Illinois Lifer Hunting

My girlfriend, Meghan, had to head down to Peoria last Friday, so we made a weekend of it. I have been wanting to micro-fish with Ben Cantrell, so him and I met up for some beers Friday night, and planned on microfishing in the morning. 


Really cool experience! We caught tons of fish, and I added 4 lifers!  We fished in a couple of spots, both of which had small pools made by water running under the road. The first spot held Creek Chubs, and just a ton of Southern Redbelly Dace, which only had partial red bellies at the time. We also caught Central Stoneroller, and I was fortunate to add a nice male to my lifelist. We caught a couple Orangethroat Darters, but they were females, so we headed to the next spot, which was full of colorful males! I caught several, and Ben and I caught awesome specimens at the same time! I also caught my lifer Western Blacknose Dace here. Thanks Ben for a really fun and interesting morning introducing me to microfishing! 


Next, Meghan and I headed down to Carlyle Dam, where I was hoping to catch a Silver Carp, along with a variety of other species that are either hard to get in Michigan, or not in Michigan at all. There were hundereds of Silvers jumping, but I couldn't get one to bite, even though the guy next to me got a few in the mouth on the same jig I was using. The water was very high, and so full of fish that, as I was reeling in, it felt like I was on the bottom. Ended up snagging quite a few Gizzard Shad, but they were in a biting mood, because I got one on a jig, and another on a Cleo, and Meghan got one on a worm under a bobber. She and I also caught lifer Yellow Bass, and she also caught a White Bass, and we both caught a ton of Freshwater Drum. Just as the sun was setting, I hooked into something, and it ended up being a Bighead Carp! No Silvers for me, and no White Crappie (gentleman next to us had a basketfull, using minnows), or Shortnose Gar (we did see some cruising), but at least I have an excuse to return to the area. Again, thanks to Ben Cantrell for his tips for fishing Carlyle!


7 lifers for me, and 4 for Meghan. Not a bad day!


Last stop of the weekend was McLeansboro, where Meghan and I picked up a Brittany Spaniel that we were waiting on. He's 9 weeks old, and so far a really good boy. Say hi to Mav!












Species List:


andy's picture

Glad to see you got a wide variety of angling accomplished on your jaunt down South.
SomewhereDownstream's picture

That place is epic. Another spot I need to hit sometime.

Nice micros, too.


space monki's picture

Nice Ben is a cool cat to fish with. We have only gotten out ttogether one, which is suprising given our proximity to each other.