Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2017

Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2017

Rick Allen of Dallas with a six-pound largemouth bass that he caught on May 18.

Our May guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 32 logs and 28,352 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; Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas; Gary Craig of San Jose, California; Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas; Paul Finn of Olathe, Kansas; Shaun Finn of Olathe, Kansas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Casey Kidder of Topeka, Kansas; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; George Nochta of Santee, California; Preston Parks of Pittsboro, North Carolina; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina; John Redding of Topeka, Kansas; John Reese of Lawrence, Kansas;  Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Harold Rice of Ramona, California; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; as well as my northeastern Kansas logs.

We are thankful that Steve Reideler proof read all of the words. He made them more readable and understandable.


May 1 log


Mother Nature waylaid parts of the Heartland with many inches of rain during the final five days of April.  What's more, she smacked parts of western Kansas with as much as 14 inches of snow on April 30.

Around our home in Lawrence, Kansas, it rained periodically from 9:13 p.m. on April 25 to 6:53 a.m. on May 1.  We did not get walloped with torrential rain like many locales did in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Yet, the seven days of rain put nearly all of the flatland reservoirs within a 50-mile radius of Lawrence, Kansas, out of sorts.

Despite the sorry state of our reservoirs and a wintery May Day, Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I went fishing. In fact, it was cool enough that we elected to wear some pieces from our normal wintertime wardrobes.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 39 degrees at 9:01 a.m. and 65 degrees at 5:53 p.m.  The average low temperature is 48 degrees.  The average high temperature is 72 degrees. Until around 1:30 p.m., the sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast, and it rained lightly from 2:30 a.m. to 6:53 a.m.  Around 2:53 p.m., the clouds began to disappear for the first time in many days. Between 6:52 a.m. and 8:52 a.m., the wind chill was 30 degrees. At 3:30 a.m., the wind began to howl out of the west and west by northwest at 10 to 28 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.43 at 12:53 a.m., 29.52 at 5:53 a.m., 29.71 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.74 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 3:48 a.m. to 5:48 a.m., 4:17 p.m. to 6:17 p.m., and 10:13 a.m. to 12:13 p.m.  Lau and I fished from noon to 3:36 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal, and the water was cascading across the reservoir's spillway at a rapid pace. The water clarity was murky in the upper reaches of this reservoir.

We fished the lower half of this reservoir, and the visibility ranged from 12 inches around the halfway mark and 28 inches in the vicinity of the dam. The surface temperature ranged from 55 to 57 degrees, which is a significant drop since April 28, when the surface temperatures at several of our reservoirs ranged from 60 to 64 degrees.

Even though we attempted to hide from the gusty and swirling wind by probing two of this reservoir's west shorelines, we spent the entire outing employing a drift sock, which helped immensely.

We fished about 175 yards of one of the west shorelines. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 35-degree slope. It is embellished with one riprap jetty. Portions of this shoreline are graced with a few paltry patches of winter-dead American water willows, some laydowns, and some flooded terrestrial vegetation. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.

Along this 175-yard section, we caught five largemouth bass and inadvertently caught one crappie. They were caught on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products' Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce  Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught in about 12 inches of water on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig adjacent to some rocks and recently  flooded terrestrial vegetation.  The other three largemouth bass were caught on our ZinkerZ rigs around the patches of American water willows in about four feet of water while we were employing a slow drag-and-shake presentation.

We fished about 500 yards of the other west shoreline. Most of this shoreline is flat with a 20- to 25-degree slope, and there is a short span that possesses a 35- to 40- degree slope. It is adorned with seven riprap jetties and one dock. The water's edge is embellished with scores and scores of winter-dead American water willows, some laydowns, several overhanging trees, and a few manmade brush piles. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and a few boulders.

Along this 500-yard section we caught 43 largemouth bass, 12 crappie, and two channel catfish. One largemouth bass was caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to 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 to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Forty-one largemouth bass were caught on either a Z-Man's  Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce  Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Six of the 43 largemouth bass were caught in about three feet of water under overhanging trees. Thirteen largemouth bass were caught around six of the seven riprap jetties. The rest of the largemouth bass were caught in the vicinity of the patches of American water willows; some were abiding along the outside edge of the patches of American water willows in about three feet of water, and others were caught from about  five to about 10 feet from the outside edge of the American water willow patches in about four to eight feet of water.  Some of the 43 largemouth were caught on the initial drop of our rigs, and the others were caught while we employed either a drag-and-shake presentation or a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

In sum, it was a more fruitful outing than we anticipated it would be. We caught 48 largemouth bass in three hours and 36 minutes.

May 1 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

It was a wonderful spring day to be on the water. A cold front had passed over the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan areas during the early morning hours of April 30, and several severe thunderstorms erupted north and west of Denton, Texas. On May 1, area thermometers measured a morning low temperature of 46 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 80 degrees. The sky was cloudless,  and the sun was shining everywhere. The wind has been a problem for us for weeks on end, but it relented significantly on May 1,  and it quartered out of the west, southwest, and east at 7 to 9 mph.  The barometric pressure measured 29.95 at 10:00 a.m. and 29.92 at 3:00 p.m.

From 10:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., I fished at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would most likely occur from 4:06 a.m. to 6:06 a.m. , 10:16 a.m. to 12:16 p.m., and 4:31 p.m. to 6:31 p.m.

I stayed in the east tributary arm of this reservoir and fished inside two of its large feeder-creek arms, which have several locales that have yielded bountiful numbers of black bass during Mays of the past.

Inside these two feeder-creek arms, I dissected portions of nine secondary coves, eight secondary points, a small submerged rock pile, the perimeter of an island, portions of four rocky shorelines, and a couple of submerged rock ledges.  The underwater terrain inside these two creek arms is identical, consisting of clay, gravel, sand, fist-size rocks, and basketball-size boulders.  The shorelines are  graced with numerous patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, a few large laydowns, a couple of submerged brush piles, and some flooded timber.

The water in the main body of the reservoir and in the first two-thirds of both feeder-creek arms was stained and exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The upper reaches of both creek arms were muddy with less than a foot of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 65 to 70 degrees. The water level was slightly above normal.

The fishing at this reservoir has been baffling and arduous since mid- December of 2016, and it was trying again on this May 1 outing.

Overall, it was a laborious task to catch seven largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one freshwater drum.  I failed to locate any significant aggregations of  black bass, and the few I did encounter were many yards apart.

The first feeder-creek arm yielded nine black bass. Six were caught inside one of five secondary coves. They were caught along the outside edges of  patches of  flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water. I failed to elicit any strikes in the other four coves.

Three black bass were caught in less than five feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of rocky shoreline on the west side of the island. I failed to generate any strikes along the north, east, and south sides of the island.

The submerged rock pile, several secondary points, three laydowns, and two rocky segments of two shorelines on the north side of the feeder-creek were fruitless.

The second feeder-creek arm was less fruitful than the first one.  It yielded two largemouth bass and one spotted bass. One largemouth bass was caught inside a small secondary cove on the north slide of this creek arm. It was relating to a small pocket along the outside edge of a thick patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation in five feet of water.

I caught another largemouth bass and one spotted bass in five to eight feet of water and about 10 feet away from a long submerged rock ledge on the south side of this creek arm. These fish were about 40 yards apart from each other. The top of the ledge is covered with about two feet of water and it quickly plummets into 17 to 20 feet of water. I failed to entice any strikes inside the other secondary coves or at any of the secondary points or flooded timber areas that lie in the first two-thirds of the creek arm.

I failed to entice any strikes inside the other secondary coves or at any of the secondary points or flooded timber areas that lie in the first two-thirds of the creek arm. The muddy-water areas in the upper reaches of these two feeder-creek arms were also fruitless.

The only effective Midwest finesse baits were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and it caught eight black bass. A Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught two. A red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig adorned with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Scented LeechZ caught one largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and the freshwater drum.

A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve enticed all but one strike. The other strike occurred on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ.

It has been a lackluster and disappointing spring in 2017. Our catch rates have significantly declined compared to our catch rates in 2016. For example, several companions and I had caught and released 780 largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass from Jan. 1, 2016 to May 1, 2016. As of May 1, 2017, our black bass catch totaled 551, which is a 30 percent decrease from 2016.

Some anglers in these parts say the howling winds have had a negative effect on the fishing. Others suspect that the stormy and unstable weather patterns and dingy water conditions have had a detrimental effect. Though I cannot put my finger on it, something is awry with the black bass fishing in several of the Corps' reservoirs that stipple the countryside of north-central Texas.

May 2 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 46 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 68 degrees at 3:52 p.m. From 12:52 a.m. to 11:52 p.m., the sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast to clear. The wind angled out of the south, west, north by northwest, northwest, west by northwest, and west by southwest at 4 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.83 at 12:52 a.m., 29.91 at 5:52 a.m., 30.02 at 11: 52 a.m., and 29.98 at 4:52 p.m.

It was the first rainless day since April 24, but the National Weather Service was predicting that more rain will fall during the night of May 2 and into the late afternoon hours of May 3.  What's more, our neighbors to the south and east are predicted to get walloped again, and most of their streams, rivers, and reservoirs are more than brimful.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would transpire from 4:47 a.m. to 6:47 a.m., 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and 11:01 p.m. to 1:01 a.m.

On May 1, Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I surveyed the aftereffects of all the rain at three nearby flatland reservoirs, and we fished one of them, where we caught 48 largemouth bass. One was a community reservoir, the second was a state reservoir, and the third was a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir. The community and Corps' reservoirs were too murky and high for our taste to fish. On May 2, I made a quick survey of another state reservoir, which I fished from 2:55 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.

The surface temperature fluctuated from 60 to 61 degrees.  The water level looked to be more than two feet above normal, and a vast amount of water was roaring through the dam's outlet.  The water in the vicinity of the dam was stained, exhibiting 15 to about 22 inches of visibility. The water in the upper two thirds of this reservoir was murky, exhibiting the hue of chocolate milk. A significant amount of terrestrial vegetation was flooded. Nearly all of the emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation was coated with filamentous algae.

For the entire 115 minutes that I was afloat, I fished the dam and four riprap jetties, and I struggled to catch 12 largemouth bass and one crappie.

Because the water was so out of sorts, I did not have the wherewithal to fish other locales or another minute along the dam and this reservoir's other jetties.

The dam and jetties have a 30- to 40-degree slope. The dam and jetties are riprap-laden, and they are also enhanced with some boulders, some minor patches of winter-dead American water willows, and some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Filamentous algae littered many of the rocks, boulders, and American water willows.

One jetty yielded two largemouth bass, which were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-minor-shake presentation in three to four feet of water.

Another jetty produced one largemouth bass that was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-minor-shake presentation in three feet of water.

The other two jetties were fruitless.

I caught nine largemouth bass along the dam.One of the dam's largemouth bass was caught while I was deadsticking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about six feet of water.

One of the dam's largemouth bass was caught while I was deadsticking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about six feet of water. Another largemouth bass  was caught on the initial drop of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in two to three feet of water.

Seven of the dam's largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two were caught on the initial drop in about two to three feet of water. Five were caught while I was strolling the Junebug ZinkerZ rig in four to seven feet of water and employing either a drag-and-minor-shake presentation or a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

May 2 log

Casey Kidder of Topeka, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his May 2 outing with a friend at a state reservoir in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 66 degrees at 5:53 p.m. and 61 degrees at 7:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being scattered with clouds to mostly cloudy to overcast. The wind was calm at 5:53 p.m.; it angled out of the north by northeast at 3.5 mph at 6:53 p.m. and out of the north by northwest at 4 mph at 7:53 p.m.  The barometric pressure ranged from 29.97 to 29.96.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:49 a.m. to 6:49 a.m.,  5:16 p.m. to 7:16 p.m., and 11:16 p.m. to 1:16 a.m. We fished 2 1/2 hours after we got off work.

The surface temperature ranged from 58 to 60 degrees.  The water was muddy.

We fished mostly riprap shorelines and shorelines inside some coves. I used mainly Midwest finesse tactics while my partner fished power techniques.

We had a literal buffet come over the gunnels, but the fishing was horrid overall.

An 1/8-ounce  Z-Man's black-blue ShroomZ Micro Finesse Jig and a Z-Man's black Scented LeechZ caught one big freshwater drum and one big crappie.

A Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/16-ounce jig  caught one small  largemouth bass and a small crappie.

A No. 5 Rapala Shad Rap caught a small white bass.

A Storm's red-craw Wiggle Wart caught a small bass.

A big black-and-blue jig and trailer caught a five-pound flathead.

A jerkbait and a Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ caught zero.

We are hoping that some warmer weather and clearer water will improve the fishing.

May 5 log

Lately, it has been a task for Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas to find a reservoir with clear water. But Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I found some amazingly clear water at a community reservoir on May 5. In fact, Pok-Chi said it was too clear for him. He prefers two to three feet of visibility.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 44 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 75 degrees at 2:53 p.m.  It was sunny with an occasional tad of scattered clouds.  The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it angled out of the west by northwest, north by northwest, north by northeast, and west by southwest at 3 to 19 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 12:53 a.m., 30.02 at 5:52 a.m., 30.03 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.97 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 7:17 a.m. to 9:17 a.m., 7:40 p.m. to 9:40 p.m., and 1:05 a.m. to 3:05 a.m. We fished from 10:55 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 60 to 64 degrees. The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam exhibited more than six feet of visibility. In the upper reaches of this reservoir, the water exhibited about four feet of visibility. The water level looked to be nearly two feet above normal, and it covered the tops of many of the patches of American water willows, which were making the transition from their winter-dead phase to their  emergent spring phase, and all of the patches were littered with filamentous algae.

We saw our first jet skier of 2017.  We also saw three young men swimming across a wide section of one of this reservoir's feeder-creek arms, and we heard one young man yelling and waving  for help, saying that one of his companions was about to drown. We and another angler rushed to them and eventually got the young man safely to the shoreline.

During this four-hour outing, we caught 64 largemouth bass and seven smallmouth bass, and we inadvertently caught three rainbow trout, one crappie, and seven green sunfish.

All but one of these 82 fish were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Our other Midwest finesse rigs failed to garner a strike.

Some of these fish were caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig. Some were caught while we employed a drag-and-deadstick presentation.  Some were caught on a drag-and-shake retrieve. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  A few were caught while we were swimming the ZinkerZ rig.  In short, there was no consistent presentation pattern. Therefore, we constantly experimented with different presentations. At times, we employed these presentations by strolling the ZinkerZ rig, but most of the time, we employed these presentations by casting it.

These fish were extracted out of water as shallow as two feet and no deeper than seven feet.  We did not get a strike in water deeper than seven feet.

We fished 60 percent of the riprap of the dam, and we failed to elicit a strike.  But we caught one largemouth bass along a flat shoreline that is immediately adjacent to the dam. It was abiding in about three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

We caught three largemouth bass around the reservoir's spillway, which is laden with gravel, rock, boulders, and three concrete bridge pillars. We caught one largemouth bass around one of the pillars, and we caught one largemouth bass around another one of the pillars. The third largemouth bass was caught near a minor patch of American water willows along a riprap shoreline. These three largemouth bass were abiding in three to four feet of water.

We failed to elicit a strike on a submerged rock fence, but we caught two largemouth bass on another submerged rock fence in four to five feet of water. Both of these fences are offshore lairs in the lower section of this reservoir.

From this reservoir's lower section to its upper section, we dissected eight main-lake points. At three of them, we failed to elicit a strike. At one of them, we caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass, and they were abiding in five to six feet of water near a patch of American water willows.  Each of the other four main-lake points yielded one largemouth bass. One was caught in about four feet of water around several massive boulders.  The other three largemouth bass were caught in four to six feet of water, and they were in the vicinity of some patches of American water willows.  Some of these points were flat, exhibiting a 25-degree slope, and some of them were steep, exhibiting a 35-to 45-degree slope. We caught a few on steep points, and we caught a few on flats ones.

We fished about 75 yards of the south shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm.  This shoreline possesses a 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water's edge is lined with American water willows, some overhanging trees and bushes, and several laydowns. This shoreline yielded two largemouth bass.

Inside a small feeder-creek arm, we fished a 75-yard section of its south shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 25-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Portions of this shoreline are adorned with patches of American water willows. We caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass in two to four feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught adjacent to patches of American water willows. The smallmouth bass was caught along a gravel- and rock-laden secondary point.

From the lower reaches to the upper reaches of this reservoir, we fished many yards along six of its main-lake shorelines. These shorelines yielded 48 largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass.

Other than the fact that many of the largemouth bass were caught in the vicinity of patches of American water willows, there was no rhyme or reason to where we caught them along these shorelines.

It is interesting to note, however, that this was the first time for several weeks that we have been able to catch largemouth bass in the upper reaches of our flatland reservoirs. In fact, 22 largemouth bass were caught along three flat shorelines in the upper half of the reservoir. And five of those 22 largemouth bass were caught in two feet of water along an extremely shallow, flat, and silt-laden shoreline in the reservoir's upper end.

Three largemouth bass were caught along a steep shoreline in the upper end of the reservoir, but most of this bluff-like shoreline was fruitless — even around patches of American water willows. One of the three largemouth bass was caught around a patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation.

One of the 64 largemouth bass that we caught

Twenty-four largemouth bass were caught along three shorelines in the lower half of the reservoir. Only one of those 24 largemouth bass was caught along a flatland shoreline. Eleven largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass were caught along a steep and bluff-like shoreline, and some of them were caught in the vicinity of American water willow patches.  Along another steep  shoreline that is completely adorned with patches of American water willows, we caught 12 largemouth bass.

In sum, it was another one of those outings where we had to probe a variety of areas and employ a variety of presentations, and ultimately, this hodgepodge approach allowed us to catch an average of 17.75 black bass per hour.

May 8 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 62 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 84 degrees 1:53 p.m.  The sky was clear until 2:53 p.m., and then it became partly cloudy and a light rain began to fall at 4:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, southwest, and south by southwest at 3 to 23 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 12:53 a.m., 29.93 at 5:53 a.m., 29.94 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.90 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 9:29 a.m. to 11:29 a.m., 9:51 p.m. to 11:51 p.m., and 3:18 a.m. to  5:18 a.m. Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, and I fished at a community reservoir from  9:49 a.m. to  1:49 p.m. We were hoping that vast numbers of this reservoir's smallmouth bass would be abiding around a variety of shallow-water lairs that they traditionally inhabit this time of the year. But during this four-hour endeavor, we were baffled as we struggled and struggled and struggled to catch 34 largemouth bass and seven smallmouth bass, and we accidentally caught five crappie, and two freshwater drum.

Instead of heading home after four hours of being baffled, we decided to fish the two shorelines adjacent to the dam, the entire dam, a main-lake point, a secondary point, and a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm. And from 1:49 p.m. to 2:39 p.m., we caught 18 largemouth bass and 12 smallmouth bass, and we accidentally caught six crappie

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal. The water clarity in the lower regions of this reservoir exhibited about five feet of visibility, and the clarity diminished to about three feet of visibility in the upper regions.  The surface temperature was 65 to 66 degrees.

We began the outing by dissecting two submerged rock fences for 38 minutes. They are offshore lairs that lie in the lower portions of the reservoir. We caught three smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass in four to six feet of water, which were caught on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby  ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two of them were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve or a drag-and-shake retrieve.  Because of the wind, it was a chore to control the boat properly and to make effective retrieves. We also spent about 10 minutes fishing a portion of one of these submerged rock fences at 1:23 p.m. to 1:33 p.m., and we failed to elicit a strike during that short and wind-blown endeavor.

One of the 19 smallmouth bass that we caught.

For 192 minutes, we fished seven main-lake points, parts of seven shorelines inside five feeder-creek arms, two main-lake shorelines, portions of two other main-lake shorelines, and the spillway. The bulk of these minutes were spent in the upper half portion of this reservoir.

The underwater terrains of all of these areas consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. One shoreline, however, consists primarily of silt, but portions of it are littered with gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Some of the water's edges along these shorelines and points are graced with patches of American water willows, but we noticed that many of the patches that used to grace the water's edges in years past have disappeared, and it looks as if they have been eradicated by some kind of herbicide.  The water's edges are also enhanced by some laydowns, a few docks, overhanging trees, and flooded terrestrial vegetation.

During the 192 minutes that we plied these locales, there was no rhyme or reason to where and how we caught four smallmouth bass and 28 largemouth bass. Most of our casts, strolls, and retrieves were fruitless.  We caught some of these black bass on the initial drop of our rigs in two to three feet of water.  We caught some employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water. We caught a few by executing a drag-and-deadstick presentation in three to six feet of water. We caught some on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in two to six feet of water. We caught three by employing a rapid swimming retrieve.

Our most effective rigs were either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught a few on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby  ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We spent the final 50 minutes in the lower portions of this reservoir, and as we fished and caught 30 black bass, Desch and I came to the conclusion that we had spent too much time plying shorelines and points in the upper reaches of this reservoir. Since the last week or so of April, we have had a difficult time catching largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in the upper reaches of the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, and the only exception to this phenomenon occurred on May 5.

We caught those 30 black bass in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as nine feet along two shorelines adjacent to the dam, the entire dam, a main-lake point, a secondary point, and a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm.

The most bountiful area was along the 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm.

These 30 black bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and  a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. One was caught on a deadstick presentation adjacent to a dock. Some were caught while strolling and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

In sum, we caught 52 largemouth bass and 19 smallmouth bass, and we accidentally caught 12 crappie and two freshwater drum in four hours and 50 minutes. And in our eyes, it was a chore — except for the final 50 minutes.

May 9 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 62 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  The wind angled out of the south by southwest, southwest, west by southwest, west, and south at 5 to 20 mph.  The sky fluctuated from being clear to scattered with clouds to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.94 at 12:53 a.m., 29.93 at 5:53 a.m., 29.93 at 12:53 p.m., and 29.86 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:56 a.m. to 11:56 a.m., 10:17 p.m. to 12:17 a.m., and 3:45 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.

Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Nowadays, I rarely fish this reservoir. The last time I fished it was on Jan. 29, 2016. One reason why I do not fish it is that I do not like driving an hour and a half from our home to the boat ramp and an hour and a half from the boat ramp to our home.  Another reason is that I do not like its wind-blown nature. It does, however, possess a bountiful population of smallmouth bass, and our primary mission on this outing was to show Lau all of the smallmouth bass lairs that I used to fish. So, we spent a good deal of the time talking about and examining 26 areas, and we fished some of them, but except for the final 48 minutes that we were afloat, we did not fish any of these areas intensely and meticulously.

The water level looked to be about 18 inches above normal. In the areas that we examined and fished, the surface temperature was 69 degrees. The water clarity ranged from about two feet to five feet of visibility. According to the gatekeepers at the boat ramp, there were 31 boats and 57 anglers afloat.

We caught 71 white bass, 36 smallmouth bass, four crappie, three freshwater drum, two wipers, and one channel catfish.

Lau is an avid temperate bass angler, and he would rather catch them than smallmouth bass.  And on this outing, he was ecstatic when we accidentally crossed paths with scores and scores of white bass along a 100-yard stretch of a slightly wind-blown riprap shoreline.  We suspected that they were in the midst of their spawning duties.

Years ago, when some of northeastern Kansas' flatland reservoirs were teaming with white bass, we used to catch the dickens out of them along riprap and rocky shorelines during the spawning season. But that usually occurred in late April, and never during the second week in May.  But this has been an odd spring indeed, and where and how and when we catch the fish we catch has been odd, too.

We caught all but one of these 71 white bass during the final 48 minutes of our outing. We could almost catch them at will.  We rarely made a cast and retrieve without eliciting a strike.  We caught them 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, a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on either a red or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's  pearl Finesse ShadZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught most of  them on a swimming retrieve that was highlighted with some occasional shakes and twitches.  We caught them near the water's edge and next to the boat as we were about to lift the rig out of the water to make another cast and presentation. A few were caught on the initial drops of our rigs. Along the water's edge, we also caught four smallmouth bass on the Slim SwimZ rig.

In our examination of the smallmouth bass lairs, we focused a lot on off-shore humps, short sections of submerged roadbeds, and piles of rocks in relatively shallow water. But we also quickly fished three short stretches of riprap shorelines. Except for one roadbed, we caught at least one smallmouth bass at all of the lairs that we fished.

One of the 36 smallmouth bass that we caught.

Our most effective smallmouth bass rig was the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Around one series of shallow-water rock piles, where the visibility was about two feet, we caught the smallmouth bass on a shortened Z-Man's black-blue-flake Hula StickZ on a red 1/6-ounce Gopher jig.

The smallmouth bass were inveigled on a variety of presentations with these two rigs: the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, the drag-and-deadstick retrieve, during the initial drop, the drag-and-shake retrieve, and the straight swimming retrieve. Some of the deadstick presentations were as long as 10 seconds. As we examined these locales, we did a lot of strolling rather than casting and employing a standard retrieve.

I was thankful that Lau drove and towed his boat, and I took a short nap on our way home.

 May 9 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas at a U.S. Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma, where we spent six hours pursuing smallmouth bass.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 3:50 a.m. to 5:50 a.m., 10:01 a.m. to 12:01 p.m., and 10:23 p.m. to 12:23 a.m. We made our first casts at about 10:00 a.m. and our last ones at about 4:00 p.m.

The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. The afternoon high was 81 degrees and the morning low temperature was 61 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.02 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.92 at 4:00 p.m. The wind angled out of the south by southeast at 7 to 12 mph.

The water was clear with about five to eight feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 67 to 69 degrees. The water level appeared to be a couple of feet low.

We employed a variety of Midwest finesse baits:  a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's  coppertreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Cabela's black 1/16-ounce marabou hair jig with no trailer, a Z-Man's watermelon Finesse ShadZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's watermelon-red Finesse ShadZ on a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to either a 1/10-ounce green-pumpkin Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a 1/16-ounce chartreuse Gopher jig, and a shortened four-inch Z-Man's EZ Money Finesse WormZ attached to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig.

We started this outing at a wind-blown main-lake hump that lies in the mid-section of the reservoir's west tributary arm. Its underwater terrain is comprised of gravel, sand, rocks, boulders, and a few submerged stumps. The top of the hump is covered with about a foot of water and it is surrounded by seven to 21 feet of water.  This hump yielded six smallmouth bass that were caught in three to eight feet of water. Three of them were caught from the south side of the hump, one was caught from the shallower west side of the hump, and two were caught from the east side, which is steeper than the southern and western portions of the hump. We failed to garner any strikes along the north side of the hump.

Our second locale was another rock-laden main-lake hump that lies about a quarter of a mile south of the first one we fished. It is covered with about two feet of water and surrounded by 12 to 25 feet of water. This hump yielded three smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. Two smallmouth bass were caught along a steep drop-off on the east side of the hump that plunges from five feet of water to 14 feet of water. One largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass were caught from a patch of submerged boulders on the north end of the hump that lie in three to five feet of water.

Our third spot was a main-lake point and a 100-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline adjacent to the point. This area is located just south and a short distance from the second main-lake hump that we fished. The underwater terrain of this main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake shoreline are similar; it consists of many submerged rocks and large boulders. This main-lake point and its adjacent shoreline are flat, and within about 30 yards, there is more than 20 feet of water.

The main-lake point surrendered five smallmouth bass that were associated with a patch of large submerged boulders that lie in three to nine feet of water.

And a 100-yard section of this point's main-lake shoreline was our most productive area of this outing, and it relinquished 24 smallmouth bass. These smallmouths were shallow and abiding in three to five feet of water next to the large submerged boulders.

After that, we ventured to a large island that is located on the east side of the west tributary arm. The two most promising black bass lairs around this island are located along the south and southwest shorelines. These two shorelines are littered with scores of  submerged rocks and boulders that lie in two to 12 feet of water. The submerged boulders along the south end of the island yielded two smallmouth bass. The boulders that grace the southwest side of the island also yielded two smallmouth bass.  All four of these smallmouths were caught in three to five feet of water.

After we finished fishing those two portions of the island, we ventured to the southern region of the reservoir, where we fished along two prominent bluffs just inside a feeder-creek arm. One bluff is about 200-yards long and is located on the north side of this feeder-creek arm. The other bluff is about a mile long, and it forms the south shoreline of this feeder-creek arm. They are buffeted with water as shallow as 21 feet and as deep as 52 feet.

The north-side bluff was unfruitful and yielded only one large bluegill. Rick hooked an unknown but hefty specimen that displayed the mannerisms of a large catfish or freshwater drum, and after a feisty and entertaining melee, it entangled itself in a submerged tree and we did not get to see it before it broke Rick's eight-pound fluorocarbon leader while we were trying to pull the creature out from the tree.

We then moved to the south side of the feeder-creek arm, where we fished about 100-yards of the bluff. It was more productive than the north one, and it relinquished five smallmouth bass and another large bluegill. These smallmouth bass were suspended in about 17 to 20 feet of water and within five to 10 feet of the face of the bluff.  The depth of the water along this section was 32 feet.

Our next locale was a large main-lake flat on the west side of the west tributary arm. This flat featured two offshore humps. Both of these humps lie adjacent to each other and are covered with two to four feet of water.  Both are adorned with large submerged rocks, boulders, and stumps. They are encircled by five to seven feet of water. To our surprise, we failed to elicit any strikes from either of these two humps.

Our last stop of the day was on the east side of the west tributary arm, where we fished a main-lake point and about 30 yards of its adjacent main-lake shoreline. This main-lake point and adjacent shoreline are graced with an abundance of submerged rocks and boulders that are covered with two to nine feet of water. Along the main-lake point, we caught one smallmouth bass next to a large submerged boulder in three feet of water. We caught seven smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass that were relating to submerged boulders in three to seven feet of water along the main-lake shoreline.

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

All told, we caught 55 smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass in six hours. We inadvertently caught two large bluegills and one freshwater drum. We also hooked but failed to land seven other smallmouth bass, and we failed to hook several other strikes.

The two shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ combos were the most effective baits, and they caught 33 smallmouth bass. The 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse  ZinkerZ rig caught 12 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. The watermelon Finesse ShadZ caught three smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. We caught two smallmouth bass on the watermelon-red Finesse ShadZ. Five smallmouth bass were caught on the Cabela's 1/16-ounce black marabou jig. We failed to generate any strikes with the four-inch EZ Money Finesse WormZ.

The Hula StickZ, Finesse ShadZ, 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ, and four-inch Finesse WormZ rigs were presented with a swim-glide-and-shake retreive. The Cabela's 1/16-ounce black marabou hair jig was presented with a very slow but steady do-nothing swimming retrieve. We failed to provoke any strikes when we employed these lures with the standard Midwest finesse strolling presentation, drag-and-deadstick presentation, drag-and-shake presentation, and hop-and-bounce presentation.

For the first time this spring, we discovered that main-lake points and shorelines at or near the mouths of feeder-creek arms and large main-lake coves were the most lucrative areas. The secondary points and bluffs inside one feeder-creek arm and a main-lake cove were not very productive.

 May 11 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 62 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 66 degrees at 2:04 p.m.  The sky ranged from being mostly cloudy to overcast, and it rained lightly at times during the early morning hours. The wind angled out of the northwest, west by northwest, and northeast at 4 to 23 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:53 a.m., 29.89 at 5:53 a.m., 29.94 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.94 at 2:04 p.m.

It was 81 degrees on May 8, 83 degrees on May 9, and 77 degrees on May 10, and some anglers would say that they were confronted with cold-front conditions on May 11. In fact, it felt cold to Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and me while we were afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:04 p.m.  Rick and I are old codgers, and during this outing, our old bones needed several layers of clothes to keep us somewhat comfortable. But when we talked to a pair of young power anglers, we noticed that they were dressed in shorts and T-shirts, and we saw another young power angler in shorts. So perhaps, it was not a significant cold-front to their bones and in their eyes.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the  best fishing would take place from 11:20 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., 5:08 a.m. to 7:08 a.m., and 5:31 p.m. to 7:31 p.m.

The surface temperature was 70 degrees, and it was the first time that we have seen a 70-degree surface temperature in 2017. The water clarity in the lower half of this reservoir exhibited slightly more than three feet in the vicinity of the dam, and it diminished to about two feet around some of the locales that we fished. The water level looked to be about two inches above normal. The American water willow patches are becoming green and leafy, and the coontail patches are green and burgeoning.

We fished about 75 percent of the shorelines and points in the lower half of this reservoir, and we did not venture into the reservoir's upper half.   For about 55 minutes of the four hours and four minutes that we fished, we struggled to garner a strike.  And throughout the entire outing, there were many minutes when we made fruitless casts after casts. But we did catch a fish on our first and last casts of this outing; the first one was a humongous and beautiful warmouth, and the last one was a dinky green sunfish.   In total, we caught 47 largemouth bass, 13 crappie, seven warmouth, five green sunfish, two bluegill, and one channel catfish.

Because it was a struggle to elicit strikes at times, we worked with a variety of Midwest finesse rigs and retrieves in hopes to finding the most productive ones.  But we never realized that hope.

Our most effective Midwest finesse rigs were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught one largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and we caught one largemouth bass on a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin prototype Finesse T.R.D. HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The other ones we wielded were fruitless.

As for our retrieves, we caught some of the largemouth bass on the initial drop of our rigs. We caught a few while we were employing a drag-and-shake retrieve. We caught one largemouth bass on a long deadstick presentation. We caught some while we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A few were caught as we were employing a straight swimming retrieve. Some were caught while we were employing a swim-and-radical-shake presentation. But the bulk of our retrieves were failures.

The flatter shorelines were more fruitful than the steeper ones, but there were a couple of steep spots that unexpectedly yielded a largemouth bass.

We caught seven largemouth bass along the dam. Two largemouth bass were caught at one of the dam's two corners, which is relatively flat and adorned with patches of coontail, and both of these largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs.  Five largemouth bass were caught along the section of the dam that has a 45-degree slope, and its underwater terrain consists of riprap. The water's edge of the dam is embellished with patches of American water willows. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs along the outside edges of the American water willow patches in about three feet of water. Two were caught while we were executing a drag-and-shake retrieve in about seven feet of water.

In the lower half of this reservoir, we caught 17 largemouth bass along many portions of its west shoreline. This shoreline is cluttered with docks. The water's edge is lined with many concrete and rock retaining walls. There are also some patches of American water willows along the water's edge. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. There are coontail patches galore in three to five feet of water along the flat sections of this shoreline.  Some of the 17 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about 2 1/2 feet of water, and they were usually abiding around a patch of American water willows or a retaining wall. Two largemouth bass were caught adjacent to a dock. (It is interesting to note that this reservoir's docks are rarely fruitful.) Others were caught in three to six feet of water around patches of coontail, where we employed an array of presentation styles. The steep sections of this shoreline yielded two largemouth bass.

We fished vast portions of the east shoreline, where we caught 17 largemouth bass.  One of them was caught along one of this shoreline's main-lake points, and another one was caught along another one of its main-lake points. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is lined with many concrete and rock retaining walls, as well as some occasional patches of American water willows. Patches of coontail grace many of the flat sections of this shoreline. Docks, also, litter this shoreline, and only three of the largemouth bass were caught in close proximity to a dock.  The steeper sections of this east shoreline were a tad more fruitful than the steep sections along the west shoreline. A few were caught along a few of the retaining walls.  Some were caught  around the patches of coontail in three to four feet of water. Some were caught at the water's edge, and some were caught nearly 20 feet from the water's edge.

Rick Hebenstreit with one of the largemouth bass that we caught along the reservoir's east shoreline.

The east shoreline is divided by a small feeder-creek arm, and we fished both of the shorelines of this feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain and the configuration of its shorelines are similar to the two main-lake shorelines that are described above, but there is one exception, and that is one of the shorelines inside this feeder-creek arm has an overhanging tree that is partially submerged, and that tree yielded one largemouth bass.  Elsewhere along these two shorelines, we caught five largemouth bass, and they were abiding by patches of coontial in three to four feet of water.  All six of these largemouth bass were caught many feet from the water's edge.

In short, it was a helter-skelter outing -- devoid of any sense of a pattern.  In fact, as we fished, Rick and I occasionally tried to talk about how, when, and where we caught and did not catch largemouth bass, and we were always at a loss for words to describe what was transpiring. And as I composed this log, I was still at a loss.

May 12 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 57 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 75 degrees at 4:52 p.m.  Beginning around 1:52 a.m., the sky became cloudless, and once the sun rose, it shined intensely in a China-blue sky. The wind angled out of the north, north by northwest, and north by northeast at 8 to 21 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.97 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.98 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:46 a.m. to 1:46 p.m., 12:09 p.m. to 2:09 p.m., and 5:58 a.m. to 7:58 a.m. John Reese and I ventured to one of the many state reservoirs that stipple the countryside in northeastern Kansas. We fished from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above normal, and water was gushing through the dam's outlet.  The surface temperature was 69 degrees. The water exhibited about four feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, but the water along the wind-blown shorelines was very stained. Many of the shallow-water areas are adorned with gigantic patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. Patches of American pondweed, which embellish many of this reservoir's points and shorelines, have sprouted, and they are growing towards the surface. This reservoir is affected with an enormous bloom of filamentous algae, which is covering the patches of bushy pondweed and coontail, as well as other objects that are in the water.

John and I chose to fish this flatland reservoir because The National Weather Service predicted that the wind would be mild-mannered and angling out of the northeast at five to 10 mph.  But whenever a north wind broaches 15 mph, it becomes a hellish chore to methodically dissect most of this reservoir's shorelines and points.  And during the two hours and 45 minutes that we were afloat, it howled up to 21 mph, which relegated us to fishing the riprap shoreline of the dam and five of its 10 riprap jetties. We attempted to fish one of its main-lake shorelines, but the wind and filamentous algae overwhelmed us.

Ultimately, we caught 42 largemouth bass, seven green sunfish, two bluegill, and one crappie.

One jetty yielded six largemouth bass. They were extracted out of three to four feet of water. Four were caught on the initial drop of a four-inch green-pumpkin-red-and-purple-flake soft-plastic worm affixed to an unpainted 1/32-ounce ball jig. Two were caught on a 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.

One largemouth bass was caught at another jetty in about two feet of water. It was caught on the initial drop of the four-inch green-pumpkin-red-and-purple-flake soft-plastic worm affixed to an unpainted 1/32-ounce ball jig.

We caught 35 largemouth bass along the dam in one to seven feet of water. Our most effective rigs were a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse T.R.D. affixed to an unpainted 1/32-ounce ball jig.  We caught two largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and we caught one largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  A significant number of the 35 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. A swim-glide-and-radical-shake presentation inveigled 17 of the largemouth bass. A few were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag and shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

May 12 log

Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his May 12 outing with a friend at a community reservoir in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 55 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 73 degrees 4:53 p.m. After 6:53 a.m., the sky was cloudless.  The wind angled out of the north by northeast, north, northeast, and east by northeast at 4 to 21 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.94 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.93 at 5:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:46 a.m. to 1:46 p.m., 12:09 p.m. to 2:09 p.m., and 5:58 a.m. to 7:58 a.m.  We fished from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 71 degrees. The water exhibited 2 1/2 feet of visibility.  The water level was normal, and no water was running across the spillway. There was a significant bloom of filamentous algae, which fouled a lot of our presentations.

We caught 13 largemouth bass and a dozen of a variety of species: bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, pumpkinseed, walleye, and warmouth.

Terry Claudell with a walleye that his Midwest finesse tactics inveigled.

We caught these fish on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's bama bug ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a one-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/32-ounce or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a three-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse  1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We caught them from three to eight feet from the water's edge along shorelines and points.

Our most effective retrieve was a dragging presentation.

 May 12 log

The fishing at most of the venues in northeastern Kansas has been extremely problematic in April and May.  It has been especially challenging at several of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs. Even Richard Sanders of Lawrence, Kansas, who is a fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, found it to be a chore to electroshock the smallmouth bass in our finest Corps' reservoir. Besides shocking a meager number of smallmouth bass, he failed to shock any largemouth bass and spotted bass and only a few crappie.

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his May 12 outing with John Redding of Topeka, Kansas, at one of our very ordinary Corps' reservoirs.  He said his report was brief because there was not a lot to report about their 7 1/2-hour endeavors.

Here is an edited addition of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 57 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 75 degrees at 4:52 p.m.  Beginning around 1:52 a.m., the sky became cloudless, and once the sun rose, it shined intensely in a China-blue sky. The wind angled out of the north, north by northwest, and north by northeast at 8 to 21 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.97 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.98 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:46 a.m. to 1:46 p.m., 12:09 p.m. to 2:09 p.m., and 5:58 a.m. to 7:58 a.m.  From 8:00 a.m. until noon, we battled the pesky north wind while we fished for walleye. After we became weary of the wind and the sorry walleye fishing,  we headed to this reservoir's north shorelines, which were sheltered from the north wind, and  we fished for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass from noon to 3:30 p.m.

The water level was 2 1/2 feet above normal, and 800 cubic feet per second was being released from the reservoir.  The water was murky. The surface temperature was 68 degrees.

We probed about a half of a mile of a main-lake shoreline and several points, as well as a few secondary points and some shorelines inside two small coves. These shorelines and points are laden with rocks and boulders. The water's edge is lined with flooded terrestrial vegetation.

We caught one smallmouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15- ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.  Two smallmouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's California craw Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ  jig. One smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse T.R.D rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB &J ZinkerZ affixed on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's  weedless Finesse ShroomZ jig.

No black bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, but this rig caught three freshwater drum and a large crappie. We also hooked eight strikes, but we failed to catch a fish.

Three of the smallmouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  One smallmouth was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve after we employed a short deadstick presentation. The largemouth bass was caught on a hop-and-bounce retrieve.  All of the black bass that we caught appeared to be relating to the flooded terrestrial vegetation along the shorelines.

May 13 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I elected to fish at a state reservoir in north-central Texas that many anglers in these parts have ignored for quite some time -- including me. I fished this reservoir just once about 30 years ago, and I have not returned since. And it was Norman's first time to fish it.

Its geological features consist primarily of rocky shorelines, which are enhanced with submerged boulders. It used to have  some sparse colonies of floating pondweed, chara, hydrilla, and water willows, but they met their demise when the water level dropped about 30 feet during a severe drought that plagued north-central Texas from June of 2010 through March of 2015. Nowadays, it is known more for its wiper fishing, and its reputation as a black bass venue is a poor one.

The weather was delightful. The sky was partly cloudy, and the  sun was shining everywhere. The morning low temperature was 53 degrees and the afternoon high was 83 degrees. The wind was light and variable at less than 5 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.00 at 10:00 a.m. to 29.93 at 3:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would occur between 12:46 a.m. and 2:46 a.m., 6:58 a.m. to 8:58 a.m., and 1:10 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. Norman and I fished from about 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

I was not expecting much during this outing, and I set a meager goal of catching 10 black bass. By the end of this 4 1/2-hour endeavor, we had exceeded our goal and caught 10 largemouth bass and seven spotted bass, which we considered a success for this problematic reservoir.

We split our time between the middle section of the reservoir and a large feeder-creek arm on the northwest end.

The water clarity was stained with 3 1/2-feet of visibility in the middle region of the reservoir. The water was murky in the northwest feeder-creek arm. The water temperature ranged from 69 degrees to 73 degrees.

We started the outing along the east side of the middle region. We plied a riprap-covered spillway and portions of its two adjacent shorelines, five main-lake points, one main-lake shoreline, and three short segments of three shorelines inside a main-lake cove. Along its west side, we fished a rock-laden causeway.

A flat sand and gravel shoreline on the south side of the spillway was inhabited by scores of bluegills, but no black bass.

The spillway surrendered two spotted bass that were associated with the submerged riprap in three to five feet of water. Both of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This combo was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The shoreline north of the spillway is steep and rocky, and its water's edge is littered with large boulders, overhanging trees, a couple of laydowns, and the remnants of an old metal walkway. A 20-yard section of this shoreline yielded two spotted bass and two largemouth bass that were caught in five to seven feet of water. Two spotted bass and one largemouth bass were caught from underneath the metal walkway in five to seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught next to a large boulder in close proximity to the metal walkway. Three of these black bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Four of the five rocky main-lake points were fruitless. At the one fruitful point, we hooked one largemouth bass next to a submerged boulder in five feet of water on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's EZ Money Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, and it was manipulated with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. But this largemouth was able to pull free before we could hoist it into the boat.

As we fished along a steep and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline, we caught three largemouth bass. They were caught in three to five feet of water and were relating to the sides of several large submerged boulders. Two were caught on the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig, and the other one was caught  on the EZ Money Finesse WormZ combo. Both of these lures were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside one main-lake cove, we dissected two 15- yard segments of the north shoreline and one 20-yard segment of the south shoreline. These areas are graced with submerged boulders and baseball-size rocks. These shorelines are situated in the  lower-third portions of this cove. We elicited numerous bluegill and green sunfish bites, but not one from a largemouth bass or spotted bass.

A rock-covered causeway on the west side of the reservoir was our most fruitful locale. It is adorned with fist-size rocks, large submerged boulders, several overhanging trees, and a few laydowns.

The north side of this causeway relinquished three largemouth bass and three spotted bass. They were extracted from three to five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. Five of them were relating to the submerged rocks and boulders. One was caught along  the side of a laydown. Four black bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This combo was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other two were caught on the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The south side of the causeway yielded only two largemouth bass. One was caught on the four-inch EZ Money Finesse WormZ rig and the other one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ combo. Both of these lures were presented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside the feeder-creek arm on the north end of the reservoir, we dissected five rocky secondary points and one 30-yard segment of a rock-laden flat adorned with a few small patches of flooded buck brush. The water inside this feeder-creek had a brownish tint and exhibited about 1 1/2-feet of visibility. We enticed a few bluegill and green sunfish strikes, but we failed to coax a single black bass into striking our Midwest finesse rigs.

Steve Reideler with one of the 17 largemouth bass and that he and Norman Brown caught.

In closing, we considered this 17-black bass outing an average catch rate in our neck of the woods. We also inadvertently caught four green sunfish and one freshwater drum. We hooked but failed to land another three black bass.

As we were driving home, Norman and I agreed that the black bass fishing was better than what we had expected, and we will consider taking another look at this waterway in the weeks and months to come.

May 13 log

Paul Finn of Olathe, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing with his son Shaun at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir on May 13.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 44 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 79 degrees at 2:52 p.m.  The wind was calm until 8:52 a.m., and thereafter it angled out of the south by southeast, southeast, south, and south by southwest at 5 to 23 mph. The sky was clear. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:52 a.m., 29.98 at 5:52 a.m., 29.98 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.95 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 12:36 a.m. to 2:36 a.m., 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 6:48 a.m. to 8:48 a.m. We fished from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The water exhibited about 18 inches of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. The water level was normal.

We caught 46 largemouth bass.  The largest largemouth bass was a 20-incher.

It was an odd outing.  We would go 30 to 40 minutes without a bite, and then we would catch four to six largemouth bass in one small area. Most of them were caught along the shorelines in a feeder-creek arm near the dam and along the dam.  These shorelines were wind-blown.

We caught them on a Z-man's California craw Hula StickZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce jig, and a Hook Set Tackle's Junebug Bailey Magnet Magnum on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce jig. The Bailey Magnet Magnum caught the 20-inch largemouth bass. Our Hula StickZ and TubeZ rigs were our most effective rigs.

We caught them on the initial drop of our rigs along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. We also caught them employing a drag-and-lift presentation and a deadstick presentation. And if we did not catch them on the initial drop, most of them were caught during the first couple feet of our retrieves.

May 16 log

It is not unusual for anglers to be at war with the wind on the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, but it is unusual for them to be at war with the warmouth that inhabit these waterways.

In my eyes, the male warmouth in its courting colors is the most handsome creature that abides in our reservoirs. And on May 16, they were donning their most brilliant hues as they were attacking my Midwest finesse rigs. In fact, as I was battling the wind at one of our community reservoirs, I caught 56 of them. While I was dealing with the warmouth, I also tangled with 51 largemouth bass, five smallmouth bass, four green-sunfish, one crappie, and one freshwater drum in three hours and 41 minutes.  (I have two mechanical fish counters, and I used them to count the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Therefore,  I attempted to keep a mental count of the warmouth, but my 77-year-old mind is more than a tad forgetful. Consequently, 56 warmouth might not be totally on the mark.  Nevertheless, it was the most astonishing catch of warmouth.)

The Weather Underground reported that it was 71 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 87 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south at 9 to 33 mph, and while I was afloat, it howled at 16 to 33 mph. The sky fluctuated from being clear to partly cloudy.  The barometric pressure was 29.73 at 12:53 a.m., 29.70 at 5:53 a.m., 29.65 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.62 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:16 a.m. to 5:16 a.m., 3:40 p.m. to 5:40 p.m., and 9:28 a.m. to 11:28 a.m. I fished from 10:01 a.m. to 1:42 p.m.

The water level at this community reservoir looked to be about  a foot above normal. The water clarity fluctuated from two to 4 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 71 degrees.  The patches of American water willows that grace many of the shorelines are green and growing, and they are coated with filamentous algae. Moreover, filamentous algae adhered to many underwater objects.

Because the wind and waves were so intense, a drift sock was useless. Therefore, I spent three hours and 41 minutes trying to hide from the wind and white caps. Even when I was sheltered from the white caps, the gusting and swirling wind interfered with some of my casts and retrieves.

I spent two hours plying some of the secondary points, tertiary points, and many yards of the shorelines inside a large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain of these shorelines and points consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Patches of American water willows embellish some of the shorelines and points.  Flooded terrestrial vegetation, laydowns, and overhanging trees enhance some of the shorelines. Most of the shorelines were sheltered from the wind, but the one that was the least sheltered was the most fruitful one.

Along these shorelines and points, I caught 36 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass.  The bulk of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. A significant number of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. And one was caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

A substantial number of the 38 black bass were caught in water as shallow as one foot and as deep as seven feet. Some were caught on the initial drop. A sizable number were  caught while I was executing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. And some were caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

Some were caught in the vicinity of American water willow patches along shorelines and points with a 20- to 25-degree slope. But the bulk of them were caught along shorelines and points with a 3o- to 45- degree slope, and they were abiding in the vicinity of flooded terrestrial vegetation, laydowns, and overhanging trees.

I caught one smallmouth bass at a somewhat wind-sheltered main-lake point on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about four feet of water. The underwater terrain consists on gravel, rocks, and a few boulders.

Along a 40-yard stretch of a 35-degree-sloping shoreline, which is adjacent to that main-lake point that yielded one smallmouth bass, I caught three largemouth bass on the pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.  The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is graced with some patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, some flooded terrestrial vegetation, and some overhanging trees. The largemouth bass were abiding in three to four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught around a laydown on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig. Two largemouth bass were caught while I was strolling and  employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

At another somewhat wind-sheltered main-lake point, I caught one smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J  ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in two to five feet of water. The underwater terrain of this main-lake point consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders.  This point possesses a 30-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop, and the smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass were caught while I was using the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along the shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, I caught six largemouth bass on the PB&J ZinkerZ rig. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is graced with some patches of American water willows, some flooded terrestrial vegetation, a dock, and one overhanging tree.  Four of the largemouth bass were caught along the portions of the shorelines that have a 25- to 3o-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught under a dock in five feet of water with a drag-and-deadstick presentation. One largemouth bass was caught around a boulder in three feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass was caught on a tertiary point along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water on the initial drop under an overhanging tree. Two largemouth bass were caught in five feet of water along a 45-degree-sloping shoreline while I was strolling and using a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I fished a somewhat wind-sheltered main-lake point in the upper reaches of this reservoir, where I failed to elicit a strike.  I fished 200 feet of a 40- to 45-degree sloping shoreline that is adjacent to the main-lake point, and I caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the coppertreuse ZinkerZ rig in two feet of water. This shoreline was totally sheltered from the wind. The underwater terrain of the point and shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, and many boulders. The water's edge is lined with a few minor patches of American water willows, laydowns, flooded terrestrial vegetation, and some laydowns.

I failed to catch a black bass along the secondary points and shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm. The points and shorelines possess a 30- to 40-degree slope.  The water's edge is lined with many patches of American water willows, two docks, flooded terrestrial vegetation, and several overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of  gravel, rocks, and boulders.  There are many deep-water brush piles scattered throughout the underwater terrain. In March and April, this feeder-creek arm often yielded a goodly number of largemouth bass.

At a partially wind-blown main-lake point, I caught one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass on the pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig in three to five feet of water. This was the windiest area that I fished.  These black bass were abiding near the outside edge of a massive patch of American water willows that grace this point. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The smallmouth bass was caught as I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in five feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation while I was strolling.

The wind prevented me from fishing many areas around this reservoir. But the areas that I could fish in this reservoir's upper reaches were not as fruitful as the ones in its lower sections. And that has been a trend recently at several of our reservoirs.

The National Weather Service in Lawrence, Kansas, predicts that it will be "windy, with a south wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%" on May 17.  Wind gusts as high as 45 mph are too much for this old codger. So, I will be at bay on May 17.

 May 16 log

Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his and a friend's May 16 outing at a community reservoir in northwestern Missouri, where the largemouth bass fishing has been devilishly difficult in 2017.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 68 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 12:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south at 12 to 40 mph. The sky fluctuated from being scattered with clouds to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy.  The barometric pressure was 29.75 at 12:53 a.m., 29.72 at 5:53 a.m., 29.66 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.64 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:11 a.m. to 5:11 a.m., 3:35 p.m. to 5:35 p.m., and 9:23 a.m. to 11:23 a.m.  We fished from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and we caught and released  42 largemouth bass.

We started with power baits, trying to catch a big fish, but we had little luck. Once we switched to Midwest finesse rigs, everything changed quickly.

I put on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and I caught a largemouth bass on three consecutive casts. I hooked my friend up with an identical setup, and he started catching them, too.

I tried switching to a Junebug ZinkerZ and a watermelon-red ZinkerZ, but no go. They wanted the green pumpkin.

Most of the fish came in three to five feet of water along rocky shorelines.

The tubes leading into the lake and the nearby riprap were the most productive areas.

Of note, we caught our biggest largemouth bass and one large walleye by skipping our ZinkerZ rigs as far as we could cast them inside the tubes. The fish must have been relating to the shade.

It was a fun outing -- especially catching bass up to three pounds on four-pound-test line. I think I am going to put up my big power baits for a while. It is a lot more fun catching largemouth bass on light line and finesse baits.

May 18 log

Mother Nature walloped Lawrence, Kansas, with 40-mph wind gusts on May 16 and 50-mph gusts on May 17. Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I were grateful that she tamed down her windy ways on May 18, which allowed us to fish from 9:55 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 57 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky was clear from 12:53 a.m. to 6:53 a.m., and thereafter it fluctuated from being scattered with clouds to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. The wind angled out of the west by northwest, northwest, north by northeast, north, east, south by southeast, south, and southwest at 3 to 12 mph, and occasionally it was calm. The barometric pressure was 29.70 at 12:53 a.m., 29.76 at 5:53 a.m., 29.83 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.81 at 1:53 p.m.

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

The surface temperature ranged from 71 to 74 degrees.  The water exhibited three to five feet of visibility.  The water level was normal.  Many of northeastern Kansas' community and state reservoirs have been afflicted with significant blooms of filamentous algae, but on May 18, it looked as if the horrendous winds of May 16 and 17 had blown much of the filamentous algae at this reservoir to smithereens. The patches of American water willows that grace some of the shorelines and points are green and growing. The patches of coontail, however, are not as thick as they were  in late April and early May.

For several weeks, we have had a difficult time catching largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in the upper reaches of our reservoirs, and that phenomenon continued during this outing.  In fact, Rick and I caught only one largemouth bass in the upper recaches of this reservoir, but we spent only 30 minutes fishing small portions of three shorelines in its upper reaches.

We spent three hours and 30 minutes in the lower half of this reservoir, where we fished the dam, the secondary points and most of the shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, three main-lake points, portions of the spillway, several tertiary points, and about 85 percent of two of the main-lake shorelines.

The underwater terrains of the points and shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and numerous boulders. The water's edge of these points and shorelines is lined with many concrete and rock retaining walls, as well as some patches of American water willows. The points and shorelines are also littered with docks. The dam is coated with riprap and American water willows. Along these shorelines and points, we caught 55 largemouth bass, 18 green sunfish, 15 warmouth, six crappie, and one walleye.

Rick Hebenstreit with one of the 55 largemouth bass that we caught.

We caught them on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's California craw ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The largemouth bass were caught either on the initial drop of our rigs in two to three feet of water or while we employed a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in two to about six feet of water.

Five largemouth bass were caught along the dam, but we failed to elicit a strike along 80 percent of the dam. Three were caught along one of the main-lake points; the other points were fruitless. Seven largemouth bass were caught along the shorelines and secondary points inside the small feeder-creek arm. Sixteen largemouth bass were caught along one of the main-lake shorelines, and 22 largemouth bass were caught along the other main-lake shoreline. Four of the docks along the two main-lake shorelines yielded largemouth bass, but around scores and scores of the other docks that we fished, we failed to catch a largemouth bass. It is important to note that for some unknown reason, docks have never been fruitful at this reservoir for Midwest finesse anglers, and in fact, this was the first time that we have ever caught four largemouth bass around docks.  Besides the four largemouth bass that we caught around the docks, most of the largemouth bass were caught around either patches of American water willows or patches of coontail, and some were caught along some of the retraining walls.

According to the National Weather Service and other weather forecasters, Mother Nature will wallop northeastern Kansas with a lot of rain and large hail on May 19 and 20. Some locations may receive more than four inches of precipitation, and at times, the wind may howl at 50 to 70 mph. So, our waterways might become high and murky again.

May 18 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

For the past 4 1/2 months, the black bass fishing at the state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs in north-central Texas has been mediocre at best. For a change of pace, Rick Allen of Dallas and I conducted a relatively short bank-walking excursion at one of the many small community reservoirs that grace the landscapes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:04 a.m. to 5:04 a.m., 9:19 a.m. to 11:19 a.m., and 3:33 p.m. to 5:33 p.m. Rick and I fished from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The Weather Underground reported that it was 72 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 87 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The barometric pressure ranged from 29.77 to 29.73. A pesky wind angled out of the south at 12 to 20 mph.

The water was stained with about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was normal. The water temperature was 75 degrees.

We were dismayed to discover that a four-foot-wide wall of filamentous algae had ringed the reservoir's entire shoreline, and it fouled our lures on almost every cast.

Along most of the shorelines that we fished, we observed large pods of small fry swarming along the water's edge and next to the thick wall of filamentous algae. We saw several largemouth bass foraging on the surface and within five feet of the algae wall, and they appeared to be foraging on the small fry. Other small schools of bass were foraging on the surface in the south end of the reservoir, but they were many yards away from the water's edge and just out of reach of our longest casts.

We began the outing by fishing the north end of the reservoir. This area encompasses a large mud flat. Its shoreline is lined with tall stands of cattails. A shallow ditch courses across the middle of the flat. A small feeder-creek enters the reservoir on the east end of this shoreline. This feeder-creek entertains a goodly number of largemouth bass, bluegills, and green sunfish during the cold-water months of January and February, but it is devoid of any largemouth bass during the rest of the year.

We caught three largemouth bass in three to four feet of water along the south side of the shallow ditch where the south edge of the mud flat slowly drops off into five to eight feet of water.

From the north shoreline, we worked our way southward along the west shoreline. This shoreline is steep and its underwater terrain consists of mostly sand and gravel.  A fishing pier is positioned along the middle section of this shoreline.  Two tertiary points are located about 30 yards north of the pier, and another gravel and sand tertiary point lies about 50 feet south of the fishing pier. The steep shoreline north of the fishing pier yielded two largemouth bass that were abiding in three to five feet of water and within five feet of the thick wall of filamentous algae. The shoreline south of the fishing pier was fruitless.

The smooth concrete-slab dam that forms the southern perimeter of the reservoir yielded three largemouth bass and one green sunfish. One largemouth bass and the green sunfish were caught in five feet of water along the west end of the dam. Two largemouth bass were caught in five feet of water along the center portion of the dam. We failed to entice any strikes from the east end of the dam.  All of these bass were within 10 to 15 feet of the water's edge.

After we finished fishing the dam, we moved to the east side of the reservoir and worked our way northward along that shoreline. The east shoreline is steep and curved. A broad and steep sand and gravel point is situated in the middle section of this shoreline, and about 60 feet north of this point, there is a long and shallow clay and gravel point that extends westward toward the middle of the reservoir.

We failed to entice any strikes along the south end of the shoreline.  Along the middle section of this shoreline and just south of the broad point, we caught seven largemouth bass. They were abiding in five to seven feet of water and about 10 to 15 feet away from the wall of algae. We failed to locate any bass relating to the broad point or the long clay and gravel point on the north end of the shoreline.

In conclusion, it was another lackluster and mediocre outing. We barely managed to eke out 15 largemouth bass in 2 1/2 hours, but they were all decent ones and at least 14 inches in length. The largest specimen weighed six pounds.

Rick Allen with a six-pounder.

As this outing unfolded, we found ourselves experimenting with an array of Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits rigged on a variety of Gopher Mushroom Head jigs, and we presented them with several of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. The only effective combo was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The only productive presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

May 18 log

 Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 18 outing to one of northeastern Kansas' very heavily fished community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The sky fluctuated from being overcast to partly cloudy. The high temperature was 79 degrees. The wind blew from the east and northeast at 5 to 12 mph.  The National Weather Service had issued dire predictions of a storm system that would arrive in the late afternoon and evening with severe thunderstorms, tornados, hail and high winds.  So, as I fished I kept a cautious eye on the sky for any approaching storms.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:58 a.m. to 6:58 a.m., 5:22 p.m. to 7:22 p.m., and 11:01 p.m. to 1:10 a.m. I fished from 12:30 p.m.  until 5:30 p.m., when lightning and thunder from an approaching thunderstorm chased me off the lake.

During the five hours I was afloat, I fished for a total of 4 1/2 hours, with a 30 minute time out to eat lunch and test the GPS module in my dash- mounted sonar unit.  The sonar had quit working, and I had applied a fix suggested by the manufacturer's service tech.

The water clarity varied from about 18 inches in one major feeder-creek arm to more than four feet in the main body of the reservoir near the dam.  The surface temperature was about 70 degrees.

As I  launched the boat at the boat ramp inside one of the reservoir's large feeder-creek arms, my plan was to fish as much of the shorelines in this  feeder-creek arm as I could, and then proceed to other areas of the reservoir as time and weather permitted.  So, I lowered the electric motor and began fishing right away.

My first cast was to the end of the dock by the boat ramp, which was immediately struck by a largemouth bass.  My second cast landed about halfway to the shoreline and along the edge of the dock.  Soon after I began a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, another strike yielded a smallmouth bass.  I could not help thinking: Two casts, two fish, two species, this is going to be great! Alas, that catch rate did not hold up.  After several more casts along the length of the dock failed to produce any additional activity, I began slowly working along the north shoreline towards the back of the feeder-creek arm.  This shoreline's underwater terrain is rocky. It is lined with  patches of American water willows and  laydowns.

I started  fishing with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's California craw ZinkerZ mounted on a  chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse  ShroomZ jig and decided, after catching the two black bass on the first two casts, to stick with it.  Along the north shoreline, I caught black bass from openings in the American water willows, from under an overhanging willow tree, from the base of a large tree trunk growing on the water's edge, along a riprap wall, and from slightly deeper-water areas along the shoreline. After one hour had lapsed, I had caught 10 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two warmouth, and one green sunfish.

When I finished fishing as far as I wanted to go towards the back of this feeder-creek arm, I switched to the south shoreline  and began fishing towards the main lake body. Over the next hour and 40 minutes, I continued to catch fish and have my lure harassed by dozens of strikes from what I assume were warmouth. But, they proved to be very difficult to hook and I only managed to catch two of them, along with another 11 largemouth bass.  This brought my total to 21 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, four warmouth, and two green sunfish in two fours and 40 minutes of fishing.

At that point, I decided to change locations, eat lunch, and test my GPS unit.  I motored over to the east end of the dam, and after lunch, I began casting again.  After seeing the improvement in water clarity in the main lake, I decided to change lures to a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertruese ZinkerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  I did not get any strikes on about a 50-yard stretch of the riprap along the dam and along 150 yards of the shoreline adjacent to the dam.  However, after the shoreline made a 90-degree turn to the south, I began finding fish again.  I caught two largemouth bass along that shoreline and one green sunfish.  The shoreline ended at a main-lake point where the feeder-creek arm joins the main body of the reservoir. Along that point, I caught two largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, one warmouth, and one freshwater drum.  I caught another largemouth from a submerged rock pile at the mouth of a small cove, and along a 200-yard stretch of a steep rocky shoreline that has numerous overhanging trees and laydowns, I caught two largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, one warmouth, and one green sunfish. At exactly 5:30 p.m., thunder crashed overhead, and looking over my shoulder, I realized that a thunderstorm was forming just to the south. The rain began coming down as I made a fast dash to the boat ramp, and I ended up getting soaked as I was putting the boat on the trailer.

In all, I caught 28 largemouth bass, three smallmouth bass, and inadvertently caught five warmouth, four green sunfish, and one freshwater drum.  They were caught on either the California craw ZinkerZ or the coppertreuse ZinkerZ.

I caught fish using a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, a swim-and-glide retrieve, a drag-and-deadstick retrieve, and a stroll presentation. As I strolled, I employed either the drag-and-deadstick presentation or the swim-glide-and-deadstick presentation. Several fish were caught on the initial drop of the lure, and a lot of them were caught after I was retrieving the lure for a few feet. Several of them were caught by strolling one of the rigs until it was nearly straight behind the boat and deadsticked.  Two of the black bass were caught when I had given up on a retrieve and began to reel the lure in at a fast pace.  I also had three additional strikes that came after starting a fast retrieve that I failed to hook.  That has me wondering if an occasional ripping component to a retrieve would be a worthwhile addition to our standard Midwest finesse retrieves.

The most fruitful lairs were laden with riprap or rocks, and it seemed that wherever I found rocky areas with dirt or vegetation on either side, casting to the rocks almost guaranteed a fish.

It was also notable that I received fewer and fewer strikes as it the afternoon wore on.

May 19 log

George Nochta of Santee, California, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Harold Rice of Ramona, California, at a community reservoir on May 19.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

We had 72- to 74-degree surface temperature. A  Santa Ana east wind blew at 8 to 15 mph with 20 mph gusts, which made fishing a little bit difficult at times.  I fished from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Harold fished until 5:00 p.m.

I caught nine largemouth bass on a 2 3/4-inch tail section of a Z-Man's watermelon Finesse WormZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. I also caught a couple of largemouth bass on a Texas-rigged Zoom Bait Company's watermelon-candy Baby Brush Hog.  I used a black permanent-ink marker to tint the tail of the worm to look like a bass fry.  I used a slow swim-and-glide retrieve.

Harold used a Texas-rigged Zoom's watermelon-candy Baby Brush Hog and five-inch Gary Yamamoto Custom Bait's green-pumpkin-black-flake Senko, which was rigged weightless and rigged Texasposed on a 2/0 wide-gap hook.

Harold stayed another few hours after I left. He anchored at several spots and used live crawfish, which is the tactic that the late and great Bill Murphy employed and wrote about in his book entitled "In Pursuit of Giant Bass." But Harold did not get another fish.

We caught 19 largemouth bass in two to nine feet of water around scattered rocks and flooded terrestrial brush in the shallow north end of the reservoir.

May 20 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

From 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., I conducted a solo outing at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir where the black bass fishing has been trying all spring.

The morning low temperature was 64 degrees. The afternoon high was 78 degrees. The sky conditions fluctuated from overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the north, northwest, and west at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.95 at 12:00 noon and 29.92 at 4:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most lucrative fishing periods would take place from 12:26 a.m. to 2:26 a.m., 6:39 a.m. to 8:39 a.m., and 12:48 p.m. to 2:48 p.m.

I spent the entire outing in the southwest tributary arm of this reservoir and fished inside two large main-lake coves, two feeder-creek arms, along five main-lake points, a large main-lake flat, and a riprap-laden embankment.

The water was stained and exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The Texas Water Development Board noted that the water level at this reservoir was 0.37 feet below normal pool. The water temperature ranged from 74 degrees at the boat ramp to 78 degrees inside one of the two feeder-creek arms.

Overall, it was a chore for me to allure 17 largemouth bass and five spotted bass. I also inadvertently caught two pumpkinseed, one large bluegill, and one hefty white bass.

I began the outing inside two main-lake coves which are situated on the south side of the tributary arm. Both of these coves are in close proximity to each other and contain large marinas.  Their shorelines are mostly steep and rocky with several prominent secondary points and some less obvious tertiary points. A few segments of the shorelines are embellished with five concrete boat ramps and the remnants of a few thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that line the water's edge.

The underwater terrain inside these two coves are similar and consist primarily of red clay, gravel, and fist-size rocks. One cove features a submerged roadbed that is lined with flooded terrestrial vegetation.

The first main-lake cove yielded three largemouth bass. They were caught in three to five feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of a steep shoreline on the east side of the cove. The second cove surrendered two spotted bass. Both of them were caught in four to six feet of water and were relating to one of the concrete boat ramps along the west side of the cove. I failed to elicit any strikes from any of the secondary points or tertiary points. Moreover, I failed to garner any strikes around the other four boat ramps, at several covered boat docks in the marina, along one 30-yard section of shoreline with flooded patches of terrestrial vegetation, and along the submerged roadbed lined with flooded terrestrial vegetation.

After I finished fishing inside the two main-lake coves, I ventured inside one of the two feeder-creek arms that is located on the north side of the tributary arm. This feeder-creek arm features three rocky secondary points, two small coves, two dilapidated concrete boat ramps that are situated on one of the three secondary points, and a mud flat that is adorned with a large patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation, which is surrounded by three feet of water. The underwater terrain is composed of clay, gravel, and small rocks.

On the west side of this feeder-creek, I caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass from the secondary point that is endowed with the two boat ramps. The largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water at the first boat ramp; the spotted bass was caught in five feet of water in the vicinity of the second boat ramp. The other two secondary points and the mud flat adorned with the large patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation failed to yield any strikes. I did not fish inside the two small coves.

After that, I fished a 75-yard section of a main-lake embankment that lies close to the feeder creek that I just fished. It is laden with riprap. And I failed to garner a single strike along it.

The next area that I fished was inside another feeder-creek arm. This feeder creek is also situated on the north side of the tributary arm.  It is about a mile west of the first one that I fished. It contains five secondary points, two concrete boat ramps, and five coves. The shorelines inside this creek arm are mostly rocky and steep. Patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation line the shorelines inside the coves. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, a few stumps, baseball-size rocks, and small boulders.

This creek arm was the most fruitful locale. It relinquished 13 largemouth bass and two spotted bass. Four largemouth bass were caught from a steep shoreline along the east side of the creek arm. Eight largemouth bass were caught from one of the rocky secondary points on the west side of the creek.  Two spotted bass and one largemouth bass were caught along an adjacent rocky shoreline just south of the secondary point where I caught the eight largemouth bass. These 15 black bass were abiding in less than five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge.

I finished the outing plying a massive main-lake mud flat that is adorned with numerous patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water. I fished about 20 percent of this flat, and I failed to entice any strikes.

Steve Reideler with a largemouth bass

In sum, it took me five hours to catch 22 black bass. By north-central Texas standards, it was an above average outing.  The two largest specimens were a 20-inch and 18-inch largemouth bass. Only one of the 22 was a dink, and the other 19 were at least 14 inches long.

Steep and rock-laden shorelines and secondary points enhanced with concrete boat ramps in the lower section of the feeder-creek arms and main-lake coves were the most fruitful black bass lairs. I failed to encounter any black bass inhabiting the mud flats with flooded terrestrial vegetation, several flat clay shorelines, a riprap embankment, along the five main-lake points, and submerged roadbed lined with flooded terrestrial vegetation.

For the past several weeks, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig has been our most productive combo. It caught three largemouth bass during this outing, but of them were the biggest ones of the outing. Twelve black bass were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Seven black bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The only effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and that has been the dominant presentation all spring.

May 22 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of his logs:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I fished at one of several north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs on May 22.

Local meteorologists reported that the morning low temperature was 60 degrees and the afternoon high was 78 degrees. The sky conditions changed from overcast to mostly cloudy then back to overcast again. There was an occasional short spell of sunshine. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, north, and northwest at 5 to 10 mph.  The barometric pressure measured 30.06 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.95 at 3:00 p.m.

John and I were afloat from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. We fished for largemouth bass and spotted bass for about four hours, but we were distracted a couple of times and pursued several small schools of surface-foraging white bass for about 1 1/2 hours.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:56 a.m. to 3:56 a.m., 8:09 a.m. to 10:09 a.m., and 8:35 p.m. to 10:35 p.m.

In the east tributary arm of the reservoir, we fished inside two large feeder-creek arms, along five main-lake points, one rocky main-lake shoreline, a concrete water outlet tower, and a small portion of the riprap along the dam.

The five main-lake points were not very productive. One point on the east side of the tributary arm relinquished one largemouth bass. This point is composed of red clay and is adorned with a few scattered baseball- and basketball-size rocks and a couple of thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that are situated close to the water's edge in two to four feet of water.  This largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water and about five feet from the water's edge on a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We hooked two other largemouth bass in three to four feet of water on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, but we failed to land them.

Another rocky main-lake point on the west side of the tributary arm yielded one freshwater drum. The other three main-lake points were fruitless.

We caught one freshwater drum  at a rocky main-lake shoreline on the west side of the east tributary arm that is adorned with basketball-size boulders, flooded terrestrial vegetation, and a submerged roadbed.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, we dissected one large cove, a 50-yard section of a rocky shoreline on the north side of this feeder-creek arm, and the perimeter of an island in the middle of this arm. The underwater terrains consist of mostly clay, sand, and gravel.  Some areas are graced with patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, submerged fist-size rocks, a few large laydowns, submerged basketball-size boulders, a couple of submerged brush piles, and some flooded timber.

We caught four largemouth bass, one freshwater drum, and one white bass inside the large cove. Two of the four largemouth bass were caught along the east shoreline and were relating to thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water. They were caught on the shortened molting craw Hula StickZ rig that was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other two largemouth bass and a freshwater drum were caught along the west shoreline and were also relating to the outside edge of a large patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation in four feet of water. They were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-neon Finesse WormZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

As we were working our way around the east side of the cove, a small school of white bass surfaced a few yards away from where we were fishing. They stayed in the area for just a minute or two, and we were able to coax one of them into striking a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. This rig was presented with a steady and moderately-paced swimming retrieve.

We failed to elicit any strikes along the 50-yard section of the rocky shoreline on the north end of this feeder-creek arm.

We caught two largemouth bass in less than five feet of water from the south shoreline of the island.  They were caught in six feet of water and were a few feet away from a large patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation. We caught them on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We failed to generate any strikes along the north, east, and west sides of the island.

Inside the lower section of the second feeder-creek arm, we dissected on its south side a long submerged rock ledge and a steep and rocky secondary point. The top of the submerged rock ledge is covered with about two feet of water and it plunges into 17 to 20 feet of water. This rock ledge surrendered three largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and one freshwater drum. We simultaneously caught one of the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass. (It should be noted that we have heard rumors from other local anglers that there have been a few smallmouth bass caught from this reservoir, but we have never seen one or caught one until this outing. I have reviewed the latest lake survey and fish stocking reports provided by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and discovered that the fisheries biologists have never stocked this reservoir with smallmouth bass. Therefore,  we suspect that a local angler transplanted them from another reservoir to this one.)  All four of these black bass and the freshwater drum were caught in three to five feet of water and were in close proximity to the rock ledge. They were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on either a red or blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and they were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to entice any strikes from the secondary point.

In the southern region of the reservoir, we plied a small portion of the dam, which is covered with riprap. The midsection of the dam features a large concrete water outlet tower that is positioned about 30 yards away from the dam and is surrounded by 30 to 57 feet of water. A wide concrete walkway extends from the top of the dam to the tower, and this walkway is supported by two large concrete pillars.

We caught 12 largemouth bass from the west and north sides of the tower. They were all suspended about eight to 10 feet below the surface and between 22 to 47 feet above the bottom. They were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rigs that were retrieved in a slow swim-glide-and-shake manner.

One of the two concrete support pillars yielded three largemouth bass. They were suspended about five feet below the surface and eight feet above the bottom. We did not catch any black bass around the other pillar.

Adjacent to the tower and the two concrete pillars, we fished a short section of the riprap along the face of the dam. And we caught one freshwater drum but no black bass.

During the four hours that we chased black bass, we caught 24 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and three freshwater drum. During our 90-minute white-bass endeavor, we caught only five white bass.  And now that we have crossed paths with our first smallmouth bass in this reservoir, we hope to encounter more of them in the weeks, months, and years to come.

May 23 log

From 10:30 a.m. to 12: 55 p.m., I watched Richard Sanders of Lawrence, Kansas, who is a fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, conduct his yearly electroshocking survey of the black bass that abide in one of the many community reservoirs that grace the landscape in northeastern Kansas.  He was joined by three employees of the Kansas Division of Water Resources, who were taking tissue from many of the largemouth bass that were shocked in order to check for mercury pollution.

After watching Sanders and the crew work for about two hours, I went fishing. As I fished,  I wanted to see how long it would take me to catch 30 largemouth bass.  To my disappointment, I ran out of time before I could catch 30 largemouth bass. In sum, I caught 27 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass in two hours and 28 minutes.  I inadvertently caught two channel catfish, seven green sunfish, and two warmouth.

It is interesting to note that Sanders found that his electroshocking numbers to be considerably below normal. And it has been that way at nearly all the reservoirs that he has electroshocked this spring.  Sanders suspects that the unseasonably cool weather and the more than 10 inches of rain that have pummeled the watersheds of  most northeastern Kansas' reservoirs since April 1 have the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass abiding in water  too deep to be susceptible to electroshocking .

The Weather Underground reported that it was 54 degrees at 2:52 a.m. and 66 degrees at 1:52 p.m.  The average high temperature is 79 degrees.  The sky fluctuated from being misty to overcast to foggy to mostly cloudy to scattered clouds to light rain.  The wind was calm for seven of the early morning hours, and then it angled out of the west, west by northwest, and northwest at 3 to 17 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:52 a.m., 29.87 at 5:52 a.m., 29.88 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.82 at 3:52 p.m.

This reservoir's water level was a few inches above normal. The water clarity around the dam exhibited 4 1/2 feet of visibility, and it diminished to 10 to 18 inches in the back of several of the feeder-creek arms and along some wind-blown shorelines. The surface temperature was 68 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 8:49 a.m. to 10:49 a.m., 9:16 p.m. to 11:16 p.m., and 2:35 a.m. to 4:35 a.m.

I did not fish any of the shorelines and points that Sanders shocked.  Instead, I fished about 75 percent of the dam, 45 percent of the north shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, about 80 percent of two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, three main-lake points, one main-lake shoreline, and 10 percent of two shorelines inside another large feeder-creek arm.

The underwater terrains of these locales consist of gravel, rock, and some boulders.  Patches of American water willows embellish the water edges of many of the shorelines and points. Some stumps, laydowns, and overhanging trees enhance some of the shorelines.

Six largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass were caught along the rock-laden dam in three to five feet of water on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I caught four largemouth bass along the north shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm in two to three feet of water adjacent to the outside edges of American water willow patches.  Three of the largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One was caught on the initial drop of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ  affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Eight largemouth bass were caught along the two shorelines inside the small feeder-creek arm . They were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in three feet of water along the outside edges of patches of American water willows.

One smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass were caught along the main-lake shoreline. They were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with either a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve or a drag-and-shake retrieve.  The smallmouth bass and one of the largemouth bass were caught around boulders in four feet of water. Five largemouth bass were caught adjacent to the outside edges of the  patches of American water willows in three feet of water.

Along the two short sections of shorelines  that I fished inside another large feeder-creek arm, I caught three largemouth bass on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. They were caught along the outside edges of American water willow patches in about three feet of water.

The three main-lake points were fruitless.

May 24 log

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 24 outing.

Here is an edited version of his outing:

John Redding of Topeka, Kansas, and I visited a heavily-fished community reservoir on May 24. And it was a very long day; we fished from 10:00 a.m. to about 6:30 p.m., with a 30 minute break at noon for lunch.

The weather was brisk and cool, starting with a morning low of 47 degrees and peaking with an afternoon high of 69 degrees.  The wind blew from the north and northwest all day from 10 to 21 mph and gusted to 26 mph.

When we arrived at the boat ramp, we were happy to see only two other vehicles with boat trailers. One was a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism's electroshocking boat. In other words, we had this heavily-fished community lake virtually to ourselves.

Once the boat was launched and we were on the water, I noted that the surface temperature was 67 degrees.  The water level appeared to be about 18 inches above normal, and the water clarity was about three feet in the major feeder-creek arm where the boat ramp is located. During the afternoon, the surface temperature was 69 degrees inside another feeder-creek arm, and the water clarity exhibited two feet of visibility. Because the wind and waves were howling and rolling down the length of the reservoir's main body, we quickly realized that we would have to ply the largemouth bass lairs in areas sheltered from the wind.

I had two goals in mind for this outing. First, I wanted to see if I could force myself to spend less time trying to dissect unproductive areas and spend more time in more productive areas, and thus catch fish at a higher rate of frequency. Second, I wanted to try to convince my partner to fully embrace the Midwest finesse tactics, which he has been dabbling with in order to increase his frequency of catching fish.  At the end of the day, I gave myself a C+ on the first goal and a B+ on the second.

Because the wind was howling in the main body, we decided the prudent thing to do would be to start fishing from the boat ramp along the north shore of the feeder-creek arm.  Although we were protected from the brunt of the wind, the geography of the lake was causing the wind to funnel into the creek arm and follow us fairly briskly as we fished to the east along the north shoreline.  Although we were moving along with the wind at a pretty good pace, we were not tempted to deploy the drift sock. In fact, we did not end up using it at all, even though the wind velocity was certainly high enough to justify using it throughout the course of the day.

We fished about 200 yards of the north shoreline, which consisted of rocks and a lush growth of American water willows along the water's edge and an occasional stickup, with no strikes.  We finally caught our first fish, a largemouth bass, from under an overhanging willow tree and proceeded to catch two more in short order from under the same tree.  Two of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  The other one was caught on a Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce  Z-Man's weedless Finesse ShroomZ jig.  As we continued along the shoreline past the willow tree, we quickly realized that the warmouth spawn was still on as the pretty little fish began harassing our Midwest finesse rigs on many casts and we ended up hooking and landing several of them. We also caught some black bass. At the end of the first hour, we had landed eight largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and four warmouth. We continued fishing along a riprap shoreline and continued catching bass and more warmouth. As we neared the end of the riprap, the other boat that was fishing the lake came up this feeder-creek arm, and that angler began fishing the south shoreline in the very spot that was my next go-to spot consistent with goal No. 1. With that potential hotspot occupied, we decided to retrace our path along the north shoreline and back toward the boat ramp and then continue fishing along the north shoreline to the main-lake point. Oops, this entailed fishing the 200 yards of shoreline that had not produced a bite earlier, and it did not produce another bite on the second pass, which put a substantial dent in goal No. 1. However, things picked up after we passed the boat ramp. Two largemouth bass were caught from the corners of one of the docks adjacent to the boat ramp.  After traversing another 200 yards of shoreline and a secondary cove with no strikes, we caught three more bass from the boat stalls of another large dock.  We fished a 200-yard section of a steep rocky shoreline with numerous overhanging trees and vegetation and several laydowns. This shoreline yielded another smallmouth bass and several largemouth bass, as well as several more warmouths.  Inside a small cove that features a dock with a boat lift, we caught one largemouth from the corner of the dock and another from the edge of a submerged rock pile.  We proceeded towards a nearby main-lake point where the feeder-creek arm meets the main body of the reservoir.  At this point, we caught several more largemouth bass, another smallmouth bass, and more warmouths.  As we came further around the point, we became fully exposed to the brunt of the wind and quickly realized that we had gone as far as Mother Nature was going to allow. Since it was about 12:30 p.m., we decided to change locations and take a break to eat our lunch. At this time our count was 15 largemouth bass, three smallmouth bass, seven warmouth, and one green sunfish.

As we ate lunch, I began to extoll the virtues of using smaller and lighter jigs to John and simply pointed out the difference in our results from our morning's endeavors, noting that many more fish had been removed from my hook than from John's. I had used the same Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ all morning. John, however, had put aside his ZinkerZ rig and spent some of the time throwing spinnerbaits and a large bass jig dressed with a crayfish trailer.  To his credit, he did catch one smallmouth bass on the large jig, but he did not catch anything with the other power techniques that he tried.  When he agreed to try a 1/16-ounce rig, I gave him a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. My 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ was tattered and torn. So, I switched to a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher mushroom jig.

After lunch, we began fishing along the north shoreline of a small feeder-creek arm on the west side of the reservoir.  The plan was to fish it from the main-lake point to the back end, and then fish the south shoreline to the main-lake point. The north shoreline produced a couple of fish for both of us, but more points deducted for goal No. 1 because we continued to fish to the backend of this feeder-creek arm, and we were not catching fish at our desired rate.  However, along the south shore, things changed for the better and many fish were caught along that shoreline along the way to the main-lake point and for fifty yards along the main-lake shoreline. I was very happy to see that John was getting the hang of the do-nothing and no-feel retrieve with his lighter rig, and he was catching his fair share of the fish.

I wish I could continue to give the details of where every fish was caught and how many were caught on each lure, but at this point in the day, my short term memory circuits must have overloaded, because the details are running together.

We did notice that the wind angle was enough from the northwest that a good portion of the west shoreline along the main-body of the reservoir was somewhat protected from the wind, and we deemed it to be fishable.  We proceeded along that west shoreline and into a small feeder-creek arm, and again more points were lost on goal No. 1, because this feeder-creek arm yielded more bluegill, green sunfish, and warmouth than black bass. But, we fished the whole thing.

Somewhere along the line, I had decided that the coppertreuse ZinkerZ was not the best producer, and I switched to a very old 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This stimulated an immediate increase in strikes from both largemouth bass and the various panfish species.  After catching three or four panfish in a row, I decided that the ZinkerZ on my jig had been trimmed down too much and it was more of a panfish bait than a bass bait. So, I dug out a brand new PB&J ZinkerZ, cut it in half, and put it on the blue Gopher jig. This helped immediately with more bass strikes.

We fished another small feeder-creek arm on the west side. And we lost more points on goal No. 1, because we fished the entire south shoreline and elicited only a few strikes.  Its north shoreline, however, was much more productive.

We then fished the entire north and south shorelines of another large feeder-creek cove on the east side of the reservoir.

We finished the outing by fishing the main-lake point at the mouth of the feeder-creek arm where our day commenced.

In all, we caught 45 largemouth bass, five smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught 22 warmouth, seven green perch, and six bluegill.

Our most productive lure was the Z-Man's The Deal ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The second most productive one was a 2 1/2-inch PB&J ZinkerZ on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  We also caught fish on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to either a chartreuse or red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man's weedless Finesse ShroomZ  jig. John caught a smallmouth bass on a power jig and trailer.

We used all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. The most effective retrieves were a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and when we were strolling and employing a deadstick presentation. Three of the five smallmouth bass were caught on the stroll-and-deadstick retrieve in water that was five to seven feet deep and 20 feet or more from the water's edge. Some of the fish hit the lure on the initial drop, but most were caught after the lure had been retrieved several feet.

I was very happy that John stayed with the Midwest Finesse techniques during the afternoon hours, and he caught many more fish than he did in the morning. What's more, he caught the biggest fish of the day, and it was a 17 1/2-inch largemouth bass.

Thus, I will give myself a B+ grade for goal No. 2.

My biggest fish of the day was a 17-inch largemouth bass.  We caught several more that were 15 inchers or larger, which easily makes this the best outing for big bass that I have had in a long time.

May 24 log

Gary Craig of San Jose, California, reported on the Finesse News Network about his inaugural outings with Midwest finesse tactics at three reservoirs in the Bay Area of northern California.

Here is an edited version of his reports:

On May 4, I ventured to a nearby reservoir after my work day ended.

This reservoir is small and heavily fished. In fact, the fishing pressure is so intense that it is difficult for anglers to catch largemouth bass. Furthermore, during my last eight outings at this reservoir, while wielding traditional black-bass tactics and lures, I caught an average of four largemouth bass across eight hours of fishing.

I arrived at the reservoir at 3:00 p.m. and fished until 7:00 p.m., wielding medium-light-powered spinning rods that were spooled with six- and eight-pound-test fluorocarbon line that sported either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse T.R.D. or a Z-Man's mudbug Finesse T.R.D. affixed to either a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce or a green-pumpkin 1/5-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

When I went to launch my 14-foot aluminum boat, I realized that in my excitement to finally fish the Midwest finesse rigs that I had forgotten to take the trolling motor out of the garage and put it in the boat.  So with a heavy sigh and a breeze kicking up, I launch the boat and set my hopes, if providence was with me, on catching one or two fish.

The water was stained, exhibiting one to two feet of visibility. The wind really kicked up at 4:00 p.m. and stayed until 7:00 p.m.  I fished four main-lake points that were being barraged by the 15- to 20-mph wind.  I had to beach the boat and walk the shoreline as there was no way to control the boat.

Nonetheless, with what appeared to be insurmountable conditions, I managed to catch seven largemouth bass and two crappie. The three biggest largemouth bass were 15-, 16- and 17-inchers.  Two were 11-inchers; one was a 12-incher; one was a 14-incher.

Five of the largemouth bass were caught between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

I watched another angler, who was using an Alabama rig, catch one largemouth bass but it seemed barely a keeper from what I could tell.  There were only three boats on the water between 3:00 p.m.  and 7:00 p.m., so I had the lake mostly to myself.

Compared with most Finesse News Network reports, my catch on May 4 would not be considered a banner day, but it was one for me. Catching nine fish in four hours is the best catch rate that I have ever experienced at this reservoir.  It gave me hope that my next trip might be more successful -- if I remember to bring my trolling motor.

My second Midwest finesse endeavor occurred on May 11 at another nearby reservoir. It is significantly larger than the one that I fished on May 4. I was joined by Frank Imbesi of San Jose, who is my long-time fishing partner, and it was his maiden outing with Midwest finesse tactics.

We fished from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Weather Underground noted that it was 70 degrees at 1:53 p.m. and 64 degrees at 6:53 p.m.  The sky fluctuated from being scattered with clouds to being partly cloudy and to being mostly cloudy. Between 2:53 p.m. to 6:53 p.m., the wind angled out of the west by northwest to northwest at 12 to 23 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.13 at 1:53 p.m. and 30.11 at 6:53 p.m.

The water clarity exhibited a foot of visibility.

We hid in wind-sheltered coves, where we used a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse T.R.D. and  Z-Man's mudbug Finesse T.R.D. They were affixed to either a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce or a green-pumpkin 1/6-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

In the first cove, as I was rigging my spinning rods, Frank caught three largemouth bass in seven minutes. It was the start of one of the best outings we have ever enjoyed at this reservoir. We caught 27 largemouth bass and six crappie. A 16 1/2-inch largemouth bass was the largest of the lot.

Along one 40-foot stretch of a shoreline inside one of the coves, we caught 15 bass and four crappie.  Many of these 19 fish were caught on consecutive casts.  At one moment, both of us were reeling in keeper-sized largemouth bass.

The shorelines that we fished are strewn with softball-sized rocks, and they have a 20- to 40-degree slope. They are devoid of aquatic vegetation and laydowns. In other words, there is nothing to obstruct our Midwest finesse presentations.  Hence, we did not snag nor lose any of our rigs during the entire outing. Not only is Midwest finesse fishing an effective technique, it is also easy on the fishing budget.

We employed a very simple presentation, which consisted of casting our rigs to the shoreline, letting them sink on a loose line, and then slowly retrieving it back to the boat.  Most fish were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught within the first four to five turns of the reel handle.

We noticed that strikes are not felt.  Instead, when a largemouth bass engulfs a Midwest finesse rig, there is a mushy feeling that resembles something like the jig being pulled through a patch of tall grass. When we detected that a largemouth bass had engulfed our rig, we did not set the hook with the rod.  Instead, we used the reel, and we kept a steady pull on the largemouth bass while we reeled it to the boat.

My third Midwest finesse outing took place on May 24 at another Bay Area reservoir.  It was a solo endeavor from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 72 degrees at 3:53 p.m. and 69 degrees at 6:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the west by northwest at 9 to 12 mph. The sky was mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.77 at 2:53 p.m. and 29.72 at 6:53 p.m.

The wind was sending ranks of white caps down the entire length of this reservoir, creating significant lines of muddy water one to four feet from the water's edge.  I tried to dissect some of the wind-blown shorelines with a Z-Man's molting craw Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, but by 5:00 p.m., I had managed to catch only one largemouth bass and one crappie. Both of them were small in stature.

I was losing hope in having a stellar trip.  But as providence would have it, my memory conjured up all the fishing reports I had read concerning fishing the dam area.  So, I pulled up the trolling motor and motored to the dam.  The wind was blowing directly into the face of the dam.  Waves crashed incessantly against the rocks and created a mud line that extended 10 to 15 feet out from the water's edge.  There was less than 1 inch of visibility. When I saw the conditions, I was short on hope and longed to go home. Being that there was no alternative but to go home, I set up my trolling motor and began making short casts to the water's edge along the dam, which is lined with big granite rocks.  On my second or third cast, I pulled a largemouth bass out of the chocolate-milk-colored water.  During the next hour, I caught  13 largemouth bass and two nice-size crappie from what seemed like an impossible situation.  My third largemouth bass was  a 19 1/2-incher and weighed 4.8 pounds. It is the biggest largemouth bass  that I have caught at this reservoir.

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In sum, I caught 17 fish in 3 1/2 hours of fishing.  Now, I am looking forward with great expectations to my next outing.

May 24 log

Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his May 24 outing at a community reservoir in northwestern Missouri.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The day got off to a bad start. I was supposed to meet my friend Troy McKinney at the marina gate at 6:00 a.m. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and found that I had set my alarm clock wrong. I rushed outside and it was actually cold, something you do not expect in late May. The sky was overcast.

But from there, the day got considerably better. Despite our late start, we had some good early action on topwater walking baits. When that bite slowed, we went to Midwest finesse rigs, and we caught not only good numbers, but the most 15-inch and bigger largemouth bass I have seen this year.

We ended up with a total of 51 largemouth bass, 19 of them were 15 inches or bigger.  No giants. Our biggest bass weighed three pounds.

Many of the bass I measured just barely touched 15 inches. But wow, what fun on Midwest finesse tackle.

We used a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  We fished it in 10 to 12 feet of water, and we slowly retrieve it so that the bait was barely above the bottom.

Many times, we would execute a short pause in our retrieves, and our line would just start moving sideways. We lost several bigger bass that jumped and liberated themselves.

Rocky shorelines were best, but there was no one place that was better than others.  But shorelines with a slight slope produced a lot of the largemouth bass.

It was finesse fishing at its finest.

The surface temperature was down to 67 degrees; it was in the low 70s a week ago.  The water clarity was much improved, and I call it Kansas clear, which is radically different than Ozark clear.

May 25 log

My quest on this outing was to see how many minutes it would take me to catch 40 largemouth bass at a very heavily fished community reservoir in northeastern Kansas. In fact, it was getting pummeled by power anglers while I was afloat on May 25.

And as I arrived at one of the reservoir's access roads around 11:00 a.m., a power angler was leaving. We talked for a spell, and he reported that he had struggled to catch seven largemouth bass. He caught them on a square-bill crankbait along the dam between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and his spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits were not productive. Moreover, the other locales that he fished were fruitless. I also talked to two other power anglers, who reported that they were struggling to elicit strikes. I did not cross paths with the other power anglers during the three hours that I was afloat.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 46 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 78 degrees at 2:52 p.m.  The wind angled from the east, southeast, and south at 4 to 28 mph.  The sky was clear. The barometric pressure was 29.70 at 12:52 a.m., 29.69 at 5:52 a.m., 29.66 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.60 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level was a few inches above normal.  The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam exhibited 4 1/2 feet of visibility.  The surface temperature ranged from 67 to 69 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m., 11:05 p.m. to 1:05 a.m., and 4:20 a.m. to 6:20 a.m. I fished from 11:20 a.m. to 2:20 p.m., and I failed to achieve my quest to catch 40 largemouth bass; I caught 38 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass.

Along the rocky terrain of the dam, I caught 18 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass. They were extracted out of three to eight feet of water. The two smallmouth 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 with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on a 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 retrieve. Six largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  Nine 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 with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I fished about a 100-yard stretch of the north shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm and caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and scores of massive boulders -- as well as several stumps. This shoreline possesses a 25- to a 40-degree slope. The water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows. The two largemouth bass were caught on a 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. They were abiding in about three feet of water around the outside edges of the patches of American water willows along a section of the shoreline that has a 30-degree slope. I saw a massive school of largemouth bass fry along this shoreline, and they were the only fry that I saw.

Along a main-lake point and a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline on the west side of the reservoir, I caught 10 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The slope of the point and shoreline ranges from 20- to 40-degrees. The water's edge is graced with a few patches of American water willows, a dock, and a few patches of bushy pondweed. Six of the largemouth bass that I caught were aiding in two to three feet of water along the outside edges of the American water willow patches.  One largemouth bass was caught along a gravel section of the shoreline, and three were caught along a section of the shoreline that is adorned with rocks, a few boulders, bushy pondweed, and American water willows.  The 10 largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  I failed to elicit a strike around the main-lake point.

On the east side of the reservoir, I fished two main-lake points, a 175-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, and about 50 percent of the north and south shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm.  The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and many massive boulders. The slope of the points and shorelines ranges from 20- to 45-degrees. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, some laydowns, a dock, a few stumps, and two overhanging trees.

Along one of the points, I failed to elicit a strike.  Around the other point, I caught two largemouth bass on the initial drop of a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. These largemouth bass were abiding adjacent to a patch of American water willows in two to three feet of water.

I caught two largemouth bass around patches of American water willows along the main-lake shoreline. They were caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about three feet of water.

I failed to garner a strike along the south shoreline inside the small feeder-creek arm. I caught four largemouth bass along the north shoreline on  a 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.  Three were abiding along the outside edges of patches of American water willows in three to four feet of water, and one was adjacent to a dock and around rocks in about four feet of water.

In sum, I was unable to fish more than three hours. So, I was unable to accomplish the task of catching 40 largemouth bass. Before I made my first cast, I was hoping to catch 40 of them in 2 1/2 hours. But the largemouth bass fishing in northeastern Kansas has been askew for several weeks, and I was unable to find a solution to these woes on this outing.

May 26 log

The Weather Underground report that it was 59 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 86 degrees at 3:52 p.m. It was sunny from 9:52 a.m. to 1:52 p.m. It rained from 2:52 a.m. to 3:19 a.m.  The sky was clear from 3:52 a.m. to 7:52 a.m.; it was partly cloudy at 8:52 a.m.; and after 1:52 p.m., it fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being scattered with clouds to being mostly cloudy. While we were afloat, the wind angled out of the north and northwest at 3 to 6 mph.The barometric pressure was 29.65 at 12:52 a.m., 29.62 at 5:52 a.m., 29.72 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.74 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 11:05 a.m. to 1:05 p.m., 11:36 p.m. to 1:36 a.m., and 5:20 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.  Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished from 9:55 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

This reservoir has been in disarray since January. During the winter, it was afflicted with a major Euglena bloom, and throughout the spring Mother Nature dropped vast amounts of rain on its watershed.

During the first four months of the year, we received reports from a few Midwest finesse anglers that the largemouth bass fishing was wretched. This was the first time that Rick and I had fished it in 2017, and we anticipated that the largemouth bass fishing would be rather trying.

The water level was the highest that we have ever seen it at this reservoir. Although the visibility was nearly five feet at some locales in the vicinity of the dam, the water exhibited an odd and semi-milky hue, which was very unappealing to our eyes.  The clarity diminished to about two feet in the back ends of two of the reservoir's four feeder-creek arms. The surface temperature ranged from 70 to 72 degrees. This reservoir's shallow-water flats and some of its flat shorelines are graced with massive patches of curly-leaf pondweed, which will be wilting and dying in a few weeks. These same locales are also adorned with many burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed and coontail, and they will eventually replace the wilting and dying curly-leaf pondweed. Most of the shorelines are embellished by thick patches of American water willows. Along the outside edges of many of the patches of American water willows, there are scores of flooded cottonwood and sycamore trees.

As we fished, we saw one very large aggregation of largemouth bass fry milling about a patch of curly-leaf pondweed.

For several weeks, we have had a difficult time catching largemouth bass in the upper reaches of the primary and secondary feeder-creek arms of the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas.  Our most productive locales have been situated in the lower halves of these reservoirs, and at a couple of these reservoirs, the dams and nearby shoreline have been the most fruitful locales.  That phenomenon occurred on May 25 for me at a community reservoir, where I caught 38 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass in three hours. Consequently, Rick and I expected that the lower half of this reservoir would be where we would catch the bulk of the largemouth bass during our May 26 outing.

We executed scores and scores of casts and a variety of Midwest finesse retrieves along the main-lake shorelines and points in the lower half of this reservoir, and to our surprise, they yielded just six largemouth bass.

One of the six was caught on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve around the dam's spillway in about four feet of water about 12 feet from the outside of a large patch of American water willows.

Three largemouth bass were caught along a steep shoreline that is littered with gravel, rocks, and massive boulders, and its water's edge is adorned with American water willows. They were caught in about five feet of water on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on the initial drop, and the other two were caught at the beginning of a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Two of the six largemouth bass were caught in about four feet of water on the initial drop of a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse Gopher jig along the edge of the American water willows.

Ultimately, we caught another 44 largemouth bass, but they were caught in the back halves of three of this reservoir's four feeder-creek arms. In the smallest feeder-creek arm, we failed to elicit a strike.

Three of the 44 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. The other 41 were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and  a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig.

Two were caught on a deadstick presentation. But the other 42 were caught either on the initial drop of our rigs or as we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. At times, we executed a radical or pronounced shake to our presentation around the flooded cottonwood and sycamore trees. These largemouth bass were caught in three to six feet of water.

To catch most of these 44 largemouth bass, we dissected many secondary and tertiary points and many yards of shorelines in the back halves of the feeder-creek arms.

We caught eight of the 44 by probing some the patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and curly-leaf pondweed that embellish the shallow-water flats in the backs of the feeder-creek arms, which is a difficult task this time of the year because many of the patches of the curly-leaf pondweed completely cover many square yards of the surface, making it a venue for power anglers to punch a bait into. We usually fish these flats in the winter when the curly-leaf pondweed is sprouting; then we fish them again after the curly-leaf pondweed wilts and dies and the bushy pondweed and coontail replaces it in July. In fact, this is the first time that we could remember fishing them in late May.

Some of the largemouth bass were caught as far inside the feeder-creek arms as our boat would float.

Our most fruitful locales were along a few of the shorelines and points that where embellished with American water willows, a few flooded cottonwood and sycamore trees, and scant patches of curly-leaf pondweed. The areas that had a three- to four-foot open-water area (which we called an alley) between the American water willows and the curly-leaf pondweed were some of the most bountiful areas.

We spent the last 25 minutes of the outing fishing the back of a tiny feeder-creek arm, as well as two main-lake points and a main-lake shoreline in the lower portion of this reservoir, where we failed to catch a largemouth bass.

Besides that 25-minute fruitless spell, we endured many minutes throughout this outing of not eliciting a strike. Even though we caught an average of 12.5 largemouth bass an hour, it seemed as if our catch rate was much lower than 12 an hour.  In other words, it was a psychologically trying outing.

One of the largemouth bass that was caught on a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

As this outing came to a close, Rick and I said that we will not return to this reservoir until the middle of June, when the curly-leaf pondweed is dying and decaying and many of the largemouth bass are abiding around the rock- and boulder-laden shorelines and points in the lower third section of the reservoir.

May 30 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 53 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 84 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being clear to being scattered with clouds to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy, and around 5:53 p.m., significant thunderstorms erupted at some northeastern Kansas locales. The wind was calm until about 9:53 a.m., and then it angled out of the south, southwest, and west at 9 to 23 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.06 at 12:53 a.m., 30.07 at 5:53 a.m., 30.05 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., 3:58 p.m. to 5:58 p.m., and 9:44 a.m. to 11:44 a.m. Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs from 10:20 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

The water level looked to be more than six inches above normal.  The surface temperature was 73 degrees.  The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam exhibited about four feet of visibility, and along wind-blown shorelines and points and in the upper reaches of the feeder-creek arms, the visibility ranged from 15 inches to 28 inches. Along portions of this reservoir's west shoreline, the maintenance staff has been cutting and spraying the terrestrial vegetation, and unfortunately, the herbicide drifted onto some of the patches of the American water willows that adorn this shoreline, and these patches are wilting severely.

As we were traveling to the reservoir, Pok-Chi and I expressed high hopes of tangling with  101 largemouth bass in four hours. But after our first hour had lapsed and most of our casts and retrieves had failed to elicit a strike, our hopes for a 101 largemouth bass outing had vanished. It was replaced with a desire to eke out an average of at least 10 largemouth bass an hour.

By the time our fourth hour had lapsed and we had executed our last casts and retrieves, our mechanical fish counter indicated that we caught 59 largemouth bass, and we inadvertently caught two channel catfish, two crappie, and one green sunfish.

We caught one largemouth bass around the spillway on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. This largemouth bass was caught in about 4 1/2 feet of water and six feet from the outside edge of a big patch of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.

We caught two largemouth bass along the riprap of the dam. One was caught on the initial drop of a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ  affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The second largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. These largemouth bass were extracted out of about four feet of water, and they were abiding around patches of American water willows.

Along a short stretch of the east shoreline adjacent to a main-lake point, we caught five largemouth bass. They were caught along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. Four were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin 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 red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We failed to garner a strike around the main-lake point and along a short stretch of the west shoreline that is adjacent to that main-lake point.

We caught three largemouth bass in about 2 1/2 feet of water around a riprap jetty inside one of this reservoir's three feeder-creek arms. Two were caught on the initial drop of the shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One was caught on the initial drop of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. These largemouth bass were abiding around patches of American water willows.

In the back third of another feeder-creek arm, we quickly fished a hundred yards of the flat shoreline on the east side of this feeder creek, and we caught two largemouth bass. One was caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in 1 1/2 feet of water between two patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain between these patches of American water willows consists of silt and some gravel and sand. The second largemouth bass was caught in about two feet of water around a laydown on the initial drop of a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  The underwater terrain around this laydown consists of silt, gravel, and some rocks.

We spent most of the outing fishing from the dam to the back of one of this reservoir's feeder-creek arms. And we fished nearly 90 percent of the west shoreline and portions of other shorelines in the backend of this feeder creek. The west shoreline has nine riprap jetties, two secondary points, several tertiary points, some laydowns, a few brush piles, and several overhanging trees.  Patches of American water willows embellish most of the water's edges around the points and along the shorelines. Most of the underwater terrain of the west shoreline consists of gravel and rocks; some of the areas in the backend portions of this feeder-creek arm are silt-laden.

We caught 46 largemouth bass along the west shoreline and portions of the other shorelines in the back of the feeder creek.

The bulk of them were caught on four Midwest finesse rigs: a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. Two  of the 46 largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and one was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin (prototype) finesse creature bait affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Some were caught when we employed a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Some were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. A few were caught on a straight-swimming retrieve.

Most of the 46 largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. They were caught in 2 1/2 feet to five feet of water. But most of the patches of American water willows were fruitless.  Two of the nine riprap jetties yielded a largemouth bass; we failed to elicit a strike at the other seven jetties.

In sum, it was a hodgepodge outing. We caught the largemouth bass on a variety of baits, with a variety of presentations, and at a variety of locations. Furthermore, our catch rate was so helter-skelter that it seemed as if we caught far fewer than 59 largemouth bass.

May 30 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 30 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

From 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I ventured to one of  north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs. On May 22, I fished this reservoir with John Thomas of Denton, and we eked out only 25 black bass in four hours.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 3:36 a.m. to 5:36 a.m. , 9:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., and 4:03 p.m. to 6:03 p.m.

During this outing, the wind was light and variable at less than 5 mph.  The morning low temperature was 60 degrees. During the afternoon, the high temperature reached 87 degrees. The sky was mostly clear with an occasional wispy cloud or two drifting overhead.  There was an abundance of sunshine everywhere. The barometric pressure measured 30.09 at 10:00 a.m. and 30.03 at 3:00 p.m.

The water at most of the locales that we fished was slightly stained with three to four feet of visibility. We were surprised to see a minor algae bloom that stained the water along the dam, and the water clarity diminished to about 1 1/2 feet of visibility in that area.  The water level was less than a foot low. The water temperature varied from 75 to 83 degrees.

We concentrated our efforts in the reservoir's east tributary arm. We fished one riprap jetty, a short portion of a main-lake bluff, two riprap-laden main-lake shorelines, two expansive main-lake flats embellished with scores and scores of patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, three main-lake points, a couple of short sections of riprap along the dam, a large concrete water outlet tower, two concrete support columns underneath a concrete walkway, and a long rock ledge inside a large feeder-creek arm.

We began the outing at a riprap jetty just north of the boat ramp where we launched. We caught one largemouth bass and one large bluegill that were relating to the submerged rocks along the jetty in less than five feet of water. They were caught on a Z-Man's dark melon-red Scented LeechZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This combo was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along the adjacent rocky shoreline north of the jetty, we caught one largemouth bass and inadvertently caught one freshwater drum while the boat floated in seven to 11 feet of water. The Z-Man's dark melon-red Scented LeechZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught the largemouth bass. A  2 1/2-inch Z-Man's watermelon-red-flake ZinkerZ dressed on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig caught the freshwater drum. The main-lake point on the north end of this shoreline was fruitless.

After we finished fishing the jetty and its adjacent shoreline and main-lake point, we moved to the south end of the tributary arm, where we dissected a 20-yard section of a main-lake point, a 25-yard section of a main-lake bluff, a 35-yard portion of a rocky main-lake shoreline, and about 50 yards of the east end of the dam.

At the main-lake bluff, we hooked and lost one largemouth bass that was suspended about five feet below the surface in 20 feet of water. This bass was abiding next to the bluff and engulfed the 2 1/2-inch watermelon-red-flake ZinkerZ as it was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to elicit any strikes from the submerged rocks along the 35-yard stretch of shoreline adjacent to the bluff that we fished, and the 20-yard section of the main-lake point. The east end of the dam surrendered one spotted bass. It was caught from the submerged riprap along the face of the dam in five feet of water. It was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. This was the only bass that this ZinkerZ rig enticed during this outing.

Along the middle section of the dam, we meticulously dissected a large concrete water outlet tower that is encircled by 30 to 57 feet of water and is situated about 30 yards away from the dam. A wide concrete walkway extends from the tower to the top of the dam. This walkway is supported by two large concrete support columns.

The concrete water outlet tower yielded a combination of 11 largemouth bass and spotted bass. They were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to either a black or chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  These black bass were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface in 30 to 57 feet of water and were next to the sides of the tower. The bulk of them were caught from the shaded areas along the west and north sides of the tower.

One of the two concrete support columns surrendered four largemouth bass that were also relating to the shade underneath the walkway. They were suspended about four feet below the surface in 13 feet of water. They were enticed by the swim-glide-and-shake action of the two mud minnow Hula StickZ combos. The other concrete column closest to the dam failed to yield any strikes.

Along the face of the dam adjacent to the tower and the two concrete pillars, we failed to generate any strikes.

After that, we meandered over to a massive main-lake flat and its adjacent main-lake point. This area is embellished with scores and scores of patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation. Its underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel.

We caught one largemouth bass from the midsection of the flat. It was caught around the outside edge of a large patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three feet of water. It engulfed the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig as it was manipulated with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to locate any other bass on this flat. We also failed to generate any strikes along the main-lake point that is adjacent to this flat.

On the west side of the tributary arm, we traveled inside a large feeder-creek arm.  On the south side of this feeder-creek arm, we fished about 75 yards of a long submerged rock ledge, a steep and rocky secondary point located at the west end of the rock ledge, and the main-lake point at the south entrance to this feeder-creek arm.

The side of the submerged rock ledge plummets into 17 to 20 feet of water.  The top of it is covered with about two feet of water. This ledge yielded a combination of five largemouth bass and spotted bass. Three of the black bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Bass Pro Shops' white-chartreuse senko-style bait rigged on a pink generic 1/16-ounce ball-head jig.  The other two black bass and the carp were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We hooked but failed to land another fish that we failed to see on the mud minnow Hula StickZ rig.  These five black bass were caught in three to five feet of water and were in the vicinity of the rock ledge.  The shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ and the 2 1/2-inch Bass Pro Shops' senko-style bait were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to entice any strikes from the secondary point.

The main-lake point at the mouth of this creek arm relinquished one feisty carp.

In sum, it took us 4 1/2 hours to catch 17 largemouth bass and seven spotted bass. We accidentally caught two freshwater drum, two large bluegills, and one carp.

For the past several weeks, we have been unable to develop any type of location pattern, and this outing was no different. But we were able to determine that a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black or chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig was the most effective lure, which allured 18 of the 24 black bass that we caught. Besides the swim-glide-and-shake presentation, we also utilized the drag-and-deadstick retrieve, hop-and-bounce retrieve, and a steady do-nothing swimming retrieve. The swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only effective presentation.

May 31 log

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

Here is an edited version of hs log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, joined me for a midday outing at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir on May 31.

On May 20, I fished this same reservoir for five hours. I caught 17 largemouth bass and five spotted bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's molting craw Hula StickZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. It was sunny and the afternoon high was 78 degrees. The wind angled out of the north, northwest, and west at 10 to 15 mph.

On this May 31 outing, the afternoon high was 91 degrees. The morning low was 68 degrees. The sky was partly cloudy. The wind was mild mannered and quartered out of the northeast at 4 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.05 at 9:32 a.m. and 29.98 at 2:32 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table predicted that the best fishing would take place from 4:34 a.m. to 6:34 a.m., 10:47 a.m. to 12:47 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The water temperature ranged from 79 degrees to 81 degrees. The water where we fished was stained from an algae bloom, exhibiting about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was half of a foot low.

John and I fished from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The largemouth bass and spotted bass bite has not been very vivacious for the past couple of months, and that trend continued throughout this outing. Consequently, we struggled to catch 23 largemouth bass and two spotted bass.

In the southern region of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass from the submerged riprap along the east end of the dam, which forms the southern boundary of this reservoir.  Another nine largemouth bass, one spotted bass, three channel catfish, two crappie, one freshwater drum, and one large bluegill were caught along a 25-yard stretch of submerged riprap near the middle of the dam. The west end of the dam was fruitless.

A couple of these 11 black bass were caught near the water's edge in two to three feet of water. The others were caught between five and 25 feet away from the face of the dam in seven to 15 feet of water.

We caught five largemouth bass and one freshwater drum along a flat and rocky main-lake shoreline just east of the dam. They were scattered along the shoreline in three to five feet of water and within three to 20 feet from the water's edge.

Six largemouth bass were caught from a large main-lake mud flat located a short distance from the dam. This flat is adorned with numerous thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation and surrounded by three to five feet of water. These largemouth bass were relating to the outside edges of several of the thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation on the south side of the flat in three to five feet of water.

John Thomas with one of the 23 largemouth bass that they caught.

We caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass from a dilapidated asphalt boat ramp that is positioned on the end of a main-lake point about a mile north of the dam. They were extracted from three to six feet of water.

In the southwestern tributary arm of this reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass from a main-lake point on the south side of the tributary. This main-lake point consists of clay and gravel, and thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation embellish the shoreline. This largemouth bass was caught from a patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation in four feet of water, and it was several yards from the water's edge.

We failed to catch any black bass from another main-lake point and its adjacent shoreline that lies a short distance from the point where we caught the largemouth bass.

During this outing, we employed a goodly portion of our Z-Man Fishing Products' Midwest finesse baits and Gopher Tackle's mushroom-head jigs. We generated strikes with only two of them. Nineteen largemouth bass and two spotted  bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Four largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  We lost several other bass that were able to liberate themselves before we could land them.

Of the six Midwest finesse presentations, the swim-glide-and shake retrieve was the only effective one.

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