Category: Top 5

Top 5 Update

Our first submissions for July consist of a quality bass a new species.

Weight: 2-15
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: July 6
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Scum frog (natural green & yellow)
Editor’s Comments: Brent reported that he was on the water for about two and a half hours and landed ten bass. The above fish was his Top Bass and his Top 5 for the trip tipped the scales at 8-1.
Top 5 Weight: 15-12 (3-12,3-6,3-4,2-15,2-7) culls 2-7

Species: Freshwater Drum
Weight: 2-10 (19.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: July 7
Weather: Overcast/breezy, 75F
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Strike King Red Eye Shad (sexy shad)
Angler Comments: For a brief time, I thought that I finally had my first four-pound bass on The Canal but not quite. No matter, a worthy fight, and a new species for the Top 5.
Top 5 Weight: 2-10 (2-10)

Good to see Brent getting a summer strip mine bite and always a treat when they are hitting topwater baits. As far as The Canal entry, the drum was a rewarding catch as bites have been hard to come by when chasing bass. The Canal is an interesting place with several reports from recent trips in the works. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

We hit the midway point of the year with a total of fifty-four bass submitted along with a handful of other species. Read on for a closer look at the numbers.

Bass Totals (largemouth and spotted)

2024 Totals
March = 15 bass
April = 16 bass
May = 11 bass
June = 12 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
March = 18-3 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-4,3-1)
April = 11-0 (2-8,2-7,2-4,2-0,1-13)
May = 14-15 (3-6,3-4,3-0,2-12,2-9)
June = 14-7 (3-12,3-0,2-10,2-9,2-8)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 37 bass
Bank = 17 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 16-0 (3-12,3-4,3-4,3-0,2-12)
Bank = 17-5 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-1,2-6)

Public vs. Private
Public = 54 bass
Private = 0 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 19-0 (4-6,3-14,3-12,3-10,3-6)
Private = no submissions

The Baits
Jerkbait = 17 bass (Top Bass 2-8 John Kirkemo)
Chatterbait = 10 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Propbait = 6 bass (Top Bass 3-0 Troy Jackson)
Plastic Worm = 5 bass (Top Bass 3-4 Brent Jackson)
Popper = 5 bass (Top Bass 3-12 Brent Jackson)
Lipless Crankbait = 4 bass (Top Bass 2-6 Jim Junk)
Buzzbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 2-9 Troy Jackson)
Frog = 2 bass (Top Bass 2-8 Troy Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-0 Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-11 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass
March
4-6 Jim Junk
April
2-8 John Kirkemo
May
3-6 Brent Jackson
June
3-12 Brent Jackson

2024 Top 10 Bass
4-6 Jim Junk 3/3
3-14 Jim Junk 3/18
3-12 Brent Jackson 6/27
3-10 Jim Junk 3/3
3-6 Brent Jackson 5/4
3-4 Jayce Jackson 3/31
3-4 Brent Jackson 5/5
3-1 Jim Junk 3/17
3-0 Troy Jackson 5/4
3-0 Troy Jackson 6/29

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 17-5 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-1,2-6)
Brent Jackson 15-4 (3-12,3-6,3-4,2-7,2-7)
Troy Jackson 13-14 (3-0,3-0,2-12,2-9,2-9)
John Kirkemo 10-9 (2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13,1-13)
Julia Jackson 8-12 (2-10,1-10,1-10,1-8,1-6)
Jayce Jackson 3-4 (3-4)

Other Species

Bowfin
Troy Jackson 3-13 (3-13)

Channel Catfish
John Kirkemo 2-3 (2-3)

Gar
John Kirkemo 28” (28”)

Striped Bass
John Kirkemo 6-11 (3-5,2-6,1-0)

Trout (brown and rainbow)
John Kirkemo 24” (12”, 12”)

A solid June with a dozen bass added to the project. At fifty-four bass thus far, we are just over halfway to the annual target of one hundred bass for the year. However, we need to pick up the pace as the latter half of the year is typically leaner on submissions with most anglers already establishing an initial Top 5. Of course, there’s always room for others to join the quest. Good luck as we continue into the dog days of summer and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Three more bass give a couple of Jackson brothers a summer boost for their respective Top 5 weights.

Weight: 3-12
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 27
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 2-7
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: June 27
Location: Knox County public strip pit
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)
Top 5 Weight: 15-4 (3-12,3-6,3-4,2-7,2-7) culls 2-4 and 2-1

Weight: 3-0 (18.5”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: June 29
Weather: Overcast/calm
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Whopper Plopper 100 (bone)
Structure: Submerged brush
Angler Comments: Tough to beat having your first bite of the morning tip the scales at three pounds.
Top 5 Weight: 13-14 (3-0,3-0,2-12,2-9,2-9) culls 2-8

Folks, topwater time is in full swing. Get up early or stay out late to improve your shot at some exciting strikes. The monthly Top 5 stat update is in the works as well as a few more fishing reports so stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

This week’s update features a late spring South Carolina bass that I was unable to add to the previous update and our first summer bass of the year. Read on for the details on a pair of bass, one spotted, and one largemouth.

Spotted Bass
Weight: 1-13 (16”)
Angler: John Kirkemo
Date: June 11
Weather: Setting sun with some clouds
Water Temp: 85F
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC near Coneross Corps of Engineers Campground
Lure: Shallow running silver and black Rapala
Angler Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.6-1.7 mph along the shoreline in nine feet of water.
Top 5 Weight: 10-9 (2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13,1-13)

Weight: 2-8
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: June 23
Weather: Partly cloudy/calm
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino)
Structure: Weed bed/sticks
Angler Comments: The Whopper Plopper bite had been good, but I was concerned that the disappearing cloud cover would end the bite. Therefore, I opted to go after some “shady bass” in a weed mat under cover of some trees. I was rewarded on the very first cast after shifting gears with what would be my Top Bass of this outing.
Top 5 Weight: 13-6 (3-0,2-12,2-9,2-9,2-8) culls a 2-6

This week’s submissions bring our 2024 bass total to fifty-one fish. The annual goal is to see if we can hit one hundred bass entries for the year. Well, we are halfway there in terms of numbers and halfway there in terms of the calendar. I hope to get another member or two of our household on board as we head through summer and anyone else out there is welcome to join as well. Just send pictures and details of your catches to troy@troyjacksonoutdoors.com. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

This week’s update features a new angler for 2024 although she has been involved in the past. My wife, Julie, and I tackled The Canal on a Friday date night a few days after I had taken a shot in an adjacent area. These two spots were not high on the list in terms of quality fish, but our latest trips proved to be a bit of an eye-opener. Read on for the details on our half dozen catches.

Weight: 2-10 (18”)
Angler: Julia Jackson
Date: June 14
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Whopper Plopper #110 (bone)

Weight: 1-10 (16”)
Angler: Julia Jackson
Date: June 14
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Whopper Plopper #110 (bone)

Weight: 1-10 (14.5”)
Angler: Julia Jackson
Date: June 14
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Whopper Plopper #110 (bone)

Weight: 1-8 (15”)
Angler: Julia Jackson
Date: June 14
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Whopper Plopper #110 (bone)

Weight: 1-6 (14.5)
Angler: Julia Jackson
Date: June 14
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Whopper Plopper #110 (bone)
Top 5 Weight: 8-12 (2-10,1-10,1-10,1-8,1-6)

Weight: 2-9 (17”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: June 11
Weather: Sunny/breezy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (snow white shad)
Angler Comments:
Top 5 Weight: 13-4 (3-0,2-12,2-9,2-9,2-6) culls a 2-1

Well done by Julie as anytime you wind up within one more quality bite of a ten-pound limit on an outing is a winner. And we only fished for two hours. Fun to have another participant on board and hope she can cull a few of those on her way to double digits. Stay tuned for the full report from our outing later this week. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Stats

Back with another look at the numbers as we head towards the mid-point of another Top 5 year.

Bass Totals (largemouth and spotted)

2024 Totals
March = 15 bass
April = 16 bass
May = 11 bass

Top 5 Weight by Month
March = 18-3 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-4,3-1)
April = 11-0 (2-8,2-7,2-4,2-0,1-13)
May = 14-15 (3-6,3-4,3-0,2-12,2-9)

Boat vs. Bank
Boat = 25 bass
Bank = 17 bass

Boat vs. Bank Weight
Boat = 14-5 (3-4,3-4,2-12,2-9,2-8)
Bank = 17-5 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-1,2-6)

Public vs. Private
Public = 42 bass
Private = 0 bass

Public vs. Private Top 5 Weight
Public = 18-8 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-6,3-4)
Private = no submissions

The Baits
Jerkbait = 15 bass (Top Bass 2-8 John Kirkemo)
Chatterbait = 10 bass (Top Bass 4-6 Jim Junk)
Plastic Worm = 5 bass (Top Bass 3-4 Brent Jackson)
Lipless Crankbait = 4 bass (Top Bass 2-6 Jim Junk)
Popper = 3 bass (Top Bass 3-6 Brent Jackson)
Spinnerbait = 2 bass (Top Bass 3-0 Troy Jackson)
Buzzbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 2-9 Troy Jackson)
Crankbait = 1 bass (Top Bass 1-11 Troy Jackson)
Frog = 1 bass (Top Bass 2-1 Troy Jackson)

Monthly Top Bass
March
4-6 Jim Junk
April
2-8 John Kirkemo
May
3-6 Brent Jackson

2024 Top 10 Bass
4-6 Jim Junk 3/3
3-14 Jim Junk 3/18
3-10 Jim Junk 3/3
3-6 Brent Jackson 5/4
3-4 Jayce Jackson 3/31
3-4 Brent Jackson 5/5
3-1 Jim Junk 3/17
3-0 Troy Jackson 5/4
2-12 Troy Jackson 5/8
2-9 Troy Jackson 5/19

Angler Weights
Jim Junk 17-5 (4-6,3-14,3-10,3-1,2-6)
Brent Jackson 13-6 (3-6,3-4,2-7,2-4,2-1)
Troy Jackson 12-12 (3-0,2-12,2-9,2-6,2-1)
John Kirkemo 10-7 (2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13,1-11)
Jayce Jackson 3-4 (3-4)

Other Species

Bowfin
Troy Jackson 3-13 (3-13)

Channel Catfish
John Kirkemo 2-3 (2-3)

Gar
John Kirkemo 28” (28”)

Striped Bass
John Kirkemo 6-11 (3-5,2-6,1-0)

Trout (brown and rainbow)
John Kirkemo 24” (12”, 12”)

Just five of us in the Top 5 this year but anyone else is welcome to join and perhaps I can see about putting a few more family members on some fish this summer. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

Quality bass bites to boost any of our anglers’ totals have been hard to come by in the last couple of weeks. However, when you are out there chasing bass on the Hennepin Canal, you never know what might take a liking to your lure. Hence, we added another species to the Top 5 project this week.

Species: Bowfin
Weight: 3-13 (23”)
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 31
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 60F
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: 5” Yamamoto Senko (blue pearl/silver flake)
Angler Comments: In what I call a bass fishing “accident”, I landed my first ever bowfin. Over the years, I have had a couple others hooked but they managed to get away. An exciting and hard fighting fish that I would welcome on the end of the line any day.
Top 5 Weight: 3-13 (3-13)

This fun, prehistoric catch was a welcome addition to the Top 5. For some reason, the bowfin (also called a “dogfish”) has gained a bad rap over the years as a rough/trash fish. I beg to differ as it is a native species whose ancestors appeared on the scene around 250 million years ago and the hardy bowfin may just outlast us anglers if left to do its thing. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 5 Update

In my fishing lingo, I refer to bass that make the two-pound mark as “good ones.” Well, this week we have a trio of “good ones” courtesy of two Jackson brothers on three separate outings.

Weight: 2-7
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 18
Location: Snakeden Hollow
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 13-6 (3-6,3-4,2-7,2-4,2-1) culls 2-0

Weight: 2-1
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 18
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 67F
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Spro Flappin Frog 65 (albino)
Structure: Lily pads
Angler Comments: I had rowed around The Canal for a mile with decent results but nothing of much size. Wouldn’t you know that I find my best bite of the day within about fifty feet of my truck.

Weight: 2-9
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 19
Weather: Sunny/breezy, 64F
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: Booyah Buzz Buzzbait (snow white shad)
Structure: Weed edge
Angler Comments: The sunrise buzzbait bite started out hot with this being my second “keeper” of the morning after only twenty minutes on the water. Unfortunately, once the sun rose above the tree line, the bite completely shut down.
Top 5 Weight: 12-12 (3-0,2-12,2-9,2-6,2-1) culls 1-15 and 1-14

A lot of “good ones” this year for our limits but the search continues for some three and four pounders. They are out there, just got to keep on casting. Talk to you later. Troy

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

Top 5 Update

The hits keep coming as we have a big batch of bass (spots and largies) along with a unique and prehistoric first-time entry.

Fish: Spotted bass
Weight: 1-3 (14”)
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Clouds with occasional rain showers
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.

Fish: Spotted bass
Weight: 1-5 (15”)
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Clouds with occasional rain showers
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.

Fish: Spotted bass
Weight: 2-7 (16”)
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Clouds with occasional rain showers
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.
Top 5 Weight: 10-7 (2-8,2-7,2-0,1-13,1-11) culls 1-7

Weight: 3-6
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 2-1
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 2-0
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Senko wacky rig

Weight: 1-13
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 4
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Mann’s Chug-N-Spit (black/chrome belly)

Weight: 3-4
Angler: Brent Jackson
Date: May 5
Location: Knox County public strip mine
Lure: Senko wacky rig
Top 5 Weight: 12-15 (3-6,3-4,2-4,2-1,2-0) culls 1-13, 1-11,1-10,1-6

Weight: 3-0
Angler: Troy Jackson
Date: May 4
Weather: Overcast/windy
Location: Hennepin Canal
Lure: War Eagle Spinnerbait (chartreuse/white) with BPS twin tail trailer (Houdini)
Angler Comments: I decided to explore new water and was rewarded with my Top Bass of 2024.
Top 5 Weight: 10-10 (3-0,2-6,1-14,1-11,1-11) culls 1-8

Fish: Gar
Length: 28”
Angler: John H. Kirkemo
Date: April 30, 2024
Weather: Blue sky with some clouds
Water Temperature: 73 degrees
Location: Lake Hartwell, SC
Lure: Black and silver shallow running Rapala
Comments: This fish was caught while trolling at 1.61-1.71 mph along the shoreline in 6-10 feet of water.
Top 5 Length: 28” (28”)

Now, how is that for a weekly fishing report? Three anglers posting three species caught on four different lure types from two states. And the waters that these fish called home include a major reservoir created in the late 1950s, a couple strip pits from the 1960s, and an abandoned shipping waterway that originally opened in 1907. Here’s to a pat on the back for the anglers and a slightly selfish shout out to this website. And another fishing report from the Hennepin Canal is set to post later this week. Talk to you later. Troy