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NW Region 9/22 Rock River Follow Up

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Thank you for the interest guys but due to many factors me & Kip O were the only ISA members to make it. It was pretty rough out there. My car read 43 degrees when we started and that was accompanied with a stiff and gusty NW wind. Two guys with 2 cars and 2 kayaks is enough to get it done for a free shuttle. Despite the rough conditions the fishing was epic. I am so happy to see this area bounce back after the largest fish kill in IL history back in June 2009. I used to fish this area all the time but I kind of gave up on it the past few years. It is back and better than ever from a smallmouth perspective with a very strong year classes of 6-10" fish along with a few bruisers to keep things interesting. With the low water there was zero boat traffic and only one other group of canoeists that used the local outfitters and they weren't even fishing. Once we got past the crowds at the dam, we had 5 miles of prime river all to ourselves. I'm not really sure if I'm comfortable posting in detail about all of the numbers, size and variety of species that we caught. I'll just say that from a fish catching perspective, this was the best day I've ever had floating an IL river. Casting and boat position was very challenging in the high winds and I even missed a lot of fish due to poor hooksets. I caught fish on live minnows, gulp alive minnows, senkos, hula grubs, and a rebel popper. Live minnows outfished everything around the dam. Once we got past the crowds and into pods of unpressured fish, live bait was not necessary and did not produce any of the top end fish. It did help contribute to the multi-species totals. At the current levels this stretch can not be fished with a boat unless you have a jet prop. I didn't take a lot of pictures due to the conditions and my location during the best action. Here is one I caught while out of the kayak that went 17.5". Most of the fish were very thick like the fall feedbag has started.


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