Z-Man Fishing Products Logo
Z-Man Fishing Products Tagline
THE CHATTER
Keep up with the latest Z-Man
tips, news and happenings.
Midwest Finesse Fishing; November 2020

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, with one of the 27 largemouth bass that he caught on a classic Midwest finesse rig on Nov. 22.

Compiled from the Finesse News Network and edited by Steve Reideler and Ned Kehde.

Nov. 1

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 1 outing to one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 36 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 53 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the north and northwest at 7 to 24 mph. The condition of the sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.27 at 12:53 a.m., 30.41 at 5:53 a.m., 30.55 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.52 at 1:53 p.m.

The water level was normal. The water clarity was adversely affected by the turnover syndrome. The surface temperature was 53 degrees, and to my surprise, I watched two women swimming for a few minutes.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:15 p.m. to 1:15 a.m., 5:04 a.m. to 7:04 a.m., and 5:26 p.m. to 7:26 p.m. It also indicated that the fishing would be excellent.

I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the fishing was absolutely horrible. I caught one freshwater drum, two smallmouth bass, three crappie, and six largemouth bass.

They were caught on either a Z-Man's Fishing Products' green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Bass Pro Shops' Shroom Head or a Z-Man's The Deal TRD MinnowZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. They were retrieved with a swim-glide-and-an-incessant-shake presentation.

The fishing was so atrocious that no discernable pattern could be established. A few were caught along rock-laden shorelines. A few were associated with patches of coontail. They were caught in water as shallow as two feet and no deeper than eight feet.

Endnotes

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, attempted to fish this community reservoir for about two hours on Oct. 31. The wind was horrendous, and it sent them home. And while battling the wind, they struggled to catch 11 largemouth bass on a Z-Man's bama-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's mudbug ZinkerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Moreover, Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas, who is a veteran Midwest finesse angler and member of the Finesse News Network, fished this community reservoir on Nov. 7, and he struggled to catch 11 largemouth bass and one crappie. He noted that the water was terribly stained.

For much of the second decade of the 21st century, this reservoir has been our most bountiful one. But something seems to be askew in 2020. What's more, we have never witnessed such a dastardly turnover syndrome. Traditionally, it has been one of the clearest reservoirs in northeastern Kansas. For more insights about this reservoir see Ned and Pat Kehde's Nov. 16 log.

Nov. 2

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, are members of the geriatric wing of the Finesse News Network, and they posted a log about their outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs on Nov. 2.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 26 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 70 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm from 12:52 a.m. to 4:52 a.m., and then it angled out of the east, southeast, southwest, and west at 3 to 24 mph. The condition of the sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.50 at 12:52 a.m., 30.44 at 5:52 a.m., 30.33 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.22 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 10 inches below its normal level. Our Secchi stick indicated that the visibility ranged from three to 4 ½ feet. The surface temperature ranged from 50 to 51 degrees.

In 2020, this reservoir has been ravaged with several massive applications of aquatic herbicides to kill Eurasian milfoil, and after those applications, it became plagued with very significant algae blooms, including an eruption of a blue-green-algae bloom. On this outing, we were disheartened to discover that several of the largemouth bass were severely affected by the red sore disease. For several years before 2020, this reservoir's managers have used extensive applications of herbicides, and paralleling these applications, our catch rates of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and other species have declined.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:07 p.m. to 1:07 a.m., 4:56 a.m. to 6:56 a.m., and 5:19 p.m. to 7:19 p.m.

We were afloat from 11:05 a.m. to 2:05 p.m., and we did not fish for about a 20-minute spell during this outing.

A number of years ago, we used to call our November endeavors at this reservoir bass fishing for trout. During these outings, we would incidentally catch rainbow trout as we fished for black bass. Our most fruitful bass-fishing-for-trout endeavor occurred on Nov. 4, 2014, when Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, and Ned caught and released 17 largemouth bass and 87 rainbow trout in 4 ½ hours.

During this 2020 outing, we struggled mightily to eke out one freshwater drum, two rainbow trout, and 20 largemouth bass in two hours and 40 minutes. During the first hour and 20 minutes, we caught 16 largemouth and two trout, and we caught four largemouth bass during the final hour and 20 minutes.

Around one main-lake point and its adjacent shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught one rainbow trout and eight largemouth bass, and we hooked one rainbow trout for about three seconds. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This area has a 45- to 75-degree slope. The water's edge is embellished with occasional patches of wilting American water willows, numerous laydowns, and several overhanging trees. The trout was caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's mudbug ZinkerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about six feet of water near a patch of American water willows. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig around the outside edges of the American water willows in three to five feet of water; two were caught on the initial drop, and one was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's bama-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in three to five feet of water on either the initial drop of the rig or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and one of them was caught around the end of one of the laydowns.

Along a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 20- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with many patches of wilting American water willows. These largemouth bass were caught on the TRD BugZ rig with either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in three to five feet of water. One of the four largemouth bass was caught about 20 feet from the water's edge. The other three were within five feet of the outside edges of the patches of American water willows.

We caught four largemouth bass and one rainbow trout along a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 20- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with one dock, a few patches of wilting American water willows, and several overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. The rainbow trout and one largemouth were caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to some overhanging terrestrial vegetation. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the overhanging vegetation in about four feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught about three-quarters of the way inside a large feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir. It was caught around a riprap point in about three feet of water on the ZinkerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

Along two shorelines inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 20- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with many patches of wilting American water willows, two docks, one laydown, and several overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. Two largemouth bass were caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a very slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water and 12 to 20 feet from the outside edge of patches of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught around the end of a laydown on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig in about five feet of water.

Nov. 4

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, are members of the geriatric wing of the Finesse News Network, and they posted a log about their 2 ½-hour outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs on Nov. 4.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 53 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 70 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 6 to 20 mph. The sky was overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:53 a.m., 30.02 at 5:53 a.m., 30.06 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.03 at 2:53 p.m.

Some of the community, federal, and state reservoirs in northeastern Kansas have been recently whacked with the turnover syndrome, and it has adversely affected the abilities of Midwest finesse anglers to locate and catch largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Upon our arrival at this state reservoir, we were delighted to find that the water was not fouled by the effects of a turnover. Our Secchi stick indicated that the water at many locales ranged from four to five feet of visibility. The water level looked to be about 12 inches below its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 50 to 51 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:28 a.m. to 2:28 a.m., 12:54 p.m. to 2:54 p.m., and 6:18 a.m. to 8:41 a.m.

We fished from 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. with hopes of tangling with a sizeable number of largemouth bass.

During the first seven days of November at this state reservoir in years past, we have enjoyed two bountiful outings, catching 78 largemouth bass in four hours on Nov. 1, 2010, and 62 largemouth bass in four hours on Nov. 4, 2015.

But on this 2020 endeavor, and even though we didn't have to contend with the dastardly effects of the turnover syndrome, the largemouth bass fishing was very lackluster. By the time we made our last casts and retrieves with our Midwest finesse rigs, our fish counters indicated that we had caught 27 white bass, 13 largemouth bass, and six crappie.

Along about a 500-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, the brisk south wind forced us to employ a drift sock, and it was a mighty struggle to catch four largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 60- degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The water's edge is adorned with winter-dead patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, six riprap jetties, and an occasional overhanging tree. These largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's bama-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a straight swimming presentation 25 feet from the water's edge in about eight feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop along the outside edge of the American water willows in about four feet of water. One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation around the point of one of the riprap jetties in about five feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass and one white bass along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 35- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and some boulders. The water's edge is graced with winter-dead patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, some stumps, and several overhanging trees. One largemouth bass was caught under an overhanging tree in about six feet of water on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig. The white bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about three feet of water.

Along two shorelines and across a shallow-water flat in the back of this large feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass, five crappie, and 25 white bass. These shorelines have a 20- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and a few boulders, and portions of this terrain is clothed with patches of brittle naiad. The water's edge is embellished with winter-dead patches of American water willows and a few laydowns. The largemouth bass were caught on the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig on either the initial drop or straight swimming presentation in three to four feet of water. Three of the crappie were caught on the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig with a straight swimming presentation in three to four feet of water. A three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight swimming retrieve caught two crappie in three to four feet of water. The 25 white bass were caught in three to four feet of water on either the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig or the pearl Slim SwimZ rig with either a straight swimming presentation or the initial drop.

We caught one largemouth bass and one crappie on a shallow-water flat in the back of another large feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and a few boulders. Portions of its water's edge are embellished with winter-dead patches of American water willows and one large manmade brush pile. The crappie and largemouth bass were caught on the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig with a straight swimming presentation in about four feet of water.

Two largemouth bass and one white bass were caught on a shallow-water flat in the back of another large feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. The water's edge is embellished with winter-dead patches of American water willows and a large beaver hut. The coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig with a straight swimming presentation in about four feet of water caught the white bass and the two largemouth bass.

Nov. 5

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 5 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 50 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 72 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, west, and southwest at 5 to 17 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.14 at 12:53 a.m., 30.15 at 5:53 a.m., 30.17 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.14 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 1:21 a.m. to 3:21 a.m., 1:47 p.m. to 3:47 p.m., and 7:34 a.m. to 9:34 a.m.

I fished from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and here is what occurred.

Surprisingly, the water didn't exhibit any signs of turnover. In fact, the Secchi stick indicated that there were nearly 10 feet of visibility. It was the clearest that I have ever seen at this reservoir, and in about six feet of water, I could clearly see all of the anatomical details of a dead largemouth bass lying on the bottom of a mudflat. The water level looked to be slightly below normal. The surface temperature was 53 degrees. This reservoir's patches of American water willows are exhibiting a green-yellow-and-brown hue, and the patches of coontail are wilting.

For the first 73 minutes, I focused on fishing around patches of American water willows and coontail along main-lake shorelines, and I struggled to catch six largemouth bass.

I caught three largemouth bass along the dam, which has a 50- to 70-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this terrain is embellished with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. Its water's edge is graced with patches of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's mudbug ZinkerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a lengthy deadstick presentation in about nine feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's mudbug TRD HogZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, I caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some significant boulders, and portions of this terrain are adorned with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The shoreline has a 35- to 40- degree slope. The water's edge is graced with patches of coontail, a few overhanging trees, and seven docks. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's bama-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead on top of a patch of coontail in about four feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught on the mudbug ZinkerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along a 250-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 25- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and this terrain is occasionally adorned with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, a few minor patches of water primrose, some laydowns, and a few overhanging trees. The largemouth bass was caught on the mudbug TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

During the final 77 minutes, I fished along about a 400-yard stretch of another shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 25- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and a few boulders, and portions of this terrain is endowed with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is littered with 26 docks, a few patches of American water willows, some manmade brush piles, an occasional laydown, and a few overhanging trees. I caught 17 largemouth bass. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the mudbug TRD HogZ rig around a patch of coontail in about six feet of water. The other 16 largemouth bass were caught adjacent to eight of the 26 docks. Four of the sixteen largemouth bass were caught on the mudbug TRD HogZ. Five of the sixteen were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's bama-craw ZinkerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Seven of the sixteen were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. These 16 largemouth bass were caught on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation adjacent to the shady side of eight of the docks. The depth of the water ranged from seven to 12 feet.

It is somewhat interesting to note that it has been many years since I have intensely fished around docks. I cut some of my piscatorial teeth in the 1960s fishing and guiding at the Lake of the Ozarks, which is often called the lake of docks, and that decade burnt me out of ever wanting to fish around docks again. Even though it was by far the most fruitful pattern on this Nov. 5 outing in northeastern Kansas, I am not eager to do it again.

Nov. 6

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Nov. 6 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

November did not get off on a good foot for me. On Nov. 2, Bill Kenny of Corinth, Texas, and I travelled to Lake Texoma, which lies on the Oklahoma-Texas border, in search of smallmouth bass and stripers. But to our dismay, my trolling motor stopped functioning just as we began to fish. We tried to remedy the situation on the water, but we were unsuccessful, so, we decided to trailer the boat and drop it off at the boat dealership for repairs. Consequently, we won't be able to get afloat again for a while.

On Nov. 6, I conducted a four-hour bank-walking excursion at two community reservoirs in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:26 a.m. to 4:26 a.m., 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m., and 2:52 p.m. to 4:52 p.m.

The sky was overcast during the morning and partly cloudy during the afternoon. The wind angled out of the southeast at 10 to 15 mph. The morning low temperature was 60 degrees and the afternoon high temperature peaked at 79 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.14 at 11:00 a.m. and it fell to 30.04 by 4:00 p.m.

I fished from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the first community reservoir, and I struggled to catch eight largemouth bass.

The first reservoir is in the midst of an algae bloom, and the water exhibited about a foot of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal. The water temperature was 64.4 degrees. Thick mats of filamentous algae covered everything, and it was beginning to form a wall along most of the reservoir's shorelines, and it extended about three feet from the water's edge.

The north end of this reservoir consists of a large and shallow mud flat that is lined with tall stands of cattails. It is also a migratory waterfowl nesting area, and it was bustling with a couple of swans, a large flock of coots, some Canadian geese, and several mallard ducks. Therefore, I did not disturb them, and I did not fish this area.

I started fishing along the north end of the west shoreline, which possesses a slope that varies from 25 to 35 degrees. Its submerged terrain consists of mostly sand and gravel. A fishing pier adorns the middle portion of this shoreline. A tertiary point lies about 50 feet south of the pier and two tertiary points are situated several yards north of the pier. A ditch lies on the north end of this shoreline, and it cuts across the large mud flat by the waterfowl nesting area.

One largemouth bass was caught from the ditch on the north end of this shoreline. It was caught in five feet of water and about 30 feet from the water's edge on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

About 15 yards south of the ditch, I caught another largemouth bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. It was extracted from five feet of water around a small patch of submerged hydrilla near one of the two tertiary points north of the fishing pier.

Along the steeper portion of this shoreline and next to the fishing pier, I caught the third largemouth bass. It engulfed the four-inch green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig as I was slowly dragging and shaking it up the slope of the shoreline in five feet of water.

The fourth largemouth was caught in four feet of water around the tertiary point south of the fishing pier. It was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ rig.

I failed to catch any largemouth bass along the concrete-slab dam that forms the southern border of the reservoir.

The east shoreline features a long clay and gravel point on its north end, a small ditch that lies just south of the clay and gravel point, a wide sand and gravel point that is located in the middle section of this shoreline, and another ditch is situated on its south end. A long sand-and-gravel ledge parallels most of this shoreline.

This shoreline relinquished four largemouth bass. Three were caught in four to six feet of water from the deep-water side of the sand-and-gravel ledge. One was caught in six to eight feet of water near the ditch that is situated on the south end of the shoreline and just north of the concrete dam. All four of these largemouth bass were allured with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

After I finished fishing this reservoir, I drove 13 miles to the second community reservoir. This community reservoir is smaller than the first one; it is about 100 yards long and about 60 yards wide.

I fished at this reservoir from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and I caught 12 largemouth bass and five black crappie.

The water in this reservoir was dingier than normal and displayed about 14 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 62 degrees. The water level was slightly high. Like the first reservoir, this one also had a three-foot wall of filamentous algae lining the water's edge, and it made lure presentations and landing fish difficult.

I dissected a steep clay-and-gravel shoreline on the east side of the impoundment, two creek channels that course along the north and south side of an island, a flat clay and gravel shoreline with several minor points along the northern portion of the reservoir, a cove on the west side, and several minor points along the south shoreline.

I caught seven largemouth bass and one black crappie in three feet of water from around the outside edges of the wall of filamentous algae along the north shoreline and the creek channel north of the island.

Inside the west cove, I caught three largemouth bass that were abiding near the wall of filamentous algae along its northern shoreline. They were about six to 10 feet from the water's edge and abiding in less than five feet of water.

The creek channel on the south side of the island yielded one largemouth bass and four crappie. These fish were caught several yards apart from each other. They were extracted from three to five feet of water and were relating to the shallow-water side of the creek channel closest to the shoreline.

All 12 of these largemouth bass and the five crappie were caught on a slow swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ rig.

By the time this outing came to an end, I had caught a combined total of 20 largemouth bass and five black crappie in four hours. Surprisingly, the bite was tough at the beginning of the outing and while the sky was overcast, but it improved when the sky became partly cloudy and the sun began to shine.

The only effective Midwest finesse offerings and presentations were the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ rig and a slow swimming retrieve, which allured 14 of these 20 largemouth bass and the five black crappie. A slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ combo caught four largemouth bass. The four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ combo beguiled the other two largemouth bass, and one of the two was caught with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and the other one was caught with a slow drag-and-shake presentation.

Nov. 8

Travis and Randi Lee Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Nov. 8 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

While greatly wishing to get on the water yesterday, during what would have been optimal conditions, my wife and I both agreed that we should get pre-winter duties completed around the property. After seven hours of de-leafing and splitting more kindling than we will need for the winter, we were ready to fish today.

I have a particular fondness for the winter-consolidation period, which is the time of year when the most and the biggest river smallmouth stack in numbers in the areas that will see them through winter. I have a milk run of these areas separated by many miles that I rotate through until these spots freeze over typically in late December. For years these areas were spotted during extremely low-water conditions in the middle of summer. I would then return to them in November and December to see if my hunches were correct that they would hold significant numbers of wintering fish. These late-season spots are not simply floating a river and casting willy-nilly hoping for the best. They are indeed very specific locales.

While I am very much a first light and or last light angler in the summer's sweltering months, I keep bankers' hours (often less) this time of year to capitalize on midday peaks of water temperatures. While I have a general disdain for bluebird skies that are full of the sun in the summer months, it is at this time of year that I welcome those conditions.

My wife and I made our first casts at 11:50 a.m. It was very sunny, and the air temperature was 61 degrees with a projected high of 73 degrees. The water temperature was 49 at the base of very steep cliffs that receive no direct sunlight this time of year. The water temperature on the weak side of the river that gets full on sun was six degrees warmer. The water clarity is easily to 15 feet right now and flowing at a paltry 101 cubic feet per second.

As we made our first casts, I pointed out that every cast needed to be on the distinct shade/sun line directly in the middle of the river. Though my wife has accompanied me on many of the late-season outings, I always reiterate the same advice. Every species in the river winters in these stretches, and we keep an eye out for big pods of carp, fall fish, chubs, and shiners suspended mid-depth and right under us. We witnessed all of that today. I uttered more than once to forget your reel has a handle, and if you're not hanging and reeling in an oak leaf occasionally, you're fishing too fast.

So, it went. We made our casts on the fringe of the cold and a bit warmer water. All of our willing participants ate our offerings painstakingly slow and barely detectable, which I describe to friends of mine as the wet-leaf bite. It is a barely perceptible feeling that something is different and the rod's tip slowly loads. All of the fish were taken on a complete deadstick presentation over a mix of immovable giant oak trees and hay-bale-size boulders.

While I rely very heavily on both the mudbug and dirt hues throughout much of the year, I rely on baitfish hues from November onward. My reports of years ago at this time of year often mentioned the blue-steel hue. A hue that was very good to me, and I used it until the laminates of the Z-Man's Finesse ShadZ were introduced.

My wife caught 11 smallmouth, bass and seven fall fish on my heavily modified Z-Man's greasy-pawn TRD BugZ on a 1/32-ounce red Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

I caught eight smallmouth bass and one fall fish on a slightly shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Finesse TRD on a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The Finesse TRD was scented with my custom Pro-Cure Super Gel back in March.

I caught eight smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's shiner Finesse ShadZ on a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. These were scented in a different Pro-Cure Super Gel a month ago.

I never picked up my third rod.

As always, our jigs barbs were flattened and everything was liberally covered with varying kinds of Pro-Cure Super Gels.

We fished for one hour and forty minutes.

Nov. 11

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 11 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 24 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 57 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it angled out of the south, west, southeast, and southwest at 3 to 6 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:52 a.m., 30.07 at 5:52 a.m., 30.11 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.06 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 6:37 a.m. to 8:37 a.m., 7:02 p.m. to 9:02 p.m., and 12:24 a.m. to 2:24 a.m.

I fished from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and here is what occurred.

I had not ventured to his reservoir since Oct. 9, and upon arriving at the boat ramp, I was dismayed to see that the water was afflicted with a significant algae bloom. I debated about going home or venturing to another nearby reservoir. Ultimately, I decided to launch the boat with minor hopes of catching at least seven largemouth bass an hour.

The surface temperature ranged from 53 to 55 degrees. The water level looked to be about 12 inches below normal. Throughout the outing, I could barely see the motor and propeller of the bow-mounted trolling motor. The Secchi stick indicated that the visibility ranged from 15 inches and 24 inches.

This reservoir's managers have waylaid it with aquatic herbicides to kill patches of Eurasian milfoil. The last application occurred in August. Some limnologists have discovered that the killing of submerged aquatic vegetation will often provoke algal blooms, and that might be what provoked this bloom.

Besides the algae bloom, I crossed paths with a dying largemouth bass. It was floundering on the surface, and much of its torso was afflicted with the red sore disease.

I struggled mightily to catch 11 largemouth bass in two hours.

Along about a 600-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm, I caught eight of the 11 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt. Some of this terrain is graced with skimpy patches of Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge is endowed with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, occasional laydowns, a few brush piles, and 13 docks. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about three feet of water adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The other seven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. These seven were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two of the seven were caught about 15 feet from the water's edge in eight to nine feet of water, and the other five were caught from three to four feet from the water's edge in about four feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 200-yard stretch of the other shoreline inside this major feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 30- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is endowed with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few overhanging trees, occasional laydowns, a few brush piles, several significant stumps, and three docks. This largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and 15 feet from the water's edge.

Along about a 250-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is endowed with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, some laydowns, the remnants of a beaver hut, about a dozen stumps, and one overhanging tree. This largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water, 10 feet from the water's edge, and under an overhanging tree.

One largemouth bass was caught along a 75-yard stretch of the other shoreline inside this large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt. The water's edge is endowed with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, several laydowns, and several overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three feet of water, four feet from the water's edge, and adjacent to a laydown.

In sum, the largemouth bass fishing in northeastern Kansas has been extremely difficult this year. This reservoir used to be one of our most fruitful ones. But since the management decided to apply aquatic herbicides to eradicate the Eurasian milfoil, its fruitfulness has continuously waned.

Nov. 12

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs on Nov. 12.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 41 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 56 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, southwest, south, west, and northwest at 3 to 12 mph. The condition of the sky varied from being fair to partly cloudy to overcast to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.04 at 5:53 a.m., 30.00 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.96 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., 7:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m., and 1:07 a.m. to 3:07 a.m.

Patty injured the upper portions of her hamstring on her right leg while she was playing tennis last weekend. She describes it as being surprisingly painful at times. The pain provoked her to talk to Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, who is the proprietor of Exercise Therapy of Kansas City and a veteran member of the Finesse News Network. Perret told her that it is a difficult malady to cure quickly. In fact, he said it might take several weeks. He told her to stop playing tennis and do a long series of the supine groin stretch at least once a day until she is pain free. (For more insights about Perret and how he helps anglers to be pain free; see the information at these links: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/the-genius-of-travis-perret/153787; https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/brent-chapmans-tactics-for-painfree-fishing/370668.)

We fished from 11:20 a.m. to 1:47 p.m., and here is what occurred. This was Patty's first outing this week, and the pain erupted at times.

Our Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited nearly 10 feet of visibility. The water level looked to be slightly below normal. The surface temperature was 53 to 54 degrees. The American water willows along the shorelines are exhibiting a green-yellow-and-brown hue, and the patches of submerged coontail are wilting.

We spent the first 40 minutes dissecting the dam, and we caught 13 largemouth bass. The dam has a 50- to 70-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this terrain is embellished with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. There are several manmade brush piles adorning the underwater terrain. Its water's edge is graced with patches of American water willows.

The first largemouth bass was caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's mudbug ZinkerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water and 12 feet from the water's edge. A Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 12 of the 13 largemouth bass. Our TRD HogZ rigs caught four largemouth bass on the initial drop in four to five feet of water and about five feet from the water's edge. Eight largemouth bass were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs with a drag-and-shake presentation in five to 10 feet of water, and they were caught from five to 25 feet from the water's edge.

The Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 23 of the 24 largemouth bass that we caught.

During the next 107 minutes, we struggled to catch 11 largemouth bass.

In the upper half of the reservoir, two main-lake points and their adjacent shoreline were fruitless, and so was a portion of a shallow-water flat and a tertiary point and its adjacent shorelines in the upper half of the reservoir.

Ten of the 11 largemouth bass were caught along about a 300-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 25- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, and portions of this terrain is endowed with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is littered with 13 docks, a few patches of American water willows, a few manmade brush piles, an occasional laydown, and several overhanging trees. All of the largemouth bass were inveigled by our TRD HogZ rigs in six to 12 feet of water. Five were caught adjacent to four of the docks, and they were caught on either the initial drop or a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other five were caught while we were employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight to 12 feet of water.

One of the 11 largemouth bass was caught along about a 100-yard stretch of another shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 25- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and boulders, and this terrain is occasionally adorned with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, a few minor patches of water primrose, some laydowns, a few overhanging trees, and a small stone bridge. This largemouth bass was number 24, and it was caught on the last cast of the outing with the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around patches of coontail and near the outside edge of some American water willows.

We were hoping to catch a touch more than 10 largemouth bass an hour, but our catch rate was 9.6 per hour. It has been a difficult task to catch an average of 10 black bass an hour this year at any of the community, state, and federal reservoirs in northeastern Kansas. Years ago, we always began our outings with hopes of catching 101 black bass in four hours. Nowadays, hopes of catching 25 black bass an hour never occurs.

Here are two more examples of the sorry conditions that we are enduring: About halfway through our Nov. 12 outing, we crossed paths with another largemouth bass angler who complained that the fishing was horrible. He reported that he had caught three largemouth bass in about two hours of fishing. What's more, we received an email on Nov. 12 from Paul Finn of Olathe, Kansas, who is a longtime member of the Finesse News Network, and he wrote that it has been "absolutely the worse fall fishing in years."

Nov. 14

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Nov. 14 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Since my boat and trolling motor are still in the repair shop, I opted to join Bill Kenny of Corinth, Texas, for an afternoon of slowly meandering along the shorelines of four community reservoirs. Two of them are situated in the city limits of Dallas and the other two are located in two suburbs south of Denton.

Nov. 14 was a blustery day, and the warm weather did not make it feel much like fall. The morning low temperature was 60 degrees and the afternoon high reached 85 degrees. The robust wind quartered out of the south and southwest at 20 to 30 mph. The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to overcast then back to partly cloudy again. The barometric pressure measured 29.92 at noon and 29.71 at 5:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods would take place from 2:51 a.m. to 4:51 a.m., 9:05 a.m. to 11:05 a.m., and 9:33 p.m. to 11:33 p.m.

Bill and I were afoot from noon to 5:13 p.m., and we fished for about four hours during that time.

The first two community reservoirs we fished are located in the northern region of Dallas. Ten years ago, Rick Allen of Dallas and I used to fish both of these reservoirs during the winter months because they both contained healthy patches of green hydrilla, and the winter bass fishing was the best that we had experienced at that time. But in the summer of 2011, the hydrilla was eradicated by chemical spraying, and the once bountiful bass fishing became almost non-existent.

During this outing, I was interested in seeing if any of the hydrilla patches had grown back and if the bass fishing had bounced back since the chemical spraying in 2011. Bill and I dissected the most high-percentage spots in these two impoundments. We failed to elicit any strikes from the first one.

The water temperature in the second reservoir was 66 degrees. The water exhibited about 14 inches of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal.

This impoundment is about 40 yards wide and 50 yards long. Its perimeter is formed by a decorative stone retaining wall. The base of the retaining wall is reinforced with fist-size rocks. There are several small points that extend out a few feet from the water's edge, and there is a shallow ditch that extends out toward the center of the impoundment from the north shoreline.

We could muster only two largemouth bass and we failed to land a third one. These three largemouth bass were abiding in four to six feet of water around the shallow ditch on the north side of the impoundment. They were enticed by a slow drag-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. We failed to garner any strikes around the small points or the outside edges of the rocks that line the base of the decorative retaining wall.

Ultimately, we discovered that there were no patches of hydrilla in either of these two reservoirs, and the bass fishing was as wretched as it was in 2011.

After that disappointing start, Bill and I travelled 23 miles to the third community reservoir. This reservoir is the same one that I fished on Nov. 6, and it yielded 12 largemouth bass and five black crappie during that outing. The fishing was difficult here, too, and it was a grind to catch nine largemouth bass.

As I noted in my Nov. 6 log, this reservoir is about the size of a football field. A large island and an adjacent cove occupy the west end of this impoundment. Two creek channels run parallel to the island's northern and southern shorelines.

This impoundment's north shoreline is relatively flat, and features several small clay points and a small concrete water outlet.

The south shoreline is steeper than the northern and western ones, and it is endowed with several prominent points and a decorative stone wall that borders one of the points.

The east end of the reservoir has the deepest water, and is formed with a steep clay bank.

The water level was normal. The water exhibited about 12 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 68 degrees. A wall of aquatic vegetation that is covered with filamentous algae festoons the majority of this reservoir's shorelines, and it extends about five feet out from the water's edge.

We caught six largemouth bass that were scattered across the north shoreline. They were relating to the outside edge of the aquatic vegetation in three to five feet of water and were five to seven feet out from the water's edge. Five of them were allured by a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ matched with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. One was induced into striking a Z-Man's black-blue TRD HogZ that was rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. This combo was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along the steeper east shoreline, we caught two largemouth bass that were abiding in less than four feet of water and were associated with the outside edge of the wall of aquatic vegetation. One was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ combo, and the other one engulfed the Canada-craw TRD HogZ rig as it was utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along the south bank inside the west cove, Bill caught one largemouth bass on a steady swimming retrieve with a Worden's black 1/16-ounce Rooster Tail in-line spinner. This was one of the few areas along the shoreline were there was not any aquatic vegetation. This largemouth was caught in less than three feet of water and was associated with the deep-water side of a minor clay-and-gravel ledge that runs parallel to the shoreline.

We fished about 75 percent of the south shoreline without generating any strikes, so we decided to leave.

On our way home, we stopped at another community reservoir that we have not fished before, and it was fruitless.

In short, the black bass fishing at the community reservoirs in north-central Texas is slow, but it is still better than our horrid wintertime fishing for largemouth bass that is quickly approaching. One of the reasons why it is so horrid stems from the fact that our reservoirs are stocked with Florida-strain largemouth bass. Another reason revolves around the inabilities of the managers of our reservoirs to cultivate and manually maintain submerged aquatic vegetation.

Nov. 16

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs on Nov. 16.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 34 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 65 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, southwest, west, and northwest at 7 to 15 mph. The condition of the sky varied from being fair to being littered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 12:53 a.m., 30.14 at 5:53 a.m., 30.18 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.19 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:19 a.m. to 12:19 p.m., 4:38 a.m. to 6:38 a.m., and 5:09 p.m. to 7:09 p.m.

We fished from 10:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 51 to 52 degrees. The water level was nearly normal. The American water willows along the shorelines are in their winter-dead phase. The patches of submerged coontail are wilting. The water exhibited a cloud-like and grayish hue that we have never witnessed before.

There is something awry with the water clarity at this reservoir. Traditionally, it has been one of the clearest reservoirs that we fish. For example, our Secchi stick measured 10 feet of visibility on Aug. 14. But by the middle of October, the visibility ranged from 2 ½ to four feet of clarity. In October, we thought that the clarity had been fouled by the turnover phenomenon. Now, we don't have a clue of what has transpired with the clarity. We were disheartened when we measured the clarity on Nov. 16, and our Secchi stick measured about 12 inches of visibility at several locales and about three feet of visibility other locales.

As the water clarity has fouled, our ability to locate and catch this reservoir's largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has become extremely trying. And several of our Midwest finesse colleagues have experienced similar woes.

But during the first 30 minutes on our Nov, 16 outing, we caught 12 largemouth bass, and we thought that our woeful fishing had come to an end. But during the next 120 minutes, we eked out only seven largemouth bass.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught 14 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 35- to 80-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Small portions of the underwater terrain are clothed with patches of coontail. The water's edge is adorned with laydowns, logs, overhanging trees, and occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows. A Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 13 of the 14 largemouth bass. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three of the 14 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in three to four feet of water. Eleven were caught while we employed a drag-and-shake presentation in four to about seven feet of water. These largemouth bass were caught from three feet to about 15 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught adjacent to laydowns. Five were caught near the outside edge of patches of winter-dead American water willows.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass around patches of coontail in about six feet of water. They were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

On two shallow-water flats that are embellished with patches of coontail inside a small feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of this reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass and accidentally caught one black crappie over patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ with a very slow swim-and-glide presentation in about six feet of water. A Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass in about six feet of water.

We failed to garner a strike around four main-lake points and along long portions of two main-lake shorelines.

This a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. It was our most effective rig on Nov. 16.

There is a mistaken notion in the angling world that finesse tactics are not effective in stained-waterways. But for decades, Midwest finesse anglers in Kansas and Missouri have caught untold numbers of largemouth bass in waterways that are plagued with one to two feet of visibility. During the past two years, a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a blue or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig has been one of our most fruitful stained-water rigs. During this outing, we crossed paths with a power angler who was using a black-and-blue skirted jig and trailer, and he had failed to elicit a strike with it and with several other power-style rigs for stained waterways.

And Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, told us in a telephone conversation that he battled 39-mph west and northwest winds on Nov. 15 at this reservoir, and it was a major struggle to catch 11 black bass with his Midwest finesse tactics.

Nov. 17

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

Here is an unedited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 26 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 60 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm during three of the early morning hours, and at other times, it angled out of the northwest, west, east, and southeast at 3 to 16 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.42 at 12:52 a.m., 30.47 at 5:52 a.m., 30.50 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.40 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:32 a.m. to 1:32 p.m., 12:02 p.m. to 2:02 p.m., and 5:47 a.m. to 7:47 a.m.

I fished from 10:39 a.m. to 1:39 p.m.

The surface temperature was 50 degrees. The water level was about five feet below its normal level. The American water willows along the shorelines are in their winter-dead phase, and because the water level is extremely low, most of the American water willows are out of the water. The patches of submerged coontail and brittle naiad are wilting, but the curly-leaf pondweed is beginning to sprout. The low-water conditions seem to have adversely affected the size and intensity of the patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and curly-leaf pondweed. According to the Secchi stick, the water exhibited more than seven feet of visibility.

Around a main-lake point, I caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are a few meager patches of brittle naiad adorning the underwater terrain. It possesses about a 40-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. These three largemouth bass were abiding within three feet of each other.

Across a massive flat in the back of one of the major feeder-creek arms and short portions of this flats' shorelines, I caught nine largemouth bass.

Along about a 40-yard stretch of one shoreline, I caught four of the nine largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and it is adorned with occasional patches of brittle naiad. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; one was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water around some rocks, and the other one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. The other two were caught on the TRD BugZ rig, and one was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water, and the second one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Five of the nine largemouth bass were caught in five to 10 feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that adorn this massive flat. On this flat, I probed an area about the size of three football fields One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Four were caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Around a secondary point, along about a 60-yard stretch of one shoreline, and along about a 40-yard stretch of another shoreline inside another major feeder-creek arm, I caught six largemouth bass. The point and shorelines have a 30- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with some patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and curly-leaf pondweed. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of brittle naiad in about five feet of water along one of the shorelines. Three largemouth bass were caught on the TRD HogZ rig around the point; two of them were caught on the initial drop of the rig in three to four feet of water, and one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass; one was caught along each of the shorelines and around patches of brittle naiad in five to six feet of water.

Inside the second major feeder-creek arm, I caught 13 largemouth bass across portions of a massive shallow-water flat near the backend of this arm. The area that I dissected is the size of about two football fields, and it is endowed with occasional patches of brittle naiad, coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and a significant number of manmade brush piles. Four of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to nine feet of water. The TRD HogZ rig inveigled nine largemouth bass in five to nine feet of water on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Four of the 13 were caught within about a 10-foot-square area of this massive flat.

On the left side of this photograph is a coontail specimen. On the right is a stem of curly-leaf pondweed. In November, December, January, and February, Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas catch significant numbers of largemouth bass across shallow-water flats that are adorned with coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. For many years we have petitioned our reservoirs' managers and fisheries biologists to cultivate and manually maintain patches of coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and other types of submerged vegetation. But those petitions have failed.

In sum, it has been a tussle this fall to catch 10 largemouth bass an hour, and the catch rate on this outing was 10.3 per hour. None of them, however, would have won a tournament or made the final cut of a television show, but during this strange and trying year, it was delightful for me -- as a numbers hunter rather than a lunker hunter – to finally tangle with at least 10 largemouth bass an hour. It is interesting to note that Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I caught 122 largemouth bass from 10:38 a.m. to 3:32 p.m. at these same locales on Oct. 24, 2019. Since that bountiful outing of a year ago, Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas have struggled, worried, and complained about the state of the black bass fishing. None of us can determine what is going on with our reservoirs and the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

It is predicted that Mother Nature will wallop Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas with 30 to 40 mph winds on Nov. 18 and 19. So, we will take a hiatus for a short spell.

Nov. 20

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs on Nov. 20.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 40 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 60 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind was calm for two hours, and then it angled out of the southwest, southeast, north, northeast, and east at 3 to 21 mph. The condition of the sky varied from being fair to overcast to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 12:52 a.m., 30.20 at 5:52 a.m., 30.33 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.31 at 1:52 p.m.

The water's surface temperature ranged from 50 to 51 degrees. The water level looked to be almost two feet below its normal level The American water willows that adorn many of the shorelines are in their winter-dead phase, and many of them are out of the water. This reservoir's managers have waylaid some the American water willows and virtually all of the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, and this poisoning provoked several massive algae blooms to erupt regularly in 2020. But on this outing, there were no algal blooms, and our secchi stick revealed that the visibility was almost five feet.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 2:48 a.m. to 4:48 a.m., 3:14 p.m. to 5:14 p.m., and 9:01 a.m. to 11:01 a.m.

We fished from 10:00 a.m. to 12:31 p.m.

Our abilities to catch significant numbers of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass at this reservoir has plummeted dramatically during the past three years. This decline parallels the massive doses of aquatic herbicides that the managers have applied.

On this outing, we struggled to catch and release one smallmouth bass and 19 largemouth bass. And we inadvertently caught two rainbow trout.

Two largemouth bass were caught around a wind-blown main-lake point in the upper half of this reservoir. It has a 45- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows and some laydowns. The largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's bama-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Finesse Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and about 12 feet from the water's edge.

Three largemouth bass were caught around another main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 75- to 80-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and an array of large boulders. The water's edge is graced with several patches of winter-dead American water willows, some laydowns, and several overhanging trees. The bama-craw TRD BugZ rig caught one of the largemouth bass with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about nine feet of water. Two of the three were caught on 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Finesse Mushroom Jighead; one was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water; the other one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water. These three largemouth bass were caught in the same vicinity on this massive point.

Along about a 100-yard section of a shoreline inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the middle potions of this reservoir, we caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is embellished with winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. The smallmouth bass was caught on the bama-craw TRD BugZ rig with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about six feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge. The largemouth bass was caught in the same vicinity on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Finesse Mushroom Jighead with a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

Along about a 150-yard section of the other shoreline inside this medium-size feeder-creek arm,we caught eleven largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 40-degree slope. It has two tertiary points. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. The water's edge is embellished with winter-dead American water willows, several overhanging trees, and a few laydowns. We caught four largemouth bass under one series of overhanging trees; two of them were caught on the initial drop of the bama-craw TRD BugZ rig in about four feet of water; the other two were caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Finesse Mushroom Jighead. Along other sections of this shoreline, the bama-craw TRD BugZ caught three largemouth bass with a swim-and-glide presentation in about six feet of water, and we caught five largemouth bass on the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

We caught two largemouth bass around a secondary point and along a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of this reservoir. The point and shoreline have a 25- to 30-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with a few patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. At the secondary point, the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig caught a largemouth bass on the initial drop in about three feet of water. Adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows, the Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig caught a largemouth bass on the initial drop in about three feet of water, and that was largemouth bass number 19, and it was caught on our last cast of the outing.

Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Finesse Mushroom Jighead was our most effective rig.

We failed to elicit a strike along about a 200-yard stretch of a flat shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm in the upper half of the reservoir. We also failed to elicit a strike around two main-lake points in the upper half of the reservoir. The shorelines and tertiary points inside a small feeder-creek arm in the upper half of the reservoir failed to provide us with a strike. In years past, these areas were endowed with significant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation from which we caught and released untold numbers of largemouth bass and rainbow trout in November through much of March.

In closing, we miss those massive patches of submerged vegetation, and perhaps the largemouth bass miss them, too.

Nov. 21

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Nov. 21 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The weather in north-central Texas has been mostly mild this fall, with nighttime lows in the mid-50s to lower 60s, and the daytime highs in the mid to upper 70s. Normally, the average low temperature for this time in November is 44 degrees and the average high temperature is 64 degrees.

On Nov. 21, the morning low temperature was 61 degrees and the afternoon high peaked at 75 degrees. The sky was overcast during most of the morning, then it became mostly cloudy with a few short spells of sunshine now and then. There was a 5 to 10 mph wind that blew out of the south. The barometric pressure measured 30.30 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.18 at 2:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods would take place from 3:50 a.m. to 5:50 a.m., 10:03 a.m. to 12:03 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The calendar also noted that the fishing would be poor.

I fished at two community reservoirs that are located in two suburbs south of Denton. I fished at the first reservoir from 8:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and after taking about an hour break for lunch, I fished at the second impoundment from 12:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The first community reservoir is the same one where I conducted a solo outing on Nov. 6, and I fished it a second time on Nov. 14 with Bill Kenny of Corinth, Texas. It surrendered 12 largemouth bass and five crappie on Nov. 6, and nine largemouth bass on Nov. 14. But this time, the bass bite was much more difficult.

The water level was about a foot high. The water was stained and exhibited about 12 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 62.6 degrees.

I dissected two creek channels that course along the north and south side of an island, a flat clay and gravel shoreline with several minor points along the northern portion of the reservoir, a cove on the west side, several more minor points along the south shoreline, and a steep clay-and-gravel shoreline on the east side of the impoundment. It took me two hours and 45 minutes to dissect these areas, and I could muster only three largemouth bass and one crappie.

One largemouth bass was caught in four feet of water from the end of one of the minor points on the north shoreline. It was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The other two largemouth bass were caught in four to seven feet of water along the deep-water side of a short gravel-and-clay ledge that lies along the south shoreline inside the west cove. One was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ combo, and the other one was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead.

The crappie was caught in five feet of water on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ combo near the edge of a creek channel that courses next to an island.

After that disappointing start, I took about an hour break before I ventured to the second community reservoir, which lies about 11 miles from the first one.

The water at the second reservoir exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The water level appeared to be about a foot high. The water temperature was 63.9 degrees.

The submerged terrain of this impoundment is comprised of mostly clay and gravel. A couple of shallow clay-and-gravel ledges parallel the east and west shorelines. There are several patches of wilted lily pads that line the north and west shorelines.

I caught six largemouth bass along the east shoreline, which has about a 25-degree gradient. They were caught in five to seven feet of water from the sides of this shoreline's two primary clay points. They were attracted to a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ that was matched with a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ fastened to a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Along the north end of the impoundment, I caught two largemouth bass. This area consists of a clay and gravel flat and a small feeder creek enters the reservoir at its western end. These two largemouth bass were caught on the east end of the flat in about four feet of water. One was caught on the 3 1/2-inch green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other largemouth bass engulfed the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo while it was being utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I did not find any largemouth bass inhabiting the area around the small feeder-creek.

The shallow ledge that parallels the west shoreline and this shoreline's three shallow clay points were the most fruitful spots, and they yielded nine largemouth bass and one bluegill. Seven of the nine largemouth bass and the one bluegill were caught on the 3 1/2-inch green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other two largemouth bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig. They were abiding in four to seven feet of water.

The south end of this reservoir encompasses a decorative concrete and stone dam. The bottom terrain adjacent to the base of the dam is covered with riprap. A small rock pile lies a short distance in front of the dam. I dissected this area with the green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ and the pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigs, but I was unable to generate any other strikes.

Overall, the bass bite at the first community reservoir was much tougher than it has been, and it was a chore to catch three largemouth bass and one crappie there. The bass bite was better at the second impoundment, and it relinquished 17 largemouth bass and one bluegill. All totaled, I caught 20 largemouth bass, one crappie, and one bluegill in five hours, which is what we consider an above-average outing for our neck of the woods.

The most productive lure was the 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ matched with a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. This combo was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Nov. 22

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief logon the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 22 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs that has been affected by the largemouth bass virus. And the largemouth bass fishing has been quite trying for the past two to three years.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 41 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 53 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the northeast, north, northwest, and west at 3 to 21 mph. The condition of the sky varied from being overcast to partly cloudy, and at 3:53 p.m., it became fair. The barometric pressure was 30.29 at 12:53 a.m., 30.30 at 5:53 a.m., 30.35 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.31 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be more than three feet below its normal level. The water exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature inside the warm-water plume ranged from 58 to 64 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 4:30 a.m. to 6:50 a.m., 4:53 p.m. to 6:53 p.m., and 10:42 a.m. to 12:42 p.m.

I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

I spent the entire outing plying the shorelines along four bluffs, one riprap shoreline, one major main-lake point, and a massive offshore hump that is attached to this point. All of these areas are situated inside the warm-water plume.

When I fished along the four bluffs, I allowed the wind to propel the boat. I didn't use a drift sock to slow the speed of the boat. Instead, I positioned the bow of the boat into the wind, and I used my electric trolling motor to slow down the pace of the drift. In other words, the boat was going backwards, which is a tactic that several Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas often use to deal with the windy ways of their flatland reservoirs. The wind also created a bow in the line, which assisted in detecting strikes, and I would often see the line begin to straighten prior to feeling any tightness.

Since the water level is low, there is a significant gap between the overhanging trees and the surface of the water. Because the shoreline isn't lined and cluttered with scores of overhanging trees, there was virtually no area that I couldn't put my Midwest finesse rigs right at the water's edge.

My most effective rigs were a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig.

These rigs caught 27 largemouth bass, four channel catfish, one crappie, and one white bass.

Most of these fish were caught in two to eight feet of water. And along a steep section of one of the bluffs, several of the largemouth bass were caught that seemed to be somewhat suspended in six to eight feet below the surface and 15 to 20 from the water's edge. But they could have been following my swim-and-glide presentations for 15 to 20 feet before they elected to try to consume the Midwest finesse rig.

Nov. 23

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Nov. 23 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

A cold front passed through north-central Texas on Nov. 22, and it was accompanied by some misty rain. It also dropped the daytime air temperatures from the mid-70s to the mid-50s, and the nighttime temperatures dropped from the low 60s to the mid-40s. The cooler temperatures continued on Nov. 23 with a morning low temperature of 42 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 59 degrees. Throughout the day, the sky conditions varied from overcast to partly sunny to overcast again. The barometric pressure was 30.29 at 11:00 and 30.12 at 4:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the east and southeast at 10 to 15 mph.

My boat is still being serviced at the dealership, so I elected to join Bill Kenney of Corinth, Texas, at three community reservoirs in north-central Texas.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, would occur from 5:23 a.m. to 7:23 a.m., 11:12 a.m. to 1:12 p.m., and 5:44 p.m. to 7:44 p.m. The calendar also noted that the fishing would be poor.

We fished at the first reservoir from 10:20 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the second one from about 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the third one from 3:10 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The first community reservoir we fished is located about six miles south of Denton. Bill has fished it several times this fall, but I have not fished it since 2014. We shared this impoundment with four other anglers, and we caught and released 7 largemouth bass and one large green sunfish.

This impoundment has a tear-drop shape. Its submerged terrain is unremarkable, consisting of clay and silt. The south and west shorelines are shallow, while the north and east shorelines are steeper with a gradient of 20 to 25 degrees.

The water level appeared to be normal. The water looked muddy, exhibiting about 10 to 12 inches of clarity. The water temperature was 58.5 degrees.

We caught one largemouth bass and one large green sunfish in three feet of water and about 15 feet from the water's edge from a shallow-water section of the south shoreline. The largemouth bass was caught on a slow-swimming retrieve with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ that was rigged Texsposed on a 1/15-ounce Z-Man's green-pumpkin BulletZ jig. The green sunfish was caught on a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's black-blue TRD TubeZ that was fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Mushroom OG Jighead.

Four largemouth bass were caught from the deeper water around the east shoreline. They were abiding about 20 to 30 feet from the water's edge in six to eight feet of water. A drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve with the four-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ rig allured three of them, and a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's Mushroom OG Jighead caught the fourth one.

About 25 feet out from the end of a small tertiary point that is situated on the north shoreline, we caught two largemouth bass in four to six feet of water. They were caught on a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve with the 2 3/4-inch black-blue TRD TubeZ rig.

We failed to generate any other strikes along the west end of the impoundment.

After we finished fishing the first impoundment, we took a break to run an errand and get some lunch.

The second impoundment is larger than the first one, and its submerged terrain is comprised of mostly clay. It is also covered with layers of dead leaves and twigs.

The water exhibited about 12 inches of visibility. The water level appeared to be a couple of feet low. The water temperature was 61.5 degrees.

We caught 10 largemouth bass, two large bluegills, and one large green sunfish at this reservoir.

We could not establish a location pattern. Five largemouth bass, two large bluegill, and a large sunfish were caught along the north shoreline. This shoreline has about a 25-degree incline. It has a large primary point and a large pocket adjacent to the point. A shallow ledge about three feet wide and covered with about a foot or two of water parallels this shoreline.

We caught two largemouth bass in three feet of water from the east end of this shoreline next to the deep-water side of the shallow ledge. One largemouth bass was caught from the middle section of this ledge in five feet of water and about 10 feet from the water's edge. The other two largemouth bass were caught in five feet of water inside the pocket next to the primary point.

Along a small concrete spillway on the west end of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass that were abiding in three to five feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught from the south shoreline. This shoreline is flat and its main features are two primary points and a couple of smaller tertiary points. These three largemouth bass were scattered across this shoreline in three to five feet of water and about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge.

Five of these ten largemouth bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three were caught on the Texsposed-rigged four-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ combo and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Bill caught two largemouths on a steady-swimming retrieve with a generic three-inch pumpkin-pepper-green curly-tail grub threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Mushroom OG Jighead.

We spent the last 75 minutes of this outing plying the third reservoir, which lies about two miles from the second one, and other than a couple of tentative strikes from a couple of green sunfish that we failed to hook, we failed to catch a largemouth bass from this impoundment.

In short, we caught 17 largemouth bass, two bluegills, and two large green sunfish in four hours, and we would classify this outing as average.

Nov. 26

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 29 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 57 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 6 to 9 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 12:53 a.m., 30.02 at 5:53 a.m., 30.02 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.97 at 1:53 p.m.

The water's surface temperature was 49 degrees. The water level looked to be more than one foot below its normal level. Our secchi stick revealed that the visibility ranged from 1 ½ to two feet.

The American water willows that adorn many of the shorelines are in their winter-dead phase, and many of them are out of the water. What's more, the reservoir's managers waylaid a few of the patches of the American water willows and many of the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation with herbicides. These poisonings have provoked several massive algal blooms to erupt regularly in 2020, and on this outing, we were plagued again by an algae bloom.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 7:04 a.m. to 9:04 a.m., 7:24 p.m. to 9:24 p.m., and 12:54 a.m. to 2:54 a.m.

We celebrated our first COVID-19 Thanksgiving, which was devoid of our four children, their spouses, their 10 children, and an array of other family members, by fishing from 11:20 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.

During falls of the past, we have found that the fishing can be quite trying at the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas when there is an algae bloom and the water temperature is in the 40s. And it was trying fishing for us on this Thanksgiving Day. In fact, we struggled to catch two dinky largemouth bass during the first 65 minutes that we were afloat.

During the next 70 minutes, however, we somehow crossed paths with and caught 18 largemouth bass.

We failed to elicit a strike along a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside one of the reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms.

Along many yards of this primary feeder-creek arm's other shoreline, we also failedto garner a strike. We fished about 700-yards of this shoreline. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt. Some of the underwater terrain was missed by the herbicide applications, and these locales are now endowed with some meager patches of Eurasian milfoil. Its water's edge is bedizened with occasional patches of American water willows, laydowns, brush piles, 26 docks, and several retaining walls. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope.

Ultimately, we found several spots along this massive shoreline where we could catch a few largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and 15 feet from the water's edge. It was not abiding around any noticeable objects or vegetation. This was the only strike and fish that this pearl rig allured; traditionally pearl is a very effective hue when the water is affected by a significant algae bloom.

Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Bama-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a light-blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with drag-and-shake presentations in three to six feet of water and five to 12 feet from the water's edge. One was caught adjacent to a pile of brush. The other two were not abiding around any noticeable objects or vegetation.

We caught 11 largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a light-blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig near the outside edge of patches of American water willows. Four were caught with a slow swim-and-glide presentation around patches of Eurasian milfoil in four to five feet of water. The other four were caught on a drag-shake-and-pause presentation in four to seven feet of water and 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge, and they were not abiding around any noticeable objects or vegetation.

Along about a 250-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another primary feeder-creek arm, we caught five largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which is also bestowed with an array of stumps. The water's edge is graced with patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and one dilapidated beaver hut.

A Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught two largemouth bass. One was caught by strolling and employing a drag-shake-and-pause presentation in about seven feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge. The second largemouth bass was caught around the dilapidated beaver hut with a swim-and-glide presentation in about three feet of water.

The TRD HogZ rig caught three largemouth bass. Two were caught on a slow swim-and-glide presentation near the outside edge of the American water willows in four to five feet of water. One was caught on a drag-shake-and-pause presentation around a stump in about four feet of water.

Even though we were disappointed by the algae bloom and the trying largemouth bass fishing, it was a delightful and quiet way to celebrate this unusual Thanksgiving. We relished watching two bald eagles incessantly perching on the edge of their nest in a humongous oak tree. An array of waterfowl entertained us – as did numerous red-tailed hawks and blue jays.

Here are some insights about algal blooms:

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/be_careful_what_you_wish_for_when_managing_aquatic_weeds.

https://www.winknews.com/2020/10/12/chemical-spraying-can-lead-to-algae-blooms/.

Nov. 27 Photo

Brandon Marlow of LaFollette, Tennessee, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Nov. 27.

Here is an edited version of his log.

I fished a feeder-creek arm of a TVA highland reservoir in eastern Tennessee from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The air temperature according to the National Weather service was 44 degrees at 10:30 a.m. and 57 degrees at 3:00 p.m. It was mostly sunny, and there was little to no wind.

The water level was 18 feet below full pool. The average visibility was eight feet. The surface temperature was 60 degrees.

In-Fisherman's soluner calendar said the best times to fish were from 7:55 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. and 8:16 p.m. to 10:16 p.m.

I fished two channel-swing shorelines or banks and one mud flat on this trip.

The channel swings laid out almost identical. They have an average slope of 45 degrees, with the occasional bluff walls. They are covered with large boulders and a few laydowns.

The first one yielded 11 smallmouth bass. They were caught on a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD on a green-pumpkin 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a number two hook. I employed a slow drag-and-deadstick presentation as I tried to stay in contact with the bottom. I used the rod to drag the bait very slowly and would pause for 15 to 20 seconds. The only time I used the reel was to take up slack. Nine smallmouth bass hit while the bait was paused. Two of them were caught on the initial drop, and they were caught along a 20-yard stretch of bluff wall. The other nine were caught in 15 to 20 feet of water along a 500-yard stretch of the shoreline, and they didn't seem to really be relating to anything other than that depth.

The second spot was another channel swing that yielded four smallmouth bass. They were caught on the PB&J Finesse TRD rig with the same slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve. They were caught in 10 feet of water on the edge of a transition, where the 45-degree bank went from large boulders and chunk rock to clay mud and pea gravel. I fished several hundred more yards of that bank without a bite.

Stop three was a large mud flat that is probably close to an acre in size with scattered rock and an average depth of 10 feet. It was graced with a lot of baitfish. So, I switched to a 2.5-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim Swimz affixed to a pearl 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. I position the boat as shallow as I could and used Garmin's Panoptix LivScope to look out 80 feet and target some of the random rocks and keep track of the baitfish. I managed to catch three smallmouth bass on this flat by casting the Slim SwimZ , letting it sink to the bottom, and ripping it off the bottom, which is similar to the way we retrieve a flutter spoon. All three were caught on the fall.

In summary, it was a little slower than I expected, but the bite should pick up during the next couple weeks with the cold air that is moving in.

Nov. 28

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 28 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs that has been severely affected by the largemouth bass virus. Thus, it was a struggle for him to catch an hourly average of 3.6 largemouth bass.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 30 degrees at 4:53 a.m. and 54 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the west, southwest, and south at 3 to 21 mph. The condition of the sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.27 at 12:53 a.m., 30.24 at 5:53 a.m., 30.21 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.14 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about three feet below its normal level. The water was afflicted by slight algae bloom and exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature inside the warm-water plume was 64 degrees, and at the dam, it was 54 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 8:16 a.m. to 10:16 a.m., 8:38 p.m. to 10:38 p.m., and 2:05 a.m. to 4:05 a.m.

I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Along two bluffs inside the warm-water plume, I caught one dinky largemouth bass and six white bass.

Outside of the warm-water plume, I failed to elicit a strike along an edge of a submerged creek channel that is endowed with stumps and laydowns. But on a submerged roadbed near this submerged creek channel, I caught three largemouth bass. I fished the west and east ends of the riprap-laden dam, a flat and boulder-laden main-lake point, and a 150-yard stretch of a riprap shoreline, where I caught one freshwater drum and one largemouth bass.

As the moon was rising, I ended the outing by thoroughly dissecting about 500 yards of two other bluffs inside the warmer-water plume. In fact, I fished along them twice.

The underwater terrain of these bluffs consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this terrain is enhanced with manmade brush piles. The water's edge is embellished with some laydowns and scores of overhanging trees.

Along these two bluffs, I caught 25 largemouth bass, one crappie, and one channel catfish.

I caught most of the fish on either a Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig or a well-worn 2 ½-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. A well-worn ZinkerZ is easy to cast, and it has excellent suspending qualities, which allows it to slowly glide and drop along the bluff walls.

FIND A DEALER
See something you like? Need to re-stock? Find the dealer nearest you to get all our latest products.
RECENT NEWS
HeadlineZ

Leaping Up the Leaderboard

HeadlineZ

Hanging With The Big Boy

HeadlineZ

Spring Black Sea Bass Fishing on Buzzards Bay

HeadlineZ

A Winning Culture

HeadlineZ

Midwest Finesse Fishing: January 2021

CONNECT WITH US
LIKE US
On Facebook
FOLLOW US
On Twitter
SUBSCRIBE TO
Our YouTube Channel
CHECK US OUT
On Instagram