Strip Mine Report – September 30

It is that time of year again when most of the Knox County public strip mine access shuts down to anglers in favor of waterfowl. And as we head into October, I know that my time on the water in general is also drawing to a close. With those factors in mind, I decided to spend the final day of September chasing bass on a couple solid spots. Read on for the results.

9:55am – Top Bass (tie) at 3-2 (19″) on a creature bait

Date: September 30
Location: Knox County strip mines (one public, one private)
Time: 7:35am-11:35am, 1:00pm-2:45pm
Totals: 23 bass
Weather: Sunny/windy, 63-87F
Lures: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (peanut butter and jelly) – 11 bass, War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) – 5 bass, Yum Wooly Bug (crawdad) – 4 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (natural red) – 2 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (red craw) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-2 (tie) on Yum Wooly Bug and Spro Frog
Top 5 Weight: 11-1 (3-2,3-2,2-10,1-2,1-1)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

Autumn Arrives – As I type up this report exactly one week after this trip, the Saturday morning temperature reads at forty-four degrees with a predicted high of fifty-nine. In contrast, I launched my boat last Saturday morning and it was already in the mid-sixties on the way to a high of eighty-seven degrees. Yes, fall has arrived. But somewhere along the way, those bass will turn on for a late season feed and I hope to be on the water at least once to take my shot.

Public Numbers – My morning was spent on a public body of water and four hours of casting resulted in thirteen bass. Top Bass was 3-2 and the Top 5 Weight tipped the scales at 8-11. I worked from top to bottom, from fast to slow, and while I never got a real pattern going, 3.25 bass/hour is still a very good catch rate. Sometimes, it is odd when on the water and focused that the bite doesn’t seem so great. But when looking back at the log, I had a solid morning. Bites were spread out evenly between three lures with five on a spinnerbait, and four each on a Senko wacky rig and a Texas-rigged creature bait.

1:32pm – Top Bass (tie) at 3-2 (19″) on a frog

Private Numbers – For the afternoon portion of the program I headed over to Little John Conservation Club, an area that I have neglected over the last several years. For various reasons, my focus has been on public waters and some new ones at that with The Canal and a couple strip pits. While I have a long history with those Little John bass, and I dig fishing the collection of lakes, I find it more fun to blog about chasing fish on water that everyone can access. The Little John bass haven’t forgotten about me at least, as ten showed up in just under two hours of fishing. A Senko wacky rig was the top producer with seven bass, while a lipless crank fooled one, and a topwater frog got two including my Top Bass. That Top Bass was also a 3-2 and my weight only consisted of two “keepers” totaling 4-4.

Fall Calls – During the morning portion of the outing, I heard several pheasants and saw a couple flush. Those were some welcome sights and sounds as they take me back to the early nineties when we first started roaming the strip mines. Darn near every trip, one of those birds would take flight at our feet as we traversed the grassy expanses. I am no pheasant hunter and that is probably a good thing because those birds flushing always scared me half to death as I plodded along daydreaming about what lay in store at the next fishing hole.


A very good outing both in terms of quantity and quality. The twenty-three bass left me fourteen bass shy of landing four hundred this year. With that in mind, I hit a favorite stretch of The Canal the following weekend. Stay tuned to see if I was able to outsmart enough bass to hit the milestone. Talk to you later. Troy

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