January is typically the most problematic month of the year for Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas, and to some extent it is that way at scores of waterways across the nation.
Despite the difficult black bass fishing that we endure in January, we have been able to publish 50,339 words since 2012 about how Midwest finesse anglers deal with the weather and their quarries in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.
During Januaries of the pasts in northeastern Kansas, I was afloat three times in 2005, 13 times in 2006, eight times in 2007, once in 2008, once in 2009, zero times in 2010, three times in 2011, four times in 2012, three times in 2013, once in 2014, five times in 2015, and four times in 2016.
Our most fruitful outings for largemouth bass in northeastern Kansas occurred on Jan. 9, 2007, when we caught 45 largemouth bass at a community reservoir where the surface temperature was 40 degrees. We also caught 45 largemouth bass on Jan. 7, 2013, at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs, where the surface temperature ranged from 45 to 54 degrees, and these largemouth bass were caught in the warm-water plume. Our most fruitful outing for smallmouth bass in northeastern Kansas occurred on Jan. 25, 2006, at a power-plant reservoir, where the surface temperature was 44 degrees, and we caught 25 smallmouth bass in the cold-water portions of this reservoir rather than in the plume of the warm water that jettisons out of the power plant.
Since 2005, we have been kayoed once. That outing occurred on Jan. 24, 2005, at a northeastern Kansas power-plant reservoir. We blamed our failure to catch either a largemouth bass or a smallmouth bass upon the fact that the power plant had stopped generating electricity, and the water temperature had dropped precipitously in the warm-water plume from about 70 degrees to 40 degrees.
In January of 2016, Charlie Croom of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, reported that they caught more black bass than they have ever caught in January.
To read about how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fish in January, here are the links to five Midwest Finesse columns:
Photographs from Januaries of the past: