Z-Man Fishing Products Logo
Z-Man Fishing Products Tagline
THE CHATTER
Keep up with the latest Z-Man
tips, news and happenings.
Midwest Finesse Fishing: October 2022

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, with one of the 101 largemouth bass that he and Ned Kehde caught on Oct. 19.

Oct. 3

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 3 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 the morning's low temperature was 41 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 84 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the southeast and south at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.25 at 12:52 a.m., 30.25 at 5:52 a.m., 30.27 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.20 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about normal. The surface temperature was 70 degrees. The water exhibited from six to seven feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:31 a.m. to 7:31 a.m., 6:01 p.m. to 8:01 a.m., and 11:22 a.m. to 1:22 p.m.

We made our first casts at 12:16 p.m. with hopes of catching and releasing at least 40 largemouth bass in two hours. We caught two largemouth bass on our first two casts, but by the time that we made our last casts around 2:16 p.m., our fish counter indicated that we had caught only 35.

Two of the 35 largemouth bass were caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ HD jig. Three of the 35 were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead. Thirteen were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead. Sixteen were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ rigged on a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead.

We caught 27 largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat inside one of the major feeder-creek arms. This flat is about the size of three football fields. It is endowed with an island that is embellished with American water willows. Its shorelines are also adorned with magnificent patches of American water willows. We focused on offshore locales that were covered with four to nine feet of water and embellished with patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and some man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. A submerged creek channel meanders across the middle of this flat.

Two of the 27 largemouth bass were caught on the GrubZ rig with a slow swimming presentation in about five feet of water. Three were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig; one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in seven to nine feet of water. Ten were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig; two were caught on the initial drop in about seven feet of water, and eight were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to nine feet of water. Thirteen were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swimming-and-occasional-pause presentation in five to nine feet of water. And all of them were abiding around patches of coontail and brittle naiad.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another major feeder-creek arm and along one of its adjacent shorelines, we caught seven largemouth bass.

We estimated that this flat is about the size of four football fields. One of those football fields is encompassed by a gigantic patch of American lotus. The water edges of its shorelines are lined with patches of American water willows that are embellished with patches of brittle naiad and a few laydowns. Two submerged creek channels crisscross parts of this flat. Other areas of this flat are adorned with man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees.

We fished along the outside edge of the patch of American lotus, across and around and over an area about the size of two football fields, and along about a 70-yard stretch of the adjacent shoreline.

We caught four largemouth bass along the adjacent shoreline. One was caught around a tertiary point and a patch of American water willows and a patch of brittle naiad on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about five feet of water. Three were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation over and around patches of brittle naiad and coontail that were more than 20 feet from the water's edge and in about six feet of water.

On the shallow-water flat, we eked out three largemouth bass, which were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water around and over patches of coontail.

Oct. 4

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

I have not fished since Sept. 16 because of a multitude of family responsibilities and other obligations that needed to be attended to over the past couple of weeks. And now that those duties have been addressed, I'm able to return to my normal fishing routine once again.

From 7:00 a.m. to noon, Norman Brown and I fished at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

It was a delightful fall morning. The sun was intensely bright. The sky was clear, and there was not a cloud in sight for miles. The morning's low temperature was 61 degrees. The afternoon's high was 89 degrees. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.11. The wind quartered out of the southeast at 5 to 10 mph.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:21 a.m. to 2:21 a.m., 6:36 a.m. to 8:36 a.m., and 7:06 p.m. to 9:06 p.m. It also noted that the fishing would be poor.

The water level was 4.47 feet below its normal summer pool, and it appeared that the Corps was releasing water to lower the water level to its winter pool. The water clarity was 18 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 77 to 79 degrees.

From the last half of August to mid-September, we have been monitoring the progress of the annual fall migration of the black bass and threadfin shad into the feeder-creek arms and bays of the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas. And during that time, we were able to determine that the bulk of the threadfin shad and black bass were inhabiting their summertime haunts, which are situated around the main-lake locales. Some of them, however, were beginning to gather around the mouths of the feeder-creek arms, but few had moved inside of them.

During this five-hour endeavor, we thought we would check on the progress of the black bass' migration at this reservoir. We opted to spend our time in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, which contains several major and a couple of minor feeder-creek arms. We concentrated our efforts inside one large bay and three of the more promising feeder-creek arms. We fished our way from their lower ends to their upper ends. We intentionally ignored the black-bass haunts in the main-lake areas this time.

The submerged terrains of all of these creek arms and the large bay are mostly similar: they are composed of red clay, small gravel, chunky rocks, large boulders, and a few places are endowed with riprap. A few places are adorned with a laydown or two or a patch of flooded stickups.

It appeared to us that the fall migration has finally begun. The bite was much better than what we expected, and it was a nice surprise to catch six largemouth bass and 30 spotted bass. We also crossed paths with three white bass, one crappie, one bluegill, and one green sunfish.

The largemouth bass and spotted bass were scattered, and the threadfin shad were scattered, too. Some of the shad were flickering about on the surface of the water, but we did not see any bass foraging on them. We caught the vast majority of these 36 black bass around the small pods of threadfin shad in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as six feet. They were relating to large rocks and boulders that are situated on the ends and sides of the rocky secondary points in the lower third portions of the three feeder-creek arms and the one large bay. Flat points were more productive than the steeper ones.

We did catch three spotted bass in the back of one of the creek arms, and we also caught a largemouth bass and a spotted bass from a small pocket next to a large secondary point in the midsection of the large bay.

We employed an array of Z-Man's Midwest finesse combos, and six of them were productive. Our two most effective ones were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a shortened Z-Man's mudbug Hula StickZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-style finesse jig.

Both of these rigs were utilized with a moderate-paced swimming retrieve.

Oct. 6

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, on Oct. 6 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an unedited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 56 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 82 degrees. The wind angled out of the west and northwest at 3 to 20 mph. The sky was fair, but it became cluttered with a few clouds for a spell around 1:53 p.m. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 12:53 a.m., 30.13 at 5:53 a.m., 30.18 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.14 at 1:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be a few inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 68 to 70 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated the water exhibited from five to about seven feet of visibility. Significant wads of filamentous algae cluttered the water's edges of many of the shorelines and much of a shallow-water flat 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 8:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m., 8:37 p.m. to 10:37 p.m., and 1:57 a.m. to 3:57 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:05 a.m. and our last ones at 2:05 p.m.

We tangled with 56 largemouth bass, two green sunfish, and five bluegill. And we elicited oodles of strikes; at times we elicit from two to three strikes per retrieve.

As we have noted many times in the past, none of the largemouth bass that we caught would impress lunker hunters and tournament anglers who are hoping to tangle with five large black bass. But we enjoyed tangling with 14 largemouth bass an hour and provoking a multitude of strikes.

We caught eight largemouth bass along the shoreline of the dam. Its shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A few piles of brush also enhance the underwater terrain. Portions of the water's edge are lined with patches of American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam. Portions of this shoreline are embellished with wads of filamentous algae. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead.

They were caught in about three to eight feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop, and six were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along an offshore ledge and hump in the lower half of this reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and humongous boulders. Two of the four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. These bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water around the boulders.

Around two main-lake points and along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught five largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has about a 35-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with occasional patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, 11 docks, and wads of filamentous algae. One largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig, and four were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ along the outside edge of a dock in about six feet of water. The other four were caught on the swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

We failed to catch a fish along two shorelines in the upper half of this reservoir, but we did catch 39 largemouth bass across a large shallow-water flat adjacent to these two shorelines. Portions of this flat's underwater terrain are embellished with countless wads of filamentous algae. The section of this flat that we dissected looked to be slightly larger than a football field. We caught these 39 largemouth bass on a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig and a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ HD jig. They were caught in about three to five feet of water. One was caught on a swim–and–significant–pause presentation. Five were on the initial drop. The others were caught on a swimming presentation.

Oct. 6

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Norman Brown joined me for a four-hour excursion at a rural state reservoir in north-central Texas. We consider it to be one, if not the most, bountiful venue we ply in north-central Texas.

It was a bright and sunny morning. About 45 percent of the sky was cluttered with wispy white clouds. The morning's low temperature was 57 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 94 degrees. The wind was calm for most of the morning, but around 10:00 a.m., it became light and variable. The barometric pressure measured 30.14 at 7:00 a.m., and 30.15 at 11:00 a.m.

The water exhibited about two feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 77 to 79 degrees. The water level was 7.78 feet below normal pool, which is the lowest we have seen in quite some time.

According to In-fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing periods would occur from 2:09 a.m. to 4:09 a.m., 8:22 a.m. to 10:22 a.m., and 8:48 p.m. to 10:48 p.m. The calendar also noted that the fishing would be poor.

We fished from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Our outing focused on 21 black-bass lairs: three main-lake islands, three main-lake shorelines, eight main-lake points, two riprap jetties, a deep-water ditch, and four bays.

The three main-lake islands were the most productive locales during this outing, and they yielded a total of eight spotted bass and seven largemouth bass. One of the islands is situated in the southeast region of the reservoir, the second one is located in the reservoir's middle section, and the third one is situated in the reservoir's northwest region. Because the water level is low, the island's shorelines are mostly flat. Their underwater terrains are composed of clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and large boulders. There used to be quite a few patches of flooded timber, stickups, bushes, and submerged stumps that adorned the shallow-water areas near the water's edge, but they are on dry land now.

The first island yielded five largemouth bass and two spotted bass. The second island yielded four spotted bass and one largemouth bass, and the third island yielded two spotted bass and one largemouth bass. These 15 black bass were caught next to small clusters of submerged chunk rocks and boulders in three to five feet of water.

Along the three main-lake shorelines, we failed to locate any threadfin shad with our side-imaging and 2-D sonar units, so we did not fish them.

The eight main-lake points, which stretch from the reservoir's lower end to its midsection, were also unproductive. We found some small schools of threadfin shad around one of the points, but that point relinquished only one green sunfish and no black bass. Most of these points were steep with 35- to 60-degree slopes, and the others were flat. All of them are endowed with numerous submerged rocks and boulders.

Around the two riprap-laden jetties that are located on the east side of the impoundment, we garnered one robust strike in eight feet of water and about 10 feet from the water's edge, but we failed to hook that fish.

A deep-water ditch that courses between the two riprap jetties is covered with 18 to 23 feet of water. Our sonar units detected some large schools of threadfin shad and some other unknown species of fish that were positioned under and to the sides of the schools of shad, but we could not coax any of them into striking our lures.

The four bays were mostly fruitless. One of the four bays is located in the middle section of the reservoir's west shoreline; two are located in the middle section of the reservoir's east shoreline, and one is situated at the lower end of the reservoir. One of them is quite large, and the other three are much smaller than the first one. We found some threadfin shad inside two of the bays, and the other two were devoid of shad.

Inside the two bays that were endowed with shad, we failed to locate any black bass inside one of them. At a rocky secondary point about halfway back inside the other bay, we found a significant number of threadfin shad. In the vicinity of these shad, we caught one largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one green sunfish in five to seven feet of water from the tip of this point.

All told, we had an average outing with mixed results. We caught a total of 19 fish, which we consider a measly total for this bountiful impoundment. Seventeen of them were black bass, which consisted of nine spotted bass and eight largemouth bass. We inadvertently caught two green sunfish.

All seventeen of the black bass and one of the two green sunfish were caught before 9:30 a.m. A few of them were caught simultaneously when the black-bass bite was at its peak. During the last two hours, the black-bass fishing became so wretched that we could muster only one strike from a green sunfish.

These 17 black bass were caught on three Midwest finesse rigs: twelve were tempted by a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. A steady-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal TRD MinnowZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig enticed three black bass. A shortened Z-Man's mudbug Hula StickZ rigged on a green-pumpkin-red-flake 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and utilized with a steady-swimming presentation allured two black bass. The two green sunfish were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Oct. 10

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a brief log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 10 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 the morning's low temperature was 34 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 83 degrees. The wind was calm from 2:52 a.m. to 12:52 p.m., and then, it angled out of the northwest and southwest at 3 to 10 mph. The sky was primarily fair, but there was a spell when it was foggy and misty and cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.14 at 12:52 a.m., 30.15 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.06 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be slightly below normal. Our Secchi stick noted that the water exhibited from 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 77 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:10 p.m. to 1:10 a.m., 4:49.m. to 6:49 a.m., and 5:22 p.m. to 7:22 p.m.

We made our first casts at 12:05 p.m. Our last ones were executed at 2:05 p.m.

We spent the bulk of the 120 minutes of this outing fishing across and around a massive shallow-water flat in the back of one of this reservoir's major feeder-creek arms. This flat is embellished with a myriad of patches of bushy pondweeds, coontail, and sago pondweeds. A submerged creek channel meanders across the western edge of this flat, and that edge is graced with occasional man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. Many of those trees have become entangled with bushy pondweeds, coontail, and sago pondweeds. There are also some man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees littering the entire flat. Some of its shallow-water shorelines are adorned with significant patches of American pondweeds and some patches of American water willows.

This flat yielded eight largemouth bass, four crappie, and two channel catfish. We estimated that one of the channel catfish weighed more than 10 pounds, and it entailed almost a six-minute scuffle with our five-foot, 10-inch spinning rod and four-pound-test Berkley FireLine before we were able to remove the hook from the tissue around this creature's maxillary.

Five of the eight largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a rapid swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in three to six feet of water around the patches of coontail and sago pondweeds. Three were caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ HD jig with a swimming presentation in three to seven feet of water around patches of coontail.

Along a shoreline that borders another major feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, a few patches of American pondweeds, one dock, a few stumps, piles of eastern red cedar trees, one significant point, and several riprap jetties. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and much of its shallow-water locales are entwined with patches of bushy pondweeds and coontail. A submerged creek channel parallels about a 30-yard stretch of the shoreline.

Around the one point that graces this shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass on a deadstick presentation with a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead in about five feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows, a patch of American pondweeds, and amongst some bushy pondweed.

Around one of the riprap jetties, we caught three largemouth bass in about seven feet of water. They were caught around a submerged eastern red cedar tree that was entangled with coontail and bushy pondweed. This spot is adjacent to the submerged creek channel. All three of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught three largemouth bass around three of the riprap jetties. One was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around the riprap boulders and inside edge of a patch of coontail. Two were caught on a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig in five to seven feet of water.

In conclusion, the angling pressure was surprisingly intense. Thus, we shared both locales that we fished with other anglers, and it was a struggle to elicit a strike. We were hoping to catch at least 30 largemouth bass, but we were fortunate to eke out 15 largemouth bass during the two hours that we were afloat. When we were at the boat ramp around 2:10 p.m., we chatted with a power angler who lamented that he had struggled to catch 10 largemouth bass in five hours of fishing, and those were caught before 11:00 a.m.

Oct. 10

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 10 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Bill Denton joined me for a five-hour excursion at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. We fished from 7:21 a.m. to 12:21 p.m., and it was busier than usual because of the three-day holiday weekend.

It was a pleasant fall morning. The sky was mostly cloudy when we launched the boat a few minutes before sunrise, and it was partly cloudy when we trailered the boat at 12:42 p.m. The morning's low temperature was 59 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature reached 91 degrees. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure remained steady throughout the morning and measured 30.17.

The water level was 2.21 feet below normal pool. The water displayed 2 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 75.8 degrees at the boat ramp in the southeast end of the reservoir to 76.3 degrees in the back end of a feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the reservoir's east tributary arm.

We stayed in the lower region of the reservoir. This section of the reservoir is endowed with a few thick stands of flooded timber, and some submerged stumps. Its underwater terrain consists of red clay, sand, small gravel, chunky rocks, and boulders. The reservoir's upper end is cluttered with acres and acres of flooded timber, submerged stumps and brush piles, which we find difficult to navigate in a boat.

During the past summer months, there were many patches of hydrilla, milfoil, and American pondweeds that were matted on or just under the surface of the water throughout the reservoir. But because of the lower water level, most of the aquatic vegetation in the shallow-water areas has disappeared.

Here is how our outing unfolded:

We caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass around the flat perimeter of an island located about a third of the way inside a large feeder-creek arm in the southeast end of the reservoir. All of them were caught in less than five feet of water. Two were caught from the outside edges of several large patches of American pondweeds on the east side of the island. The other two were caught around large rocks and boulders along the west side of the island. Two of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other two engulfed a two-inch Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle FryZ affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Both of these swimbaits were employed with a steady-swimming retrieve near the sides and over the top of the patches of American pondweeds and the submerged boulders and large rocks.

We scanned portions of the north and south shorelines, secondary points, and two coves inside this creek arm with our 2D and side-imaging sonar. We caugh onar. We caught one largemouth bass from a small pocket along the north shoreline in the upper end of the creek arm. It was caught in four feet of water on a slow swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a black Z-Man's 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. We failed to locate any other schools of threadfin shad or black bass in the upper and midsections of this creek arm.

At one of the entry points to this same creek arm, we caught five largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This point is flat, and it is endowed with numerous large boulders and large chunky rocks. Four of these six black bass were caught on a slow swimming retrieve around and over the top of the large boulders with a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other two were caught on the initial drop or a swimming retrieve with the two-inch blue-glimmer-sparkle FryZ combo. They were abiding in one to three feet of water along a 15-yard segment of the entry point, and they were relating to the sides of several large boulders near the water's edge.

We fished around one prominent rocky main-lake point just south of the creek arm that we just fished, but we failed to elicit any strikes there.

The riprap-laden dam forms the southern boundary of this reservoir. We targeted a large concrete outlet tower that is positioned near the center of the dam. The tower is surrounded by 34 to 53 feet of water. The walls of this tower relinquished four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were suspended about five feet below the surface of the water and within a couple of feet of the tower's walls. Four of them were enticed by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake of a Z-Man's mudbug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on The Deal Baby Goat rig that was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

After we finished fishing around the tower, we moved a short distance from the south side of the tower and dissected an offshore rock ledge. The top of this ledge is covered with about six feet of water, and it slopes about 60 degrees downward into 30-plus feet of water. We positioned the boat off the deep-water side of the ledge in 29 feet of water, and we made our casts to the top of the ledge in about six feet of water. We then slowly worked our lures down the slope of the ledge. We caught two largemouth bass from the lower portion of the slope in 19 to 21 feet of water. They were allured by the Z-Man's mudbug TRD TicklerZ rig that was utilized with a slow hop-and-bounce presentation down the slope of the ledge. We were unable to elicit any strikes from the top portion of the ledge.

The riprap along the dam was already occupied by several other boat anglers, so we did not fish it.

We spent the next three hours scanning and fishing around two main-lake entry points and the interiors of two major feeder-creek arms and one minor creek arm. One of the major creek arms and the minor one are situated in the lower end of the reservoir's west tributary arm. The other major feeder-creek arm is located in the midsection of the east tributary arm. We located some significant schools of threadfin shad in all three of these creek arms, and we caught several black bass in each one of them, too. The two main-lake entry points, however, were devoid of any threadfin shad and black bass.

Inside the large feeder-creek arm in the lower end of the west tributary arm, we hooked three largemouth bass and one spotted bass, and we lost one of the largemouth bass before we could hoist it into the boat. They were abiding in three to seven feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of a flat and boulder-strewn shoreline in the upper end of the creek arm. Three of these four black bass were induced into striking a slow swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ, and the fourth one was caught on the initial drop of the two-inch blue-glimmer-sparkle FryZ rig.

In the midsection and lower end of this creek arm, we located some scattered schools of threadfin shad, but no black bass.

After we finished fishing inside the second feeder-creek arm, we moved to the north side of the west tributary arm and ventured inside the third feeder-creek arm. This creek arm is the smallest of the four that we fished during this outing. It is cluttered with thick stands of flooded timber, stumps, and a few laydowns. Most of its underwater terrain is composed of red clay and pea gravel, but there are two flat secondary points on the east side of the creek arm that are adorned with some boulders, chunk rocks, and standing timber. We mostly concentrated on the two rocky secondary points, and they relinquished four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. These five black bass were associated with several large patches of boulders mixed with chunk rocks that are situated in three to five feet of water. Three of them were allured by a swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ. The other three were enticed by either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a swimming presentation with The Deal Baby Goat rig.

We also probed a 40-yard clay-and-gravel shoreline at the mouth of this creek arm, but it was fruitless.

We finished this outing investigating another large feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the east tributary arm. We targeted several prominent rocky secondary points and several coves along the north and south sides of the creek arm. The only productive spot was a flat and rocky secondary point in the back end of the creek arm. Both sides of this point are adorned with thick patches of American pondweeds mixed with some large boulders and chunk rocks. This point surrendered four largemouth bass. Two were abiding in less than three feet of water next to a large patch of pondweeds on one side of the point. The other two were caught from a cluster of boulders on the tip of the point in four to six feet of water. Two of the four bass were coaxed into striking the three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a swimming presentation. The fourth largemouth bass preferred a swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a pearl 1/8-ounce Finesse EyeZ jighead.

In closing, the black-bass bite was pretty decent. We concluded the outing with 31 black bass, which consisted of 26 largemouth bass and five spotted bass.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on Sept. 1 with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, and we caught 30 largemouth bass and six spotted bass during that five-hour endeavor.

Oct. 14

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.

From 7:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Bear Brundrett joined me for a morning excursion at a rural state reservoir in north-central Texas. This is the same state reservoir where Henry Sparks of The Colony, Texas, and I caught 43 black bass on Sept. 16.

Oct. 14 was a sunny day, and the sky was cloudless. The morning's low temperature was 55 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature reached 89 degrees. The wind was calm from 7:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and then it angled out of the southwest at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.00 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.98 at 12:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the fishing would be poor, but the most productive fishing periods would occur from 1:51 a.m. to 3:51 a.m., 8:02 a.m. to 10:02 a.m., and 8:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m.

The water level appeared to be about three feet below normal pool. The water exhibited two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees.

This reservoir's underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, small gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with stumps and some standing timber. The dam is located in the northeast corner of the reservoir, and it is overlaid with riprap.

We began this outing along a 75-yard section of a flat main-lake shoreline on the south side of the reservoir's west tributary arm. This shoreline is adorned with thick patches of American pondweeds and some submerged stumps. It is endowed with two flat and rocky main-lake points, and there is a small pocket that is situated between the two points. One of the points is endowed with a rock pile that is usually covered with three to five feet of water, but it is on dry land now. The other point is enhanced with chunk rocks, a dilapidated concrete boat ramp, and thick mats of American pondweeds. There is another large mud flat on the east side of these two points, and it is adorned with patches of American pondweed, American water willows, and submerged stumps.

This 75-yard stretch of shoreline surrendered four largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one hybrid-spotted bass. All of them were caught in three to seven feet by a steady-swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead.

After we finished fishing the main-lake shoreline, we ventured inside a medium-sized cove just east of the main-lake shoreline. The shoreline inside this cove is flat. There are numerous boat houses with patches of American pondweeds growing between the boat houses. We caught one spotted bass on a swimming retrieve with the Slim SwimZ rig from the outside edge of a patch of American pondweeds in five feet of water. We probed the sides and underneath several of the boat houses and around other patches of American pondweeds, but we failed to elicit any other strikes.

At a main-lake point located about half a mile east of the cove, we caught two largemouth bass in three to five feet of water. This point has a 45-degree incline. It is laden with chunk rocks, thick patches of American pondweeds, and four boat houses. Both of these largemouth bass were relating to the outside edges of two of the larger patches of American pondweeds. They were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve parallel to the outside edges of the patches of American pondweeds with the Slim SwimZ rig. We did not locate any black bass relating to the boat houses.

On top of a flat clay-and-gravel main-lake point at the mouth of a large bay on the west end of the reservoir, we caught seven largemouth bass. This point extends about 20 yards out from the water's edge before it quickly descends into 20-plus feet of water. There are two large stumps situated on the apex of this point. These seven largemouth bass were caught near the two stumps in five to eight feet of water. Five of them were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with the Slim SwimZ rig, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Inside a large bay on the west end of the reservoir, we fished along a 100-yard section of a flat pea-gravel and red-clay shoreline on the north side of the bay, and a 50-yard section of a flat gravel-and-chunk-rock shoreline on the south side of the bay.

We caught two largemouth bass along the north shoreline. This flat shoreline is cluttered with countless numbers of laydowns, stumps, broken tree branches, and patches of hydrilla. We were disheartened to see that the patches of hydrilla were brown. Both of these largemouth bass were caught around large tree limbs in three to five feet of water with a steady-swimming retrieve with the Slim SwimZ rig.

The south shoreline is adorned with pea-gravel, chunk rocks, patches of American pondweeds, and several boat houses. Around the outside edges of two large patches of American pondweeds that are situated in three to five feet of water, we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were enticed by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig.

In the northeast region of the reservoir, we dissected a bluff, the riprap-laden shoreline of the dam, and a rocky shoreline just west of the dam.

The south end of the bluff is adorned with a decorative concrete retaining wall, and the remainder of the bluff's shoreline is embellished with large rocks, boulders, patches of American pondweeds, some standing timber, a few laydowns, and three boat docks. This shoreline is about 100 yards long, and it usually yields several largemouth bass and spotted bass, but it was not as productive as it usually is. This time, it relinquished only one dinky spotted bass. It was caught about 15 feet from the water's edge and was suspended about five below the surface in 23 feet of water. It was beguiled by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig.

The riprap along the dam yielded one largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one large green sunfish. They were caught in five to eight feet of water and 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. They were attracted to a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation of the Finesse ShadZ rig.

We caught one largemouth bass from a submerged rock ledge that parallels another main-lake shoreline just west of the dam. This shoreline is endowed with flooded timber, several laydowns, chunk rocks, and large boulders. A shallow rock ledge extends about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. This largemouth was caught in 12 feet of water along the outside edge of the rock ledge on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

About halfway back inside another medium-size main-lake cove in the northeast region of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig in three to five feet of water near the outside edges of two thick mats of American pondweeds. These patches of pondweeds were growing between two rocky secondary points on the east side of the cove. We also probed a decorative rock wall with submerged boulders piled around its base. This wall is positioned on a prominent secondary point about halfway back and on the west side of the cove, and it yielded one green sunfish. It was allured by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig.

We finished the outing at a major feeder-creek arm on the north side of the reservoir. It is located about a mile west of the north-side cove that we just left. It is endowed with a long bluff at the mouth of this creek arm, and it stretches back to the midsection of the creek arm, where it transitions into a flat clay-and-gravel shoreline. It is embellished with flooded timber, submerged stumps, tree trunks, patches of American pondweeds, scores of laydowns, broken tree limbs, and a few patches of chunk rocks mixed with a few large boulders. This shoreline relinquished six largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one green sunfish, which were caught in five to 21 feet of water and within five to 10 feet of the water's edge. They were coaxed into striking a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation of the Finesse ShadZ rig.

In sum, the black-bass bite remained fairly consistent during this five-hour excursion. We caught a total of 37 black bass, which consisted of 26 largemouth bass, 10 spotted bass, and one hybrid-spotted bass. We also inadvertently caught three large green sunfish.

None of the black bass were large, but most were keeper-size. We caught several of them simultaneously.

Oct. 19

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, on Oct.19 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 26 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 55 degrees. The wind angled out of the west and northwest at 3 to 15 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.31 at 12:53 a.m., 30.27 at 5:53 a.m., 30.24 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.11 at 3:53 p.m.

During the second week of October and the beginning of the third week, northeastern Kansas was waylaid by some abnormally cold weather, dropping to 28 degrees on Oct. 14 and 17 and 20 degrees on Oct. 18. And the wind howled during several of those days, which kept this old codger at home since Oct. 10.

The water level looked to be about 12 inches below normal. The surface temperature was 59 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated the water exhibited from five to about seven feet of visibility. Two weeks ago, extensive wads of filamentous algae cluttered the water's edges of many of the shorelines and much of a massive shallow-water flat in the upper reaches of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm, but since then, most of those wads have wilted significantly.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:31 a.m. to 8:31 a.m., 6:55 p.m. to 8:55 p.m., and 12:20 a.m. to 2:20 a.m.

We made our first casts at 9:47 a.m. and our last ones at 2:43 p.m.

Bob Gum is a lunker-hunter, and I am a numbers hunter. This was a numbers outing, and we failed to tangle with a lunker.

It was almost one of our old-fashioned bass fishing 101 outings that we used to relish during the good old days of Midwest finesse fishing. Those were the days when we could occasionally catch 101 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours. Nowadays, it has become an impossible task to achieve that 101 goal. And on this outing, we caught 101 largemouth bass at 2:43 p.m., which made it a four-hour-and-56-minute outing rather than a four-hour one.

We caught eight largemouth bass along the shoreline of the dam. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Wads of filamentous algae enhance portions of the underwater terrain. The water's edge is graced with a few patches of American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead. Two were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on a brief deadstick presentation in about six feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five to eight feet of water and 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on the initial drop within three to four feet of the water's edge and in about three to 3 ½ to four feet of water. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four to seven feet of water and about seven to 15 feet from the water's edge.

Along an offshore ledge and hump in the lower half of this reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and humongous boulders. They were caught on a Z-Man's molting-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 120-foot stretch of its main-lake shoreline, we caught four largemouth bass. This area is situated in the lower half of this reservoir. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has a 25- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with a few meager patches of American water willows, three docks, and some wads of filamentous algae. Three of the four largemouth bass were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rig, and one was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One of the four largemouth bass was caught around a shallow-water pile of rocks and boulders in about four feet of water and about 15 feet from the water's edge. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows about three feet of water. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and eight to 10 feet from the water's edge.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has about a 35-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with occasional patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, six docks, and a few wads of filamentous algae. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead. Two were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rig. They were caught on drag-and-shake presentations in four to eight feet of water and many feet from the water's edge.

In the upper reaches of this reservoir, we were surprised that we failed to elicit a strike across a massive shallow-water flat that is becoming bedecked with wilted and diminishing wads of filamentous. When this flat was enriched with countless and burgeoning wads of filamentous algae in September and the early days of October, it entertained and attracted scores and scores of largemouth bass, which were relatively easy to catch with a 3 1/2 –inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ and three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ.

But we did catch 83 largemouth bass around four main-lake points and along three main-lake shorelines in the upper half of this reservoir. One of these points and two of the shorelines are adjacent to that massive shallow-water flat.

One of these shorelines and three of the main-lake points have a 25- to 50-degree slope. This shoreline and its three points look to be nearly 200 yards long. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are enhanced with some wilting wads of filamentous algae. Segments of the water's edges are festooned with 14 docks, patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and many yards of concrete retaining walls.

The second shoreline looks to be about 500 yards long. It is endowed with one main-lake point. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and portions of the flatter sections are laden with silt. This area has a 10- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, eight docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, wilting patches of filamentous algae, a few piles of brush, and a sprinkling of laydowns.

The third shoreline looks to be about 400 yards long. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 15- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with a few patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, 29 docks, several concrete retaining walls, some piles of brush, and a major laydown.

We caught these 83 largemouth bass on our meat-dog Finesse ShadZ rig, molting-craw TRD HogZ rig, and The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig. We failed to keep an accurate record of the exact number of largemouth bass that each of these rigs inveigled.

We caught some on the initial drop of these rigs. Some were caught on a swimming presentation. Four were caught on brief deadstick presentations. Many were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. Others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and a few were caught when we allowed the rig to pause and plummet to the bottom as we employed the swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught them in about three to about nine feet of water. Some were caught adjacent to the outside edges of patches of American water willows in about 2 ½ to three feet of water. Some were caught along the sides and corners of the docks in five to 10 feet of water. A few were caught in the vicinity of the concrete retaining walls in two to three feet of water. One was caught adjacent to a bridge. Several were caught around wads of filamentous algae. A significant number of them were caught along steep shorelines and flat shorelines.

In other words, we caught them every which way, and it was relatively easy to do.

Oct. 20

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 26 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 79 degrees. The wind was calm from 12:52 a.m. to 8:52 a.m., and then it angled out of the northwest, west, and southwest at 3 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:52 a.m., 29.96 at 5:52 a.m., 29.92 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.82 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 10 inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 59 to 60 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., 7:38 p.m. to 9:38 p.m., and 1:04 a.m. to 3:04 p.m.

We made our first casts at 1:42 p.m. with hopes of catching and releasing at least 40 largemouth bass. We accomplished that task at 3:45 p.m. when we caught largemouth bass numbers 40 and 41.

One of the 41 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jig. The other 38 were caught on either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jig or a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

During the first 94 minutes of this 122-minute outing, we caught 31 largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat inside one of the major feeder-creek arms. The segment of the flat that we dissected is about the size of a football field. It is endowed with an island that is embellished with American water willows, boulders, and concrete blocks. Its shorelines are also adorned with magnificent patches of American water willows. We focused on offshore locales that were covered with four to nine feet of water and embellished with patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and some man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. A submerged creek channel meanders across the middle of the flat.

One of the 31 largemouth bass was caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swimming-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Two were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

The other 28 were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs. Five were caught on the initial drop in four to seven feet of water. The others were caught on either a swimming-and-shake presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to nine feet of water.

Most of these 31 largemouth bass were caught around patches of coontail.

We spent the final 28 minutes fishing along a 100-yard stretch of a secondary shoreline and across a small segment of a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another major feeder-creek arm. And we caught 10 largemouth bass.

This shoreline borders the flat. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are embellished with occasional patches of coontail, bushy pondweeds, and brittle naiad. Its water's edges are lined with wonderful patches of American water willows and a few old and dilapidated laydowns. This shoreline is endowed with two tertiary points, and one of these points yielded a largemouth bass. The patches of coontail yielded three largemouth bass, and the outside edges of the patches of American water willows yielded two largemouth bass. These six largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs; one was caught on the initial drop, and five were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in three to seven feet of water from as close as the outside edges of the American water willows to more than 15 feet from the water's edge.

The tiny portion of the massive shallow-water flat yielded four largemouth bass. The patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on this flat are not as intense as they were in years past, and our abilities to locate and catch largemouth bass on this shallow-water flat have declined dramatically. These four largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to five feet of water around some meager patches of coontail.

Mother Nature's windy and rainy ways are predicted to bushwhack us for the next five days. Therefore, it is likely that we won't be afloat again until Oct. 26.

Oct. 26

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, on Oct. 26 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 31 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 67 degrees. The wind angled out of the northwest, southwest, and east at 3 to 9 mph, and it was calm for a spell around 2:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 30.08 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about three feet below normal. The surface temperature was 58 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from about 2 3/4 to three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:04 a.m. to 1:04 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and 5:17 a.m. to 7:17 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:51 a.m. and our last ones at 12:27 p.m.

The sole point of this short outing was to allow Drew to catch a few largemouth bass on the first models of Z-Man Fishing Products' Drew's rods, which are lauded by Z-Man as being the "Ultimate Ned Rig Rod." One is five feet, four inches long, and the second one is five feet, 10 inches long. Drew created the first renditions of these rods in 2021. (Please see this link for more information: https://www.wired2fish.com/fishing-rods/the-history-and-evolution-of-the-tennessee-handle-for-bass-fishing-rods/). He designed them to replace the G. Loomis SJR 6400 and SJR 700 Classic Spin Jig rods, which are no longer available.

Since the first week in May, Drew has been battling oropharyngeal cancer at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. It has been a brutish and hellish ordeal, and to this day, he has been unable to eat.

Thus, he has not fished for almost five months.

But when he discovered that two samples of his rods would arrive on Oct. 24, we made plans to fish together for an hour or so on Oct. 26.

And on this outing, he garnered the stamina to fish for 96 minutes, which was a whale of an achievement. What's more, we teamed up to catch 27 largemouth bass, four crappie, and one bluegill.

During the first part of this outing, Drew fished with the five-foot, four-inch model and I used the five-foot, 10-inch one. Then during the last part of the outing, we switched rods.

For decades, Drew and I have had an affinity for short spinning rods. And on Drew's first three casts, he fell in love with the shortest one. That third cast also yielded a largemouth bass.

It needs to be noted that the first largemouth bass was caught on the five-foot, 10-inch rod. And I fell in love with it.

We spent the first part of the outing probing around one small main-lake point, eight riprap jetties, and along many yards of the shorelines that border these jetties. The underwater terrains of the jetties and shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and much of it is embellished with bushy pondweeds, coontail, a few stumps, and several piles of eastern red cedar trees. The water's edge is lined with American water willows and occasionally patches of American pondweeds. These shorelines have a 25- to 30-degree slope. A submerged creek channel touches a segment of one shoreline and two of the jetties. These locales yielded 21 largemouth bass

One of the 21 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Ten were caught on a Z-Man's Drew's craw Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Eleven were caught on a Z-Man's mood-ring TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

One of the largemouth bass that Drew caught on the five-foot, four-inch rod.

Around patches of American water willows, American pondweeds, coontail, bushy pondweed, and piles of eastern red cedar trees, we caught the largemouth bass on either the initial drop of our rigs or a swimming presentation.

Around the jetties, we caught three largemouth bass on the initial drop of our rigs, and the others were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in three to about eight feet of water.

Along the entire riprap shoreline of the dam, it was a struggle to catch six largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with a few patches of bushy pondweeds and two small patches of American water willows. Two of the six largemouth bass were caught on the hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig, and four were caught on the Finesse TRD rig. One was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about three feet of water. Two were caught on a swimming presentation around the patches of bushy pondweeds. Three were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to nine feet of water.

By the time we executed our last casts, we had become duly infatuated with both rods. But because of our endless love of short rods, the five-foot, four-inch one garnered a slightly more treasured spot in our hands, minds, and hearts. But as the folks at Z-Man extoll: both rods are ultimate Midwest finesse rods.

In short, they are fun to use. t one largemouth bass from a small pocket along the north shoreline in the upper end of the creek arm. It was caught in four feet of water on a slow swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a black Z-Man's 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. We failed to locate any other schools of threadfin shad or black bass in the upper and midsections of this creek arm.

At one of the entry points to this same creek arm, we caught five largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This point is flat, and it is endowed with numerous large boulders and large chunky rocks. Four of these six black bass were caught on a slow swimming retrieve around and over the top of the large boulders with a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other two were caught on the initial drop or a swimming retrieve with the two-inch blue-glimmer-sparkle FryZ combo. They were abiding in one to three feet of water along a 15-yard segment of the entry point, and they were relating to the sides of several large boulders near the water's edge.

We fished around one prominent rocky main-lake point just south of the creek arm that we just fished, but we failed to elicit any strikes there.

The riprap-laden dam forms the southern boundary of this reservoir. We targeted a large concrete outlet tower that is positioned near the center of the dam. The tower is surrounded by 34 to 53 feet of water. The walls of this tower relinquished four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were suspended about five feet below the surface of the water and within a couple of feet of the tower's walls. Four of them were enticed by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake of a Z-Man's mudbug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on The Deal Baby Goat rig that was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

After we finished fishing around the tower, we moved a short distance from the south side of the tower and dissected an offshore rock ledge. The top of this ledge is covered with about six feet of water, and it slopes about 60 degrees downward into 30-plus feet of water. We positioned the boat off the deep-water side of the ledge in 29 feet of water, and we made our casts to the top of the ledge in about six feet of water. We then slowly worked our lures down the slope of the ledge. We caught two largemouth bass from the lower portion of the slope in 19 to 21 feet of water. They were allured by the Z-Man's mudbug TRD TicklerZ rig that was utilized with a slow hop-and-bounce presentation down the slope of the ledge. We were unable to elicit any strikes from the top portion of the ledge.

The riprap along the dam was already occupied by several other boat anglers, so we did not fish it.

We spent the next three hours scanning and fishing around two main-lake entry points and the interiors of two major feeder-creek arms and one minor creek arm. One of the major creek arms and the minor one are situated in the lower end of the reservoir's west tributary arm. The other major feeder-creek arm is located in the midsection of the east tributary arm. We located some significant schools of threadfin shad in all three of these creek arms, and we caught several black bass in each one of them, too. The two main-lake entry points, however, were devoid of any threadfin shad and black bass.

Inside the large feeder-creek arm in the lower end of the west tributary arm, we hooked three largemouth bass and one spotted bass, and we lost one of the largemouth bass before we could hoist it into the boat. They were abiding in three to seven feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of a flat and boulder-strewn shoreline in the upper end of the creek arm. Three of these four black bass were induced into striking a slow swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ, and the fourth one was caught on the initial drop of the two-inch blue-glimmer-sparkle FryZ rig.

In the midsection and lower end of this creek arm, we located some scattered schools of threadfin shad, but no black bass.

After we finished fishing inside the second feeder-creek arm, we moved to the north side of the west tributary arm and ventured inside the third feeder-creek arm. This creek arm is the smallest of the four that we fished during this outing. It is cluttered with thick stands of flooded timber, stumps, and a few laydowns. Most of its underwater terrain is composed of red clay and pea gravel, but there are two flat secondary points on the east side of the creek arm that are adorned with some boulders, chunk rocks, and standing timber. We mostly concentrated on the two rocky secondary points, and they relinquished four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. These five black bass were associated with several large patches of boulders mixed with chunk rocks that are situated in three to five feet of water. Three of them were allured by a swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ. The other three were enticed by either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a swimming presentation with The Deal Baby Goat rig.

We also probed a 40-yard clay-and-gravel shoreline at the mouth of this creek arm, but it was fruitless.

We finished this outing investigating another large feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the east tributary arm. We targeted several prominent rocky secondary points and several coves along the north and south sides of the creek arm. The only productive spot was a flat and rocky secondary point in the back end of the creek arm. Both sides of this point are adorned with thick patches of American pondweeds mixed with some large boulders and chunk rocks. This point surrendered four largemouth bass. Two were abiding in less than three feet of water next to a large patch of pondweeds on one side of the point. The other two were caught from a cluster of boulders on the tip of the point in four to six feet of water. Two of the four bass were coaxed into striking the three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a swimming presentation. The fourth largemouth bass preferred a swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a pearl 1/8-ounce Finesse EyeZ jighead.

In closing, the black-bass bite was pretty decent. We concluded the outing with 31 black bass, which consisted of 26 largemouth bass and five spotted bass.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on Sept. 1 with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, and we caught 30 largemouth bass and six spotted bass during that five-hour endeavor.

Oct. 14

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.

From 7:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Bear Brundrett joined me for a morning excursion at a rural state reservoir in north-central Texas. This is the same state reservoir where Henry Sparks of The Colony, Texas, and I caught 43 black bass on Sept. 16.

Oct. 14 was a sunny day, and the sky was cloudless. The morning's low temperature was 55 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature reached 89 degrees. The wind was calm from 7:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and then it angled out of the southwest at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.00 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.98 at 12:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the fishing would be poor, but the most productive fishing periods would occur from 1:51 a.m. to 3:51 a.m., 8:02 a.m. to 10:02 a.m., and 8:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m.

The water level appeared to be about three feet below normal pool. The water exhibited two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees.

This reservoir's underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, small gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with stumps and some standing timber. The dam is located in the northeast corner of the reservoir, and it is overlaid with riprap.

We began this outing along a 75-yard section of a flat main-lake shoreline on the south side of the reservoir's west tributary arm. This shoreline is adorned with thick patches of American pondweeds and some submerged stumps. It is endowed with two flat and rocky main-lake points, and there is a small pocket that is situated between the two points. One of the points is endowed with a rock pile that is usually covered with three to five feet of water, but it is on dry land now. The other point is enhanced with chunk rocks, a dilapidated concrete boat ramp, and thick mats of American pondweeds. There is another large mud flat on the east side of these two points, and it is adorned with patches of American pondweed, American water willows, and submerged stumps.

This 75-yard stretch of shoreline surrendered four largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one hybrid-spotted bass. All of them were caught in three to seven feet by a steady-swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead.

After we finished fishing the main-lake shoreline, we ventured inside a medium-sized cove just east of the main-lake shoreline. The shoreline inside this cove is flat. There are numerous boat houses with patches of American pondweeds growing between the boat houses. We caught one spotted bass on a swimming retrieve with the Slim SwimZ rig from the outside edge of a patch of American pondweeds in five feet of water. We probed the sides and underneath several of the boat houses and around other patches of American pondweeds, but we failed to elicit any other strikes.

At a main-lake point located about half a mile east of the cove, we caught two largemouth bass in three to five feet of water. This point has a 45-degree incline. It is laden with chunk rocks, thick patches of American pondweeds, and four boat houses. Both of these largemouth bass were relating to the outside edges of two of the larger patches of American pondweeds. They were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve parallel to the outside edges of the patches of American pondweeds with the Slim SwimZ rig. We did not locate any black bass relating to the boat houses.

On top of a flat clay-and-gravel main-lake point at the mouth of a large bay on the west end of the reservoir, we caught seven largemouth bass. This point extends about 20 yards out from the water's edge before it quickly descends into 20-plus feet of water. There are two large stumps situated on the apex of this point. These seven largemouth bass were caught near the two stumps in five to eight feet of water. Five of them were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with the Slim SwimZ rig, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Inside a large bay on the west end of the reservoir, we fished along a 100-yard section of a flat pea-gravel and red-clay shoreline on the north side of the bay, and a 50-yard section of a flat gravel-and-chunk-rock shoreline on the south side of the bay.

We caught two largemouth bass along the north shoreline. This flat shoreline is cluttered with countless numbers of laydowns, stumps, broken tree branches, and patches of hydrilla. We were disheartened to see that the patches of hydrilla were brown. Both of these largemouth bass were caught around large tree limbs in three to five feet of water with a steady-swimming retrieve with the Slim SwimZ rig.

The south shoreline is adorned with pea-gravel, chunk rocks, patches of American pondweeds, and several boat houses. Around the outside edges of two large patches of American pondweeds that are situated in three to five feet of water, we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were enticed by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig.

In the northeast region of the reservoir, we dissected a bluff, the riprap-laden shoreline of the dam, and a rocky shoreline just west of the dam.

The south end of the bluff is adorned with a decorative concrete retaining wall, and the remainder of the bluff's shoreline is embellished with large rocks, boulders, patches of American pondweeds, some standing timber, a few laydowns, and three boat docks. This shoreline is about 100 yards long, and it usually yields several largemouth bass and spotted bass, but it was not as productive as it usually is. This time, it relinquished only one dinky spotted bass. It was caught about 15 feet from the water's edge and was suspended about five below the surface in 23 feet of water. It was beguiled by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig.

The riprap along the dam yielded one largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one large green sunfish. They were caught in five to eight feet of water and 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. They were attracted to a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation of the Finesse ShadZ rig.

We caught one largemouth bass from a submerged rock ledge that parallels another main-lake shoreline just west of the dam. This shoreline is endowed with flooded timber, several laydowns, chunk rocks, and large boulders. A shallow rock ledge extends about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. This largemouth was caught in 12 feet of water along the outside edge of the rock ledge on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

About halfway back inside another medium-size main-lake cove in the northeast region of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig in three to five feet of water near the outside edges of two thick mats of American pondweeds. These patches of pondweeds were growing between two rocky secondary points on the east side of the cove. We also probed a decorative rock wall with submerged boulders piled around its base. This wall is positioned on a prominent secondary point about halfway back and on the west side of the cove, and it yielded one green sunfish. It was allured by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig.

We finished the outing at a major feeder-creek arm on the north side of the reservoir. It is located about a mile west of the north-side cove that we just left. It is endowed with a long bluff at the mouth of this creek arm, and it stretches back to the midsection of the creek arm, where it transitions into a flat clay-and-gravel shoreline. It is embellished with flooded timber, submerged stumps, tree trunks, patches of American pondweeds, scores of laydowns, broken tree limbs, and a few patches of chunk rocks mixed with a few large boulders. This shoreline relinquished six largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one green sunfish, which were caught in five to 21 feet of water and within five to 10 feet of the water's edge. They were coaxed into striking a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation of the Finesse ShadZ rig.

In sum, the black-bass bite remained fairly consistent during this five-hour excursion. We caught a total of 37 black bass, which consisted of 26 largemouth bass, 10 spotted bass, and one hybrid-spotted bass. We also inadvertently caught three large green sunfish.

None of the black bass were large, but most were keeper-size. We caught several of them simultaneously.

Oct. 19

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, on Oct.19 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 26 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 55 degrees. The wind angled out of the west and northwest at 3 to 15 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.31 at 12:53 a.m., 30.27 at 5:53 a.m., 30.24 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.11 at 3:53 p.m.

During the second week of October and the beginning of the third week, northeastern Kansas was waylaid by some abnormally cold weather, dropping to 28 degrees on Oct. 14 and 17 and 20 degrees on Oct. 18. And the wind howled during several of those days, which kept this old codger at home since Oct. 10.

The water level looked to be about 12 inches below normal. The surface temperature was 59 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated the water exhibited from five to about seven feet of visibility. Two weeks ago, extensive wads of filamentous algae cluttered the water's edges of many of the shorelines and much of a massive shallow-water flat in the upper reaches of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm, but since then, most of those wads have wilted significantly.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:31 a.m. to 8:31 a.m., 6:55 p.m. to 8:55 p.m., and 12:20 a.m. to 2:20 a.m.

We made our first casts at 9:47 a.m. and our last ones at 2:43 p.m.

Bob Gum is a lunker-hunter, and I am a numbers hunter. This was a numbers outing, and we failed to tangle with a lunker.

It was almost one of our old-fashioned bass fishing 101 outings that we used to relish during the good old days of Midwest finesse fishing. Those were the days when we could occasionally catch 101 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours. Nowadays, it has become an impossible task to achieve that 101 goal. And on this outing, we caught 101 largemouth bass at 2:43 p.m., which made it a four-hour-and-56-minute outing rather than a four-hour one.

We caught eight largemouth bass along the shoreline of the dam. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Wads of filamentous algae enhance portions of the underwater terrain. The water's edge is graced with a few patches of American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead. Two were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on a brief deadstick presentation in about six feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five to eight feet of water and 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on the initial drop within three to four feet of the water's edge and in about three to 3 ½ to four feet of water. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four to seven feet of water and about seven to 15 feet from the water's edge.

Along an offshore ledge and hump in the lower half of this reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and humongous boulders. They were caught on a Z-Man's molting-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 120-foot stretch of its main-lake shoreline, we caught four largemouth bass. This area is situated in the lower half of this reservoir. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has a 25- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with a few meager patches of American water willows, three docks, and some wads of filamentous algae. Three of the four largemouth bass were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rig, and one was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One of the four largemouth bass was caught around a shallow-water pile of rocks and boulders in about four feet of water and about 15 feet from the water's edge. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows about three feet of water. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and eight to 10 feet from the water's edge.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has about a 35-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with occasional patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, six docks, and a few wads of filamentous algae. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jighead. Two were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rig. They were caught on drag-and-shake presentations in four to eight feet of water and many feet from the water's edge.

In the upper reaches of this reservoir, we were surprised that we failed to elicit a strike across a massive shallow-water flat that is becoming bedecked with wilted and diminishing wads of filamentous. When this flat was enriched with countless and burgeoning wads of filamentous algae in September and the early days of October, it entertained and attracted scores and scores of largemouth bass, which were relatively easy to catch with a 3 1/2 –inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ and three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ.

But we did catch 83 largemouth bass around four main-lake points and along three main-lake shorelines in the upper half of this reservoir. One of these points and two of the shorelines are adjacent to that massive shallow-water flat.

One of these shorelines and three of the main-lake points have a 25- to 50-degree slope. This shoreline and its three points look to be nearly 200 yards long. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are enhanced with some wilting wads of filamentous algae. Segments of the water's edges are festooned with 14 docks, patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and many yards of concrete retaining walls.

The second shoreline looks to be about 500 yards long. It is endowed with one main-lake point. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and portions of the flatter sections are laden with silt. This area has a 10- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, eight docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, wilting patches of filamentous algae, a few piles of brush, and a sprinkling of laydowns.

The third shoreline looks to be about 400 yards long. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 15- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with a few patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, 29 docks, several concrete retaining walls, some piles of brush, and a major laydown.

We caught these 83 largemouth bass on our meat-dog Finesse ShadZ rig, molting-craw TRD HogZ rig, and The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig. We failed to keep an accurate record of the exact number of largemouth bass that each of these rigs inveigled.

We caught some on the initial drop of these rigs. Some were caught on a swimming presentation. Four were caught on brief deadstick presentations. Many were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. Others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and a few were caught when we allowed the rig to pause and plummet to the bottom as we employed the swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught them in about three to about nine feet of water. Some were caught adjacent to the outside edges of patches of American water willows in about 2 ½ to three feet of water. Some were caught along the sides and corners of the docks in five to 10 feet of water. A few were caught in the vicinity of the concrete retaining walls in two to three feet of water. One was caught adjacent to a bridge. Several were caught around wads of filamentous algae. A significant number of them were caught along steep shorelines and flat shorelines.

In other words, we caught them every which way, and it was relatively easy to do.

Oct. 20

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 26 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 79 degrees. The wind was calm from 12:52 a.m. to 8:52 a.m., and then it angled out of the northwest, west, and southwest at 3 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:52 a.m., 29.96 at 5:52 a.m., 29.92 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.82 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 10 inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 59 to 60 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., 7:38 p.m. to 9:38 p.m., and 1:04 a.m. to 3:04 p.m.

We made our first casts at 1:42 p.m. with hopes of catching and releasing at least 40 largemouth bass. We accomplished that task at 3:45 p.m. when we caught largemouth bass numbers 40 and 41.

One of the 41 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jig. The other 38 were caught on either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ Jig or a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

During the first 94 minutes of this 122-minute outing, we caught 31 largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat inside one of the major feeder-creek arms. The segment of the flat that we dissected is about the size of a football field. It is endowed with an island that is embellished with American water willows, boulders, and concrete blocks. Its shorelines are also adorned with magnificent patches of American water willows. We focused on offshore locales that were covered with four to nine feet of water and embellished with patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and some man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. A submerged creek channel meanders across the middle of the flat.

One of the 31 largemouth bass was caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swimming-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Two were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

The other 28 were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs. Five were caught on the initial drop in four to seven feet of water. The others were caught on either a swimming-and-shake presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to nine feet of water.

Most of these 31 largemouth bass were caught around patches of coontail.

We spent the final 28 minutes fishing along a 100-yard stretch of a secondary shoreline and across a small segment of a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another major feeder-creek arm. And we caught 10 largemouth bass.

This shoreline borders the flat. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are embellished with occasional patches of coontail, bushy pondweeds, and brittle naiad. Its water's edges are lined with wonderful patches of American water willows and a few old and dilapidated laydowns. This shoreline is endowed with two tertiary points, and one of these points yielded a largemouth bass. The patches of coontail yielded three largemouth bass, and the outside edges of the patches of American water willows yielded two largemouth bass. These six largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs; one was caught on the initial drop, and five were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in three to seven feet of water from as close as the outside edges of the American water willows to more than 15 feet from the water's edge.

The tiny portion of the massive shallow-water flat yielded four largemouth bass. The patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on this flat are not as intense as they were in years past, and our abilities to locate and catch largemouth bass on this shallow-water flat have declined dramatically. These four largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to five feet of water around some meager patches of coontail.

Mother Nature's windy and rainy ways are predicted to bushwhack us for the next five days. Therefore, it is likely that we won't be afloat again until Oct. 26.

Oct. 26

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, on Oct. 26 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 31 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 67 degrees. The wind angled out of the northwest, southwest, and east at 3 to 9 mph, and it was calm for a spell around 2:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 30.08 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about three feet below normal. The surface temperature was 58 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from about 2 3/4 to three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:04 a.m. to 1:04 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and 5:17 a.m. to 7:17 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:51 a.m. and our last ones at 12:27 p.m.

The sole point of this short outing was to allow Drew to catch a few largemouth bass on the first models of Z-Man Fishing Products' Drew's rods, which are lauded by Z-Man as being the "Ultimate Ned Rig Rod." One is five feet, four inches long, and the second one is five feet, 10 inches long. Drew created the first renditions of these rods in 2021. (Please see this link for more information: https://www.wired2fish.com/fishing-rods/the-history-and-evolution-of-the-tennessee-handle-for-bass-fishing-rods/). He designed them to replace the G. Loomis SJR 6400 and SJR 700 Classic Spin Jig rods, which are no longer available.

Since the first week in May, Drew has been battling oropharyngeal cancer at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. It has been a brutish and hellish ordeal, and to this day, he has been unable to eat.

Thus, he has not fished for almost five months.

But when he discovered that two samples of his rods would arrive on Oct. 24, we made plans to fish together for an hour or so on Oct. 26.

And on this outing, he garnered the stamina to fish for 96 minutes, which was a whale of an achievement. What's more, we teamed up to catch 27 largemouth bass, four crappie, and one bluegill.

During the first part of this outing, Drew fished with the five-foot, four-inch model and I used the five-foot, 10-inch one. Then during the last part of the outing, we switched rods.

For decades, Drew and I have had an affinity for short spinning rods. And on Drew's first three casts, he fell in love with the shortest one. That third cast also yielded a largemouth bass.

It needs to be noted that the first largemouth bass was caught on the five-foot, 10-inch rod. And I fell in love with it.

We spent the first part of the outing probing around one small main-lake point, eight riprap jetties, and along many yards of the shorelines that border these jetties. The underwater terrains of the jetties and shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and much of it is embellished with bushy pondweeds, coontail, a few stumps, and several piles of eastern red cedar trees. The water's edge is lined with American water willows and occasionally patches of American pondweeds. These shorelines have a 25- to 30-degree slope. A submerged creek channel touches a segment of one shoreline and two of the jetties. These locales yielded 21 largemouth bass

One of the 21 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Ten were caught on a Z-Man's Drew's craw Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Eleven were caught on a Z-Man's mood-ring TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

One of the largemouth bass that Drew caught on the five-foot, four-inch rod.

Around patches of American water willows, American pondweeds, coontail, bushy pondweed, and piles of eastern red cedar trees, we caught the largemouth bass on either the initial drop of our rigs or a swimming presentation.

Around the jetties, we caught three largemouth bass on the initial drop of our rigs, and the others were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in three to about eight feet of water.

Along the entire riprap shoreline of the dam, it was a struggle to catch six largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with a few patches of bushy pondweeds and two small patches of American water willows. Two of the six largemouth bass were caught on the hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig, and four were caught on the Finesse TRD rig. One was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about three feet of water. Two were caught on a swimming presentation around the patches of bushy pondweeds. Three were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to nine feet of water.

By the time we executed our last casts, we had become duly infatuated with both rods. But because of our endless love of short rods, the five-foot, four-inch one garnered a slightly more treasured spot in our hands, minds, and hearts. But as the folks at Z-Man extoll: both rods are ultimate Midwest finesse rods.

In short, they are fun to use.

Oct. 27

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 27 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Norman joined me for a five-hour excursion at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

It was a chilly fall morning. The morning's low temperature was 44 degrees. But as the morning progressed, sunshine was plentiful and the sky was partly cloudy. The afternoon's high temperature peaked at 76 degrees. The wind angled out of the east and southeast at 8 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.99 at 7:00 a.m., and 29.94 at noon.

.

The water level was 2.40 feet below normal pool. The water displayed 2 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 67 degrees at the boat ramp in the southeast end of the reservoir to 68 degrees in the back end of a feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the reservoir's east tributary arm.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing periods would occur between 12:09 a.m. and 2:09 a.m., 6:23 a.m. and 8:23 a.m., and 12:37 p.m. to 2:37 p.m. It also noted that fishing would be average.

We fished from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the lower section of the reservoir.

Its underwater terrain consists of red clay, some sand, gravel, chunky rocks, riprap, and boulders. This section of the reservoir is also endowed with a few thick stands of flooded timber and some submerged stumps.

In the southeast end of the reservoir, we caught four spotted bass and one largemouth bass around the flat perimeter of an island located about a third of the way inside a large feeder-creek arm. All of them were caught in less than five feet of water around large rocks and boulders along the north and west side of the island. Two of them were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other three were enticed on a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these swimbaits were employed with a steady-swimming retrieve over the top and near the sides of the submerged boulders and large rocks.

Along a flat and rocky shoreline just east of the island, we caught four largemouth bass. This shoreline is about 75 yards long. They were caught in two to four feet of water with a swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We failed to locate any schools of threadfin shad or black bass in the back end of this creek arm.

In less than five feet of water at three prominent secondary points on the south side of this creek arm, we caught six largemouth bass and five spotted bass. These three points are similar; they are flat and endowed with numerous large boulders and large chunky rocks. Eight of these black bass were allured with a swimming retrieve with the pearl Baby Goat. The other three black bass were enticed by a slow-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-style jig.

From that feeder-creek arm, we moved about a mile westward to a large riprap-laden dam that forms the southern boundary of this reservoir. We targeted a large concrete outlet tower that is positioned near the center of the dam, a submerged rock ledge just south of the tower, and about 100 yards of the riprap-covered dam, and we were surprised that we were unable to scrounge up any strikes from these three usually productive locales.

After we finished fishing around the dam, we ventured inside a minor feeder-creek arm that is situated on the north side of the reservoir's west tributary arm. It is cluttered with thick stands of flooded timber, stumps, and a few laydowns. Most of its underwater terrain is composed of red clay and pea gravel, but there are four secondary points on the east side of the creek arm that are flat and adorned with boulders mixed with chunk rocks and standing timber. We slowly dissected these four secondary points and they relinquished four largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one freshwater drum. We caught these seven fish in three to six feet of water. One largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and the freshwater drum were tempted by a steady-swimming retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig. The other spotted bass and three largemouth bass were allured by a steady-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat matched with a blue 1/10-once Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We concluded this outing at another large feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the east tributary arm. We targeted one rocky main-lake point at the mouth of the creek arm, several prominent rocky secondary points scattered throughout the creek arm, and a couple of coves along the south side of this creek arm.

The main-lake entry point was being pummeled by the 20 mph wind and white-capping waves, and it yielded one largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water from a patch of large rocks located on the apex of the point. It was caught on the initial drop of The Deal Baby Goat rig.

The two coves that we fished are situated in the midsection of the creek arm. They are embellished with two large mats of green hydrilla. One of the hydrilla mats in the first cove was unproductive, but the other hydrilla mat in the second cove produced four largemouth bass. These bass were abiding in three to five feet of water along the outside edge of the hydrilla mat. Three of them were caught on a swimming retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig, and one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Four of the five rocky secondary points that we investigated were fruitless. The fifth secondary point, which is located in the upper end of the creek arm, surrendered three largemouth bass. Both sides of this point are adorned with thick patches of American pondweeds entwined with some large boulders and chunk rocks. Two of the largemouth bass were abiding in less than three feet of water next to a large patch of pondweeds on one side of the point. The other one was caught from a cluster of boulders on the tip of the point in four feet of water. Two of the three largemouth bass were coaxed into striking the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig that was implemented with a swimming presentation. The third largemouth bass was tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ combo.

Overall, the black-bass bite was better than we expected. By the time this outing came to a close, we had caught 34 black bass. Twenty-eight of them were largemouth bass and six were spotted bass.

Oct 28 and 29

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted two logs on the Finesse News Network. One was based on his sorry outing on Oct. 28 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs. The second one focused on his and Pat Kehde's rather bountiful and enjoyable Oct. 29 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an unedited version of those logs.

The National Weather Service reported on Oct. 28 that the morning's low temperature was 43 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 71 degrees. The wind angled out of the northeast, east, and southeast at 3 to 16 mph. From 12:52 a.m. to 6:52 a.m., the sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to overcast, and for the rest of the day, the sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.20 at 12:52 a.m., 30.25 at 5:52 a.m., 30.32 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.26 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be more than a foot below normal. There was a significant algal bloom, and the water exhibited about 2 ½ feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 59 to 60 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

This was another visit to one of our northeastern Kansas' netherworld community reservoirs. It entered the netherworld during the second decade of the 21st century, which was when the managers of this reservoir began wreaking havoc by applying numerous applications of aquatic herbicides on the submerged aquatic vegetation that the largemouth bass relish. The demise of the submerged aquatic vegetation has adversely affected the largemouth bass fishing for Midwest finesse anglers and our power-fishing brothers and sisters. For example, it was possible 10 years ago to catch and release as many as 102 largemouth bass in three hours, but it was a struggle to catch and release 22 in three hours and 23 minutes on this Oct. 28 outing, and this sorry state of affairs has existed for the past four years. What's more, the death of the vast patches of submerged aquatic vegetation has spawned numerous eruptions of algal blooms, which are an ungodly sight to see and fish in.

Besides those 22 largemouth bass, I accidentally caught one wiper and two green sunfish.

I made my first cast at 11:31 a.m. and the last one when I caught largemouth bass number 22 at 2:54 p.m.

I spent nearly two hours dissecting two shorelines inside a large feeder-creek arm in the lower portion of this reservoir.

I caught four largemouth bass along about a 175-yard section of one of these shorelines. It has a 20- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some silt. This terrain is endowed with several stumps and a few piles of brush. A submerged creek channel borders parts of this shoreline. A few of the shallower and flatter locales are graced with some meager patches of Eurasian milfoil that have somehow survived the many applications of aquatic herbicides. The water's edge is lined with significant patches of American water willows, one dock, one overhanging tree, and one concrete boat ramp.

Along the steeper sections of this shoreline, one largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about 3 ½ feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's pearl TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three to four feet of water; one was caught around the concrete boat ramp and a patch of Eurasian milfoil, and two were caught around some skimpy patches of Eurasian milfoil. By employing several significant shakes with the TRD MinnowZ rig, it executed some incredible gyrations, which inveigled two of the four largemouth bass.

Along about a 200-yard section of the other shoreline, I caught seven largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 15- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and some silt; a few scanty patches of Eurasian milfoil adorn a minimal amount of the underwater terrain. It is endowed with four tertiary points. The water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, laydowns, piles of brush, three docks, and one concrete retaining wall.

One of the seven largemouth bass was caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig. It was caught in about three feet of water on the initial drop under an overhanging tree and near a patch of American water willows.

The other six were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught around one of the tertiary points with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop adjacent to the concrete retaining wall in about three feet of water. The others were caught along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows in three to four feet of water.

The final 83 minutes were spent fishing along portions of two shorelines inside a large feeder-creek arm in the upper half of this reservoir.

These shorelines have a 15- to 50-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt. The silt is quite intense along some of the flatter and shallower portions of these shorelines. They are endowed with several tertiary points. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, stumps, laydowns, piles of brush, and one dilapidated beaver hut. A few small and sickly-looking patches of Eurasian milfoil are situated around some of the stumps, laydowns, piles of brush, and the outside edges of the patches of American water willows on the silt-laden and flatter portions of one of the shorelines.

I tangled with two largemouth bass along one of the shorelines. One of the two largemouth bass was caught in the vicinity of the dilapidated beaver hut on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. The other one was caught in the vicinity of several stumps and in front of some patches of American water willows on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

The second shoreline yielded nine largemouth bass. One was caught under an overhanging tree and amongst a small pile of brush on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water. Two were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swimming-and-pause presentation around some stumps, minor laydowns, and scraggly patches of Eurasian milfoil. The other six were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation around some small piles of brush, small laydowns, and tiny patches of American water willows and Eurasian milfoil in three to 4 ½ feet of water.

In short, it was a very dispiriting ordeal to deal with the algal bloom and the trying largemouth bass fishing.

What a difference another day and reservoir can make in the world of Midwest finesse fishing.

The National Weather Service reported on Oct. 29 that the morning's low temperature was 33 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 71 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, east, and southeast at 3 to 7 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.26 at 12:52 a.m., 30.26 at 5:52 a.m., 30.24 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.18 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be more than 1 ½ feet below normal. The water exhibited about six feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 57 to 58 degrees. This reservoir's patches of coontail are quite glorious. We saw the first sprout of curly-leaf pondweeds, which begin to sprout in late October and early November and die in June, and throughout December through most of March, they provide us with magnificent largemouth bass catches.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:11 a.m. to 4:11 a.m., 2:42 p.m. to 4:42 p.m., and 8:27 a.m. to 10:27 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:25 a.m. and our last ones at 12:15 p.m. We tangled with 43 largemouth bass and elicited numerous strikes that we failed to hook.

We spent the entire 110 minutes of this outing inside one of this reservoir's major feeder-creek arms. We focused our attention on dissecting a portion of a shallow-water flat and about a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline that gradually merges with the shallow-water flat.

The portion of the shallow-water flat that we fished is about the size of two football fields. We spent about 70 minutes fishing it, and it yielded 36 largemouth bass. We caught largemouth bass number 25 at 11:15 a.m.

This flat's underwater terrain is endowed with wonderful patches of coontail. It is also littered with scores and scores of piles of eastern cedar trees. Some of these piles are intertwined with coontail.

We primarily focused on probing the coontail patches that are situated in five to seven feet of water, but several slightly shallower patches yielded a few largemouth bass.

This was Patty's first time to work with Z-Man's Drew's rods. One rod is five feet, four inches long, and the second one is five feet, 10 inches long. We also used and compared Drew Reese's prototypes to these two rods.

Patty, by the way, fell in love with the five-foot, four-inch model. She said it is lighter than a feather. And it is the rod for anglers who truly want to find great joy in fishing.

These four rods sported four traditional Midwest finesse rigs, and they were Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Across this flat, the TRD TicklerZ rig caught three largemouth bass while we were executing a fast-paced swim-pause-and-incessant-shake presentation around the patches of coontail and piles of eastern red cedars.

The Finesse TRD rig caught seven largemouth bass. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig. The others were caught on a fast-paced swim-pause-and-incessant-shake presentation around the patches of coontail and piles of eastern red cedars.

The Finesse ShadZ rig caught 11 largemouth bass. Four were caught on the initial drop. The others were caught on a fast-paced swim-pause-and-incessant-shake presentation around the patches of coontail and piles of eastern red cedars. A noticeable number was caught on the pause segment of this retrieve.

The TRD MinnowZ rig caught 15 largemouth bass. Several were caught on the initial drop, but most were caught as we employed the fast-paced swim-pause-and-incessant-shake presentation, and a significant pause in the retrieve became more effective after we had probed this flat for more than 30 minutes. They were caught around patches of coontail and piles of eastern red cedars.

We spent about 35 minutes fishing along the shoreline that neighbors the shallow-water flat. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are intermittently laced with patches of coontail and brittle naiad. It has a 25- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows and some laydowns.

This shoreline yielded seven largemouth bass, which were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. They were caught many feet from the water's edge. One was caught on the initial drop around a patch of brittle naiad. The others were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to perhaps 5 ½ feet of water.

Pat Kehde with largemouth bass number 43.

In closing, here is another wish that the managers of our reservoirs will learn how to cultivate submerged aquatic vegetation and how to manually maintain it. We hope that they will also learn that invasive species have become what is called "the new wild." The managers need to be reminded that these reservoirs were once castigated by some nature lovers as invading our natural landscapes, and now many of these reservoirs have become a part of the earth's new wild.

Oct. 31

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 31 outing with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 52 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 70 degrees. The wind angled out of the northwest, west, north, and southwest at 3 to 7 mph. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.89 at 2:53 a.m., 29.97 at 7:53 a.m., 29.90 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.93 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 1 ½ to two feet below normal. The surface temperature fluctuated from 59 to 60 degrees. The water exhibited from 3 ½ to nearly six feet of visibility. Minor algal blooms were erupting at several locales around this reservoir.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:23 a.m. to 6:23 a.m., 4:53 p.m. to 6:53 p.m., and 10:38 a.m. to 12:38 p.m.

To our chagrin, this reservoir has been stocked with vast numbers of grass carp, which have eradicated most of the magnificent patches of coontail that used to grace many of its shallow-water shorelines and flats. As the coontail patches began to disappear, the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing has become more and more trying. But on this outing, we were delighted to discover that some of the coontail patches have been resurrected, and we managed to catch three smallmouth bass and 49 largemouth bass.

We made our first casts around 10:09 a.m., and our last ones at 2:39 p.m. when we caught largemouth bass number 49. We also caught three smallmouth bass, one freshwater drum, and two green sunfish.

We worked with six Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man's Drew's-craw Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man's molting-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig. All of them were effective.

Along portions of the two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm and around one of its main-lake points, we caught 16 largemouth bass. This area is situated in the middle section of the reservoir. Most of its shorelines possess a 25-degree slope, and about a 75-yard stretch of one of the shorelines has a 45- to 50-degree slope. The water's edges of the two shorelines are lined with some patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows, 10 docks, two concrete boat ramps, and a few laydowns. The water's edge around the main-lake point is covered with gravel. The underwater terrains consist of gravel and rocks. We were delighted to find numerous patches of coontail embellishing the underwater terrains, and it is interesting to note that all of these patches had been annihilated when we fished this reservoir on Aug. 18, and we struggled on that outing to catch three smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass. On this Oct. 31 outing, these patches of coontail yielded 13 of the 16 largemouth bass; the other three were caught around one of the 10 docks. Two of the 16 largemouth bass were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the patches of coontail. Two of the 16 were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig; one was caught on the initial drop adjacent to the edge of the dock, and the other one was caught on the initial drop around a patch of coontail. Four were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig; two were caught with a swimming presentation around the dock, and the other two were caught on a swim-and-glide-presentation around the patches of coontail. The Finesse ShadZ rig caught five largemouth bass around the patches of coontail with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The patches of coontail that yielded 13 of the largemouth bass were situated in five to about seven feet of water, and three of those patches of coontail were adjacent to three of the 10 docks. The depth of the water around the dock that yielded three largemouth bass ranged from 14 to 20 feet, and we suspect the three largemouth bass were suspended under this dock.

We fished along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline and around two main-lake points in the upper half of the reservoir. Its patches of coontail were annihilated, but to our surprise, we tangled with two smallmouth bass and 14 largemouth bass. This area has a slope that ranges from 25 to 90 degrees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is laden with scores of laydowns, almost a countless number of tree limbs, some patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows, and many overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. The Finesse ShadZ caught one largemouth bass. The Drew's-craw Finesse TRD rig caught two smallmouth bass and five largemouth bass. And 8 largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. One was caught on an accidental deadstick presentation. Four were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in three to four feet of water. The others were caught in five to nine feet of water on three different retrieves: a drag-and-shake presentation, a slow swim-and-pause presentation, or a slow swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation.

Around two main-lake points and about a 175-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of this reservoir, we caught eight largemouth bass. This area has a slope that ranges from 25 degrees to 50 degrees. The water's edge is embroidered with several large patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. We were surprised to find several humongous patches of coontail flourishing along the flatter segments of the shoreline and points. Two of the eight largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin HogZ rig. Three were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig. Three were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. They were caught around the inside and outside edges of the patches of coontail on either the initial drop of our rigs or on a swim-and-pause presentation. They were caught in about four to seven feet of water.

We caught one smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass around a main-lake point and along about a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. It is located in the lower section of this reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of the boulders are quite large. On our Aug. 17 outing, Bob and I found several minor patches of coontail gracing about 30 yards of this shoreline's underwater terrain, but on this outing, we failed to find them. However, we did find some burgeoning patches of coontail on the underwater terrain around the main-lake point. This shoreline and point have a slope that ranges from about 30 to 65 degrees. Its water's edge is endowed with some magnificent patches of American water willows, which are in the early stages of their winter-dead phase, and a short segment of the water's edge is adorned with several overhanging trees and some significant laydowns. One of the eight largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. Two were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rog. Five largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in the vicinity of the magnificent patches of American water willows in about five to six feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water adjacent to one of the laydowns. The smallmouth bass and five largemouth bass were caught around the inside and outside edges of the coontail patches around the main-lake point in about three to seven feet of water, and they were caught on either the initial drop or a swim-and-pause presentation.

We failed to elicit a strike along a short segment of the riprap shoreline of the dam that we fished.

We caught one largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the middle section of the reservoir. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope that plummets into a submerged creek channel. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which were once graced with splendid patches of coontail, but they have disappeared. The water's edge is garlanded with patches of American water willows and several laydowns. The largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation a few feet from the outside edge of the American water willows in about five feet of water.

Along about a 100-yard section of the main-lake shoreline adjacent to this point, we failed to elicit a strike and find any patches of coontail that used to enhance this locale. We fished along about a 125-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper reach of the reservoir and struggled to catch two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which were devoid of coontail. The water's edge is littered with an amazing quagmire of laydowns and several patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows. The two largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig while strolling with a very slow swim-and-pause presentation in seven to nine feet of water.

In short, it wasn't a bonanza outing. But we were surprised and pleased to catch 52 black bass. We had expected that we would not find any coontail and that we would be fortunate to catch 25 black bass.

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

Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2022

HeadlineZ

Win a dream boat decked out with YETI gear!

HeadlineZ

Christmas Tree Crappies

HeadlineZ

Where No Boat Has Gone Before

HeadlineZ

When Every Cast Hits the BullZEye

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