Boy, it feels good to be posting our first Top 5 update of 2017! Cabin Fever has still reared its ugly head on my system but a milder case with a tolerable winter thus far and only 49 days between Top 5 updates. An outstanding finish by our 2016 champ made for a December 19 update last year, our latest ever. And he’s back at it again, this time with our first ever January bass. Coincidentally, his catches also come 49 days apart with a 2016 finish on December 11 (a whopping 7-7 to top a 27-2 limit if you recall, I still like typing that) and a 2017 first on January 29. All on open Central Illinois water and not power plant lakes, now that’s my kind of winter. Here’s the rest.
Angler: Mark Balbinot
Date: January 29
Location: Fulton County strip pit
Lure: 3/8 oz. underspin with a LFT Booted Tail Magic Shad
Structure: Flat with still a little grass in about 5 ft. of water
Water Temp: 37 degrees
Angler Comments: I decided to try that flat area where I had a good day back in December. And hey, if it ain’t broke why fix it, I threw that underspin with that LFT Magic Shad. After fishing that area for about 15 minutes, there it was. My first bite of 2017. Thoughts of losing my first fish of 2017 flashed in my head too. But I quickly grabbed the net and it swam right into it. First fish of 2017 was in the boat.
Top 5 Weight: 2-11
Mark also provided a video link to the catch along with a mapping demo to check out as described below.
“Also here is a link for anyone wanting to create their own lake maps for a Lowrance HDS unit. I started doing this a couple years ago and I am still learning more every day. Also it helps pass the time during the winter months.”
Way to go, Mark, thanks for getting another year off to a record start with eleven more months ahead. The extended forecast at my fishing holes also continues to look promising with some predictions in the 50’s a couple weeks out. Hope anyone out there looking to join is afforded an opportunity to get out and chase some fish. Don’t forget we have expanded beyond bass so feel free to send those other catches this way as well. Best of luck and talk to you later. Troy