Showing posts with label Bass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bass. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Champions are Made in the Off Season

Any high school, college or professional athlete that plays a sport has heard these lines from their coach during the off season.  For softball and baseball players it's practicing your swing and football players, lifting weights and studying film.  Bass fishing is no different, put the work in now and see the success later.  As a pro, your off season probably consists of doing commercials for sponsors, seminars and research for the upcoming lake schedule.

Anglers listen at the Student Angler Bass Education Series

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lessons from My Rookie Year of Illinois Tournament Bass Fishing

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, posts are popping up already about tournament fishing for the 2018 Illinois Tournament Season.  It's hunting season and ice fishing is right around the corner and people are already talking tournaments in 2018.  That's cool though, I have too!  It inspired me to drop a few lines about my rookie year of fishing tournaments and what I learned along the way.

Jim Edgar Panther Creek
Mike Iaconelli would tell you "never give up"!  This is a picture from the Lincoln Bass Club's two day tournament out at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.  Two days  and we only weighed in one fish. Within the final hour of the tournament I reeled in my biggest tournament fish at 5 pounds 13 ounces.  Never overlook a small victory.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse 2017 Fishing Adventure

Waking up on August 21st to a weather report featuring clouds was a little disappointing to say the least.  Meteorologists predicted that the clouds would clear up around 1pm but with the way the sky looked, I was not hopeful. 

This being a great astronomical event, I took the opportunity to get some fishing in.  Not only did I want to be on the open water during the eclipse, I wanted to see how the fish and other wildlife were acting before, during and after. 

I loaded up the boat and headed to Jim Edgar Panther Creek, to fish for some bass and try out some new techniques. During my last tournament on this body of water, I fished a spot that was a little disappointing.  I decided to cruise the choppy waters and head back to that spot to test my luck yet again.  It still ended up being a disappointing spot, but I was optimistic.  It was the eclipse afterall, there had to be a 'biggin' out here.  

As I was fishing, I was continuously, observing the cloud pattern and there looked as if a rainstorm was on the horizon.  I was reaching for my raingear  in preparation when the sky openned up and a bolt of lightening struck in the distance.  It seemed as though this was a microburst, winds picked up, leaves and tree limbs were flying and the sound of rain was intense.  It was amazing and nerve-racking at the same time and as I watched the rain make its way across the lake towards me, I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it back to the ramp, so I beached my boat. 

Fifteen minutes later, the storm was over and I headed back out on the water to darker skys in hopes of catching the 'Eclipse Biggin'.

With my new boat, I started fishing a little further from shore because I don't want to accidentally hit something, she is 'my baby' after all. I am hitting the shoreline with a medium diving crank bait, when i stick a short at about 10 inches. I am always trying to improve my fishing game, so after some small catches, I decided to move to deeper water to work on my deep water fishing techniques. 
It seemed at about this time, things started to change.  It was late morning and it was very very quiet, even for Jim Edgar.

The usual sounds of birds chirping was non existent, and there was an eerie feeling across the lake.  

My deep water fishing consisted of a texas rig with a green pumpkin worm, dragging and twitching off the bottom.  Today, it didn't matter what you were doing, they were biting and it was loads of fun. 

My shortest fish was about 8 inches, and my 'biggin' of the day was about 18 inches.  It was a great feeling being able to catch my limit over and over again.  I never experienced a day where I was catching so many keepers. 

After awhile of fishing, I decided to head home hoping that the sky was clear for viewing.  As I got home the look of disappointment was on my wife's face was all I needed to see to know that she had not been able to view it all day.   

However, our wish was granted as the sky cleared.  Watching the end of the eclipse with my wife was icing on the cake to my Eclipse Fishing trip.  I'm not sure if the eclipse had anything to do with how great the fishing was or if I was just lucky, but this trip was up there with some of the best fishing days I have ever had.    

Did you go out fishing during the Eclipse?  If so, how did you do? 

Friday, May 26, 2017

IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Rescheduled for June 23-24 at Carlyle Lake


IHSA Bass Fishing has been RESCHEDULED AGAIN for JUNE 14-15 at Carlyle Lake. Read below for more information and the press release from the IHSA. Note this is a change from June 23 - 24 which was the original rescheduled date for the cancellation of the May 19 - 20, 2017.

IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Rescheduled for June 14-15 at Carlyle Lake

June 05, 2017The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced today the 2017 IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals will be rescheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, June 14-15 on Carlyle Lake.

The tournament finals were originally scheduled for May 19-20, but the IHSA announced on May 10 that the event would be postponed due to high water levels caused by excessive rain throughout the spring. On May 26, the IHSA announced a new state final date of June 23-24, but was forced to rescind that date today (June 5) due to concerns by the Army Corp. Engineers who run Carlyle Lake.

“Carlyle Lake is a busy lake that gets significant use during the summer months, especially on weekends,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We worked together with the Army Corp. of Engineers to reschedule the tournament for June 23-24, but given more time to reflect, they had concerns about their ability to safely and efficiently facilitate the event, both on and off the water, on June 23-24. While a mid-week state final isn’t an ideal circumstance, if we didn’t proceed, we feared that cancelling the state finals may be the only recourse. Our high school anglers have earned the opportunity to fish for a state championship, and we wanted to make sure that happened.”

Boat safety checks will be conducted on the morning of June 14, which will alter the fishing competition schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fishing on June 15 will occur from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as scheduled.
Posted in: General

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) released the rescheduled state bass fishing tournament schedule.  While schools will be out for the summer, these athletes will be testing their skills against the best high school anglers in the state.  Want to watch, head on down to Carlyle Lake June 23 -24.  Below you'll see the press release from the IHSA.

IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals Rescheduled for June 23-24 at Carlyle Lake

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on May 26, 2017, that the IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals will be conducted on Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, on Carlyle Lake in Carlyle.

The State Final meet was initially scheduled for May 19-20, but the IHSA announced on May 10 that the event would be postponed due to high water levels caused by excessive rain throughout the spring.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anglers should Sign Up for B.A.S.S Fantasy League and Watch Bassmaster Live

Anglers should Sign Up for B.A.S.S Fantasy League and Watch Bassmaster Live

Today is the first day you can start making your line up for B.A.S.S Fantasy Fishing.  Not sure if you want to sign up, you're not alone check out how we were last year. 

Last year, I was browsing online when the B.A.S.S Facebook page mentioned new registration for the Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing Team.  Never really being into the whole fantasy thing I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone in hopes of learning something new.

B.A.S.S. Fantasy FishingMy knowledge of the Bassmaster's is very limited at this point. Back in 2000, I attended the Classic that was held in Chicago with Woo Daves winning it all. Because the Classic was in Chicago there were many meet and greets and this is where I had the privilege of meeting KVD.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Inside Look at Wired2Fish

Inside Look at Wired2Fish

Wired2Fish is one of the most popular and well known fishing sites on the internet. You can check out their Facebook page as well as give them a "like". They are always uploading new content and you will not be disappointed in the information you will receive.

Wired2Fish was established about nine years ago and has since published thousands of stories and video content about everything related to fishing. They use leaders in the field of fishing to teach you everything from fishing techniques to information about new products.

Terry Brown President of Wired 2 Fish
catching some  bass and taking me to school

I was fortunate enough to spend some time on the water with Terry Brown, President of Wired2Fish, to gain more knowledge about fishing, gain insight into the business aspect of what he does and to just enjoy my time on a new lake.  

We read the articles on this website in order to gain insight into new fishing techniques or to broaden our knowledge base. These articles are not just how-to pieces, they go in depth and really teach you the technique. Be sure to check out their YouTube Channel where you will see the best in fishing tips, tackle reviews, giveaways, news and more. They are also a leader in tournament news and provide product reviews from top end designers.
What is the hardest part about running a business?

"Like any business there are ups and downs." Terry said. "Those are to be expected. However, most of our readers come from social media and it's trying to reach those people that we are dealing with. With the Facebook algorithms, we're only reaching 16% of our audience. So, the hardest part right now, is trying to reach people and get them the information."

One of the Most Read & Watched Fishing Sites Around.
(Over 40,000 unique hits a day, 512,000 "Likes" on Facebook & countless views on Youtube)

Wired2Fish is actually located in the Land of Lincoln. "You have to remember where you came from" said Terry. That's why a guy who's fished some very large tournaments across the country has decided to stay right here in Illinois and he is doing so much for the industry here.

Terry in front of his Xpress X21
Terry Brown -President of Wired2Fish
Terry Brown has fished some major tournaments and experienced success on the water. But it is what he has done off the water that speaks volumes. You see Terry Brown is someone who practices what he preaches. "You can grow'em big in Illinois or anywhere for that matter" Terry said as we were discussing fisheries. Terry has spent countless hours and large amounts of money and has become a leader in his own arena. Through his work with biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other non-profit organizations he helped turn his lake into one of the best fisheries around.

"It doesn't take much to turn a fishery around." he said. "Hard work, dedication and like-minded individuals coming together". He's not joking either. If you want to achieve great goals in life, those are the things you need. Terry also helped bring High School Bass Fishing into Illinois and has helped raise money and supply manpower to construct a state of the art pavilion at Evergreen Lake to be used for high school tournaments. He continues to provide knowledge and information to people throughout Illinois to make sure future generations can experience what he has.

A big thank you needs to go out to this man for giving back to fishing and the State of Illinois.

Always gaining more knowledge

Now, our time out on the water was more of a hands on fishing seminar for me. Terry put me on fish teaching me what needed to be done at certain spots. We were able to catch a few right off the bat, but it was quite windy so the real fun didn't start until the end of the day. That is when the top water bite started to kick in. Seriously, every other cast we were catching fish! It is something that I'll remember for the rest of my life. Being able to fish from the same boat as Terry was great. Fishing is an ever evolving sport. I am always growing my knowledge and learning new techniques out on the water and being able to learn from Terry, discuss fishing and the outdoor industry was amazing.

Be sure to check out Wired2Fish and be sure to thank Terry for all his hardwork in this industry. With his dedication to our sport he is inspiring people across the country to work on their local lakes thus providing better fishing habitat and better fisheries for the future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pat Harrison Outdoor Adventures : Fishing the Chicago River & Lakefront 2016

Pat Harrison Outdoor Adventures : Fishing the Chicago River & Lakefront 2016

The morning started with a cup of coffee and mild Chicago traffic as I made my way down to Richard J. Daley Boat Ramp.  On this day, I'm meeting up with Captain Pat Harrison from Pat Harrison Outdoors - Fishing Adventure

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lincoln Bass Club Hits Jim Edgar Panther Creek

Lincoln Bass Club Hits Jim Edgar Panther Creek 

This past weekend was spent on the water with my dad at Prairie Lake.  We had a great time catching fish and learning the lake a little better.  While out there we noticed that there was a little extra boat traffic on the water.  Yep... That's right a bass tournament was going on. We chatted with a few guys on the water and then moments later watched them land a nice bass.  While my dad and I fished we watched many of the anglers scatter across the lake and we decided to go watch the weigh-in.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Rock River

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Rock River

By: Jon Giacalone

The Rock River is a high-quality stream best known for catfish, walleye, crappie, smallmouth bass and the occasional northern pike that drains about 10,800 square miles of northern Illinois and southern

Within Illinois, the Rock River flows through a rural agricultural basin containing moderate-to- large communities, including Rockford, Dixon and Sterling/Rock Falls. Much of the shoreline is developed and very little is considered pristine. The river is aptly named. Much of the riverbed is comprised of glacial rock, ranging in size from gravel to small boulders. Navigation in unfamiliar stretches can be very hazardous. Shallow-draft jon boats with small outboard motors are proper fishing vessels. Some anglers use jet-drive lower units to help eliminate damage.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Rend Lake

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Rend Lake

Rend Lake is the second largest impoundment in Illinois, and one of the state's best for largemouth bass, crappie and white bass. Good numbers of channel and flathead catfish also provide great action. Encompassing a total of 18,900 acres, along with excellent lake facilities, Rend Lake is one of southern Illinois' premier multi-recreational destinations.

Rend Lake offers good fishing throughout most of the year, including during mild winters. Weeds and natural rock are very limited, but riprap, flooded trees and stumps provide abundant habitat. Generally, riprap is the dominant cover south of Highway 154, while the northern portion of the lake is laced with stumps and downed timber.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Heidecke Lake

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Heidecke Lake

By: Jon Giacalone

Located in Grundy County, Heidecke Lake was a power plant cooling lake considered to be one of the best of its kind in the nation for hybrid striped bass. Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is maintained and operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).  The IDNR  provides a variety of recreational opportunities, including fishing, hiking, hunting and picnicking. Fishing is allowed from April 1 through the second Sunday in October. The only water sport permitted is fishing - swimming, wading, water skiing and other water activities are prohibited.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Lake Shelbyville

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Lake Shelbyville

At 11,000 acres, Lake Shelbyville is one of Illinois' premier fishing destinations, offering a variety of shore fishing access points and opportunities for camping. It's most recognized for its largemouth bass, crappie, white bass, muskie and walleye opportunities. Anglers should be aware of special length limits for walleye, largemouth bass, muskie and crappie. Consult visitor centers for the special creel restrictions, which are also posted at most public access sites. Boaters should watch for buoys placed near beaches, bridges, marinas and in some coves. The buoys indicate no boats, no wakes or other navigational information. In addition, green and red navigation buoys have been placed from the Highway 32 bridge to the "Bo" Wood Access to aid deep-draft sailboats.

Walleye and white bass make spring spawning runs up the Kaskaskia River, and have been documented 25 miles north to the Highway 36 bridge. It is believed a white bass run occurs up the West Okaw River, but the extent of the movement has not been studied.

Interestingly, biologists have stocked Shelbyville with walleye from many states to try to obtain genetic qualities suitable for this water. The effort has included river and lake strains from hatcheries in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky and New York. Fingerling and fry stocking typically occurs annually. A rearing pond was constructed and another is planned to raise walleye to a larger size before stocking.

Friday, October 23, 2015

2016 Illinois Fishing Tournament Applications Accepted by IDNR Beginning Nov. 1

2016 Illinois Fishing Tournament Applications Accepted by IDNR Beginning Nov. 1

Waterfowl and Deer hunters are taking to the field while fishing tournament organizers and clubs are starting to think about the 2016 tournament year.  Below is a press release from The Illinois Department of Natural Resources informing clubs and organizers that they can start applying for their 2016 permits.

Remember the Tournament Permitting Process can be done online.  This process was released back in September.   The hope is that this system will "create a quick, easy mechanism for applying for a fishing tournament permit and gathering the anglers’ catch data afterwards."  The permitting process can be found at the I-Fish-Illinois website.  Don't forget in order to apply for 2016 you'll need to submit the catch results for 2015 tournaments.  "Tournament organizers will see the words “post results” in their online tournament listing if they still have 2015 results that need to be entered."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Capitol Outdoors' Adventure on Spring Lake

Capitol Outdoors' Adventure on Spring Lake

Spring Lake, Manito IllinoisLike many anglers the weekend is a time to get out and do some fishing.  Over the past two weeks, and now on it's third week, the rain has been a constant reminder of mother nature's balance.  Rivers, lakes and city sewers are over flowing with water, which leaves the question for a lot of people, where to go fishing?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Tips to Build up your Tackle Box

5 Tips to Build up your Tackle Box

Fishing LineWhen we were first establishing Capitol Outdoors we wrote an article about how expensive fishing gear was, then a few weeks later we wrote an article about What Fishing Line to Use.  Fishing like everything else has evolved... the gear, lures, boat etc.  It is an ever-changing industry.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Do you know what fishing line you should be using?

Just a portion of your line selection. 
We were walking in our local sporting goods store needing some fishing line and other tackle. As we took the corner we saw row after row of line and to be honest, we even got a little overwhelmed.

That got us thinking, there are a lot of people out there that don't know the difference between the different types of line, or in some cases what the "pound test" indicates.  There are so many to choose from that it is frustrating for both beginners and professionals.
Before we tell you about the different types of line, we feel the best place to start is to know what type of fishing you are doing.  Once you know this, you will be able to adjust your tackle and strategies to catch more fish.  How? Simply you will have a better understanding of the line and what is happening while you fish.  Capitol Outdoors fishes for primarily two types of fish; panfish (bluegill, perch, crappie, etc), and bass. However, once we arrive at our spot we don't know what the fish are going to be doing so we setup for multiple situations.