Category: Stats

Prowl the Canal – May Stats

After a tough start to 2023 on The Canal in March and April, things took a turn for the better in May. Overall, I managed to hit the water for six outings covering eight different pools. Five of the pools represented new water as I tried to do some exploring in hopes of establishing Top 5 weights for these spots. Some worked out, others fell short, so I suppose that means a return trip to complete some unfinished business. Those will be tales for another day. For today, here’s the monthly look at the totals from prowling The Canal in May.

May Breakdown
May 2023 Totals: 41 bass in 19.75 hours (2.08 bass/hour)
May 2022 Totals: 57 bass in 19.50 hours (2.92 bass/hour)

May 2023 Top Bass: 3-2 May 25 Buzzbait
May 2022 Top Bass: 2-12 May 27 Spinnerbait

2023 Best May Top 5 Day: 10-4 (3-2,2-6,1-10,1-10,1-8) – May 25
2022 Best May Top 5 Day: 9-9 (2-12,2-7,1-10,1-7,1-5) – May 27

2023 May Top 5: 12-6 (3-2,2-8,2-7,2-6,1-15)
2022 May Top 5: 12-9 (2-12,2-11,2-8,2-7,2-3)

2023 May Lure Breakdown
Buzzbaits – 12 bass
Spinnerbaits – 12 bass
Propbaits – 9 bass
Plastic Worms – 8 bass

Top 5 All-Time May Bass Weight: 13-9 (3-2,2-12,2-11,2-8,2-8)

2023 Overall Canal Stats
52 bass in 35.50 hours (1.46 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 3-2 Buzzbait – May 25
Best Top 5 Day: 10-4 (3-2,2-6,1-10,1-10,1-8) – May 25

Yearly Top 5 Totals
2023 Top 5 Canal Weight: 13-5 (3-2,2-14,2-8,2-7,2-6)
2022 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15)
2021 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-6 (3-6,3-4,3-1,2-14,2-13)

And with that I close the books for another month on The Canal. A pair of June bass are already in the log with a couple upcoming outings in my sights to see about finding some more. Stay tuned for those reports and drop in tomorrow for another Top 5 Update. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – April Stats

2023 Top Canal Bass at 2-14 from April 26 on a spinnerbait

After landing over three hundred and fifty bass on The Canal last year, I was fired up to see open water in January this year. I figured that I would get a much earlier and better start than 2022 when I didn’t land my first Canal bass until April 15. Well, I haven’t been as successful as I hoped. Read on for the first of the monthly wrap-ups. This one covers February through April but my two outings in February were shutouts and I only landed one bass in three March trips (1-0 on March 5).

Top Canal lure of 2023

April Totals Breakdown
2023 April Totals: 11 bass in 15.75 hours (0.70 bass/hour)
2022 April Totals: 29 bass in 9.50 hours (3.05 bass/hour)

2023 Top March Bass: 1-0 March 5 Lipless crankbait
2022 No March bass

2023 April Top Bass: 2-14 April 26 Spinnerbait
2022 April Top Bass: 3-5 April 23 Spinnerbait

2023 April Top 5: 7-2 (2-14,1-3,1-1,1-0,1-0)
2022 April Top 5: 13-12 (3-5,3-2,2-12,2-5,2-4)

2023 Best April Top 5 Day: 5-2 (1-3,1-1,1-0,1-0,0-14) – April 29
2022 Best April Top 5 Day: 10-8 (3-5,3-2,1-9,1-6,1-2) – April 23

All-time April Top 5 Weight
14-6 (3-5,3-2-2-14,2-12,2-5) culls a 2-4

Worth a try but not sure it will meet the goal


Water – Each of the stretches that I have fished early in the year have had lower than normal water levels. Some pre-season hiking provided information that at least one of the pools had been intentionally lowered to combat excessive aquatic vegetation. I am not an aquatic biologist (although I do have a biology degree) but I am not optimistic that the approach will have much of an effect. A couple stretches are already ugly by this time of the year such that a drop, dredge and do-over may be the only solution. I do hope for the best and will keep an eye out to see how things progress.

Weeds – As far as the state of aquatic vegetation in my early start to the year, it was pleasant to see open water from “shore to shore.” However, the bright green slime that I call “snot grass” was still around waiting to foul retrieves. As noted above, however, one of my stretches was so low that I did not bother to take advantage of the early start. Instead, I opted for stretches that had more water around shoreline wood cover. In the end, it didn’t matter as I could only find one bite in March. Now as the weeds begin to reclaim The Canal, it is simply time to adjust my approach accordingly. Weeds and slime are just a fact of life when fishing many of my spots on The Canal.

A Canal prowl update often includes items from the “Lost and Found”

All-Time Canal Stats (June 21, 2021, to present)
431 bass in 168.75 hours (2.55 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 3-6 on 7/21/21 Senko wacky rig
Best Top 5 Day: 11-3 (2-15,2-10,2-3,2-1,1-6) 6/24/22
Top 5 All-Time: 16-8 (3-6,3-5,3-5,3-4,3-4)

Yearly Top 5 Weights
2023 Top 5 Canal Weight: 7-2 (2-14,1-3,1-1,1-0,1-0)
2022 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15)
2021 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-6 (3-6,3-4,3-1,2-14,2-13)

As far as the 2023 Top 5 Weight, the Vegas over-under was set at 12-8.5 as I noted in the video clip below back in February when the odds were released. I am certainly struggling to begin the year, so perhaps the Vegas oddsmakers were onto something.


But I’m not buying that I’m on the downswing yet so I bet the over although I doubt that I will spend as much time on The Canal as last year. My prediction is 14-4 and looking on the bright side, I’m already halfway there with plenty of year to go. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Top Bass #1000

Congratulations to our Top 5 leader, Jim Junk, as he was the fortunate angler to reel in Bass #1000 all-time for the Top 5 project. And it was quite a fish as noted by the pic and details below.

Weight: 4-12
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: April 9
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait
Angler Comments: Wish I had a great story for #1,000 but it was really a typical, or above average, early spring day at Banner. Fast moving baits over emerging weeds. Ended up with a few that day, but glad the biggest one made #1,000!

It’s fitting that Jim wound up with the milestone bass as he has been the most prolific contributor over the years. Jim took part in the initial Top 5 back in 2014 and has submitted fish every year except for 2017. In that span he has racked up a whopping 215 bass added to our database and is our two-time defending champion.

This whole thing started back in March of 2014 while I was blogging for the Heartland Outdoors website. I invited readers of my “Meandering” column to share their catches in the format that remains to this day. I left Heartland Outdoors to start my own website in 2017 and the Top 5 project has continued to this day unlike that old website.

The concept was inspired by a fellow angler that I met through my blogging, corresponded with for a few years, and shared a boat with a couple times. I’d long kept stats and even tracked my best bass of each year but never thought of tracking the Top 5 from year to year. Thanks, Terry, for the inspiration.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a trivia (and baseball) guy. So, how about a tangent for another milestone that occurred forty-eight years ago today.

Do you know which of these players scored run #1,000,000 in baseball history? (Note: my card collection lacks a 1975 Topps Bob Watson so I picked my favorite poses of both players instead, Concepcion – 1974 Topps with Wrigley Field backdrop, Watson – 1977 Topps)

As we headed towards Bass #1000, I couldn’t help but think of the 1975 Major League Baseball quest to see what player would score MLB run number one million. I won’t fill up space here with the tale, but it is a cool event from the days before the internet provided instant feedback on game status. However, I will leave you with a few details and a link. Run number one million came down to a footrace between the two players above as they simultaneously headed for home in separate cities. And it occurred on May 4, 1975, hence my decision to reveal our Top 5 milestone on May 4, forty-eight years later. Check out the link below to see which of these two guys crossed the plate first.

MLB Run #1,000,000

And speaking of trivia, here is the answer to who submitted Bass #1 for the Top 5.

From the original March 24, 2014 Top 5 Update
Weight: 4-3
Angler: Bruce Zilkowski
Date: 2/19
Location: Newton Lake
Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad)
Structure: Shallow point
Angler Comments: “First thing in the morning we pulled up on a shallow underwater point that extended out from the shoreline. I think it was less than 5 casts before it hooked up.”

It’s been a fun ten-year ride for the Top 5 and the hits keep coming. As I typed this post up, I received a text and pic of the new 2023 Top 5 Top Bass. But you’ll have to wait until the Monday update for that to be revealed. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Behind schedule on my monthly Top 5 Stat Updates as I failed to post any of the numbers for February or March. So here we go to catch up on the data for the forty-one bass submitted through April.

2023 Totals
January = no submissions
February = 2 bass
March = 7 bass
April = 32 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = 6-10 (3-9,3-1)
March = 19-8 (5-1,4-5,4-4,3-5,2-9)
April = 24-0 (5-5,5-3,4-12,4-8,4-4)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 6 bass
Bank = 35 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 12-3 (2-14,2-13,2-4,2-3,2-1)
Bank = 24-13 (5-5,5-3,5-1,4-12,4-8)

Public vs. Private
Public = 41 bass
Private = 0 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 24-13 (5-5,5-3,5-1,4-12,4-8)
Private = no submissions

The Baits
Lipless Crankbait = 22 bass (Top Bass 5-1 Jim Junk)
Chatterbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-5 Jim Junk)
Grub = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Troy Jackson)
Jerkbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-13 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-14 Troy Jackson)
Jig = 1 bass (Top Bass 2-13 Brent Jackson)
Plastic Worm = 1 bass (Top Bass 2-4 Brent Jackson)
Swimbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 2-0 Jim Junk)

Monthly Top Bass
No submissions
3-9 Jim Junk
5-1 Jim Junk
5-5 Jim Junk

2023 Top 10 Bass
5-5 Jim Junk 4/23
5-3 Troy Jackson 4/7
5-1 Jim Junk 3/5
4-12 Jim Junk 4/9
4-8 Jim Junk 4/1
4-5 Jim Junk 3/11
4-4 Jim Junk 3/26
4-4 Jim Junk 4/9
4-0 Jim Junk 4/2
3-13 Jim Junk 4/23

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 23-15 (5-5,5-1,4-12,4-8,4-5)
Troy Jackson 16-9 (5-3,3-1,3-0,2-14,2-7)
Brent Jackson 12-13 (2-13,2-13,2-12,2-4,2-3)

More than a few years of fishing for our current Top 5 crew but hoping as the spring rolls on to get some younger anglers on the list including a lady or two or three. Stay tuned and if anyone out there wishes to join up just send your pics, catch details or any questions my way at Just note that a picture is required along with a weight. Bass minimum length is twelve inches and other species can be submitted as well.

And it looks like this is going to be a Top 5 sort of week here on the blog. Stay tuned for the reveal of Top 5 Bass #1000. Talk to you later. Troy

2022 Fishing Recap – Lures Pt.I

Next up is the annual look back at the lures that fooled the bass. I am a creature of habit and an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy but I did manage to employ over a dozen different general lure types to catch my fish in 2022. As such, the Lures portion of the 2022 Fishing Recap will be submitted over two posts working from fewest bass caught to most. Read on for some video and data on the first batch of lures.


Topwater Frog – 1 bass
Lunker Hunt Walking Frog Kraken Series (hops)
Top Bass: 2-12 Lake Storey – September 18
Comments: Frogs can be blast to fish, but they don’t play much of a role in my arsenal these days, even on the weedy Canal. Plenty of fellow Canal anglers report success on these types of baits so maybe next year I will invest a bit more time dragging them around. The lone 2022 catch came from some remaining weeds on a flat during the Lake Storey drawdown. My brain said, “This looks like a good spot for a frog”, and several casts later, I had my Top Bass of the day. Feels good when it works like that with a mental pat on the back for a good decision.


Jerkbait – 1 bass
Bomber Long A (red/yellow)
Top Bass: 1-3 Hennepin Canal – August 13
Comments: My only jerkbait bass of the year came on a similar, “I should try this here” decision as my previously described frog catch. I had an extended drop with sparse, scattered, submerged weeds, and figured that I could navigate it better with a jerkbait than a crankbait. While August isn’t your standard jerkbait time of the year, it worked. I fished my way through the drop without another bite and the catch wound up a one off.


Stickbait – 3 bass
Zara Spook (natural frog)
Top Bass: 2-6 Hennepin Canal – July 17
Top 2 Weight: 3-8 (2-6,1-2)
Comments: Me and the Zara Spook go back a long ways, but I don’t throw it much anymore. However, upon obtaining an old reel from a longtime friend, Matt Reynolds, I opted to go old school and try to land the first bass with the reel on the Spook. Matt nicknamed the natural frog pattern Zara Spook, “The Pickle” back in the 80s so my goal was to fool one on the bait while using his reel. The mission was a success with a quality fish in hand shortly after beginning to “walk the dog” (the standard name for the Zara Spook retrieve/presentation).


Lipless Crankbait – 4 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad)
Top Bass: 1-15 Lake Storey – October 22
Top 4 Weight: 5-7 (1-15,1-13,1-0,0-11)
Comments: Lipless crankbaits have long been a mainstay in my arsenal, but they just weren’t in tune with my frequent visits to The Canal. The abundance of weeds on The Canal as the year wore on made for repeatedly fouling the hooks in the vegetation. Other offerings, primarily a spinnerbait, were more in tune to the conditions so the Red Eye Shad got a break in 2022. Top Bass on the lure came from Lake Storey in a pocket rife with shad activity and the fake shad came through. It also snagged one of the real fish that it looks to imitate.


Popper – 4 bass
Rebel Pop R (rainbow)
Top Bass: 1-12 Knox County public strip pit – May 14
Top 2 Weight: 2-10 (1-12,0-14)
Comments: The Pop R is an exciting lure, but I don’t employ it very often. For me it’s one of those instinct or Plan B lures. For instance, if I have trouble getting a topwater bite on faster lures like a buzzbait or if I have a limited open water strike zone, I may employ a popper. Also, if I have bass missing strikes on a faster moving topwater, I can sometimes fool a few with a popper as I can let it sit in their face when pausing the retrieve as needed.


Jigs – 5 bass
Googan Gridiron (PB&J), Bass Pro Enticer (white), Strike King Rattlin’ Jig (black/blue) with various pork and plastic trailers
Top Bass: 2-12 Knox County public strip pit – September 19
Top 4 Weight: 9-8 (2-12,2-11,2-1,2-0)
Comments: All my jig bass came from walk-in strip pits as The Canal just never gave me much reason to slow down. In addition, the abundance of vegetation that shows up in The Canal makes for frustrating jig fishing. I dig a jig and pig but if I don’t have to slow down, I won’t. If I do get out on The Canal earlier this year than my April 15 debut in 2022, I may employ a jig around the abundant wood before the weeds take over.


Grub – 8 bass
Lunker Hunt Finesse Worm ¼ oz. (Bama craw)
Top Bass: 0-13 Snakeden Hollow – April 10
Comments: I read a lot about the Ned Rig and similar light, finesse presentations that work well in cold water or during a finicky bite. In 2022, I made a decision to give this type of lure a shot on a couple strip pits in early April. Short story is that the presentation fooled some fish but nothing big and it resides out of my comfort zone of fast fishing. Unless the fish force me to slow down, it’s not happening. Perhaps a bad habit, but I get by fishing fast most of the year.

And that leads us into Part II of the lure recap, dominated by power presentations. The seven lure types in today’s post fooled a grand total of twenty-six bass. The next batch of half a dozen lure types landed five hundred and twenty-seven bass. Stay tuned for those heavy hitters. Talk to you later. Troy

2022 Fishing Recap – Locations

Today’s recap post covers the locations that produced my best year of bass.

Grand Totals
Bass = 553
Outings = 56 (ranging from 0.75 hour to 7.75-hour trips)
Bodies of water = 47
Bass Fishing Hours = 187.00
Bass/hour = 2.96
Comments: Citing forty-seven bodies of water makes it seem like I fish all over the place which is not the case as the list primarily covers three counties (Knox, Henry, and Bureau). Knox County featured twenty-seven strip pits and Lake Storey. Henry and Bureau County contributed seventeen pools on The Hennepin Canal. The two remaining spots were a Peoria County private lake and a Johnson County public water. This batch of fishing holes combined for a new personal record of 553 bass landed with a further breakdown of the locations to come later in this post.

Bank Bass (Northerner boots and hiking) = 123 bass
Little Boat Bass (over 40-year-old 8’ johnboat) = 362 bass
Big Boat Bass (1987 Bass Tracker Pro 17) = 68 bass
Comments: Another year of racking up more miles on a pair of boots and a set of oars than I have ever racked up on trolling motors or outboards. I am curious how many miles I walked and rowed on my adventures in 2022 (perhaps another winter project to see if I can get an estimate). While my strip mine trips were limited and only included one boat trip, The Canal was an eye opener upon accessing with a boat for the first time. Much of The Canal is accessible with a portable watercraft and it was well worth the effort of lifting, dragging, and rowing.

Public vs. Private
Public Water = 528 bass
Top Public Water Bass = 3-10 Knox County strip pit 9/4
Top 5 Public Weight = 16-10 (3-10,3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2)
Private Water Bass = 25 bass
Top Private Water Bass = 1-7 The Rock 9/17
Top 5 Private Weight = 6-0 (1-7,1-4,1-3,1-1,1-1)
Comments: While I have access to a batch of quality private fishing holes at Little John Conservation Club, I never made a cast there in 2022. It was only the second time in thirty-five years that I did not land a bass as Little John. Instead, I invested the bulk of my time fishing closer to home on The Canal. The lone private water bass were from an impressive Peoria County fishing hole known as “The Rock.” Private honey holes are always exciting, but I get more satisfaction out of catching them where everybody can fish.

The Waters (from least to most caught)

Dutchman Lake – Johnson County, IL
(1 visit – June 23)
2 bass
0.75 hours
2.67 bass/hour
Top Bass: 11.5” Special K Buzzbait
Top 5 Weight: none at 12” or better
Comments: On the way back home from a roundtrip work drive to Dyer, TN, I decided to visit a fishing hole a short distance from Interstate 24 just north of Vienna, IL. It’s always nice to break up the drive for my “lunch hour” to see if I can fool a bass on waters I’ve never seen beyond an internet search. I was quite pleased to fool two bass in the near ninety-degree mid-afternoon heat and sunny skies. Another treat was a conversation with a local kayaker at the primitive boat launch. He even offered me one of his Twisted Teas to cool off but with a six-hour drive ahead I had to pass.

The Rock
(1 visit, 9/17)
25 bass
5.00 hours
5.00 bass/hour
Top Bass: 1-7 (15”) Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 6-0 (1-7,1-4,1-3,1-1,1-1)
Comments: A group outing on a prime private water was a highlight of the year. I had not fished The Rock for two years and my fellow anglers (Brent, Jayce, and John Kirkemo) had never visited the Peoria County water. The lake is still bouncing back from a major fish kill several years ago so big bites did not materialize. However, quantity was more than enough to make for a successful day. More to come on the outing in the “Partners” post of the 2022 recap and a big “Thank you” to owner, Chris Rock, for allowing us to come out and try our luck.

Lake Storey – Knox County, IL
(4 visits – 5/15 through 11/2)
43 Bass (35 bass in 2021)
28.25 hours (37.75 hours in 2021)
1.52 bass/hour (0.93 bass/hour in 2021)
Top Bass: 2-12 (18.5”) Topwater Frog on 9/18 (2-14 Top Bass in 2021)
Top 5 Weight: 10-15 (2-12,2-9,2-3,1-15,1-8) Top 5 in 2021 was 12-2
Comments: I always look forward to fishing the Lake Storey fall drawdown in September and October. This year I also expanded my visits to include a May outing as well as a rare November trip to the old lake. The bass were stubborn at times, but overall, I was pleased with the results in terms of quantity and a few solid fish. I also had a heartbreaking muskie miss at boatside, a story that may find its way into another recap post.

Knox County, IL Public Strip Mines
(7 visits, 27 lakes – 3/20 through 9/19)
124 bass (183 bass in 2021)
31.00 hours (42.00 in 2021)
4.00 bass/hour (4.36 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 3-10 (18.5”) Senko on 9/4
Top 5 Weight: 14-9 (3-10,2-14,2-12,2-11,2-10)
Comments: I scaled back on my strip mine drives with the rise in gas prices but still managed half a dozen visits. My largest bass of the year came from a reliable spot and the rest of my Top 5 featured a quartet of nearly identical upper two-pound fish.

Hennepin Canal – Henry and Bureau County
(43 visits, 17 pools – 4/15 through 12/11)
359 bass (61 bass in 2021)
122.00 hours (31.00 in 2021)
2.94 bass/hour (1.97 bass/hour in 2021)
Top Bass: 3-5 (18” and 19.5”) Spinnerbait 4/23 and Buzzbait 8/21
Top 5 Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15) 15-6 in 2021
Comments: I concluded my comments for The Canal in the 2021 Fishing Recap as follows, “Glad I gave it a go and plan to be back for more in 2022, perhaps with a boat in tow.” Well, that is indeed what I did, and boy did it pay off. All but three of my 2022 Canal bass were caught while rowing around on various pools in the old eight-foot johnboat. I plan to be back for plenty more in 2023 and hope to find an elusive four-pounder or two out there on one of those narrow fishing holes. More to come in an exclusive Hennepin Canal recap posting when time permits.

The recaps continue with posts on the way covering lures and partners. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

2022 Fishing Recap – BYOB

2022 turned out to be my “Best Year of Bass” as I wound up topping my all-time bass catch record of 418 set in 2020. After bass #419 was landed on September 17 to establish a new personal best, I set my sights on reaching Bass #500 before the year was over. Read on for the results and tune in for a collection of breakdowns on the statistics from 2022 including time on the water, co-anglers, Top 5 weights, lures, destinations, presentations, records, and more.

Bass #419 sets a new personal best total but there were more to come

Grand Totals (bass fishing only)
56 outings (41 outings in 2021)
187.00 hours fishing (136.75 in 2021)
553 bass (313 bass in 2021)
2.96 bass/hour (2.40 bass/hour in 2021)
Comments: The significant increase in outings was the direct result of a heavy focus on the Hennepin Canal. Forty-three of the fifty-six trips this year were at various spots along the historic waterway. Proximity made for many quick early morning or evening getaways on The Canal and the expanded exploring via boat proved to be quite productive.

First Bass – March 20 at Snakeden Hollow

First Bass/Last Bass
March 20 – Snakeden Hollow 1:20pm 9.5” Shad Rap
November 25 – The Hennepin Canal 3:38pm 13.5” 1-1 Spinnerbait
Comments: My annual mission of starting the year with a March bass and ending with a November bass was accomplished. I did give December a brief shot but came up empty. For the third straight year, the Shad Rap came through with the first catch. And fittingly, my last bass of the year came on a spinnerbait which was my most productive lure of 2022.

Last Bass (#553) – November 25 on The Hennepin Canal

Monthly Breakdown (Top Day Weight is Top 5 unless noted)
March – 1 trip, 6 bass, Top Weight (3/20 2 bass Snakeden) = 1-6
April – 7 trips, 74 bass, Top Day Weight (4/23 The Canal) = 10-8
May – 9 trips, 94 bass, Top Day Weight (5/27 The Canal) = 9-9
June – 6 trips, 39 bass, Top Day Weight (6/24 The Canal) = 11-3
July – 9 trips, 77 bass, Top Day Weight (7/2 The Canal) = 9-6
August – 6 trips, 67 bass, Top Day Weight (8/13 The Canal) = 10-6
September – 9 trips, 134 bass, Top Day Weight (9/18 Lake Storey) = 9-4
October – 5 trips, 40 bass, Top Day Weight (10/30 The Canal) = 8-15
November – 3 trips, 22 bass, Top Day Weight (11/6 The Canal) = 9-3
December – 1 trip, 0 bass
Comments: Solid production throughout the year and hoping to get on The Canal earlier this year than my April 24 maiden voyage last year. I was also quite pleased with the home stretch of September through November which produced nearly two hundred bass. Thumbs up on quality Top 5 results for each month as my goal is a ten-pound limit when I hit the water and I made the mark in three months and came close for five others.


Top 5 Weight
16-10 (3-10,3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2)
Comments: My annual goal is a twenty-pound Top 5 and while I fell short this year, I can’t say that I was disappointed. My fourteen months of experience on The Canal still has me in search of the four-pounders that I need to reach the twenty-pound mark. I’ve seen posts of such fish from The Canal, so I know that they are out there, but I suspect they are few and far between. I did have a couple misses in 2022 that may have been such fish. So, I know where they live and hope to encounter them again with better results.

The 2022 Fishing Recap series has just begun. Next up, will be a look at the locations that produced the bass. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – November Stats

November represented uncharted territory for me as the latest that I had previously landed a bass on The Canal was October 31, 2021. For the overall annual goal of a November bass, I figured that The Canal deserved a shot, and it did not disappoint.

2022 November Totals
Two outings covering two different pools
11 bass in 5.75 hours (1.91 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 2-8 November 6 Spinnerbait
2022 November Top 5: 9-3 (2-8,2-3,1-9,1-8,1-7)
2022 Best November Top 5 Day: 9-3 (2-8,2-3,1-9,1-8,1-7) – November 6
Top 5 All-Time November Bass Weight: 9-3 (2-8,2-3,1-9,1-8,1-7)

November 6 – November Top Bass at 2-8 on a spinnerbait


Waning Weeds – In the October wrap-up, I noted the waning weeds as colder water temperatures took hold. Not surprisingly, most of The Canal weed growth continued to disappear throughout November. However, one stretch that I visited regularly was still looking downright ugly with a substantial covering of nasty, surface vegetation. The Canal is a dynamic fishing hole and observation over the course of the last seven months has been quite interesting.

Spinnerbait Success – Also expanding on the October wrap-up, a spinnerbait continued to be a winner throughout the calendar on The Canal. My first Canal bass of the year came on a spinnerbait back on April 15 and my final bass of 2022 fell to a spinnerbait on November 25, a span of 224 days. In between there were a whole lot more Canal bass landed on spinnerbaits, but those numbers will be part of the 2022 Canal wrap-up.

Top 5 Notes – Having never fished The Canal in November, every “keeper” was a qualifier for the monthly Top 5. In the end, among my eleven bass landed, nine measured at twelve inches or better. The five heaviest fish came in at a respectable 9-3 for an initial Top 5. Not quite the double-digit weight that I was seeking but there’s always next November to gain those missing ounces.

November 25 – last bass of the year

2022 Overall Canal Stats
358 bass in 122.00 hours (2.93 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 3-5 (tie) 4/23 Spinnerbait 8/21 Buzzbait
Best Top 5 Day: 11-3 (2-15,2-10,2-3,2-1,1-6) 6/24/22
2022 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15)
2021 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-6 (3-6,3-4,3-1,2-14,2-13)

Farewell to The Canal for 2022

The Canal came through in November and a forty-degree December afternoon found me back on the bank in search of any more bonus bass. It just wasn’t meant to be as I posted my only shutout of 2022 during an hour of biking, walking, and casting. 2022 was quite a year on The Canal and I look forward to more prowling in 2023. But first, stay tuned for a comprehensive “Prowl the Canal 2022” wrap-up in the new year. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – October Stats

As October passes, I am nearing the end of my first full year of fishing The Canal. And quite a year of exploring it has been on the historic waterway. But those totals and tales will wait for a complete wrap-up after the New Year as today we focus on how October shook out with the latest monthly wrap-up.

2022 October Totals
Four outings covering two different pools
27 bass in 11.25 hours (2.40 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 2-10 October 1 Buzzbait
2022 October Top 5: 10-9 (2-10,2-4,2-3,1-14,1-10)
2022 Best October Top 5 Day: 8-15 (2-4,2-3,1-10,1-7,1-7) – October 30
Top 5 All-Time October Bass Weight: 10-9 (2-10,2-4,2-3,1-14,1-10)


Disappearing weed cover makes for better wood targets

Waning Weeds – Having covered a lot of water via boat this year, it has been interesting to see how The Canal changes over the seasons. At present, it is in a stage where the weeds have died back. This provides for better lure coverage of the ample shoreline wood on some of the spots I fish.

Winning Spinners

Spinnerbait Success – I will save the lure stats for the end of the year but no doubt that a spinnerbait has been my most effective presentation. My first Canal bass of the year came on a spinnerbait back on April 15. My latest Canal bass was landed on a spinnerbait on October 30 and there have been close to two hundred more in between.

October 1 – new October Top Bass at 2-10 (19″) on a buzzbait

Top 5 Notes – In October 2021, I fished The Canal four times from the bank for a total of eight hours. Results were less than impressive with nine bass and only two “keepers” weighing 1-4 and 1-1. Thus, I needed three more bass to reach an October Top 5 and then work on booting those two from last year. Things worked out well thanks to a solid outing on October 30 and I now have a double-digit Top 5 Weight for October.

2022 Overall Canal Stats
347 bass in 116.25 hours (2.98 bass/hour)
Top Bass: 3-5 (tie) 4/23 Spinnerbait 8/21 Buzzbait
Best Top 5 Day: 11-3 (2-15,2-10,2-3,2-1,1-6) 6/24/22
2022 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15)
2021 Top 5 Canal Weight: 15-6 (3-6,3-4,3-1,2-14,2-13)

November can be tough in terms of getting on the water with a typical 5:00pm end of workday meaning its weekend fishing or none at all. My annual goal is to end with a November bass and that was accomplished yesterday at Lake Storey (full report to come later this week). However, I have never fished The Canal in November, so my sights are now on a Canal bass before the month is over. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stat Update

Hard to believe only two months remain in 2022. As we hit November that means it is time for another Top 5 Stat Update. October saw half a dozen bass added to our submissions bringing the total to ninety-seven. In addition, a couple more trout made the list for the lone other species in our project.

2022 Totals
January = no submissions
February = no submissions
March = 15 bass
April = 35 bass
May = 7 bass
June = 16 bass
July = 2 bass
August = 11 bass
September = 5 bass
October = 6 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = no submissions
March = 14-2 (3-3,2-15,2-14,2-12,2-6)
April = 28-10 (6-9,6-0,5-12,5-4,5-1)
May = 11-9 (2-12,2-11,2-5,2-0,1-13)
June = 16-7 (4-2,3-5,3-3,2-15,2-14)
July = 4-11 (3-1,1-10)
August = 15-1 (3-5,3-4,2-15,2-13,2-12)
September = 10-14 (3-10,3-8,1-11,1-5,0-12)
October = 11-12 (2-14,2-10,2-4,2-3,1-13)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 56 bass
Bank = 41 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 17-9 (4-2,3-8,3-5,3-5,3-5)
Bank = 28-10 (6-9,6-0,5-12,5-4,5-1)

Public vs. Private
Public = 95 bass
Private = 2 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 28-10 (6-9,6-0,5-12,5-4,5-1)
Private = 2=7 (1-11,0-12)

The Baits (* = new 2022 record)
Plastic Worm = 27 bass (Top Bass 5-12 Jim Junk)
Spinnerbait = 16 bass (Top Bass 5-4 Brent Jackson)
Lipless Crankbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Chatterbait = 13 bass (Top Bass 6-9 Jim Junk) tops 5-15 Jim Junk 6/22/20
Jerkbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 2-5 John Kirkemo)
Crankbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 2-12 Troy Jackson)
Jig = 4 bass (Top Bass 3-9 Brent Jackson)
Buzzbait = 4 bass (Top Bass 3-5 Troy Jackson)
Propbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-3 Jayce Jackson)
Grub = 1 bass (Top Bass 0-13 Troy Jackson)
Popper = 1 bass (Top Bass 3-1 Brent Jackson) no prior entry
Swimbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 4-3 Jim Junk)
Underspin = 1 bass (3-12 Jim Junk)

Monthly Top Bass
No submissions
No submissions
3-3 Jim Junk
6-9 Jim Junk
2-12 Troy Jackson
4-2 John Kirkemo
3-1 Brent Jackson
3-5 Troy Jackson
3-10 Troy Jackson
2-14 Brent Jackson

2022 Top 10 Bass
6-9 Jim Junk 4/4/22
6-0 Jim Junk 4/15/22
5-12 Jim Junk 4/21/22
5-4 Brent Jackson 4/24/22
5-1 Jim Junk 4/4/22
4-7 Jim Junk 4/4/22
4-6 Jim Junk 4/19/22
4-3 Jim Junk 4/21/22
4-2 John Kirkemo 6/13/22
3-15 Jim Junk 4/19/22
3-12 Jim Junk 4/13/22

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 27-13 (6-9,6-0,5-12,5-1,4-7)
Brent Jackson 18-9 (5-4,3-9,3-8,3-3,3-1)
Troy Jackson 16-10 (3-10,3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2)
John Kirkemo: 15-11 (4-2,3-5,2-14,2-11,2-11)
Jayce Jackson 7-1 (2-3,1-11,1-4,1-3,0-12)
Helena Jackson 1-3 (1-3)
Zac Jackson 1-0 (1-0)
Carly Jackson 0-14 (0-14)

Other Species – Trout

John Kirkemo ~48” (12”, 12”, 12”,<12”)

Pleasant weather this week and only sixty-one more days to add a catch, so here’s hoping we can add a few more fish. Talk to you later. Troy