Am I A Bad Fisherman?

I had a shot at getting in a few hours on the water this morning and guess what I did?

Yep, I slept in, instead.

Turned out that conditions looked halfway decent though during one of the regular times I woke up. Around 6:00am there were overcast skies and a slight breeze on the heels of what looked to have been some showers. Now, as I put this post together, the sun has come on full force and the breeze has picked up with temperatures rising into the low 70s. Overall, a darn good morning to fish.

Thus, passing up my chance kind of has me wondering if I made a good decision. In addition, as I profess to be such a fan of this hobby, I started to ponder “Am I a Bad Fisherman?”

Nothing to do with skill set and bad habits, this question revolves solely around dedication.

May 23 – Helena “Night of the Stars” awards for 8th grade

Yesterday was just another of our crazy May days with the mind and body on full throttle from 6:00am until 10:00pm with a full slate of work and family activity. As a result, I had nothing prepared for an anticipated sunrise first cast and frankly, I was just plain wore out.

May 14 – Our oboist, Carly, recognized for a job well done in the Glenview Beginner Band

Now, May is among the lengthiest months at 31 days so there should be ample time to fit everything in right? Well, here’s my list of excuses leading up to fatigue winning over fishing with a list of all of our May commitments below (probably even forgot to include a few).

13 baseball practices or games (helping coach too)
7 Tae Kwon Do lessons
3 Graduation activities (ceremonies or parties)
3 Birthday activities
3 Oboe lessons
3 Color Guard practices
2 Musicals/plays
2 Band activities (concert and awards)
2 End of year school awards ceremonies
2 Tutoring sessions
2 Field trips
2 Kid fishing trips
1 JDRF walk
1 Kid fun run
1 Wedding
1 Bridal shower
1 Moving day assistance
1 Mother’s Day (Julie hasn’t been fishing for years so guess I’ve actually got it made)

Mother’s Day at Pizza Hut with all the folks who make Julie a Mom

Interspersed through today’s post I have included the reasons why it is okay to be a “bad” fisherman when it comes to skipping out on an opportunity. Better to invest your time in doing your best to be a good spouse, parent, family member, friend, employee and so on. I dig fishing and would love to do it anytime I could. Well, except for this morning and the rest of those items above result in being just flat out wore out come Friday night/Saturday morning.

May 21 – Jayce’s black belt now hangs in the studio as incentive to work hard for the next six months 

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot that there was also a Grandparents Day for the boys at school with my folks. Of course, I didn’t have to worry about anything associated with that gig but got me to thinking that I should ask my parents, “Why didn’t you warn me about what lie on the horizon?” Actually, they did, by example, you just roll with taking care of everybody. I was just too busy with my own activities to comprehend that their world also revolved around a total of four kids. Funny how this has all turned out.

May 1 – Silvis Cub, Zac (3B), reminiscent of Kris Bryant, Ron Santo or perhaps a Knox College Siwash fellow who manned the “hot corner” in the 80s.

Okay, time to end this well rested rant, feels good and kind of recharged for the home stretch of this wild month. Actually get an extended weekend as well, so perhaps I can make it up to the fish for leaving them hanging this morning. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – June 2, 2008

  

A whole different ballgame when kid fishing. Beginning in the late 2000’s it started kicking into full gear and it hasn’t stopped since. Just got a little more crowded on the bank or in the boat.

 

But for today’s flashback we head back to a time when there were only a pair of little girls armed with a Princess or Mickey Mouse pole, slip bobbers, 1/32 oz. jigheads and a couple dozen waxworms. This outing was part of a family camping trip to Little John Conservation Club as described below in the original posting that I submitted to family and friends back on June 15, 2008.

“My haul in the last month consists of three bluegill, one green sunfish and one small bass from Little John’s Well Lake. The bass hit on a Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait while the others bit on a waxworm and jighead hung from a slip bobber on either a Mickey Mouse or Disney Princess pole. Somehow I ended up with the kiddie poles during a fishing lesson for the girls while camping at Little John on June 2nd and 3rd. The girls were more content helping me cast out and then reeling in large masses of moss or leaves in addition to throwing rocks and sticks into the fishing hole. They also enjoyed playing with the waxworms instead of feeding them to the fish. Both did actually ‘pet’ our catch and Carly even tried to grab a hold of one of our bluegills in order to help turn him loose. Fishing, or whatever you would call what we did, was great. We spent a total of 15 hours camping, from 5:00pm on June 2nd until 8:00am on June 3rd when the impending thunderstorms sent us packing. However, in our meager time we were able to cram in playground activities, fishing, building a fire for hot dogs and s’mores, playing in the tent and even a few relaxing beverages for the parents. A good time was had by all despite not getting to follow through on the girls’ much anticipated visit to the swimming hole; maybe next time.”

And over the years, there have been plenty of “next times”; may even see one in a future Friday Flashback as we head into June. In addition, we have our sights set on creating a few more “next times” over summer break. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Today’s update marks six straight weeks with submissions. The hits keep coming from West Central Illinois as we head into the last month of spring. And, as these entries demonstrate, if you ain’t fishing wacky, you are missing out.

Length: 14”
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 14
Location: Lake McMaster – Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Wacky worm
Water Temperature: 65-66 degrees
Structure: Close to bank
Angler Comments: Lame excuse for not doing better – too late a start, overcast at first, followed by bright sun.
Trip Tune: “Rio” by Duran Duran
Top 5 Length: 26” (14”,12”)

Weight: 2-6
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: May 13
Location: Little John Conservation Club
Lure: Senko

Weight: 2-2
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: May 18
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Senko

Weight: 2-8
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: May 18
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Senko

Weight: 2-2
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: May 18
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Senko

Weight: 2-5
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: May 18
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Senko
Top 5 Weight: 11-7 (2-8,2-6,2-5,2-2,2-2)

Thanks for the fish fellas and appreciate your efforts to keep this thing afloat and our consecutive update string alive. Would love to help you out but my May is also wacky, but in terms of off the water commitments rather than on the water presentations. Keep up the good work and talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – May 17, 1988

“TJ” with a 1988 bass from “The Ponderosa”

Always fun to reminisce about fishing holes from the past and Ponder’s Pond was a winner. Nicknamed “The Ponderosa” and located north of Knoxville, Illinois, it was a regular stop for a group of fishing buddies back in the late 80’s.

The friend who gained us access and clued us in to the pond’s nickname was generally referred to by a nickname or two himself. “Hack” or “Hacksaw” grew up in Knoxville and had connections with the family who owned the farm pond and the Ponder’s were kind enough to let some college boys test their waters. That buddy’s given name is Matt Reynolds but we still refer to him as “Hack.” In fact, I just did so last weekend when getting to visit for the first time in a few years.

But the nicknames don’t stop there as we also made a few casts at the location with a batch of anglers also known as “Geek”, “Swerve” and “Catfish/Catdaddy.” In real life these guys are actually named Mark Junk, Mick Swanson and Jim Hunter (fitting nickname for that fella, huh?).

Snips from the original 1988 log entry 

And the weapon of choice on today’s featured outing, designated in the log entry above as Zara Spook (frog) was affectionately nicknamed “The Pickle.” Well, “The Pickle” knocked ‘em pretty good on this day with three of the four bass coming in from 17-20.5” and weighing 2-2, 2-13 and 3-12.

The original “The Pickle” or two are long gone but picked up this one for old time’s sake last year

Another aspect of these trips that added to the adventure and enjoyment was the fact that our route to the fishing hole went right by a watering hole. Which, of course, had a nickname. The East End tavern on the outskirts of Knoxville was also referred to as “The Old Double Eagle.”

While partaking of more than a few of the bar’s beverages, typically “The Beast” or some “Beast Light”, we’d usually cross paths with some of the regulars that “Hack” knew, including “Fast Eddie” and “Two Speed.” And when another buddy, John Junk, was along for the adventure one of the bartenders would simply refer to him as “The Big Guy.” Of course, there was also “The Little Guy”, yours truly (aka “TJ”), who still is considerably shorter than John.

Ah yes, the good, old days of fishing, drinking, darts, pool, country music on the jukebox…fun to reminisce. Haven’t picked up a pool cue or dart for many years but still enjoy an old country tune from time to time. And 30 years later, I’d like to think that I’m a better fisherman these days and not ashamed to say, a worse drinker. Just can’t hang like that 21-year old kid. Honestly, don’t even want to try. Talk to you later. Troy

More Than the Catch

You know, I could probably write all day about the five hour trip I enjoyed with my boy, Jayce, back on Cinco de Mayo. Stats, pics and video of his catches have already graced the blog and the Troy Jackson Outdoors Facebook page. But those items only tell part of the story as a fishing trip is always about more than the fish.

Cloudy Imagination – As we made the ten minute stroll to the fishing hole, Jayce said, “Hey, Dad check out that cloud!” Well, there were plenty of scattered clouds so I told him that I wasn’t quite sure exactly where to look. So, he points and adds “that one over there that looks like a penguin with Mickey Mouse gloves and a mustache.” Oh, that one. Pretty obvious to one of us at least and I’ll leave it to you to let your imagination do its thing with the actual shot above.

Jimmy Who? – Jayce doesn’t have the slightest idea who Jimmy Houston is and for anyone else out there who is not familiar here’s a brief bio. Houston is a bass fishing legend and Fishing Hall of Famer who had a successful career as a tournament angler and parlayed that success into a long running outdoor television program. An entertaining and enthusiastic fellow, one of his trademarks was kissing bass. So, when Jayce pulled this stunt on our trip I had to laugh and applaud his appreciation of the catch. I think I’ll stick to a pic and standard release, however.

 

Gnats and Worms and Jayce, Oh My! – The video above demonstrates that Jayce still had plenty left in the tank for the three quarter mile walk back to the truck at the end of our day. His gyrations did have a purpose beyond being goofy as the gnats had gotten out of control. The bag he is wielding contained our bait (waxworms) so those larvae that eluded being fed to a fish sure wound up with a wild ride as evidenced by the pic below.

Favorite Quote – Although there were plenty of choices for this one, I’d have to say that, “Dad, I like your laugh” was the best of the bunch. It’s always interesting to relive an adventure via GoPro or iPhone video after returning home and it still kind of strikes me as a bit goofy when hearing/seeing yourself on audio/video. Completely unscripted, unlike the big boys in the world of media content creation, just a guy and his kid going fishing. So when your kid comments on the way you express your enjoyment of a shared adventure it’s priceless. I suppose someday, more than a few years from now, he will come to appreciate all that lies underneath that involuntary reaction to some quality father-son time.

Always entertaining, enlightening and unpredictable when you get kids out chasing some fish. Then again, that’s just plain fishing, big kid or little kid. And no better place than the outdoors for some bonding and a chance to leave the modern, technological world behind. Well, except for a cell phone and a GoPro. But those contradictions are fodder for another day. Talk to you later. Troy

Trip Tune, Daniel Boone – 5/5


Bear with me on this one folks, it may make some sense before we’re done

If I haven’t conveyed enough already over the past blogging year about just how much I dig the good, old radio, today’s post is yet another example.

During a May 5 fishing trip with my boy, Jayce, the whole Top 10 Trip Tunes thing flew by the wayside with a drive dominated by conversation and a Cubs game. And that was just perfect as we hung out shooting the breeze until the occasional rise in tone from the great Pat Hughes on the radio alerted us to something significant going down in the ballgame. One of those highlights this time around was the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber losing a shoe during a fly ball adventure that wound up with him recovering to make the catch.

And here’s what was extra cool about the play.

Jayce said, “Dad, did you hear that, he lost his shoe?” Very rewarding when your 8-year old is tuned into a ballgame on the radio instead of some YouTuber on a device. Jayce also noted, “We’ve got to ask Papa if he saw that next time we see him.” The Cubs, and baseball fandom in general, run deep in our family so it was also cool to hear Jayce excited about sharing a baseball story.

While returning home, with the Cubs game over and truly anticipating my young angler taking a nap, it was on to a 70s weekend radio program to mix in with our discussion of the trip. The program host previewed an upcoming track as a one-hit wonder by an artist whose stage name was borrowed from an American pioneer and folk hero. Well, that old useless knowledge thing kicked into gear upstairs and I was quite certain that “Beautiful Sunday” was on the way from Daniel Boone (peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972).

The singing Daniel Boone

Turns out I was right on target and Jayce was pretty excited when he heard Daniel Boone’s name come over the airwaves. Now you see, while hanging with Papa, Jayce gets a dose of some History Channel type stuff which is really cool considering he also ingests a fair amount of SpongeBob, Uncle Grandpa, Teen Titans and so on.

Anyhow, Jayce gets rolling on the Daniel Boone tales with “he got captured”, “he ran a hundred miles through the woods”, “he had to rescue his daughter” and “he survived getting beat up.” Each anecdote was an accurate snippet from the Boone biography but it was Jayce’s final assessment which proved to be the best quote for me.

Jayce summed up the American legend by saying, “Daniel Boone was a beast.”

Ah yes, a “beast” indeed. Gotta dig the lingo of a new generation.

And as far as the tune by the fellow who adopted the hero’s name as a pseudonym, it’s a classic, happy, sing along tune perfect for any day. For it was certainly a beautiful Saturday with my boy and I getting to share some quality father-son time on the water and in a truck. Don’t get much better than that and extra valuable in a one on one setting that is a rarity in a family with four kids.

Many thanks, to my man, Jayce, for reinforcing that fishing trips are about a whole lot more than fish. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Another solid spring muskie joins the list and keeps the update streak alive at five consecutive weeks with some fish. And a “Trip Tune” to boot, always a welcome addition.

Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 10
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Rapala deep diving crankbait
Water temperature: 68 – 70 degrees, weed beds building fast.
Structure: Mid-lake trolling over 23’ of water
Angler Comments: This time I was more or less fishing for muskie although I was still not using the heaviest gear in the boat. I was thinking walleye, if I was thinking at all!!! I was trolling as I changed positions for more bass fishing. I used a 6’6” bait casting rod with an Ambassadeur 6500-C3 reel loaded with 8 to 10 lbs. mono. Lame excuses for not doing better: Bright sun, cloudless sky and, the usual, hide-bound angler. Trip Tune during drive home, “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

Thanks, John and keep ‘em coming. And for those who stop by for the Monday update, thank you for tuning in. Now, if you’ve got Bon Jovi running through your head, don’t blame me. I just report it like I receive it.

More fishing stuff as the week progresses as although I haven’t been able to get on the water I’ve got plenty of things backlogged. Tough thing is, May is a real bear in terms of end of year school activities combined with the regular slate of commitments so blogging resides a ways down the list. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – May 8, 2003

Never got into the hunting aspect of the outdoors for whatever reason. But that don’t mean that I ain’t got some stories. And no better way to share one than “Friday Flashback” as we head back fifteen years ago this week. Below are excerpts from a piece called “Talking Turkey” that I submitted to family and friends on 5/11/2003 detailing a turkey hunt on 5/8/2003.

“I know basically nothing about turkey hunting, so the following tale is based on talking with the man who bagged his first bird in under an hour, Dad. It sounds easy, but from speaking with others who pursue this bird, things don’t always work out so favorably. However, in speaking with Dad and running around outdoors with him a few times over the last, say, twenty-five years, his success was no mistake.

Many times a hunter or fisherman will speak of having “good luck.” In my mind, you make your own “good luck” through four steps: education, dedication, experience and execution. Here’s how these steps led to me getting up at 7:00 a.m. last Thursday to see who in the heck had just left a message at that time of the morning. To my surprise it was Dad wanting to come by and show off his prize. I wasn’t so surprised that he got one; it’s just that Dad’s not a big fan of the telephone or answering machine (must be hereditary as I have the same affliction).

Anyway, here’s the story.

Since Dad recently retired, he figured he’d give turkey hunting a stab. He applied for his permit and prepared for the season. Fortunately, he has a couple turkey hunter contacts to answer his questions and provide knowledgeable advice. Dad is also a fan of outdoor television programs and may have even read a bit on the subject. There was no doubt that he was an educated hunter.

Dad purchased a turkey call and an owl call in plenty of time to practice prior to the season. He then headed to the timber he chose to hunt in order to hone his skills and scout the area for a prime spot to plant his lawn chair (as I mentioned before, I know little about turkey hunting, but I thought the stores sold fancy, expensive seats to accommodate hunter’s rear ends). Dad also purchased a pair of decoys to plant at his site and plenty of shells for his gun. He also made sure to have Mom pick up some camo cloth in order to disguise the white handles of his lawn chair. He was fully stocked with camo to make him invisible in the woods and selected just the right spot near where a cornfield ends and timber begins to get a turkey in his sights. There was no doubt that he was a dedicated hunter.

  

Beard came in at 9″

Things get kind of weird here.

I’m not a hunter so I can’t relate, but I’ll do the best I can. I asked Dad while we were fishing at Gladstone Lake on Wednesday (the day before the season opened) if he had patterned his gun in order to make an accurate shot when the opportunity arose. He told me that he’d shot the gun for so many years that he was entirely comfortable with its range and accuracy. Kind of like being one with his firearm, and I believed him. He would later mention being “a part of the woods” (I think was how he described it); talking about how the Native Americans must have felt when they expressed feelings of being “one with nature.” Between this feeling and his camo, he became invisible. He said that Uncle Dick, Brent and others could relate to this and mentioned times when he hunted with Uncle Dick and Brent when they disappeared also. He knew right where they were, but, until they moved, they were unseen. Cool stuff that I’m sure other hunters could support, and I believe it from the way Dad told the story. There was no doubt that he was an experienced hunter.

The above three steps culminate with putting a bird in your sights, and that’s what happened early Thursday morning.

Spurs measured 1.16″ on this bird

Here’s the rest of the story.

Dad arrived at his chosen spot around 5:30 a.m. to discover that someone had stolen his lawn chair. Undeterred, he found a suitable log and proceeded to hang up his camo cloth to block out his silhouette and then loaded his gun. Next step was to place his decoys. As he pounded in his hen decoy he heard gobbling. He quickly placed his second decoy, a jake, and headed for his log. Barely five minutes into his first turkey hunt, a tom appeared to his left about 150 yards out. Dad gave four clucks on his call, imitating a hen, and the tom stared right in his direction. More mysterious stuff here as Dad slowly dropped his eyes, because “if you’re not looking at the turkey it won’t see you” (not an exact quote but the basic concept). The tom then walked away and disappeared into the timber. Following instructions learned from his advisors, Dad did not call again in order to get the bird to return. The theory here is that the bird knows where the call came from and will return if his mating instinct sees fit.

Ten minutes later, a hen appeared out of the timber and headed towards the decoys. The tom was not far behind and headed in the same direction. Shortly, the hen ducked into some weeds near the edge of the cornfield and disappeared. The tom began to strut, fan his tail and flap his wings in an effort to impress his potential mate. Dad simply sat tight and watched. When the hen spurned the tom’s display, the tom set his sight on Dad’s decoys. As the tom approached, Dad had his gun poised and ready for the bird to walk into a window where he could take a shot. The tom came into his sights at just under twenty-five yards and it was time to make a decision. A few more yards and the branches of a hedge tree would eliminate the possibility for a shot. The range was acceptable; the bird in his sights and with only his eyes exposed over the camo cloth, Dad decided it was time to squeeze off a shot. Dad’s aim was true as the shot found its mark. Dad made his way to his first turkey and looked at his watch, which read 6:19 a.m. Forty-nine minutes into his season, he had his bird.

Dad told me that he just had to laugh at how things all fell into place so quickly as some hunter’s fail to get a shot for an entire season or an entire year or miss the shot when they get their opportunity.”

Weight on the bird was right about 20 pounds

And so goes another Friday Flashback, once again I am glad that I took to documenting these adventures even if some of those old ones got a little longwinded. Talk to you later. Troy

Senko Cinco de Mayo Strip Mine Report

As me and my oldest boy, Jayce, drove an hour towards the fishing hole, I wavered on whether a walk-in trip was a good idea. After all, our day had started with a local JDRF walk covering somewhere near two miles. So the prospect of a 1.5 mile round trip hike to a fishing hole was a tough call. However, I felt it was my best bet to accomplish a couple goals as detailed below.

  

Just over 1.5 of the miles were racked up on our round trip with Jayce eager to pitch in and carry some of the load.

Jayce’s Stats
Date: May 5, 2018
Location: Knox County, IL public strip mine
Time: 4:35pm-6:50pm
Weather: Partly cloudy/windy
Totals: 8 bluegill, 6 bass, 2 crappie
Lures/Bait
Senko wacky rig (cream white) – 6 bass
Waxworms on jighead with slip bobber – 8 bluegill, 2 crappie
Top Bass: 2-5 Senko
Top 5 Weight: 7-8 (2-5,1-13,1-5,1-4,0-13)

  

A first cast bluegill and a quick multispecies start to the evening

Notes and Nonsense

Cinco de Mayo – Every once in a while that whole light bulb thing goes on upstairs and I get one of those “hey, that would be a good blog project” ideas that at least amuse myself. So, the water is warming courtesy of some stable weather, the bass are moving shallow to make more bass and my boy is chomping at the bit to go fishing. And, here’s the kicker, its Cinco de Mayo and the conditions are ripe for one of my favorite presentations to kick into gear. Enter the Senko wacky rigged worm in the cream white pattern that I also refer to as “Mayo”, as in Mayonnaise. Get it? Well, the bass did on a day where I got to kick back and play fishing guide for a young angler who really took a leap forward courtesy of an ever improving skill set and some quality hungry bass.

First Senko de Mayo bass weighed 1-5 (new personal best) and there was no turning back to panfish for this happy angler (see release video for this bass below)

 

Destination Dilemma – My aim was to put Jayce in front of some quality bass and shift gears from our standard panfish/whatever will eat a waxworm approach. Half a dozen private strip mines fished via boat or one of the dozens of public, walk-in spots was what made it a tough call. We left the little boat at home which seemed to initially disappoint Jayce and the decision also caused me to waver on the drive. In the end, I elected to hit a public off the beaten path proven spot and it turned out to be a winning move for a dad wearing the hat of fishing guide on this evening.

Kicking the personal best up by a full pound with this Senko de Mayo 2-5 (video of catch below)

 

Senko de Mayo – I wanted to focus on the weightless Senko wacky rig presentation which is not only a solid producer but also pretty kid friendly when compared to a handful of other mid-spring techniques. With aquatic vegetation kicking into full gear, the wacky rig also shines due to its slow sinking action amidst the weeds. It doesn’t require a young angler to kick a retrieve into full gear as the lure hits the water like a spinnerbait, chatterbait or lipless crank and the single hook is a lot more friendly navigating weeds than a treble hooked crankbait or a bottom bumping lure such as a creature bait or jig.  The Senko proved to be the right bait for the day as a few brief attempts with other lures drew no interest whatsoever.  When the dust had settled it had produced a solid Top 5 limit for the young angler in roughly two hours of fishing.

Another solid Senko bass tipping the scales at 1-13

Quote of the Day: When discussing the trip at home before we hit the road, I was telling Julie and Jayce that the aim was to hit a spot that upped the odds of Jayce crossing paths with a decent sized bass. I told them that the goal was to get Jayce hooked into one hitting the 12” mark (or better). Jayce chimed in, “Maybe I can get one that’s even a foot.”

Mission accomplished in a batch of those foot long (and better bass) and right on target with the Senko de Mayo presentation. And the boy was still going strong at the end of a long day, a lot of exercise and some good old fresh air. In fact, he surprised me in staying awake the whole way home despite it pushing an 8:15pm arrival. You just can’t fit it all of this outing into one posting so stay tuned for a further look at some of the peripherals beyond the fish. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Looks like both the bass and the bass anglers have been waiting for a batch of consistent warm weather. That winning weather has also been a winner for the Top 5 with a substantial update for this week.

Weight: 2-8 (17”)
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: April 24
Location: Citizens Lake
Lure: Spinnerbait
Angler Comments: Bass is in mid flop and jumped out of the boat before I could take another picture.

Weight: 1-14 (16”)
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: April 24
Location: Citizens Lake
Lure: Squarebill crankbait

Weight: 4-0 (19”)
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: April 28
Location: Fulton County strip mine
Lure: Chatterbait with swimbait trailer
Angler Comments: I’ve been a regular reader of your blog and wanted to throw my hat in the ring for the “Top 5” this season.
Top 5 Weight: 8-6 (4-0,2-8,1-14)

Length: 12”
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 4
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky worm
Angler Comments: Fished 9:15 am to 12:14 pm. Lost three fish and had other hits. Water temperature 60 to 65 degrees. Trip Tune on drive home, “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes.
Top 5 Length: 12”

Weight: 1-5
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig (Cream white)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: A few quotes from the video of the catch posted yesterday on Facebook, “Holy crap…I caught that…he is heavy!” This was Jayce’s personal best bass, a mark that stood for about another 25 minutes (see below).

Weight: 0-13
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig (Cream white)
Structure: Weed edge

Weight: 2-5
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig (Cream white)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: The kid was getting it dialed in and not only the catching part as he guessed the weight right on the nose before we put this one on the scale.

Weight: 1-13
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig (Cream white)
Structure: Weed edge

Weight: 1-4
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig (Cream white)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments (actually mine): A real treat in being able to get out with one of my boys and watch him get it done. Full report and some video of the action later this week.
Top 5 Weight 7-8 (2-5,1-13,1-5,1-4,0-13)

Many thanks to some new faces (whether you stuck your mug in the shot or not) giving the Top 5 a shot and an appreciated shot in the arm. Also a shout out to the inclusion of a “Trip Tune” reference, always fun. Keep up the good work and look forward to see how the rest of the year progresses. Thanks, Troy