A second shot at the Lake Storey drawdown featured a fishing partner and a water level as low as it would go for the season. Hopes were high but the bass proved to be rather stubborn, more so for one angler than the other. Read on for the results.
Pre-launch predictions for our combined totals
9:22am – First bass only seven minutes into our trip had us feeling optimistic
Date: September 25
Location: Lake Storey, Knox County, IL
Totals: 11 bass (Brent – 8, Troy – 3)
Weather: Sunny/calm-breezy, 66-78F
Water temperature: 73F
Lures: Tandem Spinnerbait (green/white) – 6 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 2 bass, Mann’s 1- Crankbait (baby bass crystal glow) – 2 bass, War Eagle spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-10 Troy (Lipless Crankbait)
Top 5 Weight: 7-8 (2-10,1-5,1-4,1-4,1-1)
Notes and Nonsense
Ramp Revamp – From years of observation, we determined that the lake was dropped to the maximum by virtue of the exposed shoreline and structure. Brent was at the ramp prior to my arrival and observed city employees smoothing out the ramp with an end loader. The chunky rutted section of ramp beyond the concrete portion was removed and a fresh batch of loose asphalt was put in place. I would say that four-wheel drive is a must, but the makeshift ramp is a welcome improvement for drawdown launching. And my eyes on the lake (Dad) provided a recent report that the concrete portion of the ramp has been extended with some drawdown construction.
10:28am – Brent Top Bass at 1-4 (14″) on a spinnerbait
Bites and Baits – The bulk of our casting featured spinnerbaits and those lures landed seven of our eleven bass. A crankbait and a lipless crank accounted for the other three catches. We slowed down with a Senko wacky rig and a jig but never even got a nibble. Just a tough day when the bites came on faster power presentations but only enough to keep us interested (and casting them) and never a feeding frenzy to fill the boat.
10:34am – Top Bass at 2-10 (17.5″) on a lipless crankbait
Ones That Got Away – Brent lost three bass that threw his lures on leaps, two on a spinnerbait and one on a crankbait. While none were trophies, at least two of them were in the pound and a half range and would have given our Top 5 Weight a boost. It always stinks when a fish gets loose, but it is particularly disheartening when the bite is tough.
Worn Out – Six and a half hours in a boat on this trip after six hours the previous day rowing and hiking left me and Brent beat. Upon returning home, I dropped into my boys’ room to chat with my oldest son and see how his day transpired. After about a twenty-minute conversation, I proceeded to nod off in my youngest boy’s bed. Fortunately, it only turned out to be a thirty-minute nap that did little to relieve my fatigue. In fact, one of the ladies in our house, who shall remain unnamed, looked at me and said, “You look terrible.” I couldn’t really take offense as her assessment was on the money.
Combined with the previous day’s strip mine success, Brent and I had two enjoyable days on the water. The strip mines exceeded our predictions, while the Lake Storey bass got the better of us. Such is fishing. Either way, it was great to get on the water on back-to-back days with my brother. After the remainder of the week to recuperate, we’ll see what lies in store as we head down the home stretch of 2023 fishing. Talk to you later. Troy