February 01, 2019
By Ned Kehde
Since 2011, we have published 79,209 words that describe how, when, and where anglers who employ Midwest finesse tactics catch or do not catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass at waterways in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. The preponderance of these words revolves around the endeavors of anglers in northeastern Kansas and north-central Texas. But in February of 2018, not a word emanated from northeastern Kansas. Instead Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, Rick Allen of Dallas, and Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, penned all of them.
When ice covered most of the reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, our outings used to be spent at two power-plant reservoirs. But the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing at those two power-plant reservoirs have gone awry in recent years. Thus, we rarely make the 75-mile drive to those waterways nowadays. The other February outings took place at some of the community and state reservoirs and one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs that grace the countryside within a 40-mile radius of Lawrence, Kansas.
Some of the outings were solo endeavors, and at other times I was joined by another angler. During these 79 outings, we were afloat between 2 1/4 and five hours. On those outings, we caught 1,579 largemouth bass and 97 smallmouth bass, which is an average of 19 black bass an outing and less than five black bass an hour. The most fruitful outing occurred on Feb, 9, 2012, when Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I caught 118 largemouth bass and nine crappie in four hours at one of the many community reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, and we caught 102 of those 118 largemouth bass in about three hours. I suffered through my worst outing at that same reservoir on Feb. 26, 2007, when I battled too much ice and a 37-degree surface temperature and failed to elicit a strike in two hours of fishing, and in an attempt to placate my fishing fever on that date, I spent another two hours at a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir, where I failed to garner a strike.
To read about how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers battle Old Man Winter and catch some black bass in February, here are the links to eight guides that will reveal their methods:
(2) //www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/an-addendum-to-the-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesse-part-2/. This is the guide to February of 2012.
Photographs from Februaries of the Past: