Finesse News Network

This smallmouth bass has a watermellon-red-flake 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ on a red 1/16-ounce red Gopher Mushroom Jig Head in its lip.


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.


It should be noted that the Strike King Zero and Z-Man ZinkerZ are 5-inches long, and we cut them in half, making them 2-1/2-inches long.  Since October 12, 2006, the Zero or ZinkerZ has been our most fruitful bait.

In a future blogs, we will discuss colors and presentation tactics.

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