Midwest Finesse Fishing: October 2016

Midwest Finesse Fishing: October 2016

IMG_5204


Our October guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 17 logs and 13,667 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the endeavors of Rick Allen of Dallas; Jerry Benjamin of Lawrence, Kansas; Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas; Bob Clements of Emporia, Kansas; Lou Clewell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Isaac and Nathan Hebenstreit of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Seward Horner of Garnett, Kansas; Bob Iotti of Manalpan, New Jersey; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Andrew Trembath of Kansas City, Missouri; as well as my northeastern Kansas logs.  

One of Steve Reideler's logs focuses on how and where he used Midwest finesse tactics in saltwater around Pensacola Beach, Florida. I spent Oct. 19, 20, and 21 in northeastern Oklahoma fishing with some of the folks at Gene Larew Lures of Tulsa, and we published a 6,823-word Midwest finesse column on Nov. 3 that features those endeavors.

The black bass fishing was so problematic at times in October in Kansas and Missouri that several Finesse News Network members opted not to post a report about some of their outings. Instead, one of them sent a very abbreviated brief that consisted of three words: "Fishing was horrible." And we did not circulate those briefs on the network, but a few comments about the perplexing fishing appear in a few of the logs. In a telephone conversation, one FFN member who competes in regional bass tournaments said that the competitors at a tournament in northeastern Kansas on Oct. 15 and one in the Ozarks on Oct. 23 found the fishing to be baffling and discouraging.

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


Oct. 1 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:


One of the edicts of Midwest finesse fishing is not to fish the same waterway twice in one week. Generally, I follow that guideline, but I violated it on Oct. 1. On this outing, I fished the same U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir that John Thomas of Denton and I fished on Sept. 28. However, on this Oct. 1 outing, I ventured inside three major feeder-creek arms instead of fishing our favorite main-lake lairs.

These three feeder-creek arms are located in the east tributary arm of the reservoir. One lies in the south end of the tributary arm, and the other two lie in its midsection.

The water in these three feeder-creek arms was dingier than the water in the main-lake areas, and exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of clarity instead of its usual 2 1/2-feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 79 degrees in all three creek arms. The water level was normal. The surface of the water was calm and smooth.

The weather was pleasant. It was sunny most of the time that I was afloat. The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 59 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 82 degrees. The wind was mostly calm, but a light breeze occasionally angled out of the northeast at 1 to 3 mph. The barometric pressure was low and measured 29.74 at noon and 29.67 at 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the prime fishing periods would take place between 5:02 a.m. and 7:02 a.m., 5:24 p.m. and 7:24 p.m., and 11:35 p.m. and 1:35 a.m. I was afloat from noon to 4:00 p.m., but I fished for only one hour and 57 minutes during this four-hour time span. I spent two hours and three minutes searching for large concentrations of threadfin shad inside the three feeder-creek arms with my sonar unit, and I did not make a cast until I located a significant amount of threadfin shad, pumpkinseed sunfish, or bluegill.

The first feeder-creek arm that I checked lies in the southeast end of the tributary arm. This feeder-creek arm is endowed with seven coves, nine secondary points, and an island. Three of the coves are littered with thick stands of flooded trees. Its underwater terrain consists of sand, gravel, and vast amounts of submerged boulders and fist-size rocks. I failed to locate any shad abiding in the main creek channel, which is covered with 20 to 30 feet of water. I also did not locate any shad inhabiting any of the seven coves, or at any of the nine secondary points. I did find a few small bluegills milling around a small rock pile situated in the midsection of this feeder-creek arm. I decided to make a few casts around the rock pile, and I caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass in four feet of water from the south side of the rock pile. The largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man Fishing Product's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig, and it was presented with a steady swimming retrieve. The spotted bass was caught with a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This combo was presented in a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The second feeder-creek arm encompasses five large coves, six broad secondary points, two submerged roadbeds, and an island. Two-thirds of this feeder-creek contains thick stands of flooded timber and partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation surrounded by three to more than 30 feet of water. I failed to find any shad abiding inside this feeder-creek. I found a few small bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish relating to the side of one of the two submerged roadbeds in four to six feet of water. I caught one largemouth bass in four feet of water from this portion of the roadbed. It was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The third feeder-creek arm was more fruitful. It is endowed with seven secondary points, five coves, a long rock ledge, and a large shallow flat. The north and west shorelines are flat and consist of clay, gravel, and thin lines of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. The south shoreline is steep and rocky. There is very little flooded timber.

I failed to locate any shad, black bass, bluegill, or pumpkinseed sunfish along the north shoreline.

The back end of this feeder-creek arm is lined with thin patches of flooded bushes, and it yielded three largemouth bass. All three of these bass were caught in less than five feet of water, and they were relating to the outside edge of the flooded terrestrial bushes. They were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig as it was retrieved just underneath the surface of the water and parallel to the outside edges of the flooded bushes.

A 25-yard section of the long rock ledge was the most fruitful spot. I saw numerous, but small, schools of threadfin shad roaming back and forth along the top of this ledge in three to five feet of water. I plied this portion of the ledge for about an hour and 15 minutes, and it relinquished 26 largemouth bass and two spotted bass that were abiding in three to 10 feet of water. Thirteen black bass were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig. Nine were caught on a Z-Man's bluegill-hue Scented LeechZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Five were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig. One largemouth bass was caught on the 2 1/2-inch PB&J ZinkerZ rig.

The mud minnow Hula StickZ rig was retrieved with a drag-and-deadstick presentation down the side of the ledge. The bluegill-hue Scented LeechZ and 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rigs were retrieved with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The pearl Slim SwimZ rig was presented with a fast and steady swimming retrieve.

In sum, I caught 34 largemouth bass and spotted bass in one hour and 57 minutes. I found threadfin shad in only one of the three feeder-creeks. In our eyes, locating large aggregations of threadfin shad remains a key element to our success, and our catch rates plummet drastically when we fail to locate them.

Oct. 3 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

Lou Clewell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania, is visiting Denton for about a week. Because he had several hours of free time on Oct. 3, we ventured to the same U.S. Army Corps' of Engineers' reservoir that I fished on Oct. 1. This reservoir has been the most fruitful waterway in north-central Texas this year, and I had high hopes that we could tangle with at least eight black bass an hour.

Lou got his first tastes of Midwest finesse fishing on March 4, when we spent one afternoon fishing a couple of small community reservoirs north of Dallas, and on March 8 when we fished at a larger Corps' reservoir in north-central Texas.

During my solo Oct. 1 outing at this same reservoir, I spent four hours inside three major feeder-creek arms looking for large schools of threadfin shad. I did not fish any main-lake lairs during that outing. I spent more time searching for shad than I did fishing, but ultimately, I caught 34 largemouth bass and spotted bass in one hour and 57 minutes.

Oct. 3 was sunny and bright, and there was not a cloud in sight. Local meteorologists reported that the morning low temperature was 63 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 88 degrees. While we were afloat, an irksome wind quartered out of the southeast at 10 to 14 mph, and its velocity continued to increase as the morning progressed. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.95 at 1:00 p.m.

The water level was about normal. The water was stained and exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature was 76 degrees.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the optimum fishing periods would likely occur between 12:24 a.m. and 2:24 a.m., 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., and 12:46 p.m. and 2:46 p.m. We fished from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m to 2:00 p.m.

We focused our attentions on the reservoir's east tributary arm. In the main-lake areas, we targeted five large flats, three rocky points, a submerged roadbed and its adjacent shoreline, a 50-yard section of the dam, a concrete water-outlet tower, and one of two concrete support pillars adjacent to the tower. We also fished inside one large feeder-creek arm, where we plied two secondary points and a long rock ledge.

Four of the five main-lake flats that we fished are located on the west side of the tributary arm, and one is situated on its east side. They are flat and all of them are covered with the remnants of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. Their underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, fist-size rocks, and boulders. We caught a combination of 77 largemouth bass and spotted bass from these five main-lake flats. They were all caught in two to five feet of water and were relating to the outside edges of the partially-flooded vegetation.

Seventy-one of these black bass were caught on a Z-Man Fishing Products' pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig with a quick-paced and steady swimming retrieve. Three were caught on a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other three bass were caught on a Z-Man's bluegill Scented LeechZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, which was retrieved with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Four black bass were caught from the submerged roadbed. Two others were caught along its adjacent rocky shoreline. These six black bass were all caught in four to six feet of water. They were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was retrieved about a foot below the surface of the water.

One largemouth bass was caught at the dam in about eight feet of water. It was associated with the submerged riprap along the face of the dam. Another largemouth was caught from one of the two concrete support pillars near the water outlet tower. This bass was relating to the side of the concrete pillar and was suspended about five feet below the surface in eight feet of water. A combination of eight largemouth bass and spotted bass were caught next to the north side of the concrete water outlet tower. These black bass were suspended between eight and 10 feet below the surface in 76 feet of water.

Seven of these 10 black bass were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig as it was either dropping vertically next to the water outlet tower's wall or retrieved steadily just beneath the surface of the water along the dam. The other three bass were caught by the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig. We also caught one large white crappie and one large bluegill from the north side of the tower.

We failed to generate any strikes at the three main-lake points.

Inside the feeder-creek arm, we caught a combination of 10 largemouth and spotted bass in four to eight feet of water along the long rock ledge. We caught 12 black bass from the two rocky secondary points. All 22 of these bass were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ combo and steady swim presentation.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/IMG_2509-768x1024.jpg
Lou Clewell with one of the 115 largemouth bass that they caught.

Overall, it was a colossal and entertaining day of fishing. We relished catching and releasing 115 largemouth bass and spotted bass, and we inadvertently caught one white crappie and one large bluegill in five hours. This average of 23 black bass per hour greatly exceeded our hopes of inveigling eight bass an hour.

A good number of these bass were 15 inchers, and the largest weighed 3 1/2 pounds.

The pearl Slim SwimZ and steady swim retrieve allured 106 black bass and one crappie. The shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ and swim-glide-and-shake presentation beguiled six bass and one bluegill. The bluegill-hue Scented LeechZ with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve caught three.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/IMG_2511-1024x799.jpg
Lou Clewell with the biggest of the 115 largemouth bass that the caught.

Oct. 5 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas for a seven-hour smallmouth bass excursion at a Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma.

It was a warm and sunny day. The morning low temperature was 60 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 90 degrees. The sky was partly cloudy. A brisk wind quartered out of the southeast at 10 to 18 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.89 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.83 at 4:00 p.m.

The water level appeared normal. The water clarity varied from two feet of visibility in the northwest end of the reservoir to 5 1/2 feet of visibility in the southeast end. The water temperature ranged from 74 degrees to 76 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would most likely occur between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., 8:14 a.m. to 10:14 a.m., and 2:25 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. Rick and I fished from about 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 4:30 p.m.

We began the outing at a wind-blown offshore hump that lies in the mid-section of the west tributary arm. We employed a Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's PB&J EZ TubeZ on a blue 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, Z-Man's pumpkin-green-flake Finesse ShadZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's PB&J Hula StickZ on a blue 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ affixed on a black 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. We failed to elicit any strikes at this hump.

Our second locale was a flat main-lake point at the entrance to a feeder-creek arm and a 50-yard stretch of riprap-laden shoreline. Both of these areas are adorned with large patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, thick patches of cattails, fist-size rocks, and a few scattered coffee-table-size boulders. The main-lake point yielded one smallmouth bass that was relating to several large boulders on the end of the point in eight feet of water. As we continued northward along the shoreline, we allowed the boat to drift with the wind and we caught one largemouth bass and one freshwater drum that were associated with the deep-water edge of a thick patch of cattails in five feet of water. The smallmouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin GrubZ rig that was presented with a slow and steady swimming retrieve. The largemouth bass was caught on the shortened PB&J Hula StickZ combo and swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The freshwater drum was caught on a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

Our third spot was another rocky main-lake point at the entrance to a feeder-creek arm and a 100-yard stretch of main-lake shoreline adjacent to the point that lies in the northwest region of the reservoir. Both of these areas are adorned with large patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, fist-size rocks, and a few scattered coffee-table-size boulders. The main-lake point failed to yield any strikes. The wind began to increase and we deployed a drift sock to slow down the speed of our drift along the main-lake shoreline just north of the point. We caught three largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water from several large submerged boulders. Two largemouth bass were caught on the shortened four-inch EZ Money Finesse WormZ and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass was caught on the pumpkin-green-flake Finesse ShadZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We failed to elicit any strikes with our PB&J EZ TubeZ, 2 3/4-inch molting craw T.R.D. TubeZ, green-pumpkin GrubZ, and 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ combos.

After we fished the main-lake point and adjacent main-lake shoreline, we moved inside a feeder-creek arm just south and west of the main-lake point and main-lake shoreline that we just fished. We probed one secondary point on the north side of the feeder-creek, and we failed to elicit any strikes.

Our next spot was a rock- and boulder-strewn point on the north side of a main-lake island, and we failed to engender any strikes with the pearl Slim SwimZ and four-inch EZ Money Finesse WormZ rigs.

After we fished the north end of the island, we ventured to the east side of the reservoir, where we fished a rocky main-lake point at the mouth of a cove, a submerged roadbed that stretches across the mid-section of the cove, and a short section of main-lake shoreline just south of the cove. We failed to entice any strikes at the main-lake point and submerged roadbed. We caught one largemouth bass in four feet of water next to the outside edge of a large patch of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation that lined the main-lake shoreline. This largemouth bass was caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ and slow swimming retrieve.

We finished the outing by dissecting a rocky main-lake point and its adjacent steep and rocky shoreline, two bluffy shorelines, and one riprap-laden flat that are located at the mouth and inside a large feeder-creek arm in the southeast end of the reservoir.

We dissected the main-lake point and about 75 yards of its adjacent shoreline first, and we caught eight smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and two large bluegill that were suspended about three to eight feet underneath the surface in 32 feet of water. All of these fish, but one of the smallmouth bass, were caught on the 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ with a slow swim-glide-and-shake action. The other smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse T.R.D. affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

At the two bluff shorelines, we caught seven smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, three large green sunfish, two large white crappie, and another large bluegill on the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ. These fish were caught in eight to 12 feet of water, and they were relating to large submerged boulders along the shoreline. We failed to generate any strikes with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse WormZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and our shortened PB&J EZ TubeZ rig.

One smallmouth bass and one spotted bass were caught at the riprap-laden flat in eight to 11 feet of water. Both of these black bass were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ with a slow swimming retrieve.

In sum, the fishing was slow and tedious. We worked hard to eke out 18 smallmouth bass, seven largemouth bass, and one spotted bass in seven hours. We inadvertently caught three large green sunfish, three large bluegill, two white crappie, and one freshwater drum.

The most fruitful lure was the 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The most effective retrieve was the swim-glide-and shake presentation.

Oct. 5 log

Bob Iotti of Manalpan, New Jersey, Bob Clements of Emporia, Kansas, and Seward Horner of Garnett, Kansas, joined me for a six-hour outing, which was an instructional one that focused on how and where to employ Midwest finesse tactics at heavily fished waterways.

Here is a brief description of what transpired.

The Weather Underground reported that the low temperature was 53 degrees and the high temperature was 77 degrees. The wind blew from every which way at 4 to 18 mph. It was foggy, overcast, sunny, and mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.97 at 12:53 a.m., 29.83 at 5:53 a.m., 29.93 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.85 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal at this northeastern Kansas community reservoir. The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 70 degrees. The water clarity exhibited about three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:57 a.m. to 3:57 a.m., 2:20 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., and 8:08 a.m. to 10:08 a.m. We were afloat from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We fished two offshore areas that consist of two massive rock fences that are submerged and covered with three to seven feet of water and surrounded by deep water. The rest of the outing was spent plying eight main-lake points, five main-lake shorelines, the riprap shoreline of the dam, seven shorelines inside five feeder-creek arms, and two secondary points. Most of the shorelines and points are lined with significant patches of American water willows. Patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil are intertwined with some of the American water willows. There are patches of pondweed and milfoil flourishing on many of the reservoir's flats, which we did not fish.

We caught 52 largemouth bass and nine smallmouth bass, and six green sunfish, three white bass, two bluegill, and two channel catfish were inadvertently caught.  One smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass were caught along the submerged rock fences. The rest of the black bass were caught along the shorelines, points, and dam. Two flat shorelines and two steep shorelines were the most productive locales that we fished. Many yards, feet, and inches of the dam, shorelines, and points were not fruitful.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSCN1356-770x1024.jpg
Bob Iotti with one of the smallmouth bass that he caught.

One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two of the smallmouth bass and four of the largemouth bass were caught by dragging and deadsticking a Z-Man's green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Forty-seven largemouth bass and seven smallmouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to either a chartreuse or a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the ZinkerZ rig on the chartreuse Gopher jig was more effective than the one rigged on the red Gopher jig. We caught these black bass in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as nine feet.

A drag-and-deadstick retrieve was the most effective presentation along the steeper and deeper locales, but along two of the flat shorelines a swimming retrieve was the best presentation.

Even though we averaged a catch rate of 10 black bass an hour, there were four of us fishing, which translates to some rather spotty and fitful fishing.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSCN1360-767x1024.jpg
Seward Horner with one of the 52 largemouth bass that were caught.

It is interesting to note that the fishing at most of the reservoirs hereabouts has been difficult. Back in the 1960s, Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, and I used to call this the World Series doldrums. Back then we used to spend about a week in early October, which corresponded to the World Series, guiding a group of businessmen from Kansas City on the Gravois Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, and it was a struggle for us to find and catch largemouth bass and spotted bass. This same phenomenon occurs some years in northeastern Kansas, and it is upon us this year. In fact, Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, who recently returned from his annual four months of fruitfully pursuing smallmouth bass at the Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada, reported in a telephone conversation that he spent some frustrating hours in pursuit of smallmouth bass at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir and a power-plant reservoir in northeastern Kansas. The water level at the Corps' reservoir was several feet above normal, and the water clarity was very stained, and even murky at several locales. The water at the power-plant reservoir was littered with too many thick and impenetrable patches of American pondweed and bushy pondweed for him to fish his Midwest finesse tactics.

Oct. 8 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

This was a horrid largemouth bass outing at a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's hill-land reservoir, which is traditionally a problematic venue.

When I arrived at the boat ramp, I was disheartened to find that the water had been muddied by a series of thunderstorms that rolled across north-central Texas during the early morning hours of Oct. 6. And floating debris littered the surface of the water in many of the areas that I fished.

The water displayed a brownish hue that resembled chocolate milk. There was less than a foot of visibility. The surface temperature was 78 degrees. The water level was a tad high.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the most promising fishing periods would occur between the hours of 2:03 a.m. and 4:03 a.m., 8:14 a.m. and 10:14 a.m., and 2:25 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. I fished from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and I caught only four largemouth bass during 2:25 p.m. to 4:25 p.m.

There was a touch of fall in the air. Some of the leaves on the Bradford pear, elm, and oak trees are beginning to exhibit gold and burgundy hues. Local meteorologists reported the morning low temperature was 51 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 78 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.93 at 12:26 p.m. and fell to 29.86 by 3:26 p.m. The wind blew steadily out of the north at 8 to 10 mph.

I targeted six main-lake points, two small main-lake coves, and parts of a large feeder-creek arm in the north end of the reservoir. I focused on the clearest water I could find.

Around the six main-lake points, I caught one largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and one large bluegill. The largemouth bass was caught at one of the six points, and the smallmouth bass and one bluegill were caught at another point. The other four points were fruitless. The black bass were relating to the sides of large submerged boulders in three to five feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught inside each of the two main-lake coves. Both of these coves are shallow and lined with a few patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation that are surrounded by two to four feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of mostly sand, gravel, and a few fist-size rocks. These two largemouth bass were dwelling next to two of these small patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in two feet of water. A second bluegill was inadvertently caught inside the first main-lake cove.

The large feeder-creek arm is split into two arms. The west arm encompasses steep and rocky shorelines that are graced with submerged stumps, a few stands of flooded timber, nine steep and rocky secondary points, four coves, and a 25-yard section of shoreline covered with riprap. The east arm contains four coves, an island, six secondary points, a marina, and a steep bluffy shoreline.

I failed to elicit any strikes along the bluff at the mouth of the feeder-creek arm.

Inside the west arm, four of the nine rocky secondary points yielded one largemouth bass. They were abiding in less than five feet of water and within a couple of feet of the water's edge.

I failed to locate any bass at the other five secondary points, inside any of the four coves, or along the riprap shoreline.

In the east arm, I garnered three largemouth bass. Two were caught at the island where the main creek channel courses next to the west side of the island. The creek channel is 21 feet deep. These largemouth bass were suspended about five feet below the surface, 16 feet above the bottom, and about 20 feet away from the island's steep and rocky shoreline. I failed to cross paths with any bass along the north, east, or south shorelines of the island.

One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water along the south end of the shoreline of the steep bluff just north of the island.

I was unable to elicit any strikes from the four coves, the six secondary points, or around the marina.

Overall, it was a paltry outing. It was a chore to scrounge up 10 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and two bluegill during this 3 1/2-hour endeavor. Only two of these 11 black bass were caught in close proximity to each other. The rest were scattered hither and yon. There were long spells between bites, and boredom set in after the first hour.

I employed an array of Z-Man's Midwest finesse baits rigged on a variety of sizes and colors of Gopher jigs. A chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig dressed with a 2 1/2-inch pearl ZinkerZ was the most effective combo, and it inveigled eight largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and two large bluegill. A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig enticed 2 largemouth bass.

Throughout the afternoon, I utilized all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves and a few variations of those retrieves without much success. I employed the Slim SwimZ rig with a slow and steady do-nothing swimming retrieve. A slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the best presentation with the 2 1/2-inch pearl ZinkerZ rig.

I suspect that the muddy water conditions confounded my abilities to locate and allure significant aggregations of black bass that inhabit this reservoir. But on Sept. 23, I fished this same reservoir with John Thomas of Denton. During that three-hour undertaking, the water was stained with about 1 1/2 feet of visibility and displayed an emerald-green hue, and we caught 44 black bass and 30 white bass.

As I was driving home, I contemplated waiting a couple of weeks before I return to this waterway, and perhaps the water will clear up by then.

Oct. 11 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I fished at a heavily fished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in north-central Texas.

It was a delightful fall day. The sky conditions varied from clear to partly cloudy. The sun was shining everywhere. The afternoon high temperature was 86 degrees, and the morning low temperature was 55 degrees. When I launched the boat at 8:00 a.m., the wind was blowing out of the south at 5 mph. When I put the boat on the trailer at about 11:00 a.m., the wind was quartering out of the southeast at 14 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.10 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.11 at 11:00 a.m.

The water level was about a half of a foot low. The water was stained and exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 73 to 75 degrees.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would take place from 12:47 a.m. to 2:47 a.m., 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., and 7:26 p.m. to 9:26 p.m. Although I was afloat from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., I fished only two hours. I spent an hour calibrating and checking out a new sonar unit that I installed on my boat on Oct. 10.

I wielded only three Midwest finesse baits: a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's bluegill Scented LeechZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

I started this outing in the southwest tributary arm. I dissected six main-lake points, two main-lake shorelines, and portions of a feeder-creek arm.

Four of the six main-lake points are steep and rocky. The other two are flat, and their underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and their shorelines are lined with thick patches of partially-flooded bushes.

I caught five largemouth bass from one of the two flat points. These five largemouth bass were relating to the outside edges of the flooded bushes in three to five feet of water. They were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a slow and steady swimming retrieve. I failed to elicit any strikes at the second flat point.

Two largemouth bass were caught from a rock ledge along one of the four steep and rocky points. One of these two largemouth bass was tempted by the pearl Slim SwimZ rig and steady swim presentation. The other largemouth bass was caught by the bluegill-hue Scented LeechZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Both of these largemouth bass were caught off the top of the rock ledge in eight feet of water. One spotted bass was caught from the side of a large submerged boulder at another main-lake rocky point. It was extracted from five feet of water and was caught on the bluegill Scented LeechZ and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other two rocky points were fruitless.

Inside the feeder-creek arm, I fished three rocky secondary points and two steep and rocky shorelines. I failed to elicit a single strike from any of these five spots.

After I fished the southwest tributary arm, I ventured to the midsection of the east tributary arm, where I plied a large ruptured section of an old and dilapidated concrete and riprap dam. This spot yielded eight largemouth bass that were abiding in three to 10 feet of water. Five were caught on the bluegill Scented LeechZ and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Two were caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ employed with the same swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ, which was retrieved with a slow and steady swimming presentation.

Overall, I inveigled 16 largemouth bass and one spotted bass in two hours, which we consider a decent outing at this reservoir. I spoke with one angler at the boat ramp as I was putting my boat on the trailer, and he said he had caught only two largemouth bass all morning.

A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the bluegill Scented LeechZ beguiled a combination of six largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The pearl Slim SwimZ combo and steady do-nothing swimming retrieve garnered seven largemouth bass. The shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation enticed three.

Oct. 12 log

Dave Mull of Paw Paw, Michigan, and I celebrated the tenth anniversary of the discovery of the manifold virtues of the 2 1/2-inch Strike King Lure Company's Zero affixed to a 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. And we celebrated this anniversary at the same northeastern Kansas community reservoir that a friend and I used the 2 1/2-inch Strike-King's green-pumpkin Zero affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig to catch 109 largemouth bass, two wipers, one channel catfish and one walleye on Oct. 12, 2006.

Mull is a freelance journalist who writes for a variety of fishing venues, such as "Bassmaster Magazine" and "Great Lakes Angler Magazine." He is also a member of the Finesse News Network and Midwest finesse devotee, and he was in northeastern Kansas working on an article about Midwest finesse fishing.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 62 degrees at 1:53 a.m. and 48 degrees at 12:20 p.m. Rain and thunderstorms meandered across parts of northeastern Kansas during the early morning hours. The thunderstorms and significant rain petered out around 6:53 a.m. After that it rained only lightly at some locales. Most of the time, the sky was overcast, but there were short spells when it was partly cloudy. From 4:15 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. the wind angled out of the northwest, west by northwest, and north at 8 to 28 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:53 a.m., 30.05 at 5:53 a.m., 30.19 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.19 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 61 to 64 degrees. The water clarity exhibited three feet of visibility with a tea-like hue. Many yards of this reservoir's shorelines and points are adorned with patches of American water willows. Its underwater terrain is rock laden.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 7:40 a.m. to 9:40 a.m., 8:06 p.m. to 10:06 p.m., and 1:26 a.m. to 3:26 a.m. We were afloat from 9:40 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. Some of this time was spent photographing different aspects of our Midwest finesse tactics. The most productive fishing occurred during the first 80 minutes that we were afloat.

We fished portions of the dam and its spillway. We also fished 11 points, and portions of nine shorelines.

We were unable to repeat the catch of 109 largemouth bass that was accomplished 10 years ago.

Instead, we eked out 38 largemouth bass, and we accidentally caught four channel catfish and five green sunfish. The largemouth bass were abiding in three to six feet of water, and the bulk of them were in the vicinity of the patches of American water willows.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSCN1363-767x1024.jpg
David Mull with a largemouth bass that he caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ.

The dam was fruitless. The spillway yielded one largemouth bass. We failed to elicit a strike along four shorelines. Five points did not yield a largemouth bass.

We caught one largemouth bass on a slightly shortened Gene Larew Lure's Company green-pumpkin Inch Worm affixed to a green-sparkle 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught two largemouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Goher jig. We caught two largemouth bass on a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught two largemouth bass on a Z-Man's mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We caught four largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's sprayed-grass ZinkerZ affixed to a green-sparkle 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught nine largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to either a green-sparkle or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Eighteen largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/Ned-5.6-pounder-768x1024.jpg
One of the largemouth bass that we caught on a 2 1/2-inch Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

We caught the preponderance of the largemouth bass by executing a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. A few were caught on either a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve or a straight swimming presentation.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSCN1361-768x1024.jpg
Dave Mull with a largemouth bass that he caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a green-sparkle 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Oct. 13 log

Dave Mull of Paw Paw, Michigan, and I fished with Jerry Benjamin of Lawrence, Kansas, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in northeastern Kansas on Oct. 13.

For the past month, the smallmouth bass fishing at this reservoir has been very trying. In fact, Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, said it disgusted him.  Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas, reported that he had been confounded by it several times since Sept. 13. Jerry Benjamin's son, Jason, found it to be abysmal on Sept. 8. Other anglers have uttered similar laments.

Mull, who is a member of the Finesse News Network and a Midwest finesse devotee, was here to work on a feature article about Midwest finesse fishing for "Bassmaster Magazine," and he began that task on Oct. 12 when he and I fished a northeastern Kansas community reservoir.

Benjamin was practicing for a black bass tournament that would occur on Oct.15. For years on end, he has been a dyed-in-the-wool power angler, but when he fishes this reservoir, he usually wields some Midwest finesse tactics. And on this outing, we were astonished to see that he employed Midwest finesse tactics from his first cast to his last one.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 36 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 57 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the north by northeast, northeast, north, east, east by northeast, and east by southeast at 4 to 12 mph. The sky fluctuated from being clear to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.32 at 12:53 a.m., 30.33 at 5:53 a.m., 30.31 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.27 at 1:53 p.m.

The surface temperature was 66 degrees. The water was stained, exhibiting 12 to about 18 inches of visibility. The Corps of Engineers reported that the water level was 1.44 feet above normal. Twenty cubic feet per second was being released from the dam. Some of the reservoir's flat shorelines and points are embellished with flooded terrestrial vegetation, such as buttonbushes, willow tree saplings, cottonwood tree saplings, and sycamore tree saplings, and the depth of the water along the outside edges of this vegetation was 18 inches or less.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 8:41 a.m. to 10:41 a.m., 9:08 p.m. to 11:08 p.m., and 2:28 a.m. to 4:28 a.m. We were afloat from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We spent the entire 5 1/2 hours in the lower portions of the reservoir, and we fished eight areas.

We probed about a third of a mile of a main-lake shoreline that is graced with two main-lake points. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks and boulders. Along this stretch of water, there are a series of massive piles of rocks and boulders, as well as a shallow-water rock- and boulder-laden hump that parallels a section of the shoreline, and it lies about 120 feet from the water's edge. A tiny segment of the shoreline contained some flooded terrestrial vegetation. This area lies about three-quarters of a mile from the dam.

We fished about a quarter of a mile of a flat shoreline and a secondary point inside a tertiary feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain is embellished with gravel, rocks, and boulders. Many of the piles of rocks and boulders lie many yards from the water's edge. Some portions of the shoreline were endowed with some flooded terrestrial vegetation. We fished from the main-lake point to the back end of this arm.

We fished a secondary point inside a secondary feeder-creek arm, as well as 75 yards of one of its adjacent shorelines and about a third of a mile of the other adjacent shoreline. The underwater terrain contains gravel, rocks and boulders. Along the flatter sections of the point and its shorelines, there is a lot of flooded terrestrial vegetation. This area is about 2 1/4 miles from the dam.

We fished about a 100-yard segment of a shoreline adjacent to a flat main-lake point. This shoreline is flat, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. About 75 yards from the tip of the main-lake point, there is a tertiary point that is littered with boulders and a minor ledge. The water's edge is adorned with flooded terrestrial vegetation. This shoreline and tertiary point lie about two miles from the dam.

We fished a half mile of a shoreline and two secondary points in the back of a secondary feeder-creek arm. A 50-yard section of this shoreline is steep and laden with big rocks and massive boulders. The other sections were relatively flat, and they were graced with flooded terrestrial vegetation and scores of laydowns. Much of the underwater terrain consists of gravel and rock, and a section of it consists of clay and silt, as well as some gravel and a few rocks. This locale is about 2 1/2 miles from the dam. On the other side of this secondary feeder-creek arm, we fished another flat secondary point and some of its adjacent shorelines. The underwater terrain contains clay, gravel, rock, and boulders, as well as a submerged rock fence that is covered with about four feet of water. Portions of this area had some flooded terrestrial vegetation.

About 1 1/2 miles from the dam, we fished a flat secondary point and about 100 yards of its adjacent shorelines. The water's edge is lined with a massive amount of flooded terrestrial vegetation. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders.

We fished about a 100 yards of a steep shoreline inside a tertiary feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain is rock-and boulder-laden, and it is devoid of flooded terrestrial vegetation. We also fished the transitional or flatter and gravel-laden areas on each side of this steep shoreline. The gravel and flat areas were endowed with flooded terrestrial vegetation. This area lies about a mile from the dam.

We fished about a half of a mile of a shoreline, two secondary points, and one tertiary point inside a secondary feeder-creek arm. About 75 yards of the shoreline is steep. It is rock- and boulder-laden, and some of the boulders create significant ledges. The bulk of this shoreline and its points are flat. They consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are many yards of flooded terrestrial vegetation. One of the points is graced with a series of rock piles. This long shoreline and its points lie from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles from the dam.

Benjamin, Mull, and I caught 53 smallmouth bass and five largemouth bass, and we inadvertently caught eight freshwater drum, eight white bass, and seven green sunfish.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSCN1365-1024x770.jpg
Dave Mull with one of the 53 smallmouth bass that we caught.

Our two most effective rigs were a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse T.R.D affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-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 Gopher jig.

We also caught them on a hodgepodge of other rigs: a Z-Man's black-blue-laminated EZ TubeZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's watermelon ZinkerZ (which was customized to sport four-long tentacles) affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's mudbug T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to either a green-pumpkin 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to either a green-sparkle 1/16-ounce Gopher jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's black-blue-flake Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's bubblegum Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a tail spinner and a chartreuse 1/6-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Some of the black bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The bulk of them, however, were caught while we employed a straight drag presentation or a drag-and-slight-deadstick presentation. A few of them were caught while we employed a straight swimming presentation – especially with the Z-Man's bubblegum Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a tail spinner and a chartreuse 1/6-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The vast majority of the black bass were caught in one to three feet of water. The flatter shorelines and points were significantly more fruitful than the steeper ones. Offshore rock piles and humps were not productive, but a couple of flat points that are graced with shallow rock piles and ridges yielded a few smallmouth bass that were a goodly distance from the water's edge. A significant number of the black bass were abiding around or near flooded terrestrial vegetation. Throughout the outing, Benjamin noted that we did not have a significant location pattern, and to catch them we had to make a lot of fruitless casts and retrieves around a lot of points and along many shorelines, and every once in a while, we would eke out a black bass or two.

Endnotes to Oct. 13 log

Jerry Benjamin was hoping that the catch rate of 10.5 black bass per hour that we enjoyed during our celebration on Oct.13 would be repeated during the black bass tournament on Oct. 15. To his chagrin, however, the fishing was worse than horrendous during the tournament.

He suspected that much of the problem that confounded him and his fellow competitors revolved around the wind, which howled out of the south and south by southeast at 16 to 36 mph, and it created ranks of white caps coursing across the surface of nearly every inch of this flatland reservoir.

There is an 18-inch length limit at this reservoir. But competitors can purchase a Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism's Tournament Black Bass Pass, which allows them to weigh two black bass that are at least 15 inches long and three that are at least 18 inches long.

They fished from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Only four black bass were weighed.

Jerry's son, Jason Benjamin of Lawrence, Kansas, won the event by catching two that weighed four pounds, six ounces. He caught them on a spinnerbait.

Jerry caught the other two, which weighed three pounds, six ounces. He caught a two-pound, eight-ounce smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse T.R.D. affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and it garnered him the big-bass award. The other smallmouth bass that he weighed was caught on a topwater lure. Throughout the 8 1/2-hour event, he caught 12 smallmouth bass that were less than 15 inches long.

Oct. 13 log

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

Here is an edited version of his report:

I joined Rick Allen of Dallas for a four-hour excursion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

On Oct. 1, I fished this reservoir for one hour and 57 minutes. I spent that time plying three major feeder-creek arms in the east tributary arm. I had high hopes of finding large concentrations of threadfin shad, largemouth bass, and spotted bass in the midst of their fall migration routines in the creek arms. To my chagrin, I found only one of the three feeder-creek arms fruitful, and it entertained 32 of the 35 black bass that I caught during that outing.

During our Oct. 13 outing, Rick and I opted to investigate two feeder-creek arms, three main-lake points, two main-lake flats, and one small main-lake cove. Both of the feeder-creek arms, one of the three main-lake points, one of the two main-lake flats, and the small main-lake cove are situated in the east tributary arm of the reservoir. The other main-lake flat and two main-lake points are located at a junction where the east and west tributary arms meld together in the south end of the reservoir.

The water was mostly stained and exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of clarity, but in the back of the second feeder-creek, the water was murky with about a foot of visibility. The water level was about a half of a foot low. The surface temperature was 72 degrees.

The sky was mostly overcast with a few short spells of intermittent sunshine. The morning low temperature was 56 degrees. The afternoon was quite comfortable with a high of 72 degrees. Between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., the barometric pressure fluctuated between 30.17 and 30.10. When we launched the boat, the wind was mild-mannered and quartered out of the northwest at 6 to 8 mph. When we trailed the boat, the wind had increased to 15 mph, and the surface of the water was covered with incessant ranks of white caps.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the preeminent fishing periods would most likely take place between 2:20 a.m. and 4:20 a.m., 8:33 a.m. and 10:33 a.m., and 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Rick and I fished from about 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

We commenced the outing inside the small main-lake cove where we launched the boat. On the third cast, we caught a largemouth bass in three feet of water off the end of a riprap shoreline just south of the boat ramp. A few minutes later, we caught a white crappie from the side of a submerged boulder in four feet of water.

The largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's bluegill Scented LeechZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, which was employed with a swim-glide-and shake retrieve. The crappie engulfed a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig as it was sinking to the bottom on the initial cast.

We continued to fish our way westward toward the mouth of the cove, where we plied a main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake flat just outside the mouth of the cove. This main-lake point and its adjacent flat yielded a combination of seven largemouth bass and spotted bass. Five of them were relating to the outside edges of several patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three feet of water. Two others were caught in eight feet of water and in open-water areas about 10 feet from the flooded vegetation. Four were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The pearl Slim SwimZ rig caught two. A Z-Man's space guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig caught one. The Slim SwimZ rigs were implemented with a quick-paced steady retrieve about two to six inches below the surface of the water. The ZinkerZ combo was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

From this main-lake point and flat, we moved inside the first feeder-creek arm, which is located a short distance from the main-lake point and flat. This feeder-creek arm is endowed with nine secondary points, an island, and seven coves. Its shorelines and underwater terrain consists of voluminous amounts of submerged boulders and fist-size rocks, sand, gravel, and many yards of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation.

Along one large secondary point just east of the island, we caught a mix of seven largemouth bass and spotted bass. All of these black bass were relating to the deep-water edge of a long wall of flooded terrestrial vegetation in less than five feet of water. We caught them on the space guppy Slim SwimZ rig as it was quickly and steadily retrieved just below the surface of the water.

As we fished the east side of the island, we caught four largemouth bass. Three of them were beguiled by the space guppy Slim SwimZ and fast swimming retrieve. One was caught on the bluegill-hue Scented LeechZ and swim-glide-and-shake presentation. All four of these bass were associated with the outside edge of a long wall of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation, and these largemouth bass were abiding in less than five feet of water. Because of the increasing wind and white caps, we decided not to fish the north, west, or south sides of the island.

Two-thirds of the way back in this feeder-creek arm, we dissected a 50-yard section of shoreline that is lined with several thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation and a shallow rock pile in three to five feet of water. This shoreline and rock pile are located on the north side of the creek arm. Five largemouth bass were caught next to the outside edges of the patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation. Two largemouth bass were caught from the east side of the rock pile in three feet of water. These seven largemouth bass were caught on the space guppy Slim SwimZ as it was presented with a quick and steady retrieve. We did not fish inside any of the coves in this feeder-creek arm.

After that, we ventured to the northwest end of a large main-lake flat on the west side of the east tributary arm. Thick patches of flooded terrestrial bushes line the shoreline. We caught four largemouth bass along the outside edges of the flooded bushes in four to six feet of water. The space guppy rig and a steady swimming retrieve allured three bass. One largemouth was caught on the bluegill Scented LeechZ and swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Our next stop was inside the second feeder-creek arm, which is also located on the west side of the east tributary arm. We fished a long rock ledge that parallels the south shoreline near the mouth of the creek arm. This rock ledge relinquished a combination of 10 largemouth and spotted bass. All of these bass were dwelling in three to eight feet of water, and they aggressively attacked the space guppy Slim SwimZ rig that was presented with a quick and steady swimming retrieve.

The back end of this feeder-creek arm is graced with many clusters of flooded terrestrial bushes that lie within a few yards of a creek channel. This area surrendered three largemouth bass and one white bass. All of these fish were caught in less than five feet of water and were next to the deep-water sides of the flooded bushes. A steady swimming retrieve with the space guppy Slim SwimZ enticed all four of them.

Our last locale was two wind-swept main-lake points and a large main-lake flat in the southern region of the reservoir. One point and its adjacent flat is comprised of clay, gravel rocks, several large groups of flooded bushes, and three submerged building foundations. This area relinquished just two largemouth bass. One was caught next to a thick patch of flooded terrestrial bushes in three feet of water. The other was caught in five feet of water and next to the side of one of the submerged building foundations. All of these bass were caught on the space guppy Slim SwimZ combo and a steady do-nothing swimming presentation.

The other point is the longest and is completely covered with a thick wall of flooded terrestrial bushes. The west side of this point is endowed with a rock ledge. The top of the ledge is covered with five feet of water and it quickly plunges into 27 feet of water. This point yielded three largemouth bass that were associated with the outside edges of the flooded bushes in three to five feet of water. They were also enticed into striking the space guppy Slim SwimZ with a fast-paced swimming retrieve.

All told, it was a delightful afternoon endeavor. We tangled with a combination of 53 largemouth bass and spotted bass in four hours. The space guppy Slim SwimZ and a fast and steady swimming retrieve was by far our most effective offering; it inveigled 46 of the 53 black bass. Surprisingly, we failed to elicit a single strike with a shortened three-inch Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. This rig has been one of our most fruitful lures since mid-July.

We crossed paths with the vast majority of the black bass inside the two feeder-creek arms. The main-lake points and flats that have been so lucrative during the summer months are now fizzling out, and they yielded only 12 black bass on this outing.

Oct. 15 log

Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outings with Dick Scholtens of Raymore at three community reservoirs in northeastern Oklahoma on Oct. 13, 14, and 15.

On each outing, they fished about four hours.

It was extremely windy during their first outing. It was cold, it rained, and it thundered during their second outing. On their third outing, the high temperature was 55 degrees; it was cloudy; the wind angled out of the northwest at 10 to 13 mph.

Their most effective baits were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's sprayed grass ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse-black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's bama bug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse-black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's mud minnow ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse-black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

During their first two outings, they caught a combination of 36 largemouth bass and spotted bass. On their third outing, they caught 17 black bass.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/IMG_5204-1024x768.jpg
Dick Scholtens with a largemouth bass that he caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's bama bug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse-black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

Their most effective retrieve was a drag-deadstick-and-shake presentation. The black bass were abiding in four to eight feet of water, and the boat floated in eight to 14 feet of water.

Oct. 19, 20, and 21 logs

For these logs, please the Midwest Finesse column at this link: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/three-days-of-fishing-with-the-folks-at-gene-larew-lures/.

Oct. 21 log

One of the major tenets of Midwest finesse fishing revolves around fishing with one's family and teaching every new generation how they can work together to catch 25 black bass an hour on the best of days and to catch an average of at least nine black bass an hour on trying outings.

Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, performed that task on Sept. 21, when he took his son Nathan and grandson Isaac fishing at a northeastern Kansas community reservoir. Nathan and Isaac hail from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Rick filed a brief on the Finesse News Network, and here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 38 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 60 degrees at 2:53 p.m. It was sunny. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 3 to 7 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.30 at 12:53 a.m., 30.28 at 5:53 a.m., 30.29 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.16 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level was slightly above normal. The water clarity ranged from 18 inches to more than 36 inches. The surface temperature was 64 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 3:46 a.m. to 5:46 a.m., 4:14 p.m. to 6:14 p.m., and 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. We fished from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The largemouth bass fishing was difficult. We failed to establish a significant location and presentation pattern.

Ultimately, we eked out 38 largemouth bass, which is an average of nine largemouth bass an hour.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/20161021_143820-1024x722.jpg
Rick Hebenstreit with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

Four of the largemouth bass were caught along the dam, and four of them were caught along a flat shoreline near the mouth of a tertiary feeder-creek arm. The other 30 largemouth bass were caught hither and yon. But when we caught a largemouth bass, it was usually abiding around a patch of coontail in three to five feet of water.

Our three most effective baits were a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse T.R.D. on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. We caught them by employing a variety of presentations.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSC02656-858x1024.jpg
Isaac Hebenstreit with one of the 38 largemouth bass that he, his father, and grandfather caught.

Oct. 27 log

I fished with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, and Andrew Trembath of Kansas City, Missouri, at a heavily fished exurban community reservoir in northeastern Kansas on Oct. 27.

Gum is a regularly contributor to the Finesse News Network, but because the black bass fishing has been so unfruitful in northeastern Kansas for the past month, he has not filed a report since Sept. 25, and in that brief report he wrote about his trying outing with Trembath at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs. Since then when he thought about chronicling his relatively fruitless outings during the past 31 days, he said that he did not have the words and wherewithal to describe what transpired; all he could say was that the fishing was lousy. And because the black bass fishing has been so lousy in northeastern Kansas this October, our guide to Midwest Finesse fishing for October 2016 will contain fewer logs and words than most of our monthly guides contain.

On Oct. 27, the Weather Underground reported that it was 43 degrees at 7:39 a.m. and 69 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind was extremely mild-mannered, and when it stirred, it angled out of the north, south by southeast, and south at 3 to 8 mph. The sky alternated from being clear, foggy, misty, partly cloudy, mostly cloudy, and scatter with some clouds. And for the first 100 minutes that we were afloat, it was very foggy, and Gum had a difficult time navigating his boat across the reservoir. The barometric pressure was 30.19 at 12:53 a.m., 30.20 at 5:53 a.m., 30.27 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.19 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. There was a minor algal bloom. The water exhibited from three to four feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 64 to 65 degrees. The American water willows that embellish a few of this reservoir's shorelines and points are turning yellow and shedding their leaves. There are extensive shallow-water and deep-water patches of coontail gracing the shorelines, points, and flats. Some of the coontail patches are in nine to 14 feet of water.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 8:07 a.m. to 10:07 a.m., 8:29 p.m. to 10:29 p.m., and 1:56 a.m. to 3:56 a.m. We were afloat from 8:16 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and we caught 43 largemouth bass and 20 smallmouth bass, and we inadvertently caught three white bass, two walleye, six green sunfish, two bluegill, and one black crappie. Fourteen black bass liberated themselves before we could lift them across the gunnels of Gum's boat.

In short, it was an extremely hodgepodge-type of outing. There was no significant location pattern and no significant presentation pattern. We caught those 63 black bass in so many different places and with so many different baits and retrieves that I could not make accurate and detailed notes about what was taking place. Therefore, as I am attempting to assemble this log, I am finding that it is beyond my abilities to explain where and how and when we caught the fish we caught.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2016/10/DSCN1382-767x1024.jpg
Bob Gum surrounded by the fog holds one of the 20 smallmouth bass that we caught.

All I can say is that we used scores of baits. A few of them were relatively effective. Some of them were totally ineffective. Some of them caught one or two black bass. Here is a list of the baits that caught at least one black bass: a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to an orange 1/8-ounce Cabela's jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to an orange 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a significantly shortened Z-Man's Junebug Saw Tail WormZ affixed to an orange 1/8-ounce Cabela's jig, a significantly shortened Z-Man's Junebug Saw Tail WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-red Zero affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Gene Larew Lures' green-pumpkin Inch Worm affixed to a 1/16-ounce unpainted mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's mud minnow Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rigs and Rain MinnowZ rigs the best of the lot.

I can report that we fished two flats, which are laden with extensive patches of coontail, in the back ends of two feeder-creek arms. These two locales yielded nine largemouth bass. We also fished a 35-yard segment of the dam, which is embellished with rocks, a few scanty American water willows, and many patches of coontail, and we caught a smallmouth bass and a largemouth bass. These 11 black bass were caught on six different Midwest finesse baits, at different depths, and with four different retrieves.

When there is a diverse number of ways, depths, and locations to catch black bass, it seems to adversely affect the way anglers fish. It can inhibit their concentration. It also makes them spend more time hoping that they are employing the correct bait and presentation. They spend a lot of time changing baits and presentation styles, which adversely affects the rhythm of the outing. And when angling gets out of rhythm or rhyme and reason, it becomes a muddled affair.

Now this log becomes muddled. All I can say is that we fished five main-lake points. We also made untold numbers of casts and retrieves along thousands of yards of main-lake shorelines and shorelines inside four feeder-creek arms. We dissected many secondary and tertiary points. We probed an incalculable number of coontail patches on the main-lake and inside the feeder-creek arms. We probed patches of American water willows. And somehow we eked out 52 black bass from these assorted lairs, but Gum, Trembath, and I cannot find the words to describe exactly how and where we did it -- other than just saying that Gum kept his electric trolling motor in the water almost incessantly, and we kept casting and retrieving. And then every once in a while we unexpectedly caught a black bass or two.

Some of the black bass were caught in about a foot of water near the water's edge, and others were caught in 14 feet of water along the outside edge of the patches of coontail, and others were caught somewhere between those two depths. Some of the black bass were caught around boulders and ledges, but scores of boulders and ledges failed to yield a black bass. Some were caught along steep shorelines that are laden with rocks, boulders, and laydowns, but we made incalculable numbers of casts and retrieves along steep shorelines that are laden with rocks, boulders, and laydowns that failed to yield a strike. A few black bass were caught under the scores of overhanging trees that we skipped our Midwest finesse rigs under, but most of our skips were fruitless.

Several black bass were caught as we were swimming our baits over the tops of the coontail patches or along the edges of these patches. Some of the black bass were caught when we were dragging and deadsticking our baits in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as 14 feet, and others were caught while we were executing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. Others were caught when we employed a drag-and-no-shake retrieve. We caught some while we were employing the swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. A few were caught during the initial drop of our bait. In other words, we caught them every which way.

In sum, it was a perplexing six hours and 14 minutes of fishing. We noted earlier in this report that Bob Gum said that he hasn't had the wherewithal nor the desire to try to describe what is transpiring with the black bass that he has been struggling to catch during the past 31 days. And during and after this outing, I was bewitched by the same malady. I do not have a clue what is going on in the world of the black bass in northeastern Kansas and how to catch them with any regularity.

Oct. 27 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Oct. 27 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

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

It was a beautiful and sunny fall day. The morning low temperature was 62 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 84 degrees. The sky conditions changed from clear to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.10 at noon to 30.03 at 4:00 p.m. A light breeze quartered out of the southeast and southwest at 3 to 7 mph.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would most likely occur from 2:27 a.m. to 4:27 a.m., 8:38 a.m. to 10:38 a.m., and 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Rick and I fished from about 12:10 p.m. to about 4:40 p.m.

We fished portions of three feeder-creek arms, as well as two main-lake points, two main-lake flats, and two shorelines of a main-lake island. One of the feeder-creek arms that we fished is located in the north end of the reservoir. The other two feeder-creek arms are located in the east tributary arm of the reservoir, as are the two main-lake points, the two main-lake flats, and the island.

The water was mostly stained, exhibiting about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was half of a foot below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 72 degrees at the boat ramp to 76 degrees in the midsection of the north feeder-creek arm.

We started the outing at a main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake flat. This main-lake point and its adjacent flat have been very fruitful during the past couple of months, but it yielded only one largemouth bass and one spotted bass this time. Both of them were relating to the outside edges of two thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that lined one side of the point and part of the flat. They were caught in about three feet of water.

From this main-lake point and flat, we headed several miles up the reservoir to the north feeder-creek arm. This feeder-creek arm is wide and a couple of miles long. It is graced with many acres of thick stands of flooded timber, brush piles, stumps, flooded terrestrial vegetation, shallow mud and gravel flats, several coves, a few steep and rocky points, and a submerged stock pond dam. It is the domain of power anglers who ply this area with baitcasting outfits spooled with 50- to 65-pound-test braided line and heavy-action rods. It is also a slow and difficult task to navigate a boat through the thick stands of flooded timber.

Along the west side of the creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass in eight feet of water and several yards away from the submerged stock pond dam. We caught a mix of 14 largemouth bass and spotted bass at three steep and rocky secondary points along the east shoreline and about halfway back in the creek arm. We failed to garner a strike along a shallow and flat rocky secondary point near the entrance to the feeder-creek arm.

After we finished fishing the feeder-creek, we ventured southward to the middle section of the east tributary arm, where we fished one main-lake point along the east shoreline and the north and southeast shorelines of an island. We failed to generate any strikes at the main-lake point. The north shoreline of the island, which is adorned with sand, a few submerged boulders, flooded timber, and stumps surrendered three largemouth bass. We failed to elicit any strikes along the southeast shoreline of the island, which is adorned with a few submerged boulders but no standing timber.

Inside the second feeder-creek, which is located on the east side of the tributary arm, we dissected one rocky and flat secondary point, and we failed to elicit a strike.

Our next spot was a large main-lake flat that lies on the west side of this tributary arm. It is embellished with many yards of flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water. We concentrated on the northwest end of the flat, where a small creek channel cuts across the flat. We caught four largemouth bass that were relating to the outside edge of a long wall of flooded shoreline vegetation. These largemouth bass were abiding in less than five feet of water.

Our last stop was inside the third feeder-creek arm, which is also located on the west side of the east tributary arm and just north of the main-lake flat that we just fished. It contains a large mud flat, several rocky secondary points, a long rock ledge, a boat ramp, and four large coves. There is very little flooded timber in this feeder-creek. The coves, the large mud flat, and several long sections of shoreline are lined with flooded stumps and flooded terrestrial vegetation in three to five feet of water. Its underwater terrain consists of mostly mud, gravel, and a few submerged boulders.

We slowly plied the long rock ledge that parallels the south shoreline near the mouth of this creek arm, and we caught a combination of 10 largemouth and spotted bass. These bass were abiding in six to eight feet of water and about five to ten feet away from the deep-water side of the rock ledge.

We also fished two rocky secondary points along the south shoreline of the feeder-creek, and they relinquished four largemouth bass that were caught in less than five feet of water.

We did not have time to fish the coves, boat ramp area, or large mud flat.

In sum, it was a delightful afternoon to be out on the water. The fishing is starting to slow down at this reservoir, and by the end of November, the black bass bite will be almost nonexistent. There were a few long spells between strikes. Ultimately, we managed to catch and release a combination of 38 largemouth bass and spotted bass in 4 1/2 hours. We also caught one freshwater drum and one channel catfish by accident. We failed to land three other largemouth bass.

A Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and a slow and steady swimming retrieve was our most effective combo. We caught several bass on a Z-Man's space guppy Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened three-inch Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The space guppy Slim SwimZ was presented with the same steady do-nothing swimming retrieve that we used with the pearl Slim SwimZ. The ZinkerZ and Hula StickZ rigs were retrieved with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Oct. 28 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

I conducted a solo outing at a heavily fished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas, where I have been having a difficult time locating and alluring its largemouth bass and spotted bass.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the prime fishing periods should take place between 3:06 a.m. and 5:06 a.m., 9:16 a.m. and 11:16 a.m., and 9:38 p.m. to 11:38 p.m. I was afloat from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Oct. 28 was another invigorating and enjoyable fall day. The sky was partly cloudy and the sun was shining brightly everywhere. The afternoon high temperature was 84 degrees and the morning low temperature was 62 degrees. The wind quartered out of the southeast at 8 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.84 at 11:00 a.m. and 29.76 at 3:00 p.m.

The water level was half of a foot below normal. The water was stained, exhibiting about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 73 to 75 degrees.

I employed three Midwest finesse baits: a Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, a shortened Z-Man's mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

I spent four hours in the southwest tributary arm. I fished the back of five main-lake coves, two main-lake points, and a 35-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. These eight locales are situated less than a mile from the boat ramp where I launched my boat.

Three of the five coves are flat and shallow. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, clay, a few stumps, and some boulders. It is lined with the remnants of thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation. The other two coves have steep rocky shorelines, and they harbor large marinas.

Three largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught from the back of one of the marina coves. The largemouth bass were abiding in three to six feet of water along a steep and rock-laden shoreline that is adjacent to a submerged creek channel. The spotted bass was caught in eight feet of water along the side of a steep and rocky secondary point. These black bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ and a slow swim-glide-and shake presentation. The other marina cove yielded one largemouth bass. This largemouth was milling about in the back of the cove in four feet of water, and it was associated with a thick patch of flooded terrestrial vegetation. It was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo and slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to elicit any strikes from inside one of the three flat and shallow coves.

The second shallow cove relinquished eight largemouth bass. They were relating to the outside edge of a large patch of partially flooded terrestrial vegetation in three feet of water. They were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ as it was slowly maneuvered through the larger openings and pockets along the outside edge of the terrestrial vegetation with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The third shallow cove yielded eight largemouth bass that were relating to the outside edges of three patches of partially flooded terrestrial vegetation in two to four feet of water. The 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve beguiled these largemouth bass.

The two main-lake points were not very productive. I failed to entice any strikes at the first point. The second point, which is comprised of gravel and clay, surrendered one largemouth bass that was abiding in three feet of water. This bass was caught while employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

The last spot I fished was a 35-yard stretch of shoreline that separates two of the coves. Its underwater terrain consists of sand, gravel, a submerged roadbed, and a short rock ledge. As I began to dissect this shoreline, I observed a small school of largemouth bass foraging on two-inch threadfin shad in six to 10 feet of water next to the short rock ledge. I managed to catch four of them before they disappeared. They were caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ combo and a steady do-nothing swimming retrieve.

In sum, it was a slow and lackluster outing. I struggled to catch 24 largemouth bass and one spotted bass in four hours. The 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured 21 of the 25 black bass. The pearl Slim SwimZ with a steady do-nothing swimming retrieve enticed four largemouth bass. The shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig failed to elicit a single strike. This was also the first outing in a couple of months where a 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rig has outperformed a Slim SwimZ or shortened Hula StickZ rig.

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.