Showing posts with label fishing tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fishing tips. Show all posts

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.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Two Things for Illinois Anglers to Remember Before going Fishing this Weekend.

Two Things for Illinois Anglers to Remember Before going Fishing this Weekend.

There's so much going on this weekend for Illinois anglers.  There is Multiple bass tournaments, trout fishing, salmon run along the lake front, the long held tradition of smelt fishing and the opening of Heidecke Lake.  While we're all doing something different, there's two things we wish for you to remember before heading to that secret spot.

  • Fishing License - April 1st starts the date where last years license is expired.  So make sure to buy all necessary stamps as well stamps especially for trout and salmon.  This link will connect you to the IDNR website where you can find fees and buy online.  

  • 2017 Rules and Regulations - Here's a tip for you.  Since so many of you have a smart phone make sure to download the PDF so you have it everywhere you go.  Download it just in case the lake you're on has no cell service.  While many of these rules are the same, there have been some changes. So do your due dillegence and make sure to read the book.  Even if you have in the past its a great idea to have so you can help inform others that may not know.  

If you haven't been out yet with the unseasonably warm weather make sure to get out this weekend and enjoy all the adventures Illinois has to offer! 

Check back to see what we did this weekend. 

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Illinois Spring Trout Season Announced

Illinois Spring Trout Season Announced

It's that time of the year again. The annual Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 1, 2017 at 18 various sites in Illinois.  If you've never taken your kid fishing or want to introduce someone to fishing this is the best way to do it.  Trout fishing is fast and fun.  Remember, Illinois also has a special fly fishing season, so get out there and try your luck.  If you would like to know more about what we use for trout fishing you can read one of our old articles all about it.  Capitol Outdoors' Tips and Tricks for Inland Trout Fishing.  Below you'll see the official press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Life Lessons from the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs

 Life Lessons from the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs

Like millions of other Americans we were up late watching the 7th Game of the World Series last night.   We're not diehard baseball fans but we were rooting for the Cubs. Always great to cheer for a Chicago team!  Watching this game was gut-retching and intense, and it's hard not to take something away from a game like that!

There were plenty of times that I thought, they are out of it but the perseverance was intense.  It hard not to put things in perspective and learn from ever opportunity. There were three things that I saw that could be used while hunting and fishing.

  • Do Your Homework:
    • If you've ever played an organized sport in high school or college you know how important it is to do your homework on the other team.  The Cubs just didn't walk into the World Series.  They did their homework.  They studied their opponents and practiced.  This can be applied to fishing and hunting.  If you are going out and plan on catching a personal best or harvesting a record buck, your odds are slim.  You need to go out find trails, fish the lake, you need to do whatever it takes to put the odds in your favor.
  • Shake it off:
    • As hunters and anglers we have patience.  Some days are better than others.  When the Cubs were down two games the Indians had a chance to take the title.  However, their determination to bring home the World Series Title moved them through.  Yes, there were some plays the Cubs had that could have lost them the title, but you have to shake it off.  You have to be able to move on after you miss the record buck or that big bass. You have to learn from doing.
  • Never Give Up:
    • If you follow Mike Icanoelli you've heard him say it; Never Give Up.  Actors, professional athletes say it all the time to themselves as their striving to reach their own goals.  When Davis hit the 2 run bomb to tie the game, all I could think about was it's that damn goat.  :) Even at the top of the 9th when the Cubs left a runner on third, I'm sure there were people out there giving up on their team.  Then the Rain delay happened. Sometimes in the field you need that rain delay, you need to regroup, calm your nerves.   When you are on the water or chasing the record life time buck, Never Give Up.  You never know what will happen from inning to inning or from cast to cast.
All in all these two teams had a great game, one that will definitely go down in the history books.  Life lessons are all around us.  We just have to recognize them and learn from every opportunity. Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and their fans. 

When out on the water, in the field, duck blind or tree stand act like a Cubby! Never Give Up!  

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.

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 3, 2016

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Shabbona Lake

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois: Shabbona Lake

By: Jon Giacalone

Shabbona Lake, located in DeKalb County, was created in 1975 when the Shabbona Dam was constructed across Indian Creek. The 1,550-acre Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area surrounds the lake. There is no entrance fee, and summer hours are 6:00AM to 10:00PM (May 1 - October 31), while winter hours are 8:00AM to sunset (November 1 - April 30). The Upper Fishing Area and Lower Refuge Area at the west end of the lake are designated no-wake areas, and the use of gas engines is prohibited. Gas motors over 10 horsepower are not permitted on Shabbona Lake. Bank fishing and boat access are prohibited in the Lower Refuge Area from October 1 to freeze-up. During periods of severe weather, condition warning flags are displayed at the access sites. For those looking to fish from shore, five earthen fishing piers have been built along the west shore. Each pier is surrounded by six to eight fish cribs placed in approximately 10 feet of water.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A series of Illinois Top Fishing Destentation

Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois Series 

Presented by Fishidy

Our time is valuable, even while we're on the lake we're probably thinking about eronds we need to run or some chore around the house that we've been putting off.  That's why Capitol Outdoors has teamed up with Fishidy to bring you a series of post on Top Fishing Destinations in Illinois.  

Illinois is full of fantastic fishing opportunities from our power plant lakes that are across the state, the Mississippi River, which is literally our western boarder, the Army Corp of Engineer lakes, and to the beautiful shore lines of Lake Michigan.  The abundance of species have anglers of all sorts in search of great adventure.  

OK. great you have a list of top fishing locations in Illinois but your time is still valuable and you want to make every moment count while you're on the water.  If your a tournament fisherman you know how important it is to do your homework.  Especially if you're fishing a new lake. That's were Fishidy comes in!
Fishidy was founded by hardcore anglers who love fishing, maps and technology. We came together with a common vision to create a one-of-a-kind fishing resource to give anglers of all kinds the chance to catch more fish through the use of interactive fishing maps, social connections and tons of proven, valuable information on thousands of waterways across the country.
That's right, no more old maps, you can research that lake all week before you head out.  Download the app on your smartphone and take it with you.  Now if you're worried about the secret spot being stolen there privacy settings to keep it secret.  :)

This is just one of the many lakes and rivers where you can find information to make you a better and more successful angler. 

From weekend warriors to professional anglers like Mike Iaconelli use Fishidy to give them the edge they need to land more fish in their boat.  Take five minutes and sign-up its free to join!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

2016 Spring Inland Trout Season Dates and Locations

2016 Spring Inland Trout Season Dates and Locations

The I Fish Illinois staff wants you to start thinking about Trout Fishing.  Yep, it's that time of year again to start thinking about fishing in general.  Inland Trout Fishing is a great way to introduce someone to fishing.  Never been?  Read our post about what we use to catch inland trout.  Make sure to check out Illinois Fishing Information booklet 2016 for rules and regulations.

Trout Fishing Illinois

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ice Fishing at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

Ice Fishing at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

There's nothing quite like going fishing on a crisp winter morning. We took to one of our favorite lakes at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park. While it took a long time along with multiple holes we finally got onto the fish.  Watch our video and learn some of our tips that we use that allow us to catch more fish through the ice.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The One Thing Every Hunter and Angler Needs!

The One Thing Every Hunter and Angler Needs! 

Every hunter and angler has one, regardless if they are a novice or have been at it for 50 years.  It has become such a part of our successes, we often forget how instrumental it is for our successful days.  It takes hours to prepare but it never seems to add up.  We're talking about "the system."