Friday, October 14, 2011

ALWAYS talk to strangers

If you're a regular reader of mine, you know that for the past several weeks, I've been getting anonymous tips on different places to go fish around Peoria, IL.

Well the anonymous tipster invited me out to do some fishing.  So, without having any information other than a codename to call him by and a location, I headed out yesterday morning to take advantage of one of the few days off I have that will still be fishable this year.

Troy ended up being a pretty cool dude.  He's an avid fly fisherman, gave me quite a few flies to restock my almost bare fly box, and was happy to put me in position to catch the most fish all day.  Anybody willing to do all that earns my gratitude and trust. 

I've been asked to keep our location on the downlow but when we got to where we were going, we basically drifted smallish streamers under Thingamabobbers just a few feet from shore and it was only a few casts before I was able to scratch another goal off my list for the year.

A few casts later, yet another elusive smallie.

And so it went at this first spot, four smallmouth bass in a row.  Keep in mind that I might have caught 4 smallmouth bass in my entire life up to that point, the last being when I was 7 or 8 years old. 

After the fourth smallie, my indicator shot down again.  Only this time whatever it was on the other side didn't really move when I set the hook.  It sat there for a second and then started steadily stripping off line till he was about 30 yards out.  At that point, he'd let me reel him in until I could just see my leader and then "zeeeeeeeee" out another 10 yards or so.  This is the game we played for quite some time:

Action pictures courtesy of Troy.
 Finally, after 10 minutes or so, I was able to beach the monstrosity.

The biggest fish I've caught on the fly so far.

Caught another smallmouth shortly thereafter and then the bite died off so we moved along, casting as we went.  I'll let the rest of the pictures tell the rest of my story.
I don't know how I managed to take this picture upside down but whatevs yo.  I ended up with  9 total smallmouth of similar size.
First common carp on the fly!
Second common carp on the fly!  This one booked it off the bat, almost took me into my backing.
Troy caught a couple smallmouth, a grass carp about the size of mine and two catfish.  

So there you have it.  If someone you've never met anonymously offers to take you fishing, you better take them up on it.  

Thanks again to Troy, I appreciate the flies, the location, and all the tips you gave me.  I'm up for it again anytime.


Jay said...

That's an awesome day! I still haven't caught a carp on the fly yet so I admit I'm a bit jealous.

Team MiRketti said...

Looks like you got em' good. I bet that carp had your heart racing trying to get it in.

Anonymous said...

Mark,I had a blast watching ya battle those carp and it was pleasure meeting/fishing with you.I'm usually up to fishin anytime,you know how to contact me.
By the way it wasn't the destination,but that certain rock pile that was black op'
It was too bad we couldn't locate any bigger smallies,there just wasn't much baitfish present.Don't know if it was the water temp where we was fishin or if the wind had them pushed somewhere else.
Anyway,anytime ya want to head back or hit one of those other places,drop me a line....Troy

Mark said...

Jay - It was awesome. That grass carp is the longest I've ever fought a fish. Now I understand why the higher weight rods have that fighting knob on the bottom. I had to brace the bottom of the rod against my belly because my arm was getting wore out.

TM - Absolutely. The third rod actually got my adrenaline going the most because he TOOK OFF. Almost had me down to my backing.

Troy - It was awesome, thanks again. We'll definitely have to do it again soon.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Loved the first picture of you reeling in the fish. I love to see a rod bend like that. Fun!! Glad to hear you had such a nice day.

Lunkerhunt said...

That is awesome!

Streamers under a bobber...never would have thunk it. I know what lake you were at and there is just one area where you could "drift" a fly....muhahaha.

Too bad every time I go there the wind is terrible.

Anonymous said...

Crude,the code has been

Cliff,I know you're just having fun,but if you read the last posting you will see that we wrote where we were fishing.If you google a map of Powerton and have an understanding on how the powerplant draws in water(intake),cools the tanks and then(discharge)'s the hot water,you will see that there's actually several places to fish the current.But,fishing from the bank will limit you to 4 bank levees w/current.I found a rock pile/spot several years ago that is usually good for a fish or two and I just didn't want Mark to draw a X on the map for a bucket fisherman to find...that's all it was,I've already shared it with several different flyfisher's and have no problems if Mark wants to share it with you.

Certain streamers fished under a bobber can be a really good way to fish.I've caught some really nice bass/pike fishing an unweighted Bush Pig style fly slowly under a float.Great tech for Banner Marsh...22.5" largemouth last year,my biggest bass yet...also worth a try for those early ice out fish.

Anonymous said...

reminder that Powerton closes soon,last day Oct 21 till Dec 19.
duck season

Raymond Culver said...

those are some nice fish you should try fishing with Captain Ray Culver he will put you on some big salt water fish

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