Strip Mine Report – March 30

Even though family and friends have been fishing the Knox County public strip mines for close to thirty-five years, there are still secrets to learn and new spots to explore. For this solo outing, I was doing a bit of both on three different lakes.

11:21am First boat ride on a new lake and the first of thirteen bass on the spot

Date: March 30
Location: Knox County public strip pits (3 lakes)
Time: 8:25am-1:30pm (3.75 hours fishing)
Totals: 17 bass
Weather: Sunny/very windy, 55F
Water temperature: Not available
Lures: Lunker Hunt Finesse Swimbait (perfect pumpkin) aka “Ned Rig”– 14 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad) – 2 bass, Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with a BPS Speed Shad trailer (pro blue) – 1 bass
Top Bass: 1-6 (swimbait)
Top 5 Weight: 6-1 (1-6,1-4,1-3,1-2,1-2)

Notes and Nonsense

Lake 1 – Of the three lakes selected for this trip, I have the most history with “Lake 1”, although that history is only a handful of visits. Those visits had produced a decent bite in terms of quantity, but quality was lacking. My Top Bass sits at 1-10 from July 2023 and my all-time Top 5 sits at a mere 6-1. On this outing, I only spent about forty-five minutes on the lake as it was used primarily to access the other two lakes. Lake 1 produced three bass with a lone “keeper” at 1-2.

11:29am – Top Bass of the day at 1-6 (14″) on a Ned Rig

Lake 2 – This spot was where I intended to focus as it was an eye-opening “discovery” last year. Brent and I made several visits with our Top Bass coming in at 4-7 (Brent) and our combined Top 5 weighing 18-6. Hopes were high but I only managed one bite in a little over an hour while being blown all over the lake. Beaten by the wind and lackluster bite, I opted to leave the proven water to check out a relatively unexplored lake.

Ready to row into the unknown

Lake 3 – In 2022, I had made a hike to this body of water and managed to catch one bass on a Rapala Shad Rap. It wasn’t much of a specimen, but it provided evidence of bass which was my goal. Since I had cut my time short on Lake 2, I decided to take a longer look at Lake 3 to finish out my day. An hour and forty-five minutes on Lake 3 saved the day with thirteen bass, including three of my Top 5 on the day. The largest was only 1-6 but my results pointed to a solid population. I would also guess that I didn’t catch the largest bass in the lake. Based on these assessments, it is worth a return trip. And besides, I need one more “keeper” to round out my Top 5 for the lake.


Solid numbers again but I sure can’t find any big bites in the early season. I enjoy exploring new water but find it a tough decision to choose between proven spots and the unknown when I get a chance to get on the water. Overall, I was pleased with my decisions on this outing, and hope they pay dividends in the future. I have a few other unknown spots on my “wish list” and time will tell if I follow this lead and give them a shot. Talk to you later. Troy

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