I had permission to hit the water for the third time in 2016 and figured I’d see if I could recruit a partner for the outing. Dad deferred to my brother, Brent, but I was a little hesitant to ask as he’d spent the bulk of the last couple weeks away from home while working in New Jersey. However, my text to him was answered with “I’m good to go” so we made a plan and the results follow below.
Date: April 17, 2016
Location: Knox County strip mines (3 lakes- 2 public, 1 private)
Time: 6:40am-2:35pm (6.0 hours fishing, the rest walking/driving)
Air Temp: 54-81F
Water Temp: 59-63F
Totals: 30 bass (Brent – 19 bass, Troy – 11 bass)
Lures Troy: Senko weighted wacky rig (rainbow trout or baby bass) – 5 bass, Booyah Counterstrike Spinnerbait (salt & pepper) – 2 bass, Chatterbait (breaking bream) – 1 bass, Strike King KVD 2.5 Squarebill Crankbait – 1 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (white) – 1 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (orange craw) – 1 bass
Lures Brent: Mann’s Hank Parker Classic Spinnerbait (white) – 19 bass
Top Bass: Brent 3-15 (Spinnerbait)
Top Bass: Troy 1-9 (Spinnerbait)
Top 5 Weight (all caught by Brent): 13-2 (3-15,2-14,2-8,2-3,1-10)
6:58am First bass 14” 1-5 Chatterbait
Notes & Nonsense
Here Comes the Sun – This outing marked the first time this year that I took a photo with the sun providing some backlighting. The temp peaked out somewhere just north of 80 degrees, the winds were manageable and we actually worked up a sweat moving from one body of water to the next. While not always a wise move, a sunburn was certainly more welcome than the eight numb fingers on my last fishing trip.
7:34am 2-8 Spinnerbait
7:47am 2-3 Spinnerbait
What Difference Does a Year Make? – Checking the log shows that the last time Brent and I teamed up was 365 days prior to this outing. However, it was technically under a year duration due to a Leap Day this year (April 18, 2015 to April 17, 2016). While we did fish twice as long this year (6 hours vs. 3 hours) our 30 bass total certainly blew 2015’s 6 bass out of the water. Here’s hoping we get another opportunity or two this year but we’re both rather busy. As proof it looks like it may be July until we have a possible shot.
The gut on Brent’s 2-3 bass was par for the course on catches at our first stop.
Guts – The lake where we kicked off our morning was a bit of an unknown as I had not fished it very much and last visited in March of 2007. On one hand, rumors spoke of some quality bass (my best was a 2-0 on the 2007 visit) but on the other hand some reliable anglers weren’t impressed with the quite shallow fishing hole. Our field test has us ready for a return trip as we caught (and lost) some real solid fish. In addition, all of our fish, large or small, had impressive overall physical appearances being quite healthy with bulging guts. Not sure what they were eating as we saw no telltale antennae or tail fins sticking out their throats but they definitely weren’t reluctant to eat on a full stomach.
8:39am 13.5” 1-9 Spinnerbait, The best I could fool, if we counted the Top 6 I would have contributed but instead I missed the Top 5 by one ounce leaving Brent with an impressive clean sweep.
Spinnerbait Clinic – While Brent’s dominance with a spinnerbait was no shock, I was surprised to see a changeup from his go-to brown and orange model referred to as The Emiquon Special. Instead, he went old school with a Mann’s Hank Parker Classic model in good old white. Best lure of the day by far and prompted me to tie on a similar light colored bait after watching him outfish me big time in our first two hours on our first stop (ended up 11 to 3 before moving on to another fishing hole). His spinnerbait bite continued with eight more bass while I had to scramble through a handful of lures to match those eight fish. Fishing is funny like that with two guys sitting in an eight foot boat casting close to identical lures but not producing very identical results.
8:40am 2-14 Spinnerbait
1:01pm Top Bass 21” 3-15 Spinnerbait
Ones That Got Away – While we posted a solid day on the water it could have been even better had a couple bass not come unbuttoned at our first stop. Our first bite was a fish in the two and a half pound range that spit Brent’s spinnerbait near the boat and while disappointing did provide some good, early feedback on the potential of an unfamiliar body of water. Later, on the same lake, Brent had another that looked to be four pounds or better throw the same lure with a head shake above the surface. In the end we still wound up with a very respectable 13-2 for our Top 5 weight but with a little better luck we could have been in the sixteen pound neighborhood. And yes, even though I refer to “our” and “we”, Brent was responsible for all or our largest bass. But as the saying goes, “there’s no I in team.” On this day there wasn’t much “Troy” in it either, unless you count rowing as taking one for the squad.
1:32pm 1-10 Spinnerbait Brent puts the finishing touch on a Top 5 creel of 13-2 the first time out, well done.
Definitely a good day on the water and would have been cool even had the bass not cooperated as well as they did. It’s always enjoyable to hang out with Brent and do our thing. We’ve been doing this thing on these strip mines since the late 80’s and it’s just as fun when headed towards fifty as it was when leaving our teens. Just wind up a little bit sore these days but that didn’t stop me from hitting the water again the following day. The details on that outing are due up next week after another solid Top 5 update on Monday. Hope you can get out this weekend and add a few more. Talk to you later. Troy