Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2016

Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2016

On Aug. 14, Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, caught this largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Read more about his outing in his Aug. 14 log below.

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 32 logs and 33,395 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the endeavors of Rick Allen of Dallas; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas;  Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas;  Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Walt Tegtmeier of  Leawood, Kansas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; Andrew Trembath of Kansas City, Missouri; as well as my northeastern Kansas logs.

 Walt Tegtmeier ventured from Kansas to the Boundary Waters, which straddle the Canada-United States border between Ontario and Minnesota.  And his log features his pursuit of smallmouth bass in the Quetico Provincial Park.  The rest of the anglers pursued the black bass at their home waterways.


 As always, we are thankful that Steve Reideler proof read all of the logs. He made them more readable and understandable. What's more, Reideler and his cohorts set a Midwest finesse record in north-central Texas this August by catching 695 black bass in 47 hours of fishing and 12 outings. His 12 logs are chockfull of rich details about how they accomplished this feat.


Aug. 1 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 1 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I fished with Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, at a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir, where Roger Farish of Highland Village and I enjoyed catching 41 black bass during a three-hour outing on July 27, and John Thomas of Denton and I caught 47 black bass during a 3 1/2-hour jaunt on July 29.

The Weather Underground recorded the morning low temperature at 74 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 98 degrees, and Rick and I described it as a sweltering 98 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south, southeast, and southwest at 5 to 13 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 8:15 a.m. and 29.97 at 12:15 p.m. The sky was cloudless, and the sun was eye-squinting bright.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing opportunities would occur between 3:36 a.m. and 5:36 a.m., 9:50 a.m. and 11:50 a.m., and 10:17 p.m. and 12:17 a.m. Rick and I fished from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Rick and I planned on pursing largemouth bass and spotted bass today, but it quickly changed from a black bass excursion to a temperate bass fishing extravaganza.

The water was stained and exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 degrees at the boat ramp to 87 degrees at the dam.

Our first spot was a main-lake point about a quarter of a mile east of the boat ramp. This point lies on the southeast end of the southwest tributary arm. It possesses a clay and gravel underwater terrain, as well as an old dilapidated concrete boat ramp that extends about 50 feet out from the water's edge.

Along the west side of the point, we caught three largemouth bass and one chunky spotted bass that was in the two-pound class. Two of the largemouth bass were relating to the deep-water end of the concrete ramp in four to six feet of water. The other largemouth bass and the spotted bass were extracted from less than four feet of water, and they were associated with a small stretch of gravel and clay shoreline just south of the boat ramp.  Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man Fishing Products' pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig, which was presented with a steady swimming retrieve just underneath the surface of the water. The other largemouth bass and the spotted bass were caught on a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This Hula StickZ combo was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to elicit any strikes from the north end of the point.

The east side of the point is comprised of mostly sand and gravel, and it is flatter than the west side of the point. We caught 37 white bass and wipers (which we call hybrid stripers in north-central Texas) in three to eight feet of water off the east side of the point. These white bass and wipers were foraging heavily on two-inch threadfin shad along the surface of the water, and at times, they would herd the schools of shad up against the shoreline to the water's edge as they fed on them. Many of them would regurgitate partially-digested shad as we fought them to the boat, and others had shad protruding from their gullets when we landed them. All of them were beguiled by the pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a moderately-fast and steady or do-nothing retrieve just underneath the surface of the water.

Our second spot was a half-mile section of the dam. The dam forms the southern boundary of the reservoir and is covered with riprap. We focused on the riprap along the middle and east end of the dam. We saw large schools of two-inch threadfin shad moseying around just underneath the surface of the water, and they were everywhere.

We started off fishing for black bass, but our black bass fishing endeavors were continuously interrupted by large schools of white bass and wipers that would suddenly appear all around us, and they would raise havoc with the large schools of shad as they gorged themselves on the shad.  When the white bass and wipers were not interrupting us, we were able to catch 17 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and one large bluegill in about 25 minutes. We caught the vast majority of these black bass on either a pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve or a shortened three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. These black bass were abiding in three to eight feet of water and were relating to the submerged riprap along the face of the dam.

We finally decided to end our black bass pursuits, and we focused our attentions on chasing the multitude of white bass and wipers.

There were numerous and large schools of temperate bass foraging on the shad. Some of these schools were just a few yards out from the face of the dam, but the majority of them were chasing shad in the more open-water areas, and they were a goodly distance away from the dam in 16 to 35 feet of water.

We wielded either the pearl Slim SwimZ rig or a Z-Man's Space Guppy Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. Both combos were retrieved at a moderately-fast pace just beneath the surface of the water, and they allured 176 white bass and wipers in 2 1/2 hours.

All told, the fishing was outstanding. We were delighted to tangle with 24 black bass and one large bluegill in 55 minutes, and 213 wipers and white bass in two hours and 35 minutes. (It is interesting to note that we caught the bulk of these 238 fish during the 9:50 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. solunar calendar time period.)

Rick commented that he could not remember the last time he caught so many fish during one outing. But this outing reminded me of my April 27 outing at this same reservoir with Norman Brown of Lewisville, when we caught and released 263 white bass and wipers, 11 black bass, and a pumpkinseed sunfish in 7 1/2-hours.

Steve Reideler with a spotted bass.

Aug. 2 log 

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

Here is an edited version of that log:

From 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I fished a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir, where Rick Allen of Dallas and I caught 238 fish during a 3 1/2-hour outing on Aug. 1.

John and I had hoped to catch a minimum of 200 white bass and wipers during this outing, but those hopes did not come to fruition. We spent two of these four hours pursuing temperate bass, and the other two hours were spent fishing for largemouth bass and spotted bass.

August is the hottest and driest month of the year in north-central Texas. The local television meteorologists have forecasted 100- to 102-degree daytime temperatures for the next eight days. The morning low temperature for Aug. 2 was 80 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was a scorching 101 degrees. The wind quartered out of the southwest at 8 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was steady at 29.99.  There was not a cloud in sight, and the sun was shining everywhere.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most promising fishing periods would occur from 4:28 a.m. to 6:28 a.m., 10:42 a.m. to 12:42 p.m., and 11:08 p.m. to 1:08 a.m.

The water was stained with about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 85 degrees at the boat ramp to 87 degrees at the dam. The water level was half of a foot below normal pool.

We began the outing at a main-lake point that is located on the southeast end of the southwest tributary arm. It possesses a clay and gravel underwater terrain, as well as an old dilapidated concrete boat ramp that extends about 50 feet out from the water's edge. A large sand and gravel flat borders its east side. This point yielded four black bass and 37 white bass and wipers during my Aug. 1 outing with Rick Allen, but it was not as productive today.

John and I shared this point with two bank fisherman, and we were disheartened to discover that the large schools of white bass and wipers that had occupied the large shallow flat along the east side of this point on Aug. 1 were nowhere to be found during this outing. We waited a short spell to see if a school of white bass or wipers would suddenly appear, but that didn't occur. Ultimately, we dissected the north end of the point and the west side of the point for black bass. We did not see any large concentrations of threadfin shad inhabiting the shallow flat on the east side of this point. We observed a couple of small schools of shad cruising around the west side of the point, but none were seen abiding along the northern tip of the point.

One largemouth bass was caught off the northern end of the point in three feet of water. A chunky two-pound, 10-ounce largemouth bass was caught off the west side of the point, and it was relating to the deep-water end of the concrete boat ramp in five feet of water.  Two other largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one white bass were also caught off the west side of the point in the vicinity of the concrete boat ramp, and they were foraging on shad in four to six feet of water.

Two of the four largemouth bass were caught on a shortened three-inch Z-Man's pearl Split-Tail TrailerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig with a steady swimming retrieve enticed one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The other largemouth bass and the one white bass engulfed a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig as it was being employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

After we finished fishing the main-lake point, we moved to the east end of the dam. The dam forms the south end of this reservoir.  On Aug. 1, the open-water areas around this portion of the dam relinquished 176 white bass and wipers. The riprap that covers the dam yielded 20 black bass. But during this outing, the temperate bass were few and far between, and we could only manage to catch 21 white bass. Most of them were caught on the Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig as we strolled it behind the boat in nine to 12 feet of water. A few were caught on the Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve as the white bass were  foraging on threadfin shad along the surface in 25 feet of water. But the surface-feeding sprees were few and short in duration, and by the time we could reach the spot where they were foraging, they had already dispersed.

After our trying and paltry white bass fishing endeavors, we turned our attentions to locating and catching largemouth bass and spotted bass that were abiding around the dam. We only had time to ply a 75-yard stretch along the eastern portion of the dam. We observed large schools of two-inch threadfin shad milling about in this area.

We wielded three of Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits: the pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig; a 3 1/2-inch Blue Glimmer Sparkle GrubZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig; and  the shortened three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

This portion of the dam relinquished 42 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one white bass, one channel catfish, and one large bluegill. The shortened three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught two largemouth bass and the large bluegill. The 3 1/2-inch GrubZ combo retrieved in a steady swimming manner caught 15 largemouth bass and one white bass. The pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a moderately-fast pace swimming retrieve caught  25 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and the channel catfish. Most of these fish were relating to the submerged riprap along the face of the dam in three to eight feet of water. A few others were caught many yards away from the dam, and they were suspended about five feet deep in 17 to 21 feet of water.

John Thomas with one of the 48 black bass that he and Steve Reideler caught on Aug. 2.

In our eyes, the black bass fishing during this outing was outstanding by north-central Texas standards, but the white bass fishing was trying. We caught a total of 48 black bass, and inadvertently caught two white bass, one channel catfish, and one large bluegill in two hours. We caught only 21 white bass during the other two hours.

A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a quick and steady swimming retrieve just underneath the surface of the water continues to be our most effective lure and presentation, and we have been unable to find any other lure and presentation combination that can currently match the potency of the Slim SwimZ rig.

 Aug. 4 log

Until Aug. 4, I had not fished in northeastern Kansas since July 20.  Patty and I took a vacation in Minnesota's Northwoods.  It was not a hardcore fishing vacation.  We only fished about 2 1/2 hours each day. What's more, I did not write a word about Midwest finesse fishing. But I did take some photographs of Patty and some of her fish and some of the lairs she fished, and they can be seen at http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/vacation-notes-and-photographs/.

On Aug 4, I fished a community reservoir in northeastern Kansas.  It used to be one of our most bountiful largemouth bass reservoirs.  Nowadays, however, some local anglers have begun calling it the poison reservoir. The reason for that is because its managers administered two massive doses of Sonar RTU to kill Eurasian milfoil and curly-leaf pondweed in 2016.  In years past, they attempted to kill the milfoil with Aquathol K. What's more, they spray with appalling regularity its riparian areas with applications of Roundup, which is glyphosate, and it is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide that Monsanto has been manufacturing since 1974. A limnologist recently reported that this waterway possesses significant traces of glyphosate, as well as mercury and other undesirable chemicals. It was also waylaid by the largemouth bass virus in 2010.

The water level was normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. The water was stained with a significant algal bloom, and the water exhibited 14 to 18 inches of visibility. I did not see any patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, Eurasian milfoil, or chara.  But I did see one dead stem of milfoil floating on the surface inside a feeder-creek arm.  Many yards of this reservoir's shorelines are lined with patches of American water willows, and they looked to be healthy, and the front edges of these patches were graced with 2 1/2 to four feet of water.

The Weather Underground reported on Aug. 4 that the low temperature was 73 degrees and the high temperature was 99 degrees.  The wind angled out of the southeast, east, east by southeast, and south at three to 9 mph. It was sunny while I was afloat, and occasionally there were a few paper-thin sheets of cirrus clouds fluttering about.  The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:52 a.m., 29.86 at 5:52 a.m., 29.87 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.84 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing should take place from 11:54 a.m. to 1:54 p.m., 12:18 p.m. to 2:18 p.m., and 6:06 a.m. to 8:06 a.m. I fished from 10:35 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.

I fished four main-lake points, portions of three main-lake shorelines, 50 yards of the dam, and portions of five shorelines inside four feeder-creek arms.

I caught one smallmouth bass and 23 largemouth bass, and inadvertently caught nine green sunfish and one bluegill. All of those specimens were caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  I failed to garner a strike on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Saw Tail WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's California Craw TRD TubeZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

I could not engender a strike at any deep-water lairs.

Except for the smallmouth bass, the preponderance of them engulfed this rig on the initial drop along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. The rest of them were caught while I was employing a slow swim-glide-and-shake  retrieve in the vicinity of some patches of American water willows. These fish were extracted out of three to four feet of water. To dissect the American water willow patches, I often made short underhand pitches to the pockets, points, gaps, and holes in the patches. Sometimes I executed skip casts to get the Hula StickZ or the other rigs under overhanging branches and around other obstacles.

The smallmouth bass was caught on a rock pile along a main-lake shoreline in about four feet of water.

I failed to elicit a strike at the four main-lake points. I failed to catch a black bass along the dam. A 40-yard stretch along one main-lake shoreline was fruitless.

One main-lake shoreline in the vicinity of the dam yielded 11 largemouth bass. Along a shoreline near the mouth of one feeder-creek arm, I caught five largemouth bass. I caught one largemouth bass along a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm. A shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm yielded one largemouth bass. A 150-yard stretch of shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm yielded two largemouth bass.  A 100-yard segment of a shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm yielded two largemouth bass.  The main-lake shoreline where I caught the smallmouth bass yielded one largemouth bass.

When northeastern Kansas' flatland reservoirs are afflicted with significant algal blooms, the largemouth bass fishing is often problematic.  Some folks think that algal blooms can affect the levels of dissolved oxygen in a reservoir, and if the dissolved oxygen is low, these folks contend that the largemouth bass are lethargic and difficult to catch. I have no idea if that is true and if the largemouth bass and its skimpy smallmouth bass population were affected by the algal bloom. But I do know that I had a difficult time finding them and catching them.

Aug. 4 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about  his Aug. 4 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I fished at a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that lies north of the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan area. We last fished this reservoir on July 18, and during that trying four-hour ordeal, we caught 10 black bass. We opted to return to this reservoir to see if the black bass fishing at this waterway had improved since July 18.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would most likely occur from 12:06 a.m. to 2:06 a.m., 6:18 a.m. to 8:18 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Norman and I made our first casts and retrieves at about 7:30 a.m. and we executed our last ones at about 10:30 a.m.

Aug. 4 was a sunny day, and according to local meteorologists, it was the hottest day of the year so far. The morning low temperature was 80 degrees and the afternoon high temperature soared to 102 degrees. A refreshing wind blew out of the south at 8 to 15 mph, and in our eyes, the wind's velocity was closer to 15 mph than it was to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was steady at 29.92.

The surface temperature was 86 degrees. The water was heavily stained, several main-lake areas were muddy, and the visibility ranged from 12 to 18 inches. The water level was normal.

We spent our morning fishing the wind-blown north end of the reservoir, where we dissected 11 rocky main-lake points, three large rocky flats, a rock- and boulder-strewn main-lake shoreline, and a steep shoreline inside the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm.  We observed small pods of 1/4- to 1/2-inch threadfin shad inhabiting the main-lake points and the rocky main-lake shoreline, but we saw very few shad roaming along the three large main-lake flats or along the steep shoreline at the mouth of the feeder-creek arm.

We positioned the boat in eight to 17 feet of water while we were fishing the main-lake points, the three main-lake flats, and the steep shoreline at the mouth of the feeder-creek arm. The boat floated in six to 15 feet of water as we plied the rocky main-lake shoreline.

We caught 25 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass during the three hours that we were afloat.

Seventeen of the thirty black bass were caught in less than six feet of water and were relating to just five of the main-lake points. We caught 11 black bass at one of the main-lake points, and the other six black bass were caught at four of the other 10 points.

We failed to locate any bass associated with any of the three main-lake flats or along the steep shoreline at the mouth of the feeder-creek arm.

Thirteen black bass were caught along the rock and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline in three to six feet of water.

For the past several weeks, a rod rigged with a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig has been the first rod we have picked up at the beginning of an outing and it has been the last one we put down at the end of the day. During this outing, the Slim SwimZ combo proved its effectiveness again, and it allured 22 of the thirty black bass that we caught. A 3 1/2-inch Blue Glimmer Sparkle GrubZ attached to a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig enticed five black bass. A shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught  two black bass, and a customized 2  1/2-inch watermelon-red FattyZ tube on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig beguiled one black bass.

We utilized just two of the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves: the steady do-nothing swimming retrieve was the most effective, and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation was second best.

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas has become more consistent and predictable now than it ever has been in our relatively short careers of employing Midwest finesse tactics. Rocky main-lake points graced with large concentrations of threadfin shad are by far the most productive black bass lairs that we have found this summer.

Aug. 5 log

All of the area's weather forecasters said and the National Weather Service's radar indicated that rain and thunderstorms would crisscross northeastern Kansas until the early afternoon hours on Aug. 5. A few sprinkles did fall upon Lawrence, Kansas. But the predictions, which were keeping me at bay, never materialized. So, around 12:15 p.m., I decided to go fishing for an hour or two at one of our many state reservoirs.

The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 73 degrees and the high temperature was 82 degrees. Most of the time, it was overcast, but there were spells when it fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to partly cloudy.  The wind angled out of the north, northwest, west by northwest, north by northwest, and northeast at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.85 at 12:52 a.m., 29.92 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.96 at 2:52 p.m. As I drove to the reservoir, it sprinkled, and while I was afloat it sprinkled a touch.

The water level was a tad above normal. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water clarity exhibited nearly five feet of visibility.  Many of the shorelines and points are adorned with patches of American pondweed.  There are also many patches of bushy pondweed, which are not as thick and massive as they were in May and June.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 12:47 a.m. to 2:47 a.m., 1:10 p.m. to 3:10 p.m., and 6:58 a.m. to 8:58 a.m. I fished from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

I fished two main-lake points. I fished about 40 percent of the dam and portions of the shorelines adjacent to the dam. I fished two shorelines that are adjacent to one of the main-lake points.

I fished 105 minutes and caught 16 largemouth bass and inadvertently caught nine green sunfish.

The aim of this outing was to work with Z-Man's Saw Tail WormZ and Z-Man's new T.R.D. TubeZ, and compare them to some of our standard Midwest finesse baits.

The Saw Tail WormZ is a six-inch curly-tail worm. It has never been part of our Midwest finesse repertoire. One reason why we have not used it is that it is too long. What's more, it stretches from six inches to 7 1/2 inches when its curly tail is fully extended. On this outing, we removed two inches from its head, and we affixed it onto a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Even though we removed two inches from its head, it is nearly six inches long when it is stretched out. On future outings, we will shorten it some more.

I worked with the Z-Man's The Deal T.R.D. TubeZ and the PB&J T.R.D. TubeZ.  They were affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

I compared them to a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Big T.R.D., a shortened four-inch Strike King Lure Company's green-pumpkin-red Super Finesse WormZ, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain-MinnowZ. The BIG T.R.D. is a new bait, but it is similar to Z-Man's ZinkerZ, which has been the Midwest finesse standard-bearer for a decade. These baits were affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

In northeastern Kansas, it can be a difficult task to measure the effectiveness of a tube. That is because tubes go through spells when they are extremely effective, and then they have spells when they are extremely ineffective. And on Aug. 5, we might have been in one of those major ineffective spells, because The Deal rendition inveigled only two largemouth bass, and the PB&J one failed to engender a strike.

Even though the Saw Tail WormZ was a tad too long for our Midwest finesse tastes, it caught one largemouth bass on my first cast of the outing, and it caught four more as this short outing unfolded.

Four largemouth bass were caught along a short section of a main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to a main-lake point.  Two of these largemouth bass were abiding around patches of American pondweed. The other two were associated with patches of bushy pondweed.  They were abiding in three to four feet of water. Three of them were caught on the Saw Tail WormZ, and one of them engulfed it on the initial drop, and two of them were caught while I was employing what we call the straight-swim presentation.  One largemouth bass was caught on the three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Big T.R.D. affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig while I was employing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

Two largemouth bass were caught around scattered patches of bushy pondweed that graces one of the main-lake points.  One was caught on the Z-Man's The Deal T.R.D. TubeZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the other one was caught on the Big T.R.D. rig. These largemouth bass were extracted out of four to five feet of water while I was employing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

I caught two largemouth bass along another main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to a main-lake point.  They were in three to five feet of water and associated with patches on American pondweed mixed with some bushy pondweed. One was caught on the Saw Tail WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. The other one was caught on the initial drop of Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce jig. The other baits garnered some strikes but no hook ups.

The second main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig in a significant gap between two patches of American pondweeds, and portions of this gap are adorned with bushy pondweed. This largemouth bass was extracted out of about five feet of water. I was employing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve when I caught that largemouth bass.

Along the segments of the dam that I fished, I caught four largemouth bass. One was caught on the shortened four-inch Strike King Lure Company's green-pumpkin-red Super Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and this largemouth bass engulfed it on the initial drop in about four feet of water. The Z-Man's The Deal T.R.D. caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop in about three feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Big T.R.D. rig as I was dragging it in five to six feet on water. The primary underwater terrain of the dam is riprap, and in places it is embellished with an occasional laydown, some patches of submergent aquatic vegetation, and two small patches of American water willows.

The last locale that I fished was along a shoreline that is adjacent to the dam. It is embellished with patches of American pondweed, bushy pondweed, a big overturned root wad, shallow patches of American water willows, and the remnants of a boat dock.  I caught one largemouth bass on the Saw Tail WormZ rig as I employed it with a straight-swim retrieve in a patch of American pondweed in three to four feet of water. I caught one largemouth bass in about a foot of water on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig along the outside edge of an American water willow patch. The Rain MinnowZ caught another largemouth bass on the initial drop along the remnants of the boat dock, and this portion of the dock was covered with about five feet of water.

In short, I did not learn much about the effectiveness of the Saw Tail WormZ, and I learned nothing about the T.R.D. TubeZ. But from my perspective, The Deal does not look to be a hue that is an effective one in the flatland reservoirs that I fish in northeastern Kansas, and in retrospect, I should have tested the green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ. The PB&J hue, however, has been an extremely effective hue in northeastern Kansas waters for many years. (Please see the article about the effectiveness of a PB&J ZinkerZ at this link: http://felixfishing.com/2011/01/18/the-magic-of-the-zinkerz-by-ned-kehde/.)

As 2016 unfolds, we will work with both of these baits -- especially at some of our smallmouth bass venues. (Here is a link to one of Matt Straw's classic In-Fisherman articles about using curly-tailed worms on a jig for smallmouth bass: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/smallmouth-bass/the-smallmouth-worm-is-a-different-animal/. We are hoping to replicate some of the curly-tailed-worm applications that Straw of Brainerd, Minnesota, writes about.)   One of these days, we suspect The T.R.D. TubeZ will allure untold numbers of black bass hereabouts, but it is unlikely that it will be as effective as what Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, is enjoying with it at the Lake of the Woods this summer. (For more information about the T.R.D. TubeZ see these two links: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-trd-tubez/ and http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-t-r-d-tubez-according-to-drew-reese/.)

Aug. 5 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 5 outing.

Here is an edited adaption of his log:

On July 28, I joined Rick Allen of Dallas and Mark Acridge of Watauga, Texas, and fished what has become our most bountiful U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in north-central Texas. It was an exceptional day of bass fishing, and we were delighted to catch 110 black bass during that 4 1/2-hour outing.

On Aug. 5, Rick Allen, John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I returned to that same Corps' reservoir in hopes of catching at least 100 black bass, and we weren't disappointed.

During the morning, the sky was overcast, and it became partly cloudy at about 10:25 a.m. The low temperature for Aug. 5 was 85 degrees. The sun was blazing hot by mid-afternoon, and the afternoon temperature peaked at 102 degrees. A light wind quartered out of the southwest at 5 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.95 at 8:09 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar listed the best fishing periods occurring from 12:54 a.m. to 2:54 a.m., 7:06 a.m. to 9:06 a.m., and 1:17 p.m. to 3:17 p.m. We fished from 8:30 a.m. to 11:54 a.m.

The water was stained and exhibited about two feet of visibility. The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 86 degrees.

As we have done on our recent outings at this reservoir, we concentrated our efforts in the lower section of the reservoir's east tributary arm, which is where we have found the black bass fishing to be extremely fruitful.

We fished one side of a rock jetty, three main-lake points, the three main-lake flats adjacent to those three points, and a small portion of the dam.

We commenced our outing in the southeast end of the reservoir, where we plied one side of a rock jetty. We shared this jetty with a dozen shore-bound crappie anglers. We caught one spotted bass associated with the south side of the jetty, and it was abiding in six feet of water. It was enticed by a shortened four-inch Z-Man's pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig elicited one strike as it was presented with a moderate-paced swimming action.

From the jetty, we moved to a nearby clay and gravel main-lake point and an adjacent clay and gravel flat. The point and flat are relatively shallow and littered with fist-size rocks, as well as with the remnants of a few small patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation situated in two to three feet of water. We searched for large concentrations of threadfin shad, which has become a key element to locating significant numbers of largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this reservoir, but we did not find any shad inhabiting this area. We caught only one largemouth bass in four feet of water at the point, and we failed to find any bass associated with the adjacent flat. This largemouth engulfed the pearl Slim SwimZ rig as it was swimming steadily just below the surface of the water.

After this perplexing start, we made a short run to the dam, which forms the south boundary of this reservoir. We fished a submerged rocky point that extends out from the middle of the dam, and it is enhanced with two concrete columns that support a short concrete walkway that leads to a large concrete water outlet. We were heartened to see small pods of threadfin shad milling about on top of the submerged point between the two concrete columns. This spot yielded a combination of 26 largemouth bass and spotted bass. Most of them were caught in five to 11 feet of water along the top of the submerged point. A few others were caught about five to eight feet below the surface in 17 to 21 feet of water next to the sides of the concrete water outlet. Several other black bass were caught off the submerged riprap on the dam. Most of these bass were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rigs and a steady swimming retrieve. Some of the black bass engulfed a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ attached to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig on either the initial drop or during a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A few others were caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's Blue Glimmer Sparkle GrubZ on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and steady swimming technique. The shortened four-inch pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig allured one large bluegill.

We finished our outing at a massive main-lake area where the east and west tributary arms join together in the south end of the reservoir.

This area is about 600 yards long, and consists of several main-lake points and main-lake flats. We focused on three main-lake points and two large flats adjacent to those points.

One point is larger than the other points, and a rock ledge parallels the west side of this point and drops off into 27 feet of water.

This area is also garnished with thick walls of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation, rocks, a couple of submerged laydowns, and two submerged concrete building foundations. This area was teeming with large schools of threadfin shad, and we observed a few small schools of black bass foraging on the shad along the outside edges of the flooded vegetation.

This area paid the most dividends during our July 28 outing when it surrendered 89 largemouth bass and one spotted bass. And this area was our most fruitful spot during our Aug. 5 outing as well, when it yielded 69 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and two freshwater drum.

We shared this area with a boat containing two power anglers, and they were wielding topwater baits along the rock ledge on the west side of the largest point. We saw them catch a few largemouth bass before they left, then we had this entire area to ourselves.

Forty-seven largemouth bass were caught along one of the smaller points and flats in less than eight feet of water. They were all beguiled by the pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a moderately-fast paced swimming retrieve.

Twenty-two largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and two freshwater drum were caught off the west side of the largest point. Most of these black bass were caught next to the outside edges of the partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. They were caught on the steady swimming motion of the pearl Slim SwimZ rig. Others were caught from the rock ledge in eight to 12 feet of water, and they were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a hop-and-bounce presentation down the side of the ledge.

The largest flat yielded only one largemouth bass and two spotted bass. They were caught on the Slim SwimZ as it was quickly and steadily retrieved just underneath the surface.

Overall, it was another marvelous day of fishing. Rick reminded me that we have relished three 100-plus fish outings since July 28.  On this outing, we caught and released 102 black bass and we accidentally caught two freshwater drum, one catfish, and one large bluegill in three hours and 24 minutes. It took three of us  4 1/2 hours to catch 110 black bass at this reservoir on July 28, and that set a new Midwest finesse numbers record for this reservoir.

Once again, a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to either a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig or a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's ShroomZ jig and a steady do-nothing swimming retrieve just below the surface of the water proved to be our most effective lure and presentation. This combo allured 85 of the 102 black bass. Our second best rig was a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and it garnered 12 black bass. The 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's Blue Glimmer Sparkle GrubZ caught four bass, and the shortened four-inch Z-Man's pumpkin Finesse WormZ and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught one spotted bass.

We continue to experiment with different colors and sizes of Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits, such as the Finesse ShadZs, 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZs, Finesse WormZs, Scented LeechZs, modified FattyZs, 3 1/2-inch GrubZs, and Split-Tail TrailerZs. We even tried different colors of the Slim SwimZs, but we have yet to discover a lure that comes close to the effectiveness of the pearl Slim SwimZ and chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig combo.

Aug. 6 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 6 outing.

Here is an edited and condensed version of his report:

This was one of those days that truly test a river angler's resolve.

On Aug. 5, my fishing was put on hold as the weather forecasters were predicting that strong afternoon thunderstorms would wallop our neck of the woods. The threat was enough to keep even me off the water. And around 2:00 p.m., a torrential downpour erupted, and it lasted for an hour.

Before this storm hit, the river was flowing at 131 cubic feet per second, and there was eight feet of visibility.

My wife and I were planning to join our part-time neighbor and his friend on an eleven-river- mile float on Aug. 6.  This float would take us four zip codes away from our home, and we would be exploring some waters that I rarely fish.

The morning of Aug. 6 began with the four of us traveling with our canoes and kayaks in tow. When we arrived at the launching spot, the river was out of sorts, and our plan to float 11 miles was ruined.

Not wanting to label the day a complete wash, I suggested that we travel as fast and far downriver as we could in order to get ahead of the high and murky water.

We finally were afloat at 11:13 a.m. The air temperature was in the mid-80s, and it was muggy and gloomy.

Because we were under an extreme time crunch to catch fish before the high and stained water reached us, we did not have time to experiment or fiddle around with a variety of presentations and locations.

My wife and I began probing every shoreline obstruction that was on the strong side of the river. The objects that we were plying were lying in six feet of water. We allowed our baits to drop three feet below the surface, where we would shake them and then let them glide. After that glide, we executed another cast and repeated the shake-and-glide presentation.

I caught 19 smallmouth bass, five rock bass, and three green sunfish on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Dirt ZinkerZ rigged on an orange-and-brown 1/32-ounce Gopher jig.

My wife caught three largemouth bass, two rock bass, and seven green sunfish on a 3 1/4-inch Z-Man's Dirt Finesse WormZ affixed on a blood-red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig.

When we were one hour and 40 minutes into the outing, we got pounded with rain, and five minutes later a lightning bolt erupted nearby, and then another one. What's more, the water's visibility had diminished to eight inches and the river's flow had increased.

The lightning provoked all of us to paddle heavily upstream to our vehicles. Upon arriving at the launch site, we quickly saw how much the river had risen in two hours. The water was six inches deep around my truck's tires. When we parked it, it was 10 feet from the water's edge.

When we started the outing, we had what I described as very fishable conditions.  The river was flowing at 131 cubic feet per second, and the water was very clear water.  By 12:55 p.m. the river was flowing at 280 cubic feet per second and still rising.

In short, it was a far cry from the outing that we had hoped to enjoy.

Aug. 8 log

Northeastern Kansas is the domain of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's ZinkerZ.  It has been that way since Oct. 12, 1996.

On Aug. 8, I ventured to a suburban community reservoir in hopes of catching an array of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass on Z-Man's T.R.D. TubeZ and a radically shortened Z-Man's Saw Tail WormZ. But a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig dominated this outing.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 71 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 4:53 p.m.   Most of the time, the sky was overcast, but there were periods when it was mostly cloudy, partly cloudy, and sunny. The wind angled out of the east by northeast, east, northeast, and southeast at 3 to 9 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:53 a.m., 29.94 at 5:53 a.m., 29.94 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.93 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The surface temperature was 82 to 83 degrees.  There is a slight algal bloom. The water clarity ranged from 3 1/2 to about five feet of visibility. This reservoir is graced with the finest patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas. It is also endowed with untold numbers of patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, as well as a few skimpy patches of American pondweed. Since June 7, the patches of American pondweed have virtually disappeared, and a goodly number of the patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil are exhibiting the midsummer-wilt syndrome.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 3:31 a.m. to 5:31 a.m., 3:53 p.m. to 5:53 p.m., and 9:42 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. I fished for three hours and 52 minutes. I made my first cast at 10:33 a.m. My last cast was made at 2:15 p.m.

I caught a largemouth bass on my first cast. It was caught at a relatively flat main-lake point that is rimmed with American water willows, patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, and three meager patches of American pondweed. This largemouth bass was caught in about three feet of water on a radically shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Saw Tail WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and it engulfed it on the initial drop. That was the only largemouth bass that I caught on the Saw Tail WormZ.

I failed to elicit a strike on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to an orange 1/16-ounce Gopher jig,  a Z-Man's PB&J T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig,  a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's watermelon-red Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Jig.

But I did catch five largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. I caught seven smallmouth bass and 32 largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

I fished about 25 percent of the dam, five main-lake points, portions of three main-lake shorelines, two offshore submerged rock fences, and portions of two shorelines inside two feeder-creek arms.

The dam, which is graced with a riprap terrain and many patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil failed to yield a black bass.

Only one of the main-lake points rendered a black bass, and that was the largemouth bass that I caught on my first cast of the outing.

One shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm failed to garner a strike. Along another shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm, I caught one smallmouth bass on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. It was caught along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows and a scanty patch of bushy pondweed in about five feet of water as I was employing a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve.

Along one main-lake shoreline, I caught two smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. One of the smallmouth bass was extracted out of four to five feet of water from under an overhanging elm tree, and it engulfed the Rain MinnowZ rig as I was using a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve. The other smallmouth bass and the three largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges of patches of American water willows, which are embellished with patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil. They were abiding in four to six feet of water. They were caught as I presented the Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I caught two smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass along another main-lake shoreline. One of the smallmouth bass and one of the largemouth bass were caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig. The Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig caught one smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass. These six black bass were extracted from four to six feet of water.  They were abiding by patches American water willows, bushy pondweed, and Eurasian milfoil. I caught them while I was executing a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve.  Three of the successful presentations were made parallel to the patches of American water willows, bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil. The other three were perpendicular presentations.

I caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig along a short segment of another main-lake shoreline. Both of these black bass were caught along the outside edge of patches of American water willows in about five feet of water. They were caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig.

The green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig caught five smallmouth bass and 28 largemouth bass in three to seven feet of water along the two submerged rock fences. These 33 black bass either engulfed the ZinkerZ rig on the initial drop or as I was retrieving it with the swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation. Most of the presentations were perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the submerged fences. As I dissected these two submerged fences, I tried in vain to catch a black bass on the T.R.D. TubeZ rigs, Saw Tail WormZ rig, Hula StickZ rig, Finesse WormZ rig, and Finesse ShadZ rig. For example, after I caught a black bass on the ZinkerZ rig, I would make several presentations with one of the other rigs, and I always failed to elicit a strike. And after those failures, I would make a cast with the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ, and almost invariably I would elicit a strike or tangle with a black bass with that ZinkerZ rig.

In addition to tangling with 48 black bass, I inadvertently tangled with one flathead catfish, one crappie, two bluegill, two freshwater drum, and five green sunfish.

Aug. 9 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, and I went smallmouth bass fishing on Aug. 9 at one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs that graces northeastern Kansas' countryside.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 73 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 93 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, east by southeast, south by southeast, and south at 4 to 12 mph; one gust hit 17 mph at 2:53 p.m.  The sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy, clear, and partly cloudy, and while we were afloat, the sun was shining everywhere. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:53 a.m., 29.90 at 5:53 a.m., 29.92 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.90 at 2:53 p.m.

The surface temperature fluctuated from 84 to 85 degrees. The water clarity exhibited 12 inches in some locales and about three feet at other locales. Some areas looked as if they were being affected by algal blooms. The Corps of Engineers reported that the water level was a third of a foot above normal.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 4:04 a.m. to 6:04 a.m., 4:25 p.m. to 6:25 p.m., and 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. We fished from 10:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.

We fished two locales: a main-lake point and the dam.

The point is massive. It is bordered on one side by the submerged primary river channel. It is adorned with several rocky ledges and scores of rock piles and reefs. We failed to catch a smallmouth bass at this point, and we elicited only two strikes. In retrospect, we were fishing too deep; we should have focused on rocks lying in one to three feet of water and near the water's edge.

The dam is massive, too. Its underwater and above-the-water terrains consist of riprap and gravel. Our boat floated in four to seven feet of water. We fished it extremely slowly and about every yard of it. Many yards of it were littered with incredible numbers of smallmouth bass, and by the time we had executed our last cast, we had caught 111 smallmouth bass. We also elicited an untold number of strikes. In fact, during some of our retrieves, we garnered as many as four strikes. One time a smallmouth bass jumped and jettisoned a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and as that jettisoned jig hit the water another smallmouth bass engulfed it, and during that donnybrook with that hooked smallmouth bass, we noticed that there were three smallmouth bass accompanying the hooked one. Throughout our outing, we would often see a hooked smallmouth bass being accompanied by one and as many as four smallmouth bass. And at times, the followers looked as if they were trying to take the 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ out of the hooked smallmouth bass' mouth.

During several of the donnybrooks, some of the smallmouth bass regurgitated small crayfish, tiny bluegill, and small gizzard shad.

We caught three of the smallmouth bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's watermelon Finesse WormZ on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The rest of them were caught on four 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's ZinkerZ rigs: a green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to an orange 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to an orange 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a green-pumpkin-orange ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We tried and tried to catch the smallmouth bass on several colors of Z-Man's T.R.D. TubeZs, several colors of Z-Man's Hula StickZs, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ, and Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ.  These baits were rigged on either a chartreuse 1/32-ounce or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. But all of them failed to engender a strike.

Seven of the smallmouth bass were caught as we employed a strolling presentation.  We caught several smallmouth bass when we employed a deadstick presentation while we were strolling and employing our swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve. A good many of the smallmouth bass engulfed our ZinkerZ rigs as they hit the water or during the initial drop.  If we did not catch them on the initial drop, we caught them by employing a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation.

Most of our casts were made so that the ZinkerZ rig would fall within a few inches of the water's edge. And before the initial drop plummeted six inches, we began our swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve.

The bulk of the smallmouth bass were caught in one to three feet of water. A few — especially the ones we caught by strolling — were caught in four to six feet of water. Most of them were caught from one to seven feet from the water's edge.

We did not keep track of the smallmouth bass that liberated themselves from our ZinkerZ rigs, but there were scores of them. We inadvertently caught one green-sunfish.

This was only the second time in 2016 that we have caught more than our coveted goal of 101 black bass in four hours. Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I accomplished that feat on April 14, when we caught 110 largemouth bass at a state reservoir in one of northeastern Kansas' exurban regions. One-hundred-and-eleven smallmouth bass are the most smallmouth bass that Dave Petro and I have ever caught in four hours. In short, it was a milestone outing of sorts. And this outing proved once again that the 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ is the dominant Midwest finesse bait in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas.

Aug. 10 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 10 outing for riverine smallmouth bass.

Here is an edited version of his report:

Upon driving home from work last evening, I made my regular stop on a local bridge to see where the water levels were at. This vantage point also gave me a good idea as to what kind of water clarity I would be facing on Aug. 10.

I had some household duties to attend to for the greater portion of the morning. After I completed them, I made a 25-mile round trip to the local post office to pick up a vintage Billy Westmorland spinning rod, which I was eager to use on this outing.

When I returned home, I grabbed my usual river essentials: A couple of bags of Z-Man's baits, a small bag of jigs, a couple of rods -- including the new one, my trusty polarized sunglasses, and a camelback full of water.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the river was flowing at 148 cubic feet per second, which is down from 175 cubic feet per second on the evening of Aug. 9.  The water temperature was 76 degrees.

The sun was blazing. Area thermometers climbed into the low 90s. The humidity was very low.

I was under some time constraints because the weather forecasters were warning us about late afternoon showers and thunderstorms.  And as I type this report at 5:16 p.m., those thunderstorms threaten to unfold.

This outing consisted of a mile-and-a-half wade up stream, and then a leisurely walk back down river to the truck.

I wanted to get a feel for my new rod. I wanted some more time on the water with Z-Man's T.R.D. TubeZ. I  did not want to tangle with the threats of lightning. For me, a river mile or so from the truck is a quick jaunt.

I had two baits rigged: a 2 1/4-inch Z-Man's Dirt ZinkerZ affixed to a brown-and-orange 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ on a green-pumpkin-orange 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and I shaved some of the lead from the back of its head. Both rigs were liberally covered with my customized Pro-Cure Super Gel, and all of the hooks had the barbs removed.

For the most part, I fan casted large areas on a flat in a grid-like pattern. The strong-current-side that courses along the far shoreline has three feet of water flowing over it.

The water was still stained from the major thunderstorms that walloped us on Aug. 5 and caused the river to flow at 600 cubic feet per second. In my eyes, stained water exhibits three feet of visibility. When these flats are this stained, the smallmouth bass will spread out on the flats.

I fished two hours and 43 minutes.

I caught 23 smallmouth bass on the ZinkerZ rig. About 75 percent of them were caught while I was employing a straight and steady do-nothing retrieve in three feet of water. I caught 25 percent of them on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ.

I caught 18 smallmouth bass on the T.R.D. TubeZ rig, which I presented by allowing it to lie motionless on the bottom and letting the current move the tentacles. After I deadsticked it for a short spell after the initial drop, I gave it a shake, and then deadsticked it again. And I repeated that deadstick-and-shake presentation several times before I made another cast.  The smallmouth bass were caught right after I executed the shake and at the beginning of the deadstick routine. The T.R.D. TubeZ stands up superbly, and the tentacles never quit undulating. I got a real good feel for it on this outing.

Aug. 10 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I made a 1 1/2-hour drive to join In-Fisherman field editor and fisheries biologist Ralph Manns of Rockwall, Texas, at a large U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir that lies along the east side of the Dallas metropolitan area.

The water was stained with about two feet of visibility. The water temperature was 91 degrees. The water level was about 1 1/2 feet below normal pool.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the optimum fishing phases would most likely occur from 5:36 a.m. to 7:36 a.m., 11:25 a.m. to 1:25 p.m., and 5:59 p.m. to 7:59 p.m. We fished from 2:30 p.m. to dusk, which occurred at 8:25 p.m.

We fished beneath a bright and scorching sun. The sky was cloudless and exhibiting a powder-blue hue. Local meteorologists reported the morning low temperature at 81 degrees and the afternoon high temperature climbed to 102 degrees with a heat index of 106 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south by southeast at 8 to 14 mph, and some gusts reached 22 mph.  The barometric pressure measured 29.95.

Ralph is a big-bass aficionado. Thus, he is constantly in search of largemouth bass that weigh more than five-pounds. On this outing, he used four baitcasting outfits. Three of them sported  Rapala's DT-6 and DT-10 crankbaits. The other rod sported either a five-inch Zoom Bait Company's Kudzu-chartreuse finesse worm or a five-inch Zoom's Red Bug finesse worm. Both of these finesse worms were Texas-rigged on a 2/0 extra-wide-gap worm hook and a 1/8-ounce slip sinker, and it is one of Ralph's go-to rigs when his favorite power-fishing tactics are not producing.

While Ralph employed power tactics, I wielded two of my usual spinning outfits, which sported several kinds of Z-Man Fishing Products' Midwest finesse baits rigged on Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jigs.

We spent our entire time inside a large marina located on the east side of the reservoir. This marina is endowed with scores of covered boat docks, several clay and gravel shorelines, several clay and rock ledges, a few large rock piles, a couple of large mud flats, a submerged hump situated next to a ditch, and several large jetties covered with riprap and enhanced with a few wood support pilings.

We caught only one catfish in three feet of water from a couple of shallow rock ledges along the east side of the marina.

One largemouth bass was caught from one of the riprap jetties, and it was relating to the side of one of the wooden support pilings in six feet of water.

Six largemouth bass and one large bluegill were caught in six to eight feet of water from the deep-water side of a shallow rock pile that is covered with four feet of water. This rock pile lies on the west side of the marina near the main-lake entrance to the marina.

We failed to elicit any strikes from any of the covered boat docks or from either of the two large mud flats.

Forty-five largemouth bass were caught from a submerged hump near the center of the marina. The shallowest portion of this hump is graced with fist-size rocks and is covered with about three feet of water. The edges of the hump drop off into about 10 feet of water, and along the southwest portion of the hump, there is a ditch that is covered with 15 feet of water. Bluegill were spawning on this hump, and we caught two large ones from the north end of the hump in about five feet of water.  The bulk of the largemouth bass were relating to the southwest end of the hump that is closest to the ditch, and they were abiding in six to eight feet of water. The others were caught among the fist-size rocks on top of the hump in less than five feet of water.  We probed the edges and bottom of the ditch next to the hump as well, but we failed to garner any strikes from those areas.

Overall, it was another outstanding outing. We caught 52 largemouth bass, which set a new Midwest finesse numbers record for us at this reservoir. We lost about a dozen others, including one large unknown specimen that we did not see. None were huge, which was a disappointment to Ralph. We also caught three large bluegills, one large specimen that Ralph identified as a buffalo (which is a different species compared to a freshwater drum and carp), and one catfish. All of these fish were caught in 10 feet of water or less, and most were extracted from three to eight feet of water.

For the past few weeks, I have been heralding the effectiveness of the Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, and a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig as our two most potent lures. But as this Aug. 10 outing unfolded, we saw very few threadfin shad, which drastically altered our selection of baits and presentations. The Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig caught just one largemouth bass, and the shortened three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig caught just one catfish. A shortened 3 1/4-inch California Craw Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught one largemouth bass. A variety of 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZs and Gopher jigs failed to generate any strikes. The most effective lure was a shortened four-inch Z-Man's EZ Money Finesse WormZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, which caught 25 largemouth bass and two large bluegills. A five-inch Texas-rigged Zoom's Kudzu-chartreuse finesse worm was the next best bait, and it caught 11 largemouth bass and one bluegill. A five-inch Texas-rigged Zoom's Red Bug finesse worm caught eight largemouth bass. I used a shortened Z-Man's black neon Finesse WormZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig just before dusk, and it caught four largemouth bass. A Rapala DT-6 crankbait caught one largemouth bass, and a Rapala DT-10 crankbait caught one largemouth bass.

As for retrieves, a slow drag-and-deadstick presentation was by far the most effective retrieve,  and it caught 43 of the 52 largemouth basss. We caught three bass while we were slowly strolling the Z-Man's EZ Money Finesse WormZ rig behind the boat as it was drifting with the wind. A slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured three largemouth bass. A moderately-fast steady swimming presentation, which has been very effective over the past several weeks, only enticed one bass during this outing. Ralph retrieved his crankbaits with a fast stop-and-go-retreive, and he tried to bounce the lure off the bottom or submerged objects during the retrieve. This technique enticed two largemouth bass.

Aug. 11 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 11 outing.

Here is an edited and condensed version of his report.

Upon waking at my usual 4:30 a.m., I got some household duties accomplished. I wanted to start fishing early. But upon first light, it was not very light at all. A very thick blanket of fog surrounded the woods at our home, and it was extremely intense on the river.

I waited for it to burn off, and I stepped into the river at 7:23 a.m. and made a beeline up river to a four- mile stretch that encompasses three runs that traditionally entertain significant numbers of smallmouth bass during the summer.

This river and the other nearby ones are not exhibiting the clarity that I am used to this time of year. This is the result of the massive rainstorm on Aug. 5 that muddied the water and raised the flow to more than 600 cubic feet per second.

The U.S. Geological Survey indicated that the flow on Aug. 11 had dropped to 134 cubic feet per second, and the water temperature was 81 degrees. The water exhibited three feet of visibility.

Once the fog burned off, the sun was blazing hot, sending area thermometers up to the low 90s, and it was humid. Even standing in the water offered little comfort. As a result, I drank over a gallon of water from my camelback.

When I caught the 70th  smallmouth bass at 12:15 p.m., I called it an outing.

For 4 1/2 hours, I used a three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a blood-red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. The barb was removed on the jig's hook. The Hula StickZ was coated with my customized Pro-Cure Super Gel every 30 minutes. It has been my experience that the Mud Minnow is an extremely effective hue when the water is stained.

Half of the 70 smallmouth bass engulfed the Hula StickZ on the initial drop.  The other half was caught while I employed a drag-and-incessant-shake presentation across the current.

A goodly number of the smallmouth bass that I hooked had followers. One smallmouth bass, which looked to be a 19-incher, liberated itself before I could put my thumb into his mouth.

Aug. 12 log

Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I ventured on Aug. 12 to one of the many state reservoirs that grace northeastern Kansas.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 69 degrees at 1:52 a.m. and 82 degrees at 2:52 p.m. From 12:52 a.m. to 2:52 p.m., the wind angled out of the west by southwest, southwest, east, north by northeast, east by northeast, west by northwest, southeast, north by northwest, south, and west at 3 to 19 mph, and occasionally it was calm. During some of the morning hours and at some locales around northeastern Kansas, it rained heavily, and at some locales it rained lightly. There were also some thunderstorms. After the rain and thunderstorms ended, the sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast to scattered with clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.85 at 12:52 a.m., 29.81 at 5:52 a.m., 29.83 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.85 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be nearly normal. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. Traditionally, this is one of the clearest reservoirs in northeastern Kansas. But this time around, it was affected by an algal bloom, which reduced the water clarity in the lower portions of the reservoir to about 18 inches, and in the upper regions of its two feeder-creek arms, the water clarity exhibited about 3 1/2 feet of visibility. Much of this reservoir's shorelines are lined with thick and massive patches of American water willows. There is enough water covering these patches of American water willows that could sequester scores of largemouth bass. These shorelines are also littered with laydowns and patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, such as tiny cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees. Some of its flats are also cluttered with tiny cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees. The sections of the flats in the back of its two primary feeder-creek arms are embellished with significant patches of coontail and bushy pondweed, and all of these patches were experiencing what we call the summertime and algal-bloom doldrums and wilt, and some of them looked as if they were nearly dead.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 6:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., 6:39 p.m. to 8:39 p.m., and 12:03 a.m. to 2:03 a.m. We fished from 10: 32 a.m. to 2: 32 p.m.

We fished one man-made rock reef, five points, portions of six shorelines, and a potpourri of offshore bushy pondweed and coontail patches that are scattered across the flats in the back ends of this reservoir's two primary feeder-creek arms. Some of these patches of coontail and bushy pondweed are larger than a football field, and some are the size of a tennis court.  We also fished a bushy-pondweed flat, which is cluttered with some flooded tiny cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees, inside a secondary feeder-creek arm, and we fished portions of the shoreline inside that secondary feeder-creek arm. We fished patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and American water willows, as well as some flooded tiny cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees, inside a tertiary feeder-creek arm.

We caught two largemouth bass on the rock reef with a four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake presentation. The other was caught on a deadstick presentation. These largemouth bass were extracted out of six to seven feet of water.

A shoreline adjacent to the reef yielded one largemouth bass. It was abiding in about three feet of water around a pile of rocks.  It was caught on a 3 1/4-inch Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

In the tertiary feeder-creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass on the four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on a  swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve around a patch of bushy pondweed and adjacent to some flooded sycamore trees in about four feet of water. The other one was caught on a strolling presentation adjacent to a patch of American water willows in about six feet of water.

At one of the points at the mouth of the tertiary feeder-creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in four to five feet of water. They were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation with the Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ rig.

We caught six largemouth bass inside the secondary feeder-creek arm. These largemouth bass were caught in three to four feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, some laydowns, and flooded sycamore trees. Three were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig and three were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. These rigs were retrieved with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake presentation.

We failed to catch a largemouth bass at four of the five points we fished and along three of the six shorelines we fished.  We dissected more than 100 yards of one of those shorelines, which is embellished with vast patches of American water willows, some patches of bushy pondweed and coontail, a few laydowns, and several man-made rock reefs and brushpiles, and we did not elicit a strike.

On the massive patches of coontail and bushy pondweed and around some of the scattered patches of flooded cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees in the back end of one of the primary feeder-creek arms, we caught 25 largemouth bass. One was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve. Three were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve. Four largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve.   Five largemouth bass were caught on a four-inch green-pumpkin grub affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig with a straight-swim retrieve. Eleven largemouth bass were caught on a four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve.

One of the 61 largemouth bass that we caught. This one was one of the five that we caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We caught 23 largemouth bass on the massive patches of coontail and bushy pondweed and around the scattered patches of flooded cottonwood, sycamore, and willow trees in the back end of the other primary feeder-creek arm. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's watermelon-red Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a slow straight-swim presentation. One largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve. We caught 14 largemouth bass on the four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve.

In sum, we caught 61 largemouth bass in four hours. We inadvertently caught two bluegill, and we garnered scores of strikes that we failed to hook. The Junebug hue was the most effective color. And as Rick and I reflected on this outing, we could not remember an outing at this reservoir, which is ordinarily very clear, when a Junebug hue was the dominate color. We caught the largemouth bass on a variety of baits and several different kinds of retrieves. But our Junebug Finesse WormZ rig was the most productive bait. The swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.

Aug. 10 log

Clyde Holscher is a multispecies guide from Topeka, Kansas, and longtime Midwest finesse devotee, and he filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 10 outing with two clients.

Here an edited and condensed version of his report:

I met Justin and Jess Parr of Lenexa, Kansas, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in northeastern Kansas at 6:30 a.m.

This was their first outing with me. A few weeks ago, they requested some information about Midwest finesse rigs, which I gladly supplied to them.

Justin had booked this trip during the recent Kansas summer heat. Before this outing, we talked about the hot weather, and I suggested that they opt for a mid- to late-September trip. But he wanted to test the worth of the Midwest finesse tactics and rigs, as well as a vast array of Z-Man's ElaZtech baits, during the dog days of summer when most folks would prefer to stay home.

Justin and Jess were a delight to have in the boat. They wielded newly purchased 6 1/2-foot, medium-light-action spinning rods. Their reels were spooled with 10-pound-test braided line with a fluorocarbon leader.

When we began our search, Jess employed a small Live-Target chugging-style topwater bait. Justin used a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse T.R.D. on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Their first casts were made in a small cove on the south side of the reservoir, which is littered with large boulders that lie in two to six feet of water. The nearly flat conditions were ideal for the topwater bait in my eyes. But after a dozen or so casts and Justin boating two smallmouth bass and battling one that jumped off, it was clear we needed to put the topwater bait down and to have Jess work with a Z-Man's Coppertreuse Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

From the small cove, we moved to the end of a submerged roadbed on the south side of the reservoir that lies in three to nine feet of water, where they caught five smallmouth bass.

After plying that roadbed, we focused on main-lake rock piles and humps, which to my surprise were fruitless.

From the rock piles and humps, we ventured up the reservoir and fished a variety of shoreline areas along the south side of the reservoir. The water clarity along these shorelines was stained with an algal bloom.

The only surface activity that we saw along these shorelines was a few bluegill and some minnows, which were probably brook silversides. Justin and Jess did manage to boat a few small smallmouth bass from these areas, but nothing that we could call a pattern.

From the south-side shoreline, we crossed over to the north side of the reservoir and ventured into a secondary feeder-creek arm, where we dissected some shorelines about halfway inside some coves. Along a transitional shoreline that was near a submerged ditch or tertiary creek channel, they boated a few smallmouth bass, which regurgitated two- to three-inch crayfish that were virtually the same color as Justin's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse T.R.D.

From the secondary feeder-creek arm, we fished a variety of flat points and what I call sloping breaks or slight drop-offs along the north side of the reservoir.  The water clarity in this area improved significantly. The Parrs caught numerous smallmouth bass on their Midwest finesse rigs.

We finished the outing along the riprap of the dam. As they fished the dam, they talked about the different kinds of topography that they had fished and how the smallmouth bass in those different areas reacted to different Midwest finesse presentations. They also noticed how the wind seemed to affect the depth that the smallmouth bass inhabited.

As we loaded the boat onto the trailer at 2:15 p.m., my truck's thermometer noted that it was 94 degrees, and Justin remarked that "it wasn't hot until we got to the parking lot."

In sum, they caught more than 70 smallmouth bass, as well as two freshwater drum and one bluegill. They said their catch far exceeded their expectations, and they are looking forward to getting afloat in their boat in the months to come.

The Corps of Engineers reported that the water level was slightly more than a third of a foot above normal. Twenty cubic feet per second of water was being released from the dam. The surface temperature was 85 degrees.

The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 72 degrees and the high temperature was 94 degrees. The wind angled out of the south, southeast, and south by southeast at  5 to 15 mph. It was sunny. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.93 at 2:53 p.m.

Aug. 12 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the finesse News Network about his Aug. 12 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

North-central Texans have endured an August heat wave for eight days. During this spell, the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan areas have seen daytime temperatures topping 100-degrees with heat indexes as high as 110 degrees. Most anglers are getting on the water as early as they can and getting off the water by noon, if not sooner, and I am one of them.

On Aug. 12, local meteorologists reported the morning low temperature was 86 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 104 degrees with a heat index of 110 degrees.  The wind quartered out of the south, southeast, and southwest at 8 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.49 at 7:30 a.m. and 29.46 at 10:30 a.m. Thunderstorms are forecasted for Aug. 13 and 14.

From 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., I fished a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir, where John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I caught 47 black bass in two hours on Aug. 2.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the most promising fishing periods for Aug. 12 would most likely occur from 12:10 a.m. to 2:10 a.m., 6:22 a.m. to 8:22 a.m., and 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

The water level was half of a foot below normal. The water was stained with about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 86 degrees at the boat ramp to 87 degrees at the dam.

I began the outing at a main-lake point that is located on the southeast end of the reservoir's southwest tributary arm. It is flat and shallow, and its terrain consists of clay, gravel, and an old dilapidated concrete boat ramp. A large sand and gravel flat borders its east side.

I saw very few threadfin shad inhabiting this point, and the few I did see were milling about around the old boat ramp. I did not see any shad on the north or east side of the point. I dissected the area around the old boat ramp where I saw the shad and did not waste my time fishing the north side or the east side of the point, which were devoid of shad.  The boat floated in three to 10 feet of water.

I caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were relating to the deep-water end of the concrete boat ramp in five feet of water. A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface enticed two largemouth bass. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig enticed the spotted bass.

From that main-lake point, I moved to a large mud flat on the south end of the reservoir. This mud flat is shallow and graced with an abundance of flooded bushes. I shared this large flat with anglers in two other boats. I concentrated my efforts along a 25-yard stretch of the flat where I saw a few small schools of one-inch shad roaming next to the deep-water side of the flooded bushes. I kept the boat in six to eight feet of water and targeted the deep-water side of the flooded bushes, and this small area surrendered five largemouth bass that were foraging on the shad in two to four feet of water. Four largemouth bass were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a moderately-fast swimming retrieve about six inches below the surface of the water. One largemouth bass was caught on the 2 1/2-inch The Deal ZinkerZ combo and a slow swim-glide-and- shake presentation.

After I finished fishing the flat, I made a short run to the dam. The dam forms the southern boundary of this reservoir and is covered with riprap. The boat was positioned in 10 to 15 feet of water. There were small schools of 1/2-inch threadfin shad everywhere. The west end of the dam relinquished 14 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and one freshwater drum. The east end of the dam yielded 20 largemouth bass. I did not have enough time to fish the mid-section of the dam.

These 37 black bass were caught in less than eight feet of water and were associated with the riprap along the face of the dam.

Fifteen of the 37 black bass were caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's Blue Glimmer Sparkle GrubZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. The Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig enticed 13 black bass and the freshwater drum. The 2 1/2-inch The Deal ZinkerZ rig allured nine bass.

All told, it was another outstanding outing. I caught 41 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and inadvertently caught one freshwater drum during this three-hour undertaking.

I spent most of the outing experimenting with the 3 1/2-inch Blue Glimmer Sparkle GrubZ and the 2 1/2-inch The Deal ZinkerZ rigs, and they accounted for 22 of the 45 black bass. I did not employ the Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ as much as I have been, but during the short time that I wielded it, the Slim SwimZ rig allured 19 black bass and the freshwater drum.

Aug. 13 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 13 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I fished at a heavily fished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that lies north of the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan area. I last fished this reservoir on Aug. 4 with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and we caught 30 black bass during that enjoyable three-hour foray.

In-fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the prime fishing periods would take place between 12:54 a.m. and 2:54 a.m., 7:06 a.m. and 9:06 a.m., and 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. I was afloat from noon to 4:00 p.m.

On Aug. 13, local meteorologists forecasted that several rounds of thunderstorms would erupt, but those storms failed to materialize. The sky conditions fluctuated from overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. A cool front passed through north-central Texas during the early morning hours, and it ended our eight-day heat wave. The morning low temperature was 72 degrees and the afternoon high reached 92 degrees. The wind angled out of the northeast at 12 to 16 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.57 at 11:34 a.m. and dropped slightly to 29.50 by 3:34 p.m.

The water temperature was 86 degrees. The water was stained and displayed 1 1/2-feet of visibility. The water level was normal.

I spent the afternoon fishing two-thirds of the riprap dam, nine rocky and fairly steep main-lake points, and two small rock and boulder-strewn main-lake shorelines that lie on the north side of the reservoir. All of these areas provided some relief from the annoying northerly wind.

I started this outing at the dam, which forms the east perimeter of the reservoir. The boat drifted with the wind in 10 to 17 feet of water. I did not see any schools of threadfin shad inhabiting any areas around the dam.

The dam was not very fruitful, and it yielded only one largemouth bass. This bass was caught in six feet of water and associated with the submerged riprap along the mid-section of the dam. It engulfed a 3 1/4-inch Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and this combo was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake retrieve.

The two small rock and boulder-strewn main-lake shorelines were also bereft of shad and were unproductive. One shoreline yielded only one white bass and the other shoreline surrendered one largemouth bass. Both of these fish were caught in less than five feet of water, and they were beguiled by a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. This Slim SwimZ rig was employed with a moderate-paced swimming retrieve. The boat was positioned in five to eight feet of water.

Two of the eight rocky main-lake points yielded five largemouth bass each. Another point relinquished four largemouth bass. A combination of twenty-three largemouth bass and spotted bass were caught from the fourth point, and two largemouth bass were caught at the other four points. All of these black bass were abiding in six to 12 feet of water. Thirty-three of these 39 black bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a slow swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake retrieve.  The other six were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig employed with a steady swimming action.

The four most fruitful main-lake points had attracted significant aggregations of threadfin shad. The four unproductive points were devoid of shad and attracted very few, if any, bass.

In sum, I caught 38 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and one white bass during this four-hour endeavor. An abundance of threadfin shad relating to rocky main-lake points was the dominate location pattern.

I wielded the three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig for most of the outing, and it inveigled 28 of the 41 black bass. I employed the pearl Slim SwimZ combo during a couple of short spells, and it allured 12 black bass. One bass was caught on the 3 1/4-inch Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ rig.

I employed several of the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves, and a slow swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.

Aug. 14 log

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 14 outing with Andrew Trembath of Kansas City, Missouri, at a power-plant reservoir in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

We got an early start, arriving around 6:30 a.m. At that time there were only two other trailers in the parking lot.

The wind was initially calm then it gradually picked up out of the northeast at 6 to 20 mph. The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature for the day was 69 degrees and the high temperature was 89 degrees. It fluctuated from being sunny and partly cloudy and mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure fluctuated from 30.00 to 30.06 to 29.98 to 30.01.

The surface temperatures along the dam and the east riprap were identical at 88 degrees. The water clarity was around 18 inches lake-wide. The water level appeared to be normal, and the patches of American water willows are as robust as I have ever seen them this time of year, but we did not catch anything around them.

We started the outing by doing a little power fishing with topwater presentations along a riprap shoreline along the east side of the reservoir and a patch of American water willows, and we failed to elicit a strike.

We fished until 2:00 p.m. In sum, the largemouth bass fishing was very spotty. We caught three keeper-size largemouth bass early in the outing, but past mid-morning we could only muster a few dinks. We eked out 28 fish, and only eight of them were largemouth bass. The rest were buffalo, channel catfish, freshwater drum, and white bass. We caught the largemouth bass on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ or a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ, which were affixed to either a red or a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  These rigs were retrieved extremely slowly along the bottom, and they were enhanced with a lot of subtle twitches.

Aug. 15 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network that described his Aug. 15 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, joined me for a four-hour excursion to our most fruitful U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

On July 28, Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, Mark Acridge of Watauga, Texas, and I relished a 4 1/2-hour endeavor when we caught and released a combination of 110 largemouth bass and spotted bass. Eight days later on Aug. 5, Rick Allen, John Thomas of Denton, and I returned to this same reservoir, and we were delighted to tangle with another 102 black bass in three hours and 24 minutes.

The morning of Aug. 15 was overcast and a light rain was falling throughout the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan areas. The morning low temperature was 76 degrees and the afternoon high was a pleasant 88 degrees. In fact, this was the coolest day in north-central Texas since June 13, when the afternoon high was 89 degrees and the morning low temperature was 71 degrees. By 10:00 a.m., the rain had stopped, and the sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy. The wind quartered out of the southeast at 12 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.97 at 11:00 a.m. and 29.94 at 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar listed the best fishing periods occurring from 2:24 a.m. to 4:24 a.m., 8:37 a.m. to 10:37 a.m., and 9:03 p.m. to 11:03 p.m. We fished from noon to 4:00 p.m.

The water level was normal, and the water temperature was 84 degrees. The water was stained and displayed about two feet of visibility.

We spent the entire four hours in the lower section of the east tributary arm of the reservoir.

We began our outing along a main-lake shoreline where the east and west tributary arms meld together. It is about three-hundred yards long, and consists of three main-lake flats and five main-lake points. We focused on four of the main-lake points and all three of the main-lake flats adjacent to those points. The boat floated in six to 12 feet of water. We shared this spot with another angler in a boat who was wielding a large crankbait and a topwater lure.

This entire area is enhanced with large rocks and boulders, a couple of submerged laydowns, two submerged concrete building foundations, and thick patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. On the largest flat and its adjacent rocky point, we observed small schools of black bass foraging on small threadfin shad along the outside edges of the flooded vegetation. We did not find any large aggregations of shad inhabiting the other two flats or the other three points.

We caught 32 largemouth bass and spotted bass from a 30-yard section of the largest flat, and eight largemouth bass off the end of an adjacent rocky point. One of the two other flats yielded three largemouth bass. The third flat yielded two largemouth bass. One of the other three points surrendered two largemouth bass. All of these 47 black bass were abiding in less than five feet of water, and the bulk of them were relating to the outside edges of the flooded terrestrial vegetation.

Norman Brown with one of the spotted bass that they caught on their Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigs.

Forty of the black bass were allured by a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on either a chartreuse or black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. Seven were attracted to a three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The Slim SwimZ rigs were retrieved at a steady and fairly quick pace just beneath the surface of the water. The Hula StickZ combo was presented with a a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Our second spot was a 50-yard stretch of a rocky main-lake shoreline and its adjacent rocky point. The shoreline is adorned with flooded terrestrial vegetation, baseball-size rocks, a few scattered stumps, and a submerged roadbed. Flooded bushes line both sides of the roadbed. The adjacent point is littered with rocks, thick patches of terrestrial vegetation, and a tall wooden pole. While we plied this area, the boat was positioned in five to 12 feet of water. We observed a small school of black bass foraging on small shad along the south side of the submerged roadbed in less than 10 feet of water.

Twelve largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught from the top and along the south side of the submerged roadbed. Two largemouth bass were caught along a 10-yard segment of the rocky shoreline just north of the submerged roadbed. We saw a few black bass foraging on shad next to the outside edges of the flooded terrestrial vegetation on the adjacent point just north of the main-lake shoreline, and we caught ten of those bass.

All of these 25 black bass were relating to either the submerged roadbed or the outside edges of the patches of flooded vegetation in three to five feet of water.

Eighteen bass were caught on the three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Seven were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was maneuvered around the flooded vegetation in a steady swimming manner.

Our last locale was a large main-lake flat graced with many yards of flooded terrestrial vegetation. We observed a few black bass foraging on shad along the surface of the water. This flat yielded 23 largemouth bass and spotted bass, and they were associated with the outside edges of the flooded terrestrial vegetation, which were surrounded by  four to five feet of water. Twenty of these black bass were enticed by the pearl Slim SwimZ rigs and steady swimming retrieve. The three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation tempted three largemouth bass. The boat was floating in five to 11 feet of water.

All totaled, we savored catching 95 largemouth bass and spotted bass in four hours. We inadvertently caught three freshwater drum. We failed to land eight bass and failed to hook numerous short strikes.

The Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to either a chartreuse or a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a steady do-nothing swimming retrieve continues to be our most productive lure and presentation. Furthermore, it was our most fruitful lure and presentation in August of 2015 as well.

During this outing, the Slim SwimZ rigs beguiled 68 black bass. The shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation garnered 27 black bass. We also wielded a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig for a few casts, but it failed to elicit any strikes.

Their Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig is at the top of this photograph. A threadfin shad is in the middle. The pearl Slim SwimZ is at the bottom.

After we had trailered the boat, we spoke to another angler, who said that he and three of his companions had caught 20 crappie and five catfish in 9 1/2 hours, and they were quite satisfied with their catch. As we were driving home, Norman commented that he was amazed that so many bass could be caught from shallow water during this time of the year. It was also the most black bass that Norman has ever caught during a single outing.

Aug. 9-17 log

Walt Tegtmeier of Leawood, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his trip to the Boundary Waters, which straddle the Canada-United States border between Ontario and Minnesota.

Here is a condensed version of his report:

It was an incredible week up in the North Country. We paddled out of Moose Lake, Minnesota, on the morning of August 9 and portaged into Quetico Provincial Park.

I brought three spinning combos, one of which was broken on the second portage into the park thanks to my canoe-mate's unfortunate encounter with a tree.

I was unable to secure any Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZs prior to my departure. So, I packed some Zoom Bait Company's four-inch white-pearl Flukes, as well as some four-inch Bass Assassins' alewife Forked Tailed Shad. I also had a variety of colors of Z-Man's Finesse ShadZs, ZinkerZs, Finesse T.R.D.s, FattyZs, Hula StickZs, and T.R.D. TubeZs.

We fished five lakes in seven days. Fishing from a 16-foot Kevlar canoe was a challenge, especially in the incessant wind we seemed to be fishing in every day.

The weather started out fairly dark and cloudy for the first three days, with air temps in the middle to lower 70s. Then it became sunny with incredibly blue skies, and the high temperatures reached into the low 80s for the rest of the week. I do not know what the water temperature was, but judging by how it felt after my first and only capsize, I would guess it was in the middle to upper 70s.

My three companions are not what we would call fishermen, but they had fished enough to know how to handle a spinning rod. I rigged one of them up with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green pumpkin ZinkerZ on a 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The second guy wielded a Z-Man's watermelon Finesse ShadZ on a 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The third guy insisted on throwing hard baits all week. I started with a Z-Man's Canada Craw T.R.D. TubeZ on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig on one rod and a Zoom's white-pearl Fluke on a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig on my second rod.

The sheer volume of smallmouth bass habitat at most of these lakes was astounding, and we caught them throughout the water columns. The best spots, however, featured a mixture of rock, massive boulders, bullrushes, vertical subsurface standing vegetation and some lightly matted vegetation.  I never trolled, but it proved to be a surprisingly effective technique for the partners in my canoe, who would drag a lure each time we traveled from spot to spot. I can think of only two instances all week when it failed to produce a fish, often in 20 feet or more of water, and it was always a smallmouth bass.

Walt Tegtmeier with one of many smallmouth bass that he and his friends caught.

I cannot vouch for what was brought over the gunwales of the other canoe, but a typical day in mine was 60 to 75 smallmouth bass ranging in size from eight inches to five pounds. We usually fished from 10:00 a.m. to noon, then 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 or so. I lost count of how many four-pounders we caught, including several of the largest I have ever caught. I was amazed at how, almost without exception, fish of the same size class were grouped together. At one point, I and my partner were holding four-plus pounders by the jaw, and my rod was laid across my lap and the jig was dangling two feet under the surface, and a smallmouth bass that looked to be about a six-pounder nearly took my rod in the drink; I had him hooked briefly. Another suspected six-pounder hit, jumped and spit my partner's bait on the next cast. We nicknamed that spot Toad Town, and it produced bruisers each time we visited. At other areas, we would catch nothing but dinks, and then there were other areas where there were nothing but "eaters." (I took a filet knife to smallmouth for the first time in my life, and did it every night.) At the same time, I was equally amazed at how many primo-looking spots were devoid of smallmouth bass or any other fish.

My estimates on lure effectiveness were as follows: In terms of percentage of fish caught: The white-pearl Fluke and Bass Assassin rigs caught 60 percent. The watermelon or green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig caught 20 percent.  The pearl or Canada Craw ZinkerZ rig caught 15 percent. The Canada Craw T.R.D. TubeZ rig caught five percent. The hard baits were far less effective. I never threw any but the guy who did used some white crankbaits that I was unable to identify, as well as some spoons and spinners. Only one walleye was landed.  A lot of small northern pike were caught, and at least as many sawed through my eight-pound-test FireLine with ease. I put on a titanium leader on the final day,  and it solved that problem, with no apparent ill effects to my strike ratio for smallmouth bass. Lesson learned.

All in all, it was one of the best adventures I have ever undertaken. The fishing was great, but the total experience was the lasting impression. That place is in my blood now, and I must return.

Aug. 18 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 18 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Between 7:30 a.m. and noon, I fished with Rick Allen of Dallas, at a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir.

The day was mostly overcast, and at times we could see scattered rainstorms erupting in the distance. The morning low temperature was 73 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was a comfortable 87 degrees.  The wind quartered out of the east, southeast, and southwest at 8 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was high and measured 30.27.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., 6:43 a.m. to 8:43 a.m., and 12:57 p.m. to 2:57 p.m.

Rick and I spent the morning plying eight man-lake points, one large main-lake flat, nine large concrete support columns underneath a bridge, and the south side of a main-lake island in the southwest tributary arm of the reservoir. We also plied one large mud flat, two sections of the dam covered with riprap, and a flat and shallow rock flat on the east end of the dam.

The water was mostly stained and exhibited about 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The water level was 0.66 feet below normal. The water temperature was 82 degrees.

We began the outing at a wind-blown main-lake point and a 25-yard segment of an adjoining shoreline on the south side of the reservoir's  southwest tributary arm. This point and shoreline are graced with a submerged roadbed, thin patches of flooded buck brush, fist-sized rocks, gravel, and clay. We observed small pods of threadfin shad, and this area was our most fruitful locale. We caught 36 largemouth bass. Most of them were relating to the outside edges of the flooded buck brush along the main-lake shoreline. A few others were relating to the top of the submerged roadbed. All of these largemouths were extracted from  two to five feet of water.

After we finished dissecting this point and shoreline, the fishing suddenly became slow and tedious. We fished another seven rocky main-lake points and a portion of a shallow main-lake flat on the north side of the southwest tributary arm, which is located about a mile west of the first point that we fished. The seven points are embellished with gravel, submerged boulders, a few short concrete pilings, and some flooded buck brush. The main-lake flat is adorned with many yards of partially flooded bushes. We were unable to locate any large concentrations of threadfin shad. And when we are unable to locate any significant numbers of threadfin shad, we also have difficulty locating any appreciable numbers of black bass. One of the seven rocky main-lake points yielded one spotted bass and one freshwater drum, and they were extracted from less than five feet of water. We failed to garner any strikes from the other six points and the large brush-covered flat.

From those main-lake points and the main-lake flat, we moved eastward to a riprap embankment and a large bridge supported by numerous rows of large concrete support columns that are surrounded by 15 to 30 feet of water. The riprap on the south-side bridge embankment surrendered one spotted bass that was abiding in about five feet of water. Two of the concrete support columns underneath the bridge yielded two largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one freshwater drum, and two white crappie. These fish were suspended about eight feet below the surface in 20 to 30 feet of water, and they were relating to the sides of two of the bridge columns. We did not fish the riprap embankment north of the bridge.

Rick Allen with one of the largemouth bass that they caught on Aug. 18.

We moved eastward from the bridge to the south end of a large main-lake island, which is enhanced with flooded buck brush in three to five feet of water, and the main river channel lies a short distance from the south side of this island.  We failed to elicit any strikes from this spot.

Boredom had begun to set in, so we elected to move to the south end of the reservoir, where we fished a large main-lake flat, two riprap sections that cover the dam, and a large shallow and rocky flat on the east end of the dam.

The large main-lake flat is comprised of mud, gravel, a few scattered stumps, and many yards of partially flooded buck brush. We observed a couple of small schools of largemouth bass foraging on small threadfin shad next to the outside edges of a couple of patches of flooded buck brush, and we caught 13 largemouth bass and a channel catfish in three to five feet of water.

After that, we fished about a 50-yard stretch of submerged riprap on the west end of the dam, and we caught two largemouth bass. We hooked two other largemouth bass, but they were able to liberate themselves before we could lift them into the boat. The east end of the dam was a bit more productive, and it relinquished 13 largemouth bass and one white bass.

We failed to catch any black bass from the shallow rocky flat along the east end of the dam.

This outing started out fast and furious, and it quickly slowed down to a crawl. But we did manage to inveigle 57 largemouth bass and spotted bass, two crappie, two freshwater drum, one channel catfish, and one white bass in 4 1/2 hours. Thirty-six of the 57 black bass were caught in the first 75 minutes of the outing, then we endured a long and boring 105-minute spell that resulted in just five black bass, two crappie, one catfish, and one freshwater drum. The fishing picked up again during the last 90 minutes of this foray, and we garnered 26 black bass, one freshwater drum, and one white bass.

The two most fruitful lures were a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Mushroom Head jig and a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher Mushroom Head jig.

The Slim SwimZ combo was retrieved with a steady swimming action just below the surface of the water.  The shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig was presented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a steady swimming retrieve enticed three largemouth bass. We failed to elicit any strikes with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was presented in a slow swim-glide-and-shake fashion.

Aug. 19 log

Across the past eight years, Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas have found that from mid-August until early October our most fruitful fishing usually revolves around the pursuit of smallmouth bass rather than largemouth bass. But my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I did not want to spend  nearly three hours on Aug. 19 driving to and from one of our finest smallmouth bass reservoirs. Therefore, we opted to chase the largemouth bass at a heavily fished community reservoir that required a relatively short drive from our homes to the boat ramp.   (We have noticed that the older we get the fewer the miles we want to drive to get to a boat ramp. Now that I am 76 years old, I am thinking about turning the Finesse News Network into a Geriatric Fishing Network.)

The Weather Underground reported that it was 69 degrees at 5:15 a.m. and 84 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south by southwest, south, west by southwest, and south by southeast at 4 to 10 mph.  It was overcast from 5:53 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. and it became partly cloudy from 11:53 a.m. to 1:53 p.m. By noon, the sun was shining everywhere at times.  The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:53 a.m., 29.91 at 5:53 a.m., 29.88 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.83 at 1:53 p.m.  A significant wind and thunderstorm meandered across northeastern Kansas from around sunset to nearly midnight.

The water level looked to be a couple inches below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 85 degrees. The water was stained with a minor bloom, causing the water clarity in the lower portions of the reservoir to exhibit about three feet of visibility, and in its upper reaches, the visibility was less than two feet. Several of its shorelines and points are adorned with patches of American water willows.  Some of its offshore flats and some of its shorelines are graced with patches of coontail, and these patches on Aug. 19 looked to be emerging from the mid-summer wilt that causes the coontail to lie low along the bottom and exhibit more of a brownish hue than a greenish one. The patches of coontail that reached or nearly reached the surface were cluttered with brownish gobs of filamentous algae, which were difficult for us to penetrate with our Midwest finesse rigs, and therefore, we probed the outside edges and holes in and around them.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:24 a.m. to 1:24 p.m., 11:51 p.m. to 1:51 a.m., and 5:38 a.m. to 7:38 a.m. We fished from 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

We fished the dam and its adjacent spillway and shoreline. We fished six main-lake points and two secondary points. We fished portions of six main-lake shorelines and two short segments of shorelines inside two small feeder-creek arms. We quickly fished two offshore rock humps, and one of them is embellished with patches of coontail.

The largemouth bass fishing was not as onerous as we thought it would be. In fact, we caught 19 largemouth bass during the first hour that we were afloat. After that first hour, however, it became trying, and across the next three hours, which was when the sun was shining intensely, we struggled to catch 28 largemouth bass. In total we caught 47, and we accidently caught three bluegill, two warmouth, two green sunfish, and one white bass.

Here is where and how we caught them:

Thirty-nine of them were caught in the lower half of the reservoir.

Rick Hebernstreit with one of the largemouth bass that we caught in the lower portions of the community reservoir.

Twenty-one of the largemouth bass were caught along the dam and its adjacent spillway and shoreline. Fourteen of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on either a blue or a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Three of them were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Four of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs along the outside edge of the patches of American water willows.  Two were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in the vicinity of the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. Several were caught while we employed a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around the patches of American water willows and on top and around the edges of the coontail and filamentous algae patches. These largemouth bass were extracted out of four to seven feet of water.

Along one shoreline in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass on our 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigs. Two were caught on the initial drop. Two of them were caught while we employed the swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. These largemouth bass were abiding in two to four feet of water around patches of coontail and some boulders.

At one main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on the initial drop.  The other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. These largemouth bass were associated with patches of coontail in three to four feet of water.

Along the outside edges of some scattered and thin patches of American water willows on another main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. One was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The other one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. They were caught while we were employing the swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve in about three feet of water.

We caught six largemouth bass along a fairly long segment of another main-lake shoreline in the lower section of the reservoir. They were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig as we employed a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve around and over patches of coontail in three to five feet of water.

On another main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass on the Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This largemouth bass was caught around a meager patch of coontail in about four feet of water on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig.

Along a portion of another main-lake shoreline that is steep, cluttered with boat docks, embellished with rocks, and adorned with some patches of American water willows and coontail, we caught three largemouth bass. One of the largemouth bass that was around a shallow patch of coontail engulfed a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig on the initial drop. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig while it was retrieved with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve near the rock-laden bottom in about seven feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows that lines the water's edge of another main-lake point in the lower portion of the reservoir. This largemouth bass was abiding in four to five feet of water. It was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was retrieved with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

In the upper half of the reservoir, we caught eight largemouth bass.

One of the largemouth bass that we caught in the upper reaches of this community reservoir.

We caught two of those eight largemouth bass on a main-lake point that is rock-and-boulder laden and adorned with a concrete retaining wall. One was caught during the initial drop of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in three to four feet of water. The second one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation in about three feet of water.

We caught five largemouth bass along a steep section of a long shoreline in the upper portions of the reservoir. These largemouth bass were caught adjacent to the outside edge of patches of American water willows in four to seven feet of water. Four were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on the Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our ZinkerZ rig.  Two were caught as we employed a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve. One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

We caught one largemouth bass on a flat secondary point in the upper reaches of the reservoir while we were executing a deadstick presentation with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about five feet of water around some meager patches of coontail.

Twenty-three of the largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on either a blue or a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  The Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig caught 10 largemouth bass. The 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin rig caught seven largemouth bass. The 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig caught six largemouth bass. The shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ caught one largemouth bass.

If we failed to catch a largemouth bass on the initial drop of our rigs, the most effective retrieve was either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation or a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation.

(Endnotes: This was my first serious outing of the week of Aug. 14 through Aug. 20.  I was afloat at another community reservoir on Aug. 15 and at a state reservoir on Aug. 16, but I was working primarily on maintenance issues with the boat. I did fish for largemouth bass for a few hours as I tested the equipment, but I did not keep a record of how and where I fished and what I caught. And my catch rate was rather meager, which reflects how difficult the largemouth bass fishing can be in northeastern Kansas on some days in the middle of August. At the community reservoir, I caught 14 largemouth bass while using a Z-Man's black-blue-flake T.R.D. TubeZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a Z-Man's pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. At the state reservoir, I struggled to catch nine largemouth bass, and they were caught on six different Midwest rigs. We also received a report from Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, who said that he struggled to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and white bass on Aug. 15 at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in northeastern Kansas. But Pok Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, reported that he stopped by another northeastern Kansas U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir on Aug. 17 as he was making the horrendously long drive home from Lake Powell, Utah.  Lau walked a segment of the shoreline along the riprap dam. He used a three-inch section from the upper portions of a seven-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and he caught an impressive assortment of smallmouth bass.)

Aug. 19 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 19 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

Upon getting home from work last night, I loaded our Jackson Tuna kayak, as well as our gear, onto the truck. Since the middle of the week when my wife and I were tied down to desks at our day jobs and watching great weather and fishing conditions pass us by, we had been greatly anticipating our Aug. 19 outing.

On Aug. 15, my wife and I fished together, and we were forced off the water by a substantial electrical storm. The same fate walloped me on the afternoon of Aug. 16.

Because I had only fished under an hour on Aug. 15 and 16, I had nothing to report to the Finesse News Network about either of those outings.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey on Aug. 19, the river was flowing at 154 cubic feet per second, and the water temperature was 79 degrees.  The water clarity exhibited eight or more feet of visibility.

The flow of 154 cubic feet per second is an elevated flow for this time of year. Generally we are dealing with the low 100s or even lower, but nearly every day this week we experienced a midday thunderstorm and an hour or so of rain. Our waters, however, have remained clear, which is all I need for an enjoyable outing. The rains have also negated the need for me to water plants upon returning from work every evening, which is a bonus in my eyes.

At 10:47 a.m., when we launched the kayak, it was 76 degrees. The sky was cloudless.

As soon as we were in the water, we paddled downriver at a quick pace to a place we call the canyons.

It is miles upon miles of riffles and pools.   We also  affectionately call this area the bobcat run, and that is because of the numerous times we have seen a bobcat sitting inches from the water's edge on a large boulder that juts out from one of the cliff's walls.

There are two kinds of water found in this stretch.  One is the riffles at the heads of the pools, and the average depth of water flowing through these riffles is three feet deep or less in summer.  The second kind of water is the pools, which are about the size of a tennis court, and they are littered with boulders the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, and the boulders are interspersed with trees lodged between some of the boulders. The average depth of the pools is eight feet, and they are as deep as 16 feet adjacent to three of the cliff walls. It is a superb summer area.  It offers an abundance of food sources, zero angling pressure, and the cliffs provide a cool  line of shade.

The elevated water level is both good and bad. It is good because the current is flowing over the tops of the boulders that are normally out of the water in August. It is bad because it has the smallmouth bass spread hither and yon. Some are in the heart of the riffles.  Some are suspended in mid-depths in the pools. Therefore, an angler has to be versatile in order to effectively fish both kinds of water. Stealth is also essential, and I cannot stress that point enough.

As we floated and paddled downriver, we routinely parked our kayak before we arrived at one of the riffles or pools.  Then we dissected those areas by wading through them.

On three occasions, I witnessed from three to five black tails following my rigs downward in the cliff pools. When I was engaged in a donnybrook with a smallmouth bass, I noticed that the hooked smallmouth bass had a group of followers with it about 75 percent of the time. At one pool, I  saw a group of four 18-inch or bigger  smallmouth bass  suspended over 11 feet of water, and one of them engulfed my Z-Man's Finesse WormZ rig on the initial drop.

Our game plan for Aug. 19 was to try to fish 25 percent of this canyon. Then we would fish another 25 percent of it on Aug. 20, and another 25 percent of it on Aug. 21.

I worked with four vintage Charlie Brewer Slider spinning rods and one vintage Billy Westmorland spinning rod and five vintage Zebco Abu Garcia Cardinal Four spinning reels.

I caught smallmouth bass on every rig that I used.

A 2 1/4-inch presoaked and well-worn Z-Man's Dirt ZinkerZ on an orange-brown 1/32-ounce Gopher jig caught 16 smallmouth and two rock bass. I retrieved it inches above the bottom in the deeper pools, and I shook it incessantly.

I caught 13 smallmouth bass on a three-inch and well-worn Z-Man's Dirt Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. I used it when I spotted suspended smallmouth bass in the pools, and I retrieved it with a steady do-nothing presentation.

At three riffles, I caught 19 smalllmouth bass on a Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ with an inserted Gopher Tackle's 1/32-ounce TJ jig. I allowed it to plummet to the bottom, and as soon as it touched the bottom, I lifted my rod tip and I would shake it.  Then I would deadstick it for a spell. And all of the strikes occurred as soon as I would move it after the deadstick routine. Even though I was plying snag-filled areas, this rig never became snagged.

I caught 11 smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's blue steel Finesse ShadZ affixed to an orange/yellow 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. I used it on our return trip up the river at the pools where I caught suspended smallmouth bass on my Finesse WormZ rig. I presented it to the suspended smallmouth bass by employing a very slow do-nothing retrieve. I picked it up on our return up river and threw it where I initially took my Finesse WormZ fish.

I caught 12 smallmouth bass on a three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a blood-red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. I retrieved it inches above the bottom in the deeper pools, and I shook it incessantly. I used it at the same areas that I used the ZinkerZ rig when we were going down river.

I caught 11 smallmouth bass on a presoaked Z-Man's Redbone FattyZ tail affixed to a blood-red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig.  I fished it tight to cliff walls. The smallmouth bass that I caught on it were caught when I began to employ a shaking presentation after it fell more than halfway to the bottom, and I witnessed a goodly number of smallmouth bass follow it downward.

Upon getting home last night, I inquired of my favorite fishing partner as to what she wanted to use.  She replied:  "One of the little crawdad creature bait things of yours," which she watched me create many times last winter. It is a combination of four of Z-Man's ElaZtech baits. We affixed it to an orange-brown 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. She caught 29 smallmouth bass on it, as well as seven rock bass, six green sunfish, and five big bluegill.  She presented it with her standard retrieve, which is a slow and steady do-nothing one, but it is periodically enhanced and intermingled with some shakes. Most of the smallmouth bass that she caught were about one foot above the bottom.

All of our rigs were liberally coated with my customized rendition of Pro-Cure's Super Gel, and all the barbs on the hooks of the Gopher jigs were removed.

We fished for five hours and 49 minutes.

Aug. 20 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 20 outing with his wife.

Here is a condensed version of his report.

We tended to some household duties bright and early, and we launched our kayak at 11:06 a.m. and headed downriver to fish another section of the canyons. Thirteen minutes into our downstream venture, we witnessed a bear crossing the river.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the river in the canyons was flowing at 121 cubic feet per second, and the water temperature was 81 degrees.

The sun was shining brightly in a bluebird-colored sky. Area thermometers climbed into the mid-80s. The humidity was at a more comfortable level than it has been in weeks.

Our first cast was at 11:23 a.m. and my last cast was at 4:08 p.m.

I brought six of my vintage spinning outfits, and I used only two of them.

We fished three kinds of water. One consists of shallow flats that were covered with three feet of water and littered with boulders and a distinct shade line. The second kind consists of riffles that exhibited a visible surface current and covered with two to three feet of water. The third one consists of deep pools that are flanked by cliffs, and the water was clear enough that we could see the underwater topography in 10 feet of water.

These areas are a little like stepping back in time. They are extremely remote. They are spooky and beautiful at the same time.  One gets the feeling that they are constantly being watched by wildlife in one form or another.

I employed a slide presentation with a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a blood-red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig tight to the walls of the cliffs. The depth of the water ranged from eight to 12 feet.  The slide presentation is achieved by allowing the Finesse WormZ to fall about halfway to the bottom and then I  began a very slow do-nothing retrieve.  Twenty-five percent of the smallmouth bass engulfed this rig on the initial drop. The remainder intercepted it during the do-nothing phase.  A great percentage of the hooked fish had followers.

I used the same rig and the do-nothing presentation on the shallow flats.  These flats are massive, and it is best to employ a grid-casting pattern, which conserves time and presents the rig to as many smallmouth bass as possible. The whereabouts of the smallmouth bass on these flats is unpredictable. Therefore, I dissect the flats from the extreme weak side, which is covered with a foot of water, and I cast across current,  and then I begin my slow do-nothing retrieve with a high rod tip.

I fished the riffles with the Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce Gopher TJ jig, which is inserted into the T.R.D. TubeZ. After I completed my cast, I would deadstick the rig, and then I would shake it, and then I would deadstick it again, and then I would shake it again. This deadstick-and-shake cadence would continue until the T.R.D. TubeZ was out of the productive zone.

It is interesting to note that I have caught 76 smallmouth bass on this Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ, and it looks as if it has the wherewithal to catch 24 more of them. Once that occurs, I will retire it. The ElaZtech material from which it is made and the way it is rigged on the Gopher TJ jig are the major factors that contribute to its longevity. I will state unequivocally that this is the best tube I have ever used.

This is what Myers' Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to an inserted Gopher TJ jig looks like after it tangled with 76 smallmouth bass.

I caught 51 smallmouth bass, 17 bluegill, and three rock bass on the T.R.D. TubeZ. The Finesse WormZ caught 36 smallmouth, 11 big bluegill and one very healthy rock bass.

My wife caught 35 smallmouth, 11 bluegill and two big rock bass on a 2 1/4-inch presoaked Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ on an orange-brown 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. She employed an extremely slow do-nothing retrieve, which she intermingled with incessant shakes. She caught the biggest smallmouth bass of the day.

As always, all of the barbs on the hooks were removed. Everything was well covered with my customized rendition of Pro-Cure's Super Gel.

I lost the two biggest smallmouth bass I have hooked this season on the same cast with a Finesse WormZ rig. I hooked a behemoth in nine feet of water tight to a cliff wall. I saw it clearly in the depths. Then it went airborne twice -- despite a sunken rod tip. On the second leap, the smallmouth bass went one way and my worm went the other. As I looked at my wife and grinned, another humongous smallmouth bass engulfed my Finesse WormZ. The same scenario unfolded, and on the second leap, it jumped free.  It was quite a sight watching it unfold from the deep water take to the airborne acrobatics. I have no remorse for not touching those fish. It was an honor luring them.

Aug. 21 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 21 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

I do not have much gas in the tank for an extended report about this outing. For a goodly number of hours on Aug. 19, 20, and 21, I fished many river miles, which necessitated a lot of paddling, wading, and dragging a saltwater kayak over rifles, ledges, and waterfalls.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the river was flowing at 134 cubic feet per second. The water temperature was 81 degrees. The sky was overcast, and it rained intermittently.

I polished the rocks at two stretches of the river that is laden with timber and pumpkin-sized rocks. The average depth of the water along the strong side of the river is four feet. I used a three-inch presoaked Z-Man's Dirt Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. When it was halfway to the bottom, I began to retrieve it with a steady do-nothing-swimming presentation.

I also fished a 75-yard stretch of visible current. The depth of the water was three feet. The bottom consists of various sizes of boulders. The overcast skies were my friend at this spot. Thus, the smallmouth bass were not tightly pinned to the shaded areas along the strong side of the river. Instead, I caught them in the middle of the river and in the heart of the current. To dissect this area, I used a Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ with an inserted 1/32-ounce Gopher TJ jig.  My casts were made from the weak side of the river to the strong side. I let the T.R.D. TubeZ rig swing with the current and I employed a shake-and-pause routine. The smallmouth bass engulfed it after the shake and during the pause.

Ultimately, this 75-yard stretch of current empties into a hole that is the size of a tennis court. It is covered with eight feet of water. The bottom is littered with massive amounts of timber that have not moved since I have been a West Virginia resident. I fished this area with a 2 1/4-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ, and I employed a slow do-nothing-swimming presentation about a foot above the wads of timber. The current caused the ZinkerZ to undulate and quiver provocatively.

I fished for four hours, and 15 minutes.

The Finesse WormZ rig caught 19 smallmouth bass, seven bluegill, and three healthy rock bass. The T.R.D. TubeZ caught 18 smallmouth bass and three rock bass. The ZinkerZ rig caught 17 smallmouth bass, two rock bass, and one channel catfish.

Aug. 22 log

Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, called on Aug. 21, and he talked about the two sorry outings that he endured on Aug. 19 and 20. These outings occurred at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs that lie about 60 miles apart from one another in northeastern Kansas. During this conversation, we made plans to fish either a community or a state reservoir on Aug. 22.  Ultimately, we opted for one of our community reservoirs.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 57 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 2:53 p.m. on Aug 22. The wind was calm from 12:53 a.m. to 6:53 a.m., and then from 7:53 a.m. to 2:53 p.m., it angled out of the east, south, and south by southeast at 3 to 21 mph. At times the wind was brisk enough that we had to use a drift sock, and it was the first time we had used it since early July. The sun was shining everywhere in the virtually cloudless sky. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:53 a.m., 30.07 at 5:53 a.m., 30.09 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.04 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level appeared to be normal. The water was affected by an algal bloom, and the algal particles created a greenish-brown hue in the water. But the bloom was not intense enough to create a greenish-brown ring around the hull of the boat. The water clarity fluctuated from 18 to 28 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 80 to 82 degrees. Many feet of this reservoir's shoreline is lined with thick and tall patches of American water willows. During the past several weeks, the water level has dropped about six inches, and this has caused many of the patches of American water willows to become bent over. We crossed paths with only one minuscule patch of American pondweed, and we are wondering what happened to them. There are some significant patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, but they are not as significant as they were on my July 8 outing. In fact, one shoreline that was overloaded with massive patches of bushy pondweed and milfoil on July 8 was nearly barren on Aug. 22.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 2:22 a.m. to 4:22 a.m., 2:49 p.m. to 4:49 p.m., and 8:36 a.m. to 10:36 a.m. We fished from 10:26 a.m. to 2:26 p.m., and it was not a heyday, but it was more bountiful than Pok-Chi Lau's Aug. 19 outing and considerably more fruitful than his Aug. 20 outing.

We caught 25 largemouth bass, 13 smallmouth bass, four freshwater drum, two bluegill, one channel catfish, and one white bass. We had our line broken twice during donnybrooks with two hefty and feisty specimens. This is the third time this has happened at this reservoir in 2016. The zebra mussel infestation might be contributing to our line-breaking problems at this reservoir.

We fished 23 areas around this reservoir: six main-lake points, two secondary points, portions of five shorelines inside five feeder-creek arms, portions of seven main-lake shorelines, two offshore locales that focused on submerged rock fences, and about 90 percent of the dam.

Only 11 of these 23 areas were fruitful.

We caught two largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass along the riprap of the dam. We caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass along a flat shoreline adjacent to the dam.  We caught five largemouth bass along one of the submerged fences, and we caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass along the other submerged fences.  We caught one largemouth bass along one of the shorelines inside one of the feeder-creek arms. We caught three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass at one of the main-lake points. We caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass at another main-lake point. We caught one smallmouth bass at another main-lake point. We caught three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass at another main-lake point.  We caught two largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass along an extremely long portion of a main-lake shoreline. We caught three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass along another extremely long portion of a main-lake shoreline. We caught one smallmouth bass along a short segment of a main-lake shoreline.

We caught some largemouth bass and smallmouth bass along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows, but untold numbers of patches were fruitless. We caught one largemouth bass adjacent to a log, but all of the other logs, stumps, and laydowns were fruitless. We caught some largemouth bass and smallmouth bass around patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, but many hundreds of yards of bushy pondweed and milfoil were fruitless. We caught a few largemouth bass and smallmouth bass around rocks, boulders, and riprap, but many yards of rocks, boulders, and riprap were fruitless. In short, there was no logical explanation to where we caught the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that we caught. At times, it seemed as if they were catching us rather than us catching them. We caught them in water as shallow as one foot and as deep as eight feet.

Pok-Chi Lau with a smallmouth bass that has a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ and an unpainted 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in its mouth.

What's more, we caught some on the initial drop of our rigs. We caught some while we employed a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve. We caught a few while we employed a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We caught some on a drag-and-deadstick presentation. We caught some on a straight-swim presentation. We caught a few by strolling.

Our only substantial pattern that we could establish was that a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to either a chartreuse or an unpainted 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was more effective by a large margin than the other Midwest finesse rigs that we employed. We caught four largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to an orange 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. We caught one largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught one largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught one largemouth bass on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The catch was so random that I am unable to provide any more details about what transpired on Aug. 22.

Aug. 24 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 24 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

In my last report on Aug. 21, I wrote that I was on empty energy wise because I fished a large expanse of the river for three days in a row. But as I was anticipating and thinking about my Aug. 24 outing on Aug. 22 and 23, it did not take me long to get reinvigorated.  All of the conditions were shaping up for a stellar August outing.

Over the course of the last three days, our daytime temperatures have dropped from the low and middle 90s with outrageous humidity to the low 80s with no humidity. Our nighttime temperatures have been in the high 50s. We have experienced no rain since the weekend. The flow of the river has dropped over 35 cubic feet per second since Aug. 19, which is a trend that I suspect to continue as we will be experiencing a great increase in temperature as thermometers climb back into the middle 90s on Aug. 25.

The nearest U.S. Geological Survey's  gauge, at the time I stepped into the water this morning at 10:02 a.m., was reading that the water was running at 101 cubic feet per second, and the water temperature was 74 degrees. By the time that I got home, the water was running at 94 cubic feet per second and the water temperature was 79 degrees. This morning at 6:00 a.m. it was a non-humid 58 degrees with a thick fog. I waited for that fog to dissipate before getting on the water.

I traveled three zip codes away this morning to hit a stretch of river that is generally very good to me when the current conditions occur in August.

I had two rods rigged and all of my wading essentials.

I walked a 3 1/2-mile stretch of river, using one Z-Man rig.  On my return journey downriver, I used another Z-Man rig.

In two hours and 47 minutes, I caught 66 smallmouth bass and 17 bluegill on a bait that I rarely use. It is a Z-Man's watermelon-red CrusteaZ affixed to a brown-orange 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, and I use it when the conditions are like they were on this outing.

I caught some of them in a riffle with visible current that had three feet of water flowing over them. This riffle is about 65 yards long. But the greatest majority of the fish were caught along a stretch that has a depth of more than five feet of water on the strong side of the river, and the bottom is littered with massive boulders. I would continually dissect the mid-river boulders that I could barely see with my polarized glasses. The CrusteaZ rig was retrieved with an incessant-shake-and-deadstick presentation. And I caught the smallmouth bass during both phases of this retrieve.

As  I waded downriver, I fished a three-inch Z-Man's Dirt Finesse WormZ on a blood-red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. It caught 13 smallmouth bass and four bluegill.  In the riffle, I employed a do-nothing retrieve. In the boulder-littered area, I used a swimming presentation that was halfway between the bottom and surface of the river.

Every 20 to 30 minutes, I coated the rigs with my customized formula of Pro Cure's Super Gel. All the barbs on the hooks were removed.

I fished for 4 hours and 13 minutes.

Aug. 25 log

Within a 65-mile radius of Lawrence, Kansas, there are five U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs. And in the eyes of most of the Midwest finesse anglers who reside in northeastern Kansas, only one of these reservoirs is worth a hoot. On Aug. 9, Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, and I fished the one that is worth a hoot, and we caught 111 smallmouth bass in four fours.

Every once in a while we have to fish one of the sorry ones to see if its sorriness has waned.  On Aug. 25, Dave Petro and I fished one of them for four hours and 13 minutes, and we struggled mightily to catch 14 smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass, as well as one freshwater drum, one channel catfish, and 15 green sunfish. Therefore, this will be a very sorry log, but it is important to note that this reservoir is better than it was six years ago. Nowadays, it has a minor but burgeoning smallmouth bass population, and perhaps by 2025, it will have a bountiful one.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 70 degrees at 8:12 a.m. and 82 degrees at 2:52 p.m. From 12:52 a.m. to 10:52 a.m., the wind angled out of the north at 1 to 9 mph; from 11:20 a.m. to 11:52 a.m., it was calm; from 12:00 a.m. to 4:52 p.m., it angled out of the east by southeast, south by southeast, southwest, south by southwest, and northwest at 3 to 6 mph; and it was also calm for short intervals while we were afloat. From midnight to 2:44 a.m., the sky was mostly cloudy and overcast. From 2:45 a.m. to 7:59 a.m., it rained lightly at times, and at other times, thunderstorms erupted, and it rained hard. From 8:05 a.m. to 4:52 p.m., it fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to the sun shining nearly everywhere. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:52 a.m., 29.98 at 5:52 a.m., 30.06 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.03 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level was nearly normal. The Corps was releasing 21 cubic feet per second of water. The surface temperature ranged from 77 degrees to 85 degrees. The water was stained by a significant algal bloom, and that bloom created a significant green line around the hull of the boat and the lower unit of the outboard motor.  The water clarity ranged from less than 16 inches of visibility at some locales to about 36 inches at the dam.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 5:14 a.m. to 7:14 a.m., 5:42 p.m. to 7:42 p.m., and 11:04 a.m. to 1:04 p.m. We fished from 10:20 a.m. to 2:33 p.m.

We failed to catch a black bass along a riprap shoreline, one secondary point, and a series of tertiary points inside a small feeder-creek arm.

We caught two smallmouth bass at a main-lake point and one largemouth bass along its main-lake shoreline. The underwater terrain of this point and shoreline consists of boulders, gravel, and rocks. One of the smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a straight-swim presentation in five to six feet of water. The second smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig on a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation in four to five feet of water around a pile of boulders. The largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a straight-swim presentation in about two feet of water.

We caught three smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass along a 100-yard section of a main-lake shoreline. Its underwater terrain consists of boulders, gravel, laydowns, flooded timber, man-made brush piles, and rocks. The three smallmouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was presented with a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in three to six feet of water. The largemouth bass was foraging around a school of tiny gizzard shad in about five feet of water, and it was caught during the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse ShadZ and a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We failed to catch a black bass along a riprap jetty.

Along a 350-yard portion of a massive main-lake shoreline, we caught five smallmouth bass. The underwater terrain consist of scores of rock piles, some laydowns, some flooded timber, gravel, a submerged rock fence, and massive boulders. This shoreline is also graced with several tertiary points. We caught two smallmouth bass in three to four feet of water on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation. We caught three smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One of the three smallmouth bass engulfed the Finesse ShadZ rig on the initial drop in about two feet of water. The other two were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in four to six feet of water.

We fished about a 250-yard stretch of riprap along the dam, and we caught one largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass. One smallmouth bass that was abiding in about two feet of water engulfed a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig on the initial drop. The largemouth bass and the other three smallmouth bass were caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in four to six feet of water on a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation.

After we failed to catch a black bass along a main-lake riprap jetty and point, we called it a day.

Aug. 25 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report of the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 25 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

On Aug. 19, 20, and 21, we traversed many river miles. Then on Aug. 24, I walked seven miles. I decided to make my Aug. 25 outing a leisurely one and enjoy the current to some degree.

According to the weather forecasts, there was a high probability that thunder and lightning would arrive during the mid-morning hours, and once the storms waned, there would be a huge upswing in both air temperature and humidity.

We have greatly enjoyed a short stretch of low humidity and cooler nights, and judging from high energy levels of the owls and coyotes into the wee hours of the morning, we suspect they have felt the same.

As I waited for the warm front to arrive, I split firewood and tinkered with some tackle. The UPS truck pulled in at 9:45 a.m. and delivered a new set of wheels for my Jackson Big Tuna kayak. These wheels will allow me to launch it in areas that my truck or UTV dare not go. After I assembled it, I took my kayak for a lap around the driveway and down the road.  Now, with this contraption, there will be more spots on the river to launch our kayak.

At 10:38 a.m., the sun began to shine and the humidity began to climb. It was time to go. At the end of this outing, it was 91 degrees and extremely humid.

The U.S. Geological Survey notes that the river was flowing at 91 cubic feet per second. The water temperature was 79 degrees.

I loaded the truck with the kayak and my usual gear. I headed for a stretch that I rarely fish. Upon getting there, I put my new kayak-launching contraption to work straightaway by using it to take the kayak down a steep and rocky trail that is flanked by trees. I was launched in no time flat.

I got on the paddle hard and heavy and headed upriver. There are two deep cliff runs that I wanted to inspect, which I rarely do in the summer, and that is because they are late-in-the-year destinations.

The last time that I fished them was in November of 2015. In my log notes at that time I wrote: "Could they hold resident fish ?"  Thus, this outing was a fact-finding mission, but it was based on an educated hunch, because it looked as if they could entertain resident smallmouth bass in the summer.  What's more, it is remote and possesses deep water, and the most important feature is that the heads of both of these spots have riffles feeding the pools, which brings oxygen and a foraging area.  The cliff's walls also provide shade during the midday hours. That shade protects the smallmouth bass from the birds of prey, and there are many of them.

These areas are a half of a mile apart.

I had six of my Zebco Abu Garcia Cardinal Four reels and Charlie Brewer Slider rods rigged, and I used four of them.

Upon reaching the first pool, I put my stakeout pole into the bottom substrate and began casting upriver in a grid pattern. After I fished the grid, I moved my kayak upriver and commenced doing the same grid routine.  I worked with a 2 1/4-inch Dirt ZinkerZ affixed to a blood-red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. The average depth of the water is about eight feet. The bottom is covered in a myriad of boulders and stumps and trees. I worked what most river anglers label the "benthic zone."

Upon getting to the top of this pool, I dissected the riffle with a Z-Man's Mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ on an orange-pumpkin and much-shaved-down 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ.  Three feet of water coursed across the rocks and boulders.

After I finished fishing the first pool and riffle, I got on the paddle and headed to the second pool and riffle. And I fished them the same way that I fished the first pool and riffle.

Upon finishing fishing the second pool and riffle, I headed downriver. At the riffles I used a three-inch Z-Man's Dirt Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. In the pools, I used a Z-Man's blue- steel Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue-orange-yellow Gopher jig.

I caught 19 smallmouth bass and six bluegill on the 2 1/4-inch ZinkerZ rig. I caught 16 smallmouth bass, five green sunfish, and two rock bass on the three-inch Finesse WormZ rig. I caught 15 snallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, and three rock bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig. I caught 17 smallmouth bass and four bluegill on the T.R.D. TubeZ rig.

Every 15 minutes, I coated the rig I was using with my customized rendition of Pro-Cure's Super Gel. All the barbs were removed from the hooks.

At the riffles, I employed a swimming presentation about halfway between the bottom and surface of the riffles.  In the pools, I retrieved the ZinkerZ and Finesse ShadZ rigs a foot above the trees with a steady do-nothing retrieve, which was highlighted with intermittent shakes. All of the  fish were caught after I executed a shake. Most of the hooked smallmouth bass had followers, including one that was beyond my belief.

As I passed over the lip of the tail out of the initial pool on my return, I stored my rod and let the current carry me back to the launching site.  I paddled only occasionally, I ate a hearty sandwich, and more than once I looked in admiration at the rigs I used and wished that I had them thirty years ago.

I was afloat for five hours and 18 minutes.

Upon getting home, I put a note next to my log entry from last fall, saying that fish do spend the  summer in that run,  and there are big ones, too.

I suspect the next time that I visit this area will be in late October or early November, and I will be encased in waterproof StormR bibs under much different conditions.

Aug. 25 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 25 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I have not fished this  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas since Aug. 15, when Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas,  and I fished it and we caught and released 95 largemouth bass and spotted bass during a four-hour endeavor.

On Aug. 25, Rick Allen of Dallas and I returned to this same reservoir, and we fished for five hours. The new school year began in Texas on Aug. 22, and since most of the youngsters were in school, we were delighted to have most of the reservoir to ourselves.

The day was bright and sunny with a partly cloudy sky. Local meteorologists reported that the morning low temperature was 72 degrees and the day's high temperature reached 94 degrees. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.02. The wind quartered out of the southwest at 3 to 8 mph, and it became calm around 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the prime fishing periods should take place between 5:21 a.m. and 7:21 a.m., 11:11 a.m. and 1:11 p.m., and 5:49 p.m. and 7:49 p.m. Rick and I were afloat in the east tributary arm of the reservoir from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The water was stained and displayed about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 81 degrees.

We began the outing in the southeast end of the reservoir, where we fished a rocky main-lake point and an adjacent clay and gravel flat. The point and its adjacent flat are graced with thin patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation in two to three feet of water. We caught fourteen largemouth bass and spotted bass that were extracted from four feet to six feet of water along this point and flat. Eight were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. Three were caught on a Z-Man's Molting Craw T.R.D. TubeZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The Slim SwimZ rig was presented with a steady swimming retrieve just underneath the surface of the water. The T.R.D. TubeZ was retrieved in a swim-glide-and-shake fashion.

After we finished plying the main-lake point and its adjacent flat, we made a short run to an island that is situated in the middle section of a large feeder-creek arm in the southeast portion of the reservoir. Rick and I targeted a shallow point and an adjacent flat on the northeast end of the island. This point and flat are adorned with clay, fist-size rocks, and the remnants of flooded buck brush, and is covered with three to eight feet of water. We did not fish the north, west, and south sides of the island, which were already being plied by anglers in two other boats. We positioned our boat in six to eight feet of water, and we caught three largemouth bass on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a steady swimming retrieve next to the deep-water edges of the flooded buck brush in three to five feet of water. We also wielded the molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, but we failed to generate any strikes with these two offerings.

From the island, we moved southwestward to the middle section of the dam, which forms the southern boundary of the reservoir. We plied a large concrete water outlet tower that is surrounded by 44 feet of water and a rock ledge that is located a short distance from the tower. The ledge is covered with eight feet of water and is close to 30-plus feet of water.

Rick Allen with one of the largemouth bass that they caught on the shortened Z-Man's Hula StickZ rig.

We first checked all four sides of the concrete tower. We circled the tower and made our casts perpendicular and next to the concrete walls. We used the pearl Slim SwimZ, the molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ, the green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ, a 2 1/2-inch The Deal ZinkerZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a shortened Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed on either a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's ShroomZ jig. The four sides of the tower yielded 49 largemouth bass and spotted bass that were suspended about two to six feet below the surface in 44 feet of water. We began catching fish at such a fast pace that we were unable to keep count of how many bass were caught on which bait. We do know that the pearl Slim SwimZ  and shortened Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rigs were the most potent rigs. The molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ and green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ combos were the third and fourth best combos. The 2 1/2-inch The Deal ZinkerZ was used for just a few casts, and it enticed one largemouth bass before it was broken off two casts later by an unknown specimen that we did not see. Many strikes occurred on the initial drop, and we quickly discovered that a slow swim-and-pause retrieve was the most effective presentation.

The adjacent rock ledge surrendered 12 black bass and four large white crappie. Some of these bass were suspended about two to five feet below the surface of the water. Several of them were relating to the rocks on top of the ledge in 10 to 13 feet of water. Most were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ and steady swim retrieve. The others were caught on the shortened Mud Minnow Hula StickZ as it was slowly hopped and bounced down the side of the ledge in eight to 13 feet of water. The two T.R.D. TubeZ rigs failed to elicit any strikes when we employed them with a hop-and-bounce presentation down the side of the rock ledge.

Our next spot was a massive area in the south end of the reservoir where the east and west tributary arms join together.

This area consists of several main-lake points and large main-lake flats. A wall of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation adorns the entire shoreline and points. A couple of the flats are rocky and flat. The longest and most prominent point is buffeted by 27 feet of water along its west side.

One large flat relinquished 29 largemouth bass; one point yielded four largemouth bass; and another point surrendered eight largemouth and spotted bass. The last point we dissected in this area yielded only one largemouth.

All of these bass were caught in less than six feet of water. Most were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ with a steady swim retrieve. Several others were caught on the shortened Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We failed to garner any strikes with the molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ retrieved in a slow swim-glide-and-shake manner.

By 11:00 a.m., the wind had ceased and the fishing became slow and trying. We meandered over to the west side of the tributary arm where we dissected a submerged roadbed, a 50-yard segment of a rocky main-lake shoreline, and a main-lake point. Many yards of partially flooded terrestrial vegetation lined the sides of the roadbed, the main-lake shoreline, and the main-lake point. We caught three largemouth bass that were relating to either the top of the submerged roadbed or the south side of the roadbed. We failed to elicit any strikes along the rocky main-lake shoreline. The main-lake point yielded three largemouth bass, one catfish, and one freshwater drum. All of these fish were relating to the outside edges of flooded vegetation in less than six feet of water. The pearl Slim SwimZ with a steady swimming action and the shortened Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve beguiled all of these fish. We failed to entice any strikes with the molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ rig.

We finished the outing at a large and shallow main-lake flat and an adjacent rocky main-lake point. The flat and point are lined with thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that are surrounded by three to five feet of water.

We caught three largemouth bass from a ten-yard section of flooded vegetation in the middle section of the flat. We caught 14 largemouth bass and spotted bass from a 25-yard section of flooded vegetation on the north end of the flat. The south side of the adjacent main-lake point relinquished one largemouth bass. The pearl Slim SwimZ and a steady swimming action caught most of these bass. The shortened Mud Minnow Hula StickZ and molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ presented in a swim-glide-and-shake fashion caught the others.

Overall, it was a whale of a day. We tangled with 137 largemouth bass and spotted bass, which set a new Midwest finesse numbers record for this reservoir. The last record was set on July 28, when Rick Allen, Mark Acridge of Watauga, and I caught and released 110 black bass in 4 1/2 hours. This is also our third 100-plus black bass outing since July 28, and experiencing three 100-plus bass outings in less than a month is quite a feat in our neck of the woods. We also caught four large crappie, two catfish, and one freshwater drum.

We caught 101 of these black bass during the first two hours and 53 minutes, but after that entertaining and amazing flurry, we could only eke out another 36 black bass during the last two hours and seven minutes.

Most of the 137 black bass were small specimens. About 40 percent were between 12 and 15 inches, and about a dozen were between 14 and 15 inches.The pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a steady do-nothing swimming retrieve just below the surface of the water continues to be the dominant lure and presentation. Our second best offering continues to be a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on either a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's ShroomZ jig.

This was our first outing with the new Z-Man's T.R.D. TubeZs. We were very pleased that the molting craw and green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZs caught 22 of the 137 black bass. Traditionally, tube-style baits are only effective during the winter and early spring periods in north-central Texas, but we may now have a tube bait that may serve us well during the warm-water months as well.

Most Midwest finesse anglers will utilize the T.R.D. TubeZs in a manner that will imitate crawfish and other invertebrates as they drag, shake, and hop them across the bottom. But in our eyes, the black bass in north-central Texas are foraging on shad, bluegills, pumpkinseed sunfish, or other small baitfish and panfish. Crayfish are not their primary forage.  Therefore, we will mostly employ them with a swim-glide-and-shake or steady swimming presentation as we try to mimic small bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish. We are eager to see how well the new T.R.D. TubeZs perform as the summer, fall, and winter months unfold.

Aug. 26 log

On most Fridays for the past 36 years, Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, could be found at 1729 Grand Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri, working as the outdoors editor and columnist for the "Kansas City Star." On those Fridays, he was putting the finishing touches on his column and the outdoors section for the Sunday edition.

On the second Friday of this August, Frazee put the final touches on his Aug. 14 column. The headline on that column read: "Thanks for the memories, everyone, it's been a great ride."

Frazee is now 65 years old and a retired outdoors editor and columnist, who plans to write a book and write as a freelance journalist.

When it was announced that Frazee's long tenure at the newspaper had ended, Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, began making plans to celebrate Frazee's  retirement by taking him fishing.  Gum asked me to join them at a community reservoir in northeastern Kansas on Aug. 26, and this occurred most fittingly on a Friday.

Across the years, Gum and I have fished with Frazee a number of times.

During his days at the "Kansas City Star," Frazee penned a lot of words about Gum's piscatorial endeavors and prowess. He also focused his camera on Gum and his catches.

When Frazee and I fished together, he occasionally wrote a few words about some of our Midwest finesse endeavors.

Frazee and Gum are inaugural members of the Finesse News Network.

When Frazee, Gum, and I fished together, Frazee used to dub us as "The 101 Club." And the reason for that is we always wanted to catch 101 black bass on every outing.  Consequently, we thought it would be an appropriate way to celebrate Frazee's retirement by trying to catch 101 black bass on Aug 26.

Because it was more of a celebration than a hardcore Midwest finesse endeavor, we did not make notes about how, where, and when we fished. What's more, newspaper reporters spend most of their days gathering stories about people and events. Consequently, a goodly number of them are great storytellers, and Frazee is a whale of a storyteller. Therefore, as we fished, we were often more focused upon his many tales and comments and enthralled by them than we were about the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that we were catching and not catching.

Consequently, this log is based upon the diminishing returns of my 76-year-old mind and memory. So, read it with an air of skepticism.

But we can say for sure that The Weather Underground reported that it was 68 degrees at 6:01 a.m. and 82 degrees at 3:53 p.m. Thunderstorms erupted, heavy rain fell, and light rain fell from 1:53 a.m. to 5:53 a.m. It was overcast from 6:28 a.m. to noon, and then it fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to partly cloudy, and the sun shined brightly upon us during the final three hours of our outing. The wind angled out of the west, northeast, east, east by northeast, east by southeast, southeast, and south at 4 to 13 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.08 at 5:53 a.m., 30.07 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.02 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The water clarity exhibited five to six feet of visibility.  The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 83 degrees. Zebra mussels arrived at this reservoir about three years ago, and since then the water clarity has improved significantly, and corresponding to the arrival of the zebra mussels, massive and deep patches of coontail began to flourish. During the past three years, the smallmouth bass population has also multiplied dramatically. Some of the reservoir's shorelines are graced with patches of American water willows. There are a few patches of American pondweed. There are a lot of steep shorelines in the lower half of the reservoir, which are embellished with gravel, rocks, boulders, significant shelf-rocks, and many laydowns, as well as some patches of coontail. The flats in the back of some of the feeder-creek arms are adorned with patches of coontail, too, as well as a few piles of trees and brush piles.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:05 a.m. to 8:05 a.m., 6:33 p.m. to 8:33 p.m., and 11:51 a.m. to 1:51 p.m. Bob and Brent were afloat around 7:00 a.m. I hopped into the back of Bob's boat around 9:00 a.m. Brent hopped out of the boat around 2:00 p.m., and then Bob and I fished another 55 minutes.

At 2:00 p.m., Bob's fish counter indicated that we had caught 102 fish. Three of those were freshwater drum and we think about eight were either bluegill or green sunfish. The rest of them were either largemouth bass or smallmouth bass, and we roughly calculated that half of our black bass catch was largemouth bass and half was smallmouth bass.  We conjectured that more than 20 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass liberated themselves before they could be lifted over the boat's gunnels.  When I arrived at 9:00 a.m., Bob's counter indicated that they had caught 26 largemouth bass. After Brent went home, Bob and I continued to fish in hopes of catching 101 black bass, and during that final 55 minutes, we caught three smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass.  At 3:00 p.m., Bob's fish counter registered 111.  According to our somewhat sketchy calculations, we were one black bass short of catching 101.

All but one smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass were caught on Midwest finesse rigs. Bob caught those four black bass on a Heddon bullfrog Baby Torpedo on a coontail flat in the back of a feeder-creek arm.

We failed to keep an accurate count of where and how we caught the other fish.  But we do know that a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's  ZinkerZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was the most effective rig.  The Dirt ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was the most effective color combination.  The PB&J ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ on either a chartreuse or a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught a significant number of black bass. A Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce, and a four-inch Z-Man's Coppertreuse Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught a few of the 100 black bass.

We caught them around some of the coontail patches, around a few of the laydowns, along the outside edges of some of the patches of American water willows, and along some of the rocky- and boulder-laden shorelines. At several of the locales, the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were totally integrated.

Our catch rate plummeted once the sun began to shine.

If our rigs were not engulfed on the initial drop, the most effective retrieve was a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. We caught some by employing a drag-and-deadstick presentation behind the boat. A few were caught on a straight-swimming retrieve.

Although we were one black bass short of catching black bass No. 101, it was a delightful outing, and we relished the many stories Frazee told us. One of the surprising tales was about all of the words he had written about this reservoir and its anglers and the photographs he had taken here during the 36 years that he worked for the "Kansas City Star," and he punctuated one of those stories by telling us that he had never fished it until this outing.

Now as Frazee's retirement years unfold, the three of us are making plans to fish it together again and again and again and again. Perhaps all of those future outings will be on a Friday.

Aug. 27 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 27 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that straddles two suburbs northwest of the Dallas metropolitan area. In years past, this reservoir was one of the most fruitful ones in north-central Texas, but this year, the fishing has been very inconsistent. Therefore, Rick and I set a modest goal of catching 30 black bass during this outing, which has been a challenging goal to reach.

Aug. 27 was sunny and the powder-blue sky was freckled with a few scattered clouds. The afternoon high temperature was 91 degrees and the morning low temperature was 74 degrees. A light breeze angled out of the southeast at 3 to 7 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.97 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.98 at 11:00 a.m.

According to In-fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing should take place between 12:52 a.m. and 2:52 a.m., 7:06 a.m. and 9:06 a.m., and 7:34 p.m. to 9:34 p.m. Rick and I fished from 7:15 a.m. to noon.

The water was stained and displayed 1 1/2-feet of visibility.  The water level was 2.32 feet above normal pool. The surface temperature was 81 degrees.

We spent the morning fishing 15 rocky main-lake points, three rock, boulder, and buck brush-laden main-lake shorelines, 28 covered boat stalls inside a marina, the south and east sides of a main-lake island, and the midsection of the riprap dam.

We wielded the following Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits: a pair of pearl Slim SwimZs rigged on chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jigs; a pair of shortened three-inch Mud Minnow Hula StickZs affixed on chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jigs; a molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig; a black-blue-flake T.R.D. TubeZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig; a black-gold-flake Scented LeechZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig; a green-pumpkin Scented LeechZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig; and a gudgeon CrusteaZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The fishing started off at a decent pace, and we caught 14 largemouth bass and spotted bass during the first hour of this outing. But during the next three hours and 45 minutes, we struggled mightily to catch nine black bass, three large bluegills, and one large pumpkinseed sunfish.

We failed to catch any bass at any of the three main-lake shorelines or from any of the 28 covered boat slips at a marina on the south side of the reservoir.

The dam forms the east boundary of the reservoir, and the riprap along the face of the dam yielded three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.

Eighteen largemouth bass and spotted bass were caught at eight of the 15 rocky main-lake points.

Two largemouth bass were caught off the south side of the main-lake island, and they were associated with thick stands of flooded trees and laydowns.

We failed to find any large aggregations of black bass, and this outing turned into a one-here-one-there type of pattern. All of these black bass were abiding in three to eight feet of water, and almost all of them were relating to rocks and boulders. We did not locate any black bass associated with flooded buck brush or covered boat docks. Two bass were relating to the flooded trees on the south side of the island.

Twenty of these 24 black bass were beguiled by the shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ rigs and a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

This was our first outing with the CrusteaZ, and it allured one largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two bluegills, and one pumpkinseed sunfish. This gudgeon CrusteaZ rig was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, hop-and-bounce presentation, and drag-and-deadstick presentation, but the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only productive one.

The pearl Slim SwimZ rig and steady swimming retrieve has been our most effective lure and presentation combination over the past several weeks, but it garnered only one largemouth bass during today's outing.

The two T.R.D. TubeZ rigs were implemented with several of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves, but we were unable to generate any strikes with either of these two rigs.

We also failed to catch a black bass with either the black-gold-flake Scented LeechZ or the green-pumpkin Scented LeechZ rigs.

In sum, we failed miserably to reach our meager goal of 30 black bass. We worked hard to inveigle 18 largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass during this four hour and 45 minute endeavor. We also caught three bluegills and one pumpkinseed sunfish by accident.

Typically, we would consider this an above-average outing for this reservoir, but after we have experienced such great success at three other Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas during the past month, this outing seemed pretty lackluster in comparison.

In contrast, we had the opportunity to speak with two bass anglers in one boat and three bass anglers in another boat. The two anglers in the first boat said that they had caught only two bass all morning, but one was a five-pounder. About an hour later, we crossed paths with the other three anglers in the second boat, and they said that they had caught only one small fish all day. And after we listened to these five anglers' kvetching about their fishing woes, we felt like we had a fairly decent morning after all.

Aug. 29 log

Steve Desch of Topeka and I fished a community reservoir on Aug. 29. This reservoir is normally heavily fished, but on this outing, we and another angler were the only anglers afloat.  Occasionally, we crossed paths with four shoreline anglers.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 70 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 88 degrees at 12:53 p.m. Except for about 30 minutes, the sun was shining everywhere. The wind fluctuated from being calm to variable to angling out of the north by northeast, southeast, east, south by southwest, and southeast at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.10 at 5:53 a.m., 30.16 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.13 at 1:53 p.m. The relative humidity was difficult for us to tolerate, and the National Weather Service reported that it was 93 percent at 6:53 a.m., 79 percent at 9:53 a.m., but dropped to 54 percent at 12:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be slightly above normal. An algal bloom stained the water, and the water clarity exhibited 12 to about 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 86 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:51 a.m. to 10:51 a.m., 9:18 p.m. to 11:18 p.m., and 2:38 a.m. to 4:38 a.m.  Steve and I fished together from 9:55 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and I fished alone from 1:05 p.m. to 1:55 p.m.

During the first hour and five minutes, we caught 22 largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass. Six of them were caught on our first nine casts and retrieves. We caught these black bass on and around two submerged rock fences and around patches of bushy pondweed that embellished portions of the fences. We caught one smallmouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Two smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a very slow swim-and-glide presentation. The rest of the black bass were caught on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake or a swim-and-glide retrieve.  We caught them in four to seven feet of water.

We fished about two-thirds of the riprap of the dam. In spots, it is embellished with patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil. We caught one smallmouth bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig retrieved with a swim-and-glide presentation in six feet of water.

We failed to elicit a strike while we fished portions of one main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is steep and lined with American water willows, bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil. Its underwater terrain contains gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are also a few stumps and laydowns.

We failed to elicit a strike at two flat main-lake points. These points are rock- and boulder-laden. They are embellished with patches of American water willows and some patches of bushy pondweed and milfoil. We fished a short segment of a shoreline adjacent to one of these points, and we caught one largemouth bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about four feet of water around a patch of milfoil.

We failed to elicit a strike when we fished two steep main-lake points that are lined with American water willows and some patches of bushy pondweed and milfoil. The underwater terrain of these points consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. We fished portions of the adjacent shorelines of these points, and we failed to elicit a strike.

We caught two smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass at a flat main-lake point and its main-lake shoreline. The point is laden with rocks and boulders and some patches of bushy pondweed.  The shoreline is lined with American water willows, bushy pondweed, and milfoil. One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in two feet of water. One smallmouth bass was caught on the pearl ZinkerZ rig in three to four feet of water on a swim-and-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ with a swim-and-glide retrieve around a patch of bushy pondweed in three to four feet of water.

We fished the two submerged rock fences again, and we caught five largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass. They were caught on our Junebug Finesse WormZ and pearl ZinkerZ rigs, which were retrieved with a very delicate swim-and-glide presentation in three to six feet of water.

At 1:00 p.m. Steve went home, and during the next 50 minutes, I fished other portions of the submerged rock fences, a main-lake point and parts of its adjacent shoreline, and a segment of the dam that Steve and I did not fish earlier in the outing. At these locales, I caught four smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass on the Junebug Finesse WormZ. One was caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught by either a slow swim-and-glide presentation or a delicate hop-and-bounce retrieve. These fish were caught around rocks and boulders in two to six feet of water.

In sum, we caught 48 black bass, and we inadvertently caught two bluegill, three green sunfish, two freshwater drum, one white bass, and one flathead catfish.

Aug. 29 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 29 outing.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

Because of my diminished energy level, I will do my best to make this report short and sweet.

From 9:00 a.m. on, it was muggy, and the sun was ablaze. I am feeling the physical effects of fishing in the extremely hot weather. Area thermometers reached 95 degrees and higher. It was a sweltering ordeal. I drank more than a gallon of water as I walked the river. I suspect my pickle-juice regimen during the weekend helped me from becoming totally overwhelmed.

The U.S. Geological Survey indicated that the river was flowing at 74 cubic feet per second. I measured the surface temperature at 82 degrees. The water exhibited more than 10 feet of visibility.

While returning from work during the last three evenings, I kept an eye on my trusty boulder that I use to gauge the water level. I also kept a mindful watch on the U.S. Geological Survey's gauge. I suspected that this outing was going to be classic swelter conditions, and it was. Under these conditions riverine smallmouth are not likely to move much for an offering. The "food conveyor" or visible surface current that I often refer to has become a friend once found. Under these conditions, when you hook a smallmouth bass there are five or more like it that will either be following or will likely engulf your Midwest finesse rig on the next cast. It is similar to what transpires during the pre-winter cold-water conditions.

I stepped into the water at 11:38 a.m.  I fished slightly less than five hours and caught more than 100 smallmouth bass. I threw one offering: a three-inch presoaked Z-Man's pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a brown-and-orange 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. I applied my customized concoction of Pro Cure's Super Gel often. The barbs on the hook were removed.

If anything I walked over on this outing had visible moving surface current and or shade, I threw at it. On three casts, I watched four or more black tails go down on my offering once it touched down. From there, a simple shake was enough.

I caught smallmouth bass on a deadstick-and-shake presentation, on the initial drop, and on a painfully slow do-nothing retrieve around and over boulders in the middle of the river that sat in four feet of water.

I did not make a bunch of random grid casts. Instead, I executed exacting ones by casting the  Finesse WormZ rig where I suspected the smallmouth bass were concentrated. If I had a hunch the smallmouth bass were living somewhere, I hunkered down and dissected that location.

The biggest specimen measured 18 1/2 inches, and I caught it after I had made three consecutive casts at the base of a boulder in the middle of the river and executed a deadstick-and-quiver presentation.

Aug. 29 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 29 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I fished a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir on Aug. 29.  It is the same reservoir that Rick Allen of Dallas and I caught and released 57 largemouth bass and spotted bass during a 4 1/2-hour outing on Aug. 18. This was Roger's third Midwest finesse outing, and he was interested in learning more about the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves.

The sky conditions varied from overcast to partly cloudy, and the sun became bright and intense as the day progressed. The morning low temperature was 73 degrees. It became humid in the afternoon. The high temperature was 93 degrees. The wind quartered out of the east and east by northeast at 3 to 7 mph. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.02.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the most productive fishing periods would most likely take place from 2:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., 8:43 a.m. to 10:43 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Roger and I fished from about 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We fished six rocky man-lake points, two clay and gravel main-lake flats, five large concrete support columns underneath a bridge, and a main-lake cove with several large submerged boulders in the southwest tributary arm of the reservoir. We also plied one large mud flat, two sections of a riprap-laden dam, a shallow rocky flat adjacent to the east end of the dam, a main-lake point and about 25 yards of an adjacent shoreline, and the remnants of a large riprap and concrete dam in the east tributary arm of the reservoir.

The water was stained and exhibited about 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The water temperature varied from 83 to 86 degrees. The water level was normal.

In the southwestern tributary arm, we caught a combination of eight largemouth bass and spotted bass from the six rocky main-lake points. These bass were relating to large submerged rocks and boulders in less than eight feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass suspended next to one of the five concrete support pilings underneath a bridge. It was suspended about eight feet underneath the surface in 15 feet of water.

The two entry points to the main-lake cove surrendered one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The largemouth bass was caught from the east-side entry point and was relating to a concrete boat ramp in about four feet of water.  The spotted bass was caught from the west-side entry point, and it was associated with a thick patch of flooded buck brush in three feet of water.  We failed to elicit any strikes from the interior portions of this cove.

In the east tributary arm, we caught five largemouth bass and spotted bass from one of the two main-lake flats. All of these bass were relating to a long and thick wall of flooded buck brush in four to six feet of water.

We caught six largemouth bass from the east end of the dam, and they were associated with submerged riprap in three to six feet of water.  We failed to elicit any strikes from the west end of the dam. We did not fish the midsection of the dam.

Four largemouth bass and one channel catfish were caught from a shallow and rocky flat that lies adjacent to the east end of the dam. These fish were caught in six to eight feet of water and were relating to a ledge were the edge of the flat drops off into deeper water.

Roger Farish with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

We fished two sections of an old and dilapidated concrete and riprap dam in the midsection of the east tributary arm. In the 1950s, this dam divided this reservoir into two smaller reservoirs before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached it in two spots in order to form one large reservoir. The two breached areas now provide two passageways for boats to pass through as they travel from one of the old reservoirs to the other.

At one of the breached areas, we caught 15 largemouth bass. They were relating to a riprap point on the north side of the breached area in six to ten feet of water. We failed to elicit any strikes from the second breached area.

All told, we had to cover many acres of water to catch a combination of 41 largemouth bass and spotted bass, and one channel catfish. Though we consider this a fruitful outing for this reservoir, we failed to find any large concentrations of threadfin shad, and the fishing was slower and less predictable than it has been during the past month.

A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Mushroom Head jig has been our most effective rig over the past few weeks, but it enticed only 10 black bass during this outing.  A shortened three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black or chartreuse  1/16-ounce Gopher Mushroom Head jig has been our second best offering, but it allured 31 black bass and the one catfish today. We also employed a Z-Man's molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a Z-Man's black Split-Tail TrailerZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, but we failed to garner any strikes with these two baits.

As a final note of interest, this was my last outing for this month. According to my logs, my cohorts and I tangled with a combination of 695 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass this month, which encompassed 47 hours of fishing during 12 outings. This is an average catch rate of 57.90 bass per outing and 14.78 bass per hour. This is a new monthly Midwest finesse numbers record for us.

In contrast, our previous monthly Midwest finesse numbers record occurred in September of 2015, when I and several companions caught 658 black bass on 12 outing that encompassed 47 hours of fishing. This is an average of 14 bass per hour and 54.83 bass per outing. Therefore, August of 2016 has now eclipsed September of 2015 as our best Midwest finesse numbers month ever, and in our eyes, this is quite an accomplishment in north-central Texas.

Aug. 30 log

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 30 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

 I had high hopes for this outing.  I had not fished this part of the river in seven years. The last time that I fished it was seven Augusts ago, and the conditions were similar to what they are now. Back then I relied heavily on Charlie Brewer's Slider Company's Slider worms. At that time, I did not have any Z-Man's Midwest finesse lures. Thus, the smallmouth bass in this stretch of the river had never seen what I had in store for them on this outing.

To launch my Jackson Big Tuna kayak, I parked my truck on a gravel bar at 7:13 a.m. It was 63 degrees. The humidity was low.  The sun had not made a dent in the morning fog.  I briefly wore a hooded sweatshirt.

I got on the paddle hard and heavy and went straight into the fog, heading to this extremely remote stretch of the river.  It was a seven-mile trek, and as I paddled and traversed its many riffles and with each side of the river flanked by a deep, dark hardwood forest, I felt like Huckleberry Finn.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the river was flowing at 74 cubic feet per second.  The surface temperature was 82 degrees.  The water was crystal clear.

After the morning fog burnt off, the sun's blaze was intensely hot.   At 10:00 a.m. area thermometers were in the middle 80s. By noon, they were in the low 90s.

The first photograph is my first smallmouth bass of the day. The second one was taken after I traversed my first set of boulder-strewn rapids, and I traversed nine more. The third one is my last smallmouth bass of the day, and that smallmouth bass was number 141.

Myers' first smallmouth bass of the outing.

One of the nine rapids that Myers negotiated.

Smallmouth bass Number 141.

As I made my way up river, I was looking for any subtle depth changes and shade lines. So as not to spook the smallmouth bass, I tried to locate those spots well before I reached them in the kayak.

Every smallmouth bass that I hooked in the riffles and pools had followers. I saw three followers that looked to be in the 19-inch range, and they were in two feet of water at the heads of visible current.

I had five spinning rods rigged, and I used four of them.

A very well-worn and radically shortened Z-Man's  green-pumpkin ZinkerZ on a brown-and-orange 1/32-ounce  Gopher jig, which I had used on many prior outings and had been reduced in length twice, caught  47 smallmouth bass and 19 bluegill. When it finally gave up the ghost, I affixed a 2 1/2-inch PB&J ZinkerZ onto the Gopher jig, and it caught 61 smallmouth bass and eight bluegill.

At times when the bite would slow to a standstill in areas that I had just caught a smallmouth bass, I would pick up another rod and rig to give them a different look. If I went two casts without a take, I picked up another rod.

A three-inch Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig caught 13 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, and four bluegill.

A Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ on a blue 1/32-ounce  Gopher jig  caught 20 smallmouth bass and four bluegill.

I regularly applied my customized rendition of Pro-Cure's Super Gel to the rigs. The barbs on the hooks were removed.

Half of the smallmouth bass were caught on the initial drop. The other half was caught while I employed a swim-and-shake presentation near the bottom of the river.

At one point while targeting a substantial tree that lies in the middle of the river, I caught 27 smallmouth bass in 35 casts, and every one of them had followers. They were abiding in about four feet of water.

On the way back downriver with my truck nearly in sight, I decided to make a cast to some newly fallen timber. I had spotted this tree earlier in the morning while I was making my trek up river. It juts out from the bank and it is massive. It sits in nine feet of water, and it is surrounded with boulders and an array of old timber. This area has been very good to me during the cold-water periods. In fact, last fall I spotted the single biggest school of smallmouth bass that I had ever witnessed within a few feet of where this tree fell. For my last cast of the day, I picked up my Finesse ShadZ rig and threw it into the heart of the branches. I shook it on the descent. As it was about halfway to the bottom and under the branches, one of the biggest smallmouth bass I have ever hooked ate the Finesse ShadZ.  It was so big that it dwarfed a 19-incher that was following it. Three feet from my awaiting thumb, I watched it disappear back into the timber unhooked and untouched.  Number 142 was not to be had on this outing. But I know where it lives.

From when I first hit the paddle this morning to when I loaded my truck, 6 1/2 hours had passed.

 

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