Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2017

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2017

The June of 2017 guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 26 logs and 25,873 words that explain how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the endeavors of  Rick Allen of Dallas; Yahel Anderson of Shawnee, Kansas; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas;  Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Lakin Kehde of Sedalia, Missouri; Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas;  Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Walt Tegtmeier of  Leawood, Kansas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; and my northeastern Kansas logs.


Claudell's report features his and his sons' pursuit of smallmouth bass in Ontario, Canada.  And one of Rick Allen's reports focuses on his and his wife's outing in the Heartland region of Minnesota near Brainerd.

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


June 1 log


The Weather Underground reported that it was a multifaceted day.  It was 63 degrees at 6:53 a.m., 75 degrees at 11:53 a.m., and 78 degrees at 5:53 p.m. The wind was calm at various times throughout the day, and when it was not calm, it angled out of the south, northwest, east by northeast, north by northeast, west, east by southeast, south by southeast, southeast, south by southwest, and west by southwest at 3 to 11 mph. It rained from midnight to 5:53 a.m. and from 12:48 p.m. to 2:53 p.m.  At times, the rain was accompanied by significant lightning. When it was not raining, the sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast to partly cloudy to clear. The barometric pressure was 30.06 at 12:53 a.m., 30.10 at 5:53 a.m., 30.03 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.01 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 5:20 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., and 11:09 a.m. to 1:09 p.m.

Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, and I fished from 10:57 a.m. to 12:48 p.m. Then from 12:48 p.m. to 2:40 p.m., we were plagued with rain and lightning, and during that long spell, we took shelter at the boat ramp. We began fishing again around 2:45 p.m. and fished until 4:16 p.m.

Rick and his wife are on their way to Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, and the Lake of the Woods around Kenora, Ontario, Canada. They stopped in Lawrence, Kansas, on June 1 so Rick could pursue some largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and the other denizens that abide in the flatland reservoirs that grace northeastern Kansas. And during the three hours and 21 minutes that we fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs, we caught 38 largemouth bass, 29 smallmouth bass, seven freshwater drum, six warmouth, five green sunfish, three bluegill, one flathead catfish, one channel catfish, one crappie, and one walleye.

The water level at this community reservoir was several inches above normal.  The surface temperature was 73 degrees.  The water clarity in the lower portions of this reservoir exhibited five to six feet of visibility.

We spent the entire three hours and 21 minutes in the lower 20 percent of this reservoir.

The preponderance of the 92 fish were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig or a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig. Some were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We fished two submerged rock fences, which are offshore lairs.  Along one of the fences, we caught one largemouth bass in about five feet of water, and it was caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Along the other fence, we caught six largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass. Two of them were caught on the Hula StickZ rig, and the other seven were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in four to seven feet of water.

Rick Allen with one of the largemouth bass that we caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Along  two main-lake points and their adjacent shorelines, we caught six largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass. The six largemouth bass were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in three to five feet of water. Three of the smallmouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig, and they were caught on the initial drop in about 3 1/2 feet of water.  Two of the smallmouth bass were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water. These points and shorelines possess a 25- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, three docks, a few laydowns, and some overhanging trees and bushes.  Some of the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were caught near the outside edges of the patches of American water willows.

The riprap shoreline of the dam yielded two smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass. They were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs. One was caught of the initial drop in about three feet of water. Three were caught in five to six feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  The rain and lightning erupted us as we were fishing along the dam, and it sent us to the boat ramp for an hour and 52 minutes.

After the rain and lightning abated, we fished a steep main-lake point, two flat main-lake points, and a 175-yard stretch of a relatively steep main-lake shoreline, which is graced with several tertiary points.  And we caught 18 largemouth bass and 17 smallmouth bass from these areas.  All of the smallmouth bass were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs in two to seven feet of water.  A few were caught of the initial drop, and the others were caught while we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two largemouth bass were caught on our shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The rest of the largemouth bass were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs, and a few were caught on the initial drop of those rigs in about three feet of water, but most of them were caught while we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in three to seven feet of water.  The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows and overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. Several of the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that we caught were along the outside edge of these patches.  The slope of this massive area ranges from 20- to 45-degrees.

Another largemouth bass that we caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We caught two largemouth bass around this reservoir's spillway. One was caught next to a concrete pillar in four feet of water on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation. The second largemouth bass was caught in 2 1/2 feet of water along a rock shoreline on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

A steep and short shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm yielded three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. They were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about three feet of water, and the other two were caught while we executed the swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of sand, gravel, and rocks. The water's edge is graced with patches of American water willows and some overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation.  Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop under an overhanging tree.

One steep main-lake point and portions of its adjacent shorelines failed to elicit a strike.  A flat main-lake point and portions of a flat shoreline failed to yield a strike.

June 1 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his June 1 outing.

Here is an edited and condensed version of his report:

John Redding of  Lawrence, Kansas, and I broadened our fishing horizons on June 1 by venturing to one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs that neither of us had fished before.

The weather was mostly overcast with some filtered sunlight and heavier clouds from scattered rain showers blackening the horizon in spots.  As I was driving to the reservoir, the radar showed that it was raining fairly close to my destination, but its movement indicated that it would miss the reservoir and not cause us any problems for afternoon fishing. After a morning low of 63 degrees, the temperature increased to a high of 79 degrees.  The wind blew rather steadily from the southeast at about 7 mph.

I immediately ran into travel problems when the county road I had chosen to use was closed due to construction,  and I was forced to follow a lengthy detour.  A little while later upon hearing a change in the road noise, I looked in the rearview mirror and discovered that one of the boat trailer tires had gone completely flat.  The highway did not have any shoulders; so, I pulled off onto the driveway of a farmhouse to get the boat off of the highway as far as possible, but the limited room forced me to actually squat on the highway surface while I was changing the tire.  Cars and trucks were blowing by a few feet away, but I managed to get the spare bolted on and back on my way with my life and body intact.  When I finally got to the boat ramp, I breathed a big sigh of relief at arriving without any further debacles.

After we launched the boat, and while we were sitting at the dock discussing our strategy,  John said,  "Wow, I think that was a big bass that just jumped," and he pointed to an area about 50 yards down the shoreline.  That area was the reservoir's emergency spillway, and it was in the vicinity of where we were talking about starting our outing. So, we immediately lowered the electric motor and headed that direction, casting along a line of American water willows along the way.  We caught three largemouth bass in the first five minutes in the spillway area and three more in the next 15 minutes as we made several more passes in that area.

Three of those six largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch  Z-Man's  The Deal ZinkerZ affixed to a  chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The other three were caught on a Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse ShadZ on a 1/16-ounce chartreuse Gopher mushroom jig.

The surface temperature of the water was 75.5 degrees.  The water clarity was four feet or more.  The water level appeared to be a foot or more above its normal level, as there was an alley of water between the water's edge  and the inside edge of the patches of American water willows that lined the shorelines. In fact, on several occasions, we saw fish swirl or jump both in and behind the water willows.

We finally left the spillway area and began fishing along the west shoreline.  As we did, we kept an eye on the sky as the thunder shower I had seen earlier appeared to be closing in on us.  In fact, it was only a few miles to the northwest.  Luckily, it stayed far enough away that we did not receive any rain, but the inflow to the storm caused the wind to kick up until the reservoir's surface was covered with whitecaps.  We caught one largemouth bass from the corner of the boat dock by the boat ramp.  We caught several more along the edge of the American water willows.

One of the dominant features of this shoreline is a series of rock jetties.  It also features several small coves, and secondary points.  The shoreline has a lot of terrestrial and aquatic vegetation and several large overhanging trees.  We caught at least one largemouth bass and sometimes two from most of the jetties.  These bass were relating to the ends of the rock jetties.  We caught several more that were relating to the tips of secondary and tertiary points and along the shorelines immediately adjacent to the tips of the points.  By the time we had traversed the entire west shoreline, we had hooked and landed a total of 22 largemouth bass and one green sunfish.

As we progressed further into one of the feeder-creek arms, we noticed that the clarity of the water was getting much worse and reduced to about 12 inches of visibility.  We also noticed a lot of floating debris in the water, leaves and twigs and small patches of water weeds.  The surface temperature of the water had increased to about 78 degrees. And the strikes from the largemouth bass had become relatively infrequent.  We decided to return to the spillway area,  and we fished spillway and the face of the dam.  As the thunderstorm moved off, the sun came out and the wind subsided to a nice breeze that was enough to keep a ripple on the surface of the water.  At the spillway, we immediately caught three more largemouth bass and continued to catch more along  the dam. When we reached the east end of the dam, we fished along the shoreline that meanders into the reservoir's east feeder-creek arm.  However, we did not have any more strikes after leaving the face of the dam.  Eventually, we decided to return and fish back along the face of the dam, the spillway, and back to the boat ramp.  This turned out to be a good move as we were able to land several more largemouth bass before we reached the boat ramp.

In all, we fished for a total of five hours and caught an even 40 largemouth bass. We also caught one green sunfish and one warmouth.

We used primarily the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve and the drag-and-deadstick retrieve. And at times, we strolled as we employed the drag-shake- and-deadstick retrieve.

Our most effective rigs were a 2 1/2-inch  Z-Man's  The Deal ZinkerZ affixed to a  chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse ShadZ on a 1/16-ounce chartreuse  Gopher mushroom jig, and a shortened four-inch  PB&J Finesse WormZ on a  green-pumpkin 1/20-ounce  Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We caught a few largemouth bass on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse T.R.D. on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

John also caught one largemouth bass on a big skirted jig with a crayfish trailer, and he caught two largemouth bass on a large  swim bait.

The best retrieve was the stroll with a drag- shake-and-deadstick presentation.

Our most fruitful locations were the tips of points and the tips of the riprap jetties.

June 2 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 63 degrees at 5:52 p.m. and 84 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being clear to mostly cloudy to overcast to partly cloudy. The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it angled out of the east, east by southeast, east by northeast, and southeast at 3 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 30.01 at 5:52 a.m., 30.03 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.01 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 6:05 a.m. to 8:05 a.m., 6:28 p.m. to 8:28 p.m., and 11:54 a.m. to 1:54 p.m.

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, and I fished at a state reservoir in northeastern Kansas from 10:45 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam exhibited more than five feet of visibility. The water level was a few inches above normal. The surface temperature was 73 degrees at 10:45 a.m. and 76 degrees at 1:45 p.m.  There are gigantic patches of bushy pondweed covering the shallow-water flats, and patches of American pondweed are beginning to sprout and flourish along the water's edges of many of the flat shorelines.

We caught 12 largemouth bass along the west end of the dam, and we caught 10 along its east end, and we failed to garner a strike along the middle portions of the dam. The bulk of them were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Some were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse T.R.D. on a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Canada craw ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. A few of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.  The rest of them were caught while we were executing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in two to five feet of water.  The underwater terrain consists of riprap. We fished the dam twice.

We caught 28 largemouth bass along patches of bushy pondweed on a large main-lake point and one of its adjacent shorelines. They were caught on either a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Some of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.  Some of them were caught while we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. A few of the largemouth bass were caught while we were executing a deadstick presentation. These largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges of the patches of American pondweed in five to seven feet of water.  We fished this point and shoreline twice.

We fished two riprap jetties and massive patches of bushy pondweed that surround these jetties, and we caught four largemouth bass.  Two of them were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water. Two were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and one was caught on a drag-and-shake retrieve along one of the riprap jetties in about three feet of water, and the second one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve along the outside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed in about five feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass along the outside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed on a flat main-lake point in about six feet of water. It was caught on the initial drop of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-blue-flake Finesse WormZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We caught one largemouth bass along the outside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed along another flat main-lake point. It was caught in about four feet of water on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught one largemouth bass along the outside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed along a flat secondary point. It was caught in three to four feet of water on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In sun, we caugth 57 largemouth bass in three hours and five minutes.

June 3 log

Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his endeavors on a four-tournament circuit called the KC Team Tour.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

It was the inaugural season for this circuit. Its purpose was to create an easy-to-fish tournament circuit with very little travel or overnight stays for Kansas City area fishermen and some decent payouts. There are only 12 boats that will fish, which keeps the tournaments from getting over crowded on our local reservoirs. In the fall, they are going to have a qualifying tournament for those that want to fish it in the spring.

For the year, my partner and I finished tied for first,  but we lost the tiebreaker. I wanted to send a quick overview of our year because much of it was based on using a standard Midwest finesse rig.

On June 3, we fished at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs, and it really showed what it has to offer area anglers. There were a lot of big largemouth bass and a lot of five-fish limits brought to the tournament's scale. But we did not catch vast numbers of largemouth bass, and thousands of casts and retrieves were made without garnering a strike.

We ended up in second place by catching a little over 17 pounds of largemouth bass. Our biggest weighed 5.5 pounds.

We started the morning throwing squarebill crankbaits and topwater baits. I lost the biggest fish of my life on a squarebill. When it jumped out of the water, my partner said it looked like it would weigh more than eight pounds.   Then I lost another on a wacky rig that looked like a four- or five- pounder.

By 11:00 a.m., we had no fish and were pretty discouraged at losing those two big fish. For about two hours, I had been using a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's watermelon ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and I failed to get a strike. Then around 11:00 a.m,  I switched up to a PB&J ZinkerZ and on my third cast I caught that 5.5-pounder.  Then about five casts later I caught a four-pounder on it. We proceed to catch our tournament limit and cull two times, all with the PB&J ZinkerZ rig.

June 5 log 

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

The first five days of June have been stormy ones as Mother Nature dropped over four inches of rain upon the north-central Texas' countryside.

On June 5, the rain subsided for most of the day which allowed me and John Thomas of Denton, Texas, to fish for about 4 1/2 hours at a trying U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

The last time I visited this reservoir, I fished with Norman Brown of Lewisville on April 23. During that five-hour afternoon outing, it was sunny and the high temperature was 71 degrees. The wind angled out of the north by northwest at 14 mph. The water was stained and 71 degrees. The fishing was tedious, and we caught only 14 largemouth bass using a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's pearl GrubZ on a green 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig.

On June 5, area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 70 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 82 degrees. The wind angled out of the north and northeast at 2 to 10 mph. The sky was overcast for most of the day, and we were graced with a couple of short spells of sunshine. The barometric pressure measured 29.76 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.74 at 2:00 p.m. More thunderstorms were forecasted for the evening hours.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing periods would occur between the hours of  2:01 a.m. to 4:01 a.m., 8:12 a.m. to 10:12 a.m., and 8:33 p.m. to 10:33 p.m. John and I fished from about 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The water was murky from the aftereffects of the recent rains; it exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. A thin layer of algae blooms and golfball-size globs of algae coated the surface of the water at several locations that we fished, and large amounts of floating debris littered most of the water's surface in the main body of the reservoir. The water level had risen more then two feet since June 1.

We elected to start fishing at the dam, which forms the east boundary of the reservoir. It is situated about two miles east of where we launched the boat. As we were motoring across the main lake toward the dam, we crossed paths with a couple of large schools of white bass that were foraging on the surface in 32 to 35 feet of water. We could not resist the temptation to stop and pursue them for a few minutes, and we caught 32 white bass and one largemouth bass that was foraging with the white bass in 27 minutes before they dispersed and disappeared. Sixteen white bass were caught with a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, and the other sixteen where caught with a Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ dressed on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. The one largemouth bass was caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig. Both of these combos where employed with a steady and moderately-paced swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface.

After the white bass bite fizzled out, John and I continued to the dam. We dissected many yards of the dam's riprap and the concrete walls of a large water outlet tower that stands in 35 to 42 feet of water near the center of the dam.

We failed to elicit any strikes around the concrete walls of the water outlet tower.

We caught two largemouth bass and one channel catfish that were relating to the submerged riprap of the dam. The largemouth bass and the channel catfish were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One largemouth engulfed the Hula StickZ rig as it was implemented with a slow hop-and-bounce retrieve down the riprap in six to eight feet of water and within ten feet of the water's edge. The other largemouth bass and the channel catfish were caught by a drag-and-deadstick presentation along the bottom in 12 feet of water and about 15 yards from the water's edge.

After we fished the dam, we traveled westward along the south side of the reservoir and focused our attentions on some flooded bushes, trees, and laydowns on the south and east side of a main-lake island. The underwater terrain around the island consisted of sand and gravel. But we failed to garner a single strike.

At this point, we had fished for black bass for approximately two hours and had only three largemouth bass to show for our efforts. We had been unable to establish the whereabouts or the dispositions of the largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass that inhabit this waterway, and we were also becoming concerned that this outing would be a complete bust at the rate we were going. We decided to regroup and take a short lunch break before we headed to the opposite end of the reservoir where we spent the final 2 1/2 hours of this outing.

Along the north side of the reservoir, we plied six main-lake points, a bluff shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, and a 200-yard section of a steep main-lake shoreline.

We caught five largemouth bass from one main-lake point and three largemouth bass from three of the other five points. They were all caught in four to seven feet of water on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig that was presented with a slow swim-glide-and shake retrieve.

We did not locate any black bass inside the feeder-creek arm along the shoreline of the bluff.

A small segment of the 200-yard section of a main-lake shoreline was the most fruitful area. Its underwater terrain is comprised of mostly large submerged boulders, fist-size rocks, gravel, and clay. The shoreline is steep, and there are a few thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that line it in two to three feet of water.

The small segment of this shoreline that we concentrated on the most is about 20-yards long, and it yielded 10 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and two channel catfish that were relating to several large submerged boulders in three to six feet of water. These fish were beguiled by the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig that was retrieved in a slow swim-glide-and-shake manner. The remaining 180 yards of this shoreline that we fished were fruitless.

At about 1:30 p.m., a large rain squall erupted over the reservoir and forced us to end this outing a bit earlier than what we had planned.

Overall, it was a baffling task to inveigle 19 largemouth bass and two spotted bass. But we were delighted to tangle with 32 white bass during a 27-minute feeding spree.  John caught the largest black bass, which was a handsome specimen that weighed four pounds and seven ounces. We also caught three channel catfish by accident.

John Thomas with one of the 19 largemouth bass that they caught.

This outing turned into another day of wielding numerous sizes and colors of Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jigs sporting a variety of Z-Man Fishing Products' Midwest finesse baits in an attempt to establish a dominate lure. The shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig bewitched 20 of the 21 black bass and three channel catfish. A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig caught one largemouth bass and sixteen white bass. A Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig enticed another 16 white bass.

During the past couple of weeks, the Hula StickZ rig and  a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve has emerged as our most potent lure and presentation method, and it remained our most effective lure and presentation combination during this outing as well.

June 6 log

Lakin Kehde of Sedalia, Missouri, and I had designs of catching 60 black bass in four hours at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs. But after the first 60 minutes had transpired, we realized it would be an impossible task to catch 60. At that point, we lowered our aim to catching 50 black bass.  Ultimately, we caught 28 smallmouth bass and 22 largemouth bass, but it took us four hours and 16 minutes to accomplish this feat.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 63 degrees at 4:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 1:52 p.m.  The wind was calm until 6:53 a.m., and then it angled out of the east, northeast, and north by northeast at 6 to 11 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.89 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 30.00 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.98 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:44 a.m. to 10:44 a.m., 9:06 p.m. to 11:06 p.m., and 2:33 a.m. to 4:33 a.m.  Lakin and I fished from 10:00 a.m. to 2:16 p.m.  Our last two hours of fishing were much more fruitful than the first ones. At 1:00 p.m., we crossed paths with a veteran and knowledgeable power angler who had been afloat since 7:00 a.m., and he had not caught a black bass.  After chatting with that power angler, Lakin and I said that we were thankful that we were not employing power tactics.

The water level was a few inches above normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 78 degrees.  The water clarity varied from five feet in the vicinity of the dam to about 2 1/2 feet in the upper reaches of this reservoir. There was a phytoplankton algae bloom erupting at some areas around the lower sections of the reservoir.

Besides the 50 black bass, we caught nine freshwater drum, five green sunfish, four warmouth, two crappie, one flathead catfish, and one walleye.

We caught one smallmouth bass along an offshore and submerged rock fence. It was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water.

We caught one smallmouth bass along another offshore and submerged rock fence. It was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water.

Along a steep main-lake point, two flat main-lake points, and a 175-yard stretch of a relatively steep main-lake shoreline, which is embellished with a few tertiary points, we caught eight smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass.  The largemouth bass and five of the smallmouth bass were caught on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs. Three smallmouth bass were caught on our PB&J ZinkerZ rigs.  The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows and overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. The slope of the shoreline and points ranges from 20- to 45-degrees. Some of the smallmouth bass and largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Others were caught on either a drag-and-shake retrieve or a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Some of them were caught under overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation in two to three feet of water. Some were caught along the outside edges of patches of American water willows in two to four feet of water. A few were caught around rocks and boulders in about six feet of water.

We caught eight smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass along the riprap of the dam. The slope of the dam ranges from 30- to 35- degree.  Four of the smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig by strolling with a drag-and-shake retrieve in four to eight feet of water. Four of the smallmouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs in about three feet of water. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig on either a drag-and-shake presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to five feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught while we were deadsticking the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water.

Along a flat main-lake shoreline, around two flat main-lake points, and the relatively flat shorelines inside a small cove between the two main-lake points, we caught four largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass.  These shorelines are embellished with patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, and three docks. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Three of the largemouth bass were caught around the docks in four to six feet of water on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs. Two were caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig, and the third one was caught on a deadstick presentation.  One of the smallmouth bass was caught around a boulder in four feet of water on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig and a drag-and-shake retrieve.  One of the largemouth bass and four of the smallmouth bass were caught around the outside edges of the patches of American water willows in about 3 1/2 feet of water on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs on either the initial drop or the drag-and-shake presentation.

We caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass around a main-lake point in the upper reaches of the reservoir. The smallmouth bass was  caught on the  green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig and the largemouth bass was caught on a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig  around the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation. The point has a 35-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few minor boulders.

Under an overhanging tree along a steep shoreline in the upper reaches of the reservoir, we caught a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass on the initial drops of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig and the California craw Hula StickZ rig in about three feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, laydowns, overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation, and some stumps.

In the upper reaches of the reservoir, we failed to elicit a strike around a flat main-lake point and its adjacent shorelines.

Along a flat main-lake point in the upper reaches of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass in about four feet of water on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This largemouth bass was caught about 20 feet from the shoreline on a rock-laden terrain.

We caught three largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass along a flat main-lake shoreline in the upper reaches on the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. It possesses at 25- to 30-degree slope. The shoreline is lined with several overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation, some laydowns, and a few scrawny patches of American water willows.  One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Hula StickZ rig around a laydown in about five feet of water. Two of the largemouth bass and one of the smallmouth bass were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shaking presentation with the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in four to six feet of water along a rock-laden terrain.

One smallmouth bass was caught with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve of the Junebug Hula StickZ rig around a series of boulders in four feet of water.

On a flat shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ rig attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve around a couple of boulders in about five feet of water.  This shoreline possesses a 20-degree slope, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some massive boulders.

Adjacent to a patch of American water willows around a secondary point inside this small feeder-creek arm, we caught a largemouth bass while deadsticking our  2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water.

Around a steep main-lake shoreline and point, we caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass on our green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigs. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water's edge is graced with several overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation and some scrawny patches of American water willows. One of the largemouth bass was caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation with the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in six to seven feet of water. One largremouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in about three feet of water within five feet of the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig under an overhanging tree in about five feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows around a main-lake point by dragging and shaking a green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in four feet of water. This point possesses a 35- to 45-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain contains gravel, rocks, and some boulders.

We failed to elicit a strike around a flat main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake shoreline.

Lakin Kehde with the last largemouth bass of the outing. It is bass No. 50.

In short, we struggled during the first 95 minutes of this outing to garner a strike. The points and shorelines in the upper reaches of this reservoir were not as productive as the ones in its lower reaches, and this phenomenon has occurred several times this spring at this and several of the other small flatland reservoirs that grace northeastern Kansas' countryside.

June 6 log

Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, filed this brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing with his wife.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his brief:

My wife, Linda, and I are currently vacationing in Minnesota, and we are headed to the Lake of the Woods in Ontario, Canada.

On June 6, we spent the afternoon fishing at a 1,288-acre mesotrophic lake in the Heartland section of Minnesota.

It was our first outing on this lake, and it was the second time that I have fished in the Heartland region of Minnesota.  The first time was on June 4, 2016, when I fished with a guide on a 132,516-acre mesotrophic lake and showed him how effective a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig can be for catching smallmouth bass.  (Read more about it at  http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-june-2016)

Some of this lake's shallow-water areas are graced with bulrushes. There is one shallow-water reef with 50 to 83 feet of water nearby.  There are several rock-laden drop offs and several sand bars.  The average water clarity is about 12 feet, but throughout the calendar year, the clarity varies from six to 18 feet of visibility. Some of its shallow-water areas are embellished with patches of bulrushes, which many Minnesota anglers  call reeds.  There are numerous offshore bars that are graced with a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as broadleaf cabbage and coontail.

As our luck would have it, a cold front had passed through this portion of Minnesota on June 5, and June 6 was a bright and sunny bluebird day. According to the Weather Underground, the wind angled out of the east, east by southeast, and northeast at 3 to 8 mph. The morning low temperature on June 6 was 44 degrees, and the afternoon high reached 79 degrees.

We did not measure the surface temperature, but the surface temperature at a nearby lake was 63 degrees.

We observed three other boat anglers who appeared to be fishing the drop-offs or the outside edges of the submerged vegetation on the bars. So, we decided to do the same. Linda wielded a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig, and I started with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rigged on a green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce  Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We employed the Hula StickZ and 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in six to 10 feet of water where we found underwater vegetation.

Linda got the first strike before I could get a bait in the water, and she landed her first northern pike of her life, and it measured 24-inches in length. Shortly after that, she set the hook and landed a two-pound largemouth bass. I caught a big crappie followed by a largemouth bass. Just as I was thinking we might have an epic day, the bite slowed.

So, we moved to the shallow-water bulrushes, which were fruitless.

Then, we moved back out toward the drop-offs,  looking for patches of submerged vegetate in six to 10 feet of water and in close proximity to deep water.

Ultimately, we tangled with a few unknown specimens that quickly relieved us of our rigs, and I suspect they were northern pike. We ended our 3 1/2-hour outing by catching 23 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two northern pike, a crappie, and a few rock bass.

June 6 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his June 6 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his log:

At 8:30 a.m., John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas, and I ventured to one of northeastern Kansas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs.

The last time that I fished this reservoir was on Aug. 9, 2016. On that outing, I fished with Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, and we caught 111 smallmouth bass in four hours. All of them were caught along the riprap of the dam.  Before this outing, I had not fished this reservoir for nearly 10 years.

Years ago my family and I spent many enjoyable days boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing, and camping at this reservoir. And as John and I were traveling, I was eager to fish it again.

Besides fishing the dam, John and I planned to explore other locales in the middle and upper portions of this reservoir, where my family spent their days years ago, and I was hoping to dredge up some locales to fish from the depths of my memory.

As we drove, John and I discussed several reports about the fishing conditions at this reservoir, which were not very encouraging.  However, I noted on the positive side that those reports were from earlier in the spring when the reservoir had been hammered with flooding rains and unseasonably cool weather.  And recently, the weather has been stable and normal.  What's more, the Corps reported that the water level was less than a foot above its normal level.

We agreed that we probably would not repeat the 111 smallmouth bass catch that Ned and I enjoyed last year, but we would consider the day to be extremely successful if we could catch a total of 60 black bass.

We arrived at the boat ramp at about 10:00 a.m.  After a morning low of 61 degrees, the temperature was 73 degrees when we arrived at the ramp, and the afternoon high temperature reached 82 degrees.  The wind angled from the northeast  and east  at 6 to 21 mph.

As we made our first casts at about 10:30 a.m., I noted that the surface temperature was 75 degrees. The water was stained with about 18 inches of visibility.

We began the outing at a main-lake point, which lies in close proximity to the main river channel. Its underwater terrain consists of many large rocks and boulders. After several casts, we hooked and landed three smallmouth bass.  Two of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  The third one was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's watermelon-red ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce  Z-Man's weedless Finesse ShroomZ  jig.

Then we fished a riprap jetty, where we caught two smallmouth bass on the  pumpkin- chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

After we fished the jetty, we fished the entire dam, which is embellished with riprap.  It is about a mile long. We finished fishing it at 1:00 p.m., and our fish counter indicated that the dam yielded 36 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.  They  were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ  affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and  a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Thus, we were merely 20 black bass short of our goal of 60, and we had the entire afternoon to reach that goal.

From the dam, we traveled for about 15 minutes up the south side of the reservoir and inside a feeder-creek arm that has a submerged farm-pond dam. Around this submerged dam, we ate lunch, and began fishing at 2:00 p.m.

We fished two secondary points and about 50 yards of shoreline adjacent to the secondary points.  Along one of the shorelines, we caught a walleye.  We fished about 40 yards of a shoreline adjacent to this feeder creek's  main-lake point, where we caught one freshwater drum.  We fished about 250 yards of a rocky main-lake shoreline with the wind blowing parallel to it, and we caught one channel catfish.

Our boat and lure control became increasingly difficult when the velocity of the northeast wind increased. So, we decided to find some protection from the wind.  We accomplished that task by heading towards the dam on the north side of the reservoir, and we soon spotted an area that looked intriguing.  The north shore of this reservoir has several large feeder-creek arms that are separated by 200 to 400 yards or so of main-lake shoreline.  Along these shorelines, there are a number of small coves and small main-lake points. It looked as if we could fish a variety of wind scenarios: blowing on to the west shorelines of each cove, blowing across each point, and blowing parallel to the main-lake shoreline.  The east shorelines in each of the coves were protected from the northeast wind. We used a drift sock  to control the boat along the  main-lake shorelines and points on the north side of the reservoir.

We fished about 200 yards of a windy shoreline inside one of the coves without eliciting a strike.  I was about to admit that our plan was not working when we finally hooked and landed a smallmouth bass very close to the tip of a main-lake point.  By the time that bass had been returned to the water, the wind and trolling motor had moved us past the point. So, we turned the boat around and backtracked  to where we had caught that smallmouth bass and proceeded to catch another smallmouth bass from the same spot.  After several casts with no more strikes, we turned the corner and began working along a main-lake shoreline.  We continued to get strikes, but ran into a streak of not being able to land the fish.  Many of them were identified as smallmouth bass when they went airborne and liberated themselves from the jig, and others were never seen, but we suspected that they were smallmouth bass.  When we reached the mouth of another small cove, we headed directly to its wind-blown shoreline, and ultimately, we caught two more smallmouth bass on its wind-blown main-lake point.  That main-lake point marked the beginning of the east shore of a large feeder-creek arm and the end of the terrain that we had decided to target.  We were pleased that we had found some smallmouth bass along locations other than the dam; so, we decided to see if we could repeat the same pattern further down the reservoir.

We found another series of small coves and points in between two more large feeder-creek arms,  and we began fishing with the aid of the wind as we had at the previous location.  This area proved to be considerably more fruitful, and we began to have more strikes, and the quality of the smallmouth bass improved, being two- and three-pounders.  We also noticed that we were getting more strikes in areas that were protected from the wind than from wind-blown areas.  This was contrary to our expectations.  We also continued to hook and fail to land a dozen or more smallmouth bass.  The underwater terrains of some of these shorelines and points were comprised of gravel, and others were laden with large rocks.

Along the shorelines that were protected from the wind, the boat moved at a very slow pace, and John often strolled his rig along the gravel and garnered an array of strikes and caught the biggest smallmouth bass of the outing: a 17 1/2-incher, which he caught about 10 yards from the water's edge and directly behind the boat.

When he caught that smallmouth bass, he said that he was allowing his Midwest finesse rig to drag along the gravel terrain, and he would occasionally shake it. While he was dragging his rig, he did not rotate the reel handle to move it. Nor did he use his rod to move it. Instead, it moved at the same pace the boat moved. He would drag it for a minute or so without shaking the rod or rotating the reel handle. Then he would execute a shaking routine with his rod that encompassed 20 or more seconds.  The strikes would occur after the shaking routine or as he was dragging the rig between the shaking routines. What's more, deadsticking was not part of his routine.

I was not having much luck casting to the water's edge and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-deadstick retrieve.  And after John began reporting multiple strikes with his extended dragging and shaking routine, I started to emulate his tactic by making casts at a 45-degree angle behind the boat and towards the water's edge. Then I let the movement of the boat drag the rig along the gravel terrain. I would drag it for 20 to 30 seconds, and then I would shake it for 15 to 20 seconds. I repeated this protracted drag-and-shake presentation until my rig was behind the boat, and while it was directly behind the boat, I continued the protracted dragging-and-shaking routine for several minutes.  If I failed to catch a smallmouth bass, I quickly reeled my rig back to the boat and executed another 45-degree cast behind the boat towards the shoreline and began the protracted-dragging-and-shaking routine again. John continued to stroll his rig directly behind the boat, and as he strolled, he employed the protracted-drag-and-shake presentation. And he kept his rig behind the boat for many minutes unless he elicited a strike or caught a smallmouth bass.

While we were slowly moving along one of the gravel-laden main-lake shorelines, I looked back from the boat's front deck to its rear deck to be confronted with a view of John lounging in the boat's passenger seat, rather sitting on the boat's rear deck. He had a drink in one hand, a snack in the other, and his  fishing rod positioned in the crook of his elbow with the line trailing into the water behind the boat. I had to laugh and told him "You are not bass fishing, you are trolling."  He laughed and said that he was dragging and shaking.

When we reached a rocky tertiary point, the gravel shoreline made a transition to a rock-laden one that was protected from the wind. Here, we discovered the best concentration of smallmouth bass that we had found all day.  From that tertiary point where the rocks began and for about 250 yards along the main-lake shoreline and around a point and into a cove where the rocky terrain petered out, we had dozens and dozens of strikes and landed the best average size of smallmouth bass of any of the locations we had fished. After several passes along this shoreline, I glanced at my watch and realized that it was almost 7:00 p.m.  A glance at the fish counter showed a total of 76 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.  That meant that in the nearly five hours since lunch, we had caught 35 smallmouth bass, and the bulk of them were caught along main-lake points and shorelines.

Since we were already past the time that we had originally targeted to quit, we decided that we had nothing to lose by investing a little more time in fishing the dam.  We set a drop-dead quit time of 7:30 p.m., and we quickly motored to the dam to see if we could catch three more black bass to increase our total to 80 for the day.  The bass on the dam were more than cooperative, and  at 7:30 p.m., the counter was reading a total of 90 black bass.  I told John that we needed to catch one more, because I did not want to report an even number again (in my June 1 Finesse News Network log, we caught an even 40 bass at a northeastern Kansas' state reservoir).  Alas, the bass stopped cooperating, and after 10 more minutes, we were still stuck on 90 bass for the day.  So, we called it a day and headed home, pleased with a very successful and fruitful experience.

In all, we fished for approximately eight hours and we caught a total of 89 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.  Of these, 50 were caught along the face of the dam and 40 were caught along main-lake points and shorelines.  We also caught four walleye, three channel catfish, one freshwater drum, one crappie, one green sunfish,  and one bluegill.

The dominant retrieve we used was a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  We also caught bass using the drag-and-deadstick retrieve, the stroll-and-shake presentation, and the drag-and-shake presentation.

The best lure combinations were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's black-blue-laminate  ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce  Gopher  jig, a shortened Z-Man's  green-pumpkin Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher mushroom jig, and a three-inch Z-Man's  watermelon-red ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's  weedless Finesse ShroomZ jig.  We also caught fish on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's  pumpkin-chartreuse  ZinkerZ rig, a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ rig, a Z-Man's Canada craw Finesse T.R.D. rig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ rig.  The fish did not seem to show much preference for one color over another, but the darker colors seemed to be more effective in the stained water than the lighter colors.

June 7 log 

The Weather Underground reported that it was 54 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 81 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the east and north by northeast at 3 to 9 mph.  The sky was clear.  The barometric pressure was 30.05 at 12:52 a.m., 30.08 at 5:52 a.m., 30.10 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.06 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:23 a.m. to 11:23 a.m., 9:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m., and 3:11 a.m. to 5:11 a.m. I was afloat from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir.

The water level is a few inches above normal.  The surface temperature was 80 degrees. The water clarity was affected by an algal bloom, and the visibility ranged from 15 inches to 24 inches. What's more, there was a lot of filamentous algae floating on the surface and clinging to rocks, docks, patches of American water willows, and other objects.

From 1:00 p.m. to 2:05 p.m. I fished the entire dam. Its underwater terrain is rock. It possesses a 45-degree slope. Much of the water's edge is lined with thin patches of American water willows. I caught 21 largemouth bass and inadvertently caught two channel catfish. Nine of the largemouth bass were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with either a drag-and-shake retrieve or on the initial drop. Twelve of the largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ  affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with either a drag-and-shake retrieve or on the initial drop.  These largemouth bass were caught in three to seven feet of water.

The next 110 minutes revolved around a reconnaissance mission to primarily examine rather than fish many of the other locales. I was looking for patches of wilted curly-leaf pondweed and burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. Several of our grandkids are headed to Lawrence, Kansas, during the next 30 days, and I was searching for patches of aquatic vegetation for them to fish.  As I searched, I did catch seven largemouth bass and a channel catfish on the Junebug Hula StickZ.

 June 8 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his June 8 outing.

Here is an edited version of is log:

One of the objectives of Midwest finesse fishing is to catch 101 black bass in four hours. And when the fishing is lackluster, we attempt to catch at least 10 black bass an hour.

Thus, most Midwest finesse anglers would probably agree that catching 30 black bass an outing is a pretty meager goal, especially when it takes four or more hours to accomplish it.  But in north-central Texas, the black bass fishing has befuddled us all year, and a 30-black bass outing now seems like a daunting task.

During 2017, we have reached this measly goal only four times; two of those times occurred when I and a couple of companions traveled to a Civilian Conservation Corps' reservoir in southern Oklahoma. During the first excursion, John Thomas of Denton and I caught 40 smallmouth bass in 5 1/2 hours on April 28. During the second one, Rick Allen of Dallas and I caught 57 smallmouth bass in six hours on May 9. The last time we achieved a 30-bass outing in Texas occurred on April 1, when Rick Allen and I caught 31 largemouth bass during a four-hour bank-walking excursion at a 20-acre community reservoir in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

Therefore, this log is more of a discourse about how Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I failed to locate and allure any significant numbers of largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit a challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing on June 8 would take place between 4:01 a.m. and 6:01 a.m., 10:12 a.m. and 12:12 p.m., and 10:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m.  Norman and I fished from about 9:00 a.m. to 1:48 p.m.

Local meteorologists reported the morning low temperature was  68 degrees and the afternoon high temperature climbed to 87 degrees. The wind quartered out of the east by southeast at 3 to 10 mph. It was a pleasant and sun-filled day with a partly cloudy sky. The barometric pressure measured 30.01 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.95 at 2:00 p.m.

The water was stained and exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was about a foot high. The water temperature varied from 79 to 81 degrees.

Norman and I concentrated mostly on main-lake lairs in the southern half of the reservoir. We fished five main-lake points, a large main-lake flat, the riprap along the face of the dam, a flat and rocky main-lake shoreline east of the dam, a submerged main-lake rock pile, two riprap-laden bridge embankments and a couple of concrete support columns underneath a bridge, and several secondary points inside two feeder-creek arms.

The outing started off on a positive note when we quickly caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass at the first main-lake point that we fished. This point is endowed with a deteriorated and crumbling asphalt boat ramp. This point's underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and small rocks. These black bass were relating to the end and one side of the boat ramp in four to seven feet of water. Norman caught a channel catfish from the end of the boat ramp, and he would tangle with two more of them before the outing came to a close. We also caught one bluegill and one crappie from the end of the boat ramp.

After we finished fishing the first main-lake point, we traveled to  a large main-lake flat located a short distance from the dam, and the fishing slowed to a tedious crawl. And it remained that way for the rest of the outing.

This flat is littered with thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water.  We observed small pods of half-inch threadfin shad fry near the surface all along the flat. The underwater terrain of this flat is comprised of mostly clay and gravel. We caught only two largemouth bass in this area, and they were caught many yards apart from each other. Both of them were relating to the outside edges of two thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water.

After that, we fished about 200 yards of the riprap shoreline along the middle and east end of the dam, where we caught only one largemouth bass that was extracted from 13 feet of water and about 20 feet away from the face of the dam. We hooked another largemouth bass about 50 yards east of where we caught the first one, but it was able to liberate itself by dislodging our lure from its jaw when it jumped out of the water.

Along the flat and rocky main-lake shoreline just east of the dam, we caught one channel catfish but not a single largemouth bass or spotted bass.

We fished a submerged rock pile that lies a short distance west of the first main-lake point where we caught the three largemouth bass and one spotted bass at the beginning of this outing. This rock pile is covered with a couple of feet of water and is encircled by seven feet of water. It took us only a couple of minutes to fish it,  and we failed to entice a single strike.

We caught one largemouth bass in four feet of water from the riprap shoreline along one of the two bridge embankments. The other riprap embankment was fruitless, as were a couple of the concrete support columns underneath the bridge that is situated between the two riprap embankments.

From the bridge and its two embankments, we ventured inside the first of two feeder-creek arms, where we plied a rocky secondary point that is adorned with a large concrete boat ramp, some submerged riprap that borders the sides of the ramp, and small patches of gravel, rocks, and red clay.  This point surrendered one spotted bass, and it was abiding in three feet of water and in close proximity to the submerged riprap that lines the west side of the ramp.  The rest of the point failed to yield any other strikes or black bass.

Next, we turned our attentions to the other five rocky main-lake points and the second feeder-creek arm that are located on the north side of the tributary arm and about half a mile west of the first feeder-creek arm that we just fished.  These five points were not very productive and relinquished only two spotted bass, two largemouth bass, one green sunfish, one freshwater drum, and one channel catfish. These fish were extracted from three to six feet of water.

Steve Reideler with one of the spotted bass that they caught.

Inside the second feeder-creek arm, we dissected two secondary points, a 35-yard section of steep and rocky shoreline on the east side of the creek arm, a 50-yard segment of flat shoreline on the west side of the creek arm, and a boat dock in the middle section. We hooked and lost one largemouth bass in three feet of water along the 50-yard stretch of flat shoreline on the west-side of the creek arm. We provoked a couple of faint strikes from underneath the boat dock, but we failed to generate any other strikes from the two secondary points or the steep east-side shoreline.

In sum, the largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this reservoir bamboozled us again. We barely eked out a combination of 12 largemouth bass and spotted bass, three channel catfish, one freshwater drum, a crappie, a green sunfish, and a bluegill in four hours and 48 minutes.

Norman Brown with one of the 12 largemouth bass that they caught.

Of all the Midwest finesse lures that we wielded during this endeavor, our two most effective ones were a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a hot yellow 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only effective presentation.

We shared several of these locales with two bank anglers and six boat anglers. The two bank anglers were fishing for catfish on one side of the secondary point where we were fishing inside the first feeder-creek arm, one boat angler was bass fishing along the east side of the dam and about 60 yards ahead of us, and the other boat anglers were fishing for crappie next to the concrete support columns underneath the bridge where we fished, and we were not surprised that none of them caught a fish while we were there.

June 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 logs

Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas, filed a brief report about his five days of chasing smallmouth bass in Ontario, Canada, with his sons Alex and Eric.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

We stayed at Niobe Lake Lodge near Atikokan, Ontario, from June 5 through June 9.  We fished from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each of those days, and we enjoyed a 30-minute lunch during each of those days. We fished six oligotrophic lakes, and we caught a total of 461 smallmouth bass. We caught about 20 dinky-size smallmouth  bass that we did not include in our count. We inadvertently caught 15 big crappie, four walleye, and too many northern pike to count, but we noted that two of them were longer than 35 inches.

On June 5, it was sunny. The high temperature was 77 degrees. A mild-mannered wind blew at 5 to 10 mph.  We fished at Lower Steep Rock Lake. We caught 83 smallmouth bass, 15 crappie, and two walleye. About half of the smallmouth bass were big ones, measuring 18 or more inches in length. The smallmouth bass that we caught seemed to be pre-spawners.

On June 6, it was sunny. The high temperature was 79 degrees. The wind was mild mannered.  We fished Marmion Lake for two hours, and then we fished at Hardy Lake until 5:00 p.m. At Marmion, the smallmouth bass were in their pre-spawn stage.  We caught 17 smallmouth bass, and they were 15- to 16-inch males. Because we failed to cross paths with any big ones, we elected to fish at Hardy.  It yielded 83 smallmouth bass, and half of them were 17 inches or longer.  The biggest specimens were 19 inches. Hardy's smallmouth bass looked as if they were pairing up and ready to spawn.

On June 7, it was partly cloudy. The high temperature was 79 degrees. The wind blew at 10 to 12 mph. We fished at Crooked Pine Lake. We caught 101 smallmouth bass and many northern pike. The most productive area of the lake was around its west end and below the falls. Three smallmouth bass were 20-inchers and 10 were 19-inchers. The big smallmouth bass were spawning below the falls.

Terry Claudell with one of the 461 smallmouth bass that they caught.

On June 8, it was mostly cloudy. The high temperature was 73 degrees. The wind angled out of the northwest at 10 to 12 mph, but there were spells when it was breezy. We fished Marmion Lake again.  The surface temperature ranged from 65 to 70 degrees. The smallmouth bass were spawning, and we caught 127 of them. This lake by far has the most smallmouth bass per acre of any of the lakes around Atikokan. There were spawning beds galore. I am not sure about how many 18-inch smallmouth bass that we caught, but there were not very many of them -- perhaps 10 of them reached that length.

On June 9, the high temperature was 75 degrees. It was partly cloudy. The wind blew at 5 to 10 mph. We fished Finlayson Lake, which we call our trophy lake. We caught 50 smallmouth bass and two walleye. The smallmouth bass were pre-spawners. Eleven of the smallmouth bass were 20 or more inches long. Nine of them were 19-inchers. Ten were 18-inchers. And the rest were 16-to 17-inchers.

Across these five days, we used two Midwest finesse rigs: either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's ZinkerZ or a Z-Man's Finesse T.R.D. There was no dominant color; we caught the smallmouth bass on these hues: bubble gum, Canada craw, green pumpkin, green pumpkin red, Houdini, mud minnow, and pearl.  We rigged them on either a red or chartreuse-black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We caught them in two to six feet of water. Most of them were caught on the initial drop of our rigs or with a deadstick presentation.

 June 10 log

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his June 10 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 64 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 84 degrees at 1:53 p.m.  The wind angled out of the south at 6 to 31 mph. The sky fluctuated from being clear to partly cloudy.  The barometric pressure was 29.80 at 12:53 a.m., 29.80 at 5:53 a.m., 29.79 at 11: 53 a.m., and 29.74 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 11:13 a.m. to 1:13 p.m., 11:37 p.m. to 1:37 a.m., and 5:25 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. I fished from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The surface temperature was 78 degrees. The water exhibited five feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam.  The water level looked to be normal.

Initially, the bite was very sparse, and throughout the outing, the wind was howling. I did, however, manage to find a couple of concentrations of black bass, and they were primarily schools of  largemouth bass, which were situated around a couple of wind- protected main-lake points on the east side of the reservoir. They were chasing bait fish, and masses of them would occasionally break the surface, much like surface-foraging white bass. Around these points, I would basically stroll, keeping my rod tip low and slowly moving the boat. As I strolled, I would keep my Midwest finesse rig swimming and gliding in five to 10 feet of water.

Bob Gum with a smallmouth bass that he caught on June 10.

Ultimately, I caught 58 fish, and the vast majority of them were largemouth bass. And the bulk of them were caught on either a Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a Z-Man's mud minnow Rain MinnowZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

 June 12 log

 The focus of this outing was to locate a few fruitful black bass lairs for our youngest grandchildren to fish during their annual summertime visit to northeastern Kansas. And I spent three hours and seven minutes battling a pesky wind and quickly surveying an array of potential areas at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs. What follows is a brief description of what I discovered.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 70 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 91 degrees at 1:53 p.m.  The wind angled out of the south at 6 to 28 mph.  The sky was clear until 12:53 p.m., and then it fluctuated from being scattered with clouds to being partly cloudy.  The barometric pressure was 29.82 at 12:53 a.m., 29.84 at 5:53 a.m., 29.85 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.81 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., 1:24 p.m. to 3:24 p.m., and 7:12 a.m. to 9:12 a.m. I was afloat from 11:05 a.m. to 2:12 p.m.

The water level looked to be a few inches above normal. The water exhibited four to six feet of visibility.  The surface temperature was 78 degrees.  This reservoir used to have some of the finest patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas, but the managers of this reservoir did a radical extermination of Eurasian milfoil, coontail, American pondweed, and bushy pondweed, and as they were doing that, they exterminated a lot of the American water willows. Consequently, several of the patches of American water willows have been completely annihilated, some have been nearly annihilated, and the size of the rest of them has been reduced.

I spent 55 minutes fishing a pair of main-lake points and about a 150-yard section of the north shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and some minor boulders. This area was slightly wind-blown. The water's edge is graced with many overhanging trees, a few scrawny patches of American water willows, scores of laydowns, and several docks. The points and shoreline possess a 20- to 35- degree slope. I caught seven largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass.  Two of the largemouth bass were caught in five feet of water around the end of one of the docks and under a massive school of bluegills that were suspended near the surface. They were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and shake presentation. One largemouth bass was caught in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig around a tertiary point and a patch of American water willows. Four of the largemouth bass and the five smallmouth bass were caught in two to five feet of water under or in the vicinity of the overhanging trees and around the laydowns. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of  a Z-Man's PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Three of the largemouth bass and the five smallmouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig.

I caught one largemouth bass along a south shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of sand, gravel, rocks, and some boulders. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. It is embellished with some minor patches of Amercian water willows, a couple of submerged stumps, a few minor laydowns, and some overhanging trees. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig around a submerged stump in about three feet of water.

I caught one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass around a massive and steep main-lake point on the east side of this reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope.  The water's edge is adorned with overhanging trees and bushes, a few patches of American water willows, and a few laydowns. I caught the smallmouth bass and the two largemouth bass by strolling the Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to six feet of water.

Along a very short section of a flat shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm on the east side of this reservoir, I caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and several massive boulders. The water's edge is graced with several overhanging trees and a tertiary point that is surrounded with American water willows. This area possesses a 25-degree slope.  One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig under an overhanging tree in about two feet of water.  The other one was caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve around a boulder in four feet of water.

I failed to elicit a strike around a main-lake point on the east side of the reservoir that is laden with riprap.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a 100-yard segment of a flat main-lake shoreline along the east side of this reservoir.  The underwater terrain consists on gravel, rocks, and a few large boulders. The water's edge is adorned with some overhanging trees and bushes, some laydowns, and a few measly patches of American water willows. The two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig in about 2 1/2 feet of water under the overhanging bushes.

I failed to elicit a strike around a main-lake point on the west side of this reservoir. Adjacent to this point, I fished a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, and I caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water around a table-rock ledge.

Along three shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm on the west side of the reservoir, I caught three largemouth bass. These shorelines possess a 25- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some minor boulders. There are some thick patches of American water willows gracing portions of these shorelines. Besides the American water willows, the water's edges are adorned with some laydowns and overhanging trees.  One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig under an overhanging tree in about three feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in three feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught around a main-lake point on the west side of the reservoir. This point possesses a 35-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows. The largemouth bass was caught about 10 feet from the outside edge of the American water willows, and it was caught in about five feet of water on the ZinkerZ rig and a drag-and-shake presentation.

Along a 75-yard stretch of a relatively steep main-lake shoreline along the west side of the reservoir, I caught one largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 40- to 45-degree slope.  The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water's edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and a tertiary point that is surrounded with American water willows. The largemouth bass and the three smallmouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig in two to four feet of water in the vicinity of the outside edges of the American water willows.

In sum, I caught 20 largemouth bass and nine smallmouth bass, and I inadvertently caught four freshwater drum, six green sunfish, six warmouth, two channel catfish, one crappie, and one white bass.  And I failed to find any areas where our grandchildren can execute easy casts and simple retrieves that will inveigle a significant number of largemouth bass. They prefer to fish around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as bushy pondweed, coontail, and Eurasian milfoil. Moreover, the fishing was far from being easy, and the wind had something to do with that.

 June 14 log

Yahel Anderson of Shawnee, Kansas, is our daughter-in-law's nephew, and he is afflicted with a robust case of fishing fever. Yahel is 13 years old, a talented soccer player who plays year-round on the KC Fusion Academy team, and an eighth-grade student at Monticello Trail Middle School in Shawnee, Kansas. School and soccer consume most of his days. Because his parents are not anglers, he has a difficult time taming his fishing fever, and that provoked his father to call and ask if Yahel could hop into my boat on June 14 and fish for a couple of hours.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 64 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 84 degrees at 12:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, south by southwest, southwest, west by southwest, southeast, and west at 6 to 23 mph.  Before 1:53 a.m., the sky was clear, and then it fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast to scattered with clouds. Thunderstorms erupted and it rained lightly between 5:35 a.m. and 6:53 a.m. It was clear from 7:53 a.m. to 9:53 a.m., and by 10:53 a.m., it was mostly cloudy again. The barometric pressure was 29.79 at 12:53 a.m., 29.85 at 5:53 a.m., and 29.84 at 11:53 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:43 a.m. to 4:43 a.m., 3:07 p.m. to 5:07 p.m., and 8:55 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. Yahel and I fished from 9:17 a.m. to 11:23 a.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

The water level looked to be nearly normal; a trickle of water was coursing over the spillway.  The surface temperature was 80 degrees. The water exhibited about 3 1/2 feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and it diminished to about 18 inches in the upper reaches of the primary feeder-creek arm. There appeared to be a minor phytoplankton algae bloom occurring.

We fished the entire dam and the spillway. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rock, and some boulders. Much of the water's edge is adorned with American water willows. It took us 44 minutes to fish the dam and spillway, and we caught 22 largemouth bass.  Nineteen of them were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two were caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig.  These bass were abiding in three to six feet of water. Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs along the outside edges of the American water willows. Some were caught while we were executing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A few were caught on either a drag-and-shake retrieve or a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

During the next 82 minutes, we caught 26 largemouth bass. We caught them by quickly fishing short portions of six shorelines, four main-lake points, and one offshore boulder-laden hump.

Five largemouth bass were caught in five to seven feet of water on top of the boulder-laden offshore hump while we were employing a drag-and-shake presentation with our slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The underwater terrains of the points and shorelines that we fished consist of gravel and rocks. And occasionally there are some boulders. Some of the water's edges are graced with patches of American water willows, and along the outside edges of some of the American water willows, there are a few scrawny patches of coontail. But the coontail was not abundant. Some of the water's edges are lined with either rock or concrete retaining walls. There are a few overhanging trees, and there are an array of docks.

Two main-lake points were fruitless.

We caught two largemouth bass around one main-lake point. One was caught on the initial drop of a  shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The other one was caught in about five feet of water on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a drag-and-shake presentation.

We caught two largemouth bass around another main-lake point. One was caught in  five to six feet of water on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a deadstick presentation along the outside edge of a dock. The other one was caught in about four feet of water on the slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and shake presentation.

The short portions of the six shorelines yielded 17 largemouth bass. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and 13 of them were caught on our slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Some were caught on the initial drop our rigs. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Several were caught on either a drag-and-shake retrieve or a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

Yahel Anderson with one of the 48 largemouth bass that we caught.

In sum, we caught an average of 22 largemouth bass an hour, and we inadvertently caught seven green sunfish, five warmouth  and one crappie. There was no dominant presentation. The slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was our most effective Midwest finesse rig. Traditionally, the purple-haze Finesse WormZ has been very effective in the late spring and throughout  the summer in northeastern Kansas. But to our chagrin, Z-Man has stopped manufacturing the  purple-haze Finesse WormZ because they could not sell enough of them. They do, however, manufacture a purple-haze ZinkerZ.

June 14 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his June 14 outing.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

John Redding  of Lawrence, Kansas, and I ventured out to a heavily-fished community reservoir on the afternoon of June 14.

After several early morning thundershowers and a low temperature of 74 degrees, the afternoon high reached 90 degrees, and the extra humidity from the early morning rains gave us an unwelcome preview of the summer weather that is fast approaching.  In fact, the only thing that made it bearable to be on the water was the wind, which blew from the south and southeast at 15 to 24 mph.  Even though the wind was kicking up significant waves and whitecaps on the main body of the reservoir, we quickly found that it would become unbearably hot anytime the boat moved into a wind-sheltered area.  By the end of the day, we actually began avoiding wind-sheltered areas, preferring to fish in the waves and whitecaps rather than swelter in the sun and humidity of the wind-sheltered coves. We fished from about 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

We made our first casts along the north shoreline in a large feeder-creek arm that was lined with American water willows and a few stickups. The water visibility was about 18 inches. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The visibility increased to about three feet in the reservoir's main body. We fished for about 10 minutes with no strikes. My lure was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  This bait, which had been very productive on this waterway earlier in the spring, did not entice any black bass for me on this outing. After 10 minutes, I picked up another rod rigged with a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and caught a warmouth on the first cast.  Thinking that was more like it, several casts later I slung it towards the overhanging branches of a large willow tree and almost immediately had a vicious strike and managed to land the first largemouth bass of the outing.  Five minutes later, I made a cast towards an inside corner of a riprap wall next to the inlet arbor for a water pump.  The wind caught the lure and pushed it off course and caused it to hit the steel side of the arbor with a loud clank before dropping towards the water. At almost the instant it touched the water, a fish appeared and met it right at the surface, grabbed it and disappeared back into the shadow at the base of the arbor before I could react. After recovering from my surprise at what I had seen and belatedly setting the hook, I engaged in a short donnybrook with a 1 1/2-pound largemouth.  My next two casts were next to the riprap corner and each produced a largemouth bass.   They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. They were caught a good 10 yards away from the riprap shoreline.  Then John caught another largemouth casting to the same riprap corner.

We continued fishing slowly along the riprap and caught a couple more largemouth bass and several warmouth.  We reached the end of the riprap where it forms a secondary point. The shoreline on the other side of the point is shallow and has many overhanging trees.  John cast towards the first overhanging tree and quickly got a vicious strike. After fighting the fish to the side of the boat, we netted a two-pound largemouth bass.  As John was removing the hook from his bass, I made a cast to the same area and got a heavy strike.  When my fish jumped, I could see that it was even bigger than the largemouth bass that John just landed.  After landing my fish, we measured it, and it was a 17 1/2-incher, and looked to be a 2 1/2-pounder. We moved over to another secondary point and caught three largemouth bass.

The next area that we fished was the south shoreline of this feeder-creek arm.  It is about a 400-yard stretch of shoreline; it yielded largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, warmouth, bluegill, and one channel catfish. As we reached the end of this shoreline, I looked at my watch to see that we had been fishing for two hours,  and our fish counter indicated that we had caught 29 largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass.

We moved to a windblown main-lake point, where we caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.

Inside a cove that features a boat dock and boat lift, John caught a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass.

We then slowly fished 250 yards of a steep and rocky main-lake shoreline, which yielded some smallmouth bass and a couple of  warmouth.

From that main-lake shoreline, we moved up the reservoir, and we fished a main-lake point and about 100 yards of its main-lake shoreline.  We caught two smallmouth bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a hand-painted-chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We turned the corner around the main-lake point into a feeder-creek arm, and we fished 250 yards of a steep and rocky shoreline inside this feeder creek.  The water's edge is marked by many overhanging trees and blown-downed trees.  After we caught several black bass and a warmouth, I had a massive strike on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig, which I had tied on to an ultra-light spinning rod and six-pound-test line.  The battle was intense, and we thought it was a catfish.  Eventually, we got a glimpse of it and saw that it was a hefty largemouth bass.  It took several drag-taking minutes on this ultra-light rod to get the bass next to the boat.  It finally swam into the net and John hauled it aboard.  It weighed 3.25 pounds.  It was 18 3/4 inches long. It is the biggest largemouth bass that I have landed on a Midwest finesse rig.

After returning it to the water, we realized that the atmosphere in this wind-sheltered feeder-creek arm was overwhelmingly uncomfortable. In fact, we were on the cusp of getting overheated.  So, we moved to a main-lake shoreline that was thankfully very windy, but the wind and waves made for difficult fishing conditions.  We caught two smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass along 350 yards of this shoreline. At 4:30 p.m. we called it a day.

In approximately four  hours of fishing, we caught 34 largemouth bass and 13 smallmouth bass.  We also caught seven warmouth, two freshwater drum, two bluegill, one channel catfish, one green sunfish, and one crappie.

The most productive rig was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ mounted on either a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's weedless  ShroomZ jig.  A shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's weedless Finesse ShroomZ jig were effective at times.  Several fish were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a hand-painted-chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ rig.

Most of the fish were caught on the initial drop.  But the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, drag-and-deadstick retrieve, drag-and-shake retrieve, and strolling with a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation caught fish on this outing. Most of the black bass were caught in shallow water and near the water's edge  around laydowns, overhanging trees, and patches of vegetation. Yet, some were caught several yards from the water's edge and in deeper water.

June 15 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 64 degrees at 12:53 a.m. and 91 degrees at 2:52 p.m. At 12:03 a.m., the wind roared at 44 mph from the west and diminished to 16 mph from the south at 12:35 a.m.  From 12:52 a.m. to 2:52 p.m. it angled out of the north by northeast, east by northeast, southeast, east, east by southeast, south by southeast, and south at 3 to 12 mph.  A heavy thunderstorm and rain pummeled parts of northeastern Kanas from 12:03 a.m. to 1:52 a.m. The sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being clear from. 2:07 a.m. to 2:52 p.m.  The barometric pressure was not calculated until 11:52 a.m., and at that time, it was 29.88, and it dropped to 29.85 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:36 a.m. to 5:36 a.m., 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and 9:48 a.m. to 11:48 a.m.  My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs from 10:05 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.

The surface temperature was 81 to 82 degrees. The water clarity in the lower portions of this reservoir exhibited about six feet of visibility, and it diminished to three to four feet of visibility in its upper reaches. The water level was several inches above normal.  The patches of curly-leaf pondweed that adorn this reservoir's shallow-water flats from late fall to late May have virtually disappeared, and they are gradually being replaced by patches of bushy pondweed and coontail.

Traditionally, when the patches of curly-leaf pondweed wilt and slowly disintegrate in June, we catch largemouth bass around rock-laden shorelines and points that are a goodly distance from the patches of curly-leaf pondweed; the most fruitful areas are the steeper and deeper areas in the lower portions of the reservoir. This phenomenon often continues into late June. Thus, Rick and I thought that we would be dealing with this phenomenon on this outing.  But we were wrong.

We fished short portions of five rock-laden shorelines and about 350 yards of a rock-, gravel-, and boulder-laden shoreline. We also thoroughly dissected seven rock-laden points. The water's edges of most of these shorelines and points are embellished with thick patches of American water willows. They possess a 20- to 35-degree slope. They are cluttered with flooded buck brush and other types of terrestrial vegetation. Some of them are graced with burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. And along these shorelines and points, we struggled to catch 18 largemouth bass.

On top of one offshore rock hump, we caught three largemouth bass.

We spent the rest of the outing probing the massive shallow-water flats in the backs of five feeder-creek arms. And we caught 37 largemouth bass around swaths of flooded buck brush and burgeoning patches of coontail and bushy pondweed.

It was a tedious chore to find these 37 largemouth bass,  but when we caught a largemouth bass around these patches of buck brush and coontail, we usually caught several more. In fact, one area of buck brush and coontail that is the size of about two basketball courts yielded 10 largemouth bass, another area about the size of a tennis court yielded five largemouth bass, and another tennis-court-size area yielded five largemouth bass.

We failed to elicit a strike on the flat in the back of the smallest feeder-creek arm. One flat yielded two largemouth bass, as did another flat. One flat that is the size of 2 1/2 football fields yielded 17 largemouth bass, and another flat that is the size of four football fields yielded 16 largemouth bass.

In total, we caught 58 largemouth bass.  Three largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's watermelon-red Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher Jig. Three largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Five largemouth bass were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. A shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to either a blue or a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught 47 largemouth bass.

This largemouth bass was caught on our next to the last cast of the outing

Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. A few were caught on a drag-and-shake retrieve.  Three were caught on a deadstick presentation.

We caught them in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as eight feet, but most were abiding in five to six feet of water.

Around 11:00 a.m., we crossed paths with two power anglers who reported that they had caught two largemouth bass, and they had been afloat for several hours.

June 16 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 66 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 87 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky was clear, but there were some short spells of scattered clouds that littered the sky at 12:53 a.m. and 10:53 a.m.  The wind angled out of the south, southwest, north, and south by southwest at 4 to 26 mph, and it was calm from 4:53 a.m. to 7:53 a.m.  The barometric pressure was 29.77 at 12:53 a.m., 29.84 at 5:53 a.m., 29.80 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.72 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:27 a.m. to 6:27 a.m., 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., and 10:39 a.m. to 12:39 p.m.

Duncan Brown of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs from 12:15 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

The water level was an inch or two above normal. The surface temperature was 81 degrees.  The water clarity around the dam exhibited five to six feet of visibility. Many of this reservoir's shallow-water flats and shorelines are embellished with thick patches of bushy pondweed. Some of the shorelines are adorned with burgeoning patches of American pondweed.

This was Duncan's first Midwest finesse endeavor, and he caught a largemouth bass on his first cast and his last cast of the outing.

Duncan Brown and the first largemouth bass that he inveigled on a Midwest finesse rig.

Besides introducing Duncan to the manifold virtues of Midwest finesse fishing, we were hoping to find some easy to fish lairs where some of our children and grandchildren can catch an array of largemouth bass from during their visits to Lawrence in the days and weeks to come.

Duncan and I caught 13 largemouth bass along the dam. The underwater terrain is riprap. It possesses a 30- to 50-degree slope. At one end of the dam, the water's edge is graced with a patch of American water willows, and there is also a massive offshore patch of bushy pondweed.  Between the outside edge of the American water willows and the patch of bushy pondweed, there is a 15-foot-wide alley of open water, and one largemouth bass was caught along the inside edge of a bushy pondweed patch on the initial drop of a shortened Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  At the other end of the dam, there are patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed, and one largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed on the initial drop of a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught 11 largemouth bass along the riprap section of the dam. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water. Five largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig, and five were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig. When we caught them on our Finesse WormZ rigs, some were caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water, and the others were caught on either a drag-and-shake retrieve in five to eight feet of water or on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in three to seven feet of water.

We caught 18 largemouth bass around a massive main-lake point and short section of one of its adjacent shorelines.  This point and its shorelines possess a 25-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. The point is embellished with three man-made rock humps and some man-made brush piles.  There are vast patches of bushy pondweed encompassing the entire point and its adjacent shorelines, and along one of its shorelines, there are a few patches of American pondweed. We caught nine largemouth bass on our purple-haze Finesse WormZ rigs, and we caught nine on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ. Some of these largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.  Some were caught when we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Some were caught when we employed a short deadstick presentation. Five of the largemouth bass were caught along the inside edges of the bushy pondweed patches in five to six feet of water. Twelve of them were caught along the outside edges of the patches of bushy pondweed in seven to nine feet of water. One was caught around the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed in about three feet of water.

From June 17 to July 12, we will be entertaining some of our children and grandchildren, and, of course, they will be entertaining us. And some of that time will likely take place around the patches of American pondweed.

June 16 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his June 16 outing.

Here is an edited and condensed version of his log:

John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas, and I had planned to spend a full day at a U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers' reservoir in northeastern Kansas. It was to be a reconnaissance outing to locate some areas that might yield a significant number of black bass.  But when the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory warning for the afternoon hours, we tabled our plans for a full day on the water, and we discussed options for a morning outing.  During the last 48 hours, we have seen two rounds of severe thunderstorms that lashed our local reservoirs with high winds, hail, and heavy rains that left more than 1 1/2 inches of precipitation in my rain gage, which made choosing a venue problematical.  We finally decided to try one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

As we were driving to the boat ramp, area thermometers were hovering around 66 degrees, which felt refreshing, and we anticipated at least several hours of relatively pleasant fishing conditions.  The afternoon high temperature peaked at 92 degrees.   The wind angled from the southeast, south, and southwest at 7 to 26 mph. At times and at some locales, the wind generated ranks of white caps.

At approximately 9:00 a.m., we made our first casts at the west end of the dam, which is embellished with riprap. The surface temperature of the water was 80.5 degrees and the water clarity was over 4 feet.  The water level appeared to be a few inches above normal. The water was flowing into the reservoir's outlet.

We fished the western half of the dam and caught four largemouth bass.  One largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  Another largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  We caught another largemouth bass on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The fourth one was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Z-Man's weedless Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We began speculating that perhaps the bass had been affected by the overnight storm.  We also reflected on the fact that several recent Finesse News Network logs reported that some northeastern Kansas Midwest finesse anglers have been catching largemouth bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Finesse WormZ in a purple hue.   Therefore, I picked up a rod rigged with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a hand-painted-chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  John decided to use a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ.  Straightaway, I began having multiple strikes and hookups with green sunfish.  We fished the remainder of the dam and caught eight largemouth bass.  Most of them were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ. We also had a number of strikes with missed hookups and caught many green sunfish.  When John failed to catch any fish on his Finesse ShadZ rig, he began wielding a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ attached to a black 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

From the dam, we moved to a main-lake point at the junction of two of the reservoir's feeder-creek arms.  This area is adorned with several massive patches of bushy pondweed, some submerged brush piles, three submerged rock piles, and some small patches of American pondweed.  We hooked and landed several largemouth bass on our Junebug Finesse WormZ rigs along the outside edges of the bushy pondweed.  We continued to fish along the outside edge of the patches of bushy pondweed along the west side of this point, and we caught a few more largemouth bass that were abiding around the gaps and points of the patches of bushy pondweeds.  The bite petered out as we moved away from the tip of the point.

At another main-lake point, which is endowed with massive patches of bushy pondweed, patches of American pondweed, and several submerged brush piles, we caught several more largemouth, mainly from ambush points along the outer edge of the weed line.

The east and west shorelines of this reservoir are embellished with 10 riprap jetties.  At the first jetty along the east shore, we caught two largemouth bass.  The second jetty was completely cluttered with bushy pondweed, and we did not fish it. At the third jetty, we caught two largemouth bass.  The shoreline between the third and fourth jetties yielded five or six largemouth bass. The fourth jetty yielded three largemouth bass.

Along the east shoreline between the fourth jetty and the dam, we failed to catch a largemouth bass.

Then we fished two-thirds of the dam and caught 11 largemouth bass.

We ended the outing by fishing the six jetties along the west shoreline, and five of them were fruitful.

One jetty yielded one largemouth.  The second jetty yielded two largemouth bass, as did the third jetty. At the fourth jetty, we simultaneously caught two largemouth bass, and on our next casts, we simultaneously caught two more largemouth bass. At the fifth jetty, we enjoyed catching two more doubles, and on our third cast after catching our second double, we caught one more largemouth bass.   We failed to elicit a strike at the sixth jetty.

In all, we caught a total of 55 largemouth bass.  Nineteen largemouth bass were caught along the riprap of the dam, 21 largemouth bass were caught along the riprap jetties, and the remainder were caught along the main-lake points and shorelines that were adorned with patches of bushy pondweed.  We also caught two channel catfish, two bluegills, nine crappie, and 17 green sunfish.

Some of the largemouth bass engulfed our rigs on the initial drop. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and- shake presentation. Some were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation.  The best presentation was a drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve.

All but four of the largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug Finesse WormZ rigs.

Of note, there were three instances when we hooked either a green sunfish or a small largemouth bass and they were chased and harassed by a bigger largemouth bass. We were not able to get any of those bigger largemouth bass to strike a second lure dropped into the water next to the hooked fish.

June 19 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas has been awful this year. But John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I ventured to a north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in an attempt to put an end to this perplexing and frustrating trend. We had set a goal to catch 30 black bass during this foray, and we failed to even come close to reaching that paltry goal.

It was raining when we arrived at the boat ramp at about 8:30 a.m., and we waited about 20 minutes for the storm to pass before we launched the boat.  It was overcast for most of the morning, and around 11:45 a.m., the sky became partly cloudy and the sun began to shine. The morning low temperature was 68 degrees and  the afternoon high temperature reached 91 degrees.  The barometric pressure measured 29.97 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.94 at 2:00 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 6 to 12 mph.

The best fishing periods, according to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar,  occurred from 12:44 a.m. to 2:44 a.m. , 6:57 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., and 7:23 p.m. to 9:23 p.m. John and I fished from about 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

The water was stained with three feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 78 to 81 degrees. The water level was a tad low.

We spent all four hours in the east tributary arm, where we slowly and methodically dissected five main-lake points, three main-lake shorelines, a portion of shoreline along a main-lake island, one riprap jetty, a short section of riprap along the dam, a large concrete water outlet tower, and a long submerged rock ledge inside a feeder-creek arm.

We caught two largemouth bass and two spotted bass at two of the five main-lake points. The geology of these points consists of red clay, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and a few submerged boulders. The largemouth bass and spotted bass were caught in three to six feet of water and within ten feet of the water's edge. The two largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  The two spotted bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's purple-haze ZinkerZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was retrieved with a swim-glide-shake presentation.

Eight largemouth bass were caught around the concrete water outlet tower that is situated near the middle of the dam. These bass were suspended about five feet below the surface in 42 feet of water.  Four were caught on the 2 1/2-inch purple-haze ZinkerZ rig. The other four were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig. Six of these bass were beguiled by a slow swim-glide-and- shake retrieve, and two were caught on the initial fall of the bait next to the walls of the tower.

John Thomas with two of the eight largemouth bass that they caught and released around the dam's outlet.

One spotted bass was caught in five feet of water along a riprap-laden main-lake shoreline on the east side of the tributary arm. It was enticed by the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  The other two main-lake shorelines, which were also on the east side of this same tributary arm, failed to yield a strike.

We caught one largemouth bass from underneath a concrete fishing pier on the end of a riprap jetty. This largemouth bass was suspended about six feet below the surface and 15 feet above the bottom. It engulfed the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ combo on the initial fall.

We failed to catch any largemouth bass or spotted bass along the riprap along the face of the dam adjacent to the water outlet tower and from the two concrete pillars that support a walkway that extends from the dam to the tower.

We failed to locate any black bass along the submerged rock ledge inside the large feeder-creek arm.

We also failed to provoke any strikes from a goodly number of submerged boulders along the south shoreline of the main-lake island.

In conclusion, it was a grind to scrounge up 11 largemouth bass and three spotted bass in four hours. The lousy black bass fishing in north-central Texas continues  to plague us.

June 20 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

On this last day of spring, it felt like summer. The sun-filled sky was partly cloudy and it was hot and humid. The high temperature was 95 degrees, and the morning low was 70 degrees. The wind angled out of the east by northeast at 6 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.02 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.97 at 2:00 p.m.

After John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I endured a frustrating and trying outing at one of north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs on June 19, I thought I would try to redeem myself at a different Corps' reservoir on June 20. Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, joined me for this 4 1/2 hour endeavor.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing would take place between  1:31 a.m. to 3:31 a.m., 7:44 a.m. to 9:44 a.m., and 8:12 p.m. to 10:12 p.m. Roger and I fished from about 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The water was stained with about two feet of visibility. The water temperature was 84 degrees. The water level was about a foot high.

We concentrated our attentions along a series of 17 main-lake points and five main-lake shorelines in the northwest region of the impoundment. Some of these points are flat and their underwater terrains consist of clay and gravel. The other ones are steeper, and their underwater terrains consist of sandstone, rocks, and submerged boulders.

The most productive points were the steeper ones with submerged boulders and numerous small schools of half-inch threadfin shad fry abiding in three to eight feet of water and within 20 feet of the water's edge.

Thirteen of the seventeen points relinquished a total of 28 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and six white bass. They were relating to the submerged boulders in three to six feet of water. Most of these 13 points yielded either one or two largemouth bass,  and one of them yielded six largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

We failed to garner any strikes from any of the flat main-lake points, which are embellished with partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. These points were also devoid of threadfin shad fry.

The five main-lake shorelines that we fished varied from 25 to 40 yards in length,  and they are adjacent to several of the main-lake points that we fished. Their geology consisted of red clay, gravel, rocks, and partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. None of them attracted any significant concentrations of threadfin shad fry, and they yielded a total of one largemouth bass, which was extracted from three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of partially flooded terrestrial vegetation.

Of all the Midwest finesse lures that we wielded during this outing, a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a moderately-fast-paced steady retrieve bewitched 24 of the 30 black bass and four of the six white bass. A shortened Z-Man's pearl Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught three largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and two white bass. A shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass.

Overall, we felt encouraged by today's results and hope that our long streak of wretched bass fishing may finally be coming to an end.

June 20 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, posted a report of the Finesse News Network about his June 20 outing.

Here is an edited and condensed version of his report:

The rest of  my week  will be a busy one, and it will prevent me  from fishing any of our northeastern Kansas' reservoirs. So,  I wanted to take advantage of the relatively mild-mannered wind on June 20 and the promise of less trying fishing conditions compared to what we have experienced during the past week or so.

Thus, I headed out after lunch to one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs, and it is a very heavily fished waterway.  I fished this reservoir  on June 14 with John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas. On that trip, we caught 34 largemouth bass, 13 smallmouth bass, and I landed the largest fish that I had caught to date on a Midwest Finesse rig, and it was a largemouth bass that weighed 3.25 pounds and was 18.75 inches long. On my June 20 outing, I was able to eclipse that personal record twice with species other than black bass.

I arrived at the boat ramp at  2:15 p.m., and area thermometers indicated that it was 88 degrees. The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 69 degrees and the high temperature was 92 degrees. The wind angled from the south to southwest at 7 to 19 mph. It was sunny.

The water level appeared to be at least a foot high, but the water clarity was good with about four feet of visibility.

I made my first cast about 3:00 p.m. and fished for about five hours.  My goal on this trip was to change up what had become my routine of beginning to fish right at the boat ramp.  Instead, I explored and thoroughly fished areas of the reservoir that I had not previously spent much time fishing or had never fished, and this included fishing the entire dam.

I began by motoring up the reservoir, but I could not resist starting in a small feeder-creek arm that has been productive in the past.  This particular arm features a couple of secondary points along its south shoreline, some submerged brush piles, and a large complex of docks along its north shoreline.  I quickly fished a secondary point on the south shore and a 100-yard section of shoreline.  I used a shortened four-inch Z-man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, and I elicited one strike. I crossed over to the north shoreline, and I fished about 250 yards of that shoreline and its main-lake point and 100 yards of the main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to that main-lake point, and I failed to elicit a strike.

That failure provoked me to pick up another rod, which sported a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and I continued to dissect a massive stretch of a main-lake shoreline, and I immediately began garnering strikes.  This shoreline is comprised of rocks, and it rises almost vertically out of the water. It is graced with a number of overhanging trees and terrestrial bushes. Its water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, and they extend from the water's edge two to three yards. The boat floated in eight to 20 feet of water. During the next hour, I caught four smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass.

The next area that I fished was this reservoir's spillway, which has a pedestrian bridge that is supported by three concrete pillars. It is also embellished with riprap shorelines, patches of American water willows, and scores of boulders. I failed to garner a strike around the spillway.

I caught three largemouth bass along the shoreline that stretches between the spillway and the dam. This shoreline is festooned with laydowns, boulders, and patches of American water willows.

I fished the western half of the dam, which is laden with riprap, and I failed to elicit a strike. As I was about to give up and move to a different spot, I had a good strike, but I failed to hook the fish.  This strike renewed my resolve to fish the entire dam, and the eastern half of the dam yielded three smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.

From the dam, I decided to move up the reservoir to a section of a main-lake shoreline that is comprised of a high rocky bluff that rises vertically out of the water as much as thirty feet or more. And I began fishing where the bluffy terrain becomes a flat shoreline and is graced with a secondary point.  I began fishing this shoreline with the mud minnow Hula StickZ rig and I caught two small largemouth bass before an errant cast put the Z-Man's  mud minnow Hula StickZ rig high into the branches of a tree. I took this as a sign that the black bass were not responding to the mud minnow hue as enthusiastically as they had been earlier in the day. So, I picked up another rod that was rigged with a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  The change in color seemed to be what the fish wanted, and as I continued to fish along the shoreline, I caught several largemouth bass. When I was a few yards short of the tip of a main-lake point under the highest point of the bluff, I made a cast towards a gap in a patch of American water willows.  After the lure sank to the bottom, I began a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and I immediately got a massive strike. After I set the hook, a very heavy fish began stripping line off of the reel and causing the drag to sing.  I was concerned that the line would break or the hook would bend, and to prevent this, I lightened the drag.  I pointed the boat away from the shoreline, and I began to concentrate on the task of landing this fish. Twenty minutes later, the boat was in the middle of the reservoir, and I finally had the fish to surface next to the boat and could see that it was a massive catfish.  Next, I had to struggle to open up a storage compartment with one hand and get a landing net and then get the fish into the net. I finally hauled it aboard, and I saw that it was a blue catfish. It weighed 14.5 pounds, and it was about 30 inches long.  This is not only the first blue catfish I have ever caught on a rod and reel, but it is now the largest fish I have caught on a Midwest Finesse rig.  It is going to take some doing and a lot of luck to beat this personal record.

After returning the big catfish to the water, I continued where I left off at the main-lake point, where I caught two largemouth bass at the very tip of the point.  I turned the corner into a feeder-creek arm, and I fished a 100-yard section of steep rocky shoreline that is graced with numerous laydowns and overhanging terrestrial vegetation.  This area did not produce any strikes.

I moved back down the lake to a windy main-lake point, and I caught two smallmouth bass.

At a rocky jetty that forms a point at the mouth of a small cove along the shoreline of a large feeder-creek arm, I caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.  The jetty had a large section of a floating dock moored along its main-lake side.  All three of these black bass were caught by casting into the gap between the dock and jetty, and they were caught on three consecutive casts.  I caught another largemouth on the opposite point at the mouth of this small cove.

Inside the large feeder-creek arm, I fished a 200-yard section of a steep and rocky shoreline with numerous laydowns and overhanging trees, and I did not garner any strikes until I arrived at the end of this shoreline. Then I caught two largemouth bass. They were abiding around a pile of small rocks adjacent to a concrete abutment with a drainage pipe along the water's edge.

From that north shoreline, I moved across the feeder-creek arm to its south shoreline.  There is a 200-yard stretch of shoreline that rises almost vertically out of the water.  It is laden with rocks. It is embellished with patches of American water willows, several laydowns, and a lot of overhanging vegetation.  The water in this feeder-creek arm had become glassy smooth.  For the first time this year, I could see numerous schools of small gizzard shad dimpling the surface. A big ski boat was pulling skiers in the area and passing by every 5 to 10 minutes and leaving a wake with 18-inch-high waves on every pass.  The waves were causing a school of shad along the shoreline I was fishing to bunch up into a dense ball.  I found that casting so I could retrieve my lure through or under this ball of shad was a productive presentation, and I caught three smallmouth bass on three consecutive casts.  This shoreline also produced several more smallmouth bass and several largemouth bass.

Along a shoreline inside a small cove, I made a cast to a large dead tree that was lying in the water.  As soon as my Midwest finesse rig hit the water, I saw a large fish charging it from a couple of yards away, and as it engulfed my rig, it generated a huge splash of water.  I set the hook and I was engaged in another fierce donnybrook with a large fish.  Because of the vicious nature of the strike and the strength of the fish, I thought I was hooked up with a trophy-sized bass.  However, I soon realized that it was another catfish, and this one was a channel catfish, which weighed 4.25 pounds. It was the second largest fish I have landed on a Midwest finesse rig to date.

In all, I caught a total of 30 largemouth bass and 12 smallmouth bass.  I also caught one blue catfish, one channel catfish, one freshwater drum, one crappie, two bluegill, and six warmouth.  The best lure was the shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  Z-Man's Mud Minnow Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was also effective.

Many fish were caught on the initial drop.  The best retrieve was a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Others were caught on the drag-and-deadstick presentation and the drag-and-shake presentation. I caught some while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

Of note, the most productive areas were steep shorelines with deep water nearby.

June 23 log

Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas, filed a brief about an outing she and Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, had on June 23 at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in northeastern Kansas.Here is an edited version of her brief:

Here is an edited version of her brief:

The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 62 degrees and the high temperature was 82 degrees.  The wind angled out of the south, northwest, north, and north by northeast at 4 to 31 mph. The sky fluctuated from being clear to scattered with clouds to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to overcast, and there were a few sprinkles. The barometric pressure was 29.69 at 12:53 a.m., 29.69 at 5:53 a.m., 29.92 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.97 at 3:53 p.m.

The wind and waves relegated us to plying the north side of the reservoir, and we employed a drift sock at many locales.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 10:32 a.m. to 12:32 p.m., 11:03 p.m. to 1:03 a.m. and 4:16 a.m. to 6:16 a.m. We were afloat from 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The surface temperature was 79 degrees. The water exhibited 12 to 24 inches of visibility.  The water level was about eight inches above normal.

We caught 50 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, two freshwater drum, one crappie, and one walleye. The bulk of the fish were caught in one to four feet of water. We caught 50 percent of the smallmouth bass along the riprap-laden dam, and it was by far our most productive location. Other productive areas were wind-protected main-lake and secondary points and wind-sheltered shorelines along the main-lake and inside feeder-creek arms.

The bulk of the fish were caught on either a Z-Man's Finesse T.R.D. or a 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ affixed to either a black or a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.   The most effective colors of the Finesse T.R.D. and 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ were green pumpkin, Junebug, and molting craw.

Merit Goodman with one of the 50 smallmouth bass that they caught.

I caught six black bass on a purple 1/8-ounce buzzbait. On my second cast of the morning, I caught one largemouth bass, and within 30 minutes, I caught five smallmouth bass on the buzzbait.  The largest smallmouth bass was my third fish of the day.  I was retrieving the buzzbait from the water's edge towards the boat and employing a reel-and-a-brief-pause retrieve. This smallmouth bass and some other ones engulfed the buzzbait right after the brief-pause phase of the retrieve and as it began to buzz on top of the water.  These smallmouth bass were abiding in two to four feet of water.

The most productive retrieve with the finesse baits was a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Overall, it was a beautiful day to fish, and it would have been more beautiful and perhaps more fruitful if the wind would have lightened up.

June 26 log

 Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a blog on the  Finesse News Network about his June 26 log.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I visited a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas on June 26.

Norman and I last fished this reservoir on June 7. The daytime temperatures that day ranged from 68 degrees to 87 degrees. The wind angled out of the east by southeast at 3 to 10 mph. It was sunny and the sky was partly cloudy. The water was stained and the water temperature varied from 79 to 81 degrees. We labored for four hours and 48 minutes and caught only 12 black bass on either a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed on a hot yellow 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We failed to generate any strikes with either of these two baits during our June 26 outing.

On June 26, the sky conditions varied from overcast to partly cloudy. It rained from about 10:15 a.m. to about 10:45 a.m. The wind quartered out of the east by southeast at 6 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.13 at 9:00 a.m. and 30.08 at 3:00 p.m.

The water level was about a foot high. The water temperature was 83 degrees. The water was stained and exhibited about 18 inches of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most fruitful fishing periods would occur from 1:05 a.m. to 3:05 a.m., 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., and 1:35 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. Norman and I were afloat from about 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and we fished for approximately four hours during that 5 1/2-hour time span.

We split our time inside this reservoir's two tributary arms.

In its southwest tributary arm, we dissected seven main-lake points, six concrete support columns and an adjacent 25-yard section of a riprap embankment underneath a bridge, and a small secondary point inside a feeder-creek arm.

In its east tributary arm, we spent a goodly amount of time using our sonar devices to help us search for large aggregations of threadfin shad and black bass along several main-lake points, the south side of an island situated in a feeder-creek arm on the east side of the tributary arm, a large rocky flat adjacent to the east end of the dam, the riprap along the face of the dam on the south end of the reservoir, and a large mud flat just west of the dam.

The fishing had improved somewhat since our last excursion on June 7, but it was far from being great. We had to cover a lot of water and quickly eliminated areas that were bereft of shad in order to eke out a combination of 21 largemouth bass and spotted bass. And to our surprise, we did not catch any other species of fish.

During the first two hours of this outing, we caught a total of five largemouth bass and four spotted bass in the southwest tributary arm. Five largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught from four of the seven main-lake points. These seven points are flat and their geology consists of red clay, gravel, and a few scattered submerged boulders. They are also graced with some stumps. These black bass were caught in three to six feet of water around submerged boulders within 10 to 15 feet of the water's edge.

When a thunderstorm began to erupt at about 10:15 a.m., we quickly scurried under a nearby bridge to find shelter from the rain. While we were waiting out the storm, we fished a 25-yard section of riprap embankment underneath the bridge and caught three spotted bass in two to four feet of water. We also fished around six concrete support columns adjacent to the riprap embankment, which are encircled by seven to 13 feet of water. We failed to generate a strike from any of these columns.

After the rain stopped, we fished at one secondary point inside a feeder-creek arm that is located a short distance from the bridge where we took shelter from the rain. This secondary point is flat and its geology is comprised of red clay, gravel, and rocks. It is also adorned with two asphalt boat ramps, two 15-foot lines of submerged riprap that reinforce the sides of one of the boat ramps, and a few submerged boulders. We failed to provoke any strikes from the boat ramp with the riprap borders, but the other ramp yielded one largemouth bass that was abiding in three feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge.

We spent the second half of the outing in the east tributary arm, where we searched for large aggregations of threadfin shad, and we failed to find them. But we did find four areas that were entertaining a few smaller pods of shad. The most fruitful area was a large mud flat on the south end of the impoundment. This flat is graced with many yards of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation that is surrounded by one to three feet of water. We observed several white egrets and a couple of blue herons stalking the shad next to the flooded patches of terrestrial vegetation in the shallow-water areas on the south end of the flat. We caught 10 largemouth bass along a 50-yard stretch of this flat where we observed the white egrets and blue herons. These largemouth bass were relating to the outside edges of several large and thick patches of terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water.

Norman Brown with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

We caught one largemouth bass from a riprap-laden main-lake point on the west side of the east tributary arm. This bass was caught next to the riprap in three feet of water and within five feet of the water's edge.

We failed to locate any threadfin shad or black bass along the south side of an island inside an east-side feeder-creek arm, along a rocky flat on the east end of the dam, or along the riprap that covers the dam.

Our most productive lure was a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig that was presented with a moderately-fast and steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water. This combo allured 13 of the 21 black bass that we caught.

A 2 1/2-inch Bass Pro Shops' chartreuse-white Stik-O on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught five largemouth bass. A Gene Larew Lures' June Bug Lite Inch Worm rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught one spotted bass. Another spotted bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ affixed on a green 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. A three-inch Berkley's Gulp! Minnow in a watermelon-pearl hue affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught one largemouth bass. A chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig dressed with a shortened Z-Man's pearl Hula StickZ beguiled one largemouth bass.

Several of the black bass were caught on the initial fall of our various rigs.  A couple were caught with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

In sum, the presence of threadfin shad was a key component in helping us locate the few black bass that we caught during this outing, and where there were no shad, there were no largemouth bass or spotted bass.

June 27 log

The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 53 degrees and the high temperature was 83 degrees. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling from the east, east by southeast, southeast, and south by southeast at 3 to 24 mph.  The sky was clear from 12:52 a.m. to 9:52 a.m.; then it fluctuated from being partly cloudy to scattered with clouds to mostly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.14 at 12:52 a.m., 30.11 at 5:52 a.m., 30.05 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.95 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:17 a.m. to 4:17 a.m.,  2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., and 8:31 a.m. to 10:31 a.m.

For some unknown reason, the last week of June and the first three weeks of July are often a difficult time for Midwest finesse anglers to catch vast numbers of largemouth bass that abide in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas. And that phenomenon erupted on June 17 when I was afloat at two of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Some anglers might surmise that the abnormally cool weather that hovered over northeastern Kansas on June 24, 25, 26, and 27 might have exasperated this phenomenon when it occurred on June 27.  But I have no answers to the causes and effects of trying times or fruitful ones. Instead, I merely describe how, when, and where the largemouth bass were caught or how, when, and where we failed to catch largemouth bass.

It is interesting to note, howver, that on June 24, the low temperature was 53 degrees, which was a record low, and the high temperature was 79 degrees.  On June 25, the low temperature was 52 degrees, which was a record low temperature, and the high temperature was 75 degrees.   On June 26, the Weather Underground reported that the lower temperate was 48 degrees, which is a record, and the high temperature was 75 degrees.  Another record low temperature was recorded on June 27.

At the first state reservoir, I was afloat from 11:00 a.m. to 12:19 p.m.  The water level was a few inches above normal.  The water exhibited 18 to 36 inches of visibility.  The surface temperature was 76 degrees, which is about a six-degree decline since June 22.

I fished about 30 yards of the riprap-laden dam, more than 500-yards of a main-lake shoreline, and two main-lake points.  For years on end, this reservoir has been one of our most bountiful ones — especially that 500-yard stretch of shoreline.

The water's edge of the dam, shoreline, and points are embellished with patches of American water willows.  The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The dam possesses a 35-degree slope. The slope of the shoreline and points ranges primarily from 20 to 30 degrees, but there is a short section of shoreline that has a 60-degree slope.

I failed to elicit a strike along the dam and at one of the main-lake points.

It took me 37 minutes to catch the first largemouth bass of the outing. It was caught on the initial drop of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about four feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. After another seven minutes had gone by, the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig caught two more largemouth bass on consecutive casts. They were caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. On the initial drop of the next cast, I caught a channel catfish.  I failed to garner another strike along that massive shoreline.

At 11:58 a.m., I caught a largemouth bass in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig between some underwater boulders and the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

For one hour and 19 minutes, I used eight Midwest finesse rigs and employed all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves at a variety of depths, and they bore not enough fruit for me to continue plying this reservoir's shorelines and points. So, I gave up at 12:19 p.m. and put the boat on the trailer and drove to another state reservoir.

At this reservoir, I was afloat from 1:14 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. The water level was about five inches above normal.  The water exhibited abot 4 1/2 feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 77 degrees.

I quickly fished a shallow-water flat adjacent to the dam that is embellished with patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed, as well as several man-made brush piles. In less than five minutes,  I caught two largemouth bass. They were caught on the initial drop of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about 3 1/2 to five feet of water. One was abiding around a wad of bushy pondweed.  The other one was caught along the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed.

I fished the entire riprap-laden dam and caught 10 largemouth bass.  Three were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and seven were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse  1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Three were caught on the initial drop of these rigs in about three feet of water.  The rest were caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water.

I caught 12 largemouth bass on a flat main-lake point that is adorned with many patches of bushy pondweed and some burgeoning patches of American pondweed. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. It possesses a 20-degree slope, and there is a submerged creek channel that creates a significant ledge along a short segment of this point. There are also several man-made brush piles and rock piles that cluttered it. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig and nine were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig. Eight were caught on the initial drop of these rigs in four to nine feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three were caught along the inside edges of the patches of bushy pondweed in four feet of water, and nine were caught in the crevices and along the outside edges of the patches of bushy pondweeds in six to nine feet of water.

I caught four largemouth bass along another flat main-lake point that is adorned with patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed. They were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop along the outside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed in about seven feet of water. One was caught along the inside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed in five feet of water. Two were caught along the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed in 3 1/2 feet of water.

I caught one largemouth bass along another flat main-lake point that possesses many significant patches of bushy pond weed and some burgeoning patches of American pondweed. This largemouth bass was caught in a gap between a patch of American water willows and a patch of bushy pondweed. It was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

In two hours and 11 minutes, I caught 29 largemouth bass or about 13 largemouth bass an hour, which is a far better catch rate than the one I endured at the other reservoir from 11:00 a.m. to 12:19 p.m. But it was far from being a stellar outing.

For the past week, we have been entertaining some of our children and grandchildren, and some more of them will start arriving on June 27.  So, this outing will be my last one in June, and I will not fish again until July 12 or 13.  But we will be taking our children and grandchildren fishing during this spell, which will be a joy indeed.

June 29 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log: I joined Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, for a three-hour morning excursion at one of north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs.

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, for a three-hour morning excursion at one of north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs.

The sky was overcast and the wind was quartering out of the southeast at 11 mph when we launched the boat just before 8:00 a.m.  The wind's intensity increased to 22 mph as the day progressed. The sky was partly cloudy when we put the boat on the trailer at 11:00 a.m. The high temperature reached 94 degrees with a heat index of 102 degrees. The morning low was 73 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.84 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.85 at 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur 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.

The water clarity varied from 12 inches to 18 inches of visibility. The water level was about normal. The water temperature was 87 degrees.

During a previous outing at this reservoir on June 20, Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I  focused our efforts along a series of 17 main-lake points and five main-lake shorelines in the northwest region of the impoundment, and we caught a mixture of 30 largemouth bass and spotted bass. But the fishing was much more difficult when John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I joined Rick Allen for a short two-hour sortie at this same reservoir on June 26. We spent the vast majority of our endeavors on June 26 in the eastern and southern regions of this impoundment, and we could only muster 10 largemouth bass. So, Rick and I decided to return to the northwest portion of this reservoir on June 29 to see if we could match the 30-bass outing that Roger Farish and I enjoyed on June 20. And to our chagrin, the fishing was as sour as it was on June 26.  Rick and I caught only 12 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one channel catfish.

We dissected nine of the 13 main-lake points that were fruitful on June 20, and a couple of the main-lake shorelines adjacent to those points. These areas were receiving the brunt of the southeasterly wind and endless ranks of white-capped waves, which made boat control difficult. The underwater terrains of these points and main-lake shorelines consist of clay, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and submerged boulders.  A couple of the points entertained a few small schools of threadfin shad, but we did not encounter any large aggregations of them.

We caught 12 of the 14 black bass along five of the nine main-lake points.  The other two black bass and the channel catfish were caught at one of the two main-lake shorelines. All of them were relating to submerged boulders in three to six feet of water. We failed to garner any strikes from another main-lake shoreline that is embellished with partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation.

We also detected several significant concentrations of larger fish in 17 to 21 feet of water near one of the main-lake shorelines with our sonar devices, but we could not entice any of them to bite.

We employed an array of Z-Man Fishing Products' Midwest finesse baits rigged on either 1/15-ounce black Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jigs or Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jigs. One of the two most effective lures was a Z-Man's Space Guppy Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig that was implemented with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot underneath the surface of the water. The other productive lure was a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ rigged on either a 1/15-ounce black Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and retrieved with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

IMG_2750

The only highlight of the outing was a four-pound, six-ounce largemouth bass that Rick allured with the shortened Junebug Hula StickZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We had hoped that our fruitful June 20 excursion was not a fluke, but now it seems that it was.

 June 30 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his June 30 outing to one of northeastern Kansas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

This reservoir had been plagued by high-water conditions and poor visibility for weeks because of the heavy rain that has pummeled its watershed this year.  Recent reports, however, indicated that the water level had been brought down, and I thought that the weather had stabilized enough to allow the water clarity to improve enough to promote decent fishing conditions.  But during the morning of June 30, I began to have second thoughts after a series of storms on June 28 and 29 brought torrential rain, high winds, and hail that walloped many locales in northeastern Kansas, and these storms deposited 2.6 inches of rain in my rain gauge.  Thus, I was plagued with a significant amount of trepidation as I drove to this reservoir after lunch on June 30. And if the water conditions looked to be too riled, I would venture to another northeastern Kansas reservoir. When I arrived at the reservoir and surveyed one of its major feeder creeks from a bridge, the water looked okay.

I launched the boat and traveled several miles up the reservoir to another feeder-creek arm that I had never fished, but it had a reputation for being a productive area for largemouth bass.

The sky was overcast. The high temperature was 83 degrees.  The wind was blowing from the northwest and would shift to the west, north, and northeast as the afternoon wore on. Initially, the wind was mild mannered, but its velocity increased to as much as 23 mph later in the day.

The water level was about two feet above normal.  The surface temperature was 81 degrees.

I decided to fish a long stretch of shoreline that offered a variety of different habitats.  For about a mile, the shoreline's terrain varied from rock to mud. It possessed some rocky tertiary points. This shoreline is littered with dozens of laydowns. It is also graced with a small feeder-creek arm that is fed by two small creeks.

Along this shoreline, the boat floated in two to nine feet of water.  The wind was either blowing onshore or parallel to the shoreline.

As I made my first cast at 3:00 p.m., I was dismayed to discover that the water in this feeder- creek arm was very muddy and exhibited a couple inches of visibility, and the surface was cluttered with leaves and twigs. Obviously, this part of the reservoir had been treated much harsher by the storms than the area I had observed earlier.  Nevertheless, I proceeded to fish the entire length of the shoreline and did not catch a single fish.

This long stretch of shoreline ended at a rock-laden breakwater that extended from the water's edge out into the water about 200 yards.  The water depth along the breakwater was about 2 1/2 feet near the water's edge and about 12 feet at its outer tip.  The water visibility had improved to more than 12 inches.  After fishing for nearly two hours, I finally caught my first fish of the day. It was a largemouth bass that was caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ on a hand-colored chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig on a drag-deadstick-and-shake retrieve. Along these rocks, I also caught a freshwater drum on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve and a white bass on a fast-paced swimming retrieve.  Both of these fish were hooked on the Hula StickZ rig.

From that breakwater, I moved across the feeder-creek arm to the opposite shoreline, which was a high bluff.  This shoreline is indented with a small cove, and the wind was blowing waves into the mouth of this cove.  Along the shores inside this cove, I had about a dozen light strikes, but was unable to hook a fish.  I left the cove and probed 250 yards of the shoreline along the bluff without eliciting a strike.

Eventually this shoreline merges with a riprap causeway and bridge. I did not have any strikes along this riprap or along the riprap points and around the concrete support columns under the bridge.  But along the riprap on the main-lake side of the causeway and bridge, I caught two smallmouth bass, and they were beguiled by a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-deadstick-and-shake retrieve.  Both of them were caught during the shake portion of the retrieve.

I then moved down the reservoir in hopes of fishing some main-lake points. The wind's velocity, however, had increased, creating ranks of white caps. So, I passed up the points I was hoping to fish.  But I did fish one main-lake point at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm with no strikes.  From that point, I moved up that feeder-creek arm to another riprap causeway and bridge.  Along this riprap, I caught another smallmouth bass on the molting craw Hula StickZ rig and the drag-deadstick-and-shake presentation. It was caught during the shake phase.

When I lost my Hula StickZ rig in the rocks and noticed that the sun was getting low, I decided to try a small secondary point along a main-lake shoreline. Traditionally, this area has been a fruitful one around sunset in summers past.

I began fishing this point by employing a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  I made several passes back and forth around the tip of the point and caught one smallmouth bass, a freshwater drum, and two white bass.

I decided to put away the Midwest finesse lures and concentrate on catching white bass to end the day.  I picked up a spinning rod with a 1/4-ounce lipless crankbait and proceeded to catch several more white bass.

On one cast with the crankbait, I felt a fish on the line as soon I began to turn the reel.  I set the hook, and I was immediately engaged in a reel-screaming battle with a strong and very fast fish.  A couple of glimpses confirmed that it was not a catfish, and that it was a fish that probably weighed seven pounds. It took a few minutes to get a better look and identify it as a carp.  And that it was foul-hooked, and I had little control over it. It finally made three complete circles around the shaft of the trolling motor, and freed itself from the hooks.  At least, it did not break the line and take my crankbait.

I was hoping for a much better day of black bass fishing. It was a struggle to catch four smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass in five hours. Besides tangling with the carp, I inadvertently caught seven white bass.

Three of the smallmouth bass and the largemouth bass were caught on the shake phase of a drag-deadstick-and shake retrieve.  The other smallmouth bass was caught on a swim-and-glide retrieve.  The best areas were riprip shorelines.  I caught the black bass on the mud minnow and molting craw Hula StickZ rigs and The Deal ZinkerZ rig.  I failed to catch a fish on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ  on a hand-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

 

 

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.