Midwest Finesse Fishing: March 2018

Midwest Finesse Fishing: March 2018

 This guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 15 logs and 14,512 words that explain how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the piscatorial efforts of Rick Allen of Dallas; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Shaun Finn of Olathe, Kansas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and my northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri logs.


In short, Mother Nature confounded many Midwest finesse anglers' attempts to get afloat in March of 2018. And when we got a float, it was often a struggle to locate and catch the black bass that abide in our various waterways.

The trying fishing in March erupted at many waterways, and it adversely affected anglers of all kinds.


For example, Brian Waldman of Indianapolis, Indiana, who is a longtime member of the Finesse News Network and contributor to our Midwest Finesse column, posted a note on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brian.waldman.7798) on March 25 from Tyler Brinks of Spokane, Washington, and Brinks wrote: "Something happened today that I have never seen in my 20 years of tournament fishing. All 19 boaters and non-boaters blanked. No fish were caught. We all tied."  


Waldman also reported about a 132-boat tournament at Patoka Lake, Indiana, where 25 anglers weighted in 31 black bass. Eight-pounds, 15-ounces was the winning weight. And 1o7 anglers failed to bring a black bass to the tournament's scale. 

In contrast, we published 24 logs and 23,049 words about where, when, and how Midwest finesse anglers fished in March of 2017, and we caught significant numbers of black bass.  

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

March 1 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 32 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 53 degrees at 12:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northwest, west by northwest, north by northwest, and north at 11 to 28 mph. The sky was overcast until 2:52 a.m., and then it was scattered with clouds and eventually became clear for the rest of the day. The barometric pressure was 29.87 at 12:02 a.m., 30.07 at 5:52 a.m., 30.23 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.26 at 4:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:41 a.m. to 11:41 a.m., 10:09 p.m. to 12:09 a.m., and 3:28 a.m. to 5:28 a.m.  I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs from 10:48 a.m. to 2:48 p.m.

The water level was normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 42 to 45 degrees. The water exhibited 15 inches of visibility in the back end of one of the feeder-creek arms. Inside another feeder-creek arm, the water exhibited 2 1/2 to three feet of visibility. Across the lower section of the reservoir's main-body, the water exhibited about four feet of visibility.

From 10:48 a.m. to 12:48 p.m. and 2:08 p.m. to 2:48 p.m., I worked on dissecting a massive shallow-water flat in the back end of a large feeder-creek arm. This flat is the size of five or more football fields. Traditionally, it is where Midwest finesse anglers find and catch vast numbers of largemouth bass as soon as the ice melts. In years past, we found the largemouth bass abiding around and in patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and Eurasian milfoil. But the reservoir's managers have been on a crusade to rid this reservoir of submerged aquatic vegetation — especially the Eurasian milfoil. Consequently, there seems to be just a smattering of curly-leaf-pondweed patches sprouting on this flat. The patches that I found seem to be rather paltry. Now the areas that used to be adorned with submerged vegetation are silt laden.

In addition to paltriness of the vegetation, the wind was an obstacle at times, and it prevented me from meticulously dissecting this vast area.

Ultimately, I found two locales in the back of this feeder-creek arm that entertained some largemouth bass.

One locale is the size of about three tennis courts. The depth of the water ranges from four to seven feet.  The water exhibited about 15 inches of visibility. Besides some patches of curly-leaf pondweed and silt, the underwater terrain is littered with some logs, a few laydowns, several stumps, some gravel, some rocks, and a few boulders. There is also one dock. The gravel, rocks, and boulders are adjacent to a shoreline that is graced with some measly patches of winter-dead American water willows.  At 2:08 p.m., I saw a turtle sunning itself upon a shallow-water laydown, and the surface temperature had climbed to 45 degrees.  And one of the largemouth bass that I caught at 2:15 p.m. had the antennas of a crayfish protruding from its gullet.  There were also a few gizzard shad dimpling the surface.

This area yielded 13 largemouth bass. They were caught on a hodgepodge of Midwest finesse rigs and presentations. Two of them were caught in about five feet of water on a three-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce  VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a slow swimming presentation. Two largemouth bass were caught in about five feet of water on a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. Two were caught in about four feet of water on a Z-Man's pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a hand-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. Seven largemouth bass were caught in three to four feet of water near the shoreline on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Bill Ward mushroom-style jig with either a swim-glide-and-no-shake or a drag-and-minor-deadstick presentation.

The second locale lies many yards from the shoreline. It is the size of about one tennis court. The depth of the water ranged from five to seven feet. At times, I felt one of my rigs touching something that felt like aquatic vegetation, but the jig failed to hook any of it.  Because of the wind, I spent a lot of time strolling around this area and employing several Midwest finesse presentations.

This area yielded six largemouth bass, one huge white crappie, and one bluegill. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ rig in about seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught in about seven feet of water on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a slow swimming-and-subtle-shake presentation. One largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water on the Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-shake presentation. Three of the largemouth bass were caught in about seven feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Bill Ward mushroom-style jig with either a swim-glide-and-shake or a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation.

From 1:01 p.m. to 2:02 p.m., I fished portions of two shorelines and one offshore hump that is boulder-and-rock laden. The shorelines possess a 45- to 55-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. They are graced with some stumps, some laydowns, a few brush piles, and some scrawny patches of American water willows.

The offshore hump and one of the shorelines were fruitless.  Along a 15-foot stretch along the other shoreline, I caught three largemouth bass in three to four feet of water on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle shake presentation.

In sum, I eked out 25 largemouth bass. Most of them were small, but one was large enough that I wasted several minutes weighing it, and it weighed a respectable 5.38 pounds, and it was caught on the Z-Man's Pearl Rain MinnowZ rig.

Endnotes

It has been a trying winter for Midwest finesse and black-bass anglers who reside in Missouri and Kansas. For instance, Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, Aaron Suess of Gardner, Kansas, Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, Roger and Lakin Kehde of Sedalia, Missouri, and Bill Ward of Warsaw, Missouri, have struggled to get afloat, and when they have been able to get afloat, they struggled to elicit strikes.

The winter weather kept our boat in our garage from Dec. 21 until Feb, 26.  And on Feb. 26, I spent three hours and 40 minutes plying the same northeastern Kansas' flatland reservoir that I fished on March 1. The surface temperature ranged from 36 to 39 degrees, and I struggled to catch five largemouth bass and one black crappie.  After that outing, I did not have the wherewithal to compile a log. In short, there were no location and presentation patterns to write about. But I did fish the same areas that I fished on Mar. 1. One of the five largemouth bass was caught in five to six feet of water on a Z-Man's mud minnow Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's  NME Neon Moon Eye Jig while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. One largemouth bass was caught in about four feet of water on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Bill Ward mushroom-style jig while I was strolling and using a dragging presentation. One largemouth bass was caught in seven feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig with a slow swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation. One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig with a drag-and-shake presentation. One largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-slight- deadstick presentation.

March 3 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

From about 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished at a north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir.

The wind quartered out of the east, southeast, and south at 12 to 15 mph.  The sun burned brightly in the cobalt-blue sky. At 7:01 a.m., it was 51 degrees. It was 73 degrees at 4:04 p.m. While we were afloat, the barometric pressure fell from 30.21  to 30.11.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 5:23 a.m. to 7:23 a.m., 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m., and 11:36 p.m. to 1:36 a.m.

We probed the riprap along the middle section of the dam, portions of three feeder-creek arms, a main-lake point, two riprap-laden bridge embankments, and several concrete support columns underneath a large bridge that are situated in the south end of the reservoir.

The water temperature ranged from 50 degrees at the dam to 58 degrees inside one of the feeder-creek arms. There was a significant amount of debris floating on the surface. The water exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. Elsewhere, the water clarity was less than 12 inches. The water level was 3.21 feet above normal pool.

Our outing commenced at the dam, where we spent a little over an hour dissecting the submerged riprap along its middle section. And we failed to generate a single strike.

After we finished fishing the dam, we ventured inside a feeder-creek that lies about two miles west of the dam. Here, we caught  four largemouth bass in the lower half of the creek arm. Three of the largemouth bass were caught around patches of flooded buck brush that line the feeder-creek's northeast shoreline. One largemouth bass was caught on the west side of the creek arm from the side of a concrete boat ramp. These four bass were abiding in less than five feet of water.

Steve Reideler with one of the largemouth bass they caught.

Three of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ affixed to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other largemouth bass was enticed by a shortened Z-Man's black-blue-flake Hula StickZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We failed to elicit any strikes from five secondary points and four rocky shorelines in the middle portion and upper end of this creek arm.

The remainder of this outing was a tedious and unfruitful endeavor. We failed to generate any other strikes from the main-lake point, portions of the other two feeder-creek arms, the two riprap-laden bridge embankments, and several large concrete support columns underneath a large bridge.

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas has been difficult all winter. That trend continued throughout this four-hour outing, and we struggled to catch four largemouth bass.

We failed to generate any strikes with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD affixed to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse  1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a 3.5-inch Z-Man's white lightning Trick ShotZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Rapala Helsinki Shad X-Rap suspending jerkbait.

March 4 log  

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a report on the Finesse News Network about his March 4 outing at a large reservoir in central Missouri with Mark and Kathy Kinnamon of Sunrise Beach, Missouri.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 41 degrees at 6:56 a.m. and 57 degrees at 12:56 p.m.  The sky was clear from 12:56 a.m. to 6:56 a.m., and it became overcast from 7:56 a.m. to 8:56 p.m., and after that it began to rain. The wind angled out of the southeast, east by southeast, and south at 4 to 23 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.26 at 12:56 a.m., 30.23 at 5:56 a.m., 30.16 at 11:56 a.m., and 30.02 at 5:56 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 11:48 a.m. to 1:48 p.m., 12:12 p.m. to 2:12 p.m., and 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  They fished from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The water level was 4 1/2 feet below normal.  The water exhibited 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet of visibility.  The surface temperature ranged from 41 to 43 degrees.

They spent the entire five hours inside a feeder-creek arm that lies in the lower portions of the reservoir. They dissected scores of secondary points and adjacent shorelines.  The most fruitful ones possessed a 45-degree or slightly steeper slope. The underwater terrain of these secondary points and the adjacent shorelines consisted of softball- to football-size rocks. A few of the black bass were caught along the steep and rocky shorelines as far as halfway inside the coves in this feeder creek.

They caught 18 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and inadvertently caught five freshwater drum. They were caught in five to 10 feet of water.

Their most effective Midwest finesse rig was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Andrew Trembath's Deluxe Jig, which is a mushroom-style jig. The second most fruitful rig was a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ on a red 1/16-ounce Deluxe Jig.  Both rigs were retrieved with a swim-and-glide presentation with occasional twitches.

Mark Kinnamon with one of the spotted bass that they caught.

Bob and Mark fished on Mar. 2 inside the same feeder-creek arm that they fished on Mar. 4, and they caught 38 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and four freshwater drum.

Mark Kinnamon with a largemouth bass.

On Mar. 3, they fished inside two feeder-creek arms that are seven and nine miles from the dam, and they struggled to catch 11 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and two freshwater drum.  And these fish were caught on secondary points. The shorelines were nearly fruitless.

During their Mar. 2 and 3 outings, the most effective rig was the Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ on a red 1/16-ounce Deluxe Jig with a swim-glide-and-occasional-twitch retrieve.

March 8 log

Since late December, Mother Nature's windy and wintry ways have made it difficult for Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas to get afloat.  The wind waned on March 8, but the chill remained. Consequently, my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I had to endure ice forming in and around the guides on our rods for a short spell, and our fingers ached from the cold throughout most of our outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs on March 8.

It was Rick's first outing in 2018.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 19 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 43 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky was clear. The wind angled out of the west by northwest, northwest, north by northwest, west by southwest, and north by northeast at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.25 at 12:53 a.m., 30.26 at 5:53 a.m., 30.22 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.13 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 3:24 a.m. to 5:24 a.m., 3:47 p.m. to 5:47 p.m., and 9:35 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.  Rick and I fished from 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 41 to 44 degrees.  Across a section of  a shallow-water flat in the back of one feeder-creek arm, there was a thin layer of ice, and it covered an area about the size of two football fields. The water exhibited five to six feet of visibility. There were a lot of tiny particles of algae suspended in the water, which might have been a byproduct of the horrendous winds that had recently roared across northeastern Kansas.  The water level looked to be nearly normal.

We fished around two main-lake points, along short segments of two main-lake shorelines, a small portion of one massive shallow-water flat in the back of the reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm, and the shallow-water flats in the backs of five secondary feeder-creek arms.

Our primary focus was aimed at locating and catching largemouth bass that were abiding in and around patches of coontail that adorned some of the shallow-water flats in the backs of the feeder creeks.

Around one of the main-lake points, we caught two largemouth bass in about seven feet of water that were associated with a small patch of coontail. Both of them were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with an extremely slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

The other main-lake point and the two main-lake shorelines seemed to be devoid of patches of coontail, and they were fruitless.

A shallow-water flat in the back of one of the secondary feeder-creek arms failed to yield a largemouth bass. We also failed to find patches of coontail on this flat. An extremely shallow-water portion of this flat was covered with a thin layer of ice.

We caught one largemouth bass around some meager patches of coontail in about five feet of water on a shallow-water flat in the back of another secondary feeder-creek arm.  It was caught as we were strolling a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation.

In the back of another secondary feeder-creek arm, we caught eight largemouth bass. Six of them were caught in six to 10 feet of water around patches of coontail in an area that is half of the size of a tennis court.  The other two largemouth bass were caught around coontail patches in about seven feet of water, and one of them was 100 feet and the other one was about 175 feet from the patches of coontail that yielded the six largemouth bass. All of these largemouth bass were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs. Some were caught while we were strolling and employing either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake or a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. Others were caught while we were casting and employing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. One was caught with a drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

We caught 32 largemouth bass on our TRD HogZ rigs on a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another secondary feeder-creek arm. Twenty-nine of these largemouth bass were extracted from five to six feet of water around patches of coontail in an area that is the size of about two tennis courts. Three of the largemouth bass were caught in seven to 10 feet of water, and they were many yards from each other, and they were also many yards from the other 29 largemouth bass. Some of these largemouth  bass were caught while we were strolling and executing a drag-and-subtle-shake, a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake, and a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Some were caught while we were casting and employing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.

One of the 43 largemouth bass that we caught.

In sum, we caught 43 largemouth bass. It was our most fruitful outing in 2018.  All of them, however, were dinks, which would disappoint lunker hunters, but we are always grateful to garner at least 10 strikes an hour. Our TRD HogZ rigs caught every one of them. We failed to elicit a strike when we affixed our jigs to a Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ, green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, green-pumpkin Finesse TRD, PB&J Rain MinnowZ, and green-pumpkin-goby 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ.

 March 9 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I conducted a four-hour afternoon bank-walking excursion at two community reservoirs located in the Dallas metropolitan area. Both of these impoundments were flooded with muddy runoff from several torrential rain storms that pummeled north-central Texas during the last two weeks of February, and this is the first time that we have fished either of them since Feb. 15.

Throughout this outing, we were harassed by the wind that quartered out of the south by southeast at 20 to 30 mph. It was 52 degrees at 6:36 a.m. and 75 degrees at 4:00 p.m. The barometric pressure measured 29.88 at 11:00 a.m. and 29.78 at 4:00 p.m. The sky was partly cloudy, and the sun was shining brightly everywhere.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:21 a.m. to 6:21 a.m., 10:33 a.m. to 12:33 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

John and I plied the first reservoir from about 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We fished at the second reservoir from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

At the first reservoir that we fished, the water exhibited a dark-brown hue with about eight inches of clarity. The water level appeared to be slightly above normal. The water temperature ranged from 58 degrees along the west shoreline to 59 degrees along the east shoreline.

We struggled to catch five largemouth bass in two hours at this reservoir.

We started on the west side of the reservoir. This shoreline possesses a steep slope. Its submerged terrain consists of mostly sand and gravel. A patch of hydrilla runs underneath a fishing pier in about six to eight feet of water. This patch of hydrilla is about five feet wide and 35 feet long. We failed to elicit a single strike from this area.

Next, we dissected the east end of a concrete-slab dam that forms the south perimeter of this reservoir. Another bank angler was fishing the middle and west end of the dam.  We were unable to generate any strikes here.

After we fished the dam we moved to the east shoreline, which is steep and curved. The two main features of this shoreline are a broad sand and gravel point that is located in the middle section of the shoreline and a long clay and gravel point that lies on the north end of this shoreline.

We failed to provoke any strikes from the flat and shallow south end of the shoreline, which lies just north of the dam.

We caught four largemouth bass from the end of the broad point in about five feet of water and 10 feet from the water's edge. They were bewitched by a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a Z-Man's custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was employed with a slow swim-and-constant-shake presentation.

We caught one largemouth bass from the south side of the clay and gravel point on the north end of the shoreline. This bass was dwelling in six feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge. It was caught on the Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig as it was slowly retrieved with a slow swim-and-constant-shake presentation.

The north end of this reservoir consists of a large and shallow mud flat lined with tall stands of cattails, but we did not spend any time fishing this area.

After we finished fishing at the first reservoir, we traveled to the second one, which is a 20-minute drive from the first one.

The water at the second reservoir displayed a brownish hue that resembled chocolate milk.  We were delighted to discover that the water temperature was much warmer than we expected; it was 62 degrees along the east shoreline and 65 degrees inside a large cove on the west-side shoreline.

But to our dismay, we found the fishing at this reservoir was as trying as it was at the first one. It was a tedious chore for us to inveigle four largemouth bass. The highlight of the afternoon was watching John catch a hefty two-pound, four-ounce white crappie, which is the largest crappie John and I have ever seen.

We started off dissecting the east shoreline and portions of the south shoreline without garnering a strike.

John caught the handsome white crappie from around a large tree limb that was submerged in five feet of water on the east end of the north shoreline. It was attracted to a Z-Man's black-blue-flake TRD HogZ affixed on a custom-painted blue 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and a slow swim-and-constant-shake retrieve.

John Thomas and a handsome crappie.

The remainder of the north shoreline was fruitless.

One largemouth was caught from the north-side point at the entrance to a cove on the west end of the reservoir. It was extracted from eight feet of water and about 25 feet from the water's edge.

Inside the cove, we caught three largemouth bass that were scattered along the cove's northern shoreline. They were about six to 10 feet from the water's edge and were abiding in less than five feet of water.

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

These four bass were beguiled by a Z-Man's custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD, which was utilized in a slow swim-and-constant-shake manner.

Overall, we endured another lackluster winter outing. We caught nine largemouth bass and one white crappie in four hours.

John Thomas with a largemouth bass.

The biggest largemouth bass weighed three pounds, two ounces. The other eight largemouth bass weighed between 1 1/4 and 2 1/2 pounds.

 March 10 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

The wind has finally calmed down. After it howled out of the south and southeast at 20 to 30 mph on March 9, it angled out of the southwest, south, and southeast at 4 to 8 mph on March 10. The morning of March 10 was overcast but mild. The low temperature was 60 degrees. The afternoon was sunny, and the sky was partly cloudy. The high temperature soared to 82 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.44 at 9:46 a.m. and 29.34 at 2:46 p.m.

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas at one of the more popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. I had not fished at this reservoir since Nov. 16, 2017. The reason for this revolves around the fact that this reservoir is a lousy winter black bass venue, and we avoid fishing it from mid-December to mid-March.  But Rick and I decided to fish here earlier than usual to see if the water conditions were better at this reservoir than the water conditions at the other Corps' reservoir and several smaller community reservoirs that we focus on during the winter months.

We were not the only ones enjoying the mild weather. As we were entering the state park and driving toward the boat ramp, we admired several whitetail deer that were foraging close to the roadway. We were also astonished to see that the campgrounds were full of campers, the picnic areas were overcrowded with large groups of people, and the boat ramp parking lot was full of tow vehicles and boat trailers. We later learned that several high school bass fishing teams were competing in a tournament. It then dawned on us that this was the first day of spring-break week.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods would most likely occur from 5:07 a.m. to 7:07 a.m., 5:31 p.m. to 7:31 p.m., and 11:19 p.m. to 1:19 a.m. Rick and I fished from 9:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Rick and I concentrated our efforts inside three major feeder-creek arms and one main-lake cove. These four areas are located in the east tributary arm of the reservoir.

The water exhibited two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 52 degrees to 57 degrees. The water level was 1.21 feet above normal pool.

The main-lake cove was the most fruitful area. It is about the size of half of a football field and encompasses a couple of secondary points and several shallow flats that are adorned with large patches of flooded winter-dead terrestrial vegetation, which many bass anglers call stickups. A small creek channel courses its way close to the cove's north shoreline.

We caught seven largemouth bass inside this cove. They were caught along the outside edge of a large patch of flooded stickups that borders one side of the creek channel on the north side of the cove. These largemouth bass were abiding in five to eight feet of water and where about 25 yards from the water's edge.

Rick Allen with a largemouth bass.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, which is situated  about a mile north of the main-lake cove that we fished, we caught two largemouth bass. One was caught in eight feet of water along a ditch that runs parallel to the north side of a submerged roadbed. The other largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water and was relating to another ditch that lies adjacent to the south side of the roadbed. This roadbed is located about halfway back and on the north side of the feeder-creek arm. The top of the roadbed is covered with three feet of water, and we did not elicit any strikes from it. While we were slowly dissecting the roadbed and the two adjacent ditches, we were entertained by the sight of several large blue herons that were nesting in the top boughs of a nearby tree.

We dissected a broad and rocky secondary point on the south side of the feeder creek without eliciting a strike.  We used our sonar devices inside a large secondary cove next to that rocky secondary point to search for black bass, but we failed to cross paths with any of them.

The second large feeder-creek arm surrendered one largemouth bass. This feeder creek lies on the west side of the east tributary arm. It encompasses several large coves and steep secondary points. Large patches of flooded stickups festoon many of its shorelines.

This largemouth bass was abiding in five feet of water and was caught from the outside edge of a patch of flooded stickups inside one of the coves on the north side of the creek arm.

A couple of patches of flooded stickups inside two other coves and some submerged rocks and boulders that lie along the end and sides of a large secondary point failed to yield any strikes.

We finished the outing inside a large cove on the north side of the third feeder-creek arm. We probed a long wall of flooded stickups on the west side of the cove, and we failed to generate any strikes.

The angling pressure was the worst that we have seen in quite some time. We shared all of these areas with as few as two boats and as many as five boats of anglers. And by the end of this outing, our counter revealed that we had caught 10 largemouth bass in five hours.

Nine of the 10 largemouth bass were caught during the first two hours that we were afloat, which was when the sky was overcast. We caught one largemouth bass after the clouds dissipated and the sun began to shine. We failed to generate a single strike during the last three hours of this outing.

Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD that was rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. A Z-Man's 2 1/2-inch Space Guppy Slim SwimZ attached to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig allured two largemouth bass. Two other largemouth bass were beguiled by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. One largemouth bass was coaxed into striking a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Another largemouth bass was enticed by a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ fastened on a green-pumpkin weedless 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. A custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's white lightning Trick ShotZ caught one largemouth bass.

The white lightning Finesse TRD,  green-pumpkin TRD HogZ, shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ, and 3 1/2-inch white lightning Trick ShotZ rigs were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The 2 1/2-inch space guppy Slim SwimZ and 3 1/2-inch blue-glimmer-sparkle GrubZ combos were implemented with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

We failed to elicit any strikes with a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ rigged on either a custom-painted red or custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigged on a custom-painted red Finesse ShroomZ jig, a  2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin-red-flake ZinkerZ on a custom-painted red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a coppertreuse Finesse TRD attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

It appears that we may have to endure another week or two of this wretched late-winter-and-early-spring bass fishing before we begin to see any significant increase in our catch rates.

March 12 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 32 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 54 degrees at 5:52 p.m.  The sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast to hazy from 12:52 a.m. to 10:52 a.m., and then it became sunny. The wind angled out of the west by northwest, northwest, north by northwest, and north at 4 to 12 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.40 at 12:52 a.m., 30.39 at 5:52 a.m., 30.40 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.32 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:29 a.m. to 9:29 a.m., 7:53 p.m. to 9:53 p.m., and 1:17 a.m. to 3:17 a.m. I fished from 1:20 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

The water exhibited five to six feet of visibility.  The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 44 to 45 degrees.

I spent 69 minutes of the 120 minutes that I was afloat inside a small feeder-creek arm. Before the reservoir was impounded, this feeder creek was what we called a dry branch, and the only time it had water running in it occurred after it rained. The underwater terrain of this arm consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. There is also a small pond and dam, which are underwater.  The shoreline on one side of this arm has a 35- to 45-degree slope. The other side has a 20- to 25-degree slope. There are patches of winter-dead American water willows that border the flatter shoreline, and the steeper one has a few patches. There are also laydowns, stumps, and manmade brush piles.

I caught 18 largemouth bass inside this feeder creek. Sixteen of them were caught from its back half and along its flatter side in five to six feet of water. Six of the sixteen were caught around a large red cedar tree that is partially submerged, and the parts of this tree that are out of the water are still alive. Two largemouth bass were caught in the front half of this creek arm and along the steeper side in the vicinity of the flooded pond dam in about eight feet of water.

Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. Sixteen of them were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Three of the largemouth bass were caught while I was strolling and employing either a drag-and-subtle-shake or a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.  The others were caught while I was casting and executing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve, or a drag-and-subtle shake retrieve, or a drag-and-short-deadstick retrieve. I garnered five strikes that I failed to firmly hook.

For 53 minutes, I quickly fished four other areas and searched for patches of coontail, which I failed to find.

One area was in the back third of a big feeder-creek arm.  I fished a secondary point, a short segment of a steep shoreline, and a small portion of a massive flat that is adjacent to this shoreline. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. It is graced with many laydowns, some stumps, a goodly number of manmade brush piles, and a submerged creek channel that meanders through this area. I failed to garner a strike.

The second locale was a flat secondary point halfway inside a big feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel. It is embellished with four manmade brush piles. A submerged creek channel is adjacent to the point. On the first cast, I caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig in in about five feet of water.

I fished a 20-yard section of the riprap shoreline along the dam, and I failed to elicit a strike.

The fourth area was a flat in the back end of another feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of silt. It is graced with a submerged creek channel, laydowns, manmade brush piles, and some stumps. I was unable to generate a strike at this locale.

In total, I caught 19 largemouth bass. Sixteen were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and three were caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. There was no dominant style of retrieve.

March 15 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 44 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 73 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  It was sunny. The wind angled out of the south by southwest, southwest, and south at 6 to 23 mph. It was sunny. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:53 a.m., 29.85 at 5:53 a.m., 29.82 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.71 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:52 a.m. to 11:52 a.m., 10:16 p.m. to 12:16 a.m., and 3:40 a.m. to 5:40 a.m. Dave Petro of  Lecompton, Kansas, and I were afloat from 10:41 a.m. to 2:41 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

The water level was normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 44 to 47 degrees. The water clarity fluctuated from three to more than six feet of visibility, and there were many small particles of algae floating near the surface and suspended several feet below the surface, which affected the visibility in some areas.

We caught 63 largemouth bass, and we inadvertently caught two rainbow trout and one freshwater drum.

The freshwater drum, two rainbow trout, and 62 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's black/blue TRD HogZ.

We used several kinds of jigs with our TRD HogZs. At some locales, we used a chartreuse 1/32-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig; at some locales, we used a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig; and at some locales, we used a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; at some locales, we used a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Kalin's Triple Threat Crappie Jig.

Eighteen of the 63 largemouth bass were caught in four to six feet of water around patches of coontail on a shallow-water flat about three-quarters of the way inside a feeder-creek arm.  Two of them were caught on the initial drop of our TRD HogZ rigs. The rest were caught by employing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation, a drag-and-shake presentation, or a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation. Some were caught while we were strolling our TRD HogZ rigs, and some were caught while we were casting and retrieving our TRD HogZ rigs.

Two largemouth bass were caught in about six feet of water along a shoreline inside the feeder-creek arm that yielded the 18 largemouth bass from its shallow-water flat. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, clay, rocks, and some boulders. It is graced with many laydowns and occasional patches of coontail. The two largemouth bass were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation with our TRD HogZ rigs.

Around a secondary point inside this feeder-creek arm and around one of its main-lake points, we failed to elicit a strike.

We caught three largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water around patches of coontail inside another feeder-creek arm, and these patches of coontail are situated along stretches of this feeder-creek arm's shallow-water flats. They were caught while we were strolling our TRD HogZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

We failed to garner a strike around one of its main-lake points, which possesses a 45-degree slope, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders that are dressed with minor patches of coontail.

Inside another feeder-creek arm, we failed to elicit a strike along portions of its shorelines and its shallow-water flat.

And along a 50-yard stretch of a very steep main-lake shoreline, we failed to get a strike.

We spent the final 55 minutes of our outing fishing two portions of the dam, which are laden with boulders and interlaced with patches of coontail and a few manmade brush piles. One portion that we dissected was about 30 yards long, and it yielded two largemouth bass. The second portion that we methodically fished several times was about 70 yards long, and it yielded 36 largemouth bass.  These largemouth bass were caught in three to seven feet of water.  Most of them were associated with patches of coontail, and two of them were caught around a submerged pile of brush. Two were caught on the initial drop of our TRD HogZ rigs, and the rest were caught on a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation, a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation, or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. A significant number were caught while we were strolling and implementing those three retrieves.

In sum, if we were lunker hunters, this outing would have been classified as a disappointing one.   But we are strike seekers, and we elicited more than 20 strikes an hour, and we caught an average of 15.75 largemouth bass per hour.

March 16 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 16 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir located in a suburban area north of Dallas.

It was a delightfully warm but windy winter day. The sun was ablaze in a partly-cloudy sky. It was 61 degrees at 6:00 a.m. and 84 degrees at 6:00 p.m. A problematic wind quartered out of the northwest, west, and southwest at 15 to 25 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.50 at 11:46 a.m. and dropped to 29.42 by 4:46 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing would occur from 4:16 a.m. to 6:16 a.m., 10:28 a.m. to 12:28 p.m., and 10:51 p.m. to 12:51 a.m.

We began the outing plying a minor feeder-creek arm on the north end of the reservoir from about 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. After that, we moved to the southwest end of the reservoir and fished inside two major feeder-creek arms from approximately 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The north feeder-creek arm has become our most fruitful black bass venue from November through February. But during the other eight months of the year, it seems to be virtually uninhabited by the reservoir's black bass; instead, there are a few small bluegill, some carp, and an occasional alligator gar.

The water clarity in this creek arm ranged from 12 inches to three feet. The surface temperature varied from 66 degrees in the lower third of the feeder creek to 67 degrees in its upper reaches. The water level was 1.06 feet above normal.

The shorelines in this small creek arm are flat in the lower and middle sections. They become steeper and bluff-like in the upper end. The submerged terrain consists of clay and gravel in the creek's lower and midsection areas with submerged rock ledges paralleling both sides of the creek channel in the upper end of the creek arm. There are innumerable submerged brush piles, partially-submerged laydowns, flooded bushes, and submerged stumps that adorn most of the shallow-water areas close to the shorelines.

As we picked apart the many black bass lairs from the mouth of this creek arm to its upper end, we toiled mightily to eke out two largemouth bass, one spotted bass, six white bass, and one white crappie. They were caught in three to five feet of water. Some were relating to the ends of submerged laydowns and the others were caught around submerged brush piles.

We saw a few largemouth bass lollygagging around a rock ledge in the upper end of the creek arm, but they showed no interest in any of our lures.

After that disappointing start, we ventured to the southwest region of the reservoir, where we found some shelter from the pesky wind inside two large feeder-creek arms.

The water in these two creek arms are still muddy from several late-February rain storms, and significant amounts of tree limbs, leaves, and small wood debris littered the surface. Visibility was less than a foot. The surface temperature ranged from 57 to 58 degrees.

The first creek arm was a bust. We probed patches of flooded buck brush along a flat clay and gravel shoreline inside a large cove and along a submerged roadbed on the west side of the creek arm. We hooked one largemouth bass that was abiding in four feet of water next to a patch of flooded buck brush, but it was able to dislodge our lure from its jaw when it jumped out of the water.

The second feeder-creek arm yielded three largemouth bass. They were caught along a 30-yard stretch of a steeply-sloped clay and gravel shoreline in four to six feet of water. This shoreline is situated on the northeast side of the feeder creek.

Another steep shoreline in the northwest section of the creek arm failed to yield a strike.

We then called it a day.

During these 270 minutes of drudgery, we caught a total of five largemouth bass, one spotted bass, six white bass, and one white crappie.

A shortened Z-Man's black-blue-flake Hula StickZ affixed on a custom-painted blue Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig enticed three largemouth bass.  A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig allured one spotted bass, five white bass, and one white crappie. A three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig caught one largemouth bass and one white bass. Another largemouth bass preferred a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We failed to allure any largemouth bass or spotted bass with a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's white lightning Trick ShotZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse WormZ on a pearl 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a shortened Z-Man's coppertreuse Hula StickZ fastened on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We experimented with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. We caught three largemouth bass on a slow hop-bounce-and-deadstick presentation with the black-blue-flake Hula StickZ combo, another largemouth bass was fooled by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ, and the other largemouth bass, a spotted bass, six white bass, and a white crappie were bewitched by the two pearl Slim SwimZ rigs that were manipulated with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

March 17 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 17 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

After Rick Allen of Dallas and I endured a trying 4 1/2-hour outing on March 16 at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir, I had no desire to venture to another Corps' reservoir on a busy weekend day. So, Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I opted to ply two municipal reservoirs that are situated in a couple of communities south of Denton.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:01 a.m. to 7:01 a.m., 5:26 p.m. to 7:26 p.m., and 11:36 p.m. to 1:36 a.m. Norman and I were afoot at the first reservoir from about 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and we fished at the second one from about 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The sky conditions varied from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. Severe thunderstorms were forecast to erupt during the evening hours of March 17, and they are expected to continue off and on into the afternoon hours of March 18. The morning low temperature on March 17 was 48 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature peaked at 79 degrees. The wind blew out of the south at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure varied from 29.91 to 29.82.

The water at the first municipal reservoir that we fished exhibited about 18 inches of visibility.  The water temperature was 63 degrees. The water level was normal.

We shared this impoundment with seven other anglers. We spoke to one of them when we first arrived, and he reported that he had caught six largemouth bass. He was wielding a Texas-rigged plastic worm in an orange hue.

We fished the east shoreline first, which possesses a 30-degree slope. We caught three largemouth bass from the bottom of a trench that parallels the shoreline and ends at a long clay and gravel point on the north end of this shoreline. The trench is covered with five to eight feet of water.

We failed to generate any strikes from a broad gravel and sand point that forms the middle section of the shoreline.

Along the south end of this shoreline, we failed to locate any largemouth bass relating to a shallow sand and gravel ledge. But we did see one of the other anglers probing an occupied spawning nest a few feet from the water's edge. This was the first evidence of any spawning activity that we have witnessed this year, and this angler caught and released a four-pound largemouth bass that was occupying the nest.

From the east shoreline, we moved to the dam. The dam forms the reservoir's southern boundary and is constructed of large concrete slabs. We caught two largemouth bass and lost another one from the east end of the dam. These three bass were caught in the vicinity of a clay and gravel hump that lies about 25 feet from the face of the dam and is covered with about five feet of water.

Two other largemouth bass were caught from the center section of the dam. They were abiding in six feet of water and about 10 feet from the base of the dam.

We did not fish the west end of the dam, which had already been pummeled to smithereens by several of the other anglers.

We slowly dissected a 35-yard section of a sand and gravel shoreline along the west side of the reservoir. There is a tertiary point on each end of this steep section of shoreline. We caught one largemouth bass and lost a second one from the area around one of the two tertiary points. These two bass were abiding in three to five feet of water. We failed to elicit any other strikes from the remainder of this stretch of shoreline, but we saw an angler fishing from a nearby pier catch a largemouth bass with a Texas-rigged plastic worm.

The north end of this reservoir is a protected migratory waterfowl nesting area. It encompasses a large and shallow mud flat that is lined with tall stands of cattails and a small feeder creek that enters the reservoir from the east end of this shoreline. We did not fish this area.

During the two hours that we spent at this impoundment, we caught eight largemouth bass and lost two others. Four of them were two pounders. Norman caught the largest one; it weighed three pounds, 12 ounces. None of them were smaller than 14 inches.

The only effective lure was a Z-Man's molting craw TRD TubeZ rigged on either a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a hand-painted red 1/16-ounce generic finesse ball-head jig.

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

Two of the eight largemouth bass engulfed the TRD TubeZ rigs as the lures settled to the bottom on the initial casts. The other six were coaxed into striking the TRD TubeZs as they were slowly dragged, shaken, and deadsticked across the bottom.

The second municipal reservoir that we fished lies about 15 miles from the first one.

The water level at this reservoir was normal. The water temperature was 69 degrees. The water exhibited a brownish tint with about a foot of visibility.

When we arrived at this reservoir, we observed two other anglers fishing  along the west shoreline, but we did not see them catch any fish while we were there.

We started at the south end of the east shoreline and worked our way northward. This shoreline is endowed with two primary points and three tertiary points. Two largemouth bass and one white crappie were caught from one of the two primary points in three to five feet of water.

One of the two largemouth bass and the white crappie were caught on a Z-Man's molting craw TRD HogZ attached to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other largemouth bass was enticed into striking a Gene Larew's 3 1/2-inch Junebug Inch Worm affixed on a hand-painted red generic 1/16-ounce finesse ball-head jig. Both of these combos were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to elicit any strikes from a shallow mud flat that occupies 90 percent of the northern shoreline or from a small feeder creek that enters the reservoir at the west end of this shoreline.

We were unable to provoke any strikes along the west side of the reservoir, which primarily features three points, a submerged clay and gravel ledge, and three patches of winter-dead lily pad stems.

We also failed to generate any strikes from the south end of the reservoir, which is comprised of a decorative concrete and stone dam. And as we were making our last casts of the day, a light sprinkle of rain began to fall.

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

In short, we caught 10 largemouth bass and one white crappie in four hours. Eight largemouth bass were caught from the first municipal reservoir, and two largemouth bass and one white crappie were caught from the second one.

We are thankful that spring is just around the corner, and we hope the change of seasons will hasten the end to our horrid wintertime black bass fishing woes.

March 20, 21, and 22 log

The black bass fishing in northeastern Kansas was trying on March 20 and 21, and it became extremely difficult on March 22 in northwestern Missouri.  It was so vexing that it is virtually impossible to describe what transpired in a traditional Midwest finesse log. Except for philosophers, nothingness is difficult to describe, but we have attempted to assemble an abbreviated log that encompasses some of the facts about those three endeavors.

On March 20, the Weather Underground reported that it was 39 degrees at 10: 53 a.m. and 45 degrees at 1:53 p.m.  The sky was overcast. The wind angled out of the northwest and north by northwest at 10 to 25 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95  at 5:53 a.m., 20.01 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.01 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:15 a.m. to 3:15 a.m., 1:39 p.m. to 3:39 p.m., and 7:27 a.m. to 9:27 a.m.  I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs from 12:10 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.

Surface temperature was 45 to 46 degrees.  Water level looked to be several inches below normal. The water exhibited as much as six feet of visibility.

I fished three main-lake points, five secondary points, and three tertiary points. I fished short segments of two main-lake shorelines. I fished portions of five shorelines inside four feeder-creek arms. And I made nine casts and retrieves along the riprap-laden dam.

Along one main-lake shoreline, I caught one largemouth bass in about 10 feet of water on a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, which I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.  This shoreline possesses a 75- to 85-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is embellished with a few logs and stumps.

I caught one largemouth bass in about seven feet of water adjacent to a rock shelf that parallels the shoreline about 50 feet inside a feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 50- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and several rock shelves. It is adorned with two laydowns. The largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig, which I strolled and employed a drag-and-shake presentation.

Besides those two largemouth bass, I inadvertently caught two rainbow trout and 13 freshwater drum.  Both largemouth bass were caught in the upper third of the reservoir.

On March 21, the Weather Underground reported that it was 28 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 57 degrees at 4:53 p.m.  The sky was clear.  The wind was calm and variable for some spells, and at other times, it angled out of the northwest and west by northwest at 3 to 8 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.09 at 12:53 a.m., 30.15 at 5:53 a.m., 30.25 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.19 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:10 a.m. to 4:10 a.m., 2:36 p.m. to 4:36 p.m., and 8:23 a.m. to 10:23 a.m.

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, and I were afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs from 10:04 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

We spent the entire outing fishing along either the south edge of the warm-water plume or a few miles away from that edge. The surface temperature in the areas that we fished ranged from 49 to 57 degrees.  The water level looked to be more than two feet below normal. The water clarity ranged from less than 12 inches in some locales and 60 inches in others.

We fished about a 125-yard stretch of the riprap shoreline along the dam. We fished a 150-yard section of a riprap shoreline along one of the reservoir's dikes or jetties. We fished a 100-yard section of a riprap shoreline along another one of the reservoir's dikes or jetties, and along that same dike, we fished another 100-yard section of its riprap shoreline, and we fished another 25-yard section of this dike's riprap shoreline. We fished about 50 feet of a small riprap jetty.

We fished four flat main-lake points, and some of the adjacent shorelines of these main-lake points.

We fished one offshore rock-laden hump.

Around one of the reservoir's islands, we fished part of a point and some of the shoreline.

We caught nine smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. We accidentally caught 10 white bass, three freshwater drum, and two channel catfish.

Along one of the flat main-lake points and its adjacent shoreline, we caught three smallmouth bass. The surface temperature around this point was 57 degrees. It possesses a 25-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, rocks and some boulders. The water clarity exhibited 10 to 12 inches of visibility.  One smallmouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about four feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a hand-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig in about four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The third smallmouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's California craw ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Bob Gum with the first smallmouth bass of the outing.

On top of the offshore boulder-laden hump, we caught one largemouth bass in about seven feet of water. These boulders lie upon a flat, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel.  The surface temperature was 50 degrees. It was caught on the initial drop of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's California craw ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Along one of the riprap dikes or jetties, which possess a 45- to 50-degree slope, we caught one smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about 10 feet of water while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-deadstick presentation.  The surface temperature was 49 degrees.

We caught two smallmouth bass along a shallow-water section of a riprap shoreline of another dike or jetty. This shoreline possesses a 30-degree slope. The surface temperature was 50 degrees. One of them was caught in about five feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Scented LeechZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, which was strolled with a drag-and-subtle-shake-presentation. The second one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's California craw ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

Along the riprap of the dam, where the riprap is graced with a bountiful supply of gravel, we caught two smallmouth bass in four to five feet of water.  This area possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. The surface temperature was 52 degrees.  They were caught on a shortened Z-Man's California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

One smallmouth bass was caught in about three feet of water along the riprap shoreline of a small jetty.  It possesses a 25-degree slope, and the surrounding underwater terrain consists of gravel and silt. The surface temperature was 57 degrees. It was caught on the initial drop of the Z-Man's pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a hand-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

On March 22, the Weather Underground reported that it was 39 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 66 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being scattered with clouds to being overcast to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy to being clear. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, south by southeast, and east by southeast at 6 to 24 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.24 at 12:53 a.m., 30.25 at 5:53 a.m., 30.26 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.19 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:04 a.m. to 5:04 a.m., 3:31 p.m. to 5:31 p.m., and 9:18 a.m. to 11:18 a.m.  Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, and I fished at a community reservoir in northwestern Missouri from 9:30 a.m. to 1:27 p.m.

The water level looked to be slightly more than a foot below normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 45 to 46 degrees.  The water exhibited a foot to three feet of visibility.

We caught one largemouth bass and accidentally caught three rainbow trout.

Our logs for years past reveal we have tangled with a plethora of largemouth bass in March at this community reservoir.  For instance, we caught 60 of them on March 25, 2009, when the surface temperature ranged from 49 to 51 degrees; we caught 72 largemouth bass on March 15, 2012, when the surface temperature was 53 to 55 degrees; we caught 101 largemouth on March 28, 2014, when the surface temperature was 43 to 45 degrees, and we caught 75 largemouth bass and 25 rainbow trout on March 24, 2015, when the surface temperature was 47 to 50 degrees.

This March we have no idea what was going  on with this reservoir's largemouth bass and the largemouth bass that reside in most of the reservoirs hereaabouts.

March 21 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I was not planning to fish, but when I found myself with a few hours of free time during the afternoon, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take advantage of the opportunity and joined Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, at two municipal reservoirs that are located northwest of the Dallas metropolitan area.

It was a gorgeous spring day. The morning low temperature was 46 degrees; the afternoon high temperature was 71 degrees. The wind meandered out of the south and east at 5 to 8 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.23 at 12:30 p.m. and 30.16 at 4:30 p.m.  The sky was partly cloudy, and the dazzling sun drenched the north-central Texas' countryside with an abundance of warm sunshine.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman's solunar table, would occur from 2:16 a.m. to 4:16 a.m., 8:29 a.m. to 10:29 a.m., and 2:42 p.m. to 4:42 p.m.

Norman and I fished at the first municipal reservoir from about 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. We plied the second one from about 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

At the first municipal reservoir that we fished, the water exhibited about 18 inches of visibility.  The water temperature was 65 degrees. The water level was normal.

We fished this same reservoir for two hours on March 17, and during that outing, the water temperature was 63 degrees. We shared this reservoir with seven other anglers, and we had a difficult time catching eight largemouth bass. During this March 21 endeavor, the fishing was worse than it was on March 17, and our best efforts garnered only five largemouth bass.

The underwater terrain in this reservoir consists of mostly sand, gravel, and clay.  A shallow ledge extends about five feet out from the water's edge and borders most of the reservoir's shorelines.

We wanted to start this outing on the west side of the reservoir, but it was already occupied by a couple of other anglers. Therefore, we elected to follow the same routine that we used on March 17 and fished the east shoreline first.

We failed to elicit any strikes from a ditch and a long shallow point on the north end of the east shoreline.

We caught three largemouth bass from the end of a broad point that takes up most of the middle section of the shoreline. They were caught in about six to eight feet of water and between 40 to 50 feet from the water's edge.

One was caught on a 3.5-inch Gene Larew's Junebug Inch Worm rigged on a hand-painted red generic 3/32-ounce mushroom-head jig. The second one was caught on a 2.5-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse Z-Man's 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The third one was enticed by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD attached on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. These three lures were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught one largemouth bass from the south end of the shoreline. It was caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in eight feet of water and about 40 feet from the water's edge. We saw one largemouth bass occupying a spawning nest that was situated on top of the ledge and a few feet from the water's edge, but we did not try to catch it.

We also saw our first snake of the year. It was a large specimen that was about 3 1/2 to four feet long. We were hoping it was not a water moccasin, which inhabit many of the waterways of north-central Texas. This snake had stopped swimming about 10 feet from where we were standing and stuck its head out of the water. It gave us an eerie impression that it was watching our every move. We kept a cautious eye on it for a minute or two, but it did not approach us in an aggressive manner like water moccasins are known to do. We felt a bit of relief when it finally dived beneath the surface of the water and disappeared.

After the encounter with the snake, we fished along the dam, which is constructed of concrete and forms the reservoir's southern perimeter. And we were unable to provoke any strikes from this locale.

We caught one largemouth from the west shoreline. It was caught near a fishing pier in eight feet of water and about 50 feet from the water's edge. It was caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD rig that was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The north end of the reservoir encompasses a broad and shallow flat. A small feeder creek enters the reservoir from the east end of this shoreline. It is a protected migratory waterfowl nesting area, and we opted to bypass this spot.

After we fished the first reservoir, we drove 12 miles to the second municipal reservoir. This was the first time that I have fished this reservoir in 13 years. It has never been a very fruitful venue, and it was virtually fruitless during this outing as well.

Its shorelines are lined with a decorative stone wall. The shorelines are mostly featureless. We concentrated most of our attentions on two small patches of riprap and a short stretch of steeply-sloped shoreline along the west side of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists primarily of clay, gravel, fist-size rocks, and a few submerged boulders.

The water temperature was 67 degrees. The water exhibited a brownish hue with about a foot of visibility. There were many leaves and large mats of winter-dead grass clippings littering the surface. The water level appeared to be normal.

We observed three other anglers fishing along the south shoreline, and we saw one of them catch a fish from the mouth of a small cove.

In short, we caught only two largemouth bass from this reservoir in 1 1/2 hours.  They were caught near one of the patches of riprap in about four feet of water along the west shoreline. We hooked another one in the same vicinity where we caught the other two, but it was able to pull free before we could land it.

One of the two largemouth bass that we landed was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig. The other one was caught on the Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD rig.  They were presented in a slow swim-glide-and-shake manner.

Overall, the fishing was awful. It was a difficult task to catch five largemouth bass at the first reservoir and two largemouth bass at the second one.

Steve Reideler with a largemouth bass.

A slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only effective presentation. The Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig was the most effective combo.

March 22 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his March 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir from 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This reservoir has been the most fruitful reservoir during the first 22 days of March in northeastern Kansas.

It was sunny. During the early morning hours, the low temperature was 31 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 54 degrees. While we were afloat, the wind was calm to mild-mannered and angling from a variety of directions at 5 mph.

The water level was normal.  The surface temperature varied from 46.5 to 49.8 degrees. The water clarity exhibited 3 to 5 feet of visibility.

We started fishing inside the small feeder-creek arm, where the boat ramp is located.  Its shorelines are littered with numerous  docks, and in between the docks, we found several areas that contained submerged patches of coontail.   We thoroughly dissecting these patches and caught four largemouth bass.  Two of them were caught on a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD mounted on a black 1/16-ounce Bass Pro Shops' Weedless Shroom Head jig.  The other two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD HogZ mounted on a hand-painted green 1/20-ounce  Z-Man's ShroomZ jig. These fish were abiding in four to eight feet of water around patches of coontail.

Then we fished a 100-yard stretch of a steep and rock-laden main-lake shoreline. We caught one largemouth bass in six feet of water on the TRD HogZ rig.

At the third locale, we spent a long time dissecting a large flat in the back of another feeder-creek arm.  This area is graced with many patches of submerged coontail that lie in three to eight feet of water.  We caught 28 largemouth bass, and we accidently caught one rainbow trout.  Eight of the largemouth bass were caught on the PB&J Finesse TRD rig.  Ten were fooled by the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig. Five were allured by a Z-Man's Canada craw Finesse TRD on a black 1/16-ounce Bass Pro Shops' Weedless Shroom Head jig.  Five were caught on a Z-Man Canada craw Finesse TRD HogZ mounted on a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ  jig.

We spent the last part of the outing plying half of the riprap dam and a 150-yard section of steep and rock-laden main-lake shoreline.  We did not receive any strikes in these areas.

All of the fish were caught either casting and utilizing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, or strolling with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with an occasional deadstick pause.  Some of the largemouth bass were caught during the swim-and-glide part of the retrieve.  Several were caught during or immediately after a deadstick pause. But by far the most effective part of the retrieve was a constant and subtle shaking action--especially while we were strolling.

In all, we caught a total of 33 largemouth bass and one rainbow trout.

Endnotes

Paul Finn filed a brief on the Finesse News Network that his son, Shaun, fished at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs on March 22 for five hours and struggled to catch eight largemouth bass. One of them, however, was a six-pounder, which was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's sprayed grass ZinkerZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

E84FB6D7-716F-41F2-A2DC-C8C40B37DBF9

Shaun is a member of the Kansas State University Fishing Team, and he is more of a power angler than a Midwest finesse devotee.

March 25 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas at a popular and heavily fished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. Rick and I fished at this same reservoir on March 10, when we eked out 10 largemouth bass in five hours.

The wind quartered out of the south and southeast at 10 to 20 mph on March 25. The sky was overcast throughout the day. At 7:00 a.m., it was 59 degrees. It warmed to 81 degrees by 4:00 p.m. The barometric pressure varied from 29.90 to 29.86. Several rounds of thunderstorms are forecast to wallop the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan areas from March 26 through March 28.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods occurred from 6:10 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., 11:37 a.m. to 1:37 p.m., and 2:01 p.m. to 4:01 p.m. Rick and I were afloat from around 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Rick and I spent the first two hours of this outing inside a large feeder-creek arm that is situated on the south end of the west tributary arm. We shared this creek arm  with seven other boats of anglers and three kayak anglers.

This creek arm features a large marina that occupies its midsection. The north, east, and south shorelines are fairly flat and their underwater terrains consist of baseball-size rocks, gravel, clay, and boulders. These shorelines are also bedecked with many patches of flooded buck brush and partially-submerged laydowns. Its west shoreline is the steepest one, and it possesses a 30- to 40-degree slope. It is adorned with two concrete boat ramps, two large concrete piers, and a concrete culvert. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and red clay.

The water inside this creek arm exhibited 12 to 14 inches of visibility. The surface temperature was 59 degrees. The water level was less than a foot above normal.

We caught three largemouth bass and two spotted bass in this creek arm.

The three largemouth bass and one of the two spotted bass were caught in six to eight feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of rocky shoreline in the southwest region of the creek arm.  One largemouth bass was caught on a shortened Z-Man's black-blue Hula StickZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The other two largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a Z-Man's black-blue TRD HogZ attached to a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these rigs were slowly dragged, shaken, and deadsticked across the bottom.

The other spotted bass was extracted from six feet of water and next to the end of the concrete culvert located on the west shoreline. It engulfed the black-blue TRD HogZ rig as it slowly settled to the bottom on the initial drop.

We failed to entice any strikes from the north or east shoreline areas of this feeder creek. We did not spend any time plying the covered boat docks in the marina.

After we finished fishing this feeder-creek arm, we ventured to a large main-lake cove that is located on the east side of the reservoir's east tributary arm.

The water inside this cove was 58 degrees and exhibited 18 to 20 inches of clarity.

The submerged terrain is composed of sand, clay, and gravel. Many yards of the northern and southern shorelines are lined with flooded stickups, laydowns, and submerged stumps. A partially-submerged stock pond dam embellishes the east shoreline, and a 10-yard section of shoreline just north of the stock pond dam is covered with fist-size rocks and a few submerged boulders.

A submerged creek channel courses through the center of the cove and is covered with 10 to 15 feet of water. We were surprised to find a couple of significant patches of submerged hydrilla that have begun to re-establish themselves near the north  and south shorelines. (We should mention that massive beds of hydrilla used to flourish throughout this reservoir before the 2010- 2015 drought. That severe drought eradicated almost all of the hydrilla in this reservoir.)

We were delighted to tangle with 17 largemouth bass and we lost three others inside this cove. The bulk of them were caught in six to eight feet of water from the outside edges of several large patches of flooded stickups that line the north side of the creek channel. We caught several largemouth bass from a patch of submerged hydrilla near the north shoreline, including a handsome specimen that weighed six pounds, three ounces. We also hooked another hefty largemouth bass that was larger than the six-pounder, but it was able to dislodge our lure from its mouth when it leaped out of the water a few feet from the boat. A couple were caught in the vicinity of the stock pond dam in five feet of water. Two are caught in less than three feet of water from a large mud flat on the north side of the cove where we observed quite a few unoccupied spawning beds.

Steve Reideler with one of the 20 largemouth bass that they caught.

Fourteen of the 17 largemouth bass that we landed were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve that was employed with a Z-Man's black-blue TRD HogZ affixed on either a pearl 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig or a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Three largemouth bass were enticed by a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ fastened to a weedless Z-Man's green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was implemented with a slow drag-and-shake presentation.

In sum, this was our most fruitful outing of 2018. We caught 20 largemouth bass and two spotted bass, but it took us six hours to accomplish this feat. We also unintentionally caught three freshwater drum, one three-foot alligator gar, and one white crappie.

After these encouraging results, we are hoping that our black bass fishing may finally be improving.

March 28 log

Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished from 9:50 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 37 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 50 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky was overcast, and it drizzled during the last 10 minutes of our outing. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the southeast, east by southeast, east, southwest, south by southwest, and south by southeast at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:53 a.m., 29.96 at 5:53 a.m., 29.96 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.86 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m., 9:06 p.m. to 11:06 p.m., and 2:25 a.m. to 4:25 a.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 46 to 49 degrees. The water clarity fluctuated from two feet to more than five feet of visibility. A significant algae bloom adversely affected the clarity inside two of the reservoir's feeder-creek arms, along some of its main-lake points and shorelines, and across the massive shallow-water flat in the upper reaches of its primary feeder-creek arm.

We fished about 25 percent of the riprap shoreline of the dam, short portions of five steep main-lake shorelines, three main-lake points, two concrete pilings, and portions of the shorelines and shallow-water flats inside two feeder-creek arms.

Along the dam, we caught nine largmouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. The underwater terrain consists of riprap, which is embellished with occasional patches of coontail, and we caught the largemouth bass around or in the vicinity of the patches of coontail. We caught them in three to eight feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The other seven largemouth bass were caught while we were either strolling or casting and retrieving the TRD HogZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

One steep main-lake shoreline in the middle portions of the reservoir yielded three largemouth bass.  This shoreline possesses a 60- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. There are a few scanty patches of coontail that grace parts of this shoreline. One largemouth bass was caught in about 10 feet of water on a TRD HogZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation. Two were caught on the initial drop of our TRD HogZ rigs in four to five feet of water.

Along a steep main-lake shoreline in the upper reaches of the reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 45- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is embellished with some laydowns. The three largemouth bass were caught in about 10 feet of water in the vicinity of the outside edge of one of the laydowns. One was caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. One was caught in about 10 feet of water on a deadstick presentation with  a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The third one was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about 10 feet of water.

Adjacent to a concrete piling, we caught one largemouth bass on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation.  This largemouth was caught about five feet below the surface, and we suspect that it was suspended adjacent to this piling.

Inside a feeder-creek arm, we caught 20 largemouth bass. Two of them were caught many yards from the shoreline around patches of coontail in about six feet of water. One of them was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. The second one was caught on the initial drop of a slightly shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. Eighteen of the largemouth bass were caught along two shorelines in three to nine feet of water. The slope of these shorelines ranged from 25- to 45-degrees. The flatter areas were more fruitful than the steeper ones. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, silt, and rocks. Some areas are enhanced with coontail and several brush piles. The water's edge is graced with laydowns, overhanging trees, patches of winter-dead American water willows, and occasional patches of coontail. The 18 largemouth bass were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs.  Four of the 18 were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick retrieve.  The others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation or a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. We also inadvertently caught three rainbow trout on our TRD HogZ rigs.

We caught 24 largemouth bass inside another feeder-creek arm. This arm is littered with 13 docks.  Eleven of the 24 largemouth bass were caught along two shorelines and around patches of coontail. Thirteen were caught in three to six feet of water around patches of coontail that are five to about 20 yards from the water's edge.

One of the shorelines has a 45-degree slope, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks and a few minor laydowns. This shoreline yielded five largemouth bass, which were caught on our TRD HogZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around a patch of coontail in about six feet of water. The other shoreline possesses about a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and it is graced with significant patches of coontail. Our TRD HogZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation inveigled 19 largemouth bass in three to seven feet of water.

In sum, we caught 61 largemouth bass, and three rainbow trout. We also elicited about a dozen strikes that we failed to hook. As we have noted at least twice this month, if we were lunker hunters, this outing would have been classified as a disappointing one. But we are strike seekers, and we elicited about 19 strikes an hour, and we caught an average of 15.25 largemouth bass per hour.  The largemouth bass fishing in northeastern Kansas has been unusually difficult this March, and this reservoir is the only one that has been somewhat fruitful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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