Spring break. I know many anglers who marks the start of their open water season based on the week their kids have their spring break. Why not? it’s convenient. 😀
The past 2 weeks DuPage Angler SoonerBass has been posting his hybrid bass adventures at LaSalle Lake. It is a power plant cooling lake located in Marseilles, IL. It is known to produce some big active fish since the water is warmer in the spring. So for spring break, I decided to take the boys to LaSalle hoping to get in on some hybrid action.
We arrived in the afternoon, settled on the south shore, and I set the kids up with bobber and minnows and get them fishing first while I talk to other anglers walking by. Seems the hybrids are a little shy today and the cats are active enough for someone to pull a 10lb Channel just right before we got there. I then notice the popping shads about 30-40ft out from shore and thought that if those little guys moves closer and the wind continues to blow towards us, we might be in for some action. Ted (SoonerBass) has mention that he’s used a 2.5 swim bait with good success. I don’t have that in my arsenal, so I switch between a white 3″ Producto Spring Grub and a 2.5″ emerald Gulp! Fat Bottom Shad on a 1/8 black jig head.
What I did not prepared for was the very very rocky shoreline. It’s ugly enough to me that every little sound made by the kids had me turning my head and looking to see if they are ok. To make things worse, the boys would occasionally drop in a rock and the splash would have me jumping nervously every time. Brendon and Matthieu seems to have fun with the rocks and enjoyed making me nervous.
As I struggle to keep my eyes on the kids and my line, I managed to hook in to a few fish. While fishing the Gulp!, the jig would fall further when I stop to yell at or check on the boys. This is when I hooked up with a few small channel catfish around 10-12″. When I have the grub on, I’d hooked on to a couple of 8 inch smallie during the pause of my retrieve. Brendon had managed to hook a couple of catfish around the same size as well on a live minnow.
At this time I noticed the shads had moved a little further out and was getting a little worried that they will be moving out. I had set Brendon up witha weighted slip float to he can cast into the wind easier. So when the wind takes a break, he would cast his line out near the shads. On one of these long casts, I told him to just leave it out there for a little and see what happens. As I look over at him making a rock pile, I noticed that his float’s gone. I yelled and got his attention. He started to bring in the fish and it made a couple of splashes and got people’s attention. passing anglers would stop and cheer him on. We all thought it looked like hybrid by the body shape and color. And then I heard “Nooooooooo!” and my head turned fast to find his float about 10 ft from shore and the fish had gotten off when he tried to tighten his drag.
As the crowd scatters, I told Brendon not to worry because as soon as those shads move in close we’ll be catching them. I have never been so wrong. The wind continues to blow at the south shore, but the shads seems to move farther out. By 6:15, the shads are gone and Brendon’s switched to his trusted night crawlers and was having a good time pulling gills.
Even thought we did not catch any hybrids, we were able to to catch a few cats, smallies, and gills. The most important part was the boys endure the long ride and had a great time at LaSalle Lake that they wanted to go back.
Until next time……