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NWR Float Trip Recap

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We’re back at it. The Northwest Region hosted a Kishwaukee River float trip on Saturday, April 24th. This was the first official outings event the ISA has held since the pandemic hit shortly after the 2020 Bronzeback Blowout. We had a total of 8 casters covering 3 sections of the Kish from seven different boats. Myself, Eugene, Steve and Jim floated the mid section of the Kish with Eugene having the hot reel for the day pulling in a total that dipped well into double-digits. All in this group landed smallies and all enjoyed an absolutely beautiful day with beautiful weather. 

Bart and Eric G. took their kayaks to Belvidere and did a float of the Kishwaukee north branch while Paul and Kevin D. headed south to toss theirs into a section of the Kish south of Rockford. Those guys will have to fill you all in on how they all did with the catching and releasing on their sections of river. 

Certainly could not have asked for a better day.









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It was a nice day to be out on the river. Mild temps, a little cloud cover and the water levels and clarity were about as good as it gets for spring conditions. By the time I got done helping everyone with shuttles it was just me and Kevin and the 4 in Terry's group heading down river. I decided to head to the south branch instead of having 6 guys pound the same section of river.  I picked a section that required a little portage to get to the water. I figured the remoteness of this section would put us on some unpressured fish. This section has a particular spot that has been good to me in the spring as some quality fish will stack up there.  Things started out pretty good as I caught one at the put in spot before we even launched. Shortly after that Kevin got a solid fish on a spinnerbait. Then I had some quality bites but was having some trouble making the hooksetting adjustments of fishing out of a kayak so unfortunately those were missed opportunities.  Then we come around the bend to my money spot on this stretch and there are 2 guys with kayaks camped out there. Literally camped out there with a fire and cooking lunch.  I had a chat with them and they said the fishing was so good through this section the day before that they had to try it again. Said they had already caught about a dozen each and one that must have went 4 or 5 pounds. We ended up leap frogging each other the rest of the way to the take out bridge. So much for my theory of finding a remote section with difficult access to find some unpressured fish. It is a beautiful section of river with almost no houses or development. We ended up catching around 10 smallmouth with the one Kevin got being the biggest.  If we combine our numbers with the 2 new anglers we met, I would say it was a very productive day with some quality mixed in.


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Eric and I followed the advise of Paul and Terry and mapped  out our float trip from Belvedere dam to Distillery Park.  After Paul left to set up his shuttle we left to set up our shuttle.  I had never visited Distillery Park before so I learned a new Kayak take out and fishing location on the Kish..  The bite started off hot and I caught 4 smallmouth and a largemouth in the first half of our trip, but unfortunately the bite died off for me  in the second half. The outdoor beauty of the Kishwaukee was more abundant than ever as we encountered beaver, including this beaver slide, mink, Bald Eagles and deer.  I saw Eric battle a large pike before being bit off.  The weather and conditions couldn't have been better for a day to kayak and it was truly a beautiful day to be on the Kish. Thank you Paul and Terry for setting up this outing.  





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