Top 5 Update

Three more fish join the ranks this week as a pair of anglers expand to some new water. One guy is exploring a 56,000-acre reservoir while the other guy is checking off sections of a one-hundred-mile canal. Both are imposing tasks and both anglers are reaping the rewards of their efforts.

Fish: Hybrid striped bass
Weight: 1-12
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: May 12, 2024
Weather: Setting sun with high thin clouds.
Water temperature: 77 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC at Hartwell State Park
Lure: Black and silver 3 ½ inch shallow running Rapala
Comments: I finished my evening fishing on Lake Hartwell near Tugaloo State Park in Georgia across the lake from my campsite at Hartwell state Park, SC. I stowed the trolling motor and started the outboard for the run across the lake to camp. As I neared the entrance to the small bay where the campsite is found, I noticed a fish feeding on the surface about 15 yards ahead on the port side. The water depth was 56 feet. I slowed down and put the engine in neutral. The boat continued to move at a slow and diminishing rate of speed. The disturbed water caused by the feeding fish had settled down, but I cast the Rapala to where I thought I had seen the feeding fish. I had not started the retrieve when, suddenly, I saw a fish causing a disturbance on the surface about 10 yards from the boat. As I watched I saw my lure go flying in the air above a fish thrashing on the surface. The lure fell back in the water and the fish took it. Hybrid striped bass are strong fish, and this fish made several runs taking line each time. It tried going under the boat, but I was able to get him to the net. I was surprised the fish only weighed 1 lbs.12 oz., because he fought like a much bigger fish.
Top 5 Weight: 8-7 (3-5,2-6,1-12,1-0)

Weight: 2-12 (18″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 8
Weather: Overcast/very windy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Z-Man Chatterbait (sexy shad) with Keitech Swing Impact Swimbait trailer (electric blue & chartreuse)
Structure: Log
Angler Comments: An isolated log on an extended flat is always worth a few casts. This time around, it only took one.

Weight: 1-15 (16″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 8
Weather: Sunny/very windy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamamoto Senko wacky rig (blue pearl/black & hologram)
Structure: Reeds/riprap
Angler Comments: This was a bite on a classic structure combo with large chunk riprap along a stretch of reeds breaking up an otherwise bland bank.
Top 5 Weight: 11-15 (3-0,2-12,2-6,1-15,1-14) culls a pair at 1-11

Another fine update and stay tuned for the full report covering the May 8 prowl on The Canal. Talk to you later. Troy

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