Hennepin Canal Report – June 19

The eve of summer and overcast skies seemed like an ideal time to get out after the 5:00pm end of a Wednesday workday. The forecast did call for a possibility of some light rain, but I’ve been wet before, so not much of a problem, right? Well, I got wet again. Real wet. But I also had a solid night of catching.

Looked like I had it made

Date: June 19
Location: Hennepin Canal
Time: 6:20pm-8:50pm
Totals: 14 bass
Weather: Overcast/calm/heavy rain, 85F
Lures: Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (snow white shad) – 9 bass, Whopper Plopper #110 (bone) – 3 bass, Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino) – 2 bass
Top Bass: 1-11 (Whopper Plopper)
Top 5 Weight: 7-7 (1-11,1-10,1-8,1-5,1-5)

7:00pm – Top Bass at 1-11 (15″) on a Whopper Plopper while dry under a light gray sky

Notes and Nonsense

Limited Media – For starters, I was in such a hurry to get to the water that I forgot my GoPro. Lack of video wasn’t much of a concern as I fished for decades without such technology and the torrential rains would have put a damper on shooting anyway. The rainy conditions also limited my ability to take pictures of my catches. I only got shots of half of the fish, being those that bookended the heavy rain. In addition, I had to rely on memory for several catches and document them later in the Notes app on my phone. Even then, the screen was wet, and my fingers were so wrinkled and saturated that the phone screen would not consistently register touches or swipes.

7:08pm – Under cover of the trees as a light rain begins

Nowhere to Row, Nowhere to Hide – When your watercraft propulsion is via rowing, there is simply no such thing as a quick return to the boat ramp. My nearly fifty-seven-year-old motor is in decent rowing shape but even at top speed it takes a while to get where I’m going. When the rain began, I had just landed a bass and drifted under some trees to unhook and document. From there, I elected to wait out the downpour with the leaves as an umbrella. However, the canopy soon provided little protection and I was stuck about a half-mile from the truck. That left no option but to keep on casting and get soaked.

Winning Lures

Buzzbait Boon – During the downpour, I relied solely on a buzzbait, and it did not let me down. The crazy thing is the rain was so heavy that it was difficult for me to see and hear the commotion produced by the bait during the retrieve. Fortunately, the bass did not have any issue dialing in their aim as I landed half a dozen amidst thirty minutes of steadily soaking rain.

The deluxe Big Gulp “bailer/bilge pump” 

Bonus Gear – I took a Big Gulp of iced tea (unsweetened, of course) along for hydration but it tipped and began floating in the water accumulating in the bottom of the boat. This made it unpotable, so the cup’s role shifted to bailing water out of the boat. While I was in no danger of sinking or anything, the rain made for a substantial puddle at my feet. I have begun taking a Rubbermaid tub with me to ease hauling tackle and tools and it really saved the day in preventing my gear from getting drenched. Finally, an emergency rain poncho was a winner for the ride home. Now you may ask why I did not wear it to begin with and I will admit that it is a legitimate question. It probably wouldn’t have made much difference but it sure was nice to sit on for the drive to prevent my truck seat from being soaked.

Emergency rain poncho seat cover for the ride home

8:20pm – Soaked to the bone but the bass were still biting

Fourteen bass in two and a half hours of challenging conditions was quite a successful outing. Sure, I was uncomfortable for most of the trip and the entire ride home, but it did convince me of one thing. The rain affects the angler more than the fish. After all, they are already wet. Talk to you later. Troy

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