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Chris Meade

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  1. I thought this link might be of interest. Clearly, there is ongoing debate. Unfortunately, the graphic of the chart is very small. However, getting my nose close to the screen got me to the info. https://kanecountyconnects.com/2021/08/friends-of-fox-despite-idph-do-not-eat-suggestion-fox-fish-are-getting-cleaner-by-the-decade/
  2. In 2012 there was a drought. The low water levels concentrated smallies in the channel areas, so 30 fish days were not unusual. Right now the water level is about 8 inches higher than what it was in July 2012. The action I've encountered lately has been pretty inconsistent. But, that's probably due to "operator error."
  3. Great to have this detail, Frank. Thanks! With the open hooks, are you losing equipment with any frequency?
  4. The one Fox creek I routinely visit had quillbacks spawning two weeks prior to last Friday. Last Friday the quillbacks were gone and I picked up two smallies at the mouth of the creek with a swimbait and 5-inch Producto grub. I'll assume the smallies were ready to make the move soon for the spawn.
  5. I have been using the Scrounger Heads on the Fox for the past three weeks. Granted, I have been using a lighter version (1/8 oz.), but I haven't gotten the wobble I was hoping for. However, what I really like about these is the resistance to snagging. There's a long stretch of boulders that have been consistently producing smallies. They also eat tackle voraciously. I can bang these into the boulders with complete confidence that the rig is coming back to me. When I look at the placement of the plastic lip on the head of the jig, I see why it resists lodging the head in the rocks. I'm planning on investing in some more.
  6. Ryan, I'm not sure how you would define decent. There definitely are smallies in that pool. I would avoid weekends and holidays as I sometimes see power craft out on the water then. I have some experience fishing the area down stream from the South Elgin dam and caught plenty of smallies. And that's open water all the way down to St. Charles. Off of Rt. 31 in St. Charles, I have put in my canoe at Boy Scout Island. Further upstream is BlackHawk Forest Preserve. I have put in there, too. Hope this helps.
  7. JIm, I've had success for a long time with the Ken Darga Illinois rig for bottom bouncing with plastics in current on the Fox. I'm sure his original articles are somewhere back in the newsletter and website archives. Basically it's one or more Bull Shot sinkers, 1/16th oz., pinched on six to nine inches above 1/0 to 3/0 hook. Cast perpendicular to stream flow. Feel it bounce. When hung up just pop it off. I rarely lose a rig.
  8. For West Branch of DuPage consider St. Charles Road to Mack Road. Having said that, the water is dropping continuously. Expect to do quite a bit of walking right now.
  9. I'll be at RiverWatch training that day, but a couple of spots on the Fox in St. Charles could use signs: just below Illinois St. bridge, on the east side, the old post is still in but the sign is gone. The west side with the stream barbs gets a lot of use. I would think a new sign by the footbridge, just north of the terraced stones would be a great, visible location.
  10. Reading about Eric's continued success on the Fox, I keep going out to the St. Charles pool. Much to my frustration, my results are only 5% of Eric's. However, another regular out there told me about seeing schools of shad recently. I saw my first one yesterday, a mature gizzard shad. It was about 8 inches, upper jaw longer than lower jaw, blueish patch on the shoulder, dark spot had disappeared. I'm assuming that this is a recent development in the Fox. Am I off base? I curious what others think about the impact of this species on the river.
  11. This is exactly "what the doctor ordered." I'm ready to start shopping. Thanks for all your great advice, folks.
  12. I was wondering if any of you smallie hunters with ancient legs might have a suggestion. Once the beginning of October comes, I can hardly wade any more. The cold temps seep right through my polypropolene long johns, jeans, and waders and render my knees useless (I can take the cold on the other parts of my legs). Do any of you fellow arthritis sufferers have a method for concentrating heat or insulation on those joints?
  13. I join with Ron in my thanks to Ed and the others who organized the event. Although the smallies were less than cooperative, it got me into a new adventure I might not have tried on my own. Much appreciated. Chris M
  14. Although I've been an ISA member for four years, my life finally slowed down enough so I could get to my first meeting. You folks were most welcoming and I really enjoyed the conversations with Don, Steve, Jim, Ed, Norm, and Dick. Thanks for a good time (and a winning raffle ticket!). I look forward to the Blowout coming up. Will "stools" also be the theme at that event, too? Chris M.
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