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About JeffD

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    ISA Forum Registrant
  • Birthday 09/03/1967

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  • Location
    Savoy, IL
  • Interests
    river bass fishing, statistics, strength
  1. Phil, It was neat to see you pull 3 fish in a row on the jerkbait in icy water less than 2 feet deep. The carp thing is interesting. It seems that late November through early March, spotting carp is a great way to locate the smallies. I guess the question is whether they independently seek the same water, which could falsely give the impression that smallies enjoy the company of carp. I don't think it's that simple though, there appears to be something more to it. At the very least, even if they do find the same spots independently, the carp are convenient and visible markers for smallies. You saw those carp, and the smallies didn't emerge from the shadows until they hit your jerkbait. I was looking for a good internet article or video on fishing jerk baits in cold water. Of course, there are several for fall or spring fishing, but not much on sub 40 degree water. I did find this video on winter tubejig fishing, which is sort of interesting. http://anglerstube.com/view/1280/chasing-winter-river-smallmouth-w-tube-jigs/ Jeff
  2. I've gotta agree with those who said an inline spinner or Mepps Aglia. Go out with a #2 in July or August and you can hook up with smb, lmb, spot, rock bass, channel cat, sunfish, shiner, and most anthing else. I actually like a #4 for bass, but the #2 will catch more species.
  3. Maybe this is more suited for the fishing reports, except there is nothing to report. Fished about 4 hours and didn't get a single bite. Not discouraged though, will march forward into the coldest temps with plenty of optimisim and plans for big bronzebacks.
  4. We should be in the 50's in Central IL. It could be an interesting day to catch some relatively lively fish. Will they hit a moving bait like a crankbait or spinnerbait in Dec? Will we need to use tiny tubes or f&f, maybe a patient jerkbait? It should be an interesting day. The trick will be to access the slow and deep pools without taking a shotgun slug in the ass from the deer hunters. That always adds an element of excitement. Sunday looks promising too, a little cooler but with some light rain or clouds, which should help.
  5. Nice photos John. I'll be in Southwestern Wisconsin this weekend, around Mount Horeb and Barneveld. I lived in Cross Plains for a few years, on a little trout ditch that drained into Black Earth Creek, and I agree that Monk's is a neat place. Can't wait to get out in the Wisconsin River and also have a few local brews. It's truly a terrific part of the Midwest, especially for outdoor enthusiasts and beer drinkers.
  6. Paw paws were great Phil. Tien had all the neighbors over to experience the custardy taste. Now my assignment is to go out and find a bushel of them so she can make paw paw jam. Probably I'd do better with the paw paws than with the bass. Will pass Paw Paw Illinois tomorrow on my way to Wisconsin.
  7. Try the Lincoln IL area. It's only about 40 miles from Springfield, and there are several smallie streams there. On the north side of Lincoln there is a park on Kickapoo Creek. Salt Creek runs through Madigan State Park on the west side. My favorite is Sugar Creek, a little north and east of Lincoln off of rt 10. If you are interested I can give more specific instructions on access points.

  8. JeffD


    Dana, I haven't noticed coffee tubes hanging up more, but I fish mostly sand and gravel bottoms, and not the jagged rip-rap along the shore of powerton. It would be interesting to have a race, take a bunch of tubes to a swimming pool, and see how fast they drop 3 feet, kind of like a Boy Scouts soap box derby. Maybe Strike King will make a decaf tube, and that will solve things. I used to fish Powerton about 20 years ago, and it was a fascinating place. I recall hooking up with a fish I was sure was the state record smallie, casting in the rip-rap along the shore. Turned out to be some monster drum. Jeff
  9. JeffD


    I like the strike king coffee tubes for most of the year, and the thin-walled zoom tubes for winter months. Mostly I use black zoom tubes, and somehow I've gotten attached to the natural goby coffee tubes, even though there are no goby where I fish. I think the Strike King coffee tubes are just the right density and thickness for my applications, and I often pinch a little from the tails. The favored hook with them is an Owner finesse hook, and I like Oldman wire-guard tube inserts for the zoom tubes. Tubes kind of rule, in the sense that if I were restricted to a single type of bait, it would have to be tubes.
  10. Thanks for the valuable comments guys. I think watching the line is quite a big deal. In any case, I proved tonight that I have much work to do. I went to a pond in my neighborhood to try and catch a few largemouths on some old Mepps spinner. After missing 6 or 7 fish in a row, including one quite big one that I could see, I became very frustrated, and blamed my son's rod that I was using for not having enough backbone to set the hook. A couple casts later, I discovered all of the hooks had broken off of my Mepps, probably before I even made my first cast. So much for fine tuning!
  11. I'm for Butler, though it doesn't look good right now. The reason is that someone told me you can access the White River near the athletic fields on Butler campus and catch some nice smallies. How can you not cheer for those guys? Hopefully their practices include zipping spinnerbaits across pools.
  12. When I think of improving my performance year to year, much of it comes down to better execution on hook sets and landing the fish, particularly with tubejigs. Two critical statistics are, 1. proportion of bites that result in successful hook sets 2. proportion of successful hook sets that result in caught fish. #1 amounts to some combination of decision making and timing, choice of line, and matching the jighead to the tube. It also varies with season as agressiveness of bites do. Obviously an exposed hook would help, but that isn't often an option in river smallie fishing. It usually comes down to some wire-guard insert heads versus a texposed or Texas-rigged finesse or slider head jig. #2 has much to do with the quality of #1, but also there is room for improvement in playing a fish. When I think of last weekend, I was 7/9 on #1 and 5/7 on #2, not bad for me, but it meant 2-4 nice fish got away. The difference between a 5 fish weekend and a 9 fish weekend is quite substantial. Well, some might say neither is a success, but a single smallie can make my weekend. This sort of efficiency, according to #1 and #2, whether concerning tubejigs or other baits, must account for a great portion of total success. Of course the other factor, call it #0, is "number of bites". I've learned quite a bit about numbers 0-2 from Phil Fiscella, especially as it concerns tubejigs, but I'm sure others have interesting ideas. I'd be interested in knowing how others fine tune their jig fishing, selection of jig heads, line, and other issues.
  13. You were right Phil, Bandit makes a crankbait that is shallower than the 100, and the bill is like you described. I found it in some Bass Pro Shops catalog. The spoonplugs sure shake up the whole system. You seem to be making them work better than crankbaits, and they sure are easy to crank. I'll see if I can come close to replicating your success. I guess according to my system, they are Tier 2 experimental baits . Sorry to Buck Perry, maybe I should accept them on faith.
  14. Below is a post from my fishing blog that I am copying and pasting here, just for fun. In an effort to keep life simple, it can be interesting to see what tackle one really needs to carry. By alternating between expanding and contracting the arsenal of baits, one can occasionally try the new hot bait that everyone is talking about and then according to the results, redefine the core set of "must have" lures. In this post I try to organize my thoughts and consider my Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 baits. These tiers are roughly defined by Tier 1: Must own and will carry and use at certain times and places within the next year. Tier 2: Still experimenting, but trying not to waste too much time. These might move up to Tier 1 someday. Tier 3: Had enough, not spending any more money on these. Tier 1 Crankbaits- I nearly always have some crankbaits packed from March-November. It looks like I can restrict my attention to Bandit 100 and Bandit 200 cranks. Bomber 4A cranks have performed well too, maybe in the same circumstances as the Bandit 200. These seem to have the right size, depth coverage, and wobble for the waters I fish. Tubejigs- Tubes must be the number 1 producer of all, summed over the entire year. I always have some tubes with me, but might use them less than plastic worms from June-September. After trying many tubes, I think I can narrow it down to 3.5" Strike King coffee tubes and thin-walled Zoom tubes for the colder months. Best colors are green pumpkin and black, and I like the natural goby color that is offered for the coffee tubes. Usually an Oldham wire-guarded insert is used for Zoom thin tubes, and I texpose Owner slider heads and finesse heads on the Strike King coffee tubes. Buzzbaits- Gotta carry buzzbaits when fishing relatively clear water from June-early October. I just buy the cheap $1 Wal-Mart baits. They seem to work fine. Those little Strike King mini-buzzes can sometimes get more hits. Zara Spook Jr- I had off and on results with spooks, but enough success to decide this is my walk-the-dog bait. They aren't as expensive as other baits in this class, and can work great. Spinnerbaits- I had about given up on spinnerbaits, thinking their use was in the span of other Tier 1 alternatives, then had a terrific October with them. I believe my baits are 5/8 OZ, pretty big baits that smallies as small as 12 inches had no reservations about pounding hard. Seems like Colorado blades and willow blades are fine. I know some of the theories for situations in which one should be preferred over the other, but I'm not convinced the fish are aware of these theories. Curly tailed plastic worms- A couple of months a year, my biggest producer is a 7" Berkeley power worm. These are always Texas rigged, usually with a 1/8 OZ weight, and sometimes with this "Perfect worm rig" hook that I like. Best colors are green pumpkin and red shad. I'll carry these worms from June through October. They replace tubes as #1 plastic for a couple of months. I drag them but sometimes get on a bite slowly swimming them. Float and fly varieties- In the winter I carry some float and fly equipment. I can't claim to catch many fish this way, but for 2 consecutive months F&F kept my streak of at least one smallie a month alive, so I have to think of F&F as Tier 1. Honestly, I do better with the super cheap marabou jigs or little crappie tubes than I do with more expensive hair jigs, so I'll likely just pack some crappie tubes and 1/16 oz and 1/32 oz jigheads in the future. Senko- Everything else in this article pertains to smallie fishing, and I also use my smallie tackle for largemouths in ponds. However, I keep Senkos around specifically for ponds. There is nothing that compares to them for fishing ponds in hot summer months. I always rig them weedless, and sometimes slither them through weeds and moss as a topwater bait, and I let them seductively fall to greater depths on clear summer afternoons. Amazing bait, and I don't believe the imitations work nearly as well. I need to start trying them wacky rigged. Smoke-colored Fireline- I've kind of converged on this line for nearly 12 months a year. It can be a problem when it is very cold and ice tends to bead on it. Then mono should be used. However, I mostly use my 14 lb Fireline from April-Oct, and 10 lb Fireline in colder months. I've gotten used to how it feels, and I like how it handles on the reel. Well, that's Tier 1. I think if I were restricted to those baits for life, it might be a blessing. Then I'd shift my focus to the other critical aspects of river smallie fishing, exploration, location and presentation. Tier 2 These are baits I occasionally feel compelled to try, and they could certainly be added to Tier 1. lipless crankbaits- There seem to be a couple of days a year when these things outfish everything. Usually that is in some summer day when fish are moving fast and I'm trying to cover a bunch of water, maybe banging them through a boulder strewn pool. Rattle Traps are consistent, so I don't often consider others in this class. Mepps aglia- Just like the lipless cranks, I always seem to have a day or two a year when fish go nutty over these. So, I never let my supply of them run completely dry. I see no reason to keep the smaller ones around that are usually associated with smallmouth fishing. I carry #4 and #5. flukes- I'll be working these as a soft jerkbait and as a topwater (or just under surface) bait in 2011 to try them out for Tier 1. So far it isn't looking good, but we'll get a month-by-month look at them, and try to find the right spots. So many people do well with flukes, either weightless or weighted, that they need to be investigated. hard jerkbaits- This is a classic bait that I just can't get working for me. So many anglers advocate them that I'm sure I'll still try in the fall and spring. Maybe I'm not patient enough with them. Tier 3 Here are the baits I'm done considering, for the moment. grubs-I've tried these throughout the years, but a tube or plastic worms always seemed to be a better option. poppers-buzzbaits and spooks span my topwater needs swimjigs- No evidence a cast with these wouldn't be better spent casting some Tier 1 bait. swimbaits-look interesting, but have never produced better than Tier 1 alternatives. creature baits- I think the funny creatures are meant to appeal to fishermen more than fish, and the worms and tubes will do just fine.
  15. That's absolutely true Scott. I have several ponds in my vicinity that I eagerly visit after a rain, and the fish are always stacked by those drains. Just last weekend, we had the wind blowing hard up toward drains in two separate ponds, and this combination of factors resulted in a hit every other cast in both cases. Pond fishing is a terrific way to remain sane when time or conditions won't allow river smallie trips. Ponds also allow opportunities to experiment with new lures and presentations. Hmmm, maybe I'll visit some pond tomorrow morning before work. I've noticed a little fish smell on the hands helps keep folks away so I can get something done. Fish slime appears to serve as people repellant.
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