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Midwest Finesse Fishing: October 2020

Camille Trinidad of Kansas City, Kansas, with one of the smallmouth bass she caught on Oct. 7.

Oct. 1

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Oct 1.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 48 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 63 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky was fair until 10:53 a.m., and then it became cluttered with a few clouds and partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the west, north, and northwest at 5 to 31 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.16 at 12:53 a.m., 30.17 at 5:53 a.m., 30.29 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.26 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:31 a.m. to 12:31 p.m., 10:52 p.m. to 1:52 a.m., and 4:21 a.m. to 6:21 a.m.

October and March are traditionally the windiest months of the year, and that tradition continued today. The 23- to 31-mph gusts were so frequent and intense that I was hesitant to fish. Ultimately, I decided to try to fish along the somewhat wind-sheltered dam at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs from 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be slightly above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 66 to 67 degrees. The secchi-stick measured a touch more than three feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam.

During this outing, I caught 30 largemouth bass in two hours and 30 minutes, and largemouth bass number 30 was inveigled as the alarm clock signaled that my outing had come to an end.

Here is how these 150 minutes unfolded.

I spent 125 minutes thoroughly dissecting the entire dam. I gave the dam a rest for 25 minutes, and I spent that time venturing to the upper-half of this reservoir, where I superficially examined and quickly fished two wind-blown shorelines.

Along the dam, I caught 29 largemouth bass. Thirteen of them were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man Fishing Products' mudbug Hula StickZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. I caught nine largemouth bass on a Z-Man's mudbug Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Seven of the 29 were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The dam has a 50- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is embellished with American water willows and several kinds of emergent vegetation. There are some scattered patches of coontail gracing the outside edges of some of the patches of American water willows. There are also a few submerged logs and tree limbs that litter the underwater terrain.

The 29 largemouth bass were caught in about three to 10 feet of water. They were caught on either the initial drop of the rigs or on a slow swim-and-glide presentation. Three were caught from 10 to 15 feet from the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. The other 26 were caught within one to about six feet from the outside edges of the American water willow patches.

One largemouth bass was caught along one of the two shorelines that I quickly fished in the upper-half of this reservoir. This section was extremely wind-blown, and the water exhibited about 12 inches of visibility. This largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a slow swim-and-glide presentation along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows that is intertwined with some coontail.

Years ago, when central Missouri's and northeastern Kansas' reservoirs had humongous populations of white bass, we used to relish the autumn winds. Those winds helped us to regularly catch and release in four hours from 101 to 175 white bass along scores of wind-blow shorelines and points. But those white bass populations were waylaid by some undiagnosed woe in 2009 and 2010. Because we spend our outings nowadays in pursuit of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass, we don't relish those brisk and fruitful white-bass winds of yesteryears.

And to my surprise and delight on this Oct. 1 outing, the dam at this community reservoir was relatively wind-sheltered and yielded an hourly average of slightly more than 14 largemouth bass.

Oct. 2

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their outing on Oct 2.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 36 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 65 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky was fair until 5:53 a.m., and then it became cluttered with a few clouds and partly cloudy. The wind was calm until 1:53 a.m., and then it angled out of the west and northwest at 3 to 7 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.29 at 12:53 a.m., 30.26 at 5:53 a.m., 30.27 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.17 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m., 5:01 a.m. to 7:01 a.m., and 5:21 p.m. to 7:21 p.m.

We fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs from 11:50 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be normal. The surface temperature was 68 degrees. The secchi-stick measured about six feet of visibility at the boat ramp, but at other locales -- especially in the upper reaches of the reservoir -- the visibility was about 1 ½ feet.

Before we launched the boat, two large schools of shiners were frolicking on the boat ramp in about a foot of water, and there were seven six- to 12-inch largemouth bass nearby in about four feet of water that occasionally dashed into a foot water to consume a shiner or two. It was the first time that we had witnesses such a sight, and it provoked us to speculate that our outing might be a very bountiful one.

But while we were launching the boat, we talked to two bass anglers who disheartened our hopes of a fruitful outing. They said with a dejected tone that they had spent their outing wielding power-fishing rigs and Midwest finesse rigs, and the few largemouth bass that they caught were caught on either a Z-Man's PB&J Hula StickZ or a Z-Man's yoga-pants Finesse TRD affixed to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ. They blamed the sorry fishing on the aftereffects of the arrival of a significant cold front and yesterday's wicked north wind. What's more, they thought that the series of several windy days that preceded the arrival of the cold weather had caused portions of the reservoir to turnover. The reservoir was also affected by an algae bloom, and the combination of the algae bloom with the sediment from the wind and turnover created some trying fishing for them.

Here is how our 150-minutes of fishing unfolded.

We caught one smallmouth bass, one walleye, one white bass, and 32 largemouth bass.

We caught one largemouth bass on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Eleven largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse TRD affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And 19 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's mudbug Hula StickZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.
We failed to catch a fish along a short stretch of a main-lake shoreline and a tertiary point in the lower half of the reservoir. We failed to catch a fish around a series of coontail patches that adorn several shallow-water flats, main-lake points, and two short segments of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir.

We caught one smallmouth bass around a main-lake tertiary point in the upper half of the reservoir. This point has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders that are embellished with wilting patches of coontail and brittle naiad. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of The Deal Finesse TRD rig in about a foot of water between two patches of American water willows.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of this reservoir, we caught 10 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt that are clothed with patches of coontail. The GrubZ rig with a straight swimming presentation caught one of the largemouth bass in about five feet of water between two patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on the PB&J Finesse TRD rig with a swim-and-glide presentation across a patch of coontail in about five feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of The Deal Finesse TRD around patches of coontail in about five feet of water. Five largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig on either initial drop or a straight swimming retrieve around patches of coontail in four to six feet of water.
Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of this reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt that are graced with patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on The Deal Finesse TRD rig with a straight swimming presentation in about seven feet of water. The initial drop of the Hula StickZ rig caught two largemouth bass in about five feet of water.

Over and around two large patches of coontail that adorn a massive main-lake shoreline in the middle portions of the reservoir, we caught nine largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on either the initial drop or a straight swimming retrieve of the Hula StickZ rig in five to seven feet of water. Four were caught on either the initial drop or a straight swimming retrieve of The Deal Finesse TRD rig in five to seven feet of water.

Around a flat main-lake point in the middle portions of the reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. This point has about a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and several boulders that are endowed with some significant patches of coontail. One of the largemouth bass was caught on The Deal Finesse TRD rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about seven feet of water. The other two were caught on the Hula StickZ with a straight swimming presentation in about seven feet of water.
Along a 40-yard section of a flat shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of the reservoir, we caught five largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks that are adorned with patches of coontail and wilting patches of brittle naiad. Two largemouth bass were caught on The Deal Finesse TRD rig in about five feet of water; one was caught on the initial drop, and the other one was caught on a short deadstick presentation. Three of the five largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about five feet of water.

We caught two largemouth bass around another main-lake point in the middle portions of this reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Portions of the underwater terrain are embellished with patches of coontail and wilting brittle naiad. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, logs, and a few laydowns. Initially, this point has about a 30-degree slope, and about 45 feet from the water's edge, there is a ledge and a significant drop-off into deep water. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation around the patches of coontail in about seven feet of water.

Oct. 5

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about their outing on Oct 5.

Here is an edited version of their brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 42 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 78 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 6 to 28 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.21 at 12:53 a.m., 30.18 at 5:53 a.m., 30.10 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:08 a.m. to 3:08 a.m., 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and 7:19 a.m. to 9:19 a.m.

We took a rare respite from our black-bass pursuits and returned to one of our piscatorial yearns during our younger years. And we fished at one of northeastern Kansas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs from 11:50 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.

Here is how this 85-minute outing unfolded.

The water level at this reservoir was 1.1 feet above its normal level. The surface temperature was 66 degrees. The Secchi-stick measured about 1 ½ feet of visibility.

We spent the entire outing hiding from the blustery wind inside a small feeder-creek arm, and every cast was made across a large shallow-water flat in the back of this arm. Our boat floated in four to six feet of water. An area about the size of two football fields was inhabited by thousands and thousands of small gizzard shad, and untold numbers of them were incessantly wallowing on the surface.

Every cast and retrieve were executed around these gizzard shad. To our surprise, we caught and released 81 white bass in 85 minutes. Moreover, we elicited an uncountable number of strikes that we failed to hook. On some retrieves, we elicited as many as five strikes. And we suspect that we hooked more than two dozen white bass that unfettered themselves before we could lift them over the boat's gunnels.

We caught the bulk of them on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. We also caught them on a 2 ½-inch chartreuse curly-tailed grub affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 3 ½-inch chartreuse curly-tailed grub affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a 3 ½-inch chartreuse curly-tailed grub affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Most were caught on a straight swimming presentation, and some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.

This was our first white-bass outing in about a decade, and Patty has fallen in love with them. Therefore, it is likely that we will spend a few more hours during the next six weeks or so in pursuit of them.

Oct. 5

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Oct. 5 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 9:30 a.m. to 2:47 p.m., Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished at a Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir that is located in south-central Oklahoma.

It was a sunny fall day, and there was not a cloud to been seen for miles around. The morning low temperature was 48 degrees. The afternoon high reached 78 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south and southeast at 15 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.21 at 9:00 a.m. and 30.04 at 3:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 1:15 a.m. to 3:15 a.m., 7:26 a.m. to 9:26 a.m., and 1:37 p.m. to 3:37 p.m. The solunar calendar also indicated that it would be a poor day for fishing.

The water level appeared to be about normal. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility in its upper regions and four feet of clarity in its lower end. The surface temperature ranged from 70 to 73 degrees.

We employed several Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a Z-Man's smelt TRD TicklerZ attached to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Trick ShotZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a Z-Man's yoga-pants TRD HogZ attached to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; and a Z-Man's pumpkin-green-flake Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.
During this outing, we targeted mostly wind-blown and main-lake smallmouth bass lairs in the reservoir's middle and lower sections, and we caught 40 smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass.

We were unable to elicit any strikes with the Z-Man's smelt TRD TicklerZ, the 3 1/2-inch green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ, the pumpkin-green-flake Finesse ShadZ, and the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigs.

The most effective lure was the shortened four-inch green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig, which allured a combination of 21 smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass. The shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig enticed 10 smallmouth bass. Four smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were caught on the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig. Four smallmouth bass were enticed by the 3 1/2-inch coppertreuse Trick ShotZ, and one smallmouth was caught on the yoga-pants TRD HogZ rig.

The most effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, which allured 35 smallmouth bass and the four largemouth bass. Four smallmouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation, and one was caught on the initial fall of the four-inch Finesse WormZ rig.

Twenty-three smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass were caught from five rocky main-lake shorelines. These shorelines are relatively flat and covered with three to seven feet of water. Their shallow-water areas extend about 15 to 20 feet out from the water's edge, then they quickly descend into 12 or more feet of water. All of these shorelines are graced with rocks, boulders, and stumps. These black bass were caught in three to seven feet of water and were associated with the larger submerged boulders.

Eight smallmouth bass were caught from the sides of two offshore humps in five to nine feet of water. The top portions of these humps are covered with two to five feet of water. Their sides and tops are also cluttered with large rocks, boulders, and stumps. And both of them are surrounded by 12 to 20-plus feet of water.

Nine smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were caught from a rocky bluff at the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm in the lower end of the reservoir. The water depth next to this bluff varies from 21 to 37 feet. The face of this bluff is littered with large boulders and rocks. These 10 black bass were relating to the deep-water sides of the larger boulders that lie along the face of the bluff and are covered with three to five feet of water.

We failed to elicit any strikes from a 75-yard stretch of a rocky main-lake shoreline in the upper end of the reservoir, five rocky main-lake points that are situated next to the fruitful main-lake shorelines, and several rock- and boulder-laden flats and secondary points inside three main-lake coves that are festooned with thick stands of cattails and American water willows.

In conclusion, the most lucrative areas were wind-blown flat and rocky main-lake shorelines, two offshore main-lake humps, and one rocky bluff at the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm. The rocky flats and secondary points inside main-lake coves were unproductive. The four largemouth bass were abiding in the same spots as the smallmouth bass. Steeper main-lake shorelines and areas that were protected from the wind were unproductive.

Oct. 7

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 7 outing with Andrew Trembath of Parkville, Missouri, and Camille Trinidad of Kansas City, Kansas, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 48 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 90 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the southeast, southwest, east, and south at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.98 at 5:52 a.m., 30.01 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.95 at 3:52 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 2:49 a.m. to 4:49 a.m., 3:13 p.m. to 5:13 p.m., and 9:01 a.m. to 11:01 a.m.

We fished from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The water level was four inches below its normal level. At 7:30 a.m., the surface temperature was 64 degrees. The water was affected by an algae bloom, and it exhibited about 12 inches of visibility.

During this seven-hour and 30-minute outing, we caught and released 73 fish. This catch consisted of one channel catfish, one bluegill, one wiper, two flathead catfish, three white bass, 14 largemouth bass, 15 smallmouth bass, and 36 freshwater drum.

Andrew and Camille had most of their success using either a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ or a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ. Their ZinkerZ rigs were affixed to Andrew's homemade red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jigs.

A 2 ½-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Jade's Jig was my most effective Midwest finesse rig.
The most fruitful locales were the riprap-laden shorelines. Several main-lake points along the south side of the reservoir yielded very few fish.

Many of the fish were caught in water as shallow as two feet. To keep our Midwest finesse rigs from becoming snagged, we kept our rod tips at about the one o'clock position, and we employed a slow swimming presentation.

Oct. 8

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Oct. 8 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished from 7:41 a.m. to 12:41 p.m. at a state hill-land reservoir in an ex-urban area of north-central Texas.

The water exhibited 1 1/2 feet of clarity in its lower regions and two feet of visibility in its upper end. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 76 degrees. The water level was 2.39 feet below its normal pool.

The morning's low air temperature was 57 degrees at 6:00 a.m., and the afternoon high temperature reached 88 degrees by 3:30 p.m. The wind was light and variable. The sky was partly cloudy. The barometric pressure remained relatively steady at 30.02 while we were afloat.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would most likely be poor, but the best fishing would take place from 3:52 a.m. to 5:52 a.m., 10:05 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., and 4:18 p.m. to 6:18 p.m.

We had rigged our spinning outfits with the following Z-Man's Midwest Finesse rigs: a 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-steel Slim SwimZ affixed to an unpainted generic 1/16-ounce ball-head jig, a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ mounted on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a three-inch Z-Man's bad-shad Trick ShotZ matched to a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a California- craw TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Pro-V Finesse jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's coppertreuse Z-Man's Finesse TRD attached to an unpainted generic 1/16-ounce ball-head jig.
Here is how this five-hour jaunt unfolded.

We started our search for largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass in a small bay on the lower end of the reservoir. We targeted two steep and riprap-covered shorelines and two rocky main-lake points at the entrance to the bay. These two points and shorelines are close to the boat ramp where we launched. They are festooned with several large and burgeoning patches of green hydrilla.

We caught one largemouth bass along these two shorelines and another largemouth bass around the main-lake point on the north side of the bay. These largemouth bass were relating to the outside edges of two large patches of hydrilla in four to six feet of water. They were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was utilized with a steady swimming retrieve.

We caught four largemouth bass and one spotted bass from the perimeter of a main-lake island. This island is located in the southeast section of the reservoir. Its shorelines are flat and somewhat rock- and boulder-laden. They are also embellished with some patches of flooded buck brush that are situated in less than five feet of water. Besides the buck brush, rocks, and boulders, there are several large patches of American pondweed in five to eight feet of water on the east side of the island and a stand of flooded timber on the island's south side.

We caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass from the north side of the island around some clusters of flooded buck brush in less than five feet of water. They were tempted by a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ. The other two largemouth bass were caught from a large offshore patch of American pondweed in six to eight feet of water. One was caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ, and the other largemouth engulfed the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig while we were working it with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We failed to garner any strikes around two prominent riprap jetties on the east side of the reservoir, but a 60-yard stretch of rocky shoreline that lies adjacent to one of the two jetties surrendered three largemouth bass, one hybrid spotted bass, and one freshwater drum. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of red clay, gravel, baseball-size rocks and boulders of various sizes. These fish were relating to the sides of the submerged boulders that are situated in three to six feet of water. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig, and the hybrid spotted bass and freshwater drum were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ combo.

Next, we moved inside a large bay about a mile north of the two riprap jetties and rocky shoreline. This bay contains five smaller coves and several secondary points. The shorelines and secondary points are rocky with 35- to 40-degree gradients. Their shorelines are cluttered with some brush piles, overhanging trees, boat houses, and concrete boat ramps.

At the mouth of one of the coves on the south side of the bay, Norman hooked a large fish that quickly broke his 8-pound-test fluorocarbon leader before we could see it, but its mannerisms resembled those of a large wiper.

We generated only one other bite from a large pumpkinseed sunfish at one of the boat ramps on the south side of this bay, and the remainder of this bay was fruitless.

From that bay, we moved about two miles northward along the east shoreline and investigated two more riprap jetties on the northeast end of the reservoir. We searched for threadfin shad first, and when we were unable to locate any of them, we left without making a cast.

As we continued to move northward along the east shoreline, we meandered inside two minor bays. We spent a few minutes in each bay searching for significant pods of threadfin shad with our sonar devices, but we were unable to locate any shad there.

We then returned to a large main-lake flat that is also located on the east side of the reservoir. We were going to fish this flat earlier in the morning, but two other boat anglers were already fishing it. So, we decided to bypass it and return when the other anglers had left.

One of the two anglers was leaving when we arrived, and the other angler was still fishing the middle section of this flat. We opted to fish along the north end of the flat, and Norman caught one largemouth bass from a patch of rocks in five feet of water. This largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig. We then left.

We then traveled northward about six miles into two large feeder-creek arms that are located in the northwest end of the reservoir. Inside the mouth of the first creek arm, we slowly dissected two secondary points and about 50 yards of a rocky shoreline adjacent to one of the secondary points. The first secondary point and its adjoining 50-yard section of rocky shoreline have about a 30- to 45-degree slope. They are littered with large boulders, flooded buck brush, and a few laydowns.

The 50-yards of rocky shoreline yielded one spotted bass and one large bluegill, and its adjoining secondary point yielded one largemouth bass. Both of the black bass were associated with submerged boulders in four to six feet of water. Both of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig. The large bluegill was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the shortened four-inch green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ. We enticed several other light strikes from the other secondary point, which is situated across the creek arm from the first one, but we were unable to hook those fish.

About a third of the way back inside the second feeder-creek arm, we fished about 100 yards of a rock-laden bluff and a flat secondary point just north of the bluff. These two spots are located on the west side of the creek arm.

The rock-laden bluff was our most fruitful spot; it yielded seven largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one freshwater drum. The portion of the bluff that we fished has water as deep as 37 feet and as shallow as 21 feet next to it. The face of the bluff is adorned with a few laydowns, some overhanging trees and large bushes, and numerous rocks and boulders of all sizes and shapes. These nine bass were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface of the water and about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. The other two largemouth bass and the freshwater drum were caught in less than six feet of water from one side of the flat and rocky secondary point just north of the bluff.

These 11 largemouth and spotted bass were allured by the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The freshwater drum engulfed the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig as it was manipulated with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

In closing, it was a decent five-hour outing for this reservoir, but not an epic one. We caught and released 25 black bass, which consisted of 20 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and one hybrid spotted bass. We also caught two freshwater drum, one large bluegill, and one large pumpkinseed sunfish.

In the lower end of the reservoir, where we found threadfin shad, a steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig was the most productive lure and presentation.

However, inside the two feeder-creek arms in the northwest end of the reservoir, the only threadfin shad we could locate were on or near the bottom in 29 to 37 feet of water. We discovered that there were quite a few bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish meandering around the large submerged boulders in less than 10 feet of water. We had more success by imitating these sunfish by wielding the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Oct. 9

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Oct 9.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 60 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 83 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the southeast and south at 5 to 24 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.92 at 5:52 a.m., 29.91 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.83 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:52 a.m. to 12:52 p.m., 10:52 p.m. to 12:52 a.m., and 4:12 a.m. to 6:12 a.m.

I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Here is what occurred during these three hours.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature fluctuated from 67 to 68 degrees. Most of the reservoirs in northeastern Kansas are currently being afflicted with algae blooms, and this reservoir is following suit. The secchi-stick measured about 3 1/2 feet of visibility in the lower sections of this reservoir, but in the backs of three of its feeder-creek arms, the secchi-stick measured less than 1 ½ feet of visibility.

Back in the glory days of Midwest finesse fishing, our hopes on every outing were focused on tangling with 25 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass an hour -- especially at this community reservoir. Nowadays, it is a godsend if we can catch 25 in 2 ½ hours. On this outing, I failed to be graced with that windfall. Instead, I struggled to catch 27 largemouth bass, one green sunfish, and one channel catfish in three hours.

Seven of the 27 were caught on a Z-Man The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and 20 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Seven of the 27 largemouth bass were caught along portions of two shorelines inside one of this reservoir's large feeder-creek arms. These shorelines have a 25- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, a few stumps, a few minor laydowns, and several overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders -- as well as a few silt-laden areas. These largemouth bass were caught on the Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig on either the initial drop around the outside edges of the patches of American water willows in about three feet of water or a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to five feet of water around the rocks and boulders.

Two largemouth bass were caught along about a 125-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 20- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, more than a dozen stumps, three significant laydowns, the residue of a beaver hut, and several overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig adjacent to a stump in about three feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water.

Along about a 500-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another large feeder-creek arm, I caught 13 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25-to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt, and small portions of it are graced with meager patches of Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge is lined with occasional patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, 23 docks, several concrete retaining walls, and some overhanging trees. All of the largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. Some were caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water. The most bountiful areas were around or near the patches of American water willows.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of the other shoreline inside this large feeder-creek arm, I caught five largemouth bass. This stretch has a 35- to 55-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, some laydowns, two docks, and some overhanging trees. Four of the largemouth bass were caught around the patches of American water willows, and one was caught under an overhanging tree. They were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In conclusion, this was my first serious black-bass outing this week. On Oct. 5, Pat Kehde and I spent 85 minutes fishing for white bass at a federal reservoir, where we caught 81 white bass. Then Pat and I spent about an hour and 20 minutes on Oct. 6 examining the sorry conditions of a state reservoir, where a vandal or several vandals trespassed onto the reservoir's outlet tower and opened the outlet valve that allowed a vast quantity of water to escape, and we fished about 65 minutes and caught seven largemouth bass. On Oct. 7, Patty wanted to see the state of the migratory birdlife at another federal reservoir, where we spent about one hour trying to catch some black bass, and we caught one smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, one wiper, one freshwater drum, and nine white bass.

Throughout this week, many of our Midwest finesse colleagues in northeastern Kansas told us that it is a struggle to catch an average of 10 black bass an hour at all of the community, federal, and state reservoirs that they fished, and it has been this way for weeks on end.

In short, something seems to be radically awry in our waterways, and our records reveal that it has been getting this way since 2017.

Oct. 9

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Oct 9.

Here is an edited version of his log.

I made a solo trip to a nearby northeastern Kansas' community reservoir. I had not fished in this reservoir since last spring after it had developed an intense algae bloom that seemed to adversely affect the quality of the fishing. When I arrived at the boat ramp, I found that the algae was still a significant problem, but it was not as intense as it was in the spring.

The sky was fair. The overnight low temperature was 64 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 82 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.87 when I made my first cast at 2:00 p.m. While I was on the water, the wind blew strongly from the south at 10-26 mph.

The reservoir's surface temperature was 67.5 degrees. The visibility varied from about 12-18 inches. The water level was normal.

I was on the water from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

I primarily used two Midwest Finesse rigs: a slightly shortened Z-Man's PB&J Hula StickZ mounted on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig and a slightly shortened Z-Man's coppertreuse Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade's Jig.

I also used a Z-Man's molting-craw TRD TicklerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Jade's Jig, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's hot-craw ZinkerZ on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. I did not elicit any strikes with these three rigs.

After launching the boat, I dissected 200 yards of each of the shorelines inside a medium-sized feeder-creek arm, and I did not catch any fish. However, on one of the main lake points at the mouth of this feeder creek, I caught two smallmouth bass. Both of these fish were abiding near a patch of American water willows on the tip of the point. Both fish were tempted into striking the PB&J Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in six feet of water.

Around the opposite main-lake point at the entrance to this feeder creek and along a 200-yard stretch of this point's main-lake shoreline, I failed to elicit a strike.

This main-lake shoreline was windblown, which forced me to deploy my drift sock in an effort to control the boat's speed. However, the wind howling past the boat still caused a significant bow in my fishing line and made it extremely difficult to manipulate the lure and utilize a coherent retrieve style.

At the end of this 200-yard stretch of the wind-blown main-lake shoreline, I arrived at a main-lake point that marked the entrance to another feeder-creek arm. As I rounded this point, I gained some protection from the wind and the angle of the shoreline allowed me to cast directly into the wind. This allowed me to more effectively present the lure as I strolled across the shallow-water flat that adorns this point. The water's edge of this point is embellished with a large and solid patch of American water willows, and there are some submerged patches of bushy pond weed and filamentous algae along the outside edges of the American water willows. The boat floated in two to four feet of water. On my first pass across this flat, I utilized a strolling presentation that featured a deadstick presentation, a dragging presentation, a swimming presentation, and a shaking presentation. And these strolling presentations with the PB&J Hula StickZ rig elicited a heavy strike about six to seven yards from the water's edge, which resulted in a fierce and five-minute-long fight with a 19-inch and 3 1/4-pound smallmouth bass. By the time I landed and released that smallmouth bass, the wind had carried the boat many yards away from the point's shallow-water flat. So, I ran the boat back to the tip of the point and began another stroll across the flat. This time, I received another strike on the PB&J Hula StickZ as I was dragging and shaking it in 4 1/2 feet of water. This strike produced another smallmouth bass, and it was also several yards away from the shoreline when it engulfed the lure.

A 75-yard long section of a shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm did not produce any strikes. But I caught three largemouth bass on the coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig around a tertiary point along this shoreline of the feeder-creek arm, and they were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in 2 1/2 feet of water.

Along another 75 yards of a shoreline inside this feeder creek and around two secondary points, I failed to garner a strike. I also was not able to elicit any strikes along a 100-yard stretch of this feeder-creek's opposite shoreline. However, on a shallow-water flat associated with the main-lake point at the mouth of this feeder-creek arm, which is the opposite main-lake point of where I had caught the 3 ¼-pound smallmouth bass, I caught a smallmouth bass on the coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig. This flat was fully exposed to the wind and whitecaps. The smallmouth engulfed the Hula StickZ on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in 4.5 feet of water. This fish was at least 20 yards away from the shoreline when it engulfed the Hula StickZ.

I moved down the lake to a main-lake point at the mouth of another feeder-creek arm. This point and adjacent flat did not produce any strikes. However, on a secondary point inside the feeder creek, I caught another smallmouth bass on the coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in nine feet of water. The shoreline of this point is covered with American water willows and patches of bushy pond weed are submerged along the edge of the water willows. Along the shoreline further inside this feeder-creek arm, I caught two largemouth bass on the coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Both of these fish were abiding in openings in the American water willows under small overhanging bushes. Interestingly, there was a flock of 100 mallard ducks using this area. Some of the ducks were swimming, but others were standing along the shoreline and quite a few were lounging under the overhanging shrubs in shallow water. Both of these bass were caught within a foot or two of the ducks standing in shallow water.

At the back of this feeder-creek arm, the channel splits into two arms or sections. At the very back of one of these arms, I was able to catch two largemouth bass on the coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig. I could see gizzard shad on the surface of the water, and on two casts in the vicinity of the surface activity, I caught both largemouth bass while employing a shake-and-deadstick retrieve in two feet of water. On the secondary point separating the two arms, I caught four largemouth bass. The shoreline in this area was steep, dropping into nine feet of water very quickly. There were a few overhanging shrubs, a couple of tree trunks, and some scattered patches of American water willows along the shore, but it was more open with some exposed dirt and small rocks. One largemouth bass was caught on a deadstick presentation, and the other three were caught on a swim- glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along 250 yards of the opposite shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm, I caught one smallmouth bass that engulfed the coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in six feet of water. The shoreline in this area is relatively flat and the water's edge is adorned with a solid bed of American water willows.

Around the other main-lake point at the entrance to this feeder-creek arm, I caught two smallmouth bass. This point is very rocky and has a solid bed of American waters willow lining the water's edge. It was fully exposed to the wind and whitecaps. The smallmouth bass were caught on the PB&J Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieves.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed in the fishing. I had hoped that the algae bloom had run its course and I would find much better bass fishing. Instead, I struggled to catch nine smallmouth bass and 11 largemouth bass in four hours. I also caught one big bluegill. When I got the boat out of the water, I immediately noticed a dark band of an algae-stain surrounding the entire hull. That is something I had hoped to avoid, and it will keep me from returning any time soon to this reservoir.

Oct. 12

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Oct. 12 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

On Oct. 5, Rick Allen of Dallas and I chased smallmouth bass at a Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma. We had what we considered a good day by catching and releasing 40 smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass in five hours and 17 minutes.

Bill Kenny of Corinth, Texas, and I returned to south Oklahoma and plied the same reservoir on Oct. 12. The main focus of this outing was to introduce Bill to smallmouth bass fishing, which he had never done before. It also provided him an opportunity to learn how to employ the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:06 a.m. to 3:06 a.m., 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., and 7:47 p.m. to 9:47 p.m. The solunar calendar also noted that Oct. 12 would be a poor day for fishing.

It was sunny and windy. The powder-blue sky was cloudless. The morning low temperature was 61 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 77 degrees. A blustery wind quartered out of the north and northeast at 20 to 30 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.97 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.02 at 3:00 p.m.

The water level appeared to be about a foot below normal. The surface temperature varied between 72 and 74 degrees. The water exhibited about four feet of visibility.

We spent our time in the reservoir's middle and lower sections where we targeted wind-blown main-lake shorelines, points, offshore ledges, and a hump. Besides these main-lake lairs, we also investigated several spots inside two feeder-creek arms, which included several secondary points, a submerged roadbed, a couple of rock bluffs, and the backend of a minor cove.

The wind made boat control difficult. It also impeded our casts and retrieves. However, by the time this outing came to a close, we had caught 55 smallmouth bass, four largemouth bass, and one spotted bass. We also caught four bluegills and one freshwater drum.

The most bountiful areas were flat and rocky main-lake shorelines and points that had a mix of chunk-rock and boulders. These rock- and boulder-laden areas surrendered a total of 37 smallmouth bass and one spotted bass that were abiding in three to seven feet of water. The portions of these shorelines and points that transitioned into clay and pea-gravel terrains were unproductive.

The back ends and midsections inside the two feeder-creek arms were not very productive. We failed to elicit any strikes from a submerged roadbed and around several clusters of submerged boulders in the back end of a minor cove. One of the two rock bluffs, which is situated about two-thirds of the way inside one of the feeder-creek arms, yielded seven smallmouth bass, one freshwater drum, and a large bluegill.

The other rock bluff near the mouth of one of the feeder creeks was more lucrative and relinquished 18 smallmouth bass, four largemouth bass, and three bluegill. This bluff is littered with large boulders and rocks. The water depth next to it varies from 21 to 37 feet. These 22 black bass were relating to the deep-water sides of the larger boulders that lie about three to five feet from the water's edge and are covered with three to five feet of water.

A shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead allured a combination of six smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. Twenty-five smallmouth bass were enticed into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Twenty-four smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Fifty-seven of these 60 black bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three were caught on the initial drop.

In conclusion, we were delighted to tussle with 60 black bass, four bluegills, and one freshwater drum in 7 1/2 hours, which calculates to a catch rate of eight bass per hour. The highlights of this outing revolve around Bill catching his first smallmouth bass and freshwater drum; him learning how to effectively employ the swim-glide-and-shake technique; and catching the most fish (65 total) and the most black bass in one outing. Previously, the most fish Bill had ever caught in one outing was 44 white bass, and the most black bass he had ever caught in one outing was 10.

Oct. 13

Ned and Pat Kehde filed a brief log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 13 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 46 degrees at 2:52 a.m. and 78 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the south, southeast, west, northwest, and northeast at 3 to 13 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 12:52 a.m., 30.04 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.09 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:10 a.m. to 10:01 a.m., 8:28 p.m. to 10:28 p.m., and 1:48 a.m. to 3:48 a.m.

We were afloat from 12:25 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. and caught 21 largemouth bass.

The reservoir's surface temperature was 66 degrees. The secchi-stick measured from 2 ½ to 3 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was nearly normal.

Three of the 21 were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Twelve largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man mudbug FinesseTRD affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Four of the 21 largemouth bass were caught on a flat tertiary point along a shoreline about halfway inside one of the reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks, and it is partially clothed with patches of coontail and manmade piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught on the Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig on a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation in about six feet of water near a patch of coontail. Three largemouth bass were caught on the mudbug Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water around patches of coontail.

Three largemouth bass were caught along about 70-yard stretch of the shoreline adjacent to the tertiary point. This shoreline has a 40- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks, and it is embellished with occasional patches of coontail and several manmade piles of brush. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, patches of American pondweed, laydowns, and some overhanging trees. The three largemouth bass were caught on the mudbug Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water around patches of coontail and many feet from the water's edge.

Three largemouth bass were caught across a massive shallow-water flat about two-thirds of the way inside this primary feeder-creek arm. This flat is adorned with scores of patches of coontail and brittle naiad and a few manmade brush piles. The three largemouth bass were caught on the GrubZ rig with a straight swimming presentation around patches of coontail in about five feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught along about a 100-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this primary feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has about a 25-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and silt, and it is embellished with occasional patches of coontail. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows and patches of American pondweed. One largemouth bass was caught on the mudbug Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three feet of water near a patch of American water willows. Two largemouth bass were caught on the hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig with a slow swimming presentation in about three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

Around a flat main-lake point, we caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of clay, sand, and rocks. Patches of coontail and several manmade brush piles grace some of the underwater terrain. It has a 25-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with four riprap jetties, a boat ramp, a dock, American water willows, American pondweed, logs, and laydown. One largemouth bass was caught by strolling The Deal Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about 10 feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the mudbug Finesse TRD rig along the outside edge of a patch of coontail in about five feet of water.

Along the dam, we caught five largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some portions of it are endowed with some meager patches of coontail. Two largemouth bass were caught on The Deal Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and shake presentation in four to seven feet of water and three to 10 feet from the water's edge. Three of the five were caught on the mudbug Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to eight feet of water and three to 10 feet from the water's edge.

In closing, it is interesting to note that many of the American water willows are exhibiting a yellowish-brown hue, and of the stems are becoming devoid of leaves. The patches of submerged vegetation are also waning.

Oct. 14

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Eric Gilgenbach of Winneconne, Wisconsin, posted a log about their Oct. 14 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Oct. 14 provided eastern Wisconsin with some wild weather, which is typical of our fall-transition period.

The water temperatures have declined as the result of longer nights and many cooler and cloudy days. The surface temperature averaged around 49 degrees without showing any diurnal heating. The water clarity ranged from three to four feet of visibility in the locations we fished, and from a half of a foot to 1 ½ feet at the locations we eliminated from consideration.

The air temperature could be described as mild; it was 52 degrees at 11:00 a.m. and 55 degrees later in the afternoon. The issue this day (and for the past two weeks) has been the wind's high velocity and constantly changing directions. Wisconsin has been living under the jet stream with repeated frontal passages on almost a daily basis. During this outing, the wind angled out of the south by southeast at 20 mph when we launched, and then it began to shift to the south by southwest at 25 to 38 mph in the afternoon. Needless to say, site selection was a key to the day.

Our black bass have been transitioning from summer habitats to their wintering sites for about a month now. Each year we measure this progression by observing two factors: (1) The changes in submerged aquatic vegetation density. (2) The ratio of smallmouth bass to largemouth bass we catch on selected locations. For example, on Sept. 2, we caught 45 black bass, and the smallmouth bass led the ratio by three to one. By Sept. 29, the largemouth bass showed us that the transition was underway, and they led the smallmouth bass by a ratio of five to one. This largemouth-bass binge continued on Oct. 2, when we caught 41 black bass, and the largemouth bass led this ratio by two to one. Thus, we hoped that we still had a shot at catching some big largemouth bass on Oct. 14.

But as things transpired, Eric and I ultimately concluded that we were at the culmination for 2020. We discovered that our largemouth bass have migrated, and we are moving into a period where we will fully transition our efforts to focus on either pursuing smallmouth bass in deeper and cold-water habitats or walleye. And we will fish this way until ice prevents us from launching our boats at any of our local boat ramps. We have no worries regarding this state of affairs. It happens every year, and Ned rigs will support many of our efforts moving forward.

On our Oct. 14 outing, we began by knowing that the wind was not our friend. Our first stop was selected to allow us to calibrate to the gale warning issued by the National Weather Service. Thus, a somewhat sheltered section of riprap, which was recently enhanced by the addition of boxelder limbs dropped into the water along the shoreline, yielded one largemouth bass, and it was a legal-size one. It was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse BulletZ Weedless Jighead just outside the tips of the tree tops in about three feet of water using a swim-and-glide retrieve. Because of the wind, the lure could never hit bottom. The water clarity here was undesirably murky, which was because of the daily frontal passages and 360-degree wind shifts.

At that point in time, we decided to probe more deeply into backwater marsh areas seeking more largemouth bass, some shelter from the gale-force winds, and cleaner water. Our next two sites were cuts through break walls protecting backwater marshes. Each site produced another good largemouth bass, as well as one sizeable northern pike. However, lure control and boat control were challenging. But the water clarity was good, exhibiting about three feet of visibility, but the wind and cloud cover made it hard to accurately measure. Even though the largemouth bass were biting aggressively, the winds did not allow us to deploy any sort of controllable presentations.

To seek a respite from the wind, we moved another half-mile deeper into the marsh area and fished a channel that ran perpendicular to the wind. But during the next half of an hour, we struggled to catch and release one keeper-size largemouth bass on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig.

Thus, we concluded that the largemouth bass had moved, and we left the marsh and chugged the boat about one-half mile across the bay to a little point known to us to hold largemouth bass at this time of the year; we call it "a pull-out spot." The difficulty fishing in the wind was reinforced upon us at this spot. But we were rewarded with four nice largemouth bass from a washout hole in the weeds off the tip of the minor point.

Our next stop is also known to produce for us this time of the season. It is a deep channel swing against a seawall that leads into a sheltered harbor and another backwater marsh. This spot produced good results as recently as Oct. 2. Even though, it was nicely sheltered from the wind, this locale yielded nothing, and the water was muddy.

Thus, we donned our rain gear and made a run of a few miles through churning whitecaps to reach another river mouth. The site we were seeking was a small seawall that is kissed by a channel swing. This locale has been one of our better ones during the fall of 2020, and we hoped to encounter some lingering largemouth bass there. But it yielded one northern pike, one yellow perch, and three smallmouth bass. This spot presented no significant challenges from submerged aquatic vegetation; our most effective rig was a Z-Man's yoga-pants Finesse TRD affixed to a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a drag-and-pause retrieve in about five to six feet of water and a fairly good distance from the water's edge. While the lack of largemouth bass disappointed us, this spot produced the best smallmouth bass of the day; it measured 19 inches.

Our next five locations were based on four factors. The first one was being within the reasonably protected confines of a major river channel. The second one was lairs that provided a water depth of four to 10 feet. The third one was hard cover, such as rock or wood that is adjacent to submerged aquatic vegetation. The fourth one was some sort of current break, such as a wing dam, that creates an eddy. This recipe allowed us to tangle with two northern pike, 14 smallmouth bass, two keeper-size walleye, and one freshwater drum. All of them were caught on either a Z-Man's yoga-pants Finesse TRD rig or a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We caught them using the drag-and-pause retrieve in four to eight feet of water.

In sum, this day will not match our 2017 epic outing when we caught 152 black bass as well as some other species. Yet, we remain very grateful that the Ned rig allows us to catch something under difficult conditions. We caught a total of 18 smallmouth bass, 10 largemouth bass, three northern pike, two walleye, one yellow perch, and one freshwater drum during an epic battle with the jet stream.

Going forward much of our tackle will be transitioning into a late-fall-and-early-winter configuration, and our Ned rigs will be used until the winter ice shuts us down.

Oct. 14

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

From noon to 4:00 p.m., Rick Allen of Dallas and I conducted an afternoon excursion at an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

It was another of a series of blustery fall days. The wind quartered out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 17 to 29 mph. Area thermometers reported that it was 54 degrees at 5:00 a.m. and 90 degrees at 5:00 p.m. It was sunny, and the sky was cloudless. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at noon and 29.91 at 4:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 2:42 a.m. to 4:42 a.m., 8:56 a.m. to 10:56 a.m., and 9:22 p.m. to 11:22 p.m.

The water level was a few inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 75 degrees. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility.

The black-bass bite was average at best, and we had to cover a lot of water in order to catch 16 largemouth bass and two spotted bass in four hours.

We concentrated our efforts inside two minor feeder-creek arms and a minor bay in the midsection of the west tributary arm and two minor main-lake coves, a rock jetty, and a riprap shoreline located in the east tributary arm.

Sixteen of these 18 black bass were caught inside the two feeder-creek arms and one minor bay in the reservoir's west tributary arm. They were caught in less than four feet of water along flat, pea-gravel, and chunk-rock shorelines.

In the east tributary arm, we caught one spotted bass and one largemouth bass. Both of them were caught in three feet of water and about 35 yards apart along a main-lake shoreline that is flat and consists of chunk-rock mixed with pea-gravel.

We failed to elicit any strikes from the ledges of a creek channel that courses through the center of a small feeder-creek arm, the wall of a clay-and-gravel stock-tank dam in the back end of the same creek arm, two clay-and-gravel shorelines inside another small creek arm that is graced with several large patches of American pondweed, a main-lake riprap jetty, and its adjoining rocky main-lake shoreline.

Nine largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning ZinkerZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a black 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead dressed with a shortened Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ.

Oct. 15

Travis and Randi Lee Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 15 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Our day began at first light with us undergoing the unenviable task of stacking seven cords of firewood to an already large pile that was completed in March. To my delight, it will be the last time for stacking wood until next spring. I followed that up with splitting enough ash kindling for the first three months of winter. After completing those tasks, my wife and I anxiously awaited a delivery truck that would bring a new freezer, and it finally arrived at 1:30 p.m. I typed anxiously awaiting because after the morning chores, which took until midday, we had planned to fish today.

From splitting kindling for hours, my casting hand felt like a throbbing catcher's mitt as we headed to the river on our UTV and pulling the Jackson Big Tuna trailer.

In my last report, I noted that I was still waiting for more seasonably cold weather to consolidate the smallmouth bass into their predictable wintering locations. And at the conclusion of our last outing, I stated to my wife that we needed some rain in addition to some colder nights. Rain it did a day later and for more than 24 hours straight.

The river was flowing at 187 cubic feet per second, which is an increase of 100 c.f.s. from our last outing. The surface temperature was 59 degrees. The weather forecast predict that it will be 27 degrees tomorrow night, and that is the kind of weather that I have been waiting on for better fishing.

It was a beautiful 74-degree day. During our short jaunt to the river late in the day, the air temperature dropped to 67 degrees as the sun fled.

The water clarity, despite the recent rains, had cleared along this stretch of river that I had been waiting to fish. Prior to this outing, there has been no current moving through the area.

As soon as we launched and approached where I had wanted to fish, I could see every boulder and log on the bottom in 12 feet of water. This area has cliffs that are completely vertical. At their base, there is one to two feet of water that drops off into oblivion as if it were a table top. The bottom consists of both boulders and giant red oak trees. This area will absolutely eat a jig with an exposed hook if an angler is not in tune with the proper drop rate.

To cover as much of the strike zone as possible, our casts paralleled the very lip of the drop off. We were immediately rewarded with willing takers.

I lipped four smallmouth bass in my first five casts. All of them hit on the drop after a minuscule shake that puts a tiny pulse into the offering's tail.

Oddly and uncharacteristically, my wife had not had a single sign of fish life to that point. I then asked if she wanted what I was throwing. Off came the same Z-Man's TRD CrawZ that she had been using for many outings. Five minutes or less later, she held a handsome smallmouth bass for a photograph that she had caught on a heavily modified Z-Man's mudbug TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

By the end of the outing, 25 smallmouth bass and 10 bluegill had been caught and released on our heavily modified Z-Man's mudbug TRD BugZ rigs, which were affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

All of my fish we caught just above the timber that litters the bottom.

Before departing, I decided to give the fish a slightly different look. I made one cast with a 2 3/8-inch Z-Man's dirt ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and I hooked and lost what I estimated to be my biggest smallmouth bass of the year. I know where she lives.

As always, we liberally applied our custom Pro-Cure Super Gel to our rigs, and the barbs on our jigs were flattened.

We fished just shy of two hours and less than 40 yards from where we launched.

Oct. 15

Ned and Pat Kehde filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 15 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 50 degrees at 8:53 a.m. and 58 degrees from 1:53 p.m. to 4:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair, overcast, partly cloudy, and mostly cloudy. The wind angled out of the north and northwest at 6 to 28 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.93 at 12:53 a.m., 30.07 at 5:53 a.m., 30.19 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.20 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:34 a.m. to 11:34 a.m., 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., and 3:20 a.m. to 5:20 a.m.

We were afloat from 11:52 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and we caught 30 largemouth bass and inadvertently caught one walleye and one white bass.

The blustery wind provoked us to employ a drift sock about half of the time we were afloat.

The reservoir's surface temperature ranged from 65 to 66 degrees. The secchi-stick measured from three to 4 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was normal. This reservoir's patches of American water willows are making the transition from their summer hues and burgeoning nature to their autumn motifs, and they are becoming yellowish-brown and leafless. The water lilies and American pondweeds are also withering. The patches of submerged vegetation, which are not as prevalent this year as in years past, are wilting.

Here is how our outing unfolded.

Along one shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of this reservoir, we caught five largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and portions of this terrain is embellished with patches of coontail and brittle naiad. The water's edge is endowed with five docks, patches of American water willows, meager patches of American pondweeds, a minor patch of water lilies, and one laydown. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-glide presentation around patches of coontail in about five feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's mudbug FinesseTRD affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail in four to six feet of water, and one of them was caught as far as 20 feet from the water's edge.

Across a massive shallow-water flat inside the back half of a small feeder-creek arm in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. This flat is endowed with extensive patches of coontail. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail in about seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's mudbug TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around coontail patches in seven feet of water. These largemouth bass were many yards from the shorelines,

Around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. This point has a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are patches of coontail clothing some of this terrain. The water's edge is lined with American water willows. These largemouth bass were caught on the mudbug Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water between the outside edges of the American water willows and the inside edges of the patches of coontail.

Along about a 200-yard portion of the main-lake shoreline adjacent to this main-lake point, we caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a slope that ranges from 25 to 90 degrees. The water's edge is graced with scores of laydowns, numerous overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation, and several patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Patches of coontail enhance portions of the underwater terrain. These six largemouth bass were caught on the mudbug FinesseTRD rig. Two were caught on the initial drop around overhanging trees in about five feet of water. Three were caught along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows with a swim-and-glide presentation in four to six feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop around a patch of coontail in about five feet of water.

Around another main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. This point has a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. The water's edge is adorned with American water willows, and a massive patch of water lilies is nearby. There are some meager patches of American pondweed and brittle naiad decorating bits and pieces of the underwater terrain. Two largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight swimming presentation in three to four feet of water between the outside edges of the American water willows and inside edges of the coontail patches. The mudbug FinesseTRD rig caught two largemouth bass with a straight swimming presentation in five to six feet of water around the coontail and brittle naiad patches.

On a small portion of a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the middle potions of the reservoir, we caught eight largemouth bass in nine minutes. These largemouth bass were situated around a significant patch of coontail that graces a pair of secondary points. Two of these largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse TRD affixed with a red 1/16-ounce, and six were caught on the mudbug FinesseTRD rig. Three were caught on the initial drop of these rigs, and five were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in five to eight feet of water.

We failed to elicit a strike around two significant patches of coontail that adorn a large main-lake flat in the middle portions of the reservoir. We made countless numbers of retrieves along a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir that failed to generate a strike.

Our catch rates in 2020 remain below the rates of years of the past. For instance, we fished this reservoir on Oct. 15, 2019, and we caught 54 largemouth bass and 10 smallmouth bass in four hours, which is an hourly rate of 16 an hour. Patty and I eked out slightly more than 10 an hour on our 2020 outing.

Oct. 17

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Oct. 17 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Talban Kantala of Carrollton, Texas, and I fished from 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at our most challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on Sept. 11 with Norman Brown of Lewisville. The black bass bite at this reservoir was poor; our best efforts could muster only 10 largemouth bass and two spotted bass in five hours.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would be average on Oct. 17. It also noted that the best fishing opportunities would occur from 5:13 a.m. to 7:13 a.m., 5:40 p.m. to 7:40 p.m., and 11:54 p.m. to 1:54 a.m.

Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 51 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 75 degrees. The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure measured 30.16 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.06 at noon. A peppy wind quartered out of the south and southeast at 15 to 20 mph.

The water looked murkier than usual and exhibited 15 inches of visibility. The surface temperature was 71 degrees. The water level was six inches below normal.

The black-bass fishing has been poor at this reservoir all year, but it seemed to have improved somewhat during this outing. We caught 18 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and one freshwater drum in 4 ½ hours.

Our most fruitful locations were flat secondary points and cuts inside three of four major feeder-creek arms, where the underwater terrain consists of chunk-rock mixed with pea-gravel. Two of the feeder-creek arms are situated in the northern or upper end of this reservoir, and the other two creek arms are located in the lower or southern end of this impoundment.

We failed to catch a black bass in one of the four feeder-creek arms.

We caught 13 largemouth bass and two spotted bass in two to four feet of water from flat secondary points and cuts located in the middle and upper ends of three feeder-creek arms. Flatter points and cuts with pea-gravel and chunk-rock were more productive than steeper ones with red clay, pea-gravel, and submerged boulders.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a bluff shoreline on the west side and near the mouth of one of the feeder-creek arms. The depth of the water along this shoreline ranged from17 to 20 feet. These bass were suspended about five feet below the surface and were abiding about 15 feet from the water's edge.

One largemouth and one spotted bass were caught next to another bluff shoreline on the east side of the same feeder-creek arm. They were also suspended about five feet below the surface and about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. The depth of the water along this shoreline was 21 feet.

Two largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught around three secondary points at the mouth of another feeder-creek arm. These secondary points had a slope of 35 to 40 degrees. Their submerged terrains and shorelines are composed of pea-gravel, red clay, some scattered boulders, and chunk rock. These bass were dwelling around the submerged boulders and chunk rock in less than five feet of water.

A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead that was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured nine largemouth bass and three spotted bass. A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ matched with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead beguiled nine largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

In short, catching 22 black bass in 4 1/2 hours is what we consider an above-average outing by north-central Texas' standards, but it was a one-bass-here-and-two-bass-there pattern.

Oct. 19

Ned and Pat Kehde filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 19 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an unedited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 42 degrees at 9:53 a.m. and 47 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky was overcast. The wind angled out of the east and northeast at 8 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.19 at 12:53 a.m., 30.18 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.10 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 12:52 a.m. to 2:52 a.m., 1:21 p.m. to 3:21 p.m., and 7:06 a.m. to 9:06 a.m.

We were afloat from 11:38 a.m. to 1:55 p.m., and we caught 34 largemouth bass and inadvertently caught one crappie and one green sunfish.

The reservoir's surface temperature ranged from 59 to 60 degrees. The water level was normal. Most of our reservoirs across northeastern Kansas have been waylaid by algae blooms for weeks and even months on end, and to our surprise and delight, this reservoir's algae bloom has disappeared. The Secchi-stick measured about 5 ½ feet of visibility. The water exhibited or reflected an odd black hue, which we have never seen before. But it is the clearest that we have seen it for a long, long, long spell.

We caught 11 largemouth bass along this reservoir's dam. It has a 35- to 70-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of it is clothed with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows and several other emergent plants. Patty caught the first largemouth bass of the outing on her first cast with a Z-Man's bama-bug TRD BugZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water in the vicinity of some patches of coontail. The TRD BugZ rig inveigled three more largemouth bass; two of them were caught on a deadstick presentation in four to six feet of water, and one was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water. We caught seven largemouth bass on a slightly shortened Z-Man's mudbug Hula StickZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and they were caught on either the initial drop in about four feet of water or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to about eight feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and short segments of its two adjacent shorelines in the middle portions of this reservoir, we caught 12 largemouth bass. This area has a 30- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and much of it is adorned with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is littered with patches of American water willows and nine docks. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the TRD BugZ and baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce jig with a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of coontail. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's mudbug Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; one of the two was caught on the initial drop adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows; the second one was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about six feet of water near a dock and some patches of coontail; and the third and fourth ones were caught on swim-and-glide presentations at the outside edge of patches of coontail. Eight largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's bama-bug TRD BugZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; one of the eight was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a dock in about seven feet of water; four largemouth bass were caught on a deadstick presentation in five to seven feet of water; and three were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to six feet of water near patches of coontail.

Along about a 200-yard section of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught 11 largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which are occasionally embellished with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, two docks, several wads of duckweed, a few minor laydowns and limbs, and several overhanging trees. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swimming presentation in about four feet of water around patches of coontail and duckweed. The TRD BugZ and 1/16-ounce jig caught 10 largemouth bass; three of them were caught on the initial drop around the outside edge of the wads of duckweed in four to five feet of water; another three were caught on a short deadstick presentation in five to seven feet of water; and five were caught with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around patches of coontail in about five feet of water.

During this two-hour-and-17-minute endeavor, we fished three spots, and our catch rate was an average of 15 largemouth bass an hour.

It is somewhat interesting to note that it was cold enough that our 80-year-old bodies had to be heavily adorned with our wintertime wardrobes. We even donned gloves that had hand warmers inserted inside of them. Finding a way to keep our old and creaky bodies warm when the weather becomes chilly has become an integral part of being contributors to the geriatric wing of the Finesse News Network. It also provoked us to wonder what it will be like when it really gets cold.

Oct. 21

Ned and Pat Kehde filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 21 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 39 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 48 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky was overcast, and throughout the day it was foggy, misty, and raining lightly. The wind angled out of the north, northeast, east, and southeast at 3 to 13 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.11 at 12:53 a.m., 30.14 at 5:53 a.m., 30.12 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.06 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:03 a.m. to 5:03 a.m., 3:33 p.m. to 5:33 p.m., and 9:18 a.m. to 11:18 a.m.

We were afloat from 11:30 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. We caught 24 largemouth bass, four smallmouth bass, and inadvertently caught one crappie and one walleye.

The reservoir's surface temperature ranged from 58 to 59 degrees. The secchi-stick measured from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was normal. Most of this reservoir's American water willows are becoming leafless and exhibiting a yellowish-brown hue. The water lilies and American pondweeds are withering. Most of the patches of submerged vegetation, which are not as prevalent this year as in years past, are burgeoning a touch more this week for some unknown reason than they have been for the past three weeks.

Here is how our outing unfolded.

We spent the first 45 minutes of this outing probing a massive shallow-water flat, two shorelines, and three secondary points in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the middle portions of the reservoir. And we failed to garner a strike. In Octobers and Novembers of years past, this flat and its adjacent shorelines and points would yield between eight and 20 largemouth bass in about 45 minutes. We were shocked, befuddled, and disheartened by our failure to elicit a strike.

Around a main-lake point and along a 200-yard stretch of its main-lake shoreline in the middle portions of the reservoir, we eked out four smallmouth bass and nine largemouth bass. This point and shoreline have a slope that ranges from 35- to 80-degrees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and portions of this terrain is clothed with patches of coontail and brittle naiad. The water's edge is adorned with untold numbers of laydowns, logs, and overhanging trees, and there are occasional patches of American water willows.

We caught three largemouth bass around the main-lake point. One was caught on a Z-Man's bama-bug TRD BugZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures' NedlockZ jig with a swim-and-glide presentation around a patch of coontail in about seven feet of water. Two of the three largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's mudbug Hula StickZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-glide presentation around patches of coontail in about seven feet of water. These three largemouth bass were caught about 20 feet from the water's edge.

Along the 200-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline, we caught four smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass.

Two of the four smallmouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig in about three feet of water under overhanging trees. One of the four smallmouth bass was caught on the TRD BugZ rig in about 10 feet of water while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation about 30 feet from the water's edge. The fourth smallmouth bass was caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation adjacent to a laydown in about four feet of water.

One of the six largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig under an overhanging tree and near a laydown in about five feet of water. Five of the six largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water; two were caught around patches of coontail; three were caught around laydowns.

Around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught 12 largemouth bass. This point has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt; portions of this terrain are embellished with patches of coontail and brittle naiad. The water's edge is graced with American water willows. A very significant patch of water lilies lies near this point.

Four of the 12 largemouth bass were caught among the patches of brittle naiad and coontail on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's mudbug ZinkerZ affixed to a baby-blue or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of water. One of the 12 largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig adjacent to the outside edge of the American water willows in about three feet of water. Seven of the 12 largemouth bass were caught on the TRD BugZ rig on either the initial drop or a swim-and-glide presentation near the outside edge of the American water willows in three to four feet of water.

Around another main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. This point has about a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and it is bedizened with patches of coontail. The water's edge is furbished with American water willows and several laydowns and logs. One largemouth bass was caught on the ZinkerZ rig with a slow swim-and-glide presentation between the outside edges of the American water willows and the inside edge of the patches of coontail in about five feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a swimming presentation across a patch of coontail in about seven feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation between the outside edges of the American water willows and inside edge of the patches of coontail in about five feet of water.

Except for the occasional eruptions of light rain and the puzzling and horrific first 45 minutes, it was a splendid outing, and we were delighted to catch four smallmouth bass and 24 largemouth bass during the final 75 minutes that we were afloat.

Oct. 22

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Oct. 22 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Rick Allen of Dallas joined me from 8:00 a.m. to noon at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would be poor, but the best opportunities would occur from 4:15 a.m. to 6:15 a.m., 10:29 a.m. to 12:29 p.m., and 4:44 p.m. to 6:44 p.m.

According to The Weather Underground, the morning low temperature was 69 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 86 degrees. The barometric pressure was steady at 29.86 while we were afloat. As we were launching the boat at around 7:50 a.m., the wind was mild-mannered and blowing out of the south at 5 to 8 mph, and it increased to 15 to 17 mph by 9:30 a.m. The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to overcast.

The water level was 0.65 of a foot below normal. The water was dingy with 12 to 14 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees.

Rick and I spent these four hours inside two minor feeder-creek arms that are located in the back portion of the southwest tributary arm.

There is no aquatic vegetation in this impoundment. The submerged terrain inside these two feeder-creek arms are similar. They consist of red clay, pea-gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the shallow-water areas are covered with flooded buck brush and stickups.

We caught 16 largemouth bass, seven spotted bass, four white bass, and two black crappie.

The 23 black bass were caught from the east-side shorelines in the middle sections of both creek arms. We fished the west shorelines, too, but we failed to elicit any strikes from them. The upper ends and the lower sections near the mouths of both creek arms were also fruitless. All of these fish were abiding in three to six feet of water around flat and featureless secondary points and shorelines that are predominately pea-gravel mixed with chunk-rock terrains, and they are devoid of any type of cover. We did not locate any largemouth bass or spotted bass along the steeper and rocky shorelines and secondary points, or inside cuts or pockets bedecked with flooded buck brush and stickups.

Eight largemouth bass and six spotted bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's goby-bryant Trick ShotZ rigged on a 1/15-ounce Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShroomZ jig. Six largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Two largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse ShadZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.
In closing, the last time I fished at this reservoir was on Sept. 16 with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, when we caught 21 largemouth bass and one spotted bass in four-hours and 13 minutes. The fishing was a touch better this time as Rick and I caught and released 16 largemouth bass and seven spotted bass, and by north-central Texas' standards, we consider this an above-average catch rate for this Corps' reservoir.

Oct. 24

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his Oct. 24 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

A significant cold front passed through southern Oklahoma and north-central Texas on Sept. 23, dropping our daytime high temperatures from the mid-80s to the low 50s. This cold front was also accompanied by thunderstorms.

Oct. 24 was a typical post-cold-front day for our neck of the woods, with bright sunshine and very few clouds in the sky. The morning low temperature was 38 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature climbed to 67 degrees. The wind was mild-mannered and quartered out of the north and northeast at 5 to 10 mph. While we were afloat, the barometric pressure was 30.21 at 10:00 a.m. and 30.04 at 4:00 p.m.

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, was itching to tangle with a slew of smallmouth bass. So, we journeyed back to southern Oklahoma and fished at the same scenic Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir that I fished with Rick Allen of Dallas on Oct. 5 and Bill Kenny of Corinth, Texas, on Oct. 12. We fished from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be great, and the most productive periods would occur from 6:06 a.m. to 8:06 a.m., 11:54 a.m. to 1:54 p.m., and 6:32 p.m. to 8:32 p.m.

The water level appeared to be about a foot high. The water exhibited five feet of visibility. The surface temperature varied between 66 and 69 degrees.

Norman and I opted to change things up a bit and investigate some new smallmouth lairs in the middle section of the west tributary arm, and they are all situated within two miles of where we launched the boat.

Several of these new spots are located inside two large bays on the west side of the tributary arm. They encompassed five rocky secondary points, several offshore ledges, and two small humps. In the main-lake area, we also fished around two other offshore humps and along three offshore ledges.

Because of the post-cold-front conditions we were experiencing, we were concerned that we would struggle to catch a dozen or so smallmouth bass. Instead, we found the smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass fairly easy to locate and allure. We were delighted to catch 81 of them, which consisted of 75 smallmouth bass, four largemouth bass, and two spotted bass in six hours.

The submerged terrain inside the two bays consists of pea-gravel, chunk rock, and boulders of various sizes.

Inside the first bay, we caught 29 smallmouth bass. These smallmouths were abiding in five to seven feet of water and were mostly concentrated along three offshore ledges.

The second bay was not as productive as the first one. It yielded five smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, and one spotted bass. We caught three smallmouth bass and one spotted bass in five to 12 feet of water from the deep-water side of a rocky offshore ledge that is covered with three to seven feet of water.

About 75 yards to the west of this ledge, we caught two largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass from two small rock- and boulder-laden offshore humps that are situated in the middle of the bay. The first of these two humps is covered with less than five feet of water. On the north side of this hump is a meager patch of American water willows that is situated in less than three feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught from the outside edge of the patch of American water willows in three feet of water.

The two smallmouth bass were caught in eight to 10 feet of water along the east side of the second hump. This hump is smaller and lies about 10 yards to the east of the first one. We did not notice this second hump until we accidentally stumbled upon it while we were fishing around the first one. This hump is covered with five to seven feet of water and is also adorned with boulders and large rocks.

In the main-lake area, we fished around two more humps. They yielded a total of 11 smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and one spotted bass. These two humps appear to be similar. They are covered with three to five feet of water and are cluttered with numerous boulders and large rocks. Their sides quickly drop off into 12 or more feet of water. These bass were caught in five to 12 feet of water along the sides of these two humps. We did not elicit any strikes from the top of the humps.

The three offshore ledges are spread out along the east side of the west tributary arm. Their underwater terrains are composed of pea-gravel, chunk rock, and medium-size boulders about the size of a large beach ball. The tops of these ledges are covered with three to five feet of water, and they quickly descend into 20-plus feet of water.

From these three ledges, we caught 30 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. All of them were caught from the deep-water side of the ledges in seven to 15 feet of water.

Forty-four of the 81 black bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' coppertreuse ZinkerZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Thirty-three were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Pro-V Finesse jig. Three smallmouth bass engulfed a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ threaded on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And one smallmouth was caught 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.
Seventy-eight bass were allured by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve that was employed with the 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ, green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ, and four-inch Finesse WormZ rigs. Three were caught on a slow and steady swimming retrieve with the 3 1/2-inch green-pumpkin GrubZ combo.

In closing, this reservoir has become our most bountiful venue this month. What's more, this mixed bag of 81 smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass set a new record for us at this reservoir. Our previous record was set on May 14, 2019, when John Thomas of Denton and I caught 74 black bass that consisted of 70 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, and two spotted bass in 5 1/2 hours.

-Ned Kehde and Steve Reideler-

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