Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The next generation.

He's 2.
I wish I could do that when I was 2.
Good going son.
Oh and next time try not to wipe fish slime on me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4-25 & 4-26. The perfect storm.

Mike Kauchak reports:
Temps in the upper 70's with the mother of all cold fronts moving in and wind gusts to 40mph. The technique was a no brainer. Find the windy side of the lake and run burn the rattleshad down the shoreline. Both Smallmouth and Largemouth were hammering the 36g Rattleshad. It was awesome.

Also pictured is Ken Schumacher of

Jamie reports: I struck out on friday. Notice how I'm not in those pictures above. In the 30 minutes to fish, I went exploring a couple hundred yards of new water and did too fast of a run and gun. Then the storms got close...add a little lightmning..and we were out of there, with a whinning Mike in tow " But I was catching fish...waaaaaaaa!"
Then the cold weather came. Temps dropped 30 degrees overnight. The winds were howling! All day long lakes and ponds were being whipped into water that looked more like YooHoo. White caps were in my 2.5 acre Lago Casa.
And ya know who didn't care at all?
The fish.
Ya this time they are thinking about exactly 2 things. 1)food. 2)Sex. (kinda like most of us.). So they stayed shallow. They stayed active. They didn't care about lightning, rain, storms, drops of 30 degrees, howling winds. They actually used all of it to their advantage and instead of picking off shad that were going IN to the channele...they started picking off shad coming OUT of the channel due to the coldfront. The bass were still perfectly happy in 1-2' of muddy, ripped up water on the lake shoreline or in the now muddied ditches.
The key baits? The Savage Gear Rattle Shad and the Lewis Rattle Trap and the Lucky Craft Pointer..all burned in as fast as you can reel it. Right thru the muddy water. They have no problem going after the sound and hitting the lure. Trust me on that.
On another site I got into quite the little squabble with a fellow angler about WHERE we fish. As you know Mike and I along with our crew fish everywhere. If we fish it, you read it here. From the Mississippi to Chicago to Ontario to Florida to The Arctic Circle. Lately Mike and i have been hitting lakes, ponds and ditches. No rivers yet for us. We're leaving that job to Jade for now.
So... where do we catch HUGE smallies?
How about spots like this.

Ripped up muddied lakeshore

Or these spots?

Muddied 1-2' deep roadside ditches that hook up to lakes,ponds and rivers. packed with shad, baitfish and..oh..HUGE smallies and largemouth.

The end result?

So basically I just took the "classic" smallie spots of rocky pristine streams and threw them in the crapper. I also took the whole "fish dont bite after a massive cold front" and threw THAT in the crapper too. Oh..and I also took "big,bright,slower baits in muddy water" and threw THAT in the crapper.
Anybody got anything else they want disproved this week?
Listen..sometimes the fish don't read the same books that you do. You never know til you get out there and try, even when the weather turns to crap and every sign says "the fish aren't biting." .....wanna bet?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ok...this is just too easy.

" is there no one on this planet to even challenge me?!"
-General Zod in "Superman"-

I mean, really..c'mon. 1 cast? That's all I need now?

I know..I know..I'm gonna pay for my arrogance at some point and be stricken down by the fish gods and forced to endure a skunking of biblical proportions.
But until then...all i have to say is this. "Don't hate the playa'. Hate the game."

*largemouth bass caught in 1' of water next to an under-road drain in a 10' wide ditch that leads to a lake. And you thought YOUR spot was good?*

Camera: Canon a-95. Auto setting. Full 5.1 megapixel set on superfine.

Tripod: Joby Gorillapod

Gear: 7' medium/light IM8 Gander Mountain Pro Guide Series rod. Pflueger Trion 30 series reel. 8lb Fireline Crystal line. Lewis Rattle Trap in Red Crawfish pattern.

Car that got me in and out of there in 5 minutes: 2006 Mazda 6 V6 Atenza featuring K&M air intake.

Our fishing reports: Priceless.

This just in. Go here sunday night at 7pm:
You may just hear yours truly on the radio.
Click the "listen live" button when you get there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Membership has it's privileges.

Q: Ya want to know the best part about living ON one of the Customfish lakes??
A: Even when I'm home sick with the flu, I can still walk 70 feet outside the back door, catch this, and go back to bed.

Again. Savage Gear rattle Shad. 2 casts. Caught 4 more in the next 5 minutes and like I said...went back to bed.
Contact Savage Gear to get yours today. Email Stuart Green at Please tell them we sent you.

There ya go. We just gave you the key to the Emerald City. We suggest you use it.

And in other membership news:
Captain jade Miller checks in again with an instant report from his lunch hour on the Mississippi River.

He reports "Can't keep them off of this thing. Gone thru two of the little ones
already. Head tore open on both."
He's using THIS in the 'smolt' color.

Monday, April 21, 2008

4/18-4/20/08. Our peers hate us.

I think we'll just let the pictures tell the stories for this weekend.
Lures used: Savage Gear Rattle Shad, Savage Gear 4-Play, Smack Tackle's Gizz4 shallow diving shad.
Same techniques as I've been writing about all week.
Mike went out Saturday 2pm

Here's Mike with a shad that swiped a Savage Gear bait. Do you want to know what our key to success is right now? Shad. If you find the shad, you've found the predators. Even big smallmouth bass that are normally found relating to rocky areas will gladly find comfort in a muddy,silt bottomed ditch or creek when the shad run up to spawn. Some of the areas we are fishing have just such ditches that are now packed with thousands of shad that make the water look like chocolate milk...and the big predators are right behind them!

Jamie went out to the same lake on Saturday at 6pm.
Started out with a Savage Gear Rattle Shad, fishing it in the same muddy water ditch that Mike had been to earlier in the day. New predatory fish move in and out constantly throughout the day as they get their fill on the thousands of shad in the murky 2' depths of ditches and creeks.

Huge smallmouth bass were having a rodeo feeding festival on schools of shad that had not yet made it into the creeks.
The pattern is simple. Watch the area for bass that drive shad to the surface and explode on them. Then immediately cast a lure to that spot. I'm recommending the Gizz4 by Smack Tackle for this little trick. I made exactly 2 casts with a brand new Gizz4 and it got nailed by a smallie over 20". Followed by another one a few casts later. I lost one more that was about the same size as these guys.

That's gotta be a pretty good lure if it gets hit by a suicidal yellow bass. Keep in mind. that lure is 4" long!

Sunday. Mile high bluebird skies...the kiss of death to anglers. We even had vultures overhead. Kind of an omen. It was a little tougher today, but we still managed to scrape up a couple of nice largemouth on a very short trip. Mine was caught by throwing the Gizz4 in the area where the muddy water met clear water. Remember, when water changes color the fish will use that as an ambush point.
. Mike's behemoth was caught by burning in a Savage Gear 4-Play Herring.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


While watching Charlie Moore's show this morning, I noticed they were fishing a place in Osceola, FL where you can catch a barramundi. How cool is that??

April showers mean big friggin fish!

Here's another ultra fast report straight from the water.
With rain storms approaching from the south it was a good bet that the bass would be "on" somewhere in the north shoreline of our home waters. All these were found in an area about 20' x 20' were they had cornered a bunch of shad against the bank during high winds.
The bait of choice? A Savage Gear Rattle Smolt. It's the bait on the top of the chart.

Now keep in mind that we are honest. So I'll tell you that I beat the water for an hour with nothing to show for it until running into the right spot at the right time. In the final 15 minutes I was able to pull off a few miracles. As you'll see by the last photo, there was a wall of hell coming towards me quickly, and I was solo out there.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Yes. if you are daring (or not too bright. Whatever) you can cash in pretty good when there's a wall of hell coming. Just make sure to get the hell out of there before hell hits. Because hell hath no fury a wall of hell coming at you.

Uh oh! Time to get the hell out of there. Check out that sky.

Friday, April 18, 2008

4-17-08. A little shakey

It was a little slow last night. Myself, Ken Schumacher and Luis Saucedo Jr took 2 hours to do some damage. By most people's standards we did great. But given that we know every rock of the lakes we fish, we were a little disappointed. We're going to go ahead and blame it on the earthquake we had in Illinois this morning. Yeah...that's it. Riiiight.
The baits we threw were Rapala Husky jerks and a Rattle Trap. Luis scored the 2 biggest of the day and a few others along with a couple HUGE greengill sunfish. Ken and I didn't do as well but held our own. I got 7 bass and a couple huge greengills. I don't know Ken's numbers but I'm sure he was right there with me.
Luis is also a bit of a rock & fossil hound as well as being one of the top bass anglers in the area. Included in this post is a picture of one he found while casting.
AND..the bonus picture is from a bass that Ken caught. A very hungry bass. Hungry enough to hit his bait even though it had a 4" bluegill in it's throat.
Photo credits: Ken Schumacher, Jamie Riani, Luis Saucedo.
Please check out Ken's site and consider him if you are wanting to learn the fine art of fly fishing for smallies as well as general fishing for bass in the Chicago are. CLICK HERE

Yes. Our fishing reports ARE that damn good.

We see on alot of the forum based sites that there is a lack of reports. Personally we see the whole forum based fishing site craze as being past. A few people got burned by handing out exact spots to the entire Planet Earth and everyone went running for the hills.
Our answer to that is to read this one. Call us an "indie" if you will. There's a few of us around using blogs and giving out ten times more info than anyone else on a forum site.
Don't get me wrong. I love the forum based sites for the generalities. But as far as seeing pictures and really getting into what's happening that day or week, that info just isn't there.
So..without further adieu we give you YET ANOTHER updated report.
If you follow the site you know that we put up posts ASAP when we start attacking fish. And today is no exception. This report is being posted ast 1:45pm. The action you're about to see happened at lunchtime. I doubt that you'll find a faster real-time fishing report.
You all know Captain Jade Miller, our customfish corespondent on the Mississippi in NW Illinois. He reports today that the white bass are juuuuust starting in the last few hours. We'll have more info as Jade keeps fishing.

Now comes a word from Field Corespondent Jim Jozwiak. Illinois Smallmouth Alliance guru who has recently joined the darkside of largemouth fishing and excelled at the art of trophy hunting.
His tactics in the past couple of days are chronicled here.
Joz says:
Shallow running crankbait, fished medium tempo. Basically no brainer if the fish are shallow and happening.

I know that guys can really catch them using a rattle type bait but I prefer a shallow crank for the following.

1. less chance of hanging up.

2. Ability to stop or slow down when needed. I can throw it in 4 inches of water right against a shoreline and let it sit for a bit before I even start cranking. I can throw it in very shallow bays without hanging up, pause it, start it, etc. which is impossible to do with a rattle trap.

3. Extreme vibration and rattle just like a trap.

And yes, Jim Jozwiak ALWAYS wears a collared shirt while bass fishing.