Fox River Deadfall
Fish the Fox
A PERSONAL JOURNAL CHRONICLING FISHING ADVENTURES AT THE FOX RIVER AND BEYOND.
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August 30, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: August 30, 2012 -- the past few outings I've had success with a 3/8-ounce white spinnerbait through the fastest water I can find. Was thinking over the spots I know and figuring out a few in other towns where conditions might be similar to where I've been catching 'em. I had one in mind and figured I'd give it a shot early morning. Still had my running stuff on and just hit it from shore. Third cast, big momma obliged. Bone-crushing strike on the spinnerbait and a few drag-peeling runs but tamed with a fast-action rod and 12 lb Sufix Siege on the baitcaster. Taped at 19.5" and swam off strong. Gorgeous fish! Wish it could always be that easy.

Picked up a foot-long largemouth before switching towns and putting on the waders. Continued to work the spinnerbait and caught 11 chunky smallmouth in the 14"-16" range. Lots of acrobatic leaps when hooked and great fights. Fun on the Fox! USGS 10.25' / 251 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 29, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Visited the river with my wife, who took a rare day off. We had lunch at a corner diner and afterward while she checked Facebook and e-mail, I made a few casts with the spinnerbait. Hit a nice fish within the first half-dozen casts. Turned out to be a heavy 17" smallmouth that gave one heck of a fight! Ended up with six smallies total before heading back home. Am beginning to sense a pattern to where the bigger smallmouth are holding...

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 28, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Did a quick mid-day wade with my buddy Mike and tossed the white spinnerbait and hula grub. I only picked up four fish but two were dandies and pounded the spinnerbait tight to rock. The largest (pictured below) was heavily tiger-striped but faded quickly as I unhooked and photographed it. Gave me one heck of a splash in the face upon release. Gotta love those smallmouth! Mike caught four or five smallmouth on the same baits. USGS 10.95' / 350 CFS.

Later in the day we fished a riprap shoreline at a lake near his house. The largemouth were in a shad feeding frenzy and had them packed into the bank. A spinnerbait through the balls of shad would get pounded. Landed 7 largemouth in around 10 minutes before heading home. Easy pickins. Largemouth are all stocked and went 15"-17".

Fox River smallmouth bass

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 24, 2012

Private Rod & Gun Club Fishing Report: Took my brother-in-law Joel to a private rod and gun club to do a little Friday night fishing. We worked spinnerbaits and topwater at a few different lakes and caught northern pike and largemouth bass. I even got a musky on a Super Spook Junior. It was an amazing topwater explosion. The fish came unhooked underwater but no bother, I really didn't want to deal with a musky while kayaking. We enjoyed a few beers on the water and the bite died shortly after dark. Was Joel's first time at this magical place and I hope to get him out there again this autumn.

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 18, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Got a new pair of wading boots from L.L.Bean. I went with their stud sole Gray Ghosts. Coming from felt soles, I was eager to try stud soles. Out of the box the boots appear well-constructed and a small cleaning brush was included. There was also a pre-printed return form, should I have any issues with the boats, L.L.Bean will replace them free of charge. It's their guaranteed to last promise.

So far, so good. They are tall and have tons of ankle support. This is a bit different from the Field & Stream boots I came from. I think once the boots get broken in a bit, the area around the ankle (especially the top of the boot) will soften. The grip was nice both dry and wet. I trekked over some large shoreline boulders and went toe to toe with quite a bit of chunk concrete. I was expecting the boots to show at least some battle scars from today's wade, but they still look brand new.

Rotated between the hula grub and the white spinnerbait and plinking around downtown Aurora. Blues Fest was in full swing and it was a beautiful day. The blue sky and large white clouds made it hard to get a bad shot.

Ended up with nine smallmouth and one largemouth. The biggest smallie was 15". Can't tell you the number of folks that yelled, "How's the fishing?" Or that took photos of me. Felt like the lone bear at Yellowstone.

L.L.Bean Gray Ghost Wading Boot L.L.Bean Gray Ghost Wading Boot L.L.Bean Gray Ghost Wading Boot L.L.Bean Gray Ghost Wading Boot L.L.Bean Gray Ghost Wading Boot L.L.Bean Gray Ghost Wading Boot Fox River Fishing in downtown Aurora Fox River Fishing in downtown Aurora Fox River Fishing in downtown Aurora Fox River Fishing in downtown Aurora Fox River Fishing in downtown Aurora  

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 8-12, 2012

Kayak Fishing in Wisconsin: After five consecutive summertime fishing trips to Canada, my buddy Kevin and I were ready for a change of pace and something closer to home. We did a four-day mini trip to central Wisconsin and used his cottage as home base. I brought my 16' tandem kayak and we fished rivers and lakes in the area.

Our trip started off sunny and warm with the flow low and slow. We never even did a car drop-off, just launched and I paddled us upstream or downstream to wherever we felt like fishing. Paddling the tandem is no bother, it tracks well and I can get quite a bit of speed on long journeys. I was glad to be away from the office and get the exercise.

Warm weather kayak fishing is about as good as it gets for me. Ultra-simple. Shorts and flip-flops, a water, a camera, one rod and handful of lures. The spinnerbait, buzzbait and hula grub were our mainstay. Didn't need anything else. Northern pike, smallmouth, largemouth, white bass and walleye all came to hand within our first few hours on the river.

We tried a few local lakes. Some large, some small. We covered quite a bit of water in the kayak and did catch bass, but the rivers beckoned. We couldn't get enough of plunking lures alongside timber and rock, not knowing what would grab hold, or how big it would be!

Pike seemed to favor buzzbaits gurgled through shady cuts. Whenever there was a river birch leaning over the water, there was a pike beneath it. If you could side-arm a bait accurately at a low angle from the kayak, the pike was yours. Even the occasional big white bass would take down the buzzer, although most often in a current break and closer to the kayak.

Smallies averaged in the 13" to 15" range and seemed more robust and heavier than what I'm used to catching in Illinois. We did catch a few trophy-sized smallmouth and their scarcity made the meetings very special.

Walleye favored the white thumper spinnerbait and luckily for them, seemed to always bite at the beginning of our excursions. We would have liked to have kept a few for shore lunch later, but we released them all.

On occasion we'd hop out and stretch or need to drag through a shallow area. The water was warm and teaming with small fish. The bottom was mostly sand. Overall I'd say the deepest hole we floated through was around 6' deep.

We did see our share of rain. Of course, with it being a drought, neither of us brought rain gear. We got soaked from head to toe. But actually, it was kind of fun. It added to the adventure. I had on light-weight running gear and it dried quickly. Even during the heaviest of downpours, I kept casting the buzzbait and it kept drawing strikes!

After the rain passed, the rivers had risen and dirtied. The flow was faster. Kayaking took a little more planning and strength. I got used to it. I've paddled the Fox at much worse. The smallmouth bite wasn't as easy but the pike kept us busy.

We tried a smaller flow that was crystal-clear. It was probably the BEST stream smallmouth water I've ever seen. Grass, pads, rock, sand, shells. All different sized forage fish. Could see eating-sized crappie in some of the cuts. Channel cats, rock bass, large and smallmouth bass. Just unbelievable. Was like looking into an aquarium. We only fished it for two hours but wow, what a great two hours! Kevin caught his biggest smallmouth of the trip, a fat 19-incher.

After all the river fishing, it was time for a break. We spent a day in Green Lake where we rented a 24' Bennington pontoon and cruised. We cannon balled off the back and swam, drank some beers, docked for lunch, fished. The usual leisure lake-type stuff. We were livin' large. Green Lake is a fun place. Lots to do and see. The people are nice. The food is good. But bring your wallet. It ain't cheap! That's the trade-off ... we saved a lot by not driving to Canada and staying at a resort.

Overall ... great trip. Did stuff at our own pace. Felt more energetic. Can't say I've got terrible bass thumb but had a big enough taste of river fishing to tide me over for a while. Not that I'm gonna cut the Fox River smallmouth any slack...

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Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin Kayak fishing in Wisconsin    

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 6, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo for a few hours after work. Fished a 3/8-ounce white spinnerbait. Slow fishing tonight. Landed 2 of 4 with one biggie that slammed the spinnerbait coming downstream through a current seam. Stuck around for a few long exposure shots shortly after sunset. Despite the slow fishing, was a pleasant evening to be out. Water level dropping and had a distinct green hue from suspended algae. USGS 10.89' / 289 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River at night

topCreek Chub Pikie
August 1, 2012

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore and wade fished for a few hours 'till sunset. Tossed a 3/8-ounce white spinnerbait and occasionally tried a pearl fluke in a few deeper areas. Didn't find numbers but caught a few big ones. Ended up with eight smallmouth, everything on the spinnerbait. USGS 10.87' / 289 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Aurora at sunset

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