I started out throwing a buzzbait and a spinnerbait as I wanted a lure I could keep shallow as most of the river is only a few feet deep at normal flow. I wasn't getting any hits, even the reliable relax shad was drawing a blank so I switched to a shallow running crankbait. The crankbait started producing almost immediately and I caught several small smallmouth bass off the edges of the flooded willow grass. Further downstream I ran into some cool overhanging cliffs.
I started throwing my crankbait along the cliff walls and catching fish with a little more size. This 14.5" fish was the biggest smallmouth I would catch on the day.
|Crankin' the Kank|
As I neared the takeout I found one last hole beneath a bridge piling that looked like it should hold a few fish. I was tired of throwing the crankbait at this point so I put a 3" hellgrammite on a jig head and just slowly dragged it along the bottom. I felt a good hit on about my third cast and brought in a nice surprise, a 19.5" walleye!
|First walleye from the kayak|
After releasing the walleye, I made a few more casts through the hole before I headed for the ramp to call it quits. The Kankakee is not the easiest river to fish from a kayak. It is fast moving and wide for much of the stretch I fished and it is hard to thoroughly fish some areas without getting out and wading. I think I found at least two good spots that I will definitely remember when I return to fish this river again.
Fish Caught: 8 Smallmouth Bass
Successful Baits: BPS Super Shallow Crank(OJ Brown Crawdad), H2O XPRESS CRS-NR Silent Crankbait(Matte Brown Craw), BPS Hellgrammite(Green Pumpkin) on 1/8oz jighead
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, S winds 5mph, lower 80's
Water Temp: 74.5
River conditions: Semi-clear(~3ft), 2100cfs(Wilmington)