Smallmouth are thriving in the Des Plaines River

Man it's been a long time since I've hit the Des Plaines with a set of waders!! For whatever reason, I had the urge to suit up and see how the smallmouth were doing and I was not disappointed.

Time was short but I had some goals I wanted to make happen including some good video and some product testing. Most importantly, I wanted to catch a few fish!!

After I was done, I felt great because everything had gone exactly how I thought. It's been a while since I have been able to pull that off in terms of fishing.

My first fish came on a white swim jig with a chartreuse Fishing Physics Grub in their minnow soak. The fish came right off the slow side of a seam and hit hard. I was extremely happy to see a 16" smallmouth at the end of the line. I took a few pictures and then a release video.

After I released her, I moved down stream a bit as the sun was going down pretty fast and I had a certain spot I wanted to be in for my quest of a few topwater smallies.

As I walked downstream, it dawned on me that my camera might still be set up on timelapse mode for a different video project. Sure enough it was - which meant I didn't get my release shot. Oh well.

As I approached my target area, I could see the smallies starting to pop the surface so I quickly tied on the Biovex Joint Bait 110 and started casting.

It took all of three casts when I saw a fish rise but miss, then come back at it hard for another miss. (When you watch the video, you'll see me miss a fish and then look back at the camera to say, "That thing came at it twice!!")

I only had another half hour to make it back to the truck before the gates to the access spot were closed so I got back to casting.

A few minutes later, I made a cast just past a shallow ridge in the middle of the river and started bringing it over to the deeper channel when I got slammed! The fish tail walked a couple of times and I was trying to reel as fast as I could to get pressure on the fish and keep it low in the water. I really didn't think it was a very big fish at first but once I got it closer, it finally started pulling pretty hard.

I was using my Phenix X-10 Crankbait rod that FSA Customs had built for me earlier this year and I love how soft the tip is while having a really nice backbone to control a fish. In the video below, you can see exactly where that backbone comes in!

I got the fish landed and while it certainly wasn't the biggest smallie I've caught, it was a great 15" river fish with a ton of power. These fish really never stop fighting - they are warriors.

After I got that fish released, I checked the time and had to start making my way back to the truck. I was walking and casting at any spot that looked like it might hold a fish or two when I saw a nice boulder in a couple feet of water. It was smack dab in the middle of some strong current with a nice little slack water spot right behind it and sure enough, I pulled one right out of there. Sure he was the smallest of the day but made for a nice end to the evening.

As, I started going through the footage, I realized that everything didn't turn out as I had hoped and I am a bit bummed about that. Apparently, the mic was turned off so none of my audio came out!! I had a ton of footage that I wanted to send to Fishing Physics, Biovex, and BugBam explaining the products and reviews. Unfortunately, all I have is muted video.

With that said, we can see that the Biovex and Fishing Physics stuff worked great!! What you can't see/hear is the BugBam review. If you look at my right wrist, you will see a black band - that is the BugBam mosquito repellent band. I'll post a full review on it in the near future but the short version is that I was extremely happy at how well it kept the blood suckers off of me!


Fishing combos for kids

His first bass caught with Daddy's fishing rod
My oldest little guy is turning the big 4 in a few weeks and I am definitely getting him a new fishing rod and reel combo. The problem is what kind...

Last night, while we were fishing at the pond, I asked if he wanted his own rod. He enthusiastically replied that he wants another one that lights up. (He was referring to his Spiderman fishing pole that broke and stopped working after a short while.) 

I then mentioned that I thought he was ready for a "real" fishing rod like mine and while he said "yeah", I wonder if that's what he really wants.

My plan was to pair up an Ugly Stick with a classic Zebco spincast reel but I'm not sure if that's what he really wants.

Would he be happy and excited about it when he got it? Probably. Would he immediately ask if we could go fishing with it? Almost certainly.

But - and this is where my real dilemma comes in - would he be more excited about a new fishing pole that lights up? Is function over form something to consider yet or is it still all about how fun and cool something looks?

The "serious angler" part of me says one thing while the "Dad who loves to see the biggest smile ever on my little man's face" part of me says Spiderman fishing pole.

Has anyone crossed this bridge yet? What avenue did you take?


Giveaway time!!!

I'll be doing two small giveaways this week!

The first is happening right now on the BrookFieldAngler Facebook Page so head over there, like and tag, and you are entered to win!

The winner will be announced this Thursday at 8am CST


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