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Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2020

Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2020
Randi Lee Myers of Paw Paw, Werst Virginia, with one of the 40 smallmouth bass that she and her husband caught on Aug. 23.

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 22 logs and 19,839 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished.

It features the outings and insights of Rick Allen of Dallas; Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Eric Gilgenbach of Winneconne, Wisconsin; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Kelsey Krausz of Kansas City, Kansas; Randi Lee Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia; Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; and Mallory Smith of Kansas City, Kansas.

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

Aug. 3

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 3 outing.


Here is an edited version of their report.


The National Weather Service reported that it was 59 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 76 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northwest, north, west and northeast at 5 to 20 mph. From 12:52 am. to 10:52 a.m., the sky was fair, and then the conditions of the sky varied from being littered with a few clouds to being partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.06 at 12:52 a.m., 30.09 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.12 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:53 a.m. to 12:53 p.m., 4:40 a.m. to 6:40 a.m., and 5:06 p.m. to 7:06 p.m.

This is another Geriatric Fishing Network outing from Pat and Ned Kehde. And at times, we call it the Conjugal Fishing Network. We began these endeavors this summer as a way for us to temporally forget about all of the woes that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. They are always short outings, and we always fish like a couple of old codgers who incessantly chat about the good ol’ days. On this outing, we fished from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs.

On July 30, Mother Nature walloped the watersheds of this reservoir with a lot of rain. Consequently, the water exhibited four to six inches of visibility in the backs of several of the feeder-creek arms and about two feet of visibility in the lower portions of this reservoir. The water level looked to be about 12 inches above its normal level. The surface temperature fluctuated from 81 to 82 degrees.


Here is how this outing unfolded.

For about 20 minutes, we fish along a 20-yard segment of a shoreline and around a small segment of a shallow-water flat in the back of one this reservoir’s major feeder-creek arms. We worked around many patches of Eurasian milfoil in about five feet of water. We enticed several meager strikes that we failed to hook and caught about a five-pound channel catfish.

We spent the rest of the outing in the reservoir’s lower-quarter region.


We fished about a 75-yard segment of the dam, where we garnered several meager strikes that we failed to hook.

At an offshore hump, we caught four largemouth bass. This hump is about the size of a tennis court. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some huge boulders, and the boulders lie in five to 12 feet of water. The outside edge of this hump drops into 30 feet of water. These largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man Fishing Products’ Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OC Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. We elicited seven meager strikes that we failed to hook.

During the rest of the outing, we quickly fished along portions of three main-lake shorelines, around three main-lake points, and along short portions of three-shorelines inside two feeder-creek arms that are adjacent to the three main-lake points. The points and shorelines have a 35- to 70-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks and boulders. Many of the water’s edges are adorned with patches of American water willows. And there is only one laydown and two overhanging trees along these shorelines and points. We encountered scores and scores of meager strikes, which we failed to hook, but we ultimately caught 22 largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead in about four feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

Twenty-one largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug Finesse WormZ rigs, and three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, three were caught on the initial drop, three were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation, and the rest were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. They were caught in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 10 feet. Three of these 22 largemouth bass were caught around one of the overhanging trees in three to five feet of water. The other 19 largemouth bass were caught hither and yon.

In sum, it was a struggle to catch 10 largemouth bass an hour. Nevertheless, we concluded that it was a delightful 150 minutes for us old codgers to be afloat.

Aug. 4

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Since March 5, Rick Allen of Dallas and his wife, Linda, have been passing the time during this COVID-19 pandemic in the southern portions of the Texas’ Hill Country, where Rick has been occasionally plying the waters of the Guadeloupe River. Rick and Linda returned to Dallas on July 31.

Rick joined me for an abbreviated outing at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas on Aug. 4. It is the first time Rick and I have fished together since February.

The Weather Underground reported that it was 70 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 92 degrees at 5:00 p.m. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to mostly cloudy. The wind angled out of the east and southeast at 8 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.96 at 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 3:21 a.m. to 5:21 a.m., 9:33 a.m. to 11:33 a.m., and 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. It also indicated that the fishing would most likely be excellent.

Rick and I fished from 7:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. We spent the first 90 minutes of the outing pursuing white bass, then we changed our focus and targeted black bass during the last 90 minutes.

The water level was a few inches below normal. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water exhibited about 18 inches of visibility.

To start, we searched for white bass on several massive and wind-blown main-lake flats in the lower end of the reservoir.

For black bass, our most fruitful locations were two smaller and shallower main-lake flats adorned with patches of hydrilla, American pondweed, duckweed, and flooded stickups. These locales were also situated in the lower section of this reservoir.

In our eyes, the white bass fishing was good but not great. We caught and released 43 of them in 90 minutes. The black bass fishing was much tougher, and we had to make an all-out effort to catch eight largemouth bass in 90 minutes.

All of the white bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man’s 2 1/2-inch bad-shad Slim SwimZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig in six to 17 feet of water. They were sporadically foraging on one-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water.

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The eight largemouth bass, which were caught from two shallow-water main-lake flats, were abiding in three to five feet of water around thick patches of hydrilla with some American pondweed and flooded stickups that are interlaced with the hydrilla.

Five of the largemouth bass were coaxed into striking a twitch-and-pause retrieve with wacky-rigged five-inch Z-Man ZinkerZs in the watermelon-red, purple-haze, and green-pumpkin hues. They were rigged on an Owner’s size 1 weedless wacky-rig hook.

Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch bad-shad Slim SwimZ rig. One was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead and a steady swimming retrieve.

We employed six other Z-Man’s Midwest finesse rigs, but we were unable to garner any strikes with them.

In short, we caught 51 fish in three hours, and the vast majority of them were white bass.

Aug. 4

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 4 outing.

Here is an edited version of their report.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 54 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 74 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the north, northeast, and northwest at 3 to 8 mph. The sky was fair from 12:53 a.m. to 5:53 p.m., and then it became littered with a few clouds for four hours, partly cloudy for two hours, and mostly cloudy for three hours. The barometric pressure was 30.16 at 12:53 a.m., 30.12 at 5:53 a.m., 30.17 at 11:53 p.m., and 30.14 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:18 a.m. to 1:18 p.m., 11:43 p.m. to 1:43 a.m., and 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Pat and Ned Kehde engaged in another Geriatric Fishing Network and Conjugal Fishing Network affair at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs.

We were afloat from 10:50 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir was a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 81 degrees. The water exhibited six to seven feet of visibility.

During this two-hour and 50-minute endeavor, we tangled with two smallmouth bass and 37 largemouth bass.

Here is a brief synopsis of how our outing unfolded.

We spent the entire outing in the middle portion of the reservoir.

Around a flat main-lake point, we caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel and rocks, and portions of this terrain is clothed with a massive patch of coontail. It has a 25-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man’s purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water. The other two were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a subtle swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Across a large main-lake flat that is endowed with several large patches of coontail, we caught one smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a light-blue Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-glide presentation in about five feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in five to seven feet of water. Four largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in five to seven feet of water.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a medium-size feeder-creek arm, we caught eight largemouth bass. This flat is adorned with scores and scores of coontail patches. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal Baby Goat affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight swimming retrieve in seven to eight feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in about six feet of water. Five largemouth bass were caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig with either a subtle swim-and-glide presentation or a deadstick presentation in four to eight feet of water.

Around one main-lake point, we caught five largemouth bass. This point has a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, and this terrain is enhanced with several patches of coontail. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows. One of the largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water on the Rain MinnowZ rig with a deadstick presentation. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation in four to six feet of water.

Around a tertiary point that graces a main-lake shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass. This point has a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of Finesse WormZ in about four feet of water.

Around another tertiary point along another main-lake shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass. This point has a 60- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This largemouth bass was caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig with a deadstick presentation in about 10 feet of water.

Around another tertiary point along another main-lake shoreline, we caught three largemouth bass. This point has a 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and minor-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The other two largemouth bass were caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and a 70-yard portion of its main-lake shoreline, we caught one smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass. This area has a 30- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders, and portions of this terrain is endowed with patches of coontail. The water’s edge is graced with laydowns and overhanging trees. The smallmouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig around an overhanging tree with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a patch of coontail in about seven feet of water. Seven largemouth bass were caught on the Rain MinnowZ rig; two of them were caught on a deadstick presentation in eight to 10 feet of water in patches of coontail; two were caught on a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water around two boulders and patches of coontial; three were caught on a swim-and-glide presentation around patches of coontail in six to 10 feet of water.

In sum, we caught an average of 13 black bass an hour.

Aug 7

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a report of the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 7 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 87 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and south at 6 to 30 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy to being overcast to raining lightly. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:52 a.m., 29.99 at 5:52 a.m., 30.01 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.00 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 1:50 a.m. to 3:50 a.m., 2:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

I was hoping to catch at least 30 largemouth bass in about 2 ½ hours at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs. I failed to achieve that goal. Instead, I fished for three hours from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and struggled to catch 29 largemouth bass.

The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 82 degrees. The water level looked to be about three feet below its normal level. The water exhibited three to five feet of visibility.

From my first cast to my last one, it was a wind-sock outing, and it was a trying task to keep a hat on my head.

I was hoping to spend the entire outing plying several of this reservoir’s shallow-water flats that are clothed with massive patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. But that tactic yielded just one largemouth bass.

The other 28 were caught along four shorelines and around three points, where I allowed the wind to propel the boat and the wind sock to slow-down the effects of the 30-mph gusts of wind to a stealthy crawl. And the bow-mounted trolling motor also facilitated this endeavor.

The underwater terrains of the points and shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. They possess a 25- to 50-degree slope. The water’s edges are graced with flooded terrestrial grasses, some partially flooded patches of American water willows, a few patches of water primrose, and an occasional laydown. Some of the flatter locales are adorned with patches of coontail and other kinds of submerged aquatic plants. The steeper areas were slightly more fruitful than the flatter ones.

One point yielded five largemouth bass. I caught one largemouth bass on the other two points.

Along about a 275-yard stretch of one shoreline, I caught eight largemouth bass. Along about a 100-yard stretch of another shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass. I caught six largemouth bass along about 175-yard stretch of the third shoreline. Five largemouth bass were caught along about a 125-yard stretch of the fourth shoreline that I fished.

The one largemouth bass that I caught on the shallow-water flat was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swimming presentation around patches of coontail in about five feet of water.

Here are the rigs and presentations that I caught the other 28 largemouth bass on along the four shorelines and around the three points:

One of them was caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead on the initial drop adjacent to a laydown in three to four feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead as I was employing a drag-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

A Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead caught 12 largemouth bass. Several were caught on the initial drop in three to four feet of water. The others were caught while I was employing either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation in four to eight feet of water.

Another dozen were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. A few were caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water. Others were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in water as deep as nine feet.

Some of the 28 largemouth bass were caught around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Some were caught around the rock and boulder terrains. A few were caught as I was strolling along the shorelines and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

The wind made it a trying ordeal, but it also allowed me to be the only boat afloat. There were, however, some panfish and channel catfish anglers fishing from the shorelines.

Aug. 7

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished at a state reservoir that is located in the rural countryside of north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the fishing would most likely be poor, and the best fishing would occur from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., 8:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m., and 2:21 p.m. to 4:21 p.m.

The morning low temperature was 76 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 100 degrees. The sky was partly cloudy. The barometric pressure increased slightly from 29.95 at 7:00 a.m. to 29.97 at noon. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 12 to 20 mph.

We concentrated our efforts around one main-lake island, along three steep and rocky main-lake shorelines, across a medium-size main-lake flat, along two riprap jetties, around a main-lake point and along a 50-yard segment of its adjoining shoreline at the mouth of a small bay.

The underwater terrain is composed of mostly red clay, gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the shorelines are adorned with flooded buck brush, stickups, overhanging trees, and some laydowns. There are some flourishing patches of hydrilla, American pondweed, and American water willows in the middle section and south end of the reservoir.

Depending on where we were fishing, the water exhibited between 20 inches and two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 83.5 degrees. The water level was half of a foot below its normal pool.

The island that we plied is located in the southeast end of the reservoir. Its shorelines are flat and somewhat rocky. There are some clusters of flooded buck brush in less than five feet of water. The northeast end of the island had a few small schools of one-inch threadfin shad loitering around a couple of the larger patches of American pondweed in five to eight feet of water. This island is usually one of our most productive spots, but after we gave it a good going over, it yielded only one largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was caught near some flooded buck brush in three feet of water on the initial drop of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Around the two riprap jetties, we caught three largemouth bass and accidentally caught two freshwater drum. These two jetties are located in the midsection of the impoundment. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the bottom in 12 to 14 feet of water on a five-inch Yum Baits’ summer-gill Dinger rigged wacky-style on an Owners’ size 1 weedless wacky-rig hook. It was employed with a slow twitch-and-pause presentation after it settled to the bottom. The other largemouth was caught in 27 feet of water as it was chasing small shad on the surface of the water. It was enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Pro-V Finesse jig.

Along the three main-lake shorelines, we caught two largemouth bass, one spotted-bass hybrid, and one freshwater drum. Two of these shorelines are located on the east side of the reservoir, and one is located on the reservoir’s west side. They possess 70- to 90-degree gradients. The two shorelines on the east side of the reservoir were entertaining significant numbers of small threadfin shad. The west-side shoreline was bereft of threadfin shad, so we did not waste any time fishing it.

The first of the two east-side main-lake shorelines yielded one largemouth bass, one spotted-bass hybrid, and a hefty freshwater drum that weighed six pounds and 11 ounces. They were caught near submerged boulders in five to seven feet of water. The largemouth bass was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a. 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s watermelon ZinkerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The spotted-bass hybrid and the large drum were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig.

The second shoreline is a steep rock bluff, and it yielded one largemouth bass and five white bass. These fish were suspended about eight to 10 feet below the surface in 29 to 31 feet of water. The largemouth bass and the five white bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ that was matched with a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. We also located several unknown species of fish that were dwelling along the bottom in about 30 feet of water and about 40 feet out from the face of the bluff. We attempted to allure them with a slow drag-and-shake retrieve with The Deal TRD TicklerZ and coppertreuse Finesse TRD combos, but we were unable to provoke them to strike our offerings.

The medium-size main-lake flat was our most fruitful locale. It surrendered five largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This flat is cluttered with rocks, boulders, a couple of laydowns, and a few flooded bushes. There is also a long rock ledge on its west side. The top of the ledge is covered with three feet of water and it quickly descends into 20-plus feet of water.

These six black bass were suspended about five feet below the surface in 12 to 17 feet of water near the deep-water side of the rock ledge. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s watermelon ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Yum summer-gill Dinger affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

As we were nearing the end of this outing, the wind’s velocity had increased to 20 mph, so we decided to seek some refuge from it and finish the morning at a rocky main-lake point and a 50-yard section of its adjacent rocky shoreline at the mouth of a small bay that is situated in the lower end of the impoundment.

We dissected this point and shoreline for about 30 minutes, but we failed to garner any strikes.

In closing, it appears that these Dog Days of Summer have put the black bass in a lackadaisical mood. We fished for four hours and caught11 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one spotted-bass hybrid, five white bass, and three freshwater drum.

Aug. 10

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 10 outing.

Here is an edited version of their report.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 83 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The sky was fair from 12:52 a.m. to 10:52 a.m., and it rained lightly at 11:52 p.m., and then it became cluttered with a few clouds and became fair again. The wind angled out of the south, southeast, southwest at 3 to 12 mph, and it was calm at 11:52 a.m. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:52 a.m., 29.93 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.97 at 1:52 p.m.

The National Weather Service’s station that issued this report is situated about 20 miles north of where Pat Kehde and I fished on Aug. 10. And for the two hours that we were afloat the sky was overcast, and it rained frequently. The wind also angled out of the northeast for a spell. At 1:01 p.m. a significant amount of thunder and lightning erupted, which sent us home.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:04 a.m. to 6:04 a.m., 4:25 p.m. to 6:25 p.m., and 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Patty and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:01 p.m.

This reservoir’s surface temperature was 79 degrees. The water exhibited from 3 ½ to four feet of visibility. The water level looked to be about six inches above its normal level.

We caught 26 largemouth bass and accidentally caught three green sunfish and five crappie.

We caught one largemouth bass around the tips of two riprap jetties, and we failed to elicit a strike around another riprap jetty. The two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point, we caught four largemouth bass. This point has a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are adorned with occasional patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and American pondweed. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in four to six feet of water around the patches of bushy pondweed. The other two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead in about four feet of water around the outside edges of patches of bushy pondweed.

We caught 13 largemouth bass along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. Many stretches of this shoreline have a 25-degree slope, and it essentially becomes a series of shallow-water flats. But there are a few sections that have a 40- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and the steeper sections are graced with a few boulders. There are patches of American water willows that enhance its water’s edge. Patches of American pondweed embellish many stretches of its shallow-water areas. There are also patches of bushy pondweed and coontail clothing much of its underwater terrains. The steeper shorelines are endowed with some laydowns. And there are a goodly number of manmade brush piles that litter all of this 400-yard stretch. The flatter areas yielded all of the largemouth bass.

Seven of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig around patches of aquatic vegetation in about four feet of water. Two were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in four to six feet of water. Two were caught on a swim-and-glide presentation in four to six feet of water.

One of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on a deadstick presentation of a Z-Man’s mood-ring TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead in about five feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed.

Three of the 13 were caught on the initial drop of the PB&J Rain MinnowZ rig around the patches of aquatic vegetation in three to five feet of water.

Another three of the 13 were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around a manmade brush pile and an array of submerged aquatic vegetation in about five feet of water. The other two were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in four to five feet of water around patches of American pondweed.

One largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of the tip of a massive shallow-water flat that is adorned with patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and manmade brush piles. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about five feet of water around patches of coontail.

We failed to elicit a strike along a 50-yard stretch of the dam.

But we caught one largemouth bass at a shallow-water flat adjacent to the dam. It was caught on the initial drop of the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig in about six feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed and coontail.

And before the thunder and lightning abruptly ended this outing, we caught five largemouth bass on the shallow-water flat adjacent to the other end of the dam. Two of the five largemouth bass were caught of the initial drop of the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ in about four feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and American pondweed. The other three were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig, and one of the three was caught at the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about two feet of water. The other two were caught in about four feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and American pondweed.

In sum, the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig was our most effective rig. We caught 12 of the 26 largemouth bass on the initial drops of our rigs. And we caught an hourly average of 13 largemouth bass per hour.

Aug. 10

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log of the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 10 outing with Eric Gilgenbach of Winneconne, Wisconsin.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Aug. 10 provided Eric Gilgenbach, who is vacationing in Winneconne, Wisconsin, and me with what we call a typical “Upper Midwest /Great Lakes scramble,” which revolved around the highly variable weather conditions that affected us.

At 5:00 a.m., the area looked good from the kitchen window. However, another “Clipper” was working its way from the Minneapolis and Lacrosse right down I-94 with its dead aim at us. This storm complex contained plenty of strong thunderstorms that were accompanied by frequent lightning and severe-weather warnings. Thus, instead of our usual 6:00 a.m. boat launch, we decided to wait until things defined themselves, and we planned for an afternoon adventure. As things unfolded, around 10:00 a.m., we confirmed (maybe hoped for) a noon launch. Air temperatures ran through the low to mid-eighties, and dew points were moderate in the lower range of the 60s. The wind angled from the south, north, east, and west at 5 to 30 mph.

The water exhibited 2 ½ feet of secchi disk visibility, exhibiting a brownish hue in some sectors, and some other areas exhibited a robust blue-green algae bloom. The surface temperature was 76 degrees. The water was at its normal summer range. Depending on the wind’s direction and speed, the water flowing into Lake Winnebago ranged from 2,500 to 10,000 cubic feet per second.

Neither of us had been on this sector of the system for more than three weeks. So, we planned to just fish rather than run a preconceived pattern. Additionally, during Aug. 8 and 9, there were a number of bass tourneys held on the lake, and we assumed we would be finding “leftovers” on some well-known spots.

Because of our absence of recent visits, we began fishing at the boat landing without starting the outboard. The first stretch we fished consists of a current-washed riprap shoreline. From this 75-yard stretch, we boated a legal-size largemouth bass, legal-size smallmouth bass, and a 23 ½-inch freshwater drum using either a Z Man’s green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD or a Z-Man’s yoga-pants Finesse TRD, which were rigged on black 1/10-ounce Z Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jigs. We considered these fish a good omen, and we began to plan our tactics for the day.

We chose to head in the best direction possible from the thunderstorms that were redeveloping over the area, and had we decided otherwise, we would have been running for cover in full rain gear. While this spectacle did not totally distract us from our task of fishing, it was an amazing display of nature’s power only a few miles away.

The overwhelming majority of our next locales mirrored the terrain of our first locale. They possessed moderate depth, rocks with some aquatic vegetation, and reasonable current (wind or river generated).

Or second stop was a small offshore rock pile that is located on a large, shallow, and sand flat with maximum a depth of 3 ½ feet. It had a good river flow in the vicinity. From this pile of rocks, which is about 25 feet long, we caught six smallmouth bass in 15 minutes, ranging in size from 13 to 17 ½ inches. They were caught on our Finesse TRD rigs using a very slow drag-and-pause retrieve.

The next three stops did not offer river- or wind-generated current, but they had the rock, aquatic vegetation, and baitfish. We fished an hour and struggled to catch three smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and a freshwater drum. We also tested all kinds or colors of Finesse TRD rigs and Z-Man’s TRD CrawZ rigs with an array of retrieves.

At this point in the day we concluded current was our friend. However, the local storms raged on with winds gusting well over 30 mph from the northwest. So, our next stop was a major point exposed to about a seven-mile fetch, and it was basically unfishable. By running the 80-pound-thrust trolling motor on speed eight and nine, the boat behaved like it was on Spot Lock. This spot yielded one smallmouth bass.

We decided that the wind would be generating current downriver, and it would be much more fishable and sheltered. So, we buttoned things up for a run of a few miles.

After arriving within the somewhat sheltered zone, we began fishing a number of riprap points and jetty tips. While the wind raged on, we were able to tangle with seven-smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, one rock bass and on white bass while deploying the yoga-pants Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-pause retrieve.

Another two miles down the lake we tried to fish a point exposed to about a two-mile fetch. Not so good. Even with the trolling motor running nine and 10, the wind pushed the boat backwards. We had no boat control, no lure control, and no fish. Thus, it was time for us to get upriver and seek shelter again.

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Our last three spots all consisted of riprap areas adjacent to river channel swings. The smallmouth bass, a few largemouth, and freshwater drum were there. And so was our boat control.

During the last hour of this fishing day, we caught 23 smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, and a couple of freshwater drum. The majority of these fish were caught using the rigs and retrieves previously noted. We did catch a few using a Z-Man’s Drew’s craw Finesse TRD, which we call drum candy, and on V&M Smallie Tubes in various hues.

In sum, we will be eternally grateful for the luck we experienced this day. We caught 44 black bass in six hours or an average of seven an hour. We also tangled with some other species. We did not catch any giants, but around 18 of the black bass were legal-sized specimens.

The Z-Man Finesse TRD rig again proved its universal appeal.

Aug. 14

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 14 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 72 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 89 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being clear to being littered with a few clouds to being partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the southeast, east, and south at 6 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 29.98 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.95 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., 7:26 p.m. to 9:26 p.m., and 12:47 a.m. to 2:47 a.m.

I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 10:35 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.

At many locales, the water exhibited about 10 feet of secchi stick clarity. My secchi stick is eight feet long, and the tip of it was clearly visible at the boat ramp, and I had my arm in the water slightly more than a foot. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water level was normal.

I was hoping to catch at least 40 largemouth bass in less than three hours. During the first hour, I was well on track to realizing that goal by catching 16 largemouth bass.

During the next hour, however, I spent too much time trying to dissect locales that I have never fished in hopes of finding a clear-water mother lode or two.

Then, during the next hour and 37 minutes, I finally eked out 24 largemouth bass, and I accidentally caught two walleye.

I caught one largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light-or baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. This was largemouth bass number 40. It was caught on the only cast that I made with this rig, and it was the last cast of this outing. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about six feet of water around a patch of coontail on a main-lake shallow-water flat in the upper third of the reservoir.

I caught five largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a light- or baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Nine largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a light- or baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. I caught 25 largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ affixed to a light- or baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

I caught two largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the middle portion of the reservoir. This point has a 25- to 35- degree slope, but it is endowed with a significant ledge that is situated about 40 feet from the water’s edge, and from that ledge, the depth of the water plummets more than 20 feet. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are patches of coontail gracing some of its shallow-water terrain. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig around a patch of coontail in about five feet of water. The Finesse ShadZ rig caught the other largemouth bass around a patch of coontail with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water.

Along a series of large patches of coontail that adorn a massive main-lake flat in the middle portions of the reservoir, I caught 19 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this shallow-water flat consists of gravel and rocks, and there are a few boulders. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig in about six feet of water. Five largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in four to seven feet of water. The sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig caught 13 largemouth bass on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught around a flat main-lake point in the middle portions of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which are clothed with patches of coontail. The initial drop of the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig caught one of the largemouth bass around a coontail patch in about six feet of water. The initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig caught the other largemouth bass around another coontail patch in about seven feet of water.

Across three large shallow-water flats inside a large feeder-creek arm, I caught six largemouth bass. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and some occasional boulders, and these terrains are endowed with many patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig in about five feet water around a patch of coontail. Five of the six largemouth bass were caught on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to eight feet of water around patches of coontail.

One largemouth bass was caught around a small shallow-water flat near the mouth of a medium-sized feeder-creek arm in the lower portions of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. Patches of coontail decorate portions this flat, and the largemouth bass was caught on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around one of the patches of coontail.

Across a large shallow-water flat inside another medium-sized feeder-creek arm in the lower portions of the reservoir, I caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are interlaced with occasional patches of coontail. The two largemouth bass were caught on back-to-back casts and on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in six feet of water around a patch of coontail.

Two largemouth bass were caught around a main-lake point in the upper portions of the reservoir. This point has a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. In four to seven feet of water, there are patches of coontail covering the underwater terrain. Both largemouth bass were caught on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig with a swimming presentation around the patches of coontail.

Five largemouth bass were caught across a shallow-water flat inside the back half of a feeder-creek arm in the upper reaches of this reservoir. This flat is virtually coated with coontail in three to nine feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig around a patch of coontail in about seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

In sum, 10 feet of water clarity is an unusual phenomenon in northeastern Kansas. Because of this uncommon situation, I decided to explore some deeper-water areas that I have never fished, and it was an absolute failure. All of the largemouth bass and the two walleye were caught around patches of coontail in three to eight feet of water.

Once again, we learned that the best black bass fishing in northeastern Kansas’ community and state reservoirs revolves around plying aquatic vegetation. Here is hoping that the managers of our reservoirs will stop poisoning the vegetation and start cultivating it and maintaining it manually.

Aug. 15

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 15 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Upon returning home from my daily work duties on Friday afternoon, I walked behind our home to take a look at the river’s conditions.

From that observation, I concluded that the water was rising at a good rate from what I had witnessed the day before.

On Friday evening, I attached my kayak's trailer to our side-by-side UTV and readied my rod-and-reel combos for the next day.

After a quick breakfast at 5:40 a.m., I left our driveway and proceeded through the woods approximately seven miles in a dense fog and light intermittent rain. And to my delight, I spotted one bear, many deer, and one owl on this excursion to the river.

I decided to fish a section of river that was above another feeder river that was the major contributor to the influx of the elevated water levels.

Upon getting to my launch site and getting my Jackson Big Tuna kayak off the trailer, I positioned it on a high bank and slowly lowered it to the water’s edge using my UTV’s winch.

After shimmying down the bank, I was on the paddle and began my trek upriver at 7:08 a.m.

The surface temp was 76 degrees. The water was flowing at 184 cubic feet per second. The water exhibited eight feet of visibility, and depending on the rain, the visibility would increase and diminish throughout my outing.

The air temperature was 68 degrees. The sky was completely covered with clouds.

As I proceeded up the river, I paddled through the first half mile of featureless water until reaching where I intended to start fishing.

I began fan casting in an area that possesses very large subsurface boulders on the strong side of the river in four to six feet of water, and they extend about 50 yards up this run. I began casting to both the strong side and the weak side of the current into a foot of water that was largely featureless. My hunch was that with the very cloudy conditions the smallmouth bass, which are normally hunkered within the strong side of the current, might be a bit more active than they would be during the typical blazing and swelter weather of August that we have been experiencing. So, it went as I made my way up this 50-yard stretch making casts in a 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock position.

I had three smallmouth bass quickly intercept a Z-Man’s shiner TRD MinnowZ rigged on a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead nearly on the surface along the current's strong side. Eight smallmouth bass took the same rig from three feet of water along the weak side.

I moved upriver from where I initially had been casting, and I began the same 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock casting angles. So, it went for the entire 50-yard stretch, and I ended up lipping 31 smallmouth bass, two big green sunfish, and one fallfish.

I then proceeded upriver a mile. Along the way, I dragged my kayak over ledges, push-poled it, and intermittently paddled it in order to fish a stretch of the river that I had not touched yet this year.

This stretch or run of the river is endowed with a steep bank, which is graced with boulders sitting in three to four feet of water. There is a tremendous amount of old and new oak-tree branches and limbs interspersed on the top of the boulders that resemble beaver dens. This stretch of the river has the length of about three tennis courts. I staked out my kayak on the weak side of the river, and I got out of it and began walking upstream. I began dissecting the boulders and tree limbs and branches with a customized Z-Man’s watermelon FattyZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. And as worked my way up this run, I would make five casts and retrieves with the FattyZ rig, and then five casts and retrieves with another rig. By the time I had reached the top end of this run, I had lipped 27 smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, 10 big green sunfish, and one channel catfish.

The FattyZ rig beguiled eight smallmouth bass and five green sunfish on the initial drop. A slightly shortened Z-Man’s pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig accounted for 10 smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass and four green sunfish as I shook this rig around the quagmire of tree branches. I lipped nine smallmouth bass, one channel catfish and one green sunfish on about a 2 3/8-inch Z-Man’s dirt ZinkerZ rigged with a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead as I made my casts into the branches. And after it was a short distance from the outside edges of the branches, the ZinkerZ rig was allowed to drop within two to four inches from the bottom, and I proceeded to incessantly shake and swim it for six inches, and then I would briefly deadsick it. I repeated the shake-swim-and-deadstick presentation several more times until it was out of the so-called strike zone.

After I fished this run, I began my trek back downriver, and because of the rising water level, a lot of the ledges that I had to drag the kayak over on my way upriver, I could now navigate through them on my way downriver.

When I reached the first spot that I had fished this morning, I decided to spend thirty minutes giving the fish a different look than they had seen initially. I made casts to the strong side of the current with a Z-Man's mudbug TDR BugZ affixed to a 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ Nedlock jig, and the head of the jig was inserted inside the torso of the TRD BugZ. I proceeded to lip six smallmouth bass as I was shaking it a few inches off of the bottom at the base of visible boulders.

As I reached my awaiting trailer and UTV, I used my winch to load my kayak. I secured everything down and looked at my watch. I had fished just shy of five hours. I made my way back through the woods in a pouring rain.

As always, all of the Z-Man’s baits that are impregnated with salt were soaked in water last winter to remove the salt. After the salt was removed, I saturated them with my customized Pro-Cure Super Gel. And during this outing, I added a touch of the gel to each rig after every 10 to 15 casts. All barbs on the hooks of my jigs were flattened.

Aug. 16

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 16 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

After yesterday’s endeavor, I elected to take it a bit easier physically today.

The weather was a welcomed and cool 66 degrees under full-cloud cover and a light rain.

The river was running at 251 cubic feet per second. The surface temperature was 75 degrees.

I chose to fish a section of the river that is endowed with a number of visible washboard areas. They would be covered with one to three feet of water, and because of the recent rains, I knew the water would be flowing at a good rate. I have always called this area a summer food conveyor belt for smallmouth bass.

I left my kayak at home, and at 6:10 a.m., I stepped into the water with just my necessities at four zip codes away from our house and on a different body of water than the one that I live on.

I carried two rods. One rod sported a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. The second rod sported a Z-Man’s dirt TRD HogZ with a 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that had some of the lead removed from its head, and the entire head was inserted inside the anterior section of the TRD HogZ. I also totted a bag of Z-Man jigs and a water bottle in my shoulder sling pack.

I walked approximately a quarter of a mile upriver before I rounded a bend and laid my eyes on what I came to fish: a series of riffles and pools that seemingly run in a straight line as far as the eye can see without any bends in the river’s topography.

I began at the base of the first one working quickly and making long casts until I either got a willing participant or saw a following smallmouth bass.

Eight casts into my endeavor I had a healthy smallmouth bass intercept my offering on the initial drop in the heart of visible current in two feet of water. This fish had two partners of identical size following it.

All of my casts were made up and across the river into as much as three feet of water. I simply made casts and began a do-nothing retrieve with intermittent shakes as I stood in one to two feet of water.

So, it went for two miles: from one riffle and on to the next, making many casts, and covering a lot of water.

Nearly all of my fish this morning were caught on the initial drop. Those that were not caught on the initial drop were caught when I was casting to visible current at an up-and-across angle and at the one o’clock and two o’clock positions and employing a reel-and-shake retrieve and then stopping it intermittently to let the rig pause, which also allowed me to reconnect mentally with where and what it was doing.

When I fished the shallowest portions of these riffles, I used a TRD MinnowZ rig. Across the deeper area, I worked with the TRD HogZ rig.

I lipped 17 smallmouth bass, 11 green sunfish, and one fallfish on the TRD MinnowZ rig.

I lipped 14 smallmouth bass and eight green sunfish on the TRD HogZ rig.

As always, I liberally applied my customized Pro-Cure Super Gel to the rigs, and the barbs on the hooks were flattened.

As I reached the top of the last riffle, I made my way up a bank, which would best be traversed by a billy goat, to a one-lane main road. As I walked back toward my awaiting vehicle, I passed by a small country store that looks as though it was from the set in “The Andy Griffith Show.” In front of the store sat an older gentleman reading a paper who asked how the fishing was. I replied: “Yes sir, I caught a few.” His response: “darn fine morning to be up around the bend.” “Yes sir, it was.”

I fished just shy of three hours.

Aug. 17

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 17.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished from 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at a challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on July 23 with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas. The black bass bite at this reservoir was poor, and it was the toughest fishing we had experienced anywhere this summer. And during that lackluster endeavor, our best efforts could muster only 11 largemouth bass in four hours and 45 minutes.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the fishing would be great on Aug. 17. It also noted that the best fishing opportunities would occur from 3:26 a.m. to 5:26 a.m., 9:41 a.m. to 11:41 a.m., and 10:09 p.m. to 12:09 a.m.

Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 74 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 95 degrees. The sky was mostly overcast while we were afloat. The barometric pressure measured 30.06 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.09 at noon. The wind was light and variable.

The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 86 degrees. The water level was a few inches below normal.

The black bass bite has been poor at this reservoir all summer, and it was tough during this outing, too. And during this five-hour undertaking, we had a difficult time locating and catching 11 largemouth bass and two spotted bass. We also inadvertently caught four white bass and one large bluegill.

Our most fruitful locations were pea-gravel and boulder-laden main-lake points located in the north or upper end of this reservoir.

We failed to catch a single black bass around and under a slew of covered boat docks inside two large marinas, across three rocky main-lake flats, and around the perimeter of an island.

We did locate a large aggregation of fish, which we were unable to identify. They were suspended 25 to 30 feet below the surface in 38 feet of water. We made multiple vertical presentations to these fish with our Midwest finesse rigs, but we were unable to generate any strikes.

We caught nine largemouth bass and two spotted bass in three to seven feet of water from a series of 12 rocky main-lake points. Flatter points with pea-gravel and large submerged boulders were more productive than steeper ones with red clay, pea-gravel, and submerged boulders. But it was still a one-bass-here-and-two-bass-there pattern.

One largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water along the riprap that covers the dam, which is located on the east side of the reservoir.

Another largemouth was caught next to a large concrete water-outlet tower that is positioned close to the dam. It was caught about five feet below the surface in 31 feet of water.

Our most effective Midwest finesse offering was a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. This rig caught seven largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and a large bluegill.

As for the other four largemouth bass, one was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s blue-steel Finesse ShadZ attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. The second largemouth was caught on a slow drag-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s Drew’s-craw TRD CrawZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. A green-pumpkin TRD CrawZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s BulletZ jig and a hop-and-bounce retrieve allured the third largemouth. And the fourth one was caught on a hop-and bounce presentation with a skirted 1/8-ounce Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Micro Finesse Jig with a Z-Man’s watermelon-red TRD CrawZ attached as a trailer.

The four white bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ matched to a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

In short, catching 13 black bass in five hours fell way short of our expectations of the great fishing indicated by the In-Fisherman solunar calendar.

Aug. 18

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Kelsey Krausz of Kansas City, Kansas, and Mallory Smith of Kansas City, Kansas, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in northeastern Kansas on Aug. 18.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 60 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the northwest, north and northeast at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.12 at 12:53 a.m., 30.12 at 5:53 a.m., 30.15 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.12 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:28 a.m. to 12:28 p.m., 10:56 p.m. to 12:56 a.m., and 4:13 a.m. to 6:13 a.m.

I began fishing at 7:00 a.m. Kelsey and Mallory joined me around 10.00 a.m., and we fished until 1:00 p.m.

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There was a significate algae bloom. The water’s greenish tint intensified in some areas as the wind pushed the algae along some of the shorelines, and around some areas, it was thick enough on the surface that we created streaks on the water when we moved and lifted our lines. The lake level was about 1 ½ feet above its normal level. The surface temperatures reached a high of 81 degrees.

We caught 39 fish, and I estimate that 20 of them were black bass, two were sauger, two were white bass, and the rest of them were bluegills, green sunfish, and freshwater drum. We lost a sizable blue catfish at the side of the boat.

Our most fruitful locales were two riprap shorelines inside two major feeder-creek arms.

Most of these fish were caught on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertruse ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig or a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s PB&J ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig. The third most effective rig was a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s jig.

The black bass were as shallow as two feet and as deep as 10 feet. Most of them were caught while we were employing a swim-and-glide presentation with occasional subtle twitches.

Aug. 18

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 18 at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from noon to 5:00 p.m.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 57 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 83 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The sky was fair for most of the day, but for a short spell, it was partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the northeast, north, and northwest at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.12 at 12:52 a.m., 30.12 at 5:52 a.m., 30.15 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.06 at 4:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:28 a.m. to 12:28 p.m., 10:56 p.m. to 12:56 a.m., and 4:13 a.m. to 6:13 a.m.

The water level appeared to be at its normal level. The surface temperature was 82 degrees. The water exhibited four to five feet of visibility.

I struggled to eke out a catch of 28 largemouth bass. Three of those bass were caught from the tips of two riprap jetties. Twenty-five were caught around one main-lake point.

Four riprap jetties, a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, the points at the entrance to a small feeder-creek arm, and the entire length of the riprap shoreline of the dam did not produce a strike from a largemouth bass.

During this outing, I used six Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig, a Z-Man green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ on a custom-painted blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s Meatdog TRD MinnowZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The Finesse WormZ and the Finesse ShadZ rigs did not elicit any strikes.

At the first riprap jetty, the Junebug TicklerZ with a deadstick presentation caught two largemouth bass that were abiding in five feet of water at the end of the jetty.

At the end of the third jetty, I caught a largemouth bass on the Junebug TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and- shake retrieve in seven feet of water.

Around the main-lake point that separates the reservoir’s two primary feeder-creek arms, I found the only concentration of largemouth bass I was to find during this outing. The north wind was blowing directly onto the tip of this point. It has a flat terrain, and it is endowed with several manmade rock piles and brush piles. It is embellished with a couple of patches of American pondweeds and some patches of bushy pondweed that lie in four to seven feet of water, and these patches of bushy pondweed and other kinds of aquatic vegetation are not as bountiful as they have been in years past.

I made my first cast with The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig towards a patch of American pondweed in the shallow water close to shore. The boat floated in about five feet of water, and I could easily see the bottom. About halfway through a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, I caught a largemouth bass. After landing that largemouth bass, I positioned the boat in nine feet of water and focused on dissecting the patches of bushy pondweed. I made numerous passes back and forth around the tip of the point, keeping the boat in eight to 10 feet of water, and casting across the patches of bushy pondweed to the shallow water and working The Deal TRD TicklerZ across the vegetation with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. During the next two hours, I caught 18 largemouth bass on The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig. A couple of these fish hit on the initial drop, a few hit on a deadstick pause during the retrieve, but most hit as I employed the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the rig over and sometimes through the submerged bushy pondweed. A good portion of the strikes came as the rig cleared the deep-water edge of the vegetation. Another noticeable portion of the strikes occurred when I ripped the rig clear of vegetation that had entangled it. Ultimately, I found out that ripping a TRD TicklerZ through the vegetation is hard on it. After two hours, my TRD TicklerZ was showing significant wear with two large holes ripped in the body, which made it hard to keep it rigged properly on the jig. Therefore, I decided to retire it, and I picked up the Meatdog TRD MinnowZ rig, which caught two largemouth bass. I also wielded the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig, and it caught four largemouth bass.

After making two more passes around the main-lake point and receiving no more strikes, I decided to finish the outing by fishing the riprap along the dam face, which is usually a very productive strategy at this reservoir. Unfortunately, that was not the case on this trip. I was unable to get a single strike from a largemouth bass along the entire face of the dam. In fact, the only strike was from a green sunfish.

In all, I caught a total of 28 largemouth bass and accidently caught one green sunfish. As I reflected about this outing, I don’t know if it was the reservoir, the fish, my lack of fishing prowess, or all of the above. But in spite of the enjoyable weather we have been having, my angling success is definitely suffering.

Aug. 18

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 18 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Last night I hooked our kayaks trailer up to the UTV to ready it upon my return from my daily work duties this afternoon.

I pulled into the driveway this afternoon at 3:32 p.m., and by 3:58 p.m., I was launched and paddling my way upriver in the Jackson Big Tuna.

The river was flowing at 241 cubic feet per second. The water temperature was 75 degrees. The water was clearing after last weekend’s rain, and I could see six feet under me.

The air temperature was a comfortable 78 degrees without a cloud in the sky.

I made my way across the river and immediately began casting to the weak side of the river into four to five feet of water along a steep bank. This bank has many trees that have extremely low branches that nearly touch the water’s surface. These branches create a shaded canopy under them. The bottom substrate consists predominantly of old oak logs, and some of them are very large and have not moved in 14 years.

As I made my way upriver, my low-trajectory casts were made as if I were threading a needle in order to place my offering between the low hanging branches, but they were executed with enough force to reach the shoreline under them. Once my offering safely landed deep within the shade, I would shake it on the initial drop before ever touching my reel's handle. The greatest percentage of willing participants immediately struck my offering on the initial drop. The remainder of the strikes occurred as I counted my offering down mentally to six inches or less above the bottom-lying stumps. I would then begin a gliding presentation with only intermittent shakes created from the reel and not the rod tip.

I fished an approximate 125-yard stretch along this bank.

I lipped 14 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught 12 green sunfish, nine rock bass and one largemouth bass on a shortened and modified tail of a four-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin Finesse WormZ on a red 1/32-ounce Z Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

I also caught 11 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught one largemouth bass and one channel catfish on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ on a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

As always, I liberally applied my customized Pro-Cure Super Gel to my rigs, and the barbs on the hooks were removed.

As I loaded my kayak, I noticed that I had been on the water for two hours and three minutes.

Aug. 19

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 19 outing.

Here is an edited version of their report.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 58 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 81 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to being cluttered with a few clouds. The wind angled out of the northeast, east, and south at 3 to 7 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.09 at 5:53 a.m., 30.10 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.07 at 1:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:49 a.m. to 12:49 p.m., 11:21 p.m. to 1:21 a.m., and 5:07 a.m. to 7:07 a.m.

Patty and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 10:03 a.m. to 12:32 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 82 degrees. The water exhibited seven to 10 feet of secchi-stick visibility.

During this 2 ½-hour outing, it was a struggle to catch 22 largemouth bass, four smallmouth bass, and one walleye.

Two smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass were caught during the first hour. Two smallmouth bass and 15 largemouth bass were caught during the last hour and a half that we were afloat, and most of those were caught during the last 20 minutes of the outing.

We were anticipating that we would spend the entire 2 1/2 hours dissecting a variety of coontail patches in four to 10 feet of water and catching 40 largemouth bass. But during the first hour, we struggled mightily to catch six largemouth bass around coontail patches.

The other 20 black bass were caught around two main-lake points and along portions of two massive main-lake shorelines.

We caught three largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Two smallmouth bass and five largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Two smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

During the first hour, we caught three largemouth bass around a series of coontail patches that adorn a large main-lake flat in the middle portions of the reservoir. And we caught three largemouth bass around an array of coontail patches that embellish a massive shallow-water flat inside a small feeder-creek arm. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ, PB&J Rain MinnowZ, and sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ on either the initial drop or a swim-and-glide presentation in five to eight feet of water.

Around one main-lake point in the middle portions of this reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about 10 feet of water. This point has a 25- to 35- degree slope, but it is endowed with a significant ledge that is situated about 40 feet from the water’s edge, and from that ledge, the depth of the water plummets more than 20 feet. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and there are patches of coontail gracing some of its shallow-water terrain.

In the upper half of this reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass around a main-lake point. They were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water around a patch of coontail, and the other one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. This point has a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. In four to seven feet of water, there are patches of coontail covering the underwater terrain. Its water’s edge is graced with patches of American water willows and several laydowns.

Along a 100-yard portion of a massive main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught two smallmouth bass from the same rock- and boulder-laden lair. One was caught on the initial drop of the Rain MinnowZ rig in about five feet of water. The other one was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water. This shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is embellished with laydowns, a few patches of American water willows, and some overhanding trees.

Along many yards of another massive main-lake shoreline in the middle and upper half of this reservoir, we caught two smallmouth bass and 12 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 90-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and an array of boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. Its water’s edge is adorned with oodles of laydowns, countless numbers of overhanging trees, and occasional patches of American water willows. There are also sporadic patches of coontail clothing some of its shallow-water terrains.

One of the smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig adjacent to a laydown in about five feet of water. The other smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ under an overhanging tree in about four feet of water.

Along this massive shoreline, we caught the 12 largemouth bass on five rigs: a Junebug TRD TicklerZ, a sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ, a Rain MinnowZ, a Finesse WormZ, and a Finesse ShadZ. Most of them were caught on the initial drop of our rigs around laydowns or under overhanging trees in three to five feet of water. Two were caught around boulders. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ around patches of coontail in four to five feet of water, and they were caught during the last three minutes of the outing.

In sum, our catch rate was 10 black bass an hour. But there were many minutes when we failed to garner a strike.

Aug. 20

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 20 outing.

Here is an edited version of their report.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 56 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 85 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and south at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:52 a.m., 30.01 at 5:52 a.m., 30.00 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.94 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 11:53 a.m. to 1:53 p.m., 12:19 p.m. to 2:19 p.m., and 6:06 a.m. to 8:06 a.m.

Patty and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir was about 3 ½ feet below its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 82 degrees. The water exhibited five feet of secchi-stick visibility.

We caught 39 largemouth bass and one white crappie.

We caught two largemouth bass on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead caught 14 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a baby- or light-blue 1/16-ounce or a baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead caught 20 largemouth bass.

We fished around two main-lake points and failed to elicit a strike.

Along about a 450-yard stretch of a shoreline inside one of this reservoir’s feeder-creek arms, we caught 23 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is lined with flooded terrestrial grasses, a few meager patches of American water willows, and several laydowns. Some of the shallow-water stretches are embellished with occasional patches of aquatic vegetation that consists of bushy pondweed, brittle naiad, cabomba, and coontail. These largemouth bass were caught on either our Finesse ShadZ or TRD TicklerZ rigs. Seven of the 23 were caught around rocks and boulders in five to eight feet of water. The other 16 were caught around the patches of bushy pondweed, brittle naiad, cabomba, and coontail. A few of the 23 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The rest of them were caught on three Midwest finesse presentations: the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, the drag-and-shake retrieve, and the drag-and-deadstick retrieve. Some of them were caught while we were strolling and employing those three presentations.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of this feeder-creek arm, we caught five largemouth bass. This flat is clothed with scattered patches of bushy pondweed, brittle naiad, cabomba, coontail, and a large patch of lily pads. Its water’s edge is lined with flooded terrestrial grasses. One largemouth bass was caught on the Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to baby- or light-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swimming presentation in about six feet of water around a patch of submerged aquatic vegetation. Four largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig on either its initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is lined with flooded terrestrial grasses and a few minor laydowns. Some of its shallow-water stretches are graced with a few patches of bushy pondweed, brittle naiad, cabomba, and coontail. All seven of the largemouth bass were caught on our TRD TicklerZ rigs. Three were caught around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water. The other four were caught on either a drag-and-shake or a drag-and-deadstick presentation in six to eight feet of water.

Largemouth bass numbers 36, 37, 38, and 39, we caught along a shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is lined with flooded terrestrial grasses, a few meager patches of American water willows, and some laydowns. Some of its shallow-water stretches are adorned with patches of bushy pondweed, brittle naiad, cabomba, and coontail, and all four of the largemouth bass were caught around one of these stretches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water. And the Finesse WormZ rig caught two largemouth bass on its initial drop around the outside edges of the submerged aquatic vegetation in about four feet of water.

During the last 10 minutes of this outing, we failed to catch a largemouth bass along a very short stretch of another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm.

In sum, we caught an average of 15 largemouth bass an hour.

Aug. 20

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 20.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I conducted a morning excursion from 7:30 a.m. to noon at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be average. The solunar calendar also indicated that the best fishing would occur from 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., 6:13 a.m. to 8:13 a.m., and 12:27 p.m. to 2:27 p.m.

It has been scorching hot in north-central Texas for weeks on end with many days having daytime high temperatures that soared up to 108 degrees. High humidity levels matched with the blistering high temperatures have made the heat index rise to as much as 124 degrees. Fortunately, a cool front moved through this section of Texas during the early-morning hours of August 17, and it brought a much-needed reprieve from the high humidity and sweltering heat.

According to The Weather Underground, the morning low temperature was 67 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 92 degrees on Aug. 20. The barometric pressure measured 29.92 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.91 at noon. The mild-mannered wind quartered out of the southeast at 5 to 8 mph.

The water level was about a foot below normal. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 86 degrees.

Norman and I dissected two main-lake points, two main-lake flats, a 75-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, two riprap-laden bridge embankments, 17 concrete bridge support columns underneath two bridges, two portions of riprap that covers the dam, and two floating tractor-tire reefs. All of these spots are situated in the lower end of the reservoir.

The main-lake shoreline, the two main-lake flats, and the two main-lake points are relatively flat. Their underwater terrains consist of red clay, pea-gravel, rocks, and boulders. One of the main-lake points is endowed with an old and decrepit asphalt roadbed.

We began this outing fishing along the 75-yard section of the flat main-lake shoreline. We caught eight largemouth bass and five spotted bass around some large submerged boulders in three to five feet of water. Nine of these 13 black bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. The other four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

We then dissected the first main-lake point that lies on the west end of the shoreline that we were fishing, and this point yielded three white bass and one bluegill that were caught with a steady swimming retrieve on either the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo or a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ attached to an unpainted generic 3/32-ounce ball-head jig.

From that main-lake shoreline and point, we moved about 1 1/2 miles to the west, where we plied a second main-lake point that is endowed with a submerged roadbed and an adjacent main-lake flat adorned with a large patch of flooded stickups.

As we were fishing around the submerged roadbed on the main-lake point, a man who was apparently camping nearby, walked down to the point close to where we were fishing and began to wade into knee-deep water and began to splash water on himself. We had failed to garner any strikes along this point before he arrived, so we decided to leave this point to the man, and we moved over to the adjoining main-lake flat and dissected a large patch of flooded stickups instead. And we failed to garner any strikes from this flat, too.

Next, we meandered over to two nearby bridges that cross the reservoir’s southwest tributary arm. One of them is an interstate-highway bridge; the other is a railroad-trestle bridge. We targeted a few of the concrete support columns under these two bridges, and two of the four riprap embankments on both ends of the bridges.

Seventeen of the concrete support columns that we focused on surrendered one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. These support columns are encircled by water as deep as 42 feet and as shallow as 12 feet. Both of these black bass were caught close to the sides of two of the columns on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Z-Man’s blue-steel Finesse ShadZ. Both of them were suspended five to eight feet below the surface; one column was in 12 feet of water and the other column was in 29 feet of water. Both of the largemouth bass were associated with the exterior columns. We did not elicit any strikes from any of the interior ones that were in the shade of the bridge.

We caught two largemouth bass from the riprap on the east side of the south bridge embankment in four to six feet of water. One was caught on the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig and the other one was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Pro-V Finesse Jig. Both of these rigs were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In three to seven feet of water near the riprap on the west side of the north bridge embankment, we caught two spotted bass and one largemouth bass. One largemouth and one spotted bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ, and the other spotted bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ.

We did not fish the other two sides of these embankments because they were already occupied by other boat anglers.

We then ventured a couple of miles to the east and fished two sections of the dam. This riprap-laden dam is six-miles long. We fished about a 100-yard stretch near the middle of the dam, and another 50-yard segment on its west end.

The middle portion of the dam yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught in five feet of water and in close proximity to a large aggregation of threadfin shad. It engulfed the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ as it was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The west end of the dam yielded two spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and a feisty channel catfish. They were caught in less than five feet of water near some small pods of threadfin shad that were inhabiting some shallow-water areas of the riprap on the dam. The black bass fancied a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ. The catfish was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig.

From the dam, we dissected the edges of a ditch that cuts across a large main-lake flat. This ditch is located a short distance from the dam and is covered with six to 14 feet of water. Its edges are festooned with patches of flooded stickups. In past years, this area used to be one of the more productive areas on this impoundment, but this time, it surrendered only one freshwater drum that struck the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig as Norman was swimming it along the outside edge of a patch of flooded stickups in three feet of water.

We finished this outing picking apart two floating tractor-tire reefs at the mouth of a large marina. These two reefs float in water as deep as 37 feet and as shallow as 19 feet. They yielded seven largemouth bass and two white bass. These fish were suspended about five feet below the surface and within a foot or two of the floating tires. Six largemouth bass and one white bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ. One largemouth bass and one white bass favored a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ.

All totaled, we were delighted to tangle with 23 largemouth bass, eight spotted bass, six white bass, two freshwater drum, one channel catfish, and one bluegill in 4 1/2-hours. And this is the most black bass we have caught at this reservoir in quite some time.

The Z-Man’s blue-steel Finesse ShadZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation allured a mix of 16 largemouth and spotted bass. The 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead and a steady swimming retrieve enticed a combination of 11 largemouth bass and spotted bass. A swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Pro-V Finesse jig dressed with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ caught four largemouth bass.

Aug. 22

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

After returning home last evening, I readied my tackle for today, which consisted of the bare necessities.

I asked my favorite fishing partner (my wife) if she wanted to join me, and she replied that she would rather float on Sunday than partake in today’s endeavor. I couldn’t blame her. When this stretch of river is traversed on foot, a friend of mine refers to it as the Bataan Death March that only a former Marine would be dumb enough to challenge. I always remembered his sentiments from the first time I partook in this endeavor 14 years ago, and I could never refute it.

I asked my wife to drop me off at a local bridge and she obliged. At 7:13 a.m., I stepped out of her vehicle and into the water with two rods, my most comfortable and nimble wading shoes, a Simms sling pack filled with a water bladder, some food, Pro-Cure Super Gel, Z-Man’s offerings of both the lead and plastic variety, and a few first aid supplies.

I only undertake this stretch on foot once per year. I could have picked a better day as once you are doing this stretch on foot there is no reprieve from inclement weather. The weather forecast was calling for intermittent thunderstorms during the afternoon hours. But to my delight, they never materialized.

The river had been dropping and clearing at a fast rate since my last outing on Aug. 18. It was flowing at 144 cubic feet per second. The water temperature was 78 degrees. As the day progressed, I could see the bottom easily from the high banks of a logging trail as I peered into eight to10 feet of water.

As I stepped into the water this morning, I experienced a refreshing air temperature of 67 degrees, but it eventually became humid and 87 degrees. And by late morning, it was sunny.

As a river smallmouth angler, this stretch offers a bit of everything in regards to topography. It has miles of riffle-and-pool runs with depths of one to three feet of water. And where one has to walk along the edges of the shorelines, there are steep-cliff banks with eight to 10 feet water,. The bottom predominantly consists of boulders in every size imaginable, and some of those boulders have large logs intertwined within them.

I lipped fish in every spot that I stopped to dissect today. Those spots were picked as I traveled through at least 2 1/2 miles or more of river water that I never made a cast in. I simply kept moving at a quick pace in a northerly direction, and along some stretches, I utilized an old logging trail to make better time.

I lipped 31 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught 15 green sunfish and eight rock bass on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

I lipped 20 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught 12 green sunfish, nine bluegill, and five rock bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s dirt ZinkerZ with a 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig inserted inside the tip of the anterior section of the ZinkerZ.

Those are the two baits that I had rigged at the start of my day. As I sat on a mid-river rock halfway through my outing to fully hydrate and to enjoy a quick bite to eat. I rigged two different baits on the same jigs.

On the last half of today’s trek, I caught 27 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught seven green sunfish and three rock bass on a Z-Man’s mudbug TRD HogZ with the 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig inserted inside the tip of the TRD HogZ’s anterior section. I also lipped six smallmouth bass, nine green sunfish, and five bluegill on a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead affixed to a shortened a Z-Man’s pumpkin Finesse WormZ with a modified tail jig.

A great deal of today’s participants hit my offerings on the initial drop. Some before and some after an initial muted shake.

The others were caught on a retrieve that I have used for years. I have labeled it to friends as a kicked-out-of-the-rocks crawdad retrieve. It encompasses an offering in the lower foot of the water column--usually inches off bottom. It travels with six to 10 bursts and undulations and then settles very briefly on or near the bottom.

Nine of the 84 smallmouth bass were 18 inches or longer.

During the winter, all of my soft-plastic baits are presoaked to remove salt, dried, and repackaged with my customized Pro-Cure Super Gel. On every outing, I liberally coat my rigs with the Super Gel after every 10 to 15 casts.

The barbs on the hooks are removed.

Upon being within eyesight of the last bend in the river I messaged my wife of my locale.

By the time, I had fully rounded the last bend and looked to the base of a large flat I saw that my wife was waiting for me on the UTV on which we would travel through the woods to our home.

I traveled 8 1/2 river miles on foot and fished seven hours.

Midway to where my wife waited for me, I paused and looked upriver. And I said, “Thank you. Until next year.”

Aug. 23

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 23 outing with Randi Lee Myers, his wife.

Here is an edited version of his log.

As I touched on in my Aug. 22 report, my wife opted out of joining me on that exhausting trek, and I am still recovering physically from that endeavor. Instead, she wanted to join me on a leisurely float today.

After returning home yesterday, I readied the Jackson Big Tuna on the trailer. We were on the water this morning at 9:27.

The water temperature was 79 degrees. The river was flowing at 128 cubic feet per second. The water exhibited 10 or more feet of visibility.

When we launched our kayaks, the air temperature was 79 degrees, and it climbed to a sweltering 89 degrees while we were afloat. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

We elected to essentially start where I ended my Aug. 18 outing.

We fished a steep bank that has numerous tree limbs that hang out over the river and nearly touch the water’s surface. And the bottom consists solely of large logs.

And until 1:31 p.m., we made casts after casts under and around overhanging branches and back into shaded areas in four to five feet of water. It was similar to threading a needle.

I commented to my wife as we rode home that I did not think that we went more than five casts without unhooking something, and we enjoyed a lot of doubles.

All of the willing participants hit on the initial drop. Some engulfed our rigs before and some struck just after a shake on the drop.

I had four rods rigged. I only had reason to pick up one.

My wife caught 22 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught 37 green sunfish, nine bluegill, six rock bass and two largemouth bass. All of them were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ on a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

I caught 18 smallmouth bass and inadvertently caught 41 green sunfish, six bluegill, five rock bass and one largemouth bass. All of them were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ on a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

As a side note, my wife and I witnessed the biggest largemouth bass we have ever witnessed on the river we live on. It was abiding under a canopy of tree branches. It saw us as well, and it was a fun five minutes of watching it.

Aug. 25

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 25.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Rick Allen of Dallas and I fished from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at a state hill-land reservoir in an ex-urban area of north-central Texas.

This reservoir’s shorelines are cluttered with large rocks and boulders, and some of them are graced with flooded buck brush, stickups, overhanging trees, and laydowns. The submerged terrain consists primarily of red clay, gravel, rocks and boulders. There are also bourgeoning patches of hydrilla, American pondweed, and American water willows in the middle section and south end of the reservoir.

The water exhibited about three feet of visibility, which is the clearest we have seen it this year. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 85 degrees. The water level was 1.78 feet below its normal pool.

The morning’s low air temperature was 67 degrees at 6:00 a.m., and the afternoon high temperature reached 97 degrees by 5:00 p.m. The wind was light and variable. The sky was partly cloudy, and it was sunny. The barometric pressure remained relatively steady at 30.00 while we were afloat.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the fishing would most likely be poor, but the best fishing would take place from 4:49 a.m. to 6:49 a.m., 5:16 p.m. to 7:16 p.m., and 11:02 p.m. to 1:02 a.m.

Our spinning outfits sported the following Midwest Finesse rigs: a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man’s blue-steel Finesse ShadZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man’s white-lightning ZinkerZ attached to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s watermelon ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man’s Drew’s-craw TRD TubeZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, and a three-inch Z-Man’s bad-shad Slim SwimZ matched to a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Rick also wielded a Z-Man’s Jerk Shad, in the smelt hue, that was rigged Tex-posed on a slightly-weighted generic extra-wide-gap 2/0 hook for a few casts.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-Fishing-August-2020-1.jpg

Here is how this four-hour excursion unfolded:

We caught seven largemouth bass and six spotted bass from the perimeter of a main-lake island. This island is located in the southeast section of the reservoir. Its shorelines are flat and somewhat rocky. And it is embellished with some patches of flooded buck brush abiding in less than five feet of water. Besides the buck brush, rocks, and boulders, there are several large patches of American pondweed in five to eight feet of water and a stand of timber on the south side of the island. The northeast end of the island had small schools of two-inch threadfin shad meandering around the shallow-water areas near the flooded buck brush and submerged boulders, and that was where we caught the 13 largemouth and spotted bass in three to five feet of water.

Eleven of them were caught on either the initial drop or a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. The other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig.

Around two riprap jetties, we caught one largemouth bass in 12 feet of water as it was chasing small shad on the surface of the water. These two jetties are situated in the northeast portion of the impoundment. This largemouth bass was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 2 1/2-inch watermelon ZinkerZ rig.

Along one main-lake shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This shoreline is located in the middle and on the east side of the reservoir. It has a steep incline of 50- to 75-degree gradients. Its underwater terrain possesses an abundance of submerged boulders and large rocks. Both of these black bass were caught in five to eight feet of water near submerged boulders. The largemouth bass was caught on the three-inch bad-shad Slim SwimZ combo and a swim-and-pause presentation. The spotted bass was caught on the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

A 50-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline was our most fruitful spot. It yielded 20 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, two spotted-bass hybrids, and one smallmouth bass. These 26 black bass were caught near submerged boulders in five to 11 feet of water as they were chasing and feeding on two-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water. Twelve of them were caught on either the initial drop or a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo. Seven were allured by the white-lightning ZinkerZ rig on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Five engulfed the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ as it was manipulated with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One was tempted into striking the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s watermelon ZinkerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. And one largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the smelt-hue Jerk Shad rig.

We also searched for threadfin shad and black bass along the riprap that covers the dam on the east side of the impoundment, but we failed to find any shad or black bass there.

In conclusion, Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished this same reservoir on Aug. 7 for four hours, and we had a difficult time locating and catching 11 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one spotted-bass hybrid, five white bass, and three freshwater drum. We did not see any black bass or white bass foraging on the surface during that outing.

But during this four-hour endeavor, the black bass were much easier to locate and catch. We caught all of these 42 black bass (which consisted of 23 largemouth bass, 16 spotted bass, two spotted-bass hybrids, and one smallmouth bass) while they were pursuing large schools of two-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water.

Our two most effective lures and presentations were the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig that was employed with a steady swimming retrieve, and the Z-Man’s blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig that was utilized with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Aug 21

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log of the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 21 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Aug. 21 was another day of above-average warmth. It was more typical of mid-July than mid-August. As I arrived at the boat launch around 9:45 a.m., the air temperature was 74, and at the ending of the outing, it was 86 degrees. The dew points were moderate, running in the lower half of the 60s. It was mostly sunny. The wind angled from the southwest at from 10 to 18 mph. The water was heavily stained by a blue-green-algae bloom, limiting the visibility to 2.2 to 2.5 feet. The surface temperature averaged 78 degrees. The flows through the system averaged around 3000 cubic feet per second into the Big Lake at Oshkosh.

Since I had sampled this area on Aug. 10, I had a basic plan of attack for the day.

The habitat on the system is in better condition in 2020 than it has been for the past three years or so. We are regaining some semblance of submerged aquatic vegetation in key areas. We also have the forage fish showing up in bait balls, bottom stripes and so forth on our electronic devices, which we have not been able to observe during the past few years. When this system is on with its habitat and forage base, the black bass and other predators generally take note, and they sometimes become quite predictable. Given that, all they had to do for me was to cooperate just a bit.

At the onset, I felt no urge to hurry. So, I dropped the trolling motor for a stroll from the ramp to a 100-yard stretch of riprap adjacent to a flat that borders the river channel. I debated about my lure selection. On the Aug. 10 outing, it was all about the Z-Man’s yoga-pants Finesse TRD on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a very slow and subtle drag and pause retrieve, which was a very tedious presentation.

The first cast was launched at 10:00 a.m. with a Z-Man’s black-blue TRD CrawZ affixed to a paint-free 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and it did not connect with a fish. However, the second cast produced a 15-inch smallmouth bass that took the lure on the drop, and it seriously attempted to stay airborne. The third cast took a few seconds of hopping along the base of the riprap where an 18 ½-inch largemouth bass inhaled it. And casts four and five also generated shorter, yet nice, largemouth bass. I missed another couple strikes and had something shake off that felt like another bass.

From that 100-yard stretch of riprap, I upped the speed on the trolling motor to move another 50 yards to a small wing dam. At this location, another smallmouth bass and a legal-size largemouth bass welcomed me and the TRD CrawZ tig that was deployed with a drag-pause-and-shake retrieve. And so it went for the next three hours.

I fished a total of 14 locations, and 11 producing at least one fish. All these sites featured at least moderate current and some form of rock or wood that created a current break or focus area. The depths ranged from three to seven feet. All of these locations had some submerged vegetation within close proximity, but I did not attempt to drag the lure through any dense vegetation. The drag and hop and the drag and shake were the most effective retrieves. The TRD CrawZ rig was the most productive. I tested Z-Man’s yoga-pants Finesse TRD, Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ, and Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ, but found they held no advantage.

All of the fishing was done with a seven-foot, medium-power, fast-action spinning rod and a 2500-size spinning reel that was spooled with six-pound-test was copolymer line.

In sum, this adventure produced 19 smallmouth bass, nine largemouth bass, and one freshwater drum during the heat of the day. This hourly catch rate of nine black bass puts this day in the above-average category for my level of fishing on this system.

Virtually all forms of recreational water traffic were coursing across and around this waterway, making it a very hectic day to be fishing. But the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass appeared indifferent to that chaos. Instead, they were well focused on their task of feeding on baitfish, which is a typical phenomenon on this waterway from mid-August into the fall.

Aug. 27

Ned and Pat Kehde posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 27 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 91 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:52 a.m., 29.90 at 5:52 a.m., 29.91 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.89 at 12:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 6:26 a.m. to 8:26 a.m., 6:54 p.m. to 8:54 p.m., and 12:12 a.m. to 2:12 a.m.

Patty Kehde and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from 10:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 83 degrees. The water exhibited three to four feet of secchi-stick visibility.

This was another Geriatric Fishing Network and Conjugal Fishing Network outing in which Patty and I were hoping to catch at least 25 largemouth bass in two hours. But it took us two hours and 10 minutes to achieve that goal. Back in our prime, there were outings where we had the wherewithal to catch 25 largemouth bass in an hour, and there some rare spells when we could catch 101 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours. But to catch 25 an hour has become an impossible task during the summer of 2020. What’s more, our 79- and 80-year-old constitutions don’t have what it takes to conjugally fish for four hours.

Here is how and where Patty and I caught the 25 largemouth bass in 130 minutes.

We caught four largemouth bass along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. It has a 25-degree slope. The water’s edge is embellished with occasional patches of American pondweeds and American water willows. Patches of submerged bushy pondweed and coontail grace portions of the shallow-water areas, and portions of this shoreline become a shallow-water flat.

One of the four largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead in about three feet of water adjacent to a patch of American water willows. Three largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Man’s Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. One of those three was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. The other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around patches of submerged vegetation in about five feet of water and about 30 feet from the water’s edge.

Around a main-lake point, we caught four largemouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope. It has one meager patch of American pondweeds, but its offshore terrain is adorned with several submerged patches of bushy pondweed and coontail.

One of the four largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man’s PB&J Hula StickZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation.

The other three largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Man’s Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to six feet of water around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. These four largemouth bass were caught from 30 to 40 feet from the water’s edge.

Along about a 450-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught 13 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 55-degree slope. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American pondweeds, American water willows, laydowns, and occasional manmade brush piles. Uncountable patches of submerged bushy pondweed and coontail grace portions of the flat and shallow-water areas of this shoreline.

Portions of this shoreline become a shallow-water flat, and twelve of the 13 largemouth bass were caught along the flat and shallow-water areas of this shoreline.

Two of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. One was caught in four feet of water, and the other one was caught in seven feet of water.

Two of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. One was caught on the initial drop, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

Three of the 13 were caught on the slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. One of them was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water around patches of submerged vegetation, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around a patch of American pondweed.

Six of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on the slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Three of these largemouth were caught on the initial drop in four to five feet of water. One of them was caught around a manmade brush pile that is intertwined with coontail in about five feet of water, and the other two largemouth bass were caught around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation in about five feet of water. Three of these six largemouth bass were caught with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation around patches of emergent and submerged vegetation in three to five feet of water.

These 13 largemouth bass were caught from 15 to 45 feet from the water’s edge.

One largemouth bass was caught around a point of a riprap jetty. It was caught on the initial drop on the slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead in about four feet of water and five feet from the water’s edge.

Along about a 40-yard stretch of the dam, we caught one largemouth bass.

The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 50-degree slope. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead in about three feet of water and five feet from the water’s edge.

Across a shallow-water flat at one end of the dam, we caught one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American pondweed and American water willows. The underwater terrain is clothed with patches of bushy pondweeds and coontail. This largemouth bass was caught on the slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation adjacent to the patches of American pondweed and American water willows in four feet of water and about six feet from the water’s edge.

Across a shallow-water flat at the other end of the dam, we caught one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It has a 25- to 35-degree slope. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American pondweed. The underwater terrain is partially covered with a few patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. This largemouth bass was caught on the slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the outside edge of a patch of bushy pondweed in about six feet of water and 25 feet from the water’s edge.

In closing, we were the only boat afloat, which was a rare phenomenon in 2020. But two of the shorelines entertained a number of anglers who were afoot.

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