Today we move on to the heavy hitters from the 2022 lure selection. The six lure types below landed over five hundred bass, including my Top 5 Bass for the year (three on a spinnerbait and one each on a plastic worm and buzzbait). Read on for the stats and video of each lure type working our way up to the Top Lure of 2022.
Chatterbait – 26 bass
Z Man Chatterbait (white) with various trailers
Top Bass: 2-14 Knox County strip pit – September 4
Top 5 Weight: 9-0 (2-14,2-7,1-8,1-2,1-1)
Comments: I’ve just never been hooked on the chatterbait bite although many anglers are quite successful with the lure. However, I do have a handful of go to spots on the strip mines that set up well and usually come through with a few bites. As for The Canal, I have not given the chatterbait much of a shot. More on that reason as we proceed with the rest of the lures in this post.
Propbait – 29 bass
Whopper Plopper 110 (bone), Whopper Plopper 90 (I Know It)
Top Bass: 2-12 Hennepin Canal – September 20
Top 5 Weight: 11-7 (2-12,2-8,2-4,2-1,1-14)
Comments: 2022 was the first year that I really invested much time tossing a Whopper Plopper. Previously, I had thrown one on two July days in 2017 on the strip mines (eleven bass) and on one July day in 2021 on The Canal (three bass). For 2022, I caught twenty-nine bass over the course of seven outings, all on The Canal. While I prefer a buzzbait as my primary topwater bait on The Canal, the shallow water it offers does set up well for the Whopper Plopper when you can avoid fouling the stout trebles when the weeds take over.
Crankbaits – 61 bass
Rapala Shad Rap (blue or shad), Mann’s Baby 1- (red craw), Strike King Rattling Squarebill (sexy shad), Bomber Flat A (baby bass)
Top Bass: 2-12 Hennepin Canal – April 24
Top 5 Weight: 11-2 (2-12,2-5,2-4,2-3,1-10)
Comments: I was surprised to find that I landed sixty-one bass on crankbaits in 2022. On closer inspection, however, I was not surprised to find that thirty-five of the bass came from somewhere other than The Canal (strip mines and Lake Storey). The Canal just sets up better for other lures and when I do fish a crankbait it is often a Mann’s Baby 1-. In fact, seventeen of the twenty-six Canal crankbait bass were on the super shallow lure.
Buzzbaits – 76 bass
Special K Buzzbait, Booyah Buzzbait, Strike King KVD Buzz Toad
Top Bass: 3-5 Hennepin Canal – August 21
Top 5 Weight: 13-14 (3-5,2-11,2-10,2-10,2-10)
Comments: I’ve long been a buzzbait guy, and The Canal is custom made for the noisy topwater bait. It doesn’t get much more exciting than a topwater blast and the shallow waters of The Canal provided plenty of action in 2022. I also added the Strike King Buzz Toad at the recommendation of a fellow angler who has provided sound advice over the last several years. The Toad was a winner with a 2-7 during my first outing casting the lure.
Plastic Worms – 81 bass
5” Yamasenko wacky rig (various colors)
Top Bass: 3-10 Knox County public strip pit – September 4
Top 5 Weight: 12-14 (3-10,2-10,2-4,2-3,2-3)
Comments: The Senko wacky rig has been a mainstay in my arsenal since I first tried out the strange looking presentation on May 22, 2005. For 2022, it landed my Top Bass of 3-10 and several other quality bass from the Knox County strip mines. While I did put it to use on The Canal, it was often as a highly effective follow-up bait to missed topwater strikes. I like the Senko wacky rig better in clearer water, so the mostly stained water of The Canal set up better for other offerings.
Spinnerbaits – 254 bass
Special K Spinnerbait, Booyah Blade, Stanley Blue Glimmer, War Eagle
Top Bass: 3-5 Hennepin Canal – April 23
Top 5 Weight: 15-6 (3-5,3-4,3-2,2-15,2-12)
Comments: I have enjoyed throwing spinnerbaits for as long as I have been chasing bass. That history goes back to the 1980s when spinnerbaits were king among the bass fishing crowd. Over the years, they have fallen out of vogue in favor of other presentations. However, they are still quite effective and really did a number on The Canal to the tune of two hundred and twelve bass. Even cooler was the success of some handcrafted spinnerbaits from an old baseball teammate, Mike Karlovich. His spinnerbait creations fooled one hundred and sixty-four bass and his buzzbaits added another thirty bass on the year.
I always enjoy looking back on the numbers to see what they reveal when the year is said and done. No surprise here as my 2022 fishing can be summed up by a few cliché terms and phrases. With close to forty years of bass fishing in the books, I still find myself going “old school.” My fishing reflects my lifestyle as I am “a creature of habit.” But the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach in 2022 produced my best ever year of bass totals. Some days were better than others, some bass got away, and sometimes I got stubborn but with five hundred and fifty-three bass in the log I got more right than wrong along the way. More recaps to come so talk to you later. Troy