Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2019

Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2019

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 16 logs and 17,453 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished.

It features the piscatorial endeavors and insights of Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Adam Francovic of Olney, Maryland; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Eric Gilgenback of Winneconne, Wisconsin; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; and Mike Trometer of Plano, Texas.

To our chagrin, Mother Nature’s many rain days, which deposited from 11 to 20 inches of rain across many locales in northeastern Kansas, adversely affected where and when those of us who reside in this rain-plagued environment could fish.

As always, we are thankful that Steve Reideler proofread all of the logs. He made them more readable and understandable.


Aug. 1


Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 1 outing.


Here is an edited version of his log:

I elected to fish at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas that I have not fished since July 11. The bass fishing was slow that day. I spent four hours dissecting a variety of black bass lairs in the lower end of the reservoir, and it was hard work to catch a combination of 11 largemouth bass and spotted bass.

On Aug. 1, it was overcast during the morning hours, and the sky was mostly cloudy during the afternoon. The morning low temperature was 74 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature was 98 degrees. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.99 at 1:00 p.m.


In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing periods would occur from 5:03 a.m. to 7:03 a.m., 10:44 a.m. to 12:44 p.m., and 11:19 p.m. to 1:19 a.m.

The water level was at its normal summer pool. The surface temperature ranged from 86 to 88 degrees. The water clarity varied from 12 to 14 inches. I looked for a thermocline in the deep-water areas with my sonar devices, but I did not find one.

Normally, my companions and I fish the lower and middle sections of this reservoir because we find those areas more fruitful than the upper regions. But this time, I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the upper end of this impoundment.


The upper end of the reservoir is endowed with acres and acres of standing timber, submerged stumps, and brush piles. It is a paradise for power anglers who have a passion for flipping and pitching heavy cover for largemouth bass. But there are a few places here and there for finesse anglers to ply, too.

The black bass fishing at this reservoir has not changed since July 11. The black bass bite is still tough, and during this excursion, my best efforts garnered eight largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one freshwater drum.

I dissected the areas around four bridges, the support columns under the bridges, and the riprap embankments on each end of those bridges. I caught eight largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

Two largemouth bass were caught in five feet of water from one of the eight bridge embankments. They were caught on a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ that was affixed on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig while I was using a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were abiding about eight to 10 feet from the water’s edge.

Seven largemouth bass were caught from the sides of seven of the 23 concrete bridge support columns that I probed. These black bass were suspended about three to five feet below the surface in 28 to 32 feet of water.

Three of the seven were caught on the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three others were caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red Finesse WormZ that was wacky rigged on a red 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ that was rigged wacky style on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of the wacky-rigged Finesse WormZ rigs were employed with a slow twitch-and-pause retrieve.

One spotted bass and the freshwater drum were caught in six to eight feet of water from a 50-yard section of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline has about a 30-degree incline. It is adorned with thick standing timber, large rocks, boulders, stumps, and a couple of laydowns. The spotted bass was enticed by a slow twitch-and-pause presentation with the wacky-rigged four-inch watermelon-red Finesse WormZ. The freshwater drum was caught on the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to generate any strikes from a submerged offshore railroad levee that is lined with standing timber and boulders, three gravel and clay main-lake flats, two offshore humps, a 75-yard section of a tree line that forms one side of a boat lane, and five rocky main-lake points.

I was not the only angler having a difficult day. I spoke with two other anglers who approached me while I was fishing, and they asked me if I was catching anything. Both anglers were still searching for their first strike of the morning. One angler informed me that he had developed a drop-shot bite in deep water a couple of weeks ago, but that bite has now petered out, and he has not located any significant numbers of bass since then.

Aug. 3

Adam Fancovic of Olney, Maryland, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 3 outing in northeastern West Virginia with Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia.

Here is an edited version of his report:

On Aug. 3, I got the pleasure to share the water again with Travis Myers. Travis has been my finesse fishing mentor for a few years. Any chance I get to share the water with him is a true gift. He has become a great friend, and I look forward to a lifetime of knowledge sharing and fishing trips together. No amount of emailing and questioning can make up for on-the-water knowledge and teaching.

I arrived at the gate to Travis' community around 5:45 a.m. He was ready with the UTV to take us to the stretch he had planned for us to fish. Travis had stated he hadn't fished this section since 2017 and had been saving it for me.

After a fun little ride, we arrived at our destination.

I have stated to Travis before that the stream Travis calls home is a true jewel. Because of its rocky bottom and water clarity, I always say its trout fishing for smallmouth. We can easily see to the bottom in holes that were six or more feet deep.

Travis had picked an area that is graced with a series of several stretches of long and deep runs that ae filled intermittently with ledges and boulders. Shallow riffles separated these runs or holes.

Travis had insisted I leave my gear at home. He wanted me to experience the joy of using a G. Loomis TSR791 GLX Trout Spinning Rod, Shimano Stradic ci4 1000 reel, and five-pound-test braided line to catch these fish.

He had two rods rigged with Rapala Ultra Light Pops. He had each rigged on a small clip. He instructed me how to slowly and constantly reel and twitch the popper to give it a walk-the-dog pattern while it constantly darted under the water to come back up with a small pop.

The fish happily obliged. As we worked our way upstream, we quickly started catching a mix of smallmouth bass and some of the largest panfish I have ever seen. Several panfish were 10-12 inches in size and hit a popper with as much force that we were certain we had a smallmouth hooked. None of the smallmouth bass were small, and several of them were of substantial size for this waterway. This pattern continued for the entire way up the section of river Travis had picked for us to fish.

Once we reached our turnaround point, we took a short break on a few exposed rocks and made a bait switch.

I was rigged with a Z-Man’s TRD HogZ on a 1/32-ounce VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig.

Travis worked with a nose-rigged Fluke. It was the first time that he had used it on this stream.

As we worked our way downstream, we steadily caught fish.

All in all, it was a truly amazing day fishing with my good friend, and I can't wait to join him on the water again soon.

We lost count of the smallmouth bass that we caught. But we suspect that we caught between 50 and 60, and almost that many giant panfish.

Aug. 5

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 5 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

It was another scorching hot and humid day in north-central Texas. The sunlit sky was partly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 80 degrees and the afternoon high temperature soared to 104 degrees. The wind was light and variable. The barometric pressure measured 29.97 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.95 at 1:00 p.m.

From 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., John Thomas of Denton and I fished at an exurban state reservoir that lies in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman’s solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur between 3:09 a.m. and 5:09 a.m., 9:22 a.m. to 11:22 a.m., and 3:34 p.m. to 5:34 p.m.

The water level was 0.79 of a foot below its normal pool. The water exhibited about two to three feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 88 degrees.

My cohorts and I have enjoyed outstanding black bass fishing at this impoundment this spring and summer, and the bite was strong this time, too. During the five hours and 30 minutes that John and I were afloat, we caught 26 largemouth bass and 15 spotted bass. Besides these 41 black bass, we also caught eight white bass, five channel catfish, two large bluegills, and a freshwater drum.

Eight of these black bass were caught within 15 feet of the water’s edge in three to eight feet of water. The other 33 bass were caught at offshore locales in water as shallow as four feet and as deep as 22 feet. We caught most of them as they were chasing and feeding on threadfin shad along the surface.

We caught 36 largemouth bass and spotted bass on a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ that was matched with a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. We employed this rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Three largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin-type jig and a steady swimming retrieve.

One largemouth bass was caught on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that sported a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s bad shad Slim SwimZ. This combo was employed with a steady swimming retrieve.

A Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation allured one largemouth bass.

In the lower end of the reservoir, a windblown rock- and boulder-laden shoreline with a steep gradient was fruitless.

But we did catch three largemouth bass and two spotted bass in three to eight feet of water from two rocky points that form the entrance to a marina. These two points are relatively flat and are adorned with flooded buck brush, some stickups, and submerged rocks and boulders.

Along the north end of a main-lake island, we caught a mixed bag of 12 largemouth bass and spotted bass in 12 to 21 feet if water. The underwater terrain that surrounds this island is composed of clay, gravel, rocks, and boulders. Flooded bushes line the shallow-water areas close to the water’s edge. These black bass were chasing two-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water, but were 25 to 30 yards from the water’s edge.

In the midsection of the reservoir, we fished at a submerged rock ledge and three submerged humps.

We caught 15 largemouth and spotted bass that were surface-foraging on threadfin shad in 12 to 25 feet of water and about 10 to 20 yards away from the submerged rock ledge. This ledge is shallow and covered with four to eight feet of water. It is situated about 10 to 15 yards from the edge of a rocky main-lake shoreline. It is also littered with submerged rocks, boulders, and partially-submerged buck brush.

About a mile west of the rock ledge, we plied three submerged humps that are situated many yards from the nearest main-lake shoreline. One hump surrendered four largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were caught from the top of the hump in four to six feet of water.

Another hump, which is located about 100 yards from the first one, was devoid of any largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass.

The third submerged hump is located a short distance from the second one. It is larger than the other two humps and is covered with three to eight feet of water. It is graced with submerged stumps, stickups, and some standing timber. This hump yielded one largemouth bass.

In the upper end of the reservoir, we fished along a rocky main-lake shoreline just south of a long channel that leads to a spillway. This shoreline is flat and its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, soccer-ball size rocks, and boulders. We caught one largemouth bass in five feet of water and about 25 feet from the water’s edge.

The two rock jetties that form the entrance to a spillway channel are usually a productive area, but it wasn’t very fruitful this time. It yielded two largemouth bass that were caught along the south jetty in seven feet of water. We hooked another largemouth at the tip of the south jetty, but it was able to pull free before we could hoist it into the boat.

We failed to locate any bass along the north jetty.

This year, we have been having a difficult time locating and catching large aggregations of black bass at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. The bass, and the baitfish they forage upon, have been widely scattered. Consequently, we struggle to catch 10 to 15 black bass per outing.

But the black bass have been much easier to locate and allure at this state reservoir, and we have enjoyed tangling with 25 to 48 black bass during our four- to six-hour excursions here.

Aug. 6

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The National Weather Service reported that it was 74 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 91 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, southwest, west, northwest, and north at 3 to 17 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.93 at 12:53 a.m., 29.93 at 5:52 a.m., 29.95 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.92 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:44 a.m. to 6:44 a.m., 5:09 p.m. to 7:09 p.m., and 10:57 a.m. to 12:57 p.m.

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, and I were afloat at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water was horrendously affected by an intense algae bloom, and the water exhibited from four inches to 13 inches of visibility. It was a disheartening sight. We suspect that this dastardly algae bloom has adversely affected the stature of this reservoir’s coontail patches; many of them look as if they are wilting and dying, and some of them are coated with blackish-colored strings of filamentous algae.

Our pursuit of this reservoir’s largemouth bass was a tussle. We never established a location pattern or a presentation pattern.

We tangled with 24 largemouth bass, and inadvertently caught three channel catfish, three green sunfish, two warmouth, and two bluegill.

In short, we caught them every which way and hither and yon, which makes it almost impossible to assemble a meaningful log.

Nevertheless, one largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s yoga pants Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s purple death TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Six largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Eleven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Twelve largemouth bass were caught in the lower half of this reservoir. Two of them were caught along the dam. Two were caught along the spillway. Two largemouth bass were caught around a main-lake point in the vicinity of some patches of American water willows. Six largemouth bass were caught along about a 350-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is littered with scores of docks and many rock and concrete retaining walls.

Twelve largemouth bass were caught in the upper half of this reservoir.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a 50-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that has two docks and patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught around a main-lake point that is lined with a concrete retaining wall. Four largemouth bass were caught along a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is embellished with patches of American water willows, patches of coontail, a few laydowns, overhanging trees, and four docks. Two largemouth bass were caught on a main-lake flat that is adorned with patches of coontail. Three largemouth bass were caught along a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is lined with two dozen docks, occasional patches of coontail, rock and concrete retaining walls, some overhanging trees, and a brush pile.

Some of these largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Some were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation. A few were caught on an initial-drop-and-deadstick presentation. Some were caught while we were strolling. One was caught on a straight-swimming presentation. A few were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation.

They were caught in water as shallow as four feet and as deep as 10 feet. A few were caught near the water’s edge. A few were caught 25 to 30 feet from the water’s edge.

It was what we often call a hodgepodge outing.

In fact, the last time that Dave Petro and I enjoyed a bountiful outing together was 1092 days ago, which is when we tangled with 111 smallmouth bass in four hours.

Aug. 6

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 6 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

From about 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Mike Trometer of Plano, Texas, and I fished at a north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir.

It was 86 degrees when we launched the boat at 7:15 a.m. and 102 degrees when we trailered the boat at 11:50 a.m. The wind was calm all morning. While we were afloat, the barometric pressure varied from 29.97 to 29.95. Local meteorologists are forecasting 100- to 102-degree highs through August 13.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 3:50 a.m. to 5:50 a.m., 10:03 a.m. to 12:03 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water level was 1.42 feet above the normal pool. Because the wind was calm, the surface of the water was flat and smooth.

We caught eight largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass in three to 12 feet of water from a series of 11 main-lake points on the northwest end of the impoundment. The underwater terrain of these points are similar. They are comprised of red clay, gravel, large rocks and boulders. A couple of them had some partially-flooded bushes and stickups near the water’s edge. They all had gradients of at least 30 degrees, and several of them had steeper inclines of 40 to 60 degrees. All of them were attracting small schools of threadfin shad.

These nine black bass were allured by a four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ that was wacky rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was implemented with a slow twitch-and-pause retrieve.

Along a 50-yard stretch of shoreline on the northeast end of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline is flat. Its underwater terrain consists of red clay, gravel, rocks, and some scattered boulders. This largemouth bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s electric chicken Slim SwimZ and a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig with a steady swimming presentation adjacent to a large submerged boulder in five feet of water.

We also fished about two-thirds of the dam. The dam is covered with riprap and forms the reservoir’s eastern boundary. A large concrete water-outlet tower is positioned along the northern portion of the dam and is surrounded by 24 to 37 feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass from the south wall of the water-outlet tower. It was caught on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that was sporting a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD CrawZ as we employed it with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. This largemouth bass was suspended about three feet below the surface in 37 feet of water. We failed to generate any other strikes from the remainder of the dam.

We investigated a floating tractor-tire reef at the entrance to a large marina on the south side of the reservoir. This tire reef floats in 24 to 31 feet of water, and we could see large concentrations of two-inch threadfin shad loitering around the tires.

We caught two largemouth bass that were chasing the shad on the surface next to the tires. One was caught on a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ and a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other one was caught on a Z-Man’s white lighting Finesse TRD and a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We finished the outing plying a 75-yard segment of a bluff shoreline at the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm in the upper end of the reservoir. A submerged creek channel parallels this section of the bluff. The depth of the water along this section varies from 17 to 35 feet.

We caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass here, and they were many yards apart from each other. Both of them were enticed into striking the wacky-rigged green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a slow twitch-and-pause retrieve.

In sum, the fishing was slow, and the bass were scattered and difficult to catch. We dissected 15 black bass lairs, and we barely managed to scrounge up 13 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and one spotted bass. When we did cross paths with them, we caught only one or two bass at a spot. Then we had to cover two or three more lairs in order to catch one or two more.

Aug. 6

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 6 outing on the Upper Pool Lakes on the Winnebago System.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Thirteen days has elapsed since I launched a boat on the Upper Pool Lakes of the Winnebago System. Therefore, I had only history as a guide to which locations might offer a good sample of black bass and a few other species of fish.

The day dawned in a murky manner. Temperatures hovered in the mid-60s. There was some fog, which along with a very low-overcast sky, reduced visibility. The light north to northwest winds were not able to clear out the murky conditions. Twelve hours earlier, the area was blasted by short-lived but intense thunderstorms that produced winds of 45 mph and dropped around 1.5 inches of unneeded rain. As the morning progressed, the skies cleared, and the wind switched periodically from the west to the north to the southwest, but it remained at a low velocity. Area thermometers rose to a high of 83 degrees.

The lakes’ surface temperature ranged from 76 degrees at 6:30 a.m. to 80 degrees at 1:00 p.m. The water clarity was affected by an algae bloom and the aftereffects of the intense thunderstorms, and it exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The water level was 0.3 feet above its target level, and the flows into Lake Winnebago averaged around 4,000 cubic feet per second.

On this day I was joined in the boat by a cousin who is an accomplished angler, but he has not been able to fish on his home lake, which is the Winnebago system, for over 40 years.

We were on the water for seven hours. Our first casts landed at 6:30 a.m. and our lines came into the boat for the final time around 1:30 p.m.

We fished at 17 sites, and we caught at least one fish from 15 of them. They consisted of a small array of shorelines, inshore and near-shore sites, and remote offshore structures.

We focused on touring the lake in order to show him around. And because of the algae bloom and the recent sediment churn from the intense thunderstorms, which adversely affected the water quality and the fish behavior, we focused on northern locations.

The depth of the water at these locales varied from 1 1/2 to six feet. All had some mix of aquatic vegetation. The underwater terrains consist of either sand or clay, and they were in relatively close proximity to rocks. These locales were situated at the mouth of a small tributary stream, along several strips of degraded riprap (which used to be shorelines, but they have been washed out; yet they are still near the shore), many small jetty points and break walls, and a few isolated and offshore rock piles.

On this trip, we landed 34 smallmouth bass, 10 largemouth bass, 16 freshwater drum, one rock bass, and one bluegill.

All fish were taken on Z-Man’s Finesse TRDs that were affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Twenty-one of the fish were taken on a green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD, 14 fish were caught on The Deal hue, and nine fish were caught on the Drew’s craw hue.

We were not aggressively testing a variety of lures on this outing. Our focus was to catch some fish and update ourselves on the other’s current pursuits.

We did note that most locations hosted schools of very small gizzard shad that ranged in length from 1 1/2 to two inches. These shad would erupt from the water as a game fish was brought to the boat. I did not note any of the fish regurgitating crayfish near or in the boat. This is typical of the black bass behavior on this system. Generally, if the annual forage base is adequate, the black bass will shift to a diet largely based on forage fish during this point in the summer.

Very few strikes came as the lure entered the water or upon the initial descent of the bait and before it hit bottom. The fish seemed to be fickle. Most strikes were not felt, but they were detected by observing the line moving laterally from the path of the retrieve. Approximately twenty percent of the fish were taken using the slow swim-and-glide retrieve, which is a smooth, do-nothing and no-shaking presentation. The best retrieve was a drag-and-deadstick one, which sometimes required a five or ten count before dragging the lure another foot or so. This was not any problem with the low wind velocity and types of lairs we fished.

We could not determine any specific habitat pattern. Eighty-eight percent of the strikes occurred on a variety of structural types. We did suffer our lowest volume on the isolated offshore rock piles. Jetty points with nice washout holes on theirs tips and a moderate current flow were the most productive. However, our largest largemouth bass and largest smallmouth bass were caught along the shallow near-shore and submerged-riprap stretches and break-water points without substantial current.

Each of us caught an average of three black bass an hour, which is a very pedestrian catch rate for this system. However, given our desire to multitask while fishing, we agreed we had a very enjoyable morning and reunion on the home lake.

Aug. 9

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 9 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Back in the heydays of Midwest fishing in northeastern Kansas, we frequently called our outing “bass fishing 101.” That meant our goal was to catch 101 black bass in four hours. We used to achieve that goal a few times every year.

But nowadays, our black bass catches in northeastern Kansas are not as bountiful as they use to be, and too frequently they are downright paltry.

As of Aug. 9, 2019, I have not achieved that 101 goal for 617 days.

And it has been 1095 days since Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, and I caught 111 smallmouth bass in four hours at one of northeastern Kansas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs. So, this Aug. 9 outing is the third anniversary of that stellar catch. Since then, I have not approached that marvelous smallmouth bass mark.

And it was 1,399 days ago, that Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I caught 121 largemouth bass in four hours at the same northeastern Kansas’ state reservoir that Dave, Rick, and I fished together on this Aug. 9 outing.

To our chagrin, Dave, Rick, and I endured another disappointing outing. We struggled for four hours and 21 minutes to catch 39 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 67 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 90 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm for many hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being littered with a few clouds to being partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.97 at 5:52 a.m., 30.00 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.96 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:23 a.m. to 8:23 a.m., 6:49 p.m. to 8:49 p.m., and 12:11 a.m. to 2:11 a.m. We were afloat from 10:11 a.m. to 2:32 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water clarity was affected by an algae bloom and the residue of about 33.23 inches of precipitation that has happened during the past 220 days and the 3.82 inches of rain that has fallen during the past nine days; thus, the water exhibited 12 to 30 inches of visibility.

We were hoping to locate and catch a significant number of largemouth bass abiding in and around patches of coontail that emblazon several of this reservoir’s shallow-water flats.

But only one of these shallow-water flats was somewhat bountiful. It is the size of about four football fields, and the depth of the water ranged from four to 12 feet. During the first hour and 10 minutes that we were afloat, we tangled with 15 largemouth bass on this flat.

Then, during the next three hours and 11 minutes, we tangled with 24 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. And only six of those largemouth bass were caught on the other five shallow-water flats that we attempted to dissect.

The smallmouth bass and the other 18 largemouth bass were caught along seven shorelines. The lengths of the shorelines ranged from about 50 yards to about 450 yards in length. They are endowed with five main-lake points and several secondary and tertiary points. Most of the water’s edges are lined with magnificent patches of American water willows. The outside edges of many of these patches of American water willows are interlaced with patches of bushy pondweed and occasional sprouts of brittle naiad. The underwater terrains of these shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders.

In short, we fail to establish a consistent location pattern and presentation pattern. It was in many ways a mind-boggling ordeal. Therefore, I am finding it to be too difficult to compose a traditional Midwest finesse log that describes how, when, and where we caught and failed to catch 39 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.

But I think we caught one largemouth bass on 10,000 Fish’s coffee-craw Sukoshi Bug. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s yoga pants Finesse TRD. One smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s molting craw Hula StickZ. Three largemouth bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s coppertreuse Hula StickZ. Three largemouth bass were caught on Z-Man’s purple death TRD TicklerZ. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ. Seven largemouth bass were caught a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ. And 13 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ.

We affixed these eight soft-plastic baits to the following jigs: a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s NedlockZ jig, a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s NedlockZ jig, a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We caught the black bass in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as 12 feet.

Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Some were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Some were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. Some were caught while we were strolling and employing a swim-and-subtle-shake presentation.

We made countless casts and retrieves that failed to elicit a strike. And when we elicited a strike and hooked a largemouth bass or a smallmouth bass, it was an utter surprise. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to where and how we caught them. Every catch seemed to be a serendipitous one. Throughout the 261 minutes that we fished, we described the fishing as being puzzling, haphazard, willy-nilly, fluky, accidental, random, and disappointing.

Aug. 12

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 12 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

From 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., John Thomas of Denton and I fished at a state hill-land reservoir that lies in north-central Texas. This reservoir has become our most bountiful venue in 2019.

The sky was cloudless, and the sun was intensely bright on Aug. 12. The morning low temperature was 76 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 103 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.88 at 8:00 a.m. and it fell to 29.84 by 2:00 p.m. Eight to 12 mph winds blew incessantly out of the south and southwest.

The water exhibited a pea-green hue. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 85 degrees in the lower portion of the reservoir to 89 degrees in the upper end of a major feeder-creek arm. The water level was 1.14 feet below its normal summer pool.

The submerged terrain throughout this impoundment consists of clay, silt, gravel, rocks, some riprap, and countless numbers of boulders of all sizes. It is also adorned with some patches of hydrilla and American pondweed that are flourishing in some of the shallow-water areas in the lower and midsections of the reservoir.

We concentrated on one main-lake island and two rocky points in the lower end of the impoundment.

In this reservoir’s middle section, we focused on two riprap jetties and an adjoining rock-laden main-lake shoreline, a submerged hump, and a bluff shoreline.

In the upper end of the reservoir, we dissected two more rock jetties that form the entrance to a long spillway channel, portions of two rocky shorelines inside the channel leading to the spillway, and a 50-yard stretch of a rocky main-lake shorelines just south of the spillway channel. We also took some time to explore a large feeder-creek arm in the northwest region of the reservoir.

The north side of the main-lake island surrendered three spotted bass and 11 largemouth bass that were chasing shad in open water and on the surface in 12 to 23 feet of water. Five were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig as it was used with a slow swimming retrieve. Five were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two were caught on a shortened Z-Man's watermelon-red Hula StickZ matched to a red 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. And one was caught on a steady swimming presentation with a 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin-style jig.

At the two rocky main-lake points, which are located a short distance from the island, we caught one largemouth bass from one point in 11 feet of water. It was suspended about five feet below the surface of the water and many feet away from the the water’s edge. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 2 3/4-inch Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rig. We were unable to generate any strikes from the other point.

At the two rock jetties and an adjacent rocky main-lake shoreline, we elicited several subtle bites, but we were unable to hook any of them. We suspected that they were bluegills or small green sunfish.

Three largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and one spotted bass were caught from the deep-water side of an offshore rock ledge in 13 to 23 feet of water. They were suspended about four to seven feet below the surface of the water. Two were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and a slow swimming retrieve about two to three feet below the surface. Two others were caught on the 2 3/4-inch Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and underspin rig with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface.

Along a 50-yard segment of a main-lake bluff, we caught two largemouth bass that were suspended about eight to 10 feet below the surface in 32 feet of water. One was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s watermelon ZinkerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other one preferred a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 2 3/4-inch Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rig.

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We slowly plied a rocky shoreline just south of the spillway channel, two rock jetties that form the spillway channel, and both rocky shorelines inside the spillway channel. We enticed several tentative strikes from these areas, but the only strike we hooked was a large white crappie that we caught from one of the rocky shorelines inside the spillway channel on the Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We then took some time to venture into a large feeder-creek arm on the northwest end of the reservoir. Neither one of us have ever been in this creek arm before. So we used our sonar devices to search for some significant concentrations of shad around an island, two steep secondary points, and a long bluff shoreline. When we failed to cross paths with any shad or black bass, we elected to leave this creek arm and return to the main-lake area without making a single cast.

We finished the outing at a main-lake hump that is covered with six to 10 feet of water and surrounded by water as deep as 27 feet. The north end of this hump yielded eight largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were caught from the side of the hump in eight to 17 feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve utilized with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl SlimZ rig. Another couple of largemouth bass were caught on the 2 3/4-inch Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Four largemouth bass were caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s EZ Money Finesse WormZ that was rigged wacky style on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was employed with a slow twitch-and-pause retrieve. The last bass we caught was a spotted bass. It was allured by a 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ matched with a green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

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This outing was not as bountiful as the one we enjoyed on Aug. 5 when John and I tangled with 41 largemouth bass and spotted bass in 5 1/2 hours. But the fishing was still pretty good during this six-hour excursion, and we caught 25 largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass. We also caught a couple of channel catfish and a large white crappie.

All of these 31 black bass were caught along wind-blown areas in water as shallow as six feet and as deep as 32 feet. They were suspended in open water and many feet away from shorelines graced with submerged rocks, large boulders and riprap. Many of them were chasing two-inch threadfin shad along the surface of the water. And the few that we caught that weren’t chasing shad on the surface, they were caught about four to ten feet below the surface in 10 to 32 feet of water and in close proximity to large balls of shad.

Aug. 13

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 13 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The National Weather Service reported that it was 73 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 91 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being littered with a few clouds to being fair to being mostly cloudy. The wind angled out of the north and northwest at 3 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.86 at 12:53 a.m., 29.93 at 5:53 a.m., 30.00 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.00 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m., 9:50 p.m. to 11:50 p.m., and 3:13 a.m. to 5:13 a.m.

My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at a northeastern Kansas’ community reservoir from 10:04 a.m. to 2:09 p.m.

To our utter amazement, the water clarity in the lower half of this reservoir exhibited nearly 10 feet of visibility. The clarity exhibited three to five feet of visibility in the upper half of the reservoir and in the backs of some feeder-creek arms. The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees.

The submerged aquatic vegetation, which primarily consists of coontail and brittle naiad, was thick and burgeoning at several locales. And two of those locales entertained a goodly number of largemouth bass.

This outing developed into an old-fashioned Midwest finesse outing by using a rig that we have not used with any regularity for a long time.

For decades, Rick has been a master at employing a 3 1/2- to four-inch curly-tailed grub that is affixed to a 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. But to his chagrin, the curly-tail grub’s effectiveness has not been up to snuff during the past four years. But it exhibited an impressive renaissance during this outing.

We caught two smallmouth bass and 58 largemouth bass in four hours and five minutes. And 49 of the largemouth bass were caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to either a chartreuse 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig or a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Three largemouth bass were caught on the 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

One of the 58 largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. (It needs to be noted that the effectiveness of a Finesse WormZ rig has yet to materialize for us in 2019.) One of the 58 largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s NedlockZ jig. Two of the 58 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s California craw Finesse TRD affixed to a black Z-Man’s NedlockZ jig.

One smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/20 Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s California craw Finesse TRD affixed to a black Z-Man’s NedlockZ jig.

Twenty-four largemouth bass were caught inside a medium-sized feeder-creek arm around patches of coontail in five to 10 feet of water. Several of them were caught on the initial drop of the GrubZ rig. The bulk of them were caught on a swimming presentation, and two or three were caught during a slight pause in the swimming presentation. The coontail patches adorn an area about the size of three football fields, and some of the coontail patches are intertwined with patches of brittle naiad. This feeder-creek arm is situated in the upper half of the reservoir.

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We caught 13 largemouth bass on a coontail-laden and massive shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. There are patches of brittle naiad flourishing between the patches of coontail. These largemouth bass were caught in four to seven feet of water. A few of them were caught on the initial drop of our GrubZ rigs. The bulk of them were caught on a swimming presentation of our GrubZ rigs. This feeder-creek arm is situated in the lower half of the reservoir.

Ten largemouth bass were caught on a main-lake point that is adjacent to 25 feet of water. This point lies in the lower half of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Portions of it are steep, and other portions of it are flat. Its shoreline is endowed with patches of American water willows and several laydowns. Patches of coontail and brittle naiad are growing in five to 10 feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about 10 feet of water around a patch of coontail. Nine were caught on a swimming presentation of the GrubZ rig in four to 10 feet of water.

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One largemouth bass was caught on a shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir. It was caught on the GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation in about six feet of water. The patches of coontail on this flat were meager.

One largemouth bass was caught on a massive shallow-water flat in the upper reaches of the reservoir. It was caught on the GrubZ rig around a patch of coontail with a swimming presentation in about four feet of water. The coontail patches on this flat were lackluster.

We caught two largemouth bass on a flat main-lake point in the lower half of the reservoir. This point’s underwater terrain is primarily gravel, and some of it is adorned with a few rocks and boulders. This point possesses a 25-degree slope. Deep water is nearby. It is embellished with one coontail patch that is about the size of a tennis court. The two largemouth bass were caught on the GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation in about seven feet of water.

Along two massive shorelines and around one main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught seven largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass.

These shorelines and the one point possess a 25- to 50-degree slope. The water’s edges are adorned with scores of overhanging trees, many laydowns, and occasional patches of American water willows. Some of the flatter terrains are emblazoned with patches of coontail. We made many casts and presentations that were fruitless. It took us 85 minutes to probe these locales and catch nine black bass. One largemouth bass was caught on the Slim SwimZ rig. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Hula StickZ rig. One smallmouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD rig. One smallmouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. Four largemouth bass were caught on the GrubZ rig. A few were caught of the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a swimming presentation. Eight were caught along or near the shorelines in four to six feet of water. One largemouth was caught offshore amongst several surface-feeding largemouth bass.

We failed to catch a black bass around patches of coontail in the back of one small feeder-creek arm and around two main-lake points and short sections of their main-lake shoreline. These areas are situated in the lower half of the reservoir.

At several clear-water locales, we watched scores of largemouth bass, green-sunfish, and bluegills following our rigs, and many of them followed the GrubZ all the way to the boat. This is a rare phenomenon in northeastern Kansas.

This was our second most fruitful outing in 2019. Our most fruitful one occurred at this same reservoir on Mar. 22, and we caught 65 largemouth bass on that outing. It has been more than 21 months since we have achieved our coveted goal of catching 101 black bass.

Aug.15

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 15 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The National Weather Service reported that it was 61 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 86 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being littered with a few clouds to being overcast. It was calm for six hours, and when the wind stirred, it angled out of the east, south, and southeast at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.09 at 12:52 a.m., 30.08 at 5:52 a.m., 30.07 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.98 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:59 a.m. to 12:59 p.m., 4:48 a.m. to 6:48 a.m., and 5:11 p.m. to 7:11 p.m.

I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs from 10:36 a.m. to 2:36 p.m.

This reservoir has been besieged several times by Mother Nature’s rainy spells in 2019. For example, more than 10 inches of rain were deposited into its watershed on July 31 and Aug. 1, making it a flooded and muddy mess. By Aug. 15, however, the water level at this reservoir looked to be only 15 inches above its normal level, and it exhibited three to five feet of visibility. But many of its patches of bushy pondweed and coontail have disappeared. However, its patches of American pondweed and American water willows are burgeoning. The surface temperature was 85 to 86 degrees.

In our Aug. 13 log, my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I noted that a four-inch finesse worm affixed to a mushroom-style jig has not been an effective rig for us in 2019. And this Aug. 15 outing was essentially a research endeavor with a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. At times during this outing, I compared the Finesse WormZ rig’s effectiveness to a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. (Rick and I used a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ rig on Aug. 13 to catch 52 of the 58 largemouth bass that we caught.)

During the first hour and 30 minutes, I tangled with just three largemouth bass. Two of them were caught on the GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation around patches of bushy coontail in four to five feet of water on shallow-water flats in the backs of two feeder-creek arms. The third largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig around a main-lake riprap jetty in about five feet of water.

During the next 2 1/2 hours, I tangled with 35 largemouth bass and 16 bluegill and green-sunfish. Thirty-four of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the GrubZ rig.

Ten of the largemouth bass were caught around a flat main-lake point and about a 175-yard stretch of its adjacent shoreline. This point and shoreline possess about a 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is lined with some patches of American pondweed and American water willows. Submerged patches of bushy pondweed and coontail grace the outside edges of the patches of American pondweed. The largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig in four to six feet of water around the outside edges of patches of American pondweed and submerged patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. They were caught on either the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig or with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

On a massive shallow-water flat, one largemouth bass was caught around a partially submerged cedar tree that is interlaced with patches of coontail. This largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Along a 125-yard stretch of another shoreline, I caught five largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is lined with some patches of American pondweed, some patches of American water willows, several laydowns, and some overhanging trees. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to the outside edge of the American pondweed patches. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water near the patches of American pondweed and American water willows.

Along the dam, spillway, and the adjacent shoreline, I caught 18 largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig, and I caught one on the GrubZ rig. The underwater terrain of this massive area consists of clay, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge of the adjacent shoreline is adorned with patches of American water willows, American pondweed, and four riprap jetties. Some of the shallow-water areas are adorned with partially submerged cedar trees, and these trees are interlaced with patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. This terrain possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope.

Along the spillway and adjacent shoreline, the GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation caught one largemouth bass around some patches of bushy pondweed and coontial in about five feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the outside edges of the patches of American pondweed.

Along the dam, the Finesse WormZ rig caught 17 largemouth bass. They were caught in five to 10 feet of water. Some were caught on the initial drop. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Others were caught with a drag-and-shake presentation. A few were caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

In short, the Finesse WormZ rig had a minor resurrection today.

Aug. 15

Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 15 outing at a community reservoir in northwestern Missouri.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

When I headed out this morning, I was on a mission to catch crappies. I had two dozen minnows, and I had my sights set on catching some bigger fish. We've been catching a lot of crappies under the lights at night, but they've been in the 8- to 10-inch range, so I thought minnows could lure some bigger fish.

Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. The crappie fishing was fair at best, so I decided to switch to finesse bass fishing. Good decision.

After spending two hours (6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) chasing crappies, I went to finesse baits for the next two hours, and the largemouth bass were noticeably more receptive than the crappies.

I used a St. Croix Power Lite spinning rod and a Pflueger President's spinning reel spooled with four-pound-test monofilament line. Thus I was a bit underpowered for largemouth bass fishing. But I really think it made a difference in the number of bites I got.

I ended up catching 22 largemouth bass -- including three keeper-sized fish -- in the two hours I fished solely for them.

I backed my drag down and let them fight so they wouldn't break my light line, and the reel performed like a champ.

There was a definite pattern at work. I was casting to shady shorelines with ledge-type rocks (I call them table rocks) in shallow water. I would cast on top of the rocks and slowly pull the Z-Man’s Drew’s care Finesse TRD affixed to a black 1/32-ounce ball jig to the edge, then let it drift down into the shade. Almost every one of the bass was caught that way.

The water is clear and has a greenish hue. The surface temperature was 83 degrees.

Aug. 15

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 15 outing on the Upper Pool Lakes on the Winnebago System.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The weather conditions on Aug. 15 were as pleasant as anyone can hope for in this region. On Aug. 14, the weather was a bit unsettled as a cold front and associated northeast winds pushed through the area. However, by Aug. 15 a high-pressure ridge settled in, and the sky became clear and bright blue. The wind was negligible, ranging from flat calm to northerly, and never exceeding 5 mph. Very moderate temperatures prevailed for the entire day, ranging from 55 degrees at 6:00 a.m. and 75 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The humidity was low. The barometric pressure was stable all day at 30.04.

The water’s surface temperature ranged from 71 degrees in early morning to 75 degrees around noontime. The water clarity was reduced to about 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 feet by a vigorous algae bloom. The water level was 0.2 feet above the target level. The flows into Lake Winnebago averaged around 6,000 cubic feet per second.

On this day I fished for a total of four hours. My first cast landed at 9:01 a.m. and my rods entered the rod box at 1:05 p.m.

I fished at 15 sites and caught at least one fish from 13 of them. The sites were selected to build off of a pattern concept that I have been running of late, which consists of finding a small array of shorelines and near-shoreline rock-break waters and ripraps on the windward side of the lakes. The water depths varied from 1 1/2 to four feet. The underwater terrains consist of either sand or clay bottom. I also quickly scanned three small offshore rock piles with side-imaging sonar, but did not view anything worth stopping and fishing for.

On this trip, I landed 16 smallmouth bass, nine largemouth bass, five freshwater drum, and one northern pike. All of them were caught on a Z-Man’s TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a chartreuse or green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce mushroom-style jig. Of the 25 black bass that I caught, 18 were caught on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ, and seven were caught on a green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ.

I did not perform a balanced testing of color preference. So, the catch totals likely reflect my bias in using a particular rig rather than fish preference.

I noticed that most locations hosted schools of very small gizzard shad, ranging in length from 1 1/2 to two inches. And they were abiding along the water’s edge. The light breeze and heavy algae bloom allowed a surface layer of algae to form an overhead blanket of scum that extended outwards for a few yards from the water’s edge in many areas.

Occasionally I would see a game fish chasing the forage, or I would note a larger fish finning about under the scum layer. And these then became high probability targets for casting, and they were usually either a largemouth bass or a freshwater drum.

The fish seemed to vary between being aggressive biters or being very finicky ones, and some were not feeders. For the active fish, some strikes occurred in the instant the lure entered the water, or upon the initial descent of the bait. At other locations, the fish were reluctant to eat the lure. Thus, many strikes were not felt, but were detected by observing the line moving laterally to the path of the retrieve.

Approximately half of the fish were taken using the slow swim-and-glide retrieve. Sometimes I employed a smooth or do-nothing presentation. At other times, I added a very subtle shaking action. The other half were caught while I executed a drag-and-pause retrieve.

It seemed the key to finding active fish was to find sites that provided a good blanket of algae scum up against the riprap. The clearer-water sites generally held fish with a very low energy level for feeding.

I caught an average of six black bass an hour, which is respectable for this system. Even with the blue-bird weather pattern, I once again was able to realize a decent amount of action by using the light lines and the small lures that are part of the Midwest finesse method.

Aug. 15

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 15 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I conducted a solo jaunt to a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. The last time I fished this reservoir was on Aug. 6 with Mike Trometer of Plano, and we had a tough time catching 15 black bass in four hours.

It has been blazing hot in my neck of the woods during the past eight days. The daytime high temperatures have been ranging between 102 and 104 degrees. The humidity has been high, too. Aug. 15 is the first day since Aug. 5 that the afternoon high temperature has not reached 100 degrees. The morning low temperature was 75 degrees and the afternoon high was 98 degrees on Aug. 15. But the wind was calm throughout the morning hours, which made it feel hotter than it was. The barometric pressure was steady at 29.99.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the most lucrative fishing would occur from 4:55 a.m. to 6:55 a.m., 5:18 p.m. to 7:18 p.m., and 11:07 p.m. to 1:07 a.m. I fished from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 88 degrees. The water level was 1.14 feet above normal summer pool. The surface of the water was calm.

I focused on the north end of the impoundment where I fished inside one major feeder-creek arm before I turned my attention to portions of a massive main-lake shoreline.

As I entered the feeder-creek arm to begin this outing, I encountered several small schools of largemouth bass that were surface-feeding on two-inch threadfin shad in 30 to 33 feet of water in the main creek channel. During the next 35 minutes, I caught 19 of those largemouth bass. They were all allured by a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that was sporting a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ. I employed this combo with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface.

After that flurry of action subsided, I fished along two bluff shorelines inside this same feeder-creek arm.

The first bluff lies on the west side of the creek arm, and I shared this locale with two other boat anglers. This bluff yielded two largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one bluegill, and one green sunfish that were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface in water that ranged from 18 to 27 feet deep. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ that was matched to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The second bluff is situated on the east side of the creek arm, and it was virtually fruitless. It surrendered one large bluegill that was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig.

After that, I attempted to work a drop-shot rig with a four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ around a school of unidentified fish that were suspended in the middle of the main creek channel and about six to 17 feet above the bottom in 33 feet of water. This was the same area where I caught the first 19 largemouth bass, but I was unable to generate any additional strikes with the drop-shot rig.

I also wielded a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s black Trick ShotZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/5-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig in this same area of the creek channel. I tried to stroll the Trick ShotZ combo slowly on the bottom and along the edge of the creek channel in 27 to 33 feet of water, but I failed to provoke any strikes. I then worked it across the bottom with a hop-and-bounce retrieve, a drag-and-shake retrieve, and a vertical shaking presentation, but those tactics also failed to garner any strikes.

After that, I ventured out of the creek arm and into the main-lake area, where I spent the remainder of the outing dissecting a 400-yard stretch of a massive main-lake shoreline in the northwest region of the reservoir. This long and rocky shoreline encompasses a series of 14 prominent points, several tertiary points, and a shallow rock ledge. The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of red clay, gravel, and countless numbers of large rocks and boulders. The slope of this shoreline varies from 30 to 60 degrees.

I caught five largemouth bass and three spotted bass that were scattered along several sections of this 400-yard stretch of shoreline. They were caught around large submerged boulders in four to eight feet of water.

Seven of these black bass were caught on a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ threaded on a blue 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other bass was caught on the four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig. Both of these rigs were utilized with a swim-glide-and shake retrieve. I also employed a drag-and-deadstick retrieve, a drag-and-shake retrieve, and a hop-and-bounce retrieve with these two rigs, but I failed to elicit any strikes with these bottom-oriented presentations.

In closing, I caught 26 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, two large bluegill, and one green sunfish in 3 1/2 hours. The fishing was fast and furious during the first 35 minutes of this outing before it slowed to a tedious crawl during the last two hours and 55 minutes.

And for some reason or reasons unknown to me, a drop-shot rig has never been a very effective technique in the stained-water Corps’ reservoirs in north-central Texas. I rarely see any anglers wielding it. But I have been experimenting with it to see if I can develop a deep-water bass bite in 25 to 35 feet of water this summer, but I have been unable to generate any strikes with it so far.

Aug. 17

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 17 outing on the Upper Pool Lakes on the Winnebago System.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The air temperature ranged from 63 degrees at 6:00 a.m. to 77 degrees at 3:00 p.m. The humidity was moderate, and the dew point ranged from 60 to 62 degrees for the entire day. The wind varied from being calm to angling from the south and west, and it never exceeded 10 mph. The barometric pressure ranged from 29.75 early in the morning to 29.71 by day’s end.

The surface water temperature ranged from 71 degrees early in the morning to 73 degrees in the early afternoon. The water clarity was affected by an algae bloom, exhibiting about two feet of visibility. The pool level was 0.2 feet above target, and the flows into Lake Winnebago averaged around 5,000 cubic feet per second.

On this day I fished with Eric Gilgenbach of Winneconne, Wisconsin. We spent a total of seven hours on the water. Our first casts landed at 6:45 a.m. and our lines came into the boat for the final time at 1:45 p.m.

We fished at 21 sites. We caught at least one fish from 17 of them.

The first six sites we tested were chosen to allow us to attempt to define possible patterns for the day for catching largemouth bass or smallmouth bass, or both. Basically, these test sites consisted of rock shorelines, near- shore areas that consisted of rock-laden break waters and riprap, a few offshore rock piles, and some channel entrances to highly vegetated backwater areas. The water depths varied from 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet.

After probing the first six structures, we determined two things. The first one was that the largemouth bass were still somewhat unattainable for us with our Midwest finesse rigs, and that was because they seemed to be abiding in the aquatic vegetation. The second was that there was a hint that the smallmouth bass could be caught around a subtle combination of features on some well-defined jetty-point structures. Thus, we decided to spend our day running and gunning for smallmouth bass.

On this trip we landed 38 smallmouth bass, four largemouth bass, four freshwater drum, one bluegill, and one walleye. They ranged from small to sizeable, and our biggest smallmouth bass exceeded 18 1/2 inches in length.

Approximately two-thirds of the fish were taken on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rigged on a hot-yellow 1/8-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. The others were caught on a Z-Man's hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce mushroom-style jig. We did not perform a wide-ranging test of color preference or lure type. Once we found something that worked satisfactorily, we focused on executing our pattern as best we could.

Time of day seemed to affect fish location and the method of retrieve used to attain best results. From 6:45 a.m. to about 10:00 a.m., the fish were shallow. This dictated a slow swim-and-glide retrieve over the shallow rocks in as shallow as one foot of water. Later on, when the sun was high and bright in the sky and there were no shadows, we found the fish relating to the base of structures where the rocks met the flat substrate or the lake’s smooth bottom. At these locations, the drag-pause-hop-pause presentation worked well, and many of the strikes occurred after a bit of a pause. Therefore, we had to lockdown and thoroughly dissect each of the structures we fished. If a structure was fruitful, we typically extracted three to six fish from it. And once we got the first strike, it seemed to activate some of the fish remaining in that immediate area.

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We caught an average of six black bass an hour, which is not spectacular for this system. Part of the issue with our catch efficiency was because we had to spend a lot of time boat riding between sites that provided our best recipe or pattern. Some of the sites could be a few miles from each other. But, given the weekend competition and slick weather conditions, we were able to realize some good action using Midwest Finesse methods.

Aug. 19

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 19 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I conducted a solo outing at a troublesome U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir, which lies in a suburb north of the Dallas metropolitan area.

I fished from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The sky was clear, and there was not a cloud in sight. The morning was humid with a low temperature of 81 degrees. The afternoon high temperature reached 102 degrees. A steady 10- to 12-mph wind blew out of the southeast. The barometric pressure rose slightly from 29.91 at 7:00 a.m. to 29.94 at 11:00 a.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 1:50 a.m. to 3:50 a.m., 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 2:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

The water level was 0.32 of a foot below its normal summer pool. The water exhibited about 14 to 18 inches of clarity. The surface temperature was 88 degrees.

I stayed in the southwest tributary arm, where I fished around three floating tractor-tire reefs at the entrance to a large marina, two rocky shorelines and several covered boat docks inside the marina, three main-lake points, the shoreline around an island at the mouth of a feeder-creek arm, portions of two riprap embankments at the ends of a large bridge, and 17 concrete support columns under the same bridge.

This outing started off on a sour note when the bow-mounted sonar unit would not function. I attempted to get it operating again, but after fiddling with it for about 20 minutes without any success, I continued fishing without it.

I caught one largemouth bass around a tractor-tire reef at the entrance to a large marina. This tire reef floats in 29 to 36 feet of water. There were small schools of two-inch threadfin shad meandering around the tractor tires. This bass was suspended about five feet below the surface of the water and relating to the side of the large tires. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD attached to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I fished around two other floating tractor-tire reefs that are positioned near the first one, but I was unable to garner any other strikes around them.

I failed to provoke any strikes from two rocky shorelines and several covered boat docks inside the same marina.

I failed to locate any largemouth bass or spotted bass around three rock- and boulder-laden main-lake points located on the south side of the tributary arm and about a half of a mile east of the marina.

The rocky shoreline of a large island, which is situated at the mouth of a feeder-creek arm, was also devoid of threadfin shad, largemouth bass, and spotted bass.

I also failed to elicit any strikes from a series of 17 concrete support columns underneath a large bridge. This bridge is located in the western portion of the tributary arm, and the support columns are encircled by 17 to 44 feet of water. These columns are usually good for at least a black bass or two, even when the fishing is tough, but not one of these columns yielded a largemouth bass, spotted bass, or a strike this time.

Along a shaded riprap-covered embankment on the north side of the bridge, I caught six largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were scattered here and there and abiding in three to six feet of water and within 10 feet of the water’s edge.

One largemouth was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other five largemouth bass and the one spotted bass were bewitched by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ matched to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I finished the outing at the riprap embankment on the south end of the bridge, which was also shaded from the hot sun. I shared this embankment with another boat angler, and I was able to catch two more largemouth bass on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ rig. They were abiding in three to six feet of water and were caught many yards apart from each other.

This reservoir has been out of sorts all year so I have not been fishing it as often as I usually do. One example of the tough fishing at this reservoir occurred on July 9, when Roger Farish of Highland Village and I fished hard for four hours, and we could barely muster four largemouth bass and three Kentucky bass. Another example occurred on Aug. 3, when John Thomas of Denton and I had a difficult time locating and catching five largemouth bass and 13 white bass during that vexing five-hour excursion. And during this relatively short 3 1/2- hour jaunt, my best efforts produced a measly total of nine largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and five bluegills.

Aug. 22

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 79 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy. It rained a touch during the early morning hours. The wind angled out of the east and northeast at 3 to 13 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:53 a.m., 29.99 at 5:53 a.m., 30.04 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:01 a.m. to 6:01 a.m., 4:24 p.m. to 6:24 p.m., and 10:13 a.m. to 12:13 p.m.

It was supposed to rain again today. Therefore, I initially had no plans to fish. But around 10:00 a.m., it looked as if this part of northeastern Kansas would not be subjected to another round of rain. So, I made a quick trip to one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs, and I fished from 11:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

To my great surprise, the water level at this reservoir looks as if it has dropped since Aug. 9. Thus, significant segments of many of the magnificent patches of American water willows that grace this reservoir’s shorelines are on dry land.

The water exhibited about four feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 83 degrees. The shallow-water flats and other shallow-water environs are adorned with patches of brittle naiad, bushy pondweed, chara, and coontail, which are submerged aquatic vegetation.

Around a shallow-water flat that is the size of about four football fields, I caught 17 largemouth bass. They were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig in four to seven feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation adjacent to the boat. The others were caught on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Three largemouth bass were caught on another shallow-water flat. It is about the size of three tennis courts. They were caught in about five feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Two were caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop of a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a shallow-water flat that is the size of about two tennis courts. They were caught in about four feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig.

One largemouth bass was caught around a massive patch of coontail in eight feet of water on a shallow-water flat that is the size of about five football fields. It was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. To my surprise, this was the only strike that I elicited on this massive flat, which is usually quite fruitful in late August.

On an offshore pile of rocks, which is also adorned with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, I caught one largemouth bass in about seven feet of water on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Around an offshore brush pile, I caught one largemouth bass in about eight feet of water on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. There are patches of submerged aquatic vegetation in the vicinity of this brush pile.

Along portions of three shorelines, around two secondary points, and around one tertiary point, I caught two smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass. The total length of these three shorelines is more than 400 yards. Their water’s edges are graced with many patches of American water willows and a few laydowns. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, clay, silt, rocks, and boulders. They possess 25- to 40-degree slopes. Patches of submerged vegetation grace many yards of these three shorelines and points.

One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The other smallmouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The eight largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig. One of the eight was caught while I was strolling around a rock-laden secondary point and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water. The other largemouth bass were caught in four to seven feet of water around patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on either the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In sum, I caught two smallmouth bass and 33 largemouth bass in three hours, and I accidentally caught one channel catfish and one green sunfish. Five were caught of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig and the rest were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig.

Aug. 26

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 26 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

From 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., John Thomas of Denton and I fished at a north-central Texas’ state reservoir. This is the same state reservoir that we fished on Aug. 12. The black bass fishing at this reservoir has been pretty consistent all summer long. It was what we consider stellar on Aug. 12, and the bass bite was just as good on Aug. 26.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 1:15 a.m. to 3:15 a.m., 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Aug. 26 was another humid and blazing-hot summer day. The sun was radiant in the cloudless-blue sky. The morning low temperature was 77 degrees. The afternoon high temperature peaked at 104 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.68 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.68 at 1:00 p.m. Twelve to 20-mph winds quartered out of the south and southwest.

The water level was 1.96 feet below normal. It was 1.14 feet below normal on Aug. 12. The water exhibited about two feet of clarity. The surface temperature varied from 84 degrees in the lower portion of the reservoir to 87 degrees in its upper end.

We began the outing dissecting two rock- and boulder-laden points, which are adorned with patches of hydrilla and partially flooded buck brush, in the lower end of the impoundment. We slowly dissected this area for about 30 minutes, but we did not locate any largemouth bass, spotted bass, or smallmouth bass here.

Along the perimeter of a main-lake island, which is located a short distance from the two rocky points, we caught 14 largemouth bass and six spotted bass. They were caught about 10 to 15 yards from the water’s edge in water that was as shallow as eight feet and as deep as 15 feet.

Eight were caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Five were caught on a Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ attached to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Four were caught on a Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ affixed on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and three were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD BugZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. All of these combos were utilized with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

From the main-lake island, we moved to an offshore hump that is situated in the reservoir’s midsection. The top of this hump was covered with three to seven feet of water. The sides of the hump plummet into 20-plus feet of water. There are clusters of large rocks and boulders on the north end of the hump. John caught one spotted bass from the top of this hump in five feet of water. It was caught on the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ rig as it was dangling a couple of feet below the surface of the water next to the side of the boat while John was untangling a small wind knot in his line. We were unable to generate any other strikes at this hump.

From that main-lake hump, we moved about a hundred yards to another main-lake island. Most of the shoreline around this island is covered with large boulders. We hooked and lost three largemouth bass along the north end of this island. These three bass were attracted to a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ and The Deal TRD TubeZ rigs. We were unable to generate any additional strikes from the south, west and east sides of the island.

After that, we moved to the east side of the reservoir and fished an offshore rock ledge that runs parallel to a rocky main-lake shoreline. This ledge is covered with three to five feet of water and quickly descends into 10 to 13 feet of water. The top of the ledge is graced with large rocks, a few boulders, and several partially-flooded bushes. The open-water area near this ledge yielded three largemouth bass. They were caught in 13 to 17 feet of water and were about 15 to 20 feet away from the rock ledge. They were enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ combo.

Next, we fished along two steeply sloped and rocky main-lake shorelines and two rock jetties, and we caught one largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was caught from one of the rocky shorelines, and it was dwelling in 12 feet of water and about 15 feet from a large group of submerged boulders. It was coaxed into striking the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

In the northeast region of the reservoir, we searched for threadfin shad and black bass along a main-lake shoreline and two rock jetties that form the entrance to a channel leading to a large concrete spillway. We were unable to find any threadfin shad and black bass along the main-lake shoreline, inside the spillway channel, and around the two rock jetties.

Four spotted bass, three largemouth bass, and two smallmouth bass were caught in nine to 13 feet of water from another rock ledge that courses next to a 50-yard segment of a main-lake shoreline that we have not fished before. This ledge is festooned with large rocks and boulders. It is covered with five to eight feet of water and descends into 20-plus feet of water. All of these bass were allured by the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

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All of these 34 black bass were caught in wind-blown main-lake areas. The bulk of them were suspended in open water and many feet away from shorelines and ledges that are littered with submerged rocks and large boulders.

Eighteen of them were caught on the Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ rig. Eight were caught on the Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ combo. Five were caught on the Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ, and three were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD BugZ.

The only effective retrieve was a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

During this summer, we have caught the majority of the largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass at this reservoir at offshore areas as they were foraging on two-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water. During this outing, we still caught almost all of these 34 black bass around offshore locales, and they were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface of the water. We were surprised that we did not cross paths with any surface-feeding bass this time around.

Aug. 29

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 29 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

I conducted a solo excursion to a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. The last time I fished this reservoir was on Aug. 15, and I caught a mix of 30 largemouth bass and spotted bass in 3 1/2 hours.

The weather has not changed much during the past few weeks in north-central Texas. The days are still uncomfortably humid and hot. The daytime high temperatures are still ranging between 100 and 104 degrees. On Aug. 29, area thermometers registered the morning low temperature at 76 degrees and the afternoon high was 100 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure varied from 29.99 at 7:00 a.m. to 30.02 at noon.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the most productive fishing periods would occur from 3:46 a.m. to 5:46 a.m., 10:01 a.m. to 12:01 p.m., and 10:31 p.m. to 12:31 a.m. I fished from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

The water was murkier than usual. It exhibited between one and 1 1/4 feet of visibility. It normally has about 1 1/2 to two feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 88 degrees. The water level was 0.60 of a foot above its normal summer pool.

During this outing, I spent time searching for largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass in the northwestern, southeastern, and eastern regions of this reservoir.

In the northwest region, I investigated five main-lake points, a 250-yard stretch of a massive main-lake shoreline, and portions of a large feeder-creek arm.

In the southwest region, I fished along a rock bluff and around a floating tire reef at the entrance to a marina in another feeder creek.

In the reservoir’s eastern region, I slowly dissected the submerged riprap along the dam.

This outing was not as fruitful as it was on Aug. 15. However, by the time this 4 1/2-hour outing came to a close, I had tangled with 26 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and one channel catfish, which is still considered a very productive outing in this part of Texas.

This outing did not start as well as I had hoped. I began the day on the northwest end of the reservoir, and the first three main-lake points that I fished were fruitless.

But the day took a more promising turn when I entered the first feeder-creek arm. I was fortunate to cross paths with a few largemouth bass that were chasing two-inch thread fin shad on the surface in the middle of the main creek channel. This portion of creek channel is covered with water that is 30 to 33 feet deep. The few largemouth bass that I encountered appeared to consist of small pods of three to five bass. They foraged on the surface for only a few minutes, but I was able to catch seven of them before they totally disappeared. All of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s electric chicken Slim SwimZ attached to a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The most effective tactic was to wait until the largemouth bass appeared on the surface before I made a cast, and then I could swim the Slim SwimZ rig just below the surface and through the spot where they were feeding.

When that brief schooling activity petered out, I moved to the west side of the creek arm and fished along a rock bluff at the entrance to the creek arm.

This bluff yielded four largemouth bass that were suspended about four to six feet below the surface in water that ranged from 18 to 27 feet deep. They were caught within 10 feet of the water’s edge on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

From that creek arm, I moved out of the creek arm and into the main-lake area, where I fished along a 250-yard stretch of a massive main-lake shoreline. This shoreline consists of mostly red clay, gravel, large rocks, and countless submerged boulders. It has a slope that varies from about 30 degrees to 60 degrees. It is also endowed with 14 prominent points, several tertiary points, several small cuts or pockets, and a couple of shallow rock ledges.

I caught 10 largemouth bass that were scattered along the 250-yard stretch of shoreline that I fished. They were caught around the large submerged boulders in four to eight feet of water. All of them were coaxed into striking the Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ rig. Two were caught on a hop-and-bounce retrieve and eight preferred a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I also plied two of the more prominent points along this shoreline. One of the points yielded two largemouth bass and the other point surrendered one largemouth bass. These three largemouth bass were relating to the sides of the large submerged boulders in four to eight feet of water. All three of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the bama bug TRD BugZ combo.

At around 9:30 a.m., I noticed several wake boarders and other pleasure watercraft beginning to run willy-nilly along this shoreline and making boat control and fishing more difficult, so I decided to move to the southeast end of the reservoir in hopes of getting away from the annoying boat traffic.

In the impoundment’s southeast end, I fished at another bluff shoreline and around a floating tractor-tire reef at the mouth of another feeder-creek arm, but I was unable to find any threadfin shad or black bass at these two locales.

I then ventured eastward to the dam. This dam forms the east boundary of the reservoir and is covered with riprap. A large concrete water-outlet tower is situated about a third of the way from the north end of the dam. I was unable to evade the flotilla of pleasure boaters at this end of the reservoir either.

I probed the submerged riprap from the south end of the dam to the water-outlet tower with the bama bug TRD BugZ rig and a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ matched to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and I managed to catch two largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, and a channel catfish. These black bass were associated with the submerged riprap in five to eight feet of water and were less than 15 feet from the water’ edge. They were all caught on the bama bug TRD BugZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I failed to generate any strikes with the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ combo.

As the irksome boat traffic increased, it appeared to me that the Labor Day weekend had arrived a couple of days early. So, I called it a day.

Aug. 29

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log:

The National Weather Service reported that it was 63 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 86 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 5 to 22 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to being blessed with a few clouds to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:53 a.m., 30.02 at 5:53 a.m., 30.01 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.98 at 2:53 p.m. The NWS’s forecast for Aug. 30 and 31 notes that northeastern Kansas will be walloped again by heavy rain and flash floods. As of Aug. 28, areas in northeastern Kansas have had from 9 1/2 to 15 1/2 inches of rains and several flash floods during the month August. What’s more, it has been an unseasonably cool August.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 10:03 a.m. to 12:03 p.m., 10:33 p.m. to 12:33 a.m., and 3:48 a.m. to 5:48 a.m.

My cousin, Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fish at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 10:08 a.m. to 2:08 p.m., and tangled with four smallmouth bass and 43 largemouth bass, and we also tangled with one channel catfish and a few panfish species.

The water level was several inches above its normal level. The water clarity ranged from 10 inches of visibility in the back of the primary feeder-creek arm to about five feet of around other locales. The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 81 degrees.

We caught one largemouth bass inside one small feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir. It was caught around a massive patch of coontail in about seven feet of water on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-shake presentation.

Around a main-lake point in the lower half of the reservoir, we caught five largemouth bass. This point has a 15- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is endowed with patches American water willows and several laydowns. Patches of coontail lie in five to seven feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. Four largemouth bass were caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swimming presentation in four to eight feet of water.

Across a massive flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir, we caught 11 largemouth bass around patches of coontail in four to seven feet of water. They were caught on the GrubZ rig. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig, and eight were caught on a swimming presentation.

On a massive flat inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught six largemouth bass. They were caught around patches of coontail in four to seven feet of water on the GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation.

Along about a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught a smallmouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 40-degree slope. The water’s edge is adorned with many overhanging trees, a few patches of American water willows, and some laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A few patches of coontail are situated in four to seven feet of water. The smallmouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

We caught six largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and around a tertiary point in the upper half of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 20- to 50-degree slope. Its shoreline is littered with scores of laydowns and overhanging trees, as well as some patches of American water willows. Occasional patches of coontail lie in four to six feet of water. These seven black bass were caught on the GrubZ rig in three to six feet of water. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig. Four were caught on a swimming presentation.

Across a massive shallow-water flat and portions of a flat shoreline in the back of the primary feeder-creek arm, we tangled with seven largemouth bass. The shoreline has a about a 20-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of a lot of silt. There are patches of American water willows and water lilies, which are interlaced with patches of coontail and brittle naiad. The largemouth bass were caught on the GrubZ rig in three to four feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig, and five were caught on a swimming presentation.

In the upper half of the reservoir, we fished along two sections of a massive main-lake shoreline. One stretch was about 60 yards long, and the other stretch was about 275 yard long. The slope of this shoreline ranges from 25- to 60-degrees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with a few minor patches of American water willows and untold numbers of overhanging trees and laydowns. We caught one largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. We caught two smallmouth bass on the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to five feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig; one was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water; the other one was caught on a swim-glide-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

At a main-lake point in the lower half of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass on the GrubZ rig with a swimming presentation. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American and water willows and some laydowns. Several patches of coontail grace the underwater terrain in four to eight feet of water.

On a tiny shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass on the GrubZ with a swimming presentation in about six feet of water. Patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and bushy pondweed garnish portions of this flat. There are also several laydowns and submerged manmade objects adorning this flat.

In sum, the 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a chartreuse 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one smallmouth bass and 36 largemouth bass. The Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught two smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass. The Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught one largemouth bass. The Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one largemouth bass. The Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one smallmouth bass.

Endnotes

When our four hours came to end, we put away our timer and fish counter and headed back to the boat ramp. Before we reached the boat ramp, we decided to quickly spend a few minutes fishing a flat main-lake shoreline that we have never fished before. As we fished, we failed to thoroughly examine the makeup of its underwater terrain, but much of it looks as if it consists of gravel and small rocks. It is endowed with patches of American pondweed, American water willows, bushy pondweed, and coontail. We didn’t keep track of the largemouth bass that we caught, but we suspect that we caught five of them. They were caught in about three to four feet of water on the GrubZ rig on either the initial drop or a swimming presentation.

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