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Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2021

May 3

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 3 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the wind angled out of the southeast, south, west by southwest, west, northwest, and north at 3 to 26 mph. The low temperature was 48 degrees. The high temperature was 62 degrees. The sky fluctuated from being fair to overcast to drizzling to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to littered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.54 at 12:52 a.m., 29.48 at 5:52 a.m., 29.67 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.71 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:11 a.m. to 7:11 a.m., 5:38 p.m. to 7:38 p.m., and 11:01 a.m. to 1:01 p.m.

I fished from 1:35 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This reservoir's watershed was walloped with a heavy downpour on April 28, and some terrestrial herbicides and a significant amount of silt flowed into the reservoir. And the primary point of this outing was merely to examine the condition of this waterway.

This is a photograph of some of the terrestrial herbicides that have recently washed into this reservoir.

The water level was several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 65 to 66 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about one to two feet of visibility. The scores of patches of American water willows that embellish this reservoir's shorelines are sprouting green leaves, but all of the patches are heavily laden with wads of filamentous algae, which is not a pretty sight. To my delight, I crossed paths with a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that had escaped the aim of this reservoir's managers who have been waging an aquatic-herbicide war on that vegetation for nearly 10 years. But most of the underwater terrains were devoid of vegetation, which is disheartening for Midwest finesse anglers and others who pursue largemouth bass.

While I examined the conditions of the water, I fished and struggled to catch 15 largemouth bass.

Fourteen were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Three were caught on the initial drop, and 12 were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to about five feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, which has a 20- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is enhanced with patches of American water willows and a few laydowns and piles of brush.

Five were caught along portions of two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm. These shorelines have a 35- to 45-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edges are enhanced with patches of American water willows and a few laydowns and piles of brush.

Two largemouth bass were caught along about a 125-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edges are enhanced with patches of American water willows, some stumps, a few laydowns, three overhanging trees, and a dilapidated beaver hut.

Five largemouth bass were caught along one 150-yard stretch of on shoreline and along two short stretches of another shoreline inside another major feeder-creek arm. These shorelines have a 20- to 45-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edges are enhanced with patches to American water willows, several overhanging trees, five docks, several stumps, a few laydowns, and some piles of brush.

I failed to elicit a strike around the shoreline of the spillway and along about a 100-yard stretch of the dam's shoreline. These shorelines have a 20- to 50-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edges are enhanced with some meager and very shallow-water patches of American water willows.

In short, it was a disappointing endeavor. The water exhibited an ugly hue. The massive wads of filamentous algae that coated the shorelines and patches of American water willows were unsightly. And the lack of submerged aquatic vegetation was sorrowful. On top of that, I tangled with an hourly average of only six very tiny largemouth bass during the 2 ½ hours that I fished.

After an outing at this reservoir on April 16, when our grandson Logan Cayton of Las Vegas, Nevada, and I caught 50 largemouth bass in 2 ½ hours, I was hoping that this reservoir was on the mend from all of the terrible herbicides that have been poured into it since 2011. But those hopes have now vanished. And I fear that this reservoir will continue to be as sorry as it has been since 2019.

May 4

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

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 49 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 67 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the north at 9 to 29 mph. From 12:52 a.m. to 10:52 a.m., the sky fluctuated from being overcast to raining lightly to mostly cloudy to littered with a few clouds. After 10:52 a.m., the sky became fair. The barometric pressure was 29.87 at 12:52 a.m., 29.95 at 5:52 a.m., 30.03 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.00 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level was several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 64 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about six to seven feet of visibility around the dam. Some of the American water willows along this reservoir's shorelines have begun to sprout green leaves. Vast wads of filamentous algae are wrapped around an array of shallow-water objects. Patches of brittle naiad have begun to grow, and the coontail patches have perked up from their wintertime doldrums.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:04 a.m. to 8:04 a.m., 6:29 p.m. to 8:29 p.m., and 11:51 a.m. to 1:51p.m.

I fished from 1:45 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.

After my disheartening outing on Monday, May 3, this one surprised me by becoming redemption Tuesday.

I spend the entire 130 minutes trying to hide from the 24- to 29-mph gusts of wind, and I caught 32 largemouth bass and 16 crappie.

Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The rest of the fish were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a shoreline inside a tiny feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks and silt, which are graced with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is adorned with winter-dead American water willows and laydowns. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water and several yards from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

One largemouth bass was caught around a flat main-lake point at the mouth of this tiny feeder-creek arm. It has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which are laced with minor patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is endowed with winter-dead American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught in about four feet of water adjacent to the American water willows on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake rig.

Along the dam, which is about as long as four football fields, I caught 29 largemouth bass and elicited 10 strikes that I failed to hook. The dam has a 50- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are some minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation gracing bits of this underwater terrain. There are three small patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few logs and pieces of brush that adorn parts of the water's edge. Two of the 29 largemouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The other 27 were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. Eight of the 27 were caught on the initial drop of the rig in four to six feet of water. The other 19 were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to 12 feet of water.

Since March 19, the 2 ½-inch ZinkerZ rig has been our dominant rig, but the Finesse ShadZ rig might be on the road to replacing it.

May 5

Ned Kehde and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 5 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 33 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 71 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind was calm at 9:52 a.m. and 11:52 a.m., and at other times, it angled out of the north and northwest at 3 to 20 mph. The sky was fair from 12:52 a.m. to 12:52 p.m., and then it became scattered with a few clouds, partly cloudy, and mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.11 at 12:52 a.m., 30.14 at 5:52 a.m., 30.19 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.16 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about three feet below its normal level. The surface temperature was 64 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about 10 feet of visibility in the lower third of the reservoir. This reservoir is graced with untold numbers of massive patches of curly-leaf pondweed, which was a beautiful sight. But most of this reservoir's patches of American water willows, which are in their winter-dead motif, are not in the water because the water level is three feet low. There are some significant wads of filamentous algae clinging to underwater objects – such as boulders, laydowns, piles of brush, and a few of the stems of the American water willows that are in the water.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:04 a.m. to 8:04 a.m., 6:29 p.m. to 8:29 p.m., and 11:51 a.m. to 1:51 p.m.

We fished from 11:05 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. During this two-hour and 35-minute outing, we caught 60 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. We also accidentally caught three crappie.

We caught these fish on three Midwest finesse rigs: One largemouth bass was caught on a four-inch Z-Man's dirt Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Eleven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The smallmouth bass and 48 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We are enamored with submerged aquatic vegetation, and on most outings throughout the calendar year -- especially in the summer, fall, and winter, we focus many of our casts and retrieves with our Midwest finesse rigs around patches of emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation. But in May and early June, our focus is primarily on gravel- and rock- and boulder-laden shorelines. As we ply these gravel- and rock- and boulder-laden shorelines, we will at times ply the inside edges of the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, brittle naiad, and curly-leaf pondweed. And when the water's edges of these shorelines are lined with emergent aquatic vegetation, such as American water willows, many of our casts and retrieves will be focused on the outside edges of the American water willows.

(It is interesting to note that when this reservoir's water level is at its normal level, its shorelines possess the most robust patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas.)

On this outing, we made a few casts and retrieves around the outside edges of patches of curly-leaf pondweed with our Midwest finesse rigs, and we garnered several strikes that we failed to hook.

We spent the entire outing in the lower third section of the reservoir, where we fished around three main-lake points, along portions of six main-lake shorelines, and about 25 yards of the dam's shoreline.

The dam failed to yield a strike.

The underwater terrains of the three main-lake points consist of gravel, rocks, and an occasional boulder.

One of these points has about a 50-degree slope. It is not adorned with any patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. We caught one largemouth bass around it on the TRD TickerZ rig with a very slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about eight feet of water and many feet from the water's edge.

The second point has a 30-degree slope, and it is surrounded by several patches of curly-leaf pondweed. We caught one largemouth bass around this point on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about four feet of water near a wad of filamentous algae.

The third point has a 45-degree slope and graced with a few strands of curly-leaf pondweed. We failed to elicit a strike around this point.

The portions of the six main-lake shorelines that we fished have underwater terrains that consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Their slopes range from 35- to 70-degrees. Some of their water's edges are embellished with laydowns. Some of the shorelines are bespangled with offshore patches of curly-leaf pondweeds, which allowed us to probe the inside edges of these patches.

Along these six shorelines, we caught 58 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.

The steeper portions of these shorelines were more fruitful than the flatter sections.

Two of the black bass were caught along these shorelines on a deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water.

Thirteen of the black bass were caught along these shorelines on the initial drop of our rigs in four to six feet of water.

Forty-six of these black bass were caught along these shorelines on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and some of the shakes were quite vigorous and constant. These fish were caught in five to about 11 feet of water, and a few of them were caught near the inside edges of the offshore patches of curly-leaf pondweed.

The curly-leaf pondweed will begin to wilt in early June when the water temperature reaches about 72 degrees, and by late June, most of the patches will be dormant until November, which is when they will begin to sprout again, creating a wonderful array of wintertime lairs for Midwest finesse anglers to catch significant numbers of largemouth bass when the water temperature ranges from 38 to 48 degrees. When the curly-leaf pondweed becomes dormant, it will be replaced by brittle naiad and coontail, and then we will spend many of our summer and fall outings probing those patches of brittle naiad and coontail with our Midwest finesse rigs.

It would be delightful if all of the community and state reservoirs in northeastern Kansas were blessed with the abundance of aquatic vegetation that is flourishing in this state reservoir.

We hope that managers of this reservoir find its aquatic vegetation to be as splendidly as we do. But if they don't, and they attempt to tame its growth, the Midwest finesse anglers and black bass anglers in northeastern Kansas hope that the managers will do it prudently and judicially by manually and mechanically harvesting and maintaining it rather than using herbicides and stocking grass carp.

May 6

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 6 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of their log.

We journeyed to a state reservoir in north-central Texas. It is a different one than the one Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished on May 5.

Local thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 51 degrees and the afternoon high temperature at 86 degrees. The wind angled out of the north and northeast at 3 to 12 mph. The sky was cloudless. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.11 at 2:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m., 7:41 a.m. to 9:41 a.m., and 8:02 p.m. to 10:02 p.m.

We fished from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and caught a total of 140 fish. Three hours were spent chasing white bass and the other three hours we spent pursuing black bass.

The white bass fishing was outstanding, and we caught 122 of them. In contrast, the black bass fishing was much more difficult. We hooked 16 of them and landed only 12. These 12 black bass consisted of 10 largemouth bass and two spotted bass. We accidentally caught four black crappie, one freshwater drum, and one channel catfish.

The water was murky with an odd chalky-white discoloration. The water clarity was 12 inches at best, and in many places, it was less than six inches. The surface temperature varied from 69 to 76 degrees. The water level was 2.10 feet below normal.

Eleven of the 12 black bass were caught in less than five feet of water. One was caught offshore about five feet below the surface in 21 feet of water. It was foraging on threadfin shad with a large school of foraging white bass.

The most fruitful locales for these few black bass were flat and rocky shorelines about halfway inside two large bays and two smaller main-lake coves. We discovered that main-lake areas such as rocky shorelines, points, riprap jetties, and an island, were virtually devoid of any black bass.

We caught the vast majority of the white bass while they were surface-foraging on small threadfin shad in the deeper creek channels that course through the center of the same two bays and two main-lake coves where we caught the black bass.

We caught the black bass on seven Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ fastened to a 1/16-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ fastened on either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat fastened on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on either a blue Z-Man's 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead or an unpainted 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig, a four inch Z-Man's black-neon Finesse WormZ fastened on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a four-inch green-pumpkin soft-plastic lizard fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the two TRD TicklerZ rigs, the four-inch Finesse WormZ rig, the 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rig, and the four-inch Mini-Lizard rig. The Baby Goat and Slim SwimZ combos were implemented with a steady swimming retrieve. One largemouth was caught on a strolling retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

The bulk of the 122 white bass were allured by either the Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rig or the three-inch Z-Man's Slim SwimZ rigs that were utilized with a steady swimming retrieve.

May 7

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, and Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 7 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 45 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 68 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind was calm at 12:53 a.m. and 5:53 a.m., and at other times, it angled out of the southwest, south, and west at 3 to 23 mph. The sky was fair from 12:53 a.m. to 9:53 p.m., and then it became mostly cloudy and overcast. It sprinkled for a few minutes. The barometric pressure was 30.11 at 12:53 a.m., 30.14 at 5:53 a.m., 30.19 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.16 at 2:53 p.m.

It has been an unseasonably cool the first week of May. Several areas in northeastern Kansas have had temperatures as cold as 33 degrees.

The water level at this community reservoir was about normal. The surface temperature ranged from 64 to 65 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about five feet of visibility in the upper half of the reservoir and more than eight feet of visibility in the lower third of the reservoir. To our delight, this reservoir is graced with scores of patches of coontail, and we also crossed paths with some areas that there are endowed with curly-leaf pondweed and brittle naiad. Its patches of American water willows, which adorn some of its shorelines, are exhibiting an array of green leaves and stems. Significant wads of filamentous algae are clinging to underwater objects – such as boulders, laydowns, American water willows, and docks.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:08 a.m. to 10:08 a.m., 8:28 p.m. to 10:28 p.m., and 1:57 a.m. to 3:37 a.m.

We fished from 10:00 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. During this three-hour and 55-minute outing, we caught 64 largemouth bass. We also accidentally caught a bevy of bluegill, crappie, green sunfish, and warmouth, but we failed to accurately count how many that we caught.

We caught these fish on several Midwest finesse rigs. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Seven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Seven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. We caught 46 largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, and we affixed our Finesse ShadZs to three different mushroom-style jigs: a chartreuse 1/32-ouncer; a chartreuse 1/16-ouncer, and a red 1/16-ouncer.

Some of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of these rigs, but most were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. At times, the shake was quite vigorous.

Some of the largemouth bass were caught at the water's edge, some were caught as far as 20 feet from the water's edge, and the others were caught somewhere in between those two locations.

Three largemouth bass were caught around robust patches of coontail that adorn two shallow-water shorelines. But the bulk of the largemouth bass was caught along shorelines that possess a 35- to 50-slope.

We used the outboard motor for about six of the 235 minutes that we were afloat. Instead, we elected to spend most of our time making casts and retrieves and allowing the wind and the bow-mounted trolling motor to propel us along this reservoir's many yards of shorelines in hopes of finding a bountiful lair or two that we had never encountered during the many Mays of the past that we have fished this waterway. We were moving way too fast to thoroughly dissect these shorelines. In fact, there were many inches, feet, and yards of the shorelines that our Midwest finesse rigs failed to touch. At times, it seemed as if we were mimicking our power-fishing brethren who search these shorelines by wielding ChatterBaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and swim jigs.

We spent about 15 minutes quickly plying two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm. And during the other 220 minutes of the outing, we quickly fished along as many feet of this reservoir's main-lake shorelines that we could, and we fished from the dam to well into the upper half of the reservoir. We calculated that we fished about 70 percent of the shorelines in the lower half of the reservoir and about 25 percent of the shorelines in the upper half.

Inside the small feeder-creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass. These two shorelines have a 20- to 35-degree slope. Its water's edges are cluttered with scores of docks and are adorned with several concrete retaining walls. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and silt, and portions of these terrains are adorned with coontail and filamentous algae.

The other 62 largemouth bass were caught along the main-lake shorelines. These shorelines have a 20- to 50-degree slope. Their water's edges are cluttered with more than a hundred docks, lined with many concrete and rock retaining walls, adorned with occasional patches of American water willows, and littered with a few laydowns and piles of brush. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt, and much of it is endowed with patches of coontail and other kinds of submerged vegetation.

We caught 17 largemouth bass along the main-lake shorelines in the upper half of the reservoir. The Finesse TRD rig, Hula StickZ rig, and TRD MinnowZ rig were more effective in the upper half of the reservoir than they were in the lower half.

We caught 45 of the largemouth bass along the main-lake shorelines in the lower half of this reservoir. Most of these fish were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs.

Twenty-five of the 64 largemouth bass were caught during the first 50 minutes of this outing, and they were caught along the shorelines of the lower half of the reservoir. Then, it took us 185 minutes to catch the next 39 largemouth bass.

May 10

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 10 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 40 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 64 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind was calm for five hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the north, northwest, and west at 3 to 12 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to misty and foggy to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.16 at 12:52 a.m., 30.15 at 5:52 a.m., 30.20 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.15 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level was slightly above normal. The surface temperature was 63 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited more than six feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. Various species of submerged aquatic vegetation have begun to grow rather robustly. Massive wads of filamentous algae are clinging to many underwater objects – such as boulders, laydowns, stumps, patches of American water willows, and patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:56 a.m. to 11:56 a.m., 10:17 p.m. to 12:17 a.m., and 3:46 a.m. to 5:46 a.m.

I began fishing at 10:20 a.m. with hopes of catching and releasing 50 largemouth bass by 12:20 p.m. on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. During the first 81 minutes, I caught 26 largemouth bass, but to catch largemouth bass number 50, I had to fish until 1:49 p.m. And as I pursued those 50 largemouth bass, I inadvertently caught six crappie.

I caught 33 largemouth bass on the dam. It possesses a 35- t0 75-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally interlaced with minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is endowed with three patches of American water willows and a few laydowns. The American water willows have begun to sprout some green leaves and stems. Some of these 33 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in four to six feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake presentation in about six to 11 feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 275-yard stretch of a flat shoreline inside one of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms. This shoreline has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which is beginning to be blessed with burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge has one patch of American water willows, a few laydowns, several manmade piles of brush, and an occasional stump. This largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

Along about a 350-yard stretch of a steep shoreline inside this primary feeder-creek arm, I caught 13 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 45- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt, and it is embellished with some patches of brittle naiad and coontail. Its water's edge is adorned with scores of overhanging trees and laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in four to five feet of water. The others were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake presentation in about four feet to nine feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 25-yard stretch of a steep shoreline inside a tiny feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has about a 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which is endowed with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that are coated with wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is endowed with some stumps, laydowns, and patches of American water willows, which are laden with filamentous algae. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig between a stump and the outside edge of a patch of American water willows and wads of filamentous algae.

Two largemouth bass were caught around a secondary point at the mouth of this tiny feeder-creek arm. This point is flat, exhibiting about a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, and it is enhanced with burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is endowed with a large patch of American water willows. The Finesse ShadZ rig caught these two largemouth bass around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation in about five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I failed to elicit a strike from short stretches of two shorelines inside another primary feeder-creek arm.

May 10

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 6 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of their log.

We fished at an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. The black bass fishing at this reservoir has been slow and difficult all year. I have not fished at this reservoir since April 5, when Rick Allen of Dallas and I could eke out only six largemouth bass in six hours.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods on May 10 would most likely occur from 3:54 a.m. to 5:54 a.m., 10:04 a.m. to 12:04 p.m., and 10:25 p.m. to 12:25 a.m.

We fished for seven hours from about 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A significant cold front passed through north-central Texas during the late evening hours of May 9, and the usual warm air temperatures have cooled down. On May 10, the morning low temperature was 54 degrees and the afternoon high temperature struggled to reach 58 degrees. A chilly wind quartered out of the northwest at 12 to 18 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.01 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.99 at 3:00 p.m. The sky was overcast, and it rained on us a couple of times.

The water level was 0.76 of a foot high. The water exhibited between 18 and 24 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 70 degrees.

We focused our attentions inside two feeder-creek arms, along two main-lake points and portions of their adjoining flat and rocky shorelines, and two main-lake coves in the west tributary arm.

This reservoir's underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, pea gravel, fist-size rocks, and boulders. There are also many acres of flooded timber, laydowns, stumps, brush piles, and buck brush. Some burgeoning patches of hydrilla and milfoil are flourishing in some of the shallow-water areas of the bays, creek arms, and coves.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, which is situated on the south side of the tributary arm, we caught eight largemouth bass, three spotted bass, four crappie, and two white bass. They were caught in less than five feet of water from two flat and rocky secondary points and one rocky shoreline in the middle section of this creek arm. We failed to locate any black bass along a 75-yard stretch of a steep and rocky shoreline, a shallow rock ledge, around the remnants of two stock pond dams, and around a rocky shoreline adorned with large submerged boulders and flooded stickups. They were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's electric-chicken Slim SwimZ attached to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The Slim SwimZ rig was employed with a slow swimming retrieve, and the Finesse TRD and Finesse ShadZ rigs were used with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Inside the first main-lake cove on the north side of the tributary, we dissected three rocky secondary points, two pea-gravel flats, and a short section of a flat pea-gravel shoreline, and we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were caught in three to five feet of water on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

At one main-lake point and a short section of its adjacent shoreline just east of the first main-lake cove that we fished, we caught one largemouth bass. It was relating to the side of a dilapidated concrete building foundation in five feet of water. It was caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

At the second main-lake point and its adjacent flat pea-gravel and chunk-rock shoreline, which is situated just west of the first main-lake cove, we caught two largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one white bass in three to five feet of water. The two largemouth bass and the white bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's electric-chicken Slim SwimZ and a slow swimming retrieve. The spotted bass was allured by a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig that was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The second main-lake cove is also situated on the north side of the tributary arm and is about two miles west of the first one. This cove yielded two largemouth bass and one white bass. They were caught many yards apart around an island at the mouth of the cove and at a pea-gravel flat on the east side of the cove. They were abiding in three to six feet of water and were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch electric-chicken Slim SwimZ rig. We failed to locate any black bass along a 100-yard stretch of a pea-gravel and chunk-rock shoreline on the west side of the cove.

We then returned to the south side of the tributary and fished at a wind-blown rocky shoreline on the east side of the creek arm. This shoreline is adorned with many submerged boulders that lie in five to seven feet of water and 25 to 40 feet from the water's edge. The wind and white-capped waves that were pummeling this shoreline made fishing this area difficult, but we were able to hook four largemouth bass and land two of them around the submerged boulders. One was caught on the initial fall of the 2 1/2-inch electric-chicken Slim SwimZ rig. The other one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along a flat pea-gravel shoreline on the west side of the creek arm, we caught six largemouth bass and five white bass in less than five feet of water. They were caught on the 2 1/2-inch electric-chicken Slim SwimZ with a steady swimming retrieve and the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We ended this outing at a submerged roadbed at the mouth of the first creek arm that we fished at the beginning of this outing. This roadbed is covered with one to two feet of water. The section we targeted is lined with some partially-flooded trees, stickups, and stumps, but we failed to elicit any strikes there.

In conclusion, we caught a combination of 27 largemouth bass and spotted bass, four black crappie, and nine white bass. This was the most fruitful outing we have had at this reservoir this year, but it took us seven hours to catch these 40 fish.

May 11

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 11 outing with Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 48 degrees at 3:52 a.m. and 63 degrees at 12:52 p.m. The wind was calm for five hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the north, east, and northeast at 7 to 20 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to overcast to light rain to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.20 at 12:52 a.m., 30.20 at 5:52 a.m., 30.25 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.24 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 2 ¼ feet below its normal level. The surface temperature was 62 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited more than eight feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. Massive patches of curly-leaf pondweed adorn many acres of this reservoir's shallow-water flats and shorelines. There are huge wads of filamentous algae clinging to many underwater objects – such as boulders, laydowns, aquatic vegetation, and stumps.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:38 a.m. to 12:38 p.m., 10:59 p.m. to 12:59 a.m., and 4:27 a.m. to 6:27 a.m.

We fished from 12:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., and we caught 63 largemouth bass, two smallmouth bass, and six crappie.

During this 2 1/4-hour endeavor, we remained in the lower 10 percent of this reservoir. In some ways, it seemed as if we were fishing around a large farm pond or strip pit. In other words, we merely put the trolling motor into the water and began making untold numbers of casts and retrieves around one main-lake point, along five main-lake shorelines, and along the entire shoreline of the dam. We started the outboard motor three times and used it for no more than four minutes of the 135 minutes that we were afloat, and we used it to move from the boat ramp to one of the shorelines, and from the first shoreline that we fished to the second shoreline, and from the dam to back to the boat ramp to put the boat on the trailer.

The underwater terrains of these seven locations consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. They possess a 25- to 80-degree slope, and the steeper portions were more productive than the flatter ones. The flatter ones were often cluttered with too much filamentous algae and extremely thick patches of curly-leaf pondweed. All of the steep areas were graced with minor or slim patches of curly-leaf pondweed.

One largemouth bass was caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's new-money ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The two smallmouth bass and 62 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to either a red or blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The bulk of these fish were caught on a swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake presentation. Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. A few were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. And two were caught on a deadstick presentation. They were caught in water as shallow as about three feet and as deep as about 11 feet.

In sum, it was an extremely simple outing, and, of course, it was delightful to catch an average of 28.8 black bass an hour.

May 13

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 13 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 39 degrees at 3:53 a.m. and 68 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm from 12:53 a.m. to 7:53 a.m. and when it stirred, it angled out of the southeast, east, and south at 7 to 20 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.40 at 12:53 a.m., 30.40 at 5:53 a.m., 30.39 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.31 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 12 inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 63 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited slightly more than 4 ½ feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. Patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed adorn many of this reservoir's shallow-water flats and shorelines. Significant wads of filamentous algae are clinging to many underwater objects – such as boulders, laydowns, aquatic vegetation, and stumps. Except for the very shallow patches of American water willows, which line many of this reservoir's water edges, they are still exhibiting their winter-dead motifs, and patches of curly-leaf pondweed are intermixed with the winter-dead patches of American water willows.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:48 a.m. to 1:48 p.m., 12:12 p.m. to 2:12 p.m., and 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Our May largemouth bass bonanza petered out on May 13. We fished from 11:10 a.m. to 1:40 p.m., and it was a struggle to catch 27 largemouth bass, 11 crappie, one white bass and one green sunfish.

Moreover, the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead was not as effective as it has been on May 4, 5, 7, 10, and 11. It caught 20 largemouth bass. A Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead five largemouth bass. And two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Two largemouth bass were caught along the spillway. Its underwater terrain is flat, and it consists of gravel and rocks, which are adorned with patches of American water willows and curly-leaf pondweed. These largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

We caught five largemouth bass along the dam. It possesses a 45- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders that are graced with occasional patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed. The water's edge is endowed with occasional patches of American water willows. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in less than four feet of water. The other three were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

Around a main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are partially surrounded by patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows that are intertwined with tads of curly-leaf pondweed. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water.

Along about a five-hundred-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and around six riprap jetties, we caught 21 largemouth bass. This area has a 25- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this terrain is adorned with patches of bushy-pondweed, patches of curly-leaf pondweed, and some manmade piles of brush. The water's edge is lined with many patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, an occasional stump, and several laydowns. The TRD MinnowZ rig caught two largemouth bass with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water. The TRD TicklerZ rig caught five largemouth bass; two were caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water; one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water; and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. The other 14 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig; one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water; three were caught on the initial drop in four to five feet of water; 10 were caught on the swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

We failed the catch a largemouth bass along a 75-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline, around two main-lake points, and along about a 125-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm.

Throughout this 2 ½-hour outing, we elicited nearly two dozen strikes that we failed to hook, and we had several largemouth bass follow our rigs to the boat.

The National Weather Service is forecasting that it will rain on May 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19, which might keep us old codgers at bay.

May 13

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 13 outing with Lochlan Frederick of Meridian, Idaho.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Lochlan joined me for a smallmouth bass excursion at a scenic Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma.

Lochlan occasionally plies the rivers around Boise and Meridian for trout when he gets a chance to fish, but he has never had an opportunity to pursue largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or spotted bass. So, this was his maiden Midwest finesse outing for smallmouth bass.

We searched for post-spawn smallmouth bass around the following locales: several main-lake rocky points and sections of their adjoining rocky shorelines, a main-lake flat, nine rock ledges that are situated inside two bays and along main-lake areas, two main-lake humps, and two main-lake islands. All of these locales are situated in the middle and lower portions of the reservoir.

We were afloat for 6 1/2 hours, and we fished for six hours. We spent 30 minutes enjoying a lunch break on the boat.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:07 a.m. to 8:07 a.m., 11:55 a.m. to 1:55 p.m., and 12:19 p.m. to 2:19 p.m.

The sky conditions fluctuated from being clear to partly cloudy, and there was an abundance of sunshine everywhere. The morning low temperature was 49 degrees and the afternoon high was 72 degrees. The wind was light and variable. The barometric pressure was 30.27 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.24 at 3:00 p.m.

The water exhibited an emerald-green hue with five feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 66 to 70 degrees. The water level appeared to be three feet high.

We employed six Midwest finesse rigs: a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ attached on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG MushroomJighead.

Three of the six Midwest finesse rigs were effective. We were unable to elicit any strikes with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ rig, the 3 1/2-inch green-pumpkin GrubZ, and the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ combo.

The most effective lure during this outing was the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, which allured 60 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. Five smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ. The Finesse WormZ enticed one smallmouth bass.

A slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation was the only effective retrieve.

Three smallmouth bass were caught from around patches of submerged boulders mixed with partially-flooded stickups on a main-lake flat in three to five feet of water.

Four smallmouth bass were caught from the deep-water side of a rock ledge on the west side of one of the two main-lake islands in less than five feet of water. The other island was fruitless.

Twelve smallmouth bass were caught from clusters of submerged boulders on the east sides of the two main-lake humps. These humps are covered with three to five feet of water. Their perimeters have 12 to 20-plus feet of water adjacent to them.

The other 47 smallmouth bass and the one largemouth bass were caught along the deep-water sides of seven of the nine main-lake rock ledges. Some of these ledges lie within 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge, and others were situated from 25 to 40 feet from the water's edge. All of them quickly descend into 12 or more feet of water. They are also graced with all sizes of boulders, rocks, and some patches of cattails. These 48 black bass were caught in five to 13 feet of water along the ledges where the flat and shallow sections quickly drop into deeper water.

The ledges inside the two bays were devoid of smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass.

May 17

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 62 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 71 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, east, and northeast at 3 to 13 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy to raining lightly to foggy and misty. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.94 at 5:52 a.m., 29.95 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.91 at 3:52 p.m.

The weather has played havoc with our piscatorial ways this spring. It was the windiest April that we can remember. It has also been unusually cool. Recently, it has been misty, drizzling, sprinkling, and raining. Some areas of northeastern Kansas received as much as three inches of rain on May 16, which has significantly affected the water levels and clarity at several of our community, federal, and state reservoirs.

During a brief respite from this rainy spell on May 17, we quickly ventured to one of our state reservoirs. Its watershed has been waylaid with a significant amount of rain. Our primary aim of this outing was to examine what this rainy spell rendered.

The water level looked to be more than three feet above its normal level. The surface temperature was 65 degrees. Along the east side of the dam, the water exhibited about two feet of visibility, and there was a lot of flotsam cluttering the surface and shoreline. Along its west side, the visibility was about four feet, and it was devoid of the flotsam. The water clarity in the upper portions of the reservoir was muddy. We suspect that the water level will continue to rise, and the water clarity will diminish.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:27 a.m. to 5:27 p.m., 3:52 p.m. to 5:52 p.m., and 9:39 a.m. to 11:39 a.m.

We fished from 1:47 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. As it lightly sprinkled on us several times, we struggled to catch 16 largemouth bass and to accidentally catch two crappie.

Five of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and nine were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Fourteen largemouth bass were caught along the dam. It possesses a 35- t0 75-degree slope. It is about 400 yards long. It usually takes more than an hour to thoroughly dissect it, and we spent an hour and 17 minutes fishing it on this outing. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally interlaced with minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is endowed with three patches of American water willows, which were completely covered with water, and some laydowns. The western half of the dam was more fruitful than its eastern half. Three largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our Finesse ShadZ rigs in about five feet of water. The others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation in about six to 13 feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught about 35 feet from the water's edge. The others were caught from about eight to 20 feet from the water's edge.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a shallow-water flat that is adjacent to the west side of the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which are adorned with patches of coontail, American pondweed, and brittle naiad. Significant wads of filamentous algae clutter many underwater objects. The water's edge is graced with some patches of American water willows, which were completely flooded. The largemouth bass were caught on the Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water. One was caught about 25 feet from the water's edge, and the other one was caught near the outside edge of a flooded patch of American water willows.

The National Weather Service is forecasting that northeastern Kansas will be enduring rain and thunderstorms on May 18, 19, and 20, which might keep us at bay again.

May 17

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 17 outing with John Thomas of Denton.

Here is an edited version of their log.

From noon to 4:00 p.m., we fished at a popular and challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir that lies in a suburban area north of Dallas.

It rained throughout the day on May 16 and into the morning hours of May 17. At about 10:30 a.m. on May 17, the rain stopped. The sky conditions changed from overcast to mostly cloudy, and by mid-afternoon, it was partly cloudy and sunny. The wind quartered out of the east-by-southeast at 8-12 mph. The morning low temperature was 66 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 84 degrees. The barometric pressure dropped from 29.88 at noon to 29.81 by 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 3:33 a.m. to 5:33 a.m., 9:46 a.m. to 11:46 a.m., and 3:59 p.m. to 5:59 p.m.

When the black bass fishing has been trying recently, we have been splitting our time during these outings between black bass and white bass. This was another outing where we spent the first two hours searching for largemouth and spotted bass, and the last two hours were spent chasing white bass.

During those first two hours of searching for black bass, we targeted four main-lake points, three main-lake shorelines, the riprap embankments on the north side of an overpass bridge, a flat pea-gravel shoreline underneath a second bridge, and an island. We also dissected five secondary points in the upper and midsection of a minor feeder-creek arm.

We caught 12 spotted bass, three white bass, one channel catfish, and one large bluegill during those two hours.

The second two hours were more productive. We fished across a long and shallow main-lake flat and caught 44 white bass, six spotted bass, and one black crappie. We also temporarily hooked and lost one largemouth bass.

All of these areas are situated in a major tributary arm in the southwest region of the reservoir.

The underwater terrains of these areas are similar and consist of red clay, pea-gravel, baseball-size rocks, and a few submerged boulders. The majority of the shorelines' terrestrial vegetation is now flooded and encircled with water as shallow as 12 inches and as deep as three feet.

The recent rains have raised the water level to 1.69 feet above its normal level. The water clarity was 14 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 75 degrees.

We caught two spotted bass from the first rocky main-lake shoreline, two spotted bass from the second rock and pea-gravel main-lake shoreline, and one from the third rock mixed with pea-gravel shoreline. They were caught in three to five feet of water and were associated with the larger submerged rocks and boulders.

The flooded bushes and other flooded terrestrial vegetation that festoon the flat shoreline of the main-lake island yielded five spotted bass and one white bass. These fish were relating to the outside edges of the flooded bushes in about three feet of water.

The five rocky secondary points inside the minor feeder-creek arm surrendered only one large bluegill that was caught near a large boulder in four feet of water. We failed to catch a largemouth bass or spotted bass from this creek arm.

Along a riprap embankment on the north end of a freeway overpass, we garnered a couple of subtle strikes, and we failed to hook those fish.

We caught one white bass from the side of a large concrete support column under an overpass bridge. It was suspended about five feet below the surface in 17 feet of water, but we did not cross paths with any black bass around the concrete pilings.

Along a flat pea-gravel shoreline underneath the second bridge, we caught two spotted bass and one white bass. These fish were relating to patches of large rocks in three to five feet of water.

At this point, we opted to take a break from the tediously slow black bass fishing and pursue white bass instead.

During our search, we observed several white egrets wading along the water's edge of a large main-lake flat on the north side of the tributary arm.

This flat is about 100 yards long. It is adorned with many patches of partially-flooded bushes and stickups, and there were significant pods of small threadfin shad flittering on the surface around the flooded bushes and stickups in two to six feet of water. Across this flat, we caught 44 white bass and six spotted bass. They were associated with the outside edges of the flooded bushes and stickups.

The four main-lake points were not very productive. One black crappie was caught in seven feet of water from the end of one of the rocky main-lake points, and that crappie was caught on the last cast of this outing.

Eight of the 18 spotted bass were allured by a steady swimming presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's electric-chicken Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Six spotted bass were enticed by a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Two engulfed a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning ZinkerZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead as it was manipulated in a swim-glide-and-shake manner. And two spotted bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Forty-six of the 47 white bass that we caught were allured by a steady swimming retrieve with either the 2 1/2-inch electric-chicken Slim SwimZ rig or the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. One was caught with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ that was fastened to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

In conclusion, the black bass fishing during this outing was decent, but none of these 18 spotted bass were grouped up. Surprisingly, we crossed paths with only one largemouth bass, which is quite unusual for this reservoir. We can only surmise that they are in a post-spawn funk, but we have not seen any signs of small bass fry anywhere in this reservoir to validate this assumption.

The white bass fishing, however, was stellar.

May 21

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas was fairly decent this past April, but May has been a different story as the black bass fishing has been ho-hum at best.

So, on May 21, we thought we would try to break this awful trend of mediocre black-bass fishing by fishing at one of several popular Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas.

It has been raining quite heavily off and on for the past few days, and more rain is in the offing for the evening hours of May 21 and throughout May 22 and May 23. The runoff from these rainstorms is raising the water levels in the waterways across north-central Texas at a significant rate. In fact, local authorities closed the boat ramps at one nearby Corps' reservoir on this day.

On May 21, local thermometers reported that it was 66 degrees at 5:00 a.m. and 87 degrees at 5:00 p.m. The sky conditions fluctuated from being overcast with scattered rain showers to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was fairly stable. It was 30.06 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.06 at 3:00 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be poor, but the best opportunities would occur from 12:45 a.m. to 2:45 a.m., 6:57 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., and 7:21 p.m. to 9:21 p.m.

We fished from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We spent five hours searching for black bass and two hours chasing white bass. The black bass fishing was as humdrum as it was at the other Corps' reservoirs that we have fished during the past several weeks. But the white bass fishing was outstanding.

The water level was 1.07 feet above its normal pool and rising. The surface temperature ranged from 68 to 73 degrees. The water exhibited between 18 to 24 inches of visibility.

The highlight of the day was the white bass fishing. We crossed paths with a huge school of them as we were dissecting a flat gravel-and-clay main-lake point. They seemed to be just about everywhere around this point and were aggressively foraging on two-inch threadfin shad. We took advantage of this opportunity and caught 99 of them in two hours. The bulk of them were caught in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 12 feet on a moderately-paced swimming retrieve with either a three-inch Z-Man's electric-chicken Slim SwimZ that was matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on an unpainted mushroom-style jig. We caught six more of them that were surface-foraging on threadfin shad in the open water near the dam.

We spent five hours covering about six miles of the reservoir's lower end for largemouth bass and spotted bass. We focused on the center section of a long riprap-laden dam, two main-lake rocky shorelines, nine prominent main-lake points, an island, a rocky shoreline at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm, and a couple of rocky secondary points inside another major feeder-creek arm. All of these locales are situated in the lower and middle sections of the east tributary arm.

We failed miserably to locate any large concentrations of black bass. And much to our consternation, it became a difficult task for us to eke out 12 largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one hybrid spotted bass.

Besides the 18 black bass and 105 white bass, we also caught four channel catfish, four black crappie, one freshwater drum, and one large bluegill by accident.

Our most fruitful black-bass lair was the center section of the riprap-laden dam and a large water-outlet tower located at the center section of the dam. Near the riprap on the dam, we caught four spotted bass, five white bass, and one channel catfish. The four spotted bass and the channel catfish were abiding in four to six feet of water and within 15 to 20 feet of the water's edge.

The walls of the water-outlet tower surrendered four largemouth bass, four black crappie, and one white bass. They were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface in 53 feet of water.

One of the nine main-lake points that we probed yielded one spotted bass that was relating to a dilapidated concrete building foundation in five feet of water.

The main-lake point where we caught the 99 white bass also relinquished three largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one freshwater drum, and two channel catfish. These fish were foraging on the small threadfin shad with the white bass in two to four feet of water. We also observed about a dozen freshwater drum and a couple of large carp spawning around the flooded bushes in the shallow water near the water's edge on this point.

The other seven main-lake points yielded only two largemouth bass, one hybrid spotted bass, and one catfish. These fish were caught around some medium-sized submerged boulders in less than six feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water from the side of a rocky secondary point that is situated in the upper end of one of the major feeder-creek arms. This point is relatively flat and is adorned with submerged boulders, flooded stickups, and a large laydown. We did not cross paths with any other black bass or white bass in this creek arm.

The two main-lake shorelines yielded one largemouth bass. These two shorelines are located on the north end of the east tributary arm. They are graced with rock ledges that lie about 20 to 40 feet from the water's edge and parallel the shorelines. They are also adorned with stands of flooded timber, large submerged boulders, rocks of all sizes, gravel, and red clay. This largemouth was caught from the deep-water side of one of the rock ledges in six feet of water.

The island inside the other major feeder-creek arm yielded one large bluegill. We temporarily hooked then lost one white bass along the rocky shoreline on the south side of the creek arm. We observed a few other skittish white bass chasing a few shad along this shoreline, but we could not elicit any other strikes from them.

We had to employ an array of Z-Man's Midwest finesse offerings rigged on different sizes and colors of Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jigheads and other mushroom-style jigs in order to catch these 18 black bass. None of these combos were dominant.

We caught them on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ fastened on a 1/16-ounce chartreuse mushroom-style jig, a three-inch Z-Man's electric-chicken Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ mounted on an unpainted 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig.

These Z-Man Midwest finesse rigs were employed with either a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a steady swimming retrieve. We did not elicit any strikes using a hop-and-bounce retrieve and a drag-and-shake retrieve.

In closing, we caught 14 black bass, 105 white bass, four black crappie, three channel catfish, one freshwater drum, and one large bluegill while the sky conditions were either overcast or mostly cloudy. When the sky conditions became partly cloudy and the sun began to shine at 12:32 p.m., the fishing became much more difficult, and we struggled to catch three largemouth bass, one hybrid spotted bass, and one catfish in the remaining 2 1/2 hours of this outing.

May 24

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 24 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 65 degrees at 12:52 a.m. and 80 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast and south at 3 to 21 mph. From 12:52 a.m. to 8:52 a.m., the conditions of the sky fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy to raining lightly to foggy and misty, and from 9:52 a.m. to 2:52 p.m., it was fair for four hours and overcast for a spell at 1:52 p.m. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 12:52 a.m., 30.12 at 5:52 a.m., 30.13 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:52 p.m.

Some portions of northeastern Kansas have been waylaid by rain from May 17 to May 23, and the watershed of this reservoir was one of those rain-laden locales. When we fished this reservoir on May 5, its water level was about three feet below its normal level. During our May 24 outing, the water level looked as if it had climbed to about three feet above its normal level. The surface temperature was 70 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that there were about six feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam; the visibility declined to about three feet in the upper portions of one of the feeder-creek arms. The shallow-water portions of this reservoir's shorelines and all of its shallow-water flats are adorned with untold numbers of patches of curly-leaf pondweed, which will begin to wilt and slowly vanish as the water temperature climbs above 72 degrees, and the curly-leaf pondweed will not begin to grow again until November and December. The water's edges of the shorelines are graced with scores of patches of American water willows, which were completely flooded, and many of the water's edges of the shorelines were cluttered with flooded terrestrial vegetation.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:03 a.m. to 11:03 a.m., 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and 2:50 a.m. to 4:50 a.m.

We fished from 10:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and we fished until we caught and released 30 largemouth bass. And as we fished for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, we inadvertently caught five crappie. In short, the fishing was much more trying than it was on May 7, when we caught one smallmouth bass and 60 largemouth bass in 2 ½ hours, and when we caught two smallmouth bass and 63 largemouth bass on May 11 in 2 ¼ hours.

What's more, our Z-Man's Finesse ShadZ rigs were not as effective as they were on May 4, 7, 10, and 11.

One of the 30 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce TT Lures NedlockZ HD Jighead. Three of the 30 largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Eighteen of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We caught three largemouth bass around one main-lake point. It has a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are adorned with some patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed. The water's edge is littered with flooded terrestrial vegetation and American water willows. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water and about 15 feet from the water's edge. One largemouth bass was caught on our Slim SwimZ rig with a swimming presentation in about eight feet of water and 20 feet from the water's edge.

Along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed. Some of the patches of curly-leaf pondweed are situated as far as 60 and 90 feet from the water's edge. The water's edge is littered with flooded terrestrial vegetation and American water willows. Wads of filamentous algae cling to some of the aquatic vegetation and underwater objects. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the Slim SwimZ rig with a swimming-and-short-pause presentation; one was caught around the outside edge of a massive patch of curly-leaf pondweed in about eight feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge; the second one was caught along the inside edge of a patch of curly-leaf pondweed and about 12 feet from the water's edge. Four were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water, and they were caught from eight to 20 feet from the water's edge.

Along the shoreline of the dam, we caught 10 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 45- to 55-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with occasional patches of curly-leaf pondweed. Around the dam's outlet tower, we caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Along the dam's shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce TT Lures NedlockZ HD Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and about 15 feet from the water's edge. One largemouth bass was caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and seven largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig along the dam's shoreline; two were caught on the initial drop of the rig about six feet from the water's edge and in about five feet of water, and six were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water and about 15 to 20 feet from the water's edge.

We caught three largemouth bass along the reservoir's spillway, which was graced with some current. It possesses a 25-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is endowed with patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed. Two of the largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges of the curly-leaf pondweed on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water. The third one was caught along the inside edges of the curly-leaf pondweed in about five feet of water on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 40- to 80-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of the boulders are humongous. The water's edge is littered with flooded terrestrial vegetation and American water willows. There are also patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed scattered along this shoreline's underwater terrain. The largemouth bass was caught around a tertiary point, consisting of rocks and boulders, and it was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig in about five feet of water. We failed to elicit a strike around a main-lake point that joins this shoreline.

We caught two largemouth bass around another main-lake point. This point has about a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks that are enhanced with curly-leaf pondweed. The water's edge is littered with flooded terrestrial vegetation and American water willows. Wads of filamentous algae clutter some of the underwater objects. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a patch of curly-leaf pondweed in about six feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge. The other largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water around a patch of flooded American water willows.

Along about a 200-yard stretch of main-lake shoreline, we caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 30- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Much of this shoreline's underwater terrain is adorned with significant patches of curly-leaf pondweed. The water's edge is littered with flooded terrestrial vegetation and American water willows. Wads of filamentous algae adhere to some of the underwater objects. One largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the inside edge of a patch of curly-leaf pondweed in about five feet of water. The TRD TicklerZ rig caught two largemouth bass with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of curly-leaf pondweed in five to seven feet of water.

Around a secondary point, we caught two largemouth bass. This point has a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are adorned with meager patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cluttered portions of this point and its adjacent shorelines. These largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the submerged aquatic vegetation.

May 26

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 88 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and when it stirred, it angled out of the south, southwest, west, and east at 3 to 7 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to cluttered with a few clouds to overcast to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:52 a.m., 30.03 at 5:52 a.m., 30.12 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:52 p.m.

It is interesting to note that this was the first warm day that we have fished this year.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:52 a.m. to 12:52 a.m., 4:37 a.m. to 6:37 a.m., and 5:08 p.m. to 7:08 p.m.

We were afloat from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and we fished for about 150 of those 165 minutes.

One of the primary points of this outing was aimed at examining and assessing the various conditions of this reservoir, which used to be our most fruitful largemouth bass reservoir in northeastern Kansas. But during the second decade of this century, the managers of this reservoir have walloped it with vast quantities of 2 4-D, Sonar, and other herbicides to eradicate vegetation that they deemed to be either threatening or loathsome. And as these applications became more frequent and intense, our ability to find and catch this reservoir's largemouth bass waned, and thus we have not ventured to this reservoir as often as we used to when we could regularly tangle with 15, and occasionally 25, largemouth bass an hour.

During the past 10 days of May, this reservoir's watershed has been walloped with many inches of rain. Thus, the water level looked to be about 18 inches above its normal level, and we could see that it had recently been about 36 inches above its normal level. The water had a brownish hue, and it was not a pleasant sight in our eyes. What's more, the hull of our boat became ringed with a two-inch wide ribbon of a brownish stain. Our secchi stick revealed that there was about 36 inches of visibility in some locales and about 12 to 15 inches at other locales. The surface temperature reached 78 degrees at 12:30 p.m. This reservoir's patches of American water willows are green and flourishing, which was delightful sight. What's more, we found several patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that somehow survived all of the poisons that were administered to them. We also saw one large congregation of newly hatched fish. We noticed a lot of insects milling about on and near the surface of the water and adjacent to some of the patches of American water willows.

We caught and released 22 largemouth bass and accidentally caught 10 crappie, four green sunfish, two bluegill, and one channel catfish.

Since May 4, our most effective Midwest finesse rigs had been either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin or Junebug Finesse ShadZ, which we affixed to either a red or chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. But these two rigs failed to allure a largemouth bass on this May 26 outing. Instead, all of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's TRD BugZ. Because of the brownish hue of the water, we initially thought that the most effective TRD BugZ would be either a black-blue or a Junebug one affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. But the black-blue one caught nine largemouth bass, and the Junebug one caught two. To our surprise, 11 were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, which in our eyes was not easily discernible in the brownish hue of the water. A Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a Z-Man's black-blue TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead failed to catch a largemouth bass.

Inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass along one of its shorelines and six along its other shoreline.

Each shoreline is about 120 yards long. They have a 30- to 45-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, a few boulders, and some silt. The water's edges are lined with American water willows and a few overhanging trees. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug TRD BugZ rig and six were caught on the black-blue TRD BugZ rig. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about three feet of water, and the others were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. Two were caught upon shaking the black-blue TRD HogZ off of a boulder.

We failed to garner a strike around a main-lake point at the mouth of this small feeder-creek arm.

Along about a 600-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline adjacent to this point, we eked out nine largemouth bass. The slope of this shoreline varies from 30 to 50 degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Most of the water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, and there a few laydowns and several overhanging trees. The black-blue TRD BugZ rig caught three largemouth bass, and the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig caught six. One was caught on the initial drop of the black-blue TRD BugZ rig along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. The others were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation of our TRD BugZ rigs in four to six feet of water, and one was caught around a laydown, and the others were caught around boulders or near the outside edges of the patches of American water willows.

Along about a 100 stretch of a shoreline inside a primary feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass. The slope of this shoreline varies from 30 to 70 degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some silt, which are graced with an occasional stump. Some of the water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, and there a few laydowns, several overhanging trees, and three docks. The largemouth bass was caught on the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig many feet from the water's edge in the vicinity of a stump in about 12 feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig caught two largemouth bass along another shoreline inside this primary feeder-creek arm. This stretch is about 60 yards long. It has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, a few boulders, and silt, which is endowed with patches of curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge is lined with some patches of American water willows, an occasional laydown, and a few overhanging trees. The two largemouth bass were caught around the patches of American water willows and Eurasian milfoil on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three to four feet of water.

We caught two largemouth bass along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm adjacent to the reservoir's dam. This shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders, and this terrain is also endowed with some stumps and minor piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. The Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig caught the other largemouth bass on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around some boulders in about six feet of water.

We failed to catch a largemouth bass along about a 70-yard section of the dam.

According to the National Weather Service, Lawrence, Kansas, has received 17.48 inches of precipitation in 2021. The normal rate is 12.36 inches. We had another onslaught of heavy rain during the morning of May 27, and our garden's rain gauge recorded more than 1 ½ inches of rain. We suspect that this onslaught will adversely affect this community reservoir water level and clarity for several days to come.

May 28

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 28 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 53 degrees at 9:52 a.m. and 62 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the north and northwest at 12 to 26 mph. The sky was overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:52 a.m., 30.03 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.13 at 3:52 p.m.

The National Weather Service predicted that some of the thermometers in northeastern Kansas will plummet to 45 degrees during the nighttime hours of May 28-29. In short, a significant cold front had arrived.

On May 26, Patty Kehde and I fished at a problematic community reservoir in northeastern Kansas, where the water exhibited an unsightly brownish hue with 12 to 36 inches of visibility. During this outing, Patty discovered that a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead was the most effective Midwest finesse rig. For years on end, we have been addicted to working with either a Junebug or black-and-blue Midwest finesse rig in stained and murky waterways similar to the one that we fished in on May 26. In our anthropomorphic eyes, Junebug or black-and-blue rigs are more visible in stained and murky water than a Canada-craw TRD BugZ. Therefore, we anthropomorphically thought that the largemouth bass saw those colors the same way that we saw them. Therefore, we have traditionally refrained from using Canada-craw and similar hues in stained and murky waters. But on a whim, Patty elected to use the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig on our May 26 outing, and I habitually used the Z-Man's black-blue TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a Z-Man's Junebug TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And her rig inveigled the bulk of the 22 largemouth bass that we caught.

May 26 was a sunny and an unseasonably warm day, and at the end of that outing, we conjectured that all of the glittering red and gold flakes embedded in the body of the TRD BugZ made it more visible to the largemouth bass than the flakes embedded in the Junebug TRD BugZ rig and black-blue one.

On May 28, I fished from 2:18 p.m. to 3:18 p.m., and my sole focus during this 60-minute outing was to work with Patty's Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 12:33 a.m. to 2:33 a.m., 1:05 p.m. to 3:05 p.m., and 4:49 a.m. to 6:49 a.m.

The surface temperature was 69 degrees. This reservoir's watershed has been waylaid by many inches of rain from May 17 to May 27. The rains riled the water clarity and raised the water level significantly. The water exhibited less than 12 inches of visibility at many locales, but in the vicinity of the dam, there were areas that had about three feet of visibility. The water level looked to be about 3 ½ feet above its normal level.

The water clarity at this state reservoir was similar to the water clarity at the community reservoir that Patty and I fished on May 26. But the surface temperature was nine degrees cooler, and the water level was 24 inches higher.

Because the sky was overcast, I suspected that the red and gold flakes embedded in the body of the Canada-craw TRD BugZ would not glitter as dramatically as they glittered in the sun on May 26. And the red jighead would not be as visible as a chartreuse one. Therefore, this rig would not be as visible to the largemouth bass as it was on our May 26 outing, and I assumed that my catch rate would be dismal.

But I was dead wrong.

I spent the entire 60 minutes fishing along the shoreline of the dam with the Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. During this hour, I fished about 80 percent of the dam. This portion of the dam has a 40- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are graced with occasional patches of bushy pondweed and a few immature patches of American pondweed. I fished along two patches of American water willows, which are green and growing robustly, along the water's edge. I fished around some piles of brush and logs.

To my good fortune, the dam's shoreline was sheltered from the pesky north and northwest wind. And on this unseasonably cold and overcast day, I was surprised to catch 25 largemouth bass on the Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

And largemouth bass number 25 was caught at minute number 59.

Thirteen of them were caught on the initial drop of the rig in four to five feet of water. Twelve were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five to 10 feet of water. Three were caught around patches of bushy pondweed; two of those three were caught about 15 feet from the water's edge in seven to eight feet of water, and one of them was caught about 20 feet from the water's edge in about 10 feet of water. One was caught along the outside edge of a small patch of American water willows in about four feet of water. Another one was caught around a pile of logs in about five feet of water. The others were caught around the rocks and boulders in about four to eight feet of water.

On this outing, I learned once again that my anthropomorphic insights are dead wrong about what the largemouth bass in northeastern Kansas' reservoirs can see, how they see, and why they forage the way they do. All I know is how, where, and when I have caught them. What's more, I am thankful for Patty's whim to use the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig on May 26. Here is hoping that the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig will provide us several more fruitful outings in the days to come.

This was the last outing for the month of May. We will allow others to relish northeastern Kansas' reservoirs during the Memorial Day weekend.

May 28

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 28 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of their log.

We made a six-hour excursion to a state reservoir in north-central Texas. Neither one of us had fished this impoundment before. It is a different one than the one we fished on May 5. This reservoir is not known for relinquishing many lunker-size largemouth bass. And according to a 2018 Texas Parks and Wildlife Lake Survey report, there are more spotted bass in this reservoir than largemouth bass. It is also noted in the report that smallmouth bass were stocked in this reservoir in the late 1990s, but state fisheries biologists collected only one of them during their last survey in 2018.

The sky was overcast for most of the day, but there was a short 30-minute spell during the afternoon when the sky became mostly cloudy and the sun shone through a couple of openings in the clouds. Then it became overcast again. The morning low temperature was 66 degrees and the afternoon high was 78 degrees. The wind was light and variable during the morning hours, and it quartered out of the northeast at 10 to 15 mph during the afternoon. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.93 at 3:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:41 a.m. to 2:41 a.m., 6:57 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., and 11:13 p.m. to 1:13 a.m.

Bill and I fished from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and we caught a mixed bag of 20 spotted bass and 17 largemouth bass. We also caught four channel catfish and three large green sunfish by accident.

We searched for spotted bass and largemouth bass around three rocky main-lake rocky points, sections of two rocky main-lake shorelines, a 100-yard section of a rocky shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm, a main-lake flat, a dam covered with chunk rock, a riprap jetty, and a main-lake rock bluff.

The water clarity varied from 12 inches to three feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 76 degrees. The water level appeared to be three feet high.

This reservoir is graced with several varieties of aquatic vegetation: American pondweed, American water willows, muskgrass, coontail, and yellow floating-heart. The yellow floating-heart is not a native aquatic vegetation, and it is castigated as a noxious or an invasive weed by some folks.

We employed 13 Midwest finesse rigs and nine of them were effective. The two most effective ones were a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

A slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation was the most effective retrieve by far, but we also caught several bass on a steady swimming retrieve and on the initial fall of our rigs.

We slowly and methodically dissected the entire length of the dam, which is about 75-yards long and located on the north end of the reservoir. Two spotted bass were caught near the submerged chunk rocks that cover the dam in eight to 10 feet of water. One was caught in open water about 40 feet from the water's edge. It was suspended about five feet below the surface in 23 feet of water.

Two spotted bass and one largemouth bass were caught from two of the three rocky main-lake points. These points are situated in the upper section of the reservoir and have 35- to 50-degree gradients. Their underwater terrains are similar and consist of clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders. These black bass were relating to the sides of the submerged boulders in five to seven feet of water.

Along a rock bluff that is situated in the northeast section of the impoundment, we caught three spotted bass. This bluff is adorned with overhanging trees, a few laydowns, large boulders, and a rock ledge. These three spotted bass were suspended in open water eight to 12 feet below the surface in 32 feet of water, and 45 to 60 feet from the face of the bluff.

The other 13 spotted bass and 16 largemouth bass were caught in three to five feet of water across a main-lake flat and an adjoining main-lake point. The submerged terrain of this flat and point is composed of clay, pea gravel, rocks, and a few submerged boulders. This flat is also graced with patches of submerged yellow floating-heart vegetation. Most of these 29 black bass were caught around the patches of yellow floating-heart on the flat, and a few others were caught around the submerged boulders on the adjacent point. All of them were abiding in three to seven feet of water.

We failed to catch any spotted or largemouth bass from two rocky main-lake shorelines in the midsection of the reservoir, a rock-laden jetty in the back end of a major feeder-creek arm, and a 100-yard stretch of a rocky shoreline in the midsection of the same feeder-creek arm.

In short, the black bass fishing was stellar by north-central Texas' standards. And as we were driving home, we both agreed that we would visit this reservoir again.

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