Fox River Deadfall
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June 29, 2011

Private Lake Fishing Report: Kayaked and fished early evening until dark with my buddy Kevin. We tried three different lakes and did a run-and-gun looking for aggressive fish. Kevin mostly fished a hula grub and let it sink deep while I tried topwater (Lucky Craft Sammy 100, buzzbait, frog). Great time on the water with around 30 bass boated before we called it a night. All fish released.

Kevin and largemouth bass Largemouth bass that swallowed a crayfish Kevin and smallmouth bass


June 25, 2011

Forest Preserve Fishing Report: Got out to a local forest preserve lake with my two sons, my niece, and my brother-in-law. We brought waxworms and minnows and shore fished for panfish and bass. The kids fished sporadically and hunted the shorelines for frogs, bugs, and whatever critters they could find. The weather was hot and still, and finally some clouds rolled in and we got a few sprinkles. Fortunately the bugs weren't too bad. Everyone caught some fish and had fun. My niece caught a nice little largemouth bass (surface popper) as did my oldest son (hula grub). All fish released.

Fun catching bass! Grant and a sweet largemouth bass


June 24, 2011

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished for about 15 minutes while running some errands with my two sons. Only fished topwater and picked up two scrappy smallmouth in the 13" - 14" range. Lucky Craft Sammy 100 walked downstream near a rock wall. USGS 11.80' / 1,660 CFS


June 22, 2011

Private Lakes Fishing Report: With the weather being very "Minnesota-like" my buddy Kevin and I were just itching to get out and hunt for some big fish. We had recently purchased new rods and reels and spooled up for a first outing with them. We were stoked! The plan was to kayak a public lake near my house and fish for largemouth bass. At the last minute we upped the ante and drove an hour north to a private rod and gun club. We figured we'd deal with the extra drive time in order to tangle with some bigger fish and not have to be out by sunset. We could stay all night if we wanted to.

We arrived around 4:45 PM and began from shore. We tossed red shad Trigger X brand Texas-rigged 10" plastic worms beneath overhanging trees and picked up four largemouth bass and one northern pike in about 15 minutes. The bass were 14"-16" and the northern pike was small, around 18". It was some fun / quick action from shore! Everything released.

I had my tandem kayak on my roof rack and we drove over and launched the kayak at a different lake. It rained occasionally but we stayed fairly sheltered fishing in coves surrounded by large cottonwood trees. Kevin was using a 3/8-ounce "white thumper" spinnerbait and fan-casting the back of a small cove. It was an area that I have seen big muskie using in the past and I was just waiting for his lure to get pounded. Sure enough, it got hit alright. But the culprit was a nice-sized walleye! It gave Kevin a decent fight and appeared to be a spawned-out female, long and thin. (pictured)

I caught some nice largemouth. The sizes ranged from 15" to 19" and they were all fat. I fished a 10" plastic worm as well as a 1/4-ounce white buzzbait.

I also had two run-ins with muskie. The first was towards the west end of the lake in a little channel behind an island. The fish looked to be around 30". It blew up on the buzzbait and I never got a hookset on it. It just kind of grabbed the lure and let go. As if that wasn't enough of a heart-breaker, I briefly tangled with a BIG musky as we were on our way in and had the boat dock in sight. We were just entering a cove and I cast the buzzbait at the southernmost point down from the dock. This big girl had no business having interest in a measly 1/4-ounce buzzbait, but it blew up on it, missed it, then surged after it and hit it again. This time, taking the lure down and I set the hook hard! I don't think the hook even penetrated the fish's mouth. I felt the weight of it and just as I began to anticipate an awesome fight, seemed like the 'ski just let go and out flew the lure. That one is going to haunt me for a while. I think that fish was in the mid-40s. Hate to speculate, but we could plainly see it was thick! Shades of Canada.

Around 8 PM we loaded up the kayak and headed over to another lake with high hopes of some sunset fishing and racking up some numbers. That lake has been hot lately. Well wouldn't you know it, I locked my keys in my truck! I was so bummed. Luckily, Kevin had his cell phone on him and I called the county sheriff's dispatch. They sent a deputy out and we walked out and met him at the entrance. He gave us a ride back to my truck and had it unlocked in seconds. He was really nice, and knew my son's little league coach, who is also a sheriff's deputy for the same county. The deputy actually stuck around and followed us out, since it was after dark and he said there was no way he could find his way out on his own!

So my bone-headed move of closing my locked truck with my backpack and keys still in it sure put a damper on the end of our night. But overall, another great time fishing. Those muskie will haunt me -- especially the larger one!

Kevin and a walleye YouTube video


June 21 & 23, 2011

Enter the Minnow Trap: A few YouTube movies of some fun times with my kids. Trapping some fathead minnows at our neighborhood pond.

Checking the minnow trap Freedom Day!


June 15, 2011

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo at the Fox River for about an hour late evening. Picked up a feisty 14" smallmouth right off the bat while fluttering a Lucky Craft Fat CB crankbait (ghost chartreuse shad) near the surface in current. I just let about six feet of line out and hung the bait, letting it wobble against the current. The scrapper came up and smacked it hard!

Around dark I switched areas and tied on a Lucky Craft Sammy 100 topwater (Aurora bass). The Sammy is by far my favorite topwater lure to work and for good reason -- a fish so much as looks at that lure and it's getting hooked! I zigzagged it upstream with an occasional pause, letting it drift back a few feet downstream before starting again. I was rewarded with some vicious strikes, sometimes the lure getting blasted so hard from beneath that it got kicked a few feet over. I caught three drag-peeling smallmouth on the Sammy -- ranging from 16" to around 19".

I called it quits around 9:10 PM amidst a blizzard of caddisflies. The clouds were clearing and I was treated to the rise of the full strawberry moon over the countryside on my drive home. USGS 11.72' / 1,490 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass Full strawberry moon - June 15, 2011


June 6, 2011

Lost my dear friend and fellow angler Ron Schlueter (August 18, 1941 - June 6, 2011) of Bemidji, Minnesota.

Ron Schlueter
"Ron was born 69 years ago in Aurora, Illinois to Herbert C. and Mildred C. (Bomleny) Schlueter. He graduated from West Chicago Community High School in 1959; where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He was scouted by the Chicago Minor Leagues, and "made the cut" as a power hitter. He decided not to go with a baseball career as it would not be good for a future family life and would really hinder his hunting and fishing times!

He married Donna Jean Gorick (nee Smykal) April 3, 1970, moving to Bemidji, Minnesota shortly after he began working for the City of Bemidji in November of 1970 as an Animal Control-Community Service Officer. He retired after over 30 years of service to the citizens of Bemidji. He was often a speaker at State Animal Control Conferences and was given awards by the VFW and the American Legion for outstanding service in law enforcement.

Ron loved the outdoors, including hunting, fishing, blueberry and morel mushroom picking and making maple syrup with family and special friends. He was a fishing guide on Lake Bemidji, a tournament fisherman and involved in Take a Kid Fishing in its early years. He also guided for the Governor's Opener on Lake Bemidji many years ago. He taught his wife, children and grandchildren to appreciate and harvest God’s gifts to mankind. He loved watching sports on television. His annual sweet corn patch was a family favorite, along with big backyard fish-fries and BBQs for family and friends. Holiday dinners in his home were "the stuff of memory making" he'd say."

Ron was a good man, passionate outdoorsman, and generous friend. He will be dearly missed but his spirit will live on in those he spent time with. Lake Bemidji won't be the same without Ron in his Wind Drifter, working yet another drift. The walleye will get some rest for a while.

Ron Schlueter and Grant Schaaf Ron with my son Grant on the shore of Lake Bemidji after a day of fishing.
Grant caught an 18" walleye that day under Ron's guidance. Both were thrilled!


June 5, 11 & 12

Pond Fishing Reports: I've been getting my boys out to a few local ponds to give the 'gills a workout. Our mainstay has been a tiny pink and white Flu Flu jig tipped with a waxworm and fished about 24" beneath a small foam float. Hemostats are at the ready for any that get hooked deep. We've managed to rack up some nice numbers and sizes, although we let everything go. Some of the bigger 'gills really give a nice fight on light line.

Boy catching frogs Bullfrog Bluegill


June 1, 2011

Fox River Fishing Report: Got out with my buddy Branson. Beers at The Herrington Inn, dinner at The Filling Station. Urban spot hop in between. Wonderful outing with great company. Managed eight smallmouth and one silver drum. River high but falling fast. Night hawks squawking. Not a whisper of wind. Everyone in shorts and a t-shirt. Really felt like summer! Branson took the pics below around 10 PM in downtown St. Charles. Long exposures helped to capture the vibe of a warm urban evening. Biggest smallmouth was 17.5" (Branson) on the Northland Mimic Minnow. USGS 12.54' / 3,280 CFS

Fox River at night Fox River at night Fox River at night Fox River at night Fox River at night Fox River at night Fox River at night

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© 2018 Fish The Fox. All Rights Reserved. | "Fox River Deadfall" artwork by Paul Turnbaugh. Used with permission.