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IceHawk

Horshoe Chain Open Water Fishing Reports

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IceHawk

Been doing a little fishing lately . Been good one day and the next not so good. Tough fishing conditions when one day you have 60 degree temps and next its 40¬†ūüė≤. The best spring fishing usally happens with more consistent weather something we haven't really had yet this spring. Spring fishing is all about water temps. Warmer water equals action! Colder surface temps not so much¬† I've been finding mixed surface temps in different bays canals all over the chain. Some are right around 37 others in high 40's. A lot of the panfish are still staging on the outside edges in somewhat deeper water 8-12 ft. Basically moving in on warm days and pushing back out on the cold days. They are there just have to time it right! Crappie minnows have been dynamite on the crappies as they seem to want a more subtle approach. With some warmer weather look toward more aggressive techniques to produce. We are a little ways off yet IMO. Ran into plenty of boats today in a bunch of the normal early hotspots on the chain. Plenty of spring turnover in a few bays but will reside in a few days. So some action to be had just not the kind of spring bite we all look forward to yet!

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Rick G

Was out there myself today... found a pretty consistent bite going in a small bay that has deep water access within it. When the sun was still out, the fish definatly wanted to play. 1inch tubes under a float got plenty of action. The weeds and muck floating in some of the bays was pretty thick, made for tough presentation. Water temps went from 47-53 depending on the bay.

There was a ton...I mean a ton of people fishing from the road on Mud today. I drove past the circus on my way home, people everywhere, running back and forth across the road, wouldn't be the least bit surprised if someone didn't¬† get ran over right there on a day like todayūü§¨

 

20200411_142747.jpg

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The Chemist

So since this coming week i have been placed on furlough was planning on trying to get the boat out friday and take my oldest. Hopefully maybe find where the cats might be. Have never fished the chain with any luck after the ice goes out.

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Rick G
9 hours ago, The Chemist said:

So since this coming week i have been placed on furlough was planning on trying to get the boat out friday and take my oldest. Hopefully maybe find where the cats might be. Have never fished the chain with any luck after the ice goes out.

Right now I would focus on the river sections. Close to the 22 access or the 71 bridge are usually a safe bet for a few

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IceHawk

Pete sorry to hear about your situation. I would look at some of the bay areas off the river channels. They normally start moving in to these areas as soon as the water warms some. . They go in to feed on decomposing dead fish etc. Hooked a couple already pan fishing in the bays this spring. 

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Borch

That's a bummer Pete.  Hope you find s few.  Good advice so far.  If the aren't in the area Rick and Chris suggested try the first break off of these areas.  They will follow the food and be cruise shallow flats looking for those bait fish that died over the winter as well as live ones. 

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The Chemist

Picked the boat up today and heading out there tomorrow. Saw a few people fishing from the road and a boat near the 22 bridge and one in the last bay on left past the winter access. Will be out in a 18ft Sportfish.

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Borch

Good luck Pete!

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Coleman

I think I'll pull the boat of the garage this weekend as well.  Most likely Saturday. I'm thinking I may as well hit the Chain.  I'll be in a 18' Alumacraft Tiller.  

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The Chemist

Are there any places things to avoid up the river? I know that going up the river on our lake can be tricky with large rocks and shallow areas.

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smurfy
2 hours ago, Coleman said:

I think I'll pull the boat of the garage this weekend as well.  Most likely Saturday. I'm thinking I may as well hit the Chain.  I'll be in a 18' Alumacraft Tiller.  

i'll wave as I drive past. my boats sitting at In Tune Marine.¬†ūüėę got everything hooked up and working cept there seems to be no power to the starter. I did everyting I could think of. think its that goofy push button start switch.

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Coleman
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Chemist said:

Are there any places things to avoid up the river? I know that going up the river on our lake can be tricky with large rocks and shallow areas.

That kinda of depends how far up river you go.  But, there's nothing really too serious, even when the water is at normal levels.  

 

Now, I'm sure there' some trash floating down river, but that's going to be random and some what expected.  Are you looking to go fishing on the river or just cruise?  If you're just cruising I would just wander around on the chain.  Fishing, you would really only have to get up to the 22 or Cty Rd 111 bridge, and that should give you enough ground to find some holding areas for fish this spring.  

 

That stinks smurfy.  I won't be pushing too many crappies around.  So, I'll leave you some.  

 

Started loading mine back up with gear last weekend. 

20200328_142152.jpg

Edited by Coleman
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The Chemist

We are heading out now to try and find some cats. I havent landed one in open water on the chain. Caught 1 off of our dock yrs ago and also 20 some yrs ago got some on the miss near the power plant in monti. Want to take some home to my parents as they are required (by me and my siblings)to stay at home. So we will probably try the 22 bridge first and maybe on the flats towards the meth hole area and then over to the 71 bridge.

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Coleman
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Chemist said:

We are heading out now to try and find some cats. I havent landed one in open water on the chain. Caught 1 off of our dock yrs ago and also 20 some yrs ago got some on the miss near the power plant in monti. Want to take some home to my parents as they are required (by me and my siblings)to stay at home. So we will probably try the 22 bridge first and maybe on the flats towards the meth hole area and then over to the 71 bridge.

I would look for any slack water near current.  They're going to be pretty lazy right now.  But, that doesn't mean you can't catch a load of them.  

 

Also, I would try drifting floats with some sort of meat at the end(crawlers).  Give it a natural presentation.  

Edited by Coleman
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Borch

Cut bait really shines early as well.  They are often up cruising shallow looking for winter kill baitfish or live ones for that manner.

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The Chemist

Ended up with 1 small northern. 1 bay had fish stacked btwn 18-32ft. But too windy t get down to and stay on top to figure out what they were. Of course once we left then the wind died.

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IceHawk
Posted (edited)

Just home from a couple hour run fishing on the Chain. Caught some fish more smalls then larges unfortunately.¬† Couple spots producing fish this last week were jam packed with boats but most weren't doing so well.¬† Best presentation was very slow movement basically a sit still approach.¬† Crappie minnows and small chigger fry's tipped with waxies sealed the deal on the fish caught.¬† Best shorelines were on the N sides. The cold blast earlier in week really threw them a curve ball. Places I caught fish last weekend were void today. Surface water temps were 42-44 degrees ran from the top of the chain to the bottom of it hitting many bays canals. Water is fairly stained yet and plenty of spring¬† turnover still floating. Postitve was the number of walleyes I marked on early season hotspots looking good for the opening coming up. Docks are still not in yet at all the accesses out there.¬† And buoys are still not out yet either felt great to run the gauntlet in the boat¬†ūüĎć

Edited by IceHawk
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Rick G

Was out on the Chain the last two days. Quite a few people out on Sat, today was pretty dead, only saw a hand full of others out enjoying the water.

Yesterday was much like icehawk said, lots of smalls and not all the usual spots are producing yet.  Today I opted to focus on just one bay I knew was holding some good ones. When I first arrived, water temp was 46, when I left it was 50... Bite progressively got better as water got warmer.  Small tubes or gulp minnows or minnow fry under a small float got all my fish. 

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