I couldn't take it anymore, I had to fish the river. I was watching the forecast all week and watching the guages. I was hoping for <1500 cfs but had to settle for about 1750; that's higher than I'd waded. I decided it didn't matter. I brought a couple setups but carrying them both proved tedious so I dropped one off at the car and opted to run and gun. It turned out the river was plenty wadeable if you know the area and tread carefully. I avoided spawning areas and picked up plenty of dinks in dinky-looking spots. I also managed a couple of post spawn males at around 14" that were relating to fast current and sporting battle scars.
After about two hours and 8 smallies I decided to brave the current to a spot that has produced some big bass for me in the past in much lower water conditions. I wasn't sure how it would be in the higher water. As it turned out it was a bit on the fast, high side but I gave it a shot anyway. About the fifth cast I get hit by a freight train. At first I thought foul hooked carp but after a few seconds knew I had a clean hooking by the way the fish was running and the *thump thump* of the shakes. My rod was doubled over and my drag was screaming for mercy. The fight lasted a good five minutes and my forearms were burning. It made several runs directly upstream and I had yet to get a glimpse of the fish but at this point was confident I had a good hookset. Finally the fish tired and started drifting downstream and towards the surface. There she was, a large flattie. I had trouble landing it in the middle of the river so I managed to grab the lower jaw and beach it on the nearest rock bar. Apologies for the bad pics but I was having trouble holding her up after the fight, I was shaking from fatigue and adrenaline. She measured over 30" on the rod, the longest marking I had on my bass/walleye setup.
Amazing what 10 lb Powerpro and a well set drag can dredge up. I notinced blood on my phone and was worried it was the fish but it turns out it was mine; the fish destroyed my thumb. That was the last fish I got largely because I was shaking for most of the last half hour I fished and couldn't cast accurately. Then I spent the day at Arlington race track for a birthday party. There was a long shot going off in the 9th named "Reigning Catfish." I threw 10 bucks on him to win in honor of my catch and it hit and paid $350! Pretty good day.
This DuPage Angler Catch Of The Day is Sposored by: