Category: Top 5

Top 5 Update

A little late with the first Top 5 Update of 2021 as today’s featured fisherman sent me these pics nearly two weeks ago. Kind of cool as this year’s lead off catches are of the hard water variety, a rarity over the storied history of the Top 5.

Weight: 3-15
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: February 2
Water Temp: Ice fishing
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Lipless crankbait (bluegill)

Weight: 3-4
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: February 2
Water Temp: Ice fishing
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Lipless crankbait (bluegill)
Angler Comments: I actually went ice fishing today. Only my third time ever. Have two to start off the Top 5 this year. Also had one break off that was at the very least 3 or 4 pounds.
Top 5 Weight: 7-3 (3-15,3-4)

Thanks, Jim, fish stories and pics are a welcome and needed escape these days. Here’s to plenty more for 2021, our eighth year of Top 5 catches. To anyone out there interested in participating, send your pics and details to troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com. Good luck and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 All-Time Stats

While a bit late, I am excited to present the annual Top 5 all-time record book update. Eight years of fish stories have brought us to a grand total of 776 bass submissions to the Top 5. The 2020 featured 90 bass from a group of eleven anglers. These entries bring the all-time total to 776 bass submitted.

2020 also marked the third year of a Top 5 expansion to include species beyond bass. However, only four fish were added to the “Other Species” portion of the record book (a catfish, a crappie, a carp and a muskie). We’ll kick things off with a look at that portion of the record book before moving on to the bass breakdown.

Other Species All-Time Records

Bluegill
1-8 Teagan Mills 6/2/19 Private pond

Channel Catfish
13-0 Teagan Mills (2019)
13-0 Teagan Mills (2018)
8-2 (25”) Chris Schwarz (2018)
6-9 Chris Schwarz (2019)
34-35” Chris Schwarz (2019)
3-7 Troy Jackson (2020)

Common Carp
10-5 Jim Junk (2020)

Crappie
1-2 Troy Jackson (2020)

Green Sunfish
0-13 Jayce Jackson (2017)

Muskie
131” Jake Bresson (47”,31”,29”24” – 2017)
*70+” John Kirkemo (40”, 30+” – 2018)
12-12 (36”) Troy Jackson (2020)
29” Troy Jackson (2017)
6-4 Chris Schwarz (2019)

Northern Pike
167.25” Jake Bresson (37.0”,35.25”,33.5”,32.0”,29.5” – 2017)

Rainbow Trout
22” John Kirkemo (11”,11” – 2018)

Walleye
118” Jake Bresson (26.5”,26.0”,25.5”,20”,20” – 2017) on Rapala X-Rap or jig & minnow

Comments: Bass are obviously my favorite species to pursue but it is cool to see those other species show up in my email (or on the end of my line). So, if you are a multi-species angler or just luck into an unexpected catch, feel free to send them my way for a little added variety.

Moving on to the bass, let’s take a look at how our fish stack up with respect to the calendar. Eight years, 38 different anglers and 776 bass (nearly all from Illinois waters) make up the all-time record book. Here we go.

Group Totals = 776 bass
2014 = 154
2015 = 106
2016 = 136
2017 = 79
2018 = 116
2019 = 95
2020 = 90

Submissions by month (2014-2020)
169 April (43/33/31/11/12/14/25)
136 May (27/23/19/13/24/12/18)
105 June (34/14/15/1/10/14/17)
80 March (13/11/34/10/0/8/4)
77 July (18/11/8/11/8/11/10)
55 October (4/5/4/8/24/8/2)
53 September (6/4/6/6/16/9/6)
31 November (6/0/4/0/8/9/4)
29 February (2/2/7/13/5/0/0)
23 August (1/3/1/4/4/7/3)
10 December (0/0/7/1/0/2)
8 January (0/0/0/1/5/1/1)

Comments: Spring once again ruled the day in terms of submissions. While July saw a double digit haul, the rest of the months after June were rather lean. Several factors do come into play, including some anglers setting the bar so high during the early season that it is tough to boost their total as the year progresses.

Top 10 Top 5 Monthly Weights (group total)
37-9 May 2014
29-8 June 2014
29-7 March 2016
29-2 April 2014
28-9 October 2018
28-7 December 2016
27-14 April 2015
27-12 March 2015
27-11 July 2014
27-10 April 2016

Comments: Nothing new from 2020 in the above breakdown as it now takes nearly 28 pounds of combined weight from our anglers to crack the Top 10. That is a pretty tall order as we head into our eighth year.

Top 5 Weights per Month (group total)
January (2018) = 13-5 (3-15, 2-7, 2-6, 2-6, 2-3)
February (2016) = 22-9 (6-7,4-15,4-10,4-1,2-8)
March (2016) = 29-7 (6-5,6-1,5-14,5-10,5-9)
April (2014) = 29-2 (8-0, 5-11, 5-10, 4-15. 4-14)
May (2014) = 37-9 (9-4, 8-10, 8-8, 6-1, 5-2)
June (2014) = 29-8 (6-11, 6-4, 5-10, 5-8, 5-7)
July (2014) = 27-11 (6-6, 6-0, 5-5, 5-0, 5-0)
August (2019) = 19-4 (4-14,4-10,4-6,2-14,2-8)
September (2019) = 24-5 (5-3,5-0,5-0,4-12,4-6)
October (2018) = 28-9 (6-3,5-14,5-10,5-10,5-4)
November (2018) = 26-1 (7-2,6-12,4-3,4-0,4-0)
December (2016) = 28-7 (7-7,6-5,5-13,4-11,4-3)

Comments: Nothing new here from 2020 either and again, it will take a significant batch of group catches to establish a new record. January has already passed up by but the dog day target of an August record could be a goal for this year. Doesn’t hurt to dream, I guess, especially when it is below zero as I put this post together.

Monthly Top Bass
January
3-15 Mark Balbinot 1/27/18 Crankbait
February
6-7 Mike Overturf 2/27/16 Plastic Worm
March
7-0 Randy Sampson Sr. 3/22/15 Jig
April
8-0 Kamryn Kaesebier 4/13/14 Crankbait
May
9-4 Jake Bresson 5/23/14 Jig
June
6-11 Ty Hartlipp 6/11/14 Topwater Frog
July
6-6 Jake Bresson 7/11/14 Plastic Worm
August
6-8 Gary Le 8/16/14 Swimbait
September
6-0 Austin Chapman 9/19/15 Jig
October
7-4 Mark Balbinot 10/29/17 Jig
November
7-2 Mark Balbinot 11/23/18 Underspin
December
7-7 Mark Balbinot 12/11/16 Underspin

Comments: It’s going to take quite a catch for an angler to unseat one of our current monthly Top Bass. Good luck on that quest as such a catch could likely be the bass of a lifetime for most of us.

Public vs. Private Water (2014-2020)
Public = 504 bass (92/52/95/42/92/68/63)
Public Top 5 Weight = 32-2, 31-7, 30-5, 27-7, 24-5, 25-4, 25-13(2020)
Private = 255 bass (53/48/39/37/24/27/27)
Private Top 5 Weight = 38-10, 30-0, 32-13, 33-14, 31-9, 24-3, 30-5(2020)
Undisclosed = 17 bass (9/6/2/0/0/0/0)

Comments: It’s tough to beat having access to some private fishing holes and our sample pool of bass show that such waters can pump out some quality bass. But it is also refreshing that the numbers show that our anglers do quite well when chasing bass on waters where everybody can take their shot.

Boat vs. Bank (2014-2020)
Boat = 438 bass (90/63/103/68/55/33/26)
Boat Top 5 Weight = 30-7, 31-7, 32-13, 33-14, 31-9, 25-4, 21-4 (2020)
Bank = 332 bass (64/43/27/11/61/62/64)
Bank Top 5 Weight = 40-14, 27-6, 27-12, 20-14, 24-2, 25-7, 30-6 (2020)
Undisclosed = 6 bass

Comments: Like many hobbies, fishing can be as expensive as one chooses to make it ranging from bass boats to boots. To each their own as our numbers demonstrate that casting from a seat or on your feet are both effective approaches.

The Baits (44 undisclosed)
200 Plastic Worms (Top Bass 6-8 Mark Balbinot 11/20/16)
84 Spinnerbaits (6-14 Chris Schwarz 3/25/20 tops 5-14 Mark Balbinot 10/20/18)
74 Crankbaits (8-0 Kamryn Kaesebier 4/13/14)
59 Jigs (9-4 Jake Bresson 5/23/14)
61 Lipless Crankbaits (6-3 Mark Balbinot 10/20/18)
51 Chatterbaits (5-15 Jim Junk 6/22/20 tops 4-10 Mark Balbinot 2/20/16)
29 Swimbaits (8-10 Gary Le 5/4/14)
29 Swim Jigs (6-13 Jake Bresson 4/9/15)
29 Creature Baits (6-15 Mark Balbinot 5/13/17)
27 Buzzbaits (5-9 Troy Jackson 4/25/17)
25 Jerkbaits (5-10 Ty Hartlipp 6/5/14)
13 Underspins (Top Bass 7-7 Mark Balbinot 12/11/16)
12 Topwater Frog (6-11 Ty Hartlipp 6/11/14)
12 Tubes (Top Bass 5-0 Jake Bresson 4/28/15)
7 Livebait (5-14 Jim Junk 7/4/14)
5 Stickbaits (6-6 Mark Balbinot 8/27/17)
5 Ultralights (3-1 Paul Kessler 10/12/17)
4 Grubs (Top Bass 7-0 Chris Schwarz 11/28/20)
3 Propbaits (6-2 Jake Bresson 5/1/15)
2 Inline Spinners (5-2 Jake Bresson 9/17/17)
1 Blade Bait (5-3 Mark Balbinot 11/16/19)

Comments: The Grubs category joined the list and included a couple bass fooled by the interesting and unassuming Ned Rig (note: one was a seven-pounder). Chatterbaits contributed 18 bass for the second consecutive year as they climbed within reach of a Top 5 spot on the list. All told, a dozen different lure types contributed to our haul. The only bait beyond chatterbaits to hit double figures was the good old plastic worm with 35 bass. The Senko style worms continue to dominate in either wacky or Texas rigged presentations.

The 20-Pound Club * = 2020 entry
33-14 Mark Balbinot 2017 (7-4,6-15,6-13,6-8,6-6)
32-13 Jake Bresson 2014 (9-4, 8-8, 6-6, 4-10, 4-1)
32-13 Mark Balbinot 2016 (7-7,6-8,6-5,6-5,6-4)
32-0 Gary Le 2014 (8-10,6-8,5-12,5-10, 5-8)
31-9 Mark Balbinot 2018 (7-2,6-12,6-3,5-14,5-10)
*30-5 Chris Schwarz (7-0,6-14,5-12,5-7,5-4)
29-7 Austin Chapman 2015 (6-4,6-2,6-0,5-14,5-3)
27-12 Jake Bresson 2015 (6-13,6-2,5-5,5-0,4-8)
27-6 Randy Sampson Sr 2015 (7-0,6-1,4-13,4-12,4-12)
27-6 Jake Bresson 2016 (6-3,5-13,5-4,5-2,5-0)
26-13 Troy Jackson 2017 (6-2,5-11,5-9,5-0,4-7)
26-4 Austin Chapman 2016 (5-14,5-10,5-2,4-14,4-12)
26-1 Brice Wangler 2014 (5-11, 5-5, 5-2, 5-0, 4-15)
*25-13 Jim Junk (5-15,5-5,4-15,4-14,4-12)
25-8 Brice Wangler 2015 (5-7,5-4,5-2,4-14,4-13)
25-4 Mark Balbinot 2019 (5-5,5-3,5-1,4-14,4-13)
24-14 Ty Hartlipp 2014 (6-11, 5-10, 5-5, 4-0, 3-4)
24-14 Jim Junk 2019 (5-3,5-1,5-0,4-14,4-12)
24-9 Terry Isbell 2014 (5-8,5-4,5-2,4-8,4-3)
23-12 Jake Bresson 2017 (5-4,5-2,5-2,4-3,4-1)
23-11 Randy Sampson Sr. 2017 (6-0,4-14,4-12,4-11,3-6)
23-8 Jim Junk 2018 (5-4,5-2,4-9,4-5,4-4)
22-15 Adam Bean 2015 (5-13,4-9,4-6,4-2,4-1)
22-13 Mike Mooney 2014 (6-4, 5-7, 4-3, 3-9, 3-6)
22-12 Troy Jackson 2015 (5-13,4-13,4-10,3-12,3-12)
21-8 Randy Sampson Sr. 2016 (5-12,5-8,4-11,3-1,2-8)
21-7 Brice Wangler 2016 (4-8,4-7,4-4,4-2,4-2)
21-3 Troy Jackson 2016 (5-9,5-4,3-9,3-7,3-6)
20-15 Chris Schwarz 2018 (4-11,4-11,4-8,4-0,3-1)
20-14 Troy Jackson 2014 (4-13, 4-6, 4-2, 4-1, 3-8)
20-12 Chris Schwarz 2019 (5-3,5-0,3-11,3-10,3-4)
20-9 Austin Chapman 2014 (4-15, 4-4,4-0,3-13,3-9)
20-1 Bruce Zilkowski 2014 (4-11,4-3,4-0,3-12,3-7)

Comments: Two more entries joined the coveted 20-pound club in 2020. In fact, both Chris Schwarz and Jim Junk shattered the 20-pound mark with 30-5 and 25-13 weights, respectively. For both anglers, the weights establish new personal Top 5 bests and mark three consecutive years of topping the 20-pound mark. Well done by both anglers and looking forward to their 2021 contributions (stay tuned for the first 2021 Top 5 Update tomorrow).

Top 10 Top 5 Bass (* = 2020 entry)
9-4 Jake Bresson 5/23/14 Jig
8-10 Gary Le 5/4/14 Swimbait
8-8 Jake Bresson 5/23/14 Jig
8-0 Kamryn Kaesebier 4/13/14 Crankbait
7-7 Mark Balbinot 12/11/16 Underspin
7-4 Mark Balbinot 10/29/17 Jig
7-2 Mark Balbinot 11/23/18 Underspin
7-0 Randy Sampson Sr. 3/22/15 Jig
*7-0 Chris Schwarz 11/28/20 Grub
6-15 Mark Balbinot 5/13/17 Creature Bait

Comments: It truly takes a trophy to crack this list and Chris Schwarz found one of them in 2020 with a seven-pounder. Congratulations on an outstanding fish and it makes it official that it takes a seven to crack the Top 10.

And just for fun…

All-Time Weights (40-pound minimum “career” mark)
(Note: not all anglers have participated each year)
140-3 Troy Jackson (20-14,22-12,21-3,26-13,15-9,14-4,18-12)
123-8 Mark Balbinot (33-14,32-13,31-9,25-4)
115-6 Jim Junk (11-7,16-5,13-7,23-8,24-14,25-13)
111-11 Jake Bresson (32-13,27-12,27-6,23-12)
94-1 Brent Jackson (18-7,6-10,13-2,10-2,19-2,13-7,13-3)
76-4 Austin Chapman (20-9,29-7,26-4)
73-0 Brice Wangler (26-1,25-8,21-7)
72-15 Bruce Zilkowski (20-1,17-0,17-14,18-0)
72-10 Randy Sampson, Sr. (27-6,21-8,23-12)
72-0 Chris Schwarz (20-15,20-12,30-5)
66-12 Paul Kessler (18-6,17-6,16-6,14-10)
45-11 Mike Mooney (22-13,4-9,18-5)

Comments: With one of our anglers sitting out 2020, the guy who runs this project hops into first place in the All-Time Weight category. Of course, having participated for each of the seven years gives me a considerable advantage over those who have missed a few years. Looking forward, we should have another angler join the Century Club as my brother, Brent, is one good bass from the mark.

Year seven is in the books, year eight is off and running in 2021 and you’re all invited whether you are reeling in or tuning in. Once again, we’ll take all species this year if you chase after or happen upon something other than bass. Here’s hoping to push the submissions back over the 100 bass mark for the first time since 2018.

Tune in tomorrow to see the first two bass of 2021 as the Top 5 is back in action. Talk to you later. Troy

2020 Top 5 Final Stats

Congratulations to Chris Schwarz who claims the 2020 Top 5 title with an impressive winning weight topping the 30-pound mark. His efforts have earned him the customary big check; don’t spend it all in one place.

Here’s how it all shook out with the 2020 Top 5 final stats covering 90 bass and 4 additional submissions (4 other species) from a group of 11 anglers.

Angler Weights
Chris Schwarz 30-5 (7-0,6-14,5-12,5-7,5-4)
Jim Junk 25-13 (5-15,5-5,4-15,4-14,4-12)
Troy Jackson 18-12 (4-12,4-0,3-11,3-9,2-12)
Brent Jackson 13-3 (3-2,2-13,2-12,2-5,2-3)
John Kirkemo 8-0 (1-15,1-13,1-8,1-6,1-6)
Teagan Mills 6-1 (3-1,3-0)
Kennedy Jackson 5-12 (1-13,1-11,1-5,0-15)
Brady Jackson 4-8 (1-5,1-2,1-1,1-0)
Landon Hannam 2-4 (2-4)
Nicolas Ojeda 1-15 (1-0,0-15)
Carly Jackson 0-14 (0-14)

 

2020 Totals
January = 1 bass
February = no submissions
March = 4 bass
April = 25 bass
May = 18 bass
June = 17 bass
July = 10 bass
August = 3 bass
September = 6 bass
October = 2 bass
November =4 bass
December = no submissions

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = 1-4 (one bass)
February = no submissions
March = 15-8 (6-14,4-1,3-4,1-5)
April = 16-11 (4-12,3-2,3-1,3-0,2-12)
May 23-0 (5-7,5-4,4-12,4-1,3-8)
June = 23-8 (5-15,4-14,4-6,4-4,4-1)
July = 20-12 (4-12,4-6,4-0,3-14,3-12)
August = 8-12 (5-5,2-4,1-3)
September = 7-15 (2-12,1-8.1-4,1-4,1-3)
October = 8-13 (5-4,3-9)
November = 22-6 (7-0,5-12,4-15,4-11)
December = no bass

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 26 bass
Bank = 64 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 21-4 (5-15,4-1,4-0,3-11,3-9)
Bank = 30-6 (7-0,6-14,5-12,5-7,5-5)

Public vs. Private
Public = 63 bass
Private = 27 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 25-13 (5-15,5-5,4-15,4-14,4-12)
Private = 30-5 (7-0,6-14,5-12,5-7,5-4)

The Baits (* = new record)
Plastic Worm = 35 bass (Top Bass 5-5 Jim Junk)
*Chatterbait = 18 bass (Top Bass 5-15 Jim Junk) – tops 4-10 Mark Balbinot
*Spinnerbait = 8 bass (Top Bass 6-14 Chris Schwarz) – tops 5-14 Mark Balbinot
Lipless Crankbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-15 Jim Junk)
Jerkbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 3-14 Jim Junk)
Grub = 4 bass (Top Bass 7-0 Chris Schwarz)
Jig = 4 bass (Top Bass 5-4 Chris Schwarz)
Buzzbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 3-9 Troy Jackson)
Creature = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-8 Jim Junk)
Livebait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-1 Teagan Mills)

Monthly Top Bass
January
1-4 Jim Junk
February
No submissions
March
6-14 Chris Schwarz
April
4-12 Troy Jackson
May
5-7 Chris Schwarz
June
5-15 Jim Junk
July
4-12 Jim Junk
August
5-5 Jim Junk
September
2-12 Jim Junk
October
5-4 Chris Schwarz
November
7-0 Chris Schwarz
December
No bass

Top 10 Bass
7-0 Chris Schwarz (11/28) – new #8 all-time (tie)
6-14 Chris Schwarz (3/25)
5-15 Jim Junk (6/22)
5-12 Chris Schwarz (11/3)
5-7 Chris Schwarz (5/3)
5-5 Jim Junk (8/7)
5-4 Chris Schwarz (5/3)
5-4 Chris Schwarz (10/22)
4-15 Jim Junk (11/29)
4-14 Jim Junk (6/22)

Other Species

Channel Catfish


3-7 Troy Jackson

Common Carp

10-5 Jim Junk

Crappie


1-2 Troy Jackson

Muskie/Tiger Muskie


12-12 (36”) Troy Jackson

Well done, anglers, and many thanks for helping to contribute something positive to the web and social media. Sure needed it in 2020 more than ever. Here’s to some more fish stories in 2021 as we are doing it again for year number eight. Good luck and send ‘em my way at troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com when you catch ‘em. Fingers crossed that I can muster the time and energy to get back on track with the blog with some 2020 recap posts. All is well, just tired and busy mixed in with the regular bout of Cabin Fever (call me a fair weather fisherman but not much of an icefishing guy). Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Another update just goes to show that skill and perseverance can add a few more bass to the log as ice begins to form on our area fishing holes. It may not be easy or comfortable and you may not catch a bunch but there are still some bites to be had out there. And some good ones in today’s update along with an entertaining fish story.

Weight: 4-15
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: November 29
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Lipless crankbait
Top 5 Weight: 25-13 (5-15,5-5,4-15,4-14,4-12) culls a 4-11

In addition, Jim just sent me the pics and details below as he has added a couple December bass to his ledger. I’m always up for a fish story and this one brought a smile. Would have been fun to have been an observer for this stunt.

“I’m on the board with a couple December bass yesterday (12/5). Both came on a white chatterbait. They were 3-12 and 3-9. Had to go through the ice for one and the water is pretty chilly. There was about 10’ of rather slim ice before open water. Hooked up and actually got the fish up on the ice but he flopped off and was on the ice just out of reach. Put one foot on the ice and was able to reach but broke through before getting back on the bank.”

As I mentioned in the intro, skill and perseverance go a long ways in landing such late season bass. Also noted that it may not be easy or comfortable and there you go with a prime example from Jim in getting it done. Kudos for the effort and thanks for the contributions to keep the Top 5 Updates rolling on. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Happy to have another update with this post coming in a day earlier than the normal Monday submission for various reasons. I just got this report yesterday evening as one of our anglers took advantage of a fifty degree Saturday afternoon. As you can see below, his efforts were rewarded in a big way.

Weight: 7-0
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: November 28
Location: Warren County private pond
Lure: Ned rig TRD Stickbait (green pumpkin)
Angler Comments: Caught in 5’ of water with a setup of 10 lb. braid tied to a 20’ fluorocarbon leader, 8 lb. test.
Top 5 Weight: 30-5 (7-0,6-14,5-12,5-7,5-4) culls a 5-4

Way to go, Chris, an outstanding catch that pushes your creel into the rare air of the 30-pound club. Only 32 more days for the 2020 Top 5 project with the area weather headed for a more normal range. But you just never know what can happen if you get out there for a few casts. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Another boost for one of our anglers as the November weather continues to be reasonable if you can handle some wind. Today’s catch comes from the bank which has its own batch of variables to contend with in the gusty conditions. But, as you can see, you can still fool ‘em if you can get to ‘em.

Weight: 4-11
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: November 12
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Single Colorado blade spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 25-9 (5-15,5-5,4-14,4-12,4-11) culls a 4-6

Well done, Jim, and good to hear that you are still finding some success down there. Looks like there may still be a handful of comfortable days on the horizon so here’s hoping someone out there continues to get bit. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Still some bites out there to be had especially with this weather. Quite comfortable for the anglers as you can get some big bites in short sleeves. The latest big catch is included below and it added an entire pound to the angler’s already outstanding 2020 haul.

Weight: 5-12 (21.25”)
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: November 3
Location: Lake Warren
Lure: Chatterbait with paddle tail trailer (bluegill)
Angler Comments: I caught this fish in relatively the same location as my last entry on a windblown bank with rock.
Top 5 Weight: 28-9 (6-14,5-12,5-7,5-4,5-4) culls a 4-12

How about that? Two bass combining for exactly eleven pounds coming from the same general area over the last couple weeks (see October 25 Top 5 Update for Chris’ 5-4 bass). I believe that spot would be locked in for every trip during the remainder of my fishing days. Well done, Chris, and quite a year. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Well, the weather has gotten uglier over the last several days but one of our anglers took advantage of the last warm day. Have a look below at the bass and the details on last Thursday’s catch.

Weight: 5-4
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: October 22nd
Location: Lake Warren
Lure: Jig head with small swim bait (bluegill color)
Angler Comments: Had a chance to get out and enjoy the warm weather. I caught this one in about 5 feet of water, must have been filling up for the cold weather coming!
Top 5 Weight: 27-9 (6-14,5-7,5-4,5-4,4-12)

A real quality submission and time will tell if this puts the exclamation point on the 2020 Top 5 project. Thanks to Chris for the late season entry. It looks like 66 days remain until 2021 so still time to add a few more catches. I hope to give it at least one more shot and also hope that others may get an opportunity as well. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Looks like it has been nearly a month since the last Top 5 Update but not for lack of fishing from a personal standpoint. During the Top 5 absence I logged four trips, 18 hours and 60 bass before I found one that could boost my total.

Weight: 3-9
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: October 12
Weather: Sunny/very windy, 67F
Water Temp: 66F
Location: Lake Storey – Knox County, IL
Lure: Strike King Squarebill crankbait (natural pumpkinseed)
Structure: Riprap/drop
Angler Comments: After being battered by the winds all morning, I found a slightly protected stretch of bank to end my day. Also found this solid bite about 50 minutes before I called it a day. Proof that you need to hang in there and keep on casting as your best bites may be later in the day, especially during the fall.
Top 5 Weight: 18-12 (4-12,4-0,3-11,3-9,2-12) culls a 2-8

It appears that my 20-pound mark may elude me again unless I happen onto an even four pounder. The plan is always to take a shot at a November bass before I call it a year so we’ll see if an outing materializes and what shows up. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Always fun to see some fish in the inbox for an update and an extra treat this week with some State Capital city public water bass.

Weight: 1-4 (14”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: September 15
Weather: Sun with some passing clouds, air temp mid-70s
Water Temp: 78-80F
Location: Sangchris Lake
Lure: Wacky worm
Angler Comments: Casting to shoreline structure

Weight: 1-4 (14”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: September 16
Weather: Sun with some passing clouds, air temp mid-70s
Water Temp: 78-80F
Location: Sangchris Lake
Lure: Wacky worm
Angler Comments: Casting to shoreline structure

Weight: 1-2 (13”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: September 16
Weather: Sun with some passing clouds, air temp mid-70s
Water Temp: 78-80F
Location: Sangchris Lake
Lure: Chompers
Angler Comments: Casting to shoreline structure

Weight: 1-8 (14”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: September 16
Weather: Sun with some passing clouds, air temp mid-70s
Water Temp: 78-80F
Location: Sangchris Lake
Lure: Wacky worm
Angler Comments: Casting to shoreline structure

Weight: 1-3 (13”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: September 16
Weather: Sun with some passing clouds, air temp mid-70s
Water Temp: 78-80F
Location: Sangchris Lake
Lure: Chompers
Angler Comments: Casting to shoreline structure
Top 5 Weight: 8-0 (1-15,1-13,1-8,1-6,1-6) culls 1-4

Way to go, John, looks like a productive pair of days on the water. Further reinforcement that a solid bite remains so keep on casting as we officially head into fall this week. Talk to you later. Troy