The weather this weekend was perfect and took my 5 yr old son, Benjamin, fishing this weekend. Usually when we go fishing to Four Lakes (Durand) or Pierce Lake (Rock Cut State Park) or any other place local to Rockford… well the fishing just stinks. This year we’ve been hard press to even catch tiny blue gills.
Benjamin hasn’t really caught much all year and quite frankly he’s bored of fishing and I haven’t been able to get him interested in going any more. So, I started looking for new places and finally decided to try and find a pay-to-fish places.
Well boys and girls, at the recommendation of my friend Steve, we drove out to Cary, IL to Lake Julian. Let me tell you, it was well worth the 1 hour drive there, the 2 hours sitting on the bank of the pond, the 10 Rainbows over 10 to 15 inches, the trip up the road an ATM to get cash, the $60 I paid for 10 lbs of fish and the hour drive back to Rockford!
Ben with trout from Lake Julian, Cary, IL
I have never seen a kid so excited about catching “real” fish with a spiderman rod and reel. We used worms. We used 3 different kinds of Berkly PowerBait. We used a Yozui Pinn’s Minnow. We even used a Gummy Scooby Snack as bait. We caught fish on everything except the Scooby Snack – but we did watch a 13 in trout eat one before we tried it on the hook.
Yes, $6 a pound for trout is pricey! However, the pond was clean, the fish were healthy and the fish were do big that Benjamin could not hold them up to take pictures with the ones he caught.
15 inch rainbow trout - sure looks pretty.
If you want to get your kid excited about fishing or simply make up for the really lousy fishing you’ve been having, I recommend a trip out to Cary, IL which is just a hop down the road from Crystal Lake on US HWY 14.
In addition to the Trout Pond. They also have a small “Big Lake” which apparently has a nice population of game fish. A quote from their homepage… ”Rates in the big lake are just $8.00 per person for the entire day, Kids under 10 $4.00. Along with this fee you are allowed to take home a limit of 2 Trout, 2 Bass, 2 Northern Pike, 2 Walleye, 4 Catfish, 10 Panfish (Crappie, Bluegill, Perch) . That is 22 fish combined!!” That’s a bit easier on the wallet, but the action is not going to be a heavy.
In addition to having some great fishing with my son, I was able to take some pictures with Ben holding and laying down next to the fish in the grass. He also helped me clean the fish and we are both looking forward to cooking one for lunch tomorrow.