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Midwest Finesse Fishing: October 2021

Oct. 4

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 4 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 47 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 82 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm from 11:52 a.m. to 12:52 p.m., and at other times it angled out of the northwest, west, southeast, northeast, and east at 3 to 7 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:52 a.m., 30.06 at 5:52 a.m., 30.10 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.05 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level was a few inches above normal. The surface temperature was 74 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from about three to almost five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:14 a.m. to 11:14 a.m., 9:38 p.m. to 11:38 p.m., and 3:02 a.m. to 5:02 a.m.

We made our first casts at 12:06 p.m., and our last ones at 3:06 p.m. We were hoping that after taking a three-day hiatus from northeastern Kansas' trying largemouth bass fishing, which we had endured throughout September, that the largemouth bass would be easier to find and catch by Oct. 4. But to our chagrin, we struggled to catch 21 largemouth bass during his two-hour endeavor, and the bulk of them were extremely dinky.

We spent the first 75 minutes dissecting a massive shallow-water flat and a portion of its shoreline in the back of a primary feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some silt. Much of the flat's underwater terrain is graced with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, sago pondweed, and an array of manmade piles of brush. There is an island of American water willows adorning the middle portion of the flat. The shoreline's water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, laydowns, piles of brush, and occasional patches of coontail and brittle naiad. This entire area looks to be the size of about six football fields.

Along the shoreline, we caught four largemouth bass. One was caught on a four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a deadstick presentation in three feet of water adjacent to a patch of American water willows. One was caught on the initial drop of a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead around a patch of brittle naiad in about four feet of water. The other two were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; one was caught on the initial drop of this rig in about two feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows; the other one was caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three feet of water near a patch of American water willows.

Across the shallow-water flat, we eked out eight largemouth bass. Two were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation around patches of coontail and near a pile of brush in six to seven feet of water. Six were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation around patches of coontail in five to seven feet of water.

We spent much of the final 45 minutes of this outing probing a portion of a massive flat in the back of another primary feeder-creek arm. It yielded nine largemouth bass. Its underwater terrain is similar to the first shallow-water flat that we fished, but it is endowed with a patch of water lilies that is about the size of a football field. The nine largemouth bass were caught along the outside edge and in the vicinity of this patch of water lilies. Some of the water lilies are intertwined with patches of coontail. One of the nine largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. Four of the nine largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swimming-and-pause presentation in three to five feet of water. The other four were caught on the ZinkerZ rig; one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about five feet of water; three were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in three to five feet of water.

Oct. 4

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 4 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Bill and I fished at one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the fishing would be good, and the best fishing periods occurring between 3:09 a.m. to 5:09 a.m., 9:21 a.m. to 11:21 a.m., and 9:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.

The barometric pressure measured 30.06 at 9:00 a.m. and 30.04 at 2:00 p.m. The sky was cloudless. The wind angled out of the northeast at 5 to 17 mph. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 57 degrees; the afternoon high temperature reached 87 degrees.

The water displayed between 18 inches and two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 79 degrees. The water level was two feet below normal.

We are finding the black bass and threadfin shad in the Corps' reservoirs transitioning from their summertime main-lake haunts to their early-fall lairs at the mouths and in the lower and middle sections of the feeder-creek arms. We caught only one spotted bass in the upper end of one of the feeder-creek arms.

During this outing, we concentrated most of our efforts inside five feeder-creek arms, but we also investigated several main-lake lairs, such as a main-lake shoreline, a riprap-laden bridge embankment, several concrete support columns underneath two bridges, and seven wind-blown rocky and flat main-lake points at the entrances to either the five feeder-creek arms or at the mouth of a couple of smaller main-lake bays. These locales are situated in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm.

The submerged terrain in this tributary arm is composed of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders of various sizes. There is no aquatic vegetation in this impoundment.

The black-bass bite was hit and miss, but by the time this outing came to a close, we had caught and released 21 largemouth bass, 11 spotted bass, two white bass, and one large bluegill.

Of the 32 black bass that we caught, nine of them were caught at main-lake lairs: eight were caught around the seven rocky main-lake points; one was caught from a shallow rock ledge along a main-lake shoreline. We failed to locate any black bass around a riprap-laden bridge embankment and the concrete support columns underneath the two bridges.

Inside the five feeder-creek arms, we caught a total of 23 largemouth and spotted bass. All five of the feeder-creek arms had ample schools of threadfin shad, but we were unable to locate any black bass in two of them. (When we located threadfin shad with our sonar devices, we would fish around them, but we did not catch black bass at all the places where we found threadfin shad.)

Seventeen largemouth and spotted bass were caught around the west and south side of an island that is situated at the mouth of one of the feeder-creek arms; two were caught from a 35-yard stretch of a pea-gravel shoreline; two more were caught from two pea-gravel and chunk-rock secondary points; one was caught from a 30-yard section of shoreline that is covered with riprap; and one was caught from the side of a dilapidated boat ramp that was enhanced by a large burned-out party barge that was beached on it.

We failed to garner a strike or catch a black bass at 17 secondary points, three pea-gravel and chunk-rock shorelines, seven boat houses, and around the remnants of a stock-tank dam.

All of these fish were caught in less than three feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge.

Twelve largemouth and spotted bass were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; another 12 were tempted by a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a 1/12-ounce Z-Man's Finesse EyeZ Jighead; three were allured by a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, three more were fooled by a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat fastened on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; one was caught on a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and one was attracted to a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The Baby Goat and 2 1/2-inch Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a moderate-paced swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water. The pearl TRD TicklerZ and 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ combos were utilized with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Several of these bass were also caught on the initial fall of these six Z-Man Midwest-finesse rigs.

Oct. 5

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 48 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 79 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, southeast, north, and northeast at 3 to 10 mph; between 2:52 p.m. and 3:52 p.m., there was an 18-mph gust. The sky was fair from 12:52 a.m. to 11:52 a.m., and then it became partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.13 at 12:52 a.m., 30.15 at 5:52 a.m., 30.20 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.14 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be nearly normal. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 73 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited six feet of visibility at the boat ramp and three to four feet of visibility elsewhere.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:59 a.m. to 11:59 a.m., 10:23 p.m. to 12:23 a.m., and 3:47 a.m. to 5:47 a.m.

I made my first cast at 12:45 p.m., and by the time that I made my last one at 3:15 p.m., my fish counter indicated that I had caught 50 largemouth bass, four crappie, and two longear sunfish.

Since Patty Kehde and I climbed into our 80s in 2020, we have become what we call geriatric anglers, which means we fish for 1 ½ to three hours at waterways relatively close to our front door. By catching an average of 20 largemouth bass an hour on this Oct. 5 outing, it was the most bountiful geriatric endeavor that I have enjoyed. And I caught largemouth bass number 25 at 1:48 p.m., which is three minutes away from our once-coveted mission of catching 25 largemouth bass an hour. Stretching back to 2005, we used to occasionally call Midwest finesse fishing in northeastern Kansas as "bass fishing 101," and that meant that our goal was to catch 101 black bass in four hours, which we accomplished a few times every year until 2019. Nowadays, we are grateful if we can catch at least 10 black bass an hour.

On this 2 ½-hour outing, I caught 26 largemouth bass on a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a primary feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Some of it is coated with silt. Except for the submerged creek channel that wanders across portions of this flat, much of the terrain is endowed with patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and sago pondweed. Several manmade brush piles clutter the terrain.

These 26 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig around the patches of submerged vegetation in about five feet of water. Five were caught along the edge of the submerged creek channel in about eight feet of water with a very slow swim-and-glide presentation a few inches from the bottom. The other 18 were caught on a swimming presentation around and on top of the many patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and sago pondweed in four to seven feet of water. On the swimming presentation, the rig traveled from one foot to about three feet under the surface of the water.

Fourteen largemouth bass were caught across another massive shallow-water flat in the back of another primary feeder-creek arm. It is considerably bigger than the first flat that I fished; it looks to be bigger than six football fields. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which is graced with numerous patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and sago pondweed -- as well as an array of manmade piles of brush, and many of these brush piles have become intertwined with coontail. A submerged creek channel is situated along the entire western edge of this flat. Two of the 14 largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swimming presentation around and on top of the patches of submerged vegetation. Twelve were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; two were caught on the initial drop around the patches of submerged vegetation and piles of brush in about six feet of water; 10 were caught with either a swimming or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around and on top of the patches of submerged vegetation and piles of brush in about five to 6 ½ feet of water.

Ten largemouth bass were caught across a small shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm.

This flat is about the size of an infield of a baseball field. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which is embellished with a few patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. Three of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swimming presentation in three to four feet of water around and on top of the submerged vegetation. Seven were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig; one was caught on the initial drop and six were caught on a swimming presentation either around or on top of the patches of submerged vegetation in three to four feet of water.

Oct. 5

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 5 outing with John Thomas of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

During July, August, and September, we have been able to consistently locate and catch numerous black bass around rocky main-lake points, flats, shorelines, and islands in our state and federal reservoirs. And by the end of September, we were able to establish that the largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass were abandoning their summertime lairs on their main-lake abodes and were moving to the mouths of large bays, main-lake coves, and feeder-creek arms. As of Oct. 5, we have not found any significant concentrations of threadfin shad or black bass in the middle and upper regions of the bays, coves, and feeder-creek arms.

On this Oct. 5 outing, John Thomas and I fished at our most fruitful state reservoir in north-central Texas. It is the same impoundment where Norman Brown of Lewisville and I caught 104 black bass on Sept. 13.

The morning low temperature was 57 degrees. The afternoon high temperature reached 85 degrees. At dawn, the wind quartered out of the northeast at 5 to 10 mph, and as the morning progressed, it became calm. The barometric pressure measured 30.06 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.08 at noon. The sky was mostly clear with an occasional cloud drifting overhead.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the black-bass fishing would be great, and the best fishing would occur from 3:57 a.m. to 5:57 a.m., 10:09 a.m. to 12:09 p.m., and 10:33 p.m. to 12:33 a.m.

We fished from 7:00 a.m. to noon.

The water exhibited 12 inches of visibility in a major feeder-creek arm in the northwest end of the reservoir and three feet of visibility in the main-lake areas. The water level was 1.14 feet below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 80 degrees.

In the main-lake areas of the reservoir, we targeted 13 main-lake points, portions of five pea-gravel and chunk-rock shorelines, four main-lake islands, two main-lake bluffs, four main-lake riprap jetties, a portion of a long channel that leads to a large spillway, an offshore main-lake rock ledge, a chunk-rock causeway, and two offshore humps.

One of the four main-lake islands, which is situated in the southeast end of the reservoir, relinquished three largemouth bass. This island's shoreline is flat. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, pea-gravel, chunk rocks, and boulders. The shallow-water areas are adorned with thick clusters of buck brush, stick ups, and some standing timber. These black bass were abiding in less than five feet of water and were scattered around the outside edges and openings of the clusters of buck brush. These three black bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The other three main-lake islands were fruitless.

Two of the four main-lake jetties were productive. Two of them are situated in the midsection of the east shoreline, and the other two are located on the north end of the east shoreline. They are covered with riprap and have 30- to 45-degree slopes.

The first jetty surrendered four largemouth bass that were abiding in four to 12 feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. Three were caught on a Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One was enticed into striking the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was implemented with a steady swimming retrieve.

The second jetty yielded three largemouth bass. Two were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig, and the other one preferred the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Two of the five chunk-rock and pea-gravel main-lake shorelines yielded two largemouth bass and two spotted bass. One of the shorelines is located next to a main-lake point in the midsection of the east shoreline. The other one is located on the south end of the reservoir.

These two main-lake shorelines are similar. They are flat and adorned with chuck-rocks, boulders, and pea-gravel. All four of these black bass were attracted to the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a steady swimming retrieve.

We failed to locate any threadfin shad and black bass around the 13 main-lake points, three of the five pea-gravel, chunk-rock, and boulder-laden shorelines, two main-lake bluffs, inside the long channel that leads to a large spillway, an offshore main-lake rock ledge, a chunk-rock causeway, and two offshore humps.

We caught one largemouth bass in 12 feet of water near the face of a bluff inside the major feeder-creek arm. This bluff is situated on the south side of the creek arm near its mouth. This bass engulfed the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ on the initial fall about a foot from the water's edge. We also found a few pods of threadfin shad along another bluff in the upper end of the creek arm, and we did not find any largemouth or spotted bass there.

We failed to locate any schools of threadfin shad and black bass around nine secondary points, three pea-gravel flats, inside five small coves, around the riprap of a dam, and a shallow rock ledge inside one of the five large bays. Three of the large bays are spread across the east shoreline, and the other two are situated in the midsection of the west shoreline.

In sum, we discovered that the threadfin shad and black bass were few and far between, and many of the places that we targeted were devoid of threadfin shad. We spent more time searching for shad and black bass than we did fishing for them, and it was a chore to catch 13 largemouth bass and two spotted bass. We also crossed paths with a freshwater drum, a large black crappie, a couple of large green sunfish, one bluegill, and a pumpkinseed sunfish.

Endnote

It should be noted that in order for us to search for black bass and threadfin shad at these 52 black-bass lairs, we utilize side-scan, down-imaging, and 2-D sonar. These sonar capabilities allow us to quickly and efficiently scan an area and determine if any threadfin shad and black bass are present. If we don't locate any threadfin shad with our sonar at these locales, we do not fish them; we simply move on to the next spot and repeat the scanning process. And where we do find threadfin shad, we can usually— but not always—find some black bass.

Depending on the size of the area that we are targeting, this routine takes only a couple of minutes or less, and it greatly reduces the time we spend at unproductive spots. Once we locate threadfin shad, we will probe the area with about six to 10 casts, and if we don't elicit any strikes, we move on. If we garner a strike or catch a black bass, we stop and slowly and meticulously dissect the area with several Midwest finesse rigs. It is our finesse version of the run-and-gun tactics that many tournament anglers employ.

Oct. 5

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing at one of northeastern Kansas' federal reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 48 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 79 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, southeast, north, and northeast at 3 to 10 mph; between 2:52 p.m. and 3:52 p.m., there was an 18-mph gust. The sky was fair from 12:52 a.m. to 11:52 a.m., and then it became partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.13 at 12:52 a.m., 30.15 at 5:52 a.m., 30.20 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.14 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level was 1.95 feet above normal. The surface temperature was 71 degrees. The water exhibited from 1 ½ to two feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:59 a.m. to 11:59 a.m., 10:23 p.m. to 12:23 a.m., and 3:47 a.m. to 5:47 a.m.

I made my first cast at 7:15 a.m. along the shoreline of the dam. My last cast was executed at 2:30 p.m. along a riprap causeway inside a large feeder-creek arm.

I fished about 80 percent of the dam's shoreline, which consists of riprap. It yielded eight largemouth bass and eight smallmouth bass. They were caught in one to four feet of water.

I spent most of the outing plying shallow-water shorelines and points on the main-lake and inside the lower portions of one large feeder-creek arm.

By 11:00 a.m., it became a whale of a task to elicit a strike from a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass.

In total, I caught 26 black bass, one channel catfish, two white bass, two green sunfish, and several freshwater drum. Two were caught on a black 1/8-ounce buzzbait. The rest were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/12-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Oct. 7

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 7 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 62 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 73 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm, but when it stirred, it angled out of the east, south, west, and southwest at 3 to 7 mph. The sky fluctuated from being foggy and misty to overcast to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to raining lightly. The barometric pressure was 30.09 at 12:53 a.m., 30.08 at 5:53 a.m., 30.10 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.02 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level was a few inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 73 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about 4 ½ feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam and two feet of visibility in the upper reaches of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m., 11:36 p.m. to 1:36 a.m., and 5:23 a.m. to 7:23 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:30 a.m. and our last ones at 2:07 p.m.

Along the shoreline of the dam, we caught seven largemouth bass. It has about a 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with some meager patches of coontail that are intertwined with filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, duckweed, filamentous algae, a concrete outlet tower, and some piles of brush. The largemouth bass were caught on a four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in three to eight feet of water. Four were caught on the initial drop of this rig, and three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Three largemouth bass were caught at an offshore ledge. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Several of the boulders are huge. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

We caught 11 largemouth bass along about a 175-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is endowed with two points. This locale is in the middle portions of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with a few patches of coontail that are cluttered with filamentous algae. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is decked out with some patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, and 10 docks. Six of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD attached to a 1/16-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Five were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on a deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water. Four were caught on the initial drop in three to four feet of water. Six were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to six feet of water.

Four largemouth bass were caught along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are intertwined with occasional patches of coontail and filamentous algae. It has a 25- to 65-degree slope. The water's edge is comprised of American water willows, overhanging trees, duckweed, three docks, two concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, and an array of laydowns. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. Two were caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water. The other two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water. One was caught adjacent to a laydown, and the others were caught near the outside edges of patches of American water willows and duckweed.

Around a main-lake point and its main-lake shoreline, we caught four largemouth bass. This locale is in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 20- to 25-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which are graced with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge consists of patches of American water willows, a patch of water primrose, duckweed, overhanging trees, and a few laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about 2 ½ feet of water adjacent to patches of American water willows, duckweed, and coontail. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swimming presentation in two to three feet of water around patches of duckweed and coontail.

We quickly fished along about a 125-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, and it yielded two largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which are embellished with a few meager patches of coontail and filamentous algae. Its water's edge possesses several docks, a few patches of American water willows, one patch of water primrose, two concrete retaining walls, and several overhanging trees. One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to a dock and a concrete retaining wall on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about three feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught adjacent to that same concrete retaining wall on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about three feet of water.

Ten largemouth bass were caught along about a 90-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are laced with a few patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is cluttered with 12 docks, a few patches of American water willows, a patch of water primrose, two overhanging trees, and some small brush piles. These largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a red 1/16-ounce or a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Seven largemouth bass were caught on the red-jig TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to about nine feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the blue-jig TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in seven to eight feet of water.

We caught three largemouth bass along the spillway, which is near the dam. It has a 20- to 25-degree slope with a significant drop-off nearby. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. There are a few patches of coontail and filamentous algae gracing the underwater terrain. Its water's edge has six small patches of American water willows. The three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in six to seven feet of water.

In total, we caught 44 largemouth bass in three hours and 37 minutes.

Oct. 7

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Norman and I journeyed to a north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir where Rick Allen of Dallas and I caught 103 black bass on Sept. 9.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be average. The most lucrative periods would occur from 5:33 a.m. to 7:33 a.m., 11:20 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., and 11:45 p.m. to 1:45 a.m.

We fished from 7:00 a.m. to noon.

The sky was clear, and there was an abundance of bright sunshine everywhere. The morning low temperature was 60 degrees; the afternoon high temperature was 92 degrees. When we launched the boat at about 6:45 a.m., the wind was quartering out of the southeast at 5 mph, and when we trailered the boat at 12:21 p.m., the wind velocity had increased to 12 mph and was angling out of the southwest. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.04.

The water level was 0.56 of a foot below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 78 degrees. The water exhibited about three feet of clarity.

We spent our time searching for threadfin shad and black bass in the reservoir's east tributary arm. We targeted two islands, a series of rocky main-lake points and main-lake flats, several rocky shorelines, portions of a riprap-laden dam, sections of four major feeder-creek arms, and three minor main-lake coves.

Much to our consternation, we were unable to locate any threadfin shad or black bass with our side-imaging and 2-D sonar around 11 prominent main-lake points, three main-lake flats, a public fishing pier and its adjacent chunk-rock jetty, along five long and rocky main-lake shorelines, inside three of the four major feeder-creek arms, and inside two of the three minor main-lake coves. But we did manage to locate and catch 36 largemouth bass and six spotted bass before this five-hour excursion came to an end.

We caught seven largemouth bass and one spotted bass from the northeast corner of a large concrete water-outlet tower that is situated near the center of a riprap-covered dam in 34 to 57 feet of water. These black bass were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface of the water and within a foot or two of the walls of the tower. Five were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on an unpainted 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig, and three were caught on a swim-and-glide presentation with a Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

In eight feet of water that surrounds a concrete support column underneath the water-outlet tower's walkway, we caught five largemouth bass. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig, and two were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig.

The riprap on the center section of the dam was fruitless. We did not fish the east or west portions of the dam.

Ten largemouth bass and two spotted bass were caught in three to five feet of water from the shaded areas on the north and west sides of an island. This island is situated about halfway back inside a major feeder-creek arm on the lower end of the reservoir. Its submerged terrain is flat and is composed of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and some boulders. Eight largemouth bass and two spotted bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other two largemouth bass were tempted by a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rigged on a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a steady swimming retrieve. We searched the east and south sides of the island with our sonar, but we did not locate any more threadfin shad or black bass.

Inside this same feeder-creek arm, we employed our sonar devices to scan the areas around three rocky shorelines, five rocky secondary points, an offshore rock pile, and the interior of two large coves in the back end of the creek arm, but it was to no avail.

Along a flat and rocky shoreline that is situated about a third of the way back inside one of the three minor main-lake coves, we found a good concentration of threadfin shad in five to 12 feet of water. And in this area, we caught one largemouth bass in the vicinity of these shad. This largemouth was caught on a swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig in eight feet of water and about 25 feet from the water's edge. We did not elicit any strikes from a nearby pea-gravel shoreline and secondary point that were also entertaining a small aggregation of threadfin shad.

Although we failed to locate any shad or black bass at 13 main-lake points, we did catch a total of 13 largemouth bass and three spotted bass from three other main-lake points. These three points are similar; they are flat and situated at the mouths of two major feeder-creek arms. Their underwater terrains are composed of red clay, pea gravel, and some boulders.

Two largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught in five to seven feet of water from the end of the first point. One largemouth bass was caught from the side of the second point in less than three feet of water. Ten largemouth bass and two spotted bass were caught from the third main-lake point, and they were abiding on top and on one side of the point in three to eight feet of water.

Eight of these 16 black bass were enticed by a swimming retrieve with the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig; seven were enticed by a swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo, and one was inveigled by a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ matched with a blue 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In short, the bulk of the black bass that inhabit the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas are still lollygagging around main-lake environs and around the mouths of major feeder-creek arms, and they do not appear to have any inclination to move back into the feeder-creek arms at this time.

Oct. 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 11 outing with John Thomas of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., John Thomas and I fished at our most problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would be poor on Oct. 11, and our most opportune periods would occur from 3:27 a.m. to 5:27 a.m., 9:42 a.m. to 11:42 a.m., and 3:58 p.m. to 5:58 p.m.

The sky was clear, and there was not a cloud around for miles. The morning low temperature was 61 degrees and the afternoon high reached 83 degrees. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.82 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.86 at noon.

The water level was a couple of feet below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 78 degrees. The water exhibited between 1 1/4 to two feet of clarity.

The black-bass fishing at this reservoir has begun to wane since Norman Brown of Lewisville and I relished tangling with 47 black bass on Sept. 9. But when Norman and I returned to this same reservoir on Sept. 30 in hopes of catching another 30-plus black bass, the fishing was much more difficult, and it was a trying task for us to catch 10 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and two smallmouth bass in 5 1/2 hours.

On this Oct. 11 outing, the bass fishing was decent but not great. We caught a total of 18 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass in five hours.

These 21 black bass were caught in two to five feet of water. They were allured by a steady swimming retrieve with either a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a pearl Baby Goat affixed to a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We employed several other Z-Man Midwest finesse offerings, but we were unable to generate any other strikes with them.

In the lower end of the reservoir, we failed to catch a black bass or elicit a strike around a main-lake island and inside three major feeder-creek arms. However, we did manage to scrounge up two largemouth bass from the end and one side of a main-lake point. This point is located at the mouth of one of the three major feeder-creek arms that we investigated. Its submerged terrain is composed of pea-gravel and chunk rocks.

In the upper end of the reservoir, we focused our attentions on two major feeder-creek arms, four main-lake points, portions of three minor creek arms, and a main-lake cove.

Two of the four main-lake points were somewhat productive. Each of them yielded one largemouth bass. These two main-lake points are flat and covered with chunk rocks and boulders; they also form the mouth to a small main-lake cove. We did not catch any black bass from the other two main-lake points and inside the main-lake cove.

The first major feeder-creek arm was virtually devoid of threadfin shad and black bass. It surrendered one dinky spotted bass that was relating to a flat and rocky secondary point in the lower end of the creek arm. We also searched for shad and black bass in the midsection of this creek arm with our side-imaging and 2-D sonar around several other secondary points and a small pea-gravel flat without success. Since we didn't find any concentrations of shad and black bass in the lower and middle portions of this creek arm, we decided not to spend any time in its upper end.

Inside the second major feeder-creek arm, we caught three largemouth bass. The submerged terrain inside this feeder-creek consists primarily of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rocks, and a few submerged boulders. There is a large rock- and boulder-laden flat at the mouth of this feeder creek, and just beyond this flat, the feeder-creek splits into two smaller creek arms. The shorelines in the west creek arm are mostly flat, and a few clusters of decaying cedar trees adorn a large clay-and-pea-gravel flat in the northern end of this creek arm. The east creek arm has a few patches of flooded stickups in its upper end, and its shorelines are steeper with 30- to 45-degree slopes.

We caught two largemouth bass across the large rocky flat at the mouth of this creek arm, and one largemouth that was associated with a patch of flooded cedar trees in the northwest end of the smaller west-side creek arm. We did not locate any black bass in the east-side creek arm.

Inside the first minor feeder-creek arm, which is where we launched our boat, we failed to cross paths with any threadfin shad or largemouth bass.

The second minor feeder-creek arm, which is located about 1 1/2 miles east of the first minor creek arm, relinquished seven largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. These black bass were caught in less than five feet of water from a pea-gravel and chunk-rock shoreline and two rocky secondary points in the lower end of the creek arm. We also dissected two other flat shorelines, two other rocky secondary points, and a small cove further back in the creek arm, but we did not elicit any strikes from these locales.

In the back end of the third minor feeder-creek arm, we caught four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. These bass were relating to a flat clay-and-pea-gravel shoreline. We also fished around two steep and rocky secondary points and a pea-gravel and red-clay flat that are situated near the pea-gravel shoreline where we caught the three largemouth bass and the one spotted bass, but we did not generate any other strikes at these locales.

Oct. 12

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

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 50 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 75 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the south, southwest, and southeast at 3 to 14 mph, and there were several gusts of wind that ranged from 18 to 20 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:53 a.m., 29.96 at 5:53 a.m., 29.99 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.91 at 2:53 p.m.

On Oct. 11, 2.38 inches of rain fell in the vicinity of this reservoir's watershed, which elevated its water level to be several inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 70 to 71 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about 4 ½ feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam and 2 1/2 feet of visibility in the upper reaches of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm.

It is predicted that substantial amounts of rain will fall on northeastern Kansas on Oct. 13 and 15, which might affect the water clarity and levels in our reservoirs.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:23 a.m. to 6:23 a.m., 4:54 p.m. to 6:54 p.m., and 10:39 a.m. to 12:39 p.m.

I made my first casts at 11:46 a.m. and fished until 2:58 p.m., which was when I caught largemouth bass number 30.

Along the shoreline of the dam, which I shared with another bass angler who was wielding power tactics, I caught two largemouth bass. It has about a 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with some meager patches of coontail that are intertwined with filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, filamentous algae, a concrete outlet tower, and some piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught on a four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead on a swim-and-glide presentation in five to six feet of water. The second one was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-glide presentation in about five feet of water.

I failed to catch a largemouth bass along a massive offshore ledge and the reservoir's spillway, which I shared with another largemouth bass angler who was a power angler. The underwater terrain of the offshore ledge consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Several of the boulders are huge.

I caught nine largemouth bass along about a 175-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is endowed with two points. This locale is situated in the middle portions of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with a few patches of coontail that are cluttered with filamentous algae. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is decked out with some patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, and 10 docks. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TDR TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water around some boulders. Four largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water. Four were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to five feet of water.

Eleven largemouth bass were caught along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are laced with a few patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is cluttered with 10 docks, a few patches of American water willows, a patch of water primrose, two overhanging trees, and some small brush piles. These largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with either a drag-and-shake or a drag-shake-and-short-deadstick presentation in six to 12 feet of water. Six of these 11 largemouth bass were caught around the same lair in nine to 12 feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, I caught eight largemouth bass. This locale is in the upper half of the reservoir. It has a 20- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some patches of silt. Several spots along this terrain are embellished with patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge consists of patches of American water willows, a patch of water primrose, duckweed, overhanging trees, laydowns, six docks, and several retaining walls. Four of the eight largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swimming presentation in three to four feet of water along the flatter portions of the shoreline. Three were caught around patches of coontail, filamentous algae, duckweed, and American water willows. One was caught adjacent to a concrete retaining wall. The other four largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation along the steeper portions of this shoreline in five to seven feet of water.

Besides the 30 largemouth bass, I accidentally caught one warmouth, two crappie, and seven bluegill. I elicited more than a dozen strikes that I failed to hook.

Oct. 14

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 14 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 49 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 79 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind was calm during much of the early morning hours; then it angled out of the northwest, north, northeast, and east at 3 to 7 mph. The sky fluctuated from being cluttered with a few clouds to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy to being overcast from 12:52 a.m. to 7:52 a.m., and then it became fair. The barometric pressure was 29.86 at 12:52 a.m., 29.92 at 5:52 a.m., 29.95 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.96 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 67 to 70 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited 3 ½ feet of visibility at the boat ramp and 1 ½ to two feet of visibility inside this reservoir's five feeder-creek arms.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:22 a.m. to 8:22 a.m., 6:49 p.m. to 8:49 p.m., and 12:08 a.m. to 2:08 a.m.

I made my first cast at 11:00 a.m. and made the last one when I caught largemouth bass number 30 at 2:06 p.m.

I caught 14 largemouth bass on portions of three large shallow-water flats and short portions of three shallow-water shorelines in the back of a primary feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrains consist of gravel and rocks, and some of the gravel and rocks are coated with silt. Except for a submerged creek channel that wanders across portions of this flat, much of the terrains are endowed with submerged patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and sago pondweed. Several manmade brush piles clutter the terrains. The two shorelines are graced with patches of American pondweed, American water willows, and creeping water primrose. This area is about the size of four football fields.

The 14 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the rig; two were caught around the patches of submerged vegetation in about five feet of water, and one was caught around the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed and American water willows. The others were caught on either a swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation on top or around the many patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and sago pondweed in four to seven feet of water. On the swimming presentation, the rig traveled from one foot to about three feet under the surface of the water.

In the back of a small feeder-creek arm, I caught four largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat that is about the size of a half of a football field. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and some of the gravel and rocks are coated with silt. It is endowed with an array of brush piles and a few meager patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. The four largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig around the piles of brush in five to six feet of water; one was caught on the initial drop of the rig; three were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Five largemouth bass were caught on a shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. This flat is about the size of an infield of a baseball field. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which is embellished with a few patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. It is also enhanced with several piles of brush. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TDR TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swimming presentation around the patch of submerged aquatic vegetation in about four feet of water. The other four were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation near a pile of brush in about four feet of water. Three were caught on a swimming presentation around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

I struggled to tangle with three largemouth bass on another massive shallow-water flat in the back of another primary feeder-creek arm. This flat looks to be bigger than six football fields. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which is graced with numerous patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, sago pondweed, and an array of manmade piles of brush. Many of these brush piles have become intertwined with coontail. A submerged creek channel is situated along the entire western edge of this flat. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the edge of the submerged creek channel and around two of the piles of brush that are intertwined with coontail in about six feet of water.

I caught three largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig along a flat shoreline and a small shallow-water flat that is adjacent to this shoreline. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are adorned with submerged patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and five piles of brush. The shoreline is lined with massive patches of American pondweed, which are intertwined with some coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig around one pile of brush. The other two were caught on the initial drop of the rig along the outside edge of the patches of American pondweed.

At a shallow-water flat at one end of the dam, I caught largemouth bass number 30 on the Finesse WormZ rig. The underwater terrain of the flat consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This area is adorned with American pondweed and patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. The underwater terrain of the dam consists of riprap. This largemouth bass was caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Recently, a lot of rain has pummeled northeastern Kansas. Some locales have garnered more than five inches of rain. And it has affected the water levels and clarity at most of our community, federal, and state reservoirs. This reservoir has not been as adversely affected as some of the other ones. I was hoping to tangle with at least 15 largemouth bass an hour, but it was a chore to catch 30 largemouth bass, three crappie, and two sunfish in three hours and six minutes.

Oct. 14

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 14 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We fished at one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

It rained on Oct. 12 and 13. On Oct. 14, the sky was overcast and it was drizzling when we launched the boat at 9:15 a.m. The barometric pressure measured 29.86 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.76 at 2:00 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 63 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 83 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the fishing would be poor, and the most productive fishing periods would occur from 12:14 a.m. to 2:14 a.m., 6:28 a.m. to 8:28 a.m., and 6:56 p.m. to 8:56 p.m.

The water was dingy from the aftereffects of the recent rains, and it displayed between 18 inches and two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 76 degrees. The water level was two feet below normal.

There is no aquatic vegetation in this impoundment. This reservoir's submerged terrain is composed primarily of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders.

Rick and I fished from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. We spent most of our time inside six feeder-creek arms, but we also plied four main-lake points and one island at the mouths of four of the six feeder-creek arms. These locales are situated in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm.

We caught 29 spotted bass, 23 largemouth bass, one spotted-bass hybrid, and one white bass.

Two black bass were caught in eight feet of water, and the other 51 were caught in two to four feet of water.

Four of these 53 black bass were caught from the four main-lake points, and four others were caught from the south and west sides of the island that is situated at the mouth of one of the feeder-creek arms.

The other 45 black bass were caught around flat pea-gravel and chunk-rock secondary points and shorelines adjacent to the secondary points in the lower and middle sections of the six feeder-creek arms.

Forty-two largemouth and spotted bass, and one white bass were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat matched with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; seven were enticed by a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; two were attracted to a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a pearl 1/12-ounce Z-Man's Finesse EyeZ Jighead; and two were allured by a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The Baby Goat and 2 1/2-inch Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a moderate-paced swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water. The hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ was worked with a hop-and-bounce presentation. Several of these bass were caught on the initial fall of the Baby Goat rigs.

Oct. 17

Brandon Marlow of LaFollette Tennessee, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 17 outing with Jason Marlow at a highland reservoir in northeastern Tennessee.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The temperature was 61 degrees around 2:00 p.m. and 49 degrees around 7:00 p.m. There was a mild-mannered west-by-northwest wind. The sky exhibited a bluebird hue. The barometric pressure was high, ranging from 30.18 to 30.24.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 8:53 a.m. to 10:53 a.m., 9:15 p.m to 11:15 p.m., and 2:42 a.m. to 4:42 a.m.

We spent this outing in the middle section of a major feeder-creek arm from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., focusing on two channel-swing shorelines and two coves.

Jason used a 1/8-ounce skirted jig that was adorned with a PB&J skirt and a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD as a trailer.

I fished with a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin-blue FattyZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin mushroom-style jig and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's dirt ZinkerZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin mushroom-style jig.

Along about a 500-yard stretch of one of the channel-swing shorelines, we caught three smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass. It is endowed with large boulders, chunk rock, and several laydowns.

Four of these black bass were caught abiding close to the laydowns in eight to 10 feet of water.

Jason caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass by slowly dragging his rig along the bottom close to the laydowns.

I caught the other two smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass on the FattyZ rig. The largemouth bass and one of the smallmouth bass were caught on a deadstick presentation. The other smallmouth bass that I caught was abiding in about five feet of water and was relating to a small slide of rocks while I was employing a deadstick presentation with the FattyZ rig.

From that shoreline, we made a short run across the feeder-creek arm to a cove. This area has a little bit of everything: floating docks, riprap, laydowns, chunk rocks, and several secondary points. We started at its mouth and fished to its back end. Jason continued to drag the finesse jig, and he caught five largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass. The five largemouth bass were caught in less than five feet of water around laydowns, and the two smallmouth bass were caught in 10 to 15 feet of water. I caught two spotted bass and a smallmouth shooting docks with the ZinkerZ rig. Dock shooting is a crappie technique that allows anglers to place their rigs in narrow places that cannot be reached by employing a normal cast or even a skip cast. The two spotted bass and the smallmouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig. I caught two smallmouth bass around a small secondary point in the back of this cove. They were caught on the FattyZ rig with a drag-and-pause presentation in eight feet of water around the scattered rocks that adorn this point.

The third area that we fished was along another channel-swing shoreline. This one has two well-defined transitions on each end, which consists of a steep rock shoreline that changes to a mixture of clay and pea gravel. We concentrated mainly on those transition areas, which yielded two smallmouth bass. Both were caught on the ZinkerZ in less than five feet of water where the boat traffic had created a mud line. One hit on the initial drop. The other was caught on a dragging presentation.

Our final stop of the outing was in the cove where we launched. Its shorelines are not as steep as what we had been fishing, and it has a variety of cover. Since we were running out of daylight, we had to fish much faster than I wanted to fish. We mainly focused on the laydowns and caught eight black bass. Jason caught several largemouth bass on the finesse jig, and I had a mix of spotted bass and smallmouth bass on the FattyZ rig.

Oct. 20

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 20 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported it was 58 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 69 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, southwest, and west at 8 to 16 mph, and there were gusts as vigorous as 24 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to overcast to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:53 a.m., 29.97 at 5:53 a.m., 30.02 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.99 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level was a tad above normal. The surface temperature was 65 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from 3 ½ to about five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:32 a.m. to 12:32 p.m., 10:53 p.m. to 12:53 a.m., and 4:22 a.m. to 6:22 a.m.

We fished from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Along the shoreline of the dam, we caught five largemouth bass. It has about a 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with some meager patches of coontail that are intertwined with filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, filamentous algae, a concrete outlet tower, and some piles of brush. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three of the five largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in three to four feet of water, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught along an offshore ledge. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Several of the boulders are huge. These largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water while strolling.

We caught six largemouth bass along about a 175-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is endowed with two points. This locale is in the middle portions of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with a few patches of coontail that are cluttered with filamentous algae. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge consists of some patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, and 10 docks. One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ and a chartreuse jig adjacent to a dock with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig while we were strolling and employing a slow swimming presentation around a dock and a patch of coontail in four to seven feet of water.

Seven largemouth bass were caught along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are laced with a few patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is cluttered with 12 docks, a few patches of American water willows, several small patches of water primrose, two overhanging trees, and some small brush piles. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on the TRD TicklerZ and a chartreuse jig. One was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig. The others were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in six to about 10 feet of water.

Nine largemouth bass were caught along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are intertwined with occasional patches of coontail and filamentous algae. It has a 20- to 65-degree slope. The water's edge is comprised of American water willows, overhanging trees, water primrose, duckweed, six docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, and an array of laydowns. Five largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to six feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on a four-inch green-pumpkin-orange grub affixed to a 1/10-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; one was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about a foot of water adjacent to a concrete retaining wall; the other one was caught on a slow swimming presentation in about four feet of water. Two bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swimming presentation in about three feet of water.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught six largemouth bass. This flat is endowed with occasional patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, and filamentous algae. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swimming presentation in about three feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on a four-inch pearl grub affixed to a 1/10-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a slow swimming presentation in about three feet of water.

Along about a 400-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught 10 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt, which are embellished with some patches of coontail and filamentous algae. Its water's edge possesses 18 docks, a few patches of American water willows, some minor patches of water primrose, many concrete retaining walls, and several overhanging trees. Five largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig, and the other five were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. They were caught while we employed either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. Three of them were caught while we were strolling and employing those presentations. They were caught in about five to 10 feet of water, and many feet from the water's edge.

In short, the fishing was difficult. Ultimately, we caught 44 largemouth bass in four hours, and most of them were scrawny.

Andy Williamson of Lake Andes, South Dakota, is a member of the Finesse News Network, and he asked us in an email why we fail to include the size of each black bass that we catch. We responded by saying that we do not want to take the time to measure, weigh, and keep a record of each fish. If we weighed and measured each largemouth bass on this outing, it would have consumed about 44 minutes of the fours hours that we were fishing. Instead, we want to quickly release each fish and make another cast in hopes of generating another strike and catch. Every once in a while, we will take a photograph, and Rick took two photographs today. Here is one of them:

Oct. 21

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 14 outing with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Oct. 21 was a glorious fall day for our neck of the woods. The sun shined brightly, and a few distant clouds hovered in the sky. The morning low temperature was 53 degrees, and the afternoon high climbed to 81 degrees. The wind was mild-mannered and quartered out of the north and northeast at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.19 at 8:00 a.m., and it fell to 30.13 by 2:00 p.m.

Bear and I were itching to tangle with some smallmouth bass. So, we journeyed to southern Oklahoma and fished at a scenic Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir that I fished with Bill Kenney of Denton on Sept. 20. During that outing, Bill and I fished from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and we had a trying time locating and catching eight smallmouth bass, six largemouth bass, and one spotted bass in seven hours.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be excellent on Oct. 21, with the most productive periods occurring between 6:13 a.m. and 8:13 a.m., 10:42 a.m. and 12:42 p.m., and 4:52 p.m. to 6:52 p.m.

Bear and I fished from 8:20 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

The water exhibited five feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 72 degrees. The water level appeared to be about two feet high.

This reservoir's submerged terrain consists primarily of pea-gravel, chunk rock, and boulders of various sizes. There are some sections of various shorelines that are adorned with thick patches of American water willows and cattails.

During these six hours, we plied 11 main-lake rock ledges, portions of two main-lake islands, eight main-lake points, three rocky secondary points inside two minor bays, and one rock bluff located at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm. These locales are spread across a large segment of the reservoir, ranging from its northwest end to the southeast end.

The delightfully pleasant weather conditions had us a bit concerned that we would have a difficult time catching a dozen or so smallmouth bass. Instead, we found the smallmouth bass fairly easy to locate and allure, and we were delighted to tussle with 85 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass in six hours. We also inadvertently caught one large green sunfish and one bluegill.

Fifty smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were allured by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Twenty-five smallmouth bass were beguiled by a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Ten smallmouth bass were enticed by a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead dressed with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD.

Eighty-one smallmouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation; four smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were caught on the initial fall of our TRD TicklerZ and Finesse TRD rigs.

All of these bass were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as 13 feet. They were relating to patches of large boulders. We did not elicit any strikes around the patches of American water willows and cattails.

The two main-lake humps yielded 12 smallmouth bass. These two humps are covered with two to four feet of water and are cluttered with numerous boulders and large rocks. Their sides quickly drop off into 12 or more feet of water.

The eight main-lake points surrendered nine smallmouth bass. These points are flat and are covered with patches of chunk rocks and large boulders.

The rock bluff at the mouth of the southeast feeder-creek arm yielded seven smallmouth bass, one green sunfish, and one bluegill. The base of this bluff is embellished with large rocks, boulders, and a few submerged stumps.

The three secondary points inside the two minor bays were not very productive; they relinquished four smallmouth bass. These points are flat and are graced with scores of chunk rocks and boulders. They are situated about halfway back in the bays.

Fifty-four smallmouth bass were caught near the deep-water sides of the 11 main-lake ledges. The top of these ledges are covered with three to five feet of water. They are also adorned with chunk rocks mixed with large boulders and a few thick stands of cattails.

In closing, this bountiful outing set a new Midwest finesse numbers record for us at this reservoir. The previous record was set almost a year ago on Oct. 24, 2020, when Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I caught 81 smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass in six hours.

Oct. 22

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 22 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 34 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 71 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, south, and southwest at 3 to 9 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.17 at 12:52 a.m., 30.15 at 5:52 a.m., 30.08 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.95 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 64 to 66 degrees. An algae bloom has erupted, and the secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited one to about 2 ½ feet of visibility. Some of the visibility woes stem from the five inches of rain that pummeled this reservoir's watershed on Oct. 11. This reservoir's shallow-water flats and shorelines used to be graced with substantial patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, which used to subdue algal blooms and readily clear up the water after a trenchant rain. But the reservoir's managers unwisely elected to eradicate the vegetation with massive doses of herbicides. This reservoir used to be our most bountiful one for catching significant numbers of largemouth bass with our Midwest finesse tactics. But since the demise of the submerged aquatic vegetation, our ability to catch them has declined significantly.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:42 a.m. to 1:42 p.m., 12:04 p.m. to 2:04 p.m., and 5:53 a.m. to 7: 53 a.m.

Recently, most of my Friday outings are very short ones, ranging in length from one to about two hours. They are aimed to find a local community, federal, or state reservoir where our grandson Brady Cayton and I can catch at least 10 black bass an hour on our Saturday outings, which usually entail about two hours of fishing. And I rarely compose a Finesse News Network log about these Friday and Saturday outings.

I made my first cast at 11:52 a.m. I was hoping that I would tangle with 20 largemouth bass by 12:52 p.m.

During the first 67 minutes, it looked as if that hope would materialize.

I had caught 15 largemouth bass along about a 300-yard stretch of a shoreline in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, boulders, and silt. Its water's edge is dressed with almost unending patches of American water willows, one dock, stumps, a few laydowns, and one overhanging tree. One of the 15 largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about 2 ½ feet of water at the edge of a patch of American water willows. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swimming presentation in three to six feet of water along a flat portion of the shoreline and about 15 feet from the outside edge of the patches of American water willows. A Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 10 largemouth bass; one was caught on the initial drop of the rig at the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water; nine of them were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in three to nine feet of water from about two feet to as much as 15 feet away from the outside edge of the patches of American water willows.

Shortly after catching those 15 largemouth bass, I crossed paths with a friend and talented Midwest finesse angler who had been fishing for about 75 minutes and struggled to catch four largemouth bass along portions of several shorelines and a shallow-water flat inside a primary feeder-creek arm and along a shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm.

This report provoked me to test several other locales, which became a pathetic ordeal.

During the next two hours, I fished along portions of three shorelines inside two large feeder-creek arms, along segments of two shorelines inside a tiny feeder-creek arm, along portions of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, and along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and its main-lake point. And I caught three largemouth bass, which were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. They were caught along the shorelines in the back of one of the large feeder-creek arms; one was caught on the initial drop of the rig at the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in two feet of water; the second one was caught by employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water and about 12 feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows; the third one was caught by swimming the rig around a stump and piece of brush in about three feet of water.

Before this reservoir's recent demise, we used to fish it more than 40 times a year, and occasionally, we would tangle with 101 or more largemouth bass in four hours. So far in 2021, we have fished it just 21 times and struggled to catch 477 largemouth bass, which is slightly more than an average of 22 largemouth bass an outing. Our most fruitful outing occurred on April 16, when we caught 50 largemouth bass from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. After this Oct 22 outing and other abysmal endeavors this year, we are not eager to fish this once glorious reservoir again this year. We have been hoping for several years that this reservoir's managers will begin cultivating and mechanically maintaining patches of submerged aquatic vegetation rather than killing it. From more than a half of a century of fishing the state and community reservoirs that grace the various landscapes of northeastern Kansas, Midwest finesse anglers have discovered that an array of various kinds of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation is an essential ingredient to bountiful largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing.

Oct. 23

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 23 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We traveled 81 miles to fish for smallmouth bass at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir. This reservoir is known more for its outstanding striper fishing than its black-bass fishing. I have not fished at this reservoir since March of 2018.

During this outing, we discovered that a local 30-boat bass tournament was in progress, and we fished behind and around several of the contestants.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:51 a.m. to 2:51 a.m., 7:04 a.m. to 9:04 a.m., and 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Bill and I fished from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

The sky was partly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 64 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 86 degrees. The wind blew incessantly out of the south and southeast at 15 to 20 mph with occasional wind gusts of 23 mph. The barometric pressure fell slightly from 29.90 at 8:00 a.m. to 29.83 at 2:00 p.m.

Typically, the water clarity at this reservoir exhibits five to seven feet of visibility. But when we arrived at the boat ramp, we noticed that the water exhibited 24 to 30 inches of visibility. The water level was 1.63 feet below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 74 degrees.

We fished in the southeast region of this impoundment and dissected portions of several rocky shorelines inside four main-lake coves, five main-lake points, and segments of shorelines inside two major feeder-creek arms.

The black-bass fishing was stellar for this reservoir; we caught 32 smallmouth bass, three spotted bass, and two largemouth bass. We also crossed paths with three green sunfish, one striper, and one bluegill.

This outing started off on a promising note as we plied several rock ledges inside the four main-lake coves. The top of these ledges are covered with three to five feet of water, and they quickly plummet into 20 and more feet of water. They are adorned with pea gravel, chunk rocks, and large boulders, and some of the boulders are gigantic. These ledges yielded 19 smallmouth bass, one spotted bass, and one largemouth bass that were scattered along the top of the ledges in three to five feet of water. Nineteen of these 21 black bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with either a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat fastened on a 1/12-ounce Z-Man's pearl Finesse EyeZ jig, or a three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ attached to a 1/12-ounce Z-Man's pearl Finesse EyeZ jig. One smallmouth was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ attached to a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and one spotted bass was caught in eight feet of water from underneath a boat house in the back end of one of the coves on the initial fall of the The Deal Baby Goat and pearl Finesse-EyeZ jig combo.

We failed to generate any strikes along four of the five rocky main-lake points. The fifth main-lake point surrendered one smallmouth bass. This point is flat and is endowed with many large boulders and chunk rocks. This smallmouth was caught on the three-inch The Deal Slim SwimZ rig as it was strolled behind the boat in about five feet of water.

We fished about 60 percent of the shorelines and secondary points inside the two feeder-creek arms, which are located about 1 1/2 miles west of the main-lake points and coves that we fished. These creek arms are endowed with several rocky secondary points, three small coves, about a dozen boat houses, a few laydowns, and a large bluff. These two creek arms yielded 13 smallmouth bass, one spotted bass, and one largemouth bass. The most fruitful shorelines and secondary points were flat, and their underwater terrains consist of sand, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The rocks and boulders ranged in size from being as small as a baseball to as large as a small pick-up truck. These smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and largemouth bass were scattered. They were extracted from three to six feet of water near the sides of boulders. They were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with The Deal Baby Goat rigs.

We failed to locate any significant aggregations of threadfin shad or black bass inside one main-lake cove and along the riprap-laden dam with our 2-D and side-scanning sonar. We did not fish these locales.

In sum, the brisk winds hindered the bulk of our casts and retrieves. Our most effective tactic was to drift with the wind and execute our casts and retrieves with the wind at our backs. Our most effective Midwest finesse rigs and presentation were the pearl and The Deal Baby Goat combos that were employed with a steady swimming retrieve.

Oct 25

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Oct. 25 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 48 degrees at 9:52 a.m. and 54 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind became calm before 2:52 p.m., and before 2:52 p.m., the wind angled from the north and northwest at 3 to 21 mph; there were gusts at times that reached 28 mph. The sky was overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:52 a.m., 30.01 at 5:52 a.m., 30.11 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.09 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 61 to 62 degrees. The water exhibited about four to six feet of visibility. The vast patches of American water willows that embellish most of this reservoir's shorelines are becoming yellow, leafless, and exhibiting their natural autumn decline. But many square yards of this reservoir's shallow-water flats are copiously graced with brilliantly green patches of coontail.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 2:16 a.m. to 4:16 a.m., 2:40 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., and 8:28 a.m. to 10:28 a.m.

This was another one of our geriatric outings, which we have been making since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, it was a short affair of 124 minutes. We made our first casts at 1:26 p.m., and our last ones at 3:30 p.m. We spent the entire time plying patches of coontail that grace two massive shallow-water flats in the backends of two large feeder-creek arms.

We caught 24 largemouth bass that were scattered hither and yon across one flat that is the size of about six football fields. Portions of this flat are enhanced with numerous piles of brush and one manmade island, which is made with piles of rocks and concrete blocks that are embellished with patches of American willows, patches of coontail, and a beaver hut. Four of the 24 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; one was caught on the initial drop of this rig in about eight feet of water around a patch of coontail; the other three were caught on a slow swimming presentation with an occasional pause around patches of coontail in four to five feet of water. The other 20 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to either a blue or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Six of the 20 were caught on the initial drop of these rigs around patches of coontail in four to eight feet of water. The other 14 were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to eight feet of water, and three of them were caught while we were strolling and employing the swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Our Finesse WormZ rigs caught 11 largemouth bass across a large portion of a shallow-water flat in the back of another large feeder-creek arm. This flat is about the size of four football fields. It is endowed with piles of brush and one extraordinary patch of water lilies that is about the size of a football field. Three of the largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges of the patch of water lilies in about 3 1/3 feet of water. The other eight were caught around sizeable patches of coontail in six to nine feet of water. Four were caught on the initial drop of our rigs; the others were caught on a slow-swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We elicited 14 strikes that we failed to firmly hook, and we accidentally caught one channel catfish and one crappie. The largemouth bass were not hefty specimens.

Oct. 25

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 23 outing with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we plied a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

Roger and I relished fishing underneath a beautiful powder-blue sky. The radiant sun was shining everywhere. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 64 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 86 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.95 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.98 at 1:00 p.m. The wind was calm until 10:51 a.m., then it angled out of the northeast and east at 3 to 5 mph.

The water displayed between 14 and 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature varied from 72 to 76 degrees. It appears that the Corps is releasing water from this reservoir in order to reduce the water level from its summer pool level to its winter level, and it was about five feet lower than it has been during the past several weeks. Many of our usual shallow-water bass lairs are now on dry land.

This reservoir's submerged terrain is comprised of mostly red clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders.

We concentrated our attentions in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, where we targeted portions of six feeder-creek arms, four main-lake points, one island, and a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline.

We caught 21 largemouth bass, 13 spotted bass, and 10 white bass. All of them were caught in less than five feet of water.

Twenty largemouth and spotted bass were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat matched with a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; 10 were attracted to a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; two were tempted by a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Jighead; and two were allured by a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ fastened on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The Baby Goats and three-inch Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a steady swimming retrieve. The Deal TRD TicklerZ combo was utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three of these black bass were caught on the initial fall of the Baby Goat rigs.

Nineteen of the 34 black bass and the 10 white bass were caught around flat pea-gravel and chunk-rock secondary points in the lower sections inside the six feeder-creek arms.

Six largemouth and spotted bass were caught from the perimeter of an island at the mouth of one of the feeder-creek arms. The shoreline of this island is also flat and consists of pea-gravel and chuck rocks.

Three were caught from the four main-lake points. These points are flat and covered with chunk-rocks and boulders.

Six were caught from the 100-yard segment of the main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is adjacent to one of the main-lake points that we fished. Its underwater terrain consists of red clay, pea gravel, and a few scattered boulders. A shallow ledge parallels this shoreline and is situated about 10 to 15 feet out from the water's edge. The top of the ledge is covered with about two feet of water, and it drops off into three to five feet of water. These six bass were caught around the ledge's outside edge.

Overall, we had a difficult time locating any significant aggregations of threadfin shad and black bass. Flat pea-gravel and chunk-rock points and shorelines were more productive than steeper shorelines and points adorned with large rocks and boulders. We failed to locate any threadfin shad or black bass in the middle and upper ends of the feeder-creek arms.

Oct. 26

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 26 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported it was 44 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 60 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind was calm from 2:53 a.m. to 5:53 a.m., and when it began to howl, it angled out of the east and southeast at 8 to 16 mph, and its gusts ranged from 22 to 28 mph. The sky was fair from 2:53 a.m. to 5:53 a.m., and during the rest of the day, it fluctuated from being overcast to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.06 at 12:53 a.m., 30.03 at 5:53 a.m., 29.94 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.80 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level was a few inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 60 to 61 degrees. The water exhibited from four to about five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:08 a.m. to 5:08 a.m., 3:33 p.m. to 5:33 p.m., and 9:21 a.m. to 11:21 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:00 a.m. and our last ones at 2:00 p.m. By the time we executed our last casts, our fish counter indicated that we had caught 70 largemouth bass, three green sunfish, and one crappie. Sixty-eight of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a 1/16-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Two largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And they were caught on a variety of presentations and locations.

After the first 45 minutes, we spent much of the next three hours and 15 minutes trying to hide from the pesky wind gusts.

Along the windblown shoreline of the dam, we failed to elicit a strike. It has about a 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with some meager patches of coontail that are intertwined with filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, duckweed, filamentous algae, a concrete outlet tower, and some piles of brush.

Five largemouth bass were caught along the windblown shoreline immediately adjacent to the dam. This shoreline is about 100 feet long, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are embellished with some skimpy patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is composed of a few patches of American water willows, one pile of brush, and one dock. The largemouth bass were caught on the Fineness TRD rig with either a swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water and as close as a foot or two from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows to as far as 15 to 20 feet from the water's edge.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a short section of a main-lake shoreline in the lower portions of the reservoir. This shoreline is adjacent to an offshore ledge. It was slightly windblown. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are enhanced with some patches of coontail and filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with a concrete retaining wall and one dock. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and shake presentation in about four feet of water in the vicinity of coontail patches.

We caught 17 largemouth bass along about a 350-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is endowed with two points. One point and all of the shoreline was sheltered from the wind, which was a godsend. Part of it is located in the lower portions of the reservoir, and the other part is in the middle portions of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with a few patches of coontail and filamentous algae. It possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is decked out with some patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, and 23 docks. All of them were caught on the Finesse TRD rig. One was caught on a deadstick presentation. Four were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. Some were caught in about three feet of water near the water's edge. Others were caught from five to about 20 feet from the water's edge and in five to 12 feet of water. Some were caught near the outside edges of patches of American water willows, and a few were caught adjacent to the docks. Most seemed to be abiding near the bottom among the rocks and boulders.

One largemouth bass was caught around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. It was windblown. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are graced with occasional patches of coontail and filamentous algae. It possesses a 35-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with some patches of American water willows, one overhanging tree, and one dock. The Finesse TRD rig, with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, caught the largemouth bass adjacent to the dock in about seven feet of water and in the vicinity of two dilapidated and submerged pilings.

We caught 19 largemouth around two main-lake points and along about a 350-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. Most of this shoreline and its points were somewhat sheltered from the significant gusts of wind. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt which are intertwined with occasional patches of coontail and filamentous algae. It has a 20- to 60-degree slope. The water's edge is comprised of American water willows, overhanging trees, duckweed, nine docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, and an array of laydowns. Along a flat and shallow-water section of this shoreline, two largemouth bass were caught on the Slim SwimZ rig with a swimming presentation in three to four feet of water around patches of coontail and filamentous algae. Seventeen largemouth bass were caught of the Finesse TRD rig; one was caught on a deadstick presentation; four were caught on the initial drop; the others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a swimming presentation. Two were caught adjacent to the stone bridge, some were caught near the water's edge, and the others were caught as far as six to 20 feet from the water's edge. They were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as nine feet.

Three largemouth bass were caught across a massive shallow-water flat in the upper half of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt, which is ladened with patches of filamentous algae and coontail. They were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swimming presentation in about three feet of water.

We caught 23 largemouth bass around one main-lake point, several tertiary points, and along about a 400-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. Parts of this vast locale were sheltered from the wind, but there were some areas where the wind gusts walloped us, and we had to employ a drift sock to tame the wind's damnable effects. This massive shoreline is relatively flat, exhibiting a 20- to 30-degree slope, but some areas have a 45- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt; this terrain is embellished with some patches of coontail and filamentous algae. Its water's edge is cluttered with 36 docks, a few patches of American water willows, some patches of water primrose, many rocks and concrete retaining walls, one major laydown, a few piles of brush, and several overhanging trees. Our Finesse TRD rigs caught all of the largemouth bass. They were caught in a variety of presentations and locations. They were caught on the initial drop, on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, on a drag-and-shake presentation, on a deadstick presentation, and on a swimming presentation. They were caught near the water's edge in two to three feet of water near a patch of American water willows, in about three feet of water next to a retaining wall, in three to five feet of water around and over patches of coontail and filamentous algae, in six to 12 feet of water adjacent to docks, and in six to 12 feet along the underwater terrain of rocks and boulders.

The weather forecasters are predicting that it will be windy and raining for the next three days. Some forecasters note that some watersheds might get walloped with three inches of rain. Moreover, the wind will howl at 25 to 30 mph. Therefore, we will be at bay for a spell.

Oct. 30

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 30 outing with his grandson Brady Cayton of Lawrence at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 32 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 66 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled from the northwest, west, and southwest at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:52 a.m., 29.89 at 5:52 a.m., 29.89 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.83 at 2:52 p.m.

It rained almost constantly at many locales in northeastern Kansas from around noon on Oct. 27 until around 6:00 a.m. on Oct. 29. At times, the wind howled at 30 to 41 mph. The rain caused the water levels at several of our reservoirs to rise significantly, and it affect the water clarity.

Brady's and my outings on Saturdays are primarily a learning adventure for him. Thus, we do not take the time to compile notes for creating a log. But this outing was so simple that there was no need for notes. Therefore, here is a rudimentary log.

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 59 to 61 degrees. The water exhibited about four feet of visibility. The vast patches of American water willows that embellish most of this reservoir's shorelines are exhibiting their natural autumn decline. But many square yards of this reservoir's shallow-water flats are graced with vast and healthy patches of coontail.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 6:33 a.m. to 8:33 a.m., 6:57 p.m. to 8:57 p.m., and 12:20 a.m. to 2:20 a.m.

We made our first casts at noon and the last ones at 2:45 p.m.

We caught 27 largemouth bass across a flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. This flat is about the size of six and a half football fields. Many areas on this flat are enhanced with patches of coontail. It is also endowed with numerous manmade piles of brush and one manmade island. The island is made with piles of rocks and concrete blocks, and it is embellished with patches of American willows, patches of coontail, and a beaver hut.

These 27 largemouth bass were caught on either a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a four-inch pearl twister-tail grub affixed on a 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ. They were caught in water as shallow as four feet and as deep as eight feet. One largemouth bass was caught on a deadstick presentation. Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on either a straight swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Four were caught as we were strolling and employing those two retrieves. We elicited about nine strikes that we either failed to hook or temporarily hooked.

Our ZinkerZ and grub rigs caught six largemouth bass across a large shallow-water flat in the back of another large feeder-creek arm. This flat is about the size of five football fields. It is endowed with manmade piles of brush and one extraordinary patch of water lilies that is about the size of a football field. One largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of the patch of water lilies in about six feet of water. The other five were caught about 400 years from the patch of water lilies. They were caught along a narrow and long patch of coontail. They were caught on either a straight swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. We elicited four strikes that we either failed to hook or temporarily hooked.

In sum, we caught an average of 12 largemouth bass an hour. And when every Saturday outing comes to an end, it is very noticeable that Brady's Midwest finesse tactics are becoming more and more refined.

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