Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2018

Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2018
This November guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 16 logs and 16,080 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the undertakings of Rick Allen of Dallas; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Henry Sparks of The Colony, Texas; and John Thomas of Denton, Texas.

In short, Mother Nature’s wet, windy, and wintery ways adversely affected our abilities to get afloat on many of November’s 30 days.

We are grateful that Steve Reideler proofread every word and made every log more readable and understandable.

Nov. 3

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 3 outing at one of the northeastern Kansas’ power-plant reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 42 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 60 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, southeast, south by southwest, east by southeast, and south by southeast at 3 to 29 mph. It fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to cloudy to partly cloudy to fair to raining lightly. The barometric pressure was 28.7 at 12:53 a.m., 28.7 at 5:53 a.m., 28.7 at 11:53 a.m., and 28.6 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 7:31 a.m. to 9:31 a.m., 7:56 p.m. to 9:56 p.m., and 1:18 a.m. to 3:18 a.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 57 to 60 degrees. The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam exhibited 1 1/2 feet of visibility.

Water temperatures ranged from 57 to 60 degrees. Water clarity was around 1.5 feet along the dam. The water level looked to be six inches below its normal level.

When I arrived at the boat ramp around 8:00 a.m., about a dozen vehicles and empty boat trailers were in the parking lot and a small bass-club tournament was taking place.

Initially, my catch rate was horrendous. At the first locale, I failed to elicit a strike along a 150-yard stretch of a riprap shoreline along the east side of this reservoir.

Then along a main-lake bluff along the west side of the reservoir, I caught two largemouth bass and one freshwater drum.

From that bluff, I ventured to another riprap shoreline along the east side of the reservoir, where I caught three largemouth bass and one freshwater drum.

The next locale was a flat rocky-and-boulder-laden point near the east end of the dam, and I fished until I reached the dam’s spillway, which was occupied by four boats of crappie anglers. And I caught several white bass along the riprap east of the spillway.

I spent the rest of the outing plying the riprap shoreline west of the dam’s spillway, and while I was fishing, I was the only angler that fished this part of the dam. The brisk southeasterly wind provoked me to employ a drift sock.

I fished until 4:00 p.m., and my fishing counter indicated that I caught 39 fish, and 29 of them were largemouth bass, and the other 10 were either freshwater drum or white bass. They were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Fishing Products’ purple-haze ZinkerZ affixed to either a red or black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to either a red or black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD HogZ affixed to either a red or black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Most of the time, I made casts that were perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the shoreline, and I employed these rigs with a slow swim-and-glide presentation that was highlighted with occasional twitches. Along the flatter stretches of the dam, I made long casts that were parallel to the water’s edge, and as I employed a swim-and-twitch presentation, my rod was held in the five o’clock position.

Most of the 39 fish were caught in one to five feet of water.

Nov. 6

The Weather Underground reported that it was 37 degrees at 6:53 a.m., 50 degrees at 12:53 p.m., and 44 degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the west, west by northwest, northwest, and southwest at 8 to 24 mph. It was fair until 10:53 a.m., and then it fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to cloudy, and it started to rain lightly before 2:53 p.m. The barometric pressure was 28.7 at 12:53 a.m., 28.8 at 5:53 a.m., 28.9 at 11:53 a.m., and 28.9 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:43 a.m. to 10:43 a.m., 9:07 p.m. to 11:07 p.m., and 2:31 a.m. to 4:31 a.m. My cousin Ricky Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at a northeastern Kansas’ community reservoir from 10:38 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.

The water level was a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 55 degrees. The water clarity varied from two feet to four feet of visibility. Most of the patches of American water willows that grace some of this reservoir’s shorelines are exhibiting their winter-dead hues, as are most of its patches of water lilies. This reservoir is endowed with a multitude of coontail patches, which are flourishing. Its patches of American pondweeds look as if they are about to start wilting. Its shorelines are littered with throngs of laydowns and overhanging trees. But its black bass fishing was awful. During the three hours and 57 minutes that we were afloat, we struggled to catch 19 largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass. We inadvertently caught two white bass. We talked to a pair of anglers who said that they struggled to catch four largemouth bass and one walleye. In short, this Nov. 6 outing was another manifestation of the horrid black bass fishing that has regularly plagued us in 2018.

Because we failed to establish a location pattern and a presentation pattern, it is impossible for us to cogently explain how, when, and where we caught the measly number of black bass that we were able to catch.

At times, we suspected that we were dealing with the aftereffects of the turnover phenomenon, but we had no way to ascertain if those suspicions were correct.

We can say, however, that a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig was our most effective rig. But we did catch a few on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. A Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD CrawZ affixed to an orange mushroom-style jig caught one largemouth bass, as did a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. And a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one largemouth bass.

We caught some while we were executing a swim-glide-and-minor-shake presentation in two to six feet of water. We caught one on a deadstick presentation around a patch of coontail in about five feet of water. We caught a few while we were strolling and working with a dragging presentation in five to 10 feet of water. We caught several on the initial drop of our rigs.

We caught a few around rocks and boulders. We caught two around patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows. The laydowns were fruitless. We caught a few around main-lake points. We caught a few along main-lake shorelines. We caught a few along shorelines inside feeder-creek arms. We caught a few around coontail patches that adorn some of the shallow-water flats inside some of the feeder-creek arms. But most of the locales that we fished and most of the casts and retrieves that we made were unrewarding.

In essence, the purpose of this log is to acknowledge and embrace our failures as anglers.

Nov. 6

Here is a brief report about the state of black bass fishing in north-central Texas from Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas:

John Thomas of Denton and I went to Lake Bridgeport this morning. The recent rains have turned it into a mud hole and it is not fishable.

From there, we decided to go to Ray Roberts instead, where we were going to take advantage of the two remaining open boat ramps on the south end of the reservoir. But when we arrived, we found that both ramps had been closed.

Then we decided to drive to Lewisville Lake in hopes of finding an open high-water ramp on the north end of the lake, but it was closed as well.

We ended up driving more than three hours and checking three reservoirs, and we could not find a place to fish.

I am trying to get some information on the water conditions at Lake Murray before we make the drive up there.

For now, it looks like we will have to fish some ponds until water conditions improve.

Nov. 7

The Weather Underground reported that it was 34 degrees at 12:53 a.m. and 45 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm for a short spell or two, and then it angled out of the south, west by northwest, northwest, north by northwest, and north at 3 to 13 mph. It was foggy for a couple of hours, and then it fluctuated from being cloudy to being fair. The barometric pressure was 29.0 at 12:53 a.m., 29.0 at 5:53 a.m., 29.1 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.1 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 9:55 p.m. to 11:55 p.m., and 3:18 a.m. to 5:18 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 10:22 a.m. to 2:22 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 53 to 54 degrees. The water level looked to be a few inches above normal. The water exhibited three to 4 1/2 feet of visibility. Significant patches of coontail grace many of this reservoir’s shorelines and many yards of its shallow-water flats. Some of its water’s edges are adorned with patches of American water willows, which are beginning to fade into their wintertime motif. Sheets of duckweed are intertwined with some of the patches of American water willows and coontail.

I spent the entire four hours plying portions of two massive shorelines and three main-lake points in the upper half of this reservoir’s primary feeder-creek arm.

I caught 37 largemouth bass. Nineteen of them were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Sixteen were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two of the 37 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. I failed to elicit a strike on several other colors and styles of Midwest finesse rigs.

I failed to garner any strikes from around the three main-lake points.

Along about a 450-yard portion of one of the two shorelines, I caught 19 largemouth bass. This section of the shoreline possesses a 25- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. It is littered with 23 docks. The water’s edge is lined with many concrete and rock retaining walls, a few patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, many patches of coontail, some minor laydowns, and a few brush piles. There were sheets of duckweed cluttering some locales.

Along the steeper portions of this shoreline, two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of my Junebug TRD MinnowZ rig. The other largemouth bass were caught in four to 10 feet of water while I was employing either a swim-and-glide presentation about six inches above the bottom or a drag-and-subtle shake presentation on the bottom.

The largemouth bass that I caught along the flatter sections of this shoreline were caught in four to seven feet of water while I was either slowly swimming or dragging my rigs. A few of them were caught while I was strolling and employing a swimming presentation. Most of these largemouth bass were caught along or near the outside edges of patches of coontail.

I fished along two sections of the other massive shoreline, which yielded 18 largemouth bass. The slope of these sections ranges from 20 to 60 degrees. The underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. I fished around and adjacent to four docks, many patches of coontail, a few laydowns, some patches of American water willows, and two concrete retaining walls.

Six largemouth bass were caught along the steeper section of this shoreline. They were caught in five to nine feet of water as I was strolling and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. Twelve were caught in three to six feet of water on the shallow-water flats around patches of coontail. Five of these 12 largemouth bass were caught while I was strolling and executing a swim-and-glide presentation. Seven were caught while I was casting and working with either a slow swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

In conclusion, this outing was slightly more fruitful than Rick Hebenstreit’s and my Nov. 6 outing at another northeastern Kansas community reservoir, where we struggled to catch 19 largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass.

The weather forecasters are predicting that northeastern Kansas will get hit with one to three inches of snow on Nov. 8, and the low temperature during the night of Nov. 9 and 10 will be 17 degrees. We are hoping that that the winter of 2018-19 will provide us with some fruitful cold-water fishing. In winters past, we have enjoyed several outings when we have tangled with more than 101 largemouth bass in four hours. To our chagrin, however, we failed to reach our coveted goal of catching 101 largemouth bass in four hours during the winter of 2017-18.

Nov. 7

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

After John Thomas of Denton and I failed to find any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs with an open boat ramp on Nov. 6, I was relegated to a bank-walking excursion at a community reservoir located in a northwest Dallas’ suburb on Nov. 7.

Nov. 7 was grey and overcast. One local television meteorologist was forecasting cold temperatures and light rain during the evening hours, and the cold rain would continue throughout the day on Nov. 8. The morning low temperature on Nov. 7 was 50 degrees and the afternoon high was 66 degrees. The wind blew out of the north by northeast at 12 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 11:00 a.m. and 29.96 at 3:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated the most fruitful fishing would occur from 3:26 a.m. to 5:26 a.m., 9:38 a.m. to 11:38 a.m., and 10:03 p.m. to 1:03 a.m. I fished from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The water level was normal. The water was stained and exhibited between 14 to 16 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 64 degrees.

I began the outing by fishing along the west shoreline, which is steep. Its underwater terrain consists of sand and gravel. A fishing pier is positioned along the middle portion of this shoreline. A thin wall of hydrilla runs underneath the fishing pier. This wall of hydrilla is about five feet wide and 35 feet long, and it parallels the shoreline in about eight feet of water. A gravel and sand tertiary point lies about 50 feet south of the fishing pier. Two other tertiary points are located about 30 yards north of the pier. A shallow ditch also adorns the northern end of this shoreline and cuts across a large mud flat on the north end of the reservoir.

I failed to elicit any strikes from the ditch on the northeast end of the reservoir.

The steep sand and gravel shoreline adjacent to the fishing pier yielded one largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was relating to one of the pier’s metal support posts in about three feet of water. It was bewitched by a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ that was fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse Z-Man’s ShroomZ jig. It engulfed the ZinkerZ rig on its initial drop.

The end of the sandy tertiary point south of the fishing pier surrendered two largemouth bass. They were caught in four to six feet of water on a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse WormZ rigged on a custom-painted blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

After I finished fishing the west shoreline, I plied the wind-blown concrete-slab dam that forms the southern perimeter of the reservoir. A patch of hydrilla graces the west end of the dam, and it is situated in five feet of water and about 10 feet from the water’s edge. This patch of hydrilla is about three feet wide and four feet long; it yielded seven largemouth bass. The center section of the dam surrendered nine largemouth bass, and the east end yielded one. Three of these 17 bass were allured by a drag-and shake retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo. The other 14 were caught on the shortened four-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse WormZ rig as it was dragged and shaken across the bottom or on the initial drop. All of these bass were abiding in four to seven feet of water and within 15 feet of the water’s edge.

From the dam, I moved to the east shoreline and worked my way northward. This shoreline is steep and portions of it are curved. This shoreline features a broad sand and gravel point that is situated in the mid-section of this shoreline. About 60 feet north of this point lies a long clay and gravel point that extends westward toward the middle of the reservoir. A long and shallow sand and gravel ledge parallels most of this shoreline.

I caught five largemouth bass that were relating to the deep-water side of the shallow ledge on the south end of the shoreline. These largemouth bass were abiding in four to six feet of water. They were enticed by the shortened Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse WormZ rig that was manipulated with a slow drag-and-shake presentation.

I failed to elicit any strikes along the broad middle point or the clay and gravel point on the north end of this shoreline.

The north end of the reservoir consists of a large and shallow mud flat that is dissected with a small feeder creek. It is festooned with tall stands of cattails and I did not spend any time fishing this area.

Overall, the fishing was above average. I caught and released 25 largemouth bass in four hours. The bulk of them were decent sized and weighed between 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 pounds. Three were dinks. I also failed to hook several subtle strikes. Two other bass were able to liberate themselves before I could land them.

Four largemouth bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo. Twenty-one largemouth bass were allured by the four-inch coppertreuse Finesse WormZ rig. A slow drag-and-shake presentation attracted 21 of the 25 largemouth bass. Four of them engulfed the Finesse WormZ rig on the initial drop.

We have no idea how long the Corps’ reservoirs will be closed. So until the Corps’ reservoirs open again, we will have to be content plying several of the smaller community reservoirs that we normally fish. We also hope to chase some smallmouth bass in southern Oklahoma.

Nov. 9

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

Local meteorologists reported that the morning low temperature in Denton, Texas, was 41 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 57 degrees. It was a beautiful sunny day with a few thin cirrus clouds drifting across the powder-blue sky. The barometric pressure ranged from 30.30 at noon to 30.26 at 4:00 p.m. The wind angled out of the north and northwest at 15 to 25 mph.

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, joined me for an afternoon of bank-walking at two community reservoirs that lie in two suburbs south of Denton. We are waiting for the water levels to drop significantly in the north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs so the boat ramps will be open again. I caught 25 largemouth bass at another community reservoir on Nov. 7.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the most lucrative fishing would occur from 5:10 a.m. to 7:10 a.m., 10:53 a.m. to 12:53 p.m., and 11:22 p.m. to 1:22 a.m. John and I fished at the first reservoir from about 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. We plied the second one from 3:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

The first community reservoir that we fished is about the size of a football field.

A large island and an adjacent cove occupy the west end of this impoundment. Two creek channels run parallel to the island’s northern and southern shorelines.

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

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

The east end of the reservoir has the deepest water, and it consists of a steep clay bank.

The water exhibited a muddy-brown hue with less than 12 inches of clarity. It normally has 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility and a pleasant green tint. The water temperature was 61 degrees. The water level was about a foot high.

The fishing was difficult, and we labored to catch seven largemouth bass.

Five of them were caught in less than five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water’s edge as we slowly and steadily retrieved a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was attached on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig parallel to the shorelines. The other two were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ fastened on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve parallel to the shorelines.

Five of these largemouth bass were caught around the smaller tertiary points on the north shoreline where some partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation had died and only their stems remained. One was caught along the steeper east shoreline. Another one was caught along the north shoreline inside the west cove. We garnered only one strike from the south side of the impoundment, and we were unable to hook that fish.

We failed to entice any strikes using an assortment of Z-Man’s Hula StickZs, Finesse WormZs, TRD MinnowZs, TRD CrawZs, Finesse TRDs, TRD HogZs, a variety of three-inch Slim SwimZs, and several colors of TRD TubeZs.

After that disappointing start, we travelled about 13 miles to the second community reservoir, which is about a third of the size of the first one. The fishing at this impoundment was as trying as it was at the first reservoir, and our best efforts could muster only six largemouth bass.

The water displayed about two feet of visibility, which is the clearest that we have ever seen it. The water temperature was 60 degrees. The water level was slightly high.

This reservoir’s submerged terrain is composed of clay and gravel.

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

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

The north shoreline is straight and encompasses a shallow mud flat and a small feeder-creek that enters the reservoir at the west end of this shoreline. There are a few thin patches of stems of winter-dead water lilies adorning most of this shoreline.

The west side of the reservoir is steeper than the north side, and it is embellished with a couple of scattered patches of stems of winter-dead water lilies.

We slowly dissected this reservoir for about 60 minutes and managed to scrounge up six largemouth bass. Three largemouth bass were caught along the outside edge of a thin patch of winter-dead water lilies lining the north shoreline. One was caught along the outside edge of another small patch of winter-dead water lilies on the west shoreline. Two were caught from two small tertiary points on the east shoreline. All of them were extracted from three to five feet of water and within a few feet of the water’s edge.

We were unable to generate any strikes from the submerged rocks around the base of the dam on the south end of the impoundment.

One largemouth was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rig that we used with a steady swimming action. Another one was caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ mounted on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and it was utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other four bass were allured by a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD threaded on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was also employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Overall, the fishing was mediocre at best. It became a tedious chore for us to catch 13 largemouth bass in three hours.

Seven were caught at the first impoundment, where the water was muddy and 61 degrees. Six were caught at the second reservoir, where the water was stained and 60 degrees.

We were able to generate strikes with either a steady swimming retrieve or a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We were unable to provoke any strikes with bottom-oriented presentations, such as a slow drag-and-shake retrieve, drag-and-no-shake retrieve, and a hop-and-bounce retrieve. But when the water temperatures fall into the mid- to low-50s by the middle of December, these types of bottom retrieves usually become our most effective presentations.

Nov. 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 11 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

FNN member Henry Sparks of The Colony, Texas, and I drove 73 miles and spent four hours pursuing smallmouth bass at a Civilian Conservation Corps’ hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma. This was Henry’s maiden Midwest finesse outing.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-finesse-nov-5.jpg
Henry Sparks with a largemouth bass.
In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would most likely occur from 12:48 a.m. to 2:48 a.m., 7:01 a.m. to 9:01 a.m., and 1:13 p.m. to 3:13 p.m. Henry and I fished from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day was chilly, breezy and overcast. The afternoon high was 51 degrees and the morning low temperature was 40 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.18 at 10:00 a.m. and 30.07 at 3:00 p.m. A peppy wind quartered out of the southeast at 12 to 18 mph.

Recent rains have raised the water level at this reservoir, and it appeared to be about four feet high. The water was dingy with two feet of visibility. Normally, the water in this reservoir displays four to seven feet of clarity. The surface temperature was 60 degrees.

Our time was spent in the lower end of the reservoir, where we focused our attentions on a long shoreline of a bluff inside a feeder-creek arm, three main-lake shorelines, five main-lake points, and portions of a submerged roadbed inside a minor feeder-creek arm.

As we were launching our boat, we spoke with two other anglers at the ramp. They informed us that they had caught four smallmouth bass on a suspended jerkbait and a square-bill crankbait.

The reservoir was virtually deserted; we saw only one other boat during the time we were afloat.

The fishing was awful. It was a chore for us to scrounge up 12 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass in four hours. We also inadvertently caught one freshwater drum and one channel catfish.

The section of the lengthy bluff that we plied inside the first feeder-creek arm is about a mile long. The water depth along this bluff is as shallow as 12 feet and as deep as 52 feet. It relinquished four smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and one freshwater drum. They were scattered along the bluff and suspended about eight to ten feet below the surface. They engulfed a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig as it was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We caught one smallmouth bass from the five main-lake points and small portions of their adjacent main-lake shorelines. The underwater terrains of these points and shorelines are comprised of mostly sand, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and numerous large boulders. This smallmouth bass was caught next to a large submerged boulder in six feet of water and about 25 feet away from the water’s edge. It was caught on the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig and slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside a minor feeder-creek arm, we dissected the top and sides of a submerged roadbed that is situated in the middle of the feeder-creek arm. The section of the roadbed that we fished is covered with 10 to 12 feet of water. The edges of the roadbed are lined with large submerged boulders and rocks and buffeted with at least 20 feet of water. We failed to elicit any strikes from this locale.

Seven smallmouth bass were caught from the three main-lake shorelines. Their underwater terrains are similar to those of the five main-lake points. The seven smallmouth bass were relating to submerged boulders in five to eight feet of water and were attracted to the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin ZinkerZ combo, which was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Of all the Midwest finesse rigs that we employed during this foray, the only effective one was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The only effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Another round of rain storms accompanied by a significant cold front are forecasted to wallop north-central Texas on Nov. 12. We are concerned that the additional rain may cause more havoc with our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs, which are already closed because of flooding.

Nov. 14

The Weather Underground reported that Old Man Winter made an appearance in northeastern Kansas on Nov. 10, and he hung around through Nov. 14. During this five-day spell, some area thermometers plummeted to 8 degrees. Record low temperatures were created in Lawrence, Kansas, on Nov. 10 and 13, and it snowed twice. On Nov. 14, the low temperature was 13 degrees, and the high temperature was 41 degrees. It was sunny. The wind was calm from 12:52 a.m. until 6:52 a.m., and then it angled out of the southeast, south by southeast, and east by southeast at 3 to 7 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.6 at 12:52 a.m., 29.6 at 5:52 a.m., 29.6 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.5 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:23 a.m. to 5:23 a.m., 3:46 p.m. to 5:46 p.m., and 9:34 a.m. to 11:34 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 46 to 47 degrees. The water exhibited two to 3 1/2 feet of visibility. Some of this reservoir’s shallow-water flats and shallow-water shorelines are graced with patches of Eurasian milfoil. To our delight, the curly-leaf pondweed is beginning to flourish around many of these shallow-water locales, and it will slowly grow throughout the winter, and it will eventually wilt in June when the water temperature climbs into the seventies. There are also several patches of bushy pondweed gracing some of these shallow-water areas. In this reservoir, most of the patches of milfoil and curly-leaf pondweed grow in three to seven feet of water, as does the bushy pondweed. The patches of American water willows that embellish some the shorelines are in the early stages of their winter-dead motif.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Pond-weed-november.jpg
Eurasion milfoil
For years on end, we have been told by scores of expert anglers, such a Kevin Van Dam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, that it is best to focus on steep and deep-water lairs in order to catch largemouth bass in cold-water situations. (Read about Van Dam’s cold-water insights at this link: https://www.bassmaster.com/vandams-6-season-bass-guide.) But for years on end in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas, we have been using our Midwest finesse tactics around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation in three to 10 feet of water on shallow-water flats in the backs of feeder-creek arms, where we have at times caught as many as 101 or more largemouth bass in four hours when the surface temperature ranges from 38 to 48 degrees.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Pond-weed-november-2.jpg
Curly-leaf pondweed
On this Nov. 14 outing, I spent most of the 2 1/2 hours probing shallow-water haunts inside three feeder-creek arms and focusing my casts and retrieves around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. I caught 25 largemouth bass and two warmouth.

Along a flat shoreline inside one feeder-creek arm, I caught seven largemouth bass in an area that is the size of a tennis court. This area is graced with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. It possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. This area is situated about 90 percent of the way inside this feeder-creek arm. The seven largemouth bass were caught on a prototype of Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. They were residing in four to six of water. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig. The others were caught on a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. They were caught from 10 to 15 feet from the water’s edge.

In the back of this same feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass in about three feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on a shallow-water flat. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and silt. It possesses a 20-degree slope. It was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig as I was strolling and employing a swim-and-glide presentation.

Near the mouth of this same feeder-creek arm, I caught two largemouth bass on an offshore hump that is about 75 feet long and 25 feet wide. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and it is embellished with several stumps. Some meager patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed embellish portions of this hump. The two largemouth bass were caught in about five feet of water on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

In the back of another feeder-creek arm, I fished along a 100-yard stretch of a flat shoreline and across portions of a shallow-water flat. The flat and shoreline are graced with some patches of bushy pondweed, curly-leaf pondweed, and Eurasian milfoil. The shoreline is endowed with some patches of nearly water-dead American water willows, a few laydowns, two concrete retaining walls, and four docks. The underwater terrain of the shoreline consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. The underwater terrain of the flat consists of silt and gravel. The shoreline possesses a 20- to 30-degree slope. The bulk of the shoreline and flat were fruitless. But a couple of spots yielded six largemouth bass. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig in about three feet of water adjacent to a patch of nearly winter-dead American water willows. Another largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. Four largemouth bass were caught in four to six feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. Five of these six largemouth bass were caught from 10 to 25 feet from the water’s edge.

About halfway inside this second feeder-creek arm, I caught eight largemouth bass along one of its flat shorelines. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its water’s edge is adorned with winter-dead patches of American water willows, several laydowns, two docks, and a short concrete retaining wall. It possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. There are a few scrawny patches of submerged aquatic vegetation enhancing portions of this 75-yard stretch of shoreline. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. The other seven were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig as I was strolling and employing either a drag-and-subtle-shake or a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation in four to six feet of water. These largemouth bass were caught from 10 to 15 feet from the water’s edge.

Along a shoreline about 75 percent of the way inside another feeder-creek arm, I caught the twenty-fifth and final largemouth bass of this 2 1/2-hour outing. This shoreline has a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is embellished with a few meager patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and several stumps. There are patches of submerged aquatic vegetation gracing portions of this shoreline and its adjacent shallow-water flat. The largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water and 10 feet from the water’s edge on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation.

Nov. 16

The Weather Underground reported that it was 33 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 55 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm for five hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the north by northwest, northwest, west, west by northwest, south, and south by southeast at 3 to 8 mph. It was sunny. The barometric pressure was 28.9 at 12:53 a.m., 28.9 at 5:53 a.m., 28.9 at 11:53 a.m., and 28.9 at 2:53 p.m.

In my eyes, it was a pleasant respite from the wintery spell that walloped northeastern Kansas from Nov. 8 through Nov. 15. But there was still a sheet or two of thin ice on some farm ponds and a few small patches of snow scattered here and there.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:51 a.m. to 6:51 a.m., 5:13 p.m. to 7:13 p.m., and 11:02 p.m. to 1:02 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 11:19 a.m. to 2:29 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir was normal. The surface temperature fluctuated from 45 to 48 degrees. The water clarity in the vicinity of the dam exhibited six feet of visibility, and it diminished to slightly more than 3 1/2 feet in the upper reaches of this reservoir’s primary feeder-creek arm. The patches of American water willows that grace some of the shorelines are beginning to exhibit the winter-dead motif. The patches of coontail that embellish some of the shorelines and shallow-water flats are beginning to wilt, and many of them are coated with filamentous algae.

I spent the entire 3 1/2 hours in the upper half of this reservoir. Most of the time was spent plying portions of two long shorelines. I spent about 15 minutes fishing around one main-lake point and across portions of a shallow-water flat that is about the size of two tennis courts. The point and shallow-water flat are adjacent to one of the shorelines. And I caught 38 largemouth bass and accidentally caught one green sunfish.

A prototype Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught 37 of the largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught one largemouth bass. I failed to elicit a strike on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig.

During the first 17 minutes of this outing, I failed to elicit a strike. And during the second hour, I endured a 21-minute spell when I failed to catch a largemouth bass.

I failed to elicit a strike around the main-lake point.

On my first cast at the shallow-water flat, I caught a largemouth bass on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig in about six feet of water around in a patch of coontail. I hooked another fish on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about six feet of water around another patch of coontail, but this creature liberated itself from the rig. These patches are about 35 yards from the water’s edge.

I fished about 400 yards of one of the shorelines. It possesses a 20- to 70-degree slope. Much of the water’s edge is lined with either concrete or rock retaining walls, and it is littered with scores of docks. There are a few patches of American water willows and a few minor laydowns. Several segments of this massive shoreline are endowed with significant patches of coontail.

Along about a 60-yard segment of coontail patches, I caught 19 largemouth bass. This 60-yard segment possesses a 25- degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks.

These 19 largemouth bass were caught along or near the outside edge of the patches of coontail in five to seven feet of water. Four of the nineteen were caught from three to 10 feet from the water’s edge. The other 15 largemouth bass were caught from 20 to 30 feet from the water’s edge. One was caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig and 18 were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. Two were caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught while I was employing either a swim-and-glide presentation or a drag-and-subtle-shake retrieve. Five of them were caught while I was strolling with the swim-and-glide presentation.

I fished about 200 yards of the second shoreline. It possesses a 20- to 85-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. There are three short concrete and rock retaining walls lining the water’s edge of the 200-yard stretch that I fished. And there are three docks. There is a significant expanse of American water willows adorning portions of the water’s edge. Along its steeper stretches, there are a few laydowns, brush piles, and overhanging trees. Small patches of coontail adorn some of the steeper sections, but most of its flatter and shallow-water areas are graced with substantial patches of coontail.

I meticulously fished around and across three of these substantial patches of coontail.

At the first coontail patch, which is the shallowest and flattest, I failed to elicit a strike.

At the second coontail patch, I caught six largemouth bass on the TRD TicklerZ rig in four to seven feet of water. Two were caught of the initial drop. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation, and one of them was caught while I was strolling with the swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

At the third patch of coontail, I caught four largemouth bass on the TRD TicklerZ rig in about five feet of water with the swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve.

I caught eight largemouth bass along a 50-yard stretch of this second shoreline that possesses a 50- to 60-degree slope. Two of them were caught in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig adjacent to patches of American water willows that are intertwined with some coontail. The other six were caught in five to 10 feet of water on the TRD TicklerZ rig on either the swim-and-glide presentation or a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation.

In conclusion, we have yet to catch 101 black bass in 2018. The last time that we reached that goal was Nov. 29, 2017, and that occurred when Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, Jim Stegeman of Olathe, Kansas, and I caught 105 largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass at another eastern Kansas' community reservoir. As 2018 is coming to a close, Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas are saying that something is awry with the black bass populations in all of our waterways. For example, Gum fished that reservoir on Nov. 11, and he struggled to catch seven largemouth bass and one walleye. I also fished that same reservoir on Nov. 6 and struggled to catch 19 largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass. Now it has become a stellar outing to catch 38 largemouth bass in 3 1/2 hours.

Nov. 16
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-finesse-nov-4.jpg
John Thomas with a largemouth bass
Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 16 endeavors.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

As I have been reporting in my recent logs, the boat ramps at most of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan areas have been closed because of flooding. And the one Corps’ reservoir where the ramps were open was a muddy mess.

Consequently, John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I spent part of the morning and afternoon on Nov. 16 driving around a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in hopes of finding an open boat ramp. But to our dismay, the ones we checked were still closed. Ultimately, we opted to conduct another bank-walking excursion at a community reservoir located in a suburb northwest of Dallas.

The last time I fished this community reservoir was on Nov. 7. During that solo outing, the sky was grey and overcast. The morning low temperature was 50 degrees and the afternoon high was 66 degrees. The wind was angling out of the north by northeast at 12 to 20 mph. The water level was normal and exhibited 14 to 16 inches of visibility. The water’s surface temperature was 64 degrees, and I caught 25 largemouth bass in four hours.

The weather took a turn for the worse during the evening hours of Nov. 12 when a major cold front swept across the north-central Texas countryside. The nighttime temperatures plummeted into the mid- to high 20s. The daytime highs on Nov. 13 and 14 struggled to reach the upper 30s and low 40s. It was also quite windy during those two days with miserably cold winds howling out of the north and northwest at 15 to 30 mph.

The weather began to improve on Nov. 15, and Nov. 16 was sunny and warm. The morning low was 43 degrees and the afternoon high was 72 degrees. The wind quartered out of the southwest at 3 to 6 mph during the morning hours, and it increased to 12 mph during the afternoon hours. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 10:54 a.m. and 30.00 at 3:54 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m., and 5:22 p.m. to 7:22 p.m. John and I were afoot from 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

The water level was slightly high. The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The water temperature had plummeted from 64 degrees on Nov. 7 and varied between 49 and 53 degrees.

This reservoir’s underwater terrain consists of clay, sand, and gravel.

Our first casts were along the sides of a fishing pier, which is located in the middle portion of the west shoreline. The surface temperature of the water in this area was 50 degrees. We caught one largemouth bass from the north side of the pier and another one from the south side of the pier in four to six feet of water and within 15 feet of the water’s edge. They were enticed into striking a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD CrawZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and an extremely slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation on the bottom.

A gravel and sand tertiary point that is situated about 50 feet south of the fishing pier yielded two largemouth bass. They were attracted to a painfully slow drag-and-deadstick presentation in less than five feet of water with a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD HogZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The concrete-slab dam that forms the southern boundary of this reservoir surrendered two largemouth bass. The surface temperature was 49 degrees here. One largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water from a patch of hydrilla that adorns the west end of the dam. The other one was caught from the center section of the dam in four feet of water. They were caught on the Canada craw TRD HogZ rig and a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve. We failed to garner any strikes from the east end of the dam.

The long wind-blown clay and gravel point on the north end of the east shoreline yielded 11 largemouth bass. The surface temperature along this point was the warmest that we found, and it was 53 degrees. Some of these largemouth bass were caught in less than five feet of water and within 15 feet of the water’s edge. The others were caught in six to eight feet of water and between 25 to 35 feet from the water’s edge.

Ten of them were bewitched by the Canada craw TRD CrawZ rig. One engulfed a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ that was attached on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We failed to elicit any strikes from a broad point in the midsection of this shoreline and a shallow sand and gravel ledge that parallels the south end of this shoreline.

We did not fish the north end of this reservoir, which encompasses a large and shallow mud flat and a small feeder creek.

In our eyes, the fishing was pretty decent considering the sharp decline of the water temperature. We were delighted to catch 17 largemouth bass in four hours, which is a difficult task in this part of Texas when the water temperature drops below 55 degrees.

All of the strikes were very subtle. Some felt like our lures had snagged a leaf or a small glob of moss. Some strikes were indicated by a subtle tick of the line. We did not feel anything on a couple of strikes; the only inkling we had was seeing the line moving slightly to the side.

Twelve largemouth bass were caught on the Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD CrawZ. Four were caught on the Canada craw TRD HogZ. The green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ caught one. We failed to generate any strikes with an array of other Midwest finesse rigs.

A slow drag-and-deadstick presentation across the bottom was the most productive presentation. It allured 15 of the 17 largemouth bass. A slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation caught two. The deadstick portion of the retrieve was implemented with a three to five second pause. We were unable to provoke any strikes with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, a hop-and-bounce retrieve, a slow swim-and-glide retrieve, and a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

Nov. 17 

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 17 endeavors.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

For the past two days, north-central Texas has enjoyed a short reprieve from Mother Nature’s winter-like grip. On Nov. 17, it was sunny, and a few wispy clouds covered about 20 percent of the sky. Area thermometers revealed that the morning low temperature was 42 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 76 degrees. The average high temperature on Nov. 17 in the Dallas- Ft. Worth metropolitan areas is 77 degrees and the average low is 54 degrees. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, southwest, and west at 6 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure ranged from 30.10 at 11:00 a.m. to 30.02 at 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 5:42 a.m. to 7:42 a.m., 11:32 a.m. to 1:32 p.m., and 6:04 p.m. to 8:04 p.m. For about four hours between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., I enjoyed the beautiful fall afternoon by fishing and bank-walking along the shorelines of three small community reservoirs that lie in two suburbs south of Denton.

At the first reservoir I fished, the water displayed about 24 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 53 degrees. The water level was about a foot high. The submerged terrain is composed of mostly clay and gravel.

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

The east shoreline is steeply-sloped, curved, and adorned with the remnants of several patches of cattails and a few submerged tree limbs.

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

The west shoreline is shallower than the east one, and it is embellished with three patches of winter-dead water lilies.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Jig-trailers-midwest-finesse.jpg
The skirt has been trimmed on the jig to just below the bend of the hook, and the jig's weed guard has been removed. I found that the wire used for the weed guard is too stiff and inhibits hook sets, so I cut them off.
I slowly dissected this reservoir for about 90 minutes, and I struggled to scrounge up five largemouth bass. Four largemouth bass were caught in six to eight feet of water from the deep-water end of the mud flat on the north end of the reservoir. The other one was caught from the side of a small tertiary point on the east shoreline in four feet of water. All of them were caught on a slightly customized Z-Man’s 1/8-ounce black-blue ShroomZ Micro Finesse jig with a 2.75-inch Z-Man’s black-blue BatwingZ attached as a trailer. The jig was customized by removing the wire weed guard and trimming the end of the jig skirt about a quarter of an inch. This combo was employed with a slow and subtle hop-and-bounce retrieve.

I failed to generate any strikes from the submerged rocks along the dam on the south end of the reservoir and from any of the patches of winter-dead water lilies and small points on the west shoreline.

After that miserable start, I travelled about 13 miles to the other two community reservoirs, one of which I have not fished since January. These two reservoirs are adjacent to each other.

The first one is about a third of the size of the other reservoir. The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The water level appeared to be normal. The water temperature was 51 degrees. Its submerged terrain consists of clay and gravel.

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

The north shoreline has a 30-degree slope and is endowed with a small concrete water outlet. This area was once adorned with a large hydrilla bed, but I could not find any evidence that it still exists.

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

The east shoreline is mostly flat and curved with a shallow submerged gravel and clay ledge that runs parallel to this shoreline.

I dissected the most promising features of this impoundment, and it surrendered seven largemouth bass and one large white crappie. All of these fish were caught about 15 to 35 feet from the water’s edge along the north shoreline, and they were abiding in five to eight feet of water. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on the customized Z-Man’s 1/8-ounce black-blue ShroomZ Micro Finesse jig and 2.75-inch black-blue BatwingZ combo that was employed with a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s black-blue-flake TRD TubeZ fastened on a custom-painted Z-Man’s blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The large crappie was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD HogZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The third community reservoir is about 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. It lies a few yards north of the smaller reservoir.

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

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

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

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

The fishing was more trying at this reservoir than it was at the other two, and it was a chore to catch three largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught on the 1/8-ounce black-blue ShroomZ Micro Finesse jig and black-blue BatwingZ trailer, which was worked in a drag-shake-and-deadstick manner. The second largemouth was caught on a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ that was rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The third largemouth was caught on the Canada craw TRD HogZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

These largemouth bass were scattered along the north shoreline and were extracted from four to six feet of water and 10 to 15 feet from the water’s edge. I was unable to generate any other strikes from the other sections of this impoundment.

Overall, the weather was delightful, and the fishing was better than I expected.

Five largemouth bass were caught at the first impoundment, where the water’s surface temperature was 53 degrees. Seven largemouth bass and a large white crappie were caught at the second reservoir; the surface temperature was 51 degrees. The surface temperature in the third impoundment was 52 degrees, and I caught three largemouth bass.

The most effective rig was a Z-Man’s 1/8-ounce black-blue ShroomZ Micro Finesse jig and 2.75-inch black-blue BatwingZ trailer, and this is the first time I have used this combo. The most productive retrieve was a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation. The deadstick portion of this retrieve lasted three to five seconds.

On a positive note, it is a very difficult task for us to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass in north-central Texas when the water temperature is colder than 55 degrees, so I was pleased to catch 15 largemouth bass in 51 to 53-degree water during this four-hour foray.

Nov. 19

It was another unseasonably chilly November day in northeastern Kansas, and the largemouth bass fishing was trying once again.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 23 degrees at 1:53 a.m. and 47 degrees at 3:53 p.m. It was fair until 5:53 a.m., and then it fluctuated from being cloudy to partly cloudy to fair. For four early morning hours, the wind was calm, and then it angled out of the southeast, southwest, south by southwest, southwest, west, west by southwest, west by northwest, north by northwest, and northwest at 3 to 14 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.2 at 12:53 a.m., 29.2 at 5:53 a.m., 29.2 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.2 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 6:55 a.m. to 8:55 a.m., 7:17 p.m. to 9:17 p.m. and 12:44 a.m. to 2:44 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from noon to 3:30 p.m.

The water level looked to be slightly more than a foot below its normal level. The water exhibited 3 1/2 to six feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 42 to 44 degrees. Some of the limbs of the overhanging trees were adorned and draping with icicles, and the upper reaches of the primary feeder-creek arm was partially sheeted with a thin layer of ice. Likewise, many of the farm ponds in the vicinity of this reservoir were partially covered with thin layers of ice at 11:30 a.m.

This reservoir used to have the finest patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas embellishing many of its shorelines, but when the reservoir’s managers used a herbicide to kill the submerged aquatic vegetation that used to grace many locales around this reservoir, they inadvertently killed many of the patches of American water willows. The ones that were not killed are exhibiting their winter-dead motif, and they are in shallow water, and some of them are completely out of the water. Some of the submerged aquatic vegetation is making a minor comeback along a few of the shallow-water shorelines and upon some of the shallow-water flats.

Across the years, we have found that reservoirs that are graced with submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, or Eurasian milfoil, are our most fruitful ones during the winter. Because of the radical demise of this reservoir’s submerged aquatic vegetation, I suspected that it would be a struggle to find and catch its largemouth bass on this outing, and indeed I struggled for 3 1/2 hours to catch 19 largemouth bass and accidently caught four freshwater drum, one rainbow trout, and one white crappie.

Nine of the 19 largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Six largemouth bass were caught on the prototype Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig.

The most fruitful locale was a shallow-water flat at the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm. This locale is embellished with bits and pieces of submerged aquatic vegetation, and it is about 15 feet wide and 20 feet long. It possesses a 30- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It yielded six largemouth bass. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig in five to six feet of water and about 15 feet from the water’s edge. The other three were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig in five to six feet of water, and they were caught 10 to 20 feet from water’s edge. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop. Another one was caught on a deadstick presentation. Four were caught on a dragging presentation. This locale is situated in the lower portion of this reservoir.

I caught three largemouth bass along two segments of a massive shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is adorned with a few laydowns. And some of its shallow-water areas are embellished with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. This feeder-creek-arm is situated in the lower section of this reservoir.

One of the three largemouth bass was caught about 85 percent of the way inside this feeder-creek arm, and it was caught around several significant patches of submerged vegetation in about six feet of water as I was strolling with the TRD TicklerZ rig and using a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The second largemouth bass was caught about 35 percent of the way inside this feeder-creek arm on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig in about five feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught about 25 percent of the way inside this feeder-creek arm, and it was caught while I was strolling into the wind with the Hula StickZ rig and using a drag-and-slight-shake presentation in eight feet of water.

Along about a 60-yard stretch of a steep main-lake shoreline, I caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 45- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig as I was strolling and using a swim-and-glide presentation in about seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TicklerZ rig around an overhanging tree and laydown in about five feet of water. This shoreline is situated in the middle portion of this reservoir.

About halfway inside another large feeder-creek arm, one largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water around a beaver lodge. The underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. Portions of this area are stippled with a few minor patches of submerged vegetation. This largemouth bass was caught on the Hula StickZ rig as I was strolling and working with a swim-and-glide presentation. This feeder-creek arm is situated in the upper half of this reservoir.

Around a main-lake point and along a short segment of its adjacent shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm, I caught three largemouth bass. This area is situated in the upper half of this reservoir. This point and shoreline possesses a 45- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is littered with a few laydowns. I caught two largemouth bass by strolling with the Z-Man’s ZinkerZ rig and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water.

I caught three largemouth bass along a steep main-lake shoreline in the upper end of this reservoir. This shoreline possesses a 50- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is graced with several laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig in about five feet of water. Another one was caught on the TRD TicklerZ on a swim-and-glide presentation in about eight feet of water. The third one was caught on the ZinkerZ rig as I was strolling and working with a dragging presentation in about eight feet of water.

In sum, it was what we often call a hodgepodge outing. I failed to develop a location pattern and a presentation one. And when I caught a largemouth bass, it seemed to be luck rather than skill.

Nov. 20

The Weather Underground reported that it was 18 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 48 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northwest, north by northwest, west by northwest, south, and south by southwest at 3 to 13 mph. It was calm at 5:52 a.m., 9:52 a.m., and 10:52 a.m. The sky was fair from 12:52 a.m. to 3:52 a.m. and 9:52 a.m. to 3:52 p.m.; it was cloudy, foggy, and hazy from 4:52 a.m. to 8:52 a.m. The barometric pressure was 29.4 at 12:52 a.m., 29.4 at 5:52 a.m., 92.5 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.4 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 7:35 a.m. to 9:35 a.m., 7:58 p.m. to 9:58 p.m., and 1:23 a.m. to 3:32 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 11:12 a.m. to 3:04 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature fluctuated from 44 to 45 degrees. The water clarity was affected by a minor algae bloom. In the lower portion of the main-lake, the visibility was about four feet, and inside two of the feeder-creek arms, the visibility was about two feet. Some of this reservoir’s shallow-water flats and shorelines are stippled with some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian milfoil. Even though this vegetation is not as abundant as it used to be, some of this reservoir’s largemouth bass inhabit these patches in the late fall and throughout much of the winter.

During the three hours and 53 minutes that I was afloat. I fished inside two large feeder-creek arms, and focused many of my casts and retrieves around and over patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-finesse-nov-3.jpg
Steve Reideler with a largemouth bass.
I spent an hour and three minutes in one of these feeder creeks. And it was an ordeal to catch three largemouth bass. I failed to garner a strike upon an offshore hump that consists of rocks and boulders, which are interlaced with sprouting and burgeoning curly-leaf pondweed. I also failed to elicit a strike along portions of one of its shorelines. Along its other shoreline, I caught three largemouth bass, and they were abiding on a shallow-water area that is embellished with a few patches of milfoil and endowed with a tertiary point. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. It possesses a 30-degree slope. It is situated about 75 percent of the way inside this feeder-creek arm. This area is about 40 feet long and 20 feet wide, and it is covered with five to six feet of water. The three largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-and-glide presentation. They were caught in about five feet of water and from 10 to 20 feet from the water’s edge. I also battled a vigorous and hefty specimen for a short spell, but it liberated itself before I could see and identify it.

I spent the rest of the outing inside the second feeder-creek arm, fishing along portions of its two shorelines.

I meticulously dissected a 200-yard stretch of one of its shorelines. In fact, I fished about a 75-yard stretch of this shoreline three times. This shoreline yielded 21 largemouth bass. It possesses a 25- to 80-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge is adorned with many laydowns, several overhanging trees, some patches of winter-dead American water willows, several stumps, seven docks, a capsized boat and its completely dilapidated dock. There are some minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation gracing portions of this shoreline. This shoreline is situated about halfway inside this feeder-creek arm.

Fifteen of the 21 largemouth bass were caught along the steeper portions of this shoreline in five to nine feet of water. Along this steep area, the boat floated in 10 to 14 feet of water. Thirteen of these 15 largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-radical-or-vigorous-shake presentation, and two of the 13 were caught on the initial drop of the Hula StickZ rig. Seven of the 15 were caught in the vicinity of either a laydown or a stump. Three of the 15 largemouth bass were caught in the vicinity of the outside edges of American water willow patches. The other five largemouth bass were caught in areas that were not graced with any objects or noticeable vegetation.

One of the 15 largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-and-glide presentation next to a major laydown in seven feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig while I was strolling and employing a dragging presentation in about seven feet of water. Six of the 21 largemouth bass were caught along the flatter portions of this shoreline, and they were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-radical-or vigorious-shake presentation in about four feet of water and 10 to 20 feet from the water’s edge.

I quickly fished two segments of the other shoreline.

I failed to elicit a strike along a 100-yard stretch in the back end of this feeder-creek arm. This stretch is flat and endowed with some significant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

But along a 200-yard stretch of this shoreline that is located about halfway inside this feeder-creek arm, I caught 10 largemouth bass. This stretch is flat, possessing a 25-degree slope. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few laydowns, three concrete retaining walls, and a dozen docks. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rock. Some of the gravel and rocks are embellished with occasional patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The 10 largemouth bass that I caught were abiding in the vicinity of the patches of submerged vegetation, and one of the 10 was caught around a laydown that is intertwined with submerged aquatic vegetation. I caught four of them from one patch that is about 15 feet long and 10 feet wide. Eight of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-radical-or-vigorous-shake presentation in four to six feet of water, and two were caught on the initial drop of the Hula StickZ rig in about four feet of water.

In sum, 32 of the 34 largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig. The most effective retrieve was the swim-glide-and-radical-or-vigorous-shake retrieve. The vigorous shake was executed by creating a series of significant S-curves in the line from the tip of the rod to the point where the line penetrates the surface of the water. In northeastern Kansas, the Junebug hue is often our most effective color, and it was on this outing. I failed garner a strike on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ and a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ.

If I can have my druthers, I would prefer catching 25 small largemouth bass an hour rather than battling and catching several big ones in four hours. This year, it has been a battle to catch 10 largemouth bass an hour, and rarely have any of them been lunkers. But on this outing, I did catch several big ones, and I took the time to quickly weigh one of them, and it weighed 5.89 pounds. I did not take the time to weigh the other three. And during my Nov. 19 outing at another community reservoir, I caught two big largemouth bass and a rainbow trout that was about the length of my arm. It was fun to engage in a two- to three-minute donnybrook with these big fish, but my 78-year-old heart, mind, and soul has more fun catching a small largemouth bass every two or three minutes during a four-hour outing than enjoying several two- to three-minute encounters with a big fish during a four-hour outing.

Nov. 20 and 21 
 
Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 20 and 21 piscatorial undertakings.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

Since Nov. 6, the boat ramps at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs in north-central Texas have been closed because of flooding. But John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I found an open boat ramp at one of the Corps’ reservoirs on Nov. 20, and we were afloat from about 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

It was sunny on Nov. 20, and there was not a cloud in sight. Many anglers would call it a bluebird-sky day. The morning low temperature was 33 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature was 57 degrees. The wind angled out of the northeast at 6 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure varied from 30.40 to 30.33.

The water was muddy and exhibited less than 12 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 55 degrees along the dam to 61 degrees inside a minor feeder-creek arm in the reservoir’s upper end.

We fished several secondary points, the area around a large concrete boat ramp, a couple of steep and rocky shorelines, and many brush piles and laydowns inside two feeder-creek arms. We also fished about 100 yards of riprap that covers the dam, around several concrete support columns underneath a railroad-trestle bridge, and along a riprap-laden embankment on the north side
of the railroad-trestle bridge. We were flabbergasted that we could not entice a single strike during this entire four-hour outing. Four other anglers that we spoke with throughout the afternoon were also astounded that they could not generate any strikes as well.

Nov. 21 was sunny and clouds covered about 80 percent of the sky. The wind was light and variable. The afternoon high temperature was 59 degrees. The lowest temperature during the morning hours was 34 degrees. The barometric pressure was 30.37 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.29 at 3:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 1:29 a.m. to 3:29 a.m., 7:40 a.m. to 9:40 a.m., and 8:03 p.m. to 10:03 p.m.

From about 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Rick Allen of Dallas and I conducted another bank-walking endeavor at a community reservoir that I fished on Nov. 7 and 16.

The water was stained and exhibited between 14 to 16 inches of visibility. The water level was normal. The surface temperature varied between 52 and 54 degrees.

A large mud flat forms the north end of this reservoir, and it is graced with a shallow ditch. This area is a protected migratory waterfowl nesting area, and we did not fish there.

We started this undertaking on the north end of the west shoreline where we caught one largemouth bass in five feet of water and about 15 feet from the water’s edge. It engulfed a 1/8-ounce Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ShroomZ Micro Finesse jig dressed with a 2.75-inch green-pumpkin Z-Man’s BatwingZ. This combo was employed with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

The center portion of this shoreline has a 25- to 30-degree slope. It is enhanced with a fishing pier and a thin wall of submerged hydrilla that runs underneath the pier. This area surrendered two largemouth bass that were caught in five to eight feet of water on a Z-Man’s black-blue TRD CrawZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. This rig was used with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

We fished the south end of the west shoreline twice. It yielded four largemouth bass the first time, and one the second time. They were associated with the deep-water side of a shallow sand and gravel ledge and extracted from six to eight feet of water. Three were caught on a Z-Man’s black-blue TRD HogZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on the black-blue TRD CrawZ rig. One was caught on a 1/8-ounce Z-Man’s black-blue ShroomZ Micro Finesse jig with a black-blue TRD CrawZ attached as a trailer. These rigs were presented with either a drag-and-deadstick or a drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-finesse-nov-1.jpg
Rick Allen with a largemouth bass.
From the west shoreline, we meticulously dissected a concrete dam that forms the reservoir’s southern boundary.

In about four to six feet of water along the west end of the dam, we caught two largemouth bass with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve with the black-blue TRD CrawZ combo. We failed to garner any strikes from the center and east ends of the dam.

The east shoreline, which possesses a steep slope and is curved, surrendered one largemouth bass. It was caught in five feet of water and was associated with a long clay and gravel point that extends from the north end of this shoreline. It was attracted to a slow drag-and-deadstick presentation with the black-blue TRD HogZ combo.

We failed to elicit any strikes along a shallow ledge and ditch on the south end of this shoreline and from a prominent point that protrudes from the middle portion of this shoreline.

In closing, catching 11 bass in four hours is not what we consider good fishing, but it beats the heck out of our exasperating and fruitless Nov. 20 endeavor at a muddy Corps’ reservoir.


Nov. 29 
 
November’s wintery ways took a respite on Nov. 29, and my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I decided to go fishing at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 28 degrees at 3:53 a.m. and 52 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being cloudy to being partly cloudy to being sunny. The wind fluctuated from being calm to being mild-mannered, and when it stirred, it angled out of the southwest, west, east by southeast, south, north by northeast, and east by northeast at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 28.6 at 12:53 a.m., 28.6 at 5:53 a.m., 28.6 at 11:53 a.m., and 28.6 at 2:53 p.m. By the midafternoon hours, a significant amount of the many inches of snow that covered the various landscapes of northeastern Kansas melted, and some of the ice that sheeted the small ponds was beginning to disappear.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:42 a.m. to 5:42 a.m., 4:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m., and 9:56 a.m. to 11:56 a.m. Rick and I fished from 10:35 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.

We spent the entire four hours in the upper third of this flatland reservoir. The surface temperature ranged from 39 to 41 degrees. The water level looked to be a few inches below normal. The water exhibited about six feet of visibility.

We dissected three main-lake points, portions of three main-lake shorelines, and small portions of two shallow-water flats.

The largemouth bass were difficult for us to find and catch. Ultimately, we caught 21 of them.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-finesse-nov.jpg
Rick Hebenstreit with a largemouth bass.
Eighteen of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig. One largemouth bass was caught on a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Twenty of the 21 largemouth bass were caught around patches of submerged coontail in five to nine feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught in 13 feet of water adjacent to a dock along a steep shoreline. This largemouth bass rendered the only strike we had along three of the steep sections of shorelines that we fished.

One of the 20 largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water around a patch of coontail that graces a shallow-water flat. Besides this largemouth bass, we garnered one other strike on this flat. The other shallow-water flat that we fished was totally fruitless.

Along a relatively shallow-water and flat portion of one of the three shorelines that we fished, we caught two largemouth bass, and at this same locale, we failed to land another fish that we hooked. These largemouth bass were abiding in about seven feet of water adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of coontail. After we caught those two largemouth bass, we probed hundreds of yards of this shoreline, which are flat and steep, without reaping a strike.

Across, along, and around a series of coontail patches along another flat and a relatively shallow-water shoreline, we caught 13 largemouth bass in six to nine feet of water, and we elicited three strikes that we failed to hook.

Along this same shoreline and around another flat and a relatively shallow-water area, we caught four largemouth bass in six to seven feet of water adjacent to a series of coontail patches.
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Ned-November.jpg
Ned Kehde with a largemouth bass.
We failed to elicit a strike along the steeper sections of this shoreline. We also failed to elicit a strike along another one of its flatter sections that is graced with occasional patches of coontail.

The third shoreline, which is adorned with many patches of coontail, was unproductive.

The three main-lake points were unrewarding.

The vast majority of the largemouth bass were caught as we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation. A few of the largemouth bass were caught while we were casting and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

We were unable to obtain a strike on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ rig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig, a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ rig, and a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ.

In sum, this outing was another manifestation of the difficult black bass fishing that we have endured throughout 2018.

Nov. 30

The largemouth bass fishing has been so problematic in northeastern Kansas that I was hesitant about fishing on Nov. 30. But upon seeing The Weather Underground’s 10-day forecast, which proclaimed that it would rain and snow on Dec. 1 and 2, and then Old Man Winter will be administering more of his will upon us through Dec. 9, I decided to venture to one of our many community reservoirs for three hours with the hope of catching at least 30 largemouth bass.

The Weather Underground reported that the winter weather that had waylaid us occasionally for the past two weeks would be somewhat placid on Nov. 30, and it was. The low temperature was 25 degrees at 12:52 a.m. and 45 degrees at 1:52 p.m. Periodically, the wind was calm, and when it stirred, it angled out of the north by northwest, south by southwest, east, east by southeast, and east by northeast at 3 to 12 mph. The sky fluctuated from being cloudy to being fair to being hazy to being foggy to drizzling. Eventually, it rained more than a half of an inch by the early morning hours of Dec. 1, and it melted most of the snow that had covered the various landscapes of northeastern Kansas. The barometric pressure was 29.0 at 12:52 a.m., 29.0 at 5:52 a.m., 29.0 at 11:52 a.m., and 28.9 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 4:40 a.m. to 6:40 a.m., 5:06 p.m. to 7:06 p.m., and 10:53 a.m. to 12:53 p.m. I was afloat from 9:55 a.m. to 12:57 p.m.

The water level looked to be nearly normal. The surface temperature fluctuated from 40 to 41 degrees. The water exhibited three to four feet of visibility.

This reservoir sports three large feeder-creek arms, one small feeder-creek arm, and a tiny one. I fished in two of the large ones.

During the first 126 minutes of this three-hour-and-two-minute outing, I caught 23 largemouth bass. During the final 56 minutes, I failed to elicit a strike.

I spent the first 62 minutes thoroughly dissecting a 225-yard stretch of a shoreline that is situated about halfway inside one of this reservoir’s three large feeder-creek arms.

This shoreline is quite diverse. It possesses a 25- to 85-degree slope. The water’s edge is adorned with numerous laydowns, some patches of winter-dead American water willows, and several stumps. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are occasionally graced with some skimpy and winter-wilted patches of submerged vegetation. And there are four docks along the 225-yard stretch that I fished.

I caught eleven largemouth bass along this shoreline.

Seven of them were caught along about a 30-yard stretch of the steepest portion of this shoreline. Along this area, the boat floated in 10 to 14 feet of water.

Five of the seven largemouth bass were caught in the vicinity of laydowns, and three of them were caught in an area that is the size of a 10-foot-by-10-foot square. The other two largemouth bass were not abiding around any noticeable objects or unique features. All of them were caught from about seven to 10 feet from the water’s edge.

Four were caught of a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Three were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. They were caught in five to nine feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop of the Hula StickZ rig. The other six were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. Two of them were caught on back-to-back casts and presentations of the Hula StickZ rig.

Four of the eleven largemouth bass were caught along the flatter portion of this shoreline, where the boat floated in four to seven feet of water.

Three of them were caught on back-to-back presentations in three to five feet of water between a significant laydown and a dock. They were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation. The fourth one was caught on the Hula StickZ rig in four feet of water near a massive stump, which is graced with some scanty patches of submerged vegetation. (Because it was cloudy, the submerged vegetation was tighter to the bottom than it would have been if it was a bright and sunny day.)

During the next 64 minutes, I caught 12 largemouth bass. They were caught along a 100-yard stretch of a flat shoreline on the other side of this feeder-creek arm. Similar to the first shoreline, this one is situated about halfway inside this arm. It possesses a 20- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is laced with some patches of American water willows, three concrete and rock retaining walls, and six docks. Some of the underwater terrain is enhanced with submerged aquatic vegetation, which is skimpy, but it yielded 11 of the 12 largemouth bass. One of those 12 was caught inside a boat slip of one of the docks. The boat floated in six to eight feet of water, and the bass were caught in four to seven feet of water. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig, and eight were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop, and the rest were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation, and five of those 10 largemouth bass were caught while I was strolling and employing the drag-and-shake presentation. All of them were caught from 15 to 25 feet from the water’s edge.

During the next 56 minutes, I failed to elicit a strike as I plied another portion of a flat shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm and a shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm. Both of these locales are situated in the back portions of these two feeder-creek arms. They possess a 25- to 30-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of silt, gravel, rocks, and an occasional boulder. These terrains are graced with patches of submerged patches of aquatic vegetation, and some of these patches are quite significant, and they traditionally entertain significant number of largemouth bass when the water temperature is hovering in the low 40s and upper 30s.

The fall of 2018 has been unseasonably cold, and we have been hoping that some of the largemouth bass would get into their wintertime motifs and begin abiding around the patches of aquatic vegetation across the shallow-water flats and shorelines in the backs of the feeder-creek arms of our flatland reservoirs. To our chagrin, however, we have not been able to find and catch very many of them.

The weather forecasters are telling us that the weather might keep us at bay until after Dec. 9, and then after Dec. 13, I will be engaged with and enjoying many family endeavors and celebrations until Jan 2 or 3. Therefore, it is unlikely that we will be posting many logs on the Finesse News Network in December.

Nov. 30

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 30 outing.
Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

A couple of boat ramps have now opened at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs in north-central Texas, but the water levels are still five to 10 feet high. We are eager to get out on the Corps’ reservoirs again, but troublesome winds in the 20- to 30-mph range have kept us shore bound. The wind was howling between 18 and 30 mph on Nov. 30 as well, so I elected to conduct another solo bank-walking excursion at a heavily fished community reservoir that I have fished several times this month. It is located in a suburb northwest of Dallas.

North-central Texas has experienced a nice warming trend over the past several days, and it was warm but overcast on Nov. 30. The morning low temperature was 57 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 72 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.73 at 9:14 a.m. and fell to 29.54 by 3:14 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the fishing would be at its best from 4:45 a.m. to 6:45 a.m., 10:58 a.m. to 12:58 p.m., and 5:11 p.m. to 7:11 p.m. I fished from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The water level was normal. The water temperature was 57 degrees.

I began at the north end of the east shoreline and worked my way southward. This shoreline is curved and portions of it are steep. Its main features are a broad sand and gravel point that is situated in the middle section of this shoreline and a long clay and gravel point that is situated on its north end. There is also a long and shallow sand and gravel ledge that parallels most of this shoreline.

This shoreline relinquished nine largemouth bass that were scattered along the deep-water side of the shallow ledge. Two were caught from the north end of the ledge, three were caught from the center portion of the ledge that runs parallel to the broad center point, and four were caught from the south end of the ledge. All of these largemouth bass were abiding in three to five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water’s edge.

I failed to elicit any strikes along the clay and gravel point on the north end of this shoreline.

After I finished fishing the east shoreline, I moved to the concrete dam that forms the southern boundary of this reservoir. Along the west end of the dam is a patch of submerged hydrilla; it is situated in five feet of water and about 10 feet from the water’s edge. This patch of hydrilla is about four feet long and three feet wide. It surrendered three largemouth bass. The center section and east end of the dam were fruitless.

From the dam, I worked my way northward along the west shoreline. It is steep, and its underwater terrain consists of mostly sand and gravel. A thin wall of hydrilla runs underneath a fishing pier that is located in the midsection of this shoreline. This wall of hydrilla is about 35 feet long and five feet wide and it parallels the shoreline in about eight feet of water. It is graced with three minor or teritary points; two are located about 150 and 175 feet north of the pier; the third one lies about 50 feet south of the pier. The north end of this shoreline features a shallow ditch that winds its way across a large and shallow mud flat that forms the north end of the reservoir.

The area around the sandy tertiary point south of the fishing pier surrendered 12 largemouth bass. They were caught in four to six feet of water and about 15 to 20 feet from the water’s edge.

I failed to elicit any strikes from the shoreline adjacent to the fishing pier, from the patch of hydrilla that runs underneath the pier, from the two points north of the pier, and from the ditch on this shoreline’s north end.

I did not fish the shallow mud flat on the north end of the reservoir.

By the time this outing came to an end, my counter revealed that I had caught and released 24 largemouth bass in five hours. Most of them were decent sized ones that weighed between 1 1/2 and two pounds. The largest specimen weighed four pounds, five ounces.

Eighteen of these 24 bass were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD HogZ affixed to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other six were caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s PB&J Finesse WormZ that was rigged wacky-style on a drop-shot rig that consisted of an Owner’s No. 2 Octopus-style hook, a 10-inch leader, and a 1/4-ounce cylinder-shaped clip-on weight; it was retrieved with a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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