November 30, 2018
By Ned Kehde
Since 2011, we have published 92,290 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.
Ice-covered reservoirs and wintry weather can make it difficult for Midwest finesse anglers to get afloat in northeastern Kansas in December. What's more, it can be a struggle for us to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. 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. In 2015, we fished on Dec. 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 18, and 23, and all of those outings were at our cold-water reservoirs. On those nine outings, we struggled to catch 158 largemouth bass and inadvertently tangled with 23 rainbow trout in 28 hours and 45 minutes of fishing. In 2016, we were able to fish five times at our cold-water reservoirs, where the surface temperature ranged from 49 to 50 degrees on Dec. 2 and 37 to 39 degrees on Dec. 30, and we caught 185 largemouth bass. In 2017, we fished at our cold-water reservoirs eight times, where the surface temperature was 48 degrees on Dec. 1 and 43 degrees on Dec. 20, and we caught 197 largemouth bass in 26 1/2 hours of fishing. Then during the winter of 2017-18, Old Man Winter kept us at bay after Dec. 20 until Feb. 26, 2018.
Because the largemouth bass fishing became so problematic at one of our power-plant reservoirs in northeastern Kansas after the winter of 2014-15, we did not make the 76-mile journey to it in 2015, 2016, and 2017. And in our eyes, our other power-plant reservoir is not an enjoyable place to fish in December. It is often crowded with anglers, and the wind can be intolerable. And if the wind blows too hard, the reservoir's managers tell us to go home.Therefore, we do not make the 75-mile drive to that reservoir in December. In fact, my 78-year-old bones, muscles, eyes, mind, heart, and soul are reluctant nowadays to make those 150-mile round trips to fish for four hours especially in the winter.
Of course, the weather and the fishing are different in other locales across the nation.The many words at the following links will reveal how Midwest finesse anglers in Kansas and elsewhere deal with fishing in December.
(1) Link to the December 2012 guide: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/an-addendum-to-the-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesse-december/
(2) Link to the December 2013 guide: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/decaaa/
(3) Link to the December 2014 guide: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-december-2014/
(4) Link to the December 2015 guide: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-december-2015/
(5) Link to the December 2016 guide: http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-december-2016/
(6) Link to our 2015 "Decembers of the Past": http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-december-2015/
(7) Link to our 2016 "Decembers of the Past": http://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/decembers-of-the-past-2/#ixzz4zMTtPA97
(8) Link to our 2017 "Decembers of the Pasts": http://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/decembers-of-the-pasts/154658
(9) Link to the month-by-month guide to Midwest finesse fishing: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/a-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesse-for-bass/
(10) We noted that the largemouth bass fishing can be trying in December, but this story about largemouth bass fishing in December, which we have written about several times, needs to be told again and again. So here it is again:
On Dec. 9, 2010, we 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 after we helped him create a feature for "The Bass Pros" television show, he became a Midwest finesse enthusiast. Since then, he has used them at some of the tournaments that he has fished, and Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, says King is the one who introduced him and other tournament anglers to the virtues of Midwest finesse fishing. King also uses them when he fishes with his grandkids, when he guides, and fishes recreationally.
On that December day in 2010, King and I were afloat at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs. 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. During that spell we caught 38 largemouth bass, including three that he described as 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.
Photographs from Decembers of the past: