Finesse News Network: an update on lures

Finesse News Network: an update on lures
This is a largemouth bass that we caught by cranking a 4-inch green-pumpkin YUM Muy Grup in four feet of water around patches of coontail and filamentous algae on Oct 22

In our August 28 blog about the Finesse News Network, we included a a list of lures that the finesse anglers around Kansas City use throughout the year.

Since then, we have discovered that YUM has gotten out of the business of making and selling bass lures for finesse anglers.

Therefore, we will use Gene Larew Lures' 3-inch Baby Hoodaddy in situations when we used to opt for YUM's  Wooly Beavertail, and we will trim about half of an inch off the head of the Hoodaddy.

Strike King Lure Company's 4-inch Finesse Worm and Z-Man Fishing Products' 4-inch Finesse WormZ will replace YUM's 4-inch Houdini Worm.

We haven't found a replacement for YUM's 4-inch Muy Grub, but we are looking at Northland Fishing Tackle's 4-inch Slurpies Swim'N Grub, Bass Pro Shops 4-inch XPS Single Tail Grub, Zoom Bait Company's  4-inch Salty Fat Albert,  Gene Larew Lures' 4-inch Chub Grub and Berkley's 4-inch Power Grub.

Berkley and Larew's grubs are too big, and they overwhelm our jigs; therefore we have to customize them by shortening their bodies by three-quarters of an inch, and sometimes that works.

Kalin's 4-inch Lunker Grub and Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits' 4-inch Single Tail Grub are alluring grubs, but because our aim is catch 101 bass in four hours, we have found that they are too fragile for us to use. We are looking for a grub that can endure the abuse  that 15 or more feisty bass normally administer to a grub. The YUM 4-inch Muy Grub could at times withstand 25 donnybrooks with largemouth  bass.

Until we find a replacement for Muy Grub, we will also use Larew's 3 1/2-inch Long John Minnow in grub situations more than we have in the past. The Long John Minnow has a paddle tail rather than a twister tail.  Thus, it isn't a traditional grub, and it will take us a while to see if it is an adequate substitute.

We might also test some grubs made for the saltwater trade. They are durable, but their colors rarely appeal to the eyes of the freshwater bass anglers around Kansas City.

At the flatland reservoirs that  lie immediately west of Kansas City, the best grub fishing is normally a late summer and fall phenomenon.  Thus, we are in the midst of it.  We affix our grubs  to either a 1/16-ounce or 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle Manufacturing Companies Mushroom Jig Heads.  We use them the way power anglers use lipless crankbaits by executing long casts and retrieves across, around and along shallow flats, humps, points and shorelines.

Readers who have ideas about an adequate replacement for the YUM 4-inch Muy Grub, please post them at the end of this blog

     Here's one of 42  largemouth bass that we caught by working a grub in two to five feet of water on a flat that was graced with patches of coontail and filamentous algae at small reservoir west of  Kansas City on October 22. Photo by Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas.

Below is the original blog:

For the past several years a group of anglers participated on an e-mail circuit that is call the Finesse News Network. Geographically this network stretches from Phoenix, Arizona, to Siler City, North Carolina, and from El Paso, Texas, to the Lake of the Woods. Some say the heart of this group lies on the waterways that surround Kansas City, where the late Chuck Woods created the foundations for finesse fishing for largemouth bass in the 1950s and 1960s.

When curious anglers, such as Wayne Steele of  Brentwood, Tennessee,  get wind of our devotion to finesse fishing, we are frequently asked to provide a list of the lures that we use day-in and day-out during the entire calendar year. Thus we though that some readers that peruse this blog would be interested in  seeing a list that the finesse anglers around Kansas City have been employing during the past several years.

Gene Larew Lures' 3-inch Baby Hoodaddy and 3 1/2-inch Long John Minnow; Strike King Lure Company's Bitsy Tube, 4-inch Finesse Worm and  2 1/2-inch Zero; YUM's 4-inch Houdini Worm, 4-inch Muy Grub and 2- and 3-inch Wooly Beavertail; and Z-Man Fishing Products' 4-inch Finesse ShadZ, 4-inch Finesse WormZ, 3-inch Rain MinnowZ, and  2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ.  About 97 percent of the time we use these soft-plastic lures affixed to a 1/32-ounce, 1/16-ounce or 3/32-ounce Gopher Mushroom Jig Head.  At other times we also use either a 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce homemade silver marabou jig with a chrome head and silver-tinseled belly, and there are spells when we opt for a black one, brown one and olive one. In December of 2010 at ther behest of Stacey King of Reeds Springs, Missouri, we began working again with one our old-time favorites: an 1/8-ounce hair jig dressed with a Uncle Josh 101 Spinning Frog.

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