Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh, just a couple more things before we go.

By now you know that it's tradition for me to go out and have the best possible day of fishing locally before I leave on a big trip.
This time was no exception.
Rich Delaney, Ken Schumacher of smalliefishing.com and myself had about 3 hours on saturday 5/24/08 to fish. We headed out to Rio Fuego (in chicagoland).

The baits used? Ugh..good question. I know that 3,4&5" Senkos in darker colors were used. Whacky rigged or on a 1/8 oz Sliderhead jig. I know that 4" Berkley powergrubs on 1/8oz Sliderhead jigs were used and did outstanding. A Chug Bug was used and got hit immediately (Topwater time has officially started. There's your big tip for the week). A tube jig was used and that caught fish. A small chatterbait got popped a time or two.Flies were used and got tapped a few times too. And ofcourse the Savage Gear Rattle Shad got nailed by yet another trophy bass on cast NUMBER FRIGGIN ONE!
I think the Lucky Craft Pointer was the only dismal failure. It caught one channel cat. Go figure.

How many noteworthy fish in those 3 hours? Ok..listen. We do NOT count dinks. If we counted dinks I'd put it at 60. But since we're only counting largemouth and smallmouth that are the size featured in the photos...I'll say 30 conservatively. Maybe 40. Honestly we were catching so many that we lost count.

So on with the show. Because only 1 out of 100 of you actually read anything that we just wrote anyway :) We understand. After all..we are Customfish. Our whole lives are built around fishing photography. Now here's some fish porn for ya.


The Master of Disaster. Ken Schumcaher.


Dude...our greengills eat 4" baits!!!


Rich Delaney: Famous muskie angler, yet he'll still kick your can on bass.



1)tie on chug bug 2)make one cast 3)smile and bask in one's glory.










( I didn't know Kenny Rogers fished either.)


I tell ya what. The first person to send me a picture of a bass bigger than that caught between today on when I leave gets a print for free.




Rich with a Neosho Strain "Spike" smallimouth bass. They fight 3 times harder than a northern smallmouth.





Here's a couple shots from 5/15-5/16. Nothing special. Just a couple nice pics courtesy of a Canon A-95 and a Joby Gorillapod Tripod (dont have one yet??? Well let me show you how well it works. Look.)

A big crappie that nailed a Smack Tackle Gizz3.


A nice Illinois pond smallouth bass that hit a Savage Gear Prey115
( Hey..ya like that shirt? CLICK HERE to buy one!)

And last but not leat...this!!!
As you know I plan on throwing some pretty amazing baits on the upcoming trip. Most will be from Savage Gear, Smack Tackle and Dunwright Tackle. But I have a few specialties from Customlures(That's our own hand crafted baits) and some hand painted BIG FISH lures from Mad Scientist Productions.
If you want more info on Mad Scientist productions just drop me an email.
The lures made by Mad Scientist are...well...SICK! And I can't wait to throw them.
If you know 2 about me they are these:
1) My friends and I can flat out fish. Anywhere...anytime.
2) If I had it my way there'd be a Tarantino film about fishing.
And with that in mind I contracted Mad Scientist Productions to handcraft me a bait for the upcoming trip to Taltson Bay Big Pike Lodge.
One of the craftsmen who works for Mad Scientist is this cat named Hatori Hanzo. I've bought one of his swords before (Budd's sword, to be exact). He worked on this very bait......
The HANZO SPOOK.




What does the Japanese writing on it say?
One word.
"Pray."

See? I told you it was sick.

Have a good couple of weeks everyone. I'm off with John to the Arctic. Mike and Rich are Off to fish with Pat in Florida. Stay tuned. We're gonna blow your friggin minds when we get back.
Adios amigos!

Signed,
Jamie Riani -The Vincent Vega of fishing-

Friday, May 23, 2008

"There's something very very wrong with us" -Bill Murray-

Next week Mike and Rich are going down to Pat's place to fish here.


Meanwhile, John and I are going a couple thousand miles north to fish here.


It's going to be a very interesting series of reports when we all get back.

(Oh..by the way, the comments section is coming back. So speak up! Don't just sit there!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Captain Quint is home.

5-21-08
Customfish field reporter Pat Halko is now in Florida where he has taken up permanent residence.
His report for today is:

"Got out from 8:30-11:00 this morning with my buddy doug. I wish we had longer to fish because the bite was pretty good. Still super windy down here. Snook were hitting topwaters as usual and redfish on gulp shrimp. Catching big snook along mangroves is no easy task. Every one you hook heads right for cover. You have to jump out of the yak or else they tow you right in."






Nice goin', kiddo. Save some for Mike and Rich. They'll be down in a little over a week. I'll be on the other side of the planet on the Arctic Circle. We'll have some great reports when we all get done.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our most asked question:

People often ask Mike and I how we do it? How do we keep it all together? How can we stand to be in business, be friends, and be fishing partners all at the same time.
Well....
It's alot like...
Well, like this.
Click to hear the sounds of Jamie & Mike


Oh..and Jade & Mark keep catching tons of fish.
See past reports for details on how.





Here's a vintage picture of a smallmouth angler circa 1952.

Just kidding...
*** This just in. 2PM 5-14-08. At noon Mark caught THAT.****

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mads is mad!

We got another couple of shots from Mads Grosell of Savage Gear Baits
We see alot of crazy stuff in pike fishing...but this one is up in the top three.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Farewell to the prince. 5-10-08

Customfish field reporter Pat Halko is going to be taking up permanent residence in Florida to further his education.
But before he left he HAD to catch one more smallmouth bass here in Illinois. Off we went to one of my favorite stretches of local river for the first wade of the year....and Pat's swan song.
Long live the prince! Because in one short wade he proved yet again that he's not only better than most anglers here, he's also luckier in that he gets to go to Florida where he'll live on the beach and fish for sharks,tarpon and snook.
God speed to you our good friend. And may all the success in the world come your way. You earned it!




*************************************

Now, as with any monarchy we have to find someone else to fill the void left by Prince Halko....so everyone moves up one notch. Captain Jade now takes the position of local interim prince and Mark now enters the camp as court jester (Hey we all gotta start somewhere).
Their report from friday states that the Mississippi is STILL en fuego and these two clowns are sitting on the biggest untapped smallmouth goldmine in history. Mark schooled Jade 11-3 on friday at last count. And THAT, my friends, is the preverbial student beating the crap out of the teacher.
You taught Jester too much too soon, Jade.


Friday, May 09, 2008

State of the union

Yesterday I grabbed a 5' ultralight, 1 1/32oz jig and 2 1" twist tails and checked the area for crappies. I found no crappies. But what i did catch made me alot happier. In a few minutes worth of casting I caught 12 smallmouth bass.

And they were all this size or smaller.


Now, some people would look at that and say "Man, that's one small fish. Are those all you caught yesterday?"

Ah, but the educated angler would say "You caught 12 of those in a few minutes!? Man, you're gonna be sitting on a smallie goldmine for years!"

Exactly.

Think about that the next time you catch a bunch of small bass. They have parents somewhere. And those parents are spawning right now...thus making more just like him.

Ya see where I'm going with this???

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Water wolf!

Our friend Mads Grosell of Savage Gear Lures sent us a great action shot of himself and a monster pike. It really answers the question of 'why we do what we do'.

The land of the midnight sun

In 21 days I'll be up on Great Slave lake near the Arctic Circle in the Northwest territories of Canada.
Sleep is going to be at a premium....due to lack of darkness. Check out these sunset/sunrise times.

Jun 1, 2008 3:57 AM 11:16 PM 19h 18m 36s
Jun 2, 2008 3:56 AM 11:18 PM 19h 22m 35s
Jun 3, 2008 3:54 AM 11:20 PM 19h 26m 25s
Jun 4, 2008 3:52 AM 11:22 PM 19h 30m 06s
Jun 5, 2008 3:50 AM 11:24 PM 19h 33m 36s
Jun 6, 2008 3:49 AM 11:26 PM 19h 36m 56s
Jun 7, 2008 3:47 AM 11:28 PM 19h 40m 06s
Jun 8, 2008 3:46 AM 11:29 PM 19h 43m 03s

So basically it'll be dark (or almost dark) for maybe 2 hours a night. I better bring a sleeping mask.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Crappies, Huckleberry, a blank, and God

Mike here with a late report from the weekend.



Starting on Friday I hit a local Strip Pit on my lunch hour for a few casts and to clear my head. This pit/pond was deep and clear and the bass we still in prespawn.

Caught 4 small males and one decent 16” with great color. Worked a smoke Hula grub on a gravel hump and found it really hard to go back to the office that afternoon.



Saturday a front came through and the weather was sunny,rainy,cloudy,rainy,sunny with the wind changing directions every 10 minutes. That would explain why I’m wearing sunglasses in the rain… really! It’s not because I want to look cool… I’d need a lot more than sunglasses to pull that off.



Anyways the Crappies were biting and catching a nice fat 12” on the 9’ ultralight was a blast. I did a little scouting for family fishing day on Sunday and they were just slurping up the Chartreuse 2.5” Gulp Minnows. It’s the bait of choice on this lake for panfish and almost anything else that eats small minnows.



The next morning the weather cleared so the kids and I went out and they slayed em’. Rachel was a Crappie machine getting 7 beauties all by herself while her brother Christopher wasn’t to be outdone with 3 Crappie and nice fat Bass that cleared the water at least 3 times! I was so excited I forgot to take a photo.

We kept just enough for a fish fry and threw the rest back for another day. Working a slip bobber set at 2’, casting out to 8 foot of water and just slowly bring it in with a stop and go motion was the trick. Some fish were deep, some were shallow but they all wanted the Gulp. A great time was had by all and later the kids still had time to ride scooters and play with their furry friend Bailey. If your’e a crappie fisherman, those Gulp baits are awesome. Though they are a little on the pricey side, we used only 3 bodies between the three of us for 2.5 hours and over 30 fish.


In other news:
Jamie went out yesterday for a short 45 minutes. And being the honest site that we are we proudly report that he blanked ( c'mon, one 6" yellow bass and one 10" largemouth is a blank) He hooked into yet another monster-class smallie that nailed the lure, jumped and got off immediately.
Alot of spawning big bass were seen and passed by. We DO NOT fish for spawning fish. No exceptions. Sometimes it's good enough to see a couple of huge fish at your feet just doing their thing. Then just walk away knowing that there will be more fish in coming years. ( Note* The missed monster smallie came from deep water. She wasn't a spawning fish yet. Not all bass spawn at exactly the same time. You can still effectively fish for bass at this time...just don't cast shallow,please). Hey..would you like to be hooked while you're gettin' your freak on???


It's time for the Jade "Huckleberry" Miller report from Rock Island,IL Mississippi River:
"Well last night produced more from the multispecies bonanza for Mark on a new crankbait he bought including a nice largemouth, especially for river standards. He also managed a nice 19" walleye at dusk. This morning we both managed some smallies with the largest of mine going around 15-16". Actually had some showers start and caught 3 smallies on four casts."


And finally..It's random photo time!!!!:
This one was taken by Jamie Riani last night as the storms came in from the west.
So not only did he see some spawning fish....he also saw God.


Keep your pole in the water!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fishing is like a box of chocolates....

Ya never know what you're gonna get.

Largemouth bass slamming a Savage Gear Rattle Shad in a ditch that hooks up to the main lake.



A big Yellow Bass and a big Crappie that nailed a small floating Rapala on a main lake rock point. (twitch, twitch, twitch...BANG!)



A nice surprise. A big walleye that was working a school of shad on that same main lake rock point. This post-spawn female slammed a Savage-Gear Prey115 at the edge of the rock point after just 2 twitches.


And finally one of a couple of smallies that nailed the same Prey115 on the rock point. Everything was using the rock point and pinning shad against it's walls. The pattern was pretty easy to figure out just by watching the water explode every other minute as another predator drove a shad to the surface and unloaded on it.


Not bad for 90 minutes.
Now get yourself back to the home page and check out THE TOTALLY INSANE SALE that we're gonna end very soon! CLICK HERE!!!!!!!!

*****UPDATE! Cinco De Mayo hotter-than-a-hobanero-pepper-on-a-taco report from Rock Island, Mississippi, Il.*********
"
Today the water is down several feet from Friday. In the typical eddy I
managed 5 smallies with the largest at 17". The whites were also in
there, but it was the smallies I was after. Mark had some luck in the
same location yesterday. These smallies are fat. Had fun with
perspective, made a 14" look like a 48". Anything worked. I caught
them today on a 4" finesse minnow, a sassy shad, and a bluefox spinner."


And then there's this one from 5-6-08.
Jesus!! That's a friggin danergous looking bastard, aint it??!

Nice gar from the Mississippi River at Rock Island, il.

******SECOND UPDATE**********
Ok..I'm just gonna add this to the existing post because Jade "The friggin King of The Mississippi" Miller keeps sending me report after report because he has immediate access to one of the hottest smallmouth and white bass fishing holes on the planet.
Listen..somebody just give him his freakin' crown already! And give Mark one too.
Man, I hate those guys!

The official report from lunchtime on 5-6-08
"And the smallies are coming to life.

This morning it was four with the biggest at around 16", a spike fin at that.

At lunch is where it got real interesting. Mark and I headed out at around 1130. I got there first and tagged a fat little 14" on a tube. Mark got there shortly after and hit a nice sized drum. He really has that species down right now. Next I got another small smallie around 14". No real mega dinks so far, all 14 or better this year. A few casts later I got the lures, dual jigs 1/16th oz over an 1/8th oz with a 3" and 4" soft plastic minnow on each respectively, back in to an eddy. Problem was that my line was drapped across a broken corner of a concrette foundation. That was all the big smallie needed to give me a heart attack. I felt the hit thru the line and thought I got a white at first. Turned out to be a nice 18" smallie. Had to climb out on the fence on the foundation to get my line off the corner and then go to free spool to ease the fish in. Mark followed that up with a nice 17" smallie that hit his modified drop shot rig which had a 1/4 oz jig as the weight. We both got a few more smaller smallies and had to get back to work."

Hey..Did I mention that I hate Jade and Mark?
I did?
Just checking.
Signed, Jamie


HEY!! GO TO THE TOP OF THE TOOLBAR AND PRESS THE "BOOKMARK" TAB!! TRUST ME ON THIS.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

It's dark outside and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

Friday (5-2-08) I had VERY limited time to fish.

Why?

Because I had THIS on one side of me...


this on another side of me...


and this on another side of me...


So that left me with about 30 minutes to fish in high winds basically in the eye of a hurricane that was closing in around me.
Didn't do too bad. Probably got 8 or 10. Nothing huge. Again, the Savage Gear Rattle Shad was the ticket in the muddy waters of the ditches and the muddied banks of the lake that were getting pounded by whitecap waves.

Sometimes even a half hour of fishing is better than nothin' at all...

Friday, May 02, 2008

The friday Jade report

Fresh from the Mississippi River, Rock Island, Il.
Jade writes:
Today was a day that a major thunderstorm was supposed to hit us. It did for about an hour. Following that was a white bass bonanza. But that is not why I am writing. Mark, my camera man, the guy with the tiny white compared to the monster I got a few weeks back, managed a trophy smallie today. Throwing a 3/16th oz jig with a 3" white twister he hooked and landed the fish in the photo. It is his P.R. for a smallie, 18.25 prior to this. Next week should be phenomenal provided the water goes down a bit more.

20.5" length 14.24" girth.

********************
Editor's note:
"Is there no one on this planet to even challenge me?!"
-General Zod in "Superman"-

Yep...that about sums up how we feel lately.
Nice work Jade and Mark. Chalk up another trophy for team Customfish.

And the bottom fell out.

Well, hopefully you got out and fished in the past couple of weeks because the bottom just fell out for a while.
Did we catch fish yesterday? Of course we caught fish. Mostly small male largemouth and smallmouth. Mike got one or two respectable size largemouth. I got one smallmouth that went about 16". Other than that it was very tough to crack the 14" mark on anything.

So...bass ( the big females anyway) are thinking about getting their freak on more than anything else. Couple that with a whicked cold front that went thru and eventually thru things in a bit of a tailspin, and you have a day or two where things are just a bit "off".
I have no doubt that there were alot of bass in some of the ditches I covered, but there were also about 1,000 carp in there too. So, while snagging a carp and going for a ride is fun and all, it does get in the way of bass fishing and will drive me right off the spot....which it did.
This weekend we have The Great Wall Of Rain heading right at us. We'll be lucky to fish at all. Temps are gonna take a nose dive in a few hours and bottom out at about 50. Nice,eh?