The rain and wind have been giving us some fishing issues lately, the rivers are up, it is too windy for kayaking, and bass have been a virtual yo-yo of biting activity.
A small few of us DuPage Anglers needed a change, something different to break up the usual line-up. The discussion started on catfish and stopped on the possibility of blue cats at Lasalle.
There are both blues and channels that swim there so I prepared an arsenal of bait for both whiskered foes we hoped to combat. We had:
Also the night before the outing I was carpin and noticed some splashing along the shore I grad my net and managed to catch a zip-lock bag full of fresh shad!
What started as a 2 guy outing quickly changed to a five-guy group as DA members called each other to see where they were fishing for the weekend. This trip included Sooner Bass, Dark Star, JcCrappies, Wacky Bass, and myself.
We met at 4:45am to give us enough drive time to get there for the park opening at 6.
Quick stop at Mc Donalds then a drive full of bull-shooting fishermen laughing and trading fish stories.
In my over analyzed planning to not to forget anycatfishing tackle. I forgot to bring a jacket and the wind was ripping across the lake. Sooner loaned me a vest and DS lent me his jacket. Man I was still cold. Once you catch a chill they suck to get rid of.
I was nervous and had my doubts about the blues. I have fished channels my whole life so those I had covered, but blue cats are a rare gem in northern Illinois and I had never caught one before so my confidence was at level “pondboy stinks”.
We get set up and my first cast I get a small channel cat! Yes! Some of the pressure is off. We caught a couple dozen channel cats among us. These small cats are in Lasalle in force and it just takes slip floats, smaller hooks, livers, smelt, or crawlers. I am sure if we had leeches and minnows those would work as well. You could bring your kids there and have a pretty good chance of catching them. (the shoreline can be pretty rough for young children)
Through the blowing wind I here someone yell fish on! Chunsum had a blue! Soo cool. I was excited just to see one that was not on TV or youtube. It was a beautiful fish He caught it on the shad I caught. About a half hour later I see my pole dip slightly. I grab the rod from the holder and wham!!! HOLY CRAP I ACTUALLY HAVE ONE!! The blues are natural strong and full of muscle. I love these fish. I was rigged with a 6 foot heavy action rod paired with a Shimano Cosair 300. I had a catfish rig form Jerry’s Flies.
I actually got the rig from a DA outing when I first joined. So glad I had it because it worked flawlessly. This fish also hit cut shad.
Marty Rogers aka Wacky Bass and founder of DA scored the biggest blue of the trip! He let ok a Hearty YAHOO!!!! It was awesome to see him so excited.
Dark Star was next and there was a ton of excitement down the shore from me. He was quickly followed by Sooner who now had a fish on!!! Incredible. God blessed us all with blue cats. I was sooo happy everyone scored a cat. We scored a few more and we ended with 9 total. I think that was pretty cool since the only one of us with any real blue experience was sooner and none of us had fished blue cats at Lasalle before. All of the blues took the shad. I wonder if we would of caught any of these beautiful fish had I not gotten lucky catching the shad the night before.
If you want to try a new experience and have a different angling adventure, grab the gear, the bait and some friends head out to Lasalle and experience the force of the blue catfish.