Across the past several years, we have written intermittently about an odd piscatorial endeavor that northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri practitioners of Midwest finesse call bass fishing for trout. And that time is upon us again.
It takes place at several small flatland reservoirs that grace the suburban and exurban landscapes that stretch from Kansas City to Topeka, Kansas. Trout are stocked in these reservoirs from October through March, and some of the trout are humongous. For example, from 2009 through 2013, the biggest rainbow trout that anglers caught ranged in size from 9.31 to 15.43 pounds.
To catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and rainbow trout during the same outing, Midwest finesse anglers use either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products’ ZinkerZ fixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle’s Mushroom Jig Head or a Z-Man’s Finesse ShadZ attached to a red 1/32-ounce Gopher Mushroom Jig Head. The ZinkerZ’s most effective colors are California Craw, green pumpkin, PB&J, pearl, and pumpkin chartreuse. In regard to the Finesse ShadZ, the green-pumpkin hue has been the most fruitful.
When the black bass and trout are actively foraging, one of the most effective Midwest finesse presentation is what we call the shake-swim-and- glide retrieve. But there are spells galore when the black bass and trout are tentative and will not respond to a presentation that isn’t on the bottom, and when that occurs, Midwest finesse anglers can work with four presentations, and they are called the hop and bounce, drag and shake, drag and deadstick, and the stroll.
The most bountiful bass-fishing-for-trout outing recorded by the Finesse News Network occurred in April of 2013, when a trio of anglers fished from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. caught 56 rainbow trout by wielding a 2 ½-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ and 1/16-ounce jig.
On these outings Midwest finesse anglers have been known to tangle with a black bass of significant portions, such as the six-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth bass that was bewitched by a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s Califorinia Craw ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig on April 19, 2013.
These bass-fishing-for-trout catches peter out when the water temperature climbs into the upper fifties. Consequently, there have been springs when it waned in early April, and there have been springs when trout were caught well into April. For instance, a pair of Midwest finesse anglers caught 49 largemouth bass, 12 rainbow trout, two smallmouth bass, one walleye, and one white bass on April 22, 2013, when the surface temperature fluctuated from 49 to 51 degrees. Then on April 29, 2013, when the surface temperature ranged from 54 to 56 degrees, two Midwest anglers finesse tangled with 38 largemouth bass, seven rainbow trout, six smallmouth bass and five crappie.
(1) For more information about bass fishing for trout, please see the articles at these links:
(2) We know that a few Midwest finesse anglers who fish for smallmouth bass in Ontario waterways have inadvertently caught lake trout while fishing with a Z-Man’s Finesse ShadZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, but we are eager to learn if the bass-fishing-for-trout phenomenon occurs elsewhere in Canada and United States. Thus, we are pleading with anglers to post their insights about this method in the comment boxes below.
(3) Mother Nature’s wintry ways might prevent Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri from bass fishing for trout during the first 10 days of March in 2014. But when it starts, we will post some updates in the comment section below about when, how and where the trout and black bass species were caught. It will also be detailed in the monthly guide of Midwest finesse fishing for March and April.
(4) Anglers can also contact Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas, at 785-267-0065. He is a veteran Midwest finesse angler and multispecies guide.