Midwest Finesse Fishing: April 2018

Midwest Finesse Fishing: April 2018


Mother Nature's wet, windy, and wintry ways confounded scores of Midwest finesse anglers for many of the 30 days in April.

Nevertheless some of us got afloat. And here are 15 logs and 13,815 words that describe how, when, and where Rick Allen of Dallas; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas; Hope Reed of Nashville, Tennessee; John Reed of Nashville, Tennessee; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I fished.


It is interesting to make a brief comparison of April of 2017 and April of 2018 by noting that our April of 2017 guide to Midwest finesse fishing contained 29 logs and 24,220 words.

 As always, we are extremely grateful that Steve Reideler composed many of these logs and proofread all of the words, which made them more readable and understandable.


April 2 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 2 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

It was a cold and gloomy spring day that reminded me more of January than April. But the wind was mild mannered for the first time in many days, so I conducted a solo outing at a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir located in a suburban area north of Dallas.

At 6:00 a.m., it was 36 degrees. It was 43 degrees when I launched the boat at noon. By 3:30 p.m., it was 50 degrees. The wind quartered out of the northwest at 5 to 10 mph. From noon to 3:00 p.m., the barometric pressure dropped slightly from 29.90 to 29.86.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing would occur from 6:10 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., 11:37 a.m. to 1:37 p.m., and 2:01 p.m. to 4:01 p.m.

I fished from 12:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. During that time, it sprinkled off and on. Then an unexpected rainstorm erupted and sent me scurrying back to the boat ramp.

I spent these three hours inside a minor feeder-creek arm in the southern region of the reservoir. I dissected two small coves, a 35-yard section of a steep shoreline, three rocky secondary points, portions of a submerged roadbed, and a couple of shallow mud flats.

I caught a total of 11 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and one large green sunfish.

The underwater terrain inside this creek arm consists primarily of red clay and gravel. It is embellished with a few submerged stumps and several large patches of partially-flooded stickups and buck brush.

The water clarity varied from 12 to 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature was 62 degrees. The water level was about three quarters of a foot high.

I fished the 35-yard section of steep shoreline on the east side of the creek arm first. I caught one largemouth bass in three feet of water next to a submerged stump. It engulfed a Z-Man Fishing Products' black-blue-flake TRD HogZ fastened on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was presented with a slow hop-bounce-and-shake retrieve. The remainder of this stretch of shoreline was fruitless.

Inside the first small cove, I caught one largemouth bass along the west shoreline around a submerged bush in five feet of water. It was caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's chartreuse-sparkle GrubZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that was employed with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

I was unable to garner any other strikes around a couple of patches of flooded stickups, a concrete culvert, and a large section of floating dock that was beached against the shoreline in the southeast end of the cove.

One largemouth bass and one large green sunfish were caught from one of the three rocky secondary points. Both of them were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ attached on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. They were extracted from seven feet of water near the end of the point.

I was unable to generate any strikes from the other two secondary points, the two shallow mud flats, and the submerged roadbed.

A riprap-laden shoreline on the west side of the second cove was the most productive area. It relinquished eight largemouth bass and four spotted bass. They were abiding in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as nine feet. Three of these black bass were enticed into striking the shortened Junebug Hula StickZ rig with a slow hop-bounce-and-shake presentation. The other nine were coaxed into striking the black-blue-flake TRD HogZ rig that was utilized with the same hop-bounce-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to elicit any strikes with a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I experimented with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. I was unable to provoke any strikes while employing a drag-and-deadstick retrieve, drag-and-shake retrieve, and slowly strolling and dragging the lure across the bottom behind the boat.

One largemouth bass and the green sunfish were attracted to the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Another largemouth was caught on a slow and steady swimming retrieve. The other nine largemouth bass and the four spotted bass preferred a slow hop-bounce-and-shake presentation.

April 3 log

Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, filed this report on the Finesse News Network about his five-hour river outing in the south Texas Hill Country on April 3.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

The sky was overcast and misting rain. The morning low temperature was 70 degrees and the afternoon high was 85 degrees. The barometric pressure fell slightly from 29.83 to 29.80.  A light breeze quartered out of the southwest at 5 to 8 mph.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most productive fishing periods would occur from 1:28 a.m. to 3:28 a.m., 7:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m., and 1:52 p.m. to 3:52 p.m.  I was afloat from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The water clarity ranged from three to four feet. The water level was normal. The water temperature was 70 degrees.

I concentrated my efforts along a shallow main-river point, the outside edges of a large lily-pad field inside a feeder-creek arm, and portions of the main river channel. I caught 25 largemouth bass and five large red-ear sunfish, which many anglers in these parts call shellcrackers.

I began the outing dissecting the shallow main-river point that is covered with lily pads. I caught four largemouth bass that were relating to the outside edges of the lily pads in three to four feet of water.

After I finished fishing that main-river point, I ventured inside the feeder-creek arm. I probed a large lily-pad field that extends from the water's edge to a creek channel near the middle of the creek arm. This area is covered with eight to 10 feet of water. I extracted five largemouth bass from the heart of the lily pads.

As the bite began to diminish in the feeder-creek arm, I elected to search for an aggregation of largemouth bass in deeper water along the main-river channel. I targeted a portion of the river channel that is covered with nine to 12 feet of water. The ledges along this section of the channel surrendered 16 largemouth bass and five large red-ear sunfish.

Twenty of the 25 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's watermelon-red Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-head jig. Three were beguiled by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ attached on a chartreuse 1/5-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two other largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/5-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.image1

Most of the bass measured between 12 and 15 inches with a few smaller dinks mixed in the bunch. But a couple of them weighed 2 1/2 pounds, and one weighed 3 1/2 pounds.

As for lure presentations, a hop-and-bounce and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve were the most effective ones.

April 4 log

The first four days of April in northeastern Kansas were wintry. The low temperature on April 1 was 26 degrees, the high temperature was 36 degrees, and it snowed. The low temperature on April 2 was 25 degrees, and the high temperature was 38 degrees.  The low temperature on April 3 was 24 degrees, which tied a record; the high temperature climbed to 44 degrees, and the wind howled out of the north as fast as 43 mph at times. The average high temperature for these days ranges from 50 to 51 degrees, and the average low temperature ranges from 38 to 39 degrees.

On April 4, the Weather Underground reported that it was 18 degrees at 6:53 a.m., which was a record. It was 30 degrees at 12:53 p.m. and 41 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  Except for an hour around noon, when the sky was partly cloudy, the sun was intensely bright. The wind angled out of the north by northwest, northwest, and north at 3 to 15 mph, and for a short spell around 1:30 p.m., it fluctuated from being variable to being calm. By 2:53 p.m., it angled out of the east by southeast and then out of the south at 2 to 4 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.25 at 12:53 a.m., 30.33 at 5:53 a.m., 30.42 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.31 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:04 a.m. to 4:04 a.m., 2:28 p.m. to 4:28 p.m., and 8:16 a.m. to 10:16 a.m.

When Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I made our first casts at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs, it was 24 degrees, and when we made our last casts, it was 35 degrees. Our thumbs and fingers ached during the first three hours of this outing, and they had to be placated with hand warmers. There were some icicles hanging from some of the shoreline vegetation. Ice formed around the guides of our rods and on the spools of our spinning reels from 10:10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.  In fact, it was the coldest weather that Rick and I have endured on the water for many, many years.

The surface temperature ranged from 45 to 47 degrees. The water exhibited 15 to 24 inches of visibility.  The water level was a few inches above normal.

Despite our cold and aching hands and ice-laden rods and reels, we caught 31 largemouth bass.

We fished the entire dam, one secondary point, short sections of two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the lower half of the reservoir, many portions of a 500-yard main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, three portions of a 300-yard main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, and four main-lake points.

Along the dam, we caught one largemouth bass in about eight feet of water on a Z-Man's Mudbug TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce  VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig, and we were strolling it and employing a drag-and-minor-shake presentation about 12 feet from the water's edge. The underwater terrain consists of riprap and gravel. It has a 35- to 45-degree slope.  The water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows and some minor laydowns. A few meager patches of coontail are beginning to grow along the dam.

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We caught one largemouth bass in front of a dock that is situated on a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. It was caught in about seven feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a slow swim-and-glide presentation.  This point has a 30- degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.  The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows, and there is a burgeoning patch or two of coontail.

Six largemouth bass were caught along a 40-yard segment of a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the reservoir's upper half. This shoreline possesses a 25-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, silt, and rocks.  The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. There are thin patches of coontail scattered along this stretch. The six largemouth bass were caught on a green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce  VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. They were caught in three to six feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop, and the other ones were caught on a slow swim-and-glide presentation.  These largemouth bass were caught from seven to 20 feet from the water's edge.

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Three largemouth bass were caught along a 15-yard segment of the 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the reservoir's upper half. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 35-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, silt, and rocks.  The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. There are some meager patches of coontail scattered along parts of this stretch. The three largemouth bass were caught on our green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigs in three to four feet of water while we were employing a slow swim-and-glide presentation.  These largemouth bass were caught from 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge.

Rick Hebenstreit and one of the 31 largemouth bass that we caught.

Along a 70-yard stretch of the 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the reservoir's upper half, we caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, silt, and rocks.  The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and some minor laydowns. There are several burgeoning patches of coontail situated along this shoreline and its adjacent flat. These largemouth bass were caught on our green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigs in three to four feet of water. A TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig was more effective than a TRD HogZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce chartreuse mushroom-style jig. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught while we were employing a swim-and-glide presentation. The largemouth bass were caught from 10 to 25 feet from the water's edge.

We caught 10 largemouth bass along portions of the 500-yard main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. This shoreline is littered with more than two dozen docks. It has a 25- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt.  Besides the docks, the shoreline is embellished with concrete and rock retaining walls -- as well as a few laydowns, brush piles, and patches of winter-dead American water willows. Some of its flat environs are embellished with burgeoning patches of coontail.

Four of the largemouth bass were caught along the flatter portions of the shoreline in four to six feet of water. One of those four largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. The other three were caught on a green-pumpkin TRD HogZ and affixed to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Six of the largemouth bass were caught along the steeper and deeper section of this shoreline in three to 10 feet of water. One was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig, and five were caught on our green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigs. One was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a retaining wall in three feet of water. One was caught on a deadstick presentation in 10 feet of water.  The others were caught while we employed a slow swim-and-glide presentation. One of the 10 largemouth bass was caught within five feet from the shoreline, and nine of them were caught 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge.

One largemouth bass was caught along the 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the lower half of the reservoir. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Some of the water's edge is lined with retaining walls and six docks, and other spots are graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows. There are scanty patches of coontail scattered along this shoreline in three to five feet of water. This largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig and chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a swim-and-glide presentation, and it was about 15 feet from the water's edge and a retaining wall.

We caught three largemouth bass around a secondary point inside a small feeder-creek arm. They were adjacent to a retaining wall and a dock. This point possesses a 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rock. There are a few minor patches of coontail nearby. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig and chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a swim-and-glide presentation in three to four feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop of a green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig and chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig in three feet of water.

In sum, a swim-and-glide presentation was our most effective retrieve. Our Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigs caught 29 of the 31 largemouth bass. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. We failed to garner a strike on a Z-Man's The Deal Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

April 9 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 9 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

A local TV meteorologist reported that during the past few weeks, north-central Texas has been experiencing a seven-day weather trend. He explained that this trend consists of five mild to warm days followed by a significant cold front and two much colder days. This trend is expected to continue for several more weeks.

The last cold front that walloped the Dallas- Ft. Worth metropolitan area arrived on April 7, and it dropped our daytime high temperature from 79 degrees on April 6 to 49 degrees on April 7. It warmed to 59 degrees on April 8. The average high temperature for north-central Texas at this time in April is 74 degrees.

Besides the unstable weather trends, strong winds in the 20- to 30-mph range have kept me and many other anglers in my neck of the woods at bay.

April 9 was the third day after the cold front. The wind had diminished quite a bit and quartered out of the northeast at 5 to 10 mph. The sky conditions varied from overcast to partly cloudy to clear.  At 7:00 a.m., it was 43 degrees. It was 68 degrees at 4:00 p.m. The barometric pressure varied from 29.90 to 29.86.

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I made a 34-mile jaunt to a heavily fished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished this same reservoir on March 25 for six hours, and we caught a combination of 22 largemouth bass and spotted bass.

John and I were afloat from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 9, and according to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 12:12 a.m. to 2:12 a.m., 6:23 a.m. to 8:23 a.m., and 6:47 p.m. to 8:47 p.m.

John and I spent the first 90 minutes of this outing inside a large main-lake cove that is located on the east side of the reservoir's east tributary arm.

The surface temperature inside this cove was 54 degrees and the water exhibited 12 inches of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal.

The underwater terrain in this cove consists of sand, clay, and gravel. A partially-submerged stock pond dam is situated along the east shoreline, and a 10-yard section of shoreline just north of the stock pond dam is covered with chunk rocks and a few submerged boulders. The northern and southern shorelines are lined with flooded stickups, laydowns, and submerged stumps. This cove was our most bountiful locale on March 25, but we failed to elicit a single strike from this cove this time.

John and I then fished inside another main-lake cove just south of the first one. It is similar to the first one that we fished. The surface temperature was 55 degrees, and we failed to locate any black bass in the this cove.

After our dismal and perplexing start in the first two main-lake coves, we ventured southward to a large feeder-creek arm. This creek arm encompasses several large coves, an island, many secondary points, and a chunk-rock shoreline. Flooded stickups and buck brush line many yards of its shorelines. Its submerged terrain is comprised of red clay, gravel, rocks, and a few scattered boulders.

We were unable to generate any strikes inside two of the coves that are known spawning areas. The surface temperature was 58 degrees, and the water exhibited 14 inches of clarity.

We caught four largemouth bass in five to eight feet of water along a chunk-rock shoreline that lies about halfway back and on the north side of the creek arm. The surface temperature in this area was 60 degrees with about 14 inches of visibility. Three of these bass were caught on a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on a Z-Man's California craw TRD HogZ attached on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these rigs were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

After we finished fishing inside this feeder-creek arm, we moved to a riprap-laden jetty that is situated a short distance from the feeder-creek arm. This jetty is about 50 yards long. The water displayed about 12 inches of clarity and the surface temperature was 58 degrees. Along the south side of the jetty, we caught one spotted bass in six feet of water on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ combo.

We then moved to the west tributary arm of the reservoir and spent the remainder of the outing inside another feeder-creek arm. The north, east, and south shorelines are fairly flat, and their underwater terrains consist of mostly fist-size rocks, red clay, gravel, and boulders. A goodly portion of the shorelines are festooned with patches of flooded buck brush, stickups, and partially-submerged laydowns. The west shoreline possesses  a 25- to 30-degree slope. It is graced with two concrete boat ramps, two large concrete piers, and a concrete culvert. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and red clay.

The water inside this creek arm exhibited 12 to 14 inches of visibility. The surface temperature varied from 60 to 61 degrees.

We caught six largemouth bass and lost another one in this creek arm.

Five largemouth bass were caught along the rocky sections of the east shoreline in three to five feet of water. The other largemouth was caught in six to eight feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of a rocky shoreline in the southwest section of the creek arm. All of them were caught on the Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ rig that was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Overall, it was a lackluster outing.  We caught 10 largemouth bass and one spotted bass in five hours. None of them were big, but only one was a dink. The others were between 14 and 16 inches in length.

We were unable to generate any strikes with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red-flake ZinkerZ affixed to a custom-painted red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black neon Finesse WormZ rigged on a custom-painted red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's black-blue-flake Hula StickZ attached to a black 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a green-pumpkin 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD.

We utilized all six of the standard Midwest finesse presentations, and the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only effective one.

April 10 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 10 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

From 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., I conducted a solo foray at a popular and heavily fished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that lies in a suburban area north of Dallas.

It was a glorious spring day. The vibrant sun highlighted a cloudless powder-blue sky. A light breeze meandered out of the north at 3 to 5 mph, and for a couple of long spells, it was calm. The morning low was 46 degrees and the afternoon high was 71 degrees. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.43 to 30.35.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:56 a.m. to 2:56 a.m., 7:07 a.m. to 9:07 a.m., and 7:31 p.m. to 9:31 p.m.

I spent these three hours inside two minor feeder-creek arms in the southern region of the reservoir. Inside these two feeder-creek arms, I plied two small coves, seven secondary points, three mud flats, three steep and rocky shorelines, and one flat shoreline covered with riprap.

The fishing during this outing was as trying as it was at the other Corps' reservoir that I fished with John Thomas of Denton on April 9, and it was a tedious chore to catch eight largemouth bass and two spotted bass during this April 10 outing.

The underwater terrains inside these two creek arms are similar and consist primarily of red clay, gravel, submerged boulders, a few submerged stumps, and large patches of flooded stickups.

The water level was about three quarters of a foot high. The water clarity varied from 14 to 18 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 63 to 65 degrees.

The first feeder-creek arm surrendered one spotted bass. It was caught along a mud flat that is located on the northwest end of the creek arm. This spotted bass was relating to the outside edge of a patch of flooded stickups in five feet of water. It engulfed a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ fastened on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that was employed with a slow hop-and-bounce retrieve across the bottom and parallel to the outside edge of the patch of flooded stickups.

I failed to generate any strikes from an adjacent riprap-laden shoreline just south of the mud flat and two secondary points on the north side of the creek arm.

The second feeder-creek arm yielded eight largemouth bass and one spotted bass. Six largemouth bass and one spotted bass were extracted from six to eight feet of water along three rocky and steeply-sloped shorelines that are situated in the middle section of the creek arm.

The other two largemouth bass were caught from a shallow mud flat in the upper reaches of this feeder creek. Both of these largemouth bass were relating to a patch of submerged boulders in five feet of water.

I was unable to provoke any strikes from five secondary points that are located along the east and west shorelines of this creek arm.

Seven largemouth bass and one spotted bass were bewitched by a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other largemouth bass was caught on the Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ. Both of these rigs were presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to garner any strikes with a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD dressed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened Z-Man's black-blue-flake Hula StickZ affixed on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ attached to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

April 10 log 

Mother Nature's wintry ways set a record at several locales across northeastern Kansas during the first nine days of April. She created the coldest first nine days of April in recorded history.  What's more, it snowed several times. Therefore, it was a chore for Midwest finesse anglers to get afloat.

In Lawrence, Kansas, the low was 26 degrees on April 1, 25 degrees on April 2, 24 degrees (tying a record) on April 3, 17 degrees (setting a record) on April 4, 34 degrees on April 5, 23 degrees (setting a record) on April 6, 16 degrees (setting a record) on April 7, 27 degrees on April 8, and 27 degrees on April 9.  The average low temperature is 38 degrees on April 1 and 41 degrees on April 9.

On April 10, the Weather Underground reported that it was 30 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 51 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The average low temperature is 42 degrees, and the average high temperature is 64 degrees. For about four hours, the wind was calm, and when it blew, it angled out of the north, east by northeast, west, west by northwest, southwest, south, and south by southwest at 3 to 16 mph. The sky was clear for about two hours, and when it was not clear, it fluctuated from being overcast to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to scattered with clouds, and it sprinkled during the last 10 minutes that I was afloat. The barometric pressure was 30.37 at 12:53 a.m., 30.37 at 5:53 a.m., 30.34 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.21 at 2:53 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 6:58 a.m. to 8:58 a.m., 7:21 p.m. to 9:21 p.m., and 12:24 a.m. to 2:46 a.m.  I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs from 10:50 a.m. to 2:23 p.m.

The water level was about an inch or two above normal. The water exhibited five feet of visibility.  The surface temperature was 45 degrees, which is a four-degree drop since March 28.  In years past during this time of the year, the surface temperatures have ranged from 52 to 67 degrees.

During the first hour that I was afloat, I failed to catch a largemouth bass while I fished a main-lake point, a steep main-lake shoreline, and about a 75-yard stretch of the dam. But I did inadvertently catch two rainbow trout on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig in three feet of water.

Inside a feeder-creek arm, I caught six largemouth bass around patches of coontail that embellish a large shallow-water flat in the back half of this arm. These largemouth bass were caught in four to seven feet of water. One was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. One was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve. Two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. Two were caught on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve.

Inside another feeder-creek arm, I caught 24 largemouth bass.  The shorelines along this feeder-creek arm are littered with a dozen docks  and several concrete and rock retaining walls.  Most of the shallow-water flat areas are adorned with patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about six feet of water around a patch of coontail. Five were caught on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve in five to seven feet of water around patches of coontail. Eighteen largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. The Rain MinnowZ rig caught three largemouth bass adjacent to the retaining walls with a swim-and-glide retrieve in three to four feet of water. The Rain MinnowZ rig caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop in about five feet of water adjacent to the corner of a dock and around a patch of coontail.  The Rain MinnowZ rig caught 14 largemouth bass around patches of coontail in four to eight feet of water with a swim-and-glide retrieve.

This was the first outing in 2018 when the Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig failed to be the most effective Midwest finesse rig. Instead, the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ rig was the dominant one. (And to the delight of many Midwest finesse anglers who reside in northeastern Kansas, Z-Man will reintroduce the Rain MinnowZ this summer.)

If I were a lunker hunter, this outing would be classified as a disappointing one. I failed to tangle with a lunker.  But I am a strike seeker. Thus, the first hour was a disappointing one. But during the final 153 minutes, I caught 30 largemouth bass and elicited another nine strikes that I failed to hook firmly.

According to the weather predictions, it looks as if Mother Nature' s wintry ways will abate until it erupts again on April 15, but  her windy and rainy ways will make it difficult for me to get afloat on April 11, 12, 13, and 14.

April 12 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 52 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 2:53 p.m.  The wind was variable and calm for two early morning hours, and at other times it angled out of the south, south by southwest, north by northeast, east, and south by southeast at 4 to 32 mph. The sky was clear. The barometric pressure was 29.66 at 12:53 a.m., 29.67 at 5:53 a.m., 29.56 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.47 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur at 8:26 a.m. to 10:26 a.m., 8:49 p.m. to 10:49 p.m., and 2:14 a.m. to 4:14 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs from 10:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.

The water level looked to be about a foot below normal. The water exhibited 2 1/2 to five-feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 47 to 51 degrees.

It was a chore to catch seven largemouth bass and to inadvertently catch six freshwater drum and two rainbow trout. During the first 171 minutes, I failed to catch a largemouth bass.

In years past at this time of the year, our outings at our community reservoirs have been quite fruitful. For example, 53 largemouth bass were caught on an outing in 2010, 128 largemouth bass were caught during an outing in 2011, 50 largemouth bass were caught during an outing in 2012, 46 largemouth bass were caught during an outing  in 2016, and 55 largemouth bass were caught during  an outing in 2017. On those bountiful outings, the surface temperature ranged from 58 to 65 degrees.

During this sorry and perplexing outing, I caught three largemouth bass along the north shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm.  This shoreline possesses a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.  The water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are mostly on dry land, and one laydown.  These largemouth bass were caught by strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in six to nine feet of water.

Inside this same feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass along a secondary point. Its shoreline possesses a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.  The water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are mostly on dry land, and one laydown.  This largemouth bass was caught by strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about six feet of water.

Along a wind-blown main-lake point, I caught a largemouth bass in about seven feet of water while I was strolling and employing a swim-and-glide presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig in about seven feet of water. This point has a 45- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.  The water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are mostly on dry land.

Adjacent to this point, I caught two largemouth bass along the north shoreline inside a very small feeder-creek arm.  It possesses a 25- to 40-degree slope. The water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are mostly on dry land, two minor laydowns, and a dock.   Both largemouth bass were caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig on the initial drop in about three feet of water.

I failed to catch a largemouth bass while I wielded five other Midwest finesse rigs around and along portions of two main-lake shorelines, one offshore rock pile, three main-lake points, six secondary points, three tertiary points, and  portions of seven shorelines inside five feeder-creek arms. There were a dozen other anglers afloat and more than a dozen shoreline anglers, and only two of them had caught a largemouth bass.  None of us had a clue what was awry with the largemouth bass.

Endnote to the April 12 log:

After we circulated our April 12 log on the Finesse News Network, Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, responded, saying that it was a perplexing day for him and a friend, too. They fished four hours at a community reservoir in northwestern Missouri, where the surface temperature was 47 degrees. They caught seven largemouth bass and two rainbow trout.

It is interesting to note that the reservoir that Frazee and his friend fished and the one I fished have been sorry throughout 2018.  We suspect that one of the problems is that both of these reservoirs have recently become devoid of submerged aquatic vegetation.

April 14 log

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing at a northeastern Kansas community reservoir with Andrew Trembath of Parkville, Missouri. They were afloat from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 37 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 39 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the west, southwest, west by southwest, and south at 12 to 19 mph.  It was overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.49 at 12:53 a.m., 29.54 at 5:53 a.m., 29.67 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.67 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:46 a.m. to 11:46 a.m., 10:09 p.m. to 12:09 a.m., and 3:34 a.m. to 5:34 a.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 49 degrees. The water exhibited about six feet of visibility.

We spent the entire outing hiding from the brisk and cold wind, and those locales were difficult to find.  The most fruitful area was inside a feeder-creek arm that is littered with 12 docks, and the north shoreline of this arm was the most productive.  It possesses a 20- to 35-degree slope.  Parts of the shoreline are graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows. The flat and shallow-water areas of this shoreline are endowed with burgeoning patches of coontail.

Throughout this outing, we caught 48 largemouth bass and accidently caught three rainbow trout and two freshwater drum.

Our most effective rigs were either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange ZinkerZ or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ, and they were rigged onto a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig that Trembath makes. It is interesting to note that a black mushroom-style jig was significantly more effective than a red one. Most of the largemouth bass were caught in two to six feet of water while we were employing a swim-and-glide retrieve, and the largemouth bass usually engulfed our rigs as they were slowly falling during the glide.

Bob Gum with one of the 48 largemouth bass that they caught.

April 16 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 26 degrees, which tied a record, at 6:33 a.m. and 48 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  (Several areas across northeastern Kansas and northwester Missouri experienced record-breaking low temperatures for April 16.) The wind angled out of the north by northwest, northwest, north, and west by northwest at 2 to 27 mph, and it was calm at 12:53 p.m. and variable at 3:53 p.m. From midnight until 10:21 a.m., the sky fluctuated from being overcast to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy to being scattered with clouds. After 10:53 a.m., the sky became clear. The barometric pressure was 30.18 at 12:53 a.m., 30.19 at 5:53 a.m., 30.22 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.15 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:51 a.m. to 12:51 p.m., 11:20 p.m. to 1:20 a.m., and 5:07 a.m. to 7:07 a.m. My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs from 10:53 a.m. to 2:55 p.m., and during these four hours and two minutes, we caught 40 largemouth bass.

The water level looked to be nearly normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 51 degrees. The water clarity in the upper half of this reservoir exhibited 12 to 15 inches of visibility, and in the lower half, the visibility increased to 18 to 24 inches. We suspect that the horrendous winds that howled across northeastern Kansas at 35 to 44 mph on April 13, 14, and 15 caused the water clarity to diminish significantly.

We spent three hours and 23 minutes in the upper half of this reservoir, where we fished six main-lake points, portions of four main-lake shorelines, portions of four shorelines and two shallow-water flats inside two tiny feeder-creek arms, and one tertiary point.

We failed to catch a largemouth bass around three of the six main-lake points.

Rick Hebenstreit with the first largemouth bass of the outing.

Adjacent to a dock at one of the six main-lake points, we caught one largemouth bass in six to seven feet of water and 20 feet from the water's edge on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig while we were strolling and employing a swim-and-glide presentation. The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel and rocks. It possesses about a 25-degree slope.  In addition to the dock, the water's edge is embellished with winter-dead patches of American water willows, and there are some meager patches of coontail scattered about.

At a wind-blown main-lake point, we caught a largemouth bass in about five feet of water and about 12 feet from the water's edge on the TRD HogZ rig as we were strolling and employing a swim-and-glide presentation. This point has about a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some minor boulders. Its water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows.

Around another main-lake point, we caught a largemouth bass in about four feet of water and eight feet from the water's edge on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. This point possesses a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its water's edge is graced with patches of winter-dead American water willows, and there are some meager patches of coontail scattered about.

Inside one of the small feeder-creek arms, we caught one largemouth bass in about four feet of water upon a shallow-water flat that lies between its two shorelines. It was caught on the TRD HogZ rig affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and silt, and it is embellished with some scanty patches of coontail.

Inside another small feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass along one of its shorelines in about six feet of water about 10 feet from the water's edge on one of our TRD HogZ rigs. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. It is lined with a concrete retaining wall. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and a few meager patches of coontail are scattered along this area. On a shallow-water flat adjacent to this shoreline, we caught a largemouth bass in four to five feet of water while deadsticking a TRD HogZ rig. The underwater terrain of this flat consists of gravel and silt, and it is enhanced with scanty patches of coontail.

Along one main-lake shoreline that is about 100 yards long, we caught one largemouth bass on one of our TRD HogZ rigs in about 10 feet of water and more than 15 feet from the water's edge as we were strolling and executing a drag-and-shake presentation. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 50-degree slope.  It is lined with a concrete retaining wall and five docks.

We caught another largemouth bass along another main-lake shoreline. It is about 50 yards long.  It has a 30- to 40-degree slope. It is partially lined with patches of winter-dead patches of American water willows, a few minor laydowns, three docks, and a combination of rock-and-concrete retaining walls. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of one of our TRD HogZ rigs in three to four feet of water.

Fifteen largemouth bass were caught along portions of a main-lake shoreline that is about 400 yards long. Two of the 15 largemouth bass were caught at a tertiary point that graces this shoreline. The tertiary point has a 15-degree slope.  The shoreline possesses a 15- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain of the shoreline and its tertiary point consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and silt. The water's edge is lined with patches of winter-dead American water willows, several concrete and rock retraining walls, numerous laydowns, seven docks, and intermittent patches of coontail. One of the 15 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve around some coontail in about four feet of water and 10 to 12 feet from the water's edge. Nine largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in three to six feet of water while we were strolling and employing a swim-and-glide presentation, and these nine largemouth bass were caught from seven to 20 feet from the water's edge in the vicinity of scanty patches of coontail. Four largemouth bass were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs in six to 10 feet of water while we were strolling and employing either a swim-and-glide presentation or a drag-and-deadstick presentation, and they were caught from 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge. Four of the largemouth bass were caught along this shoreline's steeper sections, and 11 were caught along its flatter sections.  In the locales where the water clarity was around 12 inches, our Junebug Rain MinnowZ rigs were our most effective rigs.

Thirteen largemouth bass were caught along portions of a 550-yard shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 15- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and some boulders. It is littered with more than two dozen docks. Much of the water's edge is lined with either concrete or rock retaining walls, and there are some patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns and brush piles.

One of the 11 largemouth bass was caught in about 10 feet of water and nearly 20 feet from the water's edge with a deadstick presentation of a TRD HogZ rig. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve  in about five feet of water adjacent to a dock. One was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve in about five feet of water around scanty patches of coontail.  Four largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our TRD HogZ rigs. Six largemouth bass were caught on our TRD rigs in three to six feet of water as we employed a swim-and-glide retrieve, and two of those six largemouth bass were adjacent to a dock, and another two were adjacent to a concrete retaining wall. Four of the 13 were caught along the steeper portions of this shoreline, and the other nine were caught along its flatter sections.

During the final 39 minutes of our outing, we fished along a 60-foot section of a relatively steep main-lake shoreline, along a 125-yard section of a flat main-lake shoreline and point, and around a secondary point and small portions of its adjacent shorelines inside a feeder-creek arm. These locales are situated in the middle portions of this reservoir.

We caught one largemouth bass along the relatively steep main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 50-degree slope. It is lined with a rock and concrete retaining wall. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.  The water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows and two docks. The largemouth bass was caught on a TRD HogZ rig with a deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water adjacent to one of the docks.

Around the secondary point and along one of its adjacent shorelines inside the feeder-creek arm, we caught three largemouth bass. This point and its shorelines possess a 20- to 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks and a few boulders. The water's edge consists of concrete, stone, and rock retaining walls, a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, and two docks. We suspect that there might be some meager patches of coontail gracing the underwater environs, but we did not detect any of it. Two of the largemouth bass were caught around the secondary point on our TRD HogZ rigs in about five feet of water on a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation and about 15 feet from the water's edge. One largemouth bass was caught along one of the adjacent shorelines on the TRD HogZ rig in about four feet of water on a swim-and-glide retrieve about 10 feet from the water's edge.

As we fished along the 125-yard section of a flat main-lake shoreline and point, we caught one largemouth bass.  This area possesses a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water's edge is lined with two concrete retaining walls, some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few minor patches of coontail, and five docks. On the last cast of the outing, we caught a largemouth bass around the point on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve in about five feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge.

Our oldest daughter, who lives and works as a nurse in Tanzania, is coming to visit us for 12 days. And her son and our grandson from New York City will be here for seven of those days. During this spell, the three of us will make several short outings in chase of largemouth bass at various small reservoirs that grace the countryside hereabouts.  So, this is my last Finesse News Network log until May.

 April 17 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his April 17 outing with John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 33 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 64 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  The average low temperature is 45 degrees, and the average high temperature is 66 degrees.  The wind angled out of the east and east by southeast at 9 to 29 mph. The sky fluctuated from being clear to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy to being scattered with clouds to being clear again. The barometric pressure was 30.05 at 12:53 a.m., 29.96 at 5:53 a.m., 29.86 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.69 at 4:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur at 11:46 a.m. to 1:46 p.m., 12:13 p.m. to 2:13 p.m., and 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  We fished at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 50 degrees. The water clarity in some spots was about a foot, exhibiting a milky hue,  and in other places, the visibility was five feet and more.

During the first part of the afternoon, we plied and dissected many yards of steep and rocky main-lake shorelines, 13 main-lake points, and the shorelines and flats inside six small feeder-creek arms.  After 2 1/2 hours of hard fishing, we were unable to inveigle a single strike on our Midwest finesse rigs.  On the last stretch of a main-lake shoreline before we entered a large feeder-creek arm, we encountered a lone power fisherman along a steep rocky section of the shoreline.  After we offered that we had not had any luck, he said that he had caught several bass, including one nice smallmouth that looked to weigh about three pounds.

Shortly after we entered the larger feeder-creek arm, we finally caught our first fish of the day.  It was a five-inch largemouth, and it was caught one a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Mag FattyZ  mounted on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This customized Mag FattyZ was 3 1/2-inches long, and it was presented while we were strolling and employing a swim-glide- and-shake presentation.  It was caught in about six feet of water and many yards from the water's edge in an area that is graced with patches of submerged coontail. During the next hour, we caught 23 more largemouth as we thoroughly dissected the large flat in the back half of the large feeder-creek arm.  Some of these largemouth bass were caught 10 to 20 feet from the water's edge, and many others were caught in the middle of this flat.  Some of these largemouth bass were caught in water as shallow as 18 inches, and a few others were caught in water as deep as seven feet.  Most were caught in three to four feet of water.  We suspect that all of them were relating to underwater patches of coontail.  Eight of the largemouth basss were caught on a Z-Man's PB&J TRD HogZ mounted on a black 1/10-ounce Bass Pro Shops' Weedless Shroom Head  jig.  The other 16 largemouth bass were caught on the Mag FattyZ rig.  All of the largemouth bass were caught while we were strolling and employing three Midwest finesse retrieves: the swim-glide-and-shake, drag-and-shake, hop-bounce-and-shake, and at times, we executed a few deadstick motifs.

After we plied the flat in the feeder-creek arm for an hour, we decided to move to other areas of the reservoir, and we experienced the same black bass drought that we had experienced earlier in the afternoon.  We fished a shallow-water flat inside another feeder-creek arm, a main-lake point, a 150-yard section of steep and rocky main-lake shoreline adjacent to the dam, the riprap shoreline along the entire dam, a main-lake point adjacent to the dam, and two concrete pillars. We employed several Midwest finesse lures and presentations, which failed to engender a strike.

Finally, along a 150-yard stretch of rocky, deep main-lake shoreline, we accidentally caught two freshwater drum, both on the Junebug Mag FattyZ rig.  After we failed to garner a strike around a main-lake point at the entrance to a small feeder-creek arm, we caught three largemouth bass along the shoreline inside the creek arm that is adjacent to the main-lake point.  These largemouth bass were caught on the Mag FattyZ rig while strolling with a swim-and-glide presentation in seven feet of water.

At the end of the day, we agreed that it had been a trying and frustrating outing.  I was pleased, however, with the results obtained with the shortened Mag FattyZ rig, which was clearly the most productive lure, followed by the PB&J TRD HogZ rig.  We did not receive any strikes on a Junebug Finesse ShadZ mounted on a black 1/8-ounce Bass Pro Shops' Shroom Head  jig, a Z-Man's The Deal Hula StickZ on a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ mounted on either a red or chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's Canada craw Finesse TRD mounted on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. John also did not receive any strikes on several power crankbaits and jerkbaits that he tried several times. In all, we fished for 5 1/2 hours and caught 27 largemouth bass and two freshwater drum.

April 19 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 19 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I travelled to the same U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir that I fished on April 10. This reservoir lies north of the Dallas metropolitan area.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 1:55 a.m. to 3:55 a.m., 8:09 a.m. to 10:09 a.m., and 2:23 p.m. to 4:23 p.m.

It was sunny and the sky was partly cloudy. It was 49 degrees at 8:00 a.m. and 70 degrees at 4:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the north by northeast at 12 to 18 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.40 at 11:00 a.m. to 30.32 at 4:00 p.m.

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas has been lousy all year, and it was awful during this outing as well. John and I fished from about noon to 4:00 p.m., and our best efforts barely eked out nine largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

We spent these four hours inside four feeder-creeks that are situated in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm.

The water temperature inside these four creek arms ranged from 64 to 65 degrees. The water clarity varied from 12 to 18 inches. The water level was about a quarter of a foot below normal.

The submerged terrain in these creek arms consists of red clay, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and boulders. Thin patches of flooded stickups adorn a few sections of their shorelines and secondary points.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, we caught four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were caught about five to 10 feet from the water's edge in four to six feet of water along a 75-yard stretch of a rocky shoreline on the west side of this feeder-creek arm. We hooked another hefty largemouth bass, but it was able to break our eight-pound-test fluorocarbon leader before we could lift it into the boat. We failed to garner any strikes from a small mud flat and a submerged roadbed that is lined with flooded stickups in the northwest portion of this creek arm.

Three of the four largemouth bass and the spotted bass were allured by a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. A Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ fastened on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught one largemouth bass. Both of these rigs were presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The second feeder creek is located about a mile west of the first one that we fished. We caught three largemouth bass and lost two others in this creek arm.

Two largemouth bass were caught along two rocky secondary points inside a small cove on the east side of the feeder creek. Both of these largemouth bass were abiding in less than five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. The other largemouth bass was caught from the end of a steep and rocky secondary point in about four feet of water. This point is located along the east shoreline and near the mouth of the creek arm. These three bass engulfed the shortened four-inch black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ combo as it was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We failed to cross paths with any other largemouth bass or spotted bass at several other secondary points in the middle section of the creek arm or inside another small cove in the creek's upper reaches.

For the most part, the third feeder-creek arm was mostly devoid of black bass. The midsection of the creek arm surrendered one largemouth bass that was abiding in five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge next to a steep secondary point covered with chunk rock and gravel. It struck the four-inch black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ as it was retrieved in a slow swim-glide-and-shake manner.

We failed to generate any strikes from four other secondary points and a small cove in the middle section of the creek arm.

The last feeder-creek arm yielded one largemouth bass. It was extracted from six feet of water along a steeply-sloped clay and gravel shoreline on the east side of the creek arm. This largemouth bass was enticed by a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the four-inch black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ combo.

To our chagrin, we were unable to generate any strikes from another steep shoreline, two fairly shallow mud flats, two secondary points, and two concrete boat ramps that lie in the middle and upper portions of the feeder creek.

In closing, we have no idea why the black bass fishing has been so trying at the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas. But we do know that it has been a chore for us to catch a paltry average of eight bass per outing and two bass per hour this year.

John Thomas with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

April 21 log

John Reed of Nashville, Tennessee, filed this report on the Finesse News Network about his outing on April 21.

Here is an edited and condensed version of his report:

Hope Reed and I spent the day with several companions plying a reservoir in central Tennessee.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 3:21 a.m. to 5:21 a.m., 9:36 a.m. to 11:36 a.m., and 5:49 p.m. to 7:49 p.m.

We did not have the means to determine the clarity, temperature, or level of the water.

The Weather Underground reported that the morning low temperature was 40 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 76 degrees. It was sunny, and the sky was adorned with thin patches of wispy clouds. The wind quartered out of the north by northeast at 4 to 18 mph. The barometric pressure varied from 30.32 at 6:00 a.m. and fell to 30.18 by 6:00 p.m.

We had a delightful time. Most of the fish we caught were abiding around main-lake lairs. Hope caught the biggest largemouth bass, which weighed five pounds, six ounces. I caught another hefty largemouth that weighed five pounds, five ounces. Both of these largemouth bass fought hard and leaped completely out of the water.

Hope Reed with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

The most effective lure was a Z-Man Fishing Products' Junebug Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Arkie Lures Inc.'s Weedless Ball Head Jig. And to add to the fun, no one could believe that our little finesse hooks could land such big fish without straightening out.

John Reed with the Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ and one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

Furthermore, several of our cohorts could not figure out why big fish would desire such a small offering. But by the time this outing came to a close, several of them became believers in Midwest finesse baits and methods.

 April 26 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 35 degrees at 5:16 a.m. and 68 degrees at 3:52 p.m. Before 7:52 a.m., it fluctuated from being foggy, misty, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and overcast. After 7:52 a.m., it became sunny. The wind angled out of the northwest, north by northwest, west by northwest, and west at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:52 a.m., 30.00 at 5:52 a.m., 30.02 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.97 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fishermen's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 7:36 a.m. to 9:36 a.m. 8:02 p.m. to 10:02 p.m., and 1:24 a.m. to 3:24 a.m. I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs from 12:42 p.m. to 2:42 p.m.

The water exhibited six to seven feet of visibility.  The water level was a few inches above normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 58 to 60 degrees.

I quickly fished five riprap jetties, about 150 yards of the riprap shoreline along the dam,  about 75 yards of a steep shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm,  three extremely short shorelines between three of the rock jetties, and the entire shorelines inside a tiny feeder-creek arm.

During the two hours that I was afloat, I caught 20 largemouth bass and accidentally caught 13 white crappie.

The underwater terrain around all of the areas that I fished was littered with filamentous algae in one to about six feet of water. To prevent my Midwest finesse rigs from becoming enmeshed with the algae, I elected to use a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig, and I employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  These jigs are built around a No. 6 hook, and the combination of a lightweight jighead and small hook helps prevent the rig from becoming entangled in the algae. During the retrieves, the rigs traveled about 12 inches above the objects that cluttered the bottom of this reservoir, and they became entangled with the filamentous algae only three times.

On my first cast and retrieve of the outing, I elicited a strike that I failed to hook with the Rain MinnowZ rig while I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water adjacent to a riprap jetty. And on the next two casts and retrieves around this jetty with the Rain MinnowZ rig, I caught two largemouth bass in four to seven feet of water as I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  Then, I caught four largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to four feet of water. This riprap jetty possesses a 35-degree slope. Besides the riprap, the underwater terrain is littered with coontail, filamentous algae, brush piles, and the water's edge is graced with some winter-dead American water willows.

The shorelines inside the tiny feeder-creek arm failed to yield a largemouth bass. But the Rain MinnowZ rig inveigled six white crappie and elicited three strikes that I failed to hook. These shorelines possess a 25- to 45-degree slope.  The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. The water's edge is embellished with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, several laydowns, some burgeoning patches of coontail, several brush piles, and one overhanging cedar tree.

I caught four largemouth bass along portions of the dam, which is about 900 yards long, on the Finesse ShadZ rig in six to eight feet of water.  Three of them were caught while I was strolling and employing the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and one was caught as I was casting and executing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The dam has a 40- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consist of riprap, and it is enhanced with several kinds of submerged aquatic vegetation.

Along the 75-yard section of the steep shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass while I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about eight feet of water.  This shoreline possesses a 50-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. It is littered with numerous laydowns, a few stumps, occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows, and several kinds of submerged aquatic vegetation that is coated with filamentous algae.

I quickly fished around a series of four riprap jetties and the shorelines adjacent to those jetties. One jetty failed to yield a largemouth bass, but it yielded three white crappie.  At the other three riprap jetties, I caught eight largemouth bass and four white crappie in three to nine feet of water while I was strolling the Finesse ShadZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  Along one of the shorelines between two of the jetties, I caught a largemouth bass while was I was strolling and using the swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

In sum, the Finesse ShadZ rig inveigled 18 of the largemouth bass, and the Rain MinnowZ rig caught two largemouth bass.  The swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only presentation that I employed, but at times the shake was extremely subtle.  I have not had the time to fish for the past 10 days, and I did not have many minutes to fish on this outing. When I do not have many minutes to be afloat, I have found that strolling is often a tactic that allows a Midwest finesse angler to quickly search for the whereabouts of the largemouth bass and properly present a finesse rig, and it worked fairly well on this outing.

April 30 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 57 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 79 degrees at 1:53 p.m. It was sunny.  The wind howled from the south by southeast, south, and southwest at 12 to 47 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:53 a.m., 30.00 at 5:53 a.m., 29.99 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.84 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:16 p.m. to 1:16 a.m., 5:04 a.m. to 7:04 a.m., and 5:27 p.m. to 7:27 p.m. My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It was our first outing of 2018 to use a drift sock, and we used a jumbo one to help tame some of the devilish effects of the wind.

At many locales, the water clarity was affected by a horrendous algae bloom, and it exhibited six to 12 inches of visibility. At other areas, where the bloom was not as intense, the water exhibited about 24 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 57 to 62 degrees. The water level was normal.

We primarily focused on areas where the wind and white caps were not too atrocious. In short,  it was a chore to catch 67 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass,  and we accidentally caught five white bass, two crappie, and one freshwater drum.

Inside a feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass.  The shorelines along this feeder-creek arm are littered with a dozen docks and several concrete and rock retaining walls. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt.  There are some laydowns, as well as some overhanging trees and bushes that are partially in the water. The shorelines possess a 25- to 45-degree slope.  Most of the shallow-water and flat areas are adorned with patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. Massive strands of filamentous algae cling to most of the shallow-water rocks, boulders, laydowns, American water willows, and patches of coontail.

One of the largemouth bass was caught along a 45-degree shoreline on a Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about six feet of water near an overhanging bush. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water around patches of coontail. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig on either the initial drop or with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve around patches of coontail in five to seven feet of water.  Several of these largemouth bass were caught many yards from the water's edge.

Along two main-lake points and their adjacent main-lake shoreline, which is about 150 yards long, we caught one smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass. These points and shoreline possess a 35- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are flat and shelf-like. The water's edge is graced with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few laydowns, and some overhanging trees and bushes. This area is also embellished with some patches of coontail.  Massive strands of filamentous algae cling to many of the rocks, boulders, laydowns, American water willows, and patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a stroll and swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. The smallmouth bass and five largemouth bass were caught on the Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig as we were strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in four to eight feet of water.

Along a wind-sheltered shoreline about 60 percent of the way inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught four largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are flat and shelf-like. The water's edge is graced with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few laydowns, and some overhanging trees and bushes. It is embellished with some patches of coontail. Massive strands of filamentous algae cling to many of the rocks, boulders, laydowns, American water willows, and patches of coontail. The largemouth bass were caught on our Rain MinnowZ rigs on either the initial drop or with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We failed to garner a strike along another main-lake point and its adjacent shoreline.

In the back of a small feeder-creek arm, we caught 10 largemouth bass.  Its shoreline possesses a 25-degree slope. Its water's edge is cluttered with winter-dead patches of American water willows that are surrounded with massive globs of filamentous algae. There are several significant laydowns and patches of coontail that grace its shallow-water flat, which are enmeshed with wads of filamentous algae. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig, and five of them were caught on our Junebug Rain MinnowZ rigs.  Five were caught on the initial drop along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water.  The other five were caught while we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water around patches of coontail.

We fished about 50-yards of the riprap shoreline of the dam, and we failed to elicit a strike. But we caught two largemouth bass in about four feet of water adjacent to the dam's concrete spillway on the initial drop of the Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. We caught two more largemouth bass on that Rain MinnowZ rig along the shoreline adjacent to the spillway. One was caught of the initial drop in about five feet of water, and the other was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water. This shoreline is about 75 yards log.  It has a 40-degree slope.  Its water's edge is embellished with several overhanging trees, some laydowns, a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, and bits and pieces of coontail. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. This area is afflicted with many outcroppings of filamentous algae.

Across a shallow-water and coontail-laden flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass in four to six feet of water on our Rain MinnowZ rigs on either the initial drop or on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the patches of coontail and near several laydowns.  The underwater terrain of this flat consists of gravel, rocks, and silt.

We fished several flat shorelines, across four shallow-water flats, and around seven secondary points in the back of another feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists on gravel, rocks, silt, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous.  These shorelines and points possess a 20- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge of the shorelines and points are occasionally lined with some laydowns, several overhanging trees and bushes, a few stumps, and patches of winter-dead American water willows. Much of the underwater terrain is cluttered with filamentous algae.

In the back of this feeder-creek arm, we caught 14 largemouth bass. Two of the 14 were caught at a secondary point with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about four feet of water around some rocks and boulders. At another secondary point, we caught two largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail.  We caught four  largemouth bass around another secondary point, and two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-shaped jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three feet of water, and the other two were caught on the green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about three feet of water. On top of a patch of coontail on a shallow-water flat, we caught a largemouth bass in about five feet of water on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ rig. Around a rock-and-boulder-laden secondary point, we caught four largemouth bass on our green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigs on either the initial drop or the swim-glide-and-shake presentation in two to four feet of water. Adjacent to a laydown on a flat secondary point, we caught a largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along short portions of two shorelines and across a shallow-water flat in the back of another feeder-creek arm, we caught 15 largemouth bass. The shorelines possess a 20- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and a few boulders. The water's edge is lined with laydowns, overhanging trees, overhanging bushes, and some patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are cluttered with gobs of filamentous algae. This entire area is endowed with many patches of coontail that are laden with filamentous algae. We caught these largemouth bass  on a Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. Several were caught on the initial drop of these rigs and others were caught as we employed a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

At times, we wielded a slightly shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. We failed to garner a strike with them.

If we were lunker hunters, this wind-blown outing would be classified as a disappointing one. We failed to tangle with a lunker.  But as we have noted several times in our logs this year, we are strike seekers, and even though the wind was burdensome, we did elicit more than 76 strikes in four hours. And we once again defied the piscatorial myth that finesse tactics are not suitable ones for catching black bass in heavily stained and wind-laden waterways.

April 30 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his April 30 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Lou Clowell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania, and I conducted a three-hour bank-walking excursion at two community reservoirs that are situated in two suburbs north of Dallas.

The day was mostly cloudy, and it was punctuated with a few short spells of sunshine.  A south by southeast wind blew incessantly at 15 to 20 mph throughout the day, and it interfered with many of our casts and retrieves. The morning low was 60 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 82 degrees. The barometric pressure varied from 30.09 at 10:00 a.m. and 29.98 at 4:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing would occur from 5:13 a.m. to 7:13 a.m., 11:01 a.m. to 1:01 p.m., and 11:25 p.m. to 1:25 a.m.

We fished the first reservoir from about 10:30 a.m. to noon. We plied the second reservoir from about 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

At the first reservoir that we fished, the water level appeared to be normal. The water exhibited about two feet of clarity. The water temperature was 70 degrees.

We shared this reservoir with six other anglers and we eked out eight largemouth bass in 90 minutes.

We started on the northeast end of this reservoir and fished our way southward along the east shoreline.

We failed to entice any strikes along a shallow clay and gravel point.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a broad sand and gravel point that forms the midsection of the east shoreline. These two largemouth bass were caught in four to six feet of water and about 15 to 20 feet from the water's edge. They were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We were unable to generate any strikes from the south end of the east shoreline.

The south end of the reservoir is formed by a slab concrete dam. We caught four largemouth bass along this dam in five to seven feet of water and about 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig. The other two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two largemouth bass engulfed the pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig on the initial drop. The other two were attracted to the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ combo that was employed with a slow hop-and-bounce presentation.

The reservoir's west shoreline is steeply sloped and comprised of mostly sand and gravel. This shoreline surrendered two largemouth bass. They were abiding about 15 to 20 feet from the water's edge in about five to seven feet of water.

One was caught on the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other largemouth was caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ that was utilized with a slow hop-and-bounce retrieve.

We failed to generate any other strikes from two tertiary points and a 25-yard section of steep shoreline.

After we finished fishing the first community reservoir, we took about a two-hour lunch break before we ventured to the second reservoir.

We plied the second reservoir from about 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The water at the second community reservoir was about a foot below normal and exhibited about two feet of visibility. The water temperature was 79 degrees.

The underwater terrain at this reservoir is composed of mostly clay and gravel. The entire reservoir is festooned with thick mats of filamentous algae.

It was a trying task for us to catch five largemouth bass at this reservoir.

We caught a largemouth bass on our first cast. It was caught along the outside edge of a thick patch of filamentous algae in about four feet of water. It struck the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ combo that was retrieved in a slow swim-glide-and-shake fashion.

Three largemouth bass were caught along the east end of the north shoreline and near the outside edges of two large mats of filamentous algae in three feet of water. One was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ. Two were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ. Both of these rigs were manipulated with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The last largemouth bass was caught next to a small concrete water outlet that is situated in about five feet of water in the middle portion of the north shoreline. This bass was enticed into striking the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to garner any strikes from the west side of the reservoir, which includes two  submerged creek channels that parallel the north and south side of an island, the steep shorelines inside one small cove, and three small points that lie on the south shoreline. We momentarily hooked one largemouth bass along a 35-yard stretch of flat and sandy shoreline on the south side of the reservoir, but it was able to break our eight-pound-test fluorocarbon leader before we could land it.

Lou Clowell with one of the 13 largemouth bass that they caught.

Overall, we consider this an average outing for these two reservoirs. We caught a total of 13 largemouth bass in three hours: eight largemouth bass at the first reservoir and five at the second one.

Seven of the 13 bass were beguiled by the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ that was rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Six were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Eight largemouth bass were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three were induced by a hop-and-bounce presentation. Two engulfed our Midwest finesse rigs as they settled to the bottom on the initial cast.

We failed to generate any strikes with a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened Junebug Hula StickZ on a custom-painted chartreuse Finesse ShroomZ jig, a green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ on a custom-painted 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's black-gold-flake Scented LeechZ on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. We hooked and lost one largemouth on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ fastened on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

 

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