Month: May 2023

Hennepin Canal Report – May 27

After success on two new waters two days prior, I set out again for an unfished stretch of The Canal. My mission was twofold; establish an initial Top 5 for the pool and decide if the spot would be worth another visit.

7:20am – Top Bass at 2-7 (17.5″) on a buzzbait

Date: May 27
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 5:55am-9:10am
Totals: 8 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 48-65F
Lures: Booyah Buzzbait (black) – 4 bass, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (perch) – 3 bass, War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with a BPS XPS double tail grub trailer (Houdini) –1 bass
Top Bass: 2-7 Buzzbait
Top 5 Weight: 7-8 (2-7,1-7,1-4,1-4,1-2)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

The Launch – Some may lament the lack of actual concrete or gravel boat ramps on The Canal, but you won’t hear me complain. With a little effort, you can get a car top or truck bed boat or kayak in the water. That said, remember that gravity works more to your advantage going downhill. On this trip, I got into a spot where I got the boat into the water but wasn’t so sure that I could get it back out. As a result, I found an easier spot at the end of the day which required a longer drag back to the truck. Kind of created a new saying for me that “there is more than one way to launch a boat.” Oh yeah, also watch out for the poison ivy.

Weeds – Three of the stretches that I fished in my four days on the water featured a ridiculous amount of shoreline aquatic vegetation. While it does vary, several width descriptions of The Canal generally cite it as being ninety feet wide. Using that as a gauge for the waters I fished, then about sixty feet of that span were weeds with a thirty-foot open water channel down the middle. This provided plenty of cover for the bass to hide and eliminated open water casting access to the sparse collection of wood along the banks. Determining targets in such conditions tests my mettle as it is hard to pinpoint something different when everything looks the same.

Texting my friend, John, and confessing my imitation amphibian ineptitude

Quote of the day:
“I am the worst frog fisherman in Canal history.”
Based on the description and picture above, you’d think that an angler would have a heyday with a topwater frog. And I see the photos and descriptions on the internet that boast of quality catches with such presentations. But for the life of me, I cannot get bit even though I toss a frog in all the places that any frog in its right mind would not go. As a result, I was talking to myself on the water uttering the above phrase. I’ll keep plugging away as I should, but I am all ears if anyone has any pointers.


Returning to my intro for this report, I was successful in getting my initial Top 5 from some new water. I’ll admit that I give myself a pat on the back when I achieve that goal, but I still fell short of my ultimate double-digit weight target. This leaves me pondering a return trip to find the boost I need from my 7-8 Top 5. As of now, I would say not this year as I have other stretches of The Canal that are calling my name to establish a Top 5. The reports from two of those stretches are headed your way next. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – May 25

The Hennepin Canal offers over one hundred miles of fishing with the vast majority being off the beaten path. Those remote spots are where I do most of my prowling to get away from the crowd. However, there are several spots on my “to fish list” that are closer to communities. Having taken Thursday off work, I set my sights on a dual duty day on the waterway. This consisted of a morning visit to an “urban” stretch and an evening outing on a “rural” area. Both spots were new water for me. I had observed the areas during some scouting hikes and drives but had never made a cast on the waters. Read on for the results.

9:20am – First bass was a solid 2-6 on a Whopper Plopper

Date: May 25
Location: Hennepin Canal (two locations)
Time: 9:20am-1:10pm & 5:30pm-8:00pm
Totals: 15 bass (11 bass & 4 bass)
Weather: Sunny/breezy & sunny/windy
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with a BPS XPS double tail grub trailer (Houdini) –9 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (black) – 3 bass, Whopper Plopper 110 (bone) – 2 bass, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (perch) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-2 Buzzbait
Top 5 Weight: 10-4 (3-2,2-6,1-10,1-10,1-8)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

Morning Mission – I headed west to start my day and got some quick feedback with a 2-6 on a Whopper Plopper on my second cast of the morning. While it would be my largest bass of my first stop of the day, I did fool several more “keepers” with seven of the eleven bass coming in at 12” or better and a Top 5 of 7-1. My three hours of exploring were well spent on a stop worthy of a return trip.

6:26pm – Top Bass was a long and lean 3-2, could it have made 4-0 with some bulk?

East Evening – After a break of several hours, I opted to end my day on some water to the east of my normal stops. The evening bite was tougher than my morning, resulting in only four bass in three and a half hours of casting. On the upside was posting my Top Bass of the day at 3-2. Three of my four catches were keepers and combined to weigh in at 5-2.

Ten-Pound Top 5 – As I have mentioned before, my on the water goals in chronological order are don’t get shutout, land five keepers, and post a double digit Top 5 weight. Over the course of the two trips, the bass came through with a 10-4 total to check that often elusive third goal.


A banged up and lean 3-2 Top Bass, possibly spawned out

Four-Pound Quest – The search for my first four-pounder from The Canal continues as my Top Bass on this outing came up well short. But the weight was the only thing short about it as it measured 19” in length. A bass of that length has all the potential to tip the scales at four pounds but this one was just long and lean. Granted the fourteen ounces it needed may be a stretch, but this bass was near razor thin, although proportionate. No big head and scrawny body but perhaps just spent from the spawn. It was also missing a chunk of its tail and both sides of the fish had sustained some sort of damage. If only bass could talk, we would have had a good conversation.


Great fun exploring and it is hard to beat the allure of new water. In fact, I enjoyed the pursuit so much that I headed for a couple more stretches of “uncharted territory” over the Memorial Day holiday. But those are fish stories to come. In addition, I need to work in my May “Prowl the Canal” stats and notes once June arrives. Too much fishing and not enough time to write. A good “problem” to have. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

While some of us older guys put in a fair amount of time on the water this past week and caught some decent fish, we couldn’t fool anything to boost our weights. Fortunately, a couple more youthful anglers reeled in some quality bass to provide an update this week. My niece is a newcomer to the Top 5 while the other angler has posted a batch of bass in the past. Read on for the scoop on our latest submissions.

Weight: 5-6
Angler: Natalee Townsend
Date: May 26
Location: Lake Okeechobee Canals – Florida
Lure: Lipless Crankbait

Weight: 2-3
Angler: Natalee Townsend
Date: May 26
Location: Lake Okeechobee Canals – Florida
Lure: Lipless Crankbait
Top 5 Weight: 7-9 (5-6,2-3)

Weight: 3-8
Angler: Landon Hannam
Date: May 27
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky worm
Top 5 Weight: 3-8 (3-8)

Welcome aboard to Natalee whose heaviest bass represents our second largest bass of 2023 and biggest on a lipless crankbait. And great to have Landon back on board again. Rumor has it that he may have another outing in the works later this week. Good luck to all as the local bass should be finishing up the spawn and a bit more eager to bite. Talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report – May 20

After separate strip mine visits for me (May 6) and Brent (May 13), we were able to team up to try our luck. For a few years now when we get together, I have incorporated some prognostication prior to making our first casts. Directly below are the pre-launch predictions followed by the lowdown on how it all shook out.

Pre-launch predictions

6:40am – First bass at 2-4 on a Mann’s Chug and Spit popper

Date: May 20, 2023
Location: Knox County, IL strip pits (1 public, 2 private)
Time: 6:25am-2:25pm (6.50 hours fishing)
Weather: Sunny/windy
Air Temp: 50-72F
Water Temp: not available
Totals: 29 bass (Brent – 15, Troy -14)
Lures: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (perch) – 13 bass, 5 3/8” Bass Pro Stik-O wacky rig (green pumpkin) – 10 bass, Mann’s Chug and Spit Popper – 5 bass, Whopper Plopper 110 (bone) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-9 Senko wacky rig (Troy)
Top 5 Weight: 15-5 (3-9,3-4,2-15,2-13,2-12)

Mann’s Chug and Spit

Notes and Nonsense

Public Water – We spent 6:25am-9:25am on a public strip pit landing eight total bass which included seven over two pounds and four of our eventual Top 5 for the day. Sun and a frustrating wind pushed us to relocate after a solid start to our day.

11:01am – Top Bass at 3-9 from Little John on a Senko wacky rig

Private Water – From 10:25am-2:10pm we fished a pair of lakes at Little John Conservation Club (LJCC) landing twenty-one more bass but only one that would boost our Top 5 weight. That 3-9 would be our Top Bass of the trip with thirteen of our haul being “keepers” weighing between 0-14 and 1-13. The day ended tough with only four bass on our second LJCC lake in the final hour and forty-five minutes of early afternoon casting. The LJCC portion of the outing was my first time on these waters since November 17, 2021. Skipping out on 2022 marked only the second year in over thirty-five years that I had not made a visit to LJCC.

Whopper Plopper and Senko wacky rig

Got Pliers? – While fishing at our first stop, a kayak angler hollered at us requesting some pliers. It turned out that he had caught a bass in the three-pound range that had another hook in its gills. Brent and I were able to extract the hook and an attached four-inch swimbait. The angler was surprised and indicated that it was a lure that his partner had broken off on a fish during an earlier trip. Indeed, I had seen what his fellow kayaker was throwing on this trip, and it sure looked like the same deal. Not the first time I’ve seen such a thing but those are tales filed away for my “Believe it or Not” series one of these days.

Final results and prediction winners

Armada or Flotilla – As Brent and I left the public water we were greeted by half a dozen young anglers dragging out their kayaks and a johnboat. One of the anglers spotted our GoPros and asked, “Do you guys do YouTube?” I confirmed the YouTube content as well as a blog and dug around in my tacklebag for a few business cards to pass around. I also gave the angler looking for pliers a couple so who knows, maybe someone else will look at these fish stories. If you guys are out there, I enjoyed chats, and you have some catching up to do as I wasn’t lying when I said that there is a ton of content here on the blog.


Another good day on the water and always fun to share it with Brent. We’ve been doing this for a long time but don’t get a shot to do it often enough these days it seems. As reported in this week’s Top 5 Update, we were able to post four bass that helped our 2023 weight. The LJCC addition marked the first private water submission of the year. I dig LJCC, always have, but there’s an added satisfaction when you fool them where everybody can fish as we did to start our day. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Back with a solid update and a funky musical shout out as last week’s catches were a “Family Affair” (Sly and The Family Stone – 1971). While not quite The Jackson 5, three of our Jacksons had some “Hot Fun in the Summertime” (Sly and The Family Stone – 1969). Okay, kind of a stretch as we still have a month to go until summer but a cool tune to work into the update theme. Anyway, I don’t know if Sylvester Stewart is an angler, but as “Sly” from Sly and the Family Stone, his music continues to entertain many listeners. And here are the Family Jackson submissions for Monday’s regularly scheduled entertainment.

Weight: 2-11
Angler: Terry Jackson
Date: May 16
Location: Little John Conservation Club
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Editor’s Comments: Dad’s catch came during an outing where he and Mom took some grandkids out for an evening of fishing. A good time was reported by all and Dad posted Top Bass on a favorite presentation, the Senko wacky rig. He’s got a few of the kids slinging the lure as well because it is a winner.
Top 5 Weight: 2-11 (2-11)

Weight: 2-13
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 20
Weather: Sunny/windy
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Mann’s Chug and Spit popper

Weight: 2-15
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 20
Weather: Sunny/windy
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 14-14 (3-8,2-15,2-13,2-13,2-13) culls 2-12 and 2-11

Weight: 3-4
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 20
Weather: Sunny/windy
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (perch)
Structure: Pocket
Angler Comments: My brother and I were working an isolated, oval pocket off the main body of the lake. He took one side and I took the other. A decent fish had come loose on my Senko a few minutes earlier but he either came back for a second chance or had a buddy in the neighborhood.  

Weight: 3-9
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 20
Weather: Sunny/windy
Location: Little John Conservation Club
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (perch)
Structure: Pocket
Angler Comments: Once again a pocket off the main lake comes through. Brent and I had come up empty on multiple casts to the small area but perseverance paid off as we suspected that there was a bass or two around. Turned out we were right as Brent also landed a 1-1 just a few minutes later. It’s always cool when experience and a gut feeling pay off. 
Top 5 Weight:20-15 (5-3,4-10,4-2,3-9,3-7) culls a 3-1

A quality haul by three guys who won’t show up on the pro bass fishing trail stats. Just a trio of “Everyday People” (Sly and The Family Stone – 1968) like most of us who chase those green fish. To conclude, I want to “Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin” (Sly and The Family Stone – 1969) and putting up with another of my musical tangents in a fishing report. I am also hoping to stray down that path again before the end of the month with a Trip Tunes post. In the meantime, here’s hoping you can get outside for a bit of fresh air, perhaps reel in a fish or two, and turn on the radio to “Dance to the Music” (Sly and The Family Stone – 1967) along the way. Talk to you later. Troy

A New Old Reel

Daiwa Procaster PMA 10S – my first ever baitcasting reel (circa 1986-87)

While attending the Quad City Outdoor Show in February, I stopped by the Croegaerts Great Outdoors booth and spotted a batch of refurbished reels on display. While I wasn’t in the market for one of those repaired reels, I did have a tub of my own in the garage that needed attention. I inquired about someone having a look and they said to bring them by the shop. Last month, I finally got around to hauling five baitcasting reels in various states of disrepair over to Rock Island.

The breakdown of what was broke down

Included in my tub of broken down baitcasters were three Bass Pro Shops reels (level wind, handle, line guide issues), a Pfleuger model (broken anti-reverse), and an old Daiwa (thumb bar sticking). The latter just so happened to be the first baitcasting reel that I ever purchased.

Bass Pro Shop models – no local repair option it seems

It turned out that the three Bass Pro Shops reels were not able to be repaired onsite. Parts were not available to the local bait shop and will need to be addressed directly with Bass Pro Shops. Unfortunately, I was informed during a visit to Bass Pro Shops in East Peoria last week that the reels must be shipped to the Springfield, Missouri location. Not happening for now.

Pflueger TRI62LP

The Pflueger TRI62LP model was suffering from an anti-reverse issue as it reeled in both directions despite having an anti-reverse feature. Croegaerts was able to get it back in working order and now it only reels the right way.

Daiwa Procaster PMA 10S

It was great to get the Pflueger fixed, but the real treat was the shop getting my old Daiwa Procaster PMA 10S back in business. Of all the reels that I dropped off, it was the one that I anticipated being least likely to get repaired. My concern was parts being unavailable due to the reel being over thirty-five years old. Luckily, the fix was simply greasing and cleaning.

I’ve already got the Daiwa spooled up and ready but I am waiting on a rod repair to complete a setup reminiscent of the old days. Like the old Shimano Lexica that I obtained last summer from a longtime friend and fishing buddy, Matt Reynolds, I’m fired up to put the Daiwa to use. From my logs and pics, the best estimate is that I purchased the Daiwa reel in 1986 or 1987. If I got eight or ten years out of it, I would be surprised. Therefore, it has been hauled around through several moves to different homes (and garages) for close to twenty-five years.

Daiwa Procaster PMA 10S – not pretty but ready to come out of retirement

Lots of stories and memories involving the reel and the time when it was reeling in a bass or two. Those tales from the distant past will wait for another day.

For now, stay tuned for the return and a big “Thank you” to Croegaerts for their role in some new fish stories. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Brent saves the day with a solid catch to keep the Top 5 Update streak alive at seven straight weeks with a submission.

Weight: 2-11
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 13
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Buzzbait
Top 5 Weight: 14-9 (3-8,2-13,2-13,2-12,2-11) culls 2-4

Brent’s overall report noted just under four hours on some public strip mine waters with an impressive haul of twenty-one bass. Every one of his bass were landed on topwater presentations, either a buzzbait or a popper/chugger. This fact prompted Brent to note in his text, “This might be the first trip in a long time with no Senko or spinnerbait bass.” Ten of his fish were “keepers” (12” or better), three hit the two-pound mark (2-11,2-1,2-0) and his Top 5 on the day weighed 9-2.

Now that’s a solid morning of catching and always entertaining when the topwater bite kicks into gear. Here’s to more of the same as we head towards Memorial Day and beyond. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – May 10 & 12

The Canal bass continue to outsmart me in 2023 as I am really struggling to find bites on the waterway. The latest results consist of three short bass over two trips for a combined four hours. As always, I promise a fishing report no matter the “luck” so here we go.

Lone catch of May 10 but good to get on the water with a fishing partner

Date: May 10 & 12
Location: Hennepin Canal (two locations)
Time: 5:00-6:45pm & 4:55-6:55pm
Totals: 3 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy & mostly cloudy/breezy
Lures: Booyah Buzzbait (white) – 2 bass, Whopper Plopper 110 (bone) – 1 bass
Top Bass: not applicable as none at or > 12”
Top 5 Weight: not applicable

May 12 Top Bass but half-inch shy of a “keeper” at 11.5″

Notes and Nonsense

May 10 – I was able to get one of my boys, Jayce, out for a quick evening trip and chose a section of The Canal that we had fished last spring. On that previous outing, he shut me out two bass to zero including a Top Bass of 2-3 along with a 1-4, both on a Whopper Plopper. Well, the bass turned the tables on Jayce this time around as they dealt him a shutout. I didn’t fare much better with one short bass and a decent bite winding up being “the one that got away.”

Hopes were running high with some evening cloud cover but I couldn’t get much going

May 12 – As noted above, I hit The Canal on this evening with expectations running high due to overcast skies, decent water clarity, and warm stable weather. It then took me an hour and a half to get my first bite. Twenty minutes later, I had my second fish in the boat, both short. Ten minutes later, I loaded up to head home and tune in on the radio to the Cubs game. Those Canal bass left me perplexed again but the Cubs came through with a victory over the Twins thanks to some late innings run production.

Relied heavily on topwater but just couldn’t find many bites

Topwater Time – While the results weren’t especially convincing, topwater time is in full swing and much of The Canal is well suited for such an approach. Jayce and I relied almost exclusively on such presentations during our trip although sunny conditions are not prime. I call this “force feeding” or the “swing for the fences” approach. We had a couple hours, I wanted to cover a lot of water quickly, and I was hoping for at least one or two quality bites. I employed a similar tactic on the May 12 outing with much more favorable conditions but struggled yet again. That’s just the way it goes sometimes but we will be back for another try as the year rolls on.

New life jacket will be much more angler friendly for my young fishing partners

New Gear – The outing with Jayce featured an overdue item to enhance his fishing experience. I purchased an A/M 24 Auto/Manual Life Jacket which is much more comfortable than the older life vests I have on hand. Jayce had borrowed one from my brother, Brent, on an outing for several hours last year and I could see that it was the way to go. In addition, I have pieced together a pair of reasonably priced baitcasting setups, we just need some practice. He opted to stick with the spinning rigs he has but one of these days we will find some wide-open space and open his eyes to a new approach.

This guy bounced into my passenger seat at about 40mph, would have been exciting if I had a partner along, right in their lap

Even if the fish are not cooperating, it is always good to get some fresh air and take your shot. Also cool to get one of the kids on the water and hope to do so more once school wraps up. Stay tuned for the latest Top 5 Update and more. Talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report – May 6


Back in the 1970s and 1980s, I used to think I was a baseball player. In those days, we didn’t say someone was “in the zone”, we would say “Have a day”. Well, no matter what lingo you use, last Saturday was one of those days for a guy who now thinks that he is a bass fisherman.


Date: May 6, 2023
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pits (5 lakes)
Time: 7:15am-3:50pm (6.50 hours fishing)
Weather: Overcast to sunny/very windy
Air Temp: 58-76F
Water Temp: not available
Totals: 27 bass, 3 crappie
Lures: Whopper Plopper 110 (bone) – 12 bass, War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with a BPS XPS double tail grub trailer (Houdini) – 4 bass, Lunker Hunt Finesse Swimbait (perfect pumpkin) – 4 bass and 3 crappie, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (natural shad) – 4 bass, 5” Yamasenko weighted wacky rig (natural shad) – 2 bass, 5 3/8” Stik-O weighted wacky rig (candy corn) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 4-10 Whopper Plopper
Top 5 Weight: 17-15 (4-10,4-2,3-7,3-1,2-11)

Notes and Nonsense

Plan B – I rolled out of bed at 4:14am for some prep and roused my son, Jayce, at 4:52am as we had planned. By 5:08am, I was on the road flying solo as he elected to go back to bed. I was looking forward to getting one of the kids out for the first time this year but no hard feelings on the change of plans. I suspect that over forty years ago when I was his age, I may have reconsidered as well.

A good day when your ninth largest bass is just shy of two pounds and the Whopper Plopper bite is on

Dual Approach – I started my morning rowing around a couple strip pits from 7:15am-11:15am. Before the wind ran me off the water, I was laughing at my good fortune as my haul consisted of a dozen bass including a Top 5 of 15-13 (4-2,3-7,3-1,2-11,2-8). Quite a start but little did I know that my Top Bass of the day was yet to come. A hike from 12:45pm-3:50pm produced fifteen more bass with a Top 5 of 11-8 (4-10,1-15,1-14,1-11,1-6). The overall 17-15 Top 5 for the day stands as my best Top 5 weight for public waters.

Winning Lures

Quote of the day: “Boy, that looks like an ideal spot for a spinnerbait.”
As I landed, photographed, and logged a 2-11 bass at 8:20am, I drifted across where I had hooked the fish. In the process, I spotted a laydown about a foot under the surface, and it did not surprise me that a good fish called it home. Such a spot set up perfectly for a parallel retrieve with a spinnerbait. I don’t know if I said the above quote only in my head or out loud (yes, I do talk to myself on the water), but I hit the log again after letting it settle for a bit. At 8:39am, my second cast back to the spot resulted in a 2-8 on a spinnerbait. Tough to beat when things work out that way.

Changeup – As the wind was beating me up and making boat control tough, I opted to let it push me up into the bank in a pocket with some deep water (meaning I couldn’t see the bottom). My natural anchor allowed me to fancast along and across the oval shaped area. I worked it over with a Whopper Plopper as it had been my top lure up to that point but no takers. The spot looked too good to not hold a bass, so I shifted gears to a spinnerbait. A cast to a ledge with the back-up presentation worked out well to the tune of a 3-7. Tough to beat when things work out that way.

Not all about the bass

After the above catches, I moved from boat to bank, but I will save elaborating on that aspect for a couple other blog posts I have in the works. But bass were not the only species encountered as I also landed three “accidental” crappies, found a pair of ticks, and watched a snake swim past.

By the time I pulled back into the driveway at 5:24pm, it had been a long, productive day with a good workout. Just over twelve hours of driving, rowing, dragging, hiking, and battling some quality fish had me worn out. In fact, I passed on a Sunday morning outing on The Canal to sleep in like Jayce had elected to do the previous day. Some days my body is eager to remind me that I am a long ways from being a teenager. But it’s worth it and I am ready to do it again when I get the chance. More to come from this fishing trip so stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – April Stats

2023 Top Canal Bass at 2-14 from April 26 on a spinnerbait

After landing over three hundred and fifty bass on The Canal last year, I was fired up to see open water in January this year. I figured that I would get a much earlier and better start than 2022 when I didn’t land my first Canal bass until April 15. Well, I haven’t been as successful as I hoped. Read on for the first of the monthly wrap-ups. This one covers February through April but my two outings in February were shutouts and I only landed one bass in three March trips (1-0 on March 5).

Top Canal lure of 2023

April Totals Breakdown
2023 April Totals: 11 bass in 15.75 hours (0.70 bass/hour)
2022 April Totals: 29 bass in 9.50 hours (3.05 bass/hour)

2023 Top March Bass: 1-0 March 5 Lipless crankbait
2022 No March bass

2023 April Top Bass: 2-14 April 26 Spinnerbait
2022 April Top Bass: 3-5 April 23 Spinnerbait

2023 April Top 5: 7-2 (2-14,1-3,1-1,1-0,1-0)
2022 April Top 5: 13-12 (3-5,3-2,2-12,2-5,2-4)

2023 Best April Top 5 Day: 5-2 (1-3,1-1,1-0,1-0,0-14) – April 29
2022 Best April Top 5 Day: 10-8 (3-5,3-2,1-9,1-6,1-2) – April 23

All-time April Top 5 Weight
14-6 (3-5,3-2-2-14,2-12,2-5) culls a 2-4

Worth a try but not sure it will meet the goal


Water – Each of the stretches that I have fished early in the year have had lower than normal water levels. Some pre-season hiking provided information that at least one of the pools had been intentionally lowered to combat excessive aquatic vegetation. I am not an aquatic biologist (although I do have a biology degree) but I am not optimistic that the approach will have much of an effect. A couple stretches are already ugly by this time of the year such that a drop, dredge and do-over may be the only solution. I do hope for the best and will keep an eye out to see how things progress.

Weeds – As far as the state of aquatic vegetation in my early start to the year, it was pleasant to see open water from “shore to shore.” However, the bright green slime that I call “snot grass” was still around waiting to foul retrieves. As noted above, however, one of my stretches was so low that I did not bother to take advantage of the early start. Instead, I opted for stretches that had more water around shoreline wood cover. In the end, it didn’t matter as I could only find one bite in March. Now as the weeds begin to reclaim The Canal, it is simply time to adjust my approach accordingly. Weeds and slime are just a fact of life when fishing many of my spots on The Canal.

A Canal prowl update often includes items from the “Lost and Found”

All-Time Canal Stats (June 21, 2021, to present)
431 bass in 168.75 hours (2.55 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 3-6 on 7/21/21 Senko wacky rig
Best Top 5 Day: 11-3 (2-15,2-10,2-3,2-1,1-6) 6/24/22
Top 5 All-Time: 16-8 (3-6,3-5,3-5,3-4,3-4)

Yearly Top 5 Weights
2023 Top 5 Canal Weight: 7-2 (2-14,1-3,1-1,1-0,1-0)
2022 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15)
2021 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-6 (3-6,3-4,3-1,2-14,2-13)

As far as the 2023 Top 5 Weight, the Vegas over-under was set at 12-8.5 as I noted in the video clip below back in February when the odds were released. I am certainly struggling to begin the year, so perhaps the Vegas oddsmakers were onto something.


But I’m not buying that I’m on the downswing yet so I bet the over although I doubt that I will spend as much time on The Canal as last year. My prediction is 14-4 and looking on the bright side, I’m already halfway there with plenty of year to go. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy