Category: Top 5

Top 5 Update

This past week, I had a couple opportunities to “Prowl the Canal” and one of those outings produced my new Top Bass for the historic waterway.

Weight: 3-6 (20″, long but scrawny)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 21
Weather: Overcast/calm
Location: Hennepin Canal – Henry County, IL
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (pumpkin with black flake)
Structure: Open water
Angler Comments: Despite an uncharacteristic 40 minutes without a bite to start my evening, I felt something good was going to happen (even said so on my GoPro video). Sure enough, I landed a 2-10 and then this 3-6 in about a 20-minute span.
Top 5 Weight: 18-13 (4-10,4-3,3-9,3-6,3-1) culls a 2-14

Today’s submission was one of several quality bass landed on the canal this month. Stay tuned for the full report. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

As reported in the most recent blog post, work took me to Western New York last week and I was able to pack along a batch of fishing gear for some evening getaways. One such getaway produced the catch below, which is currently my Top Bass of 2021.

Weight: 4-10
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 11
Weather: Overcast/rain/breezy
Water Temp: Not available
Location: Sprague Brook Park – Glenwood, NY
Lure: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: Armed with a $28 non-resident NY fishing permit, a War Eagle spinnerbait, and a rainsuit a couple sizes too big, I took my shot at some water found during an internet search prior to my trip. My second catch of the evening turned out to be a winner and I couldn’t help but laugh at my good fortune.
Top 5 Weight: 18-5 (4-10,4-3,3-9.3-1,2-14) culls 2-13

If you have a lure in the water, anything can happen and this catch was certainly a treat, and honestly, a surprise. Sure, I have high hopes whenever I hit the water, but sight unseen and 676 miles from home made this one extra special. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Several more fish are added to our totals this week and while they don’t boost the angler’s weights, it’s always good to see some fish in my messages and my Inbox.

Weight: 1-4 (13.5”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: July 7
Weather: Cool, overcast with occasional mist
Water Temp: 80-81F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: Dark wacky worm
Angler Comments: Hardly had any action until this fish took the lure. Hooked one other fish which put up a better fight but lost him before seeing him. Slow day but comfortable weather for fishing. Fished from 8:00-11:30am.
Top 5 Weight: 11-14 (2-10,2-8,2-8,2-6,1-14)

Weight: 3-12, 3-13, 4-4
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: July 6
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Texas rigged Senko
Angler Comments: The 3-12 and 4-4 were on back-to-back casts.
Top 5 Weight: 26-0 (6-0,5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6)

Another good week on the water for a couple of our crew. Good to hear someone is out there chasing those fish and keep sending them my way. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

The months keep rolling on by as half of the year is in the rearview mirror. And a new month means it’s time for a new Top 5 stat update. As of the latest update we now sit at 60 bass, the lone species submitted so far this year. Read on for the regular breakdown.

2021 Totals
January = no submissions
February = 2 bass
March = 19 bass
April = 14 bass
May = 13 bass
June = 10 bass
July = 2 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = 7-3 (3-15,3-4)
March = 21-14 (5-5,4-3,4-2,4-2,4-2)
April = 21-6 (5-3,5-2,4-0,4-0,3-1)
May = 14-14 (4-6,2-12,2-10,2-10,2-8)
June = 15-8 (4-3,3-9,2-14,2-8,2-6)
July = 8-13 (6-0,2-13)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 11 bass
Bank = 49 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 15-12 (4-3,3-9,2-14,2-10,2-8)
Bank = 26-0 (6-0,5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6)

Public vs. Private
Public = 56 bass
Private = 4 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 26-0 (6-0,5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6)
Private = 9-6 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14)

The Baits
Plastic Worm = 20 bass (Top Bass 6-0 Jim Junk)
Lipless Crankbait = 17 bass (Top Bass 4-3 Jim Junk, Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Chatterbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Jim Junk)
Jig = 2 bass (Top Bass 1-8 John Kirkemo)
Creature = 1 bass (Top Bass 5-5 Jim Junk)
Livebait = 1 bass (Top Bass Patricia Kirkemo 2-10)
Stickbait = 1 bass (1-11 Troy Jackson)
Swimbait = 1 bass (1-13 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass
January
No submissions
February
3-15 Jim Junk
March
5-5 Jim Junk
April
5-2 Jim Junk
May
4-6 Jim Junk
June
4-3 Troy Jackson
July
6-0 Jim Junk

Top 10 Bass
6-0 Jim Junk (7/3)
5-5 Jim Junk (3/26)
5-3 Jim Junk (4/8)
5-2 Jim Junk (4/6)
4-6 Jim Junk (5/25)
4-3 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-3 Troy Jackson (6/19)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/19)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/24)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/28)

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 26-0 (6-0,5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6)
Troy Jackson 16-8 (4-3,3-9,3-1,2-14,2-13)
Brent Jackson 14-14 (4-0,4-0,2-5,2-6,2-3)
John Kirkemo 11-14 (2-10,2-8,2-8,2-6,1-14)
Jayce Jackson 3-7 (1-3,1-3,1-1)
Landon Hannam 2-12 (2-12)
Patricia Kirkemo 2-10 (2-10)

While I save the full commentary on the statistical breakdown for the final wrap-up, I must say that it has been an interesting batch of catches in a couple regards. The vast majority of our bass have come from the bank on public waters. I find that kind of fun as those are aspects that many anglers understand. Nothing wrong with a nice boat or a honey hole but neither are required for a good time and some good catches. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Well, it was a productive stretch on the water during a balmy July the Fourth week and weekend for the Top 5. A trio of anglers boosted their totals and no knock on the submissions of myself and another angler, but our Top 5 leader really reeled in something special with our new Top Bass of 2021.

Weight: 2-8
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 30
Weather: Hot and humid, overcast sky
Air Temp: High 80s
Water Temp: 90.8
Location: Sangchris Lake
Lure: Dark wacky worm
Angler Comments: This fish was in four to five feet of water.
Top 5 Weight: 11-14 (2-10,2-8,2-8,2-6,1-14) culls a 1-8

Weight: 2-13 (16.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 2
Weather: Sunny/calm
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (pumpkin with black flake)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: A new spot with plenty of open water on the canal came up a winner. Not my first cast of the trip, but the first in this promising looking area. One ounce shy of tying my personal best from the Hennepin Canal.
Top 5 Weight: 16-8 (4-3,3-9,3-1,2-14,2-13) culls a 2-0

Weight: 6-0
Angler: Jim Junk
Date: July 4
Location: Banner Marsh
Lure: Texas rigged Senko
Angler Comments: Felt like a good fish but as usual at Banner she was deep in the weeds quickly. Had to keep my thumb on the spool and pull in a few inches at a time. Really scared that the line would snap. Got her to the bank with at least 10 pounds of vegetation. Still had not seen the fish and had no idea how big she was until I started pulling off vegetation and got the first look.
Top 5 Weight: 26-0 (6-0,5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6) culls a 4-3

Way to go, guys in getting out there during the dog days of summer. I must say that Jim’s six-pounder still has me shaking my head. Simply impressive as he adds nearly two pounds to a hefty total weight that was already pushing the twenty-five-pound mark. Great stuff. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

A submission from a new stretch of public water joins the list this week.

Weight: 2-14
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: June 21
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm
Air Temp: 64F
Location: Hennepin Canal – Henry County, IL
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (pumpkin with black flake)
Structure: Open water with scattered weeds
Angler Comments: Some scouting earlier in the month during a family camping trip brought me back to a promising section of the Hennepin Canal and it did not disappoint.
Top 5 Weight: 15-11 (4-3,3-9,3-1,2-14,2-0) culls a 1-13

As you can see from the picture, the bass was a bit crooked on its backend. More on the bass, the ride to and from the fishing hole and more in the complete Hennepin Canal report coming your way tomorrow. Thanks. Troy

Top 5 Update

A good batch of submissions this week as Knox County continues to produce during the spring/summer transition. Conditions have been challenging for anglers with hot and humid conditions on the water but for those willing to put forth the effort, there are rewards to be had.

Weight: 1-2 (13″)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 18
Weather: Hot and humid, overcast with intermittent sun
Water Temp: 82-83F
Location: Lake Storey, Galesburg, IL
Lure: Dark colored wacky worm
Angler Comments: Fished from 1:00-3:15pm. Very few bites but this fish hit the lure hard close to shore in three to four feet of water.
Top 5 Weight: 10-14 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14,1-8)

Weight: 4-3 (20″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: June 19
Weather: Partly Cloudy/calm and hot, 85F
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad)

Weight: 3-9 (19″)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: June 19
Weather: Partly Cloudy/calm and hot, 85F
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad)
Angler Comments: Both catches came from a lake that did not exist when I first fished Snakeden. More details to come on the fishing report later this week.
Top 5 Weight: 14-10 (4-3,3-9,3-1,2-0,1-13) culls 1-13 and 1-11

Weight: 1-13
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 19
Weather: Partly Cloudy/calm and hot, 81F
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Yum Dinger wacky rig
Structure: Weed edge

Weight: 2-6
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 19
Weather: Partly Cloudy/calm and hot, 81F
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Yum Dinger wacky rig
Structure: Weed edge
Top 5 Weight: 14-14 (4-0,4-0,2-6,2-5,2-3) culls a 2-3

A nice spring finale and keep those fish coming through the summer. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Today’s post features a pair of bass from some Knox County public waters. It sure is fun to see these locales share a weekly update. These two fishing holes hold many personal memories and I enjoy seeing others taking a shot at making memories of their own.

Weight: 1-1
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 8
Weather: Bright sun, air temp 70s
Water Temp: 72-74F
Location: Lake McMaster
Lure: Dark colored wacky worm
Angler Comments: Caught one other bass too small to even measure. Had other bites but failed to hook and land any other fish.
Top 5 Weight: 10-14 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14,1-8)

Weight: 1-3
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: June 12
Weather: Sunny/calm and hot
Air Temperature: 90F
Water Temp: 83F
Location: Lake Storey
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig (cinnamon black purple flake with red tip)
Structure: Flat with scattered weeds
Editor’s Comments: This was a last-minute bass that got Jayce on the board. In fact, after this catch we called it quits to end our day with a last cast catch. More on the catch in an upcoming fishing report.
Top 5 Weight: 3-7 (1-3,1-3,1-1)

As a sidelight, I got to sit around the campfire with both anglers and spin a few yarns this past weekend. A good crew and happy to have them play along here on the Top 5. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

One of our young anglers works in a few casts on some new water and reels in a bass for our Top 5 Update.

Weight: 1-1
Angler: Jayce Jackson
Date: June 5
Weather: Sunny/breezy, air temp upper 80s
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamasenko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 2-4 (1-3,1-1)

Good job, my man, and a fun catch. As I was along for the ride on this one, more to come in the full fishing and outdoor reports when time permits. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Another month means another Top 5 Stat Update. Thus far, 2021 is exclusively a battle of the bass as no other species have been submitted. Five months into our 2021 quest we sit at 48 bass total courtesy of seven anglers. As such, we are almost halfway to the goal of 100 bass with just over half a year of fishing remaining. Hopefully, some stable spring weather is finally here, and the hits will keep on coming. In the meantime, here is a breakdown of our 2021 submissions.

2021 Totals
January = no submissions
February = 2 bass
March = 19 bass
April = 14 bass
May = 13 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
January = no submissions
February = 7-3 (3-15,3-4)
March = 21-14 (5-5,4-3,4-2,4-2,4-2)
April = 21-6 (5-3,5-2,4-0,4-0,3-1)
May = 14-14 (4-6,2-12,2-10,2-10,2-8)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 1 bass
Bank = 47 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 2-10 (2-10)
Bank = 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3)

Public vs. Private
Public = 44 bass
Private = 4 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3)
Private = 9-6 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14)

The Baits (* = new record)
Lipless Crankbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 4-3 Jim Junk)
Plastic Worm = 10 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Crankbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 4-0 Brent Jackson)
Chatterbait = 5 bass (Top Bass 5-3 Jim Junk)
Jig = 2 bass (Top Bass 1-8 John Kirkemo)
Creature = 1 bass (Top Bass 5-5 Jim Junk)
Livebait = 1 bass (Top Bass Patricia Kirkemo 2-10)
Stickbait = 1 bass (1-11 Troy Jackson)
Swimbait = 1 bass (1-13 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass (* = new record)
January
No submissions
February
3-15 Jim Junk
March
5-5 Jim Junk
April
5-2 Jim Junk
May
4-6 Jim Junk

Top 10 Bass (* = new Top 10 all-time)
5-5 Jim Junk (3/26)
5-3 Jim Junk (4/8)
5-2 Jim Junk (4/6)
4-6 Jim Junk (5/25)
4-3 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-2Jim Junk (3/19)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/24)
4-2 Jim Junk (3/28)
4-1 Jim Junk (3/30)
4-0 Jim Junk (3/23)
4-0 Brent Jackson (4/2)
4-0 Brent Jackson (4/12)

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 24-3 (5-5,5-3,5-2,4-6,4-3)
Brent Jackson 14-11 (4-0,4-0,2-5,2-3,2-3)
John Kirkemo 10-14 (2-10,2-8,2-6,1-14,1-8)
Troy Jackson 10-6 (3-1,2-0,1-13,1-13,1-11)
Landon Hannam 2-12 (2-12)
Patricia Kirkemo 2-10 (2-10)
Jayce Jackson 1-3 (1-3)

There you have it, a solid collection of bass submissions and nearly all from the bank on public waters. I find those aspects to be fun bit of the breakdown as they represent locales and approaches that are generally available to anyone looking to make some casts. Keep up the good work, crew, and anybody else out there who wishes to join the quest go ahead and email your catches to troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com. Talk to you later. Troy