Month: November 2023

Hennepin Canal Report – November 18

One annual goal is to end the year with a November bass. While the weather has been very favorable, time has been lacking. The time change means it is dark when I get off work on weekdays and the weekends have been busy with family activities. But with one more Saturday in the fifties, I sacrificed a couple hours of yard work in favor of a trip to The Canal.

2:20pm- November Bass at 2-2 (17.5″) on a spinnerbait

Date: November 18
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 2:00pm-4:15pm
Totals: 2 bass
Weather: Sunny/windy, 52F
Lures: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with Bass Pro Shops Twin Tail trailer (Houdini) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 2-2 Spinnerbait
Top 2 Weight (only two at 12” or better): 3-7 (2-2,1-5)

Winning Lure

Notes and Nonsense

One Bite Days – This late in the year with cold water conditions, and typically brief outings, my approach is what I call a “one bite day.” I am looking for one bite and anything else is a bonus. I also chose my destination to optimize crossing paths with a bass. On this day, it took me forty minutes of casting to some solid targets without a bite before I reached my specific confidence area. It then took three casts along a stretch of riprap and concrete slab bank with a steep drop, but it worked. Even better was that the “one bite” was a quality fish. Admittedly, it doesn’t always work out but it sure is cool when a plan comes together.

No Deer Repeat – Last month, I caught a bass off a dead deer that was floating at the end of an open water area bordered by riprap at the bank and lilypads along the channel. Well, the deer was still there on this outing, but a bass was not. Worth a try every time though, as it makes for a fun fish story when it works out.

3:35pm – Last Bass at 1-5 (14″) on a spinnerbait

Last Bass – After landing the targeted November bass, the pressure was off, and any other catches represented icing on the cake. Now don’t think that I became complacent or anything. I was still dialed in and working my spots, it was just a bit more of a relaxed vibe. The second and final bass of the afternoon also hit a spinnerbait and like the first catch it took several casts to an appealing spot. In this case, it was a small bankside catalpa with a mix of shoreline riprap and a batch of slender, scattered laydowns that was a winner.


Mission accomplished on the November bass, and I was torn on whether to extend my fishing another day with a pleasant Sunday to follow. While I profess that “the best time to go fishing is any time you can”, I opted to invest my Sunday in some chores and errands. It’s been a very good year and if these are the last two catches, I’m good with the finale. Plenty to write about to recap the year so stay tuned over the “off season” for those stats and rambles. Talk to you later. Troy

Hennepin Canal Report – October 22

I was able to hit The Canal for the third day in a row and selected another stretch that was lacking an initial Top 5 Weight. My only prior visit to the area was on May 25 of this year when I logged  four bass in two and a half hours of exploring. Only three of the bass were keepers with a combined weight of 5-2 (3-2,1-1,0-15). My aim on this outing was to fool two more keepers to fill the Top 5 for the pool and then see if I could bump the weight with a few more. Read on for the results.

12:43pm – Second “keeper” at 1-0 (12.5″ to fill out an initial Top 5 for this stretch of The Canal

Date: October 22
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 12:00pm-3:15pm
Totals: 11 bass
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 50-58F
Lures: Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with BPS Speed Shad trailer (pro blue) – 9 bass, War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with Bass Pro Shops Twin Tail trailer (Houdini) – 1 bass, Strike King Squarebill Crankbait (sexy shad) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-9 Spinnerbait
Top 4 Weight (only four at 12” or better: 4-14 (1-9,1-8,1-0,0-13)

Winning Lures

Notes and Nonsense

The Pool – This particular stretch of The Canal covers two miles of water between a pair of culverts. During my only other visit back on May 25, I fished the eastern half of the stretch prior to turning around to fish back to the truck before it got dark. Wouldn’t you know that I caught all four of my bass in a forty-minute time frame near where I decided to turn around. This left me wondering what lay beyond, and on this outing, I was committed to finding out.

Catch Chronology
12:30pm – 12.5” (0-13) Chatterbait
12:43pm – 12.5” (1-0) Chatterbait
12:56pm – 11.5” Chatterbait
1:09pm – 11” Crankbait
1:15pm – 11.5” Chatterbait
1:21pm – 9.5” Chatterbait
1:26pm – 11” Chatterbait
1:47pm – 11.5” Chatterbait
2:04pm – 14.5” (1-8) Chatterbait
2:41pm – 11.5” Chatterbait
2:48pm – 14.5” (1-9) Spinnerbait

2:48pm – Top Bass of the Day and my final catch at 1-9 (14.5″) on a spinnerbait

Top 5 Established – My first two catches were “keepers” and took the pressure off having to find the fish needed to establish the initial Top 5 for this pool. As the day ended, I did manage to fool two larger “keepers’ to boost the overall weight. With these results, my Top 5 for this stretch currently sits at 8-3 (3-2,1-9,1-8,1-0,0-13). Ultimately, I would like to boost the total into double digits, but that will be a task for another year.


New Stuff – I’m always enthused to see new sections or new parts of stretches that I haven’t fully explored. Granted, a lot of The Canal looks the same and, in many instances, rather bland when viewing from the towpath. However, there are many details that come to light when able to get on the water in a boat or kayak. This stretch was no exception as I found one of the few beaver lodges that I have observed, several nice piles of riprap, and many logs/fallen trees that looked like a good hiding place for a bass. This time around, some held a fish, some didn’t but all had potential for some future casts.

Is this so long to The Canal for 2023? It’s been another good year of exploring.

Responsibilities and shorter days have kept me away from the water with this outing being my last opportunity to chase bass. My annual goal is a November bass, but it may be extra challenging this year. I have my sights set on a future date with The Canal, but time will tell if it works out or if I can outsmart that final fish. It’s been a very good year though, no matter how it all winds up. Talk to you later. Troy