6-29-04 - ...So there is another lake besides Axehead
Waters Fished: Independence Grove
Fish Caught: 1/2 personally
Outing Date: 6-29-04
Weather: Just another beautiful day
Air Temp: upper 70's
Water Temp: didn't take it
Water Level: normal?
Water Color: clear, slightly green, visibility 7'+
Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Bluegills, Black Crappie, Walleye
Pattern Fished: Flying Bunny
Pattern Color: Chartreuse & White, Chinchilla, Black & Olive
Fishing Quality: Crappie ;)
Sometime last week I got an email from David...you
might remember him? I met up with him and FAT on the Pike early
in the Spring Steelhead Run. Well, David "had an idea"
and quite a good one...we should fish Independence Grove. Now, I
have buddies who've fished there including Tim "The Enchanter"
and Frank Nardomarino, but I'd never been. It'd be a weekday after-work
trip...no problem I can swing those anytime as long as they're close!
As the day approached I did some research...won't
go into the details here but I.G. happens to have Muskie, and more
recently I guess they've switched to stocking Pike. It's a newer
Lake County Preserve - I guess it opened 4 years ago? Well, David
sent me pics of his brother's musky...man I was ALL HOPPED UP as
the workday dragged on! In fact I recall opening an email to David
with "here muskie muskie muskie".
FINALLY I got on the road, only to be met with
unusually heavy traffic. Well, not really "unusual" but
rather the occasional jam that forms on 94 heading north around
Half Day Road....as I finally made my way close to I.G. David called
to let me know he had rented the boat, had his trolling motor all
set and was just waiting for me!
So some tips...you can't launch your own boat in
IG..it already has Zebra Mussels! You can rent a rowboat for a very
reasonable fee, and you can either rent a trolling motor OR bring
your own. Additionally, it seems that if you're not a Lake County
resident, you get charged $5 per car for parking. But I guess they
let that slide as there was some big Reggae concert going on.
David and I finally got out and headed for the
spots that get less pressure..all the while serenaded by the band!
I started with the Flyin' Bunny in Chartreuse and White, but as
we passed over some bait I noticed they looked a lot like the gray
chinchilla I had tied up, so I switched over. ON the far side I
finally figured out what would work...fast strips with pauses brought
several follows and taps from smaller bass....but nothing connected.
As sunset slipped away we worked our way back...oh
yeah...I guess with the concert the kept the park open later than
normal too (normally it closes at sunset). Well, David finally started
getting hits and got his skunk off with a Bass...not huge but respectable.
He has landed much larger in I.G.
After the boat was returned, I stopped over at
the Fishin' Pier and David met me there....the bugs got thick so
David called it a night...meanwhile there was a bunch of slightly
younger guys fishin fatheads and having good luck...on WALLEYE.
That got my excited..maybe I'd hit a walleye as darkness continued
to creep up? BTW, did I mention that despite not finding this anywhere
in the IL regs, Independence Grove is posted all along the shore
as Catch and Release ONLY?! But I guess bait is OK.
Well, no Walleye for MP, but I did get a hit. After
the guys left I turned and fished the side they had been working...by
now it was dark, concert was over, folks were leaving, easily 9:00
PM...and I was getting eaten up. On my last cast I worked my black
& olive bunny really slow and got a SHARP hit...I figured small
bass but surprise surprise...my first Crappie on the fly rod!
Thanks for the invite David, we'll do it again
(here walleye walleye walleye)...