Hennepin Canal Report – May 19

Back-to-back mornings on The Canal as I chased the bass on a stretch where my Top 5 sat at 7-8. The aim was to fool a few to knock the lighter bass out of my creel and boost the Top 5 weight into double digits.

6:06am – First bass and an impaired eye did not seem to hinder the aim on a buzzbait

Stats
Date: May 19
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 5:50am-8:20am
Totals: 5 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 64F
Lures: Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (snow white shad) – 5 bass
Top Bass: 2-9 (Buzzbait)
Top 4 Weight (only 4 at 12” or better): 6-2 (2-9,1-10,1-3,0-12)

Winning Lure

6:11am – Top Bass at 2-9 (18″) on a buzzbait

Notes and Nonsense

Buzz and Bust – All five of my bass fell to a buzzbait and all within a one-hour stretch. My first bass was landed at 6:06am, about fifteen minutes after launching the boat. Bass number five came at 7:06am and I never caught another fish in the remaining seventy minutes on the water. Once the sun rose above the tree line, the buzzbait bite was over and I never found a backup bait to get the job done.

 

Gnasty Gnats – The gnats were less terrible than the previous day but still ugly. It is futile to swat at them or brush them away from your face, so you just must grin and bear it. Which is not always easy to do when they are in your ears, up your nose, between your shades and your eyes, or occasionally breathed into your mouth. Occasionally, though, I must take a slap at some of them, and I have to say that it is quite satisfying to feel one smash in the process. They bite too, but I really didn’t notice it a whole lot at the time. Instead, I now have over a dozen welts on my face, jaw line, ears, and neck from those nasty little bugs. And another thing. I bet that I sneezed a couple dozen times while on the water between the two mornings due to those pesky insects. You just have to decide whether you love fishing more than you hate bugs and that’s a no brainer for me. By the way, I hate lotions, potions, and sprays so thank you in advance for any suggestions, but I likely won’t heed the helpful advice.

 

The morning did not live up to my expectations and the catches only boosted my overall Top 5 to 9-5. That means a return trip in search of eleven more ounces to reach the ten-pound mark and meet my goal. The bad thing is that this section has a tough “boat ramp” that is littered with poison ivy and bound to get worse as we head into summer. In fact, I got my first dose of it on this outing but fortunately only on a couple fingers. Such are the perils when prowling The Canal. But I plan to be back somewhere on its waters before too long. So, stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – May 18

Last Saturday I took a shot at three adjacent sections of The Canal. Beyond just trying to outsmart some bass, I was also in search of the quality bites needed to meet some Canal goals. For now, I will stick to the regular report format but anticipate a future post outlining just what those Canal goals encompass.

7:57am – Top Bass at 2-1 (16″) on a topwater frog

Stats
Date: May 18
Location: Hennepin Canal (three sections)
Time: 6:30am-10:20am
Totals: 17 bass
Weather: Sunny/calm, 61-77F
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with Bass Pro Shops Twin Tail trailer (Houdini) – 8 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino) – 8 bass, 5” Yamamoto Senko (blue pearl/silver flake) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-1 (Spro Frog)
Top 5 Weight: 7-11 (2-1,1-14,1-7,1-4,1-1)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

Pool One – A solid start on a return trip to a spot that I had first fished two weeks prior resulted in nine bass from 6:30am-8:15am. A spinnerbait was the ticket around abundant wood as it fooled seven of the nine bass. Rounding out the haul was one short bass on a Senko wacky rig and Top Bass of the Day at 2-1 on a Spro Flappin Frog.

9:10am – Top Bass Runner-up at 1-14 (16″) on a topwater frog

Pool Two – One hour on this section produced five bass, all on the Spro Flappin Frog. I buzzed the frog through any open water between riprap banks and the emerging lily pads to elicit strikes. Top Bass among the five catches weighed in at 1-14.

Pool Three – I wrapped up the morning with three bass in one hour on the last section, two on the frog and one on a War Eagle spinnerbait. Top Bass for the pool was a 1-4 on the frog but I lost another fish in the two-pound range that threw my spinnerbait on the way to the boat.

Video below from 9:02am – My favorite bass of the trip as he was one brave and greedy guy

 

Synchronized Fishing – My brother, Brent, was on the water at Snakeden Hollow during the same time that I was trying my luck on The Canal. And I’ve got to say that while technology has its pros and cons, it is cool to text real time updates back and forth from thirty-five miles away. I fished slightly longer than Brent this morning, but our totals were quite similar. We each landed seventeen bass. Brent’s Top 5 Weight was 7-1 while mine was 7-11. He got me on Top Bass of the Day with a 2-7 edging out my 2-1.

Logs below – Brent at Snakeden (left), Troy at The Canal (right)

Nature – Mother Nature’s spring fling was on full display. Cottonwood fuzz littered the surface and frequently needed to be removed from lures and lines which can be a challenge at times. The gnats were so bad that I considered calling it quits after about an hour on the water (and mind you, I love fishing). Aquatic vegetation had taken hold affecting lure decisions and presentation as it varies from pool to pool. On a positive note, I did get to observe a Bald Eagle as it flew across The Canal about thirty feet in front of me. Such a cool bird and still a big deal to me even though they aren’t as big a deal in terms of sighting frequency as back in the day.

 

A successful day on the water although a batch of big bites still eluded me. But The Canal continues to impress as I invest more hours on new spots. And it didn’t take long to return for some more casts as I was back on the water the following day. Stay tuned for that report. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – May 10

In keeping with my effort to provide a fishing report for each trip, here is the scoop on a brief hour and a half bike and hike on The Canal. The aim was more of a reconnaissance mission but if you’re going out you might as well take your fishing stuff.

A small largemouth

Stats
Date: May 10
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 6:10pm-7:40pm
Totals: 2 bass
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm
Lures: 5” Yamamoto Senko (pumpkin black flake) – 2 bass
Top Bass: No keepers
Top 5 Weight: No Keepers

Winning lure

Notes and Nonsense

Gathering Intel – The primary objective of this evening bike ride (with poles included) was to assess the status of this section of The Canal. In my opinion, it has been a wreck for the last two years due to lack of water. The level is controlled by a valve/gate on the downstream end, and it has remained open for quite some time. Last fall, the water was so low that the bottom was visible on nearly the entire two-mile stretch and water covered less than half the width of span. The official explanation stated that the level was dropped to knock down the abundant aquatic vegetation. To me, it is a losing battle by solely dropping the water level. In 2021, I landed a 2-13 and coupled with an 0-14 in 2023, my paltry Top 5 effort consists of two bass weighing a combined 3-11. My two small bass did not help with a boost, but I did see a pair of “keepers” along the way and the water is nearly back to normal pool. Time will tell if/when I take another shot to see if I can find some more “keepers.”

 

What’s In a Name?
Common Name: Largemouth Bass
Scientific Name: Micropterus salmoides
Taxonomy dictates a scientifically recognized genus species designation to clearly identify organisms and avoid confusion over any regional variance in a common name. As noted below on a screenshot from one of the catches, the closed jaw of a largemouth extends beyond the eye. In contrast, a smallmouth bass jaw will generally be in line with the eye. Thus, while the catches on this outing had small mouths (and every other part of their anatomy), they still qualify as largemouth bass.

Not much else to report beyond saying that the stretch was formerly reported to contain quality bass. Here’s hoping that they found somewhere to hide during the “drought” and survived the low water winters. I have two more Canal trips in the books in a quest to boost the Top 5 Weights on these sections into double digits. Stay tuned for the reports and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

In my fishing lingo, I refer to bass that make the two-pound mark as “good ones.” Well, this week we have a trio of “good ones” courtesy of two Jackson brothers on three separate outings.

Weight: 2-7
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 18
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 13-6 (3-6,3-4,2-7,2-4,2-1) culls 2-0

Weight: 2-1
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 18
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 67F
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino)
Structure: Lily pads
Angler Comments: I had rowed around The Canal for a mile with decent results but nothing of much size. Wouldn’t you know that I find my best bite of the day within about fifty feet of my truck.

Weight: 2-9
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 19
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 64F
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (snow white shad)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: The sunrise buzzbait bite started out hot with this being my second “keeper” of the morning after only twenty minutes on the water. Unfortunately, once the sun rose above the tree line, the bite completely shut down.
Top 5 Weight: 12-12 (3-0,2-12,2-9,2-6,2-1) culls 1-15 and 1-14

A lot of “good ones” this year for our limits but the search continues for some three and four pounders. They are out there, just got to keep on casting. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – May 8

 

Work has been hectic this year, resulting in longer days and weekend duty. For the effort, my boss suggested that I take a weekday off and “go fishing.” No sense arguing with that directive, so I headed to The Canal last Wednesday to try my luck on unfamiliar waters.

Stats
Date: May 8
Location: Hennepin Canal (two pools)
Time: 7:50am-10:50am, 1:30pm-4:30pm
Totals: 14 bass
Weather: Sunny to overcast/windy to very windy
Lures: Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with a Zoom Z Swimbait trailer (electric blue chartreuse) – 10 bass, War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with Bass Pro Shops Twin Tail trailer (Houdini) – 2 bass, 5” Yamamoto Senko (blue pearl/silver flake) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 2-12
Top 5 Weight: 9-1 (2-12,1-15,1-9,1-7,1-6)

Winning lures

Notes and Nonsense

Row, Cast, Repeat – I chose a destination that would allow me to check another uncharted spot off my Canal quest. The main factor that has kept me off this stretch is that it is devoid of shoreline windbreaks. As the forecast predicted a mere 3-4 mph breeze, it was time to give it a shot. However, I should know better as 2024 has been windy as ever and the weather prognosticators were way off the mark.

8:46am – Top Bass Runner Up at 1-15 (16″) on a Senko

Dirty Water – In addition to the wind factor, the water was quite dirty due to recent rains. The Canal does have a green color in this area, but the cleaner green was replaced by a dingier green. I’ve got to admit that the wind and clarity gave me fits and the bass weren’t cooperative. I fought the challenging conditions for three hours and three bass before deciding to switch to Plan B.

2:53pm – Crooked Canal bass, may have been a “keeper” if straight

Plan B – My aim was to head east to another unexplored stretch once I had taken a shot at my initial destination. Unfortunately, the water clarity got worse as I drove east and checked a pair of spots. Therefore, I headed west for Plan C.

4:04pm – Top Bass at 2-12 (18″) on a chatterbait

Plan C – I ended up on a stretch that I had only partially explored by boat and bank for a few hours. The wind was still ugly, but the water clarity was improved, and I had driven enough that it was time to get back in the boat. Three hours produced eleven bass, a welcome improvement over my three bass morning shift. Included in my haul were four of the day’s Top 5 and Top Bass of 2-12.

 

Endangered Species – As I ended my day, I ran into a rare sight, someone who reads my blog. I believe that we had met previously on a winter hike while scouting a mile or so upstream. On this afternoon we swapped Canal information and experiences as I rowed near the ramp. Once I reached dry ground, we chatted a bit more and I was able to witness the angler land a bass on a topwater propbait just before I hit the road. It’s always fun to chat with fellow Canal anglers and I was happy to see his success on a topwater presentation. I’d employed a similar bait throughout the day and never got a single strike. It’s good to know that I am not wasting my time throwing such a lure too early. I guess that I just need to work on my touch and keep plugging away.

4:30pm – Last cast bass, a good way to call it a day

A slow start followed by a change of scenery saved the day. I only managed three “keepers” on my first stop which means a return trip in the future to complete a Top 5. In contrast, I did complete a Top 5 on the second stretch. However, the 8-7 Top 5 Weight leaves me within striking distance of the ultimate goal of a double-digit Top 5 from each section of The Canal. So, I guess that I will pencil in both stretches for future visits. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Three more fish join the ranks this week as a pair of anglers expand to some new water. One guy is exploring a 56,000-acre reservoir while the other guy is checking off sections of a one-hundred-mile canal. Both are imposing tasks and both anglers are reaping the rewards of their efforts.

Fish: Hybrid striped bass
Weight: 1-12
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 12, 2024
Weather: Setting sun with high thin clouds.
Water temperature: 77 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC at Hartwell State Park
Lure: Black and silver 3 ½ inch shallow running Rapala
Comments: I finished my evening fishing on Lake Hartwell near Tugaloo State Park in Georgia across the lake from my campsite at Hartwell state Park, SC. I stowed the trolling motor and started the outboard for the run across the lake to camp. As I neared the entrance to the small bay where the campsite is found, I noticed a fish feeding on the surface about 15 yards ahead on the port side. The water depth was 56 feet. I slowed down and put the engine in neutral. The boat continued to move at a slow and diminishing rate of speed. The disturbed water caused by the feeding fish had settled down, but I cast the Rapala to where I thought I had seen the feeding fish. I had not started the retrieve when, suddenly, I saw a fish causing a disturbance on the surface about 10 yards from the boat. As I watched I saw my lure go flying in the air above a fish thrashing on the surface. The lure fell back in the water and the fish took it. Hybrid striped bass are strong fish, and this fish made several runs taking line each time. It tried going under the boat, but I was able to get him to the net. I was surprised the fish only weighed 1 lbs.12 oz., because he fought like a much bigger fish.
Top 5 Weight: 8-7 (3-5,2-6,1-12,1-0)

Weight: 2-12 (18″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 8
Weather: Overcast/very windy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with Keitech Swing Impact Swimbait trailer (electric blue & chartreuse)
Structure: Log
Angler Comments: An isolated log on an extended flat is always worth a few casts. This time around, it only took one.

Weight: 1-15 (16″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 8
Weather: Sunny/very windy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamamoto Senko wacky rig (blue pearl/black & hologram)
Structure: Reeds/riprap
Angler Comments: This was a bite on a classic structure combo with large chunk riprap along a stretch of reeds breaking up an otherwise bland bank.
Top 5 Weight: 11-15 (3-0,2-12,2-6,1-15,1-14) culls a pair at 1-11

Another fine update and stay tuned for the full report covering the May 8 prowl on The Canal. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – May 4

It has been a struggle to find quality bites on The Canal this year with a lone two-pounder being my best catch. So, I figured that I would step away from the regular Canal spots and try one that I had never fished before. No matter the results, it is always fun to try new water and it is part of my overall goal to explore the entire stretch of The Canal from Sheffield to Colona.

10:41am – First topwater catch of the year

Stats
Date: May 4
Location: Hennepin Canal (two pools)
Time: 10:40am-3:00pm
Totals: 10 bass
Weather: overcast/windy to very windy
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with Bass Pro Shops Twin Tail trailer (Houdini) – 8 bass, 5” Yamamoto Senko (blue pearl/silver flake) – 1 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-0
Top 5 Weight: 7-5 (3-0,1-8,1-4,0-14,0-11)

Winning Lures

1:52pm – Top Bass at 3-0 (19.5″) on a spinnerbait

Notes and Nonsense

Topwater Report – Several anglers on the internet had reported topwater catches in the past week or two but I had yet to convince any bass with my initial efforts. Previously, I had tossed around a Whopper Plopper but on this outing, I decided to try a buzzbait and a frog as the water was littered with lily pad stems (unfriendly to treble hooks). The frog kicked off my topwater catches not long after launching but that bass would be the lone topwater strike of the day.

 

New Pools – In my pursuit to establish Top 5 marks on every section from Colona to Sheffield, I selected two new stretches of water for this outing. The pools were adjacent and connected by a navigable tube allowing for only one launch to give them both a shot. Pool One produced six bass in 2.75 hours and featured an extended drought of nearly two hours between catches at 11:21am and 1:09pm. I rowed two miles of water and wound up catching four of my six bass within sight of my truck. Pool Two consisted of an hour and a half and resulted in four bas including an impressive three-pound fish for Top Bass of the day.

Weather Report – I started the late morning in a sweatshirt under partly cloudy conditions but ditched it around noon as the sun showed up full force. I ended up with sunburnt arms as I wore short sleeves and neglected any sunscreen. As I wrapped up the day, the clouds returned and as I fished east back to my truck, I failed to pay attention to what was unfolding to the west. Rumbles of thunder accompanied by sprinkles got my attention and I made a more rapid return towards the lot with casts only at prime targets. I made it just in time as the skies unleashed as I loaded the truck and took an overdue bathroom break prior to heading out. Boy was I lucky as it rained so hard that I could barely see as I made my way to Atkinson for an iced tea. In fact, I sat in my truck for about five minutes at the convenience store waiting out the rain and taking in the Cubs-Brewers game on the radio.

As far as the Cubs were concerned, they were victorious on this day. For me versus the bass, I’d have to rate it a “draw,” although that would be boxing term rather than baseball. I landed my biggest bass of the year and had a Top 5 for the combined pools but I came up short on my expectations and separate Top 5 marks for each pool. Do you know what that means? I guess that I will just have to come back for another try. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

The hits keep coming as we have a big batch of bass (spots and largies) along with a unique and prehistoric first-time entry.

Fish: Spotted bass
Weight: 1-3 (14”)
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Clouds with occasional rain showers
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.

Fish: Spotted bass
Weight: 1-5 (15”)
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Clouds with occasional rain showers
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.

Fish: Spotted bass
Weight: 2-7 (16”)
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Clouds with occasional rain showers
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.
Top 5 Weight: 10-7 (2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13,1-11) culls 1-7

Weight: 3-6
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 2-1
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 2-0
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Senko wacky rig

Weight: 1-13
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 3-4
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 12-15 (3-6,3-4,2-4,2-1,2-0) culls 1-13, 1-11,1-10,1-6

Weight: 3-0
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 4
Weather: Overcast/windy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with BPS twin tail trailer (Houdini)
Angler Comments: I decided to explore new water and was rewarded with my Top Bass of 2024.
Top 5 Weight: 10-10 (3-0,2-6,1-14,1-11,1-11) culls 1-8

Fish: Gar
Length: 28”
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Blue sky with some clouds
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.
Top 5 Length: 28” (28”)

Now, how is that for a weekly fishing report? Three anglers posting three species caught on four different lure types from two states. And the waters that these fish called home include a major reservoir created in the late 1950s, a couple strip pits from the 1960s, and an abandoned shipping waterway that originally opened in 1907. Here’s to a pat on the back for the anglers and a slightly selfish shout out to this website. And another fishing report from the Hennepin Canal is set to post later this week. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

I am behind schedule on my first Top 5 Stat Update of the year as I failed to post the numbers for March. So here we go to catch up on the data for the thirty-eight fish submitted through April. Up first are the bass totals, followed by the numbers for the additional species.

(Editor’s note: there are a few April fish included below that will not debut until the upcoming Monday update)

2024 Totals (largemouth and spotted)
March = 15 bass
April = 16 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
March = 18-3 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-4,3-1)
April = 11-0 (2-8,2-7,2-4,2-0,1-13)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 14 bass
Bank = 17 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 12-0 (3-4,2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13)
Bank = 17-5 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-1,2-6)

Public vs. Private
Public = 31 bass
Private = 0 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 18-3 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-4,3-1)
Private = no submissions

The Baits
Jerkbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 2-8 John Kirkemo)
Chatterbait = 9 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Lipless Crankbait = 4 bass (Top Bass 2-6 Jim Junk)
Crankbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-11 Troy Jackson)
Plastic Worm = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-5 John Kirkemo)
Spinnerbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-11 Brent Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass
March
4-6 Jim Junk
April
2-8 John Kirkemo

2024 Top 10 Bass
4-6 Jim Junk 3/3
3-14 Jim Junk 3/18
3-10 Jim Junk 3/3
3-4 Jayce Jackson 3/31
3-1 Jim Junk 3/17
2-8 John Kirkemo 4/26
2-7 John Kirkemo 4/10
2-6 Jim Junk 3/3
2-6 Troy Jackson 3/16
2-4 Brent Jackson 4/13

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 17-5 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-1,2-6)
John Kirkemo 10-7 (2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13,1-11)
Troy Jackson 9-2 (2-6,1-14,1-11,1-11,1-8)
Brent Jackson 8-3 (2-4,1-11,1-10,1-6,1-4)
Jayce Jackson 3-4 (3-4)

Other Species
Striped Bass
John Kirkemo 6-11 (3-5,2-6,1-0)

Channel Catfish
John Kirkemo 2-3 (2-3)

Trout (brown and rainbow)
John Kirkemo 24” (12”, 12”)

Gar
John Kirkemo 28” (28”)

Being a stat guy, these recaps are always fun. And as I post this stat update, we have racked up another batch of catches so stay tuned for the Monday Top 5 Update. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – April 27

The Canal offers dozens of potential spots so it can be tough to decide on a destination when I get a chance to hit the water. Things like the amount of time available to fish, the time of year, and the urge to explore are factors that can influence my decision. On this outing, I had about a three-hour window with drive included so a spot close to home was the first item to consider. Beyond that, I had four other factors that came into play. Read on for those considerations and the results of my choice.

11:06am – First bass at 1-1 (13″) on a chatterbait

Stats
Date: April 27
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 10:20am-12:20pm
Totals: 2 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Water temperature: Not available
Lures: Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with a Zoom Z Swimbait trailer (electric blue chartreuse) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 1-2
Top 2 Weight (only two bass at 12” or better): 2-3

Winning Lure

Notes and Nonsense

Everyone knows it’s windy, every single day that I get to fish

Factor One: Wind – The wind has been brutal this year and this day was no different. For a guy rowing around in an eight-foot johnboat, it can be a source of frustration. I chose this stretch of The Canal as it provided substantial wind break for wind from the south southwest. My choice was a winner as I barely noticed the wind other than one short stretch where the cover on the southern bank grew sparse. The wind did shift to more directly from the west at the end of the trip and was beneficial in heading back to the lot. In fact, the wind gusts exceeded the modest canal current and actually pushed me upstream.

Subsurface weeds are abundant and will soon take over much of the surface of this pool

Factor Two: Weeds – By mid-May, this stretch will be so choked with weeds that it is a chore to even row a boat through the surface mats. Therefore, I figured that if I was going to get to it before the weeds took over, this was a good opportunity. In addition, lure presentation is pretty much limited to topwater frogs once the aquatic vegetation takes hold. Frogs are an exciting presentation, but I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket as would be the case for most of this stretch of water in a couple of weeks.

A look at the less than impressive all-time Top 5 for this pool

Factor Three: Weight – In previous posts, I have noted that a goal is to post a Top 5 for each pool on The Canal. Expanding on that goal is striving to push that Top 5 mark to double digits. For the stretch I chose, I had already established a Top 5 mark during a pair of 2022 visits (May 1 and July 13). However, that Top 5 weight of only 6-8 left much to be desired. I decided that a return visit was the ticket to find the bites needed for the three and a half pounds required to reach the ten-pound goal. Not even close though as I could not muster a bite to boost my weight at all.

Worth a shot but no luck, won’t be long though…

Factor Four: Topwater – Shallow water, warming weather, and emerging vegetation had me looking to get my first topwater bass of 2024 in the log. By mid-April, topwater offerings begin to come into play and with the shallow waters of The Canal, those bass are often ahead of schedule for such a bite. In fact, on my April 15 outing I had spoken to a couple of anglers in a boat who noted a few topwater catches and stated that the water was “really warm.” They didn’t specify how warm it was, but the feedback prompted me to tie on a Whopper Plopper for this trip. Apparently, the bass on this stretch did not get the memo as I got zero response. However, the lack of success will not discourage me as I know it is just a matter of time.

11:50am – Second bass at 1-2 (14.5″) on a chatterbait

In the end, I was disappointed in my results but not in my reasons for selecting my destination. As I often say, “That’s fishing.” The stretches that connect to this spot have quality fish, but they have yet to show in my three visits to this area. I am torn on whether it is worth another visit this year. On one hand, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder. On the other hand, I have several uncharted stretches on my list in need of an initial Top 5. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy