Thursday, December 31, 2009

Great Lakes Anger : Year End Fish Totals

The results are in ladies and gents. It was one amazing year chasing fish up and down the Great Lakes. Thanks to every one of you for your readership, your support, your questions, and your comments.

Here are the totals:
Bluegill : 2
Brook trout : 5
Brown Trout (inland) : 54
Brown Trout (lake-run) : 16
Coho Salmon : 4
Crappie : 2
Creek Chub : 3
King Salmon : 11
Largemouth Bass : 47
Muskellunge : 1
Northern Pike : 72
Pumpkinseed Sunfish : 3
Rainbow Trout (inland) : 5
Rock Bass : 67
Smallmouth Bass : 16
Steelhead : 9
White Sucker : 1
Walleye : 7
Yellow Perch : 521

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chicago Perch Fishing Report : 12/20/2009 : Montrose Harbor

The ice is beginning to move in and perch are harder to find as a result. I found today at montrose harbor that getting away from the open water and fishing between the floating ice floes was the best way to find the fish. Perch were very scattered and the bite was lite when it did happen.

I hooked a few fish on artificials and a few more on cut bait made from a dead perch some other inconsiderate fisherman threw directly onto the ice.

Reports from Navy Pier sound similar, that you have to move around and work to find the school and when you do the perch are small. I caught a couple above 8 inches but most ran around 6 today.

The harbors still have a way to go before they lock up for the winter. Get out and catch some perch before you have to drill through to find them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great Lakes on the Ground : A new Blog from Andy Buchsbaum

This afternoon I found myself diving deeper into paragraph after paragraph of text focused mainly on the invasion of Asian Carp in the Chicago River and Calumet/Saganashkee Channel.

This blog is only a week old and is only six posts deep but if the writing continues on the vector it currently holds it should produce good reading for weeks to come.

Please give this new blog a read here, you'll be happy you did!

Andy Buchsbaum is Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation, he has taken the side of the Great Lakes on a number of Great Lakes issues in front of a congressional committee and is certainly considered a friend of Great Lakes Anglers everywhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lamprey Eels Continue Invasion in Great Lakes

A very well written article in the Niagara Falls Review.

An excerpt:

"The Great Lakes were pretty much a closed eco-system for thousands of years. The plants, animals and fish within this system co-existed with one another in a relatively balanced level. The early arrival of explorers from the east had little impact on this balance. The arrival of settlers in greater and greater numbers began to change the landscape. Logging and farming re-shaped the lands around the rivers and streams feeding into the lakes. As the human population grew, the once-balanced environment became unbalanced."

Read on by clicking the link above.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

Another bit of beautiful, mouth watering, heart pounding video. I'll post them as long as they keep making them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mike Iaconelli and Eric Haataja : City Limits Fishing : Milwaukee

I've done what they did dozens of times this year, and can guarantee you it's going to be a good show that showcases Milwaukee's premier Brown Trout fishery. Friends of mine were even out landing brown trout the same day he was making this video.

I've met Eric in Milwaukee and he certainly knows the harbor and the fishery like the back of his hand.

There is a great write up of the event here in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chicago Perch Fishing Report : 12/13/2009

Perch are finally showing up in numbers in the harbors near Chicago, fishing picked up this morning at Montrose Harbor around 8:30 a.m. today and continued to be good until I left at 10:30. Between myself and two friends we pulled up around 75 perch in those 2 hours, 14 of which were winter keeper Perch in the 7.5-10 inch range. Shrimp on a crappie rig on the bottom worked well, artificial minnows and small spinners tipped with bait worked as well. Larger Perch hit the spinners but fish were far between using that method.

The code for the Montrose Harbor Docks (B Dock at least) is 3-4-5 this winter, this allows you to get out into the harbor and off the wall, move often if perch aren't biting to find an active school.

A friend took home the keepers in the photograph above, I gave some of my keepers to him and released the rest. A quick note, I was checked by the DNR today for license and limit. It is great to see the DNR out there enforcing some law. I wouldn't dare keep more than 15 perch or fish without a license. There is no where to run or hide and the DNR will catch you if you are poaching.

As the ice comes be safe and careful out there, a lot of fun will be had this winter on the ice but do some reading if you haven't been out before and always use common sense.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Asian Carp Fish Kill : Game Fish Saved

As I reported here a couple of weeks back they shocked the water pre-poison and removed as many game fish as possible. I only now have run across a tally of what was saved and in what numbers. Thanks to Dale Bowman at the Chicago Sun Times I'm able to bring those numbers to you today.

They are as follows:

Species saved and number:

largemouth bass : 63
smallmouth bass : 1
bluegill : 83
channel catfish : 10
grass pickerel : 2
black crappie : 1
walleye : 1
goldfish : 1
sunfish : 90

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surf and Inshore Fishing : East Coast Stripers

I think I would like to try this type of fishing some day. It would seem that in this wonderful part of the world we live in, a willing fish isn't more than a quick car drive away, no matter where you are.


Watch this, you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trout Unlimited Take Action Against Asian Carp

Alright readers, I ask for your help on this one. It was brought to my attention in an email to me this morning ( that Trout Unlimited is asking people to send a letter through their "Take Action" program. Thanks to Chris S. for sending me the link and description, I'm pleased that we are forming a community of like minded, responsible anglers and lovers of the Great Lakes region.

The letter is simple and quickly filled out and can be done here at this link:

This is a copy of my version of the letter, much of it is filled in already for you (you may change it if you feel so inclined) and the last paragraph or two was added by me.

Action Item:Protect The Great Lakes (Residents IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, PA, WI)
Date Sent:12/9/2009
Description:Demand that Federal and State Agencies Take Aggressive Action Now to Protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp
I am writing to ask that you take the most aggressive action possible to prevent the colonization of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. This would jeopardize the world’s greatest freshwater treasure by displacing native fish, disrupting a sport fishing industry worth $7 billion annually, and potentially harming boaters and other people recreating in the lakes and their tributaries.

The recent application of rotenone, a piscicide, to the area between the electric barriers and the Lockport Lock during routine maintenance, falls far short of the necessary actions to prevent further invasion by Asian carp and their colonization in Lake Michigan. In addition, the canal system that currently connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River systems needs to be seriously reexamined. One major rainfall could inadvertently allow invasive carp to breach the already thin barriers to their migration. Specifically, we ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, Illinois and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other members of the Asian Carp Rapid Response Team to implement the following recommendations:

1) Immediately close all the locks between the electric barriers and Lakes Michigan effective immediately, specifically O’Brien, Wilmette and Downtown Chicago Locks;
2) Aggressively expand the fish control and removal operations to all areas above the electric barriers up to Lake Michigan;
3) Continue and expand frequent monitoring of the Chicago rivers and canal systems and nearby areas of Lake Michigan;
4) Develop and implement a plan to decommission the canal and lock system to permanently sever the connection between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes drainages.

Trout Unlimited has more than 35,000 members living in the Great Lakes states and a long history of native fishery and habitat restoration work in the Great Lakes and its tributaries. On average, each Trout Unlimited chapter contributes more than 1,000 volunteer hours working with government agencies, private landowners, local schools, and others in their communities to improve rivers and streams though clean-up days, tree plantings and other activities and to support policies and programs that will protect and improve river and fishery health. To protect the many investments that TU has made in the Great Lakes and tributary resources, we again urge you to take immediate and aggressive actions to stop the spread of Asian carp.

I am an avid angler and lover of the great lakes. I actively teach others about the treasure we have in such a great resource and I personally would be devastated to see that resource compromised by yet another invasive specie.

Please do everything you can. This is important.

Again, thanks to Chris S for getting this to us, and please send the letter for yourself if you feel strongly about this. Follow this link to get to the letter.

December Gale Stirring up the Great Lakes

As I sit here typing my windows are rattling in their frame as a south/east gale gusts up to 40 mph. The winds will continue to howl, pushing 14 footers into Milwaukee tomorrow morning early as the winds turn west and follow this storm across the lakes, stirring up offshore waves to the 20-25 foot range in Lake Erie of all places.

Wonderful, I love the Great Lakes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Concerned Reader on Asian Carp

A reader here at Great Lakes Angler had this to say regarding one of my prior posts on Asian Carp.

"For the past 10 years the Chicago Park District has stock the Lagoons with Catfish that came from fish farms that used Asian Big head Carp in there tanks. One can only speculate how many Asian Bighead Carp were accidentally stocked in our lagoons in the last ten years.

Now the greatest concern is two lagoons (Lincoln park zoo south Pond & Jackson Park that had direct access to Lake Michigan. Lincoln Park Lagoon had a Fish Kill, I believe that Jackson Park lagoon maybe next.

Now I previously tried to bring all of this on several online Fishing communities in Chicago, but unfortunately my actions were perceived as just spamming & many just plain ignored my postings. One website deleted my posting stating that "this was there house". I know for a fact one of the online-monitors of that site works for CPD.

I've even contacted bob "The Fishin' guy" from CPD & he gave me a well rehearsed statement that "the Asian Bighead carp in the Lagoons don't pose a great threat in the lagoon because the fact that they need fast current to spawn/reproduce". Which I feel is absolutely BS! Even though the Lincoln Park south pond was not connected to the lake like Jackson park is, it still had a drain pipe that went directly to the Lincoln park lagoon next to LSD."

Due to reading Dale Bowman's recent articles in the Chicago Sun Times detailing catches of Bighead Carp in these very lagoons I'd say that this "concerned citizen" is on the right track.

Thanks for the input my friend, I value all constructive feedback I get and do my best to read any comments or emails that I receive. I found this particularly detailed and well written comment to be important to bring to the attention of all the readers.

Thanks again.

-Great Lakes Angler

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Milwaukee Area Trout Fishing Report : 12/06/2009

As promised, I made it up to Milwaukee today to find some Lake Run Trout.

I started at my favorite spot on Oak Creek at first light, and was able to snap up a foot long steelhead right away. It wasn't long until the weekend party of "fishermen" walking down the middle of the river went ahead and spooked the entire river. I couldn't take it today, I just got in my car and headed for Milwaukee where my friend Mike was waiting at the harbor. I should mention that I did count a dozen steelhead moving in holes and bedding in what little gravel there was. I would have had a chance at these fish and likely would have stayed for a couple more hours had I not had the river ruined rudely by these guys who don't respond to my questions or comments about their style of fishing.

I met a guy on the river last month and ended up talking to him for a long time, he told me flat out that he considers every last angler on the river just another "friend he hadn't met yet". I wish more anglers were like you Andy. (Andy lives near Oak Creek and is a regular there). His courtesy was great, we even fished the same hole, he asked my permission to move into the top of the hole and fish it and then to skip by me and continue making his way downstream. We hopped over each other for about an hour sharing the crowded river with no problems.

Now that the rant is over I'll continue. We did what is becoming a ritual for our crew, skipping from spot to spot in the harbor looking for active fish. We checked the sailing center, the slips, the discharge, the channel, and finally we found some players at the summerfest lagoon.

Mike managed to entice one of the bigger browns in the lagoon with a hand tied fly that I tied up last winter after salmon season. I got a spawned out female on a spawn sac.

I would recommend people skip the harbors for the time being and find players in tailouts of deep pools and in rapids in the front of them after the day starts getting on its way. If I could re-do the day I might skip the harbor all together and focus on the Milwaukee River, which I unfortunately didn't get a chance to fish. I did have a great day with Mike and somehow the sun made 30 degrees feel like 45.

Some rain or snow melt-off will kick things into high gear on the tributaries, so look for that in December and January, any runoff will push fresh fish into all your favorite holes and these fish are often ready to take a spawn sac dead drifted through those pools.

That might have been the last Steelhead and Brown Trout for me in 2009, I may shoot at some perch here from Montrose Harbor and Navy Pier in the mean time. I'm slowly ticking my way to 1000 fish for the year and Lake Michigan Yellow Perch might just seal the deal.

Until next time, enjoy the photos!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Quick Note on the Asian Carp Fish Kill

A single bighead carp has been found, and it looks as though this huge endeavor may not have been as necessary as previously thought. The sky might not be falling out yet, there is still hope.

The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a study to decide weather closing the locks in Chicago is a necessity.

Take a quick read through this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has sent a letter to the bosses at the Army Corps asking (demanding actually) them to take a quick hard look at the costs and benefits to closing the locks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some Great Tarpon Fishing for a Cold Winter Night

It's getting cold on the fifth coast, warmer waters and blue skies are looking nice. This video is full of great footage of Tarpon grabbing up big flies, breaking a few rods, and jumping clear out of the water.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today's Chicago Sun Times : Asian Carp on the Front Page

I suggest picking up a copy, or at the very least read through some of the article online here. The article speaks of the "boondoggle" that is the barrier, and of the poisoning of the channel tomorrow (Wendesday). Just under 7 miles of the river is going to be poisoned to prevent the advancement of Carp, although Dale Bowman does bring up some good points in his column, citing half a dozen or so cases of carp being found or caught in Lake Michigan already.

Photo from John Patsch/Sun Times

"The economic costs of these fish to the ecosystem would be tremendous - unquantifiable and irreversible."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Classic Great Lakes Angler : Fossil Edition

While reading through this issue of LIFE Magazine on Google books I ran across this article.

Text as follows:

"The fossil skeletons of a fish within a fish give 90 million-year-old record of a glutton"

"Ninety million years ago a 14-foot-long tyrant fish called Portheus swam through the great shallow sea that covered what today is Kansas. Like its distant modern relative the tarpon, Portheus was a fierce predator, armed with a bulldoglike lower jaw for lunging at prey from below. It came upon a 6-foot-long herring-type Ichthyodectes and proceeded to swallow it whole. This huge wriggling repast may have been too much for the ravenous Portheus. At any rate, it died with its belly full. Then it sank heavily into the sea ooze, where it became fossilized in the clay while the Cretaceous American Sea vanished about 70 million years ago. Uncovered under the dry land of a cattle ranch near Quinter, Kan., this skeleton-within-a-skeleton, vivid evidence of the reward of gluttony, is believed to be the most ancient fish-eat-fish record ever found intact."

The fossils were discovered by Walter Sorenson of the American Museum of Natural History.

It was a fast swimmer, as the forked tail and streamlined body show. Probably would have put up one hell of a fight on a 12 weight fly rod.

St. Croix River, Bayport Power Plant : Photography

I had the wish to photograph the Bayport Power Plant in Minnesota from across the river in the darkness on black Friday. I set out in search of a proper spot along the bluff across the river to capture this steam expelling stack that I used as a compass throughout my childhood, as it could often be located through the trees of even the denser woods of my home town.

I started off in North Hudson and captured it from an angle I wasn't pleased with, but it was a good warm up.

I then made my way to an abandoned rest stop, pulled the car far off the road, and hiked to the edge of the bluff. I had a friend with me and after a minute of conversing and shining a headlight into the brambles at our feet we decided this wasn't the spot. I then unfolded my tripod for a quick capture with my Nikon and realized that this actually was the perfect spot and that we would have to make it down the bluff to the water's edge.

It was maybe 100 vertical feet down a leaf covered decline. After a few minutes of slipping and tangoing with burrs we found ourself standing on the stones at the foot of the St. Croix river.

After making a few images and completing a panoramic it was time to go. Having little feeling left in my hands I slung my tripod onto my shoulder and called for my friend Doug to follow me up the hill. As I made my way over the fragile piles of drift wood I reached my foot out for a board, an even surface to find a footing.

As I soon found out this board had a series of 3" long nails sticking out of it's surface and the ball of my toes found it's way to the point of one of these rusty spikes. I felt pressure as the nail punctured my shoe and my thick wool sock like they were butter, I instantly reeled and rocked back to my other foot, careful not to fall. I felt a pang of pain shoot into my foot as I lifted the 8 foot long 2x4 clear from the ground, hanging from my foot. I shook it loose and consulted with my friend. We decided to high tail it up the bluff and investigate in the car.

Upon reaching the top of the slope we entered the car, turned on the lights, and I took off my shoe. To my surprise the nail hit a callas and was stopped before entering my bloodstream. A half an inch either way and it would have stuck straight into my foot. A Tetanus shot was narrowly avoided and I was thrilled for the rest of the evening. The adventure, the cool crisp air, the time with a friend, and the images were worth a Tetanus shot in my mind but I'm happy to be without one as well.

Portland Oregon this week for work, back to fishing this weekend as soon as I can. Seeforellen Brown Trout are invading the harbors and rivers, and last weeks rain and snow pushed clean Steelhead into all my favorite holes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black River Falls Dam : Photography

I took a slight detour today on the way home from Hudson, Wisconsin. The Black River looked beautiful from the I-94 bridge and before I knew it my turn signal was on and my car was leaving the fleet of angry post-thanksgiving drivers.

I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the the river, the dam, the swinging rope bridge that connects it to the adjacent plant on the river, and the quality of the pools below the dam.

There was one orange clad fisherman shooting sweeping casts out well below the falls, and I hear the river is a good fishery when it comes to walleye, musky, and bass. If I had a rod and a box of spinners with me I would have given it a chance to be sure.

I love Wisconsin, and the whole Great Lakes region, but I am still falling deeper in love with these places as I find more and more perfect spots. It seems that over every one of Wisconsin's rolling hills there is a spot more beautiful than the last.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Asian Carp : "Monumental Government Screwup"

From, this article details the Asian Carp invasion even further. Delving into what it might do to our Great Lakes fishery and ecosystem, terms like "a potential desaster for many of our sport fisheries".

The carp have become the dominant species in the water systems they have intruded upon and show no signs of slowing down at the great lakes.

"I'd plan for the worst"

Read the article here, a part of the article follows:

Anglers in the Great Lakes watershed better fish as much as possible in the next decade. Chances are that yet-another monumental government screwup has let Asian carp into the world’s biggest freshwater reservoir, auguring a potential disaster for many of our sport fisheries.

The carp were 8 miles below Lake Michigan with only one upstream lock between them and the big lake, but the lock opens regularly. So there’s no reason to believe the fish detected above the barrier are the first to reach that spot, especially since they were discovered the first time that area was tested, or that others didn’t pass through months or even years earlier.

Truthfully, no one knows what will happen once Asian carp reach the Great Lakes. But looking at the Illinois River, where they’ve become the dominant fish species in a mere 10 years, I’d plan for the worst.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Milwaukee Area Trout Fishing : 11/22/2009

My morning began in the dark, standing in the cool waters of oak creek under a thick blanket of still fog. The air temperature was 34 degrees and it was 4:30 a.m.

I had driven up from Chicago, rolling out of the covers at 3:00 a.m. The drive up to my favorite tributary was short and sweet, with only a few other tail lights racing through the November night with me.

I stood there with my hip boots and felt the water with my fingers, cool and swift, just the way I remember the November conditions to have been in years past. I walked back to the car and strung up my float rod first, followed by my fly rod. I leaned them against the side view mirror and walked back down to the river to take a look through the darkness at holes I planned to fish in the hours to come. I sat with closed eyes, listening for the tell tale sound of Steelhead advancing through the rapids.

After I was content with my selection of water I returned to the car, with 20 minutes left before it became legal to fish. I turned on the heat and reclined the drivers seat and shut my eyes to let my imagination bend my 9' 6" float rod to the water with chrome and pink Steelhead buttoned to the end of my line.

When I opened my eyes it was 5:45, 5 minutes until fishing. I locked the car and grabbed my rods and hiked through the stretch of woods to my first hole. In the time that I had shut my eyes another angler had snuck in in front of me and was walking back and fourth on my favorite bend with a net in his hand... looking for Steelhead staging on redds to net. It was too early in the morning to start a fight with an immoral angler so I chose water a little up stream of this fellow. I hiked the two or three minute only to be greeted by no less than six men walking with waders and fly rods THROUGH the water, not along the bank with stealth as this sport demands. At this point I was near panic. This tributary isn't long, and real estate is valuable, especially on a Sunday. I wasn't going to be bested by meat hunting fools with no sense of sport. So I turned and ran. I shot through the woods, jumping downed trees and ducking low branches, trying to keep my rod tips clear of hangups. I went downstream of the aforementioned angler with a net in hand and shot across the end of the pool below him; keeping careful not to spook the hole below. I tossed my bag to the stones and dug out a bag of spawn sacs. It was now first light and getting a look at the slightly stained water from last Wednesday's rain I decided chartreuse was the color of netting I would choose, being that I brought both orange and chart. spawn sacs with brown trout eggs in them.

I could see two boulders in the hole and, being that I have not fished this hole when water was so clear, decided to exploit them for what I hoped would be nice trout holding in their eddies. On my first drift my float passed to the south of the second boulder in the deeper part of the pool and was untouched until it fell a few more feet down stream, where it twitched once, then violently twitched again. I swept my float rod sideways to check for pressure and felt something writhing on the end of the line. I retrieved it quickly to find a beautiful little creek chub on my size 6 octopus hook. I welcome life in the river, even if it isn't the quarry I intend to catch. I snapped a quick photo and returned it to this beautiful pool. I then heard the gaggle of men wading through the pool above me and knew it was time for defense, I shot my line long and diagonally up the riffle above my pool, as that would not only prevent them from crossing into my water, but also put my float through the riffles and into the first boulder's eddy.

The first and second of the six men diverted their path and walked behind me as my float drifted. I watched closely as it swung around the boulder and hung in the eddy for just a sliver of a moment, it then continued making progress downstream and suddenly shut underwater and moved to the side. It has been a long time since I last saw an orange float tip retreat to the murk of a river and thrilled to see it quickly set the hook and was instantly greeted with pressure on the end. The fish pulled quickly across the hole and the men stopped behind me. It surfaced and showed its silver side, filled with large spots. It may not have been a Steelhead but it was certainly as good, a gorgeous lake run German Brown. I landed the fish in under a minute as it was short of two feet long and no match for the line weight I was using. I grabbed the line and moved it onto the gravel in the shallows. I snatched my camera and photographed the fish as it calmly laid in inches of water and posed for a shot before I coaxed it into the depths, only touching its tail once to maneuver it toward its holding water.

I drifted this hole several more times, and seeing no signs of life, I thought it was time to move on. I know had to deal with these six men rudely tromping through the water looking all over for fish to snag with their fly rods that held only heavy monofiliment and treble hooks with a bit of yarn on the end...

I was turned off to a major degree, and having friends waiting in the harbor in Milwaukee I was happy to leave what was quickly becoming a zoo behind, and head for greener pastures, or bluer water as it were.

John clearly has some hours under his belt swinging a fly rod. He had a mean roll cast and was belting out these beautiful shots, cast after cast.

I met Mike P. and a new friend John in Milwaukee where they were floating spawn and jigging tubes in the slips. The action had been slow and there were very few fish moving so we agreed it would be to our advantage to move to the discharge. As we arrived there were no other anglers there, but upon peeking our heads over the rail we saw no less than two dozen brown trout holding in the current. Although they were easily spooked by us it wasn't long until I hooked and landed my first ever Seeforellen strain Brown Trout, pictured below.

A Seeforellen Brown Trout, note the fewer spots, he fought like a King Salmon as well.

Mike later hooked the biggest German Brown he had ever landed, a new personal best at just over 20.25 lbs. Way to go Mike. He was fishing a tube jig deep, near the bottom, jigged slowly.

Mike and his 20+ lb German Brown Trout

As the sun raised in the sky and the temperature shot into the 50's, not normal for late November... the fishing slowed and nearly halted. Fish retreated to darker, cooler water and even on the Milwaukee river we found no takers.

It had been a good day and sunset was approaching, we thought Kenosha would be a good bet for sunset and evening fishing and we boarded our vehicles and made our way down there. Float rods in hand we walked to the water in the Harbor and pitched spawn sacs and tube jigs under lighted slip floats out into the depths. Although I had 5 take downs in the first hour we were unsuccessful in even hooking any fish and after 14 hours of straight fishing we packed it up and headed for home in Chicago.

A wonderful day with two great fisherman. I feel lucky that 3 fish between 3 guys, including a first time Seeforellen, a beauty silver river German Brown, and a personal best Brown Trout over 20 pounds is a slow day!!

I'll be up north in Hudson, Wisconsin for the next 4 days and will not be fishing, but I would have you know that I'll be at it as soon as the opportunity presents itself upon my return.

Until then, good luck and I'll see ya out there.

Truly Great Lakes Anglers.

More Asian Carp News

This time it's from the Wisconsin State Journal, in Madison. Read the full article here.

I would agree in full that too much is at stake here for shrugging.

Read on:

"Too much is at stake for Wisconsin and the world's largest freshwater system to shrug off this threat as just another in a long line of invasive species.

The Army Corps of Engineers confirmed last week that Asian carp - which can grow longer than 4 feet and heavier than 100 pounds - were detected within 10 miles of Lake Michigan. They somehow spread beyond an electric barrier that was supposed to stop them.

The Corps now plans to poison a Chicago canal. Two navigational locks near the Lake Michigan shoreline also need to close or operate with much tighter restrictions because they may be the last barriers to the open lake.

Wisconsin officials should encourage a strong response to protect Lake Michigan and its delicate ecosystem from this latest and particularly worrisome foreign invader.

It's not that the Asian carp are inherently bad. But set loose on the Great Lakes, the monster fish could decimate native fish species and wreak havoc up and down the food chain.

The Asian carp eat huge volumes of plankton each day, leaving smaller and less aggressive competitors to starve.

The largest of the two Asian fish close to reaching Lake Michigan are known as bigheads. Yet the smaller silver carp pose their own unique threat.

Sliver carp jump out of the water when startled by motor boats. Some boaters in the Mississippi River basin where the leaping fish are abundant wear helmets to avoid being violently hit, according to the Associated Press."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A call to close the gates of the Chicago River.

One of the only remaining options to save the great lakes from an onslaught of Asian Carp may be to temporarily close the locks that link the Chicago River to the Chicago Harbor at Navy Pier.

An excerpt from the article.

"The Asian carp appears to be not only on the doorstep of the Great Lakes, it's managed to push the door ajar and is trying to wriggle through. But before we get used to adding a carp menu to Friday fish fries, there are still some things authorities can do to prevent a full-scale invasion.

One key step would be to temporarily close the gateways and locks in Illinois that lead from Lake Michigan to the waterways that have already been invaded by the carp, as a coalition of environmental groups urged last week. Then monitor the waterways to determine just how far the large jumping fish has come, and poison those stretches where necessary to eradicate the fish"

It's going to be a long fight boys and girls, we had better hunker down and put on the boxing gloves for this one.

-Great Lakes Angler

Fish Eye Guy Photography

Photographs of native and non-native trout in their rivers. This fellow hikes to remote locations, and gets in the faces of these fish with his lenses. Amazing stuff. This is everything I want to do. So much perfection.

Native Redband

I emplore you to check out the website.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More News on Chicago River Poisoning : Asian Carp

Some good news from, plans to shut down over 5 miles of the waterway near the Asian carp barrier are underway.

The following is borrowed from this article.

Closing a 5 1/2 -mile stretch of waterway and poisoning it is not something to take lightly. But it's more than justified by efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Starting Dec. 2, a multi-agency task force will close off a portion of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal below the two electrical barriers intended to stop the carp from advancing out of the Mississippi basin and into Lake Michigan and the rest of the lakes. While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers turns off the newer, bigger barrier to inspect it, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will put a fish poison in the water and haul the carcasses to a landfill.

The barrier has been operating for six months and needs its first regular inspection, according to the Corps. Meantime, the older barrier is not considered sufficient to stop fish, especially smaller ones, from slipping through. DNA evidence from earlier tests suggests carp have come within a mile of the barrier. Hence the need for poison while the stronger barrier is down for inspection and maintenance.

Fisheries biologists have long experience with the poison that will be used and with a detoxifying chemical that is administered to counteract it. The antidote will be applied downstream to ensure no additional stretches of waterway are harmed, and then later in the poisoned stretch to return it to normal. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is contributing to the stock of antidote for the operation, and will supply up to a dozen crew members and whatever gear Illinois requests. As many as 200 people will be needed on site each day for the four to five days involved.

Some complaints have come from the shipping industry and barge operators who would have liked more lead time to prepare for the closure. But even those have been muted; most everyone seems to understand that protecting the Great Lakes takes priority here.

A third electrical barrier is supposed to be running by this time next year. In the meantime, another maintenance closure -- and presumably another round of fish poison -- may be necessary next spring.

Although it's an extreme measure, poisoning the canal should yield valuable information -- especially about how far Asian carp really have traveled -- that cannot be gleaned any other way. Let's hope the results don't suggest it should have been poisoned sooner.

We all must hope these plans are successful, as I've made clear in my recent posts, this is no matter to be taken lightly.

A Creative Solution to the Asian Carp Invasion

A great comment left on the article in the tribune :

My Bulletproof Plan

I'm going to take my boat to the barrier, run the motor in neutral to get the carp to jump, and when they do i'm going to punch one right in its face as hard as i can. As it falls back toward the water in a daze, i'll yell "and tell your friends to STAY OUT!!". Problem solved.

posted by rocketj3 on Nov 20, 09 at 1:44 pm

The Chicago Trout Bum on This Weekend's Steelhead Forecast

I say the fishing should be good this weekend, but the Chicago Trout Bum tells you why:

"Swinging streamers continues to be a productive method though fish in deeper pools behind large sections of shallow spawning gravel are keying in on eggs. Pink, chartreuse and orange egg patterns have all been producing but be sure you are fishing them at a proper depth."

Take a look at his full report here.

Additionally he sells some great Steelhead flies there that he ties himself, when it comes to hand tied flies, he's accomplished!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Asain Carp Have Arrived

This is grave news to be sure. We might remember this year as the last year we fished the great lake before the plight of the Asain Carp arrived...

Straight from an article today in the Star Tribune:

"New research shows the super-sized fish likely have made it past the $9 million electric fish barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a source familiar with the situation told the Journal Sentinel late Thursday."

In news relating to river poisoning, as I discussed earlier this week:

"In addition to plans to poison the river, the Army Corps is scrambling to build a twin to the new barrier. It also is looking at building an emergency berm to prevent the fish from riding floodwaters from the carp-infested Des Plaines River into the canal above the barrier."

This is bad news readers. Bad news indeed. Please read the article in full :: here ::

Harbor Brown Trout and Steelhead Report : 11/20/2009

A report from Mike P. over at Fishing Headquarters brings good news for those planning to hit the harbors this weekend!

Remember to be versatile, if fish are around and moving, don't sit there all night with spawn under a bobber, try casting, try bouncing spawn along the bottom, try jigs.

It's looking like a great weekend ahead for shore anglers and fly fisherman alike.

See ya out there.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

South-Eastern Wisconsin Steelhead Forecast : 11/19/2009

It's that time of year again, white knuckles, rosy cheeks, numbing feet in waders, frozen guides on the fishing rod... It can only mean one thing. It's steelhead time.

Things are looking good.

The image above shows exactly what you want to see if you are a steelheader who is confined to the weekends to chase these silver trout.

All the South-Eastern Wisconsin Tributaries are looking great for your weekend. The colder it gets, the less pressure there is on the fish, and the better your chances of hooking up. It is vastly different from King Salmon fishing during the fall.

Take a look at the Chicago Trout Bum, he has some great reports from his recent trips to swing flies and drift egg patterns in Wisconsin rivers. Looks like both Lake Michigan run Brown Trout and big Steelhead are looking promising this weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicago River to be Poisoned : Asian Carp

Straight from the Chicago Tribune :

"Alarmed that Asian carp are swimming closer to Lake Michigan, state officials plan next month to poison a stretch of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal."

"The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that it will dump Rotenone, a potent fish-killing chemical, into the canal between Romeoville and the Lockport Dam in early December."

"Poisoning the canal has been considered a last-ditch solution to preventing Asian carp from spreading into the Great Lakes, where the fish are considered a serious threat to the region's $4.5 billion sport fishing industry. The main deterrent has been two electrified barriers in the canal near Romeoville, but one will be shut off for maintenance next month, and the other is considered too weak to stop younger fish from swimming through."

I would be interested in viewing the shocking they plan on doing to relocate native fish. It is always fascinating to see the diversity of fish in a system.
Here is some more about the electro shocking.

"Before Rotenone is applied to the canal, crews will use electrodes to shock fish to the surface and identify sport fish that can be safely relocated. After the dead carp are sent to a landfill, the crews will apply another substance that speeds up the breakdown of Rotenone, a chemical widely used across the country to kill invasive fish.

Rotenone is not considered a serious threat to people or wildlife. Water quality experts from the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency will monitor water quality downstream to ensure the chemical doesn't drift beyond the targeted area. And the Sanitary and Ship Canal will be closed to boat traffic for up to five days."

We'll see if it works, and I'll keep you updated if I learn anything new.

-Great Lakes Angler