Midwest Finesse Fishing: January 2018

Midwest Finesse Fishing: January 2018

Mother Nature's wintry ways kept scores and scores of Midwest finesse anglers at bay in January. Consequently, this January's guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains only 10 logs and 8,975 words that detail how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished.


It features the piscatorial undertakings of Rick Allen of Dallas; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Duc Pham of Shawnee, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Wes Stueve of Olathe, Kansas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; and one of my northeastern Kansas endeavors.

Once again, the Midwest finesse anglers who ply the reservoirs of north-central Texas were confounded by the lethargic ways of the Florida-strain largemouth bass that the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife has unfortunately stocked for years on end since the early 1970s. Steve Reideler's eight logs reveal how difficult it is to be a black bass angler in north-central Texas in the heart of the winter.  Even 268 miles southeast of the reservoirs that Reideler plies, scores of anglers found the Florida-strain largemouth bass to be an extreme challenge to find and catch in cold-water situations. For example, 332 teams of power anglers competed at a Bass Champs Tournament Trail event on Jan. 20 at Sam Rayburn Lake, and 229 teams failed to traipse up to the tournament's scales to weigh a largemouth bass.


Unlike the 229 teams of anglers at Sam Rayburn that were skunked, Reideler's and his colleagues' Midwest finesse tactics prevented them from being skunked in January.  But they readily acknowledge that their eight outings in north-central Texas  were not remarkably joyful ones.  


Reideler is the primary log writer and editor of this guide. We are grateful, indeed, for his contributions.

Jan. 3 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 3 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

North-central Texas has received its fair share of  unseasonably cold weather since a major cold front walloped this region on Dec. 22, and the unpleasant wintry conditions that accompanied the severe cold front have lingered through Jan. 3. Since Dec. 22, it has felt more like Kansas and Missouri than Texas with nighttime lows plummeting to nine degrees and the daytime highs struggling to climb into the high 20s and low 30s. Many bridges and overpasses were iced over on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, and a light dusting of snow covered portions of the Texas' countryside northwest of Denton.

Typically during this time of year in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area, the average low temperature is 32 degrees and the average high is 53 degrees. But on Jan. 3, it was 16 degrees at 7:00 a.m., 34 degrees at 11:00 a.m., and 44 degrees at 4:00 p.m. The barometric pressure was high and measured 30.43 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.35 at 4:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the northwest at 10 to 13 mph. It was sunny for the first time in days, and there was not a cloud in sight.

From about noon to 4:00 p.m., Rick Allen of Dallas and I conducted our first outing of 2018 at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods for Jan. 3 would occur from 5:16 a.m. to 7:16 a.m., 11:01 a.m. to 1:01 p.m., and 11:32 p.m. to 1:32 a.m.

We elected to fish inside a minor feeder-creek arm on the north end of the reservoir. We discovered that ice was covering portions of the boat ramp, the shoreline adjacent to the ramp, and the back halves of several large main-lake coves. (It is interesting to note that this was the first time that Rick or I have ever seen ice forming on the surface of any of the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas.) We had to use the boat to break about a 75-yard path in the ice inside one of the main-lake coves in order to reach the mouth of this feeder-creek arm. And we were relieved to find that the feeder-creek arm was free of ice.

The water clarity inside this creek arm varied from about 1 1/2 feet of visibility to 4 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 46 to 57 degrees. The water level was 1.45 feet below normal.

The feeder creek's bottom terrain is comprised of clay, sand, gravel, and a few shallow rock ledges. The shorelines are littered with many partially-submerged laydowns, brush piles, and stumps.

During this four-hour endeavor, we caught 20 largemouth bass and one large white crappie, which in our eyes, is a wintertime bonanza. We had a couple of other largemouth bass that were able to liberate themselves before we could hoist them into the boat, and we missed hooking two tentative strikes. Most of these largemouth bass were decent specimens that weighed between 1 1/2 to three pounds.

Rick Allen with one of the 20 largemouth bass that they caught.

All of these largemouth bass were caught in the lower and middle sections of the creek arm in three to five feet of water. Some were associated with submerged laydowns that were situated close to the creek channel. A few were caught next to several submerged brush piles. Two were caught around a steep clay point in a sharp bend of the creek. We did not fish the upper reaches of the creek arm where the water was too shallow to traverse in the boat.

Eighteen largemouth bass were caught in water that ranged from 49 to 52 degrees. Two were caught in water that was 55 degrees.  We failed to garner any strikes in water that was colder than 49 degrees. And we should note that this reservoir was heavily stocked with Florida-strain largemouth bass, which become lethargic and difficult to catch during the winter in north-central Texas.

A Z-Man Fishing Product's California craw TRD HogZ rigged on either a custom-painted 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig bewitched 12 largemouth bass. A Z-Man's Drew's craw TRD HogZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig beguiled five largemouth basss. A custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ caught one largemouth bass. A custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's  Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD TubeZ caught one largemouth bass. A shortened Z-Man's coppertreuse Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig allured one.

We failed to entice any strikes with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's California craw Finesse TRD affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse Z-Man's 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, or a 3.5-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We experimented with all six of the standard Midwest finesse presentations, but the only effective one was a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

Jan. 6 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 6 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

During the past couple of days, Mother Nature released her wintry grip on north-central Texas. Local meteorologists reported that the morning low temperature on Jan. 6 was 33 degrees and the afternoon high was 63 degrees. The average low temperature for north-central Texas on Jan. 6 is 33 degrees, and the average high temperature is 56 degrees. It was a sunny day with a few thin cirrus clouds drifting across the powder-blue sky. The wind angled out of the southeast then turned out of the east at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure ranged from 30.34 to 30.23.

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, joined me for an afternoon of bank-walking at three small community reservoirs that lie in two suburbs south of Denton. All three of these ponds have been stocked with Florida-strain largemouth bass, and they become a nightmare for us to locate and allure from mid-December through mid-March.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing should occur from 2:20 a.m. to 4:20 a.m., 8:33 a.m. to 10:33 a.m., and 2:46 p.m. to 4:46 p.m. Roger and I fished for about four hours between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The first reservoir we fished is about two acres in size. The water displayed about eight to 12 inches of visibility. We were surprised to discover that the water temperature was 42 degrees, which is the coldest we have ever seen it. The water level was about a foot high. The submerged terrain is composed of mostly clay and gravel.

The south end of this reservoir is formed by a decorative concrete and stone dam that is about eight feet high. The bottom area around the dam is covered with softball-size rocks.

The east shoreline is steep, curved, and adorned with several stands of cattails and a few submerged tree limbs.

The north shoreline is straight and is comprised of a shallow mud flat. A small creek enters the reservoir from the west end of the north shoreline. A large patch of winter-dead lily pads adorns most of this shoreline.

The west side of the reservoir is mostly shallow, and it is embellished with scattered patches of winter-dead lily pads.

We slowly dissected this reservoir for about 90 minutes and managed to scrounge up two largemouth bass. One largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of the large patch of winter-dead lily pads along the north shoreline. The other one was caught along the outside edge of a patch of lily pads on the west shoreline. We extracted them from about two feet of water. One was caught on a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD TubeZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that was utilized with an extremely slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve that took about three to four minutes to complete. The other one was caught on a heavily-customized 2 1/2-inch  Z-Man's black-blue-flake FattyZ tube attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig and presented with the same painfully slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

We failed to generate any strikes from the submerged rocks along the dam on the south end of the reservoir and from any portion of the east shoreline.

After that miserable start, we travelled about 13 miles to the other two community reservoirs, which we have not visited in a couple of years. They are situated next to each other.

The first one is about three acres in size. The water exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The water level was about a foot high. The water temperature was 43 degrees. Its submerged terrain consists of clay and gravel.

A shallow clay and gravel flat occupies the reservoir's south end.

The north shoreline is steeply sloped and endowed with a small concrete water outlet. This area was once adorned with a large hydrilla bed, but we could not find any evidence that it still exists.

The west shoreline is endowed with one broad clay point and a small rock pile that lies about 10 yards north of the point.

The east shoreline is mostly flat and straight with a shallow submerged clay ledge that runs parallel and within four feet of the shoreline.

We fished the most promising features of this small impoundment twice, and it surrendered one largemouth bass. It was caught about 45 feet from the water's edge along the north end of the east shoreline, and it was abiding in about eight feet of water. It was caught on the customized 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's black-blue-flake FattyZ tube combo with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve that took four minutes to employ.

The third community reservoir is about the size of a football field, and it  lies a few yards north of the three-acre one that we fished.

A large island occupies a goodly portion of the west side of this impoundment, and two creek channels run parallel to the island's northern and southern shorelines.

The south shoreline is steeper than the northern and western ones, and it is endowed with several prominent points and a decorative stone wall that borders one of the points.

The east end of the reservoir has the deepest water, and is formed with a steep clay bank.

The north shoreline is relatively flat, and features several small clay points and a small concrete water outlet.

The fishing was as trying at this reservoir as it was at the other two, and we labored to catch two largemouth bass. We momentarily hooked four other largemouth bass, but they were able to liberate themselves before we could bring them to our hands.

One largemouth bass was caught on the 2 3/4-inch black-blue-flake TRD TubeZ rig. One was caught on the customized 2 1/2-inch black-blue-flake FattyZ tube combo. The other four largemouth bass that we failed to land were inveigled by the 2 1/2-inch black-blue-flake FattyZ tube. All of them were allured by the excruciatingly slow drag-and-deadstick presentation. We failed to provoke any strikes with a Z-Man's California craw TRD HogZ affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's watermelon-red ZinkerZ attached to a custom-painted red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened Z-Man's black-blue-flake Hula StickZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a shortened Z-Man's coppertreuse Hula StickZ attached to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

All of these largemouth bass were caught in the southeast region of the reservoir.  They were extracted from five to eight feet of water and at least 30 feet from the water's edge. We were unable to generate any other strikes from the other sections of this impoundment.

Overall, the weather was delightful, but the fishing was wretched. It was a tedious chore to catch five largemouth bass in four hours.

Two were caught at the first two-acre impoundment, where the water was muddy and 42 degrees.  One was caught at the second three-acre reservoir, where the water was stained and 43 degrees. From the third and largest impoundment, we caught two largemouth bass and lost four others in stained and 43-degree water.

Roger Farish with two of the five largemouth bass that they caught.

On a positive note, this was the first time that Roger has caught any black bass in the month of January. Furthermore, it is a very difficult task for us to catch a largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or spotted bass in north-central Texas when the water temperature is colder than 52 degrees, so we were surprised to catch these five bass in 42 and 43 degree water.  It took, however, an agonizingly slow drag-and-deadstick presentation with a tube-style bait to allure these few bass.

Jan. 9 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

From about 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I plied a minor but often bountiful feeder-creek arm at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir located in a suburb northwest of Dallas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would most likely occur from 4:43 a.m. to 6:43 a.m., 10:54 a.m. to 12:54 p.m., and 5:05 p.m. to 7:05 p.m.

The morning and early afternoon hours of Jan. 9 were overcast and foggy. We saw the first rays of the sun at about 2:30 p.m. as the sky became partly cloudy. It was 35 degrees at 7:00 a.m., 44 degrees at 11:00 a.m., and 53 degrees at 4:00 p.m. The barometric pressure measured 30.13 at noon and 30.01 at 4:00 p.m. The wind blew steadily out of the southeast at 5 to 10 mph.

I fished this feeder-creek arm with Rick Allen of Dallas on Jan. 3.  At the beginning of that excursion, we were a bit concerned when we found that the middle and back ends of several main-lake coves were covered with ice. And in order for us to reach the entrance to this creek arm, we had to use the boat to break a path through the ice. But once we were inside the creek arm, our minds were put at ease when we saw that it was free of ice. The water temperature inside the creek arm varied from 46 to 57 degrees. We spent four hours fishing inside this feeder creek, and we were delighted to catch 20 largemouth bass.

On Jan. 9, all of the ice in this reservoir's main-lake coves had melted. The water temperature inside the feeder creek was significantly warmer than it was on Jan. 3, and it ranged from 53 to 57 degrees. The water clarity was about 1 1/2 feet at the mouth of the creek arm and 2 1/2 feet of visibility in its midsection. We did not venture into the upper reaches of the feeder creek because the water was too shallow for a boat to safely navigate. The water level was about 1 1/2 feet below normal.

This feeder creek is graced with an abundance of submerged brush piles, laydowns, stumps, and various sizes of logs jammed together into piles in the bends of the creek. Its underwater terrain is composed of mostly gravel, clay, sand, and a few rock ledges.

We shared this creek arm with several other anglers. There were about a dozen or so anglers that were fishing from the shore, and we were relegated to fishing behind several anglers in boats. We were unable to dissect several key bass lairs that were occupied by other anglers.

In short, the fishing was disappointing, and it was a grind for us to allure 12 largemouth bass and 10 white crappie in four hours.

Typically, we find decent numbers of largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this feeder creek relating to the sides and ends of the larger submerged laydowns and brush piles that are situated along the steeply-sloped shorelines that are close to the creek's main channel. But during this outing, the scores and scores of brush piles that we probed yielded only 10 white crappie and not a single largemouth bass or spotted bass. We did, however, extract two largemouth bass from the submerged sides and ends of several large laydowns in three to five feet of water. The other 10 largemouths that we caught were abiding in less than four feet of water and associated with the flatter shorelines that are devoid of any type of wood or rock cover. Some bass anglers refer to these type of shorelines as nothing-looking banks.

Roger and I had to employ a wide array of  Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits rigged on a variety of sizes and colors of Z-Man's 1/20- and 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jigs to bewitch these 12 largemouth bass. Most of them went untouched. We employed all six of the standard Midwest finesse presentations and a few minor variations of those six presentations, and the only productive one was a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

A custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's redbug Finesse WormZ beguiled nine largemouth bass and  six white crappie. A Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught one largemouth bass and three crappie. One largemouth bass and one crappie were caught on a Z-Man's Drew's craw TRD TubeZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. And one largemouth bass was caught on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ.

Jan. 15 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 15 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The weather in north-central Texas has been a constant roller-coaster ride this January. Daytime temperatures have varied from the low 20s to mid-30s for two or three days followed by several days of more moderate temperatures that ranged from the upper 40s to the upper 50s.

Jan. 15 was a mix of both worlds. The morning hours were sunny and the sky was cloudless. The wind meandered out of the south at 3 to 8 mph. It was 35 degrees at 6:00 a.m., 50 degrees at noon, and 57 degrees at 2:00 p.m. Around 2:30 p.m., a significant cold front plowed through the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan areas. The clear sky and bright sun were quickly covered with thick grey clouds, and the air temperatures plummeted into the mid-30s by 4:00 p.m., and it is expected to be 19 degrees by 11:00 p.m. The morning's mild-mannered wind turned from the south and began to blow vigorously out of the north by northwest at 25 to 35 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.32 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.31 at 4:00 p.m.

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, joined me for a five-hour bank-walking excursion at three small community reservoirs that lie on the north side of the Dallas metropolitan area. We decided not to venture out in a boat onto the larger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs because we did not want to get caught in the high winds that were expected to arrive later in the afternoon.

The first community reservoir that we plied is about 20 acres in size. The water exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of clarity. The water temperature was 42 degrees, which is the coldest temperature that we have ever seen at this reservoir. The water level appeared to be normal.

We fished a couple of pools in a small feeder- creek arm on the northeast end of the reservoir. We did not see any current flowing through this feeder creek, and we failed to elicit a strike from either of the two pools that we checked.

We dissected the sides of a long clay and gravel point on the north end of the reservoir's east shoreline, and we generated two very subtle strikes, which we failed to hook.  A Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD TubeZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig provoked one of the strikes. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Company's Mushroom Head jig generated the other strike.

We momentarily hooked one largemouth bass that was dwelling in five feet of water around the tip of a steeply-sloped sand and gravel point in the midsection of the east shoreline, but it was able to pull free before we could land it. This largemouth bass engulfed a shortened four-inch Z-Man's redbug Finesse WormZ fastened onto a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig as it was slowly retrieved with a drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

We failed to entice any strikes along a concrete-slab dam on the south end of the reservoir, a steep sand and gravel shoreline on the west side of the reservoir, or along a thick stand of cattails that ring the shoreline of a large mud flat on the north end of the reservoir.

After we finished fishing the first community reservoir, we traveled about 13 miles to the second one. This smaller community reservoir is about 100 yards long and about 60 yards wide.

The water at this reservoir exhibited about a foot of visibility. The water level was about a foot below normal. The water temperature was 43 degrees.

We slowly and meticulously dissected a steep clay and gravel shoreline on the east side of the impoundment, several steep secondary points, a creek channel that courses along the south side of an island, and about a 35-yard section of shoreline along the northeast portion of the reservoir, but we were unable to generate any strikes.

By the time Roger and I had finished fishing this second reservoir, the cold front had arrived. The sky became overcast, the air temperature dropped into the low-40s, and the wind had picked up to 25 mph.

We had not garnered a strike since we hooked and lost the only largemouth bass of this outing at the first community reservoir about 3 1/2 hours earlier, so we elected to drive another 11 miles and quickly check another small impoundment before the weather forced us to call it a day.

At the third community reservoir, which is about two acres in size, we caught two largemouth bass. One was caught in six feet of water around a steep point that is situated near the south end of the east shoreline. The other one was caught from a shallow clay and gravel ledge next to the west shoreline in three feet of water. We were unable to garner any strikes from the mouth of a small creek that enters the reservoir on the west end of the north shoreline, along the outside edges of several patches of winter-dead lily pads, and from several points along the reservoir's east and west shorelines.

The water exhibited about a foot of visibility. The water level was about a foot high. The water temperature was 42 degrees.

Both of these largemouth bass were allured by a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This Finesse TRD combo was employed with a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

Overall, this was the worst bass fishing that we have endured this January. We spent five hours plying three community reservoirs, and our best efforts could only muster two largemouth bass.

We lost one largemouth bass and failed to hook two very subtle bites at the first reservoir.  We failed to generate any strikes at the second impoundment, and we caught two bass at the third one.

Both of these largemouth bass were caught during the last 45 minutes of this outing, after the cold front had passed and the weather had worsened.

During this outing, we employed a number of Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits rigged on an array of custom-painted 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jigs and 1/16-ounce Gopher jigs that were utilized with several of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves.

One largemouth bass was tempted by the four-inch Z-Man's redbug Finesse WormZ and a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD that we employed with a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

At the first two community reservoirs, we experimented with a few colors and sizes of Rapala's X-Rap and Husky Jerk suspending jerkbaits that we employed with slow twitches and long pauses, but none of them provoked a strike. We have never had much success with suspending jerkbaits in the stained waterways of north-central Texas, but we like to give them a try every now and then and see if we can conjure up an additional strike or two.

Jan. 19 log

Duc Pham of Shawnee, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 19 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs. He fished with Wes Stueve of Olathe, Kansas, who is the proprietor of fishingnotes.com.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 27 degrees and the high temperature was 47 degrees. The wind angled out of the south by southwest at 9 to 25 mph. The sky was clear. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:53 a.m., 30.00 at 5:53 a.m., 29.94 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.84 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:35 a.m. to 1:35 p.m., 11:58 p.m. to 1:58 a.m., and 5:46 a.m. to 7:46 a.m. We fished from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Ice covered the water at both of the main-lake boat ramps. But we were able to launch at the ramp that lies inside the reservoir's warm-water plume. The surface temperature at the warm-water outlet was 41 degrees, and elsewhere it ranged from 41 to 42 degrees, which was significantly cooler than it has been. The water level looked to be slightly below its normal level. The water clarity ranged from stained to murky.

Duc Pham with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

We caught one largemouth bass in eight to 12 feet of water along a steep and rock-laden shoreline, and we caught one largemouth bass in eight to 12 feet of water along another steep and rock-laden shoreline.

Duc Pham with the second largemouth bass that they caught.

They were caught on a Z-Man's California craw Finesse TRD affixed to a 3/32-ounce mushroom-style  jig by employing a 45- to 60-second deadstick presentation.

Jan. 21 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 21 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

A delightful three-day warming trend has begun to warm the many waterways that grace the countryside of north-central Texas, and this vicissitude of weather has made it feel more like spring than winter.  At 4:00 a.m. on Jan. 21, it was 57 degrees. It was 73 degrees by 3:00 p.m. The sky was overcast, and about half an inch of rain fell on me off and on throughout the afternoon. An irksome wind blew incessantly out of the south by southwest at 15 to 25 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.85 at noon and 30.74 at 5:00 p.m.

From 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., I conducted a solo excursion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that is located south of Denton. I spent these four hours hiding from the wind inside the same minor feeder-creek arm that I plied on Jan. 3 with Rick Allen of Dallas, and Jan. 9 with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the most promising fishing periods would occur from 1:02 a.m. to 3:02 a.m., 7:37 a.m. to 9:37 a.m., and 7:48 p.m. to 9:48 p.m.

This small feeder-creek arm is fairly narrow and is about 45 to 60 feet wide. Its underwater terrain consists of mostly gravel and clay, but the bottom composition transitions into a hard rock bottom in the upper reaches of this feeder creek. Many of the partially-submerged laydowns, flooded bushes, stumps, and brush piles that once adorned most of the shorelines and shallow-water areas are now out of water because of the reservoir's receding water levels.

The water exhibited about 1 1/2 to three feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 60 to 63 degrees, which is unusually warm for January. During January of 2017, the water temperature in this creek arm varied from the upper 40s to upper 50s. The water level appeared to be about five feet low, and as I mentioned above, many of the submerged laydowns, brush piles, and stumps are now out of water and on dry land. I did not venture into the upper reaches of this creek because the water is too shallow to safely traverse in a boat.

Overall, the fishing was more difficult and vexing than it was on Jan. 9, when Roger Farish and I struggled to inveigle 12 largemouth bass and 10 large white crappie in four hours. During this Jan. 21 outing, it was a grind to catch five largemouth bass, two spotted bass, eight white crappie, and one white bass.

I caught three largemouth bass and eight white crappie in the lower portion of the feeder creek.The other two largemouth bass, both spotted bass, and the one white bass were caught in the creek's middle section. In short, all of these fish were caught around three large submerged laydowns that are situated many yards apart from each other. They lie in five to seven feet of water along the deep-water edge of the creek channel. The other remaining wood-laden black-bass lairs that I probed failed to surrender a black bass or a strike.

Four largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and seven white crappie were caught on a Z-Man's Canada craw TRD HogZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. One largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one white bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Space Guppy Slim SwimZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. One white crappie engulfed a Z-Man's California craw TRD TubeZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I failed to generate any strikes with an assortment of Z-Man's Finesse TRDs, 3 1/2-inch EZ TubeZs, shortened four-inch Finesse WormZs, Finesse ShadZs, 3 1/2-inch Trick ShotZs, 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZs, shortened Hula StickZs, and 2 3/4-inch Bat WingZs.

A slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve attracted four of the seven black bass and all eight white crappie. Two black bass and the white bass were tempted by a slow and steady swimming retrieve. One largemouth bass preferred a slow hop-and-bounce presentation. I was unable to provoke any strikes with a slow drag-and deadstick retrieve, a drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve, and a slow strolling retrieve.

Another cold front is expected to push through the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan areas during the evening hours of Jan. 21. We hope it is not severe enough to extinguish the meager black-bass bite that we have found.

Jan. 23 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 23 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

A minor cold front passed through north-central Texas during the evening hours of Jan. 21. Prior to this cold front, folks in my neck of the woods were enjoying several days of temperatures that reached the upper 60s and lower 70s. Fortunately, this cold front was not as severe as we thought it would be, and the high temperatures have only dropped into the low 60s instead of the low 40s or upper 30s as we had feared.

On Jan. 23, it was sunny. The sky was cloudless. The morning's  low temperature was 33 degrees and the afternoon's high temperature peaked at 60 degrees. The wind quartered out of the north by northwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.30 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.29 at 4:00 p.m.

I spent the afternoon traipsing around the shorelines of three community reservoirs that lie in a couple of suburbs north of Dallas. I fished the first one from about 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and I fished the third one from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The runoff from several rain storms that accompanied the cold front on Jan. 21 had muddied both of these reservoirs.

I did not fish the second reservoir. We have not fished this impoundment since the winter of 2015-2016, but I wanted to spend a few minutes checking its water level, the clarity of the water, and the condition of its boat ramp for a possible future outing.

At the first community reservoir that I fished, the water displayed about eight inches of visibility.  The water temperature was 51 degrees. The water level was less than a foot high. When I fished this reservoir with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, on Jan. 15, the water was stained with around 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature was 42 degrees, and the black bass fishing was nonexistent. This reservoir failed to relinquish a single strike on Jan. 15, and it did not yield a strike during this outing either.

After I fished the first community reservoir and examined  the second one, I drove about 15 miles to the third community reservoir.

This reservoir surrendered two largemouth bass during my afternoon outing with Roger on Jan. 15. During that outing, we discovered that the water exhibited about a foot of visibility. The water level was about a foot high. The water temperature was 42 degrees.

However, the water conditions have changed significantly since Jan. 15.  This time, the water clarity was worse, and I could not see a Z-Man's charttreuse-sparkle GrubZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ two inches below the surface. The water level was about 1 1/2 feet above normal. The water temperature had increased from 42 degrees to 56 degrees.

For two hours, I dissected the most promising features that this reservoir has to offer, but I struggled to scrounge up three largemouth bass that weighed between 1 1/4 and 1 3/4 pounds.

One largemouth bass  was caught in three feet of water along a shallow clay and gravel ledge that is situated along the south end of the east shoreline. It engulfed a shortened four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse WormZ attached to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was employed with an extremely slow drag-and-deadstick presentation across the top of the ledge.

The second largemouth bass was caught about 20 yards north of the first one. This one was abiding around a clay tertiary point in about four feet of water. It was caught on a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ affixed to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that was implemented with a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve.

The third largemouth bass was extracted from three feet of water next to the outside edge of a small patch of winter-dead lily pads on the west side of the reservoir. It engulfed the Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation parallel to the outside edge of the lily pads.

I failed to provoke any other strikes from nine other prominent features around this reservoir.

So far, this January's bass fishing has been a big disappointment. I have caught 49 black bass across the span of six outings that have totaled 24 hours of fishing. This calculates to a measly average of eight bass per outing and two bass per hour. Nonetheless, these lousy results are still far better than the two or three strikes per day that most black bass anglers in north-central Texas garner during the cold-water months of  January and February.

Jan. 24 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 25 degrees at 4:53 a.m. and 48 degrees at 2:54 p.m. The sky was cloudless, and the sun was blindingly bright. The wind angled out of the west, west by northwest, and west by southwest at 4 to 10 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.29 at 12:53 a.m., 30.33 at 5:53 a.m., 30.38 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.30 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur at 3:45 a.m. to 5:45 a.m., 4:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m., and 9:58 a.m. to 11:58 p.m. Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, and I made our first casts of 2018 at 9:58 a.m., and our last casts and retrieves of this outing were executed at 3:04 p.m.

Except for two of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs, all of our reservoirs are covered with ice. Therefore, Bob and I fished one of those power-plant reservoirs.

On Jan. 19, Duc Pham of Shawnee, Kansas, and Wes Stueve of Olathe, Kansas, fished this reservoir, and the surface temperature had recently plummeted to 41 and 42 degrees within the warm-water plume, and there was some ice at some locales. On Jan. 24, Bob Gum and I found that the surface temperature ranged from 42 to 52 degrees inside the warm-water plume.  Outside the plume, it was 39 degrees. The water clarity was affected by an algal bloom, and it exhibited 15 to 20 inches of visibility.  The water level looked to be normal.

After the winter of 2013-14, the largemouth bass fishing at this reservoir became dreadful. And it remains so.

Even when it was the most stellar wintertime reservoir in northeastern Kansas, it was a difficult venue to inveigle largemouth bass when the power plant was not generating electricity and the water temperature plummeted.  When it plummeted on Jan. 19, Duc Pham and Wes Stueve struggled to catch two largemouth bass.

And in winters past at this power-plant reservoir, we discovered that it was often a difficult task for several weeks after the water temperature plummeted and began to warm up again to locate and catch the largemouth bass.

The power plant was generating electricity on Jan. 24, and the surface temperature rebounded dramatically from what it was on Jan. 19, but Bob Gum and I found the largemouth bass fishing to be extremely difficult.

Across the 306 minutes that we were afloat on Jan. 24, we made hundreds of casts and retrieves that were fruitless.  In fact, only seven of those hundreds of casts and retrieves inveigled a largemouth bass. Two of the seven were caught during the first 10 minutes of this outing.

Three of the seven were caught along a steep and rock- and boulder-laden shoreline, where the surface temperature ranged from 42 to 44 degrees. This shoreline is embellished with several laydowns and rock ledges. The three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Bass Pro Shops' Shroom Head jig in three to six feet of water with a slow swim-and-glide presentation.

Bob Gum with the second largemouth bass of the outing.

We also caught three largemouth bass along another steep and rock- and boulder-laden shoreline, where the surface temperature was 47 degrees. It is embellished with scores of laydowns and rock ledges. One largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig in about three feet of water with a swim-and-glide presentation. The second one was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in four to five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. The third one was caught on a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig in about five feet of water on a swim-and-glide presentation.

One largemouth bass was caught on a flat point that lies several hundred yards from the warm-water outlet. The surface temperature was 50 degrees. It was caught along a ledge and around an assortment of gravel, rocks, and boulders in about 3 1/2 feet of water on a 2 1/2-inch Strike King Lure Company's coppertreuse Zero affixed onto a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation.

We failed to engender a strike along two other steep and rock- and boulder-laden shorelines, where the surface temperature ranged from 42 to 45 degrees.

We failed to elicit a strike along a shallow-water flat that is graced with a submerged creek channel. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It is graced with submerged stumps and several piles of brush and logs. The surface temperature was 47 degrees across this flat.

We failed to garner a strike along a riprap shoreline and point, where the surface temperature was 48 to 49 degrees.

We failed to get a strike along a steep and rock-laden shoreline that is enhanced with the current from the warm-water outlet.  And adjacent to this steep shoreline, we did not beget a strike along a gravel and shallow-water flat, where the surface temperature was 50 degrees.

In the good old days at this reservoir, we used to be able to catch from 40 to 75 largemouth bass per outing in the winter. But those days are long gone. And this old man is not eager to make the 151-mile-round-trip drive to fish this reservoir again.

Jan. 24 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 24 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I could not resist the temptation to get out and enjoy the splendid mild weather that has graced north-central Texas for the past five days, and I ventured to a nearby U.S. Army Corps' of Engineers' hill-land reservoir that I fished on Jan. 21.

The black bass fishing at all of the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas has been extremely trying since mid-December, but this one is still worth the effort to fish. But instead of plying the north end of the reservoir as I did on Jan. 21, I opted to check three areas in the southern portion in hopes of locating and catching a significant concentration of largemouth bass and spotted bass.

It was a picturesque day to be on the water. The bright sunlit sky was cloudless, and the wind was light and variable. The morning low temperature was 33 degrees and the afternoon high temperature climbed to 63 degrees. The barometric pressure was 30.47 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.41 at 4:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the most lucrative fishing periods would most likely occur from 3:54 a.m. to 5:54 a.m., 10:06 a.m. to 12:06 p.m., and 4:18 p.m. to 6:18 p.m. I made my first cast at 11:37 a.m. and my last one at 3:35 p.m.

The Texas Water Development Board noted that the water level at this impoundment was 1.61 feet below normal pool. The water clarity ranged from 14 inches to 2 1/2 feet. The water temperature in the main-lake areas was 46 degrees; it was 42 degrees on Jan. 21.

I began the outing by  fishing around a large marina that occupies a main-lake cove on the south side of the southwest tributary arm. The submerged terrain inside this cove consists of clay, gravel, and small rocks. Its shorelines possess a 30- to 45-degree slope.

I caught one largemouth bass inside this cove. It was abiding in 15 feet of water off the end of a steep secondary point on the east side of the cove. It was allured by a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ dressed on a custom-painted blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that was slowly dragged and deadsticked up the slope of the point. I failed to cross paths with any black bass underneath several of the marina's covered boat docks and around a submerged rock ledge on the west side of the cove.

From the main-lake cove, I made a mile run westward to a major roadway bridge and an adjacent railroad trestle bridge. I dissected two riprap-laden bridge embankments that are situated at each end of the two bridges, and a series of concrete support columns underneath the bridges, but I was unable to generate any strikes.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon probing many yards of riprap that covers the dam on the south end of the impoundment.

I did not elicit any strikes from the western portion of the dam.

Along a 10-yard section of riprap in the middle section of the dam, I caught two hefty largemouth bass and one spotted bass in six to 10 feet of water and about 20 feet away from the water's edge. The two largemouth bass were caught on back-to-back casts. One of the largemouth bass weighed five pounds, one ounce. The other one weighed four pounds, six ounces. Two casts after that, I caught a 2 1/2-pound spotted bass, which is a large specimen for north-central Texas. These three black bass were caught on a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Steve Reideler with one of the largemouth bass that he caught along the dam.

I shared the east end of the dam with three other boats of anglers. And I caught one 2 1/2-pound largemouth bass and a three-pound freshwater drum on the Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD rig and slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

In short, it was a tedious chore to catch five largemouth bass and one freshwater drum in three hours and 58 minutes.

Jan. 25 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

It was another picturesque winter day with an abundance of sunshine and a clear blue sky. Area thermometers registered the morning low temperature at 34 degrees at 5:00 a.m. and the afternoon high temperature at 66 degrees at 3:00 p.m.  At noon, the barometric pressure measured 30.39, and by 4:00 p.m., it had fallen to 30.30. A pesky wind blew steadily out of the south at 15 to 20 mph.

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I ventured to the same U.S. Army Corps' of Engineers' reservoir that I fished on Jan. 24. This was John's first outing of 2018.  But to our dismay, it was too windy to safely fish around the main-lake areas in the south end of the reservoir. Therefore, we elected to fish inside the same small and heavily fished feeder-creek arm that I fished on Jan. 3, 9,and 21.  This feeder creek is located in the northern section of the reservoir, and it is the only locale that I have found this winter that would give John a reasonable chance to catch a few largemouth bass and spotted bass.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 4:44 a.m. to 6:44 a.m., 10:06 a.m. to 12:06 p.m., and 4:18 p.m. to 6:18 p.m.

John and I fished inside this minor feeder-creek arm from about 11:45 a.m. to 4:25 p.m., and it provided us with sufficient protection from the peppy south wind.

The water temperature ranged from 55 to 58 degrees. The water clarity varied from 18 to 24 inches of visibility. The water level was 1.61 feet below normal.

During this 280-minute endeavor, we were relegated to fishing behind five other boats of power anglers, and we had to navigate around quite a few bank anglers who were fishing for crappie at many of our most productive black bass lairs. It became quite a challenge for us to find a  black bass lair or two that had not already been pummeled by the other anglers. But somehow we managed to catch nine largemouth bass, six large white crappie, and three hefty white bass.

We were unable to determine any type of location pattern. Most of these fish were scattered about here and there around a few submerged brush piles and laydowns that were situated in three to six feet of water. There was one exception to this routine, however, when we caught four large crappie from underneath the low branches of a large overhanging tree.

Four of the nine largemouth bass were beguiled by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  Another four largemouth bass were bewitched by a Z-Man's California craw TRD HogZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. A Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught the other largemouth bass. The six white crappie and three white bass were also caught on the two TRD HogZ rigs.

We failed to coax any largemouth bass or spotted bass into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rigged on a custom-painted red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's redbug Finesse WormZ on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig,  a Z-Man's Canada craw TRD HogZ affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Scented LeechZ dressed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a four-inch Zoom Bait Company's green-pumpkin Mini-Lizard rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

These largemouth bass, white crappie, and white bass were enticed by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. We were unable to generate any strikes with a slow do-nothing swimming retrieve, a slow hop-and-bounce retrieve, a drag-and-deadstick retrieve, or a drag-and-shake presentation.

We had an opportunity to speak with several of the boat anglers and shoreline anglers throughout the afternoon. They found the fishing to be as difficult as we did. Many of them reported that they had not caught a single fish. Around 3:30 p.m., we crossed paths with two boat anglers who were leaving. They told us they had caught only three small largemouth bass.

Jan. 28 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Jan. 28 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From about noon to 4:00 p.m., I fished at one of north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs. It is the same one that I fished on Jan. 24 and 25.

What a lousy day of fishing. In fact, this outing ranks as my worst black bass outing of 2018.

I cannot blame it on the weather; the past few days have been splendid. Typically this time of year, the average low temperature for the Dallas- Ft. Worth metropolitan areas is 33 degrees. The average high is 53 degrees. It was 35 degrees at 7:00 a.m. on Jan. 28, and 66 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The sky was clear and displayed an indigo-blue hue. The wind was mostly light and variable, and it was calm for a few short spells. The barometric pressure was 30.37 at noon and 30.30 at 4:00 p.m.

The water exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was 1.64 feet below normal. The water temperature was 47 degrees.

I started fishing  at the dam, which is covered with riprap and forms the reservoir's southern perimeter. I caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass along the dam's middle and eastern portions on Jan. 24, and I was hoping it would yield several largemouth bass and spotted bass this time. When I arrived, I observed several other boats of anglers already plying the middle and east end of the dam. Nonetheless, I spent more than two hours probing about 80 percent of the submerged riprap. I employed various colors of  Z-Man's Finesse TRDs, Finesse ShadZs, TRD TubeZs, shortened Hula StickZs, Finesse WormZs, and TRD HogZs rigged on custom-painted chartreuse and blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jigs, as well as several Rapala X-Rap Suspending jerkbaits, and suspending Glass Rap crankbaits, and I failed to provoke a single strike.

After I finished fishing the dam, I fished a 75-yard section of a rock- and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline on the south side of the reservoir's southwest tributary arm. And I failed to catch a largemouth bass or spotted bass abiding around the submerged rocks and boulders.

After that, I ventured inside a feeder-creek arm on the south side of the southwest tributary arm. Inside this creek arm, I fished about 60-yards of its northeast shoreline, a long floating tractor-tire reef at the mouth of the creek arm, 30 yards of a steep and rocky shoreline on the east side of the creek arm, three rocky secondary points in the middle section, and a concrete boat ramp situated on its west shoreline. I garnered only one strike from these seven locales, and it occurred along the northeast shoreline on a Z-Man's back-blue-flake TRD HogZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that was implemented with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve. This strike turned out to be a hefty freshwater drum.

From the feeder-creek arm, I ventured to two large bridges in the southwest tributary arm. I was surprised to see about two dozen boats of crappie anglers fishing underneath the bridges and next to many of the support columns. I fished around about a dozen of the unoccupied concrete support columns and caught one largemouth bass. It was extracted from the base of one of the shallow concrete support columns located at the end of one of the bridges, which is surrounded by 10 feet of water. This largemouth bass was caught on the black-blue-flake TRD HogZ rig and a slow drag-and-deadstick presentation. The other bridge columns failed to surrender a largemouth bass or spotted bass.

As I was putting my boat on the trailer, several other boat anglers were putting their boats on their trailers. We struck up a conversation about our day's efforts. Most of them were crappie anglers. Only one of them had caught a crappie. The others said they had not elicited a strike. Two were bass anglers, and they reported that they had enticed two strikes but were unable to hook either of them.

In sum, I caught one largemouth bass and one freshwater drum in four hours. And as January comes to a close, we are having an extremely difficult time locating and catching black bass in north-central Texas.

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