Fox River Deadfall
Fish the Fox
A PERSONAL JOURNAL CHRONICLING FISHING ADVENTURES AT THE FOX RIVER AND BEYOND.
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August 31, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Ended the month of August with a quick 1/2-hour of shore fishing. River has dropped and is clearing. Worked a 3" gold bass Zara Spook and popped the 16.5" pictured below in some slack water right after I saw it chase a bluegill. (My wife gets credit for the photo.) Switched spots and caught two little smallies on a 3" pearl Producto Spring Grub on a 1/8-ounce jig. USGS: 11.83' / 1,770 CFS and falling. Hope you all have enjoyed the journal for this month. What an August!

Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 30, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Kayaked and fished with my buddy Branson. River has come down but water still a bit dirty. Tossed spinnerbaits the entire float. Grass wasn't a factor. Awesome action. Boated 32 bass consisting of 31 smallmouth and 1 largemouth. Caught quite a few big ones and had two back-to-back doubles of hawgs. The fish were pounding the lure. Current running around structure was key. Working tight, run and gun. Got off the water around dark and it was chilly. Temp on the car said 58°. Another fantastic outing. This has been the best August I have ever had. USGS: 5.61' / 188 CFS and falling. Notable catches below are (1) 17.25"and 18", (2) 18" and 17", (3) 16", (4) 17.25".

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 27, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo for about 45 minutes mid-afternoon. Nice cool, overcast day with spotty drizzle. The river is up about a foot since yesterday and a little more muddy. Visited the same area where I lost a big fish to a bone-headed breakoff eleven days ago. It was a heart-breaker and I've been dreaming of a hookup with the brute ever since. I've fished the area a half-dozen times since, and even caught the same 17" smallie three times on the same topwater lure! Today I finally got my vindication! Tried a 3" gold bass Zara Spook, nothing. Got pounded once on a 3" pearl jig and twister, knew it was a big fish, but it wouldn't touch it again. Got pounded once on a 5" hula grub and it wouldn't touch it again. Got pounded twice on a 3.5" Yum Craw Bug rigged hook-exposed on a brand new Gamakatsu jig. Thank God it was a big hook. The fish pounded it and immediately tail-slapped the surface and surged into heavy current. Awesome fight. I swear I heard my rod splinter during the worst of it. I turned the fish into an eddy where I was able to lip it. Man, I was excited. Awesome bronze blimp. Taped it at 19". Girthiest smallmouth I've caught from the Fox all year. My son won the Yum Craw Bugs at a fishing club meeting raffle over the winter. I saw them in his tackle box recently and just added a few to my backpack over the weekend. Have never fished with them before! Lucky bait today. USGS: 12.22 / 2,630 CFS and rising.

Fox River smallmouth bass 3.5" Yum Craw Bug and Gamakatsu Jig 3.5" Yum Craw Bug and Gamakatsu Jig 3.5" Yum Craw Bug and Gamakatsu Jig

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 26, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Got out with fishing buddy Joe D. for a quick wade after work. River was up a few inches and a little more dirty than usual. I arrived first and started with topwater. I caught a 16" smallie on the 3" gold bass Heddon Zara Spook. Joe arrived and we waded our usual route. He fished his firetiger jointed Rapala and I continued with topwater. Picked up a 14" smallie on the 'Spook. We switched areas and Joe connected with a solid fish on the Rapala. Turned out to be a 25" flathead catfish. Was a neat catch! Same area, about 15 minutes later, I hit my third smallie on topwater. Taped it at 18". Nice night. Dodged the rain completely. USGS: 11.58' / 1,240 CFS and rising.

Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 25, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo for an hour before sunset. Landed three and lost three to jumpoffs. Got a 16.25" and 17" on a 3" gold bass Zara Spook walked upstream through riffles near fast water. Got a 14" on a 1/2-ounce Terminator white thumper spinnerbait brought downstream through the same area. Had a wader come over and try to shark my spot. C'mon! He waded away after sharing the area and no action. Serves him right! I'm landlocked, he's wading. It's a big river. I would never have had the nerve to do that! Oh well. That's fishing in suburbia. USGS: 11.29' / 730 CFS.

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 23, 2009 (PM)

DuPage River Fishing Report: Met my friend Kevin in the late afternoon for some kayaking and fishing. We haven't fished together since our trip to Lake of the Woods, Ontario in July. Where did the time go? Was great to get out. The river was in great shape and despite some float traffic from other anglers, things fell into place for us. Couldn't have asked for a better outing. We boated a combined 15 bass with some big ones. 17" on a 3/8-ounce white spinnerbait, 18" on a 3" gold bass Heddon Zara Spook, 19" on a 3" gold bass Heddon Zara Spook (personal best largemouth bass from this river), 15.5" on a 3" gold bass Heddon Zara Spook, 16.5" on a 1/4-ounce white buzzbait, 19.5" on a 3" baby bass Heddon Zara Spook. The big smallie was the icing on the cake. It absolutely blasted the topwater. Was one of the strongest and most memorable battles I've had from the kayak. Unbelievable outing. USGS 4.99' / 56 CFS.

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River largemouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River sunset DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 23, 2009 (AM)

Fox River Fishing Report: Amazing day. Started out at the Fox. Quick solo wade from 7:30-8:30 AM. Kind of a re-trace of Friday night's route to see if any more big fish were around. Fished a 3/8-ounce white spinnerbait and also a 3" gold bass Heddon Zara Spook 'walk the dog' topwater. No bites. Left blanked but hopeful. Had a pancake breakfast with the family and planned the day. Took the boys carp fishing. Found a shady spot on the bank of our local pond and chummed the surface with bits of white bread. The bluegills were all over it. As they nibbled the bread from the surface we noticed a few carp coming up to steal it. The boys used ultralights with 6 lb test. We landed four carp and one bluegill. All of the carp were small. Still, the kids were thrilled. Great time and the boys brought their bug nets and caught about two-dozen small crickets for their pet salamander. The carp pictured below are the ones my cuties caught.

Kane County carp fishing Kane County carp fishing Kane County carp fishing

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 21, 2009 (PM)

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished the Fox after work with my buddy Joe D. Big clouds building in all directions. Looked like we'd be in for one heck of a storm. We started out slow and kept an eye on the sky. Nothing major ever materialized weather-wise. It turned out to be a decent wade. I primarily fished a spinnerbait and ended up with four smallmouth (biggest measured 14") and two walleye (biggest measured 20" and I caught its twin on the next cast). Bringing the bait downstream was effective. Joe tried a buzzbait here and there but had his best luck on a fire-tiger jointed Rapala. He ended up landing five smallmouth (biggest measured 18.5" and is pictured) and lost a pig of a smallmouth right as he got it near. That was a heart-breaker. It jumped and was only a few casts after he landed his 18.5". It had massive girth and the tell-tale 'hump head' of a huge smallie. Just came unhooked as he was reaching for it. What a rush. I think we're both still shaking a bit from that one. I had to keep reminding him, "but you did get an 18.5!" LOL. Great time.

Fox River scenery Fox River walleye Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 21, 2009 (AM)

Pond Fishing Report: My youngest son asked me early in the afternoon if we could 'edge fish' today. Meaning, he wanted to go fish, but didn't want to do it from the kayak. He likes to have the freedom to run around. I obliged and took both boys to our local carpin' pond. We brought some Wonder Bread, #2 Aberdeen hooks, and our ultralights. The carp were scarce. I imagine they were laying deep. Even chumming the surface with bits of bread didn't get them to come up. We finally tied into a behemoth that made one powerful run before surging into some lily pad-like weeds and breaking off. We walked the shore of the pond stealthily and looked for carp tailing in the shallows. My youngest (6) connected with a medium-sized carp that gave him quite a fight. He was all smiles. Once he tired it out, I netted it for a quick photo before releasing it.

Reeling in a carp Kane County carp

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 20, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Kayaked and fished for a few hours after work with my buddy Joe. River was up from the recent rains, but dropping. Water was a bit muddy and eel grass and other vegetation was washing by at times. Fishing was slow. We tried a variety of baits: hula grub; mini 'Spook; buzzbait; spinnerbait. It took a while to get anything going. We ended up boating a combined seven smallmouth. Joe caught all three of his on a 1/4-ounce buzzbait. It seemed to get better for him as the sun was setting. I caught four on a 3/8-ounce spinnerbait. Largest pictured. Big clouds in the area and some of the towers that grew looked quite ominous. We stayed dry during the float but it drizzled lightly as we loaded up. All in all a nice evening. Has been nice to reconnect with Joe and share a few laughs on the river. USGS: 5.44' / 148 CFS and falling.

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 18, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Mid-afternoon. 15 minutes of walkin' the dog with the mini 'Spook got me three blowups, one jump off, and one connection. Worked a sun / shade line near faster water. Everything seems to be right for topwater now. They certainly are liking the G-finish gold bass Zara Puppy. And to think it was on sale at Gander Mountain! Hot as heck in the black shirt so called it a day after the photo and continued home.

Fox River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 17, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo for a few hours after work and squeaked out six smallmouth. One on a 3" pearl twister on a 1/8-ounce jig, five on a G-finish / gold bass Zara Puppy. The biggest on topwater was 15". Others were in the 9"-14" range. The river is still low. The rain didn't seem to budge the level. Lots of anglers out. I hate to report on missed fish, but I had a Fox River heartbreak tonight. My fourth fish would have been a hawg smallie. It missed the mini 'Spook twice so I tied on a 5" double-tail Yamamoto Hula Grub on a 1/8-ounce Slider Head and launched it into the area where I had the last blowup. It didn't take long before I felt the tell-tale 'thump' of the bronze inhaling the grub. Solid hook set and awesome fight. I got the fish all the way to me and made the worst rookie mistake --I grabbed the line. One massive head shake and the bronze monster snapped the line right at the knot. I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Saw the Goodyear Blimp buzzing around the area and later on there was a beautiful red sunset.

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 10, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Kayaked and fished 5:20 PM through sunset with fishing buddies Mark K. and Joe D. Was a beautiful evening for a float. Joe caught a beauty around 1/2-hour into it. We didn't measure it but I'd guess it around 17". Bit a black grub rigged weedless. He also had some luck with a white buzzbait after dark. He caught two nice ones on it, 15" and 16". They were fat and feisty! Joe landed around six smallmouth total. I had a slow start. I caught two rock bass on the hula grub early, but couldn't seem to find a groove with the smallies. I switched baits half a dozen times, trying the 'Spook, buzzbait, spinnerbait, and grub. I finally settled on the white spinnerbait and stuck with it. I ended up with four smallmouth and one walleye. The 'eye was a first for me on this river! Although not a huge one, was exciting to catch a 'first'. My biggest smallies were 16.25" (taped) and roughly 17" ... didn't measure it in the dark. Mark K. was mostly paddling Joe around and taking in the scenery. He fished a fluke, buzzbait, and popper. We fished until after sunset and got off the river around 9:10 PM. Was a nice time and glad we were able to meet up and fish. USGS 4.89' / 38 CFS.

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 9, 2009

DuPage River Fishing Report: Met Branson in the balmy pre-dawn. Launched short on sleep and high on anticipation. Duck weed and stringy greens were a constant surface delivery. Didn't touch topwater. Hula grub versus spinnerbait day. Branson learning-curved the hookset. Many got away. I kept the gold blade and short-leashed it downstream. The white skirt was a tease. Hard targets proved a big fish salvation. An even thirty saw the boat. We laid tape across eight. The grub numbered. The thumper sized. The breeze couldn't fix the sunburn. 15", 15.25", 16", 16", 17", 17", 17", 18". USGS 5.04' / 65 CFS.

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River butterfly DuPage River bullfrog DuPage River fawn DuPage River great blue heron DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River blackbird

The Eighteen
The top end of an outside turn held expansive clear in its sandy shallow. Was island-like. Nobody would cast that. I bombed in the spinnerbait. Mad bronze charged from beneath a nearby bush to get there first. The connection proved solid. Airborne fury tailwalked a dozen paces and met the kayak with a crash. Its aqua show was an exclamation point followed by silence. The brute puffed heavy crimson as it labored while lipped. A gentle subsurface assessment revealed a direct hit undertongue. Something main was tapped. Gills were safe. More crimson flowed. Hook removed. 30 seconds to run clear. Eyes lifeless and strength sapped. Couldn't right and barely mouthed my finger. Lost without help. Face time with current restored mild energy. Mouth clamping now. Switched to tail hold, hand underbelly. More minutes. Could finally right. Tail waving softly now. Reboot complete. Jets ignited. The warrior surged away. Dried sunglasses.

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Creek Chub Pikie
August 1, 2009

Fox River Fishing Report: wade fished solo for a few hours early morning. I hadn't waded the Fox River in a while, and was surprised at how much timber was moved or removed by the spring floods. Fishing was a bit slow overall, but I managed a few quality smallmouth bass on a 3" blue and clear Zara Spook while walking the dog downstream over mild current.

Fox River tangles Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River island trees

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© 2016 Fish The Fox. All Rights Reserved. | "Fox River Deadfall" artwork by Paul Turnbaugh. Used with permission.