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Midwest Finesse

Finesse News Network

by Ned Kehde   |  August 23rd, 2011 3

This smallmouth bass has a watermellon-red-flake 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce red Gopher Mushroom Jig Head in its lip.

For the past several years a group of anglers participated on an e-mail circuit that is call the Finesse News Network. Geographically this network stretches from Phoenix, Arizona, to Siler City, North Carolina, and from El Paso, Texas, to the Lake of the Woods. Some say the heart of this group lies on the waterways that surround Kansas City, where the late Chuck Woods created the foundations for finesse fishing for largemouth bass in the 1950s and 1960s.

When curious anglers, such as Wayne Steele of  Brentwood, Tennessee,  get wind of our devotion to finesse fishing, we are frequently asked to provide a list of the lures that we use day-in and day-out during the entire calendar year. Thus we though that some readers that peruse this blog would be interested in  seeing a list that the finesse anglers around Kansas City have been employing during the past several years.

Gene Larew Lures’ 3-inch Baby Hoodaddy and 3 1/2-inch Long John Minnow; Strike King Lure Company’s Bitsy Tube, 4-inch Finesse Worm and  2 1/2-inch Zero; YUM’s 4-inch Houdini Worm, 4-inch Muy Grub and 2- and 3-inch Wooly Beavertail; and Z-Man Fishing Products’ 4-inch Finesse ShadZ, 4-inch Finesse WormZ, 3-inch Rain MinnowZ, and  2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ.  About 97 percent of the time we use these soft-plastic lures affixed to a 1/32-ounce, 1/16-ounce or 3/32-ounce Gopher Mushroom Jig Head.  At other times we also use either a 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce homemade silver marabou jig with a chrome head and silver-tinseled belly, and there are spells when we opt for a black one, brown one and olive one. In December of 2010 at ther behest of Stacey King of Reeds Springs, Missouri, we began working again with one our old-time favorites: an 1/8-ounce hair jig dressed with a Uncle Josh 101 Spinning Frog.

It should be noted that the Strike King Zero and Z-Man ZinkerZ are 5-inches long, and we cut them in half, making them 2-1/2-inches long.  Since October 12, 2006, the Zero or ZinkerZ has been our most fruitful bait.

In a future blogs, we will discuss colors and presentation tactics.

  • TCfromKC

    Could it be that I am the first to post a comment- what a privilege.

    Ned has been a huge influence in my pursuit of bass fishing. As a pure 100% power fisherman, 3 years ago- I did not even own a spin casting rod and reel. Now under his instruction & ideas, I throw it 90% of the time.

    The light line, small hooks & small plastics & lure presentations, he has promoted- just plain works.

    In the past if I caught 5 fish during a trip, that was a good day.

    Now I catch usually 5 fish an hour, and that is still not even close to what Ned can catch….he routinely catches 10-15 fish an hour. He limits his fishing to 4 hours a day and he does not even fish during the peak times -He is afloat from 10 am – 2pm.

  • Brian

    Good for Stacey :) The 1/8-oz. hair jig and tiny trailer has been my go-to killer around our Midwestern reservoirs anytime the water drops below 50 degrees all the way through ice-up (or the reverse in spring), accounting for literally hundreds of bass every spring and fall. Definitely an overlooked option in this day of silicone and rubber.

  • steve craven

    would like to be able to read and print your past articles in in-fisherman magazine ( as i have in the past ) but there does not seem to be any search tools on the site ( as there used to be ) to pull previous articles up by writer. this changed after the site was reformatted about 2-3 months ago.any thoughts or suggestions?

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