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Midwest Finesse Fishing: July 2022

Steve Reideler with one of the 28 black bass that he and Norman Brown caught on July 21. This one is a hybrid-spotted bass.

July 5

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 5 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Rick and I fished at a state reservoir in north-central Texas. Neither one of us has fished at this reservoir since Feb. 1, 2022.

During this July 5 excursion, the sky was cloudless, and the sun was shining brightly. The wind angled out of the south at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.95 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.94 at noon.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be poor, but the most productive fishing periods would occur from 4:04 a.m. to 6:04 a.m., 10:14 a.m. to 12:14 p.m., and 4:25 p.m. to 6:25 p.m.

We employed 10 Midwest finesse rigs, and seven of them were effective.

A Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured seven black bass. A swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 4.75-inch Z-Man's watermelon Finesse WormZ matched with a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig caught four. Four largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a four-inch Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig enticed two black bass. A Z-Man's 1/15-ounce chartreuse Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ and employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation induced two black bass. A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's watermelon-red Hula StickZ fastened to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead attracted one largemouth bass. And a red Z-Man's 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead dressed with a shortened Z-Man's watermelon-red Hula StickZ caught one largemouth bass.

We concentrated our efforts on a main-lake flat, the shoreline of a chunk-rock-covered dam, three rocky main-lake points, a 50-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, and two rock-laden and boulder-laden bluffs.

We also searched for black bass around rocky secondary points and shorelines in the lower end and midsection of two of the reservoir's larger feeder-creek arms. One of the creek arms is located in the southeast end of the reservoir, and the other creek arm is situated in the upper end of the impoundment. Unfortunately, we failed to locate any black bass in these creek arms.

The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 86 to 87 degrees. The water level appeared to be normal.

This reservoir has several varieties of aquatic vegetation: American water willows, American pondweed, yellow floating-heart, milfoil, coontail, and muskgrass. We caught some of the largemouth bass and spotted bass around patches of American water willows and American pondweed.

One spotted bass was caught in three to five feet of water from the main-lake flat. This flat is located along the south shoreline of this reservoir. It possesses several thick patches of American pondweed and patches of American water willows line the shallow-water areas near the water's edge. Its submerged terrain consists of clay, pea gravel, rocks, and a few submerged boulders and stumps. This spotted bass was caught in less than three feet of water around the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

Eight largemouth bass and three spotted bass were caught around the three rocky main-lake points. These points are situated in the middle section of the reservoir and have 35- to 50-degree inclines. Their underwater terrains consist of clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders. They are also adorned with thick patches of American pondweed. These 11 black bass were caught around either submerged boulders near patches of American pondweed in three to five feet of water.

The shoreline of the dam is about 75-yards long and located on the northeast end of the reservoir. Its submerged terrain consists of chunk-sized rocks and boulders. It yielded three spotted bass, one largemouth bass, one green sunfish, and one channel catfish. These fish were caught in five to seven feet of water and 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge.

Along the first of two rock bluffs, we caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The first bluff is located near the dam on the reservoir's northeast end. These four black bass were suspended seven to 12 feet below the surface in 17 to 24 feet of water and 15 to 25 feet from the water's edge. The other bluff is situated in the midsection of the impoundment. We failed to elicit any strikes from it. Both of these bluffs are cluttered with overhanging trees, a few laydowns, large boulders, submerged tree trunks, and rock ledges.

We caught one largemouth bass along the main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is located in the middle portion of the reservoir. Its submerged terrain is flat and consists of clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders. It is also cluttered with thick patches of American water willows and American pondweed. This largemouth was caught from the outside edge of one of the patches of American water willows in three feet of water.

In closing, this outing turned out to be a challenging black-bass endeavor, and we toiled to locate and catch 13 largemouth bass and eight spotted bass during these five hours. We also, incidentally, caught two green sunfish, one red-ear sunfish, and one channel catfish.

July 7

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Gretchen Kehde of Brooklyn, New York, on July 7 at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of the brief.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 74 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 92 degrees. The wind angled out of the east, northeast, and southeast at 3 to 28 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.87 at 12:52 a.m., 29.94 at 5:52 a.m., 29.95 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.91 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees. An algae bloom has erupted, which has affected the water clarity. The water exhibited from two feet to three feet of visibility in the areas that we fished, which were along several shorelines and around two points in the lower third of the reservoir.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:25 a.m. to 7:25 a.m., 5:48 p.m. to 7:48 p.m., and 11:13 a.m. to 1:13 p.m.

Gretchen is our oldest daughter, and she hasn't fished with us for about six years. From 2016 to November of 2020, she worked in Africa at the Rift Valley Children's Village in Tanzania and for Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone and Nigeria. When she returned to Brooklyn in November of 2020, she was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, which is an aggressive type of invasive breast cancer. For the past 19 months, she and her doctors at New York University's Langone's Breast Cancer Center and the Perlmutter Cancer Center have worked long and hard to tame the effects of this disastrous cancer. And they have made some amazing and heartening progress. Thus, she came to visit us and many members of our family on July 1.

And she was eager to fish with me on July 7. She has never been an ardent angler, but on this outing, she fished more intently and enthusiastically than I have seen her fish in all of her sixty years.

We made our first casts at 11:45 a.m. and our last casts were made when we each caught a largemouth bass at 1:47 p.m.

We were hoping to merely enjoy a midday hour or two on the water and perhaps catch a fish or two at this reservoir where she spent many summer days at a day camp during her grade-school years in the early 1970s.

We did not plan to post a log about this outing. So, here are some brief notes about what occurred.

We caught 14 largemouth bass, and we inadvertently caught 13 green sunfish and one crappie. All of them were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig.

We failed to catch a fish around the spillway, along a 25-yard stretch of the south shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, along a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is somewhat adjacent to the spillway, and around two main-lake points.

We fished about half of the dam's shoreline, where we caught three largemouth bass. Two largemouth bass were caught on top of a massive boulder-laden hump that is adjacent to the north shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. We caught two largemouth bass along the outside edges of patches of American water willows that adorn about a 60-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline along the east side of the reservoir. One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to a patch of American water willows along about a 50-yard stretch of the south shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. Three largemouth bass were caught along about a 70-yard stretch of another shoreline on the east side of this reservoir, and we caught one largemouth bass on a massive shallow-water and boulder-laden flat that is adjacent to this east shoreline. We simultaneously caught largemouth bass number 13 and 14 around a patch of American water willows and Eurasian milfoil along about a 70-yard stretch of the north shoreline inside a primary feeder-creek arm.

Along the shorelines, Gretty caught seven largemouth bass by casting her coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig at a 45-degree angle behind the boat and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in three to 12 feet of water. Two of the seven were caught on the initial drop of her rig.

I caught three largemouth bass on the initial drop of my coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig. One was caught on a swimming presentation around a boulder in about six feet of water. And three were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in four to about 10 feet of water.

July 7

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 7 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

This is one of those outings that many bass anglers dread. It started off on a bad note and it ended on a sourer note. What's more, we experienced a weird phenomenon during the middle portion of this outing, which I have never seen before in my lifetime, and I doubt if I ever will again.

It was another hot and humid day in north-central Texas. The sky was clear, and the sun was as bright as a shiny new dime. The morning's low temperature was 86 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was a sweltering 104 degrees. The wind was light and blew out of the south-by-southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was pretty steady; it measured 29.95 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.94 at noon.

Norman Brown joined me for this 4 1/2-hour excursion at a rural state reservoir in north-central Texas. This is not the same state reservoir that Rick Allen of Dallas and I visited on July 5.

The water exhibited two feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 85 degrees. The water level was 3.80 feet below its normal summer pool.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing periods would occur from 5:36 a.m. to 7:36 a.m., 11:23 a.m. to 1:23 p.m., and 5:58 p.m. to 7:58 p.m.

We fished from 6:30 a.m. to about 11:00 a.m.

Our outing focused on 12 traditional black-bass haunts: a main-lake island, two main-lake shorelines, five main-lake points, two riprap jetties, a main-lake bluff, and portions of a main-lake hump. The two main-lake shorelines, five main-lake points, the main-lake bluff, and the two riprap jetties are scattered across the lower and midsection of the reservoir's east shoreline. The main-lake hump is a good way offshore, and it is located in the middle of the western region of the reservoir.

We started at a main-lake island. It is situated in the southeast section of the reservoir. Its shoreline is flat. The underwater terrain surrounding this island is composed of clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and large boulders. There are some small clusters of flooded timber, stickups, bushes, and a few submerged stumps that usually adorn the shallow-water areas near the water's edge, but with the reservoir's low water level, many of the rocks, boulders, stickups, stumps, and bushes that we normally target are now out of water.

We fished around the entire perimeter of this island, and it quickly became apparent that the black-bass bite was listless. This island typically yields between eight and 17 black bass during the summer months, but this time, it yielded only one spotted bass. It was caught near one of the remaining submerged patches of chunk rocks and boulders in four feet of water. It engulfed a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was implemented with a steady-swimming retrieve over the top of the patches of chunk rocks.

The two main-lake shorelines were a bit more productive; they relinquished three largemouth bass. Both of these shorelines are located a short distance north of the island. They are both flat, and they were shaded from the sun when we fished them. They are adorned with red clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and slab boulders. One of the shorelines is also embellished with a couple of boat houses. These largemouth bass were caught around the larger slab boulders in three to six feet of water and within 20 feet of the water's edge. Two were allured by a slow-and-steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal TRD MinnowZ attached to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-type jig. The other largemouth bass was caught on the initial fall of a three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ matched with a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

After we finished fishing the two main-lake shorelines, we moved about half of a mile northward and fished around five main-lake points. These points are all relatively flat and endowed with numerous submerged rocks and boulders. One point relinquished three largemouth bass and one spotted bass. One largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water and was associated with a cluster of submerged boulders that were as shallow as two feet and as deep as seven feet. It was caught on a swimming retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's Canada-craw Hula StickZ attached to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-type jig. One spotted bass was caught on the initial fall of the three-inch The Deal Slim SwimZ rig while it was surface foraging on a couple of small schools of one-inch threadfin shad in 25 feet of water and about 25 yards out from the water's edge. Two largemouth bass were caught off the end of the point in 17 to 19 feet of water. They were relating to a few scattered boulders on the bottom. One was caught on a slow dragging retrieve with The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig, and the other one was caught on a deadstick presentation with the Canada-craw Hula StickZ rig.

Around the other four main-lake points, we fished as shallow as three feet and as deep as 25 feet, but we were unable to generate any other strikes from these four points.

In the midsection of the reservoir's east shoreline, we slowly dissected a main-lake bluff. This bluff is about 75 yards long. The base of the bluff is cluttered with mostly large boulders. Water as deep as 32 feet is abutting it. This bluff has been pretty fruitful during the past couple of months, but this time, it relinquished only one largemouth bass. It was caught near the side of a couple of large submerged boulders in eight feet of water and within four feet of the water's edge on the initial fall of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse WormZ rigged on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

As we were fishing along the south end of this bluff, we were suddenly taken by surprise by an aggressive Cooper's hawk that suddenly swooped down on us from the top of the bluff. It tried to snatch the lure that was dangling from the end of my rod. At first, we thought it was an odd anomaly and the hawk was going to fly off, but it quickly returned and dove down on us again, still trying to grab the lure that was dangling from the end of my rod with its beak. Then an amazing phenomenon occurred. After the hawk flew off a short distance, I made a cast toward the bluff. In the blink of an eye, the hawk quickly pounced on my lure in mid-air. I was mesmerized as I watched it grab the lure with one of its claws. Then, I began tussling with the hawk that was trying to make off with my lure. It continued to try to fly off with my lure as I was trying to reel it back towards me, but after about five or six seconds, it dropped the lure and flew back to the top of the bluff. A few moments later, it dove down on us two more times, and Norman attempted to video this event with his cell phone. (After reviewing Norman's cell phone footage, he discovered that the hawk was flying so quickly that he had a difficult time trying to video it. However, he was able to get a short video of it flying past my lure.) Ultimately, the hawk finally left us alone. We decided to move on, leaving the hawk looking none the worse for this ordeal and we a tad bit rattled.

The two riprap-laden jetties are located on the east side of the impoundment and about a mile south of the main-lake bluff. A small creek channel courses between them. The portion of the channel that we probed is covered with 24 to 26 feet of water. We also detected a large aggregation of threadfin shad gathered in the bottom of the ditch with our sonar units.

We were baffled that we were unable to garner any strikes from the two jetties.

The bottom of the ditch, where we detected the large concentration of threadfin shad, yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught in 24 feet of water. It was enticed by a slow-and-steady dragging retrieve with a 4.75-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ matched with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We made several more presentations in the bottom of the ditch with several other lures, but we were unable to generate any other bites.

After that, we moved to the west side of the reservoir and dissected a goodly number of submerged boulders that lie on the north end of an offshore hump. This hump is surrounded by 24 to 32 feet of water. The top of the hump is covered with four to 10 feet of water. We spent about 30 minutes probing the submerged boulders in water as shallow as seven feet and as deep as 22 feet, and all we could muster were a couple of subtle strikes that we failed to hook.

As we were preparing to leave the hump and move to another island, a cable on the trolling motor snapped in two, rendering the trolling motor useless. At this point, the black-bass fishing was so lackluster that we decided to call it a day and headed back to the boat ramp.

In conclusion, the black-bass bite was extremely slow for this reservoir, and we had a difficult time locating and catching six largemouth bass and five spotted bass in 4 1/2 hours. We also caught a couple of green sunfish and a freshwater drum. Ten of these 11 black bass were caught before 9:00 a.m., and we caught only one largemouth bass between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Seven of them were caught in less than 10 feet of water, and four were caught in 17 to 25 feet of water.

During our drive back home, I called the trolling-motor repair shop, and I was informed that it will take at least three weeks before the trolling motor can be repaired. Therefore, it appears that my fishing cohorts and I will be off the water for the remainder of July.

July 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 11 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

On July 7, Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished at a state reservoir in north-central Texas. The fishing was awful for that reservoir; we had a difficult time locating and catching 11 black bass. Furthermore, a cable snapped on my trolling motor, rendering it inoperable, and I was informed by the repair shop that it would be a three-week wait time for repairs.

Bill Kenney of Denton and I took the trolling motor to the repair shop on July 8, and to our surprise, they repaired it on the spot.

On July 11, Bill and I traveled to one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. Bill had an appointment later in the morning. Thus, we cut this outing short by about an hour or two. Our primary mission during this excursion was to test the repaired trolling motor, and then, see if we could catch a few largemouth bass and spotted bass that abide in this reservoir.

We were afloat from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. We tested the trolling motor first, and after determining that it was working properly, we turned our attentions to fishing. Because our time was limited to about three hours, we targeted five of our most productive spots. All of these spots are situated in the lower end of the reservoir.

We were hoping for another 41 black-bass outing like the one Bill and I enjoyed at this impoundment on June 20, but those hopes were never realized. Instead, it was a bit discouraging when we discovered that the black-bass bite was as tough at this reservoir as it was at the state reservoir where Norman Brown and I fished on July 7.

During this July 11 jaunt, it was humid, and I began to sweat as soon as we launched the boat. The sky was clear, and the sun was as bright and hot as it has been all summer. (Bill noticed on his phone's weather app that north-central Texas has experienced eight straight days of 100-plus-degree temperatures, and the current forecast revealed 10 more 100-plus-degree days with no rain in sight.) The morning's low temperature was 86 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature reached 103 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.85 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.89 at 9:00 a.m. While we were afloat, the wind remained steady at 10 mph out of the east.

In-Fisherman's solunar table reported that the fishing would be poor, but the most lucrative periods would occur from 2:31 a.m. to 4:31 a.m., 8:47 a.m. to 10:47 a.m., and 9:19 p.m. to 11:19 p.m.

The water displayed about 18 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 88 to 90 degrees. The water level was 0.41 of a foot low.

After making what seemed like hundreds of casts and retrieves, we were baffled as to why the first five places that we fished, which encompassed three flat and rocky main-lake points, portions of a main-lake island, and a 60-yard stretch of a steep and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, yielded only one largemouth bass, one freshwater drum, and one white bass.

The largemouth bass and the freshwater drum were caught in less than five feet of water and several yards apart from each other around several large submerged boulders along the rocky main-lake shoreline. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial fall of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ matched with a 1/16-ounce blue underspin jighead. The freshwater drum was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The white bass was caught in four feet of water from a large shaded area located on the west side of the island. It was enticed by a swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ threaded on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We then moved to the south end of the reservoir's east tributary arm, where we investigated a ditch that cuts across a large clay-and-gravel main-lake flat that is situated just west of the dam, and a large concrete water-outlet tower that is positioned on the east end of the dam.

The large main-lake flat is covered with four to eight feet of water. There is a ditch that is about 40 feet wide that cuts across this flat. The ditch is covered with 14 to 21 feet of water, and the remnants of patches of flooded stickups line one side of the ditch. In 14 to 17 feet of water in the middle of the ditch, we crossed paths with three medium-size schools of white bass and hybrid-striped bass that were aggressively foraging on schools of one-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water. We caught 26 white bass and one hybrid-striped bass from those schools before they quit feeding and vanished. We caught these temperate bass on a swimming retrieve with the Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD rig and a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's greasy-prawn Slim SwimZ matched with a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We finished the outing at the water-outlet tower on the east end of the dam. The tower is surrounded by 30 to 50 feet of water. Shade was covering the west side of the tower, and the shade line extended about 30 feet from the tower's wall. The north- and south-side walls had smaller shade lines protruding about five feet out from them. We dissected the shady areas around the tower's walls, and we caught 12 largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were suspended in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as eight feet below the surface of the water. And three times, we hooked and landed two largemouth bass simultaneously. Seven of them were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch greasy-prawn Slim SwimZ, three were allured by the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and two were enticed by a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Before our time ran out, we made a few half-hearted casts to the riprap that covers the dam by the tower, but we failed to elicit any strikes around it.
In a nutshell, the black-bass fishing at this reservoir was nowhere near as bountiful as it was on June 20. During this three-hour jaunt, it was a challenge to catch 13 largemouth bass. The temperate-bass fishing was much more fruitful; we caught 27 white bass and one hybrid-striped bass in about 30 minutes. We also caught one freshwater drum by accident.

And the trolling motor is working again.

July 13

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on July 13 at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 57 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 95 degrees. The wind was often calm, and when it stirred, it angled out of the northwest and southeast at 3 to 6 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.06 at 12:52 a.m., 30.06 at 5:52 a.m., 30.10 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.05 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be a tad below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 89 degrees. The water exhibited from four feet to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:43 a.m. to 12:43 p.m., 4:26 a.m. to 6:26 a.m., and 4:59 p.m. to 6:59 p.m.

I made my first cast at 11:25 a.m. and my last one at 2:36 p.m.

During this three-hour-and-11-minute outing, I caught 32 largemouth bass, and I accidentally caught four crappie, two bluegill, one green sunfish, and one Georgia giant.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other fish were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

To our chagrin, the production of the purple-haze Finesse WormZ has been discontinued. For some unknown reason, purple hues are no longer fashionable in today's black-bass-angling world. But it is still a very effective hue in northeastern Kansas' waterways for us old-timers

One largemouth bass was caught around a flat main-lake point in about five feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American pondweeds on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig.

The other 31 largemouth bass and fish were caught across a massive shallow-water flat in the back half of a primary feeder-creek arm. This flat has a submerged creek channel meandering across it. Many segments of this flat are adorned with patches of coontail, sago pondweed, and wilted bushy pondweed. Scores of manmade piles of cedar trees litter this flat, and some of them are intertwined with the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

On this flat, I dissected an area about the size of three football fields.

The first largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation around patches of coontail and wilted bush pondweed in about six feet of water.

Thirty of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. Most of them were caught around the patches of coontail and sago pondweed in about five to eight feet of water. A few were caught adjacent to the piles of cedar trees. The bulk of the largemouth bass was caught while I was employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Four of the 30 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig. Another two were caught on the initial drop of a vertical presentation adjacent to a pile of cedar trees.

I failed to elicit a strike across a shallow-water flat inside a small feeder-creek arm. To my surprise, I failed to garner a strike around two secondary points and across a massive shallow-water flat inside another primary feeder-creek arm.

(It is interesting to note that many anglers who wield Midwest finesse rigs employ them on the bottom by executing a hop-and-bounce presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-deadstick presentation, and these presentations are impossible to execute across patches of submerged aquatic vegetation and piles of brush and trees. But throughout the calendar year, the preponderance of the largemouth bass that we catch are caught with the swim-glide-and-shake presentation from six inches to several feet above the bottom. And when we are fishing around submerged aquatic vegetation, some of our swim-glide-and-shake retrieves are five to six feet above the bottom as our rigs swim, glide, and shake through the tops of the vegetation. According to our slapdash calculations, more than 50 percent of the largemouth bass that we catch throughout the year are inveigled when we use the swim-glide-and-shake presentation from six inches to six feet above the bottom. )

July 14

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 14 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and Rick's grandson Hunter Hebenstreit at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 69 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 96 degrees. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and west at 3 to 18 mph. The sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to cluttered with a few clouds from 8:53 a.m. to 10:53 a.m., and it was fair the rest of the daylight hours. The barometric pressure was 30.06 at 12:53 a.m., 30.07 at 5:53 a.m., 30.10 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.05 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be a few inches below its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees. The water has about four feet of visibility along the dam and about 3 1/2 feet along a shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Most of this reservoir's patches of coontail and blankets of duckweeds have disappeared.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., 11:46 p.m. to 1:46 a.m., and 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:30 a.m. and our last ones at 2:30 p.m.

We caught 53 largemouth bass and accidentally caught four green sunfish and nine bluegill. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 22 largemouth bass. And a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 30 largemouth bass.

We fished along the shoreline of the dam twice and caught three largemouth bass. Its shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally entwined with a few meager patches of coontail. A few piles of brush also enhance the underwater terrain. Portions of the water's edge are lined with patches of American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam. The largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass along an offshore ledge that is situated in the lower quarter of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are gigantic. The green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation caught this largemouth bass in about six feet of water.

On a shallow offshore hump in the lower quarter of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass. This hump is littered with an array of rocks and boulders. The initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig caught the largemouth bass in about five feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass around a flat and shallow-water main-lake point in the lower quarter of the reservoir. This point has a 25-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with a few scanty patches of coontail and two old fence posts. The shoreline line of this point is adorned with one dock and patches of American water willows that are cluttered with wads of filamentous algae. The green-pumpkin TRD TickerZ rig caught this largemouth bass with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation near the outside edge of a wad of filamentous algae in about three feet of water.

In the middle section of the reservoir, we caught seven largemouth bass around three main-lake points and along the main-lake shorelines that are contiguous to the three points. This area is about 400 yards long. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. These boulders create some ledges. There are some small patches of coontail gracing parts of the underwater terrain. The points and shoreline possess a 20- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with scores of docks, some riprap, a few patches of American water willows, some retaining walls, and three overhanging trees. One largemouth bass was caught on the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation while strolling in about 10 feet of water. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TickerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation; one was caught around a patch of American water willows in about 3 ½ feet of water, and the second one was caught in the vicinity of a dock with a drag-and-shake presentation in six to seven feet of water. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig; one was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water adjacent to a dock, and three were caught with the drag-and-shake presentation while strolling in six to 11 feet of water.

We caught 20 largemouth bass along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some sections of this terrain are endowed with skimpy patches of coontail. This massive stretch of water has a 20- to 60-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, 10 docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, occasional piles of brush, and a few laydowns. Nine were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig and 11 were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig. Four were caught on the initial drop of these rigs in three to five feet of water. Seven were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to 10 feet of water. Nine were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. Three were caught adjacent to docks. Nine were caught around the shade created by overhanging trees. Eight were caught around either patches of American water willows or patches of coontail.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught nine largemouth bass on our green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigs. This shoreline has a 30- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with a few sorry coontail patches. The water's edge is lined with 12 docks, several concrete and rock retaining walls, several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, one large laydown, and some piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught on a vertical and deadstick presentation adjacent to one of the docks in about 10 feet of water. The initial drop inveigled three largemouth bass in three to four feet of water around the meager patches of coontail. The other seven were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation; four were caught adjacent to the docks in five to 10 feet of water, and three were caught around piles of rocks and boulders.

In the middle section of the reservoir, we fished along portions of about a 350-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. It possesses a 20- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some areas are endowed with a few patches of coontail. An offshore ledge that plummets into deep water parallels a portion of this shoreline. The water's edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows, one overhanging tree, and 14 docks. We caught 11 largemouth bass. Four were caught with the Finesse WormZ rig and seven were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig. Four largemouth bass were caught with a drag-and-shake presentation in seven to 12 feet of water in the vicinity of the offshore ledge. Four were caught adjacent to the docks with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three were caught around the rocks and boulders with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to 12 feet of water.

In conclusion, we caught the largemouth bass at a variety of depths, locations, and presentations.

One of the virtues of having three Midwest finesse anglers in the boat is that we can make our casts at a variety of angles and a variety of objects. And we can use a variety of presentations at a variety of depths. And during this outing, it helped us catch an hourly average of 13.25 largemouth bass an hour. It is essential to note, however, that we caught only seven largemouth bass

during the first 75 minutes of this outing.

July 15

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 15 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

This has been a typical July for north-central Texas— sunny, hot, muggy, and very dry. But the morning of July 15 started much cooler than usual at 73 degrees, but it was short-lived. By mid-afternoon, it was a sultry 102 degrees. A slight breeze angled out of the southeast at less than 10 mph. The barometric pressure was mostly steady; it measured 29.85 at 6:00 a.m. and rose slightly to 29.86 by noon.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Bill and I fished at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. It is the same one that Bill and I fished on June 30, when we caught 17 largemouth bass and five spotted bass in five hours.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most productive fishing would occur from 2:31 a.m. to 4:31 a.m., 8:47 a.m. to 10:47 a.m., and 9:19 p.m. to 11:19 p.m. The calendar also noted that the fishing would be average.

The water level was 0.41 feet below normal. The water displayed 2 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 87 degrees in the southeast end of the reservoir to 89 degrees at a bridge in the upper section of the reservoir's west tributary arm.

We fished at 11 black-bass locales that are usually productive for us in July, and all but one of them is located in the lower end of the reservoir. At four of these spots, we caught one largemouth bass at each one of them, and nine largemouth bass and two spotted bass at another spot. We failed to catch any black bass at the other six spots.

These areas have similar underwater terrains, consisting of red clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and large boulders. Three spots were also adorned with riprap. The upper half of the reservoir is adorned with many acres of flooded timber, laydowns, stumps, brush piles, and buck brush.

We caught the first largemouth bass in 15 feet of water from one side of a riprap jetty that is situated a short distance from the boat ramp where we launched in the southeast region of the reservoir. This largemouth bass was caught just under the surface of the water and within three feet of the boat on a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead as we were about to lift the lure out of the water at the completion of a steady-swimming retrieve.

The second largemouth was caught from a 25-yard section of a riprap main-lake shoreline that is situated about 50 yards south of the riprap jetty where we caught the first largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with the pearl Baby Goat rig in about five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge.

The third largemouth bass was caught in less than five feet of water next to a cluster of large boulders at the end of a steep and rocky main-lake point. It was caught on the initial fall of a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ matched with a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. This point is one of a series of three that we fished, and these points are located near the dam on the south end of the impoundment. The other two points were fruitless.

The fourth largemouth bass was caught from the west end of the dam along the riprap that covers the dam. It was caught in three feet of water and within a couple of feet of the water's edge on the initial drop of the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig.

The remaining nine largemouth bass and two spotted bass were caught around and about 20 yards south of a tall concrete water-outlet tower that is positioned near the center of the dam. Eight of these 11 black bass were caught from the west side of the tower, which was shaded from the sun. They were abiding within three feet of the tower's wall, and they were suspended between five and 12 feet below the surface in 43 feet of water. We made our casts and retrieves parallel and as close to the wall as we could manage. One largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse ShadZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Another largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD mounted on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Six largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the shortened mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig.

About 20 yards south of the tower is a minor rock ledge. The top of the ledge is covered with four to seven feet of water, and then it drops at about a 45-degree angle into the deep water that surrounds the tower. We caught one largemouth bass and two spotted bass in seven to 13 feet of water from the top and downward slope of this ledge. They were allured by a slow hop-and-bounce presentation with the mud-minnow Hula StickZ combo.

We failed to locate any largemouth bass around two major main-lake points in the lower and middle section of the east tributary arm, and near the concrete embankments and several concrete support columns of a bridge that is situated in the upper end of the reservoir's west tributary arm. We caught the two freshwater drum from the side of one of the two main-lake points, and the one white bass was caught near the concrete embankment on the west end of the bridge. They were caught in less than 10 feet of water on the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Overall, the black-bass fishing has been a grind in north-central Texas this month, and this outing was no different. We had to work hard to catch 13 largemouth bass and two spotted bass in five hours. We also crossed paths with two freshwater drum and one white bass.

We should mention that all of these 15 black bass were caught by 9:25 a.m., and after that, the black-bass bite became non-existent. And we caught only two freshwater drum and one white bass during the remaining two hours and five minutes of this outing. We fished in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 25 feet during this two-hour and five-minute period. What's more, we spoke with a kayak angler at about 9:30 a.m. He reported that he had caught only two largemouth bass and was heading back to the boat ramp.

July 17

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their outing on July 17 at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 76 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 89 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, north, and northeast at 5 to 14 mph. From 1:52 a.m. to 7:52 a.m., it was raining lightly and foggy and misty, and from 8:52 a.m. to 2:52 p.m., the conditions of the sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.85 at 12:52 a.m., 29.85 at 5:52 a.m., 29.90 at 11:52 a.m., and 29,90 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be a tad below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 89 degrees. The water exhibited from four feet to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:27 a.m. to 4:27 a.m., 2:52 p.m. to 4:52 p.m., and 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m.

We made our first casts at 12:45 p.m. and our last ones at 2:46 p.m.

During this two-hour-and-one-minute outing, we caught 29 largemouth bass, and we accidentally caught three crappie and two bluegill.

We spent the entire outing dissecting a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a major feeder-creek arm. This flat has a submerged creek channel crisscrossing it. It is cluttered with scores of manmade piles of brush. Many locales that are situated in four to seven feet of water are quilted with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, sago pondweeds, and wilted bushy pondweeds. A few areas are graced with American pondweeds.

We estimated the area that we fished was the size of about five football fields.

Thirteen of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A 4 3/4-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 17 largemouth bass.

They were caught in five to eight feet of water. Some were caught adjacent to the piles of brush, which are encircled by patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Most were caught around significant patches of coontail and sago pondweeds. Some were caught along the outside edges of the submerged aquatic vegetation, but most were caught around and on top of the densest patches of the submerged aquatic vegetation.

Five were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. And two of them were caught as we were employing a vertical presentation.

The others were caught while we were employing a slow swimming presentation.

Six of them were caught while we were strolling and employing the slow swimming presentation.

The wind provoked us to employ the swimming presentation and to stroll at times. We strolled into and with the wind.

It was a rare, but delightful, Sunday afternoon outing for us old codgers. We cannot remember the last time that we fished on a Sunday in Kansas. And we were surprised and pleased that we were the only boat afloat on this heavily fished reservoir.

July 18

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 18 outing with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Roger and I fished at one of the more problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. I have not fished at this reservoir since June 24, when Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I caught 16 largemouth bass, three smallmouth bass, and three white bass here in 5 1/2 hours.

The summer is getting hotter in north-central Texas. On July 18, it was partly cloudy, and the sun seemed more effulgent than usual. The morning's low temperature was 83 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was an oven-like 112 degrees, which is the hottest I have seen here in many years. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 10 to 15 mph, and it helped to take a little bit of the edge off the heat. And while we were afloat, the barometric pressure remained stable at 29.84.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be poor, however, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 2:25 a.m. to 4:25 a.m., 8:38 a.m. to 10:38 a.m., and 9:03 p.m. to 11:03 p.m.

The water exhibited between 14 inches of visibility around a main-lake point in the northwest region of the reservoir and 2 1/2 feet of clarity by the dam, which forms the eastern boundary of this impoundment. The surface temperature ranged from 88 degrees to 89 degrees. The water level was six inches below its normal summertime level.

We launched the boat on the north end of the reservoir at about 6:15 a.m., and we traveled about a mile to the west to investigate a series of four main-lake points. The first three points that we scanned with our 2-D and side-imaging sonar were devoid of any threadfin shad. Therefore, we did not fish around them. But the fourth point was entertaining large pods of shad, and to our surprise, we found only white bass there. We caught seven of them. They were abiding close to one side of the point in less than five feet of water. We caught them on a steady-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on either a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

From these four points, we traveled about three miles to the southeast end of the reservoir and stopped at a main-lake island.

We did not find many threadfin shad in close proximity to the island, but we still managed to catch four largemouth bass. This island's submerged terrain is flat. It consists of red clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and a few boulders. The shallow-water areas are cluttered with laydowns, some standing timber, clusters of buck brush, and stumps.

These four largemouth bass were caught from a flat and rocky point on the west end of the island in less than five feet of water. Three of them were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with the blue-jig Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rig. The fourth largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We also spent some time searching for bass around the standing timber, stumps, and laydowns on the north, east, and south sides of the island, but we were unsuccessful in that endeavor.

From the main-lake island, we moved about three miles to the northwest end of the reservoir. There, we fished around seven main-lake points, a small island at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm, and a 75-yard section of a long flat and rocky shoreline.

The seven main-lake points relinquished five largemouth bass, six white bass, and one freshwater drum. All of these points look similar in our eyes; their flat underwater terrains consist of gravel, chunky rocks, and numerous submerged boulders. These 12 fish were caught in less than six feet of water around the numerous submerged boulders that adorn the ends and sides of the points. Three of the largemouth bass and two of the white bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with The Deal TRD TubeZ combo. The other three largemouth bass, four white bass, and the freshwater drum were enticed into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, which was employed with a steady-swimming retrieve.

The island at the mouth of the north-side feeder-creek arm yielded one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This island is about half the size of the first island we fished in the reservoir's southeast region. Its submerged terrain is flat on the south side. A sand-and-gravel bar, which is covered with about three feet of water, extends from its east side and connects to the main shoreline on the east side of the creek arm. The west and north sides of the island are steep with large boulders submerged in five to eight feet of water. These boulders lie within five to 15 feet of the water's edge. A creek channel also courses close to the west and north sides of the island. These two black bass were caught several yards apart in five feet of water near two of the submerged boulders on The Deal TRD TubeZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The 75-yard section of the rocky main-lake shoreline was not very productive; it surrendered one largemouth bass and one crappie. They were caught in five to seven feet of water near clusters of large submerged boulders. The largemouth bass was caught on the chartreuse-jig pearl Baby Goat rig that was being steadily retrieved over the tops of the boulders. The crappie engulfed The Deal TRD TubeZ rig on the initial fall in a two-foot opening between two of the submerged boulders.

From the northwest end of the impoundment, we traveled about five miles to the east to a floating tractor-tire reef that is situated at the entrance to a large marina. This tire reef is about 35 yards long and floats in 29 feet of water. We dissected the openings and sides of most of this tire reef, and we caught only one white bass that engulfed The Deal TRD TubeZ rig on the initial drop next to one of the tires in the midsection of the reef.

We finished the outing dissecting the submerged riprap along the dam. We also probed the walls of a concrete outlet tower, which is located near the upper end of the dam.

We fished from the south end of the dam northward to the tower, and the riprap surrendered two white bass and one smallmouth bass that were scattered along the dam. The smallmouth bass was caught in 15 feet of water and about 25 feet from the water's edge on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's shiner-hue Finesse ShadZ matched with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo elicited several other subtle strikes, but we were unable to hook those fish. The two white bass were caught in five feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge on a swimming retrieve that was made at a 45-degree angle to the riprap with a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat.

Three largemouth bass were caught from a small shaded area along the west-side wall of the outlet tower on a swimming retrieve with the chartreuse-jig pearl Slim SwimZ rig. These three largemouth bass were suspended about five feet below the surface in 54 feet of water that abuts the side of the tower. We were unable to garner any other strikes or catch another black bass from the other three walls of the tower.

In closing, the black-bass bite at this Corps' reservoir was tough. We caught a total of 13 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and one spotted bass in five hours. We also encountered 16 white bass, one crappie, and one freshwater drum while we were searching for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass.

Daytime temperatures are forecasted to range from 108 to 111 degrees during the next few days, so we have a wait-and-see mindset before we plan another outing.

July 18

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with his grandson Brady Cayton of Lawrence on July 18 at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 69 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 94 degrees. Throughout the day, the wind was calm for seven hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the northwest, northeast, and east at 3 to 7 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being foggy and misty to mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to being fair. The barometric pressure was 29.94 at 12:52 a.m., 29.98 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.90 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be a tad below normal. The surface temperature was 90 degrees. The water exhibited from four feet to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:22 a.m. to 5:22 a.m., 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., and 9:33 a.m. to 11:33 a.m.

As we were making our first casts around 12:35 p.m., Brady said he was beginning to feel sick. By 1:30 p.m., he was unable to make another cast, and we put the boat on the trailer.

During this 55-minute ordeal, we caught 14 largemouth bass and accidentally caught three channel catfish, two bluegill, and one crappie.

They were caught across a shallow-water flat in the back of a primary feeder-creek arm. Portions of it have two submerged creek channels crisscrossing it. It is cluttered with manmade piles of brush. Many areas that are situated in four to seven feet of water are graced with submerged patches of coontail, sago pondweeds, and wilted bushy pondweeds.

Five of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A 4 3/4-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught nine largemouth bass.

They were caught in five to nine feet of water. Three were caught adjacent to the piles of brush, which are encircled by patches of submerged coontail and wilted bushy pondweeds. Most were caught around significant patches of coontail and sago pondweeds. Some were caught along the outside edges of the submerged aquatic vegetation. And some were caught around and on top of the densest patches of the submerged aquatic vegetation. The final four were caught around patches of coontail and wilted bushy pondweeds adjacent to the junction of the two submerged feeder-creek arms.

One was caught on a vertical-and-deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water. (It is interesting to note that the vertical presentation has caught six largemouth bass during this month in six to 11 feet of water. Five of them were caught on the initial drop of our rigs, and one was caught on a very short deadstick presentation. In all of our years of employing Midwest finesse tactics, we have never caught a largemouth bass with a vertical presentation. And we use it a lot during nearly every outing, but it is not used to allure a largemouth bass. We do it to determine the exact depth of the water, which our sonar devices are unable to do. Therefore, we do it by dropping our rig vertically or directly below the boat and measuring the length of the line from the tip of the rod to the head of the jig.)

Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.

The other 10 were caught while we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

July 20

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted his July 20 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 69 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 95 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the north, northwest, and northeast at 3 to 20 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.97 at 12:52 a.m., 29.80 at 5:52 a.m., 29.89 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.86 at 2:52 p.m. s, and the afternoon's high temperature was 95 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the north, northwest, and northeast at 3 to 20 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.97 at 12:52 a.m., 29.80 at 5:52 a.m., 29.89 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.86 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 1 1/2 feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. Most of the water was afflicted by a minor algae bloom, and the water exhibited from 3 1/2 to five feet of visibility. To our chagrin, many of this reservoir's once grand patches of coontail were in dismal shape, and many of them have disappeared. In our eyes, the coontail looks as if it is coated with minute filaments of algae, which gives it a brownish hue, rather than a healthy green hue. Fragments of coontail are floating all over the water's surface. But this reservoir's shoreline is still adorned with the most splendid patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas. And there is a shallow-water flat in the back of one of the feeder-creek arms endowed with a patch of water lilies about the size of a football field.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:57 a.m. to 6:57 a.m., 5:18 p.m. to 7:18 p.m., and 11:07 p.m. to 1:07 a.m.

We fished from 10:00 a.m. to 1:59 p.m. Two pairs of boat anglers trailered their boats as we putting our boat in the water at 10:50 a.m., and throughout our outing, we were the only anglers afloat. And as we were putting our boat on the trailer, two jet skiers were putting their jet skis in the water. What's more, there were no shoreline anglers. We suspect that the nearly constant heat advisories that the weather forecasters have been issuing are keeping Kansans at home during the middle of the day, which is our favorite time to fish throughout the calendar year.

By 12:07 p.m., we had caught 31 largemouth bass. But during the next 112 minutes, we struggled to catch 13 largemouth bass.

During this outing, we caught two largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. We caught two largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. We caught five largemouth bass on a slightly shortened 4 3/4-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to either a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a red 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 36 largemouth bass. And we accidentally caught six bluegill on our GrubZ rigs.

This is our 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ rig, and it is one of our most effective summer and autumn rigs at this state reservoir. And Rick is a master at wielding it.

Along about a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught two largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, sand, rocks, and a manmade ridge and piles of boulders. Some of this underwater terrain is entwined with meager patches of wilted bushy pondweeds and coontail. These two largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the outside edge of a patch of coontail in five to seven feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught around a main-lake point. This point has about a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its water's edge is lined with glorious patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and some minor laydowns. The Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation caught the largemouth bass along the outside edge of the American water willows in about four feet of water.

We failed to catch a largemouth bass around two main-lake points, across two small shallow-water flats, along several 100 yards of four secondary shorelines, and around several secondary and tertiary points.

Across a massive shallow-water flat and along portions of its shallow-water shorelines in the back of one of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms, we caught four largemouth bass. This flat is adorned with the monstrous patch of water lilies, where we failed to elicit a strike. Most of this flat's once glorious patches of coontail have disappeared. The water's edges are embellished with significant patches of coontail, some overhanging trees, and an occasional laydown. One largemouth bass was caught around a paltry patch of coontail on the GrubZ rig with a slow swimming presentation in about five feet of water. The initial drop of the GrubZ rig inveigled a largemouth bass along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water. A deadstick presentation of the TRD TicklerZ rig caught a largemouth bass in about four feet of water adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. We caught one largemouth bass along meager patches of bushy pondweeds and coontail in about six feet of water with the TRD TicklerZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along one shallow-water shoreline and across a shallow-water flat that is the size of about four football fields, we caught 38 largemouth bass. Portions of this flat were not afflicted by the algae bloom. This flat is graced with an island of fantastic American water willows. It is also embellished with many patches of coontail and bushy pondweeds, which are not healthy looking, but these submerged patches are currently this reservoir's best largemouth-bass habitat. This flat is also endowed with several manmade piles of brush.

Two of the 38 largemouthFive were caught along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows in three to four feet of water. Three were caught on the initial drop of the GrubZ rig in about three feet of water. The other two were caught on a swimming presentation

The other 29 were caught around offshore patches of coontail and bushy pondweeds. They were caught in four to about eight feet of water. Four were caught on the initial drop of the GrubZ rig. The others were caught on a swimming presentation.

bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig. One was caught on the initial drop by a patch of coontail in about six feet of water. The second was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Another two of the 38 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five and seven feet of water around patches of coontail.

Our GrubZ rigs caught the other 34 largemouth bass.

July 21

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 21 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

It has been scorching hot and very dry in north-central Texas, and we have not seen any appreciable rainfall since the first week of June. But to our delight, it was overcast and cooler on July 21. It also rained lightly for most of the morning hours.

Norman Brown and I thought we would take advantage of this brief break in this summer's heat wave and fished at a popular U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. It is the same one where Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished on July 15.

Besides the overcast sky and rain, the morning's low temperature was 84 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 94 degrees. The wind was out of the southwest, south, and southeast at 5 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.83 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.92 at noon.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be great, and the best opportunities would occur from 5:47 a.m. to 7:47 a.m., 11:36 a.m. to 1:36 p.m., and 6:09 p.m. to 8:09 p.m.

We were afloat from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We fished for five of the six hours. We spent one hour taking refuge underneath a large concrete walkway during a more intense rainstorm.

The water level was 0.60 of a foot below its normal pool. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees. The water exhibited between 18 and 24 inches of visibility.

We covered about six miles of the reservoir's lower end.

The black-bass bite was better than we expected. We caught 22 largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid. Besides these 28 black bass, we also caught one channel catfish and one large bluegill by accident.

Our most fruitful black-bass haunt was a large outlet tower located near the center section of the dam. The dam forms the reservoir's southern boundary and is covered with riprap. The outlet tower is surrounded by 37 to 53 feet of water. The walls of the outlet tower surrendered 13 largemouth bass. They were suspended about five to 10 feet below the surface. Seven of them were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Five were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ fastened to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Six largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the lure that was allowed to fall from eight to 10 seconds next to the tower's walls before we began either a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve or a steady-swim presentation. Five largemouth bass were caught on a steady-swim retrieve, and two were enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to garner any strikes from the riprap along the dam just south of the tower.

On the east side of an island inside a large feeder-creek arm in the southeast region of the reservoir, we caught eight largemouth bass. The submerged terrain surrounding this island is flat. The south, west, and north sides of the island consists of clay, gravel, chunky rocks, and a few large boulders. The east side is different. Its submerged terrain is comprised of mostly sand and gravel. This side of the island is also adorned with quite a few large patches of American pondweeds. We failed to elicit a strike or catch a black bass from the north, west, and south sides of the island. We caught the eight largemouth bass in five to eight feet of water around the outside edges of the patches of American pondweeds along the middle and lower end of the east side of the island. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig. Two were enticed by a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ threaded on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other two largemouth bass were coaxed into striking a shortened Z-Man's Canada-craw Hula StickZ attached to a green-pumpkin-red mushroom-type jig and a steady-swimming retrieve.

A 35-yard section of a flat and stony main-lake shoreline yielded four spotted bass. This shoreline is located on the south end of the east shoreline in the east tributary arm. These spotted bass were grouped together and relating to the sides of three medium-size boulders that lie in three to five feet of water. Three were allured by a steady-swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch space-guppy Slim SwimZ. The other one was caught on a swimming retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's black-blue Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-type jig.

Another rocky and flat main-lake shoreline, which is situated about a mile north of the first main-lake shoreline we fished, yielded two spotted bass. Its underwater terrain is composed of clay and gravel. A riprap wall borders the water's edge. These two spotted bass were enticed by the 2 1/2-inch space-guppy Slim SwimZ rig that was employed with a steady-swimming retrieve in three to five feet of water.

The last black bass that we caught was a hybrid-spotted bass. Though we catch one or two of them on occasions at a couple of the reservoirs in north-central Texas, this one is the largest one I have ever seen or caught. It was caught in eight feet of water from the outside edge of a large patch of American pondweeds that is located on the southeast end of a main-lake island. This island is situated in the middle section of the east tributary arm. It engulfed the Junebug Finesse ShadZ combo as it was being retrieved by the patch of pondweed in a swim-glide-and-shake manner.

We also investigated seven main-lake points, two main-lake flats, and another main-lake island, and we failed to locate any other black bass around them.

Unfortunately, our brief break in the heat wave is over, and temperatures are forecast to rise over 100 degrees again on July 22.

July 22

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 22 outing with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

This was a 3 ½-hour excursion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. Roger had an appointment at 1:00 p.m. Thus, we cut this outing short by a couple of hours.

We were afloat from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Because of our limited time, we focused on a few of our most high-percentage spots that are located in the lower end of the reservoir.

It was a sunny and humid morning, and the sky was partly cloudy. The morning's low temperature was 86 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature reached 102 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.86 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.90 at 10:00 a.m. The wind blew at 8 to 12 mph out of the southeast.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the fishing would be poor, but the most productive periods would occur from 12:17 a.m. to 2:17 a.m., 6:28 a.m. to 8:28 a.m., and 6:51 p.m. to 8:51 p.m.

The water displayed about 18 inches of clarity. The surface temperature was 86.5 degrees. The water level was 1.24 feet below normal.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on July 11 with Bill Kenney of Denton, and it was a chore for us to locate and catch 15 black bass.

During this July 22 foray, the black-bass bite was better than it was on July 11, and we also enjoyed tussling with a goodly number of temperate bass that distracted us from our black-bass endeavors for about 20 minutes.

We concentrated our attention on a prominent rock- and boulder-laden main-lake point, segments of a minor feeder-creek arm, portions of a main-lake island, a 60-yard stretch of a steep and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline, and a large outlet tower at the dam. These areas yielded a total of 22 black bass, which consisted of 11 spotted bass and 11 largemouth bass, 37 white bass, and two hybrid-striped bass.

The main-lake point, which is located on the south side of the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, was our first spot, which has been devoid of any largemouth bass and spotted bass since the last week of June. But this time, it relinquished two spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and two white bass. They were caught in three to six feet of water around clusters of submerged boulders. The two spotted bass and one of the white bass were caught on a slow swimming presentation with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The largemouth bass and the other white bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ matched with a Z-Man's 1/16-ounce chartreuse OG Mushroom Jighead.

From that main-lake point, we moved to the north side of the same tributary arm, where we entered a small feeder-creek arm. We dissected a 35-yard stretch of a flat clay and gravel shoreline on the west side of the creek arm. This shoreline is graced with flooded bushes, stickups, a boat dock, and two concrete boat ramps. There is also a small creek channel that runs close to this shoreline that is covered with 10 to 14 feet of water. This section of shoreline yielded two spotted bass and one white bass.

These three fish were relating to a sizable patch of large rocks in three feet of water. One of the spotted bass was caught on one side of the patch of chunk rocks with a swimming retrieve with the 3 1/2-inch pearl GrubZ rig. The other spotted bass and the one white bass were caught from the opposite side of the patch of chunky rocks with a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo. We failed to garner any other strikes along this section of shoreline.

After we finished investigating the minor feeder-creek arm, we meandered about a mile to the west, where we had planned to fish around portions of a main-lake island's shoreline. Just as we arrived at the island, a bevy of white bass and hybrid-striped bass suddenly appeared about 25 yards from us and began surface-foraging on one-inch threadfin shad in 17 to 23 feet of water. We moved closer to them and began casting our 3 1/2-inch pearl GrubZ and 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigs around the outer edges of the school, and we caught 31 white bass and two hybrid-striped bass using a steady-swimming retrieve just below the surface of the water.

When the temperate-bass feeding frenzy came to an end about 20 minutes later, we returned to our black-bass undertakings and began fishing around the shaded south and west sides of the island. The submerged terrain around the island is flat and is adorned with clay, pea gravel, some chunky rocks, and a few scattered boulders. The remnants of an old concrete building foundation is located at the water's edge on the southeast end of the island. In the shady areas, we caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass. A slow swimming retrieve with the 3 1/2-inch pearl GrubZ rig caught one spotted bass and one largemouth bass, and a faster swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo caught the other largemouth bass. These three bass were caught in less than five feet of water around batches of large rocks.

After that, we traveled another mile westward and stopped at a steep and rocky main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. It is adorned with numerous boulders and large rocks. Most of this shoreline was fruitless, but around a group of large submerged boulders that are situated around the end and sides of a small tertiary point on the east end of this shoreline, we caught six spotted bass, four largemouth bass, and two white bass. All of them were associated with several large boulders that were submerged in four to seven feet of water. Five of the black bass and one of the white bass were caught in close proximity to the boulders on a slow swimming retrieve with the pearl GrubZ rig. The other four black bass and white bass were allured by the pearl Slim SwimZ rig.

We finished the outing at the water-outlet tower on the east end of the dam. The tower is surrounded by 30 to 50 feet of water. The north- and south-side walls had small shade lines protruding about five feet out from them. A large portion of the tower's west wall was shaded, and that shade line extended about 30 feet out from the wall. We dissected the shady areas around the tower's walls, and we caught four largemouth bass and one white bass. These fish were suspended about two to eight feet below the surface of the water. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other two largemouth bass and the white bass were enticed by a slow swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ.

We also went through the motions of executing a few perfunctory casts along the riprap that covers the dam near the outlet tower, but we failed to garner any strikes there.

July 26

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network reservoirs about his July 26 outing with his grandson James Cox of San Antonio, Texas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 67 degrees, and it was 79 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and when it stirred, it angled out of the east, southeast, and north at 3 to 10 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to being fair, and it sprinkled a tad. The barometric pressure was 29.93 at 12:52 a.m., 29.95 at 5:52 a.m., 29.96 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.94 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be slightly above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 82 degrees. The water exhibited from four feet to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:16 a.m. to 11:16 a.m., 9:42 p.m. to 11:42 p.m., and 3:04 a.m. to 5:04 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:47 p.m. and our last ones at 1:46 p.m.

During this 119-minute outing, we spent the entire outing dissecting a shallow-water flat in the back of a feeder-creek arm.

This flat has a submerged creek channel crisscrossing it, and it is intersected by two very small feeder creeks. We estimated that the size of the area that we thoroughly dissected was the size of about four football fields. It is cluttered with scores of manmade piles of brush constructed from eastern cedar trees. Many locales that are situated in four to seven feet of water are quilted with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, sago pondweeds, and wilted bushy pondweeds. A few areas are graced with American pondweeds.

We caught 47 largemouth bass, 13 crappie, two channel catfish, and one bluegill.

We caught three largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And 44 of them were caught on either a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

They were caught in four to nine feet of water. Some were caught adjacent to the piles of brush, which are encircled by patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Most were caught around significant patches of coontail. Some were caught along the outside edges of the submerged aquatic vegetation, but most were caught around and on top of the densest patches of the submerged aquatic vegetation.

Six were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught while we were employing a swimming presentation over the top of the piles of brush and patches of coontail.

James and I haven't fished together since July 10, 2021, and this was an extremely joyful, simple, and bountiful outing. He has become quite masterful at wielding GrubZ and Slim SwimZ rigs.

July 26

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 26 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I conducted a 3 1/2 hour excursion at a U.S. Army Corps Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas on July 22. It was a good outing; we caught 22 black bass, which consisted of 11 spotted bass and 11 largemouth bass, 37 white bass, and two hybrid-striped bass.

On July 26, Rick and I returned to this same reservoir to see if we could match the results of the July 22 outing.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing periods would occur from 3:11 a.m. to 5:11 a.m., 9:23 a.m. to 11:23 a.m., and 9:49 p.m. to 11:49 p.m.

We fished from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Except for one crappie angler, another boat angler, and one bank fisherman who had waded out to waste-deep water to fish, we had the reservoir pretty much to ourselves for most of the morning.

We plied three places where Roger and I fished on July 22, and we also investigated a couple of other places that we haven't fished since spring.

The first four spots that we fished are located in the southwest tributary arm and at the dam on the south end of the reservoir.

The last four places that we fished are situated in the midsection and on the west side of the reservoir's east tributary arm.

The sky was partly cloudy. The morning's low temperature was a sultry 88 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature peaked at 104 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.93 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.95 at 11:00 a.m. The wind quartered out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 10 to 20 mph.

The water displayed about 18 inches of clarity in the lower end of the reservoir, and 12 inches in the midsection of the east tributary arm. The surface temperature was 86.5 degrees. The water level was 1.49 feet below its normal summer pool.

The black-bass bite was better than it was on July 22, but we did not cross paths with any schools of white bass or hybrid-striped bass this time.

In the lower end of the reservoir, we targeted a prominent rock- and boulder-laden main-lake point, portions of a main-lake island, a 35-yard section of a steep and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline, a 50-yard segment of a rocky shoreline inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm, and a large outlet tower at the dam.

The main-lake point, which is located on the south side of the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, was our first stop. Its submerged terrain is relatively flat and consists of red clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and clusters of large boulders. There are also two large laydowns and some patches of partially-flooded bushes and stickups in the shallow-water areas near the water's edge on one side of the point.

This point relinquished 11 spotted bass, one largemouth bass, one white bass, and one freshwater drum. These 13 fish were caught in three to six feet of water. Most of them were relating to the deep-water sides of the large boulders. A couple of the spotted bass were caught from the end of a large laydown that is situated near the tip of the point. Seven of the 11 spotted bass, the white bass, and the freshwater drum were enticed by a slow-swimming retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Two spotted bass and a largemouth bass were caught on a swimming presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a Z-Man's 1/16-ounce chartreuse OG Mushroom Jighead. The other two spotted bass were enticed into striking a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ rigged on a pearl 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Our second stop was a main-lake island that is located on the north side of the southwest tributary arm and about 1 1/2 miles west of the main-lake point that we just fished. An old concrete building foundation is located at the water's edge on the island's southeast end. The submerged terrain around this island is flat and composed of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rocks, and a few scattered boulders. We concentrated on the shaded water along the south and west sides of the island, and we caught two spotted bass, two largemouth bass, one white bass, and one freshwater drum. All six of these fish were caught in three to six feet of water with a slow-swimming retrieve with the pearl GrubZ rig.

We traveled another mile westward to our third spot, where we fished along a rocky main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. It is adorned with numerous boulders and large rocks. This section of shoreline relinquished six spotted bass and four largemouth bass on July 22, but we failed to catch any black bass from this shoreline this time.

From that main-lake shoreline, we moved a short distance to our fourth locale, which is a 50-yard section of a shoreline inside a minor feeder-creek arm. This creek arm is situated on the north side of the tributary arm and just east of the main-lake shoreline that we just left. The bulk of this shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. It encompasses several small secondary points and a couple of small ledges. Red clay, small gravel, rocks of all sizes, and large boulders make up the majority of this shoreline's underwater terrain. We drifted with the wind along this section of shoreline and caught three largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and temporarily hooked and lost another fish that we did not see on a slow-swimming presentation with the pearl GrubZ rig. All of these bass were caught in less than five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. They were associated with the rocks and boulders that grace the tops and sides of the minor secondary points.

After that, we traveled southeastward about three miles to our fifth spot, which is located at the south end of the reservoir. There, we fished around a large concrete outlet tower on the east end of the dam. The tower is surrounded by 30 to 50 feet of water. We targeted the shady areas close to the walls, and we caught 15 largemouth bass and one large bluegill. These fish were suspended about two to eight feet below the surface of the water. Three of the largemouth bass, and the large bluegill, were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead on either a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve or on the initial drop of this rig. And eight largemouth bass were allured by a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead on either the initial drop or a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The riprap that covers the dam has not been very productive for us lately, and we did not take the time to fish it.

After we finished fishing around the outlet tower, we moved to the west side of the east tributary arm. And we examined a flat clay-and-gravel shoreline at the mouth of a bay, a rock pile next to an old spillway, a segment of a boulder-laden shoreline, a short section of shoreline underneath a bridge, and several of the concrete support columns under the bridge.

This section of the impoundment was nowhere near as productive as the south end, and we toiled to catch one dinky largemouth bass and two freshwater drum. The largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water from the top of the rock pile that lies within 10 feet of the water's edge at the end of a large spillway. The two freshwater drum were caught in less than five feet of water from a flat clay-and-gravel shoreline at the mouth of a bay. All three of these fish were caught on the pearl GrubZ rig and a slow-swimming retrieve.

We failed to garner any strikes from a boulder-cluttered shoreline just south of a large bridge and another rocky shoreline underneath the east end of a large bridge. We also failed to elicit any strikes around several of the concrete support columns under the bridge.

Overall, the black-bass bite was much better than we expected. We fished for 4 1/2 hours, and we caught 38 black bass. Twenty-three of them were largemouth bass and 15 were spotted bass. We also caught three white bass, three freshwater drum, and one large bluegill.

It is interesting to note that we rely heavily on finesse swimbaits, such as Z-Man's Baby Goat and the 2 1/2- and three-inch Slim SwimZs, to allure a substantial number of largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass during the spring, summer, and fall months. The Z-Man GrubZ was relegated to a smaller secondary role in our Midwest finesse arsenal when we discovered the potency of the Slim SwimZ and Baby Goat rigs. But for some reason unknown to us, the Baby-Goat bite has fizzled out, and the Slim SwimZ's effectiveness has diminished, too. Therefore, when the effectiveness of the Baby Goat and Slim SwimZ returns, our GrubZ rigs will still play a significant role in our Midwest finesse repertoire.

July 28

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Norman and I spent 4 1/2 hours fishing at a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. This impoundment is situated about 23 miles south of the one that Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished on July 26.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, July 28 was predicted to be an excellent day for bass fishing in north-central Texas. It also noted that the most lucrative fishing periods would most likely occur from 4:47 a.m. to 6:47 a.m., 10:59 a.m. to 12:59 p.m., and 11:23 p.m. to 1:23 a.m.

It was another sunny, hot, and humid day in north-central Texas, and no rain is in sight. The summer heat has been relentless, and the National Weather Service has been issuing heat-advisory warnings on an almost daily basis. And because of the many heat advisories, we have been trying to conduct our outings from 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The morning's low temperature for July 28 was 87 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 102 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southeast at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure rose slightly from 29.92 at 6:00 a.m. to 29.95 at 10:00 a.m.

The water exhibited about two feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 85 degrees to 87 degrees. The water level was 0.88 of a foot below its normal.

We got an earlier start than usual and launched the boat on the north end of the reservoir at about 5:40 a.m. It was still dark when we made our first casts at a main-lake point at 5:50 a.m. We made our last casts at another main-lake point at 10:20 a.m.

We covered about six miles of this reservoir. Typically, we split this reservoir into two sections: the east and the west. The western portion of this reservoir has not been very fruitful during the past month. Therefore, we elected to ignore it this time. Instead, we opted to spend all of our time in the reservoir's eastern half, and much to our dismay, it wasn't much better.

The black-bass fishing was not as good as In-Fisherman's solunar calendar had indicated. Even though we did find a few spots that were entertaining various concentrations of threadfin shad, we failed to locate any significant aggregations of black bass associated with them. In fact, we struggled to catch 12 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and seven white bass. These fish were scattered hither and yon, and we could catch only one or two of them here and there.

We caught five largemouth bass and two white bass around the perimeter of a main-lake island in the southeast end of the reservoir. This island's submerged terrain is flat. It consists of red clay, small gravel, chunky rocks, and a few boulders. The shallow-water areas on the south and east ends of the island are cluttered with laydowns, some standing timber, clusters of buck brush, and stumps. These seven fish were abiding in three to seven feet of water, and they did not appear to be relating to any of the wood cover or other bottom structures that we could see. Some were caught within a few feet of the water's edge and others were caught in more open water as far as 30 yards from the water's edge. Four largemouth bass and two white bass were caught in three to eight feet of water on a slow-swimming retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass and two white bass were enticed into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig that was employed with a moderate-pace swimming retrieve.

We caught a total of four largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and four white bass from 11 main-lake points that are situated in the northeast region of the reservoir. Small gravel, basketball-size rocks, large boulders, and red clay make up the bulk of these points' underwater terrains. Almost all of these points had small to medium-size schools of threadfin shad grouped up around them, and a couple of points had some larger aggregations of threadfin shad abiding near them. We managed to catch a black bass or two from some of these points. But we were baffled as to why most of the points that had numerous pods of shad loitering around them failed to yield a black bass.

We fished the entire length of the riprap-covered dam, which is about 500-yards long. It forms the eastern boundary of this impoundment. We also probed the walls of a medium-size outlet tower that is situated near the center of the dam.

The riprap along the dam was mostly unproductive; it yielded one largemouth bass and one white bass. The largemouth bass was caught in 15 feet of water and 25 feet from the water's edge in the center section of the dam. It engulfed the pearl GrubZ while it was being utilized with a slow-swimming retrieve. The white bass was caught from the lower section of the dam in 12 feet of water on a moderate-pace swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ.

The walls of the outlet tower relinquished two largemouth bass. Both of them were suspended about five feet below the surface in 54 feet of water that abuts the west side of the tower. One was caught on the initial drop of the GrubZ rig. The second one was caught on the GrubZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The riprap that covers the upper end of the dam was fruitless.

We also investigated portions of three major main-lake shorelines. Their topography is flat, and their underwater terrains consist of mostly pea gravel and red clay. None of these shorelines had attracted any threadfin shad or black bass.

This was my last outing for this month, and I took a moment to review my records for July 2022. My records revealed that several of my cohorts and I conducted nine outings that encompassed 44 hours. Each outing was four hours and 48 minutes long on average. During those 44 hours, we caught a total of 125 largemouth bass, 50 spotted bass, one smallmouth bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid. This calculates to a monthly average of 4 bass per hour and 19 bass per outing, which we consider to be an average catch rate for us in our neck of the woods.

July 29

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a few details on the Finesse News Network about a family outing with his daughter Anna Kehde of San Antonio, Texas, and her sons James and Andrew Cox of San Antonio on July 29.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 69 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 82 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, west, north, and northeast at 3 to 8 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to being fair, and it was fair for 18 hours. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:52 a.m., 30.09 at 5:52 a.m., 30.17 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.15 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 82 degrees. The water exhibited from three feet to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:17 a.m. to 1:17 p.m., 11:40 p.m. to 1:40 a.m., and 5:28 a.m. to 7:28 a.m.

This was not a normal Midwest finesse outing. I made only two casts, and they were made after we removed a line loop from Andrew's spinning reel. Andrew, Anna, and James made their first casts at 12:32 p.m. and their last ones at 2:25 p.m.

During this 113-minute outing, they quickly fished along about a 40-yard stretch of a shallow-water shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, across portions of a shallow-water flat inside a large feeder-creek arm, across a small segment of a shallow-water flat in the backend of a medium-size feeder-creek arm, and across a significant portion of a shallow-water flat inside another large feeder-creek arm.

They fished with three Midwest finesse rigs: a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jighead, a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

All of these rigs were equally effective, and they caught a total of 19 largemouth bass and six crappie.

They failed to elicit a strike across a shallow-water flat inside one of the large feeder-creek arms.

But a shallow-water flat inside the other large feeder-creek arm yielded 12 largemouth bass and four crappie. And they estimated that they elicited more than 15 strikes that they failed to hook.

The segments of this flat that they dissected have a submerged creek channel crisscrossing it, and it is intersected by one small feeder creek.

This flat's underwater terrain is littered with many manmade piles of brush, which are constructed from eastern cedar trees. Healthy patches of coontail, some patches of sago pondweeds, and an array of wilted bushy pondweeds adorn the underwater terrain in three to seven feet of water. One area is endowed with a patch of American pondweeds.

The 12 largemouth bass were caught in four to nine feet of water. Two were caught adjacent to the piles of brush, which are encircled by patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Three were caught along the outside edges of the submerged patches of aquatic vegetation, but most were caught around and on top of the densest patches of the submerged aquatic vegetation.

Three were caught on the initial drop of their rigs. The others were caught while they were employing a swimming presentation over the top of the piles of brush and patches of coontail.

They caught two largemouth bass along the 40-yard stretch of a shallow-water shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of clay, gravel, and rocks, which are occasionally quilted with coontail and wilted bushy pondweeds – as well as two manmade piles of brush. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows, a few patches of American pondweeds, and many laydowns.

Andrew Cox with one of the largemouth bass that he caught.

One largemouth bass of the two largemouth bass was caught on the pearl GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation adjacent to a patch of American pondweeds in about five feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig between two laydowns with a swimming presentation in four to five feet of water.

On the small segment of the shallow-water flat in the back of the medium-size feeder-creek arm, they caught five largemouth bass in about four feet of water. This segment is embellished with six manmade piles of eastern cedar trees, patches of coontail, American pondweeds, American water willows, and wilted patches of bushy pondweeds. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig, one was caught on the green-pumpkin GrubZ rig, and one was caught on the pearl GrubZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop of the Slim SwimZ rig. The other four were caught on a swimming presentation.

July 30

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted some details on the Finesse News Network about their July 30 outing with their grandson James Cox of San Antonio, Texas.

Here is an edited version of these details.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 57degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 84 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, east, and southeast at 3 to 12 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.17 at 12:52 a.m., 30.16 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.10 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be slightly more than two feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 80 to 81 degrees. The water exhibited from three feet to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 12:06 a.m. to 2:06 a.m., 12:29 p.m. to 2:29 p.m., and 6:18 a.m. to 8:18 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:27 a.m. and our last ones at 1:50 p.m.

We fished at four locales.

The first one was located on a shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm in the vicinity of the dam. The underwater terrain of this flat is decorated with submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail and wilted bushy pondweed. Its shorelines are endowed with American water willows, American pondweeds, one dock, and a series of steel poles from a disintegrated dock. This terrain is also adorned with piles of eastern cedar trees, the residue of a silo, and the foundations of a farm site. On the first cast, we caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about six feet of water around patches of coontail and wilted bushy pondweed and some nearby American pondweeds. The second largemouth bass was caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. This largemouth bass engulfed the GrubZ rig next to the boat in about seven feet of water at the end of a swimming presentation.

At the second locale, we caught 35 largemouth bass. This area is a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain is littered with dozens of manmade piles of brush. Bountiful and burgeoning patches of coontail and a few outcroppings of sago pondweeds adorn much of this flat in three to almost eight feet of water. It is also graced with patches of wilted bushy pondweeds. Across some of its shallowest areas near the water's edge, there are patches of American water willows.

These largemouth bass were caught on five Midwest finesse rigs: the green-pumpkin GrubZ rig, the purple-haze Finesse WormZ, a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jighead, a Z-Man's mood-ring Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man OG Mushroom Jighead, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man OG Mushroom Jighead.

Several of the 35 largemouth bass were caught around the piles of brush that are encircled by patches of coontail. Some were caught along the outside edges of the submerged aquatic vegetation. A significant number were caught around and on top of the densest patches of the submerged aquatic vegetation.

They were caught in four to eight feet of water. Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on either a swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

During the first 60 minutes of this outing, we caught 25 largemouth bass. Then, it became a chore to catch 14 largemouth bass during the next hour and 23 minutes. And 12 of those 14 largemouth bass were caught on this massive shallow-water flat.

One largemouth bass, which was bass number 38, was caught around a small patch of submerged aquatic vegetation on a shallow-water flat in the back of the medium-size feeder-creek arm. It was caught on the initial drop of the pearl Slim SwimZ rig in about 3 1/2 feet of water.

Largemouth bass number 39 was caught on a shallow-water flat adjacent to the reservoir's riprap-laden dam. This flat is endowed with patches of coontail, wilted bushy pondweeds, and American pondweeds. It is also embellished with some piles of brush, and a small patch of American water willows graces the end of the riprap of the dam. Largemouth bass number 39 was inveigled in about nine feet of water by the pearl Slim SwimZ rig near the boat at the end of a swimming presentation.

Besides catching 39 largemouth bass, we caught five crappie, one bluegill, and one channel catfish.

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