Month: November 2019

Wichita, KS Fishing Extras

Interesting graffiti landmark, more in one of today’s video clips, wish I knew the story

Since I went the extra mile for this trip and a couple welcome bass it seems fitting to add some extras to the earlier report. Here’s a few more thoughts and some video shot during an hour of fishing on 11/21 before heading home.


Research – The internet certainly has its pros and cons, one could go on forever on that topic. But for this brief fishing excursion, cyberspace was certainly a winner as I was able to get some general input on Wichita fishing holes to help me make a decision on where to invest my limited time. All turned out just fine after some concern that I hadn’t invested enough time exploring from my living room. Once again, a double edged sword as too much info can leave you just as lost as not enough.

Lures – Nearly all of my casts were made with two lures, a Booyah Spinnerbait and a Rapala Shad Rap. Both are effective around the riprap cover and some wood where I focused nearly all of my efforts. Sure, I would have liked to have bounced a jig around but just too much trouble in the debris fields I found extending out from the bank. Call me “chicken” but I like to get my lures back which can sometimes be a challenge when casting from the bank. While bravery may have been lacking at least I was doing something right to have a pair of my casts come back with a bass attached.

Cost – You can’t really put a price on a bass in my opinion. Each catch has its merits based on things like effort, timing, location, companion and yes, even size. However, from strictly the out of stater aspect of the two bass reeled in, we’re talking about $14.60 per bass based on the $29.21 total for my five-day permit. While that may sound a bit steep I would gladly invest again. Well worth the cost for the simple fact that I don’t have to sit home and play the “What if” or “Boy, I wish I would have” game.



“They say I’m crazy but I have a good time.”Life’s Been Good, Joe Walsh (1978) – Did you know that Joe Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas? Well, neither did I as I’ve always associated the entertaining fellow with the state of Ohio. So, I learned something new as I put this piece together and perhaps you just did as well. If so, that is right on the money as one the goals of the blog is education. In this case, knowledge comes in the form of a potential answer to a trivia question.

November 19, 2019 at 5:37pm – Betting that this is the last bass of 2019 – Wichita, KS

And so, the firsthand fishing reports for 2019 likely come to an end. The odds are slim that I get out again but as always I’ve got more than a few blog ideas to get me through the off season. So stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Wichita, KS Report – 11/19 & 11/21

Crummy weather, short days and busy weekends had conspired to keep me off the water this November. And the end of the month didn’t look to stack up so well for getting a shot. However, a work trip to Wichita, KS that began dark and early on a day with the forecast for a high in the 60s provided for a potential last ditch effort. Read on for a recap with some tunes thrown in for good measure.


Date: November 19 and 21, 2019
Location: Sedgwick County Park – Wichita, KS (2 lakes)
Time: 4:15pm-5:45pm (11/19) and 11:15am-12:15pm (11/21)
Weather: Partly cloudy/windy
Air Temp: 63F (11/19) and 44F (11/21)
Water Temp: not available
Totals: 2 bass
Lures: Booyah Blade Spinnerbait (bleeding shad) w/ twin tail trailer (pumpkinseed) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 1-9
Top 5 Weight (only 2 bass): 2-11 (1-9,1-2)

5:32pm on 11/19 – November bass success 14″ 1-2 Spinnerbait

Notes and Nonsense

“But I’m a long, long way from home.”Long, Long Way From Home, Foreigner (1977) – 580 miles to be exact, that’s a ways to go to chase that November bass for a wannabe bass fisherman and pro bono blogger. But with my transportation, grub and lodging being covered by my employer I elected to invest a couple after work hours and $29.21 for a non-resident permit in pursuit of a bite.

“Somewhere out there on that horizon…”In the City, Joe Walsh (1978)
I regularly check out a young YouTuber (Jon B.) who originally hails from Illinois but now works as a vlogger out of the Dallas, Texas area. On occasion he combs Google Maps for urban fishing holes in and around Dallas-Fort Worth and then complies content on his outings. Taking a page out of that book I narrowed the vast Wichita public water offerings down to a half dozen options within 15-20 minutes of my work location. A little overwhelming and even nerve wracking knowing that I’d only have maybe 3-4 hours to fish over the 48 hours in town.

“We’re not in Kansas anymore.” – Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1936) – Strangely, I actually was. While it was odd to think that I was so far from home, once the lures hit the water it was bass fishing as usual. An hour of no bites on the first spot had me a bit worried but I kept looking for the structure that I felt would hold a fish. Riprap in direct sunlight and wind was my all or nothing in the hour and a half I had available before sunset on 11/19. Fate was on my side and at 5:32pm I had my sought after November bass. For good measure a second bass came ashore at 5:37pm for icing on the cake.

5:37pm on 11/19 – Bass number two at 15″ 1-9 Spinnerbait

“Miles and miles of highway with just my radio…” – Radio Land, Michael Martin Murphey (1983)
You know I dig the airwaves and roughly 18 hours behind the wheel did not disappoint. No Top 10 Trip Tunes this time around but here’s some highlights.
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor (1978)- first cut on the trip as I left my driveway at 2:06am and heard it three times which seemed weird.
“Hold the Line” – Toto (1978) – fitting to hear this group on a trip to Kansas (also heard this tune three times)
Kansas – I tuned into a great deal of classic rock on the ride but somehow missed any tunes by this group along the way. If I could have selected a Triple Play by the band originally hailing from Topeka it would be as follows:
“Point of Know Return”
“Play The Game Tonight
“Carry on Wayward Son”
“Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen (2012) – 8:00pm on Thursday, an hour from getting back home, too many hours of work, too few hours of fitful sleep so, yes, I was actually singing this one out loud.
Oh yeah, and then there was a fair dose of live broadcast and post hearing impeachment recaps. And that’s all I have to say about that…

I’d hoped to hit the water the following day (11/20) but rain and dropping temps ruined any shot. An hour on Thursday (11/21) before heading home produced nothing as the temp was dramatically different at 44F as compared to 63F two days prior. My out of state November bass made for a good story and allowed me to achieve my November bass goal but I couldn’t help but think of another classic line from Kansas native, Dorothy Gale.

“There’s no place like home.”

Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback Finale

So, I like to write, right?

And whether or not there is any financial gain or compensation, I do take pride in my efforts and strive to post quality, regular content. (Note: just for the record, my blogging hobby actually costs me money at present).

A significant part of that regular content is my “Friday Flashback” series which wraps up its second year with this wrap-up post. Nothing new here as you’ve seen these pics before if you tagged along in 2019. If so or if not, feel free to search the archives here and have another look.

Nope, this is strictly one of those “pat myself on the back” recaps and also allows me another opportunity to address my penchant for stats.

42 Straight Fridays spanning February (pic above) to November (pic below)

Hundreds of pics including plenty of guests

Did I mention there were guests?

Lots of lures

Faces, places, logs and more

And, yes, I got in on the flashbacks too

It’s been fun and I’m looking forward to another batch of reminiscing in 2020. But I’m getting ahead of myself as this year isn’t quite finished yet. So stay tuned as I just went to great lengths to see about that elusive 2019 November bass. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update – “Winter” Bass

Okay, so the title is a little misleading as we still have over a month of fall remaining but it sure has felt like winter as of late. Today’s submission provides a little visual proof of the wintry conditions that have arrived much too early.

Last Thursday I got a text and the picture below from Jim Junk and simply couldn’t resist passing them along. While it wasn’t quite the five-pounder he needs to boost his total (yep, I’m a little envious), it was a quality cold water mid-November bass and that’s a solid accomplishment.

Angler: Jim Junk
Date: November 14
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Chatterbait
Structure: Channel/weed edge
Angler Comments: Bass hit a chatterbait. Throwing it over some remaining weeds into a rather deep channel. Hit as retrieve was approaching weeds.
Top 5 Weight: 24-14 (5-3,5-1,5-0,4-14,4-12)

That backdrop and the gloved hand were just too good to pass up. Definitely not the easiest time of the year to fool a lethargic bass but it can still be done. Takes some work and some know how, fun to see an angler extending the year as long as he can. Time will tell if this is the end of the 2019 Top 5 Updates as the area waters are already beginning to ice up. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – November 9, 2014

Well, we’re officially at the halfway point of November and darn near most of it has felt like winter. When combined with family activities there’s just been no opportunity for me to chase any November bass. But, hey, that’s what “Friday Flashback” is for, so here’s an edition from five years ago.

Originally posted 11-19-14

For a number of years now my annual goal is to land my first bass in March and my last bass in November. To some that may not sound like a very tall order but fishing takes a backseat to a lot of other responsibilities in my life so the opportunities can be limited. This year I squeezed in my first bass on March 29 and with what looked like the last shot at decent weather two weekends ago it seemed like now or never for November.

10:57am – On the board with my November bass 12.5″ 1-1 Strike King Red Eye Shad

Date: November 9, 2014
Location: Knox County private strip mines (5 lakes)
Time: 9:25am-4:40pm (5.75 hours fishing)
Weather: Sunny to partly cloudy/very windy
Air Temp: 43-54F
Water Temp: 45-48F
Totals: 6 bass
Lures: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 5 bass, Jig & Pig (black/blue) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-8 Strike King Red Eye Shad
Top 5 Combined Weight: 10-5 (3-8,2-7,2-3,1-2,1-1)

Original log entry from the outing

Notes & Nonsense

Rock n’ Roll Ride – Part of what I enjoy on my solo fishing trips is the ride. On this occasion I had roughly an hour drive with just me and my classic rock radio which featured a recent interview with rock legend, Ted Nugent. Man, that dude is still a trip as he rambles on incessantly and entertainingly. Mixed in with the banter was his music both old and new culminating with his homage to bowhunting legend, “Fred Bear”, as I reached my destination. I was having such a good time that I left the truck running, the door open and the radio cranked so I could listen to the cut while I drug the boat and gear to my first fishing hole. Boy, classic rock sure beats the Top 40 stuff my girls dig. Those new “hits” with their subtle and not so subtle lyrics make me cringe at times hoping they go over the head of an eight and a ten year old girl. But hey, I wasn’t too much older than my girls when “Uncle Ted” was cranking out tunes that weren’t really about a feline disease or doing the two step…and I didn’t have a clue.

3:42pm – 18″ 2-7 Strike King Red Eye Shad

Boat vs. Bank – The catch numbers on this trip represented an even split on a day where I spent time both in a boat and on the bank. However, the bass/hour ratio certainly was not as balanced. On the four lakes where I pursued the bass by rowing, my three catches came over the course of 4.75 hours (0.63 bass/hour). While chasing bass on foot I matched that total in only an hour of traipsing the shoreline (3.00 bass/hour). So much for the advantage of a boat helping to get to all of those “I wish I could just get over there because I’d be sure to catch one” places that frustrate the shore angler.

3:51pm 17″ 2-3 Strike King Red Eye Shad

Thank You Note – I owe a debt of gratitude to friend and fellow fisherman, Jim Junk, as he pointed me in the direction of three of my Top 5 this year. For starters, without his advice I wouldn’t have posted a 4-13 and a 4-1 on a lake I hadn’t fished since 2006. And on this day I ran into Jim and a buddy about noon and he mentioned a spot where he’d had some luck walking the bank. So around 3:30pm I was about ready to call it a tough day and had my boat back in the bed of the truck ready to head home a little early. But Jim’s spot was only a few hundred yards up the road and knowing it was my last time fishing this year prompted me to linger a little longer. Within my last hour I had a 2-7 followed by a 2-3 and capped my day with a 3-8. Thanks, Jim, for providing a rousing end to 2014 and putting an exclamation point on my November bass quest.

4:02pm – Last bass and Top Bass 19.5″ 3-8 Strike King Red Eye Shad

A Nice Finish – Fortune saved the best for last as my final catch of the day would be Top Bass for the trip. On top of that rewarding aspect of the bite was the fact that the 3-8 knocked a 3-5 from my 2014 Top 5 thus adding three more ounces. It was a cool finishing touch for the year pushing my final tally to 20-14. A far cry from our leading Top 5 creels and in the lower half of the pack but anytime I can post twenty plus it is a real satisfying year on the water.

Strike King Red Eye Shad, a definite cold water winner

So there you have it, my twelfth and final firsthand fishing report for 2014. It’s been another enjoyable year on the water, always is. Thanks to my fishing partners for good company and good advice. Thanks to the bass for making me feel like I know what I am doing from time to time. Thanks to anybody out there who tagged along via the blog. Thanks to Mom and Dad for taking care of the kids on occasion so their dad could go fishing. And thanks to Julie for allowing me more than a few chances to cast aside my responsibilities for several hours and go chase bass.

Looks like that November bass may elude me in 2019 as ice has begun to cover my fishing holes already. I’m afraid it’s going to be a long winter but I suspect I’ll find something to write about along the way. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

November has not been particularly kind to the region in terms of weather. Beyond one decent Saturday, the temps have been well below normal. Unfortunately, that has likely put an end to the casting for one blogging angler. But, a couple welcome texts from our Top 5 leader last week showed that some bass were still interested.

Weight: 1-14
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: November 5
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Rapala Clackin’ Rap
Structure: Remaining weeds

Weight: 2-12
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: November 5
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Rapala Clackin’ Rap
Structure: Remaining weeds
Angler Comments: Went after work for a little bit. On the board with two November bass. Both hit the Clackin’ Rap as it pulled from some remaining weeds.

Weight: 5-1
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: November 10
Location: Knox County private strip mine
Lure: Chatterbait
Angler Comments: Throw far, let it sink and retrieve as slow as I could…just fast enough to feel the blade moving. Picked off a couple in the pound range and was having fun. Few casts later, could tell that I set the hook on something pretty decent. As he got closer, I saw his mouth and thought real possibility of being 5-plus. Good fight and landed without much trouble.
Top 5 Weight: 24-14 (5-3,5-1,5-0,4-14,4-12) culls a 4-12

Way to go, Jim. Just when I wonder if we’ve seen the final boost to our leading creel, another outstanding catch comes our way. As I was corresponding with fellow Top 5 angler, John Kirkemo, yesterday I gave him a heads up that Jim had a special catch to bump up an already impressive stringer. John responded, “Unbelievable. That guy never quits!” Yep, what he said. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – November 8, 1999

As the Friday Flashback series winds down, here’s a unique Lake Storey memory with my brother from exactly 20 years ago.

What makes it unique you may ask? (or just play along if you aren’t asking)

Brent with a 1-14 bass, safe bet it was on a spinnerbait

Is it the fact that Brent is clad in only a light long sleeved shirt during the second week of November?

Good guess, certainly different than today as the mercury dips below the freezing level 20 years later. But that’s not it.

A bonus muskie “accident” is always exciting

How about a Lake Storey muskie catch as an oddity?

Nope. No guarantee of landing a toothy critter on these fall outings but no surprise to have one show up.

Top Bass of the day at 3-7

What about the location of that pair of decent bass?

Not really, as that spot has been pretty solid over the years. Please don’t tell anybody though if you recognize that background.

Is it strange that there are no pictures of my catches in the photo album?

Also no, as it is commonplace that I get outfished on these trips anyway. Besides, I have no idea what I caught, if anything.

The 1999 log ends with October 28 & 29 entries, no details on this November outing, only pictures

Therein lies the “unique” part of today’s tale. Beyond these pictures dated November 11, 1999 there is no other record of this fishing trip. Yep, no log entry and in pre-dating my 2002 writing habit, no submission for a blog entry either. Even my piscatorial photographic memory leaves me a little lost on this one and that, folks, is indeed downright bizarre.

Looked like a pretty good late season bonus day for Brent though and sure wish 2019 held some similar looking weather for one last shot at the bass. While that isn’t likely to happen, I do have one more shot at a Friday Flashback next week and possibly a wrap-up piece for the series as a finishing touch. In addition, we have a couple fish for one more Top 5 Update on Monday. Talk to you later. Troy