Octobers of the Past

Octobers of the Past

Since 2012, we have published 71,051 words in our Midwest finesse columns about how, when, and where we catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass throughout the month of October.


The air temperature changes significantly in October. For instance, the normal low temperature in Lawrence, Kansas, on October 1 is 49 degrees, and the average high temperature is 75 degrees. On October 15, the average low temperature is 44 degrees, and the normal high temperature is 69 degrees. Then on Oct. 31, the average low temperature is 38 degrees, and the normal high temperature is 63 degrees.

The weather can be radically different from day to day. For instance, we can enjoy a balmy Indian summer day, and then the next day or two can be miserably cold, windy, and even snowy.  Moreover, the wind often howls in October across northeastern Kansas, which can keep us at bay or dramatically confound our abilities to properly control our boats and to execute our Midwest finesse presentations. There have also been some Octobers when we were pummeled by heavy rains, which caused the water levels in some of our reservoirs to become riled and murky.


The surface temperatures at the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas on Oct. 1 range from 66 to 72 degrees. On Oct. 15, the surface temperature can range from 59 to 64 degrees. It ranges from 54 to 59 degrees on Oct. 31.


Algae blooms often erupt as the water cools, and when that occurs, we often have a difficult time catching a significant number of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in northeastern Kansas.

Some of northeastern Kansas' reservoirs are graced with submergent aquatic vegetation, but if and when it begins to wilt and decay, we catch fewer black bass around those locales than we do when those areas are graced with green and burgeoning patches of vegetation. This wilt-and-decay phenomenon makes rocky lairs more fruitful than the weedy ones.

October is the last month of the year that Midwest finesse anglers can consistently catch shallow-water smallmouth bass in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas. As the cold-water period approaches, significant numbers of smallmouth bass begin to travel to lairs that are covered with 25 to 30 feet of water.   The major exception to that phenomenon occurs at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs, where Midwest finesse anglers can tangle with some shallow-water smallmouth bass throughout the winter. We recommend that anglers refrain from fishing for deep-water smallmouth bass, and that is because of the effects that barotrauma renders on the eyes and internal organs of the smallmouth bass.

Some of the correspondents and contributors to the Finesse News Network from around the nation note that they are confronted by similar scenarios, but depending on the latitude of their waterways, these situations can occur earlier or later than they do in northeastern Kansas.

Despite the radical changes and confounding weather conditions that transpire in October, we have relished a few October outings across the years when we have been able to tangle with 101 or more largemouth bass in four hours.

Below are the Internet links to the 71,051 words that we have written about how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers catch and do not catch black bass during October in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ontario (Canada), Texas, and West Virginia.

(1) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/a-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesse-for-bass/.

(2) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/an-addendum-to-the-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesse-october/.

(3) http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/midwest-finesse-fishingoctober-2013/.

(4) http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-october-2014/.

(5) http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-october-2015/.

(6) http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/octobers-of-the-past/.

Photographs of Midwest finesse anglers from Octobers of the past.

Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, with a smallmouth bass that he caught on Oct. 6, 2014.

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, with a largemouth bass that he caught on Oct. 12. 2013.

Bob Gum of Kansas City. Kansas, with a largemouth bass that he caught on Oct. 12. 2014.

Andrew Trembath of Kansas City, Missouri, with a smallmouth bass that he caught on Oct. 25, 2015.

Rick Allen of Dallas with a smallmouth bass that he caught on Oct. 21, 2015.

Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, with a largemouth bass that he caught on Oct. 9, 2015.

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, with a spotted bass that he caught on Oct. 27, 2015.

David Hebenstreit of Lahinch, Ireland, and Duluth, Minnesota, with a largemouth bass that he caught on Oct. 15, 2014.

Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, with a smallmouth bass that he caught on Oct. 2, 2013.

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, with a largemouth bass that he caught on Oct. 13, 2013.

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