Ed Hancock (Cedar Rapids, IA) and his brother Jim (Cedar Falls, IA) were joined by close friends and family Russ Hancock, Kenny Chamness, Gary Galbraith (Carterville, IL), Roger Knox (Bellville, IL), David Sullivan (Smithton, IL), and Brett Hancock (Antioch, IL) for three incredible days. Day one was the slowest of the three on the back end of a cold front that left us with high skies and very little wind all day. We still managed to catch several quality smallies up to 20.5″ along with a giant 40″ pike that Jim landed at the end of the day. It was his personal best pike and one of the largest I’ve seen in a long time. What a fish! Water temps ranged from 61 – 64 degrees, and our fish were caught on rocks in 12′ to 16′ of water on sucker minnows.
Day two brought stiff west winds that pushed fish into 12′ of water, and the action was lights out. Water temps had cooled overnight, and I saw the first 50 degree water of the fall (59). We had some incredible runs throughout the day with multiple doubles including big fish up to 21.5″. As with the day before, all fish came on sucker minnows. A bonus coho salmon landed by Ed rounded out an incredible day with our average fish being 19″ to 21″ Not a bad average!!!
As we started day three I was explaining to Kenny how we would be fishing, and we immediately caught a 19″ smallie. The rest of the day was spent netting and releasing fish after fish with only a few small stretches without action. It was incredible! Ed and Kenny landed their personal bests, (21 3/4 “) in the morning, and Jim accomplished his goal of landing a 22” smallie in the afternoon as he put a magnificent fish in the net toward the end of the day. It was the perfect ending to three days that won’t soon be forgotten. All fish were caught on sucker minnows in 11′ to 25′ of water. Water temps held at 61 to 62 degrees on an overcast day with little wind.
Thanks to the Hancock crew for an incredible trip. My thumbs hurt!!!