Our November guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 30 logs and 25,046 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the undertakings of Rick Allen of Dallas; Duncan Brown of Lawrence, Kansas; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Paul Hansen of Shawnee, Kansas; David Harrison of Lawrence, Kansas;  Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Patricia Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Nathan Parker of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Jim Stegeman of Olathe, Kansas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas;  as well as my northeastern Kansas logs.

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

Nov. 2 log 

The Weather Underground reported that it was 48 degrees at 1:59 a.m. and 52 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy. It was foggy and frequently misty, and it was misty enough that I wore a rain suit. The wind angled out of the east by northeast, east, northeast, north by northeast, north, and north by northwest at 5 to 21 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.70 at 12:52 a.m., 29.70 at 5:52 a.m., 29.86 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.97 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. and 9:36 p.m. to 11:36 p.m. I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs from 11:51 a.m. to 3:51 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 52 to 54 degrees.  The water level looked to be a few inches above normal.  The water exhibited two to more than five feet of visibility.  There is a planktonic algae bloom occurring in the shallow-water locales in the back ends of the feeder-creek arms, and along some of the patches of American water willows that line this reservoir’s shorelines, there looks as if there is a euglena eruption. But this eruption is not green or red; it exhibits a grayish-tan hue. The visibility in the areas that are affected by the euglena is two feet. This reservoir has some of the biggest and finest patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas, and many of them are still exhibiting a green to a yellowish-green hue, and only a few of them are brown and virtually leafless. What’s more, there are many shallow-water acres that are graced with robust patches of submerged coontail.

Before I executed my first cast and retrieve, I expected  that I would spend the entire outing dissecting massive and offshore patches of coontail that embellish the shallow-water flats in the backs of the feeder-creek arms. But to my surprise, those offshore haunts yielded just 16 of the 57 largemouth bass that I caught.

Throughout this outing, I wielded six Midwest finesse rigs.

I caught one of the 57 largemouth bass on a Z-Man Fishing Products’ black-blue TRD HogZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle’s Mushroom Head jig.  A shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Gopher jig caught one largemouth bass.  A shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s jig caught two largemouth bass. Eleven of the 57 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s white lightning ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught 13 largemouth bass. Twenty-nine largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  I failed to elicit a strike on a Z-Man’s California craw TRD HogZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, but I made only two dozen casts and retrieves with it.

Six of the 16 largemouth bass that were caught around the offshore patches of coontail were caught on the initial drop of the Midwest finesse rigs.  The other 10 were caught when I was executing a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.  These largemouth bass were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as eight feet.

I fished 12 points. Three of them were fruitless, but the other nine points yielded 20 largemouth bass.  Most of the water’s edges of these points were graced with patches of American water willows. Some of them were adorned with laydowns. The bulk of the points had vestiges of flooded terrestrial vegetation. Several of the points were graced with patches of coontail.  The underwater terrains of these points consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A few had a 30-degree slope. Several largemouth bass were caught in four to five feet of water around the flooded terrestrial vegetation. Three of the largemouth bass were extracted from a laydown in three to four feet of water. Thirteen largemouth bass were caught along the outside edges of patches of American water willows in three to six feet of water, and several of these patches of American water willows were intertwined with coontail and flooded terrestrial vegetation.  Some were caught on the initial drop of the Midwest finesse rigs that I employed, and other ones were caught while I was employing a slow swim-glide-and-minor-shake presentation.

I fished around two riprap jetties, and one of them yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught in three feet of water at the tip of the jetty with a swim-glide-and-no-shake retrieve around several boulders.

I fished portions of 10 shorelines, and seven of them were fruitful. Three of the shorelines possess a 25- to 30-degree slope. Some of these shorelines possess a 40- to 55-degree slope. A few of them are relatively steep, possessing about a 65- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrains of these shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Most of the water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, and there are many yards of flooded terrestrial vegetation. Interlaced with the American water willows and flooded terrestrial vegetation, there are scores of laydowns and patches of coontail.

Along these shorelines, I caught 20 largemouth bass. Many yards of these shorelines were fruitless, and two of them were totally fruitless. A 50-yard stretch of one of the shorelines, which possesses a 40- to 45-degree slope and is adorned with thick patches of American water willows and 10 laydowns, yielded nine of the 20 largemouth bass. Three of the 20 largemouth bass were caught adjacent to patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in five feet of water on a swim-glide-and-subtle shake presentation. Seven of them were caught around a laydown in three to four feet of water on either the initial drop of the Midwest finesse rig or with a slow swimming retrieve. Ten were caught along the outside edges of patches of American water willows in water as shallow as 2 1/2 feet and as deep as six feet, and they were caught on either the initial drop of the Midwest finesse rig or with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

In essence, I probed as many shorelines and points as I could in 160 minutes, and if I had not spent 80 minutes fishing the shallow-water flats, which are laden with coontail patches, inside four of the feeder-creek arms, this might have been a more bountiful outing. A significant segment of one of those shallow-water flats, which was totally fruitless, was covered with planktonic algae. Two of the other shallow-water flats were besmeared with a minor planktonic algae bloom, and parts of them had what looks like the beginning of an euglena outbreak.  It needs to be noted, however, that I caught some largemouth bass along the shorelines and outside edges of the patches of American water willows that were blemished with what looks like euglena.

 Nov. 3 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 3 log.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I ventured to a heavily fished north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir and fished from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Another cold front moved across north-central Texas during the early morning hours of Nov. 3, but it was not as intense as the one that walloped the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area on Oct. 9. The sky was overcast for most of the day, and it drizzled for a short spell while I was afloat. I did not see the first rays of the sun until 2:27 p.m., when the clouds dissipated and the sky conditions changed from overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The wind blew out of the northwest at 10 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.08 at 11:00 a.m. to 30.02 at 3:00 p.m. The morning low temperature was 52 degrees and the afternoon high was 75 degrees.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the most lucrative fishing periods would occur between 3:56 a.m. and 5:56 a.m., 10:09 a.m. and 12:09 p.m., and 10:36 p.m. to 12:36 a.m.

The water level at this impoundment has been dropping during the past week and is now about a foot below normal. The surface temperature was 64 degrees. The water was stained with three feet of visibility.

I focused my attention on a main-lake cove, a riprap jetty, three main-lake points, portions of a major feeder-creek arm, a water-outlet tower, the dam’s riprap shoreline adjacent to the water-outlet tower, and a rocky main-lake shoreline. These locales are located in the south region of the reservoir.

Inside the main-lake cove, I caught one largemouth bass. This cove is endowed with several flat secondary points and a submerged rock ledge. The underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel.  This largemouth was caught in four feet of water and about five feet away from the top of the ledge on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig that was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retreive.  I failed to garner any strikes from the secondary points inside this cove.

The main-lake jetty is covered with riprap. It yielded three largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were abiding in four to seven feet of water and in close proximity to the submerged riprap.  Two of the three largemouth bass and the spotted bass were beguiled by the Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig. One largemouth was caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these rigs were presented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The major feeder-creek arm surrendered  three largemouth bass. The geology and underwater terrain of this creek arm is comprised of red clay, gravel, basketball-size rocks, numerous submerged boulders, and a submerge rock ledge. Two largemouth bass were caught along two secondary points in three to six feet of water. One largemouth was caught from the side of the submerged rock ledge in eight feet of water. All three of these bass were caught on the Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD rig and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to generate any other strikes from three other secondary points and the shorelines of two coves inside this feeder-creek arm.

I caught one largemouth bass from a flat clay and gravel main-lake point and one spotted bass from another flat and rocky main-lake point. Both of these black bass were caught in three to five feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Junebug Finesse TRD rig. I failed to induce any strikes from the third main-lake point that is also flat and comprised of red clay and gravel.

The submerged riprap along the face of the dam yielded two largemouth bass. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ attached to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig in three to five feet of water.

The large concrete water-outlet tower near the center of the dam surrendered four largemouth bass. They were abiding next to the walls of the tower and about eight feet below the surface in water that was 57 feet deep. They were caught on the mud minnow Hula StickZ combo and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass from three to six feet of water along a 50-yard section of a riprap-laden main-lake shoreline. They engulfed the Junebug Finesse TRD rig that was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

All totaled, I caught 15 largemouth bass and three spotted bass in four hours. I also caught three freshwater drum and one channel catfish.

Eleven of the 18 black bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig. Six of the black bass were caught on a shortened three-inch Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.  A shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught one largemouth bass. I failed to provoke any other strikes with an array of other Z-Man’s Midwest finesse baits rigged on various sizes and colors of Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jigs.

A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the only effective presentation.

Nov. 4 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 4 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

November is typically a trying month for black bass fishing in north-central Texas. Many anglers in these parts see this month as the beginning of the end to their black bass fishing endeavors. It is also a time when I and my cohorts struggle to catch 12 to 20 black bass during a four hour outing. And to make matters worse, I have been in what some Midwest finesse anglers call a piscatorial slump.

From about 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., I conducted a solo outing at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan area. I had hopes of ending my slump by catching at least 20 largemouth bass or spotted bass in four hours. By the time this outing came to a close, my hopes were fulfilled and my slump came to an end as I enjoyed tangling with 30 largemouth bass, nine white crappie, two large bluegill, and one white bass.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the optimum fishing periods would occur from 4:49 a.m. to 6:49 a.m., 5:17 p.m. to 7:17 p.m., and 11:03 p.m. to 1:03 a.m.

Area thermometers measured the morning low temperature at 54 degrees. The afternoon high temperature peaked at 87 degrees. It was sunny in a partly-cloudy sky.  The wind blew out of the southeast at 12 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.96 at 12:20 p.m. and dropped to 29.84 by 4:20 p.m.

Upon my arrival at the boat ramp, I noticed that the water in the vicinity of the boat ramp exhibited about six inches of visibility. It was also white capping from the wind. The surface temperature was 62 degrees. The water level was about 1 1/2 feet low.

As soon as I launched the boat, I made a quick run to a small feeder-creek arm that offered protection from the wind and waves. The water inside this creek arm exhibited about 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 71 degrees.

I spent the afternoon dissecting the scores of submerged logs, stumps, brush piles, and partially-submerged laydowns that extend from the shorelines out to the middle of the creek. The underwater terrain is comprised of clay, gravel, and a few shallow rock ledges. The boat floated in four to nine feet of water.

Twenty-one of the 30 largemouth bass that I caught weighed between 1 1/4 and 2 1/2 pounds. Another six measured between 12 and 14 inches, and only three were small specimens that measured less than 12 inches.

The bulk of these bass were caught in three to five feet of water and next to submerged brush piles or the submerged ends and sides of the laydowns.  Two of them were caught in six feet of water next to a submerged log that was lying on the bottom near the edge of the creek channel. Laydowns were more productive than the brush piles. The laydowns that were located on steeper shorelines were more fruitful than the ones situated on flat and shallow shorelines. I caught one largemouth from the side of a shallow rock ledge in three feet of water. I failed to catch a black bass from any of the submerged stumps.

A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a Z-Man’s chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig was the most effective lure, and it bewitched 24 black bass, four white crappie, and a large bluegill.  A three-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ attached to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught four largemouth bass. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. A 3.5-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught five white crappie, one white bass, and one large bluegill. I failed to entice any strikes with a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig.

The 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ, green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD, 3.5-inch green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ, and four-inch Junebug Finesse WormZ rigs were presented with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. The three-inch green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ was retrieved with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

This creek arm was one of our most bountiful black bass lairs during the winter of 2016-17. Now it appears that it will play a prominent role in our Midwest finesse endeavors during the winter of 2017-18 as well.

Nov. 5 log

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 5 outing to one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The low temperature was 39 degrees.  The high temperature was 52 degrees. While I was afloat the wind angled out of the north, northeast, and northwest at 11 to 21 mph. It was overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.76 at 12:53 a.m., 29.75 at 5:53 a.m., 29.86 at ­11:53 a.m., and 29.90 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would transpire from 11:23 a.m. to 1:23 p.m., 11:52 p.m. to 1:52 a.m., and 5:38 a.m. to 7:38 a.m. Saturday night I performed with my band at a farm north of Garnett, Kansas, and I wasn’t sure if I would have the energy to fish. But when I woke early, I unloaded my drums and hitched the boat up. My dog, Josie, and I arrived at the reservoir around 8:00 a.m. I had the wherewithal to fish to about noon.

The surface temperature was 55 degrees.  The water exhibited about five feet of visibility around the dam.  The water level looked to be normal.

The fishing was very slow. A couple of times I witnessed fish following my bait without taking it.

I started this outing by fishing a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline directly east of the marina.

As the velocity of the wind increased, I was forced to fish in wind-sheltered areas.

I fished a short portion of the west end of the dam, including the main-lake point that supports the water-outlet tower.

It was a struggle to catch 14 largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass. The biggest one measured 21.75 inches. They were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-occasional-shake presentation. My rod tip was held up, and the ZinkerZ rig traveled about six inches above the bottom.

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Bob Gum with one of the smallmouth bass that he caught.

Nov. 6 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 6 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I journeyed to a Civilian Conservation Corps’ hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma.

The day was overcast. The morning low temperature was 51 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 57 degrees. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.02. The wind quartered out of the northwest at 8 to 10 mph.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would most likely occur from 5:51 a.m. to 7:51 a.m., 11:36 a.m. to 1:36 p.m., and 12:09 p.m. to 2:09 p.m. John and I fished from 9:30 a.m. to 2:41 p.m.

The water exhibited about five feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 62 to 64 degrees.  The water level appeared to be a couple of feet below normal.

We fished a submerged main-lake hump, three main-lake points, three main-lake shorelines, a main-lake flat, a submerged roadbed inside a minor feeder-creek arm, and two shorelines inside a major feeder-creek arm. We caught 51 smallmouth bass and nine largemouth bass. We unintentionally caught two freshwater drum and a bluegill.

The main-lake hump that we plied lies in the middle of the reservoir’s west tributary arm. Its underwater terrain is composed of sand, gravel, rocks, boulders, and a few submerged stumps. This hump is encircled by three to 21 feet of water.

This hump relinquished three smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass. They were caught in three to 12 feet of water from the north side of the hump and around some submerged boulders and small patches of rocks. We caught one freshwater drum from the west side of the hump. We failed to garner any strikes from the south and east sides of the hump.

We failed to catch a smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, or spotted bass from the three main-lake points.

A main-lake flat on the east side of the reservoir yielded two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. This flat is covered with two to five feet of water and is adorned with a large patch of American water willows and a few small submerged stumps. The smallmouth bass was caught next to one of the small submerged stumps in three feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught from an open pocket in the patch of American water willows in two to four feet of water.

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John Thomas with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

We caught eight smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass from one main-lake shoreline in the reservoir’s west tributary arm. Another main-lake shoreline that lies about half a mile east from the first one yielded one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. The third main-lake shoreline is located on the south end of the reservoir,  and it surrendered four smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. The underwater terrains of these shorelines are similar and are comprised of sand, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and some large boulders. These 17 black bass were caught in three to eight feet of water and were relating to the sides of the larger submerged boulders.

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Steve Reideler with one of the smallmouth bass that they caught.

Inside one minor feeder-creek arm, we probed the sides and top of a submerged roadbed that courses across the middle of the creek arm. It is covered with four to 12 feet of water. The edges of the roadbed are lined with large submerged boulders and rocks. This roadbed yielded one smallmouth bass that was caught from the top of the roadbed in five feet of water.  The remainder of the roadbed was fruitless.

Inside the major feeder-creek arm, we fished a steep rock-and boulder-laden shoreline on the north side of the creek arm and a long bluff on the south side.  This shoreline yielded six smallmouth bass. They were suspended about eight feet below the surface in 24 feet of water. Several of them were caught about 20 to 25 feet from the water’s edge.

The long bluff on the south side of the creek arm was the most bountiful location and surrendered 27 smallmouth bass. They were suspended about five to eight feet beneath the surface in water that was as shallow as 15 feet and as deep as 44 feet. Many of them were associated with large submerged boulders that were next to the face of the bluff.  A few were caught about 25 to 30 feet away from the water’s edge.

Our two most effective baits were a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rigged on either a Z-Man’s chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig, and a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig. We also caught some of the smallmouth bass on a 3.5-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We experimented with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves, but the only effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Nov. 6 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 30 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 45 degrees at 12:53 p.m.  The wind angled out of the north and north by northeast at 6 to 17 mph. The wind chill ranged from 23 degrees  to 41 degrees.  It was sunny. The barometric pressure was 30.16 at 12:53 a.m., 30.20 at 5:53 a.m., 30.16 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.13 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted the best fishing would take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., and 5:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.  My wife, Patty, and I began fishing at 11:05 a.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs.  And straightaway our old bones told us that it was bone-chilling cold – especially in the shade and wind.  At 12:27 p.m., Patty said that her fingers were so cold that she did not have the wherewithal to make another cast.

The surface temperature was 48 degrees. The water exhibited about three feet of visibility. The water level was normal.

During the hour and 22 minutes that we were afloat, we caught 11 largemouth bass, two smallmouth bass, three freshwater drum, and one bluegill.

We caught two largemouth bass along a 60-yard stretch of a shady and somewhat wind-blown shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 50- to 80-degree slope. The water’s edge is graced with a few scrawny patches of American water willows, many laydowns, and several overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of the boulders are long, wide, and flat, and they create table-like ledges. Along this shoreline, we caught two largemouth bass. One of them was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in seven feet of water and 15 feet from the water’s edge. The second largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about six feet of water and 10 feet from the water’s edge.

We caught two largemouth bass along a 50-yard stretch of a sun-laden main-lake shoreline, which was partially wind-blown. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The water’s edge is graced with a few patches of American water willows, a few minor laydowns, and several overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. One largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in seven feet of water and about 10 feet from the water’s edge. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in five feet of water adjacent to an overhanging tree.

Along a 40-yard segment of a shoreline and three secondary points inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught two smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass. This shoreline and its secondary points possess a 35-degree slope. Its water’s  edge is embellished with a few meager patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and minor boulders.  It was sun laden and somewhat sheltered from the wind. The two smallmouth bass were caught around one of the secondary points in about five feet of water on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig along the shoreline in about 2 1/2 feet of water. One of the secondary points was fruitless. Two largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in about three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows at the third secondary point.

We rapidly fished a 100-yard stretch of a steep main-lake shoreline. It possesses about an 80-degree or more slope. It is adorned with some overhanding trees, several rather ancient laydowns, and long stretches of American water willow patches, which are in shallow water.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of the boulders are humongous.  Portions of it was wind-blown.  We caught one largemouth bass along this shoreline on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in about three feet of water next to a small overhanging tree.

We caught three largemouth bass around a main-lake point. This point has about a 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is lined with patches of American water willows, which are in shallow water. It was wind-blown. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ  rig in about 2 1/2 feet of water and a foot from the outside edge of the American water willows.  Another largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The third largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s sprayed grass ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a drag-and-slight-shake presentation in six feet of water.

After we fished the main-lake point, we put the boat on the trailer and headed home, and it took quite a while for our noses and aching-cold fingers to warm up.

Nov. 6 log

Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, filed this report on the Finesse News Network about a river outing that he enjoyed in the south Texas Hill Country on Nov. 6.

Here is a condensed and edited version of Allen’s report:

It was a beautiful fall day around Ingram, Texas. The sky conditions varied from overcast to partly cloudy.  At 4:39 a.m., it was 65 degrees. At 2:00 p.m., it was 85 degrees. The wind blew out of the south at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.99 at 2:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar listed the prime fishing periods occurring from 5:59 a.m. to 7:59 a.m., 11:44 a.m. to 1:44 p.m., and 12:14 p.m. to 2:14 p.m. I was afloat from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The surface temperature was 69 degrees, and it displayed about four to five feet of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal.

I caught 16 largemouth bass and one Guadeloupe bass during this 4 1/2-hour excursion.

I spent my time in the upper reaches of the river. I focused on a rock ledge that is situated in the middle of the river. The top of the ledge is covered with two feet of water. One side of the ledge drops off into four feet of water and the other side plunges into 10 to 15 feet of water. Most of these black bass were caught from the deep-water side of a 100-yard section of the ledge. They were caught on a Z-Man’s California craw TRD HogZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig and a shortened Z-Man’s watermelon-red Hula StickZ on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Both rigs were allowed to slowly drop to the bottom before employing a hop-and-bounce retrieve.

These 17 black bass were caught in three to ten feet of water .The strikes were very subtle.

I never have spent much time up the river in the past, but that is going to change.

Nov. 7 log

As I have become an old codger, I have noticed that it is difficult for me and most of my older colleagues to tolerate the first cold days of the fall, and Nov. 7 was one of those days in northeastern Kansas.

The Weather Underground noted that it was 37 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 46 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind chill ranged from 29 degrees to 40 degrees. The wind angled out of the northeast, north by northeast, north, northwest, and north by northwest at 5 to 15 mph.  The sky fluctuated from being overcast to clear to mostly cloudy to clear. The barometric pressure was 30.21 at 12:52 a.m., 30.29 at 5:52 a.m., 30.35 at 11:52 a.m. and 30.34 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:35 a.m. to 2:35 a.m., 1:05 p.m. to 3:05 p.m., and 6:50 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. I was afloat from 12:12 p.m. to 2:23 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs.

The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 50 degrees.  The water clarity varied from less than 15 inches of visibility along some wind-blown shorelines to almost five feet at the boat ramp, which is somewhat sheltered from the wind.  The bulk of this reservoir’s patch of American pondweed has wilted. Its patches of bushy pondweed and coontail have diminished, too.

I was hoping to be afloat for about 90 minutes and spend that time dissecting the entire dam, which was sheltered from the wind.  Before I arrived at the boat ramp, I was well aware that  it was an unwise choice because dams are rarely fruitful locales during the fall — especially when the water temperature plummets into the 40s and low 50s. In short, I was hoping for a piscatorial miracle.

The dam possesses a 45- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain is laden with riprap. Most of its water’s edge is featureless, but it is endowed with three minor patches of American water willows and a few paltry laydowns.

I spent 50 minutes probing the dam by wielding a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce  Gopher jig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig, and a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig.

During these 50 minutes, I caught one largemouth bass, and it was caught in about seven feet of water on the TRD HogZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

I spent the next 81 minutes fishing short portions of three shorelines inside two feeder-creek arms and two shorelines inside a tiny feeder-creek arm. These shorelines are in the upper reaches of this reservoir, which is where we usually locate and catch the majority of the largemouth bass in the fall and winter.

Along one of the shorelines, I caught two largemouth bass.  The water’s edge of this shoreline is lined with scrawny patches of American water willows that are intertwined with coontail.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and some rocks.  It possesses a 25-degree slope.  It was wind-blown. The visibility was much less than 15 inches. The two largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig with a swimming retrieve in about 2 1/2 feet of water.

I caught five largemouth bass along a very short section of another shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 45-degree slope. Its water’s edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows, some meager remnants of patches of American pondweed, a significant number of coontail patches, and a goodly number of laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders.  A submerged creek channel meanders along this locale. It was wind-blown. These largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig on a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation in seven to nine feet of water around patches of coontail.

The third shoreline was fruitless. It possesses a 25-degree slope. Its water’s edge is lined with American water willows, coontail, laydowns, brush piles, and stumps. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and silt. The cold wind was almost unbearable.

Inside the tiny feeder-creek arm, I eked out seven largemouth bass. One shoreline possesses a 25-degree slope, and the other one possesses a 40-degree slope. The water’s edges are lined with American water willows, many laydowns, and a brush pile. The underwater terrain consists of silt, clay, gravel, rocks, and a few boulders.  It is about the size of an Olympic swimming pool.  To my delight, it was somewhat sheltered from the wind.

I caught one largemouth bass adjacent to a patch of American water willows on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-gobyZinkerZ rig in about 12 inches of water.  The other six largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig in three to seven feet of water with a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation.  Three of them were caught near patches of American water willows. Two were caught around a tertiary point. One was caught around a laydown and a brush pile.

By the time that I caught largemouth bass No. 15, the index finger on my right hand was ice cold, and one of its joints was aching. And since I had been afloat 41 minutes more than I had planned to be, I put the boat on the trailer and got warm again during the drive home.

Here is hoping I will soon become acclimated to Mother Nature’s wintery ways and be able to endure her for four hours.

Nov. 7 log

Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, filed this report on the Finesse News Network about his river outing in the south Texas Hill Country on Nov. 7.

Here is a condensed and edited version of his report:

On Nov. 6, I spent 4 1/2 hours fishing the upper reaches of a river in the south Texas Hill Country and caught 16 largemouth bass and one Guadeloupe bass. I returned to the same river on Nov. 7, but this time I fished the middle section of the river from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:51 a.m. to 2:51 a.m., 7:06 a.m. to 9:06 a.m., and 1:21 p.m. to 3:21 p.m.

The morning of Nov. 7 was overcast, and it eventually became partly cloudy. The Weather Underground reported that the morning low temperature was 61 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 81 degrees. The wind blew out of the south at 3 to 6 mph, and then it turned out of the northeast at 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 8:35 a.m. and 30.08 at 12:35 p.m.

The water was clear and exhibited eight feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 69 degrees. The water level was normal.

I caught 20 largemouth bass during this 3 1/2-hour excursion.

IMG_0994

Rick Allen with one of the 20 largemouth bass that he caught.

I spent the 3 1/2 hours dissecting the south shoreline. The east end of the shoreline is steep and lies adjacent to a concrete dam. Its underwater terrain consists of clay and large rocks. The water’s edge is adorned with several laydowns and patches of lily pads. The west side of the shoreline has a more gradual slope and is graced with dense patches of lily pads.

I began the outing at the dam and slowly fished my way westward along the steep portion of the south shoreline. During the first 90 minutes, I wielded a Z-Man’s California craw TRD HogZ affixed on a weedless and custom-painted chartreuse Eagle Claw 1/16-ounce nail-head jig and enticed nine largemouth bass.

As I continued to fish along the shoreline, the clouds began to dissipate,  and the sun began to shine. And much to my chagrin, the fishing slowed to a snail’s pace. I switched to a shortened Z-Man’s watermelon-red Hula StickZ rigged on a weedless and custom-painted red Eagle Claw 1/16-ounce nail-head jig and probed the deep-water edges of the patches of the lily pads and caught 11 largemouth bass.

These 20 largemouth bass were caught on a hop-and-bounce retrieve and were abiding in three to 10 feet of water.

Nov. 7 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I returned to the same U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that I fished on Nov. 4. We spent four hours in the same minor feeder-creek arm that I plied on Nov. 4.  I usually try not to fish the same locales in a reservoir more than once a week, but this time I violated that protocol because it was the only area at this reservoir that could offer us protection from a chilly and blustery north wind. It is also the only feeder-creek arm that we have found that is entertaining a significant number of largemouth bass and a few spotted bass.

Nov. 7 felt more like January than November.  It was overcast the entire time we were afloat. The morning low temperature was 50 degrees and the afternoon high temperature struggled to reach 56 degrees. The wind chill temperatures were in the mid to upper 40s as the wind blew vigorously out of the north and northeast at 18 to 20 mph. There were a few wind gusts that reached 25 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.15 at noon and 30.11 at 4:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 12:42 a.m. to 2:42 a.m., 6:57 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., and 1:13 p.m. to 3:13 p.m. The calendar also indicated that it would be a below-average day for fishing. Roger and I were afloat from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We started fishing about 50 yards inside the mouth of the feeder-creek arm and fished our way upstream about 1 1/4 miles. We were delighted to find that we did not have to share this creek arm with another boat angler or bank angler the entire time we fished, which is an extremely rare occurrence at this heavily-fished reservoir.

The water in this creek exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 70 degrees. It appears that the Corps has been releasing water from this reservoir in order to lower it to its winter pool level. According to the Texas Water Development Board, the water level was 3.37 feet below normal. It was 1.47 feet below normal on Nov. 4. Large floating mats of oak and willow tree leaves were almost everywhere, and there were very few times that we did not have to pluck a leaf or two off the hooks of our lures after each cast and retrieve.

The underwater terrain in this feeder creek changes from clay and gravel in the lower and middle sections of the creek arm to a hard rock bottom with submerged rock ledges in its upper end.

The shorelines in the lower and middle sections of this feeder creek are mostly flat, but they become steeper and bluff-like in the upper reaches. Scores of flooded bushes, submerged brush piles, partially-submerged laydowns, and a few submerged stumps adorn a goodly amount of the shorelines.

In our eyes, it was an outstanding outing. We caught 31 largemouth bass and three spotted bass in four hours. We unintentionally caught five large white crappie and three large bluegill.

The vast majority of the black bass, crappie, and bluegills were caught in the lower-third section of the creek arm and were milling about in three to five feet of water next to the deepest ends of the larger partially-submerged laydowns. Five of the black bass were caught in the middle-third portion of the creek in six feet of water. They were in close proximity to the creek channel or next to a laydown that was close to the creek channel. We did not catch any bass that were associated with any of the flooded bushes, submerged stumps, or submerged brush piles, but we did catch five crappie and three bluegill from three of the submerged brush piles. The lower water level prevented us from venturing into the upper reaches of the creek arm.

A Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught 21 largemouth bass and two spotted bass.  A  2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig caught six largemouth bass and one spotted bass. Three largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. One largemouth bass was caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Trick ShotZ  attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We experimented with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. Thirty-one of the 34 black bass were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. Three largemouth bass were coaxed into striking a slow swimming retrieve.

We are a bit concerned about some cold rain and cooler air temperatures that are expected to arrive in the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolitan areas on Nov. 8. If the rain turns into a deluge, this feeder-creek will become a muddy mess, and it will not be worth a plug nickel for the next two to three weeks.

Nov. 8 log

Mother Nature had mercy upon us on Nov. 8 by tempering her blustery and wintery ways, and scores of area anglers were in a hallelujah-frame of mind.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 24 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 52 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was basically calm, but it occasionally stirred a tad at 3 to 4 mph from a variety of directions. It was sunny, and the sky was brilliantly blue. The barometric pressure was 30.41 at 12:53 a.m., 30.43 at 5:53 a.m., 30.37 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.25 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing occurred from 1:44 a.m. to 3:44 a.m., 2:14 p.m. to 4:14 p.m., and 7:59 a.m. to 9:59 a.m.  Duncan Brown of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished from 11:05 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs, where there were scores of other anglers.

The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 50 degrees. The water exhibited three to four feet of visibility. The water level was normal.  There was a significant planktonic alga bloom cluttering the surface at many locales. This reservoir’s patches of American water willows have become scrawny; most of them are in shallow water and devoid of largemouth bass.

We fished portions of one main-lake shoreline, four main-lake points, and portions of shorelines inside four feeder-creek arms.

We caught 32 largemouth bass, and inadvertently caught four handsome black crappie, four mega freshwater drum, three rainbow trout, and two yellow perch. All but 28 of the largemouth bass were caught in the upper half of the reservoir.

We caught six largemouth bass around one of the main-lake points. They were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in three to six feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The water’s edge of this point is lined with patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45-degree slope.

We fished nearly 125 yards of a main-lake shoreline. Its water’s edge is lined with American water willows, overhanging trees, laydowns, a concrete dock, a minor riprap jetty, and several tertiary points. It possesses a 35- to 75-degree slope. The planktonic-algae bloom was horrendous along some areas of this shoreline, and it was thick enough that we could write names in it with the tip of our rods. We caught one largemouth bass adjacent to one of the laydowns in about four feet of water on the initial drop of the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig.

Around a flat main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass in four feet of water and many yards from the water’s edge while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig. This point possesses a 25- to 30-degrees slope.  The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. The water’s edge is embellished with a few scrawny patches of American water willows, some riprap, and a steel retaining wall.

We failed to elicit a strike around another flat main-lake point, which possesses a 30-degree slope, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of the boulders are flat and similar to a top of a table, and they create minor ledges.

We fished portions of two long shorelines inside a major feeder-creek arm.  They are flat, exhibiting a 25- to 30-degree slope. The water’s edge is lined with patches of American water willows that are in very shallow water, a goodly number of laydowns, and the ruins of a beaver hut. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. We failed to elicit a strike along one of the shorelines. We caught nine largemouth bass along the other shoreline. One was caught adjacent to a laydown in about 3 1/2 feet of water on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-occasional shake retrieve. Two largemouth bass were caught near the beaver hut in five feet of water on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig that was retrieved with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Six largemouth bass were caught in four feet of water and about 15 to 20 feet from the water’s edge as we retrieved our Junebug Rain MinnowZ rigs with either a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake or a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. Three of the six largemouth bass were caught in back-to-back casts.

Around a secondary point inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass. One was caught in about two feet of water on the initial drop of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The second largemouth bass was caught on that ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.  This point possesses a 30-degree slope, and it is laden with rocks and boulders. The shorelines and other secondary and tertiary points in this feeder creek were fruitless. The shorelines and points possess a 20- to 30-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and silt. The water’s edge is lined with patches of American water willows that are in very shallow water, and there are a couple of laydowns.

Along the inside turn of a main-lake point, we caught three largemouth bass that were caught on back-to-back casts with our Junebug Rain MinnowZ rigs. One was caught on the initial drop in about two feet of water, and two of them were caught in three to four feet of water with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and several massive hunks of concrete; in essence, it is a quasi-jetty.  It possesses a 30- to 35-degree slope.

Inside another small feeder-creek arm, we caught eight largemouth bass along its shorelines. The shorelines have a 25- to 30-degree slope. They are graced with patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, one dock, some riprap, one manmade brush pile, and a few minor laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. One largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-occasional-shake presentation in three to four feet of water. Seven largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig in three to seven feet of water with either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation or a drag-and-slight-deadstick presentation.

We fished the shorelines and secondary points inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir. Its shorelines and points have a 25- to a 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edges are lined with patches of American water willows, two docks, some overhanging trees, a few laydowns, and some nearby manmade brush piles. We caught four tiny largemouth bass.  Two were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig as we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in six feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig adjacent to an overhanging tree in about three feet of water. The fourth one was caught a few feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In total, we caught an average of 10 largemouth bass an hour. Twenty-one were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, Eleven were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and two were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  They were caught on a variety of retrieves. The most joyous aspect of the outing revolved around the fact that our hands were not cold and the bones and joints of our fingers were not aching as they were on Nov. 6 and 7.

Nov. 9 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 24 degrees at 6:53 a.m., 48 degrees at 1:53 p.m., and 39 degrees at 4:53 p.m.  The wind was calm until after 7:53 a.m., and then it angled out of the north by northwest, north, northeast, and north by northeast at 5 to 23 mph. The sky was sunny. The barometric pressure was 30.24 at 12:53 a.m., 30.27 at 5:53 a.m., 30.37 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.37 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:02 a.m. to 5:02 a.m., 3:32 p.m. to 5:32 p.m., and 9:17 a.m. to 11:17 a.m. To my dismay, I spent more minutes on the road than I did on the water. I had plans to fish for about three hours at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs, but when I launched the boat, I quickly noticed that this reservoir was being whacked with one of the most horrendous algal blooms that I have seen. It looked as if Mother Nature had poured thousands of gallons of chartreuse paint into the water. It was incredibly ugly. After I took a quick survey of a couple of locales and made three casts, I put the boat back on the trailer and drove westward to one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs, where I fished from 12:09 p.m. to 2:09 p.m.

The water level at this state reservoir looked to be normal.  The surface temperature was 48 degrees. It seems as if all of our reservoirs are being affected with algal blooms, and this one has a minor one.  The water exhibited 21 to 25 inches of visibility.  The American water willow patches are totally leafless and the stems are brown, and some of the stems in shallow water are coated with wads of filamentous algae.

This reservoir is devoid of submerged aquatic vegetation.

As I was traveling to this reservoir, I was hoping that the wind would continue to be mild-mannered and angle out of the north by northwest, which would allow me to easily and methodically dissect one of this reservoir’s western shorelines. But by the time that I launched the boat, the wind was brisk and angling out of the north and northeast, and in order to fish this normally productive shoreline, I had to employ a drift sock about 80 percent of the time.  At times, the wind gusts surpassed 20 mph, which adversely affected my abilities to meticulously dissect some of its lairs.

This west shoreline is about a mile long, and I fished nearly 60 percent of it. It has four major points, 11 riprap jetties, and several tertiary points.  The shoreline, jetties, and points possess a 20- to 40-degree slope, and there is a 100-foot stretch that has a 45- to 50-degree stair-step slope that is adjacent to a submerged creek channel. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Many yards of the water’s edge is lined with patches of winter-dead American water willows; it is also graced with some laydowns, some manmade brush piles, a few stumps, and several overhanging trees.

During the two hours that I was afloat, I caught 23 largemouth bass, and I caught four of them on back-to-back casts during the final three minutes of this outing.

I fished two of the four major points, and I caught one largemouth bass at one of the points. It was caught in four feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows and near several massive boulders on the initial drop of a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Around the other point that I fished, I elicited a strike on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about three feet of water around some boulders.

I fished seven of the 11 riprap jetties.  Three of the seven jetties were fruitless.  One of the jetties yielded three largemouth bass, which were caught in four to six feet of water on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig with either a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve or a drag-and-shake retrieve.  Around three of the jetties, the Junebug Hula StickZ rig and a drag-and-shake presentation caught a largemouth bass in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as six feet.

Along this massive shoreline and its tertiary points, I caught 18 largemouth bass. Six were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig and 12 were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig.  Four of the 18 were caught on the initial drop of those rigs, and 14 were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. Sixteen of them were caught along the outside edges of the American water willow patches in three to six feet of water. Two were caught in seven to eight feet of water along the steepest portion of this shoreline, and its rocky demeanor possesses a stair-step terrain.

In sum, I caught 11.5 largemouth bass an hour, and I inadvertently caught one freshwater drum. The Junebug Rain MinnowZ caught six largemouth bass.  The Junebug Hula StickZ rig caught 17 largemouth bass.  If they were not caught of the initial drop of those rigs, they were caught on either a drag-and-shake presentation or the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I am going to take a four-day hiatus from fishing.

Nov. 12 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 12 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I made a 75-mile drive from my driveway in Denton, Texas, to the east side of a Civilian Conservation Corps’ hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma. Upon my arrival, I joined Finesse News Network member and contributor Nathan Parker of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nathan is spending a couple of days camping and fishing at this reservoir.

This was our first outing together and Nathan’s first visit to this reservoir. We spent the day searching for some productive areas where Nathan could hopefully tangle with a goodly number of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass during his two-day stay.

John Thomas of Denton and I fished this scenic reservoir on Nov. 6. On that outing, it was overcast, and we had the reservoir to ourselves. We enjoyed a splendid outing by catching 51 smallmouth bass and nine largemouth bass in five hours and 11 minutes.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the best fishing on Nov. 12 would occur from 12:42 a.m. to 2:42 a.m., 6:57 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., and 1:13 p.m. to 3:13 p.m. Nathan and I fished from about 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The weather on Nov. 12 mirrored that of Nov. 6. It was mostly overcast with one brief spell of sunshine. The morning low temperature was 55 degrees, and the afternoon high was 62 degrees. The wind quartered out of the northeast at 6 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.15 at 9:00 a.m. and 30.24 at 4:00 p.m.

The water displayed a pleasant emerald-green hue with about four feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 60 to 61 degrees. The water level has dropped to about four feet below normal of 747.5 feet.

We slowly dissected a submerged roadbed, three secondary points, a boulder-laden and steeply-sloped shoreline, a long bluff, and a large riprap-covered flat inside three feeder-creek arms. We also fished seven main-lake points, three main-lake shorelines, and two main-lake humps.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that it would be a poor day for fishing and it was. We labored to catch 15 smallmouth bass, five largemouth bass, one green sunfish, and a large bluegill during this 6 1/2-hour excursion.

Inside one feeder-creek arm, we failed to elicit any strikes from a submerged roadbed and a short portion of a rocky shoreline.

We investigated three rocky secondary points inside another feeder-creek arm, but we failed to provoke any strikes from any of them.

A steep boulder-laden shoreline on the north side of another feeder-creek arm yielded one green sunfish.

Five smallmouth bass were caught along a 200-yard stretch of a long bluff that forms the south side of the same feeder-creek arm. The depth of the water that borders that section of the bluff varied from 15 to 34 feet. These smallmouths were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface and were around some large submerged boulders that adorn the side of the bluff.

A riprap-covered flat that lies adjacent to the bluff that we fished surrendered one smallmouth bass and one large bluegill. They were caught in less than five feet of water and were about 15 feet from the water’s edge.

We failed to locate any bass relating to any of the secondary points inside the feeder-creek arms.

We caught five smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass from the three main-lake shorelines. Each of these shorelines is flat and adorned with submerged boulders, stumps, and the remnants of terrestrial vegetation. One shoreline yielded three smallmouth basss. The second one yielded one smallmouth. The third one yielded two smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. All were caught next to some submerged boulders in three to seven feet of water.

Of the seven main-lake points that we checked, only four of them were somewhat productive. These seven points are flat and comprised of sand, gravel, submerged boulders, rocks, and a few stumps. One point yielded five black bass, and we caught three black bass from three of the other six points. They were abiding in less than six feet of water. Six of them were associated with the submerged boulders. One was caught next to a small submerged bush.

The two main-lake humps were devoid of black bass.

Nine black bass were caught on a 3.5-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ attached to either a Z-Man’s chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig or a homemade chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Five black bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Scented LeechZ rigged on a custom painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Three black bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.  A shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rigged on a homemade chartreuse 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig caught two smallmouth bass. A 3.5-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Trick ShotZ affixed on a homemade chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one black bass.

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Nathan Parker with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

Eighteen black bass were caught with a a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  Two were caught with a deadstick presentation as the lure rested on the bottom after the initial drop.

In sum, the flat main-lake points and shorelines were the most fruitful areas. We found very few bass around the steeper shorelines and points inside the feeder-creek arms. And as we were slowly idling out of the feeder-creek arms and into the main-lake areas, our sonar devices detected large numbers of baitfish and larger unknown species of fish suspended about 15 to 25 feet above the bottom in 60 to 81 feet of water.

Nathan will be fishing this reservoir again on Nov. 13. Here is hoping the smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and spotted bass will be easier for him to locate and allure than they were on our Nov. 11 outing.

Nov. 13 log

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

Here is an edited version of his log:

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, joined me at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that is situated in the northern region of the Dallas metropolitan area.

Roger and I fished this reservoir on Nov. 7. During that outing, it was overcast and the afternoon high was 56 degrees. A howling northeasterly wind forced us to fish inside a feeder-creek arm in the north end of the reservoir. The water inside the creek arm exhibited 2 1/2 feet of clarity and was 70 degrees. We caught 31 largemouth bass and three spotted bass in four hours. A Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig was our most effective rig, and we were delighted to catch 34 black bass.

On Nov. 13, the sky was overcast like it was on Nov. 7. The wind quartered out of the southeast at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.32 at 11:00 a.m. and  30.23 at 4:00 p.m. The morning low temperature was 51 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 66 degrees.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, would occur from 12:10 a.m. to 2:10 a.m., 6:22 a.m. to 8:22 a.m., and 6:46 p.m. to 8:46 p.m. Roger and I fished from noon to 4:00 p.m.

The water was stained with two feet of visibility. The water temperature was 63 degrees. The water level was 1.67 feet below normal.

The entire outing was spent in the reservoir’s southwest tributary arm. We fished three feeder-creek arms, one rocky main-lake shoreline, a riprap-laden bridge embankment, and several concrete bridge support columns underneath a large bridge.

The underwater terrains of the main-lake shoreline and the feeder-creek arms are very much alike. They are composed of red clay, softball-size rocks, gravel, and boulders about the size of a coffee table. They also possess 30- to 60-degree slopes. They are endowed with many secondary and tertiary points, a few shallow rock ledges, several concrete boat ramps, and some minor patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation.

We started in the back end of one of the three feeder-creek arms that is located on the south side of the tributary. We fished our way toward the mouth of the creek arm,  and we caught seven largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water at the end of a large 20-foot wood telephone pole. The telephone pole had fallen down the steep southeast shoreline. The top third of the pole was resting on the shoreline and the lower two-thirds of the pole was submerged in the water. Two largemouth bass were caught in four feet of water from the side of a shallow rock ledge in a small cove on the east side of the creek arm.  Three others were caught along a rocky 45-degree shoreline in the northeast section of the creek arm. Two were caught in two feet of water next to a large slab of concrete and an adjacent stump. One was caught next to a metal pole that was standing vertically in seven feet of water. We failed to catch any bass from two concrete boat ramps, four rocky shorelines, three secondary points, and several smaller tertiary points.

From that feeder-creek arm, we moved eastward to a long boulder-laden and steep main-lake shoreline. We fished about 50 yards of this shoreline and caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass in three to five feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught from the sides of a couple of large submerged boulders. The spotted bass was caught from a segment of the shoreline that is graced with many basketball-size rocks.

After that, we ventured to the north side of the tributary arm and fished inside the second feeder-creek arm. We failed to generate any strikes around three concrete boat ramps and four secondary points. We did catch one largemouth bass from a short section of a riprap shoreline in the northwest end of the creek arm. This bass was relating to the submerged riprap in two feet of water and was within a couple of feet of the water’s edge.

From that feeder-creek arm, we moved westward to a large bridge that crosses the southwest tributary arm. We probed the riprap embankment on the north side of the bridge, and then we fished around several of the large concrete support columns underneath the bridge. The submerged riprap along the bridge embankment yielded five largemouth bass and three large white bass that were extracted from three to six feet of water. One largemouth was caught underneath the bridge around one of the concrete support columns in 10 feet of water.

We finished the outing inside the third feeder-creek arm, which is also situated on the north side of the tributary. We dissected several of the rocky secondary points on the east side of the creek arm. They possess a 45- to 60-degree slope. We caught two largemouth bass from the tips of two of the points in three to five feet of water. In the northwest section of the creek arm, we caught six largemouth bass and one white bass from a shallow ditch in the back end of a small cove. The ditch is covered with three to six feet of water and the sides of the ditch are lined with thin patches of terrestrial vegetation.

All totaled, we caught 24 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and four white bass in four hours.

The most effective lure was a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rigged on a custom painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. It was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve and enticed nine largemouth bass and one spotted bass. A chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig dressed with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ and implemented with a steady swimming retrieve caught  eight largemouth bass and four white bass. A slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve utilized with a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ attached to a custom painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught three largemouth bass. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation bewitched two largemouth bass. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation allured one largemouth bass. A 3.5-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Trick ShotZ sported on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and retrieved in a swim-glide-and-shake manner caught one largemouth bass. We failed to generate any strikes with a Z-Man’s molting craw TRD HogZ rigged on a custom painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Typically, Roger does not fish in the fall. Instead, he spends this time of year either hunting doves in fields planted with sunflowers or sitting in a camouflaged blind and hunting ducks. But now that he has enjoyed two successful November black bass outings, he may start spending more time this fall and winter with a spinning rod in his hands rather than a shotgun.

Nov. 13 log

Nathan Parker of Tulsa, Oklahoma, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his outing at a south-central Oklahoma reservoir on Nov. 13.

Here is an edited version of his report:

On Nov. 13, I woke up in my campsite at a state park in south-central Oklahoma to discover that during my Nov. 12 outing with Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, that my trusty Yamaha F115 outboard motor had gotten a significant quantity of what looked to be 60- to 80-pound-test braided line wrapped around its propeller shaft. When I looked in my tool-kit in the boat, I then discovered to my chagrin that I had left my prop wrench at home!

Not willing to risk destroying the rear bearing of my prop-shaft by running the motor in that condition, and frankly hoping I hadn’t already destroyed it, I went door-to-door in my campground looking for a prop wrench. Thankfully, another bass fisherman who was staying there had a prop wrench in his Ranger boat. He kindly helped me remove my prop and disentangle the offending braid. Mercifully, no apparent damage had been done to the seals or bearings. Grateful for his help, I invited him to join me in my fishing, and he accepted. It was his first exposure to Midwest finesse methods.

We fished from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and in that time we caught 16 black bass and inadvertently caught three white bass wielding our Midwest finesse rigs. My fishing partner at times also wielded a spinnerbait, and given that I continued catching bass when he was doing so, I suspect that we might have caught more bass had he stuck with Midwest finesse tactics during those periods.

We ran up the main eastern feeder-creek arm of this 6000-acre reservoir, and we found some black bass around several secondary points that are boulder laden.

From the first secondary point, we caught three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. One largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s  green- pumpkin Hula-StickZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce homemade mushroom-style head. Two largemouth bass were caught on a 3.5-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Trick-ShotZ on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce homemade jig.

The second point, which was deeper and located in the wind, yielded five largemouth bass. Two were caught on the Hula StickZ rig. The other three were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s  green-pumpkin ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce homemade jig, and it was covered with a Pro-Cure, Inc’s scent.

After that, we fished two more secondary points without a bite.

Around the fifth secondary point, which was closer to the main lake and significantly deeper, we caught two smallmouth bass on the Hula StickZ rig with a deadsticking presentation. These smallmouth bass were residing on the bottom in deeper water than the first black bass that we caught.

We caught four smallmouth bass along a rocky main-lake shoreline. All were suspended over deeper water about halfway between the boat and the shore, and all were caught on the Hula StickZ rig. Off and on, I tried the  green-pumpkin Trick ShotzZ rig and a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce homemade jig, but to no avail. During this stretch, my partner wielded a spinnerbait, and he did not catch a black bass.

We caught one final largemouth bass on a tailspinner on a wind-blown main-lake shoreline, and decided to call it quits.

In all, it was not a terrible day, but hardly one to write home about.

I look forward to more fruitful days wielding Midwest finesse techniques at Lake Tenkiller, Oklahoma, near my home in the coming weeks.

Nov. 14 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 46 degrees at 3:53 a.m. and 53 degrees at 2:20 p.m.  The sky was overcast. It was misty much of the time. And occasionally, it rained lightly. The wind angled out of the south by southeast and south at 4 to 19 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.19 at 12:53 a.m., 30.12 at 5:53 a.m., 30.05 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.97 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted the best fishing would occur from 6:54 a.m. to 8:54 a.m., 7:17 p.m. to 9:17 p.m., and 12:43 a.m. to 2:43 a.m. My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished from 10:35 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs.

The water level was normal.  The surface temperature was 48 degrees.  There was three to four feet of visibility. This reservoir is adorned with many patches of coontail, but during this outing, the coontail was flush to the bottom. Consequently, our Midwest finesse rigs failed to become entangled with any of the patches, and that happens often when the water is cold and the sky is covered with clouds for hours on end.  To our delight, there were no signs of an algae bloom. (A week ago, blooms were erupting at every reservoir that I fished, and one of the eruptions that I encountered was horrendous.)

Rick and I spent four hours plying three shorelines in the upper half of this reservoir. We caught 60 largemouth bass and inadvertently caught two black crappie.

Along a 400-yard stretch of one of the three shorelines, we caught 27 largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope.  It is embellished with patches of American water willows, patches of coontail, a tiny bridge, several concrete and rock retaining walls, seven docks, several overhanging trees, some laydowns, a few tertiary points, and one boulder-laden point. A submerged creek channel parallels a short segment of this shoreline.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, some silt, and a few boulders. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Five largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig. Nineteen largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

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The first largemouth bass of the outing. It was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MnnowZ.

The steeper portions of this 400-yard stretch of shoreline were more fruitful than the flatter sections. A few of the 30 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in two to four feet of water. Our most effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in two to eight feet of water.  One largemouth was caught around a boulder-laden point in about two feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught from an offshore patch of coontail in about six feet of water.  Twenty-three of the largemouth bass were caught adjacent to the retaining walls and patches of American water willows, which are interlaced with coontail, and laydowns.

We caught three largemouth bass along a 175-yard stretch of shoreline. It possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope.  Many yards of this shoreline are lined with either concrete or rock retaining walls. There are also 10 docks cluttering it. It is embellished with a few patches of American water willows and coontail. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the pearl Rain MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to a concrete retaining wall. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water around a patch of coontail.

Along a 500-yard section of another shoreline, we caught 30 largemouth bass. This shoreline is cluttered with more than two dozen docks.  It possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its water’s edge is lined with either concrete or rock retaining walls. There are some patches of American water willows and coontail along its water’s edge, as well as some overhanging trees, laydowns, and brush piles. A submerged creek channel meanders near a short portion of this shoreline.

Four of the 30 largemouth bass were caught on the tail section of a customized Z-Man’s green-pumpkin FattyZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  Six largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig. Another six were caught on the pearl Rain MinnowZ rig. Fourteen largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig.

A few of the 30 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in three to four feet of water. Several were caught as we strolled and employed either a swim-glide-and-shake or drag-and-shake presentation in three to eight feet of water.  Three were caught with a deadstick presentation in five to eight feet of water. The others were caught while we were casting and executing a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as nine feet.  One 30-foot by 35-foot area between two docks yielded 10 largemouth bass, and these largemouth bass were caught in five to nine feet of water.

In summation, thirty-five of the 60 largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig.  Eleven largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig. Nine largemouth bass were caught on the pearl Rain MinnowZ rig. Four largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin FattyZ rig. One was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig.

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One of the largemouth bass that we caught on a Z-Man’s pearl Rain MinnowZ.

The swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.  Some of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. A few were caught on a drag-and-shake retrieve. Three were caught with a deadstick presentation.

Other than steeper shorelines being more profitable than flatter ones, and the 30-foot by 35-foot area between two docks that yielded 10 largemouth bass, there was no dominant location pattern. We made scores and scores and scores of casts and retrieves around areas that looked as if they would be fruitful and looked similar to ones that yielded largemouth bass, but they were fruitless. And some areas that we thought would be fruitless surprised us and yielded a largemouth bass or two.

Nov. 15 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 48 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 60 degrees at 2:52 p.m.  The wind angled out of the south, southwest, west, west by northwest, and northwest at 3 to 27 mph.  It was overcast until 5:52 a.m., and then the sky gradually became clear. The barometric pressure was 29.89 at 12:52 a.m., 29.98 at 5:52 a.m., 30.14 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.13 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:51 a.m. to 9:51 a.m., 8:13 p.m. to 10:13 p.m., and 1:39 a.m. to 3:39 a.m. I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal.  The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 50 degrees.  Around some locales the water exhibited about five feet of visibility, and around areas that were affected by an algae bloom, the visibility decreased to about 15 inches. This reservoir’s shallow-water flats are graced with massive patches of coontail.  Most of its shorelines and points are adorned with significant patches of American water willows, and many of those patches are intertwined with coontail and flooded terrestrial vegetation, such as cottonwood and sycamore saplings. Some of the American water willows are in their winter-dead stage, which have brown and black stems that are devoid of leaves.  Other patches still have some leaves, which exhibit a greenish-yellow hue. This reservoir has some of the finest patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas.  It is getting to be the time of the year when this reservoir’s patches of curly-leaf pondweed begin to sprout, but I did not see any of it on this outing.

For some unknown reason, this reservoir is rarely fruitful during the cold-water months, and we have entered the beginning stages of that phenomenon. What’s more, it is a difficult reservoir to fish when the wind blows with any gusto, and it blew vigorously at times on Nov. 15. Thus, after I launched the boat and made a quick survey of the conditions, I thought that it would be difficult to catch more than 10 largemouth bass an hour, and it was.

I spent most of the time hiding from the wind.

I fished short portions of four shorelines.  Most of the water’s edges of these shorelines are lined with patches of American water willows, a lot of flooded terrestrial vegetation, some laydowns, and occasional patches of coontail.  They possess a 30- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.

One shoreline was fruitless. Each of the other three shorelines yielded one largemouth bass. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four feet of water adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in 3 1/2 feet of water adjacent to a laydown and the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

I spent 12 minutes quickly and haphazardly probing massive patches of coontail that litter a shallow-water flat in the back of a major feeder-creek arm. I caught one largemouth bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water around a patch of coontail.

I fished 10 points and small portions of their adjacent shorelines. These points and their adjacent shorelines possess a 30- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Many of their water’s edges are embellished with patches of American water willows, flooded terrestrial vegetation, some patches of coontail, and an occasional laydown.

I failed to elicit a strike around two of the points.

Around one point and a short segment of one of its adjacent shorelines, I caught nine largemouth bass. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about four feet of water around some flooded terrestrial vegetation. Four of them were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in five feet of water near a patch of American water willows.  Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in three to six feet of water with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the American water willows and flooded terrestrial vegetation. This locale was completely sheltered from the wind.

Around another point and part of its adjacent shoreline, I caught one largemouth bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig in about five feet of water with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve around the outside edge of a patch of American water willows and some terrestrial vegetation.  I caught one largemouth bass along a wind-blown section of this point’s adjacent shoreline on the Hula StickZ rig that I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation, and it was caught in about five feet of water near the outside edge of the American water willows and next to some flooded terrestrial vegetation.

I caught three largemouth bass at another point. Two were caught on the Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water around some flooded terrestrial vegetation and near the outside edge of the American water willows. One was caught along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in three feet of water.

At another point, I caught four largemouth bass on the Hula StickZ rig in three to five feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation, which border patches of American water willows.

I caught one largemouth bass in about three feet of water on a pile of rocks and boulders that adorn another point. It was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

On a point that is not adorned with American water willows, I caught one largemouth bass on the Hula StickZ with a drag-and-shake presentation in seven feet of water.

Along a point that is embellished with several significant laydowns that crisscross  a patch of American water willows, I caught one largemouth bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about four feet of water.

In sum, I fished two hours and 30 minutes, and I caught 25 largemouth bass. Points were the most fruitful locations.  A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.  I caught the largemouth bass on a hodgepodge of Midwest finesse rigs.

Nov. 16 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 16 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I visited a north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir that is popular with many area tournament anglers on Nov. 16.

I fished this reservoir for four hours on Nov. 3, and I struggled to muster 15 largemouth bass and three spotted bass.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the most productive fishing periods on Nov. 16 would occur from 12:10 a.m. to 2:10 a.m., 6:22 a.m. to 8:22 a.m., and 6:46 p.m. to 8:46 a.m. John and I fished from about 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

It was overcast for most of the day with a couple of brief spells of sunshine. The wind was light and variable. The barometric pressure was 30.32 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.24 at 3:00 p.m. The afternoon high was 67 degrees. The morning low was 51 degrees.

The water level was about a foot below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 62 to 65 degrees. The water exhibited about three feet of visibility.

We searched for largemouth bass and spotted bass at a riprap jetty, three main-lake points, a large water-outlet tower at the dam, two large concrete columns that support a concrete walkway that extends from the top of the dam to the water-outlet tower, a 30-yard section of the dam’s shoreline adjacent to the water-outlet tower, portions of two major feeder-creek arms, and two rocky main-lake shorelines. These locales are located in the southeast region of the reservoir.

The fishing was awful. We caught 11 largemouth bass, one freshwater drum, and one channel catfish.

All were caught during the first two hours of the outing, but the reservoir seemed to turn into a ghost town during the last two hours.

We caught two largemouth bass on a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig next to the walls of the water-outlet tower. They were caught with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve about eight feet below the surface in 57 feet of water. One was a hefty specimen that weighed four pounds, two ounces.

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John Thomas with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

Two largemouth baas were caught in six feet of water next to one of the two large concrete support columns underneath the walkway that extends from the dam to the water-outlet tower.  They were enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

A shallow rock ledge on the side of a prominent main-lake point yielded five largemouth bass.  The top of the ledge is covered with three to five feet of water and the deep-water side of the ledge plummets into 17 to 24 feet of water. They were abiding around the side of the ledge in eight to 10 feet of water and were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig.

Another rock ledge inside the mouth of one major feeder-creek arm produced two largemouth bass. The submerged terrain of this creek arm is comprised of red clay, gravel, fist-size rocks, and numerous submerged boulders. The top of the rock ledge is submerged underneath a foot of water. The side of the ledge drops sharply into 17 feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught in close proximity to the side of the rock ledge in six to 10 feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  One was caught with the white lightning Finesse TRD rig and the other one was caught with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig.

Near three rocky secondary points on a flat clay and gravel shoreline inside a small secondary cove, and on a large mud flat cluttered with thick patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation in the upper end of the creek arm, we located some small schools of threadfin shad that were dimpling the surface of the water.  But we failed to provoke any strikes in these areas with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig, white lightning Finesse TRD rig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, or a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We failed to elicit any strikes from the riprap jetty, the two rocky main-lake shorelines, the 30-yard section of the riprap shoreline along the dam, the other two main-lake points, and inside the second major feeder-creek arm.

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas is winding down for the year, and we will be hard pressed to catch more than 12 to 15 black bass per outing at the Corps’ reservoirs during the next three weeks. After that, local tournament black bass anglers will turn their attentions to temperate bass or they will be fishing for an average of one or two black bass strikes a day until mid-March of 2018.

Nov. 17 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 53 degrees at 12:53 a.m. and 73 degrees at 2:53 p.m.  The wind angled out of the southeast, south by southeast, and south at 9 to 23 mph. From 12:53 a.m. to 12:53 p.m., the sky was overcast, and then it became partly cloudy and eventually clear.  The barometric pressure was 29.89 at 12:53 a.m., 29.75 at 5:53 a.m., 29.57 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.46 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:59 a.m. to 10:59 a.m., 9:21 p.m. to 11:21 p.m., and 2:47 a.m. to 4:47 a.m.  I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 10:57 a.m. to 2:57 p.m.

This is a heavily fished waterway.  And in all of the years that we have fished it, we have never reached our incessant goal of catching 101 black bass in four hours. In fact, we have never caught more than 85 black bass in four hours.

During the past year, the caretakers of this reservoir radically changed its demeanor by eradicating all of its submerged aquatic vegetation and some of its emergent vegetation.  At the same time, this reservoir’s zebra mussel population has declined dramatically. For some reason, the demise of the aquatic vegetation and zebra mussels parallels our recent struggles to find and catch its largemouth bass.

It has been a struggle to catch 10 black bass an hour throughout 2017. Since Jan. 27, we have fished this reservoir 21 times, and we have caught 591 largemouth bass and 130 smallmouth bass, which is an average of 28 largemouth bass and six smallmouth bass per outing.  Our most fruitful outing occurred on April 25 and June 1. On April 25, we caught 42 largemouth bass and 25 smallmouth bass, and we caught 38 largemouth bass and 29 smallmouth bass on June 1. Since the advent of summer, our catch rate has declined significantly.  It remained a struggle on Nov. 17.

During my Nov. 17 outing, the surface temperature ranged from 48 to 50 degrees.  The water exhibited two to five feet of visibility.  Some areas were affected by a minor algae bloom, which diminished the visibility. The water level looked to be about a foot below normal. Portions of many of the patches of American water willows that embellish this reservoir’s shorelines and points are on dry land, and the depth of water along the outside edges of these patches ranged from a foot to about two feet.

I caught seven largemouth bass during the first 17 minutes that I was afloat. During the next 163 minutes, I caught 23 largemouth bass and accidentally caught one black crappie, one bluegill, and one rainbow trout. But throughout the final 60 minutes, I caught two largemouth bass, one black crappie, and one freshwater drum, which constitutes an average of eight largemouth bass an hour.

The brisk south wind adversely affected my abilities to effectively dissect several of the main-lake shorelines and points.  Moreover, the clutter of leaves along some of the wind-sheltered shorelines and points hindered my capabilities to efficiently probe those areas.

Around one main-lake point and a short stretch of one of its adjacent shorelines, I caught eight largemouth bass. They were caught in three to seven feet of water on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. Two were caught on the initial drop of this Rain MinnowZ rig, and six were caught while I was employing an extremely slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The water’s edge of this point is lined with patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45-degree slope.  The water’s edge of the shoreline is lined with several patches of American water willows and several laydowns. It possesses a 45- to 55-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are long, wide, and flat that create a table-like shelf.

Along a short section of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. It was caught on the initial drop of this rig in about four feet of water and under a wad of oak-tree leaves that were floating on the surface. The water’s edge of the shoreline is lined with a few patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, and several laydowns. It possesses a 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.

I fished a short portion of a wind-blown main-lake shoreline. Its water’s edge is lined with American water willows, overhanging trees, and laydowns. It possesses a 35- to 75-degree slope.  I caught one largemouth bass in about six feet of water while I was strolling into the wind and employing a drag-and-shake retrieve with the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig.

Inside a major feeder-creek arm, I fished about 150 yards of one of its shorelines.  This shoreline possesses a 25- to 35-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, some boulders, and silt. The water’s edge is lined with a partially submerged beaver hut, some laydowns, a few overhanging trees, and some very shallow-water patches of American water willows. I caught one largemouth bass in about five feet of water and a number of yards from the water’s edge on a Z-Man’s pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I caught another largemouth bass in two feet of water on the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig around a small pile of rocks and boulders under an overhanging tree.

Along several locales inside another major feeder-creek arm, I caught 15 largemouth bass.

I caught five of the 15 largemouth bass along a 50-yard stretch of a riprap shoreline in the back portions of this major feeder-creek arm.  This shoreline possesses a 25-degree slope. Portions of the riprap are lined with American water willows. Besides the riprap, the underwater topography is littered with gravel, rocks, and silt, and it is also littered with a few small tree limbs. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig in three to four feet of water on a swim-glide-and-subtle shake presentation. Three of them were caught on the TRD HogZ, and two of those were caught on the initial drop along the edge of the riprap in about a foot of water, and the third one was caught in about five feet of water on a drag-and-shake presentation several yards from the water’s edge.

I caught one largemouth bass of the 15 largemouth bass around a secondary point inside this major feeder-creek on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ near a minor laydown in about four feet of water.  The point possesses a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge has a few minor laydowns and some scrawny patches of American water willows.

Along portions of another shoreline and one secondary point inside this major feeder-creek arm, I caught four largemouth bass of the 15 largemouth bass on the TRD HogZ rig. The water’s edge of this shoreline is embellished with a patch or two of American water willows and some significant laydowns. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of the boulders are large and flat. There is one large manmade brush pile in about 11 feet of water in the vicinity of the secondary point. Two of the four largemouth bass were caught as I was employing a protracted deadstick presentation in about nine feet of water. The other two were caught while I was executing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

Five of the 15 largemouth bass were caught along the steepest shoreline inside this major feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 50- to 85-degree slope.

Its water’s edge is lined with some American water willows, a submerged stump, a few minor laydowns, one overhanging tree, and some overhanging terrestrial vegetation. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. One largemouth bass was caught in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig. The other four were caught on the glide phase of the swim-glide-and-shake presentation of the TRD HogZ rig in about six feet of water.

To my chagrin, I failed to catch a largemouth bass long two shorelines and four secondary points inside this major feeder-creek arm.

Along many yards of a main-lake shoreline, which was very wind-blown, I caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 90-degree slope. A submerged creek channel is nearby. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, some laydowns, and a few overhanging trees. One largemouth bass was caught in about seven feet of water while I was strolling with the wind and trying to implement a drag-and-shake presentation with the TRD HogZ.  Two largemouth bass were caught about six feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows while I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig in about five feet of water around some flat boulders.

Around a main-lake point at the end of that massive wind-blown shoreline, I caught three largemouth bass. They were caught in about eight feet of water on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation.  The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and concrete blocks. Its water’s edge is lined with several patches of American water willows. It possesses a 45-degree slope.

I fished a very short segment of the shoreline inside another major feeder-creek arm, and I caught one largemouth bass next to a major laydown and under some leaf clutter. It was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water.

I failed to elicit a strike around four main-lake points and short portions of their adjacent shorelines.   What’s more, I failed to elicit a strike along the shorelines and around the secondary points inside two small feeder-creek arms.

In sum, something seems to be awry with the black bass that inhabit this reservoir, and I have spent a lot of time pondering about what going on. I do know that the fisheries biologist who manages it had a very bountiful electro-shocking survey for black bass in May, and our fishing was relatively bountiful at that time, too. But I do not have a clue to what has happened with the black bass since those springtime forays.

Nov. 19 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 19 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

A cold front rolled across the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area on Nov. 18, and it was accompanied by blustery 25 to 40 mph winds. Fortunately, those exuberant winds subsided on Nov. 19, which allowed me to spend 3 1/2 hours at the only U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in north-central Texas where I thought I had a reasonable chance to catch 15 to 20 largemouth bass and spotted bass this late in November.

On Nov. 19, the sunlit sky was cloudless and exhibited a powder-blue hue. The wind quartered out of the north by northeast at 3 to 5 mph. It was 36 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 62 degrees at 2:00 p.m. The barometric pressure measured 30.36 at noon and 30.25 at 4:00 p.m. There were a few jet skiers, pleasure boaters, and anglers enjoying the afternoon on the water as well.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 4:24 a.m. to 6:24 a.m., 10:09 a.m. to 12:09 p.m., and 4:48 p.m. to 6:48 p.m. I fished from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The water exhibited 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water temperature was 64 degrees. The water level was 1.58 feet below normal pool.

I focused my efforts at a main-lake point along the west side of the east tributary arm, the riprap-laden dam, and a rocky flat on the south end of the impoundment. Inside a major feeder-creek arm on the east side of the east tributary arm, I fished the shorelines of an island, small sections of several shorelines, and a couple of minor secondary points.

I began the outing at a main-lake point on the west side of the east tributary arm. Its underwater terrain is comprised of clay and gravel. One side of the point is graced with a dilapidated concrete boat ramp. The boat floated in seven to 10 feet of water as I fished around this point for about 15 minutes, and I failed to garner any strikes with a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a chartreuse  1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce  Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

From that main-lake point, I moved to the south end of the reservoir and dissected about 400 yards of riprap that covers the middle and east portions of the dam. There were a few small schools of threadfin shad loitering around the riprap. I shared these two areas of the dam with another boat angler. The riprap along the center section of the dam yielded seven largemouth bass, one 2 1/2-pound wiper, and a four-pound, five-ounce freshwater drum. The stretch of riprap on the east end of the dam relinquished five largemouth bass.

Eight of the 12 largemouth bass were caught with a slow and steady swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. Three largemouth bass were enticed by a slow swim-glide-and- vigorous-shake retrieve with the white lightning Finesse TRD combo. One largemouth bass was caught with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig that was presented with a swim-glide-and-vigorous-shake retrieve. I was unable to provoke any strikes with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rigged on a custom-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

All 12 of the largemouth bass were caught in three to five feet of water and within five feet of the water’s edge. The boat was positioned about 10 feet from the water’s edge in five feet of water, and the most effective casts and retrieves were employed parallel to the water’s edge.

After I finished fishing the dam, I fished about 30 yards of the riprap flat that is situated next to the east end of the dam. I wielded the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and white lightning Finesse TRD rigs, but I was unable to provoke any strikes.

 

From the riprap-laden flat, I ventured inside the major feeder-creek arm on the east side of the east tributary arm.

The underwater terrain inside this feeder-creek arm is composed of red clay and gravel. There are a few remaining dead stems from some patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation lining portions of some of the shorelines and several secondary and tertiary points.

The upper end of the feeder-creek arm was fruitless.

Along the south shorelines of the creek arm, I caught two largemouth bass around two minor secondary points. They were caught with a steady swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig in four to six feet of water.

One spotted bass was caught in three feet of water from a flat and featureless shoreline inside a small cove. It engulfed the white lightning Finesse TRD as it was slowly retrieved with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

Four largemouth bass and four white bass were caught in three to five feet of water from the south shoreline of an island that lies in the midsection of the creek arm. All of them were relating to the outside edges of several thin patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation. They were allured by the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was employed with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

By the end of this 3 1/2-hour endeavor, I had caught and released 18 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, four white bass, one freshwater drum, and one wiper. We would consider this a pretty decent outing for this time of the year in our neck of the woods. The size of the bass ranged from 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds.

A three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a slow and steady swimming retrieve caught 13 largemouth bass, four white bass, and one wiper. The Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. One largemouth bass and one freshwater drum were caught on the shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ and swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to garner any strikes with the Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig and the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rig.

Nov. 20 log

 David Harrison of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 20 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

I fished one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs on November 20 with Paul Hansen of Shawnee, Kansas.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 40 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 50 degrees at 9:30 a.m. The sky was clear.  The wind angled out the south at 20 to 35 mph.  When we started fishing at 9:30 a.m., the barometric pressure was 30.05, and it dropped to 29.8 at 12:30 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., 11:17 p.m. to 1:17 a.m., and 5:05 a.m. to 7:05 a.m.

The water level looked to be a few inches above normal.  The water exhibited four to five feet of visibility, and at some locales, it exhibited a tannins hue. The surface temperature was 50 degrees.

Paul and I had never fished this reservoir. We battled the wind and caught 18 largemouth bass in five hours.

We started fishing a main-lake shoreline adjacent to the dam.  This shoreline yielded one bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man Finesse ShroomZ jig. This section of shoreline is graced with docks, a swimming beach, patches of winter-dead American water willows, and some patches of submerged coontail. On some retrieves, our lures became entwined with filamentous algae.

After we fished that shoreline, we explored the upper reaches of the reservoir. During our explorations, the velocity of the wind increased. Ultimately, we elected to employ a wind sock and to fish a somewhat wind-sheltered shoreline.

Along a 50-yard stretch of this shoreline, we caught eight largemouth bass. The water’s edge is lined with concrete and rock retaining walls and an assortment of docks. The largest concentration of largemouth bass that we encountered on this outing was abiding around one of  the retaining walls.  Two of these largemouth bass were caught on a chartreuse grub affixed to a 1/16-ounce jig, and four of them were caught on the Junebug ZinkerZ rig. Elsewhere along this shoreline, three largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Berkley PowerBait MaxScent green-pumpkin-party The General Worm affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

The third spot that we fished was a steep shoreline that was devoid of docks. This shoreline was being pummeled by the wind.  We figured it would hold some white bass, but we did not get any strikes from this area.

Along another shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass on the Junebug ZinkerZ rig under an overhanging tree.

After we spent four hours fishing along four shorelines, we decided to spend some time searching offshore areas for crappie and temperate bass. And that was a fruitless endeavor.

We spent our final hour pursuing largemouth bass along the shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower section of the reservoir.  We caught five largemouth bass, which were caught along retaining walls, under docks, and under a bald cypress tree.

In sum, the most productive lure was the Junebug ZinkerZ rig. The most effective retrieve was a five- to 15-second deadstick presentation. The most fruitful lairs were either adjacent to retaining walls or under docks.

Since I became a Midwest finesse angler two years ago, almost half of my retrieves include some sort of deadstick presentation, and it has paid off handsomely outing after outing.

As we were putting the boat on the trailer, we talked with a kayak fisherman who had fished similar shorelines to the ones that we had fished, and he had failed to elicit a strike. We suspect that the wind played havoc with his abilities to control the kayak and execute alluring presentations.

Nov. 21 log

 Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 21 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Forty-eight days have passed since I fished a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir. This reservoir was our most fruitful one in 2015, but for some reason or reasons unknown to us, the black bass fishing at this reservoir turned sour and has been awful since mid-November of 2016. Nowadays, we check it every once in a while to see if the fishing has improved. Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I decided to check it again on Nov. 21.

During a Sept. 8 excursion at this reservoir, the black bass fishing was in a sorry state, and I struggled to catch five black bass in four hours. The fishing showed some signs of improvement during my Oct. 4 outing, and during that four-hour endeavor, I caught eight largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and two smallmouth bass.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 48 degrees at 3:10 a.m. and 66 degrees at 2:07 p.m. on Nov. 21. The sky conditions varied from partly cloudy to overcast to clear.  The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:10 p.m. and 29.94 at 4:10 p.m. At noon, the wind meandered out of the southeast at 3 to 5 mph before it turned out of the northeast at 10 mph around 1:30 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar table indicated that the best fishing would occur from 5:14 a.m. to 7:14 a.m., 11:02 a.m. to 1:02 p.m., and 11:26 p.m. to 1:26 a.m. We fished from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The surface temperature was 63 degrees. The water level was 0.78 of a foot below normal pool. The water exhibited 12 to 18 inches of visibility.

We wielded the following Midwest finesse rigs: a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on either a Z-Man’s chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s white lightning ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ attached to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

This Corps’ reservoir was impounded during the early 1950s, and it does not possess any type of submerged aquatic vegetation. Most of its shorelines are steep and adorned with sandstone, chunk rock, and boulders. Its underwater terrain consists of mostly red clay, silt, gravel, small rocks, some submerged stumps, and numerous submerged coffee-table size boulders. There are a few remaining stands of flooded timber about halfway inside one of the major feeder-creek arms on the north side of the reservoir, but most of it has rotted away. There are patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation that embellish many yards of shoreline inside several of the main-lake coves and a couple of the feeder-creek arms.

We spent the first 150 minutes of this outing fishing inside two large feeder-creek arms in the southeast region of the reservoir. The remaining 90 minutes were spent inside another major feeder-creek arm on the north end of the impoundment.

Since the black bass fishing here has been so horrendous throughout the past year, we elected to set a meager goal of catching 10 black bass. It quickly became apparent that the fishing was still in a sorry state, but we managed to catch 13 largemouth bass and one large white bass.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, we plied two large clay and gravel flats in the back end of the creek arm. These two flats are adorned with several large patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation. We also plied two rocky secondary points, and a floating tractor-tire reef at the entrance of the creek arm. One of the two clay flats yielded three largemouth bass. They were scattered along a 75-yard section of the flat and were abiding in less than four feet of water next to the outside edges of three patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation.

We failed to garner any strikes from the two rocky secondary points and the floating tractor-tire reef.

We then moved to the second feeder-creek arm, which is located about half of a mile east of the first feeder-creek arm. We focused on the upper end of this creek arm, where we methodically dissected two small clay and gravel flats, five rocky secondary points, and portions of several steep shorelines inside three small coves.

Three largemouth bass were caught in three to five feet of water from one of the two clay flats. This flat is adorned with some patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation and several submerged laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught from the side of a submerged laydown in six feet of water. The other two largemouth bass were caught from the outside edge of a large patch of terrestrial vegetation in five feet of water.

Three largemouth bass and one white bass were caught next to some large submerged boulders in five feet of water from a steep and rocky shoreline inside one of the three small coves.

We were unable to elicit any strikes from the other clay flat, any of the secondary points, or from the shorelines inside the other two small coves.

Inside the reservoir’s northern feeder-creek arm, we investigated the perimeter of an island, a bluff shoreline north of the island, four secondary points, a private concrete boat ramp, a small section of shoreline inside a small cove, and a steep clay and gravel shoreline and an adjacent small pocket on the south end of the shoreline. All of these spots are situated in the middle section of the creek arm and along its eastern shoreline.

The island, the bluff shoreline north of the island, the four secondary points, the private concrete boat ramp, the small section of shoreline inside the small cove, and the steep clay and gravel shoreline were fruitless.

During the last 20 minutes of the outing, we caught four largemouth bass in five feet of water around a small submerged brush pile near the back end of the small pocket on the south end of the steep clay and gravel shoreline.

IMG_2813-1

Roger Farish with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

As this outing came to a close, we counted seven largemouth bass that were caught on the 2 1/2-inch white lightning ZinkerZ. The 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ caught three largemouth bass and one white bass. One largemouth bass was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig. One was caught on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. One was caught on the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rigs.

The 2 1/2-inch and three-inch Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a slow but steady swimming retrieve. The two 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ rigs were presented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to provoke any strikes with the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig using a variety of Midwest finesse retrieves.

As we were driving home, we half-heartedly declared this outing a success. But it wasn’t successful enough for us to consider returning to this reservoir again until mid-March or April of 2018.

Nov. 22 log

The wind howled across northeastern Kansas on Nov. 20 and 21. It angled out of the south by southwest on Nov. 20 at a pace that reached 37 mph. Then on Nov. 21, it angled out of the north by northwest at a pace that reached 40 mph, and after 8:53 p.m., it began to peter out. The Weather Underground reported that on Nov. 22 it was calm at 6:53 a.m., and then the wind angled mild-manneredly out of the west by northwest, north by northeast, east, south by southeast, south, and southwest at 3 to 6 mph. It was 18 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 39 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  It was sunny. The barometric pressure was 30.41 at 12:53 a.m., 30.44 at 5:53 a.m., 30.42 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.31 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 12:38 a.m. to 2:38 a.m., 1:02 p.m. to 3:02 p.m., and 6:50 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 12:05 p.m. to 2:12 p.m. I was hoping to catch 40 largemouth bass in two hours. I failed, however, to meet that goal. I fished two hours and seven minutes and caught 38 largemouth bass.

The surface temperature was 47 degrees. The water level was normal.  The water exhibited four to six feet of visibility.  This reservoir is adorned with many patches of coontail, but they are now exhibiting their wintertime phase, which makes them scanty and tight to the bottom. The patches of American water willows that border some of the shorelines and points are in their winter-dead phase.

I fished portions of two shorelines that lie in the upper reaches of this reservoir’s primary feeder-creek arm.

Along a 130-yard stretch of one of the shorelines, I caught 10 largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 60-degree slope.  It is embellished with patches of American water willows, patches of coontail, a tiny bridge,  a concrete retaining wall, one dock, several overhanging trees, and some laydowns. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders.

One of the 10 largemouth bass was caught adjacent to a concrete retaining wall and a minor laydown in about 10 feet of water on a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation.

In the vicinity of an overhanging tree and some boulders, I caught a largemouth bass on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig during the glide portion of the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water.

Adjacent to a patch of American water willows, a scrawny patch of coontail, and a tiny bridge, I caught four largemouth bass in about five feet of water. Three of them were caught on back-to-back casts with the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  One was caught on a Z-Man’s pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught from three feet to five yards from the outside edge of the American water willows and the bridge.

Three largemouth bass were caught around a slide of rocks and boulders in four to seven feet of water on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig and a drag-and-shake presentation. Two of them were caught on back-to-back casts.

At the outside edge of a winter-dead patch of American water willows, I caught one largemouth bass in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig.

After I caught largemouth bass No. 10, I bypassed a 200-yard stretch of this shoreline, and I fished a 75-yard section that is graced with a concrete and rock retaining wall, patches of American water willows, patches of coontail, and a boulder-laden point. It possesses a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and some boulders. I caught 14 largemouth bass from this stretch.

Three of the 14 were caught around the retaining wall on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with three to four feet of water.  Two were caught on back-to-back casts.

On a patch of coontail that is the size of about four 21-foot bass boats, I caught 10 largemouth bass in four to six feet of water on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Five were caught on back-to-back casts.

Around the boulder-laden point, which is bordered with winter-dead American water willows and embellished with scanty patches of coontail, I caught one largemouth bass on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three feet of water.

The second shoreline is massive, and it is cluttered with more than two dozen docks.  It possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its water’s edge is lined with either concrete or rock retaining walls. There are some patches of American water willows and coontail along its water’s edge, as well as some overhanging trees, laydowns, and brush piles. A submerged creek channel meanders near a short portion of this shoreline.

I fished two portions of this shoreline. One segment was 125 yards long. The other one was 25 yards long.  They yielded 14 largemouth bass.

Six were caught on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

Eight of the 14 were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with either a drag-and-shake or a drag-and-short-deadstick presentation in five to nine feet of water.

None of the 14 were caught along the retaining walls; they were caught from three to seven yards from the water’s edge. I elicited three strikes that I failed to hook.

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At the top of this photograph is a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. At the bottom is a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain  MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. The Rain MinnowZ is no long being manufacutered, but Z-Man is thinking about remanufacturing it. Both rigs have proven to be very effective in cold-water situations at the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas.

In sum, the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig caught 29 of the 38 largemouth bass, and about 90 percent of my casts and retrieves were made with it.  During the winter of 2016-17, the TRD HogZ rig was one our of most productive rigs in northeastern Kansas, and it is beginning to shine again. Several Midwest retrieves were effective, and their efficacy was dependent upon the terrain.

Nov. 24 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 24 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

It was a delightful and picturesque day in north-central Texas. The sun shone radiantly in a partly cloudy and powder-blue sky. The morning low temperature was 43 degrees at 5:00 a.m. and the afternoon high temperature reached 77 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The average low temperature for Nov. 24 is 39 degrees and the average high temperature is 61 degrees. The wind blew at 10 to 15 mph out of the south. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at noon and 29.79 at 4:00 p.m.

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and fished from about noon to 4:30 p.m. at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir located in a suburban area north of Dallas.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 2:32 a.m. to 4:32 a.m., 8:44 a.m. to 10:44 a.m., and 2:55 p.m. to 4:55 p.m.

We spent the entire 4 1/2 hours that we were afloat inside a minor feeder-creek arm on the north end of the reservoir.

The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature varied from 61 degrees in the lower third of the creek arm to 65 degrees in the middle-third section. The water level was down about four feet, which made the upper-third portion of the creek arm too shallow for the boat to traverse.

The shorelines are steep and bluff-like in the upper reaches of the creek and become flatter in the lower and middle sections. The underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel in the creek’s lower and midsection areas with submerged rock ledges paralleling both sides of the creek channel in the upper end of the creek arm. When the water level is at its normal level, there are numerous flooded bushes, submerged brush piles, partially-submerged laydowns, and a few submerged stumps littering the water’s edge. Since the water level has dropped four feet, most of these lairs are on dry land.

Our fishing was not as delightful as the weather, but it was a bit better than some of the trying outings that I have endured this month. We caught a largemouth bass or two here and there, but we failed to locate any significant concentrations of them. In total, we caught 20 largemouth bass and one large white crappie. We also failed to land three other largemouth bass that were able to liberate themselves before we could land them.

Almost all of these largemouth bass were caught in the lower-third section of the creek arm. They were milling about in three to six feet of water along the edge of the main creek channel or next to a laydown or brush pile that was situated adjacent to the creek channel.

A  2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig has been our most effective combos in this feeder-creek arm. But this time, the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig allured only two largemouth bass.  A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s  Finesse ShroomZ jig emerged as the most potent rig during this outing and beguiled 18 largemouth bass and one white crappie.

We failed to entice any largemouth bass or spotted bass with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-orange Finesse TRD on a custom-painted blue 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD on a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, or a Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD on a black 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We experimented with several of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves, but the only effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve. One largemouth was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig.

As Norman and I fished our way up and down the creek arm, we crossed paths with several other anglers and spent a few moments talking with them. One bass angler in a boat told us he had caught only three largemouth bass. Two other crappie anglers in another boat reported that they had caught four crappie and a catfish. Another crappie angler fishing from the bank said that he had enticed only one strike and failed to hook the fish.

Nov. 25 log

 Nathan Parker of Tulsa, Oklahoma, posted a report on the Finesse News Network on Nov. 25.

Here is an edited version of this report:

I fished at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in northeastern Oklahoma.

The wind angled out of the south by southwest at 8 to12 mph. The afternoon high temperature was 64 degrees. The sky was mixed with clouds and sun while I fished from 12:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

I had not fished this reservoir since late August.  So, I had no idea what pattern the fish might be on. Consequently, I spent 90 minutes fishing two main-lake rock-laden points, a main-lake pocket, and a mixed mud-and-rock shoreline in the back of a minor feeder creek before I caught my first fish.

I finally found some black bass along a steep main-lake shoreline that is laden with rocks. My boat floated in 24 to 35 feet of water, and my casts easily reached the water’s edge as I worked with a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/8-ounce jig. I fished several hundred yards of this shoreline and caught nine black bass, which were either smallmouth bass or spotted bass.  All of them were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake retrieve, and they were caught on the glide segment of the retrieve. They were scattered along this shoreline with no rhyme or reason to their location. Most were located in 8 to 10 feet of water. The largest one was a handsome 19-inch smallmouth that weighed almost four pounds.

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I also caught two black bass, including a hefty 16-inch smallmouth bass, on a flat and rocky main-lake shoreline that was wind blown. They were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce jig.

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I fished four bridge pilings and 100 yards of a riprap shoreline without a strike.

I failed to garner a strike on a 3.5-inch Z-Man’s bad shad Trick ShotZ rig and a 2.5-inch Z-Man’s  pearl Slim SwimZ rig.

By Midwest standards, it was not a bountiful outing.  I suspect the mid-week cold snap has something to do with my struggles. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day to be afloat in northeastern Oklahoma.

Nov. 23 and 25 

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outings at one of northeastern Kansas’ power-plant reservoirs on Nov. 23 and 25.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The Weather Underground reported that it was 30 degrees at 1:53 a.m. and 61 degrees at 2:53 p.m. on Nov. 23. The sky was clear. The wind angled out of the south by southwest, south, southwest, west by southwest, and west at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.14 at 12:53 a.m., 30.09 at 5:53 a.m., 30.03 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.98 at 2:53 p.m. On Nov. 25, the Weather Underground reported that it was 41 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 59 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  The sky was clear.  The wind angled out of the north, northwest, and north by northwest at 3 to 15 mph, and it was calm at times.  The barometric pressure was 29.94 at 12:53 a.m., 30.06 at 5:53 a.m., 30.18 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.17 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur on Nov. 23 at 1:31 a.m. to 3:31 a.m., 1:55 p.m. to 3:55 p.m., and 7:43 a.m. to 9:43 a.m. And on Nov. 25, the best fishing would take place at 3:13 a.m. to 5:13 a.m., 3:37 p.m. to 5:37 p.m., and 9:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.

Both outings began around 8:00 a.m. and ended at 3:00 p.m. On Nov. 25, Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas, joined me. The surface temperature within the warm-water plume ranged from 55 to 57 degrees, and along the dam, it was 50 degrees. The water level was normal. The water exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility, which is the clearest that I have seen it this year.

I caught 29 largemouth bass, one channel catfish and one white bass on Nov. 23. Merit and I caught 24 largemouth bass, two channel catfish, two freshwater drum, and one carp on Nov. 25.

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Merit Goodman with one of the largemouth bass that they caught.

The most fruitful spots on both outings were along the riprap shoreline that borders an access road to the power plant, the riprap shoreline along the dam, and isolated sections along two bluffs inside the warm-water plume.

During both outings, my most effective rig was a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s mudbug ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig with a swim-glide-and-deadstick presentation. Merit mostly used a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-white ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and she also strolled a jerkbait. At times, I wielded a small jerkbait and small crankbait.

Along the bluffs, we caught the largemouth bass in two to six feet of water. Along the riprap shorelines, we caught the largemouth bass in slightly deeper water than we caught them along the bluffs.

Nov. 27 log

The Weather Underground reported that it was 36 degrees at 2:52 a.m. and 68 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky was clear, and the sun was eye-squinting bright. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and south by southeast at 4 to 24 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 12:52 a.m., 29.99 at 5:52 a.m., 29.90 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.80 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 4:49 a.m. to 6:49 a.m., 5:12 p.m. to 7:12 p.m., and 11:01 p.m. to 1:01 a.m. I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 1:19 p.m. to 3:05 p.m.

The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 49 degrees.  The water level looked to be about one foot below normal. There is a major and ugly algae bloom waylaying this reservoir. The water exhibited 10 to 12 inches of visibility.  I attempted to fish this reservoir on Nov. 9, but the algae bloom was so horrendous that I made a quick survey of a couple of locales and made three casts and put the boat back on the trailer and drove to one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs to fish. There is no submerged aquatic vegetation; it has been eradicated by the reservoir’s managers. The patches of American water willows that adorn the water’s edge along some of the shorelines and points are in their winter-dead phase, and because the water level is one foot below normal, many of the American water willow patches  are out of the water.

The algae bloom on Nov. 27 was not as intense as it was Nov. 9. Nevertheless, it was significant enough that I was disheartened by it, and I suspected that it would be a humdinger of a task to catch an average of 10 largemouth bass an hour. What’s more, the wind was howling, and many locales were being pummeled by ranks of white caps.

As I fished, I hid from the wind and white caps inside two feeder-creek arms during the entire hour and 46 minutes that I was afloat.

I spent 35 minutes fishing along portions of one shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm.

This shoreline possesses a 30- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of the boulders are humongous. The water’s edge is embellished with some winter-dead patches of American water willows, a few stumps, and a few minor laydowns. There is one large hump of rocks and boulders that is about four yards from the water’s edge.

I caught one largemouth bass on the hump in about six feet of water on a shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with a drag-and-shake retrieve.

I caught four largemouth bass along the shoreline. Two were in three feet of water near the outside edge of the American water willow patches, and they were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  Two were caught while I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig in about six feet of water around some of the rocks and boulders that litter this shoreline.

Inside another feeder-creek arm, I fished about a 50-yard section of a shoreline near the back end of this arm. It possesses a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, some boulders, and silt.  Its water’s edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows and several laydowns.

Around one of the laydowns, I caught a largemouth bass in about three feet of water on the initial drop of the Junebug Hula StickZ rig.

I fished along a 250-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 85-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The water’s edge is lined with some patches of American water willows, six docks, two sunken boats, a few stumps, some retaining walls, and several laydowns.

Along this 250-yard section of shoreline, I caught 11 largemouth bass on the Junebug Rain MinnowZ rig. Four of the 11 were caught in about three feet of water around laydowns on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig. One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake retrieve with the Rain MinnowZ rig adjacent to a retaining wall. Three largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig along the outside edges of patches of American water willows in two to three feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught along the steepest section of this shoreline in four to six feet of water on the glide segment of the swim-glide-and-shake presentations with the Rain MinnowZ rig.

In sum, I caught 17 largemouth bass in 106 minutes, which is about one every six minutes. Four were caught on the Junebug Hula StickZ rig, and 13 were caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig. Eight were caught on the initial drop. Seven were caught on the swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two were caught on a drag-and-shake retrieve.

Nov. 29 log

 The Weather Channel reported that it was 45 degrees at 9:53 a.m. and 51 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy, but for about an hour around noon, it was scattered with clouds, which allowed the sun to shine brightly. The wind angled from the northeast, east by northeast, east, and southeast at 6 to 13 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.29 at 12:53 a.m., 30.26 at 5:53 a.m., 30.19 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.14 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:14 a.m. to 8:14 a.m., 6:39 p.m. to 8:39 p.m., and 12:02 a.m. to 2:02 a.m.

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, Jim Stegeman of Olathe, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 8:45 a.m. to 2:29 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The surface temperature was 48 degrees. The water exhibited more than six feet of visibility at many locales.   This reservoir is graced with untold numbers of massive patches of coontail, and even though they are in their initial phases of their cold-water doldrums, they are still green and relatively thick.

We fished portions of the shorelines inside one large feeder-creek arm, portions of the shorelines inside two medium-sized feeder-creek arms, three main-lake shorelines, six main-lake points, and more than a dozen secondary and tertiary points.

From these shorelines and points, we caught 105 largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass in 349 minutes.

Along the portions of the shorelines and around some of the points inside the large feeder-creek arm, we caught two smallmouth bass and 39 largemouth bass. These shorelines and points possess a 20- to an 80-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. The water’s edge is lined with occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows, scores of laydowns, and patches of coontail. We also probed several offshore patches of coontail that adorn the shallow-water flats in the back of this feeder-creek arm. The flat and shallow shorelines and points were more bountiful than the steep and deep ones.

We caught one smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass along the steep and deep shorelines and points. We caught one smallmouth bass and 28 largemouth bass along the flat and shallow shorelines and points. Three largemouth bass were caught around one of the offshore coontail patches.

During the first 53 minutes of this outing, we caught 22 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass, and during the next 54 minutes, we caught 17 largemouth bass.

We caught these 39 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass on five Midwest finesse rigs: a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s blue claw ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce  Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s Junebug Rain MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig, and a 2 1/2-inch well-worn and faded Z-Man’s mudbug ZinkerZ affixed on a red 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. The bulk of these black bass were caught on the mudbug ZinkerZ rig and green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig.  They were caught in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 10 feet. Some were caught as we were strolling and employing either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. Two were caught with a deadstick presentation. The bulk of them were caught while we employed a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve or a modified variation of that presentation.

Two smallmouth bass and 14 largemouth bass were caught along a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and its two main-lake points.  This shoreline and its points possess a 35- to an 85-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, occasional patches of coontail, scores of overhanging trees, oodles of laydowns, and some of the laydowns are massive. The bulk of the 16 black bass were caught on the mudbug ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. The others were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig, the green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rig, the green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rig, and a Z-Man’s California craw TRD TubeZ affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. We retrieved these rigs with a drag-and-shake presentation, a drag-and-deadstick presentation, or a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. The steeper sections were not as fruitful as the flatter ones.

We failed, however, to catch a black bass, and we elicited two minor strikes that we failed to hook along one main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake shoreline.

Along the portions of the shorelines and points inside a medium-sized feeder-creek, we caught 27 largemouth bass. These shorelines and points possess a 20- to a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some winter-dead American water willows, some winter-dead lily pads, scores of laydowns, and many patches of coontail. The flatter locales were a tad more fruitful than the steeper ones.

We caught these 27 largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ affixed to a hand-painted red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig,  a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig, and the California craw TRD TubeZ rig. We caught them in three to five feet of water.  Four largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The other 23 largemouth bass were caught while we were employing a drag-and-deadstick presentation, drag-and-shake presentation, or a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

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Jim Stegeman with one of the largemouth bass that we caught on the Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ rig.

Along a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and two main-lake points, we caught 18 largemouth bass. This shoreline and its points possess a 25- to a 90-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is stippled with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, scores of laydowns, and several overhanging trees. Patches of coontail grace the flat and shallow-water environs. Along the steep and deep section of this shoreline, we caught the largemouth bass by dragging and shaking our green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rigs and California craw TRD TubeZ rig.  Around one of the points, we caught two largemouth bass on our green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about four feet of water near a patch of winter-dead American water willows. Around patches of coontail at the other point, we caught one largemouth bass on one of our green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and we caught another largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Around a main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass. This point possesses a 45-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.  The boulders create a series of shelves. Its water’s edge is lined with patches of winter-dead American water willows. The largemouth bass was caught in about four feet of water on the initial drop of the Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.

At the back end of another medium-sized feeder-creek arm, we dissected portions of its shorelines and a few offshore patches of coontail. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.  The water’s edge is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, some docks, a boat ramp, and a stretch of riprap. We caught six largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass, and they were caught on the green-pumpkin Rain MinnowZ rig, the California craw TRD TubeZ rig, the green-pumpkin-red ZinkerZ rig, and a shortened Z-Man’s California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Hula StickZ rig. The others were caught while we were employing either a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation.

In sum, we used a variety of Midwest finesse rigs and presentations to catch 105 largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass. Some anglers would describe it as a junk-fishing day.  Because of the array of rigs and retrieves that we used around all of the locations that we fished, it is beyond my abilities to adequately describe exactly how, when, and where we inveigled those 110 black bass. What’s more, I am not used to fishing for five hours and 49 minutes and keeping an accurate account of what three anglers are doing and not doing.  Therefore, I am sorry to say this log is less than a shorthand description of our endeavors.

Nov. 30 log

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 30 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

As November comes to a close, the black bass fishing in north-central Texas has slowed down to a snail’s pace. In a couple more weeks, the Florida-strain largemouth bass that were stocked in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs will become almost comatose and extremely difficult to locate and catch. Before that happens, we are taking advantage of the few remaining opportunities to catch some black bass before those mid-December to mid-March doldrums arrive.

One of those opportunities presented itself on Nov. 30, and I joined Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir located on the north side of the Dallas metropolitan area.

The afternoon was bright and sunny. The sky was cloudless. The wind quartered out of the north by northeast at 10 to 15 mph. It was 40 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 65 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The barometric pressure measured 30.26 at noon and fell to 30.18 by 4:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would take place from 12:55 a.m. to 2:55 a.m., 7:07 a.m. to 9:07 a.m., and 7:33 p.m. to 9:33 p.m. Rick and I fished from about 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We fished in the same minor feeder-creek arm that Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I fished on November 7. Roger and I plied the feeder-creek arm for four hours, and we enjoyed tangling with 31 largemouth bass and three spotted bass. It was also the last time that I have caught 30 or more black bass in an outing.

The water inside the feeder-creek arm was as stained on Nov. 30 as it was on Nov. 7. Its clarity varied from a foot of visibility at its mouth to 2 1/2 feet in its middle section. The water level appeared to be between three to four feet below its normal level. The low water level has made the upper end of the creek arm too shallow to access by boat. The surface temperature was 70 degrees on Nov. 7 and it was 65 degrees on Nov. 30.

The submerged terrain in the lower and middle sections of this feeder-creek arm consists of gravel and clay with a few submerged rock ledges that parallel several short segments of the creek’s shorelines. Scores and scores of laydowns, brush piles, and stumps that were submerged a couple of months ago are now exposed and lie on the dry portions of the shorelines.

As we expected, the fishing was slow and trying. Ultimaelty, we eked out 17 largemouth bass, two white crappie, and a freshwater drum.

IMG_2822

Rick Allen with one of the 17 largemouth bass that they caught.

In short, we caught a largemouth bass here and there from the edges and ends of the remaining pieces of flooded wood cover that were situated in two to four feet of water and close to the edges of the creek’s main channel. The steep and deeper shorelines were much more fruitful than the flat and shallow ones. We were unable to inveigle what we suspected were largemouth bass and spotted bass that we discovered suspended about five feet below the surface in eight to 12 feet of water in the middle of the creek channel.

We wielded an assortment of Z-Man Fishing Products’ Midwest finesse lures and Finesse ShroomZ jigs. The two most productive ones were a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ attached to a weedless, green-pumpkin, 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

A couple of largemouth bass were caught while we slowly hopped and bounced the weedless Hula StickZ rig through the branches of a large laydown in about four feet of water. The other 15 largemouth bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with either the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig or the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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