Keeping the rod out on the Chain

SHARE Keeping the rod out on the Chain

The piers were simply irresistible on Lake Marie, so we stopped and caught a nice mess of crappie and bluegill on Mini-Mites and waxies.


But we were after other things, one of the great advantages of fishing the Fox Chain O’Lakes.

As we launched from Barnacle Bob’s on Lake Marie, Capt. Darrell Baker asked what I wanted to fish for in the few hours we had Wednesday morning. And I said walleye, if there was a decent chance of catching some.

Oh, there was.

God, I love fall on the Chain.

“A lot of people put up their fishing rods too soon, some of the best fishing is October and November,” Baker said.


We first tried walleye drifting on Petite, without success in the calm conditions.

But as the rains came, Baker, one of the Chain’s premeir guides, motored us down to the Route 12 bridges.

And we did fine.


This was the best one, 17 3/4 inches, which came after we improved the bite by switching to crawler chunks on the jigs instead of minnows.

But I lost one much bigger (what we call a photo fish in my business), and we caught a mess of small walleye and another good keeper. Enough walleye to make an excellent lunch for me on Thursday.

“What’s nice about the Chain, there’s white bass, yellow bass, is there is 12 or 14 species you can catch,” Baker said. “You can get a variety.”

And we did, beside the walleye, keeper bluegill and keeper crappie, we caught and released channel catfish, white bass, rock bass and sheepshead.

Fishing was interesting enough that I stretched my time past the noon deadline, yet we stopped for casts around the Grass Lake bridge.

Oh, it was time.

For Baker, best is to call (847) 337-5559 or go to For Barnacle Bob’s, call (847) 395-2036 or go to

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