The first stretch of river has a quarter-mile of rocky riffles at the put-in spot at a city park and then there is a calm stretch with a water treatment plant on one bank and the backside of a strip mall on the other.
I own two Classic Accessories Madison pontoons so today I pumped up both toons and invited a buddy to join me on the first of a series of float trips for this section of the Rock River. We launched at 1 p.m. and floated for 6 hours, but we focused most of our time and attention on the riffles where we found plenty of catfish and one bass to keep us busy.
What's interesting about this section of river is that it is tough to access by boat or even a canoe or kayak because of all the rocks in very shallow water (about ankle to knee deep). The toons have such a shallow draft and bounce/slide over rocks well enough that they are the best mode of transportation besides just wading the river. We would float a bit, then anchor in place to check holes and eddies for fish. In the photo you can see that we used a simple rig to get the spinner and worm onto the river bottom. We snagged a lot of rocks, but the bullet sinkers saved us from break-offs and re-ties. We finally figured out that there was no need to cast and retrieve (which only resulted in snags), but we could simply let out 4-5 feet of line and gently raise the worms off the bottom almost under our toons. By keeping our feet and oars out of the water, the fish didn't seem to mind our presence on the surface. The water is stained and murky enough that the fish don't spook from what they can't see right above them.
On my next outing, I'll get some photos of the rocky riffles. Happy 4th all.