February 27, 2020
By Ned Kehde
Since 2012, we have published 144,086 words about how, where, and when Midwest finesse anglers fished in March.
These words focus on the piscatorial endeavors of Rick Allen of Dallas; Linda Allen of Dallas; Ted Becharas of San Diego; Terry Bivins of Lebo, Kansas; Matt Boldra of Conifer, Colorado; Burton Bosley of Sutton, West Virginia; Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Lou Clewell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania; Charlie Croom of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas; Paul Finn of Olathe, Kansas; Shaun Finn of Olathe, Kansas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Merit Goodman of Eudora, Kansas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; David Harrison of Lawrence, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Thomas Heinen of Topeka, Kansas; Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; Joshua Landon Loveall of Columbia, Tennessee; Ralph Manns of Rockwall, Texas; Greg Monahan of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; George Nochta of Santee, California; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina; John Redding of Lawrence, Kansas; Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; Joel Schroeder of Overland Park, Kansas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; Mike Trometer of Plano, Texas; Brian Waldman of Coatesville, Indiana; and Dave Weroha of Kansas City, Kansas.
Midwest finesse anglers who ply the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas, as well as at many other locales across the nation, can be bedeviled by either Old Man Winter or Mother Nature's windy ways in March.
What's more, our abilities to find and catch significant numbers of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass during the first two weeks of March are often problematic.
When our black bass fishing is problematic in March, we suspect that these bass are in transition from their winter haunts and habits to their springtime haunts and habits. And when they are in this transitional phase, they seem to be so widely scattered that it is difficult for us to cross paths with them.
From Mar. 1, 2005 to Mar. 31, 2018, there were 495 days that I could have fished, but for a variety of reasons, I fished only 133 of those days.
The average surface temperature at the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas that we fished during the last 12 days of March in 2008 through March of 2011 was 48.6 degrees. Then 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, which is an average of 45 largemouth bass an outing and 11.25 largemouth bass an hour. Of those 630 largemouth bass, 117 of them were caught in four hours on Mar. 30, 2012, when John Reese of Lawrence, Kansas, and I fished a heavily fished exurban community reservoir in northeastern Kansas.
During the last 12 days of March of 2013 through March of 2019, the average surface temperature at the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri was 49 degrees. But during the March of 2019, the winter weather kept me and my Midwest finesse colleagues at bay until Mar. 18. The most bountiful outing occurred on Mar. 28, 2014, when Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, and I caught 101 largemouth bass at a community reservoir in northwestern Missouri, where the surface temperature ranged from 43 to 45 degrees. On Mar. 24, 2015, Frazee and I caught 75 largemouth bass and 25 rainbow trout at that same reservoir, where the surface temperature ranged from 47 to 50 degrees. Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I caught 94 largemouth bass and nine crappies on Mar. 31, 2016, at a northeastern community reservoir, where the surface temperature ranged from 50 to 52 degrees.
Throughout the Marches of 2017, 2018, and 2019, the weather and largemouth bass fishing in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri was devilishly exasperating. During those three Marches, our most bountiful outing occurred on Mar. 22, 2019, when Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, and I caught 65 largemouth bass and 11 rainbow trout.
In addition to Old Man Winter’s ways, we suspect that the dastardly effects of the largemouth bass virus and the killing of submerged aquatic vegetation are two factors that have adversely affected Midwest finesse anglers’ abilities to catch largemouth bass in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri.
To read about how, when, and where the Midwest finesse anglers in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia fished in Marches of the past, please see their words at the following links.