January 04, 2020
By Ned Kehde
Since 2012, we have published 87,871 words about Midwest finesse fishing in January. And many of these words reveal how formidable and strifeful of a task it is to locate and eventually inveigle a largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, or spotted bass in the Midwest and many other locales across the nation.
There are many days in northeastern Kansas when Mother Nature’s wintery ways prevent us from getting afloat. For instance, I was able to get afloat only 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, four times in 2016, four times in 2017, once in 2018, and three times in 2019. In total, during the 465 days that have occurred from Jan. 1, 2005, to Jan. 31, 2019, I have been able to fish only 54 times.
In addition to the ice and snow that afflicts a goodly number of Midwest finesse anglers, the ones who reside in north-central Texas are afflicted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s unwise policy of stocking Florida-strain largemouth bass in scores of community, state, and federal reservoirs. Even with the most adroit usages of Midwest finesse presentations, it is virtually impossible to inveigle a respectable number of these largemouth bass in January. In fact, it is trying to catch them from mid-December to mid-March.
Another factor that is adversely affecting Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas is the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass populations in the two power-plant reservoirs have become depressingly paltry. We used to enjoy many winter outings at these reservoirs. When we fished them, we would often catch more than 12 black bass an hour, but now it is not worth our time and efforts to venture to these waterways in January or any time of the year.
Despite these many piscatorial woes, the following anglers have penned many insights about how they employ Midwest finesse methods in January: Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas; Don Baldridge of Springfield, Missouri; Burton Bosley of Sutton, West Virginia; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Casey Kidder of Topeka, Kansas; Charlie Croom of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; David Harrison of Lawrence, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Ralph Manns of Rockwall, Texas; Mike McPherson of Siler City, North Carolina; Preston Parks of Pittsboro, North Carolina; Duc Pham of Shawnee, Kansas; Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina; Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Chris Rohr of Overland Park, Kansas; Joel Schroeder of Overland Park, Kansas; Aaron Shafer of Memphis, Tennessee; Walt Tegtmeier of Lenexa, Kansas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; Sam and Jean Ting of Carrollton, Texas, and Dave Weroha of Kansas City, Kansas.
To read about how, when, and where these Midwest finesse anglers fished in January, please see their words at the following links:
Here are a few photographs from past Januaries.