From Jan. 7 to April 22, our best Midwest finesse baits on the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas was Z-Man Fishing Products’ Finesse ShadZ affix to either a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig, a Rain MinnowZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ on a 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and 2 1/2-inch customized FattyZ on a 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.
The best color was green-pumpkin. But PB&J, California craw, black and blue, and pumpkin-chartreuse allured an array of fish, too. The best jig head color was chartreuse, but red and blue effective at times.
Across 23 outings, which encompassed about 78 hours of finesse fishing, these four finesse combos inveigled 843 largemouth bass, 39 crappie, 39 rainbow trout, four white bass, three smallmouth bass and one walleye.
But as this unseasonably cool April folds into May, the largemouth bass in our flatland reservoir should begin to exhibit a preference for Z-Man’s four-inch Finesse WormZ and Zoom Bait Company’s Mini Lizard. (It is interesting to note that it is 34 degrees and snowing in Lawrence, Kansas, as I put the last period on this blog. Nevertheless, lizard time will probably be upon us brfore Mother’s Day.)
We use a green-pumpkin Mini Lizard and affix it to either a 1/32-, 1/16-ounce chartreuse Gopher jig. We use a variety of colors of the Finesse WormZ: black-and-blue, black neon, green-pumpkin, Junebug, PB&J, and purple haze. We use blue, chartreuse and red Gopher jigs, and we work with three sizes of the Gopher jigs: 1/32-, 1/16- and 3/32-ounce.
Traditionally, the Mini Lizard is effective through the pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn, which occurs in May in northeastern Kansas. The worm is effective off and on from April until late November.