I needed this for simply an excuse to fish open water. And Braidwood Lake gave me that chance this morning.
It was the usual opening day at Braidwood, fog rolling off the hot side on a north wind.
The cooling lake in the southwest corner of Will County opened with less fanfare than it used to a decade or so ago. But by the time I left, the lot was full at the south and nearly full at the north end. More shore fishermen than boaters.
6:40 a.m. first fish, a fair catfish. Caught eight in half an hour, then it took another hour to reach 10. Most came on a Mini-Mite and spikes, the rest on a jig and crawler piece. Only one was a truly keeper-sized, two others were close. The rest were the usual fiddlers.
I never got my first topwater bass of the year. But I only had a few hours to play.
Walking back to the car, I saw David Wright catching a batch of keeper bluegill, on a basic wad of waxies 1 1/2 feet under a float.
For Braidwood info, click here. Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily.