Midwest Finesse Fishing: July 2017

Midwest Finesse Fishing: July 2017

The July guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 21 logs and 20,294 words that explained how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the endeavors of Rick Allen of Dallas; Adam Fancovic of Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area; Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas; Vincent Graceffa of Overland Park, Kansas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; David Harrison of Lawrence, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Robbie Jack of Dallas; Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Ralph Manns of Rockwall, Texas; Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; Mike Trometer of Plano, Texas; as well as my northeastern Kansas logs.


Two of these anglers fished many miles from the waters that they normally ply.  Bob Gum ventured to Ontario, Canada. David Harrison fished in Colorado.

As always, we are thankful that Steve Reideler proof read all of the logs. He made them more readable and understandable.


July 2 log


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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I made a 55-mile sojourn to Rockwall, Texas, where I joined In-Fisherman field editor and fisheries biologist Ralph Manns for an afternoon jaunt at a three-acre community reservoir behind his home.

The sun was shining vibrantly in a partly-clouded sky. The Weather Underground recorded the afternoon high temperature at 94 degrees and the morning low temperature was 73 degrees.  The heat index hit 102 degrees. The wind streamed out of the south at 6 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.02 at 3:00 p.m. and 29.96 at 6:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 12:08 a.m. to 2:08 a.m., 6:19 a.m. to 8:19 a.m., and 6:41 p.m. to 8:41 p.m. Ralph and I were afloat from about 3:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The three-acre community reservoir behind Ralph's home features a mud dam that forms the reservoir's northern perimeter. The main creek channel courses its way from the southeast corner of the impoundment to the dam. In the lower third portions of the reservoir, a small feeder creek emerges from the east shoreline and eventually joins the main creek.

Thick patches of green pond weeds border all of the shorelines. Burgeoning beds of submerged chara occupy most of the shallow-water areas along the shoreline.  Other features that enhance this small impoundment are a concrete culvert and an adjacent ditch that cuts across a shallow mud flat on the east side of the reservoir just north of the feeder creek, two decorative stone retaining walls, several laydowns, a long mud bar that extends westward from the southeastern portion of the reservoir, and several submerged brush piles.

The water was clear and displayed six feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 90 to 92 degrees, and the water level was normal.

We began the outing at the dam, where we caught three largemouth bass.  They were dwelling in three to eight feet of water and were relating to the outside edge of a large mat of submerged chara.

We worked our way southward along the west shoreline, where we dissected five brush piles, three laydowns, and several large patches of pondweed and chara. We fished this area twice. Shaded areas were much more productive than sun-drenched areas, and we caught 20 largemouth bass that were scattered along this shoreline. Most of these bass were relating to the outside edges of the pondweed and submerged chara. They were milling about in three to six feet of water. Three of the largemouth bass were associated with two submerged brush piles in three to five feet of water.

After we fished the west shoreline, we slowly dissected the south shoreline and the mud bar that extends from the southeast shoreline. We failed to entice any strikes along the south  shoreline, but we caught three largemouth bass in eight to 13 feet of water from the submerged mud bar.

After that, we slowly meandered northward along the east shoreline, and when we failed to provoke any other strikes there, we returned to the shaded areas along the west shoreline and dam, where we finished the outing.

In sum, we caught 26 largemouth bass and one large bluegill in three hours and 15 minutes. The bulk of the largemouth bass measured from 12 to 14 inches. Six of them measured from 15 to 17 1/2 inches. Two measured less than 12 inches.

Nine largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a pumpkin-pepper 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig. Ralph caught seven largemouth bass on a five-inch Zoom Bait Company's Kudzu Finesse Worm rigged Texas-style with a 1/8-ounce slip sinker.  A shortened four-inch Z-Man's watermelon Finesse WormZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig caught three largemouth bass and the large bluegill. A shortened Z-Man's pumpkin-green-flake Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig  caught three largemouth bass.  A Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Scented LeechZ on a purple 1/16-ounce Gopher jig inveigled two largemouth bass.  A chartreuse 1/16-ounce inline spinner caught one largemouth bass, and another largemouth bass was caught on an 1/8-ounce white inline spinner.

The 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rig was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We used a slow drag-and-deadstick presentation with the shortened four-inch Z-Man's watermelon Finesse WormZ, shortened four-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-green-flake Finesse WormZ, and five-inch Zoom's Finesse Worm rig.  The two inline spinners were retrieved with a moderately fast and steady swimming presentation.

July 5 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his July 5 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:I wanted to fish at one of northeastern Kansas' many small reservoirs that I had not fished.  But Mother Nature's cranky ways forced me to amend my plans at the last minute.

I wanted to fish at one of northeastern Kansas' many small reservoirs that I had not fished.  But Mother Nature's cranky ways forced me to amend my plans at the last minute.

As I hitched up the boat trailer and glanced at the sky, I noticed several areas of billowing clouds indicating that rain showers were building.  A quick check with Weather Bug's online radar showed several significant showers approaching the reservoir I was planning to fish.  When I finished hitching the boat trailer, the radar showed that the showers were intensifying. So, I decided to head to a community reservoir that would not be hit by the rain. As I pulled out of the drive, I noticed sprinkles of raindrops on the windshield, making me think that I was getting on the road just in the nick of time.

When I arrived 30 minutes later at the community reservoir, the sky in the direction of the showers was solidly black, but the sun was shining on this reservoir, and it looked to be a beautiful afternoon with a high of only 88 degrees; not bad for a July day in northeastern Kansas. The wind angled out of the north to northeast at 8 to 20 mph.

The water's surface temperature was 82 degrees. The water clarity varied from about 12 inches in some of the feeder-creek arms to about three feet around the main-body of the reservoir. The water level appeared to be at least 1 1/2 feet above normal.

There were a significant number of recreational boaters pulling skiers and wake boards, which made the water inside one of the reservoir's major feeder-creek arms riled up with wakes and waves.

I decided to head up the reservoir to calmer waters and try to locate some black bass.  I made my first casts along a main-lake shoreline that rises almost vertically out of the water and forms a high bluff that ends at a main-lake point at the entrance to a large feeder-creek arm.  Along a 100-yard stretch of this main-lake shoreline, I caught three fish: one warmouth, one bluegill, and one largemouth bass.  All three fish were hooked on a Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The largemouth bass engulfed the Hula StickZ rig on the initial drop along a rocky shoreline and between two patches of American water willows.

I fished the main-lake point and most of the south shoreline inside the feeder-creek arm, and I did not catch a fish.

Then I moved to the north shoreline of this feeder-creek arm, and I began to fish towards the main lake.  I caught one largemouth along this shoreline.  It was abiding in about eight feet of water in the center of a small cove or notch along the shoreline that is embellished with a boat ramp and dock. It was beguiled by a Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a glide-shake-and-deadstick retrieve.   I fished the entire north shoreline inside the cove and its main-lake point.

Then I fished about 200 yards of the main-lake shoreline adjacent to the main-lake point. Portions of the main-lake shoreline are steep, and it is laden with rocks and gravel. It is embellished with some overhanging trees, various kinds of shrubbery, and patches of American water willows. Along the main-lake shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass on the Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  Along this shoreline, the boat floated in water five to 12 feet deep.  The largemouth bass were caught during the first few feet of the retrieve, which began near the water's edge.

By the time I made my last casts along this main-lake shoreline, the wind's velocity had increased to nearly 20 mph. The sky was overcast. It sprinkled and I could hear some distant thunder.  It looked as if I might get rained out after all.

I decided that I needed to find some protection from the wind if I was going to fish effectively.  So, I moved inside another large feeder-creek arm, which lies along the east side of the reservoir. Its shorelines are flat and shallow, and they failed to yield a black bass.

Then I fished a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to that feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The water's edge is embellished with some laydowns and patches of American water willows. It failed to yield a black bass, as did the shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm.

I glanced at my watch and noticed that I had been fishing for 2 1/2 hours, and my fish counter indicated that I had caught only four largemouth bass and a few panfish.  The sun was also shining brightly, and it was sweltering hot along the wind-sheltered shoreline that I was fishing.

At that point in time, I decided I had to move to the lower end of the reservoir and tolerate the boat wakes if I was to find a concentration of black bass to catch.

So, I traveled down the lake to a rocky main-lake point at the entrance of a major feeder-creek arm. I caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass along this point with a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  The smallmouth bass was caught on a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve in about eight feet of water.  The largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve along the edge of a patch of American water willows.

Adjacent to the main-lake point, there is a small cove that has a riprap jetty and large section of a floating dock that is moored to the jetty. I caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass on consecutive casts into the gap between the riprap and the floating dock.  They were caught during the first couple of yards of a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I caught another smallmouth bass along the opposite point of that small cove on a slow swim-shake-and-deadstick retrieve in about six feet of water on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its water's edge is graced with some patches of American water willows and overhanging trees. There are several man-made brush piles situated in 10 to 15 feet of water along this point.

Along a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline along the north side of this feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass.  It was relating to shallow shoreline cover, and it was caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and shake retrieve.  The water's edge is littered with laydowns and some patches of American water willows. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.  I also had a fish strip the Junebug Hula StickZ off the chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

After a fish stripped the Junebug Hula StickZ off of the jig, I decided to move across to the south shore of the feeder-creek arm to a 200-yard section of steep rocky shoreline that is adorned with overhanging vegetation and patches of American water willows.  Along this stretch, the boat floated in eight to 15 feet of water. And during the next 45 minutes, I caught several largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in eight to 10 feet of water. All of these fish were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Mushroom Head jig. They were caught on a slow swim-shake-and-deadstick retrieve.  Many of the strikes were difficult to detect, exhibiting a mushy feeling or a subtle abnormal feeling.

In sum, I fished from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. During this 4 1/2-hour outing, I caught 11 largemouth bass, six smallmouth bass, nine bluegill, three freshwater drum, two crappie, and one warmouth.

The best lure was a Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  Several fish were caught on a Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a Z-Man's  Junebug Hula StickZ  on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig.  No fish were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green- pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The best retrieve was a slow swim-shake-and-deadstick retrieve. A significant number of black bass did not strike the lure until it was several yards away from the shoreline.

July 7 log

Steve  Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 7 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, at a north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir.

It was sunny and hot, and we were beginning to feel the heat as we launched the boat. Area thermometers registered the morning low temperature at 73 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 98 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.84 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.85 at 12:00 noon. The wind was light and variable, and at times, it was calm.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be at its best from 4:09 a.m. to 6:09 a.m., 10:21 a.m. to 12:21 p.m., and 4:33 p.m. to 6:33 p.m. Rick and I fished from 8:30 a.m. to 11:56 a.m.

The water was stained with three feet of visibility. The water temperature was 83 degrees. The water level was normal.

We spent three hours and 26 minutes fishing in the lower portion of the east tributary arm.

During the first 40 minutes of this outing, we focused our attentions on searching for largemouth bass and spotted bass at a main-lake point, a 40-yard section of main-lake shoreline adjacent to that main-lake point, and a 25-yard segment of a riprap jetty close to the boat ramp. These locales are usually reliable and productive black bass haunts, but not this time. We failed to elicit any strikes at the main-lake point or along the 40-yard segment of the main-lake shoreline next to the point. We did manage to provoke a couple of tentative strikes along a 25-yard section of riprap on the south side of the jetty, but we failed to hook those fish.

After that abysmal start, we headed to the south end of the reservoir, where we thought we would dissect a water tower outlet and many yards of riprap along the dam.

About halfway to the dam, we unexpectedly crossed paths with hundreds and hundreds of white bass that were running amuck and frantically gorging themselves on two-inch threadfin shad along the main river channel in 65 to 88 feet of water. And for the next two hours and 46 minutes, we caught them at a hand-over-fist pace.  By the time we executed our final casts and retrieves, our fish counter indicated that we had caught 307 white bass.

All of them were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. We retrieved the Slim SwimZ combos with a fast and steady swimming retrieve between six inches and a foot beneath the surface of the water, but it was important not to retrieve the Slim SwimZ too fast. The water was clear enough that we could see many of the strikes.

Overall, we were delighted with the durability and effectiveness of the Slim SwimZs, and we caught all of these white bass on the same two baits throughout the outing. We noticed that several other anglers  who were fishing close to us were employing jigging spoons, but they were catching only an occasional fish or two while vertically jigging their spoons close to the bottom.

This is also the most fish of any species that we have ever caught in one outing. Our second best outing occurred on April 27, 2016, when Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I caught 275 fish, which consisted of 263 white bass, 11 black bass, and one pumpkinseed sunfish in 7 1/2 hours at another Corps' reservoir in north-central Texas.

July 9 log

Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas, filed a brief about an outing she and Vincent Graceffa of Overland Park, Kansas, had on July 9 at a community reservoir in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of her brief:

In an effort to avoid the blistering midday heat we went on an evening kayak outing.

According to The Weather Underground, the temperature when we launched at 7:00 p.m. was 88 degrees and dropped to 84 degrees at 9:00 p.m. when we got off the water. The sky was clear. The wind angled out of the south at 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.88 and falling.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., 6:52 p.m. to 8:52 p.m. and 12:19 a.m. to 2:19 a.m.

The surface temperature was 84 degrees. The water exhibited 24 to 36 inches of visibility. Much of this reservoir's shorelines are covered with lily pads. They are some of the most established lily pads I have seen in the state of Kansas, and they are flourishing in water as shallow as six inches and as deep as 10 feet.

The bulk of the fish were caught by using a Texas-rigged Reaction Innovations' Sweet Beaver on a either an 1/8 or a 1/4-ounce bullet weight in the color California 420 or a Strike King Lure Company's  KVD Strike King Flippin Jig in 3/16 or 1/4-ounce in colors black/blue flake or green pumpkin/black flake. In rocky areas, we used a Z-Man's California craw Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom jig. Another gentlemen fishing alongside us mentioned that he was using the Ned Rig and caught so many fish he felt as though he was cheating.

In total, we caught 17 largemouth bass in the two hours. The largest bass, weighing 4.25 pounds, was caught using the Reaction Innovations' California 420 Sweet Beaver on a 1/8-ounce bullet weight, and it was retrieved by employing a slow lift from three o'clock to a one o'clock position, and then we dropped the rod back to the three o'clock position, and then repeated the lift-and-drop routine.

The bulk of the largemouth bass were abiding in four to eight feet of water.

The shorelines of this reservoir were full of anglers of every age. This limited us to locales that were full of lily pads and other kinds of aquatic vegetation. We caught the majority of the largemouth bass within and along the edges of lily pads.

July 10 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

 Mike Trometer of Plano, Texas, joined me for a morning outing at a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. I fished this reservoir on June 26 with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and we struggled to catch  a combination of 21 largemouth bass and spotted bass in 4 1/2 hours.

July 10 was a typical summer day in north-central Texas.  The sky was partly cloudy, and there was plenty of bright sunshine. The wind angled out of the east by southeast at 10 to 12 mph. The morning low temperature was 70 degrees and the afternoon high was 93 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 7:54 a.m. and 29.95 at 11:54 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur  from 5:56 a.m. to 7:56 a.m., 11:44 a.m. to 1:44 p.m., and 12:09 p.m. to 2:09 p.m. Mike and I fished from about 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

We fished one large main-lake clay and gravel flat, six main-lake points,  a 25-yard section of a riprap embankment underneath a bridge,  six concrete support columns adjacent to that riprap embankment, a small secondary point inside one feeder-creek arm, one main-lake shoreline, and a rocky secondary point, rock ledge, and steep rocky shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm. We also spent some time using our sonar devices to examine a large offshore submerged hump and a third feeder-creek arm for large concentrations of threadfin shad and black bass. All of these areas are situated in the southern region of the reservoir.

Overall, the fishing was lousy. We covered a lot of water and dissected a wide variety of structures and cover in order to catch a measly seven largemouth bass and five spotted bass during this trying four-hour endeavor.

Two largemouth bass and two spotted bass were caught from two of the six main-lake points. Three of these six points are flat and three are steep. Their underwater terrains consist of mostly gravel, red clay, a few scattered submerged boulders, and some decaying stumps. One of the two fruitful points was flat and endowed with a dilapidated boat ramp, which yielded two spotted bass. They were abiding in six to eight feet of water off the end of the ramp. The two largemouth bass were caught in three to six feet of water from another main-lake point that was steeper than the one where we caught the two spotted bass, and they were relating to several submerged boulders in three to five feet of the water. All four of these black bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside one of the three feeder-creek arms, we caught two spotted bass from the end of a secondary point that is embellished with two asphalt boat ramps, red clay, gravel, and rocks. They were caught in four feet of water from the end of one of the two asphalt boat ramps on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The second feeder-creek arm yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught along the east side of the creek arm and next to the side of a submerged rock ledge in eight feet of water. We caught it on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to elicit any strikes along a rocky secondary point on the north side of the rock ledge and from a steep and rocky shoreline just south of the rock ledge.

We made a quick check of the third feeder-creek arm with our sonar devices. The water inside this feeder-creek arm was muddy with less than a foot of visibility, and we did not detect any shad or other fish activity in this creek arm, and we left without making a cast.

The large main-lake flat was a bit more productive than the feeder-creek arms. We fished a 50-yard segment along the south side of this flat, which is covered with three to five feet of water and lined with thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation. A fairly wide ditch cuts across this portion of the flat and comes within 20 feet of the flooded patches of terrestrial vegetation. The submerged ditch is covered with 14 feet of water. We caught four largemouth bass in three to five feet of water along the outside edges of the flooded terrestrial vegetation. They were caught on the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve that we employed with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig. We missed one strike that was generated with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  We did not entice any strikes along the edges of the ditch.

We caught one spotted bass from a 20-yard section of the main-lake shoreline. The underwater terrain of this shoreline in comprised of gravel, clay, and the remnants of an old asphalt roadbed. This spotted bass was relating to several large chunks of asphalt that were lying in three to five feet of water. It engulfed the shortened mud minnow Hulka StickZ combo on the initial fall.

We failed to provoke any strikes along four of the six main-lake points, inside one feeder-creek arm, the riprap-laden embankment underneath a bridge, or from any of the six concrete support columns adjacent to the riprap embankment.

We also used our sonar to search for black bass, temperate bass, and threadfin shad on the top and along the sides of a submerged main-lake hump. The top of the hump is covered with 18 feet of water and the sides plunge into 35 to 42 feet of water, but we did not find any threadfin shad, black bass, or temperate bass relating to this hump.

In sum, we failed to locate any large concentrations of threadfin shad, black bass, or temperate bass. The shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was the only effective Midwest finesse rig. Mike experimented with a Berkley's watermelon-pearl Gulp! Minnow rigged on a generic 1/8-ounce green and white ball-head jig and a variety of crankbaits that failed to elicit any strikes.

A slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation allured 11 of the 12 black bass that we caught. One spotted bass was caught on the initial fall of the mud minnow Hula StickZ combo.

July 13 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, posted a report on the Finesse News Network about his July 13 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

My plan was to get an early start at a heavily fished community reservoir, and do some topwater fishing, which is something I had not done for a long time.  After getting my coffee, I looked out the window and was chagrined to see rain. It was a totally unpredicted situation and completely missed by the weather forecasts. So, I waited until the rain ended before I hitched up the boat trailer. After 90 minutes elapsed, I was on the road, but the sun was already high in the sky, and my original plans to pursue a surface bite were abandoned. But the day was looking good for pursuing black bass with Midwest finesse strategies. When I arrived at the boat ramp, however, I found that it was blocked with orange traffic cones, and a sign that said it would be closed for the next six days, and no boating was allowed during that time. Suppressing feelings of frustration and victimization with the philosophical mantra that you cannot fight city hall, I considered my options and decided to head for a community reservoir that I had never fished.

When I finally arrived at the boat ramp at 9:30 a.m., the air temperature was 78 degrees. When I made my last cast of the outing, it was 94 degrees. The sky was mostly overcast, and it gradually became partly cloudy. The wind blew from the east to southeast at 3 to 15 mph. It was extremely muggy, and the relative humidity ranged from 60 percent to 80 percent.  Thunderstorms were predicted to develop later in the afternoon.

The surface temperature was 85 degrees. There was a moderate algae bloom, and there was about 12 inches of visibility.

I began fishing a rock jetty and dock adjacent to the boat ramp, but I did not elicit any strikes.

Then I fished the riprap along the dam, which was approximately a quarter of a mile long. It yielded three largemouth bass. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  The other two largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  All three of them were caught in shallow water and several yards from the water's edge. Along the length of the dam, the boat floated in water from four to 14 feet deep.

Upon reaching the east end of the dam, I turned the corner and began fishing the east shoreline adjacent to the dam. I caught another largemouth along this shoreline on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ  on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. It was caught in about four feet of water on a drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

Along the east side of the reservoir, I continued to fish along the main-lake shoreline, the shorelines inside a secondary feeder-creek arm, both main-lake points at the entrance to this feeder-creek arm, another 150-yard section of the main-lake shoreline, and a secondary point. The water along these shorelines and points was very shallow, and the boat floated in 1 1/2 to three feet of water.  I wielded an array of Z-Man's Hula StickZs and Z-Man's Finesse WormZs, and I failed to elicit a strike.

I then moved across the main body of the reservoir to its west shoreline. It is steep and laden with rocks and decorated with some overhanging trees and shrubbery. The water was relatively deep, and the boat floated in eight to 20 feet of water. I fished about 300 yards of this main-lake shoreline and did not receive any strikes. The shoreline ended at a main-lake point at the entrance to a major feeder-creek arm.

Along this main-lake shoreline, the wind was a problematical factor. It was blowing briskly. It moved the boat at a quick pace along the shoreline. And it created a significant bow in my line.  And I suspect it contributed to my lack of success.

After turning the corner into the major feeder-creek arm, I was sheltered from the wind, and I caught a largemouth bass along the shoreline adjacent to the main-lake point.  It was caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about 10 feet of water on a slow hop-and-deadstick retrieve. This shoreline is steep, and the depth of the water dropped sharply into 10 feet, where it leveled out.  I made my casts to the water's edge and allowed the Hula StickZ rig to sink to the bottom.  When it reached the bottom, I then gave it a little hop and let it sink back to the bottom again.  After each hop, it appeared to sink two to three feet down the steep underwater terrain.  The first largemouth bass struck when the rig appeared to be at or close to the bottom.  I used the same retrieve to catch two more largemouth bass along this shoreline.  They were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-man's Finesse ShroomZ jig in about 10 feet of water. I continued to fish along this shoreline, and about two-thirds of the way inside this feeder-creek arm, I caught two largemouth bass on a tertiary point. They were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about four feet of water.

I then moved down the reservoir and fished a 300-yard section of a rocky main-lake shoreline.  Along this shoreline I caught one largemouth bass around a tertiary point in six feet of water. It was caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-deadstick retrieve. This shoreline ended at a main-lake point that forms the junction with another major feeder-creek arm.  I caught two largemouth bass along the main-lake shoreline adjacent to the point. They were caught on a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about seven feet of water.

From that main-lake point, I fished about 100 yards of the rocky shoreline inside the feeder-creek arm. In about four feet of water around a tertiary point, I caught a largemouth bass on a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. I caught another largemouth bass a few yards away from the tertiary point on a quick swimming retrieve, and before I caught it, it was foraging on gizzard shad on the surface.

After I caught that surface-feeding largemouth bass, I returned to the main-lake point, where I caught two largemouth bass on the molting craw Hula StickZ rig by casting it to the water's edge and employing what I call a swim-swim-and-glide presentation. They were caught on the second or third repetition of the swim-swim sequence and during the glide.

I ended up fishing for about 4 1/2 hours on this very hot and muggy day.  I caught a total of 16 largemouth bass. I also caught four green sunfish and one channel catfish.  There was no dominant retrieve or lure color.  I caught all of the largemouth bass on the shortened Hula StickZ rigs.

I did not catch any fish on a  2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  I did catch one green sunfish on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I caught largemouth bass on several different retrieve styles, and I experimented with several of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves and various modifications of those retrieves.

To my dismay, I lost a lot of rigs. I broke two jig hooks on the rocks.  I lost three rigs that I could not free from underwater obstacles. I lost another one when I lost my grip on a fish and the line broke as the fish fell into the water.

July 13 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

The black bass fishing has been so disheartening at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's reservoirs of north-central Texas during the past several months that we are at a loss for words to describe it.  Many anglers in these parts have turned their attentions to chasing temperate bass instead of black bass. John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I decided to pursue mostly white bass during this July 13 outing, but we also spent a little time checking out a few black bass lairs after the white bass bite petered out.

John and I returned to a north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir where the white bass fishing has been stellar for the past week. I fished this reservoir from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon with Rick Allen of Dallas on July 7, and we enjoyed the best numbers outing of our lives as we caught 307 white bass.

As John and I launched the boat at 7:52 a.m., the water temperature was 84 degrees, and it warmed to 86 degrees by the time we put the boat on the trailer at 11:36 a.m. The Texas Water Development Board reported that the water level at this reservoir was 0.13 feet below normal pool. The water was stained and exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility.

The wind angled out of the southwest at 10 to 16 mph. The sky was sunny and clear, displaying a pleasant powder-blue hue. Area thermometers registered the morning low temperature at 75 degrees and the afternoon high reached 94 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.11 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.13 at 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:23 a.m. to 4:23 a.m., 8:34 a.m. to 10:34 a.m., and 2:46 p.m. to 4:46 p.m. John and I made our first casts at 8:00 a.m. and our last ones at 11:30 a.m.

We began this outing scouting for schools of surface-foraging white bass along the main river channel in the east tributary arm.  We encountered several humongous schools of white bass that were foraging on 1/2- to two-inch threadfin shad in the middle of the river channel. This portion of the river channel is covered with 77 feet of water. We were amazed at the number of white bass that were aggressively feeding in this area, and one of the larger schools was about the size of a football field. We also observed  large aggregations of threadfin shad that were scurrying around everywhere. For the next 70 minutes, we took great delight in tangling with 143 white bass at a hand-over-fist pace. All of them were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, which  was retrieved with a fast and steady swimming retrieve about six inches below the surface of the water.

Around 9:10 a.m., the wind increased to 16 mph, and the water became choppy and covered with white caps. The large concentrations of shad suddenly dispersed and disappeared, and the white bass bite evaporated in a matter of seconds. We searched up and down the main river channel for other schools of white bass, but we failed to locate any other ones.

After the white bass fishing came to an abrupt end in the main-river channel, we decided to see if we could locate any large aggregations of largemouth bass and spotted bass. We quickly discovered that the black bass were far less plentiful and concentrated as the white bass.

We started searching for largemouth bass and spotted bass along a wind-blown main-lake point and its adjacent shoreline that is located about half a mile from the main-river channel where we caught the white bass. This point and shoreline are festooned with the remnants of large patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that are surrounded by two to five feet of water. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and the remaining portions of three submerged concrete building foundations. This area was an exceptionally bountiful locale during July and August of 2016, and it yielded as many as 95 black bass during one outing in August of 2016. But we quickly realized that it was nowhere near its bountiful glory days of 2016. In fact, it yielded only two largemouth bass during this outing. One bass was caught in three feet of water next to one of the submerged building foundations on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other bass was caught in four feet of water and about 20 feet away from several thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve. We enticed a couple of more strikes along the main-lake shoreline that we failed to hook, but we did not cross paths with any other black bass or temperate bass along the remainder of this shoreline or the adjacent main-lake point.

Our next spot was a water tower outlet and two concrete support columns underneath a large walkway that extends from the top of the dam to the outlet tower.  It has become one of our favorite black bass lairs at this reservoir, but this time it yielded only three largemouth bass and one channel catfish. Two of the largemouth bass and the channel catfish were suspended about five feet below the surface in 42 feet of water next to the sides of the water outlet tower. One largemouth bass was caught near one of the two concrete support columns in eight feet of water.

One of these three largemouth bass was caught on the shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The second largemouth bass was caught on the Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig as it was steadily retrieved about three feet below the surface and several feet from the side of the water outlet tower. The channel catfish was also suspended next to the side of the water outlet tower, and it was caught on the initial fall of a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig.  A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation allured the third largemouth bass, which was relating to the side of one of the two concrete support columns. We were unable to generate any other strikes from the other concrete support column.

We then fished many yards of submerged riprap along the middle section and east end of the dam. We caught one spotted bass from the midsection of the dam in eight feet of water on the 2 1/2-inch pearl ZinkerZ combo and a slow swim-glide-and shake retrieve.

The riprap on the east end of the dam yielded one largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one freshwater drum. They were caught in five to eight feet of water on the 2 1/2-inch pearl ZinkerZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Then we dissected a 30-yard section of a riprap-laden main-lake shoreline and two steep and rocky main-lake points just north of the dam. These locales lie along the east side of the tributary arm. We failed to elicit any strikes from the riprap shoreline. We caught one largemouth bass from one of the two rocky main-lake points. It was caught in six feet of water and associated with several submerged boulders near the tip of the point. It engulfed the 2 1/2-inch pearl ZinkerZ rig as it was retrieved with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other main-lake point was fruitless.

As we were about to call it a day and return to the boat ramp, we observed a small school of surface-feeding white bass about 60 yards from the last main-lake point that we fished. They were foraging on small threadfin shad on the surface.  As we pursued them, the boat floated in 32 feet of water. They foraged on the surface for only a couple of minutes, but we managed to catch four of them on the Slim SwimZ rigs before they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Two were caught as we employed a steady swimming retrieve just below the surface of the water, and the other two were caught as we slowly strolled the Slim SwimZ rigs behind the boat with the trolling motor.

All totaled, we caught 147 white bass, seven largemouth bass, two spotted bass, one freshwater drum, and one channel catfish during this 3 1/2-hour endeavor, and it is the most fish that John has ever caught in one outing. We spent about two hours pursuing white bass, and we searched for black bass during the remaining 1 1/2 hours.

The Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a steady swimming retrieve has become our most effective combo for catching large numbers of white bass, and it was the only combo that Rick Allen and I used to catch 307 white bass at this same reservoir on July 7.  We also find it very effective for black bass, and it allured two of the nine black bass that we caught on our July 13 outing.

The 2 1/2-inch pearl ZinkerZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught five black bass. A shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass. We wielded the 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ attached to a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig for about two dozen casts, and it caught one channel catfish.

July 14 log

David Harrison of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a report on the Finesse News Network about his bass fishing for trout endeavors in Colorado during his July 14 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

One of the virtues of my move to Kansas is that during the hottest part of the year I am able to spend three weeks or more in Colorado.  I tend to spend this time chasing lake trout at the multiple mountain reservoirs that were stocked with the species many years ago.  I sometimes fish the reservoirs on the Front Range for walleye and smallmouth bass.

My trip on July 14 to a high-altitude lake that contains lake trout was a fantastic 12-hour day in a small boat with longtime friend Matt Foos of Centennial, Colorado.  For 10 1/2 hours we chased large lake trout,  but we took a small break to try some Midwest finesse tactics on the multiple small rainbow trout recently stocked in this lake.

My car thermometer indicated that it was 47 degrees when we arrived at 6:00 a.m. and that is was still 47 degrees when we left at 6:00 p.m.  The high temperature was approximately 60 degrees, but I did not remove my waterproof bibs as threatening clouds come in fast.  The sky fluctuated from being clear to cloudy to hailing to raining to pouring to oven-hot sunny. The wind changed directions multiple times, but it was never more than 10 mph. I did not check the barometric pressure.

The solunar app on my phone indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:36 a.m. to 11:36 a.m., and 2:36 p.m. to 4:36 p.m.  We fished for trout from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 56 to 57 degrees.  The water exhibited 10 to 12 feet of visibility.

I started with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's watermelon ZinkerZ on a 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse  ShroomZ jig.  Matt started with a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse  ShroomZ jig.   We used a heavier head than normal because of the steepness of the shorelines.  In most cases our boat floated in 25 to 40 feet of water within a short cast of the water's edge.  The shoreline in this area is mixed with large rocks.  The first 100 yards of this steep shoreline was most productive.

Much to the chagrin of a shoreline fisherman working the same area, we caught 10 rainbow trout within the first 35 minutes of trying our Midwest finesse tactics. During this time, we also tried a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse T.R.D., a Junebug Finesse WormZ, and a Z-Man's California Craw Hula StickZ on the 1/10-ounce head. But the watermelon ZinkerZ rig was the most productive.  Most of the trout were caught on the initial drop, but after the lure hit the bottom and was deadsticked for about 15 seconds.  We tried other retrieves, but the rainbow trout wanted the lure on the bottom.   It was tough to hook the trout because of the larger hooks on the jigs, and also because stocked trout have relatively small mouths.

David Harrison with a rainbow trout that was caught on a Midwest finesse rig.

From here we proceeded down the shoreline towards an area that consists of a sandy bottom, and it is near a small waterfall.  In this 500-yard stretch of shoreline, we landed six rainbow trout and one small lake trout.

After the 75 minutes of bass fishing for trout in this majestic mountain lake, we returned to trolling and casting for large (30- to 40-inch) lake trout.

During those 75 minutes, we found that the rainbow trout are not equally dispersed along the shorelines. The rainbow trout were in groups, and from our perspectives, that indicates that they were traveling in schools. All of them were caught on the bottom in four to 15 feet of water.  In most cases we could see the strikes as the shiny rainbow trout turned to eat the lures. When an insect hatch occurs (two hatches occurred while we were on the water, but not while we were fishing for the rainbow trout) the small rainbow trout move away from shore and abide in 10 feet of water to feed on the insects. But when there is no insect hatch, the rainbow trout abide tightly to boulders and large rocks in order to avoid predation by the larger lake trout.  We also discovered that the area that had the most rainbow trout during the hatch (the sandy area, which is devoid of big rocks and boulders) did not entertain any rainbow trout between hatches.

 July 16 log

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his July 16 outing at one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 69 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 90 degrees at 4:53 p.m.  The sky fluctuated from being clear to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. The wind was calm at times, and when it was not calm, it angled out of the south, south by southeast, and east by southeast at 3 to 6 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 12:53 a.m., 30.04 at 5:53 a.m., 30.05 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level was about four inches above normal.  The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam was about 3 1/2 feet. The surface temperature at 8:00 a.m. was 81 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing occurred from 4:51 a.m. to 6:51 a.m., 5:16 p.m. to 7:16 p.m., and 11:03 p.m. to 1:03 a.m. My nephew Robbie Jack of Dallas, and I were afloat from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This was his first Midwest finesse outing.

Beacuse there was barely a whisper of a breeze throughout our outing, it made working with our Midwest finesse baits an easy task.

Until 10:00 a.m., there was a fairly steady bite along the rocky main-lake points on the south side of the reservoir and the riprap-laden dam.  We also took a midday swim.

We caught 32 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, two sauger, one blue catfish, one flathead catfish, and one white bass in water as shallow as 12 inches and no deeper than eight feet.

Robbie Jack with one of the 32 smallmouth bass that he and Bob Gum caught on July 16.

They were caught  on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  We used three ZinkerZ colors: coppertreuse, Junebug, and molting craw, and they were equally effective.

We retrieved our ZinkerZ rigs by holding our rods at the one o'clock position and allowing the rigs to swim and glide, and occasionally, they made contact with the bottom. Several of the smallmouth bass engulfed our rigs as soon as they touched the water at the end of our casts. Others were caught when our rigs made contact with the bottom during the swim-and-glide presentation.

While we were fishing along the dam, I thought my copperteuse ZinkerZ rig had become snagged in the riprap. So, I started popping and banjoing the line in order to free it.  Then the snag began swimming, and 15 minutes later I landed a sizable flathead catfish. We estimated that it weighed about 25 pounds.

Bob Gum and a partial view of the flathead catfish that he caught on a Midwest finesse rig.

July 18 log

I have been on a minor sabbatical from the angling world for nearly a month.

During this time, we entertained all of our children and six of our ten grandchildren.  And we enjoyed several piscatorial outings with our three youngest grandchildren, where I manipulated the trolling motor but did not fish, and they wielded Midwest finesse rigs and caught from six to 10 largemouth bass an hour on their outings.

Then after our children and grandchildren returned to their homes, I was waylaid with periodic-spells of positional vertigo, which kept me at bay.

After spending several days doing Egoscue exercises for balance woes and  a Mayo Clinic's canalith repositioning procedure, I was able to fish with my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, on July 18 at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 72 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 91 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being clear to scattered with clouds to partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the south, south by southeast, south by southwest, and southwest at 3 to 19 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.97 at 12:53 a.m., 29.99 at 5:53 a.m., 30.03 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.01 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:43 a.m. to 8:43 a.m., 7:11 p.m. to 9:11 p.m., and 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Rick and I fished from 9:25 a.m. to 1:25 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 87 to 88 degrees. The lower half of the reservoir was infested with scores and scores of floating wads of filamentous algae, and it covered many of this reservoir's patches of coontail.  The infestation of filamentous algae was minimal in the upper half of the reservoir. The water exhibited 10 to 24 inches of visibility.

If our longtime Midwest finesse colleague, Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and Sioux Narrows, Ontario, Canada, were with us, it is likely that he would have started this outing working with a Z-Man's black-and-blue Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  Drew is fond of black-and-blue lures in stained water.

But across the years, Rick and I have developed a fondness for wielding a Junebug Midwest finesse rig in water that is stained with 10 to 24 inches of visibility.

To our surprise, however, we caught only three largemouth bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig; traditionally, this Midwest finesse rig has been our most effective one in the summer when the water is stained.  And probably to Drew Reese's surprise, we caught only two largemouth bass on a Z-Man's black-blue-flake T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Rick Hebenstreit with one of the three largemouth bass that we caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

In total, we caught 34 largemouth bass in four hours. Twenty-three of them were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Besides the five that were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ and black-blue-flake T.R.D. TubeZ, we caught two on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, two on a Z-Man's smelt Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and two on a Gene Larew Lures' green-pumpkin Inch Worm affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We fished an hour and 20 minutes in the lower half of this reservoir and struggled to catch nine largemouth bass. Two of these largemouth bass were caught in five to six feet of water along the rock-laden dam, which is adorned with patches of American water willows and scattered patches of coontail.  Two largemouth bass were caught in three to four feet of water along the spillway, which is rock-and-gravel laden and embellished with some scanty patches of American water willows and coontail. One largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water on top of an offshore hump, which is replete with gravel, rocks and several gigantic boulders. Three largemouth bass were caught in four to six feet of water around three different docks. One largemouth bass was caught is six feet of water along a shoreline that is lined with a concrete retaining wall and patches of American water willows.

We fished in portions of the upper half of the reservoir for two hours and 40 minutes and caught 25 largemouth bass. In the upper half, we fished five main-lake points and portions of four shorelines.

We estimated that we fished about 400 yards of shorelines. These shorelines are littered with scores of docks. Much of the water's edge along these shorelines is lined with concrete and rock retaining walls. Some of the water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, and a few laydowns. Some of the shorelines possess a 20- to 30-degree slope, and some have a 40- to 50-degree slope. There are several man-made brush piles situated along the steeper shorelines. Some of the flatter shorelines are enhanced with patches of coontial.

Three of the points were fruitless. One rocky point that is graced with a few scanty patches of American water willows and coontail yielded two largemouth bass, and these largemouth bass were abiding in three to five feet of water. We caught one largemouth bass in about five feet of water along a point that is lined with a concrete retaining wall.

We caught 22 largemouth bass along the 500 yards of shoreline. And there was no depth pattern and no location pattern. Some were caught adjacent to retaining walls. Some were caught under some overhanging trees. Some were caught amongst the patches of coontail. Some were caught adjacent to the patches of American water willows. Two were caught from a man-made brush pile. Two were caught adjacent to two different docks.  Some were caught in two to three feet of water. Some were caught in four to five feet of water. Some were caught in six to seven feet of water. But the first 200 yards of these shorelines were much more bountiful than the last 200 yards.

What's more, there was no presentation pattern.  Some were caught on the initial fall. Some were caught as we strolled and employed a drag-and-shake presentation. Some were caught on a prolonged deadstick presentation. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Some were caught on a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation.

The only absolute pattern along these shorelines revolved around the Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ and chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. And it  inveigled all but two of the 22 largemouth bass that we caught.

One of the 22 largemouth bass that we caught on the Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ and chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Back in the heat of the summer of 2011 at another northeastern Kansas' community reservoir, where the water was stained with less than 15 inches of visibility, Rick and I discovered the effectiveness of Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed to either a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce chartreuse Gopher jig for alluring largemouth bass. But we forgot about it until this outing. Now we are hoping our aging minds and dilapidated memories will not forget about its effectiveness in stained- and warm-water scenarios in the summers to come.

Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

July 20 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 77 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 99 degrees at 2:52 p.m.  The wind angled out of the south, south by southeast, southeast, and south by southwest at 3 to 12 mph. The sky was clear. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 29.99 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.96 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 8:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m., 8:40 p.m. to 10:40 p.m., and 1:55 a.m. to 3:55 a.m.  I fished from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at one of the many state reservoirs that grace the countryside of northeastern Kansas, and the first hour was more bountiful than the last two hours.

The water level was a few inches above normal.  The surface temperature was 86 degrees.  The water exhibited four to seven feet of visibility. This reservoir's massive patches of bushy pondweed are in the throes of their midsummer wilt, and they are being replaced by patches of American pondweed, coontail, and chara.

Until 1:00 p.m., I was the only angler afloat. There was a pair of channel catfish anglers sitting along the shoreline in the back of one of the feeder-creek arms. One of the joys of fishing in the heat of the summer is that angler predation is minimal and the boat ramps and parking lots are vacant. We experience a similar joy during the cold of the winter.

Ten largemouth bass were caught along the riprap-laden dam in two to seven feet of water. Nine were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Three were caught on the initial drop. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Four were caught on a drag-and-minimal-shake presentation.

I caught one largemouth bass on a main-lake point and five largemouth bass along one of the shorelines that is adjacent to this main-lake point. The largemouth bass were abiding in five to seven feet of water around patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed and a pair of man-made brush piles. Two were caught on the Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Four were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. They were caught on either the initial drop or with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake presentation.

I caught six largemouth bass along the outside edges of patches of American pondweed that grace a 50-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. These largemouth bass  were abiding in two to four feet of water. One was caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Five were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop, and three were caught on a swim-glide-and minimal-shake presentation.

Another main-lake point yielded six largemouth bass. They were abiding in four to seven feet of water along the outside edges of patches of American pondweed and around some patches of bushy pondweed. They were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ and blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve.

At another main-lake point, I caught two largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ in six feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed. The other largemouth bass was caught while i was swimming the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ in five feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed.

I caught two largemouth bass on a massive shallow-water flat that is embellished with patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and several large man-made brush piles. They were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ and blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught around a brush pile on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig. The other one was caught while I was employing a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake presentation with the Finesse WormZ rig.  These largemouth bass were abiding in five to six feet of water.

I caught three largemouth bass on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ and blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig along patches of American pondweed that lined the water's edge of a 70-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline.  They were caught of the initial drop in three to four feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught on a main-lake point adjacent to an edge of a submerged creek-channel and around several man-made brush piles and along the outside edge of a scanty patch of American pondweed. They were caught in about six feet of water on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ and blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Two largemouth bass were caught along the spillway. They were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught along a riprap shoreline in about five feet of water on a drag-and-shake presentation. The other largemouth bass was caught in a gap between a patch of American pondweed and a man-made brush pile in about six feet of water on the initial drop.

Two largemouth bass were caught along another main-lake point around a patch of American pondweed in about five feet of water. They were caught on the initial drop of the Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig.

I caught three largemouth bass on a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a major feeder-creek arm. This flat is adorned with American pondweed, bushy pondweed, coontail, and an array of man-made brush piles. One largemouth bass was caught in a gap between a patch of American pondweed and a man-made brush pile in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig. One largemouth bass was caught in four feet of water along a secondary point that is embellished with American pondweed and bushy pondweed on the Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig and a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake presentation. The third largemouth bass was caught while I was employing a swim-glide-and-minimal-shake retrieve with the Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed and coontail.

One largemouth bass was caught while I was employing a drag-and-minor-deadstick presentation in five feet of water around a riprap jetty that is adjacent to the boat ramp.

In total, I caught 46 largemouth bass. The shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ and blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was the most effective rig.

July 20 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 20 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The dog days of summer are now upon us, and anglers in north-central Texas are plagued with horrible black bass fishing that has befuddled them throughout the first 6 1/2 months of this year.

My latest reminder of this horrendous fishing occurred on July 18, when I conducted a solo outing at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in north-central Texas. I spent four hours inside two large marinas targeting 11 large floating docks. Each of these docks are comprised of 30 covered boat slips. The docks float in water as shallow as 15 feet and as deep as 43 feet.

It was a scorching hot day with afternoon temperatures rising into the upper 90s. There was very little wind to offer any relief from the stifling heat. The water was stained with about two feet of visibility and the surface temperature was 91 degrees. I did not fish all of the 330 boat slips, but I did dissect 165 of the most promising ones. My best efforts fell well short of my expectations.  I caught five largemouth bass and two large bluegills during the four hours that I was afloat.

On July 20, John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I decided to try something different and travelled to a different Corps' reservoir to pursue white bass. At this reservoir, we had caught 147 white bass on July 13, and Rick Allen of Dallas and I caught 307 white bass on July 7.

The blazing sun was already heating up the day as we launched our boat at about 7:45 a.m. The sky was clear and exhibited a light powder-blue hue. The wind was angling out of the southwest at 12 to 16 mph, and the main-lake areas were covered with unending ranks of white-caps.  A local meteorologist reported that the morning low temperature was 77 degrees and the afternoon high was 95 degrees.  The barometric pressure was steady at 30.06.

The water was stained and exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was less than a foot low. The surface temperature was 87 degrees.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, we could expect the best fishing to occur from 12:21 a.m. to 2:21 a.m., 5:46 a.m. to 7:46 a.m., and 6:12 p.m. to 8:12 p.m. John and I fished from about 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

This outing commenced at a wind-blown main-lake point and a 30-yard segment of an adjacent main-lake shoreline on the southeast end of the reservoir's east tributary arm. The underwater terrain in this area consists of red clay, rocks, and gravel. There are a few remaining patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation in two to four feet of water, and they are situated within a few feet of the water's edge. It took us only 10 minutes to fish these two spots, and we caught only one largemouth bass from the main-lake point.  It was abiding in four feet of water and was caught on a Z-Man's blue steel Finesse ShadZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This combo was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The adjacent main-lake shoreline was fruitless. This was the only locale where we fished for black bass; the remainder of the outing was devoted to locating and catching white bass.

We then moved offshore to the main-river channel located in the lower portion of the east tributary arm, where we began our search for large schools of white bass. The river channel is covered with 72 to 81 feet of water, but we failed to cross paths with any schools of white bass.

We then ventured to another wind-blown main-lake point that lies a short distance from the river channel. This point is long and fairly shallow. It extends about 75 yards out from the shoreline and is covered with 10 feet of water. The sides and end of the point quickly plummet into 27 to 34 feet of water. The underwater terrain of this point mainly consists of clay and some gravel. This point yielded one white bass and two largemouth bass. They were caught on top of the point in 10 feet of water and about 50 yards from the shoreline as we slowly trolled Rapala No. 7 Shad Raps in a shad hue over the top and sides of the point.

We continued trolling the Shad Raps in 12 to 25 feet of water along two rocky main-lake shorelines on the southeast end of the west tributary arm. We caught one spotted bass and four white bass on the Shad Raps along these two shorelines, but we failed to find any large schools of white bass.

After that, we checked a large main-lake flat on the west side of the west tributary arm. This flat is deep and covered with 35 to 61 feet of water. Here, we encountered a large school of white bass that were foraging on two-inch threadfin shad along the surface of the water. John and I wielded 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZs affixed to chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jigs, and for the next 35 minutes, we enjoyed catching a white bass on almost every cast while we retrieved the Slim SwimZ rigs with a quick and steady swimming retrieve just below the surface.

To our dismay, we were suddenly interrupted by an inexperienced boat angler who drove his large pontoon boat directly into the middle of the large school of white bass that we were pursuing, and that maneuver spooked every fish in the area and put an abrupt end to our bountiful white bass bite.

A few minutes after the pontoon-boat debacle, we took about a 20-minute break, then we began scouting out the area for other large schools of white bass. We found a couple of smaller schools feeding on the surface here and there and we caught a few on our Slim SwimZ rigs, but we failed to find any large aggregations of white bass.

Overall, we had an enjoyable outing. We caught 99 white bass, three largemouth bass, and one spotted bass in four hours.

Ninety-two white bass were caught on the Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigs and a steady swimming retrieve.  Seven white bass, two largemouth bass, and one spotted bass were caught while we were slowly trolling Rapala No. 7 Shad Raps in a shad hue. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's blue steel Finesse ShadZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

July 21 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his July 21 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

I was reminded of the scorching dog days of summer when a local meteorologist issued a weather forecast for Friday, July 21, calling for a high temperature of 100 degrees with a heat index of 112 degrees. Nevertheless, John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas, and I decided to try our luck at a heavily fished community reservoir in northeastern Kansas.  In order to avoid the most punishing part of the heat, we planned to meet at 6:30 a.m. and fish until we got too hot. We also thought we might have an opportunity to catch some black bass using surface lures during the first part of the outing.

When we arrived at the boat ramp around 7:00 a.m., the temperature was 80 degrees. The sky was clear. The wind angled from the south by southwest at 5 to 18 mph.

The reservoir's water level was normal. The surface temperature was 86 degrees. The water was stained and exhibited about three feet of visibility.

We began the outing at a riprap shoreline about three quarters of the way inside a main feeder-creek arm, and our hopes for a vigorous early-morning surface bite quickly faded. Our first 30 minutes afloat was a struggle, and we enticed only one largemouth bass into striking one of our topwater lures. This largemouth was caught on a silver-colored Rebel PopR next to a steel-pump intake arbor in about four feet of water.  We were unable to provoke any other strikes with our surface lures.

We then ventured to a main-lake point at the mouth of a feeder-creek arm and a main-lake shoreline adjacent to that point. We switched from our topwater lures to Midwest finesse tactics, but we continued to struggle. We caught one smallmouth bass from the main-lake point on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ mounted on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This smallmouth bass was relating to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about two feet of water, and it engulfed the ZinkerZ combo on the initial drop. Another smallmouth was caught on this same point. This smallmouth was abiding in about eight feet of water, and it was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed on a Z-Man's black 1/6-ounce Finesse ShroomZ weedless jig. The PB&J ZinkerZ combo was presented with a drag-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass was caught along a section of main-lake shoreline adjacent to the point. This largemouth bass was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and presented with a swim-and-glide retrieve in four feet of water.  It was relating to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. Another largemouth bass was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed on a black 1/6-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ weedless jig and a swim-and-glide retrieve between a section of a floating dock and a riprap jetty. This largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water.

After we fished the main-lake point and adjacent main-lake shoreline at the first feeder-creek arm, we moved to another feeder-creek. Inside this feeder- creek, we dissected a secondary point and a 200-yard section of a steep and rocky shoreline that is adorned with numerous overhanging trees and submerged laydowns, but these two areas failed to yield a strike. We also checked another 200-yard section of a steep rocky shoreline that is buffeted with 12 to 20 feet of water. During our last three visits to this reservoir, this 200-yard section of rocky shoreline has been the most fruitful area, but not during this outing. This time, we failed to garner any strikes.

We also fished the entire north and south shores inside another large feeder-creek cove, and we did not elicit a single strike.

We caught one largemouth bass along a rocky secondary point situated on a main-lake shoreline. This largemouth was caught in about eight feet of water as we were strolling the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig behind the boat at the end of a retrieve.

We fished another 300-yard stretch of main-lake shoreline, the reservoir's spillway area, several concrete pillars supporting a pedestrian bridge, and a riprap shoreline adjacent to the spillway, but we did not cross paths with any black bass in these areas.

We caught one largemouth bass along a 150-yard segment of a main-lake shoreline between the spillway and the dam. This largemouth was caught on a shortened Z-Man's pearl Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and- shake retrieve. It was relating to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about 12 feet of water.

We did not receive any strikes along the riprap on the dam.

We caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass on a shallow rocky flat adjacent to the dam. This flat is adorned with a large patch of American water willows. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the pearl Hula StickZ rig along the edge of the water willows in very shallow water. The smallmouth was caught on a strolling-drag-and-shake retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ affixed on a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig in about four feet of water.

After that, we returned to the main-lake point at the entrance to the first feeder-creek arm that we had fished earlier in the day, and we caught two more smallmouth bass. One of the smallmouth bass was beguiled by the pearl Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the other one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.  Both of these bass were caught in about eight feet of water as we were strolling our lures behind the boat at the end of a retrieve.  Another largemouth bass was caught in the gap between the floating dock and the riprap jetty where we had caught a bass earlier. It was caught in about four feet of water on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ affixed on a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-and-glide retrieve. We caught our last largemouth bass in about three feet of water from an underwater rock pile next to the jetty on the pearl Hula StickZ rig and a swim-and-glide retrieve.

Overall, our results were not very encouraging.  We fished from about 7:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and struggled to catch 13 black bass. Eight of them were largemouth bass and five were smallmouth bass. We also caught one freshwater drum, three bluegill, and three green sunfish.  During the early part of the day, the most effective lures were the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple- haze ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed on a black 1/6-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ weedless jig. Later in the day, the shortened Z-Man's pearl Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig were productive. About half of the fish we caught were relating to shallow water adjacent to patches of aquatic vegetation, and the other half were abiding in deeper water and several yards from the water's edge.

July 22 log

Adam Fancovic of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area posted a report on the Finesse News Network about his July 22 outing with Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia.

Here is an edited version of his report:

I had the wonderful luxury of getting to spend a day on the water with Travis Myers on July 22.

Travis has been a true mentor to me since late last summer and has provided me with countless lessons in Midwest finesse fishing techniques for catching smallmouth bass in rivers in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Our schedules finally lined up so we could fish together, and he welcomed me to his home waters and helped me to hone my techniques.

I met him at 6:00 a.m., and he told me he had saved the stretch of river we would be wading and working on how, when and where to employ a tube. We drove to this stretch of the river and immediately began wading upstream.

The section we waded was flowing at around 75 cubic feet per second.  The water depth varied from two to five feet. It consisted of a series of riffles and runs.  And Travis calls them conveyor belts of food for the smallmouth bass. The water was gin clear, which amazed me.  If the water temperature wasn't 80 degrees, you would think you were on a trout stream.

I was very excited to try out the new rods and reels I had recently purchased strictly for targeting river smallmouth.  Before this outing, I had been using ultra-light outfits, which simply could not handle the baits and battles with some of the bigger specimens.

We tangled with an untold number of super healthy rock bass and smallmouth bass. Some of the smallmouth bass were 14 to 15 inches long.  Every fish looked to be well fed. In fact, they were stuffed.

We used a 2 3/8-inch River Rock Custom Baits' tube. It was rigged for shallow water fishing in a way I had never seen before.

After making our way upstream, we stopped for a quick break.  To our dismay, as we were about to begin using a four-inch River Rock Custom Bait's  Standard Stick rigged wacky style, we had thunderstorms quickly roll up on us. Therefore, we had to make a swift march back to our vehicles, and by the time we reached them, we were drenched to the bone.

While we did not tangle with any behemoths, it was a true joy to share the water with Travis. In my mind, he is a fantastic teacher. He has provided me with true insights and knowledge about how to catch smallmouth bass in rivers.  His passion for these fish shows with his words and his care for showing me how to work these offerings and ways to tweak a retrieve here and there in order to maximize my chances to catch a smallmouth bass.

We are hoping to have another lesson on the water in the near future.

July 23 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texasposted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 23 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I made a rare Sunday morning trip to one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

I had fished this same reservoir for three hours on June 29 with Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas. During that outing, the sky was overcast and the wind was quartering out of the southeast at 11 to 22 mph. The temperature ranged from 73 to 94 degrees. The water was stained and the visibility fluctuated from 12 to 18 inches. The surface temperature was 87 degrees. It was a slow and tedious day of fishing, and we caught only 14 black bass.

During my July 23 excursion, the sky was partly cloudy, and the sun was shining everywhere. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 8 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.85 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.87 at 11:00 a.m. The morning low temperature was 78 degrees and the afternoon high climbed to 98 degrees.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 4:53 a.m. to 6:53 a.m., 5:23 p.m. to 7:23 p.m., and 11:38 p.m. to 1:38 a.m. I fished from 7:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

The water level was six inches below normal pool. The water clarity exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 88 degrees.

When I arrived at the boat ramp at about 7:30 a.m., I was surprised to see that the parking lot was almost full. There were hikers, bicyclists, kayakers, paddle boarders, shoreline anglers, pleasure boaters, jet skiers, and boat anglers everywhere. And as I was launching my boat, I was entertained by the sight of two adorable and rambunctious chocolate-brown Labrador retriever puppies frolicking in the water a few yards from the boat ramp, and they were ignoring two young ladies who were having a difficult time trying to coax them back to the bank. Ultimately, the two young ladies were able to tempt the two energetic pups back to shore with some dog treats.

As I began this outing, I immediately noticed that several of the more promising black bass lairs that I had planned to fish were already being pummeled to smithereens by other anglers. Consequently, I spent the next 2 1/2 hours on the north and northwest end of the reservoir, where I plied nine main-lake points, two main-lake shorelines, and one small section of shoreline inside a small main-lake cove that were left undisturbed by the other anglers.

The boat floated in 12 to 21 feet of water along the main-lake points, five to 11 feet of water around the two main-lake shorelines, and three to 12 feet of water inside the small main-lake cove.

The nine main-lake points yielded six largemouth bass and one spotted bass. Their underwater terrains are similar, consisting of mostly submerged boulders, red clay, gravel, and a few scattered patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. There was deep water (20-plus feet of water) in close proximity to all of these points. Two of the points were flat and shallow. The steeper points relinquished six largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were relating to the submerged boulders in three to six feet of water. I failed to garner a strike along the two flat and shallow points. None of the points surrendered more than one bass.

One of the two main-lake shorelines yielded one largemouth bass and the other shoreline surrendered one spotted bass. Their underwater terrains consist of two submerged rocks ledges, several submerged boulders, baseball-size rocks, gravel, and red clay. Both of these bass were caught in four feet to six feet of water next to the submerged rock ledges. I enticed a few bluegill bites around the submerged boulders, but none from a largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or spotted bass.

The 30-yard section of shoreline inside the small main-lake cove yielded one largemouth bass. This shoreline is fairly flat and features a submerged rock ledge in four feet of water that quickly plunges into eight feet of water. Its underwater terrain is mostly red clay and gravel. This largemouth bass was caught along the top of the ledge in four feet of water and several feet from the water's edge.

In sum, it was another lackluster outing. It was a chore to catch 10 black bass. Eight were largemouth bass and two were spotted bass. It is interesting to note that the Texas' Parks and Wildlife fisheries biologists have stocked this reservoir with smallmouth bass fry from 2010 through 2016, and we have caught a few decent-size smallmouths during the past three years. But we have not caught a single smallmouth bass from this reservoir this year.

I employed a variety of  Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits rigged on Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jigs. The most effective lure was a shortened Z-Man's pearl Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. It caught six largemouth bass and one spotted bass as it was presented with a slow swim-glide-and shake retrieve. A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. It was employed with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot underneath the surface of the water. A shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught the other largemouth bass. The Finesse WormZ combo was also employed with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve and a hop-and-bounce retrieve in four to 18 feet of water, but those two presentations failed to generate any strikes.

It is apparent to us that something is definitely awry with the black bass fishing in our neck of the woods, and we have no idea why.

We have also noticed a sharp decline in the number of bass tournaments being held at these reservoirs this year, and I have not seen one in progress, nor have I seen any bass anglers pre-fishing for a tournament, since May.

During this outing, I crossed paths with six other bass anglers, and I took a few minutes to speak with each of them. They informed me that they were also having a tough day, and only one of them had caught a fish, and it was a white bass.

July 23 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 70 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 91 degrees at 6:52 p.m. It rained from midnight until after 2:52 a.m., and then the sky alternated from being clear to partly cloudy to being scattered with clouds. The wind fluctuated from being calm to mild mannered; it angled out of the northeast, southeast, north by northeast, west by southwest, and west at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 12:52 a.m., 29.89 at 5:52 a.m., 29.90 at 11:52 a.m., 29.86 at 5:52 p.m., and 29.86 at 8:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:31 p.m. to 1:31 a.m., 4:46 a.m. to 6:46 a.m., and 5:16 p.m. to 7:16 p.m. My wife, Patty, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 89 to 90 degrees. The water level was a few inches above normal. The water clarity exhibited five to seven feet of visibility. This reservoir's vast patches of bushy pondweed are disappearing, which is a normal heat-of-the-summer phenomenon, and they are being replaced by patches of American pondweed, chara, and coontail.

We quickly fished three main-lake points, one secondary point, a short portion of two main-lake shorelines, a long portion of another main-lake shoreline, and a portion of the riprap-laden dam.

One main-lake point yielded seven largemouth bass, which were caught in four to seven feet of water around patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed. One was caught on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, three were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and three were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ.  Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs, and four were caught on a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

Another main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. It was extracted from about five feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed. It was caught on the initial drop of the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We caught six largemouth bass around the secondary point. Four were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a slow and steady swimming retrieve in about four feet of water. They were associated with a man-made brush pile. Two were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water around patches of American pondweed and two man-made brush piles.

Along the portions of the dam that we fished, we caught four largemouth bass. Two of them were caught on the initial drop of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig in three to four feet of water.  The other two were caught in seven feet of water by strolling the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

One main-lake point was fruitless.

Along a short section of a main-lake shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass in about five feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows on the initial drop of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We caught another one in about six feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed by employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Around a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water along a short section of another main-lake shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass. It was caught on the initial drop of the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Pat Kehde with one of the 38 largemouth bass that we caught.

We caught 19 largemouth bass along a 150-yard segment of a main-lake shoreline. They were caught in three to six feet of water on the shortened  Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Four of the largemouth bass were caught around a man-made brush pile that was surrounded by patches of bushy pondweed.  The other 15 largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges and inside the pockets and gaps of the American pondweed patches, and the most fruitful areas were interspersed with patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. Some of the 19 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.  Some were caught on a slow and steady swimming retrieve. Two were caught on a prolonged deadstick presentation. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

During the two hours that we were afloat, we caught 38 largemouth bass, and inadvertently caught one bluegill, two channel catfish, two crappie, and four green sunfish.

One of the channel catfish that we caught. This one was caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Our most effective Midwest finesse rigs were the shortened  Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

July 24 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his July 24 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

The morning low temperature was 72 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature was 90 degrees.  The wind angled from the east to northeast at 4 to 10 mph.

When I made my first cast along the riprap of the dam at 11:00 a.m.,  the surface temperature of the water was 88 degrees. The water was very clear with at least 5 feet of visibility.

I started out throwing a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher mushroom jig,  and I did not elicit any strikes along the west half of the dam's riprap.  After I changed to a shortened  Z-Man's The Deal Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, I beguiled four largemouth bass along the eastern half of the dam.  Two of these largemouth bass engulfed the Hula StickZ rig on the initial drop. One was caught a swim-and-glide retrieve in about four feet of water. The fourth one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about 12 feet of water.

I fished a main-lake point that is embellished with dying patches of bushy pondweed, developing patches of American pondweed, and several man-made brush piles.  On the point and along about 100 yards of an adjacent shoreline, The Deal Hula StickZ rig did not produce any strikes.  Back on the tip of the point, I changed lures to a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  On my first cast with this rig, I caught a largemouth bass. It was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water along the edge of a dying patch of bushy pondweed.  Several casts later to another patch of  bushy pondweed, I caught another largemouth bass on a swim-and-glide retrieve in about four feet of water.

I fished a 400-yard stretch of main-lake shoreline.  The shoreline was enhanced by almost continuous patches of American pondweed that are interlaced with numerous laydowns and man-made brush piles.  Along this shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig.  One largemouth bass was caught on a swim-and-glide retrieve in about four feet of water. The other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water.  At the end of this stretch of shoreline, I was lucky to stumble into a concentration of largemouth bass.  They were located in 12 feet of water adjacent to a secondary point, where the shallower water on top of the point allowed patches of American pondweed to extend about 20 feet from shore.  I executed casts that landed at the edge of the American pondweeds, and I used a slow swim-and-glide retrieve, allowing the lure to sink to the bottom with each glide.  Within a 15-foot wide area, I caught eight largemouth bass in about 30 minutes.  All of these fish were caught towards the end of the retrieve in 12 or so feet of water.

I fished part of a massive flat towards the back of a major feeder-creek arm. The flat is graced with numerous patches of dying bushy pondweed.  On this flat, I caught one largemouth in an opening between two patches of weeds in about four feet of water on a swim-and-glide retrieve with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. I switched to the lighter jig to make it easier to swim the lure over and through the patches of bushy pondweed without becoming entangled in the patches.

I fished another main-lake point that is enhanced with a massive patch of American pondweed and several man-made brush piles.  On one side of the point, I found a concentration of largemouth bass. They were relating to openings along the edges of the American pondweed in about four feet of water. One 20-foot section yielded seven largemouth bass. They were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-and-glide retrieve.

The shorelines of this reservoir are graced with 11 riprap jetties. When I fished this reservoir earlier in the year with John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas, we caught at least one bass at nine of the 11 jetties.  On my July 24 outing, I fished seven of the jetties and struggled to catch five largemouth bass. They were caught in eight to 12 feet of water along the ends of the jetties with a slow swim-and-glide retrieve that allowed my Midwest finesse rig to sink to the bottom.  One was caught on the shortened  four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Four were caught on a shortened Z-Man's pearl Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16 — ounce Gopher jig.

I fished a short section of the riprap at the west end of the dam, and it was the second time that I fished it on this outing. I caught one largemouth bass on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on the hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  This largemouth bass was caught while I was getting a drink of water and deadsticking the Finesse WormZ rig in shallow water near the water's edge. After this largemouth bass engulfed the Finesse WormZ rig, it headed for deep water, and by the time I was able to get the slack out of the line, it was parallel with the boat and 15 yards from the water's edge.)

Finally, along a 150-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass around openings in patches of American pondweed. They were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on the hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig on a swim-and-glide retrieve in about three feet of water. I made my last cast at 4:30 p.m.

In all, I caught 32 largemouth bass. I also caught four green sunfish, two channel catfish, one crappie, and one bluegill.

My most effective Midwest finesse rig was a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on either a chartreuse 1/15-ounce or a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

A slow swim-and-glide presentation and a swim-glide-and-deadstick presentation were the two most effective retrieves.

The largemouth bass were caught around two locations.  One was around patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed in about four feet of water. The second one was in eight to 12 feet of water adjacent to shallower structure, such as a flat secondary point with laydowns and man-made brush piles.

July 27 log

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outings in Ontario, Canada.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

I fished the northern half of Marmion Lake in Northwest Ontario, Canada, on July 21 thru July 27 with my nephew Robbie Jack of Dallas, Texas, and my dog, Josie.

Marmion Lake is a 15,000-acre maze of islands and coves, which tested my navigational skills throughout the week.

The water is tea-stained, exhibiting five feet of visibility.

The weather was excellent through the week, and it rained only once, which occurred late one afternoon.

The smallmouth bass fishing on Marmion was spotty at best. It is likely that we accidentally caught as many walleye and northern pike as smallmouth bass. We caught almost every smallmouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's ZinkerZ in a variety of hues affixed with a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We occasionally caught a smallmouth bass by wielding an 1/8-ounce buzzbait over the top of patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

Robbie Jack with one of the northern pike that they caught while they were fishing for smallmouth bass.

The walleye were plentiful. We caught most of them in 15 feet of water on flats that are littered with scattered rock rubble and adjacent to deep water.

The best areas for smallmouth bass were in eight to 12 feet of water along chunk-rock shorelines, and many of the shorelines were steep, exhibiting nearly a 90-degree slope.

Normally, acute casting skills are not necessary to do well in the series of lakes north of Atikokan, Ontario. But we found that it was often necessary to cast our baits directly and accurately against the shoreline, and typically, the smallmouth bass would engulf our ZinkerZ rigs on the initial drop. If we failed to garner a strike after allowing our ZinkerZ rigs to fall for four seconds, we reeled it in and made another cast to the water's edge.  On our final day, we fished Masada Lake. Masada is around 500 acres.  It is a short portage from Marmion. We would have fished it more, but when we initially tried to fish it, we found that a large tree had fallen on the boats. After we reported the problem to our pilots during the middle of the week, they went in and cleared the tree the next day.

On our final day, we fished Masada Lake. Masada is around 500 acres.  It is a short portage from Marmion. We would have fished it more, but when we initially tried to fish it, we found that a large tree had fallen on the boats. After we reported the problem to our pilots during the middle of the week, they went in and cleared the tree the next day.

Robbie's Smallmouths

Masada has a clarity of around 10 to 12 feet.  The weather was clear and still that day, and I was able to witness the action of our ZinkerZ rigs during the initial fall, which produced a very enticing side to side wobble that I have never seen before. Often, when the rig would simply disappear, we knew we had a fish on. And we caught 102 fish in five hours, and most of them were smallmouth bass.

Robbie did very well during the week and remained focused on the fishing and is sold on using finesse techniques.

July 28 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, joined me for a three-hour morning foray at a perplexing north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir that has been giving us fits for weeks on end.

It was hot and humid. The morning low temperature was 78 degrees. The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy. The first rays of the sun did not appear until 9:15 a.m., and then the temperature quickly soared to 100 degrees with a heat index of 107 degrees. The wind angled out of the southwest at 8 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.87 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.88 at 11:00 a.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, we could expect the best fishing to occur from 3:29 a.m. to 5:29 a.m., 9:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m., and 3:52 a.m. to 5:52 a.m. John and I fished from 7:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

We fished three main-lake points and two main-lake shorelines inside the southwest tributary arm of the reservoir. We also investigated a large main-lake flat and a 60-yard section of submerged riprap along the west end of the dam on the south end of the impoundment.

The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water clarity ranged from about 1 1/2 feet to two feet. The water level was normal.

Our outing commenced in the southwest tributary arm at two main-lake points that are separated by a 40-yard stretch of main-lake shoreline. This area is flat. Its geology consists of clay, gravel, and baseball-size rocks. Some patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation adorn the shallower areas and are surrounded by one to five feet of water. We observed a few small pods of 1/2-inch threadfin shad roaming the shallow-water areas in less than four feet of water and several yards away from the water's edge. We caught one largemouth bass from three feet of water at the first point and another largemouth bass from four feet of water along the main-lake shoreline between the two points. They were caught next to the outside edges of two patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation.  One was caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the other one was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. The Hula StickZ rig was presented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and the Slim SwimZ was retrieved about a foot underneath the surface with a steady swimming action. We did not find any black bass inhabiting the second main-lake point.

We caught 10 spotted bass and four largemouth bass along another main-lake shoreline about half a mile east of the two main-lake points and main-lake shoreline that we just fished. The slope of this shoreline is steep. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and large submerged boulders. A couple of laydown trees litter the shoreline. Seven of the black bass were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Four were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ attached to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other three were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ combo employed with a steady swimming retrieve. These black bass were abiding next to the sides of the large submerged boulders in four to six feet of water. We did not catch any bass from around the two laydown trees.

At the third main-lake point, we caught four largemouth bass. They were relating to the end of an old and crumbling boat ramp in six to eight feet of water. They were caught on the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ and a  swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to elicit any strikes with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig.

Next, we ventured to a large main-lake flat just north of the dam. The underwater terrain of this flat is composed of clay and gravel. This flat is endowed with a wide ditch that cuts across the southern section of the flat, and several long walls of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation line the north edge of the ditch. Patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation also grace large areas of this flat.  The submerged ditch is covered with about 14 feet of water.  The walls of flooded terrestrial vegetation stand in two to five feet of water. We caught three largemouth bass and lost another one in three to five feet of water along the edge of the ditch and in close proximity to a long wall of flooded terrestrial vegetation. These bass were bewitched by the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ  and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to provoke any strikes with the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ or pearl Slim SwimZ rigs.

The last locale that we fished was a 60-yard segment of submerged riprap on the west end of the dam. This area relinquished three largemouth bass, and they  were associated with the submerged riprap in less than five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. One was caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ that was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The pearl Slim SwimZ beguiled the other two largemouth bass. One was allured by a steady, do-nothing swimming retrieve about a foot beneath the surface, and the other one engulfed the Slim SwimZ on the initial drop.

All told, we enjoyed an above-average outing. We caught and released a combination of 26 largemouth bass and spotted bass, and we were surprised that we did not accidently catch any other species. The shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was the most effective combo. The swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most productive presentation.

July 28 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his July 28 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

On July 28, I fished a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir that I had not fished.

The weather was beautiful. The morning low temperature was 72 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature was 85 degrees.  The sun shined brightly in a bright blue sky that was scattered with a few puffy white clouds.  The wind angled from the east to northeast at 8-10 mph.

As I executed my first cast at about 11:30 a.m., the surface temperature of the water was 88 degrees, and the water clarity was about 3 feet.

After I launched the boat, I lowered the electric-trolling motor and began fishing along a 200-yard section of a main-lake shoreline.  I did not start the big motor until I needed to put the boat back on the trailer at the end of the day.

The terrain of the shoreline is rocky and steep. The boat floated in water from 6 to 12 feet deep.  The water's edge is graced with healthy patches of American water willows.

The first 50 yards of this shoreline were fruitless.  Then I caught the first largemouth bass of the outing on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  Several casts later, I caught another largemouth bass on the same lure.  Both were caught around openings or pockets in the patches of  American water willows with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I continued to fish along this shoreline as it formed a rounded point and merged with the reservoir's spillway. No additional fish were caught from this section of shoreline or from the spillway.

After I fished the spillway, I fished along the dam. The face of the dam is constructed of cemented stones.  The water's edge is lined with a thick growth of American water willows, and in fact, American water willow patches grace nearly ever inch of this reservoir's shorelines.  Along the section of cemented stones, I caught one largemouth bass on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig and a swim-and-glide retrieve.

The dam has an outlet gate, which is a metal tower.  It is constructed on a rock pile that extends about five yards into the lake from the face of the dam, and there was a significant concentration of black bass associated with this tower and rock pile. In about 40 minutes, I caught 13 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. Some were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig. Others were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's PB&J Finesse WormZ affixed to a hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. I employed a slow swim-and-glide retrieve, and I allowed the Finesse WormZ rigs to glide to the bottom after every swimming segment. Some of these black bass were caught during the initial drop of the retrieve. Some were caught shortly after I began to implement the swim-and-glide retrieve. Some were caught during a deadstick pause of the retrieve. A few were caught immediately after I failed to hook a strike, and I assumed that the failed strike was from a bluegill or a green sunfish.  While I was catching these black bass, the boat floated in water from 12-14 feet deep.

After the bite petered out at the outlet, I fished the rest of the dam with no results.

But I caught another largemouth bass along the shoreline immediately adjacent to the end of the dam This largemouth bass was caught on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-deadstick retrieve in about six feet of water. I continued to fish along this main-lake shoreline, a main-lake point, and 200-yards of a shoreline along the inside of a large feeder-creek arm.  And I failed to catch another black bass.

Then, I moved to the opposite shoreline of the feeder-creek arm. I fished 200 yards of it, and I did not catch a black bass along it until I was about 10 yards short of being at the tip of the main-lake point. At this spot, a large lone tree was casting its shadow on the water.  I caught four largemouth bass in that shaded area. They were caught on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig and on a slow swim-and-glide retrieve in about 12 feet of water.

I fished around the main-lake point and along a 200-yard section of the main-lake shoreline to another main-lake point at the entrance to a feeder-creek arm.  And this massive stretch of water was fruitless.

At the entrance of the feeder-creek arm, I quickly moved to the main-lake point on the other side of the entrance. And I caught a largemouth bass on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig during a deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water at the end of a slow swim-and -glide retrieve.

I fished along the entire shoreline inside the second feeder-creek arm, and I caught three largemouth bass on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig in two to seven feet of water.  One was caught on the initial drop, and the other two were caught on the swim-and-glide retrieve.  All three were relating to areas where the shoreline vegetation was casting shadows on the water.

After I quickly fished the same shoreline back to the main-lake point, I turned the corner and fished a 250-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, two secondary points at the mouth of a small cove, and another 150 yards of a main-lake shoreline.  I did not catch any bass along this entire section of the reservoir.

After that failure, I picked up a spinning rod with a shortened Z-Man's The Deal Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and I rather quickly caught two green sunfish and a channel catfish, but no black bass.

When I arrived at the area where the reservoir becomes divided by two major feeder-creek arms, I decided that I needed to start working my way back toward the boat ramp. So, I crossed over to the main-lake point that divided the two feeder-creek arms.  Along the tip of this point, I caught one largemouth on the shortened The Deal Hula StickZ rig with a slow swim-and-glide retrieve in about eight feet of water.  The northeast wind was blowing onto the tip of this northward-pointing point. I thought the wind was an enhancing feature that would allow me to catch several more black bass, and to do that I worked with the shortened Z-Man's  Junebug Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce  Gopher jig. I fished around the tip of this point twice and caught three largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig. The other two were caught while I was employing a slow swim-and-glide retrieve in seven to 10 feet of water.

From that point, I fished a quarter of a mile of the main-lake shoreline along the east side of this reservoir, and it yielded four largemouth bass. They were caught on the shortened Junebug Hula StickZ rig and a slow swim-and-glide presentation in seven to 10 feet of water.

Along the 100-yard stretch of the shoreline south of the boat ramp and the 100-yard stretch of shoreline on the north side of the boat ramp, I caught 10 largemouth bass on the shortened Junebug Hula StickZ rig.  The depth of the water along this stretch ranged from five to 12 feet. Two of them were caught on the initial drop.   Several were caught shortly after I began the swim- and-glide retrieve in shallow water.  Two were caught on the swim-and-glide retrieve in deeper water. A deadstick presentation caught two of them.

In all, I caught 43 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.  I also caught two channel catfish, three warmouth, and 23 green sunfish.  I fished a total of 5 1/2 hours from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch and hydration break.

The most productive areas were where the wind was blowing onto the shorelines.   There were as many fish found in deeper water away from the shore as there were fish relating to shoreline cover.

A shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig, and a shortened four-inch PB&J Finesse WormZ on a  hand-colored chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig were effective.

The most productive retrieve was a slow swim-and-glide retrieve.

July 31 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 31 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

On this last day of July, I elected to fish at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.  During the past several weeks, the white bass fishing at this impoundment has been splendid, but the largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this reservoir have been difficult to locate and catch. During this outing, I elected to ignore the white bass and pursue the largemouth bass and spotted bass.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing periods would occur from 5:47 a.m. to 7:47 a.m., 11:36 a.m. to 1:36 p.m., and 6:09 p.m. to 8:09 p.m.  I fished from about 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.

The wind was mild mannered and meandered out of the east by northeast at 2 to 6 mph, and for a couple of long spells, it was calm. I fished under a partly-cloudy sky, and the sun was shining brightly everywhere. Area thermometers registered the morning low temperature at 70 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature was 96 degrees.  The barometric pressure measured 30.05 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.06 at 12:00 noon.

The water temperature varied from 85 to 88 degrees. The water level was less than a foot low. The water was stained with 2 1/2 feet of visibility, and for most of the time that I was afloat, there was hardly a ripple on the surface.

I concentrated my efforts along the south end of the reservoir's west tributary arm, where I dissected the east shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm, three main-lake points, and two main-lake shorelines.

I started this endeavor inside the feeder-creek arm, which is situated on the west side of the tributary arm. This shoreline is about 100 yards long, and is endowed with two submerged rock ledges, one secondary point, and two mud flats that are graced with a few sparse patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in two to four feet of water.

I caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass along this shoreline. The largemouth bass was caught around one of the two rock ledges in eight feet of water. It engulfed a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig as it was dragged and deadsticked down the slope of the ledge. The spotted bass was caught in three feet of water from one of the two mud flats. It was caught on the initial fall of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig.

After I finished fishing inside the feeder-creek, I moved to the east side of this west tributary arm, and I fished two main-lake shorelines and  two main-lake points. These main-lake points are adjacent to the two shorelines.

This area is about 400-yards long. The underwater terrain at this locale is comprised of red clay, gravel, rocks, and numerous submerged boulders that lie in two to five feet of water. There were a few small pods of 1/2-inch threadfin shad hovering around several of the submerged boulders, but I did not locate any large aggregations of them.

One of the two shorelines relinquished one largemouth bass. The other shoreline and the two main-lake points failed to surrender a strike. The one largemouth appeared to be a loner, and it was caught in four feet of water next to a large submerged boulder. It was bewitched by a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ attached to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I failed to elicit any strikes with a variety of Z-Man's Finesse ShadZs, Finesse WormZs, Scented LeechZs,  2 1/2-inch Slim SwimZ, or 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZs.

The third main-lake point yielded 24 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one white bass. This point extends about 75 yards out from the shoreline. Its underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel. The top of the point is covered with five feet of water, and the sides and tip of the point quickly plunge into 25 to 43 feet of water. All of these fish were caught on the shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rig. Six largemouth bass and the one white bass were caught in five to seven feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve from the apex of the point and about 40 yards from the water's edge. The other 18 largemouth bass and the spotted bass were caught in 10 to 25 feet of water and about 50 to 65 yards out from the water's edge while slowly strolling and employing a drag-and-deadstick presentation with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig along both sides of the point.

In sum, I caught 26 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one white bass in five hours. A slow strolling retrieve with the shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was by far the most effective combo.

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