dam.  The water was still high from the flooding rains a few weeks ago so wading was unsafe at this location and we were confined to shore. DuPageAngler FlawlessFishing recently had a good day catching white bass in this area and we wanted to see if we could duplicate his success. First cast of the day I caught a decent smallmouth bass on a 3" yellow swim shad.
Still a little groggy, it's early!
I switched over to an 1/8oz chartreuse rooster tail and caught a few small white bass and one decent white about 12".  Dan had success with his drift rigs using crawlers and minnows and caught several white bass along with a couple yellow bass and smallmouth bass.

This size was typical of the white bass we were catching.
Then the bite slowed so I decided to give the yellow swim shad one more try. After 30 minutes to an hour with not so much as a bite in the hole where we had previously had slow but steady action, I was getting ready to move to a new spot.  Then I finally felt a thump and my line went slack. I reeled up and felt some weight on my line.  I set the hook but didn't feel the telltale quick head shake of the white bass and smallmouth I had caught earlier in the morning. This was something much bigger.  I figured it was probably a big carp but when the fish rose to the surface and gave a good thrash I couldn't believe what I saw.  A long striped fish......a musky! I yelled out "Dan!" who was fishing downriver and motioned for him to come up. I had never caught a musky let alone hooked one.  I immediately thought this fish was going to be tough to land.  Light action spinning tackle is not a good setup for a fish this big, obviously. Plus, we didn't bring a net. Luckily, I was using the reel that had the strongest line of the combos I had brought with me, 10lb power pro braid.  Also, I could see I had the fish hooked in the side of the mouth where my line was out of the way of the muskies teeth. I was able to keep the fish from getting out into the heavy current and fortunately the musky never really made a long run. However, it seemed every time I got the musky close to shore where Dan could almost have a chance to grab him the fish would peel drag and make a run back out a little ways into the river.  After a few runs and a couple close calls with a flooded bush near shore I was finally able to maneuver the fish up a flooded walkway to where Dan could grab it. Dan handed me the fish and after we took a few quick pictures and got a measurement of 33.25" I got the fish back in the river and with one big thrash the fish was gone.

One of my goals for this year was to catch a musky, but I didn't really think I had a chance today in the Fox.  I was thankful to have Dan with me to help land the fish and give me advice on bringing it in.  He also caught most the fight on his pivothead sunglasses.

Dan and I wrapped up the day fishing further downstream on a small tributary of the Fox River and I caught a few more smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Great way to end an unforgettable day!
Fish Caught: Muskellunge - 1
                    Smallmouth Bass - 5
                    White Bass - 4
                    Largemouth Bass - 2
                    Crappie - 1
Successful Baits: Yellow swim shad, 1/8oz chartreuse roostertail, Chart./White Lake Fork Baby Shad, small chart./green sassy shad.
Weather: Partly Cloudy, N wind 5-10mph, warming to low 70's.
River conditions: High, visibility < 1ft.

No comments:

Post a Comment