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Dan Draz

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About Dan Draz

  • Rank
    ISA Member
  • Birthday 01/27/1961

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Naperville
  • Interests
    Fishing (Obviously!). Bass (LM & SM), Salmon, Steelhead & Sturgeon. Saltwater and Freshwater.

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2,662 profile views
  1. Many many years ago.... In a land far, far away.... I had a commercial crayfish trapping permit with the California Department of Fish and Game. For about three years my fishing partner and I supplied crayfish, often 2000-3000 @ a time to tackle stores in our area for sale to fisherman using live bait where it was allowed by state law. Running 60-80 traps on days we went out, it was not uncommon for us to have 25,000 crawdads in our tanks at a time. We used to get a variety of different colors including blue, red, orange, brown, yellow and green in addition to a variety of sizes ranging from small to lobster-esque which NO fish in its right mind would ever take on no matter how big it was. Oh the things one experiences when sneakin around @ 2:00 a.m. setting crawdad traps so no one steals them. Some experiences I'll never forget like the time a truck ran a red light as i was entering the intersection with a load of dads on the way to several tackle stores. After slamming on my brakes to avoid the collision I had 8000 crawdads flying by my face. Imagine trying to pick up thousands of angry/pissed off crawdads FROM THE INSIDE OF YOUR CAR that want nothing more than to pinch you until you bleed! Get to the tackle store and the employee says "Dan, whats up with the dads? They seem a bit AGITATED!!" LOL
  2. It speaks to the growing movement of those who feel compelled to share with everyone else how far they've run (Err… suffered). Someone asked me the other day if I ran? To which I replied "the ONLY time I run is when being c-h-a-s-e-d!" And not that fast, I might add. You know the old adage "Sometime you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you?" The bear would definitely get me! Dan
  3. I want to personally thank everyone for their generous support of my memorial fisheries tribute (Funds for Fish) to Don LaBrose, the former DuPage County Forest Preserve fisheries biologist who influenced my Eagle Scout project. As everyone may know from the Forest Preserve District's release about the event, today's the big day! The Forest Preserve District's stocking the hybrid bluegills, purchased with money from donations through Go Fund Me and the Forest Preserve Giving Site, and I'll be on hand with many others to watch this new breed of fish get introduced into local waters! Don will definitely be smiling when someday a kid fishing catches a 5lb bluegill in waters he managed! Thanks again to everyone for all your support. I couldn't have done it without you. Quinn
  4. For anyone interested in the Funds for Fish (hybrid bluegill) project that I started with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and the progress that we're making on it, here's a bit of an update: the campaign's now pushing the 90% mark of the original campaign funding goal I set given several recent donations from folks in the local fishing community which is totally appreciated! I've been working with the FPD and will be wrapping up the campaign effort on August 31st. Donations made which exceed the original funding goal will result in more fish being stocked so I'm hopeful to not only meet the original goal but to exceed it! There are also some local press interviews scheduled with support from local fishing personalities. The FPD is interested in purchasing the fish and stocking them this year! Very cool! Quinn
  5. I want to thank ISA very kindly for the donation, and to individual members who are continuing to donate, in support of this fisheries tribute project. The response from the fishing community continues to be very positive and this week I'm picking up another donation check. Every day we get a little closer to the initial $5000 fundraising goal for the project so every dollar helps! As a teenager who had the pleasure of working on an Eagle project with Don LaBrose, and to be inspired by him, it's really exciting to see this all come together. I'd like to have this all wrapped up by the end of August so that I can turn project funds over to the FPD and the fisheries biologist can buy the fish stock and put them into the waters this year. if anyone has any questions please let me know. Quinn
  6. I thought you all might like to see what one youth ISA member, and Eagle Scout, is doing to honor the memory of Don LaBrose, former DuPage County Forest Preserve Fisheries biologist and to improve children’s fishing experiences in the area. Don was personally known to many ISA members and a friend of the ISA. Quinn’s effort involves introducing a new strain of fish to the DuPage County Forest Preserve waters. It's a really cool project! Imaging being able to catch a 4lb blue gill some day!! How neat would that be? The Chicago Tribune article on it was syndicated and showed up in papers around the country. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-dupage-fish-stock-st-0422-20150420-story.html If you're interested in talking about it or helping Quinn spread the word via interviews, facebook pages, twitter, email lists or fishing groups with a kind word about his project, he’d greatly appreciate it! Between direct donations to the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, and this new crowdfunding effort, he's already raised over 4k towards his goal. Every dollar counts! He's also doing several media interviews about it over the next couple weeks. Www.gofundme.com/fundsforfish Donations are also going directly to the DuPage County Forest Preserve District's website: https://www.dupageforestgiving.org/ Those of you who are DRiFT members, Quinn cannot thank you enough for believing in his effort and supporting this project with a significant donation: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/community/chi-ugc-article-naperville-eagle-scouts-funds-for-fish-campa-2015-06-19-story.html If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and thank you to the ISA members who have already contributed. Quinn appreciates it very kindly. Dan
  7. Simple suggestion but the best colors imitate the baitfish/crawdads etc in the waters in which we fish. Kind of that "match the hatch" theory that fly fishermen talk about all the time. But to your point, I'm a huge fan of the theory that hungry fish eat what swims in front of them so the reality is that color may not make that much difference in that scenario. One more thing: not to complicate matters too much but you also should think about what color trailer you are going to fish on that swim jig and what type of trailer you are going to thread on the swim jig as I don't know too many people who fish it without one. I suppose you can but I don't. Now you have to think about a color for the swim jig and one for the trailer that goes with it.
  8. I am neither retired or unemployed, and have a 9-5 schedule (in the city, so technically that should excuse me....) but depending on the date I am always willing to play a little hooky to help my fellow fishermen out. Once you get the date nailed down I'll see what I have on the calendar and try to make it.
  9. I added a new username last Sat and got the confirmation on it which I sent through. I then tried to use it on Sunday but it didn't work at all and I kept getting error messages. So, I then sent about four messages through asking them why it didn't work and could they fix it? The e-mails bounced when sent from my home computer, so I sent them back via my office machine. They didn't come back but no one responded to any of those at all. The boards were up until about a day ago and now those don't work at all.
  10. My son Quinn has been inquiring about wading staffs since we heard the Bob Long presentation and are thinking safety. I've spent some time doing a little web research but then decided to throw it out here to see who has experience with them, and ask for recommendations, brands etc, especially given the price for some gucci fly catalog, and Cabelas models which are spendy. I see that most of them are collapsable, a few brands have more than one size (length and thickness), some float and most attach to your wading belt. Thoughts from you experienced ISA river waders out there? Thanks in advance!
  11. Geez Dana.... broke by June? You're doing well if you make it that long! I just ordered three dozen from Jonn and a boatload of tails from Big Hammer. I'll be broke by next week at this rate! Perhaps we should all just have our paychecks electronically deposited into Jonn's account!!
  12. Dan Draz

    Best tip

    1) Fish in the water... you aren't likely to catch too many fish in your garage! 2) Make Time to Go Fishing... Life's too short! 3) Lastly, take a kid fishing. Not only is it rewarding to watch your child (grandchild) catch fish and enjoy him/herself BUT it has an added benefit: Your spouse can never ever question the fact that you're going fishing again?!
  13. Every article I've ever read about smallie fishing in the U.S. refers to Lake Erie as being the "Smallmouth Capitol of the U.S. Philosophically, I pose the following question to those of you who may have the answer. If Lake Erie is really the Smallmouth Capitol as the articles claim, what state is the Capitol located in? Obviously, it borders four states plus Canada but I do not know anything about it, where on Lake Erie one goes or in what state for the great fishing. Or is it on the Canadian side they are talking about? I am not looking for a big boat type trip but more of an inimate two person guided type trip that I can take my son Quinn on since it is really a regional trip for us. Any thoughts on that or names of people in those states who may be able to answer some questions for me? I'll probably post this in a couple places but any inside information on places to go/guides/cities etc would be greatly appreciated. I'm already taking smallie trips to other states so this is strictly a Lake Erie quest.
  14. A little known fact is that Jonn has an 11 year old collaborator named Quinn Draz. Quinn is an aspiring artist with quite a palate for color. When we went down to fish with Jonn, Quinn had a color concept for a swim jig in mind and told Jonn what the colors were he'd like on his swim jigs. Jonn designed that swim jog and named it "Q's Mojo!" That is the picture on the article on the Big Hammer site. As Quinn's agent, royalties are gladly excepted for his college fund! My son is 11 and has a jig named after him.... imagine that?
  15. Ron, since you were asking about the swimjig/swimbait combination... I can tell you that my son Quinn and I have used that same combination quite a bit and have not only caught smallies on it but have put a serious hurt on quite a few pond LM's as well. I even caught a Sauger on it down at Shabbona last year so it's quite a versatile combination! And as swim baits are dynamite on both saltwater and freshwater bass, there's no wonder it's such a great combination. Colors and tail action are important but we've caught them on a number of Jonn's baits and a number of different colors of Big Hammer swim baits.
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