Month: August 2022

Prowl the Canal – August 28

After a Knox County strip mine trip in mid-May, all my subsequent fishing trips have been on The Canal. Most of those trips have been within twenty miles of my driveway as I look to keep fuel costs down. And it doesn’t hurt that those “local” spots provide decent fishing as well. So, on this morning I decided to splurge on gas and wander roughly forty miles to the east to try new water. Read on to see if it was worth the money.

Winning Lures


Date: August 28 (two spots)
Time: 6:05am-11:20am (4.50 hours fishing)
Totals: 11 bass (2.44 bass/hour)
Weather: Overcast/breezy 71-80F
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) – 8 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (black) – 3 bass
Top Bass: 1-12 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 7-2 (1-12,1-7,1-6,1-5,1-4)


Notes and Nonsense

First Impressions – I have found the pools to be considerably less weedy as I head east. While several of the local pools have surface vegetation so thick that you could darn near walk across it, the new water I fished had wide open channels between the modest weed beds lining both banks. However, the water clarity diminishes to the east with a fellow Canal angler describing it as “split pea soup—green and thick with chunks of stuff in it.” In terms of cover, I hit every piece of wood I can find, and I would describe the availability as sparse. Finally, the depth is much better as I make my way east. Locally, I can often see the bottom in the clearer stretches, whereas the pools on this trip were deeper than the oar which is my crude depthfinder.

6:12am – on the board on a new stretch of The Canal

Startling Start – So, I am rowing up The Canal in the near dark before sunrise and lost in a daydream when something explodes near enough to the boat that the splash got my pants wet (luckily, I’d relieved myself prior to launching). It scared me half to death, made me jump and involuntarily utter something unintelligible as my mind snapped back to reality. In hindsight, my best guess is that a beaver and my boat were on a collision course before one of us steered clear. Possibly a carp but it would have been massive based on the splash. I also scanned the bank to see if Sasquatch had tossed a boulder at me and my watercraft (don’t laugh as I know of a Bigfoot report from The Canal about a mile and a half downstream). As a seasoned rower, when moving from spot to spot, I often just put my head down and row with only an occasional look over my shoulder. Therefore, I cannot say what caused the commotion, but I sure was glad that the sun was peeking over the horizon.

A necessary task to reach some new bass

Tubes – While on the subject of creepy, travels on The Canal can feature a row through a tube under the roadways. And those corrugated corridors are crawling with cobwebs. I suspect that there are plenty of the cobweb creators present as well but I don’t look too closely as I don’t really want to know.

9:40am – introducing myself to a bass on another new stretch of water

Oh yeah, I also saw a snake slither by the boat within oars reach. Many creatures were astir on this day even if the bass sightings were a bit below expectations.

Got ugly by the time I was headed home

I ended my day exploring since I was already a ways from home. This was simply driving as my back was hollering at me and I did not really have time to launch the boat to give any spots a true test. I checked out every road crossing or parking access in the vicinity and have several new spots on my wish list. Time will tell if those spots get a shot in 2022 as I have other destinations to visit beyond The Canal before the fishing year is over. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – August 27


Anglers and excuses seem to go hand in hand, particularly when things don’t materialize on the water as envisioned. This was one of those trips where I went in with high hopes that wound up not being realized. Not a bad day by any means but just not as good as I anticipated.

My top lure of 2022 continues to get the job done catching every fish on this outing


Date: August 27
Time: 6:40am-9:40am
Totals: 8 bass (2.67 bass/hour)
Weather: Overcast/breezy 67-73F
Lures: Strike King Special K Spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer/pepper/green) – 8 bass
Top Bass: 1-4 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 5-7 (1-4,1-3,1-3,1-0,0-13)

6:54am – Top Bass at 1-4 was the best I could muster

Notes and Nonsense

Water Quality – I continue to be baffled by the changing conditions on The Canal. In this case, it was an ugly influx of duckweed and weedy debris on a section that typically has a clean channel between the varying extent of shoreline weed growth. The floating stuff was not over the top but did foul several retrieves as the clumps of crud were not always apparent when making casts. I guess this debris must come from upstream, but its appearance is still a mystery as we had not had any appreciable rainfall that I would suspect as a contributing factor. Clarity and flow also fluctuate on many pools regardless of rainfall, so I just don’t know. A weird place, but I dig it.

Water quality left much to be desired

Flop on Top – I don’t know if the above factors were the culprit, but I could not muster a single topwater bite despite favorable weather conditions. I got on the water not long after sunrise and substantial cloud cover to start the day had me feeling good about my regular buzzbait presentation. Not even a ripple, and after a fair effort, I settled in on the reliable spinnerbait approach around any wood and weed edges.

Too Sunny – As the morning wore on, my cloud cover disappeared as the sunrise topped the tree line. With the general east/west orientation of much of The Canal throughout Rock Island, Henry, and Bureau Counties, sunlight can be a direct hit this time of the year. Nothing wrong with a sunny, summer day in general but I would rather have clouds.


There you have it. The word “excuse” seems like a cop out for a lack of execution or adaptation while on the water, so I won’t strictly go there. Instead, I view it as just one of those days. I put in the work to get my bites, but I just couldn’t find any quality ones. Whether the weather, or the angler, that’s fishing. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Brent is back with a couple more strip mine catches for a boost. His first submission added an ounce to his total, but it was replaced less than an hour later with a slightly larger fish. We typically text back and forth whenever or wherever we are fishing, and I have been rooting for him to get one more three-pounder. Darn near got it this time as detailed below.

Weight: 2-13
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: August 28
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko

Weight: 2-15
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: August 28
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Spinnerbait
Editor’s Comments: Brent sent me his overall results and his Top 5 for the morning came in at 11-6. Not too bad for about three hours on the water.
Top 5 Weight: 18-0 (5-4,3-9,3-3,3-1,2-15) culls a 2-12

Well done, a couple solid looking, healthy fish. I’m rooting for Brent to get at least one more three-pounder to boot that 2-15. And here’s hoping he gets the boost he needs down the home stretch to hit the twenty-pound mark. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – August 21

I readily admit that August is my least favorite open water month of the year but another solid morning on The Canal has me reconsidering. Read on for the latest fishing report in the Prowl the Canal series.


Date: August 21 (two pools)
Time: 6:40am-9:45am (3.75 hours fishing)
Totals: 10 bass (2.67 bass/hour)
Weather: Overcast/breezy 66-68F
Lures: Strike King Toad Buzz (green pumpkin with chartreuse belly) – 4 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (black) – 3 bass, Special K Spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) with Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer (root beer/pepper/green) – 3 bass
Top Bass: 3-5 Buzzbait
Top 5 Weight: 8-4 (3-5,2-7,0-14,0-13,0-13)

Notes and Nonsense

A new lure for me on this outing

New Trick – After having a large fish blow up my white Booyah Buzzbait earlier this month, I decided to try a new lure. A fishing friend who had checked out the video of the missed strike offered up that he never uses a skirt on a buzzbait. Instead, he rigs with a Strike Kind Rage Bug. As I could not find any Rage Bugs in the neighborhood, I went with the Strike King Toad Buzz as a close approximation. The new lure produced four of my ten bass including a solid 2-7.

6:46am – Toad Buzz comes through with a 2-7 (17.5″)

Old trick – While I was pleased with the effectiveness of the Toad Buzz, I felt that it did not produce enough racket in the stained water. As a result, I went back to my noisier, Booyah Buzzbait in black. The Booyah hooked three of my ten bass, one of which was Top Bass of the day at 3-5.

Near Miss – The 3-5 bass fell one ounce short of tying my all-time Top Canal bass, a 3-6 caught on July 21, 2021. It also equaled my Top Canal Bass of 2022 with the other coming on April 23 on a spinnerbait.

7:36am – Top Bass at 3-5 (19.5″), one ounce shy of my Canal Top Bass

Goals – I recently made a social media post on a local fishing group that listed my goals on The Canal (and in general). Goal number one is always to learn, whether a new fishing hole or old. Goal number two is not to get shut out. Goal number three is to land five bass at 12” or better to establish what I call a “Top 5 Weight”. The final goal is a Top 5 Weight that reaches or exceeds ten pounds. I had a good day with a weight of 8-4 thanks to a pair of “good ones” (3-5 and 2-7). However, my other three “keepers” left much to be desired and lacking a “kicker” (one more good one), I fell shy of reaching the final goal. No complaints though, as three out of four ain’t bad.


Well, August isn’t so bad after all, thanks to The Canal. I have one more August trip in the books already and weather permitting I am hoping to take one more shot before we hit September. Stay tuned for those reports and I am also hoping to work in a Top 10 Trip Tunes feature as well. It’s cool when I get to fish so much that I can’t keep up with the blog posts. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – September 2, 2017

By this time next week, September will have arrived. That can mean some good fishing, but it also means that it is crunch time as weather, activities and access are all considerations when looking to get on the water. As we look to the home stretch of 2022, today’s flashback looks back on the “fall” kickoff from five years ago this week.

Excerpts below from the original September 4, 2017 blog post.

Date: September 2, 2017
Locations: Knox County, IL public access strip mines (7 lakes)
Time: 7:00am-1:45pm (5.0 hours fishing, the rest walking or driving)
Weather: Partly cloudy to sunny/calm to breezy
Air Temp: 47F-74F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 27 bass
5” Senko wacky rig (pumpkin/black flake or green pumpkin) – 10 bass
Strike King KVD 2.5 Rattling Squarebill crankbait (natural pumpkinseed) – 7 bass
Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (Snow White shad) – 5 bass
Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 4 bass
Zoom Baby Brush Hog (green pumpkin) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-8 KVD 2.5 crankbait
Top 5 Weight: 12-12 (3-8,3-5,2-5,2-1,1-9)

7:02am – First bass and Top Bass at 3-8 on a crankbait

Notes & Nonsense

Great Start – On about the third cast of the morning with a buzzbait I was rewarded with a large blowup. Unfortunately, I was not rewarded with a bass as it had poor aim. Another cast with the buzzbait failed to get a repeat so I fired out my Strike King KVD 2.5 crankbait instead and hooked up with a 3-8 which would set the Top Bass bar pretty high. In fact, that first bass wound up being Top Bass for the day although I had one later that gave it a run for the money. Anyway, a couple casts later I landed a 2-1 and then a 1-9 less than ten minutes later. So, after thirteen minutes of casting I had three of my Top 5 in the log at 7-2 and was excited about the solid start. Things slowed for the next several hours in terms of quality bites but that would eventually take a turn for the better with a 3-5 and 2-5 joining the creel to finish the outing.

Odd catch, a “brokeback bass”

Lure of the Day – It felt good to nail a few on a good, old crankbait for a change. The KVD 2.5 squarebill that did the trick runs to a depth of about five feet. I’m typically a little leery throwing these things from the bank, especially on unfamiliar waters as I am cheap and don’t want to get snagged on any underwater structure when I don’t have the means to get the lure back. On this morning, the bass just wouldn’t commit to a topwater bite, and I was comfortable with the lakes I was fishing being snag-free so this bait was my choice in finding a sub-surface bite without having to slow down my presentation. It was indeed a winner, producing four of my Top 5 bass when worked with an occasional rip and pause in the retrieve.


One final note from this trip is that it marked the first Top 10 Trip Tunes feature.

10. “Bad Medicine” – Bon Jovi (1988)
9. “For What It’s Worth” – Buffalo Springfield (1967)
8. “Talk Dirty to Me” – Poison (1987)
7. “Moondance” – Van Morrison (1970)
6. “Goodbye Stranger” – Supertramp (1979)
5. “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” – Led Zeppelin (1970)
4. “Anyway You Want It” – Journey (1980)
3. “Don’t Look Back” – Boston (1978)
2. “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” – Bachman Turner Overdrive (1974)
1. “Burnin’ For You – Blue Oyster Cult (1981)

Hoping to revisit the Top 10 Trip Tunes concept, got another Hennepin Canal report from August, and hopefully one more trip this month. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – August 14

With the summer sunrises getting a bit later, I decided to splurge on some fuel and wander a bit farther from home for a daybreak launch. My destination was a stretch of The Canal on the east side of Henry County that I had not fished or seen before. New water is always an interesting undertaking, so read on the see how it turned out.

6:37am – First bass on some new water


Date: August 14
Time: 6:10am-10:40am
Totals: 10 bass (2.22 bass/hour)
Weather: Overcast/breezy 70-76F
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) – 9 bass, Special K Buzzbait (green/white) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-0 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 7-14 (2-0,1-15,1-13,1-3,0-15)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

First Glance – The first couple items that catch my eye when checking out a new pool are water clarity and aquatic vegetation. In terms of water clarity, this stretch had a heavy green tint which limited visibility to about half a foot before losing sight of my lures. In addition, there was a significant surface covering of algae. Neither aspect was what I would consider favorable, but I did like the amount of open water available compared to other stretches that are weed choked by this time of the year.


Goals – My three standard goals on an outing are as follows: Learn, don’t get shutout, post five bass at twelve inches or better for what I call my “Top 5 Weight”. Goal One takes care of itself, especially on new water. Goal Two took me about a half hour and had me worried after no takers on some decent looking spots. Goal Three was checked off the list with my tenth and final catch of the morning, a bass weighing in at 1-13 at 10:15am.

One More Log – I am fortunate to have a small johnboat that is ideal for prowling The Canal. However, as I made my way down this lengthy stretch of water, I found myself a long way from where I started. I call it the “One More Log Conundrum.” At some point, I know that I must turn around and row back, but I regularly see an appealing piece of structure in the distance. And before I know it, “one more log” has me a long ways from home.

10:01am – Top Bass at 16″ and 2-0

Goal Four – In addition to my three primary goals noted earlier, the icing on the cake is a double-digit Top 5 Weight. I fell one or two “good ones” shy of hitting that mark (note: a “good one” is my term for a bass at two pounds or better). The only bite I missed was one that I had briefly hooked on a creature bait, but I never saw the fish in the murky water and have no guess on whether it would have boosted my weight.


Time (and fuel costs) will tell if I get back to this pool or any others in the area. However, a friend reported that his initial visit to an adjacent portion produced several quality bites. He landed a “good one” and had two “better ones” that got away. Overall, encouraging results from our outings as The Canal continues to leave a favorable impression. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

A quartet of bass this week that total just over ten pounds including one that comes with another bit of verse. However, the verse applies not to the catch, but to “one that got away”. Read on for the latest batch of public bass.

Weight: 2-5
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: August 18
Weather: Bright morning sun, clear skies
Water Temp: Not available
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Wacky worm
Top 5 Weight: 15-11 (4-2,3-5,2-14,2-11,2-11)
Angler Comments about the “One That Got Away”:

I fished the Hennepin six days ago
Along I80 toward Chicago

Things were slow, not many hits
I was about to call it quits

But suddenly came a solid strike
Against the edge where people hike

But in an instant the fish was gone
My line was weak, and he was strong

My line had busted
Because of a knot I should not have trusted

If my line had been fresh and knot stronger
I might have landed a solid five pounder

Weight: 2-12
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: August 21
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko wacky rig

Weight: 2-12
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: August 21
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 17-13 (5-4,3-9,3-3,3-1,2-12) culls a 2-11

Weight: 3-5 (19.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: August 21
Weather: Overcast/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Booyah Buzzbait (black)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: You just never know on a buzzbait strike as this fish made the lure disappear with barely a ripple. Always fun when there is a heavy response after the hookset. The catch came up one ounce shy of tying my all-time Top Canal Bass.
Top 5 Weight: 15-15 (3-5,3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15) culls 2-12

You know, I often give August a hard time and have referred to it as my least favorite open water month. My apologies to August this year, it hasn’t been bad at all. Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – August 13

Still playing catch up with reports from The Canal as I have shifted gears to individual trip reports as opposed to monthly wrap-ups. Today’s post draws on a musical theme as my drives to the fishing holes are much shorter and don’t lend themselves to my Top 10 Trip Tunes project.


Date: August 13
Time: 6:05am-9:20am, 9:45am-10:00am (two locations)
Totals: 13 bass (3.71 bass/hour)
Weather: Partly cloudy/breezy 64-75F
Lures: Booyah Buzzbait (snow white shad or black) – 5 bass, Special K Spinnerbait (bleeding shiner) – 3 bass, Zara Spook (natural frog) – 2 bass, 5” Yamamoto wacky rig (natural shad) – 2 bass, Bomber Long A Jerkbait (red/yellow) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 3-4 Spinnerbait
Top 5 Weight: 10-6 (3-4,2-10,2-3,1-3,1-2)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense


Jump (Van Halen – 1984) – The strike on my Booyah Buzzbait in the above clip was vicious and up close. Obviously, the fish also came up short on getting hooked. Lucky for the fish, I guess, but a bummer for the fisherman. Such a strike does get the heart racing and can make you jump, especially if your mind is wandering as happens to me on the water from time to time.

What Might Have Been (Little Texas – 1993) – My current Top Canal Bass is a 3-6 from July 2021. Would the bass in the video clip have eclipsed that record? I guess I will never know but I am going with “Yes.” If nothing else, it makes for a better fish story and it certainly displaced enough water to indicate a good fish.

6:15am First Bass at 18.5″ and 3-4 on a spinnerbait

How Long (Ace – 1974) – While the fish in the video clip above was “one that got away”, I did get a few other quality bites. Included among those bites, were a pair of bass that set a new mark for the longest bass I’ve landed on The Canal in 2022. Both fish came in at 18.5” with weights being 3-4 and 2-10. These fish topped the half dozen 2022 bass landed that have measured 18”. As far as my all-time longest Canal bass it remains a 20-incher from July 2021.

7:11am another 18.5″ bass at 2-10 on a buzzbait

You Make Me Feel Brand New (The Stylistics – 1974) – Well, the big bass strike on the buzzbait damaged the skirt to the point that it needed replaced. While I did not have a new skirt on hand, I did have a backup bait with a black skirt. Similarly, the skirt on my favorite spinnerbait had taken a beating in 2022 prompting a change from bold bluegill to bleeding shiner. Both changes were winners with the black buzzbait landing a 2-10 and a 2-3, while the spinnerbait posted a 3-4 as my first catch of the morning. Gotta love some immediate, positive feedback.


I Missed Again (Phil Collins – 1981) – After my latest YouTube post bragging up the effectiveness of following up with a Senko after a missed topwater strike, the technique has let me down. The last four fish that have missed on buzzbait strikes have not been fooled by the Senko approach. Perhaps the bass have caught wind of the trick via my YouTube post which has a whopping eighty-six views.

Well, “That Just About Does It,” don’t it (Vern Gosdin – 1989), for another productive day on The Canal. Talk to you later. Troy

Friday Flashback – August 20-21, 2017

Today’s flashback looks back at an overnight outing coinciding with a solar eclipse that the media billed as the “Great American Eclipse.” I figured that it would be fun to fish during the phenomenon. However, Mother Nature had other plans as detailed in the original blog entry below from August 22, 2017.

Since a couple vacation days in early August wound up returned in favor of work, I thought I’d try it again this week to coincide with the Eclipse. In addition, Julie was still a couple of days away from having any kids at the aftercare program and all of ours were starting their first full week of school, so the stars were aligned. Always a roller coaster ride, however, when it comes to having a “plan.”

Date: August 20-21, 2017
Locations: Knox County, IL strip mines (2 lakes)
Time: 7:00-8:00pm (8/20) and 6:25-7:25am (8/21)
Weather: Partly cloudy/breezy (8/20) and overcast to mostly ugly (8/21)
Air Temp: 80F (8/20) and 66F (8/21)
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 9 bass (7 on 8/20 and 2 on 8/21)
Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (Snow White shad) – 8 bass
5” Senko wacky rig (pumpkin with black flake) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 5-11 Senko
Top 5 Weight: 9-9 (5-11,1-1,1-1,1-0,0-12)

Notes & Nonsense

The Plan – Three days, two nights flying solo camping and fishing. Leave Sunday afternoon (left home at 5:00pm), camp overnight, fish Monday through Eclipse and return home to meet the kids at 3:00pm after school. Return to campsite that evening after Julie finishes a back-to-school activity at 6:00pm. Overnight again and fish all day Tuesday with an evening return home.

Reality – I got in the anticipated one hour of fishing Sunday as planned after setting up camp. Next, was a peaceful and uneventful overnight with a nice campfire and a few Miller Lites. Then, I managed only one more hour of fishing on Eclipse Day morning before wicked skies sent me packing. I tried to wait out the storm but waved the white flag at 10:30am amidst thunder, lightning, and heavy rains. I scrambled to tear down and pack in a shower and was home by noon. Monday night camping was also called off with more thunderstorms forecast for the bulk of overnight.

An Eclipse Eve bass on a buzzbait

Eclipse Eve Fishing – I was able to cast from 7:00pm to 8:00pm on a lake I haven’t visited for a while with an all-out buzzbait blitz due to limited window until sunset. Conditions were favorable with partly cloudy skies, a little color to the water and light chop. Seven bass came aboard but lacked a lunker with Top Bass at 1-1. It was a solid start; I was happy with the results and looked forward to the next launch in about ten hours.

Eclipse Day Fishing – I thought it would be fun to fish through the partial eclipse just to say I did, if nothing else. The fun started right off the bat with a 5-11 on a Senko wacky rig but it was short lived with only one more fish (11.5” on a buzzbait) before the skies got scary, opened up, and sent me home.

Eclipse Day first of only two bass was a whopping 5-11 on a Senko

Top Bass – I caught my 5-11 less than ten minutes into my outing after my first two proven buzzbait spots failed to produce a strike. Stop number three was a solid Senko wacky rig area amidst a stretch of overhanging bushes so I changed it up from the buzzbait. The Senko came through yet again on the first cast to the tune of my largest Senko bass and my fifth biggest bass ever. Pretty wild as I never felt the hit, just saw the line moving to the right, reeled down and set the hook anticipating the usual pound and a half fish from the spot. A few tense moments with the 10-pound Trilene on my spinning rig before I got a look and knew I had something special. The bass went airborne at one point, and I missed my first attempt with my Boga Grip. The battle had me nervous, but it was meant to be and saved what would be a short day on the water.

Eclipse Day morning got ugly and when it looks like this it is time to get off the water

Casualties – Unfortunately, there was no GoPro footage on the Top Bass as it bit the dust somehow while editing footage around the campfire the previous night. Julie mentioned that the salesperson dropped it at purchase and said to bring it back if any issues so got that on my to-do list. In addition, I thought I knocked my Fuji camera overboard after taking a spill on my tripod and crushing it when I lost my balance as my boat coasted into the bank. It seems that while I had replaced the batteries after shooting pics of the big fish, I fortunately did not re-attach the camera to the tripod. I was kicking myself for the last half hour about losing the camera and all the pics on it before finding it safe and sound in one of my utility boxes. Thank goodness, a strange turn of events. Some days the mind and body let you know that they’ve seen better days.

View during the eclipse from our makeshift viewing box

A series of highs and lows all in the span of about sixteen hours. Better than being at work but several weird and nervous outdoor moments had me wondering if I was better off inside.

Amateur astronomers getting a glimpse of the solar eclipse

So, in the end, I wound up observing the eclipse in our driveway with Julie and Carly. All good, as they both recall the event. That’s even better than landing a big bass in the shadows, right? Talk to you later. Troy

Prowl the Canal – August 8

For August, I am going to go back to individual fishing reports for my trips to The Canal as the wrap-up for July was so lengthy it spilled over into two parts. Both of those were each lengthy as well. In addition, I will continue providing a month end look at overall results. More content is always the goal as time permits.


Date: August 8
Time: 5:20pm-8:05pm
Totals: 15 bass (5.45 bass/hour)
Weather: Overcast/breezy 75F
Lures: Special K Spinnerbait (bold bluegill) – 9 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (snow white shad) – 3 bass, 5” Yamamoto wacky rig (natural shad) – 2 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-4 Senko
Top 5 Weight: 7-6 (2-4,1-13,1-4,1-1,1-0)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

Shared Space – As I approached my first-choice spot, a pair of kayaks were launching so I drove to an alternate area. However, the aquatic vegetation was not to my liking, so it was back to my first stop. The Canal is unique in that you just can’t go to the opposite side of “the lake” on a ninety-foot-wide fishing hole. I asked the duo if I could pass and let them know I would get well out of their way. As such, I rowed over half a mile away before I even made my first cast. A third kayak later joined, and I passed all on my eventual way back to the ramp. All’s well that ends well, as everyone reported landing some bass during our passing chats.

5:55am Red Eye Shad 1-13

Something New – I fly blind when I fish in terms of a depthfinder although I do not know how much of a benefit such technology would be on the shallow waters of The Canal anyway. Instead, it is visual observation dependent on water clarity or using lures to get a feel for depth changes. On this trip clarity was such that I could discern where there was a clean break to the channel between the weed lines on each side of The Canal. In this case, I ran a Strike King Red Eye Shad along the break and was rewarded with my runner-up Top Bass of 1-13. I successfully hit the same stretch with a different lure on a later trip but that catch is for another report. The takeaway is that I was proud of myself for trying something new and pleased that it worked. Perhaps I should expand my offerings more often.

8:05pm Top Bass at 2-4 on last cast

Best for Last – My Top Bass came on my final cast of the evening proving that you need to hang in there until the very end as you never know when a good one will show up. I even mentioned on my GoPro video at 8:05pm that I was making my last cast. Makes for a good story at least, and you’ll have to trust me on this one as the video is a bit revealing so not sure if it will see public release.


Another solid few hours on The Canal as the hits keep coming. Having reached the 200 bass mark from the waterway to end July, I am looking forward to just how many cooperative bass I can find before the year is over. Two more trips are already in the books so stop back by for those reports. Talk to you later. Troy