Month: October 2018

Friday Flashback – October 23, 1998

For the second consecutive Friday Flashback we revisit Knox County, Illinois’ Lake Storey.

And here’s what’s extra cool about this post.

Just a few days shy of exactly 20 years later, the same two guys featured in these flashback photos are out there again looking for a few more bites as they add to their collective stockpile of fish stories.

As we await the results of the 2018 version of a Lake Storey outing with my brother, Brent, we’ll take a look at the 1998 version as a warm-up.

When a fishing trip produces a pair of lake records that’s a solid day. Especially when you only combine for four total catches.

1:32pm (pic above) – Brent lands a 4-7 bass along a tried and true stretch or structure that consists of some shallow scattered riprap. No surprise at all that he is wielding a spinnerbait to fool a new Lake Storey bass record, eclipsing Dad’s 4-6 from 1988. The record would stand until 2007 when I was able to bump it up another ounce with a 4-8.

3:30pm (pic above) – My trusty Blue Glimmer spinnerbait crossed paths with one of the lake’s toothy residents that equaled my personal best muskie at 7-14 (33.0”), tying a 33.5” of the same weight from September 1997 at Snakeden Hollow’s Lake McMaster. This Top Muskie has been topped four times over the years with the current mark of 43.5” and 19-8 from Lake Storey in September 2012.

12:45pm (pic above) – For good measure, our third quality catch of the day was our first with a 2-0 bass also on the Blue Glimmer spinnerbait. Not a trophy or a record but a solid catch as anything at two pounds or better is a “good fish” in my book, especially on a stingy spot like Lake Storey.

A legendary lure that I simply call the “Blue Glimmer”

What’s also fun is that I remember exactly where all of our catches came from without having to peek at the log or scour the background of the photos for clues. It’s a little something that I call “piscatorial memory”, a concept long stashed away in my stack of blog posts for another day.

Original log entry complete with battle blemishes

Another fun note on this outing is a look back at the log entry as it features the splotches from the splashes of that new muskie record. While I don’t recall the specifics of the muskie decorating the notebook, an investigative eye shows the muskie data to be free of blemishes leading me to believe that the muskie was the culprit. Makes for a good piece of the story at least.

I’ll close with a final observation regarding the Lake Storey bass record as there seems to be a bit of a pattern. Looks like about every 10 years or so a new Top Bass joins the record book. Dad kicked it off in 1988, Brent upped it by an ounce on this 1998 outing, my 2007 bass came in a year ahead of schedule and here we are in 2018 with two of the Lake Storey record holders headed to the lake…

Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report – October 14

Last Sunday afternoon provided a few hours to get on the water after some boat prep work at my folks in Galesburg in advance of some possible fishing later this week. After clearing the clutter from Dad’s boat, checking tire pressure and getting the batteries charging I had several hours of daylight and the little johnboat in the bed of my truck. So, it was off to the strip mines where Top 5 leader, Jim Junk, had texted that he would be chasing some crappie. Perhaps he could be convinced to join up for some bassing…

The makings of a fishing trip


Date: October 14, 2018
Location: Knox County, IL strip mines (1 lake with Jim, 1 lake solo)
Time: 3:10pm-6:15pm
Weather: Overcast/calm to breezy
Air Temp: 51F
Totals: 10 bass (Troy = 6, Jim = 4)
Lures Troy
Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (white/chartreuse) – 3 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 2 bass
Senko wacky rig (pumpkin/black flake) – 1 bass
Lures Jim
Wacky rigged worm
Top Bass: 1-7 Jim Wacky worm
Top 5 Weight (only 3 at 12” or better): 3-8 (1-7,1-1,1-0)

Notes and Nonsense

Teaming Up – I’d texted Jim to warn him that I was headed in his direction but hadn’t received a reply and didn’t spot his vehicle upon arrival so figured I was on my own. However, as I drug the boat down the grassy “ramp” I heard somebody holler. Turned out that I would enjoy some good company while Jim gave the semi-cooperative crappie a break.

3:32pm- Jim with a 1-0 on wacky rigged worm

Counting Catches – As a dedicated “logger”, I got a kick out of Jim mentioning that he recently decided to track some data on his catches. A text message from October 8 had put his October totals at “25 bass with 8 over 3 pounds and biggest at 4-1.” As we hit the water, Jim noted that he was sitting at 35 bass which gave him just a slight edge over my October total. A slight edge of 35 bass. Well, in the hour and a half of our tag team bassing I sure didn’t gain any ground as he continued to outfish me four to one.

Close Quarters – Don’t know if you’ve ever teamed up with a co-angler in an eight foot johnboat but it’s quite an interesting experience, been doing it for 35 years or so. Takes a little coordinated casting and boat maneuvering to hit your spots from a decent angle while ideally not hitting each other upside the head. In addition, not only can you get a visual hint when your partner is gearing up for a hookset but on occasion you can also feel the boat move. I got a laugh out of such an instance this time around in seeing and feeling Jim briefly lean into and flinch in a near hookset as a bass did one of those quick hit and then let go of the lure moves. The cool thing is that only seconds later the bass came back for another shot and got it right resulting in a repeat lean followed up by the real deal on a hookset and catch. Good stuff that I suspect you just don’t get in a $50,000 bass rig.

3:45pm Top Bass at 1-7 on an afternoon where we couldn’t find that big bite

Fair Finish – After an hour and a half I decided to relocate to another nearby fishing hole while Jim elected to finish his day chasing a few more crappie. I managed to pick up five more bass including my Top Bass of the outing at 1-1. Nothing much to write home about but still blog worthy as I simply tell it like it happened. Jim wound up with a decent batch of crappie but elected to set them free when it was all said and done instead of winding up with a late evening of cleaning fish.

5:47pm best I could muster at 1-1 on a spinnerbait

So, glad to get out as always though not much to brag about. A bit more of a pleasant afternoon/evening than I really anticipated as a couple layers of clothing made it quite comfortable in the low 50s temps with merely a light breeze. Getting to that point where I know my days on the water are numbered so honestly a bit antsy to put some more bass in the log and hoping for a late season boost to my somewhat lackluster Top 5. Hope to invest some time (and a few vacation days) as the weather looks stable leading into and through the weekend although more than a bit chilly in terms of overnight lows. Hope you’ll check back in for what lies in store over the back half of the month and if you get out, by all means send any Top 5 catches my way as we push towards 100 bass (93 bass and counting as we already have a new entry for next Monday’s update). Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Even though it was a weird weather week in my neck of the woods, a pair of anglers (including a new participant/first lady entrant of 2018) were able to parlay the last day of decent temps into catching some decent bass. Their mid-week outing featured a high of 74F and falling according to the local weather report before a cold front moved in and dropped the high to 49F on the following day. The work week then wound up with a high of 40F and snow flurries while the weekend barely hit 50F. Welcome to the West Central Illinois.

Weight: 1-11
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: October 10
Location: Lake Storey
Water Temp: 69-70F
Lure: Weedless Wacky Worm
Structure: Shoreline aquatic vegetation and wood
Angler Comments: See entry below

Weight: 1-14 (14.25”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: October 10
Location: Lake Storey
Water Temp: 69-70F
Lure: Weedless Wacky Worm
Structure: Shoreline aquatic vegetation and wood
Angler Comments: See entry below
Top 5 Weight: 10-8 (2-7,2-3,2-0,2-0,1-14) culls 1-9

Weight: 2-15 (17”)
Angler: Patricia Kirkemo
Date: October 10
Location: Lake Storey
Water Temp: 69-70F
Lure: Weedless Wacky Worm
Structure: Shoreline aquatic vegetation and wood
Angler Comments: These comments are from John Kirkemo, husband of the angler. Fished from 1:45 pm to 4:15 pm as the cold front passed. Cloudy with brief sunshine and a stiff west wind. One brief rain shower.
Top 5 Weight: 2-15 (2-15)

Many thanks to the fishing couple for getting out there when the opportunity arose to fool a few more bass and keep our Top 5 Update streak alive. Their trio of bass bring our total to 92 bass submitted so still hoping we can hit the century mark before 2018 is all said and done. I took my shot yesterday along with a fishing partner for a few afternoon/evening hours but those results are a story for later this week. Hope you’ll tune in and good luck out there as it looks to be a run of cool but stable weather as the upcoming week progresses around here. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – October 13, 2008

Original log entry from 10/13/2008

Back to Lake Storey and only one day shy of exactly ten years ago. This outing was one of the annual visits to the “home lake” with Dad. I too had a solid handle on being a dad but kind of only half the dad that I am these days. Only two little girls at the time, didn’t know that they’d have a couple little brothers on the way. Much has changed on the family front, but in regards to the fishing hole it still resides at the top of the list thanks to the angling challenges, exciting rewards, aesthetic appeal and personal history. Read on for a sample of these characteristics as conveyed via excerpts from the original 2008 fishing report.

This outing and the actual lures from the trip are older than this boy (and his big brother)

Lake Storey (with Dad)
Time: 8:40am-2:10pm
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Dad – 12 bass 1 Muskie (20”)
Troy – 8 bass 1 walleye (4-14)
Bomber Flat A in baby bass pattern (also 1 muskie & 1 walleye) – 9 bass
Zoom Super Hog (watermelon seed) – 9 bass
Quad Shad Spinnerbait (white) – 2 bass
Top Bass – Dad 3-0 Troy 1-13
Top 5 weight 8-3 (3-0,1-13,1-4,1-3,0-15)

Solid 4-14 walleye but three pounds lighter than another Lake Storey catch a week and a half earlier

Challenge and Reward, Part I – The second quality walleye “accident” of October tipped the scales at 4-14; a very good fish that kind of paled a bit in comparison when following up a near eight pounder.

Top Bass for the day was Dad’s 3-0 on a Zoom Super Hog creature bait

Challenge and Reward, Part II – This outing and a series of earlier fishing trips produced a handful of new entries for the record book. Eight bass gained entry with Dad’s 3-0 taking Top Bass honors. All eight came from Lake Storey as the strip mines just couldn’t compete with Galesburg’s “home lake” when it was in the midst of the annual fall drawdown.

Aesthetic Appeal, Part I – The drawdown drops the lake level several feet leaving a great deal of structure (trees, stumps, rockpiles, weeds and docks) high and dry. This drastically limits the amount of hiding places for smaller forage fish and allows the larger predators to stock up as we head towards colder weather. Theoretically, this management tool will help sustain a healthy fishery. For the angler, the drawdown provides a glimpse under the surface that can be helpful in targeting the fish when the lake reaches its normal pool in the spring. In addition, it makes any remaining subsurface structure a potential magnet for baitfish which, in turn, attracts predators such as bass, walleye and muskie. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to reap the rewards and I would say the practice is working just fine.

I like pics of any toothy critter so Dad humored me for this juvenile catch (cool drawdown background too)

Aesthetic Appeal, Part II – During my trips to Lake Storey I observed a pair of our most impressive birds of prey. First up was an osprey that I watched as it plummeted to the water’s surface while harvesting an unsuspecting fish for lunch. Next was a bald eagle, the first I’ve seen at Lake Storey. I have also spotted a few at Lake Bracken and Snakeden over the years, testimony to the marked recovery of the species.

Personal History – Twice I ran out of battery power and had to utilize the gas motor to get back to the ramp. While it’s against regulations, desperate times call for desperate measures. Ain’t the first time I had to pull the stunt as one other time Brent and I had to fire up the big motor to escape a storm that snuck up on us.

Chalk up another successful outing and a few more fish stories from Lake Storey

Actually, this stuff all fits under the personal history category and cool when it overlaps with Dad’s personal history in this case or other fishing partners in other instances. Stories to be told again and again and always a treat when you share the adventure as each person recalls some different aspect of the same tale. More than a few such stories from Lake Storey. In fact, another Friday Flashback from the lake coming next week. Hope you’ll tune in and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Here we go with another batch of Top 5 stats. The numbers below reflect the totals through Monday’s update which brought our submissions to 89 bass, 2 muskie and a channel cat. If you dig your stats like this guy, read on.

2018 Totals (* = new record)
*January = 5 bass (old record 1 in 2017)
February = 5 bass
March = 0 bass
April = 12 bass
May = 24 bass
June = 10 bass
July = 8 bass
August = 4 bass
September = 16 bass
October = 5 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month (* = new record)
*January = 13-5 (3-15, 2-7, 2-6, 2-6, 2-3) previous record 2-11 in 2017
February = 7-3 (2-6,1-7,1-5,1-2,0-15)
March = no submissions
April = 14-15 (4-0,3-0,2-12,2-10,2-9)
May = 19-5 (4-11,4-8,3-10,3-7,3-1)
June = 18-10 (4-5,4-1,3-9,3-7,3-4)
July = 18-13 (4-0,3-14,3-13,3-11,3-7)
August 11-6 (3-15,3-10,2-12,1-1)
September = 23-8 (5-2,5-1,4-9,4-8,4-4)
October = 8-12 (2-3,2-1,2-0,1-5,1-3)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 37 bass
Bank = 52 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight (* = new record)
Boat = 21-2 (5-1,4-8,4-0,3-15,3-10)
Bank = 23-3 (5-2,4-11,4-9,4-8,4-5)

Public vs. Private
Public = 75 bass
Private = 14 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 22-6 (5-2,4-9,4-5,4-4,4-2)
Private = 22-12 (5-1,4-11,4-8,4-8,4-0)

The Baits (* = new record)
Plastic Worms = 51 bass (Top Bass 5-2 Jim Junk)
Crankbaits = 14 bass (Top Bass 3-15 Mark Balbinot)
Spinnerbaits = 8 bass (Top Bass 5-1 Brent Jackson)
Chatterbait = 4 bass (Top Bass 4-11 Chris Schwarz)
Creature Baits = 3 bass (Top Bass 3-9 Paul Kessler)
Buzzbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 4-8 Troy Jackson)
Jigs = 2 bass (Top Bass 2-12 Brent Jackson)
Lipless Crankbaits = 2 bass (Top Bass 1-13 Troy Jackson)
Jerkbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-6 John Kirkemo)
Topwater Frog = 1 bass (Top Bass 3-7 Nick Tiska)

Monthly Top Bass (* = new record)
3-15 Mark Balbinot (old record 2-11 Mark Balbinot 2016)
2-6 Troy Jackson
No submissions
4-0 Chris Schwarz
4-11 Chris Schwarz
4-5 Jim Junk
4-0 Jim Junk
3-15 Jim Junk
5-2 Jim Junk
2-3 John Kirkemo

Top 10 Bass (* = new Top 10 all-time)
5-2 Jim Junk 9/8
5-1 Brent Jackson 9/23
4-11 Chris Schwarz 5/26
4-9 Jim Junk 9/6
4-8 Chris Schwarz 5/26
4-8 Troy Jackson 9/23
4-5 Jim Junk 6/27
4-4 Jim Junk 9/16
4-2 Jim Junk 9/29
4-1 Jim Junk 6/30

Angler Weights (* = new Top 5 record, old mark 32-13)
Jim Junk 22-6 (5-2,4-9,4-5,4-4,4-2)
Chris Schwarz 18-12 (4-11,4-8,4-0,3-1,2-8)
Brent Jackson 16-1 (5-1,3-7,2-12,2-10,2-3)
Troy Jackson 15-9 (4-8,3-2,3-0,2-9,2-6)
Paul Kessler 14-0 (3-10,3-9,2-12,2-1,2-0)
Mark Balbinot 13-5 (3-15, 2-7, 2-6, 2-6, 2-3)
John Kirkemo 10-3 (2-7,2-3,2-0,2-0,1-9)
Jayce Jackson 7-8 (2-5,1-13,1-5,1-4,0-13)
Nick Tiska 3-7 (3-7)
Landon Hannam 1-5 (1-5)

Other Species

Muskie Length Totals
70+” John Kirkemo (40”, 30+”)

Channel Catfish Totals
8-2 (25”) Chris Schwarz

The days are getting shorter and only 82 remain in the 2018 edition of the Top 5.  Yep, folks, the year is indeed winding down. But don’t you dare put those fishing poles away too soon as there are still plenty of bites remaining. Looking to get a few myself, will keep you posted and hope you will do the same. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Some more good bites as fall kicks into gear including a young angler joining our Top 5 in posting a new personal best.

(Note: experienced some technical difficulty in uploading pics for a pair of the catches below resulting in data only.)

Weight: 2-0
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: October 5
Location: Lake Storey
Water Temp: 65 degrees
Lure: Wacky Worm
Structure: Ten feet off shore in about five feet of water
Angler Comments: This is the best of seven fish caught Friday afternoon between 1:00 and 3:45pm. The other six fish were in the 10-12” range.

Weight: 2-3
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: October 6
Location: Lake Storey
Water Temp: 65 degrees
Weather: Overcast with a stiff wind
Lure: Weedless Wacky Worm
Structure: Aquatic vegetation and wood along the shoreline
Angler Comments: Fished from 1:30-3:50pm with a fisherman new to the sport. We landed four fish. This was the largest. The rest were 8-9” and not weighed.

Weight: 1-3
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: October 7
Location: Lake Storey
Water Temp: 65 degrees
Lure: Weedless Wacky Worm
Structure: Shoreline aquatic vegetation and wood
Angler Comments: Fished from 2:15 to 4:30 pm with Avery Yung, Reed Yung and Landon Hannam. Reed and Avery were in kayaks while Landon and I were in my boat. Heavy overcast and warm but no rain. No other boat fisherman and maybe one or two shore fisherman west of the pavilion. I caught two other fish but they were a pound or less. We caught nine bass all on wacky worms among the four of us.
Top 5 Weight: 10-3 (2-7,2-3,2-0,2-0,1-9) culls 1-6 and 1-2

Weight: 2-1
Angler: Paul Kessler
Date: October 6
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: White spinnerbait with dual blades
Top 5 Weight: 14-0 (3-10,3-9,2-12,2-1,2-0)

Weight: 1-5 (13”)
Angler: Landon Hannam
Date: October 7

Lure: Weedless wacky worm
Location: Lake Storey
Water temp: 65 F
Structure: Aquatic vegetation
Angler Comments: Fishing with my uncle John and my cousins Avery and Reed. Biggest fish I have ever caught.
Top 5 Weight: 1-5 (1-5)

Way to go everybody and congratulations to Landon on his new personal best, more to come I am sure.  Thanks all for the continued casting as the days get shorter and 2018 fishing heads into the home stretch. 89 bass submitted at present, let’s see if we can make it 100 before the 2018 edition comes to a close. Best of luck and talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report – September 30

After 57 days without a bass, I was quite happy that back to back weekends to end the month offered opportunities to go fishing.  A September without any fish would be a real bummer as it is one of my favorite months of the year to get on the water.  For September fishing trip number two, on top of the expected enthusiasm, I was also looking forward to teaming up with a friend, Jim Junk, who is having quite a year as our Top 5 leader.  Here’s the scoop.


Date: September 30, 2018
Location: Knox/Fulton County, IL strip pits (3 public, 2 private)
Time: 6:30am-10:45am and beyond (details later in report)
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm to breezy
Air Temp: 53-74F
Totals: 42 bass (Troy = 24, Jim = 18)
Lures Troy
Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (snow white shad) – 8 bass
Senko wacky rig (pumpkin/black flake) – 7 bass
Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (sexy shad) – 5 bass
Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (white/chartreuse) – 3 bass
Zara Spook (black shore minnow) – 1 bass
Lures Jim
Wacky rigged worm or white spinnerbait
Top Bass: Jim 3-14 Wacky worm, Troy 1-13 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight Jim: 14-7 (3-14,3-4,2-8,2-7,2-6)
Top 5 Weight Troy: 8-11 (1-13,1-12,1-12,1-11,1-11)

7:03am on the board with a double

Notes and Nonsense

The Shallows – After about 20 minutes without a bite we rowed into a spot that afforded casts in opposite directions, each to a shallow pocket. Prior to taking our shots I mentioned that I often get a bite despite there being some pretty skinny water. Right on cue we soon had a double in the boat and we were off and running. Our second catches, mere minutes later, also came aboard in similar synchronized fashion and we missed a third double about ten minutes later. As the day progressed, we continued to find our Knox County bass quite shallow which is just fine by me.

8:56am with my second largest bass of the day at 1-12 on a buzzbait

Old Boat, New Junk – Jim has posted quite a Top 5 creel this year which I find additionally impressive due to his catches coming while prowling the bank. So, while my eight foot johnboat is not particularly glamorous I hoped that it at least provided some new scenery as we hit all the spots that a bank angler views as “I sure wish I could get over there.” Jim and I had visited one of the lakes in Dad’s Bass Tracker in June but the little boat is a whole different ballgame and I had a laugh later upon realizing that I had added another Junk to the list of co-anglers in the watercraft. Back in the 80s I prowled Knox County waters with his brothers, John and Mark, took his sister-in-law, Lisa, along about 15 years ago (she was eight months pregnant at the time) and his nephew, Brady, has had the boat out for a few adventures (not sure if Jim’s boy, Matthew, may have been aboard on some of those as well). I always say that I take too much stuff along on my outings but apparently never can have enough Junk in the boat.

9:45am – Jim’s 2-8 was Top Bass from the Knox County leg of the day

12:22pm – My Top Bass of the day at 1-13 on a spinnerbait from Knox County walk-in strip mine

Full Day Addendum – While we had a successful morning in combining for 37 bass in just under four hours at Little John, we both had other tricks up our sleeves. I headed to some walk-in ground after our joint outing for another dozen bass while Jim remained at Little John chasing some crappie. I stopped by again on my way home about 2:00pm just as Jim was wrapping up, or so I thought. Instead, about 7:45pm I got a text from Jim stating that he had made his last casts of the day at around 6:30pm at Banner Marsh where he fooled five more at 3-14,3-4,2-7,2-6 and 1-9.

Jim couldn’t get enough fishing it seems and his dedication paid off in Fulton County to end a long day

One That Got Away – As painful as it can be, it’s a fishing standard that inevitably hits every angler from time to time. The fishing gods decided it was Jim’s turn this time around. Shortly before we ditched the little boat and went our separate fishing ways, Jim flicked his wacky rig onto a shallow ledge featuring a collection of laydowns and worked his lure towards the edge into deeper water. I wasn’t sure if it was a fish or a snag in the initial split second when I saw his rod bend but a huge thrash just at the surface and a big flash of green and white screamed “Big fish!” However, seconds later the worm came loose and we were left to wonder. I did not offer up an estimate, not the time or place, and we didn’t fish long enough afterwards for the topic to come back up. But after nearly a week to replay those few seconds, I’ll just say that the current lake record of 5-14 (a bass caught by Jim in 2014) wouldn’t be the lake record anymore.

My arsenal for the day while Jim scored with a wacky rig and spinnerbait

A solid and enjoyable day on the water as we put the first week of Fall behind us. If pressed to choose, I would have to say that this is my favorite time of the year to chase some bass. Too tough to put the appeal into words but knowing that the days on the water are numbered seems to bring an added appreciation. Just a vibe that this is the home stretch knowing what looms on the horizon in terms of the seasons. Those bass know it too, providing us anglers with a good opportunity to find a few that let their guard down. Here’s hoping for a few more chances to cross paths with a Fall feeding frenzy. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – October 8-21, 1998

Once upon a time I had a lake in my backyard.

A big lake, like 170 acres big.

Also had a two man bass boat on the dock at the ready and a little something called “free time.”

And that free time allowed me to get on the water at Lake Bracken just south of Galesburg, Illinois for a series of quick afternoon/evening October 1998 trips in pursuit of my favorite species, the largemouth bass. Pretty cool in looking back that when I decided to fish it was simply a matter of hauling some gear down the hill and it was on.

Original log entries from October 8 through October 21, 1998 – quick trips of two or three hours were winners.

For the time period of 1994 through 2002 when I called the lake “home”, those bass did not disappoint. Have a look below at a batch of bass from October of 20 years ago along with some notes on the items in the periphery from my days prowling the spot in that old two man boat.

October 8, 1998 at 4:44pm 17.5″ 2 lbs 9 oz on my old faithful Blue Glimmer spinnerbait and, as usual, probably too much stuff in the boat starting with the five poles and two tacklebags.

October 8, 1998 at 6:13pm 19.5″ 3 lbs 15 oz, Blue Glimmer spinnerbait, 20 years later that lifejacket and boat cushion are still around while I passed along the boat to a young family friend many years ago.

October 14, 1998 at 5:52pm 20″ 3 lbs 15 oz, Blue Glimmer spinnerbait.

October 16, 1998 at 5:43pm 20″ 4 lbs 8 oz, Blue Glimmer spinnerbait and there was a time or two that the livewell was filled with ice and beer instead of a bass posing for a pic. Fun to see my old Shimano Fightin’ Rod on the left, a favorite pole, long gone as well after a run-in with a trunk lid.

October 21, 1998 at 2:45pm 17″ 2-7 on, you guessed it, the Blue Glimmer spinnerbait.  Shimano Fightin’ Rod in view again, log book hiding underneath and a look at one of my maps that I made back in the day. Still got those maps stashed away in the event I ever get another shot at the one-time “home lake.”

As always, fun for me to look back at the fish, the gear and the logs to remember stuff that would otherwise be forgotten.  All told I spent close to 30 years chasing fish at the lake.  Starting around 1978 as the guest of a Little League teammate, through the 80s as part of our family membership, into the 90s and 2000s as a homeowner and concluding in 2008 as Dad’s guest before he gave up his membership as well.  Many memories and stories for another day.  Talk to you later.  Troy

Top 11 Trip Tunes 9/23 – Part II

And the countdown continues…

5. Brain Damage/Eclipse – Pink Floyd (1973) – The grand finale to arguably the top album of all-time. Forever linked and you shouldn’t really listen to one without the other, wonderfully loony and heavy at the same time. If you are among the few on the planet who has yet to purchase a copy of this classic Floyd album, the time has come. See you on the “Dark Side of the Moon.”

4. Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression Part II) – Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1973) – If I were to pick a theme song for my blog, this might be the one. “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends…” And in regards to this blog thing, well “you’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo.” “Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth” (it’s free by the way) and every now and then “you’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll.”

3. Let’s Groove – Earth, Wind & Fire (1981) – What can you say? This is the jam, even got my boys hooked as they call it the “Boogie on down” song. Gotta pat myself on the back as a good Dad for that one. Just cool, gets you moving and singing along even if you’re not sure of some of the words, go ahead and make ‘em up as you go, more about the vibe than the lyrics anyhow. Although, “just move yourself and glide like a 747” is pretty hip.

2. American Girl – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1977) – Just my opinion but I favor the old Tom Petty (say 1977-1985) over the rest of his lengthy and illustrious career. This one is a perfect example of my preference as the older stuff just seems a little more varied and a little rawer. Got lots of favorite lines in lots of songs and for this one I would definitely choose “she stood alone on her balcony” as Petty’s pronunciation and delivery are quite fun.

1. My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars (1978) – Second straight Top Tunes post that features The Cars at the top spot (see 7/28 list – Bye, Bye Love) and both tunes are from the same album, the band’s self-titled debut. Yet again, a solid mix of musicianship, lyrics and delivery, straight up Cars magic as we prepared to leave disco behind in favor of something new, as in New Wave. And who wouldn’t be a little envious of his buddy’s lady with her “Nuclear boots” and “suede blue eyes?”

Ah yes, another one of my distractions. I have fun with the tunes, hope no one minds the occasional bit of meandering. Next up though, back to some fishing with a report and a flashback to get us through the weekend. Talk to you later. Troy



Top 11 Trip Tunes 9/23 – Part I

Hey, let’s do this again.

And one better than a Top 10 in “turning it up to 11” as I just had too many good cuts to choose from on this particular trek to the Knox County strip mines.

11. Youth Gone Wild – Skid Row (1989) – For a number of years I had trouble coming to grips with my affliction for that interesting period of rock music when “hair” bands roamed the radio and television dial. But then I just flat out decided that I like it (and I know you like it too). Many great high voices (tone and otherwise) rocked the airwaves but tough to beat Sebastian Bach’s pipes when he wailed away. Rock has long been the domain of the rebel and this offering represents an anthem for the hair generation. Additionally, kind of cool when you can work your band name into the lyrics (see also Boston, Bad Company, The Who…)

10. Midnight Blue – Lou Gramm (1987) – Anybody ever associate a particular song with a time or a place or a person? Of course you have, that’s what good tune does. Anybody else hitting that age where you recall something and then wonder if the memory is correct? In the case of this song, I seem to recall a lefty on the Knox College baseball squad nicknamed Giddy who really dug this cut and I do too. Giddy, I know you’re out there, if you read this let me know if I’ve got it right or simply losing my mind.

9. Let It Whip – Dazz Band (1982) – Speaking of Knox College, back in the early 80s the college radio station, WVKC 90.7FM, used to feature a weekly program focusing on a mix of funk, hip hop, rap, post-disco and R&B infused pop. Interesting stuff for a kid normally tuned in to WLS 89AM or the local Top 40 station, Q93. Spent many of those Saturday nights tuned into “The Voice” as the station was nicknamed (Sunday nights was Dr. Demento on 97X). Anyway, what a treat it was to hear stuff like this one or “Controversy” by Prince or “White Horse” by Laid Back or “Take Your Time Do It Right” by The S.O.S. Band or “The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow or “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five or…time to revisit these jams on the internet once I get this post completed.

8. Wasted on the Way – Crosby, Stills & Nash (1982) – This is another one of those cuts that hits a little closer to home these days than it did when released in the summer before my sophomore year of high school. Would make a nice addition to side two of a cassette tape along with “Time” from Pink Floyd, “Running on Empty” from Jackson Browne, “Long May You Run” from Neil Young and “Like a Rock” from Bob Seger. “Oh when you were young…”

7. Sooner or Later – The Grass Roots (1971) – Dare you not to sing along to this catchy love song. Plenty of vocal roles to choose from, too. Maybe you’re a lead singer, perhaps you opt for harmony, possibly just pitch in with the punctuated “time”, “mind”, “when”, “again”, take part in a little call and response or go ahead and let it all hang out during an improvised finale. Just one of those make you feel good, could listen to it all day, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore tunes.

6. The Ballad of Curtis Loew – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974) – Discovered this one rather late. Never was much of an album kid, didn’t have any money after buying baseball cards, so never heard this tune until sometime in the 90s on the radio. Knew who it was right away but not quite what it was and always a treat to find something old on the dial that’s brand new to my ear. Great story song about a wonderful piece of common ground called music.

How’s that for a blog entry? You get Curtis Loew and Kurtis Blow all in one post. And on an “outdoor” blog to boot! Now that’s some good stuff. Part II tomorrow to finish off our eleven songs for the price of ten. Talk to you later. Troy