Banner Marsh 6/13

So between 85 degree weather and storms every other day, the weather has been pretty miserable here in Central IL the past couple weeks. I braved the humidity and oncoming storm briefly this morning and headed back out to Banner Marsh to do some more exploring.

I headed past the entry points I previously checked out in search of something a little more remote and less pressured than before.  I ended up driving down a road with lakes on both sides and a crossroad in the middle, with two more lakes on the other side.  I cruised really slowly and could see literally hundreds of bluegill splashing in the shallows of the first lake I drove past, it was probably the most fish I’d seen in one spot, it was pretty awesome.  Past the crossroads and towards the end of the second lake, I got out of the Explorer with my Shakespeare baitcaster combo texas-rigged with a Culprit worm.  I tossed a few casts towards some promising looking weeds and along the shore without any bites when I started hearing thunder way back behind me. 

I decided to give up on bass fishing for the day.  I knew it was going to be a learning experience trying to find the fish and a remote spot that would take longer than Mother Nature was going to give me.  I really feel like I need a majority of a day to really explore and find a “honeyhole.”  Also, I had some new flies/floatant that my buddy Rhett from Central Ohio Fishing tied and sent along to me to get me started until I get my own kit.  So, I figured I’d head back to the first lake and try to salvage the day while I still had a chance.

I tied on what I think is a little mosquito fly and let her rip.  The bluegill started rising to my fly as soon as it hit.  I learned that when a fish comes up close to inspect your fly, you shouldn’t twitch it or strip in line to try to entice it to bite unless you’re planning on scaring the hell out of every fish interested. 

It wasn’t long before I hooked this guy:
2010-06-13 11.58.47.jpg

Followed by this guy on the next cast:
2010-06-13 12.03.13.jpg

 A little bigger.  Then I realized that I was taking more time taking pictures of little bluegill than I was catching little bluegill, with time at a premium due to the storm clouds and thunder rolling closer.  So I decided to just try to catch as many as possible before having to take off.  I ended up catching 4 more bluegill, the largest being about the size of half of my hand ( the technical measurement).   

As soon as the thunder got overhead, the fish stopped biting.  I kept trying for the next ten minutes or so and the fish would come up and look at the fly but they wouldn’t touch it.  I stuck it out until I saw lightning and then headed home just a few minutes before the heavens opened up for yet another heavy rain.  I really hope the weather settles down before next weekend so I can have a good trip with my dad. 

If all goes well I should have some pics of my first trout on the fly as well as a bunch of bass.  We’ll see how it goes.  Even if we get skunked it should be a good father-son trip.

Till then I’m gonna go chill and watch some more of my new favorite show: Expedition Great White.  For anyone who hasn’t seen it, its like if you took Jaws and made it a Discovery-esque educational show.  They use giant circle hooks and bouys to tire the shark out, tag it and release.  It’s pretty awesome, I highly recommend it.

Well have a good one ladies and gentlemen, hopefully I’ll have a little more exciting post for you all next week.  Thanks to Rhett for the flies/floatant, they saved the day!

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