Access is drawing to a close on the Knox County public strip mines, so Snakeden Hollow was the choice for a getaway last Sunday. My goals were twofold. First, I wanted to land six bass to reach four hundred for the year. Secondly, I intended to bike and hike to a few remote spots to learn new stuff on an area that I have fished for over thirty years. Both missions were a success with further details below.
1:03pm – Top Bass at 1-6 (14″), which also happened to be Bass #400 of the year
Date: October 8
Location: Knox County strip mines (9 lakes)
Time: 10:40am-2:40pm (2.25 hours fishing, the rest hiking/biking)
Totals: 10 bass
Weather: Partly cloudy/breezy
Lures: Mann’s Baby 1- Crankbait (grey ghost) – 8 bass, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (peanut butter and jelly) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 1-6 Mann’s Baby 1- Crankbait
Top 5 Weight: 6-1 (1-6,1-5,1-4,1-2,1-0)
Notes and Nonsense
The Mission – I packed along my bicycle to cut down on travel time to the far reaches of Snakeden Hollow. From there, I switched to foot travel across weedy stretches unfit for pedaling. For even after thirty-four years of exploring, there were still a few places out there where I had never set foot. Several bodies of water did not even exist when I first stepped into Snakeden Hollow back in 1990 while others have undergone significant changes over the years. And one I had not seen since 1990 as a worker at the site. Lots of stories. Perhaps another day.
That’s the sign post up ahead, and it means you have gone off the beaten (although nicely mowed) path
The Results – All told, I made casts in nine different lakes. Six were “known” lakes where I had varying degrees of experience and catch data. The only surprise was a fifteen-minute stop that produced a fourteen-inch bass, the largest of a handful of bass landed from the lake over the years. Therefore, it made my list for some more casts in the future. Three other bodies of water were previously unexplored, and none produced a bass in fifteen to thirty minutes of casting on each. Bank access was limited and while not a thorough test of potential, my first impressions were not positive. One was very weedy and tough to fish, one showed signs of life only in the form of tiny bluegill, and the other showed no signs of life at all.
Grey Ghost – The Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait in the grey ghost pattern was a winner on this trip landing eight of my ten bass. I’ve got a story about this lure. Actually, after forty plus years of chasing bass, I’ve got a story about most everything. Anyway, close to thirty years ago, Brent and I got stuck listening to a batch of fish stories at the Spring Lake tackle trailer over near Manito. The proprietor related how he and his son bought every Mann’s Baby 1- in the grey ghost color in the Peoria area to keep them out of the hands of rival anglers. True story? Not sure. Effective color? Not noticeably for me as I like the red craw color better. But on this trip, the old grey ghost came through. You know, I have another story about how I met the Mann’s Baby 1-. Perhaps another day.
Oh yeah, there’s also a new story about the Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait from this trip as it landed Bass #400. Check out the catch video below.
Now that I have Bass #400 in the log, I have my sights set on reaching 447 bass. Combined with the 2022 total of 553, that would give me 1,000 bass over the last two years. After this trip, I stood at 404, leaving a ways to go and a short time to get there.
So long to Snakeden for 2023 but still more fishing left before I put the poles away.
A Lake Storey report is in the works as a cooperative batch of bass earlier this week knocked out a chunk of those forty-three bass that I am seeking. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy