Decembers of the Past

Decembers of the Past

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, holds a largemouth bass that was caught on a Z-Man Fishing Products' green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ and chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig at a power-plant reservoir in Decemeber.

Since 2011, we have published 38,044 words about how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers catch black bass in December at various kinds of waterways in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia by employing Midwest finesse tactics.

In February and March of 2015, some members of the Finesse News Network were wondering if there have been any noticeable and noteworthy changes in the fishing that we write about in our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing. One of these anglers thought we should compile a history of each month. But in our minds not enough time has gone by to write a significant history. So, instead of writing a history, we thought it would be best to assemble a short bibliography of our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing. This will allow anglers to have quick access to our monthly guides about finesse fishing, as well as to our original guide that is entitled  "A Month-by-Mouth Guide to Midwest Finesse for Bass." By reading and assessing each of these four guides anglers can see the similarities and some of the changes that have transpired.

Here is a short observation about a December outing two Midwest finesse anglers experienced in northeastern Kansas:

We occasionally note in some of our logs that it is virtually impossible to win a bass tournament by wielding Midwest finesse tactics. We have also noted that it is extremely difficult for Midwest finesse anglers to create a television show that will catch the eyes of editors and viewers who are conditioned to seeing only big bass lifted across the gunnels on bass boats.

But on Dec. 9, 2010, I helped Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Missouri, create a feature about Midwest finesse fishing for "The Bass Pros" television show.

King is a veteran and hall-of-fame angler, who has competed on the Bassmaster, FLW, and scores of other circuits for decades. And since we created the feature for "The Bass Pros" television show, he has become a Midwest finesse aficionado.

On this December day, King and I were afloat at a suburban community reservoir in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The surface temperature ranged from 38 to 40 degrees, and several acres of ice covered the back end of the reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm.

To King's and the cameraman's delight, they captured enough largemouth-bass-catching footage for the feature in 3 1/2 hours , and during that spell we caught 38 largemouth bass, including three lunkers. According to King, it often takes two days of fishing to garner enough footage for a TV show. But for some miraculous reason, we accomplished this feat in record time on a December day in northeastern Kansas by employing Midwest finesse tactics. And it is unlikely that it will ever occur again — especially at this community reservoir, which has been waylaid by the largemouth bass virus and heavy predation by anglers.

Two days after King and I were afloat, winter arrived with a vengeance in northeastern Kansas, and Midwest finesse anglers didn't get afloat on our cold-water reservoirs again until February 22, 2011. So, during that 72-day spell of tolerating Old Man Winter's dastardly ways, we were relegated to fishing one of our two power-plant reservoirs. (For more information about Stacey King's December outing in 2010 in northeastern Kansas, read the section about Midwest finesse fishing in December in "A Month-by-Mouth Guide to Midwest Finesse for Bass." The link to that article can found in the bibliography below.)

In essence, it can be difficult for Midwest finesse anglers to get afloat in northeastern Kansas in December. For example, we were afloat four times at our cold-water reservoirs and once at a power-plant reservoir in 2007. In 2008, we were afloat five times at our cold-water reservoirs. In 2009, we were afloat twice at our cold-water reservoirs and twice at one of our two power-plant reservoirs. In 2010, we were afloat six times at our cold-water reservoirs and once at a power-plant reservoir. In 2011, we were afloat eight times at our cold-water reservoirs and three times at a power-plant reservoir. In 2012, I was recovering from a broken wrist and hand, and we were afloat only once at a cold-water reservoir and once at a power-plant reservoir. In 2013, we were afloat at our cold-water reservoirs once, and twice at a power-plant reservoir. In 2014, we were afloat four times on our cold-water reservoirs and once at a power-plant reservoir.


(1) Link to the Dec. 2012 guide:

(2) Link to the Dec. 2013 guide:

(3) Link to the Dec. 2014 guide:

(4) Link to the month-by-month guide to Midwest finesse fishing:

Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, with a largemouth bass that was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ and chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig at a heavily fished community reservoir on a cold December day.

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