Strip Mine Report – September 16

On the heels of a Friday Lake Storey visit, I was able to make it back-to-back days on the water with a Saturday strip mine hike.

Date: September 16
Location: Knox County public strip mines (4 lakes)
Time: 10:05am-1:30pm (3.00 hours fishing, the rest walking)
Totals: 16 bass
Weather: Overcast/calm, 60-73F
Lures: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (peanut butter and jelly) – 11 bass, Mann’s Baby 1- (red craw) – 5 bass
Top Bass: 2-5 Senko
Top 5 Weight: 7-12 (2-5,2-2,1-3,1-2,1-0)

Only needed two lures to land my bass on this outing

Notes and Nonsense

Rain – A mid-morning start was later than planned due to inclement weather. As a kid, I always found the Cubs rain delays fun as they would show old World Series or All-Star Game highlight reels. For my version of the rain delay, I took a drive around to several public parking lots and reminisced of past catches and pondered visits for some future catches.

Text – Technology has had a profound effect on how I fish and document my time on the water. Such impact is fodder for a batch of blog posts but for today, text messaging gets a brief shout out. As noted in the texts above, Brent was fishing in the same vicinity doing his exploring via kayak as opposed to hiking. While it is always preferable to fish together, it is cool how texting allows us to keep tabs on each other’s results throughout the day.

11:50am – Keep moving and casting in search of a quality Top Bass

Next – The thing that I probably enjoy the most about hiking the strip mines is the abundance of fishing holes. Typically, I go in with a plan to hit four, five, maybe six different bodies of water. Many are not very large and if a half hour of time investment fails to raise much interest, it’s on to another spot in hopes that the bass will be more cooperative. On this trip, I got a bite (and miss) on my first cast at my first stop and proceeded to land four bass in the first thirty minutes. An hour later on the same lake, I had not fooled another fish. So, on to the next spots to the tune of five bass in forty-five minutes, two bass in fifteen minutes, and five bass in thirty minutes. It is always interesting to observe the mood of the bass from trip to trip on these lakes. Some days the bite is on fire and other days you would swear that a lake is the Dead Sea. That’s fishing.


Topwater Bust – My first cast of the morning got a solid, up-close blow up on a frog, but the bass came loose. Near the end of my day, I had strike on a Whopper Plopper, but the bass spit the lure as I was about ready to land it. In between, I had one other missed strike on the frog for the extent of my topwater action. The lack of strikes was disappointing as I had what I thought were solid skies for a topwater bite. I guess I just needed a breeze for a little chop on the surface to convince the bass to go for a lunchtime topwater meal. That’s fishing.


A shorter day, although longer on energy expenditure resulted in exactly the same number of bass as the previous day’s Lake Storey outing. Back-to-back totals of sixteen bass during two solid days of fishing on two places that feel like home. And before the fishing year wraps up, I hope to pay each of them at least one more visit. Talk to you later. Troy

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