An addendum to the Month-by-Month-Guide to Midwest Finesse: February
April 14, 2012
This is the second chapter of our addendums to our month-by-month guide to Midwest finesse fishing.
This one focuses on our nine outings in February, as well as several insights from other devotees of Midwest finesse tactics.
From a historicalÂ perspective, it was our mostÂ fruitfulÂ February. We fished 35 hours and caught and released 358 largemouth bass, catching as many as 118 on one four-hour outing. We caught one largemouth bass that weighed four pounds, nine ounces, but most of the time the big ones eluded us.
The wind was pesky, preventing us from fishing several area reservoirs. Â In fact, we fished only four reservoirs. Two were wretched, one was fair-to-middling, and one was productive. Â During this unseasonably warm February, we also had a cold spell that covered our lakes with ice for a few days.
Here's how the month unfolded:
Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, sent a report that detailed his outing on a 120-acre suburban reservoir. He titled it "bass fishing for trout." We posted a blog with some pictures about this Midwest finesse phenomenon on Feb. 2. (This is the link to that blog: http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/02/22/bass-fishing-for-trout/)
Frazee wrote, "The PB&J ZinkerZ continues to be the best trout lure I've found. It looks like it is too big to attract a rainbow, but there's something about it that the lunker trout really like.Â A friend and I went '¦ today and caught 14 trout in two hours, including this one. I didn't have my scale with me, so didn't get a weight. I'd guess maybe 5 pounds.
The only disappointing thing: not a single bass.
We're catching most of the trout at the mouths of the coves, letting the ZinkerZ sink to the bottom, then slowly retrieving it over the top of the weed stubble.
What a great winter. We're out there fishing in short sleeves on Feb. 1. Unbelievable."
It was an unseasonably warm Groundhog Day, which I spent on the 195-acre community reservoir where I found the first concentration of ice-out largemouth bass on Jan.30.
What's more, the wind was calm for most of my outing. During the last hour, however, it angled out of the southeast at about 7 mph.
The sun shined for about two hours. For the next two hours it became partly cloudy.
The morning low was 25 degrees, and the high was 62 degrees.
The surface temperature was 40 degrees when I launched the boat at 10:15.Â By 2:30 p.m., it hadÂ warmed to 42 degrees at one locale.
The water was relatively clear.
I was afloat for about four hours and 20 minutes.
I spent about 45 minute searching with an underwater camera for curly-leaf pondweed, coontail and milfoil. I found a lot of emerging pondweed. I found no coontail, and I foundÂ some milfoil in shallow water along one shoreline on the north side of a large cove.
It was the first dayÂ ofÂ our blue-lure project, which was spawned by a blog posted on Jan. 3, featuring Caitlin Young's science project. ( To read more aboutÂ blue lures, please consult these two blogs:Â http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/01/03/the-color-preference-of-catfish-according-to-caitlin-young-including-her-notes-on-scent/ ;Â http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/02/03/is-there-a-blue-lure-renaissance-in-the-offing-an-update/)
One rod sported a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a purple-haze 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ , which has some blue hues. Another rod had a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a black-and-blue YUM Wooly Beavertail. Another had aÂ blue Gopher jig with a green-pumpkin-blue-flake Finesse ShadZ. Another rod had a blue Gopher jig and a pearl 3.75 StreakZ. Another rod had a chrome and blue jerkbait. To balance the blue baits, other rods sported a green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ on a 1/6-ounce chartreuse Gopher jig and theÂ watermelon-green-flake prototype on a red 1/32-ounceÂ Gopher jig.
By the time thatÂ I madeÂ myÂ last cast, I had caught one channel catfish and 51 largemouth bass. Twenty-eight of the bassÂ were caught on the blue Gopher jig and purple-haze ZinkerZ.
The green-pumpkin ShadZ on the chartreuse Gopher caught the channel cat and a four-pound, nine-ounce largemouth, which was the biggest bass of this young year.
The bulk of the bass were caught on the blue baits, and I fished them about 55% of the time.
All the fish were caughtÂ inÂ four to fiveÂ feet of water in the back of one of the feeder creeks. There was pondweed in the area. There were also gizzard shad dimpling the surface for an hour around noon. There were two concentrations of bass in this area. One concentration seemed to be moving around in a wide circle. The other group wasn't milling about in a circle. Instead, it consisted of a narrow 75-yard line that paralleled a northern shoreline, and this particular group of bass was about 200 yards north of where I caught 29 bass on Jan. 30.
For the first time in a long time, the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the best of the five retrieves that we employ, and I shook the rod a lot and with some vigor.Â One of the major tenets of Midwest finesse is: the better the bass bite, the more we shake our baits. In addition, the better the bite, the more we employ the swim-slide-and-shake retrieve.
One of my mental and emotional foundations as an angler rest upon one of Sir Winston Churchill's maxims:Â "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."Â In short, I rationalize that my failures at locating and inveigling largemouth bass will eventually make me a wiser and more successful angler.
Therefore, it was my incessant flirtation with failure that motivated me to convince Rodney Hatridge of Shawnee, Kansas, that we should return to the 100-acre suburban reservoir where he and I struggled to catch only five largemouth bass on Jan. 31.
The wind was mild mannered out of the west. It was sunny. Area thermometers hit a morning low of 24 degrees and an afternoon high of 51 degrees.
The lake's surface temperature was 42 to 43 degrees. A significant potion of the south arm was stained from a recent rain.
And again the lake taught us some more about the manifold virtues of failure as we eked out of its waters only five largemouth bass.
In a Finesse News Network e-mail, Walt Tegtmeier of Kansas City asked me what I thought was wrong with this lake, which is typically a bountiful one during the warm-water times. I told him that I didn't I know where this lake's bass normally reside in mid-winter. Therefore, I told him that I had been searching for that proverbial needle in the haystack and failing to find it.Â Since no Midwest finesse angler has ever fished it in January and early February, we are unable to make many judgments about what was going on. I told Tegtmeier even though this reservoir is graced with patches of coontail and filamentous algae, which should make it a good winter place to pursue largemouth bass,Â I was about to arrive at the conclusion that it might not be a good mid-winter venue. I told him about several similar reservoirs in northeastern Kansas that aren't fruitful in the winter. I said that this reservoir's sorry fishing has begun to adversely affect my enthusiasm. Therefore I had a hankering not to fish it againÂ until late March. YetÂ at the same time, I am curious enough to see if some of us can discover where the bass are and what they are doing.
Some snowbells were blooming in our garden, and at the same time a few snow flakes fell from the cloud-covered sky.
I was afloat from 10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the 195-acre reservoir that I had fished on Jan. 25 and Feb. 2.
It was a chilly outing. Area thermometers ranged from 32 to 34 degrees. A 5 mph wind angled out of the north.
The water was clear. The surface temperature was 39.7 degrees.
Straightaway, I crossed paths with a significant aggregation of largemouth bass, which were milling about a confined area in the middle of a mud fat that was covered with four to five feet of water. The bottom of the flat was adorned with curly-leaf pondweed and filamentous algae. In less than two hours, I caught 57 largemouth bass and two crappie.Â A couple of the bass were three-pounders, and the rest were small.
They were caught on a 2 Â½-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, 2 Â½-inch purple-haze ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the prototype on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.
Soon after I left the lake, I telephone my cousin Rick Hebenstriet of Shawnee, Kansas, and told him that I thought that we could catch 101 largemouth bass in four hours if he could join me on Feb. 9. He said he would.
On Feb. 9, 2011, it snowed three inches around Lawrence, and it was -15 degrees at 3 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2011.
But this time around area thermometers hovered at a morning low of 31 degrees.Â Â The high temperature was 41 degrees.Â Â It was cloudy and damp all day; a few flakes of snow and a touch of drizzle dropped from the clouds. The wind angled out of the southwest atÂ 9 to 12 mph.
The water clarity was stellar for northeastern Kansas; the clearest it has been since last year when the ice went off on Feb 21.
The surface temperature was 39.7, hitting 40 degrees for a spell in the back of one cove.
My cousin Rick Heberstriet of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished from 10:10 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.
It was his first Kansas outing of 2012.Â He had been in Florida since early January. On this outing, he caught more bass in four hoursÂ than he caught during his entire time in Florida. In fact, it was an auspicious first outing for him, and number-wise it was one that we might not be able to duplicate again in 2012.
We caught and release 118 largemouth bass, nine crappie and one monster and incredible beautiful Georgia giant. We failed, however, to take a photograph of the Georgia Giant, which exhibited a wowie zowie golden-yellow hue.
In two hours and five minutes, we caught 101 largemouth on a massive mud and silt flat, which was enhanced some emerging curly-leaf pondweed. The bass were in three to six feet of water, milling about in an area that was the size of two basketball courts.Â Â The nine crappie were in this locale, too.
We caught 17 largemouth bass and the Georgia Giant along rocky channel shorelines that were embellished with some milfoil, filamentous algae and some curly-leaf pondweed.
The best bait was a 2 Â½-inch ZinkerZ in either green-pumpkin or Junebug hues, and they were affixed to either a chartreuse or red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught some on a PBJ 2 Â½-inch ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, black and blue YUM two-inch Wooly Beavertail on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the watermelon-green-flake prototype on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.
A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the best. But when we failed to hook a striking bass, we would deadstick it, and that often generated another strike.
This was the biggest concentration of wintertime bass that we have ever encountered in all of our years, and Rick is in his 60s, and I am in my 70s; so we have seen a several winters of bass fishing in across those many years
We caught 101 bass by 12:15 p.m., and failed to land scores more.
After reaching our lofty benchmark of 101 bass, we left that massive concentration of bass and explored another area of the reservoir, and eked out another 17 bass.
We didn't catch the kind of bass that would win a tournament or make a television show, but it was an extremely delightful outing; great fun for a pair of old-time recreational anglers.
One bass looked to be a three-pounder, and we caught four others that wereÂ in the two-pound class.Â Â We estimated that we had more than 200 strikes.
Two of the nine crappie were good ones
What an odd week of fishing: On Monday Rodney Hatridge and I struggled for four hours to catch five bass. Then during the next six hours of fishing on Feb. 8 and 9, 169 bass crossed the gunnels of the boat.
The weather folks predicted that Old Man Winter would keep us at bay for the next three orÂ four days.
Â February 12
Old Man Winter walloped us pretty hard. Some are thermometers plummet to 3 degrees by 1:52 a.m. All of our cold-water reservoirs became covered with ice for the first time since late January. He kept us at bay for six days. Rumors had it that some coves at theLake of the Ozarkswere skimmed over with ice, too, and that took some doingÂ by the Old Man.
Â February 16
Our cold-water lakes were covered with too much ice.Â Therefore Rodney Hatridge and I made the drive to the 2,600-acre power-plant reservoir, where the surface temperature in the warm-water plume ranged from 51 degrees to 60 degrees.
The wind blew out of the northwest at 5 to 10 mph, and at times, it was calm.Â Area thermometers fell to a morning low of 21 degrees and climbed to an afternoon high of 45 degrees.
The water was stained in most locales, looking as if it was still afflicted with an algal bloom.
We were afloat from 10 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. We focused on the reservoir's five bluffs and a 100-yard stretch of a submerged creek channel that meanders across a flat that lies west of the hot-water outlet. We didn't have time to fish any riprap, but it has been so unrewarding this winter that we decided to focusÂ on other spots. (It should be noted that the hot-water outlet entertained seven boats, and these anglers were catchingÂ vast numbers of small white bass and an occasional small wiper on grubs.)
To our chagrin, the spots that we fished failed to yield any significant dividends.
The big largemouth bass wereÂ still in a funk, or we didn't possess the wherewithal to locate their whereabouts and talent to entice them.
We caught only 29 largemouth bass, and none of them were big ones. We failed to land 8 largemouth bass, and none of those were big ones. What's more, we were entertained by only one crappie, one white bass and one freshwater drum.
Our best bait (if there was such a thing on an outing asÂ disappointing as this one was) was a green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.
In hindsight, we should have explored the roadbed, rock piles, stumps and ledges on the east flat that lies north of the hot-water outlet, which we haven't fished this year. In addition, we should have plied some of the cold-water environs rather than staying within the plume of warm water.
Bob Gum of Kansas City and Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, fished the 2,600-acre power-plant reservoir that Rodney Hatridge and I fished on Feb. 16. Their catch was sorry, too.
Perret fished from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
He fished four of the five bluffs in the warm-water plume and the dam in the cold-water area of the lake. He said that at two of the bluffs "I had to get in line because there were about four other boats fishing it. Â Not a problem because in tournaments you routinely have to fish behind someone, so I figured the practice would be good."
Initially, he wielded some power tactics, but when that failed, he switched to a PB&J Rain MinnowZ and a 1/16-ounce jig, which allowed him to catch 11 bass, one crappie and one channel catfish.
Gum, who possesses an astonishing talent at catching big bass onMidwestfinesse method, reported: Â "I started along the east rip where I caught 1 channel and 1 drum. Temperatures here were the coolest I recorded at 48 degrees. The lake still has a bit of an algae bloom with maximum clarity of about 3 feet along the dam. Fished two bluffs andÂ avoided the traffic on the other two. Fished the dam and then the access road where I had some of my betterÂ actionÂ catching three drum and two largemouths. Also hit a short stretch of riprap north of the plant.
In all, I had 27 fish, including 5 drum, 1 channel, 1 white. TheÂ largemouths collectively were probably myÂ lowest average size for that lake, consisting mostly of dinks. Biggest largemouth was 15 inches."
I tried once again to find a way to locate and catch the largemouth bass at the 100-acre community reservoir that befuddled Rodney Hatfield and me on Feb. 6. Since Dec. 3, 2011, this reservoir and its denizens had regularly checkmated me and several other anglers.
It happened to me again on this outing. The fishing was awful; worse than it ever has been.
It was partly cloudy.Â The wind angled out of the southwest, west and northwest at 8 to 12 mph.Â The surface temperature was 40 to 41 degrees. Area thermometer registered a morning low of 34 degrees and afternoon high of 48 degrees.
Northeastern Kansaswas buffeted by 36 hours or more of rain on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. The amount of rainfall, however, was only a quarter of an inch in most areas.
Nevertheless, the water level was up and slightly coursing over the outlet. The water was clear the lower 75% of the lake, but the upper 25% was slightly stained. What's more, there were large pods of algae floating on the surface in the upper portions of the main feeder arm on the southern end of the lake. Some of the algae pods were the size of a 20-foot bass boat.
I was afloat from 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. During those three bewildering hours, the fishing was so tedious and frustrating that my enthusiasm for being on the water plummeted.Â Therefore, I loaded the boat on the trailer and headed home before my normal four hours ran their course.
I caught only two largemouth bass.Â Both were caught on a 2 Â½-inch Junebug ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher Jig. One was caught in six feet of water. The other was caught in 13 feet of water. I rarely fish deeper than eight feet of water, and the fact that I caught a bass in 13 feet of water reveals how odd and trying the bass fishing was at this reservoir.
For the first time this winter, I crossed paths with Holden White of Lawrence, Kansas
His boat had been in the shop for weeks on end. The mechanic finally put his finishing touches on it this morning.
After we launched our boats, we decided to use two boats to dissect a massive flat on this 195-acre community reservoir.
White is 83 years old and in great shape and remains one of the finest grub anglers hereabouts. He, of course, used a grub the entire time that he helped me dissect this massive flat.
We found the largemouth bass congregated in an area slightly smaller than a football field. At times, we had a difficult time staying with the bass after we caught a few of them. In our eyes, it seemed as if they were moving randomly, crisscrossing and zigzagging this area. Sometimes we found them in 2 1/2 feet of water adjacent to a ditch that traverses a small part of the flat. At other times they were in five feet of water in the middle of nowhere. Then they moved 75 yards to the east, milling about in six to almost seven feet of water, and then they moved back to the ditch. Sometimes they moved quickly, and at other times, it was a slow-paced maneuver.
Ultimately, I caught 53 largemouth and four crappie. I allured them with a green-pumpkin 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a purple-haze 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Junebug 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and the prototype on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.
The best retrieve was a drag and shake.
None of the bass were lunkers.Â The biggest looked as if it might have weighed three pounds.
After the dispiriting outing on Feb. 20, when I struggled three hours to catch two bass, this was a enjoyable and balmy day to be afloat, and sharing a bountiful fishery with Holden White.
I fished 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but since it was White's first outing in 2012, he fished few more hours.
The wind was supposed to howl today, but it was virtually calm.
The surface temperature reached 44 degrees at 2 p.m.
Despite the 36 hours of rain that fell on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, the lake was relatively clear and at a nearly normal level.
The sun shone brightly, and area thermometers reached an afternoon high of 64 degrees.
On Feb. 22, Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas, e-mailed me three questions. He asked: "Except in spring when they pair up to spawn, how often are bass in packs?Â Â Are the big ones in a pack or are they loners?Â Would you guess that 80% of the lake's bass stay in a certain locale, such as the flats near emerging weedsÂ in the winter?"
Â Â In regard to his question about packs of largemouth bass, I told him that we have found them heavily congregated around patches of coontail and bushy pondweed in August and September, and in the winter when the ice melts is another time that we find them in packs. I also told him the largemouth bass on Feb. 21 were exhibiting some signs that they were on the verge of breaking away from the ice-out congregation, which typically happens in March as the water temperature warms and the wind howls. Then when those congregation disperse and the wind blows, we get out our drift socks and move with the wind, plying many yards of shorelines at a lickety-split pace.
Â In addition, I told him that we think that vegetation helps promote the concentration factor, but it isn't absolutely necessary. For example, a number of years ago, we had wintertime concentrations at one of our community reservoirs, which does not have vegetation, but for the pastÂ three winters, we haven't been able to locate those concentrations at that reservoir. That might be because the bass population isn't as dense as it used to be.
Â Â I also told him that we have never been able to find significant concentration of ice-out largemouth bass at two of the community and two of the state reservoirs that we regularly fish. Those reservoirs, however, yield a lot of bass for us from mid-March to mid-December.
Â Â I told him that I don't know what percentage of the bass stay in a certain locale, explaining that we don't have to the tools to measure such a calculation.
Â Â I also confessed that we don't catch enough big bass to determine what they do. In fact, we are often called the kings of the dinks. In essence, our piscatorial benchmark is to garner more than 25 bites an hour rather than to catch big ones.
The wind had kept us at bay since Feb. 22. When it finally relented, my cousin Rick Hebenstriet and I ventured to a 140-acre state reservoir, which is typically a difficult February and early March venue.Â It proved to be that again.Â The last time that Rick and I fished it was on Dec. 2, and we struggled then to catch 34 largemouth bass.Â But this one was considerably more trying than our December outing.
The surface temperature was 42.7 to 44.9 degrees, and that what it was on Dec. 3. The water level was a touch below normal. The clarity was slightly stained.
Area thermometers ranged from a morning low of 26 degrees to an afternoon high of 48 degrees. It was sunny to partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the north, northeast and east at 7 to 9 mph.
We were hoping that a wintertime concentration of bass could be found along a shallow bluff and an adjacent flat on the upper end of the west arm, which is where we found the bulk of the bass on Dec. 3. Areas like this are where we traditionally catch wintertime bass at other reservoirs. Â But to our chagrin, we couldn't find a concentration at this location. Therefore, we used the drift sock for the first time in 2012 and allowed the wind to slowly propel the boat along many yards of shorelines and other lairs as we hoped to find a wintertime aggregation of bass. But this reservoir's wintertime bass eluded us again. We have never been able to determine why it is such a difficult winter venue because it is one of our finest spring through early fall lakes.Â For example, May 3, 2011, it yielded 135 largemouth bass.
Rick and I tangled with only seven largemouth bass, five crappie, two freshwater drum and one white bass. (One of the drum looked to weigh 10 pounds or more, and it took us nearly four minutes to get a thumb into its mouth.)
We worked with the 2 1/2" ZinkerZ in a variety of colors on 1/16-ounce Gopher jigs in a variety of colors. We experimented with a variety of retrieves.
We fished from 10:15 to 2:15.Â By noon our minds and dispositions were numb from the lack of strikes. ItÂ was a discouraging outing, indeed, mirroring the history of our endeavors at this reservoir during this time of the year.
Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, send a report describing his Feb. 27 outing.
Â He wrote, "I hadn't been on [the lake] since Feb. 5 so I was looking forward to getting back on the home waters.
Â Â It didn't take me long to find that things have changed quite a bit since I was last out.
Â Â First, I failed to catch a single trout out of the three coves where I had been nailing them earlier.
Â Â Second, the bass are considerably more active than they had been.
Â Â When I didn't catch trout in the three coves, I went searching. I also switched from my favorite bait, a PB&J Zinker Z, to a silver-flecked Rain MinnowZ. That made a big difference.Â
Â Â I worked my way down to Highway 45, working coves, and a friend and I caught 11 bass (3 of them keepers), five trout and two walleyes.
Â Â The big news was another gorilla trout. I had just suggested that my friend put on a Rain MinnowZ and on his first cast, he caught a trout that was at least 5 pounds.
Â Â Not a great day, but not a bad one, either.
Â Â By the way, I tried the Alabama Rig for a while. After using finesse baits, it felt like I was throwing chunks of concrete into the water. No hits and it didn't take me long to go back to the light-action stuff." Â
After my cousin Rick Hebenstriet Â and I struggled on Feb. 27, I decided to get on the water on Feb. 28 until either the wind or rain drove me home.
I started fishing at 10:15 a.m., and I handled the wind, which angled out of the southeast at 13 to 20 mph, by finding one wind-shelter spot that entertained a significant congregation of largemouth bass.Â But when it started raining at 12:20, I made my last cast and headed to the boat ramp.
The morning low was 41 degrees, and the afternoon high hit 63 degrees. Before it began to rain, the sun occasionally shined in the big gaps in the partly cloudy sky.
The water was clear enough that I could see a 2 Â½-inch purple-haze ZinkerZ in four feet of water.
The surface temperature was 43.8 degrees.
I was fishing the same 195-acre community reservoir that Holden White and I fished on Feb. 22, and I found the largemouth bass near the same area where he and I found them. But there weren't as many of them as there were on Feb. 22, and at that time White and I suspected that the ice-out concentration was in the throes of scattering.
The largemouth bass were gamboling about in 2 Â½ to six feet of water on a flat that was the about the size of two football fields
I caught 36 largemouth and five crappie and engendered at least 20 strikes that the hook failed to pierce any fish flesh.
I caught the bulk of the fish on either 2 Â½-inch Junebug ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or 2 Â½-inch purple-haze ZinkerZ on a 3/32-ounce blue Gopher jig. I used the 3/32 where the swirling wind interfered with my retrieve. The best retrieve was the drag and shake, and when I failed to hook a striking bass, I often deadsticked the ZinkerZ, and about 25% of the time that would elicit another strike. I caught a few on the watermelon-and-green-flake prototype, but the bass prefer a darker hue today. I think if I had the prototype in a Junebug or green-pumpkin hueÂ that it would have been as effective as the ZinkerZ.
None of the bass were big but after the sorry outing of Feb. 27, when we garnered only seven bass bites, it was delightful getting 20 bites an hour.
Postscript:Â Â Weather for Feb. 28 through Mar. 1
Although it was an unusually warm winter, the wind was pesky, broaching 30 mph many times in January and February.
The National Weather Service forecast below typifies the winter of 2011-12:
"Today [Feb. 28]:Â A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 61. Breezy, with a south wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Tonight:Â Showers and thunderstorms likely before midnight. Cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 42. Breezy, with a south wind 15 to 20 mph becoming west. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. [The NationalÂ Weather Service correctly foresaw the eruption of thunderstorms, but it didn't foresee the outbreak of a rash of tornadoes that rumbled across the Heartland on Feb. 28].
Wednesday:Â Sunny, with a high near 57. Breezy, with a west wind between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.Â
Wednesday Night:Â Mostly clear, with a low around 32. West wind 5 to 15 mph becoming south.Â
Thursday:Â Sunny, with a high near 67. South wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph"
In a week or so, we will post the third chapter of this series of Â addendums to the month-by-month-guide to Midwest finesse fishing. The third chapter will end on March 19, which is the day before the vernal equinox. Â As time goes by, please let me Â know if you are finding these addendums helpful in your finesse fishing endeavors. In addition, we would Â appreciate Â receiving comments about what we should add and delete.