Category: Top 5

Top 5 Update

Today’s post features a pair of bass from some Knox County public waters. It sure is fun to see these locales share a weekly update. These two fishing holes hold many personal memories and I enjoy seeing others taking a shot at making memories of their own.

Weight: 1-1
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 8
Weather: Bright sun, air temp 70s
Water Temp: 72-74F
Location: Lake McMaster
Lure: Dark colored wacky worm
Angler Comments: Caught one other bass too small to even measure. Had other bites but failed to hook and land any other fish.
Top 5 Weight: 10-14 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14,1-8)

Weight: 1-3
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: June 12
Weather: Sunny/calm and hot
Air Temperature: 90F
Water Temp: 83F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (cinnamon black purple flake with red tip)
Structure: Flat with scattered weeds
Editor’s Comments: This was a last-minute bass that got Jayce on the board. In fact, after this catch we called it quits to end our day with a last cast catch. More on the catch in an upcoming fishing report.
Top 5 Weight: 3-7 (1-3,1-3,1-1)

As a sidelight, I got to sit around the campfire with both anglers and spin a few yarns this past weekend. A good crew and happy to have them play along here on the Top 5. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

One of our young anglers works in a few casts on some new water and reels in a bass for our Top 5 Update.

Weight: 1-1
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: June 5
Weather: Sunny/breezy, air temp upper 80s
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 2-4 (1-3,1-1)

Good job, my man, and a fun catch. As I was along for the ride on this one, more to come in the full fishing and outdoor reports when time permits. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Another month means another Top 5 Stat Update. Thus far, 2021 is exclusively a battle of the bass as no other species have been submitted. Five months into our 2021 quest we sit at 48 bass total courtesy of seven anglers. As such, we are almost halfway to the goal of 100 bass with just over half a year of fishing remaining. Hopefully, some stable spring weather is finally here, and the hits will keep on coming. In the meantime, here is a breakdown of our 2021 submissions.

2021 Totals
January = no submissions
February = 2 bass
March = 19 bass
April = 14 bass
May = 13 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = 7-3 (3-15,3-4)
March = 21-14 (5-5,4-3,4-2,4-2,4-2)
April = 21-6 (5-3,5-2,4-0,4-0,3-1)
May = 14-14 (4-6,2-12,2-10,2-10,2-8)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 1 bass
Bank = 47 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 2-10 (2-10)
Bank = 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3)

Public vs. Private
Public = 44 bass
Private = 4 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3)
Private = 9-6 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14)

The Baits (* = new record)
Lipless Crankbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 4-3 Jim Junk)
Plastic Worm = 10 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Crankbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Chatterbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Jim Junk)
Jig = 2 bass (Top Bass 1-8 John Kirkemo)
Creature = 1 bass (Top Bass 5-5 Jim Junk)
Livebait = 1 bass (Top Bass Patricia Kirkemo 2-10)
Stickbait = 1 bass (1-11 Troy Jackson)
Swimbait = 1 bass (1-13 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass (* = new record)
January
No submissions
February
3-15 Jim Junk
March
5-5 Jim Junk
April
5-2 Jim Junk
May
4-6 Jim Junk

Top 10 Bass (* = new Top 10 all-time)
5-5 Jim Junk (3/26)
5-3 Jim Junk (4/8)
5-2 Jim Junk (4/6)
4-6 Jim Junk (5/25)
4-3 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-2Jim Junk (3/19)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/24)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/28)
4-1 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-0 Jim Junk (3/23)
4-0 Brent Jackson (4/2)
4-0 Brent Jackson (4/12)

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3)
Brent Jackson 14-11 (4-0,4-0,2-5,2-3,2-3)
John Kirkemo 10-14 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14,1-8)
Troy Jackson 10-6 (3-1,2-0,1-13,1-13,1-11)
Landon Hannam 2-12 (2-12)
Patricia Kirkemo 2-10 (2-10)
Jayce Jackson 1-3 (1-3)

There you have it, a solid collection of bass submissions and nearly all from the bank on public waters. I find those aspects to be fun bit of the breakdown as they represent locales and approaches that are generally available to anyone looking to make some casts. Keep up the good work, crew, and anybody else out there who wishes to join the quest go ahead and email your catches to troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Some wacky weather lately in the area but a pair of anglers managed to add a couple bass on both ends of the recent cold front. Our current Top 5 leader reeled one in before the weather took a downturn to add to his already impressive total. And a youngster with a couple years of Top 5 experience weighed in with his first catch of 2021 as the weather began to take a turn for the better. Read on for the details.

Weight: 4-6
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: May 25
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Split tail Senko type worm
Angler Comments: Spent a couple of hours at Banner this afternoon. Three bass total, two small ones and this 4-6. Bite was pretty slow, fishing flats with lots of submerged vegetation.
Top 5 Weight: 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3) culls a 4-2

Weight: 2-12
Angler: Landon Hannam
Date: May 30
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Wacky rigged Senko
Angler Comments: This fish was double my biggest bass out of Lake Storey. The bass were very active on the banks and feeding off of blue gill. This bass was only sitting about 4 feet off the bank, and I put the Senko in front of him and he took it.
Top 5 Weight: 2-12 (2-12)

Thanks, guys, for the fish and good to hear from Landon again with his catch from one of my all-time favorite fishing holes. Here’s hoping that we’ve left those forty-degree highs behind and get to enjoy a bit of a spring before the summer heat kicks into gear. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

A trio of submissions this week from a pair of brothers who have done the strip mine hike and cast thing more than a few times over the years.


Weight: 2-5
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 23
Weather: Overcast/calm
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Editor’s Note: Brent forgot to take a pic but this snip from the GoPro footage saved the day
Top 5 Weight: 14-11 (4-0,4-0,2-5,2-3,2-3) culls 2-2

Weight: 1-13  (16″)
Date: May 23
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Bass Pro Shops Speed Shad (small mouth magic) with Berkley 3/0 weighted swimbait hook
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: A rewarding catch in some tough, weedy conditions as I had already worked the weed edges and limited open water with a Zara Spook, a Senko and a frog without a hit. Fun to have the swimbait come through as I am gaining more confidence in the presentation.

Weight: 2-0 (16″)
Date: May 23
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: 5″ Yamasemko wacky rig
Structure: Tree/drop
Angler Comments: A decent fish but I initially thought it was considerably larger when it stopped dead on the hookset. Always exciting in those seconds after such a hookset as you wait to find out just what you’ve got. Not a trophy but I’ll take two-pounders all day long.
Top 5 Weight:10-6 (3-1,2-0,1-13,1-13,1-11) culls 1-10 and 1-10

An enjoyable morning chasing bass under some of my favorite strip mine fishing weather conditions. Water conditions, on the other hand, posed some challenges. Those aspects and more to be covered in a fishing report later this week. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

A good batch of bass comes our way courtesy of a couple doing some Illinois Capital City fishing.

Weight: 2-10
Angler: Patricia Kirkemo
Date: May 10
Weather: Partly cloudy evening, temperature 60s
Water Temperature: 60-65F
Location: Sangchris Lake State Park
Lure: Nightcrawler under a bobber
Angler Comments (provided by her spouse): Fish caught by casting a bobber and worm from boat toward shore. Fish was in water 3-4 feet deep.
Top 5 Weight: 2-10 (2-10)

Weight: 1-8
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 10
Weather: Air and water temps 60s
Location: Sangchris Lake State Park
Lure: Chompers
Angler Comments: Not many signs of feeding fish. The fish was caught casting to structure from boat.

Weight: 1-14
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 13
Weather: Air temperature 60s
Location: Farm pond, Sangamon County, IL
Lure: Wacky worm

Weight: 2-6
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 13
Weather: Air temperature 60s
Location: Farm pond, Sangamon County, IL
Lure: Wacky worm


Weight: 2-8
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 13
Weather: Air temperature 60s
Location: Farm pond, Sangamon County, IL
Lure: Wacky worm

Weight: 2-10
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 13
Weather: Air temperature 60s
Location: Farm pond, Sangamon County, IL
Lure: Wacky worm
Angler Comments: These fish were caught during early evening in private water not visited by many fishermen. Feeding fish were evident. Fish were eager and large. Lost several that were probably as large or larger.
Top 5 Weight: 10-14 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14,1-8)

Thank you to the Kirkemos for their submissions as it looked like the Springfield area visit was fishing success. Here’s hoping for continued catching as the year progresses and I appreciate the contributions as the Top 5 needed a boost. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Somewhere between busy and lazy has resulted in a lack of Top 5 Stat updates in 2021. Throw in limited angler participation and, well, I just haven’t kept up as in past years. But have no fear, the first complete stat update has arrived.

2021 Totals
January = no submissions
February = 2 bass
March = 19 bass
April = 14 bass
May = 2 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = 7-3 (3-15,3-4)
March = 21-14 (5-5,4-3,4-2,4-2,4-2)
April = 21-6 (5-3,5-2,4-0,4-0,3-1)
May = 3-13 (2-2,1-11)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 0 bass
Bank = 37 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = no submissions
Bank = 23-15 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-3,4-2)

Public vs. Private
Public = 37 bass
Private = no submissions

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 23-15 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-3,4-2)
Private = no submissons

The Baits
Lipless Crankbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 4-3 Jim Junk)
Crankbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Chatterbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Jim Junk)
Plastic Worm = 2 bass (Top Bass 2-2 Brent Jackson)
Creature = 1 bass (Top Bass 5-5 Jim Junk)
Jig = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-1 Troy Jackson)
Stickbait = 1 bass (1-11 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass
January
No submissions
February
3-15 Jim Junk
March
5-5 Jim Junk
April
5-2 Jim Junk
May
2-2 Brent Jackson

Top 10 Bass
5-5 Jim Junk (3/26)
5-3 Jim Junk (4/8)
5-2 Jim Junk (4/6)
4-3 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-2Jim Junk (3/19)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/24)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/28)
4-1 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-0 Jim Junk (3/23)
4-0 Brent Jackson (4/2)
4-0 Brent Jackson (4/12)

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 23-15 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-3,4-2)
Brent Jackson 14-8 (4-0,4-0,2-3,2-3,2-2)
Troy Jackson 9-13 (3-1,1-13,1-11,1-10,1-10)
Jayce Jackson 1-3 (1-3)

Kind of like a broken record there as Jim Junk has already had quite an impressive year and we are just over a week into May. Beyond those catches, it has just been a trio of Jackson boys adding to the list thus far. Here’s hoping a few other regulars have some catches on the horizon to join the fun. One other note on the Top 5 this year is that the submissions have come exclusively from public waters and from the bank. Kind of cool and old school although I certainly plan on checking out my private waters and getting off the shore as the year progresses.

As always, send your submissions to troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com when you catch them. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Last Saturday saw a tag team match of sorts on some strip mine stomping grounds that my brother and I fish. I was out in the morning and had texted him with an update only to find out that he had the same destination in mind for the afternoon. While we didn’t cross paths and physically tag off like a wrestling duo, we put up a good fight in the windy conditions to add a couple Top 5 catches.

Weight: 1-11
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 1
Weather: Sunny/very windy
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Zara Spook (natural frog)
Structure: Saddle/flat
Angler Comments: Spotted this fish and caught it on the third retrieve past its location. Tune back in for further details as the complete fishing report is coming your way later this week.
Top 5 Weight: 9-13 (3-1,1-13,1-11,1-10,1-10) culls a 1-1

Weight: 2-2
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 1
Weather: Sunny/very windy
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 14-8 (4-0,4-0,2-3,2-3,2-2) culls a 1-12

Hard to believe that it is May already but that bodes well for some fishing. The bluegill and crappie should be cooperative and for those who enjoy catching bass on topwaters and wacky rigs, those bites should be off and running. And it won’t be long before the area catfish move shallow to spawn on some moving waters. Truly a good time for multi-species anglers. Send ‘em my way when you catch ‘em. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Another angler joins the quest with a bass from a weekend strip mine hike.

Weight: 1-3
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: April 24
Weather: Partly cloudy/windy
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky rig (white)
Angler Comments:
Top 5 Weight: 1-3 (1-3)

Since I was kind of playing fishing guide on this outing, I will look to post a full report soon. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Jim Junk and my brother, Brent, come through again with another batch of quality bass for today’s update. A couple of the fish are a bit belated as travel got in the way of an update last week. But better late than never.

Weight: 5-2
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: April 6
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait (white)
Structure: Submerged weed flat
Angler Comments: Lots of stops and presentations with very little success. Had a couple short strikes on white chatterbait and maybe a bump on a lipless crank. Ended up with three dink bass and one real nice one. The 5-2 was the first to come off a submerged weed flat on a white chatterbait.

Weight: 5-3
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: April 8
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait (bluegill)
Structure: Weedline
Angler Comments: Numbers have decreased since last week’s barrage, but quality is great! Couple hours fishing late morning/early afternoon, one bite and one more quality bass. 5-3 hammered a bluegill chatterbait approaching a weedline.
Top 5 Weight: 23-15 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-3,4-2) culls 4-2 and 4-2

Weight: 2-3
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 12
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pits
Lure: Spinnerbait

Weight: 2-3
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 12
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pits
Lure: Spinnerbait

Weight: 4-0
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: April 12
Location: Knox County, IL public strip pits
Lure: Spinnerbait
Angler Comments: I fished from about 9:30 – noon. I think the wind got stronger and colder the whole time. It was pretty close to white caps on one of the lakes on the way back. I probably could have used another layer of clothing. As far as fishing it turned out pretty good. Almost all of the fish I caught had a fat belly like they had been eating good.
Top 5 Weight: 14-2 (4-0,4-0,2-3,2-3,1-12) culls 1-10,1-10,1-5

Also had the bonus April 13 submission above from Jim that he suspected may have added some weight to his 2021 total. Tough break though as he noted “the battery in my scale went dead.” I suspect that Jim will find some more bites (and batteries) to make up for it before all is said and done. Talk to you later. Troy