Hennepin Canal Report – October 21

Fresh off the previous day’s trip where I had to work for ten bass in five and a half hours, I was eager to get back on the water. I had achieved my goal of 443 bass to make one thousand over the last two years, but I still had other Canal goals to work on before I put the gear away.

Picked a tough spot for these conditions but was on a mission

Date: October 21
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 10:30am-12:30pm
Totals: 1 bass
Weather: Sunny/very windy, 60-65F
Lures: Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with BPS Speed Shad trailer (pro blue) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-12 Chatterbait
Top 1 Weight (only one at 12” or better: 2-12 (2-12)

Winning Lure

Notes and Nonsense

Destination – I had two late morning hours to fish before readying and heading to a high school band competition in Macomb, Illinois. I selected a stretch of water that I had only fished once before, back in May. The aim was to catch at least one “keeper” as my spring visit had left me one bass shy of a Top 5 limit. Establishing a Top 5 on the pool is part of the larger Canal Top 5 Project which aims to post a Top 5 on every stretch of The Canal from the Feeder Basin to the west (including the Milan section). I intend to explain this project in more detail with a series of blog posts over the winter.

Doesn’t really do justice to how ugly the wind was on this stretch

Rowing and Blowing – My choice of destinations was unwise due to heavy winds from the northwest. The combination of the orientation of this stretch, its broad width, and a less than ideal northern windbreak resulted in whitecaps. Shortly after launching the boat, I pondered packing up for another spot as fighting the twenty-plus mile per hour wind made for tough boat control and lure presentation. Instead, I opted to row all the way to the west end of the pool and let the wind blow me back in the general direction of my truck. Along the way, this resulted in periodically crashing into the willow lined bank.

Got the bite I was seeking and it was larger than I expected

One Winner in the Wind – The water that I was fishing looked good with abundant riprap, overhanging willows, and scattered wood. Being pounded by the wind added to the appeal but that wind also made lure presentation and thorough coverage difficult. It all boiled down to firing away as rapidly as possible to cover water before blowing right over the top of my targets. One such cast proved to be a winner with a 2-12 on a chatterbait. The fish was the “keeper” that I was looking for to complete a Top 5 for the stretch of The Canal and even better it established a new Top Bass for the spot. The former Top Bass mark was a 1-10 from May 29 and the latest catch pushed the Top 5 mark to 7-10.


A short, tough day of battling the wind and only one bass but mission accomplished in getting the bite that I needed to complete a Top 5 for this pool of The Canal. I’ll take it. One more report to come as I hit another spot the following day in search of two more keepers to establish a Top 5. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

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