This is a post I never took the time to write, so I'll post something temporary as a placeholder. I've been continuing my new lifer search in central Illinois. A good spot I found is Sandy Creek, which is across the Illinois River from the town of Henry. I've caught and seen dozens of species in this creek, and recently I caught my first smallmouth buffalo from one of the deeper pools. It was quite a fight on my 12 foot crappie pole rigged with 4 lb line. Expect to see a few more lifers from Sandy Creek in the future, because I know they're in there!
Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus) - new hook & line species #112
My other adventures have taken me to the eastern side of the state. My micro searches have been tough with the hot weather and stagnant murky water that often occurs as a result of it. Periodic rain is crucial for keeping these streams clean and clear. One of my trips took me close to Kickapoo State Park, where redear sunfish have been stocked in some of the strip mine ponds. I found a nice quiet spot on a side channel of Sportsman Lake to fish for sunfish. After a few expected bluegill, I caught my first redear!
Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) - new hook & line species #113
More exciting material coming in future posts!