Category: Top 5

Top 5 Update

Four more October bass join the ledger as a fall feel has descended upon the region. But those shorter days, cool nights and changing colors can signify the potential for a solid fall bite if you can time it right. Read on for the scoop on the latest catches.

Weight: 2-9 (17.5″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: October 14
Location: Knox County Private Strip Mine
Lure: Zoom Baby Brush Hog (watermelon seed)
Structure: Log
Angler Comments: The sluggish mood of the bass on a regular stop forced my hand and slowing down my presentations paid off.

Weight: 2-11 (18″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: October 14
Location: Knox County Private Strip Mine
Lure: Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (snow white shad)
Structure: Stumps
Angler Comments: This one was cool as I actually saw the bass come after the bait as it landed among a couple partially shaded stumps. Always a tense split second waiting until you feel a strike to avoid jerking the lure away from an interested bass.
Top 5 Weight: 14-4 (3-14,2-11,2-10,2-9,2-8) culls a pair at 2-4

Weight: 4-12
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: October 16
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Lipless crankbait
Angler Comments: Was on a few different patterns. Actually think they were just hitting anything and anywhere. Spinnerbaits took the most fish but lipless crank took the big fish of the day.
Top 5 Weight: 24-9 (5-3,5-0,4-14,4-12,4-12) culls a 4-10

Weight: 1-3
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: October 18
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Weighted weedless wacky worm
Structure: 5-7’ feet of water near a laydown
Angler Comments: Only fish caught in three hours of fishing. Water temperatures 53-56 degrees. Brisk breeze from south with partly cloudy skies.
Top 5 Weight: 6-14 (1-9,1-7,1-6,1-5,1-3)

Well done in keeping the Top 5 alive for another week and keep ‘em coming. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Several more solid bass this week in the midst of some cooler, windier conditions in West Central Illinois. Further proof that you need to keep on casting in 2019, especially as a rebound in temperatures are on the horizon.

Weight: 3-10
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: October 13
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait

Weight: 3-8
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: October 13
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait
Angler Comments: Got here around 5:00pm, 11 bass total. All over 1.5 with 3-10 and 3-8 leading the way.
Top 5 Weight: 23-15 (5-3,4-14,4-12,4-10,4-8)

Weight: 4-5
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: October 13
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Spinnerbait (brown/orange) aka “The Emiquon Special”
Angler Comments (editor’s note): Several minutes prior I had landed a small bass to take the shutout out of the equation after arriving at a different lake. Brent noted that we’d both caught bass on the other three lakes we’d fished so he needed a fish as well. Sure didn’t take long and avoided his shutout in a big way. Just a great looking bass, more in a later fishing report as I had a front row seat for this catch.
Top 5 Weight: 13-7 (4-5,2-14,2-6,1-15,1-15) culls a 1-12

All the proof you need to keep casting. So, please submit your reports by roughly 9:00pm next Sunday to make the deadline for next week’s update. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Better late than never as this post is a bit tardy for the customary Monday update. The days are definitely getting shorter and after a short local warm-up it looks like some pretty chilly overnights are on the horizon. Don’t you dare give up yet though, as there’s still plenty of bites out there to be caught.

Weight: 4-6
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: September 29
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Texas rigged Senko
Angler Comments: Was getting dark and was leaving, stopped for one last cast. Threw Texas rigged Senko over some reeds into a small pool that had been completely weed covered all year. Couldn’t see my line but felt the tap, tap and felt the line moving. Set the hook on this 4-6 and called it a night.
Top 5 Weight: 23-15 (5-3,4-14,4-12,4-10,4-8)

It’s been a tall order for our leader to cull but always good to get a fish story from Jim to pass along. Hey, any four-pounder deserves some recognition, crazy when it falls short of adding some weight to a creel. Yep, I’m a bit envious and sure hoping to get a few more casts before my 2019 fishing year comes to a close. Hope some others get in some more fishing as well. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

The bass continued to trickle in as we transitioned from summer to fall pushing us to 75 submissions (5 other species submissions as well). Right on schedule, here’s another look at the numbers.

2019 Totals (* = new record)
January = 1 bass
February = no submissions
March = 8 bass
April = 14 bass
May = 12 bass
June = 14 bass
July = 11 bass
August = 7 bass
September = 8 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month (* = new record)
January = 3-3 (one bass)
February = no submissions
March = 19-3 (4-8,4-2,4-1,3-5,3-3)
April = 19 -10 (4-1,4-1,4-0,3-12,3-12)
May = 19-1 (4-6,4-0,3-15,3-10,3-2)
June = 19-15 (4-3,4-1,4-1,3-15,3-11)
July = 13-15 (5-3,3-14,1-15,1-8,1-7)
August = 19-4 (4-14,4-10,4-6,2-14,2-8)
September = 22-6 (5-3,5-0,5-0,4-12,2-7)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 23 bass
Bank = 52 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight (* = new record)
Boat = 14-9 (3-14,3-11,2-8,2-4,2-4)
Bank = 25-4 (5-3,5-3,5-0,5-0,4-14)

Public vs. Private
Public = 58 bass
Private = 17 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 24-3 (5-3,5-0,4-14,4-10,4-8)
Private = 22-7 (5-3,5-0,4-12,3-14,3-10)

The Baits (* = new record)
Plastic Worm = 25 bass (Top Bass 4-14 Jim Junk)
Chatterbait = 14 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Jim Junk)
Spinnerbaits = 12 bass (Top Bass 3-10 Chris Schwarz)
Lipless Crankbaits = 9 bass (Top Bass 4-8 Jim Junk)
Buzzbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-4 Troy Jackson)
Jigs = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-10 Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-11 Chris Schwarz)
Swim Jigs = 2 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Chris Schwarz)
Underspin = 2 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Prop Bait = 1 bass (Top Bass 4-12 Jim Junk)
Livebait = 1 bass (Top Bass 4-1 Jim Junk)
Topwater Frog = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-1 Landon Hannam)

Monthly Top Bass (* = new record)
January
3-3 Jim Junk
February
No submissions
March
4-8 Jim Junk
April
4-1 Jim Junk
May
4-6 Jim Junk
June
4-3 Jim Junk
July
5-3 Jim Junk
August
4-14 Jim Junk
September
5-3 Chris Schwarz

Top 10 Bass (* = new Top 10 all-time)
5-3 Jim Junk 7/28
5-3 Chris Schwarz 9/22
5-0 Jim Junk 9/15
5-0 Chris Schwarz 9/22
4-14 Jim Junk 8/3
4-12 Jim Junk 9/7
4-10 Jim Junk 8/20
4-8 Jim Junk 3/28
4-6 Jim Junk 5/14
4-6 Jim Junk 8/3

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 24-7 (5-3,5-0,4-14,4-12,4-10)
Chris Schwarz 20-10 (5-3,5-0,3-11,3-10,3-2)
Troy Jackson 13-8 (3-14,2-10,2-8,2-4,2-4)
Brent Jackson 10-14 (2-14,2-6,1-15,1-15,1-12)
Landon Hannam 6-14 (2-7,1-4,1-2,1-1,1-0)
Terry Jackson 3-13 (1-15,1-1,0-13)
Jayce Jackson 2-13 (1-8,1-5)
John Kirkemo 2-12 (1-7,1-5)

Other Species
Bluegill 1-8 Teagan Mills 6/2/19 Private pond
Channel Catfish 13-0 Teagan Mills 4/20/19 Private Pond
Catfish 6-9 Chris Schwarz 6/12/19 Spring Lake – McDonough County
Catfish 34-35” Chris Schwarz 6/2/19 Spring Lake – McDonough County
Muskellunge 6-4 Chris Schwarz 6/28/19 Lake Storey

Still some time to catch some good fish so keep that gear at the ready. Those fish sense what’s on the horizon as well and if you can be on the water when they turn on, well, good things can happen. When they do, let me know. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Ten pounds of bass make for quite a cull this week and push a second angler into the 20-pound club for 2019.

Weight: 5-0
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: September 22
Location: Warren County pond
Lure: Swim Jig

Weight: 5-3
Angler: Chris Schwarz
Date: September 22
Location: Warren County pond
Lure: Swim Jig
Angler Comments: 5-3 and 5-0 on back to back casts on a swim jig.
Top 5 Weight: 20-10 (5-3,5-0,3-11,3-10,3-2) culls a 2-10 and 2-7

Outstanding fish, Chris, and well done on passing the 20-pound mark. Still more year to go so everybody keep on casting. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

One limit filled and a pair of culls as we move into the final official week of summer.

Weight: 2-7
Angler: Landon Hannam
Date: September 14
Location: Private pond
Lure: Z-Man Chatterbait with swimbait trailer
Angler Comments: First bass on the chatterbait since earlier this spring.
Top 5 Weight: 6-14 (2-7,1-4,1-2,1-1,1-0)

Weight: 5-0
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: September 15
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait
Angler Comments: Throwing a chatterbait over weedline into deeper channel, hit right at weed edge.
Top 5 Weight: 24-7 (5-3,5-0,4-14,4-12,4-10) culls a 4-8

Weight: 1-15
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: September 15
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Spinnerbait (white)
Structure: Laydown
Top 5 Weight: 10-14 (2-14,2-6,1-15,1-15,1-12) culls a 1-10

Keep on casting as there’s plenty of good bites left out there as we head into another season. Hoping to find time to get another Lake Storey fishing report completed as well as an overdue Top 10 Trip Tunes feature. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

September is rolling along with a pair of anglers adding three more Knox County bass. I’m also trying out a new Top 5 wrinkle with a video of one of the catches in addition to the required photo.

Weight: 4-12
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: September 7
Location: Knox County Strip Mine
Lure: Whopper Plopper
Angler Comments: Got a couple small ones on a Red Eye Shad and this 4-12 hit a Whopper Plopper about 15 or 20 yards from the shore.
Top 5 Weight: 23-15 (5-3,4-14,4-12,4-10,4-8) culls a 4-6

Weight: 1-15
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: September 8
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Spinnerbait (white)
Structure: Laydown/scattered weeds

Weight: 2-6
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: September 8
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Spinnerbait (white)
Structure: Brush/scattered weeds
Top 5 Weight: 10-9 (2-14,2-6,1-15,1-12,1-10) culls a 1-2 and 1-1

Good job guys, proof that you don’t want to put those poles away just yet. I suspect the Top 5 has a few more updates in store over the next couple months. More video to come this week in a Lake Storey fishing report and another Trip Tunes feature when time permits. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Starting to get a bit of that end of the fishing year feel during some recent cool mornings and shorter evenings. Still a ways to go but it’s in the air already with a mild finish to August. We did add seven more bass during the month from four anglers including our leader who managed to add just over a pound to an already impressive limit. Overall, not too bad for what has traditionally been a slow Top 5 month.

2019 Totals (* = new record)
January = 1 bass
February = no submissions
March = 8 bass
April = 14 bass
May = 12 bass
June = 14 bass
July = 11 bass
August = 7 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month (* = new record)
January = 3-3 (one bass)
February = no submissions
March = 19-3 (4-8,4-2,4-1,3-5,3-3)
April = 19 -10 (4-1,4-1,4-0,3-12,3-12)
May = 19-1 (4-6,4-0,3-15,3-10,3-2)
June = 19-15 (4-3,4-1,4-1,3-15,3-11)
July = 13-15 (5-3,3-14,1-15,1-8,1-7)
August = 19-4 (4-14,4-10,4-6,2-14,2-8)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 20 bass
Bank = 47 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight (* = new record)
Boat = 14-9 (3-14,3-11,2-8,2-4,2-4)
Bank = 23-9 (5-3,4-14,4-10,4-8,4-6)

Public vs. Private
Public = 54 bass
Private = 13 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 23-9 (5-3,4-14,4-10,4-8,4-6)
Private = 15-11 (3-14,3-10,3-2,2-10,2-7)

The Baits (* = new record)
Plastic Worm = 25 bass (Top Bass 4-14 Jim Junk)
Chatterbait = 12 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Jim Junk)
Lipless Crankbaits = 9 bass (Top Bass 4-8 Jim Junk)
Spinnerbaits = 9 bass (Top Bass 3-10 Chris Schwarz)
Buzzbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-4 Troy Jackson)
Jigs = 3 bass (Top Bass 2-10 Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-11 Chris Schwarz)
Underspin = 2 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Livebait = 1 bass (Top Bass 4-1 Jim Junk)
Topwater Frog = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-1 Landon Hannam)

Monthly Top Bass (* = new record)
January
3-3 Jim Junk
February
No submissions
March
4-8 Jim Junk
April
4-1 Jim Junk
May
4-6 Jim Junk
June
4-3 Jim Junk
July
5-3 Jim Junk
August
4-14 Jim Junk

Top 10 Bass (* = new Top 10 all-time)
5-3 Jim Junk 7/28
4-14 Jim Junk 8/3
4-10 Jim Junk 8/20
4-8 Jim Junk 3/28
4-6 Jim Junk 5/14
4-6 Jim Junk 8/3
4-3 Jim Junk 6/14
4-2 Jim Junk 3/30
4-1 Jim Junk 3/31
4-1 Jim Junk 4/10
4-1 Jim Junk 4/13
4-1 Jim Junk 6/20
4-1 Jim Junk 6/28

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 23-9 (5-3,4-14,4-10,4-8,4-6)
Chris Schwarz 15-8 (3-11,3-10,3-2,2-10,2-7)
Troy Jackson 13-8 (3-14,2-10,2-8,2-4,2-4)
Brent Jackson 8-7 (2-14,1-12,1-10,1-2,1-1)
Landon Hannam 4-7 (1-4,1-2,1-1,1-0)
Terry Jackson 3-13 (1-15,1-1,0-13)
Jayce Jackson 2-13 (1-8,1-5)
John Kirkemo 2-12 (1-7,1-5)

Other Species
Bluegill 1-8 Teagan Mills 6/2/19 Private pond
Channel Catfish 13-0 Teagan Mills 4/20/19 Private Pond
Catfish 6-9 Chris Schwarz 6/12/19 Spring Lake – McDonough County
Catfish 34-35” Chris Schwarz 6/2/19 Spring Lake – McDonough County
Muskellunge 6-4 Chris Schwarz 6/28/19 Lake Storey

Welcome, September, and here’s hoping for a solid batch of submissions as we head towards the home stretch. Good luck if you get out there and send them my way. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

I was sitting in the middle of a Knox County strip mine lake this past Saturday at 9:48am when I got a text message from an angler who had reeled in a Top 5 worthy bass. Now, it’s always cool to get the latest fish story but it’s even cooler when I’m busy fishing instead of just wishing. Turns out the guy was also in Knox County only a few miles away as noted below.

Weight: 2-14
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: August 31
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Spinnerbait
Angler Comments: Fished Snakeden for about three hours this morning, the first fish was the biggest, caught 16 all in the first two hours and nothing in the next hour, seemed like they came in spurts.
Top 5 Weight: 8-7 (2-14,1-12,1-10,1-2,1-1) culls a 1-0

Weight: 2-8
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: August 31
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (orange craw)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: After struggling without a bite for a half hour I hit a spot where five bass came in thirteen minutes on the Red Eye Shad. Not sure what turned them on but fast and furious for a bit and then only one more bite during the next half hour.
Top 5 Weight: 13-8 (3-14,2-10,2-8,2-4,2-4) culls a 2-3

Fun to have a Jackson brothers update this week as it’s not every day we’re both able to get out and chase some bass. I guess next time we get a chance to fish we should text beforehand so we can join forces and really give those strip mine bass a hard time like “back in the day.” Hope to get some fishing reports from the Labor Day weekend compiled so stay tuned. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Our Top 5 leader continues to boost his creel with a trio of August bass that combine for nearly fourteen pounds of fish.

Weight: 4-14
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: August 3
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Texas rigged Senko
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: Ran into a Senko Texas rigged bite, most were deep and small but caught one every few casts. Somewhere in the middle of this a 4-14 smashed the Senko at the weed edge.

Weight: 4-6
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: August 3
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Rapala Clackin’ Rap

Weight: 4-10
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: August 20
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: Today was 3 bass with top weight of 4-10 that came off a weed edge and hit a chatterbait.
Top 5 Weight: 23-9 (5-3,4-14,4-10,4-8,4-6) culls a 4-6 and 4-3

Way to go, Jim. When paired with last week’s submissions our 2019 August Top 5 sits at 16-13, within striking distance of the current August record of 18-9 from 2017. Still nearly a week left before September, so a shout out to send them my way in pursuit of a new monthly mark. Talk to you later. Troy