Jan 30, 2009

While visions of temperate bass danced in his head

We've had a pretty cold winter so far here in Illinois. A couple weeks ago my daily walk from car to cubicle turned into a tramatic event when air temps were in the neighborhood of -20 and wind chills were closer to -40. Needless to say it's been a while since I wet a line and I've got the itch. I got it bad.

The only wet water around here right now is Powerton Lake, a power plant cooling lake a few miles south of Pekin. The word on the street is Powerton was stocked with hybrid stripers this past summer. This is good news, a couple weeks ago I had heard white bass in the 8-10 inch class were being caught in good numbers this winter. I've never caught any temperate bass so I saw an opportunity; Dave and I planned a trip tomorrow to try our luck on the white bass and red ear, also a recent addition. Then today we found out they aren't white bass at all, well technically speaking they are a little...ok, maybe half. The DNR stocked 87,000 hybrid stripers and 20 stripers this past summer. My personal theory is this was done to try and control the asian carp that have started to show up in Powerton surveys.

I spent some time tonight listening to Willy and getting stuff ready. I set up my bait caster with 30# Spiderwire, a stink bait rig and a pyramid weight because Powerton also holds some trophy cats. Hoss's Hawg bait is made locally and I plan on giving it a shot. I respooled my best open spinner with 8# mono in hopes of hooking into one or two hybrids. And my 8wt fly rod is ready to go for hybrids and/or redear.

Getting to the warm water outlet on Powerton involves a 3/4 mile walk, and in the past I've walked long distances with my tackle box at the expense of my shoulders. It's either a backpack this time or I find a way to reduce the load....so I moved all my tackle into the backpack I keep for just such emergencies. The backpack and vest are going to be especially handy because we're going to turn the long hike into a short bike ride.

Sunday you can come back and read an exciting story of us catching hybrid stripers or you can read this post again. If the day sucks, I'll hide my shame by not posting results and hoping you forget this ever happened.

Sleeping is going to be a challenge tonight, it's been too long.

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