Marches of the Past

Marches of the Past

Old Man Winter has had Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, sequestered since Dec. 27, and on Feb. 17, he noted in an email that "March is near," hinting that he is eager to launch his kayak and dissect the deep-water lairs where the smallmouth bass abide during the winter.

Myers is a regular contributor to the Finesse News Network. He posted his first report on April 10, 2015, and since then, he filed scores of reports about wielding Midwest finesse tactics for smallmouth bass in the rivers and streams that flow through the Appalachian Mountains in his neck of the woods. Likewise, FNN members are eager to read Myers' reports about how, when, and where he fished during March of 2016.

Since Jan. 11, 2012, we have published 76,108 words about how, where, and when Midwest finesse anglers fished in March. These words emanate from anglers in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

Our first March guide was published in two parts. The second part was published on June 12, 2012, and in the introduction of that guide, we wrote: "The reason we began posting these chronicles is that we received several petitions from anglers from various locales across the nation imploring us to post our logs or chronicles or reports as archival reference points for other anglers to follow in the future. According to the rationalizations of these petitioners, these chronicles will allow veteran finesse anglers to stay on the appropriate path year after year, and in addition, they will help newcomers to the finesse world to more quickly negotiate the different twists and turns that Midwest finesse anglers make throughout a year. If these petitioners are correct about the historical importance of these records, it is essential at this point to note that this spring's unseasonably warm air, ground, and water temperatures created some oddities that might never appear again. Therefore, when anglers examine and attempt to follow these accounts in the future, they might be wise to pay heed to the reservoirs' surface temperatures rather than the calendar dates. For instance, the average surface temperature at the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas that we fished during the last 12 days of March in 2008 through 2011 was 48.6 degrees. In 2012, the average surface temperature for the last 12 days of March was 61.3 degrees." In essence, March of 2012 was nirvana. I was afloat 14 times, and my partners and I tangled with 630 largemouth bass. And 117 of them were caught on Mar. 30, 2012, when John Reese of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished a heavily fished exurban community reservoir.

The weather and fishing was dramatically different in March of 2013. In many Midwest finesse anglers' eyes it was hell rather than nirvana. The monthly guide noted that winter was relentless by pointing out that many locales in northeastern Kansas were pummeled with more than five inches of snow on Mar. 23, which was Palm Sunday. Winter's blustery ways allowed me to fish only six times for a total of 17 1/2 hours. And I and my partners caught only 103 largemouth bass, which was a piddling average of 17 largemouth bass an outing and 5.8 largemouth bass an hour. The surface temperature at our northeastern Kansas reservoirs on Mar. 7 was 40 degrees. On Mar. 15, the surface temperature was 43 degrees. On Mar. 28 and 29, the surface temperature ranged from 42 to 46 degrees. (It is interesting to note that across all 12 months of 2013, my partners and I caught an average of 39 black bass an outing and an average of 11.6 per hour.)

Even when Old Man Winter isn't a thorn in our sides, March traditionally can present Midwest finesse anglers with 31 days of problematic largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass fishing in northeastern Kansas. For instance, during the past 11 Marches, commencing with March of 2005, weather woes allowed me to fish only 103 times, and when I could fish, I and my partners caught 2,559 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, or 24.8 an outing, which is an average of 6.2 black bass an hour.

There are outings in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri when Midwest finesse anglers partake in outings that we describe as bass fishing for trout. These outings occur when we fish reservoirs that are stocked with trout in February, and we inadvertently catch some trout with our Midwest finesse rigs. We usually catch more largemouth bass, but Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, and I fished a heavily fished community reservoir on Mar. 11, 2014, and we caught 48 rainbow trout and seven largemouth bass. On Mar. 25, 2015, Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, and I caught 75 largemouth bass and 25 rainbow trout at a community reservoir in the northern suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. But there will be some trout-less outings, too, and one of those outings occurred on Mar. 28, 2014, when Frazee and I fished the same community reservoir, and we caught 101 largemouth bass and no rainbow trout.

One of the trout that we inadvertently catch while we fish for largemouth bass in March in northeastern Kansas.

Listed below are six links to the 76,108 words that we have published about Midwest finesse fishing in March. We would appreciate receiving comments from readers and anglers about how these monthly guides helped and failed to help them to catch more black bass during the month of March.

(1) This is the link to the Mar. 1 to Mar. 19, 2012 guide:

(2) This is the link to the Mar. 20 to Mar. 31, 2012 guide:

(3) This is the link to the March 2013 guide:

(4) This is the link to the March 2014 guide:

(5) This is the link to the March 2015 guide:

(6) This is the link to "A Month-by-Month Guide to Midwest Finesse for Bass": It possess a 609-word synopsis of how, when, and where we have employed Midwest finesse tactics to catch largemouth bass in March.

Brent Frazee with one of the many largemouth bass that he and I have tangled with Marches past in northwestern Missouri.

Rick Allen of Dallas with a largemouth bass that he caught while walking the shoreline of a community reservoir in the suburbs of Dallas.

Recommended for You


Sensational New Softbaits for Bass

Steve Quinn - April 22, 2019

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley.


Navionics adds SonarChart Shading to its Platinum+ and HotMaps Platinum cartography

In-Fisherman - April 29, 2019

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum.

Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

In-Fisherman Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

The Scoop on Garmin's New Force Trolling Motors

Why did Garmin's new Force trolling motor win a Best of Show category award at the 2019 ICAST Show in Orlando? OSG's Lynn Burkhead gets all of the scoop on the amazing features that come with Garmin's first entry into the trolling motor market.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...


Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse

AirBaits' Bubbler

Ned Kehde - July 01, 2019

AirBaits' Bubbler is an unique soft-plastic finesse bait.

Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2019

Ned Kehde - July 05, 2019

Midwest Finesse June 2019 fishing logs.

Midwest Finesse

Bass Snax Custom Baits' Darter

Ned Kehde - July 26, 2019

This new finesse bait will surely help Midwest Finesse anglers catch more bass.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.