Category: Top 5

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

Top 5 Update

I say this every year and will say it again. Don’t put those fishing poles away just yet as there are plenty more bites to be had and a solid chance to give your Top 5 a boost. I actually got to join the fun last weekend and added a few ounces courtesy of a hike around the strip mines.

Weight: 2-12
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: September 12
Weather: Partly cloudy/breezy
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Chatterbait (bluegill) with Zako trailer (smoke)
Structure: Flat/drop
Angler Comments: My first cast on the second stop at some walk-in strip mines had me pretty fired up that I’d found the right spot. No such luck on more big bass though as this one would be as good as it got for the evening.
Top 5 Weight: 17-11 (4-12,4-0,3-11,2-12,2-8) culls a 2-7

I haven’t been able to post a 20-pound limit since 2017 but the possibility of return to the club is within reach. Here’s hoping that the handful of trips I have in mind can add those additional 37 ounces to my creel. Good luck if you get out and keep me posted. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

The Monday Top 5 Update is back thanks to the return of one of our young anglers.

Weight: 2-4
Angler: Landon Hannam
Date: August 21
Location: Private pond
Lure: Jig with a craw trailer
Angler Comments: I had only been fishing for about fifteen minutes and I had made a bad cast and backlash so I was just reeling it in and then the fish hit right up at the bank.
Top 5 Weight: 2-4

Way to go, Landon, and welcome back for 2020. Always enjoyed your reports last year and hope you get a chance to add a few more this year.

Looks like a heatwave on the horizon but the shot at a fall feeding frenzy will be here before we know it. Warm or cool, keep sending me those fish when you get out there and get some bites. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

A couple more bass join the collection. One represents a location previously unseen on the Top 5 while the other is from a consistent collection of waters that just keeps rolling with some quality bass.

Weight: 1-3 (13”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: August 6
Weather: Mostly sunny with intermittent clouds
Water Temp: 77-80F
Location: Dawson Lake (Moraine View State Recreation Area)
Lure: Wacky worm
Top 5 Weight: 7-11 (1-15,1-13,1-6,1-6,1-3)

Weight: 5-5
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: August 7
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Texas rigged Senko
Angler Comments: Had a couple hours this morning so hit Banner. One bite and one bass.
Top 5 Weight: 25-4 (5-15,5-5,4-14,4-12,4-6) culls a 4-4

Way to go guys, getting it done during the dog days of summer. Keep up the casting and keep the catches coming our way. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Been a steamy couple weeks until the area heat wave recently broke. And this week we have another dog day Top 5 entry as we near the middle of summer.

Weight: 1-3 (13”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: July 30
Weather: Cloudy with intermittent rain showers
Water Temp: 84-85F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky worm
Top 5 Weight: 7-11 (1-15,1-13,1-6,1-6,1-3)

Thanks, John, for the submission as it is good to see someone out there giving it a go in some challenging summer conditions on a challenging body of water. Here’s to a solid August which has always been the slimmest warm weather Top 5 month (only January and December have fewer entries since the inception of the project back in 2014).

Good luck to those who get out and send ‘em my way when you catch ‘em. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

The fish keep on coming as this week’s Top 5 Update features a new angler, a new leader and a new species for 2020.

Weight: 1-0
Angler: Nicolas Ojeda
Date: June 8
Location: Knox County private strip mine
Lure: Senko wacky rig

Weight: 0-15
Angler: Nicolas Ojeda
Date: June 8
Location: Knox County private strip mine
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 1-15 (1-0,0-15)

Weight: 4-6
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: July 22
Location: Warren County private pond
Lure: Chatterbait with swimbait trailer
Angler Comments: This bass took a swipe at my frog, then bit off my chatterbait trailer. After I rigged a new one, she came back a 3rd time!
Top 5 Weight: 26-11 (6-14,5-7,5-4,4-12,4-6)

Weight: 3-7
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 24
Weather: Sunny/calm
Location: Ferne Clyffe Lake – Johnson County, IL
Lure: Senko wacky rig (white)
Structure: Riprap
Angler Comments: Spotted this fish rooting in the riprap and had it pick up a Havoc Pit Boss twice without getting hooked. Gave it a rest, came back with a Senko and wound up with an unusual catch while bass fishing.
Top 5 Weight: 3-7

Welcome aboard, Nicolas, and way to go, Chris.

It looks like the heatwave that hit our region last week is going to break a bit this week. At the very least it may give anglers some more comfortable conditions to get in some casting. If you are among those who do some catching with your casting, send those fish my way at troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com. Make sure to include a photo and a weight/length and whatever other details you are willing to provide. The more info the better but entirely up to you. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Slight delay on the latest Top 5 report but better late than never on a solid batch of bass. Interestingly, this week’s update consists of five bass caught last week. The catches come courtesy of our Top 5 leader, Jim Junk, and the report comes via a slideshow below rather than my standard format.

 

Weights: 3-14,3-12,3-11,3-1,3-1
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: July 13 & 14
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Fluke
Top 5 Weight: 24-3 (5-15,4-14,4-12,4-6,4-4)

Way to go, Jim, who added on July 11 that he was interested to see if the new presentation “becomes a real confidence lure or if it was just a ‘fluke.’” After a follow-up outing on July 14 he noted, “Maybe not a fluke.” Here’s hoping that the success continues. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

A little bit later than usual this time around but here are the latest tallies for the 2020 Top 5.

2020 Totals
January = 1 bass
February = no submissions
March = 4 bass
April = 25 bass
May = 20 bass
June = 13 bass
July = 3 bass

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 = 12-7 (4-12,4-0,3-11)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 18 bass
Bank = 48 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 20-3 (5-15,4-1,4-0,3-11,2-8)
Bank = 27-3 (6-14,5-7,5-4,4-14,4-12)

Public vs. Private
Public = 46 bass
Private = 20 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 24-11 (5-15,4-14,4-12,4-12,4-6)
Private = 25-6 (6-14,5-7,5-4,4-12,3-1)

The Baits (* = new record)
Plastic Worm = 27 bass (Top Bass 4-12 Jim Junk)
Chatterbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 5-15 Jim Junk) – tops 4-10 Mark Balbinot
*Spinnerbait = 7 bass (Top Bass 6-14 Chris Schwarz) – tops 5-14 Mark Balbinot
Lipless Crankbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 3-4 Jim Junk)
Buzzbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 1-10 Brent Jackson)
Creature = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-8 Jim Junk)
Jig = 2 bass (Top Bass 4-12 Troy Jackson)
Livebait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-1 Teagan Mills)
Grub = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-4 Jim Junk)

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

Top 10 Bass (* = new Top 10 all-time)
*6-14 Chris Schwarz (3/25) – new #10 all-time
5-15 Jim Junk (6/22)
5-7 Chris Schwarz (5/3)
5-4 Chris Schwarz (5/3)
4-14 Jim Junk (6/22)
4-12 Troy Jackson (4/26)
4-12 Chris Schwarz (5/3)
4-12 Jim Junk (7/5)
4-6 Jim Junk (6/24)
4-4 Jim Junk (6/19)

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 24-3 (5-15,4-14,4-12,4-6,4-4)
Chris Schwarz 22-5 (6-14,5-7,5-4,4-12)
Troy Jackson 17-6 (4-12,4-0,3-11,2-8,2-7)
Brent Jackson 13-3 (3-2,2-13,2-12,2-5,2-3)
John Kirkemo 7-10 (1-15,1-13,1-6,1-6,1-2)
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)
Carly Jackson 0-14 (0-14)

Other Species
Common Carp

10-5 Jim Junk

Crappie

1-2 Troy Jackson

Muskie/Tiger Muskie

12-12 (36”) Troy Jackson

Certainly summer out there in the area so stay cool, treat those fish with care and keep the reports coming when you get a chance to get out. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Quite a collection of fish this week with an unexpected catch joining our list of “bonus” species. (Note: I also forgot several of my brother’s bass last month so playing catch up on those)

Weight: 2-3
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 14
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Buzzbait

Weight: 2-13
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 14
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko

Weight: 1-14
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 14
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko
Top 5 Weight: 13-3 (3-2,2-13,2-12,2-5,2-3) culls 1-14 and 1-10

Weight: 1-13
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 29
Weather: Partly cloudy skies
Water Temp: 81-82F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky Worm

Weight: 1-2
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 30
Weather: Light rain with gentle breeze from east
Water Temp: 82-83F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky Worm

Weight: 1-2
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 30
Weather: Light rain with gentle breeze from east
Water Temp: 82-83F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky Worm
Top 5 Weight: 7-10 (1-15,1-13,1-6,1-6,1-2) culls 1-0

Weight: 4-0
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 1
Weather: Partly cloudy/breezy
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Buzzbait
Structure: Flat/weed edge
Angler Comments: Pretty cool start to the morning when you’ve got three bass in the first twelve minutes topped by this one which is my personal best on this particular interior lake.

Weight: 3-11
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 1
Weather: Partly cloudy/windy
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Structure: Sticks
Angler Comments: Actually saw this bass swimming near some stickups, plunked a Senko within range and got it to commit. On the upside, it was larger than I’d visually estimated. On the downside, it was rather gaunt and would have been my second four-pounder of the morning if in normal shape. No complaint, though.
Top 5 Weight: 17-6 (4-12,4-0,3-11,2-8,2-7) culls 2-6 and 2-4

Weight: 4-12
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: July 5
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 24-3 (5-15,4-14,4-12,4-6,4-4) culls 4-1

Other Species – Common Carp

Weight: 10-5
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: July 2
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Texas rigged Senko
Angler Comments: He hit close to the bank and started stripping line. Really thought I had a monster bass. Took quite a while to get close enough to see the yellow belly.
Top 5 Weight: 10-5

Well done by our crew. Looks like the dog days have arrived which can be a challenge. Early or late in the day can often tilt the odds a bit more in your favor but those fish don’t go anywhere, typically just a bit harder to find and fool. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

West Central Illinois public waters keep the Top 5 Updates rolling along as we near the midpoint of the calendar year. Got some good ones this time around so read on as we have a new leader and another angler one step closer to filling his limit.

Weight: 4-14
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: June 22
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait

Weight: 5-15
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: June 22
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait

Weight: 4-6
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: June 24
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait
Angler Comments:
Top 5 Weight: 23-8 (5-15,4-14,4-6,4-4,4-1) culls 4-1,3-9 and 3-8

Weight: 1-6 (13”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 25
Weather: Bright sun
Water Temp: 77F
Location: McMaster Lake
Lure: Wacky worm
Top 5 Weight: 5-11 (1-15,1-6,1-6,1-0)

Thanks for the submissions guys as it doesn’t get much better than seeing a fish story show up in the Inbox. Good luck and stay cool out there as some dog day fishing looms on the horizon. Talk to you later. Troy