Pursuing bass on foot presents a whole new set of variables that the “on the water” angler does not have to contend with. I am quite familiar with boat or bank although I have focused primarily on the boat approach in 2016 (or at least some sort of adventurous combo). But when opting to set out on foot recently I definitely knew the challenges going in as I’ve been hiking or biking the strip mines going back to 1990. Sometimes these trips can be a real trip as this stunt emphatically reminded.
3:58pm 13.5” 1-4 Senko wacky rig (all pics selfies on this outing as terrain and weeds make it impossible to prop my camera on my tacklebag and I don’t haul a tripod, having too much gear already)
Date: September 18, 2016
Location: Knox County strip mines (5 public)
Time: 2:57pm-7:02pm (2.5 hours fishing, the rest walking, falling, swearing, swatting)
Air Temp: mid-80’s F
Water Temp: no reading
Totals: 14 bass
Lures: Strike King KVD 1.5 Squarebill Crankbait (pumpkinseed) – 5 bass, Strike King Red Eye Shad (orange craw) – 4 bass, 5” Senko wacky rig (electric shad) – 3 bass, Booyah Buzzbait (salt & pepper) – 2 bass
Top 5 Weight (only 4 bass at 12” or better): 4-13 (1-7,1-4,1-3,0-15)
4:06pm Top Bass 15” 1-7 KVD 1.5 Crankbait
Notes & Nonsense
Start and Finish – I left my truck at 2:34pm and made my first cast at 2:57pm following a walk of just over 20 minutes to reach my first fishing hole only to get skunked. First bass didn’t show up until lake two about an hour into my journey, an 11.5” at 3:36pm on the Red Eye Shad but you gotta start somewhere. The bookend on the day was an 11” bass at 6:10pm before an eventual 35 minute walk back to the peripheral parking lot.
In Between – Interspersed between those two bass noted above were a dozen other fish scattered among three spots and nearly two and a half hours of miserable walking, stumbling and swatting mosquitoes between and during casts. A reasonable haul all things considered but with Top Bass only a 1-7 it did little to soothe the pain of hordes of blood suckers, weeds to my armpits and a pair of wipeouts courtesy of unseen hazards. I truly dig bass fishing but parched, sweaty, itchy and ticked off had me literally cursing my situation after wandering way too far from my truck.
4:38pm 13.5” 0-15 KVD 1.5 Crankbait
4:40pm 14” 1-3 KVD 1.5 Crankbait
“I do believe that I’ve had enough.” - As I landed what would be my final bass, the previous line was running through my head courtesy of REO Speedwagon’s “Time for Me to Fly.” Fittingly, the same tune also features the lines, “I’ve been around for you, been up and down for you but I just can’t get any relief” which sums up a strip mine trek quite nicely with a solid nod to some unforgiving topography. I did have one final destination on my list but en route at 6:27pm I began hearing the unedited lyrics of a Ce-Lo Green tune with the radio friendly and politically correct title of “Forget You.” Part of the actual title rhymed with my destination so I decided to call it quits and head that direction, happily arriving at the truck at 7:02pm.
Right now though, sitting comfortably in front of a keyboard with a cold brew, my fishing log and some better tunes has me reconsidering another shot in 2017. However, I am now moving on to constructing a follow up post from this outing to further detail the challenges of this type of knuckleheaded adventure. And I have also made a sort of pact with myself to go back and re-read the posting before attempting such a stunt next year. We’ll see. Talk to you later. Troy