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jim bielecki
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Hi everyone,

 

My brother and I are planning a vacation together this year. We haven't decided if we want to go south to Lake Kincaid for Musky fishing or some place else for huge smallies. We plan to go in August.

 

 

We are on a budget and would like to stay in Illinois if we can but we know there is better fishing out of state. We enjoy wade fishing and plan to camp. However, we also have a 16 foot aluminum as well.

 

Do you have any recommendations for Illinois or Michigan waters? Wasn't there a canoe/Kayak only lake in the U.P. I heard other guys rave about it but I can't remember what it was called? Ideally Rainy lake would be awesome in Canada but that's not in our budget.

 

I know many people fish the Lake of the Woods...how far is that?

 

Does anyone know if Kincaid is a recreational lake...that is something we definately want to avoid. For a week of fishing we are definatley staying clear of these lakes.

 

We hope to find action and decent size fish. Catch and release locations are most preferable.

 

 

 

Jim

 

 

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Guest Don R

QUOTE (jim b @ Mar 3 2008, 03:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wasn't there a canoe/Kayak only lake in the U.P. I heard other guys rave about it but I can't remember what it was called?

 

We hope to find action and decent size fish. Catch and release locations are most preferable.

 

Sylvania is the place. I'm finally making my first trip up there this June.

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If you are looking to fish lakes in August, it's probably the toughest time of year. It's the warmest water of the year and the bass (and most other game fish) are usually out in deeper water where they can be harder to locate especially on lakes you are unfamiliar with.

August is a good time for rivers though. Just find current, and the smallies will be close by.

If lakes are what you have in mind, the month of June is prime time where ever smallies swim.

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Guest Don R
If you are looking to fish lakes in August, it's probably the toughest time of year. It's the warmest water of the year and the bass (and most other game fish) are usually out in deeper water where they can be harder to locate especially on lakes you are unfamiliar with.

August is a good time for rivers though. Just find current, and the smallies will be close by.

If lakes are what you have in mind, the month of June is prime time where ever smallies swim.

 

Good points Scott.

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Guest rich mc

there will be another isa campout the weekend of aug 2 at prophetstown state park. most of the river is wadeable or you can beach the boat at various locations and wade from there. lake geneva and delavan smallies start schooling on the deeper dropoffs in august the mississippi in wisc is also good for smallies at that time rich

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Smallies will definately be deep in Sylvania in August. They should still be catchable but don't expect a hot topwater bite or anything unless you go to some of the largemouth lakes.

 

I'm doing a father/son canoe & camping trip on the black river in Wisconsin in July. I can let you know how it goes.

 

As already pointed out August would be better on rivers that lakes for smallies. The rivers should be low and stable and the smallmouth should be in predictable summer haunts in areas with current & rock. So many rivers so little time. The farther north you go the better your opportunities but there are decent places in IL as mentioned.

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Smallies will definately be deep in Sylvania in August. They should still be catchable but don't expect a hot topwater bite or anything unless you go to some of the largemouth lakes.

 

I'm doing a father/son canoe & camping trip on the black river in Wisconsin in July. I can let you know how it goes.

 

As already pointed out August would be better on rivers that lakes for smallies. The rivers should be low and stable and the smallmouth should be in predictable summer haunts in areas with current & rock. So many rivers so little time. The farther north you go the better your opportunities but there are decent places in IL as mentioned.

 

 

With the advice already posted I think I would perfer fishing a river. Are there any good ones that are exceptional? I haven't been to Central Illinois...is there some good rivers down there? The black river was mentioned...does anyone know about the Lemonweir River in Mauston Wisconsin? Is the black river in wisconsin a good one?

 

What about Michigan? Any rivers in Michigan come to mind?

 

I appreciate all the advice.

 

Jim

 

 

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QUOTE (jim b @ Mar 4 2008, 11:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The black river was mentioned...does anyone know about the Lemonweir River in Mauston Wisconsin? Is the black river in wisconsin a good one?

Jim

 

I am assuming you saw one of my posts about the Lemonweir. It's a good river to hit if you are already there. Personally, i would not drive all the way there just to fish it. I vacation right near there, outside of New Lisbon. I fish it early in the am, before everyone gets up. '04 and 05 I did really well there. Usually caught a half dozen to dozen nice smallies, mostly on topwaters and Flukes, then later on I started flyfishing more.

 

'06 and 07 were slow on the smallies, I'm not sure why.

 

As soon as this !@#$ing ice age of a winter is over I'll be headed up there.

 

I've scouted out the Black River, but never fished it. It looks really promising.

 

I've fished Sylvania in late July. You can still catch fish, but it is indeed tougher. I did pretty well on Helen (the lake, that is) on Largemouth and smallies. Typically the weather is nicer that time of year. It's great camping.

 

A BWCA trip would be less expensive than Rainey. Quetico is better than BWCA but more expensive.

Sylvania is much easier than both. "Boundry Waters Lite" I like to call it.

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Hi Mark,

 

I didn't know you fished the Lemon". I have property I hunt in Mauston. On one trip I was fixing a deer stand and thought I'd try the Lemon. I had a huge smallie break me off. Lots of carp otherwise.

 

I was just wondering if the fishing was good enough for a vacation.

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Jim

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One of the best vacations to be had is right in your very own backyard. Get a DeLorme's Gazateer and wade up from some bridges. Do several miles. You never know what behemoths you will find. Do this for an entire week different streams throughout your state, get to know the streams. You'll be glad you did in the long run. Knowing some honey stretches 1 hour away is better than a pristine lake 6 hours away once every few years. They hold a surprising number of big fish the DNR can't count. Sure, it's no Canada. Canada is just spoilage. Stay away from there and learn to compare your skills to what is possible in Illinois. Scout google earth for streams with lots of bends. Listen to the whisper of stream anglers at shows.

 

Save your money, do a Lewis and Clark for Smallmouth in your own state! Go for a week in August or September for optimum fish catching opportunities. The peace, the nature, the beasts will suprise you. So rewarding and you don't have to get on any planes. Oh, and throw big baits!

 

I fished 15 different streams last year in Indiana, 105 different times. I love Smallmouth and have absolutley no desire to go to Canada. If I never catch a 6 lbs smallie that will be ok, a 22 or 23 out of a ditch will do nicely right here at home! :)

 

 

Brenden

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Helen ehh...

 

Sylvania light is a great title and I really thing the smallmouth fishing there is easier.

 

Brendan, nice post and I agree.

 

When I ask guys at sport shows if they fish for smallmouth sometimes they answer "yea, in Canada" I stifle a laugh and launch into my local waters routine.

 

 

Plus.... a 6lb is a very very long shot no matter where and the growing season up there makes that next to impossible.

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QUOTE (jim b @ Mar 5 2008, 09:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Mark,

 

I didn't know you fished the Lemon". I have property I hunt in Mauston. On one trip I was fixing a deer stand and thought I'd try the Lemon. I had a huge smallie break me off. Lots of carp otherwise.

 

I was just wondering if the fishing was good enough for a vacation.

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Jim

 

I would say...to travel up there just to fish the Lemonweir, no.

 

My sister has property outside of New Lisbon. My family and I go up there for free. I have a canoe stored up there. I fish with my son, run on the Elroy Sparta trail, ride my bike up in the hilly Amish country (beautiful) in Monroe Cnty just west of New Lisbon, work around the property, go boating on Castle Rock, hike up the bluffs, barbecue and consume too much Pinot Noir around campfires that are way too big. Just general cilling out and relaxing.

My biggest smallie out of there was 19". I saw a monster largemouth caught and kept by a local once. Easily the biggest river largemouth I've ever seen. Also once met a local there, a very nice guy that showed me a stack of polaroids of humungus walleyes and smallmouth and a few really nice Northerns all on stringers, all kept.

I've also caught some really nice gills in there fishing with the kid. As I said, I haven't done all that well last few outtings. Smallies have gotten tough for me. That said, I only spend 2 or 3 hours at the most, early in the am then go spend time doing other stuff and or with the family. I also haven't changed presentations all that much.

I also did better when the river was low.

I've never fished Kennedy park, but hear it's good. I've fished New Lisbon Lake and caught some northerns in there.

There are also trout streams not too far, but I have not fished them yet.

 

In my opinion, if you are up there it's a good little river to hit...if you are there...and it's free...and you have something else to do in case it sucks.

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Oh yeah...on ONE "magical" labor day evening we freaking killed white bass on white twisters. Castle Rock Lake up at Petenwell Dam. A fish on every cast. All nice ones. Got up the next morning and did it again. Major fish fry. It was great.

 

 

There are some really nice fish in Castle Rock, but the boat traffic is a nightmare.

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If you are looking for river smallies in the 18 to 20 inch range , you can certainly do so in Illinois .

 

If you are a Bears fan , depending on if your vacation is the same time as training camp , you can camp , spend part of the day watching the Bears and the rest of it chasing smallies . The Bears camp is 10 minutes or so from the campground .

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