Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Lakefront smallmouth: Snarky hint of start

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Smallmouth are just starting to turn on along the southern Lake Michigan lakefront, even in downtown Chicago.


Carl Vizzone is one of the top prowlers of the lakefront. He found some smallmouth and sent this report, a bit of a delightfully snarky one, late yesterday. (BTW, he didn't mention another fisherman with him, but in the photo above I see another rod. Hmmm? Wonder who it is.)

From Carl:

Here are a few pics of some smallies from the past two days. Fish were caught in the water between Navy Pier and 31st St Pier. Water anywhere from 1 foot to 18 feet. on a variety of soft baits, float & fly and jigs with maggots. I went 8 for 15 yesterday and 9 for 13 today. I had to leave earlier today to cook dinner. Must fish low and slow in this cold water. But they are starting to turn on.


This is what I call one of the more wonderful scenes in Chicago outdoors, a lakefront smallmouth in its natural setting. Well sort of.

Let me make a prediction. The Illinois record for smallmouth bass will fall in the days around the next full moon on April 28. Joe Egan missed by two ounces last spring, somebody will get it this spring, from boat or shore.

Remember, only one black bass (smallmouth or largemouth) of 21 inches or longer may be kept on the Illinois portions of Lake Michigan.


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That is just my rod resting on my cart. All my ventures so far this spring have been rogue missions. Quieter that way, if you know what I mean.


I can't wait to get down to the lake front and catch some of those incredible fish! Thanks for the amazing tips.

Prediction: Carl catches state record smallmouth while The Lip is at home screaming at the Cubs on his TV.

Im new to fishing the lakefront. For now I'll try smallie fishing from shore. What type of plastics do I try? Any sugestions will help Thanks

I will let Carl and The Lip and others speak for themselves, but I've used a wide variety of soft baits, including in some sort of order of use and success: goby-imitating tubes, Mini-Mites, small twisters, Senkos, Chompers. The one thing I don't ever remember using is a plastic worm, but maybe my memory is faulty.

Until we get solid water temps in the 50's, the bite has been light. Smaller baits have been better. Mini Mites with spikes were key before the cold snap. Look for the bite to switch to larger baits with warmer water, Spider grubs, 5" twister tails, cut tail worms drop shotted, smallie beavers & Rapala X Raps will all be in my arsenal until they hit the beds. Good Luck!

WOW I really appreciate the help, Thanks alot for taking the time. Dave your the best I look forward to your reports each week in the Times and now that I know about your blogg ,I'll be checking each day for tips and reports.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 7, 2010 5:23 AM.

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Midwest Fishing Report: Trout, smallmouth, crappie is the next entry in this blog.

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