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Memorable ISA Moments of 2007


Mike Clifford
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We had nearly 100 opportunities for fishing, fellowship and much more.

Please use this thread to share your favorite moments, fishing or otherwise from your year as a member of the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance.

Stories, photos, anecdotes...we want to hear from you!

 

Let's have them.....

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We had nearly 100 opportunities for fishing, fellowship and much more.

Please use this thread to share your favorite moments, fishing or otherwise from your year as a member of the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance.

Stories, photos, anecdotes...we want to hear from you!

 

Let's have them.....

I attended the outing on the Fox river held at Oswego. Though I arrived late, I was able to meet a couple of members who elected to fish downstream from the group. Good conversation and all around fishing fun was the order for the day. IT was exactly the reason I joined the Isa and served on the board for a short time. What a wonderful way to spend a day ,good company, fish and the Fox river . I would also like to personally Thank Don Rego for the great job he is doing as Chicago land Region coordinator. Keep up the Good work Don, and Merry Christmas to all Fellow Isa members!!!

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Thanks Kevin...that describes the ISA experience perfectly.

Fishing and fellowship rolled into one.

 

My first memory of jumping in goes back to the month of May.

Rich told me that a church group close to where I live needed somebody to help them learn the ways of the almighty smallmouth, and after an early morning phone call I found myself mentoring about a dozen future bass anglers in a campground atmosphere on a section of the Kankakee I had never fished before.

We all learned a little that day.

Kind of cleanses your soul after a long hard winter.

 

100_0674.jpg

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I've been lucky at ISA outings in terms of catching the biggest fish of the outing. It happened again at the April Northwest group outing on the Kishwaukee river. I was fishing a section of the Kish that I had not fished before and I came upon a small but deep hole covered by a big tree limb. I tossed a jig into the the pool and a big smallie immediately nailed the jig on first cast. After I landed the fish and held it up, some of my fellow ISA anglers exclaimed "that's a twenty inch fish!". I didn't have a tape measure with me, so I kept my mouth shut and measured the fish against the handle of my new rod. When I got home, I used a tape measure to measure the spot that I had used to measure the fish on my rod. It was something like 18 inches. A nice fish to be sure, but not a 20 incher. I fessed up on the board that the fish was not twenty inches.

 

If someone else would have tossed some other lure into that spot, they would have caught that fish.

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This was a great ISA year for me.

 

Fishing:

 

Not only did I catch my personal best smallie (20 inches..WITH the tail pinch!), and spotted bass (16.25 inches WITH the tail pinch), I also got to fish with some great guys on some terrific water. Personal thanks to Phil Fiscella, Steve Jordan, Jeff Douglas, Jim Kast, Don Rego, Jude Torre, Mike Clifford, Brenden Terrill, Rich McElligot, and Rob Kanter (Mark Hedger, RonK and Dick G, you're on the list for next year!). You're all good sports for putting up with my personal foibles on the water (and yes, Jim, those WERE spotted bass we caught). Anyone who wants to fish next year, call anytime. I can honestly say I had a blast every time I went out (Except maybe that one time Steve and I got skunked. Oh yeah, and when Rich and I got skunked. Hmmm...and when Mike and I got skunked. Heh...and that one time Jude promised me 50 fish and we only got one.) Ok, revise that to read...MOST of the time I had a blast fishing, and EVERY time, the company was great!

 

Conservation:

 

Getting the ISA granting program up and running was probably the highlight of my year. Hopefully as you saw in this month's issue of the Bronzeback Bulletin (and keep an eye on the next one for even more reports) efforts of this group resulted in some real improvements in smallmouth bass habitat and basic research. Some genuinely remarkable people contribute to this organization with unbelieveable selflessness to make programs like this possible. Thank you to everyone who supported the ISA this year.

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If someone else would have tossed some other lure into that spot, they would have caught that fish.

 

It takes a humble fisherman to admit that. I think we could all use a bit of humility now and again.

 

Thanks for the post.

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all times out on the water were some of my fav were a duper trip with don-matt thought we were walking to china to catch smallmouth then their was the water clean ups some people just throw every thing and just do not care were it ends up. the millatery kids day was fun looking foward to next year. thanks to all who open my eyes to some new spots thinking out side the box when fishing. look foward to hit the water with all in the year comming SPIZ

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I've been trying to forget, but just seeing Don's name keeps jogging my memory....

 

 

Add me to the list of the Don's victims. I'd have to say my most memorable fishing trip was my initiation into the Illinois Survivor Alliance. Half way through the day, I had to pretend that keeping up with the Energizer Bunny was no problem.

 

 

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Add me to the list of the Don's victims. I'd have to say my most memorable fishing trip was my initiation into the Illinois Survivor Alliance. Half way through the day, I had to pretend that keeping up with the Energizer Bunny was no problem.

 

You're a better man than I am, Jude. I moaned and cried like a little girl! :wacko:

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Finding a site of dedicated Smallmouth fans and conservationists that are organized and make a difference! You guys have a lot to be proud of. ISA will be getting my money in 2008, if for no other reason admiration of the organization's style. Good job fellows!

 

Now I have been absolutely blessed with great times this year. I managed 50 at 18"+ this year with 9 20" + (with 10 days to go :D) . As a way to make friends and explore nature Smallmouth fishing can't be beat.

 

Get out enough and strange things happen, Coyotes riding deer across the river, 2 Lesbians in the woods watching me catch a fish in January, dog following my kayak for miles, slap happy delirium, those amazing things the fish do that you never saw before, the wildlife, the solitude, the feeling of calm. Pure gold with good friends. The great new guys I've met. The improbable comebacks, the lightbulb moments and there were oh, so many of them in 2007!

 

I go through hobbies every five to ten years or so. Research them and strive with all my might to master them. This hobby is a lifer.

 

As much as I think I've learned this year, as truly awesome as the fishing has been, it's only one chemical spill away from heartbreak for . That's why I feel it's important to contribute, even if Illinois isn't my state.

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I'll work on digging up some photos, but in the meantime the following link contains all the ISA related videos from events I was fortunate to be a part of.

Here's to all of you for so many memorable moments in 2007.

 

2007 In Pictures

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Thanks for the link Mike. I really enjoyed being more involved with the ISA in 2007. I have many memorable moments and will try to recap them after the holidays. I do know one thing for sure...I'm proud to be associated with such a great group!

 

Don

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I think that my most memorable ISA moment was getting together with all my ISA friends, having breakfast and great conversation on then getting in some fishing. I sure thank all those that came out to be with me.

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Nicely done Mike!

 

I was only able to participate in 2 ISA activities this year but they were both memorable. I attended my first Blowout and found it to be highly informative and entertaining (including the ride home). In April I attended the Central Region Outing on the Mighty Mack. My partner (Dana Lee) and I had never fished it before and we found it lived up to it's reputation. Above all I had the pleasure of meeting many others who share the same passion for Illinois streams and smallmouth. Many thanks to Tim Smith, Steve Jordan, and Jonn Graham of the Central Region for their excellent work!

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While not my best moment the most memorable was when I got snagged on a shoreline rock while casting a rabbit strip fly.Had to walk right up to it to get it free.Plopped the fly right next to my ankle with just the leader out.As it hit the water the water boiled and the rod started bucking.I figured I'd hit one of those big carp that often are half asleep along the shore on the Fox that you practically step on before they bolt.To my amazement it turned oit to be an 18.5" smallie!

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I had 3 very memorable ISA moments in 2007. I'll list them in the order they happened.

 

#1 Clear Creek Shocking. I had never done a stream shocking before and had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was a very eye opening and rewarding experience. It took me back to my days of youth dabbling in the creek turning over rocks and catching things in buckets and studying them.

 

#2 Wisconsin River Guided Trip with Gordon P. I decided to donate a little more money to the ISA by being high bidder at the blowout. I got my money's worth fishing 2 days with a free night stay on the Wisconsin River. The sections we fishing had outstanding natural beauty and the element of adventure with strong rapids through boulder fields. I caught some quality smallmouth including probably my heaviest smallmouth of the year. I also had a close encounter with a musky. Thanks again Gordon for a memorable trip.

 

#3 Kishwaukee River Guided Trip. I also donated a trip in 2007 and got to fish with very accomplished angler that had fished in many corners of the world. I really enjoyed watching his agressive style and how excited he was catching smallies on my humble little local river.

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