The main Combat-Fishing® homepage Articles that will take you all over and tell you how to catch what swims Articles for anyone interested in the outdoors Ecology for anglers and those interested in fishFishing tactics and basic methods how to and whythe Latest reports on whats biting and where A list of fishing and outdoors related websites Get the latest Combat-Fishing Fish designs and Books Online


Get your Combat-Fishing Stuff Here!

THE LATEST FISHING WORD Archive
Reports from various locations


  • Creeks and Cuivre River in St. Charles County MO 23 Sept 07
  • The dog days and low water make fish very wary in the smaller creeks and rivers, but they will still bite on a woolly worm fished on a long leader or a twitch bait on an ultralight spinning rod.
  • Mississippi River, Winfield MO 08-15Sept 2007
  • The big river broken record is playing all the dog days of summer and early fall. In the Mississippi River above the locks, large freshwater drum feed on zebra mussels, shad, and herring. A live or fresh shad pitched into the deep water on stout tackle will attract these under appreciated fish. The bigger the shad (or herring) the bigger the drum, with 3lbs to 15lbs very typical. A heavy barge traffic day only makes them bite better, as the drum feed heavily on the opening of the locks. A rotten shrimp or ball of worms on a circle hook may also get a few channel and flathead catfish as a bonus. Use circle hooks to allow easy release, and sash style weights to minimize hang-ups (though those will still happen).
  • St. Charles MO Riverfront 23 Aug, 25 Aug,1 Sep 2007
  • The old wingdikes and riverfront near the Lewis and Clark departure point in Saint Charles Missouri offer lazy catfishing and carping for those who want to dare the walk out on the slippery rocks (yes they can be dangerous, be careful) or from the safer mud banks. The classic catfish and carp baits work for tightlining, freelining, or bobbering into the current. The Carp typically sit near the numerous ditch and creek mouths, and love corn and red worms, while large catfish can be caught in the current eddies using larger baits, such as cut fresh shad. In the main current on the bottom, shovelnose sturgeon and drum will eat a worm. Big weights are the rule in the current, but many large fish are present, and if you get skunked, you can always clean up and stroll the shops a block away on Main Street in Old Town.
  • Columbia Bottom St. Louis County, MO 11 Aug 07
  • Hot weather means catfish at night and early morning, though during the day those cats are a might bit smaller. JUst above the confluence channel catfish from 8" to 15" were legion, and using an ultralight and a circle hook (to avoid deep hooking these pints) with worm they can be fun for as long as you can stand the heat.
  • Meramec Springs and Meramec River St. James MO 28 Jul 07
  • Trout parks are all about competition, so I like to not even start fishing till around lunch, and use a flyrod at that :0) Large Globalls and cracklebacks proved irresisable to the stocker rainbows, and when I moved to the trophy area, the same #18 crackleback proved very effective, with many catches+releases. Canoe jams, aside, this is a good trophy area.
  • Chain of Rocks 22 Jul 07
  • Dropping water finally exposed the sand bar, and a jig on the sprinning rod or chenelle fly under an indicator for the flyrod caught a few small white bass and drum. The dog days have indeed arrived here.
  • Middle and South Boulder Creeks, Boulder CO 16-19 Jul 07
  • Boulder Creek above Boulder proper produces small browns and cutthroats quite regularly, and a white streamer or dry (#14) on 2lb tippet will get hit. Likewise, little cutthroats inhabit the waters of El Dorado canyon and also hit white streamers. Fish them slow and wiggly and they will get hit there too. If you fish Eldorado Canyon, just remember the foxes show up at dark!
  • Saverton Dam (IL Side) 07 Jul 07 (its 7-7-7 day)
  • Its a lucky day for one of the best spots on the Mississippi River, and the white bass are biting! White was the color this time, and even in 98 degree heat white bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and hybrids (along with goldeyes, catfish, and herring) bit on white/silver spoons and jigs or flyrod heaved #6 streamers and zonkers. Bring lots of water!
  • Lake Taneycomo, Branson MO 30 Jun-04 Jul 07
  • Its a classic spot to celebrate Independence Day, and firecrackers aren't the only thing popping. Table Rock Dam is doing daily early releases, but not all releases are enough to totally chase off the waders by the dam. Cracklebacks and zonkers again produced well every morning, with the bite going strong till around 2PM. Downtown Branson is now nearly complete, and a mall straddles the old downtown waterfront, but a set of docks above Roarke Creek are re-fishable. Boatwise, Roarke Creek to Cooper Creek had schools of biters on the surface, and they hit everything from glow-balls on the fly to powerbait on the spinner and everything in between. The new hatchery stream is almost done as well with a fish ladder and new raceways!
  • Saverton Dam IL side Miss. River 24 Jun 07
  • This place was so good we had to go back the following weekend. We were NOT disappointed. Initially, we were a little concerned with the sudden rise in water over the dam, forcing us to fish near the parking lot, but the flowing water also brought on a bite along the entire length of the dam, and as the water receded, we fished and caught all the way out to the locks. The fish concentrated within a few feet of the waterfalls created by the flow over, and blasted silversides and silvery minnows with abandon. Clouds of 1lb-4lb drum formed between the white waters, herring blasted in the outflow, and white bass fed everywhere. A simple red chenille wrapped 1/80th oz black jig head fished below an indicator caught everything, while a jig head with a white drop shot minnow caught fish on spinning gear. A silvery minnow fished on a jig head also caught fish every cast, and added catfish to the tally. Once the water retreated, a trip out to the locks produced all the bighead carp you wanted to catch, provided you had 50lb spectra available to pull them out of the current. Catfish were boiling everywhere, and would have probably hit anything on the surface...but a person can only fight so many fish :0
  • Saverton Dam IL side Miss. River 16 Jun 07
  • The water dropped below the high water side of the dam, exposing and drying a place to walk out to the maelstrom near the gates of the lock itself. Despite the 98F 90% humidity, the walk was worth it. Silvery minnows and silversides were being blasted by a wide variety of gamefish, making a legendary day of fishing. A spinning rod with culy tail jig pitched to the water whirlpooling from the open gates was pounced by drum, white bass, and flathead catfish. Switch to a small zonker with tungsten bead on a flyrod and get herring, drum, and white bass. A 2"-3" spoon pitched far into the fast water and reeled VERY fast was hit by much larger white bass(2 to 3lbs+) and very large bighead carp (8lbs+). If you weren't catching (and releasing in our case) over 30 fish this day, you weren't there. It was very fast paced all day, and only an empty water supply at 3PM drove us back to the parking lot, though the fish were still blasting the surface. Too bad every day isn't this good.
  • Creve Coeur Upper Lake MO and Creeks 08 Jun 07
  • If you like catfish, now is the time! While boats raced on the main Creve Coeur lake, I took my sis and niece to the much quieter, though fairly unfished (though well walked around) upper Creve Coeur lake. Fill a #8 hook with whole kernel can corn on 4lb test, and NO weight, and pitch 10 yards off the bank near any structure. Bread works also. In a few minutes bullheads and 10"-14" channel catfish zoomed in and ate with abandon, allowing even a novice angler to catch a few fish even mid afternoon. Why corn? Surrounding this lake are hundreds of acres of prime cornfields, which flood every spring and let the lake and creek resident fish have a corn dinner each high water. In the big rivers, a barge loading area has a similar corn-fed catfish and carp crowd. Using a fly rod, a #14 black thread jig or streamer will get crappie and bluegill in the same spots. We nailed and released (too many fish already in the freezer) 5 catfish in under 50 mins...they bite that fast. In the creeks the bass are slowing down and heading to deeper water, but bluegill and green sunfish will still hit a well placed fly.
  • Winfield MO Sandy Slough and Perque Creek 1-3 Jun 07
  • Warm waters coupled with a rise in water levels to pre-drought conditions and a full moon lead to excellent fishing almost anywhere you dropped a hook. In the sloughs of the Mississippi River a boom in silvery minnow and silverside populations resulted in a feast for a wide range of piscatorial predators from herring and white bass, to rock dwelling small and largemouth bass. The rising waters also made omnivores like catfish, drum, and carp put on the feed bag as well. For the bass and catfish, you had to match the hatch very closely, and a live silvery minnow on a bobber worked excellently. For the drum, the standard cut shad worked wonders, including for the monster we caught late in the day. For the carp, whole kernel corn from the can on 4lb to 8lb line as usual lead to fine carp catching. As in the sloughs, the creeks have also returned to full levels, and beastly bass have run up the creeks from larger waters as well. These creek bass will nail any fly or soft plastic that looks like a meal and is presented on light tippets of 2 to 4lb.
  • Boulder Creek, Barker Resevoir,Gross Resevoir, CO 14-19 May 07
  • High rains turned the creeks into brown races, but the revevoirs were clear, but tough. Boulder creek at the lower ends was the domain of kayakers, who finally had enough water to float this normally small creek, and they could have it, since the fish had more than enough real food comming in that a fly was lost to them in the turbid waters. Therefore, I took a trip up the Barker Resevoir near Nederland, and commensed decoding the fish there. A ton of flies and methods later, the way to get the very picky fish of Barker ceneterd around a very small indicator, 4 feet above a #18 tan scud fished near the rocky points. Using determination and patience, a few rainbows responded. Gross Lake, on the other hand hand much more aggressive fish, which tapped the scud, but also tried to eat the indicator. A little experimenting, and lots of observation, lead me to believe that the trout of Barker were munching dark colored minnows (sculpins, small trouts). A bead headed black wooly worm on a long 2# leader was the ticket, and while the trout were still hard to hook, they did smash that fly with relish. Moral of the story, patience, observation, and experimentation!
  • Indian Creek MO 12 May 07
  • Sometimes a very small creek can hold excellent catch and release fishing, and a wadable creek at a new park nearby was such an example. This creek is a tributary to a tributary to a tribuatry of the Mississippi River, with no obstruction seperating it from Old Man River, and therefore any species of fish can swim upstream on a wet spring like this one. These moving fish complement resident species like many minnows, bluegill, green sunfish, bullheads, and large and smallmouth bass. Larger black basses move up from the bigger waters to feed followed by drum, walleye, sauger, suckers, carp, and gar. In other words, a fly or lure pitched into this creek can be eaten by anything! In our case, we caught many smaller to decent (on 2lb test or tippet) black basses, a lone walleye, and huge numbers of other sunfishes, punctuated by shiners, studfish, and gar. Since these are fragile systems, care must be taken to avoid tromping through spawning beds, or keeping any of the core resident species. Find a good creek near you, pick up the lightest gear you have, and enjoy a day in nature.
  • Carlyle Spillway and Lake Carlyle IL 5 May 2007
  • Anywhere is a good spot when the weather is good in the spring, and both spots we checked produced. In the spillway, sauger, white bass, and drum all hit jigs or flies fished slow on the bottom. Also, small nymphs fished under an indicator then twicthed slowly produced a wide wavriety of fish. In the main lake, the same flies and techniques produced bluegill, bass, and crappie, while cut fresh shad worked very well for mid-sized channel catfish.
  • Busch Wildlife Area MO 28/29 Apr 2007
  • The spring pattern has settled in, with popper pouncing bluegill and bass and streamer smashing crappie in every pond and creek. Spawning carp are afoot with bass sitting on the edge of the rolling activity, and a lure or streamer will get pounced! Spring this year has also brought an increase in water for the midwest, and all the waterways are pushing back to normal levels. In short, get fishing!
  • Perquque Creek, MO River, and Busch Wildlife Area, St. Charles Co, MO and Carlyle Lake Spillway, IL 14 April-22 April 07
  • Wild Weather and high water made fishing the past two weekends trying but possible. The small creeks boast a wide variety of fishes, especially those that hit one of the big rivers, and a little creek near home had a few channel cats to catch. A week later, warm weather made fishing a much better proposition, and the walleye and sauger, along with crappie, finally made a showing in the river below Lake Carlyle, hitting small curly tail jigs, or alternatively, a white/chartruse wooly bugger behind a split shot for the flyrodder. The big MO and MS are still very high and only a few small drum could be talked into biting, though the shad were very plentiful. The small ponds, however, are the stars rgiht now, as crappie, bluegills, redears, and bass all are in full feeding mode. A popper flipped on the surface behind a 2lb flourocarbon tippt will be smacked with abandon along gravelly shallows and shorelines as spring frogs and hoppers are around, and the sunfish clan is near spawning and very hungry. On less than popper days, pull out the #6 wooly worm/bugger on the fly, or a small jig for bass action aplenty.
  • Islamorada FL 28 March-2 April 2007
  • Tide and Weather wait on no man, and on this trip wind and Tide/Moon Phase were key. Normall I plan around moon phase and look for optimal weather months, but sometimes you just have to plan time when you can get it. The wind prevented any trip to the reef edge on the Atlantic side 3 out of 4 days, with even Hawk Channel out of reach (safe reach in a 21' Center console rented at Budn'Mary's) 2.5/4 days. That said, if you are going to be 'stuck' fishing inshore anywhere, Islamorada is about as good as it gets. The day we did get to the deep stuff a few Mahi's popped into the spread, but not the monster schools that will appear in a month, and both small sharks and a few ceros and snappers could be caught between 55 and 75 feet of water (sharks, mostly sharpnose, in 120 feet of water). On the inshore days, anchoring near the edges of the channels around the bridges allowed catch and releasing of smaller snappers and groupers, and an occasional shot at tarpon from 20lb to over 100lbs. The tarpon during the day preferred fresh mullet, which could be obtained with a large cast net. Remeber there is a big difference between hooking a tarpon and landing one, and our hook-ups rarely made it past the first jump, though each hook-up raised the heartrate by quite a bit! When fishing in the full moon, whihc is good tarpon and snapper fishing, remeber to also look around for the sea snails swimming near the surface, very interesting animals to watch. And as always take an eating trip to Mangrove Mikes for breakfast :0)
  • Kaskaskia River Old Channel and Main Channel in Carlyle IL, 24 Mar 07
  • Only a few very small sauger were present in the main channel, but it won't be long until they are legion. Meanwhile, the old channel is shallow and warm and loaded with small white bass and crappie. THis weekend, the white bass readily ate any lure 1"-2" long in white/chartruese such as 1/32oz jig and curly tail, rooster tail, or or for they flyrodder wooly boogers and streamers. The bass were not monsters, but fun catch and release fish to break into spring.
  • Lake Wetzel, OFallon MO and Chain of Rocks, Mississippi River, IL 10-11 Mar 2007
  • Still no walleyes, though saw lots of migrating American White Pelicans, but the warm spell did open up the pond nearby long enough to take my niece out to catch and release a few early bluegill on wax worms, and a few myself on #18 dry flies. Next weekend should be the real start of the sauger/walleye run.
  • Alton Lock and Dam and Winfield Lock and Dam, Mississippi River MO, 27 Jan and 3 Feb 2007
  • Courtesy of some of the coldest weather in 5 winters, fishing was out on the rivers (though we did poke for a short while for Walleye-none caught), but Eagle watching is in. Since it is a colder winter this year, Bald Eagles come south, and use the opportunity to feed off of the Gizzard Shad that have trouble coping with the cold and rapids below the dams. Eagles take station on trees overlooking the river near these dams and build nests. Hundreds of eagles can be seen on a good day with a good set of binoculars and strong zoom lens, either on nests, zooming over the water, or plucking dinner from the frothy rapids. A few eagles even station on ice flows and then dip down to nail an unwary fish. I hope it warms soon!
  • Homossasa River, Merritt ISland NWR Beach Near Titusville, Bridges over Indian and Banana Rivers near Port Canaveral 25-31 Dec 2006
  • Happy New Year to all. A trip to Orlando FL over the big break provided a full mixed bag of fishing on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Starting at the bridges over the Indian and Banana rivers, we caught very few fish, mostly sea robins, puffers, etc. and saw thousands of big mullet speeding to the deeper ocean water. Normally a soft plastic on a 3/8 jig head produces well, as do live shrimp and shrimp peices, all on 4lb-8lb gear, but due to cold water-not happening here. We hit the Homosassa River for a little manatee viewing and fishing, however, and found pay dirt...tons of ladyfish on anything from soft plastics to spoons, to flies 1"-3" in size (on 6wgt to 8wgt gear). Shrimp and crazy charlie flies near the spring at sunset also produced black drum, grey snappers, and sheepshead. Bouyed by the good fishing at Homosassa (where we returned in two days) we hit the beach at Merritt Island and fished the warmer Atlantic on the incomming tide. Whiting and pompano were present for shrimp pitchers who used 4oz pyramid weights and small hooks, but pitching a chartruese slab spoon (1oz+/-) on a 25lb flourocarbon leader and spectra or 10lb mono main line produced small bluefish and small jack crevelle while the waves allowed the fish to come in close. There is no wading deep in that surf however, due to strong wave and current, so stay short (knee deep or less preferably) and avoid the man-o-wars drifting everywhere.
  • Chain of Rocks 9 Dec 06
  • While we waited for the lakes to thaw and roads to clear out at the Urban Stocking Program trout ponds (that was an impressive ice and snow storm) we tripped over to Chain of Rocks to pitch jigs for Walleyes and Sauger (another good alternative would have been the 1.5 hr drive to Baldwin lake for catfish o'plenty, but I was time constrained) and while seeing plenty of gulls and pelicans (with a few eagles for good measure) we were skunked. However, it is always good to get out on the river to dodge cabin fever.
  • Busch Wildlife Area near Weldon Springs MO and Lock and Dam at Saverton MO 17 and 20-26 Nov 2006
  • As per usual the stokcer trout are ready to play at Busch Wildlife Area in the catch and release lakes 21 and 28 (fly/lure only till 1 Feb 07), and a wide variety of flies work. Dry flies #14 work at sunrise and sunset while wollyboogers in #8-#10 olive w/bead and nymphs under indicators (anything #10-#18). The locka nd Dam at Saverton is also loaded with fish, primarily saugers, carp, and flatheads, with saugers and flatheads falling to persistant cast and very slow retrieve of soft plastics on jig heads (rigged drop shot if current is bad). Carp will eat worms and corn and Drum will eat fresh shad pieces. Fish before freeze out! Once the lakes freeze, hit the powerplant lakes like Baldwin Lake for catfish aplenty (and a few blues), or fish for the big Blues in the river is the ice is not too bad.
  • Chicago IL Harbors-Shedds, Belmont, Montrose 5-6 Nov 2006
  • The last salmon trip of the year usually features sightings of many large schools of salmon and a few steelhead in the harbors (see 5/6 Nov 2005 and previous below). This year the run seems to be 0ne month ahead of schedule, and most of the mature salmon have met their maker in the backs of the harbors (Pacific Salmons are semelparous..they live just 3-5 years, spawn once in the place they were hatched or stocked, and then die. In Illinois, the spawning is not good in the harbors where this run of salmon were first released...which is ok because they aleady released the run of 2009/2010 in the harbor--and they and the steelheads need the protien of a few carcassas for pre-winter food). We saw less than one-third of last years fish schools. With live shinners, we eaked out 2 Chinooks and one 10lb male steelhead (they ignored flies, etc.--kept only one chinook for fresh dinner, released the other chinook and steelhead). Next year's run shoul be stronger, but even so, it is always fun to take in the fall scenery and the Chi-town skyline.
  • Chain of Rocks (Mississippi River) IL 28 Oct 2006
  • The white bass are now few and far between on this big river spot, and the walleye and sauger have not quite appeared yet, but if you toss small soft plastics rigged above a 2oz weight and work the jigs slow, you never know what will bite. This time, we caught white bass (a few), blue catfish, golden redhorse, bigmouth buffalo, among many species.
  • Boulder+Broomfield CO-23/24 Oct 2006
  • Ahead of the big snow of 26 October I snuck in a few minutes fishing Boulder Creek with the white/chartruese #14 dry fly, and as per usual, it surrendered a few small cutthroats and browns for catch and release fun on the 3wgt fly rod. Pitch it over a likely looking pocket of water and if the fish are there they will jump it.
  • Indiana Creeks-Salt, Little Calumet between Porter and Valparaiso IN 20-22 Oct 2006
  • What a difference low pressure and a month make. While we nailed the moon phase, we did count on a direct overflight by a low pressure systme (see last years Chicago Harbor trip). While the salmon were present in smaller number than in September, and were moving as predicted by the moon phase, their desire to bite waned as the pressure dropped. Even so, the 2-4 lb cohos and 8lb-12lb chinooks hit #8 black flies, #6 green butt skunk with hour-glass eyes on 10lb flourocarbon tippets on the fly and 1/8 oz little cleos and #6 spinners on the spinning gear. Always fun to match skills against these creeks and fish, even if they are less than anxious to bite. As a consolation prize, before the system hit, a few rock bass provided a nice warm-up from the harbors on small crankbaits and jigs.
  • Chain of Rocks, IL Side 14 Oct 2006
  • THe cooler weather has created a feeding frenzy for white bass and hybrids. The boiling waters of the Mississippi River below the Chain of Rocks are not to be taken lightly, but by pitching a white Krockodile (1/2 oz) on superbraid or 4lb mono, one can catch many 1-3lb white bass, and 2-4lb hybrids in the mornings. They fight VERY hard, so keep that drag well adjusted!
  • Near Boulder and Nederland CO 19/20 Sep 2006
  • Now for salmonids in the Rockies (I think I may travel a bit much?). Boulder Creek as per usual granted small browns and cutthroats, but for a change of pace, take a trip to Gross or Barker Resevoirs. Contrary to popular belief, both are fishable with a flyrod, though Barker is more fisher frendly with easier access. On eithe lake, try and indicator with nymph such as the mysis or chenelle bug patterns on winder days, and dry flies or wolly boogers on less windy days. Also, The branches of Boulder Creek below each dam are good spots for good trout, just avoid the cougars.
  • Portage, Valpraiso, and Burns Harbor IN 16-17 Sept 06
  • Back to the fish. Using the weather and New Moon as a guide, and guessing the correct spot and method to pick off the early migrating Lake Michigan Cohos and Chinooks, and dodging munchkins and wizards, we selected a spot on the upper portion of a certain creek to catch lots of salmon. Muddy waters did not stop 5lb-9lb Cohos and 10-16lb Chinooks from ingesting #6 skunk pattern flies and #8 flo-yellow glowballs on 14lb flourocarbon tippets (with a split shot 10in above the fly). Likewise downstream a spinner did the duty for a few scattered biters in the chocolate milk waters behind logs. The next day clearer water required a drop in tippet to 10lb, but the same flies still produced, as did small cleo spoons and spinners fished slowly.
  • Lock and Dam 22, Mississippi River, near Saverton MO 28 Aug 06
  • Again, a trip to Saverton proves good, and for more than just the herring, bass, and drum. A migrating swarm of Monarchs dropped by for a photo opportunity also!
  • MO River -Weldon Springs MO and Columbia Bottom 23/24 Aug 06
  • The water has come up, then dropped again, and a try for the flatheads in the MO river yielded goldeyes and drum instead. Silver Carp of many sizes were also around, and have become a very numerous invasive!
  • Mississippi River Chain of Rocks and Saverton Dam 12 Aug 06 and 19 Aug 06
  • Low water has definitely slowed the river fishing down, but fish are still to be had for the persistant. Saverton again had lots of drum for jig or flyrod w/zonker catch and release action (they do have worms this time of year but fight well). The Chain of Rocks has lots of baby herring which can be fun on the fly, and if so inclined, make AOK bait for catfish in the rapids if you can reach them with a boat or cast in the early morn or late evening. (and hold it in them) Rain and cooler temps should improve conditions greatly heading into mid September
  • Lock and Dam 25 (Winfield MO) Mississippi River and Sandy Slough 05 Aug 06
  • LAst weekend was local ponding for bluegill with the 4wgt, but this week was back to the mighty Miss. for the big freshwater drum of the dog days of summer. First a little detour for a few pics at the very low Sandy Slough for pictures of birds enjoying the shallow water feeding: Gulls, Blue and White Herons, and Canadian Geese. The low phase of the slough is critical for not only these birds, but to oxygenate and fix nitrogen into the sloughs mud and sand bottom. The rejuvinated, grass covered bottom, will hold many small fish and invertebrates in the spring of '07, leading to good fishing in the future. For now, the trickle of water holds silvery minnows, small shad, and silversides, and legions of long and short nosed gar. A few hardy common carp and bowfins alos stir the bottom, since these fish can each obtain oxygen from the air above the low oxygen warm and turbid waters of the slough. The river above the dam was fairly clear (as clear as the Mississippi gets-even with zebra mussels) and shad and shrimp were gobbled up by 4-8lb drum and 1-3lb channel cats. Worms lead to carp and buffalo, and small drum. We made many attempts at tossing small wolly worms and yarn bugs on the fly to the fast cruising 10lb-30lb bighead carp, but they were only interested in zooplankton (this time :0).
  • Lock and Dam 22, Mississippi River, near Saverton MO 22 July 2006
  • While quite a drive up Hwy79 or Hwy61 to Hannibal,this lock and dam has good fishing always for something, usually for Skipjack Herring. This time however, the herring were gone, but the low water concentrated silvery minnows and silversides for a feeding frenzy for drum, white bass, hybrid striped bass, and smallmouth bass. For me, a zonker fly on my 6wgt flyrod got drum and smallmouth, but for my brother either a freelined silverminow or 1/8th oz curlytail jig produced everything, including an 8lb hybrid. A grass carp also decided to inhale first my strike indicator, then inhale and run off with my orange chenelle bug. Lots of hard fighting fish make this a fun trip anytime. Also, don't forget to pitch corn or worms near the shoreline along the banks for carp and channel cats a'plenty
  • Lake Tanneycomo and Bull Shoals near Branson MO 1-4 July 2006
  • In addition to stars and stripes, fireworks, and Sousa music, US Independence Day offers a good time to kick back with the family and share some prime fishing time. Due to low flows from Table Rock Dam, the trout were slower than normal (which is still good) in T-como, with the usual 8"-17" rainbows and browns below the dam biting at first light and before mid-day on zonkers, glow-balls, cracklebacks, and wiggletails. In the main lake, trout activity was uplake from the green, phytoplankton rich, waters of Branson proper, from the bridges to Falls Creek, on the typical crankbaits, powerbaits, and kastmasters. Since the dam was sometimes running, another spot in Bull Shoals also became active with nice hybrids Wipers, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout, on live shad and jigs. In short, good relaxation was had by all.
  • Boulder Creek near Boulder CO 28/29 June 2006
  • For a change of pace, I hauled the fly rod out on a business trip to Denver, and using the handy guide "Fishing Close to Home" sent to me by the Colorado DNR I took a 20 minute drive up into the canyons to try for a few wilder cutthroats. While any white fly seemed to get bit and shook, only my #14 white crackleback fished subsurface was attractive enough to hook the feisty 6"-10" cutthroats and browns.
  • Islamorada FL (Florida Keys-Atlantic and Gulf) 17-23 MAy 06
  • Just can't avoid the draw of the clear waters, big fish, and laid back attitude of the Keys, especially when you can get a low cost room at the Sunset Inn, eat Breakfast every day at Mangrove Mikes, and rent a 21' Mako from Bud n Marys. It really is a doable trip for anyone. We brought our handheld GPS, charts, 12# flygear, and 15-20lb trolling and spinning gear to this Valhalla of fishing, and it did not disapoint! We left the dock each day, made bee line for the reef edge (after buying a few blocks of chum), caught a few ballyhoo as insurance, then hit the 60-90 foot contour reef edge, with a few forays into the electric blue waters and sargasso bed in 200 feet of water. ON the contour were legions of 20"-30" mahi-mahi around the scattered sargassum, and they readily smashed a little stubby in purple trolled at 8 miles per hour. ON each hookup, chunks of ballyhoo and chum were used to bring in the rest of the school, and a pandamonium of screaming drags on fly gear and spinning gear ensued. Once board with the schoolies, a deeper trolled nailed larger mahis, as did a chum and drift. For the real beasts, we journeyed to a weedline in 225 feet of water due east of Alligator light, and set of a drift with the live ballyhoo, chunks of ballyhoo, and a chum bag, and again brought in fly-roddable schoolies, but also a 30lb cow mahi, king mackerel, and blackfin tuna. If that wasn't enough, the reefs in 25-60 feet of water still held the standard ceros and snappers for a jigger or fly rodder to catch. Still not enough, well just ditch the boat and head for the nearest bridge on slack tide, and bring fresh chunnks of ballyhoo, or live mullet or pinfish and catch tarpon and snappers till the armns hurt. It just doesn't get any better :0)
  • Lake Taneycomo, Branson MO 21-23 APr 06
  • Wow does Branson need rain! The lakes are the lowest seen in 20 years, but Taneycomo still provides spectacular trouting. WHite Zonkers, Wiggletail nymphs, glowballs, and cracklebacks fished sub-surface caught jillions of 8"-12" rainbows,and a few 15"+ browns and rainbows. Triple digit catch and relase flyfishing every day near the upper boat ramps. In other words, get on the waders, grab a novice flyrodder, and get them here to catch fish.
  • East Chicago and Portage IN; Salt, Trail, and Little Calumet (East Branch) Creeks,24-28 Mar 2006
  • Landed no spring steelies (they were too interested in mating mostly, but we did hook 3 that escaped), we did catch tons of large white suckers (1-4 lbs). Likewise, it was early for the harbors, but a few cohos snuck in on the days that had south winds (for future reference wind from on shore = upwell = clear water = lots of fish!). For the steelies, small flies in #10-#8 in black or mysis patternson 8lb leader caught the legions of suckers and hooked the few steelies willing to bite. The cohos off the Jerose pier and in the Harbors hit #4 Panther martins when present fished on 4lb test.
  • Chain of Rocks IL side 28/29 Jan 2006
  • While there are still easy to catch trout at Busch Wildelife and other parks due to the Winter Stocking program, and baby catchfish a plenty at Baldwin Lake, we hit the Mississsippi River for walleye, and while tough fishing, the 12"-24" Saugers and Walleyes did bit for those who use patience, a 2oz weight, and double twister tail jigs, fished very slow.
  • Pompano Beach and Islamorada FL 26-31 Dec 2005
  • With the Christmas seaon, the family all heads to a warmer clime for a week, and I again get to fish the fishermans Valhalla of the Florida Keys. After a run up and down the coast from Jupiter to Miami, we had only caught a few blues and spanish mackeral off the piers (small spanish on small jigs, medium blues on cut bait), we took the drive to Islamorada, caught breakfast a Mangrove Mikes (a must do) and rented a center console from Bud'n Mary's to fish the reef. After setting up a drift in 20-50 Feet on the reef edge south of the lighthouse, and deploying a bag of chum, ceros, snappers, and yellow jacks became easy pickings on anything from trolled rapalas to flyrod tossed clousers and fathead minnows( White/Chartruese, flo-yellow), to crappie jigs on light spinning gear. A ballyhoo(sp) pitched with a small egg weight netted a wide variety of fun to fight and release fighters in the form of grouper and sharks (and more mackerel). Sails were busting the 'hoos all over, but we couldn't get ourselves to leave the mackerel (maybe next time?). The fish were all returned to the reef to challenge someoneelse next time. Top it off with all you can eat stone crab claws from any of the eateries on the way back north, and it is a day better than any mortal deserves in this life.
  • Chicago IL (Shedds and Burnham Harbor) 5/6 Nov 2005
  • Never have a seen so many salmon, yet caught so few. We saw many schools 20 fish strong of chinooks and cohos, each school shadowed by a large steelie or brown, but while it rained hard, we were skunked on fly, spin, and bait. The next day however, with drier weather came dumber fish, and a whole nightcrawler or cooked shrimp below a drop float caught nice fat salmon to rescue the trip!
  • Valparaiso IN, Salt Creek and Little Calument 1/2 Oct 2005
  • Lots of Salmon in the Creeks days before the new moon, and the #6 orange rabbit strip zonker got them well. For my spinning brothers, the 3/8oz little cleo in silver and orange worked for them, as did the pink power worm/yellow jig head. Tons of small to medium Cohos and Chinooks using a slow twitch on the bottom and 10lb line or tippet. Use a rod with backbone or these fish will own you in a small creek like the Salt.
  • East Chicago IN, Portage IN, and Trail Creek/Michigan City IN 21-23 July 2005
  • We gave a shot at landing a few of those husky Skemania Steelhead on the full moon, but ended with just 1 steelie due to rain four days before, lots of channel catfish and bluegill, Northern Rock Bass, a few Crappie and chubs, and of coarse gobies. The lone steelie came on a pool with a steep undercut on Trail Creek near Hwy 20, using a 11wgt rod (using 8 wgt floating level fly line) 10lb flourocarbon tippet, and #6 white mysis shrimp pattern behind a 1/32oz splitshot. The 28" 10lb male put up a valiant effort and after landing and a quick pic I attempted revive and relase, but the warm water didn't let the fish recover and after he belly-uped I put him in the ice chest (and performed a dissection, had only a few small shrimp in the largely empty gut, orange meat, but otherwise very healthy). We saw only a few other steelies that day, and ended up fishing the Trail Creek Harbor using shrimp, butterworms, and nightcrawlers only to land bluegill and 1-2lb channel cats (all released). The Little Cal in Indiana Dunes was free of steelhead, but had crappie, chubs, and rock bass that were fun to catch as incidentals. Relocation to Jerose Park in East Chicago resulted in good action for Rock Bass which pounced any lure the big gobies didn't get to first. We also got bit off (likely by small pike) on goby strips on a weight cast into the cooler deep water. Once the heat hit 103 the fish stopped completely and we headed home.
  • St Andrews SP, Panama City FL and Big Pine Key FL 31 May-10 June 2005
  • Mostly a Biology Research Trip for me, but I did sneek in a little fishing here and there :0) Big Pine had lots of small tarpon in the harbors, larger tarpon, small 'cudas, and Gray Snappers under the bridge supports and surrounding grass beds, but watch out for the Goliath Groupers who sit near the pillings and eat snappers for lunch! on the deeper reefs Jolthead porgies and snappers (YT and Gray) provided plenty of pics and fun. Add in a snorkel trip to Looe Key preserve to see the fish and coral at home. In deeper water (600ft) mahi-mahi and wahoos prowl the Plentiful Sargassum.
  • Chain of Rocks , Mississippi River, IL 7 May 2005
  • Flyrod Catch and release fun at its finest with many, many Skipjack Herring that jump, fight , and flip, and readily and very swiftly devore any minnowlike fly moved VERY fast. 4lb tippet (they are not line shy!) and a weighted mylar minnow, white and yellow marabou or flashabou streamer, or brown wooly worm all were prime. Waders are a key but use LOTs of caution as the current is VERY dangerous here. Soon the 8lb to 50lb carp and drum will make an appearance (Did get snapped off once on this trip) and the 11wgt and shooting head will have to come out, as these big fish can run you ragged in the current, and will take a well presented fly (lots of skill on pursuit and fight)
  • East Chicago IN and Waukegan IL 23/24 April 2005
  • Cruising Browns at Jerose Park and a few cohos were the fishes on this trip. The Cruising browns, moving along the rocks were munching the super-sized gobies since the alewives were yet to arrive. They did however hit large roaches, and we caught 2, one at 8lbs and one at 5lbs. The next day after going fishless on the pier and south rocks at Waukegan we again hit Jerose and while we saw and hooked several 1-2lb cohos on orange speedtrap minnows, we landed none (VERY frustrating!)
  • Lake Carlyle Spillway Feb, March, April
  • Lots of white bass but no real monsters (8"-14" mostly) and strangely very few walleye or saugers (usually a hotbed of fish!) all on curlytail jigs (chartruese body, 1/16oz head, 2lb-4lb test--very slow on the bottom).
  • Islamorada FLorida 28Jan-1Feb 05
  • Back to the sun and sea after multiple months of fishing for stocker rainbows(Busch Wildlife Area Lakes 28 and 21) and little powerplant channel catfish (Baldwin lake IL). Not that those fish werent fun and plentiful, but it does a body good to get a full dose of a world class fishing spot midwinter with my brothers. After a dirt cheap direct flight into Miami where we were greeted by 70 F temps and sun, we took a nice drive south to Islamorada and the Sunset Inn where we stayed (not a bad place, run by the same folks as the Bluefin Inn as well, and right next to mangrove Mikes for the best breakfast in the keys bar none). Within one hour of dropping off the bags and getting lunch at the Islamorada Fish Co. (another excellent eatery with an outstanding deck over the Gulf complete with pet snappers and nurse sharks), we flopped our lines under a bridge and tied into numerous 4-6lb Jack Crevalle and 1-2lb Mangrove Snappers (the Jacks on Pilchards and Spoons, the snappers on the fly witha #6 Crazy Charlie and #6 Mysis Shrimp). The next day a boat rental from Bud n Mary's got us out to the reef where we caught and released Grunts, Snappers, and a decent Grouper, before the wave chased us into the Gulf. The Next day the wind was horrendous, so we parked near one of the grass flats (the previous cold front sent the Tarpon, Trout, and Bonefish to deeper waters) where we flyrodded Bluerunners, Jack Crevalle, a few Macks, and Leatherjackets all day (#6 clousers white/chartruese, 4lb tippet). The Last day we got back out to the reef, saw one sailfish (no hookup), caught and released another nice grouper, and many ceros and snappers. We each had snap off my unseen foes. The reef action was south of allegator light on a drift over 45feet. All in all, lots of small fish but a great break from the snow...Salmon and steelies in Lake Michigan in 2 months....
  • Yellowtail Snappers and Baitfish behind the boat in 45 feet (very clear waters!!) Black Grouper comming up before release (didn't want to lift him out of the water) An interesting Reef fish with a mean pull --The Yellow Jack Another beautiful January Sunset in the Keys over the Mangroves
  • Trail CReek and Little Calumet Creek (MIchigan City Indiana) 15 Oct 04
  • Made two exploratory trips to MIchigan City after the last run in with the Skemania Steelhead. The september trip saw us fishing 8 spots, and we covered Trail Creek from top to bottom (Ridge Park access to the Harbor), The Port of Indiana, and Little Calumet CReek on the edge on Indiana Dunes, and Portage Harbor. In all we knew septmber would be early, but wanted to scope our spots before the bigger run in October. On the september trip, a few steelies were still around, and a few small cohos made appeareances. The Steelies again were fooled with the softshell crawfish pattern tied on #6 hooks while the coho wanted rabbit strip flies and #4 Pathern Martin spinners, but in both cases fish were scattered and few. On the new moon in October (which is when Salmon really make their run-- think like a Pacific Coast fish in its home turf-- it is dark so you can evade bears and seals, the tides are large so you can slip accross the mouth of the creek easy, though there are neither brown bears or seals around Lake Michigan) we returned and as predicted the run was in full swing on both Trail and Little Calumet. The chinooks and cohos both hit 3/4" nuclear white glowballs, and rabbit strip flies in magenta or orange. In spinning tackle, the 1/2oz silver/orange little cleo was the ticket, with the #4 panther martin running second. The runs are quick on these creeks and lasted from the day of the New Moon to 2 days after, slowing dratically by that Sunday. All said we took home a 15lb and 6 lb chinook and 3 lb coho, which is all we needed, though we caught 6 fish total (and got snapped or tossed by a dozen more). These two creek have earned a place in my next book for sure!
  • TRail Creek INdiana- July 2004
  • Finished the Second Book, and to celebrate made a trip first to South Bend then to Trail Creek in Indiana for a bit of summer Steelhead action. The fish in the St. Joeseph River in Mishawaka and South Bend were very leary though easy to see and due to the warm water (70+/-) where also noin a biting mood. The walleye however were, and using a 6" floater/diver crankbait I caught a nice 24" fish, along with numerous smaller walleyes and suckers on worms. Since this was a steelhead trip we hit Trail Creek on the way home, and it tunred out to be a totally different story-- we saw many fresh silver steelies from 4lbs to 20+lbs, that were engulfing any unfortuate crayfish that stumbled thier way. This creek however is very small and every pool has a log pile on each end, so while we hooked several on mysis shrimp aptterns (size #6) and crayfish patterns (softshell craw in size #4), landing them proved quite difficult on our undergunned leaders (4# and 6#--who knew?). Next time the 10# and 14# tippets are comming out!!!
  • Destin FL June 2004
  • While this trip proved doom to my boat (now it is a donation to the American Cancer Society, the motor ate a little sand and 2 cylinders went south :0( ) there were lots of fish, from ladyfish and spanish mackerel that ate 4" white streamers with abandon, to 100lb blacktip sharks at the outside end of the pass on bumpers and menhaden, to big Spanish mackerel on the Pier (a #3 west coaststyle iron in flo yellow and green was the ticket), to line snapping red snappers 20 miles out (a calm day trip-- 50lb+ leaders a must!!), there were fish a plenty.
  • Waukegan IL May 2004
  • While the water was ROUGH!! a few hours a day was all it took to load the coolers with fresh coho. They were sitting in 25 feet just outside the harbor mouth, and the 50 degree water had them and many brown very active. We used 3oz bannana weights 8feet above a, orange 3/0 dodger and green fly to nail most, though many also hit the small Speedtrap crankbait trolled on 4# line. Watch the conditions, but the 2.5 mph troll just past the buoys was all that was required to catch fish from sunup to 11AM (the water was too rough to stay out any later).
  • Baldwin Lake IL 24 January 2004
  • Finally finished with my first book The Combat-Fishing Guide to Bransons Lake Taneycomo and did some prime winter catfishing at this powerplant fed lake. The trout from the urban stocking program are still around, and catch and release season is well underway at the trout parks (Note My buddy caught and released an estimated 12lb rainbow at Roaring river-congrats Mike D.), but as far as the trout lakes in the St. Louis Area are concerned, an ice blanket is giving the trout a rest. That is AOK with me, as Baldwin lake gets even better as the bitter cold sets in, and this weekend was no exception. Lots of 9"-14" catfish will readily bite any bait, though the threadfin shad that carpet the underwater rocks on the north dam are prime. Downsize the gear to 4lb test or less, use #4 hooks and small weights, and just pitch the small shad 10 yards off the bank. You will catch tons of catfish, and you are doing the lake a great favor by taking home a dozen for a fish fry (this will allow the population to thin out and grow up). You can also flip a nymph on a flyrod for crappie and sunfish that are in summer mode. Dress warm and be prepared to walk 1/4 mile to hit the prime spots

  •  

    Get your Combat-Fishing Stuff Here!

    Nav:HOME  ----  Latest Reports ----  Archived Fishing Reports (YOU ARE HERE)


    Latest Reports | Fishing Articles | Fishing Tactics | Fish Ecology and Biology | Travel Articles | Fishy Fun | External Links | Shopping | HOME

    LEGAL: ALL content ©1993-2015 Bryce L. Meyer. The term "Combat-Fishing" is a federally registered trademark. Fish and pole logos are trademarks of Bryce L. Meyer."Combat Fishing" when used in reference to travel information on the web or book, fishing websites, books, or sim is also a trademark.