Author: Troy Jackson

Top 5 Update

Been a little lean on the good, old Top 5 project so it’s cool to have consecutive Monday reports for the first time in 2018. As an added bonus, I was able to recruit a longtime fishing partner, a fellow I’ve known for just over 48 years. The pics and details follow and look for a full fishing report from our outing coming soon.

Weight: 1-9
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 21
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Emiquon Special Spinnerbait
Structure: Chute/drop

Weight: 2-10
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 21
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Jig (black/blue) with split twin tail trailer (pumpkinseed)
Structure: Chute/drop

Weight: 2-12
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 21
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Jig (black/blue) with split twin tail trailer (pumpkinseed)
Structure: Chute/drop

Weight: 1-14
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 21
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Emiquon Special Spinnerbait
Structure: Brush/drop
Angler Comments (actually mine): Got a chance to chase bass with my brother on some walk-in strip mines and he caught our three largest of the trip and four of our Top 5 with the submissions above.
Top 5 Weight(four bass): 8-13 (2-12,2-10,1-14,1-9)

Weight: 3-0 (18”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: April 22
Location: Little John Conservation Club
Lure: Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (sexy shad)
Structure: Windblown point
Angler Comments: This bass was right where it should be on an old reliable piece of structure that was just getting pounded by the wind. And I was happy to get the strike on one of those “wind from the east, fish bite the least” days which lived up to the old adage.
Top 5 Weight: 12-3 (3-0,2-9,2-6,2-3,2-0) culls a 1-13

Now, that was fun. Been a weird run of weather for the first four months of the year but looks like some stability on the horizon in this neck of the woods. Here’s hoping the warming water temps will get the bass out of their world of confusion and see some more make a mistake for their 15 minutes of fame here on the Top 5. Plenty of room for more if anyone wants to play along. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – April 17, 1988

Smack dab in the middle of this old sample of my 1988 fishing log lies an entry from this week featuring a place called “Green Oaks.” The spot still holds many memories 30 years later. Some of those memories I remember and some it’s probably better off that I don’t as the spot wasn’t just about fishing for me and some college buddies.

You see, this area was the field station for Knox College and it also featured a rather primitive campsite just uphill from the lone decent stretch of bank access on the lake. Couldn’t ask for a better set up for some college fellows who enjoyed fishing, camping and more than a few beverages. Bonfire sized campfires, beer, fresh bluegill fillets, beer, Guns N’ Roses (Appetite for Destruction) and Steve Earle (Guitar Town) on the tape deck of a boom box and little more beer. Those were the days.

Sometimes hard to believe it was 30 years ago but that’s how it goes.

Further snip from the original log entry featuring some old confidence baits

And, believe it or not, some of those baits are still in my collection, rotten skirts and all

My original baitcasting reel used on this trip, always thought it would be fun to get repaired for a few more casts

There’s just not many pics from those days and like some of the lost memories, I suppose that could be a good thing. Don’t know if my buddies have any photo documentation but I guess it would be interesting to see. You guys know who you are and where to find me if you’ve got anything to share for a future post on this great place to getaway. I’ve included some related pics of what I suppose are antiques these days, some of the old tackle I’ve still got stashed away. I guess there was a reason to keep that stuff after all.

In addition to Green Oaks, the log also features a couple other classic fishing holes from the formative days of this bass fishing thing that’s still going strong. We’ll revisit those spots before this whole Flashback series wraps up so keep stopping by every Friday.

A young, future blogger in his Knox Siwash baseball cap releasing a Green Oaks trophy.  We’ll see them both again on a Friday in August.

And one last note, if anybody knows a way to get an alumnus into Green Oaks for a reunion with a favorite old fishing hole, drop me a line. Seems alumni can take in the sights that the site has to offer but have to leave the fishing poles at home. Talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report 4/13

No superstition here to interfere with a Friday the 13th fishing trip last week. In fact, with the first three consecutive days of warm temps all year around here, it was fishing or bust. Friday was forecast as the tail end of the brief glimpse of spring so it was time for a vacation day for some Knox County, IL strip mine hiking. Turned out that the bass were ready for some warm, stable weather as well.

Still worth going the distance for a solid bite


Date: April 13, 2018
Location: Knox County, IL public, walk-in strip pits
Time: 6:55am-3:45pm (6 hours fishing, the rest walking)
Weather: Partly cloudy to overcast/windy to excessively windy
Air Temp: 53F-68F
Totals: 60 bass, 1 crappie
Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (sexy shad) – 32 bass
Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (white chartreuse) – 15 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 13 bass
Top Bass: 2-9 Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill
Top 5 Weight: 10-4 (2-9,2-3,2-0,1-13,1-11)

7:31am – First bass and only the beginning

11:44am – 14.5″ 1-13 Lipless crankbait

12:17pm – 16″ 2-3 Spinnerbait

Cool accident with a 12″ crappie on the lipless crankbait

Notes and Nonsense

The Conditions – A pleasant surprise upon arrival was the blackened, barren landscape resultant of a controlled burn on most of the area. I’ll have a closer look at this aspect of the outing in a future post but the main point is that walking was much less taxing as a result. Partly cloudy to overcast skies were also welcome as most of the fishing holes lie on the clear end of the water clarity spectrum. Wind was also a welcome feature although it got pretty crazy at times with reported gusts exceeding 35 miles per hour. All of these factors combined with a third day of warming temps that would top out in the upper 60s made for all I could ask for as an angler confined to the bank.

12:58pm – 15″ 1-11 Crankbait

The Plan – I had six lakes that were on the must see list based on past results along with just kind of poking around on others as I made my trek around the ground. Of the six targets, five produced well while the sixth only got a passing shot due to time constraints and limited bank access with the water level higher than normal. All told I cast on over a dozen spots and landed a bass on ten of them. It is my sixth year fishing this area and still plenty to learn as to which of the two dozen plus lakes sustain a healthy bass population if any at all. Tough call to focus on old faithful or seek out a hidden gem when faced with limited time and energy.

Turned out to be all I needed, took lots more lures though, as always

The Lures – I weighed my tacklebag just for fun after the trip to find it came in just barely under ten pounds. While not all of the weight is attributed to lures, I did pack along what would qualify as more than enough. While I lugged all of that gear over four miles, I wound up catching all of my bass on only three lures, the heaviest of which weighs in at 5/8 oz. So, less than two ounces of all that tackle actually produced and honestly there wasn’t much reason to change as this trio did just fine. I also packed along seven poles and just like the lures, caught bass on three of them. Undeniable evidence that I habitually take too much stuff but you just never know. Even if it’s only got a slim shot of being used or producing, that shot is still better than if it is sitting home in my garage.

1:04pm – 16.5″ 2-0 Crankbait

1:30pm – Top Bass 17″ 2-9 Spinnerbait

The Results – A 60 bass day is always a winner and certainly welcome in a year that has been rather unfavorable in terms of weather after a couple weird, warm February days. Along the way I was able to give my 2018 Top 5 a solid boost and exceed double digits on my Top 5 for the day. The four pounders I’ve encountered on some of these waters in the past eluded me and I just hope that they are still out there and haven’t found their way onto somebody’s stringer. Fair game I suppose if they have, just not my approach.

Windblown Video #1 – 2-0 catch (apologies for noise)

Windblown Video #2 – 2-9 catch (apologies for noise)

Hope to get back out at least one more time to chase the bass before April passes but time will tell. And how’s this for more of a nasty start to 2018? I began typing the rough draft of this report on Sunday April 15 and it was 30 degrees and snowing pretty good (which is really bad). And as I hit submit tonight (April 17) there’s a winter weather advisory beginning in about eight hours. Enough already! Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Been a rough spring so the forecast of back to back 70 degree days in West Central Illinois had me cashing in a vacation day for Friday the 13th to hit some public access Knox County, IL strip mines. I’d originally attempted this plan with vacation days on April 2 and 3 but nasty weather had me opting to go to work instead and wait for better conditions. Turned out to be a good decision.

Weight: 1-13 (14.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: April 13
Location: Knox County, IL public access strip mines
Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad)
Structure: Windblown shoreline pocket
Angler Comments: Nice setup with a small pocket featuring a shelf that dropped into the main lake basin and was just getting pounded by a heavy south wind. Casting from the bank into the teeth of the wind produced this bass and another a 1-0 within a three minute span on the lipless crank right at the dropoff.

Weight: 2-3 (16”)
Lure: Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (white/chartreuse) with twin tail trailer (salt & pepper)
Structure: Windblown chute
Angler Comments: Caught a 2-1 on April 8, 2017 from this same exact location and was pretty sure I could repeat the feat. The narrow chute on the north edge of this spot was getting a direct hit from the gale force winds. The second of two bass in the first two minutes of casting to the spot (first was 11.5”). Fun stuff and can make you feel smart but this was a no-brainer, would’ve bet money on this one.

Weight: 2-0 (16.5”)
Lure: Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill (sexy shad)
Structure: Windblown chute/saddle
Angler Comments: Between the main lake and a southern finger on this spot is a shallow ridge that drops on each side into deeper water. Sounds like a broken record, but I’m no dummy and play the wind for every bite I can find when bank bound. Another bass right where it should be, on the windblown drop in this case, one of six that the specific area would produce and a cool page out of the Bass Fishing 101 textbook.

Weight: 2-9 (17”)
Lure: Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill (sexy shad)
Structure: ???
Angler Comments: This area has produced in the past from a different bank bound angle and I was fortunate that conditions allowed me to get at it from the other direction thanks to a controlled burn knocking out the nasty terrestrial vegetation. Honestly, still not sure what holds the bass but it produces. So, while still curious, I suppose that ultimately it is irrelevant and I’ll just keep casting away each visit.
Top 5 Weight: 10-15 (2-9,2-6,2-3,2-0,1-13) culls 1-7,1-5,1-2,0-15

Always fun to build and boost the Top 5 and while no early season lunkers in my creel it’s been a fun start to the year. One outing each month for 2018 beginning with a rare bonus February shot and two of the trips have provided a Top 5 Update. Still a long ways to go so stay tuned and send ‘em my way if you wish to play along. Full report on this trip headed your way tomorrow along with some bonus stuff to extend the tale throughout the rest of the week. Can’t help it, happy to get out during a stretch of good weather and it sure seemed like the bass were ready for a shot of spring as well. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – April 1988

Today’s flashback goes back 30 years and features a bass reeled in by Dad from one of our favorite haunts, Lake Storey, located just north of Galesburg, IL. This one tipped the scales at 4-6 and came on a deep diving crankbait, says so right there on the back of the pic in my photo album.

Details from back of photo and etched in my mind

Although I really didn’t need to peek for those details as I knew all of that already. I was there on the other side of the camera that day and with that piscatorial photographic memory thing I’m afflicted with, well, a good catch kind of gets embedded upstairs.

As does a good “fish story”, and this one certainly qualifies.

We’ll start with Dad’s new bass boat that he purchased in 1987. This bass would have represented the boat record at that time as Dad devoted a fair amount of those early days to chasing some catfish on the Mississippi. Don’t imagine that it took much arm twisting from one of his boys to ditch the muddy water for the green tinted Lake Storey and it paid off quite well for him.

And speaking of Lake Storey, this was also likely the family lake record bass at the time and still stands in the Top 5 all these years later.  By the way, I also remember exactly where he caught it as I’m sure he does too.  But a good fish story has to maintain a little mystery, so I’m not telling.

These Mann’s 20+ models, that still reside in my tackle, reached unheard of depths for crankbaits when they hit the market back in the 80s.

The lure is also an interesting piece of the tale as it was a revolution in bass fishing at the time. You see, the Mann’s 20+ series deep diving crankbaits were pushing crankbaits to a whole new depth range and potentially putting a pair of trebles in front of bass who’d never seen such a thing.

Which brings us to the catch, which could only see out of one eye. If you take a look at the close up of the original photo below it is apparent that Dad’s catch indeed was half blind. Now, since I was on the photographing side of this story, I gave Dad a hard time for fooling this poor fish who obviously had some health concerns and was at a disadvantage when it came to discerning a real meal from a fake one. Of course, as the guy who nabbed the bass, Dad countered with “do you know how much skill it takes to catch a fish who can only see out of one eye?” Certainly a matter of perspective, perhaps coupled with a bit of envy.

“The One-Eyed Bass” – a classic fish story still told 30 years later

Somehow this trip eluded the log so I have no idea what else was caught or if the photographer even landed a bass. What is also fun to laugh about all these years later is that I don’t recall either of us ever catching another bass on one of those Mann’s 20+ crankbaits. Thus not only “one-eyed” but one of a kind. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 3/31 – Part II

Songs will have to suffice for this week’s Top 5 update but if the weather holds out…

5. Too Late For Love – Def Leppard (1983) – The Pyromania album was certainly an integral part of my high school soundtrack with heavy radio rotation and frequent flying MTV videos for “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages.” But for my money, the best of this bunch is this cut. And while I also dug the next Def Leppard release, Hysteria, some of it sounds like Shania Twain in hindsight thanks to Mutt Lange’s commercial touch.

4. Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police (1980)  – From haunting to frustrated to peppy, more than a bit taboo and rife with the good, old repetitive Police hook kicking in at high energy and high volume over that distinctive drumming. Don’t get much better than that.

3. Lido Shuffle – Boz Scaggs (1977) – One of those songs that finds me saying, “Man, that was my favorite song…” Back in fifth grade in this case. Didn’t understand it and still not entirely sure, but just sounded good.

2. Reelin’ In The Years – Steely Dan (1973)  – If there is such a thing as a bad Steely Dan song, I have yet to discover it. Impossible to pick a favorite but this one is definitely in the mix. Somehow or another this one has also become my go to track when periodically testing the conference room sound and video at work. The 1973 Midnight Special appearance that I pull up for the test features an intro by someone named Bill Cosby. Wonder whatever happened to that guy?

1. Fool In The Rain – Led Zeppelin (1979) – So much to like in the Zeppelin catalog for so many different reasons. This one is just plain fun while following a fellow who’s been had but can’t seem to admit it. Or does he as “a fool waiting on the wrong block”?

There you have it, the first Top 10 tunes of 2018.

And as a follow up to yesterday’s trivia tidbit concerning the phrase “perpetual motion” in song lyrics, here is my trifecta.

“You’ve really slipped me a potion, I can’t get off of the floor, all this perpetual motion, you gotta give me some more…” – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Leo Sayer

“You can ponder perpetual motion, fix your mind on a crystal day…” – Up Around the Bend, Credence Clearwater Revival

“Through 86 years of perpetual motion, if he likes you he’ll smile and he’ll say, Jimmy some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic but I had a good life all the way.” He Went to Paris, Jimmy Buffett

Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 3/31 – Part I

Got my baseball fix in earlier this week with a fishing related project so now it’s time to work in some favorite jams. If you stopped by last year perhaps you are familiar with my Top 10 Tunes series. If not, the concept is to present the Top 10 tunes heard while surfing the radio dial on a trip to my longtime stomping grounds. With roughly an hour drive each way, the two-hour round trip provides ample time to cross paths with some blasts from the past (and the occasional, rare “new” tune that has caught my ear).

I had fun with this tangent in 2017, so here we go again.  Back by popular demand, or not. Apologies in advance for a couple of these but honesty is the best policy.

10. Bad Blood – Neil Sedaka (1975) – My teenage daughter, Helena, uses the word “cringey” fairly frequently and it could certainly describe this #1 cut from Sedaka’s mid-70s resurgence. “Cringey” signifies something that is awkward or makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, literally cringing. Despite, or maybe because of, that cringey feeling, I feel I must include this tune. Just a weird fit for the 60s pop star, made even stranger via an appearance on the classic Midnight Special television program (click here if you dare). The performance features “Bad Blood” along with bad hair, bad attire and bad dance moves. Cringey indeed, but in a way that has always made me smile and resist the urge to change the radio dial.

9. Is She Really Going Out with Him – Joe Jackson (1979) – I’ve got a thing for catchy first lines in songs and this one has always been an attention getter. “Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street.” Pretty sure we’ve all been there, not the gorilla, of course, but the person scratching his head. And when it comes to rock stars and their mates, I guess charisma rules. As Jackson also adds, “They say that looks don’t count for much, if so, there goes your proof.”

8. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer (1976) – For my money, a good tune should make you feel like something; dancing, singing, smiling, crying or well, you know. This one fits the bill and is just as fun and catchy as when I was a nine year old kid. The falsetto is a winner and I always dig hearing the version with a third verse that uses the term “perpetual motion” in the lyrics. Quick, name two other songs with that phrase in the lyrics (answer in tomorrow’s post).

7. With A Little Luck – Wings (1978) I’m always on the lookout for unique words in song lyrics and this one has long been on my list with “inclement.” A timeless cut with yet another Sir Paul McCartney hook. And definitely a timely term as my 2018 fishing has certainly been met with some “inclement weather” of which it seems “there is no end.”

6. Flirtin’ With Disaster – Molly Hatchet (1979)Killer Southern Rock jam and I still can’t quite get all the lyrics right after singing it with occasional bouts of gibberish thrown in all of these years. And how about those Frank Frazetta album covers on the early releases? Digital downloads from app stores and websites will never equal the days of flipping through albums at the old local haunts like Co-Op, Musicland, Lindstrom’s or The Platter.

Okay, kind of all over the place but that’s yet another aspect of how cool the music was for this kid of the 70s. More classics headed your way tomorrow with the Top 5 as I’m still looking for another Top 5 fish update. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – 4/11/2003

The Friday Flashback series plows ahead into a new month with another visit to an old fishing hole. Below is the original fishing report sent out to family and friends back on April 11, 2003, the same evening that I fooled the fish pictured above.

“Finally, some decent weather coinciding with some free time. After working first shift and following dinner, I had a couple hours before darkness settled in so I couldn’t pass up a trip to Emstrom’s Pond to try and fool a few bass. The recent warming trend gave me high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed. An hour and a half produced six bass including a new record for 2003. A 4-10 engulfed my Rapala Rattlin’ Rap (brown craw) as I worked it across a shallow flat. This area had seen a lot of baitfish, shiner or bluegill movement about a half hour prior to catching this bass. In fact, there had been a very large swirl and a scattering of small fish in its wake as I worked this area earlier. A couple cranks into my retrieve during my second pass in this area and a fish slammed my lure. After a pair of jumps at boatside, the bass was securely in my grasp with both treble hooks embedded firmly in its lower jaw. It was the last bite I had as darkness rolled in about ten minutes later and I headed for home.”

The Lure – still got it and dig the battle scars although I haven’t thrown it for years as lipless crankbait allegiance has turned to the Red Eye Shad.

The original log entry from this outing

Fifteen years later and decent weather and free time have been pretty tough to come by in 2018. Still looking for a bass of this quality as well as I currently sit at 2-6 for my Top Bass this year among the ten bass in the log from a pair of outings and just under eight hours on the water.

Sooner or later, I’m bound to get some good weather, some free time and some big bass. Not too much to ask, right? Maybe next week. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Le Grande Orange

Sure was ready for Opening Day of Major League Baseball last Thursday as it’s been a long off-season without a World Series title to bask in for the first time since 2016. Still feels good to mention World Series as it pertains to the Cubs.


Got to dig through the old baseball card collection for these, left to right 1975, 1976 Traded and 1977 Topps

However, during the afternoon of Opening Day my boss informed of the passing of an old ballplayer, Rusty Staub, at age 73. And for this soon to be 51 year old baseball fan, Staub spanned a great deal of my “Golden Age” of baseball. I suppose every fan has such an era and I would have to say mine spans from probably about 1973 when I seem to recall Dad bringing me home my first Topps baseball cards until roughly 1986 when I got “too old” to collect them anymore. Now, I still dig baseball but that time period just seems a bit more special.

And Staub graced the field during nearly that entire time frame (as well as before) with a 23 year career spanning 1963 to 1985. In 1969 he joined the expansion Montreal Expos franchise where he was a fan favorite and was bestowed with the nickname “Le Grande Orange” as he indeed was a big redhead.


More from the collection, left to right 1971, 1974 and 1976 (tough to decide 74’s pose or 76’s hair as my favorite Staub card)

So, as a baseball fan and a fisherman I felt it befitting to pay my own tribute to a fellow who was larger than life to this kid from the 70s. As such I set out on my March 31 fishing trip with a starting lineup of lures dedicated to red or orange color schemes. The mission was to fool a bass in honor of Daniel “Rusty” Staub (never actually knew his real name until his passing despite it being right there on the back of all of these baseball cards).

The “Le Grande Orange” lineup

I began casting with my themed arsenal at around 2:15pm running through each and every one in addition to a rusty colored Chatterbait without a single bite for nearly an hour. But at 3:10pm a cast near a downed tree with an old Rapala Fat Rap (crawdad color) provided me with my first hit and busted up the shutout. This particular lure could qualify as an antique as it was purchased in the late 80s and last caught a bass in 1999 according to my logs. So kind of cool in that respect as well that an old-timer came through pinch-hitting in the clutch on a day with less than ideal cold front conditions.

The “Le Grande Orange” catch

Mission accomplished and I resumed my normal habits and color schemes which weren’t really much more productive than the orange/red arsenal. However, I found it to be an interesting project although it arose from unfortunate circumstance.

Along the way it was also interesting to revisit some internet video of Staub as well as getting my stat fix in reviewing his career. One particular stat stuck out, for when my boss informed that Staub had passed away I stated, “Man, he was quite a hitter, had around 2,700 hits or so.” Ballpark guess but turns out I may have shorted him a few if you want to get technical as it was 2,716.

Just another reinforcement of the imprint that baseball left in my childhood and continues to this day. Kind of like fishing. And just as fishing takes on all shapes and sizes so does baseball. Staub epitomized that aspect as his career progressed, he wasn’t fast, not particularly graceful, no flash, just could flat out hit. On top of that, he seemed like a genuinely good man in reading of his accomplishments and hearing friends and teammates share their memories. Why, I almost got to liking Keith Hernandez as he spoke fondly of his friend, Rusty Staub. That says a lot about the man. Talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report 3/31

The original shot at a fishing report actually began the previous day on Good Friday, March 30. I had the day off, my boys, Jayce and Zac, wanted to go fishing and the weather was tolerable. Zac’s GoPro clip below shows an incident about 30 minutes after our arrival that put a damper on the outing and sent us packing as we hadn’t packed a change of footwear. Hadn’t really anticipated anyone taking a bit of a dip. You think I would know better by now.


So, on the heels of that abbreviated outing featuring about a dozen casts between me and my boy, Jayce, with no bites I was a little desperate to claim a March bass. Earlier this year, with Mother Nature’s assistance I had somehow been able to fool a handful of bonus February bass. Therefore, I wasn’t about to let March slip by no matter how surly Mother Nature had gotten in the meantime. Here’s how it went down.

3:10pm Mission accomplished with a March bass (more on the lure choice later this week)

Date: March 31, 2018
Location: Little John Conservation Club (2 lakes)
Time: 2:10pm-5:20pm
Weather: Partly cloudy to overcast/windy to very windy
Air Temp: 51-43F
Totals: 3 bass
Rapala Shad Rap (blue) – 1 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Rapala Fat Rap (crawdad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: none 12” or better
Top 5 Weight: not applicable

Notes and Nonsense

Conditions – As if it wasn’t cold enough at barely 50 degrees, a cold front was scheduled to move in mid-afternoon right in the heart of my fishing time. Go figure but you get what you get and I was on a quest. Actually, a few quests (more on the others later this week). Anyhow, when the front came roaring in just over an hour into my trip, the already windy day got rather outrageous. Radio reports placed gusts at 35-40 mph and I would say that was right on the money.

3:33pm As close as I’d get to a “keeper” at 11.5″ on Shad Rap

Approach – Two bass on my first stop before the winds kicked into full gear came off a couple reliable spots but many more let me down. As such I elected to move to lake number two and fish some stretches of bank that were just getting pounded by wind and wave. Kind of interesting while rowing around in an eight foot johnboat. With the windchill dipping to a reported 36F I skipped using the anchor as half my fingers were already numb and resorted instead to letting the wind simply push me into the bank. I worked over several areas running some lures parallel to the fairly sharp drops and points but only scored one short bass while running a Red Eye Shad off the edge of a shallow hump. Not long after the catch I finally gave up, content with my March catches although they left a bit to be desired in terms of quality.

5:10pm Third and last bass but darn happy to get it in some ugly conditions

Extras – Had a couple projects included on this fishing trip for a little something extra. One is a standard from last year’s outings while the other is something different. One lets me stray into my fondness for tunes on the radio and the other takes me on a tangent into what I still consider to be America’s favorite pastime, baseball. Right, I know that this blog is billed as “outdoor” but bear with me as it’s all part of the fun. Stay tuned…

Talk to you later. Troy