Category: Flashbacks

Friday Flashback Finale


A couple Fridays ago, I wrapped up the five-year project known as “Friday Flashback”. I wanted to post some final thoughts, but it is tough to briefly recap a series that covered just over two hundred posts. That’s a lot of “fish stories” and more.

Since these tales have already been told, I’ll stick to some short stats and a couple videos. The clips in today’s wrap-up cover “Friday Flashback” posts from March 18, 2018, through November 25, 2022. Each weekly post in the project looked back 5, 10, 15, 20…even 45 years for a tale from that week. The span of memories would cover adventures dating from March 28, 1976, through December 2, 2017.

The video clips feature over twenty fishing partners, thirty fishing holes, some classic lures, many species (fins, fur and feathers), several outdoor pursuits, a few celebrities and more. All were part of the “Friday Flashback” series over the last five years.


Every one of the pics you just watched was part of a story on the “Friday Flashback” along with hundreds more photos. With only a glance, I could once again tell you the tale that goes along with every shot. And those tales would certainly lead to more tales and on and on. For me, that is the essence of my blog as life is all about stories.

While the “Friday Flashback” series may have run its course, there’s plenty more tales to tell and memories to make. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – December 2, 2017

It is a rare occasion that I can get on the water and land a bass in December. In fact, my log entries total five bass caught during the final month of the year. Today’s flashback takes a look at the last one I fooled.

Date: December 2, 2017
Locations: Knox County, IL Strip Mines (3 lakes)
Time: 9:55am-2:15pm
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Air Temp: 44-59F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 1 bass
Lures: Rapala Shad Rap SR07 (blue)
Weight: 2-4

Excerpts from the original blog post December 3, 2017

Winning Lure – I had a total of three bites, and all were on the Rapala Shad Rap. One came before my catch, and another came after but both of those managed to get loose shortly after the hookset. It never ceases to amaze how a bass can elude those treble hooks, but it happens. What was also fun about the Shad Rap coming through is the fact this particular lure is well over 20 years old as evidenced by the stouter, replacement treble hooks that I used to put on many of my crankbaits back in the day.

GoPro – I got this catch on video like several others this year and have included the footage below. I’m not quite sure what lies in store for my clips but have contemplated working them into some future blog and Facebook postings. Whatever the case, it has been a fun addition to the fishing experience that I hope to expand upon for 2018.


Link below to the entire original blog post

And just like that, the Friday Flashback posts have reached the end. Well, almost. One more post to go as I try to put a wrap on this project that dates back over five years. Stay tuned for a final collection of stats, pics, and video. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – November 20, 2002

Like last week, today’s Friday Flashback features a late season catch from Enstrom’s Pond. For some reason that I can’t recall, no photo exists of this fish. Does that mean it didn’t happen? Why, of course not, as I have a log entry to vouch for the catch. Just like the nearly two thousand other bass prior to the catch and over five thousand more since November 20, 2002. I also have an original fishing report from December 12, 2002, with a portion included below.

“Unseasonably warm temperatures found me at Emstrom’s Pond on 11/20 trying to fool a few more bass before the weather takes a turn for the worse. One cast was all it took, and it turns out I may as well have stopped after that cast. A Mann’s 1- crankbait (crystal grey ghost) produced a nice 2-7 bass on my first cast just past 2:00 in the afternoon. I fished until around 3:15pm and never had another bite. A jig and pig (black and blue) with a #11 pork frog (blue), a spinnerbait (blue glimmer), and a Smithwick Suspending Rogue jerkbait (silver/blue back) all failed to fool any fish. Air temp was 56 F and water temp was 41 F.”

In lieu of the fish photo, we’ll look at a few other details that come to mind when reminiscing about the catch.

Classic crankbait, the Mann’s Baby 1- (grey ghost)

The bass tipped the scales at 2-7 and was caught on a Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait (crystal grey ghost). A Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait is still a valuable tool in my arsenal twenty years later, having landed a trio of two-pounders on an April visit to the Hennepin Canal this spring. But the Crystal Grey Ghost pattern was a unique bait. Brent and I got the word on the lure several years prior when the guy at the tackle trailer on Tazewell County’s Spring Lake regaled us with tales of its prowess one afternoon. I’ll save the whole tale for another time, but essentially, he told us that he and his son bought every one in the area to keep them away from other anglers as the lures were lethal. Perhaps we missed out on the 1- heyday as it is productive in certain situations but never a “bass were just jumping into the boat” bait.

An old school tacklebox tool used to gauge water temps for me once upon a time

The odd thing about this catch on the Mann’s Baby 1- was the fact that it landed a bass in forty-one-degree water. Normally it is a warm water lure, and I really don’t know what made me tie one on near the end of November. Possibly the warning trend noted in that old fishing report with the air temperature recorded at a pleasant fifty-six degrees.

As the late country crooner, Vern Gosdin sang, “That just about does it, don’t it.” One more Friday Flashback post and an overall wrap-up of this five-year project to go. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – November 9, 2002

Many Friday Flashback posts have referenced Emstrom’s Pond. And rightfully so as it was quite a fishing hole. Lots of stories and lots of quality bass. Perhaps someday I’ll comb the logs and memories for a series of blog posts on the old pond. But for today, we’ll start with the regular “X Years Ago This Week”, expand a bit to look at a Top 5 list from 2002 and close with an overall look at Emstrom’s dominance in 2002.

November 9, 2002 at 2:12pm weighing 4-15 (21.5″) on a jig and pig

Per the original fishing report from November 9, 2002:

I had a couple hours to spare while Julie did a stamp workshop today, so I hit Emstrom’s Pond looking for that one bite. I got it about twenty minutes after arriving at the pond. This sounds like a broken record, but the bass was caught on a 1/4-ounce jig (black/blue) with a #11 pork frog (black) while fishing The Beaver Lodge. The bass weighed 4-15 and set a new record for the month of November. The previous record was a 4-8 caught by Brent on 11/3/01 also at Emstrom’s Pond on a Guido Bug (black/blue). I caught one other bass (1-9) on a Mann’s Baby 1- (crystal grey ghost) and had no other bites.

Top 10 Bass of 2002

That bass would end up as my third largest bass of 2002. This catch was many years before I kicked off the Top 5 project which launched in 2014. However, I still have all the data from 2002 so why not look at the year’s Top 5, which totaled an impressive 24-6. Not bad considering that they were all caught from one modest sized farm pond.

5-15 Emstrom’s Pond
5-4 Emstrom’s Pond
4-15 Emstrom’s Pond
4-4 Emstrom’s Pond
4-0 Emstrom’s Pond

Top 20 Bass of 2002

Beyond those Top 5 bass of 2022, nineteen of the Top 20 Bass of 2002 came from Emstrom’s with the lone exception being a 2-8 from Lake Bracken. Quite a fishing hole and it will make one final appearance before the Friday Flashback series reaches its conclusion in a few weeks. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – November 4, 2017

Five years ago today found me at Little John Conservation Club in search of my November bass. From 2013 through 2021, Little John was my destination of choice when chasing that final bite (the lone exception was 2019 when I found my last bass in Wichita, Kansas on a work trip). On this date, the old lakes came through as detailed in the stats below.

Date: November 4, 2017
Locations: Little John Conservation Club (2 lakes)
Time: 2:40pm-5:55pm
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Air Temp: 48-51F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 3 bass
Lures: 1/4 oz. Rattling Jig (black/blue) with #11 pork frog (black) – 1 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass, Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-12 KVD 2.5 crankbait
Weight (2 bass at 12” or >): 2-10 (1-12,0-14)

The three bass from this outing extended my best ever season total to 415 bass. This total included 136 bass from lakes at Little John. My 2017 total would stand as the record until this year where I currently sit at 542 bass. Strange thing is, not a single of the 2022 bass have come from Little John for only the second time nearly thirty-five years. Between fuel costs and finding a lot of bites on The Hennepin Canal, Little John lost out as I spent more time closer to home.

Like this trip, I am hoping that my 2022 November bass from earlier this week (blog post to come) will not be my last catches of the year. Depending on the weather and weekends, I am hoping to push my luck on The Hennepin Canal, a newfound bass fishing resource. Closer to home means less time driving and more time casting when comparing a two-hour round trip to roughly thirty minutes. And when the days get shorter and colder, that extra window of time is very valuable.

The trio of November bass above would not be the final fish of 2017. Stay tuned for that tale and a couple more in the final three Friday Flashbacks of the series. But up next is the report on this year’s November bass from Lake Storey. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – October 28, 2002

I first caught the bass fishing bug when I was a teenager in the early eighties. From then until about the mid-nineties, I typically put away the fishing gear sometime in September. Looking back, that was a mistake, but it was a different time with different distractions. Today’s flashback provides proof that good bites are out there if you keep on casting.

Excerpts from original October 29, 2002 post

I decided to hit Emstrom’s Pond today (10/28) despite less than favorable conditions. A string of chilly weather and winds from the north and east typically provide for a tough bite. I prepped myself by thinking that anyone can catch fish under good conditions and today would be a challenge. I chose Emstrom’s for its proximity (it takes longer to load my gear than it does to drive to the pond) and its history. The plan was to fish for an hour or so and I was basically looking for one bite. That may be the only chance you get on a day like this, and you just hope your reflexes are sharp.

The cold front/late fall pattern at Emstrom’s is pretty simple. Row directly to The Beaver Lodge, anchor deep and toss a 1/4 oz jig (black/blue) with a #11 pork frog (blue, black, or purple). If this fails to produce, either move in closer or fish some weed edges before returning for a closer shot. I arrived around 1:50 pm, rowed to The Beaver Lodge, anchored, and cast my jig with a black pork frog. A telltale jump in my line before the lure hit bottom meant something below was hungry. I set the hook twice for good measure and the fight was on. A flash of white let me know it was a good fish and I shortly had a 3-5 bass in the boat. It was 1:58 pm. He was hooked solidly in the roof of the mouth with the entire bait inside of his mouth. Following a couple pictures, he was released to be caught again. We often joke about catching a fish on your first cast and view it as a bad omen. I’m not sure if the statistics would provide any proof, but it seems like we have a slow day after catching one on the first cast. In fact, I laughed after catching this fish, wondering if I should just pull up the anchor and head for home.

1:58pm – Top Bass Runner-up at 3-5 (18.5″) on a jig

I elected to stick around. I retied my jig since the bass had inhaled the lure and potentially caused abrasions with its teeth during the fight. Another twenty minutes produced no other bass although I set the hooks on a couple casts when things on the other end just felt weird. Remember, “When in doubt, set the hook.” The wind had switched directions a bit, so I decided to row to the dam and cast the weedline as I drifted back towards The Beaver Lodge. My weapon of choice was a 3/8 oz Stanley Vibra Shaft Glitter Series spinnerbait (blue glimmer) with a twin tail trailer (white), one of my favorites. Several casts produced nothing but a handful of weeds. Then I noticed fish working the surface and figured they were probably crappies. The last time out at Emstrom’s (10/21), I caught a nice crappie on a Mepp’s #5 (Rainbow trout/white), so I decided to try it.

A couple cranks into my first cast with the Mepp’s and I had a hit. I set the hook and initially felt only slight resistance. I quickly reeled as the fish swam at the boat until it turned broadside, giving me a good look at a large bass. I kept my rod tip high as the bass tried to bury itself in the remaining weeds. I had lost a fish earlier this year when it pulled the same stunt, and I was determined to outsmart this one. I was sitting in only about three feet of water, and I wanted to keep the fish near the surface. The fish earlier in the year had hit bottom and gained the necessary slack to get away. I knew better this time, kept the bass from diving and was able to land it successfully.

2:37pm – Top Bass at 4-4 (21″) on a Mepps spinner

The fish had a large head and mouth leading me to believe it was undernourished or ill, and probably would have been heavier if healthy. Regardless of its condition, it measured 21″ in length and weighed in at 4-4. I snapped a pair of photos and released the fish. I later realized that my camera had switched from auto to spot focus (probably when kicked around the boat fighting one of these fish), so I’m interested to see how the pictures turn out. They could also be interesting considering the bass was defecating all over me as I took the pictures. Can’t say that I’ve ever dealt with this before, but it probably lost a couple of ounces (fortunately it was weighed before pictures). I had quite a mess all over my rain pants and sweatshirt. For those who care, it resembled bird droppings and had a smell like the nasty black mud you find on the bottom of lakes and ponds. I worked the rest of the weedline and tried The Beaver Lodge a second time without getting any bites. A last effort was made along a deep weedline near the dam. I had one bite on the jig, but it got off shortly after the hookset.

Original log entry from October 28, 2002

A productive day during less-than-ideal conditions. Fortunately, I had a couple free hours while Julie was doing some things for work, and I had most of my errands done. Might as well go fishing. Then again, it’s 46 degrees, overcast and windy. Maybe I’ll watch the news, explore the internet, work on outdoor articles, or do something around the house. No, I can do that stuff when it’s 20 degrees and windy. After all, I’ve got gloves to warm my hands when needed, a thermal and a sweatshirt, insulated boots, and a rain suit to handle the wind. I’m glad I went.

There you go. Don’t put those poles away quite yet. Time will tell if I am able to follow my own advice, but I always have my sights on a November bass before I call it a year. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – October 22, 2012

With only a half dozen more Friday Flashback’s to go before the series concludes, its time for one more revisit of Emiquon.

Excerpts below from the original blog post on Heartland Outdoors.

Date: October 22, 2012
Location: The Emiquon Preserve
Time: 11:15am-4:00pm
Totals: 35 bass
Weather: Overcast to partly cloudy/windy
Lures: Booyah Counterstrike spinnerbait (snow white) – 15 bass, Booyah Counterstrike spinnerbait (silver scale white) – 14 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 5 bass, Bass Pro Shops River Bug (green pumpkin) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-11 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 13-0 (2-11,2-10,2-10,2-9,2-8)

1:52pm – Top Bass of the day at 2-11 (16.5″)

Notes and Nonsense

Flipping The Switch – I spent my first fifty-one minutes without a bass and never even had a bite on about half a dozen formerly productive spots. I was searching fast as I normally do with a rotating combination of a spinnerbait, crankbait and lipless crank depending on how deep, weedy, or woody my targets were. My plan was to get bit, drop anchor and sit on them when I found a bite. I’d resigned myself to the fact that it would be power over finesse as the wind just wasn’t conducive to wacky rigging or crawling creature baits. Things worked out in standard Emiquon fashion as once she turned on it went from the Dead Sea to bass waiting in line for their spot in the logbook.

Busted Booyahs

Tough Bass – The bulk of the strikes were not jarring, just heavy with several follows and misses as if the bass were chasing down the lures as opposed to nailing them as they passed by an ambush point (it took three strikes on one entertaining retrieve before the fish got it right at boatside). However, once hooked, the bass put on a good show and fooled me into thinking that I had something larger than the standard issue thirteen-to-seventeen-inch fish. A strong hookset on a creature bait completely fried one of my older reels and I had a couple Booyah spinnerbaits bite the dust as pictured above. The bottom bait in the photo came back missing the willow leaf blade after a strike while the hit and hookset on the other bait resulted in reeling in only a portion of the wire arm. Weird stuff, as I’ve really been pleased with the Booyah baits as they have handled a couple nice muskies this year along with numerous feisty bass. Such is the always interesting (and in this case expensive) world of Emiquon.


Wind Shortened – With the seventy-five–minute drive and the potential for being my final trip of the year, I’d planned to fish until closing time (sunset was 6:09pm). However, by about 3:45pm the wind had picked up more than the ten-to-twelve mph predicted promising for a long, rough ride back to the truck, so I called it quits. It took about twenty-five minutes into the teeth of the wind with a row/troll combo as I had to stay shallow to avoid the choppier water that gives the johnboat all it can take. Emiquon is interesting in that respect as well because you can’t just go cross country to reach the ramp due to expanses of very shallow or weed choked water, even more so this year with a lower-than-normal pool. At any rate, it was the right decision to pass up a few more bites in the interest of safety. Besides, the lake had treated me well after I paid my dues finding productive spots.

Spotted this sign on the ride home and just had to preserve with a photo

I will admit that Emiquon can make me greedy but thirty-five bass in just under five hours is really a winner for me every time. No true “lunkers” to brag about but some darn good fish in terms of both quality and quantity when compared to other places I could have spent my day.

And so it went on that one-of-a-kind fishing hole. In looking over the entries from this trip in my database, I still marvel at the fact that ninety-seven percent of my catches were twelve inches or better (thirty-four of thirty-five bass). Folks, that isn’t normal. And neither was Emiquon, once upon a time. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – October 22, 2002


Twenty years ago, I still had a membership at Lake Bracken, located just south of Galesburg, Illinois. Today’s flashback looks at how Brent and I did on a chilly midday outing on the seventh and final visit to Bracken in 2002.

Date: October 22, 2002
Location: Lake Bracken
Time: 11:05am-2:50pm
Weather: Overcast to sunny/breezy, 45F
Totals: 16 bass (Troy – 9, Brent – 7)
Lures: 3/8 oz Stanley Vibra Shaft (blue glimmer) with twin tail trailer (white) – 9 bass, Mann’s 4- crankbait (red shiner) – 7 bass
Top Bass: 2-8 Spinnerbait (Troy)
Top 5 Weight (only 3 at 12” or better): 4-6 (2-8,1-0,0-14)

Excerpt of original post from October 23, 2002

On October 22, Brent and I decided to give Lake Bracken a try for some bass fishing. We considered muskie fishing at Lake Storey as another option, but we also figured it would be a good time to get the two-man bass boat from the dock at Lake Bracken. The plan was to tie the two-man boat to the back of Dad’s bass boat, pull it to the ramp, load it in my truck and haul it home. This approach is much more favorable than the alternative of carrying the boat up the hill behind the house. If you’ve seen the hill, you’d understand. All went well and the boat is in the garage.

Still have these winning lures in my tackle twenty years later (Mann’s 4- crankbait and Blue Glimmer spinnerbait)

As far as the fishing trip, the temperature barely bested forty, but we decided to head out anyway. We fished from around 11:00 am until nearly 3:00 pm and caught sixteen bass. All my fish were caught on my favorite spinnerbait, a Stanley 3/8 oz Vibra Shaft (blue glimmer) with a twin tail trailer (white). Brent caught all his fish on a Mann’s 4- crankbait (red shiner). While the south side of the lake was most productive, it was also in the shade. With temperatures in the mid-40s and a brisk north to northeast wind, conditions weren’t the best for the fishermen. But once again, it’s all about the fish.

Top Bass at 2-8 on a spinnerbait

The bass were more cooperative than we anticipated. I attributed the decent bite to the fact that the lake is in the process of a drawdown, lowering the water level and drawing the forage out of many places to hide. Best spots to hit were any wood that was still in the water as well as riprap (chunky rock) banks. Big bass of the day was my 2-8. This fish had a fish tail sticking out of its throat and a fat belly but was still eager to try and eat my spinnerbait. Another highlight was what could be called a “textbook bass.” I cast my spinnerbait beyond a pair of logs that formed an “X” just below the surface. I reeled the bait up to and over the logs before letting it flutter down just as it passed the structure. Upon the fall, I was rewarded with a nice 0-14 bass. Just like they show on TV and print in the magazines, bass fishing made easy.

A final highlight was getting a good look at a Pileated Woodpecker as it flew overhead. This species is typically rather secretive but is very easy to identify if you’ve ever seen the more common red-headed woodpecker or watched a “Woody the Woodpecker” cartoon. These guys are big, make a heck of a racket pecking or calling and fly with the typical up-and-down flight of their smaller cousins.

A productive day, considering we spent most of it freezing our (insert whatever parts of the human anatomy you deem appropriate) off.

Fun to reminisce about an old fishing hole. Looking at the location names in the log entry also bring back memories and twenty years later I could take you right back to where I caught each of the bass. In addition, it is cool to see that this trip took place in the heyday of a spinnerbait that I simply refer to as “The Blue Glimmer.” All these years later it still works as I landed a bass at The Rock on the lure last month.

Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – October 8, 2017

As public fishing access for 2022 nears an end at Snakeden Hollow, let’s take a look back at my finale from five years ago this week.

Excerpts from original post on October 11, 2017

Date: October 8, 2017
Locations: Snakeden Hollow
Time: 7:35am-9:35am
Weather: Sunny/calm
Air Temp: 50-62F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 11 bass
Lures: Swim Jig with hammertail trailer – 4 bass, Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait (rainbow) – 3 bass, Stanley Vibra Shaft spinnerbait (blue glimmer) – 1 bass, Chatterbait (bluegill) with Zako trailer (smoke) – 1 bass, Rapala Shadow Rap (blue back herring) – 1 bass, Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (natural pumpkinseed) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-2 Blue Glimmer spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 8-2 (2-2,1-12,1-9,1-7,1-4)

7:51am – Top Bass at 2-2 (16″) on the old Blue Glimmer spinnerbait

Notes & Nonsense

Good Start – It took only four minutes to get on the board with a 1-7 which was followed up twelve minutes later with a solid 2-2. An encouraging start on a lake that had produced three keepers including a 3-8 a month earlier in only 30 minutes of casting. My aim was to invest a little more time and have a closer look so it was cool that my first two bass were quality and the second was bigger than the first. I was hoping that sort of trend would continue but it did not pan out in terms of size although eleven bass in two hours was a darn good success rate.

The arsenal selected to fool some October strip mine bass

Smorgasbord – It was really a strange day as I could never truly get anything going in terms of getting a lure or two dialed in as my eleven bass came on six different lures. In fact, my first four bass all came on different baits over the course of 45 minutes on the water. The first on a chatterbait, then nothing further. Switched up to the Blue Glimmer and hooked up right away, then nothing. Same scenario with a KVD Rattling Squarebill followed by a Shadow Rap and then another lull. I then found three on the 1- and was about to relocate when I happened upon a swim jig bite for four more before the lake shut down altogether. The variety was fun but also a little frustrating as I just couldn’t find a consistent and lasting winner.

Swim Jig bass, a new trick in my tacklebag

Lure Highs and Lows – I would say that the highpoint of my outing was fooling several on the swim jig. This neglected lure was on the list to throw in 2017 but I had never gotten around to it and tied it on as a whim to simply try and fool at least one. Wound up with four in about twenty minutes including one of my Top 5. The lowlight would be busting off the top blade on the recently resurrected Blue Glimmer spinnerbait while reeling in a bass. Crazy, as I had just posted a bit about the return of this bait, opening it from a package I’d had sitting around for better than fifteen years. I’d never busted a blade off in all the years I fished these things but here in 2017, after less than a dozen catches, it was broken.


I ended that original 2017 post stating “So, it’s getting to be that time when thoughts of the ‘last bass’ begin to enter my mind.”

And here we are again. My annual goal is a first bass in March and a final bass in November. The first of those bookend bass kicked of 2022 on March 20 and November is less than four weeks away. I am not sure what lies in store for the remainder of this month but as always, I’ll keep you posted. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – September 30, 2007

I’ve long enjoyed fishing the Lake Storey fall drawdown and today’s flashback details my best day of bass fishing on that old fishing hole. The trip featured a trio of my personal records for a Lake Storey outing. I landed the most bass I’ve caught on a Lake Storey outing, the heaviest Top 5 weight I have ever posted on the lake and a new family Top Bass. In addition, I landed three walleye and a small muskie.

9:16am – Top Bass runner-up on the day at 3-11

Date: September 30, 2007
Tie: 6:30am-3:30pm
Weather: Sunny/windy to very windy, 60-80F
Totals: 27 bass, 3 walleye, 1 muskie
Lures: Bomber Flat A crankbait (baby bass) – 19 bass, Zoom Baby Brush Hog – 7 bass, Rapala Rattlin’ Rap – 1 bass
Top Bass: 4-8 Baby Brush Hog
Top 5 Weight: 14-5 (4-8,3-11,2-7,2-1,1-10)

Chilly Willy Fishing – Years ago at Lake Bracken, we came up with a technique that we labeled “Chilly Willy Fishing.” Basically, we used to just goof around with a simple straight vertical presentation where you drop your line directly into the water next to the edge of the boat, dock, retaining wall, etc. It seems that at some point we’d observed the cartoon penguin utilize this approach to harvest his dinner in one of the old episodes. Anyway, a few days prior to my trip, I watched Dad drop a Baby Brush Hog next to a stump in this fashion as I worked to reposition the boat. He promptly hoisted a 1-8 on board and we had good laugh recalling this nostalgic presentation. It was amazing how the fish remained tight on the piece of structure despite being directly beneath the boat in less than four feet of water. However, upon seeing several large clouds of baitfish in the area, it was obvious that the bass had a prime piece of real estate.

7:48am – quality catch at 2-7 to start the Top 5 for the day

Chilly Willy Point – On my return trip, the spot that we call “Chilly Willy Point” had the added attraction of being pounded by high winds from the south. I spent just over a half hour fishing the area and caught four bass weighing a total of 10-8 on my Baby Brush Hog. Individual weights, in order of catch, were 1-5, 3-11, 4-8 and 1-0. After hauling in the 4-8 back-to-back with a 3-11, I had to laugh aloud at my good fortune. In fact, the bulk of my half hour on the spot was spent weighing, photographing, and recording bass and then having to reposition the boat for another try. I had never gotten around to giving the spot a good name over the years, but it will forever be known as Chilly Willy Point.

September 25, 2007 – bonus shot of Dad from a few days prior with a couple from our 11-5 Top 5 haul at Lake Storey

Chilly Willy Stump – If you know where to look, there is a stump on Chilly Willy Point, and it was home to the batch of bass detailed above. The stump is hollow on top, and Dad once caught a bass by pitching his creature bait into the opening. A classic fish story and further reason to pay homage to Chilly Willy the penguin with the name.

9:26am – Top Bass at 4-8 somehow landed by this goofy looking angler

Top Bass – The 4-8 established a new family Lake Storey record topping Brent’s 4-7 from October 23, 1998. However, Brent would take the record back on October 19, 2018, with a 4-11 that still stands as our lake record.

My original blog entry noted that “My 27 bass on 9/30 pushed me past my goal of 200 as the 2007 total currently stands at 210.” Well, this year, I have already established a new yearly record for total bass. More on that in a future article as I am aiming for a milestone on my next outing. Talk to you later. Troy