Hennepin Canal Report – May 4

It has been a struggle to find quality bites on The Canal this year with a lone two-pounder being my best catch. So, I figured that I would step away from the regular Canal spots and try one that I had never fished before. No matter the results, it is always fun to try new water and it is part of my overall goal to explore the entire stretch of The Canal from Sheffield to Colona.

10:41am – First topwater catch of the year

Date: May 4
Location: Hennepin Canal (two pools)
Time: 10:40am-3:00pm
Totals: 10 bass
Weather: overcast/windy to very windy
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with Bass Pro Shops Twin Tail trailer (Houdini) – 8 bass, 5” Yamamoto Senko (blue pearl/silver flake) – 1 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-0
Top 5 Weight: 7-5 (3-0,1-8,1-4,0-14,0-11)

Winning Lures

1:52pm – Top Bass at 3-0 (19.5″) on a spinnerbait

Notes and Nonsense

Topwater Report – Several anglers on the internet had reported topwater catches in the past week or two but I had yet to convince any bass with my initial efforts. Previously, I had tossed around a Whopper Plopper but on this outing, I decided to try a buzzbait and a frog as the water was littered with lily pad stems (unfriendly to treble hooks). The frog kicked off my topwater catches not long after launching but that bass would be the lone topwater strike of the day.


New Pools – In my pursuit to establish Top 5 marks on every section from Colona to Sheffield, I selected two new stretches of water for this outing. The pools were adjacent and connected by a navigable tube allowing for only one launch to give them both a shot. Pool One produced six bass in 2.75 hours and featured an extended drought of nearly two hours between catches at 11:21am and 1:09pm. I rowed two miles of water and wound up catching four of my six bass within sight of my truck. Pool Two consisted of an hour and a half and resulted in four bas including an impressive three-pound fish for Top Bass of the day.

Weather Report – I started the late morning in a sweatshirt under partly cloudy conditions but ditched it around noon as the sun showed up full force. I ended up with sunburnt arms as I wore short sleeves and neglected any sunscreen. As I wrapped up the day, the clouds returned and as I fished east back to my truck, I failed to pay attention to what was unfolding to the west. Rumbles of thunder accompanied by sprinkles got my attention and I made a more rapid return towards the lot with casts only at prime targets. I made it just in time as the skies unleashed as I loaded the truck and took an overdue bathroom break prior to heading out. Boy was I lucky as it rained so hard that I could barely see as I made my way to Atkinson for an iced tea. In fact, I sat in my truck for about five minutes at the convenience store waiting out the rain and taking in the Cubs-Brewers game on the radio.

As far as the Cubs were concerned, they were victorious on this day. For me versus the bass, I’d have to rate it a “draw,” although that would be boxing term rather than baseball. I landed my biggest bass of the year and had a Top 5 for the combined pools but I came up short on my expectations and separate Top 5 marks for each pool. Do you know what that means? I guess that I will just have to come back for another try. Talk to you later. Troy

3 thoughts on “Hennepin Canal Report – May 4

    1. Being so shallow, you can get by with some decisions on The Canal that may not work on “normal” bodies of water, such as that 2:00pm spinnerbait bass. Conditions also contributed as complete overcast has moved in along with a stiff wind. I am an old school spinnerbait guy, shallow oriented bank beater, and fish as fast as the bass will let me, so The Canal is right up my alley. I should probably slow down and pitch some creature baits or worms around some of the cover, but it is tough for me to shift gears. Old habits and challenging boat control in wind and slight current while manning the oars and neglecting an anchor mean that I fish fast. So far, so good, all these years later. Could it be better? Probably as there are lots of factors when it comes to fooling fish. But I am just a regular angler, not fishing for my supper or a check, and settle into my comfort zone and enjoy the time on the water.

      1. I think that’s great man – you and I are very similar in that way. I fished a few local tournaments years ago but quickly lost interest because it sucked the life out of fishing for me. I also got my butt kicked… and I assure you, that had NOTHING to do with my decision to move away from competitive fishing 😜!

        I will have to try a spinnerbait in there at some point for sure. I need to gain confidence in that presentation because I know it works for guys, and I’ll be honest I think you are smart for working quickly. One thing I’ve noticed in the canal is that there is SO MUCH cover that looks good. I mean it’s miles and miles of “fishy lookin’ spots.” Seems like they seek out particular areas and congregate a bit… and I’m still trying to figure out why & where…

        Appreciate your time. Thanks and tight lines!

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