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Midwest Finesse Fishing: April 2022

Bob Gum and one of the largemouth bass that he caught on April 15

April 4

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 4 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 44 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 61 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the north, northeast, and south at 3 to 13 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:53 a.m., 29.96 at 5:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.88 at 3:53 p.m.

Weather-wise, this was the nicest outing of 2023. But the largemouth-bass fishing remained lackluster. During the first 93 days of this year, Mother Nature's wet, windy, and wintery ways allowed Pat Kehde and me to fish just eight times for a total of only 15 ½ hours. And it was a mighty struggle to catch and release 72 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass, which is a paltry catch rate of nine black bass an outing and 4.7 per hour. There were outings in the past when we caught from 50 to 118 largemouth bass an outing during this 93-day span. For example, we caught 104 largemouth bass in January of 2012 and fished five times; we caught 358 in February of 2012 and fished nine times; we caught 630 in March of 2012 and fished 15 times.

A goodly number of other veteran and talented anglers in northeastern Kansas have experienced similar piscatorial fates this year. For instance, a Midwest finesse angler from Olathe, Kansas, who has contributed to the Finesse News Network in years past, emailed us on April 3, telling us that he had fished only a few times at one community reservoir and a federal reservoir. And on April 3, he competed in a tournament at the federal reservoir and failed to elicit a strike while tangling with a horrendous wind throughout the event. He noted that he had caught a few largemouth bass at the community reservoir on a Z-Man Fishing Products' California-craw TRD BugZ and a jerkbait. He concluded his email by noting: "This is the worst spring fishing I have ever experienced." Another contributor to the Finesse News Network who resides in Kansas City, Kansas, wrote an email on April 3, saying he had a very difficult outing at another federal reservoir. He fished from about 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and caught one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass, and he unintentionally caught seven freshwater drum. The surface temperature ranged from 46 to 49 degrees, and the water exhibited about a foot of clarity.

What's more, Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs, and from noon to 2:45 p.m. on April 1, we fought the wind and struggled to catch one smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, three rainbow trout, and two freshwater drum. Then on April 3, Pat and I spent 90 minutes battling the wind at a state reservoir in northeastern Kansas, where it was a tussle to catch four largemouth bass. We did not have the words and wherewithal to compose and submit a log on the Finesse News Network about our horrendous outings on April 1 and April 3.

On my April 4 outing, the water level looked to be about eight inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 50 to 54 degrees. The water exhibited a greenish-brown hue, which might be a byproduct of the recent rainfalls. According to the Secchi stick, the water exhibited from 1 ½ to almost three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 1:12 a.m. to 3:12 a.m., 1:35 p.m. to 3:35 p.m., and 7:23 a.m. to 9:23 a.m.

My first cast was executed around noon, and my last one was at 3:09 p.m.

Seven largemouth bass were caught along the shoreline of the dam. Its shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This terrain is rank with wads of filamentous algae, which fouled many of my retrieves. The water's edge is lined with patches of winter-dead American water willows. The largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Two were caught on the initial drop along the outside edge of the patches of winter-dead American water willows in three to four feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-shake presentation above the wads of filamentous algae in four to six feet of water.

One largemouth bass was along a shoreline adjacent to the reservoir's spillway. It was caught between two small docks in about four feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the TRD HogZ rig. This area has a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are coated with filamentous algae.

Along a shallow and offshore ledge in the lower quarter of the reservoir, I caught one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and humongous boulders. It has a 25-degree slope to the edge of the ledge, and then it becomes nearly a 90-degree slope. The TRD HogZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation caught the largemouth bass in about six feet of water around one of the boulders and about 50 feet from the water's edge.

One largemouth bass was caught in about four feet of water on an offshore pile of rocks and boulders in the lower quarter of the reservoir. It was caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I caught four largemouth bass along about a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of this terrain is endowed with meager patches of wilted coontail, a burgeoning patch of bushy pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. It has a 20- to 60-degree slope. The water's edge is comprised of several patches of winter-dead American water willows, some overhanging trees, two docks, a concrete retaining wall, a stone bridge, some minor piles of brush, and a few laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation near a laydown in about five feet of water. A Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught one largemouth bass near the outside edge of one of the docks in about five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass around a patch of bushy pondweed in three to four feet of water.

In short, it was a difficult and disheartening task to catch 14 largemouth bass in three hours and eight minutes.

Because our fishing has been so horrendous for the past two years, many of us are worried that the largemouth bass virus is whacking many of our reservoirs again. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has found some new eruptions of it; please see the story at this link:

https://www.ksnt.com/news/kansas/14-kansas-waterbodies-tested-positive-for-a-fish-virus/.

Some of us also suspect that the dastardly aftereffects of the aquatic and terrestrial herbicides that some of the reservoirs' managers have used during the second decade of the 21st century have adversely affected the black-bass populations.

April 5

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 5 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 52 degrees at 12:53 a.m. and 69 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, southwest, northwest, and north at 3 to 29 mph. The sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast to cluttered with a few clouds to raining lightly. The barometric pressure was 29.71 at 12:53 a.m., 29.60 at 5:53 a.m., 29.48 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.43 at 3:53 p.m.

We rarely fish the same northeastern Kansas reservoir more than once a week. But this was the same one that I fished on April 4. We made this exception because this was Rick's first outing in 2022, and the largemouth-bass fishing and water conditions at all of the other nearby community, state, and federal reservoirs are dreadful. And this reservoir was the only one that we thought we could find and catch a few largemouth bass.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 53 to 55 degrees. The water exhibited a brownish and tea-like hue, which might be a byproduct of the almost incessant winds and recent rainfalls. According to the Secchi stick, the water exhibited from 1 ½ to almost three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:02 a.m. to 4:02 a.m., 2:25 p.m. to 4:25 p.m., and 8:14 a.m. to 10:14 a.m.

We fished from noon to 3:45 p.m.

We failed to elicit a strike along the dam, which yielded seven largemouth bass on my April 4 outing.

Along two sections of a 400-yard shoreline in the lower half of this reservoir, we caught seven largemouth bass. This shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A lot of this terrain is coated with filamentous algae. Some of our retrieves crossed paths with some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that we could not see. This shoreline has a 25- to 35-degree slope. The water's edges of the two sections that we fished are littered with occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows, several concrete and rock retaining walls, several piles of brush, and 14 docks. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. A Z-Man's California-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught one largemouth bass. Another three were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the corner of one of the docks in about five feet of water. One was caught on a deadstick presentation along the side of another dock in about four feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop adjacent to one of the concrete retaining walls in about three feet of water.

We caught two largemouth bass and one hefty crappie along portions of two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower quarter of this reservoir. These shorelines have a 20- to 30-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is lined with one laydown, a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, a small patch of Cyprus knees, and 13 docks. Both largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to four feet of water.

In the middle section of the reservoir, we caught 10 largemouth bass around two main-lake points and along the main-lake shoreline between those two points. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. This area possesses a 20- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is littered with scores of docks, some riprap, a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, and several concrete and rock retaining walls. Two of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig and eight were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs. One was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a patch of American water willows in three to four feet of water. One was caught along a stretch of riprap with a drag-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a dock's piling in about three feet of water. The others were caught on either a drag-and-shake presentation or a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

We caught five largemouth bass along about a 225-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of this terrain is endowed with meager patches of wilted coontail, a few burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. It has a 20- to 60-degree slope. The water's edge is comprised of several patches of winter-dead American water willows, some overhanging trees, three docks, a concrete retaining wall, a stone bridge, some minor piles of brush, and a few laydowns. All of the largemouth bass were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs. One was caught on the initial drop. The others were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four to seven feet of water.

Along about a 150-yard section of another shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that our retrieves detected, but we could not see the vegetation, which we hoped is coontail or bushy pondweed. The water's edge is lined with 12 docks, concrete and rock retaining walls, several patches of winter-dead American water willows, several laydowns, and piles of brush. Our TRD HogZ rigs inveigled both of the largemouth bass with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in five to seven feet of water.

In sum, we caught 26 largemouth bass, which historically is a lackluster outing. But it was my most bountiful one in 2022 since Pat Kehde and I caught 22 largemouth bass in 80 minutes at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs on Feb. 14.

During the last hour that we were afloat, the wind was variable and almost calm, and wind-wise, it was the most delightful 60 minutes of fishing that we have experienced in 2022. Mother Nature's windy ways have plagued us this year, and the National Weather Service is predicting that she is going to howl again on April 6, 7, and 8.

April 9

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 9 outing with Brady Cayton of Lawrence at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 22 degrees around 5:52 a.m. And somehow it climbed to 67 degrees around 4:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the north, northwest, south, and southeast at 3 to 22 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:52 a.m., 30.00 at 5:52 a.m., 29.96 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.84 at 2:52 p.m.

When this reservoir's watershed was walloped with many inches of rain 11 days ago, its water level rose to several feet above its normal level, and the water exhibited about two inches of visibility. It was an ugly sight. On this outing, its water level looked to be normal. The surface temperature ranged from 53 to 56 degrees. Our Secchi stick noted that the water exhibited about 1 ½ feet of clarity.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:31 a.m. to 7:31 a.m., 5:56 p.m. to 7:56 p.m., and 11:19 a.m. to 1:19 p.m.

Mother Nature's wet, windy, and wintery ways have kept Brady, who is our grandson, at bay for the first 98 days of 2022. And to his chagrin, his first outing was not a windless and warm one.

We made our first casts at 12:40 p.m. and our last ones at 2:40 p.m.

We spent most of this 120-minute outing fishing along a massive shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm in the lower section of this reservoir. We fished about 400 yards of this shoreline, and we fished three portions of it five times. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some stumps. Some of the boulders are humongous. It possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. A few areas of the underwater terrain seem to be entwined with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, but our attempts to collect samples of it were unsuccessful. The water's edge is laced with patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few piles of brush, one concrete boat ramp, and one dock.

Along three short sections of this massive shoreline, we tangled with 12 largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and 15 feet from the water's edge.

Seven of the 12 were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on the initial drop of this rig near a patch of winter-dead American water willows in three to four feet of water. Two were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water and many feet from the water's edge. Four were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to nine feet of water and from 10 to about 20 feet from the water's edge.

Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on the initial drop of this rig near a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. Two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water and from about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge around some of the boulders.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about five feet of water around one of the humongous boulders with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Along about a 125-yard section of another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has a 20- to 40-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few minor piles of brush, and several overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about five feet of water and about three feet from the outside edge of a meager patch of winter-dead American water willows and a pile of brush.

In sum, it was a tussle to catch an average of 6.5 largemouth bass per hour. And at the boat ramp, we chatted with a talented crappie angler who confessed that his catch rate was much less than 6.5 crappie per hour. The first 99 days of 2022 have been quite disheartening for scores of anglers in northeastern Kansas. We are hoping it will change once the water temperature broaches 60 degrees.

April 9

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his April 9 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 31 degrees around 6:53 a.m. It was 67 degrees around 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the west, northwest, south, and southeast at 3 to 23 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:53 a.m., 29.98 at 5:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.82 at 3:53 p.m.

Significant amounts of rain have recently pummeled this reservoir's feeder creeks. And about one foot of water was still pouring over the dam's spillway on April 9. The water exhibited about 12 inches of visibility, and there was a noticeable algae bloom.

The folks at the marina reported that the power plant had not generated any electricity for several days; consequently, the surface temperature inside the warm-water plume area was 50 degrees. But the surface temperature outside of the plume was warmer than the water inside the plume. For example, along a riprap shoreline situated in the southeast section of the reservoir, which is situated about a mile from the plume, the surface temperature was 55 degrees.

The marina staff also noted that the power plant will be permanently shut down and dismantled by 2032, and this project is scheduled to begin in 2029. It is a coal-fired power plant that has been a significant source of mercury emissions for decades in northeastern Kansas, and it is likely this reservoir and its fishes are rank with mercury. And in 2013, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a warning about this environmental woe with mercury, which has afflicted Kansas' landscapes and waterways.

It is also important to note that the largemouth bass fishing at this reservoir used to be lauded by scores of anglers as one of the finest in Kansas and the Midwest. But during the second decade of the 21st century, its largemouth bass fishing has become quite disheartening. Nowadays knowledgeable Midwest finesse anglers can no longer catch an hourly average of 10 largemouth bass. And on the best of days, these talented anglers are fortunate to catch an hourly average of four.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing on April 9 would take place from 5:31 a.m. to 7:31 a.m., 5:56 p.m. to 7:56 p.m., and 11:19 a.m. to 1:19 p.m.

When I launched my boat around 7:00 a.m., there was only one other boat trailer and tow vehicle in the boat ramp's parking lot, which seems to reflect the sorry state of the fishing at this reservoir.

I spent most of this outing plying the riprap shorelines along the dam, adjacent to a roadway, and around the power plant.

The fishing around areas located inside the warm-water plume was wretched.

I fished until 2:30 p.m. I caught seven largemouth bass, and inadvertently caught two channel catfish, three white bass, and seven freshwater drum. Most of the largemouth bass were caught in four to eight feet of water, and most of them were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide presentation.

April 11

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 11 outing with Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 45 degrees around 3:52 a.m. and 68 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northwest, north, northeast, southeast, and east at 3 to 12 mph. The sky was fair after 11:52 a.m., and before 11:52 a.m., it fluctuated from being cluttered with a few clouds to being overcast to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.71 at 12:52 a.m., 29.82 at 5:52 a.m., 29.92 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.81 at 3:52 p.m.

Weather-wise and especially wind-wise, it was a delightful and rare day to be afloat in northeastern Kansas. Most of the first hundred days of 2022 have been an anathema for Midwest finesse anglers.

The water level looked to be about 24 inches above normal. The water exhibited about six feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 51 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:09 a.m. to 9:09 a.m., 7:34 p.m. to 9:34 p.m., and 12:57 a.m. to 2:57 a.m.

Rick and I got into Bob's boat shortly before 10:00 a.m. He had been afloat for two hours, and his fish counter indicated that he had tangled with 20 largemouth bass during that spell. We reset the fish counter at zero, and as we made our final casts and retrieves at 2:43 p.m., the counter revealed that we had tangled with 101 largemouth bass. And we accidentally caught one bluegill, one channel catfish, and four crappie.

It has been several years since we caught 101 largemouth bass. We used to call it "bass fishing 101." Back in those heydays, our mission on every outing was to catch 101 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours, and we used to accomplish that task one to three times a year.

On this April 11 outing, we failed once again to accomplish it, because it took us four hours and 43 minutes to catch 101. What's more, it is somewhat of an easier task to catch 101 largemouth bass when there are three knowledgeable Midwest finesse anglers in a boat than it is when there are two.

But when there are three of us fishing for nearly five hours, it is a difficult task to keep a detailed account of how and where each of the 101 largemouth bass was inveigled.

We do know, however, that we caught them on the following Midwest finesse rigs: Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig, Z-Man's Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD BugZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to either a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. To our best recollections, our TRD HogZ rigs, the TRD TicklerZ rig, and the TRD BugZ rig were the most effective ones.

We caught them at, across, along, and around a variety of locations.

We fished around three main-lake points, and we caught them around two of those points. We fished around one of those points twice, and it yielded 11 largemouth bass.

We fished across five shallow-water flats and four offshore humps, and three of the flats and two of the humps yielded several of the largemouth bass.

On the main lake and inside three feeder-creek arms, we fished along seven shorelines. Two of the seven shorelines were about 500 yards long. And we caught some of the largemouth bass along short segments of those many yards of shorelines, but many of the yards along these shorelines were not productive.

Along these seven shorelines, we fished around 10 secondary points and more than a dozen tertiary points. A few of them were fruitful, and others were unfruitful.

The underwater terrains of all the shorelines and points consist of gravel and rocks. Some of them are enhanced with boulders. Many of these underwater terrains are endowed with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation; such as coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. The slope of these terrains ranges from about 20 to 40 degrees. Most of the water's edges are entwined with patches of winter-dead American water willows, occasional piles of brush, some laydowns, and a few overhanging trees. The flat shorelines that were adorned with submerged aquatic vegetation were more fruitful than the ones that are devoid of submerged vegetation.

The humps and shallow-water flats are also graced with patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. These areas are also littered with scores of manmade piles of brush, and some of these piles of brush have become entwined with the patches of submerged vegetation.

At a number of these shorelines, points, flats, and offshore humps, we made many casts and retrieves that failed to elicit a strike.

We caught the largemouth bass in water as shallow as 3 ½ feet and as deep as about 10 feet. Across the patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed, we caught the largemouth bass as we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, which allowed our Midwest finesse rigs to tickle the tops of the vegetation. We also caught six largemouth bass on the initial drop of our Midwest finesse rigs. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation. Others were caught while we employed a drag-and-shake presentation. Several were caught while we strolled our rigs and employed the drag-and-shake presentation. Some of the largemouth bass were caught along the inside edge of the patches of submerged vegetation. Along the shorelines, they were caught from five feet to more than 20 feet from the water's edge.

None of the 107 fish that we caught would impress the producers of a TV show or tournament anglers. And Bob Gum, who is a rare Midwest finesse lunker hunter, was not impressed. But Rick and I are numbers hunters, and we enjoyed counting and tangling with 21 largemouth bass an hour.

April 12

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 12 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy. The morning's low temperature was 72 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature climbed to 80 degrees. A robust and troublesome wind quartered incessantly out of the southeast at 18 to 26 mph, and it hindered many of our casts and presentations. The barometric pressure dropped from 29.72 at 10:00 a.m. to 29.62 at 4:00 p.m.

From 10:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., we fished for four of these 5 1/2 hours at three community reservoirs in north-central Texas. We spent the other 1 1/2 hours eating lunch while waiting for a rainstorm to pass through the area.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the optimum fishing periods would take place from 1:48 a.m. to 3:48 a.m., 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 8:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m. It also indicated that the fishing would be poor.

At the first community reservoir, the water was stained from the robust wind, and it exhibited about 12 inches of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal. We were surprised to discover that the water temperature was 71.8 degrees.

This reservoir's north and west sides encompass a concrete culvert and a shallow ditch that extends into the middle portion of the reservoir from the south end of the west shoreline. These two shorelines are also endowed with scores of bald cypress tree knees, several points, and a small brush pile. A shallow sand-and-gravel ledge extends about three to five feet from the water's edge, and this ledge encompasses the entire impoundment. The ledge is covered with a foot of water and drops off into three to five feet of water. The deep-water side of the ledge is also adorned with a thin wall of aquatic vegetation that we could not identify and vast amounts of filamentous algae. The bottom terrain consists of sand mixed with small pieces of gravel and rocks.

The black-bass bite was trying at this impoundment, and it yielded only four largemouth bass.

Along the west shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass in five feet of water from the deep-water side of the sand-and-gravel ledge. It was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The north shoreline yielded two largemouth bass. One was caught near a small brush pile in four feet of water. It was also caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other one was caught from a shallow nest in less than three feet of water on the initial fall of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig. (This was the first sign of any black-bass spawning activity that we have seen this year.)

It was at this time that several rainstorms began to erupt in the area, and it began to sprinkle on us. We decided to get out of the rain and eat lunch while we let the storms pass. Consequently, we did not fish the south side of this impoundment.

After we finished our lunch and the storms had moved out, we journeyed to the second reservoir, and we struggled to catch another four largemouth bass, three bluegills, and one green sunfish.

This reservoir's underwater terrain consists of small gravel and sand. There are numerous tree limbs, bald-cypress knees, and other wood debris cluttering the west and south shorelines. A shallow sand-and-gravel ledge extends about five feet out from the water's edge along the north and east shorelines. The south and west shorelines are fairly flat with 10- to 15-degree inclines. The north and east shorelines are the steepest and have gradients of 30- to 45-degrees. Most of the water's edges are adorned with bald-cypress trees and partially-submerged bald- cypress tree knees.

The water was stained with about 12 inches of clarity. The water temperature was 69.8 degrees. The water level appeared to be normal.

We caught one largemouth bass, two bluegills, and one large green sunfish from the west shoreline in three to five feet of water near the deep-water side of the shallow ledge. They were all beguiled by the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a series of swim-glide-and-shake presentations as parallel to the shallow ledge as we were able to execute them.

Two largemouth bass were extracted from the steeper north shoreline. They were abiding within 10 feet of the water's edge in four to six feet of water. They were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

The east shoreline failed to yield a largemouth bass or a strike.

The south shoreline yielded one largemouth bass and one bluegill. This largemouth bass was tempted by a hop-and-bounce presentation with a weedless Z-Man's hot-snakes Baby Goat rigged Texas-style with a 1/8-ounce slip sinker and a 2/0 extra-wide-gap hook.

At the third impoundment, we allured five largemouth bass.

This reservoir lacks any significant visible features. There are two minor points on its east shoreline and one broad point in the midsection of its west shoreline. There is also a small concrete dam on the west end of the north shoreline. The underwater terrain consists of sand and gravel.

The water temperature was 70.5 degrees. The water level appeared to be normal. The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility.

One largemouth bass was caught from the southeast corner of the impoundment; another one was caught from the end of one of the two minor points on the east shoreline, and three were caught near the concrete dam in the northwest region of the reservoir. They were all abiding within five to 10 feet of the water's edge in four to six feet of water and were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

All totaled, we had a difficult time alluring 13 largemouth bass, four bluegills, and one green sunfish. Most of them were keeper-size, and we estimated that the two largest ones would weigh about three pounds.

Four largemouth bass were caught from the first community reservoir, four from the second community reservoir, and five from the third community reservoir.

In closing, the black-bass fishing at the community reservoirs in north-central Texas has been a grind so far this month. My companions and I have fished three times this month, and we have garnered a paltry catch of 26 largemouth bass in 8.5 hours, which calculates to eight bass per trip and three bass per hour.

April 15

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a brief log on the Finesse News Network about a doleful outing on April 15 with Pok Chi Lau of Lawrence at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 47 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 63 degrees at 12:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, west, and northeast at 5 to 21 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to mostly cloudy to overcast to cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:53 a.m., 29.89 at 5:53 a.m., 29.87 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.85 at 12:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 54 degrees. According to our Secchi stick, the water exhibited about 3 ½ feet of visibility. The boat ramp's parking lot was overflowing with boat trailers and tow vehicles.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. and 10:16 p.m. to 12:16 a.m.

We began fishing at 10:30 a.m. and fished until Pok Chi dropped his cell phone at 11:36 a.m. Then he spent about 15 minutes diving, probing, and swimming in seven feet of water in hopes of retrieving it. And he failed to find it.

(He had recently purchased it from Samsung for about $1,300. It was to play an essential role in his upcoming trip to Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, where he will spend about four months on his many-year mission to photograph the Chinese diaspora: https://wordpress.lehigh.edu/luagarchive/event/the-visual-sematics-of-diaspora-pok-chi-lau-diaspora-dreams-of-the-golden-mountain; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok_Chi_Lau. )

Before this disheartening woe walloped him, we had spent about 38 minutes fishing along the shoreline of this reservoir's dam, where we caught 10 largemouth bass. It has a 50- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with occasional patches of filamentous algae and a few burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that we were unable to extract and identify. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, a concrete outlet tower, patches of flooded terrestrial grasses, and some minor piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water and from 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. Eight of the 10 were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; three were caught on the initial drop in about four to five feet of water and adjacent to the outside edges of patches of American water willows; the others were caught on either a drag-and-shake presentation or a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water and 10 to almost 20 feet from the water's edge.

The next portion of this outing took place along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with patches of filamentous algae and a few burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed. The water's edge possesses a few patches of American water willows, some rock and concrete retaining walls, and six docks. (The cell phone is lying on the rock- and boulder-cluttered bottom in seven feet of water around one of the outside corners of the sixth dock.) Shortly before the cell phone dropped into the water, our green-pumpkin-goby rigs caught two largemouth bass in about five feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation.

After Pok Chi rummaged around in the 54-degree water for 15 minutes, we were eager to get him warm and home. He is now making plans to garner some scuba-diving equipment and retrieve his water-proof and data-laden phone.

(It is interesting to note that Pok Chi and his son, Tyler Lau, returned to this reservoir three times in search of the cell phone, and on their three one, they found and retrieved it. They allowed it to dry for seven hours, and it worked. On April 27, Pok Chi left for his four-month adventure in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia to create more photographs about the Chinese diaspora.)

April 15

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his April 15 outing with his dog, Josie, at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service in Olathe, Kansas, which is about 44 miles north of this reservoir, reported that it was 47 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 63 degrees at 12:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, west, and northeast at 5 to 21 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to mostly cloudy to overcast to cluttered with a few clouds. (But the sky was overcast most of the time that I was fishing, and there was some intermittent rain during the morning, which included some distant lightning strikes to the south. The wind was initially angling out of the southwest, and it switched to the east.) The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:53 a.m., 29.89 at 5:53 a.m., 29.87 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.85 at 12:53 p.m.

The water exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of clarity along the dam. The surface temperature was 57 degrees, and the power plant was not generating a significant amount of electricity. The water level was about a foot high.

During the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, April 14, 15, and 16 were three of the most fruitful days of the year for tangling with substantial numbers of largemouth bass and temperate bass at this reservoir, including some significant brutes – especially along the riprap shoreline of its dam. But during the second decade of this century, the fishing for largemouth bass and temperate bass has become a nightmare at all of the locales around this reservoir, and nowadays it is wretched throughout the calendar year.

And on this April 15 outing, it was another nightmare. And during the transition of the wind from the southwest to the east, the meager bite seemed to totally disappear for a couple of hours.

What's more, I received my second COVID booster shot yesterday, and as I fished, I had a headache and upper body aches during much of the morning. But these woes began to diminish early in the afternoon.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods occurred from 9:52 a.m. to 11:52 a.m. and 10:16 p.m. to 12:16 a.m.

I started fishing shortly after sunup and called it quits around 2:30 p.m. I spent the entire outing plying three massive riprap shorelines in the lower section of the reservoir. And I fished along one of the shorelines twice.

It was a chore to catch seven largemouth bass and accidentally catch two white bass, four channel catfish, and 11 freshwater drum.

Most of the largemouth bass were caught in two to four feet of water, but two of the larger specimens were extracted from eight to 10 feet of water.

My most effective Midwest finesse rigs were either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a Z-Man's The Deal TRD MinnowZ on a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig. I retrieved these rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

April 16

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 16 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

On Mar. 25, Rick Allen of Dallas and I journeyed to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in north-central Texas, but my trolling motor broke down just as we were getting started. We spent some time trying to repair it, and ultimately, we ended up putting the boat back on the trailer and leaving without making a cast. The trolling motor has now been repaired, and I reinstalled it on the boat on April 15.

On April 16, Norman Brown and I returned to the same U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that Rick Allen and I visited on March 25. The main mission of this outing was to test the repaired trolling motor to make sure it was functioning properly. When we arrived at the boat ramp at about 10:15 a.m., we were surprised to find that the boat ramp parking lot was nearly full, and we later discovered that a local bass tournament was in progress.

The sky was overcast. And it was unusually humid when we launched the boat. The barometric pressure was 29.88. The wind was meandering out of the south at 8 mph. The air temperature was 73 degrees. By the time we trailered the boat at 3:45 p.m., a cold front had passed through the area and lowered the air temperature to 66 degrees. The sky conditions had changed from overcast to clear, and the uncomfortably high humidity had disappeared. The wind had turned from the south and was angling out of the northwest, north, and northeast at 15 to 18 mph. The barometric pressure had risen slightly to 29.92.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 4:37 a.m. to 6:37 a.m., 10:49 a.m. to 12:49 p.m., and 5:01 p.m. to 7:01 p.m.

The water level has risen several feet during the last month as a result of recent rainstorms, but it is still 0.42 feet below its normal pool. The water exhibited between 14 and 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 66 to 69 degrees.

We spent these five hours inside four feeder-creek arms in the lower end of the reservoir. Two of them are situated on the south side of the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, and they possess large marinas. The other two are located on the north side of the same tributary arm. Inside these four arms, we targeted clay-and-pea-gravel flats, rocky shorelines, rock-and-boulder-laden secondary points, several coves, and many small pockets along the shorelines. We fished behind and around tournament anglers in all four of these creek arms.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, we caught three spotted bass, two largemouth bass, and two large white bass. It contains a large marina, some flat and rocky shorelines, some steep and rocky shorelines, and a few rocky secondary points. These five black bass were caught in three to 14 feet of water around three rocky secondary points in the middle section of the creek arm. Three largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and both of the white bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One spotted bass was caught with a drag-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We caught four spotted bass and four largemouth bass inside the second feeder-creek arm. This creek arm is situated about a mile east of the first one. It also contains a large marina, a variety of steep and rocky shorelines, some flat and rocky shorelines, several rocky secondary points, and two concrete boat ramps. The four spotted bass were caught from a rocky point at the east-side entrance point to the creek arm. Three were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The fourth one was caught on a 1/16-ounce pearl mushroom-style jighead dressed with a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD and a steady swimming retrieve.

One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water from a steep clay-and-gravel shoreline on the west side of this creek arm. It was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the white-jig coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig. Three largemouth bass were caught from two minor rocky secondary points in the upper end of the creek arm. They were allured by a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The third creek arm features two small coves, several minor rocky secondary points, a long pea-gravel-and-red-clay flat, and two concrete boat ramps. This creek arm failed to yield a black bass or a strike.

The fourth creek arm is located about two miles west of the third one. It features four small coves, seven rocky secondary points, and mostly steep rocky shorelines.

Inside one of the coves in the upper end of the creek arm, we caught one white bass. The entry point to this cove is steep and boulder-laden. This point yielded one white bass that was caught in four feet of water on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a steady swimming retrieve. We failed to garner any other strikes inside this cove.

Inside another couple of small coves in the upper end of this same creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass and nine white bass.

One largemouth bass and nine white bass were extracted from three to five feet of water along one side of a flat and rocky secondary point in the midsection of a second cove. This largemouth bass and seven of the nine white bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was employed with a steady swimming retrieve. The other two white bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

The other largemouth bass was caught in eight feet of water from a steep and rocky shoreline near the entrance to the third cove on the east side of the creek arm. This largemouth was also tempted by a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

In conclusion, the black bass fishing in north-central Texas has been slow and trying this spring, and we have seen few signs of spawning activity. During this five-hour outing, we struggled to catch a mix of 15 largemouth and spotted bass and 11 white bass in five hours, and it appears that this awful trend may continue into May.

At least the trolling motor is fixed.

April 18

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on April 18 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 35 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 54 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the northeast, north, and northwest at 6 to 30 mph. From 12:53 a.m. to 9:53 a.m., the sky fluctuated from being overcast to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to cluttered with a few clouds, and then it became fair. The barometric pressure was 30.21 at 12:53 a.m., 30.29 at 5:53 a.m., 30.49 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.36 at 2:53 p.m.

It felt like winter to my 82-year-old body, and especially my hands. I was dressed in a wintertime wardrobe. To my dismay, area thermometers dropped to 26 degrees during the early morning hours of April 19. And for the next four days, the weather forecasts say that Mother Nature's windy and wet ways will make fishing problematic for Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 53 to 55 degrees. According to our Secchi stick, the water exhibited from three to four feet of visibility. I was the only angler afloat until 2:30 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:58 p.m. to 1:58 a.m. and 12:56 p.m. to 2:56 p.m.

Before I made my first cast at 10:20 a.m., I was hoping to tangle with at least 50 largemouth bass in four hours.

But battling the brisk and cold north wind was more of a chore than I anticipated. It kept me searching for wind-sheltered areas, and at times, I employed the drift sock for the first time in 2022. And lifting it out of the water was an uncomfortable task for my wet and cold hands.

So, when I caught largemouth bass number 40, it was 2:44 p.m., and I decided not to make another cast.

Here is how these four hours and 24 minutes unfolded:

Along the shoreline of this reservoir's dam, I caught 12 largemouth bass. This shoreline is about 100 yards long, and it has a 50- to 60-degree slope. It was somewhat sheltered from the wind, but some occasional gusts and swirls were burdensome and cold. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with occasional patches of filamentous algae and a few burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, a concrete outlet tower, patches of flooded terrestrial grasses, and some minor piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water and 10 to 12 feet from the water's edge. Ten largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and they were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in eight feet to 10 feet of water and about 12 to about 16 feet from the water's edge.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a very short section of a shoreline adjacent to the spillway. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 25-degree slope, and eventually, there is a ledge that quickly plummets into 20 feet of water. The Finesse TRD rig caught both of these largemouth bass as I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and 20 feet from the water's edge.

Around a secondary point inside a small feeder-creek arm, the Finesse TRD rig caught one largemouth bass. This point has about a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is girdled with a rock and concrete retaining wall and embellished with a dock. The largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation adjacent to the dock.

Four largemouth bass were caught along a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is situated in the middle section of this reservoir. And because of the wind, I employed the drift sock. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are adorned with some burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope. The water's edge is littered with six docks, a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, and one concrete retaining wall. The largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig. Three of them were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water and nearly 20 feet from the water's edge. One was caught on a deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge.

Along another main-lake shoreline in the middle section of this reservoir, I caught seven largemouth bass. I fished about 125 yards of it. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 35- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is graced with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, enhanced with a few piles of brush, and littered with 12 docks. The seven largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water and from 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge. Two of the largemouth bass were caught adjacent to two of the 12 docks.

I caught three largemouth bass along about a 100-yard section of another main-lake shoreline in the middle section of this reservoir, where the wind made it necessary to use the drift sock. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 25- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with patches of winter-dead American water willows and six docks. The Finesse TRD rig caught the three largemouth bass with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water from 12 to 15 feet from the water's edge.

Along a wind-sheltered and main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, I caught two largemouth bass. This shoreline is about 50 yards long. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with some meager patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. It has about a 30-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with patches of winter-dead American water willows, one overhanging tree, and four docks. One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water 10 feet from the water's edge. The Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-deadstick presentation caught the other largemouth bass in about six feet of water and about 12 feet from the water's edge.

I caught 10 largemouth bass, including largemouth bass number 40, along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some silt, and some of the flatter sections of this terrain are entwined with burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is comprised of several patches of winter-dead American water willows, some overhanging trees, seven docks, several concrete and rock retaining walls, a stone bridge, some minor piles of brush, and a few laydowns. All of these largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig. I elicited four strikes along the steeper portions of this shoreline, but I hooked only one of them, and it was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a laydown in about six feet of water. The other nine were caught along the flatter sections. Four were caught on a swimming presentation around some minor laydowns in about three feet of water and four to six feet from the water's edge. Five were caught around the patches of bushy pondweed in about four feet of water and 15 to about 20 feet from the water's edge.

In conclusion, the highlight of this outing occurred when my hands began to warm up around 1:00 p.m.

April 18

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 18 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The black-bass fishing in north-central Texas has been ho-hum at best so far this year. So, Bill Kenney and I thought we would try to break this awful trend of lackluster black-bass fishing at one of several popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs in north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods would most likely occur from 4:10 a.m. to 6:10 a.m., 6:24 a.m. to 8:24 a.m., and 12:37 p.m. to 2:37 p.m.

We fished from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A cold front passed through north-central Texas during the early morning hours of April 18. The morning low temperature of 47 degrees was a bit chilly for this time of year. The afternoon high reached 72 degrees. (The average low temperature for north-central Texas on April 18 is 55 degrees and the average high temperature is 77 degrees.) The wind quartered out of the north-by-northeast at 13 to 20 mph, and a few gusts reached 25 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.27 at 8:00 a.m. and dropped slightly to 30.20 by 3:00 p.m. The sky conditions changed from being mostly cloudy to clear.

This reservoir's water level was about half of a foot below normal. In the west tributary arm, the water exhibited a muddy-brown tint with 12 to 14 inches of clarity. In the east tributary arm, the water clarity appeared more normal with 18 to 24 inches of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 61 degrees in the main-lake basin to 64 degrees inside four medium-size feeder-creek arms in the west tributary arm and one large feeder-creek arm in the east tributary arm.

This reservoir's underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, pea gravel, rocks of all shapes and sizes, and an abundance of large boulders. In many areas of the reservoir, there are acres of thick stands of flooded timber, laydowns, stumps, brush piles, and buck brush. We did find a few small patches of milfoil and hydrilla in less than five feet of water inside a couple of the feeder-creek arms that we fished, but we did not locate any black bass around them.

The robust wind and white-capped waves were troublesome. So, we searched for and fished in the most wind-protected areas we could find inside four medium-size feeder-creek arms in the west tributary arm, and one major feeder-creek arm in the south end of the east tributary arm, and we caught a total of 20 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid. We also caught four black crappie, two white bass, and one freshwater drum by accident.

We caught 13 of the 20 largemouth bass in three to eight feet of water around flat and rocky secondary points in the middle sections of three of the five feeder-creek arms that we fished. Seven largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid were caught from a 25-yard segment of a flat and rocky shoreline on the north side of a small cove in the middle portion of one of the feeder-creek arms.

The other two feeder-creek arms, which are situated in the west tributary arm, were fruitless.

We wielded 12 Midwest finesse rigs, and seven of them were productive. But the two most effective ones were a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat that was matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and employed with a slow and steady swimming retrieve and a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In short, this was our first outing at this reservoir this year, and the black-bass fishing was slow but better than we expected.

April 20

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his April 30 outing with his dog, Josie, at one of northeastern Kansas' federal reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 56 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 65 degrees at 5:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 5 to 29 mph. The sky was overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.85 at 12:53 a.m., 29.73 at 5:53 a.m., 29.66 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.67 at 3:53 p.m.

The water exhibited about one foot of visibility. The surface temperature was 50 degrees. The water level was normal.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods occurred from 2:06 a.m. to 8:06 a.m. and 2:37 p.m. to 4:37 p.m.

When I launched my boat around 7:30 a.m., I was the only one at the boat ramp, and when I put the boat on the trailer at 2:30 p.m., I was the only one at the ramp. And throughout the outing, I saw only one other boat. This lack of activity seems to be a reflection of the sorry fishing and weather that has been plaguing northeastern Kansas this year. It is quite a contrast to the activity that was occurring in April of 2020 when this reservoir was brimming with largemouth bass that had washed into it during the massive floods of 2019. Nowadays, those scores and scores of largemouth bass have disappeared. All the activity on this reservoir in 2020 also corresponded to the various lockdowns spawned by the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I spent this outing fishing about a 150-yard stretch of the dam's riprap shoreline, several shorelines inside a major feeder-creek arm, and the riprap shoreline of a large causeway inside this feeder-creek arm.

The riprap shoreline of the causeway was the most fruitful locale. And rock-laden areas that possessed a 30-degree slope yielded most of the black bass and other species that I caught.

By the time I made my last casts, my fish counter indicated that it had been a struggle to catch nine largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass. And I had inadvertently caught one humongous buffalo, two white bass, and 15 freshwater drum.

My most effective rigs were a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a Z-Man's The Deal TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig. Most of the time, I used a swim-and-glide presentation. And occasionally I would cast the TRD MinnowZ rig to the water's edge, keep my rod tip down and give the rig a few quick snaps, much like a jerkbait retrieve, and then I would simply swim and glide the rig back to the boat.

April 21

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their April 21 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 43 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 80 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind was calm for several hours, and when it blew, it angled out of the northwest, southeast, northeast, and east at 3 to 26 mph. The sky fluctuated from being foggy to fair to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 30.08 at 5:52 a.m., 30.16 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.11 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above normal. The water exhibited about seven feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 54 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:18 a.m. to 5:18 a.m., 3:49 p.m. to 5:49 p.m., and 9:34 a.m. to 11:34 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:13 a.m., and both of us instantaneously caught a largemouth bass.

We began this outing by fishing around a main-lake point and short segments of its adjacent shorelines. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which are entwined with occasional patches of curly-leaf pondweed. It has about a 30-degree slope. Patches of winter-dead American water willows grace the entire point and both shorelines. Wads of filamentous algae cling to the stems of the stalks of the American water willows and some of the rocks and boulders. Along one of the shorelines, we caught six largemouth bass. And three largemouth bass were caught around the point. We elicited two strikes along the other shoreline, but both fish quickly liberated themselves from our rigs. We caught these nine largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about five feet of water and several feet from the outside edge of the patches of winter-dead American water willows and wads of filamentous algae. The others were caught as we employed a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six to eight feet of water as far as 16 feet from the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. And several of them were caught around the edges of the patches of curly-leaf pondweed.

Around another main-lake shoreline and along one of its main-lake shorelines, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and a house and barn foundation. Portions of this underwater terrain are adorned with patches of curly-leaf pondweed and coontail. This area possesses a 45-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with winter-dead American water willows, a few laydowns, and some piles of brush, which are cluttered with wads of filamentous algae. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ HD jig while strolling with a drag-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water and about 12 feet from the outside edge of the patches of winter-dead American water willows. The other two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to nine feet of water.

We fished around four secondary points and along about a 350-yard section of a massive shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain of these points and shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and a rock fence. Portions of this terrain are endowed with patches of coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. It possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is garnished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. As we probed this terrain, we caught 13 largemouth bass. One was caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ HD jig while strolling with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and many feet from the water's edge. One was caught on a Z-Man's pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in about five feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on our TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around the inside edge of a patch of curly-leaf pondweed. Ten largemouth bass were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rigs; one was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water; one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water; eight were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water; they were caught from 10 to nearly 20 feet from the water's edge.

We caught 10 largemouth bass along another shoreline and around one secondary point inside this large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrains of the secondary point and shoreline consist of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which are interwoven with patches of coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. It possesses a 25- to 40-degree slope. The water's edge is garnished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. Five of the 10 were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rigs; two were caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water and near the outside edge of patches of winter-dead American water willows; three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water and many feet from the water's edge. The other five were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs; one was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows; the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water from a few feet to about 20 feet from the outside edge of patches of winter-dead American water willows. Three of the 10 largemouth bass were caught along the inside edge of a large patch of curly-leaf pondweed. We garnered four strikes that we failed to hook.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught 12 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The boulders are humongous along about a 30-yard segment of this shoreline. Some of the underwater terrain is enhanced with a few minor patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. It possesses a 45- to 80-degree slope. Some sections of the water's edge are embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows, several laydowns, and wads of filamentous algae. Two of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in seven to eight feet of water. Ten were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby TRD Finesse rigs; three were caught on the initial drop near the outside edge of the patches of winter-dead American water willows in about six feet of water; two were caught on a deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water and 10 to 12 feet from the outside edge of the patches of winter-dead American water willows; five were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to 10 feet of water from 10 to almost 20 feet from the water's edge. The steeper portions of this shoreline yielded all of the largemouth bass. We elicited three strikes that we failed to firmly hook.

We caught three largemouth bass around the spillway and a very short segment of the dam that is adjacent to the spillway. This area has a 20- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and it is entwined with patches of coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. Our green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rigs caught these largemouth bass. One was caught while we were strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water. The other two were caught with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

In sum, we were hoping to catch 51 largemouth bass in two hours. It took us exactly 2 ½ hours to achieve that goal, which occurred at 1:43 p.m.

It is predicted that the wind will howl with gusts reaching 50 mph for the next two days, which will keep us at bay. 2022 has been a wind-laden time.

April 22

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 18 outing with John Thomas of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log

This has been the most blustery spring that I can remember. Since March, robust winds have continually plagued north-central Texas and have kept us at bay for days at a time. But we have come to the realization that if we don't get out on the water and adapt to them, this spring's black-bass fishing is going to pass us by.

Therefore, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., John and I sojourned to our most problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. This was our first excursion to this reservoir this year. Traditionally, the black-bass fishing at this Corps' reservoir has been the last to turn on in the spring, and the first to shut down in the late fall. And we have not fished at this reservoir since November of 2021.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 4:32 a.m. to 6:32 a.m., 10:47 a.m. to 12:47 p.m., and 5:02 p.m. to 7:02 p.m.

It was mostly overcast with a few brief spells of sunshine. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 68 degrees and the afternoon high reached 86 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.53 at 7:00 a.m. and it dropped to 29.44 by 1:00 p.m. When we launched the boat at 7:17 a.m., the wind was angling out of the southeast at 15 mph. When we trailered the boat at 1:53 p.m., the wind was still quartering out of the southeast and its intensity had increased to 28 to 32 mph.

The water exhibited an unusual brownish tint with 12 to 14 inches of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 68 to 71 degrees. The water level was three-tenths of a foot below normal.

We dissected portions of three feeder-creek arms on the north side of the reservoir, and sections of another feeder-creek arm in the reservoir's southern region.

The underwater terrains inside these four feeder-creek arms are similar and consist of clay, sand, some silt, gravel, fist-size rocks, and sandstone boulders of various sizes. There are patches of flooded buck brush and stickups that grace many sections of the shorelines inside these creek arms.

During the first 3 1/2 hours of this outing, we concentrated on locating largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass around four main-lake points, 11 secondary points, five clay-and-gravel flats, seven small pockets, inside five coves, and around segments of six rocky shorelines inside the three feeder-creek arms on the north end of the reservoir. The black-bass fishing was wretched at best, and we failed to find any significant aggregations of them. Our best efforts garnered only two largemouth bass and five white bass that were scattered hither and yon inside these three feeder-creek arms.

One largemouth bass was caught in the first feeder-creek arm, three white bass were caught in the second one, and one largemouth bass and two white bass were caught in the third creek arm.

These seven fish were abiding around the wind-blown sides of flat and rocky secondary points in the lower and midsection areas of the creek arms. We caught them in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as six feet. The boat was floating in four to 11 feet of water.

We failed to elicit any strikes from inside two coves, five pockets, and across a couple of large mud flats in the upper end of one of the creek arms and where two small creeks and a shallow ditch enters the back end of the second creek arm.

After that dismal start, we decided to venture inside another feeder-creek arm on the south end of the reservoir. But instead of searching for black bass, we decided to focus our attentions on white bass.

We targeted portions of two long shorelines that are situated in the lower and midsection of this creek arm: the first one is located on the west side of the creek arm. It is mostly flat with an underwater terrain consisting of clay, pea-gravel, and small rocks. The other shoreline is located on the east side, and it is steep and adorned with mostly baseball-size rocks mixed with some scattered boulders about the size of a coffee table. The boat was positioned in five to 17 feet of water.

Across a wind-blown 250-yard stretch of the flat pea-gravel shoreline, we caught 31 white bass and inadvertently caught four largemouth bass that were mingling with the white bass. These white bass and largemouth bass were abiding in two to five feet of water near the sides of several shallow secondary points adorned with flooded buck brush and stickups.

The steeper rocky shoreline, which was not as exposed to the wind, yielded four white bass. These white bass were extracted from four to six feet of water along a 125-yard section of the steeper east-side shoreline and were caught from around submerged boulders next to the steeper points.

The most effective rig was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and employed with a steady swimming retrieve. This rig caught four of the six largemouth bass and 31 of the 35 white bass. A swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead snookered three white bass. A steady retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Space Guppy Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jigged allured one largemouth bass and one white bass. One largemouth bass was caught on a slightly modified three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ underspin fastened to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and implemented with a slow swimming retrieve. And a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and utilized with a slow and steady swimming presentation enticed one white bass.

On one hand, this was a frustrating and perplexing six-hour outing that had us at our wit's end trying to determine the whereabouts of the largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. But on the other hand, we were delighted to tangle with 40 white bass.

Since the black-bass fishing has yet to turn on at this Corps' reservoir, we will probably wait until May before we return.

April 26

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their April 26 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 29 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 68 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind was calm for several hours, and when it blew, it angled out of the northwest, southeast, south, and southwest at 3 to 17 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.38 at 12:52 a.m., 30.41 at 5:52 a.m., 30.41 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.30 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The water exhibited from 1 ½ to 3 ½ feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 61 to 63 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:56 a.m. to 9:56 a.m., 8:19 p.m. to 10:19 p.m., and 1:44 a.m. to 3:44 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:13 a.m., and Patty caught a largemouth bass on her first cast. It occurred around a main-lake shoreline in the lower third of this reservoir. It was caught in about six feet of water on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-deadstick presentation. On her next cast, she became snagged in a crevice between two massive boulders, and the rig could not be liberated from that crevice. The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and a concrete boat ramp. It possesses a 40- to 45-degree slope.

We caught four largemouth bass as we fished along two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm adjacent to this main-lake point. The underwater terrains of these shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders that are enhanced with some meager patches of submerged aquatic vegetation and a few piles of brush. They possess a 30- to 45-degree slope. The water's edges are girdled with patches of winter–dead American water willows that are coated with wads of filamentous algae. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about 3 ½ feet of water along the outside edge on a patch of American water willows. One was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; they were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about six feet of water.

Around another main-lake point at the mouth of this feeder-creek arm, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. Three were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in five to seven feet of water.

We caught eight largemouth bass along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of this reservoir. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 55-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. During a few of our retrieves, it felt as if there are some burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation gracing portions of the underwater terrain. The water's edge is endowed with some patches of winter-dead American water willows that are entwined with wads of filamentous algae. All of the largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug TRD TicklerZ rigs with either a drag-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about four to nine feet of water. Three of the eight were caught as far as 20 feet from the water's edge.

At the end of this shoreline and around another main-lake point, we caught four largemouth bass. This point's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Several of the boulders are humongous. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope. The water's edge is unadorned. The largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug Finesse TRD rigs; two were caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water; the other two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline inside one of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms, we eked out two largemouth bass. This shoreline is in the upper half of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some portions of this underwater terrain are embellished with burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed. The water exhibited about 1 ½ feet of visibility. The water's edge is endowed with some patches of burgeoning cattails, several laydowns and overhanging trees, an array of winter-dead American water willows, and wads of filamentous algae. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug Finesse TRD rigs; one was caught on the initial drop near a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water; the other one was caught on a slow drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

We caught 18 largemouth bass along about a 300-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large-feeder creek arm adjacent to the dam. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some large stumps that are about 90 years old. Many of the boulders are monsters. And a significant portion of the underwater terrain is embellished with burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed. The water's edge is graced with a few laydowns, many patches of winter-dead American water willows, and wads of filamentous algae. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug TRD TicklerZ rigs as we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in six to seven feet of water. Sixteen were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rigs; two were caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water; two were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in five to 10 feet of water and from 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge; the others were caught on either a drag-and-shake presentation or a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to 10 feet of water and from five to 20 feet from the water's edge.

By the time we made our last casts at 2:30 p.m., our fish counter revealed that we had tangled with 41 largemouth bass, seven crappie, and one channel catfish. We elicited 16 strikes that we failed to adequately hook.

During this outing, we were delighted to discover many burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. This used to be our most productive reservoir in northeastern Kansas for locating and catching vast numbers of largemouth bass. But during the past 11 years, this reservoir's managers waylaid it with immense quantities of aquatic herbicides. And corresponding to these applications, the numbers of largemouth bass that we have been able to find and catch declined dramatically. We are hoping that with the reemergence of the submerged aquatic vegetation that this reservoir will enjoy a largemouth bass renaissance in the near future. We are also hoping that the reservoir's managers will refrain from employing herbicides in the water and along its shorelines.

April 26

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 26 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 8:30 a.m. to 2:51 p.m., we fished at a state reservoir located in the rural countryside of north-central Texas.

North-central Texas was pummeled by a significant cold front that was accompanied by several inches of much-needed rain and high winds during the late-evening hours of April 24 and the early-morning hours of April 25. The runoff from those rains muddied most of the water in this reservoir, which has become one of our most bountiful venues. Because of the muddy-water conditions, we would be satisfied if we could tangle with 20 largemouth bass.

The water clarity varied from eight inches in the upper end of the reservoir to 18 inches in its lower end. It appears that the runoff also caused the water level to rise about a foot, but it was still 4.39 feet below its normal pool. The surface temperature ranged from 64 to 69 degrees.

This reservoir has changed significantly in the past year. The submerged aquatic vegetation, primarily hydrilla, that once flourished in several bays, is now gone. And that phenomenon seems to have negatively affected the black-bass fishing in the winter and spring. On this April 26 excursion, we failed to locate any aquatic vegetation or evidence that it is recovering, which we found very disheartening, indeed.

This impoundment's geological terrain consists of many rock-laden shorelines and points. The bulk of them are graced with laydowns, submerged boulders, overhanging trees, and flooded buck brush and stickups.

The weather exhibited some of the typical post-cold-front conditions: a clear bluebird sky; a high barometric pressure that ranged from 30.39 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.30 at 3:00 p.m.; and a crisp morning temperature of 47 degrees and a cool afternoon temperature of 72 degrees. Fortunately, the pace of the wind had diminished for the first time in weeks, and it quartered out of the east-by-northeast at 8 to 15 mph.

We began inside a small bay in the southern region of the reservoir. It had the clearest water that we found and exhibited 18 inches of visibility. It has been our most fruitful locale at this reservoir this winter, and it was the most productive again during this outing. We concentrated on two steep and riprap-covered shorelines behind a small marina: the first one is situated on the southeast side of the bay, and the second one is located on the southwest side of the bay. We fished the southeast shoreline twice, and it relinquished 21 largemouth bass and two crappie. These black bass were relating to submerged rocks and boulders in three to five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge.

The riprap-covered southwest shoreline yielded one largemouth bass.

We then left that bay and traveled northward to the midsection of the reservoir and investigated three more bays: two are minor ones, and the third one is a much larger one.

The water in the first two bays was muddy with about eight inches of visibility, and we failed to garner any strikes along a couple of flat shorelines that are adorned with a couple of small tertiary points, pea gravel, chunk rocks, and scattered boulders.

Inside the larger third bay, we fished inside three coves on the north side of the bay.

The first cove had water that was not as muddy as the other areas in this bay, and it exhibited about 12 inches of clarity. This cove surrendered one largemouth bass, one white bass, and one flathead catfish. The largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water from the end of a flat and rocky secondary point on the northeast shoreline of this cove. The steep and rocky west shoreline yielded one white bass and one flathead catfish. The catfish was caught next to a patch of boulders in five feet of water and less than 10 feet from the water's edge. The white bass was caught in 17 feet of water and many feet from the water's edge as it was pursuing a couple of small threadfin shad on the water's surface.

The second cove, which is located a short distance to the east of the first one, yielded two largemouth bass. They were caught from the sides of two large boulder-laden jetties that form the cove's south and west shorelines. One was caught in three feet of water from the south jetty and the other one was caught in 12 feet of water near the end of the west jetty. We also fished the rocky east shoreline and the back end of this cove, but we failed to elicit any other strikes.

From the second cove, we moved to a shallower cove on the east end of the bay, and we failed to locate any black bass in this cove.

We did not fish the other two coves on the south side of this bay because they are exposed to north and northwest winds, and the water was muddier than it was on the north side of the bay.

We then traveled to the midsection of the reservoir's west shoreline, where we fished inside a small cove on the north side of a large bay. Inside this cove, we slowly dissected two steep and rocky shorelines, two flat secondary points, and both of the rocky entry points to the cove.

We caught one largemouth bass in five feet of water and about 10 feet from the water's edge along the southeast shoreline near the entrance to this cove. We caught another largemouth bass in three feet of water and within five feet of the water's edge from a flat and rocky secondary point along the west-side shoreline in the upper end of the cove. The remainder of this cove was unproductive.

Overall, the black-bass bite was slow but somewhat steady. All totaled, we caught a total of 26 largemouth bass, three crappie, one white bass, and one flathead catfish. We also hooked and lost five other black bass. All of them were decent ones and weighed between 1 1/2 to three pounds, three ounces. None of them were dinky.

Twelve of the 26 black bass and one of the three crappie were allured by a slow-and-steady swimming presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. A plastic black-red-flake finesse worm matched to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve tempted eight largemouth bass, one crappie, and one flathead catfish. Five largemouth bass and the one white bass were coaxed into striking a shortened Z-Man's California-craw Hula StickZ that was fastened to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and utilized with a slow swimming retrieve. One largemouth bass and one crappie engulfed a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig as it was being steadily retrieved parallel to the shoreline in three to six feet of water and about five to 10 feet from the water's edge.

We failed to elicit any strikes with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin-red-flake ZinkerZ fastened on a red 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

April 28

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 28 outing with Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and David Hebenstreit of Lahinch, Ireland, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 59 degrees at 9:53 a.m. and 69 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The low temperature was 58 degrees, and the high temperature was 70 degrees. The wind angled out of the south at 8 to 31 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being overcast to erupting into a thunderstorm to being partly cloudy to being fair. The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 29.95 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.89 at 2:53 p.m.

During many of the first 118 days of 2022, the wind has howled, making it a chore to fish. And it was troublesome again on April 28. At times, we employed a drift sock in hopes of taming some of its dastardly effects, but the sock had a difficult time subduing the intense and multidirectional gusts of wind.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 59 to 63 degrees. The water exhibited from three to four feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 9:12 a.m. to 11:12 a.m., 9:34 p.m. to 11:34 p.m., and 3:01 a.m. to 5:01 a.m.

We made our first casts around noon and our last ones around 3:00 p.m. David, Rick, and I are cousins. Because this was the first time in many years that Rick and I have fished with David, it was more of a family reunion than it was a hard-edged fishing outing. What's more, we did not keep detailed records of how and where we managed to tangle with 41 largemouth bass, 10 crappie, one channel catfish, one white bass, and one warmouth.

But here are a few details. We caught these fish on five Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a slightly shortened Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ Jighead.

We made a few casts with a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TickerZ attached to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and it did not elicit a strike.

In the lower quarter of this reservoir, we fished along the shoreline of the dam, around a secondary point and a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, and a main-lake point and short portions of its adjacent shorelines. And we eked out two largemouth bass, which were caught along the dam.

In the middle region of this reservoir, we fished along about a 125-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, around a main-lake point, and along about a 200-yard section of another main-lake shoreline. The underwater terrains of these locales consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of this terrain is bestowed with burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as bushy pondweed and coontail. They possess a 25- to 45-degree slope. The water's edges are endowed with occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows, an array of docks, many concrete and rock retaining walls, and untold numbers of wads of filamentous algae. We caught 12 largemouth bass from these three areas.

The main-lake shorelines and points in the upper half of the reservoir were the most productive, yielding 27 largemouth bass. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some silt. We were delighted and surprised to find a significant number of patches of bushy pondweed and coontail, which yielded several largemouth bass. These shorelines are quite long. They have a 20- to 60-degree slope. Their water's edges are comprised of many yards of concrete and rock retaining walls, scores of docks, one small rock bridge, a few laydowns and piles of brush, wads of filamentous algae, some patches of winter-dead American water willows, and several overhanging trees. The most bountiful locales were two long sections of concrete retaining walls.

Some of the 41 largemouth bass, 10 crappie, one white bass, and one warmouth were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about three to six feet of water. Others were caught while we employed a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation or a deadsick presentation or while we were strolling in three to 10 feet of water from the water's edge to 20 feet from the water's edge. We elicited a goodly number of strikes that we failed to hook, and some of the strikes made our TRD TicklerZ and Finesse TRD rigs look like a pretzel knot. At times, the strikes were so subtle that it seemed as if the fish were catching us rather than us catching them.

Despite the wind, it was a delightful reunion with David.

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