Month: July 2023

Top 5 Stats

While I have some fishing reports to pass along, I am taking the easy way out to start the month with the Top 5 Stat Update as these posts write themselves. To date, our submissions feature eighty bass and a lone channel catfish. Read on for the monthly breakdown as sorted by the regular categories and wrapping up with the current Top 5 Angler totals.

Other Species – Channel Catfish
2-3 John Kirkemo July 6 – Lake Storey

Bass Stats
2023 Totals
January = no submissions
February = 2 bass
March = 7 bass
April = 32 bass
May = 20 bass
June = 9 bass
July = 10 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = 6-10 (3-9,3-1)
March = 19-8 (5-1,4-5,4-4,3-5,2-9)
April = 24-0 (5-5,5-3,4-12,4-8,4-4)
May = 24-11 (5-9,5-6,4-14,4-10,4-4)
June = 11-6 (3-2,2-13,2-4,2-0,1-3)
July = 16-10 (4-1,3-5,3-3,3-1,3-0)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 29 bass
Bank = 51 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 20-0 (5-6,4-2,3-9,3-8,3-7)
Bank = 26-0 (5-9,5-5,5-3,5-1,4-14)

Public vs. Private
Public = 77 bass
Private = 3 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 26-8 (5-9,5-6,5-5,5-3,5-1)
Private = 8-4 (3-9,2-11,2-0)

The Baits
Lipless Crankbait = 24 bass (Top Bass 5-6 Natalee Townsend)
Plastic Worm = 23 bass (Top Bass 3-9 Troy Jackson)
Chatterbait = 7 bass (Top Bass 5-9 Jim Junk)
Grub = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Troy Jackson)
Jerkbait = 4 bass (Top Bass 2-13 Brent Jackson)
Popper = 4 bass (Top Bass 3-5 Brent Jackson)
Propbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 4-10 Troy Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 3 bass (Top Bass 3-7 Troy Jackson)
Swimbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 4-4 Jim Junk)
Buzzbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-8 Brent Jackson)
Frog 1 bass (Top Bass 4-1 Troy Jackson)
Jig = 1 bass (Top Bass 2-13 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 3-7 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass
No submissions
3-9 Jim Junk
5-1 Jim Junk
5-5 Jim Junk
5-9 Jim Junk
3-2 Troy Jackson
4-1 Troy Jackson

2023 Top 10 Bass
5-9 Jim Junk 5/2
5-6 Natalee Townsend 5/26
5-5 Jim Junk 4/23
5-3 Troy Jackson 4/7
5-1 Jim Junk 3/5
4-14 Jim Junk 5/5
4-12 Jim Junk 4/9
4-10 Troy Jackson 5/6
4-8 Jim Junk 4/1
4-5 Jim Junk 3/11

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 25-9 (5-9,5-5,5-1,4-14,4-12)
Troy Jackson 21-9 (5-3,4-10,4-2,4-1,3-9)
Brent Jackson 16-0 (3-8,3-5,3-3,3-1,2-15)
Natalee Townsend 7-9 (5-6,2-3)
John Kirkemo 7-2 (2-4,1-15,1-3,0-14,0-14)
Carly Jackson 3-10 (2-13,0-13)
Landon Hannam 3-8 (3-8)
Terry Jackson 2-11 (2-11)
Jayce Jackson 1-3 (1-3)
Julia Jackson 0-14 (0-14)
Zac Jackson 0-11 (0-11)

A solid year thus far and what do you say we shoot for adding another twenty bass to hit the century mark? August can be a tough one but as I always say, those bass are still there sometimes just a bit harder to find and fool. Get up early, stay out late, and send ‘em my way when you catch ‘em. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Three more bass totaling just over ten pounds join the list during the recent heatwave. Conditions may be tough on anglers, but those fish are still out there. Early or late in the day can be your best shot as the bass are a bit more prone to chasing a lure in the lowlight conditions (see the second and third entries below). Then again, sometimes you get a bit lucky as in the first bass on our list. Just proves that anything can happen if you have a lure in the water and you can’t catch them sitting at home on the couch.

Weight: 4-1 (20.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 24
Weather: Sunny/calm
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Spro Flappin Frog 65 (natural frog)
Structure: Open water with submerged weed clumps
Angler Comments: Open water on a hot, bright, sunny July day at 1:43pm is not the ideal setup for a topwater frog bite. However, I was getting hits on the weed mats and along the weed edges, so I opted for a long cast to cover a lot of water featuring scattered, submerged weed clumps. Luck was on my side, but I’d like to think that experience and instinct had a role as well as there is more to this story for another day.

Weight: 3-0 (19.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 29
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (natural shad)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: The Cubs 6:15pm start was under what looked to be a significant rain delay, so I ditched my radio for my bike and set off to The Canal. Glad I did, as I landed several bass including this lengthy three-pounder. Got back to my truck around 8:30pm to find the Cubs with a 2-1 lead in the third enroute to their eight straight victory. That’s a good night.
Top 5 Weight: 21-9 (5-3,4-10,4-2,4-1,3-9) culls a 3-7

Weight: 3-3
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: July 29
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Rapala Skitter Pop
Editor’s Note: I have included a text that I received from Brent to go along with his submission. As you can see below, he had quite a day on the water, taking full advantage of the morning bite window.
Top 5 Weight: 16-0 (3-8,3-5,3-3,3-1,2-15) culls a 2-13

The heatwave broke for the weekend, but I suspect that we have not seen the last of the dog days of summer as August arrives. Bear in mind the tips to take away from today’s update. The early and late approach is a winner in the heat, but also don’t forget that “the best time to go fishing is any time you can.” Good luck and talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report – July 24

On the heels of a successful scouting trip two days prior, I headed back to the Knox County public strip pits on a Monday vacation day. This time, I took the boat with the aim of an on the water and on the bank combination approach. It worked out just fine as noted below.

6:09am – Quick feedback with a 2-4 (16″) bass on a Senko right after launching the boat

Date: July 24
Location: Knox County public strip mines (5 lakes)
Time: 5:45am-2:40pm (7.00 hours fishing, the rest rowing/walking/driving)
Totals: 36 bass
Weather: Partly sunny/calm to breezy, 64-89F
Lures: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (various colors) – 26 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (natural red) – 5 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 3 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (black) – 1 bass, Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait (red craw) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 4-1 Spro Frog
Top 5 Weight: 11-3 (4-1,2-4,1-13,1-10,1-7)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

Plan A – I considered my first spot to be my best shot at some quality bass. And four minutes after putting in the boat, I had a solid 2-4 in the log courtesy of a Seno wacky rig. The next two hours would only produce two short bass and so it was time to shift gears.

Plan B – Originally, I intended to walk for the second leg of the trip but instead I opted to take the boat on a lake that I had fished very little since a few lengthy visits in 2013. Not much had changed as far as my results with impressive quantity (20 bass in three hours) but lacking quality (four at 12” or better and Top Bass at 1-10). Even so, it was fun to explore nearly the entire lake and hit spots that I had never previously fished.

Not a crazy walk but weeds were tough and I’d already rowed a few miles to start my day

Plan C – After a break to hydrate and eat a sandwich, I set off on foot at 12:30pm to end my day. Having been up since 3:45am and putting in just over five hours in the boat, I was already feeling a little beat. Three lakes and one hour and fifteen minutes of fishing added thirteen more bass to the creel, making for a highly successful day.

1:43pm – Top Bass at 4-1 (20.5″) on a topwater frog

Top Bass – The second of three stops on my walk would produce my Top Bass of the day. At 1:43pm under bright sunny skies, I got lucky, and a big bass smashed my Spro Flappin Frog as it buzzed across a stretch of bland looking open water. Far from what I would consider a top spot on the lake but just one of those right place at the right time situations. If you have a lure in the water, anything can happen. There’s more to tell about this Top Bass catch and this outing in general but those details will be future posts to keep this one from running on for too long.


It would be tough to ask for a better summer day on the water as the bites were plentiful and any time that I can post a double digit Top 5, the outing is a winner. I left wore out after a long day, ample exercise, and warm temperatures. But the latter aspect paled in comparison to my next outing. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Strip Mine Report – July 22

Last Saturday, I took the scenic route home from a family get together. I was flying solo as Julie and the kids were scattered about doing their things and I had borrowed Dad’s truck for the week. My drive took me to the Knox County public strip mines with the intent of scouting the conditions to decide if a lengthier return trip would be worthwhile. I had my tackle in tow and a couple of hours to do my research. Read on for the results.

Date: July 22
Location: Knox County public strip mines (2 lakes)
Time: 6:45pm-8:25pm (1.50 hours fishing, the rest walking)
Totals: 12 bass (and six ticks)
Weather: Partly cloudy to overcast/calm, 80F
Lures: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (cream/green laminate) – 9 bass, Whopper Plopper 110 (bone) – 2 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-7 Senko
Top 5 Weight: 7-2 (2-7,1-10,1-5,0-14,0-14)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

Crunch Time – I pulled into the parking lot around 6:30pm and faced a ten-to-fifteen-minute walk depending on which of three potential bodies of water I chose to fish. I walked to a rise where I could see the farthest destination and determined that the remaining walk was not worth the questionable weed covered water. Backtracking, I decided that my casting would begin on the middle of the three lakes. From there, I would divide my time and finish on the lake closest to the lot. And by “closest to the lot,” it was still a ten-minute walk back to the truck.

6:49pm – First bass at 0-14 (12″) on a Spro Flappin Frog

First Stop – This lake is a miniature version of the larger prototypical strip mine cuts. Longer than wide with a “V” profile except for flats/ledges on both ends of its length. Surface weeds covered both ends along with the bulk of the shoreline. The middle of the lake consisted mostly of open water with scattered subsurface weeds. A hefty cast can nearly cover the entire length while the width only requires a partial cast. I planted myself on a ledge at one end and was able to land five small bass in forty-five minutes with two being “keepers” (12” or better). The Whopper Plopper and a wacky rigged Senko each produced a pair of bass and the other hit a Spro Flappin Frog (which I would lose later in the evening on a busted hookset).

Top Bass clip below, a 2-7 on a Senko wacky rig


Second Stop – The next lake features a series of fingers, points, flats, and several islands. Much of the lake is shallow and by this time of the year over half of the surface is covered by vegetation. In addition, most of the remaining water features weeds just under the surface. My aim was to hit a couple of the deeper water, open pockets that were devoid of weed growth. Armed with a Senko wacky rig, I made casts onto the weedy borders of those pockets and then reeled the Senko to the open water edge where I let it drop along the weedy wall. It doesn’t take long to determine if a bass is present and seven of them showed up during my forty-five minutes working two such spots. The overcast skies and dusk limited visibility but my perch on top of a slope about ten feet above the water’s surface was beneficial in effectively casting to such areas. On days with brighter skies, you can clearly see the weed edge to target along with bass cruising in the open water. This results in a unique version of sight fishing that I call “cliff fishing.” More on that approach in an upcoming post.


The outing was a success in terms of bass as well as assessing if a return trip would be worth my while. The jungle of terrestrial weeds was a pain as expected while the aquatic vegetation was manageable and set up well for a variety of presentations. Periodic tick checks were needed but at least the pests did not outnumber the bass (twelve bass to six ticks). In the end, a dozen bass in ninety minutes of scouting was more than enough to convince me that a return trip was worth a shot. Two days later, I was back for another hike. Stay tuned for that report and talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report July Quick Hits

This past weekend was busy with a family get together on Saturday and my birthday on Sunday which included a lunch date with Julie and family time in the evening. On a selfish note, I also opted to work in some short fishing trips around those activities. Read on for a day-by-day recap of the ups and downs of some quick hits on The Canal including an earlier rainout with my boys.

July 14 – Rained out with my boys but entertaining as always, details below

Date: July 14 and 21-23
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 4.25 hours total (2.25 hours boating, 2.00 hours biking)
Totals: 3 bass
Lures: 7.5” Yum Ribbontail Worm (plum) – 1 bass, 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (cream/green laminate) – 1 bass, Mann’s Baby 1- (red craw) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-5 Plastic Worm
Top 2 Weight (only 2 at 12” or better): 3-3 (2-5,0-14)

Notes and Nonsense

July 14 – An evening storm ran me and my boys off The Canal

July 14 (6:10pm-6:20pm hiking) – I had a chance to get my boys out for some casting, but Mother Nature turned real ugly right after we arrived at our Canal spot. The water was ugly too with a surface algae bloom that turned our spools green after only a few casts (might be a handy camo tint though). The weather initially looked a bit better to the southwest, so we headed to Andover, but the storm followed us. In the end, no real fishing, but following through on my promise of a fast-food supper lifted the spirits of my crew. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the “extras” from our guys’ night out. First up, I’ve got a twelve and a fourteen-year-old who have skipped showering for longer than I want to know in the cab of a truck with the windows up due to a rainstorm. As boys will do, sometimes you must roll the windows down even in the rain, and we’ll leave it at that. And the conversations, well…

July 21 – The best I could muster was a skinny 13″ bass but it saved the day

July 21 (3:20pm-4:35pm biking) – I left home on Friday night for a bike ride feeling good about finding a bite on a stretch that I had visited earlier in the week. Like the July 18 trip that featured a pair of two-pounders, the plan was to bounce a Texas rigged worm around some deeper weed edges. I couldn’t find any bites on the presentation this time around, but a wacky rigged Senko found a scrawny 13” bass hiding in some shade to avoid a shutout.

July 22 – An embarrassing shutout on The Canal as none of the above could fool a bass

July 22 (6:35am-8:50am boating) – I had not had the boat in The Canal for about three weeks as I typically only drag it in when I have more than a couple hours to fish. It is just easier and more efficient to pedal around on my bike when I have a limited window to cast. Well, on this date I would have been better off leaving the boat at home as I failed to catch a single bass while rowing a quality stretch. As I often say, “That’s fishing”, but it still leaves me scratching my head when I can’t even get one bass to cooperate in some decent conditions.

July 23 – Mission accomplished with a birthday bass on a short evening bike ride

July 23 (6:15pm-7:00pm biking) – After a midday date with Julie that consisted of a drive to an area baitshtop looking for topwater frogs and a late lunch at a local Mexican restaurant, I had a little time to get away. At best, I had an hour to cast, and I was simply looking for one bite to celebrate my birthday. It took just over ten minutes of dragging a Texas rigged worm across a deeper trough and I had my “Birthday Bass”, a solid 2-5. Although I had accomplished my mission, I stuck around for another thirty minutes or so and fooled a short fish on a Mann’s Baby 1- crankbait for icing on the cake.

The Canal continues to be hit or miss for me this year with the summer being more of a miss. For a change of scenery, I finished off my Saturday night with a brief stop at the Knox County strip mines to scout the conditions for a potential return visit. More fishing reports to come so stay tuned. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – July 18

Having a short window to make a few casts on The Canal, I decided to stick to my roots. Back in the summer of 2021 when I first started fishing the waterway, I relied on pedal power to do my exploring. And exploring was my intent on this outing as I wanted to check the weeds and water level on a particular stretch. Oh yeah, I was also hoping to catch a bass or two. Read on to see how it all turned out.

7:02 – First bass on second cast of the evening 2-3 (16.5″) on a Texas rigged worm

Date: July 18
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 7:00pm-8:15pm
Totals: 3 bass
Weather: Hazy/calm, 75-70F
Lures: 7.5” Yum Ribbontail Worm (plum) – 2 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 2-5 Plastic Worm
Top 3 Weight (only 3 at 12” or better): 5-9 (2-5,2-3,1-1)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

The Plan – As noted in the intro, I had a stretch that I wanted to get eyes on for a potential boat trip in the future. A seven-minute bike ride not only allowed me to observe the conditions but also provided a productive pool at my turnaround. At the fishing destination, I intended to rely heavily on a Texas rigged plastic worm along deep weed edges and a trough in the Canal channel.

7:20 pm – Top Bass at 2-5 (17″) on a Texas rigged plastic worm

Texas Time – I still recall getting the hang of fishing a Texas rigged worm on a Knox County farm pond back in the summer of 1986. The initial success of the approach made it a favorite in those early days of bass fishing. However, I would set the Texas rig aside in favor of other lures over the years. Therefore, it has been a fun return to the presentation in the last month or so and I have been rewarded with several solid catches. On this outing, the Texas rig produced a pair of bass over two pounds, a mark that qualifies the fish as what I call “good ones.”

8:04pm – Topwater frog bass at 1-1 (12.5″)

Spro Success – I also managed to catch another bass on a Spro Flappin Frog 65 topwater bait. While my experience is limited with the lure, I really like the action, feel, and castability. I am far from being a frog expert, but it already has my vote as the best frog that I have ever fished. Time will tell if the bass back up that assessment, but I know a little something courtesy of a more recent outing using the bait. Stay tuned for that report later this month.


A productive quick hit on The Canal was a winner as I accomplished my goals. The stretch looks boat worthy although patches of vegetation may give me a workout on the oars. Quality bites also show that the rowing workout should be worth the effort. Several more fishing reports to come so talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

This week’s update proves that there is more than one way to catch a bass. As far as presentations, we cover the top (Rapala Skitter Pop), middle (Senko wacky rig) and bottom (Texas rigged worm) of the water column to fool some fish. In addition, we got to our bass vis kayak, biking, and hiking. Do these guys know how to have fun or what?

Weight: 3-1
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: July 22
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Rapala Skitter Pop

Weight: 3-5
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: July 23
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Rapala Skitter Pop
Top 5 Weight: 15-10 (3-8,3-5,3-1,2-15,2-13) culls 2-13 and 2-13

Weight: 2-7
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 22
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Senko wacky worm (cream/green laminate)
Structure: Weed pocket
Angler Comments: Casting into deeper, open water troughs adjacent to weedy flats was winner on several catches with this being the biggest of the bunch.

Weight: 2-5
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 23
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Texas rigged 7.5” Yum Ribbontail Worm (plum)
Structure: Trough
Angler Comments: A quick evening trip in search of a birthday bass was a success with this catch after about fifteen minutes of casting.
Top 5 Weight: 20-15 (5-3,4-10,4-2,3-9,3-7)

Another quality week of catching but it looks like a heatwave is on the way. We’ll see if has more of an effect on the fishers than the fish. Talk to you later. Troy

Thoughts at 56

Well, it is once again time for my annual tangent. Let’s celebrate another year with some fifty-six associated thoughts.

Did you know that in his final year of Major League Baseball, Bert Campaneris wore uniform #56 for the Yankees? Neither did I until I searched for players who wore that number. I was thinking football but “Campy” wound up being my favorite choice. Beyond earning three World Series rings with the entertaining Oakland A’s (1972, 73, 74), he took the American League stolen base crown six times.

One of the greatest statistical numbers in the history of baseball. It represents the MLB consecutive game hitting streak record established by Joe DiMaggio in 1941.

Fifty-Six, Arkansas
Had I known that I was only fifty-three miles from Fifty-Six when I was in Heber Springs, Arkansas a couple weeks ago, I would have stopped for a photo. Of course, I was only fifty-five at the time.


Top Bass #56 of 2023
Oddly enough the catch above was one of a matching pair, both caught on 5/6. Now, that’s weird.

Billboard #1 Song July 23, 1967 vs. Billboard #1 Song July 23, 2023
1967 – “Windy” – The Association
Classic, still sounds great from a time when vocals were just vocals.
2023 – “Last Night” – Morgan Wallen
Never heard it until I pulled it up as I wrote this and I’ll still take Randy Travis, Keith Whitley, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle and so on. I guess I am getting old.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (1967) vs. Joe Biden (2023) – Nope, time to sign off…

Please tune in tomorrow as we resume our regular programming with a Top 5 Update. Talk to you later. Troy

0 for Arkansas

Work took me to north central Arkansas earlier this month for a few days. As I was traveling solo, I packed some fishing gear alongside a bunch of IT equipment for the trip. Previous work drives had allowed me to spend a few hours casting in Kansas, Texas, New York, and southern Illinois with the aim of landing a bass. Each of those prior trips were successful but Arkansas still owes me a bass.

Investment – Before setting out, I went online to obtain the $30 three-day non-resident permit to make sure that I was legal. I also picked up a few new lures during a stop at an Arkansas shop, a Storm Chug Bug, a Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg, and a couple packs of Yum Dingers (the latter as souvenirs for the family to use later).

Greer’s Ferry Lake

My first choice of spots did not work out as noted below

Greer’s Ferry – My work destination was Heber Springs which lies right on Greer’s Ferry Lake. Listed at just over 40,000 acres, I did some advance research to find a couple access areas that I thought would be worth a visit. Unfortunately, I got lost looking for a spot called Cove Creek Boat Ramp (may have been closed). In addition, there was a $5 access fee that I was unwilling to pay with only thirty minutes of daylight at the end of a long day (left Illinois at 3:15am, worked from 1:30pm-6:30pm). The next evening, I got a little earlier start after working from 6:30am-5:30pm but once again was not into paying an access fee for an hour of fishing. Instead, I parked in a boat launch parking area and fooled around for a bit without a bite. Conditions were tough with clear water, low lake levels, steep drops, and barren rock bottom.

Frierson Lake (335 acres) – On my last day, I worked from 7:00am-10:30am before heading out for a nine-hour drive home. I went a bit out of my way to hit Frierson Lake north of Jonesboro. It was more to my liking in terms of size and water clarity. The tough part was a batch flooded emergent vegetation that ringed most of the bank access. In addition, sunny skies at just after noon did not put the odds in my favor. In about forty-five minutes of casting, I failed to manage a bite. While disappointed, I felt that this smaller lake was more in tune with a solid shot at fooling a bass. A stop at the Visitor Center on my way out reinforced that some quality bass call the water home, including a ten-pound lake record.

Maybe Next Time – Near Corning, Arkansas were two more spots that I had on my radar, but I ran out of time. Victory Lake and Mom’s Lake will have to wait for another day should I find myself headed back to work in “The Natural State.”

Possum Grape – I spotted the road sign above and was left wondering if “Possum” and “Grape” were two separate places or if “Possum Grape” was one place. A little internet research revealed the latter and per a map, Possum Grape lies somewhere in the vicinity of Goat Neck Lodge and Nuckles Switch Cemetery.

And there you have it, a fishing report minus a fish. Not sure if/when I will be back in Arkansas, but I will have a better plan should it happen. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – July 15

For this trip, I set my sights on a lengthy stretch that was quite weed choked back on May 30 when I made a thirty-minute stop for an exploratory hike. This time around, I opted for biking over hiking to cover the entire stretch. My aim was to find the froggiest looking spots among the near solid weed cover and clean house with my recently purchased Spro Flapppin Frog. Well, it is always good to have a backup plan as detailed below.

7:41pm – First bass after nearly two hours of fishing

Date: July 15
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 5:50pm-8:20pm
Totals: 2 bass
Weather: Hazy/calm, 82F
Lures: 7.5” Yum Ribbontail Worm (plum) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 2-8 Plastic Worm
Top 1 Weight (only 1 at 12” or better): 2-8

Winning Lure

Notes and Nonsense

Frog Fail – Riding high after a July 2 frog catch on another stretch of The Canal, I was all in on prospecting a potentially productive pool. However, I was disappointed as the only action was a green sunfish popping my frog at my feet in a narrow stretch of open water between the bank and an extensive weed mat. The pool was much shallower than I anticipated, and everything looked the same; darn near bank to bank weed cover. I hit areas where there were open pockets, weeds mixed with wood, channels along the riprap bank, and any other variations among the vegetation. That’s a solid approach, right? Look for something different or a combination of cover in otherwise identical looking water. Well, it sure didn’t work for me on this outing. And while you may suggest looking for deeper water adjacent to the surface weed cover, on this stretch the only choices were shallow and shallower.

Looked like Frog City but I couldn’t buy a bite

Plan B – Having reached the end of my initial stretch of water after ninety minutes without a bite, I was left with only about thirty minutes to fish. This prompted a decision to take a stab at the next pool rather than fishing my way back through the unproductive water. This also meant a change of tactics as the lock featured a deep pool with limited weed cover along the banks. Cue the Texas-rigged worm cast to the weed edges which resulted in two bass, one other lost after a brief battle, and a couple short strikes. While I was quite happy to avoid the embarrassing shutout, I also kicked myself for not bailing on the first pool earlier. But that’s how fishing goes. Take your hindsight, file it away, and draw upon it in the future.

8:00pm – Top Bass at 2-8 (16.5″) on a Texas rigged worm

Final Bite – I figured that my Texas rig catches would be my last bites, but it turned out that I was wrong. As I rode my bike back along the towpath to the truck, one of my fingers suddenly felt like it was on fire. Glancing down, I spotted the business end of a bee stuck in my finger. I stopped the bike, flicked the bee off, and then had to brush the stringer out. Been a while since I got stung and it was just an unfortunate situation for the bee that we collided as we were both zipping along just minding our own business.

Although the catching was lacking, the learning continues. And before the summer is out, I intend to put the lessons learned on this outing to work. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy