Author Topic: big Illinois fish!  (Read 1913 times)

BenCantrell

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big Illinois fish!
« on: April 04, 2016, 03:01:45 PM »
On Saturday I fished a power plant cooling lake 30 mins from home in central Illinois.  The wind was nuts, but at least it meant it wasn't too crowded.



I was throwing a small silver Little Cleo spoon hoping for hybrid striped bass.  Some people next to me were fishing with live minnows and catching them, so I felt confident I could get one too.  I did not end up catching one, but what I did get was this massive buffalo.  I've heard rumors from several sources that buffalo will hit spoons in the spring in this lake.  If only one person told me it I'd be skeptical, but I've heard it from several credible people, and now I've seen it with my own eyes.  It must be some sort of pre-spawn feeding frenzy.



I wasn't sure if it was a smallmouth or black buffalo, so when I got home I fired off the photo to a couple of biologists.  The consensus is that it was a hybrid between the two.  I've been trying hard for a pure black buffalo for my lifelist, so this bummed me out immensely.  It was still an awesome fish.  I didn't get a weight, but it may very well have been the largest freshwater fish I've ever caught.



On Saturday I drove down to a spillway 2 hrs and 30 mins from home.  Pretty much everyone else was crappie fishing, but I set up with corn and alfalfa pellets to try for carp and buffalo.  Didn't take long for the carp to show up.



Weird black colored carp.



I tied on a small jig to try for crappie, and my first hookup was another carp.  This was my first carp on an artificial, so that was cool.



The guy next to us snagged a huge female walleye on accident.  The weight was 11.5 lbs (or 11 point something, can't remember exactly).  I've never seen a walleye this big.  The state record is 14 lbs, so I would guess that most people haven't.



The crappie finally cooperated, and I ended up catching quite a few.  Here's a textbook white crappie.



And here's a black crappie.





There were also bluegill and yellow bass mixed in.  The bluegill are always pretty sad looking here.





I kept seeing muskie surface, so finally the desire got the best of me, and I switched to a large silver swimbait.  Believe it or not, I hooked up on my 2nd cast.



It was a crazy weekend!  I hope this is the start to a really awesome spring and not me burning through my fish karma early, haha.

Pinoyfisher

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 04:25:01 PM »
You're on fire!!! The buffalo is a toad!
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sasquatch

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 05:03:41 PM »
 Some nice fish, but the scenery aint so hot. Gues you have to fish where the fish are.

BenCantrell

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 08:16:19 PM »
Some nice fish, but the scenery aint so hot. Gues you have to fish where the fish are.

Yup, that's what it comes down to.  Can't really think of any spots that are scenic and have big fish.  Plenty of scenic spots with small fish though. :)

Eric H

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 12:12:09 PM »
Those are some nice carp and bonus muskie 8)
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Latimeria

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 06:25:41 AM »
That's a hell of a fishing spot you guys got there!  So much variety and legit species also!  Well done!

Those places are fish magnets!
You can't catch them from your computer chair.

BenCantrell

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 10:46:15 AM »
Can someone let me know if these photos don't show up?  I've been having some issues getting photos to show up on forums ever since google retired Picasaweb.  Google Photos' URLs don't end in ".jpg", which seems to be the problem.

Last weekend I caught some nice carp at an old abandoned lock on the Illinois River in central Illinois.  The grass carp was a real surprise because it picked up corn off the bottom.  Usually they feed on vegetation or stuff floating on the surface.



This one weighed in a 9 lbs 10 oz.



Didn't get a weight for this one, but it was bigger than the one above.



Corn was the bait of choice if you wanted to stick with carp.  All together my buddy and I caught about 15 of them, and all but 2 of them were probably over 5 lbs.  Nightcrawlers got picked up by small freshwater drum.


Pinoyfisher

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2016, 09:44:44 AM »
Not showing up.
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BenCantrell

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2016, 09:17:04 PM »
Not showing up.

Damn.

Ok, I'm moving to Flickr.  This photo showing up?


spideyjg

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2016, 10:14:38 PM »
Shows for me.

That sucker would be catfish bait.

Jim

BenCantrell

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 10:52:39 AM »
Hooray for Flickr!








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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2016, 07:33:25 PM »
I'm attaching to the front page...
You can't catch them from your computer chair.

BackBayMan

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Re: big Illinois fish!
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 01:33:43 PM »
 :o :o :o
Anybody have an emergency beer?