Category: Fishing Reports

Hennepin Canal Report – March 5

Well, I am on the board with my first bass of 2023 after a recent outing courtesy of early open water. In fact, in terms of open water, I was able to make some casts in February which is unusual in my neck of the woods. However, three and a half hours of chasing those February bass resulted in zero bites. But that’s all water under the bridge as I post my first fishing report of 2023.

Date: March 5
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 4:00pm-5:30pm
Totals: 1 bass
Weather: Partly cloudy/very windy
Lures: Strike King Red Eye Shad (red craw) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-0

Winning Lure

Notes and Nonsense

Bike Over Boat – While I had my boat on the water once in February, the conditions for this March trip were more conducive to bank fishing (high winds and limited time). As such, I aired up my bike tires, repaired my kickstand, drove to a stretch of The Canal that is conducive to bank fishing, and pedaled to a productive area. About twenty minutes into casting, I had my first bass of 2023. After another hour or so of fishing, it remains my only bass of 2023 as I could fool no others.

GoPro No Go – Earlier this year, I was able to obtain a replacement GoPro as my Hero9 Black model had ceased functioning. Unfortunately, the replacement device that was provided had issues of its own, shutting down repeatedly while recording. A resolution is in the works and hopefully I will be back on track for video once the bass bite and the weather begin to pick up.

The best I could muster with a faulty GoPro


Weedless – Prior to this outing, the earliest that I had ever fished The Canal was April 15 last year. The entire Canal is quite shallow, and many stretches become choked with surface vegetation by summertime. Of course, the fish don’t go anywhere but the vegetation gives them more places to hide and can make for some challenges with lure presentations. In contrast, early March finds The Canal waters wide open and quite appealing. Better weather will certainly change those conditions but will also see an uptick in bass activity. Such are some of the many variables that come into play in chasing these green fish.

It’s great to be on the board and a couple weeks ahead of the 2022 results as my first bass last year didn’t show up until March 20. Only 553 bass to go to top the 2022 results. That’s a tall order, and probably not realistic as 2023 may see some changes in time and approach. As always, stay tuned for the results. Talk to you later. Troy

No Dice On The Ice

My son, Jayce, mentioned going ice fishing several years ago. As no one in my family had ice fished for many years, any gear we used to have had long been passed on to someone who could use it. Therefore, I purchased an auger, four ice fishing poles, and a batch of jigs a few years ago. Last year, I even rigged the poles in preparation but the ice deteriorated before we got our shot. This year, we missed the first batch of ice, but Mother Nature came through with a second cold wave to refreeze local waters to my liking. The return of safe ice coincided with a Saturday and forty-degree air temperatures, so it was game on.

Our deluxe ice fishing bucket

We spent roughly an hour on the ice as sunset approached and could not muster a single bite. I do not profess to be a prolific ice fishing angler, but I still figured that I could put Jayce on at least a few fish. Even without any bites, we had a good time learning about testing the ice, drilling holes, rigging lures, presentation, and engaged in the regular goofing off.

Goofing off for a pic (above), YouTube video from the outing (below)

It was an evening custom-made for ice fishing in my book. Nearly fifty degrees, roughly half a foot of ice, and winds blocked by the treeline are what I call optimum conditions. I never even put on my gloves the entire time. While no fish showed up, we did see a dozen turkeys, an osprey, and one deer that ran across the road in front of the truck as we headed home.

Who needs a billboard or bumper stickers?

Good father-son time, fresh air, and some new fishing skills added to the repertoire. With warming temperatures and some rain in the forecast, it looks like those skills will be put on hold until next ice fishing season. Not a problem, as we accomplished our mission of getting out on the hard water. Now we’re ready for some lures to make a splash. I suspect that we still have a substantial wait, but come on, open water. Talk to you later. Troy

2022 Fishing Recap – Partners


It is always enjoyable to share the fishing hobby with others as detailed in today’s recap.

Date: March 20 (with Brent)
Location: Snakeden Hollow (5 lakes)
Time: 12:10pm-6:00pm (4.50 hours fishing from boat, the rest walking)
Weather: Sunny/breezy to windy
Air Temp: 59-71F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 11 bass (Troy – 6, Brent – 5)
Lures: Rapala Shad Rap (blue) – 5 bass, Spinnerbait (green) – 3 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (chartreuse sexy shad) – 2 bass, Chatterbait (white) with twin tail trailer (root beer pepper green) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-11 Rapala Shad Rap (Troy)
Top 5 Weight (only 4 at or > 12”): 4-5 (1-11,1-3,0-12,0-11)
Comments: Always good to get on the water with my brother. We’ve been doing this for a long time as 2022 marked thirty-five years of fishing at Snakeden Hollow together. The bass didn’t welcome us back with a flurry of activity but good to get on the board with my first bass of the year (Brent already had several from an earlier trip).


Date: April 29 (with Jayce)
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 5:45pm-8:00pm (fishing from boat)
Totals: 2 bass
Weather: Overcast/breezy, temp 64F
Lures: Whopper Plopper (I Know It) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 2-3 (Jayce)
Top 5 Weight: 3-7 (2-3,1-4)
Comments: I introduced my son, Jayce, to The Canal and while the bass were stubborn, he did get a quality fish and the Whopper Plopper found a new fan. In the interest of providing an honest fishing report, he also outfished me two bass to zero.

Date: May 14 (with Dad and Jayce)
Location: Lake Storey
Time: 5:45pm-7:30pm
Totals: many bluegill and a few golden shiners
Weather: Sunny/calm
Lures: Waxworms on a jighead hung from a slip bobber
Comments: Jayce and I joined Dad at one of his panfish spots amidst some ugly water conditions after a nasty storm the previous evening. Fortunately, panfish can usually be found even on tough days. We fooled enough to keep us interested as icing on the cake to hanging out, telling tales, talking trash, and goofing off.

Date: June 18 (with family)
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: afternoon hiking and fishing from bank
Totals: 8 bass – Carly (3), Jayce (2), Julie, Helena, Zac (1 each)
Weather: Sunny/calm
Lures: 5” Yamasenko or Bass Pro Shops Stik-O wacky rig (various colors)
Top Bass: 1-3 (Helena and Jayce) – wacky rig
Top 4 Weight: 4-4 (1-3,1-3,1-0,0-14)
Comments: A camping trip allowed for an afternoon family hike and prowl on The Canal. Success all around as everyone landed at least one bass. June, the Senko wacky rig, and a walk along The Canal are an effective combination.


Date: June 26 (with Jayce)
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 5:45pm-7:30pm (fishing from a boat)
Totals: 1 bass (Jayce – 1 bass, Dad – 0 bass)
Weather: Partly cloudy/windy
Lures: Whopper Plopper 90 (Terminator)
Top Bass: none at 12” or better
Top 5 Weight: none at 12” or better
Comments: Our second outing together on The Canal wound up with Jayce as the winner again. During our two boat trips on The Canal, he has been the only angler to land a bass. I have to wonder, is he bad luck for me, or am I good luck for him? Still haven’t taken him to my best spot yet and not sure if I want to.

Date: September 4 (with Brent)
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pits (6 lakes)
Time: 6:15am-1:30pm (5.00 hours fishing, the rest walking)
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Air Temp: 66-69F
Totals: 73 bass (Brent – 44, Troy – 29) 1 green sunfish (Brent)
Lures (Troy): 5” Senko wacky rig (natural shad) – 17 bass, Chatterbait (white) with Zako trailer (Tennessee Shad) – 8 bass, Whopper Plopper 110 (bone) – 1 bass, Rebel Pop R (rainbow) – 1 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass, Special K Spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer/pepper/green) – 1 bass
Lures (Brent): Senko wacky rig – 16 bass, Mann’s Chug n’ Spit Popper – 15 bass, Spinnerbait (white) – 13 bass
Top Bass: 3-10 Senko
Top 5 Weight: 14-5 (3-10,2-14,2-12,2-10,2-7)
Comments: The best day of the year in terms of both quantity and quality along with exceeding our pre-dawn parking lot Top 5 Weight and Top Bass predictions. On this outing, I also provided catch by catch Top 5 updates on social media and the bass sure made it look like we knew what we were doing. Such success is extra satisfying on the walk-in strip pits as you pay your dues in terms of exercise navigating the challenging terrain.


Date: September 17 (with Brent, Jayce, and John Kirkemo)
Location: The Rock, Peoria County private water
Time: 7:15am-12:15am
Totals: 70 bass, 1 crappie combined
Weather: Partly cloudy/very windy 66-72F
Water Temperature: 73-74F
Lures: Senko wacky rig (various colors) – 35 bass, Spinnerbaits (various) – 25 bass, Mann’s Popper – 5 bass, Chatterbait (white) – 3 bass, Whopper Plopper 110 (Terminator) – 2 bass
Top Bass:2-4 Brent (Spinnerbait)
Top 5 Weight: 8-2 (2-4,1-11,1-8,1-7,1-4)

The way things shake out, I spend a lot of my fishing time flying solo. Other obligations for some of my partners, distance, and not interested in getting out of bed before sunrise are a few factors that limit partnering up. So when I do get a chance to share bank or boat, it’s always fun to have some company, and another lure in the water. 2023 is off to a good start as Jayce and I just hit the hard water. Stay tuned for the first fishing report of the year and talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – November 25

I initially suspected that a November 6 trip to The Canal would be my final outing of 2022. At that point, I was satisfied with a great year on the water and had already met my November bass goal with a batch from Lake Storey on November 2. Any more catches would be icing on the cake. And with the passing of the days, I began to observe some ice on the water as well. However, a fifty-degree Black Friday afternoon found me in search of another bite. Read on to see how it all worked out.

Date: November 25
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 2:15pm-4:00pm
Totals: 1 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 51-48F
Lures: Special K Hammer Spinnerbait (white) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (watermelon seed) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-1 Spinnerbait

Winning Lure

Notes and Nonsense

More from the “Lost and Found”

Black Friday Finds – I chose solitude so as not to get in the way of the retail craziness on the day after Thanksgiving. And while others may have also used Black Friday to set up for Christmas, I spent a few minutes removing some “bargains” or “ornaments” from trees along The Canal. While this day did not produce anything too stellar, a trio of lures from the lost and found joined my 2022 collection. At some point during the 2022 wrap-up posts, those other finds will be revealed.

3:38pm weighing 1-1 (13.5″) on a spinnerbait

Ice, Ice Baby – Although the high temperature had reached the fifty-degree mark for a couple days, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of open water. Just a few day prior, I had observed a fair amount of ice on shaded stretches of local waters. As I drove to my launching point, I saw that much of my intended target area was open, thus getting to some shoreline cover would not be an issue. Without a water temperature gauge, however, I had no idea on the water temperature other than “cold.” But with the fifty-one-degree air temperature at launch, my fingers were plenty warm and figuratively crossed hoping for at least one bite.

Alternate pic and cool to fool one when there is ice in the backdrop of the photo

One Bite – A mid-afternoon departure left me with roughly a two-hour window of daylight and when fishing this late in the season, I am realistically looking for one bite. I launched at 2:15pm and it took me until 3:38pm before that one bite showed up. Bites during this time of the year are noticeably different than when the water is warm. There are typically no jarring strikes. Instead, the retrieve gets heavy, and it is time to set the hook. Weeds and a couple sticks had fooled me on earlier casts, but this time around there was a fish on the other end. I talked to the bass as I reeled it to the boat, it followed my directions to stay hooked, and I landed the bite that I was seeking. I fished for another twenty minutes without any more action and decided to call it a day at 4:00pm.


I suspect that I will call it a year after this catch. Very rarely have I landed a December bass, but The Canal does offer some potential due to proximity and open water around the series of locks on the waterway. Time will tell, but it has been a great year no matter how the remaining month pans out. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – November 6

While I achieved my goal of a 2022 November bass during a trip earlier in the week to Lake Storey, I had never fished The Canal in November. Thus, I had a new challenge in mind and the warmer than normal temperatures had me optimistic that at least one Canal bass would come through. Read on for the results.


Date: November 6
Location: Hennepin Canal (two spots)
Time: 12:00pm-2:00pm, 2:50pm-4:50pm
Totals: 10 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy to windy, 60-53F
Lures: Special K Hammer Spinnerbait (chartreuse) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (watermelon seed) – 10 bass
Top Bass: 2-8 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 9-3 (2-8,2-3,1-9,1-8,1-7)

Notes and Nonsense

Spot 1
My plan was to fish two spots and invest roughly two hours on each stretch of water. For my first stop, I decided to step away from my regular stomping grounds and hit a stretch that I had only fished once. A May 29 visit had produced a 2-8 among the four bass landed in just over an hour of casting. But what caught my eye on that outing was a solid collection of wood cover. And that is what brought me back for some November spinnerbait fishing. The return trip resulted in six bass in two hours with a Top Bass of 1-9 and a Top 5 of 6-12. Funny thing was, only one of those bass came off wood cover. Not a bad sign in showing that there is more going on in this pool than trees, brush, and laydowns. Nothing big but I was pleased with the mood of the bass and looked forward to my second stop.


Quite a few casts end like this at this time of the year on The Canal

Spot 2
Launching at 2:50pm meant that I was right on target for my intended two hour shot at a regular stretch of water (sunset at 4:49pm on the first day of turning the clocks back an hour). Seven minutes into casting, I had a solid 2-8 in the boat on my spinnerbait and my hopes were high for more quality bites. I did get one more good fish at 2-3 but my overall haul of four bass did not meet my expectations. But hey, no complaints when I’m still getting to reel in some November bass.

I don’t want to say it is over until it is over, but the chances of getting back on the water seem slim at this point. Temperatures are supposed to drop considerably this weekend into more of a normal November range. Perhaps a fluke warm-up or the early onset of Cabin Fever may get me back on The Canal but no guarantee. Whatever happens, its been quite year. And even if I am not fishing, I suspect that I can come up with something to blog about. Talk to you later. Troy

Lake Storey Report – November 2

A weather forecast of a high temperature near seventy and moderate winds sounded like a good day to chase my November bass. So good, in fact, that I took a vacation day from work to take my shot. My choice of water was Lake Storey. It has been good to me this fall and it is not often that November provides quality weather worth a late season visit. Read on to see if my decision paid off.

First “catch” of the day


Date: November 2
Site: Lake Storey – Knox County, IL
Time: 10:20am-5:20pm
Totals: 11 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy 56-68F
Water Temperature: 53-55F
Lures: Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer pepper green) – 6 bass, Special K Willow Hammer Spinnerbait (chartreuse) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer pepper green) – 3 bass, Chatterbait (white) with Zako trailer (Tennessee Shad) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 2-9 Spinnerbait
Top 4 Weight: 6-3 (2-9,1-7,1-2,1-1)

Winning lures, including another busted spinnerbait

Slow start but optimistic in this text to friend and fellow Top 5 angler, John Kirkemo

Notes and Nonsense

12:21pm – November bass mission accomplished on a spinnerbait

Goal #1 – November Bass
While it took me two hours to get my first bite and it wasn’t a real impressive specimen, the only detail that really mattered was that I had my November bass. Several of my go to spots had failed to produce but I was confident that if I kept on casting and hitting my targets, I’d get what I was after. And at 12:21pm, a stretch of riprap produced.

One That Got Away and would cost me a Top 5 on the day

Goal #2 – Top 5
After landing a November bass, the next goal was to post a Top 5 of bass at or above twelve inches. I had five short bass in the log at 1:45pm when I landed my first “keeper”, a solid 17.5” fish that weighed in at 2-9. Several minutes earlier I had lost a fish that would have qualified, and that missed fish would wind up being the fish I lacked for a Top 5. Instead, I wound up with a Top 4 weighing in at 6-3 with my last “keeper” of the day being a 1-7 landed at 5:16pm.

1:45pm – Top Bass at 2-9 (17.5″) on a spinnerbait

Record Book Roundup
My 2-9 bass on this trip set a new November Lake Storey Top Bass record narrowly beating a 2-8 from November 1, 2008. However, the Top 4 Weight of 6-3 on this outing fell short of the Top 5 Weight record of 7-13 also from November 1, 2008. Based on the brief glimpse of the “one that got away” on this outing, I would have to say that it would not have tipped the scales at the 1-11 required to establish a new Top 5 Weight for November on Lake Storey.


It’s always a treat to match wits with the wily bass that call Lake Storey home. Getting to do so this late in the year was a bonus as it marked only the second time that I have fished the lake in November. For the record, I will state that this is my final visit of 2022 to the old fishing hole. Any more bass for 2022 will be those that swim in The Canal. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – October 30

Nice weekend weather found me back on The Canal last Sunday for the first time in two weeks. Of course, fishing came only after completing a family yard work project on Saturday. Results and rambles below.

Saturday work earns a Sunday fishing trip

Date: October 30
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 12:30pm-4:00pm
Totals: 14 bass
Weather: Overcast/breezy/rain, 59-60F
Lures: Booyah Blade spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer pepper green) – 14 bass
Top Bass: 2-4 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 8-15 (2-4,2-3,1-10,1-7,1-7)

Notes and Nonsense

Wood is Good – I like to fish fast, and it doesn’t get much better than pitching a spinnerbait around wood cover. The stretch of The Canal that I fished on this outing features plenty of trees, laydowns, logs, and brush along the shorelines. These targets really shine when the vegetation dies back this time of year to allow better coverage of the cover with a spinnerbait. Short casts, some nearly flips, to the cover are the ticket with the lure worked as tight to the wood as you can, even bumping it at times. Keep firing away and hold on as sooner or later, the bites will show up.

1:39pm – Top Bass at 2-4 (17.5″) on a spinnerbait

Ones That Got Away – While I did land a pair of two-pounders, I also lost another pair. I am not sure what happened as they felt like solid hooksets, and I had them on the way to the boat. Neither jumped but simply came off while in sight just below the surface. It’s always disappointing to lose a fish but those two cost me a shot at a double-digit Top 5. I ended at 8-15, so if both were right on the money at two pounds apiece that would have produced a Top 5 Weight of 10-1. Still a good evening but I wind up with another fish story of what might have been.

3:31pm – Top Bass Runner-Up at 2-3 (18″) on a spinnerbait

Damp Finish – I did not pay attention to the forecast of rain as I was more focused on the pleasant temperature hoping it would get the bass in a biting mood. The fish cooperated but the weather took a wet turn for my last thirty-five minutes on the water. As a result, I ended up rather soaked but landed my final four bass during the showers. Brent was out on Lake Storey during the same time and wound up getting rained on while in his kayak as well.

Brent’s report from Lake Storey also featured some precipitation


A solid day even with a couple that got away. Pleasant weather beyond a shower but I could sure feel November on the way. Conditions like these bring back the feel of the old trapping days. At least this time, I only had to drag a boat about fifty feet back to the truck instead of a pack basket with over fifty pounds of fur.


And now, it’s on to the quest for a November bass. Stable weather for the next week means there is no better time than the present to take my shot. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Lake Storey Report – October 22

Time is winding down for my 2022 fishing season. Shorter daylight and busy weekends make it tough to get on the water. And when I do get a shot, it can also be tough to decide on a destination. However, by October some of the options are no longer in play with the Knox County public access strip mines locking out anglers. Therefore, my choices came down to The Canal, Little John Conservation Club, and Lake Storey. I chose the latter and here’s how it went down.


Date: October 22
Time: 9:30am-5:15pm
Totals: 13 bass
Weather: Sunny/very windy 61-79F
Water Temperature: 51-55F
Lures: War Eagle spinnerbait (white/chartreuse) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (watermelon seed) – 8 bass, Special K Willow Hammer Spinnerbait (white with copper head) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (watermelon seed) – 2 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 2 bass, Bomber Flat A Crankbait (baby bass) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-15 Red Eye Shad
Top 5 Weight: 6-13 (1-15,1-6,1-4,1-4,1-0)


Notes and Nonsense

Weird Wind – I was pleased when I saw that the prevailing wind forecast was generally south. Not only does that mean warming but it also sets up well with many of my spots getting pounded by the weather. In addition, I don’t have to fight it as much as a west wind when it is time to return to the ramp. However, the wind turned out to be a strange swirling direction that was all over the place. I wound up in few spots that were extremely windy that should not have had any wind at all judging from the observed direction of treetops or flags. At least the end of the day featured gusts from the east. Not my favorite for fish activity and made boat control tough for a stop along the dam but it did help push me back to the ramp.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery exemplified (see note below)

Shad Surge – Over the last few years, I have observed a real uptick in shad sightings at Lake Storey. Schools on the surface are common and you can occasionally see them scatter during casts and retrieves around shallow structure. On this trip, my lure collided with what I suspect were shad and I even snagged one in the back with a near facsimile, the Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad pattern). These days, shad look to be a substantial piece of the forage base along with a population of similarly designed golden shiners. Moral of the story is lures that imitate such species are certainly worth some casts.

A golden shiner from Lake Storey in May that also makes up part of the lake’s forage base

Crazy From the Heat – The summer-like weather brought out an interesting crowd. I was one of three trailered boats on the water along with close to double digit kayakers and well over a dozen bank anglers. I observed a topless paddle boarder (male) intentionally go for a waist-deep wade in the fifty-two-degree water. He hollered at his buddy, “It ain’t too bad!” Nope, as it made me breathe funny just watching and recalling how cool creek water got your attention once it reached a certain level of the anatomy. Fish stories abounded with one kayaker stating he’d landed a five-pound bass that morning. He looked adept in his skills, and I believed him. Another kayaker along the dam regaled me with tales of a seven and eight-pounder from Lake Storey over the years, and many six-pounders this year. He also had a state record bass hooked out there. He stated, “the only bass I’ve ever seen that large was in a Bass Pro Shops tank in Galveston, Texas and it weighed 16.62 pounds.” (Illinois state record sits at 13-1, a controversial catch from 1976). I mentioned that I had lost a good muskie and he then proceeded to tell of his fifty-five-inch Lake Storey muskie that he released not realizing it could be “a state record.” For reference, I believe that the largest verified muskies from Illinois waters came in at fifty-four inches. As his fish stories continued, I was smiling inside. You see, we were conversing near the water control structure. It is the deepest part of the lake, and I felt that the water wasn’t the only thing getting deep during our chat.

Snapshsot from the GoPro footage of a large muskie that wound up as “the one that got away.” Stay tuned for the rest of the story in a follow-up post.

Getting back to reality to close this post, my muskie encounter briefly referenced above will get a blog post of its own. Losing a big fish like that torments me and as a teller of fish tales, I need more time and blog space to do it justice. Besides, this ramble has gone on long enough so stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – October 16

After two weeks off from fishing due to shorter weekdays and busy weekends, I took another shot at The Canal. With exactly 500 bass in the log for the year, I would say that any catches from here on out are icing on the cake. I was hoping to hit a fall feeding frenzy on this mild (but windy) afternoon, but the bite was tough.

(Note: Also included below is a bonus Snakeden Hollow report from my brother.)

3:45pm – Top Bass at 1-14 (16″) on a spinnerbait

Date: October 16
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 1:45pm-4:45pm
Totals: 4 bass
Weather: Partly cloudy/very windy
Lures: Stanley Vibra Shaft spinnerbait (blue glimmer) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer/pepper/green) – 3 bass Booyah Blade spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (watermelon seed) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-14 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight (only 4 at 12” or better): 5-10 (1-14,1-9,1-7,0-12)

Winning lures including an old Blue Glimmer spinnerbait from the 1990s on left

Notes and Nonsense

Wind – Much of The Canal that I fish is bordered by tree lines leaving only a narrow window for the wind to be blowing right in the wrong direction. On this trip, that was the case. In fact, the wind was as tough as I have had on The Canal since a cold, windy May 1 outing. No complaints though, just an observation as most days The Canal affords an escape from the gusts that would hound me on any other waters I visit.

A missed strike resulted in the demise of this War Eagle spinnerbait

Broken Bait – I have given a few spinnerbaits a workout this year and they have been very good to me in terms of production from April to present. Along the way, the bass have destroyed two of my favorites. In both cases, the blade arm wire has snapped just above the line tie. The latest casualty came on this trip as a missed strike ruined a War Eagle brand spinnerbait. In September, a Lake Storey bass busted a favorite that an old friend and baseball teammate, Mike Karlovich, had crafted and sent my way. In the latter case, at least the bait went out on top by landing the fish that caused the damage.


Bonus Snakeden Finale Report

My brother, Brent, hit Snakeden on October 16 to get in a few more casts before the site becomes off limits to anglers. His details are below along with a couple photos.

Brent’s Snakeden Top Bass from his October 16 trip at 1-11

Roughly 3.00 hours
13 bass
Top Bass: 1-11 and 1-6
Mann’s 4- crankbait – 6 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad – 3 bass
Senko wacky rig – 3 bass
Spinnerbait – 1 bass

An odd break for Brent as a busted hook on a Senko wacky rig cost him a three-pounder

My year on the water has reached the home stretch. As I post this entry, I have a final Lake Storey trip in the books and look to have that report posted next week. Beyond that outing, I am not sure what the rest of October holds in terms of getting on the water. These shorter days really do a number when my workday ends at 5:00pm or later. I always set an annual goal to end with a November bass so time will tell how that all shakes out. Fishing or not, I’ve always got plenty of blog ideas so stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Bass Quest 500 – Part II

I launched my boat at The Canal on the morning of October 2 in search of five bass to reach five hundred for the year. After catching four in regular fashion, that final bass turned into quite a challenge. As I struggled to get that last bite, I couldn’t help but wonder how Albert Pujols or Aaron Judge felt in their recent home run milestone quests. In baseball parlance, my mindset was “stick to your swing, don’t press and it will happen.”

Eventually, it did.

My milestone turned out to be the largemouth bass equivalent of a swinging bunt but as the old baseball saying goes “it looks like a line drive in the boxscore.”

Once again, with a little lyrical accompaniment from the band Boston, here’s how it all went down.

8:09am – Bass #499, one more to go and I sure didn’t care if it was big or not

Date: October 2
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 7:10am-9:25am
Totals: 5 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy 48-60F
Lures: War Eagle spinnerbait (white/chartreuse) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (watermelon seed) – 4 bass, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (smoke shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: none at 12” or better
Top 5 Weight: none at 12” or better

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

“And there’s nothing like a party when its kicking into gear.”
(Don’t Look Back – 1978)
Arriving at The Canal shortly after sunrise, I was surprised to find a table set up with refreshments opposite my point of launch. I thought that word of my quest had spread, and the media and fans would arrive shortly to cheer me on towards my goal. That’s not how the whole setup turned out, but more on that in a bit.

Long Time
“I’ve got to keep on chasin’ that dream, though I may never find it.”
(Boston – 1976)
Five bass didn’t seem like a whole lot considering I had decent weather, quality water, and about forty years of chasing bass in my favor. I fished the length of my chosen pool and landed four of the five I needed in my first hour of fishing. At that point, I was confident that I could retrace my water on the return to the lot and get that final fish. Not so fast, as I covered the mile of water back to the launch and never had a bite. My last shot was an area with increased current around a tube which runs under a roadway. And I had about ten minutes left to fish until I had to head home and get the boys to religious education class.

9:25am – That’s a 10″ winner for Bass #500

Feelin’ Satisfied
“So come on, put your hands together, you know it’s now or never.”
(Don’t Look Back – 1978)
I hit the heavier current in search of one more bite with a couple of decisions to make. First, what lure was I going to use? That turned out to be Senko wacky rig. Secondly, was it more important to get my bass or to get my boys to church on time? Luckily, the Senko came through right away and I didn’t have to weigh the consequences related to a poor decision on question number two. While there was neither a cheering crowd nor even a triumphant fist pump, there was relief. After a picture and release of the bass, I put down my pole and rowed for the launch feeling satisfied upon reaching my goal.

I Had a Good Time
“And I, I just wanted you to know, I had a really good time.”
(Corporate America – 2002)


Throughout my morning I had seen an increased number of walkers and runners along the towpath that parallels the length of The Canal. I suspected that the crowd was part of an event called the “The Hennepin Hundred,” a hundred-mile ultramarathon. And yes, the refreshment table was for their benefit and not related to my quest after all. As I loaded my boat, a vehicle pulled up with a couple of guys who looked like runners. I said, “Hello” and inquired about the race. One individual confirmed that it was indeed The Hennepin Hundred with the finish line located several miles to the west. He also noted that he was from Michigan, had finished his hundred miles earlier that morning and was now ready to cheer on fellow participants. I congratulated him and marveled at his achievement, electing to keep my fish story to myself. It just kind of paled in comparison.

I am still looking for Bass #501 and beyond as I have yet to get back on the water. Time will tell where the final tally for 2022 ends. Talk to you later. Troy