Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2020

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2020
Amy Whitaker with one the smallmouth bass that she, Bob Gum, and Bret Freudenthal caught on June 5.

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs and 21,636 words that explain how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished.

It features the efforts of Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Brandon and Jason Marlow of LaFollette, Tennessee; Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; and John Thomas of Denton, Texas.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the unseasonably warm days during the last eight days of June affected how and where Pat Kehde and I fished. Three of our outings during those eight days were less than 90 minutes, and because they were short, we opted not to post a log about them on the Finesse News Network. But I can say that we struggled to catch 36 largemouth bass during those 270 minutes of fishing. In short, June wasn’t a stellar month for us old codgers.

What’s more, Mother Nature deposited 4 ¾ inches of rain upon us on June 27, which adversely affected a few of our reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, and that might adversely affect where we can fish during the first week or two of July.


We are thankful that Steve Reideler proofread all of these words. He made them more readable and understandable.


June 2

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 2 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I fished at a perplexing U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that lies in an ex-urban area of north-central Texas.

It’s beginning to feel more like summer in north-central Texas. The partly-clouded sky was illuminated with an abundance of sunshine. The morning low temperature was 67 degrees. The afternoon high temperature climbed to 93 degrees. The wind quartered out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.06 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.05 at 1:00 p.m.


In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 2:02 a.m. to 4:02 a.m., 8:12 a.m. to 10:12 a.m., and 8:32 p.m. to 10:32 p.m.

Norman and I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This reservoir’s underwater terrain is composed of mostly red clay, fist-size rocks, boulders of all shapes and sizes, and pea gravel. It also has many acres of flooded timber, stickups, stumps, brush piles, buck brush, and laydowns. Some of its shallower areas are adorned with thick patches of hydrilla, American pondweed, and a few patches of American water willows.


The water level was 1.93 feet above normal pool. The water clarity varied from 1 1/4 feet to two feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 76 to 80 degrees.

For 5 1/2 hours we plied portions of one large feeder-creek arm and two major tributary arms. We targeted a goodly number of rocky main-lake points, shorelines, flats, a couple of islands, and a riprap jetty. These areas are situated in this impoundment’s lower, middle, and upper sections.

The large aggregations of largemouth bass and spotted bass in this reservoir have eluded us all year, and this outing was no different. All we could manage to catch was 11 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and five freshwater drum. The one highlight of this outing was Norman catching his personal-best spotted bass, which we estimated to be around two pounds. A spotted bass of this size is considered by many local anglers to be a large specimen for north-central Texas.

Three largemouth bass and two spotted bass, including Norman’s trophy spotted bass, were caught in four to six feet of water from the deep-water side of a shallow rock ledge that is covered with two to four feet of water and quickly descends into 20-plus feet of water. This ledge is situated just inside the mouth of the major feeder-creek arm.

Several rocky secondary points and a shallow clay-and-gravel flat inside this same creek arm were fruitless.

One largemouth bass and one freshwater drum were caught in three to five feet of water from a main-lake riprap shoreline adjacent to a riprap jetty.

Two largemouth bass and one freshwater drum were caught from a patch of submerged boulders along one side of an island in three to five feet of water.

We failed to garner any strikes from the perimeter of the other island.

The other six largemouth bass and spotted bass were abiding around several rocky main-lake points. Most of these points are flat. But a couple of the steeper points have 30- to 45-degree slopes. The flatter points were more productive than the steeper ones. These six black bass were abiding near submerged boulders and the outside edges of two large patches of American water willows in three to five feet of water.

The riprap jetty, and the majority of the other main-lake points and flats that we investigated failed to yield a largemouth bass, spotted bass, or a strike.

This outing turned into what many anglers would call a junk-fishing endeavor. We had to employ several Z-Man Fishing Products’ lures to entice these 14 black bass, but none of them were significantly more effective than the others. A Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig produced three black bass. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s blue steel Slim SwimZ attached to an unpainted 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig enticed three black bass. A shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Finesse mushroom-style jig produced three back bass. A shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig allured three black bass. A Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ fastened on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig caught two.

The most effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. But three bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch blue steel Slim SwimZ rig, and one was caught on the initial fall of the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig.

June 4

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about their June 4 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 67 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 89 degrees at 4:53 p.m. Thunderstorms roared across northeastern Kansas from 1:53 a.m. to 3:53 a.m., but it deposited only .40 of an inch of rain. Those storms traveled to western and central Missouri, and Bill Ward of Warsaw, Missouri, reported that the Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake got walloped with about three inches of rain, and those reservoirs are more than chockfull of water. During the rest of the day in northeastern Kansas, the sky was fair. The wind angled out of the southwest, south, and southeast at 5 to 23 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.75 at 12:53 a.m., 29.82 at 5:53 a.m., 29.81 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.78 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated the best fishing would take place from 9:41 a.m. to 11:41 a.m., 10:10 p.m. to 12:10 a.m., and 3:27 a.m. to 5:27 a.m.

Patty Kehde and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from 11:14 a.m. to 1:27 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches above its normal level. The surface temperature fluctuated from being 78 to 80 degrees. The water exhibited from 2 1/2 to about five feet of secchi-stick visibility. This reservoir’s shorelines are endowed with a multitude of patches of American water willows, but they were quite immature. We did not cross paths with any other kinds of emergent or submerged aquatic vegetation.

During this two-hour-and-13-minute outing, we tangled with 28 largemouth bass, one crappie, and one green sunfish.

Patty has recently become infatuated with a Z-Man’s PB&J Rain MinnowZ, which is called a TRD MinnowZ nowadays. But to her chagrin and several northeastern Kansas Midwest finesse anglers, the TRD MinnowZ is not manufactured in the PB&J hue. Fortunately, the Rain MinnowZ or TRD MinnowZ is a very durable critter, and Patty intends to nurse them, and she hopes that each one of them will be able to endure donnybrooks with at least 150 largemouth bass.

On this outing, the PB&J Rain MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedLockZ HD jig caught 18 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught six largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s PB&J TRD HogZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedLockZ HD jig caught two largemouth bass. And a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught two largemouth bass.

We caught eight largemouth bass along the dam. It has about a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the PB&J TRD HogZ rig. Three were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig. The PB&J Rain MinnowZ rig caught four largemouth bass. Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The rest were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in about four to seven feet of water.

We failed to garner a strike around three main-lake points and short portions of their adjacent shorelines.

Along a massive main-lake shoreline and one of its main-lake points, we caught 18 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. Several manmade brush piles enhance the underwater terrain. The shoreline is graced with patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, some overhanging trees, and seven riprap jetties. Most of it has a 25-to 30-degree slope, and there is a short segment that has about a 70-degree slope. Two largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on the PB&J TRD HogZ rig. The PB&J Rain MinnowZ rig caught 15 largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were caught in four to seven feet of water. Six were caught around the riprap jetties. One was caught under an overhanging tree. One was caught around a manmade brush pile. The rest were caught along or near the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. Four were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation. The rest were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along a main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass. This point has a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists fn gravel, rocks, and several humongous boulders. The shoreline is embellished with American water willows. The largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swimming presentation around one of the boulders in about five feet of water.

Along a 75-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a primary feeder creek, we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 40-degree slope. Its water’s edge is enhanced with patches of American water willows, laydowns, overhanging trees, and some stumps. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to a patch of American water willows and a minor laydown.

We were hoping to catch 30 largemouth bass in two hours, but at the two-hour mark, we had caught 28. Then, during the final 13 minutes that we were afloat, we elicited one strike on the Rain MinnowZ that we failed to firmly hook.

June 5

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 4 with two of his colleagues from the University of Kansas Medical Center at one of northeastern Kansas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs.

The National Weather Service reported that the low temperature was 68 degrees and the high temperature was 92 degrees. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the southeast, southwest, south, and west at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure ranged from 29.77 at 12:52 a.m. to 29.82 at 11:52 a.m. to 29.78 at 3:52 p.m. In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:36 a.m. to 12:36 p.m., 4:22 a.m. to 6:22 a.m., and 4:51 p.m. to 6:51 p.m.

The water level was slightly more than six feet above its normal level. In the lower 10 percent of this reservoir, the water exhibited 2 ½ to three feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 78 to 81 degrees.

Bob began fishing at 7:00 a.m. His colleagues joined him at 10:00 a.m., and they fished until 2:30 p.m.

When they made their final casts and retrieves of that outing, Bob’s fish counter noted that they had tangled with 103 fish. And the bulk of them were caught along riprap shorelines in the lower portions of this reservoir.

The most fruitful riprap shoreline was along the dam, and they spent the bulk of their outing probing this massive stretch of riprap.

Some of the 103 fish were caught along the riprap adjacent to a marina and boat ramp. And others were caught along a riprap causeway, which is a rather extensive area.

The bulk of the fish were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, which is a classic Midwest finesse rig.

Along the dam, their boat floated in eight to 10 feet of water, and they made long casts that were perpendicular to the dam, and their rigs landed about 15 feet from the water’s edge. Their retrieves were executed by strolling with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. The fish were caught in about four to eight feet of water.

According to Bob’s count, they caught two bluegill, three sauger, 12 freshwater drum, 20 crappie, 17 smallmouth bass, and 66 largemouth bass.

June 8

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 8 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 7:24 a.m. to 12:24 p.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished at a state reservoir located in a rural area north of Ft. Worth.

Summer has arrived in north-central Texas. It was hot, and the humidity level measured 83 percent. About 30 percent of the sky was covered with puffy white clouds, and there was no shortage of bright sunshine. The morning low temperature was 67 degrees. The afternoon high temperature climbed to 96 degrees with a heat index of 100 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.06 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.05 at noon. There were a couple of spells where the wind was calm, but for the most part, the wind was light and variable.

The most lucrative fishing periods, according to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, would occur from 1:58 a.m. to 3:58 a.m., 8:11 a.m. to 10:11 a.m., and 8:37 p.m. to 10:37 p.m.

The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 82 degrees when we launched the boat at 7:00 a.m., and the vibrant sunshine warmed it up to 89 degrees by noon. The water level was a quarter of a foot high.

We targeted 10 areas, which included portions of one large bay, four main-lake shorelines, four riprap jetties, and one main-lake island. These areas are situated along the reservoir’s eastern shoreline. Only one of these locales is adorned with significant patches of green hydrilla. We found a couple of other areas that are graced with patches of American pondweed.

The black bass fishing was pretty decent. We caught 32 black bass, which consisted of 23 largemouth bass, eight spotted bass, and a rare hybrid spotted bass.

We also caught five green sunfish, three freshwater drum, two white bass, and a three-foot alligator gar.

We began this outing by searching for patches of hydrilla and American pondweed inside a bay on the southwest end of the reservoir. This bay has been our most productive area in this reservoir since the winter of 2019-2020, but it wasn’t fruitful this time.

We fished a rocky shoreline on the east side of the bay. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. There are patches of hydrilla and American pondweed that lie about 10 to 15 feet from the water’s edge, and some of them are beginning to mat on the surface of the water. We were astonished that this area relinquished only one green sunfish. We hooked and lost one largemouth bass a few yards further down the shoreline from where we caught the green sunfish, and we were unable to elicit any more strikes from this shoreline after that.

We then probed a 30-yard section of a rocky shoreline on the west side of the bay. This shoreline has a gradient of about 35 degrees. It is also graced with some patches of hydrilla and American pondweed, but it was also bereft of bass.

Along a short rocky shoreline on the northeast end of the bay we caught two largemouth bass from a small patch of hydrilla that lies in five to seven feet of water and about 15 feet from the water’s edge. One was caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s blue steel Slim SwimZ fastened on an unpainted 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. The other largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We did not fish in the southern or northwest portions of this bay. 

The two main-lake points at the mouth of this bay were not very productive either. These two points are littered with submerged rocks, boulders, and partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. They are both relatively flat.

The north main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. It was abiding next to a partially-flooded bush in three feet of water. It engulfed the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig while we were using it with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to elicit any strikes from the south main-lake point.

The main-lake shoreline adjacent to the south main-lake point yielded two largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and the hybrid spotted bass. They were abiding in three to five feet of water. Two were caught with a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch blue steel Slim SwimZ rig. Two more were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ One was caught on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig that was worked with a swim-glide-and-shake action.

Along a rocky main-lake shoreline in the southeast region of the reservoir, we caught one freshwater drum and one green sunfish. This shoreline is relatively flat and is graced with submerged boulders and some flooded terrestrial bushes in three to five feet of water. There are some thick patches of American pondweed that are situated about 20 feet from the water’s edge. We observed several unknown species of fish occasionally chasing shad on the surface around the patches of American pondweed, but we could not get any of them to strike our offerings.

From that main-lake shoreline, we travelled a short distance northward and fished around the perimeter of a main-lake island. This island’s shoreline and underwater terrain consists of clay, pea gravel, submerged boulders, flooded bushes, and a small stand of flooded timber on the south side of the island.

We caught a combination of four largemouth bass and spotted bass and one freshwater drum from the outside edges of the flooded bushes and timber in three to five feet of water. Two of the black bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ dressed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Finesse Jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

A short distance from the island, we probed another rocky main-lake shoreline that is about 50-yards long. This shoreline is flat and is graced with numerous submerged boulders that extend out from the water’s edge into 15 feet of water. A massive decorative stone wall outlines the water’s edge. There are two covered boat houses with long walkways that extend out from the north end of this shoreline.

We caught two spotted bass from the shoreline around the submerged boulders in less than five feet of water. Two spotted bass were caught in the shaded areas from underneath one of the two covered boat houses. They were suspended about five feet below the surface in 17 feet of water. They were relating to the metal support posts on the outside edge of the dock. We also caught a white bass that was next to a partially-submerged ladder on the outside edge of the dock. Two of the spotted bass were caught on the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig, and the other two were caught on the 3 1/2-inch green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rig. Both of these combos were implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Next, we moved about 100 yards to another rocky shoreline. This shoreline yielded six largemouth bass, one white bass, and one green sunfish. This shoreline is flat and is covered with submerged boulders and flooded terrestrial bushes. About 25 to 30 feet from the water’s edge are two submerged rock ledges that stair-step downward from five feet of water to 18 feet of water. Five of these six largemouth bass were caught in five feet of water around the top of the first ledge. One largemouth bass was caught in 24 feet of water and about 75 feet out from the rock ledges as it was foraging on small threadfin shad on the water’s surface.

Three of these six largemouth bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch blue steel Slim SwimZ rig. A swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ rig enticed the other three largemouth bass.

Further north along the eastern shoreline, we probed the riprap that covers two jetties. We caught a mix of four largemouth bass and spotted bass, and one 3 1/2-foot alligator gar from the first jetty. One largemouth bass and a large green sunfish were caught from the second jetty. Four of these five black bass were abiding in four to seven feet of water near the submerged riprap along the two jetties. One largemouth was caught about 30 feet from the water’s edge and just below the surface next to the boat in 23 feet of water.

Two of these black bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig. Two were attracted to the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. And the one largemouth that was caught next to the boat engulfed the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ on the initial fall when Norman accidentally dropped the lure into the water as he was preparing to make a cast.

We finished the outing at two other riprap-laden jetties that are situated about 1 1/2 miles north of the first two that we fished. These two jetties form a channel that leads to a large concrete spillway on the north end of the east shoreline.

From these two jetties, we caught five largemouth bass and one white bass. They were caught in three to seven feet of water near the ends of the two jetties. Three were caught on the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig, and two were caught on the Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ rig. Both of these lures were utilized with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We were unable to determine a dominant lure. We wielded nine different Z-Man Midwest finesse rigs and five of them were effective. Of those five lures, none of them were significantly more dominant than the others.

However, we were able to establish that a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.

June 10

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 10 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 7:24 a.m. to 12:08 p.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished at one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs in north-central Texas. Norman and I fished at this same reservoir on May 30, and we caught 23 largemouth bass in five hours.

The water level was 2.09 feet above normal pool. Where we fished, the water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 82 degrees.

It was a beautiful day in north-central Texas. It was sunny, and the sky was slightly clouded. The morning low temperature was 61 degrees. The afternoon high temperature reached 89 degrees. A robust wind blew incessantly out of the northwest at 15 to 25 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.03 at 7:00 a.m., and it was 30.09 at noon.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the best fishing periods would occur from 3:16 a.m. to 5:16 a.m., 9:29 a.m. to 11:29 a.m., and 3:41 p.m. to 5:41 p.m.

In the south end of the impoundment, Norman and I focused our attentions on a main-lake island and three rock- and boulder-laden main-lake points near the island and at the mouth of a small bay.

In the reservoir’s north and northwest regions, we targeted a 75-yard section of a steep rocky bluff, five main-lake points, and portions of three rocky main-lake shorelines adjacent to the five main-lake points.

We fished in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 35 feet, and we caught 24 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, 13 white bass, and one freshwater drum.

We caught 10 largemouth bass along the perimeter of the main-lake island in the south end of the reservoir. The island’s underwater terrain consists of clay and pea-gravel. Its shallow-water areas are cluttered with flooded trees, terrestrial bushes, and stumps. Seven of these largemouth bass were caught in less than five feet of water from the northwest corner of the island, which was taking the brunt of the brisk wind and white-capping waves. The other three were caught along the east and southeast sections of the island, which were more protected from the wind and waves. They were also abiding in less than five feet of water. All of them were caught around the flooded terrestrial bushes or trees.

Along a main-lake major point and two minor rocky points that lie a short distance from the island, we caught five largemouth bass. One of the five largemouth bass was caught from the major point, and four were caught from the two smaller points. The major main-lake point has a clay-and-pea-gravel underwater terrain. The two smaller points are covered with bowling-ball-size rocks. All of them are adorned with some shallow flooded buck brush. These five black bass were associated with the outside edges of the flooded bushes in three to five feet of water.

The north and northwest regions of this reservoir were not as productive as the island and the three points in the south end of the impoundment. The wind velocity had increased from 15 to 25 mph as the morning progressed, and it hampered our boat control efforts and our abilities to make accurate casts and retrieves.

We caught four largemouth bass and one spotted bass from a 50-yard section of a rock bluff at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm. These five black bass were suspended about five feet below the surface in 17 to 21 feet of water. They were in close proximity to several small pods of small threadfin shad that were meandering along the surface of the water near the bluff.

We caught three largemouth bass from a flat and rocky main-lake shoreline. They were extracted from three to five feet of water near a large aggregation of threadfin shad. Two of them were caught simultaneously. The third one was caught about 25 yards further down the shoreline from the first two.

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One largemouth bass was caught from another rocky main-lake shoreline in less than five feet of water. And as we were leaving that shoreline, we stumbled across a small school of white bass that were surface-foraging on threadfin shad in 35 feet of water. They did not stay up for long, but we were able to catch 13 of them before they disappeared.

One rocky main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. This point has a 30- to 35-degree gradient. Its submerged terrain is composed of clay, rocks, and boulders. This largemouth was extracted from five feet of water near a submerged boulder.

At the other four rocky main-lake points and the third main-lake shoreline, we failed to catch any largemouth bass and spotted bass.

In conclusion, one largemouth was caught on a four-inch Berkley’s pumpkin-chartreuse curly-tailed Power Bait finesse worm that was rigged on a 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was utilized with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s blue-steel Slim SwimZ that was fastened on an unpainted 1/15-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Five largemouth bass were induced into striking a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ that was fastened on a white 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We caught 17 black bass and one freshwater drum by employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with either a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Finesse jig or a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ.

The 13 white bass engulfed a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. It was employed with a moderately-fast paced swimming retrieve.

June 11

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, filed a very detailed log on the Finesse News Network about his outing at a U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers’ reservoir in northeastern Kansas on June 11.

Here is a shortened and edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the low temperature was 55 degrees, and the high temperature was 90 degrees. The wind blew from the south and southeast from 5 to 26 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.18 at 12:53 a.m., 29.25 at 5:53 a.m., 29.29 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.21 at 5:53 p.m.

The surface temperature was 80 degrees. The water exhibited one to two feet of visibility. On June 12, a story in our local newspaper reported that the Kansas Dept. of Health had issued a blue-green algae warning for the upper reaches of this impoundment, but that area was many lake miles from the area I fished, and it confirms that there are algae problems developing. The water was slightly more than five feet above its normal level.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 4:02 a.m. to 6:02 a.m., 4:25 p.m. to 6:25 p.m., and 10:14 a.m. to 12:14 p.m.

I fished from 2:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.

I fished around five main-lake points, along two 200-yard sections of main-lake shorelines, along a 300-yard section of a riprap shoreline, along two shorelines inside a feeder-creek arm, and around a bridge.

I caught 56 largemouth bass and eight smallmouth bass, and I inadvertently caught 12 green sunfish, six bluegills, two crappie, and one freshwater drum.

I used five different Midwest finesse rigs and caught black bass on all of them. But a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig was far and away more productive than the other four. The other rigs were a Z-Man’s molting craw Hula StickZ mounted on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s PB&J Finesse WormZ on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 2.5-inch Z-Man pearl Slim SwimZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce TT Lures NedlockZ HD jig.

So many fish were caught and so fast at times, it was impossible to retain the details of how each fish was caught and what retrieve was used to inveigle each strike. However, I can say that the main-lake points were more productive than the main-lake shorelines and the shorelines inside the feeder-creek arm.

At the first spot I plied, which was a steep rocky main-lake point at the mouth of a small feeder creek, I caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass on the Hula StickZ rig. One largemouth was caught on the initial drop of the lure, and I caught the other one on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The smallmouth bass hit on a deadstick presentation in about 8 1/2 feet of water. The smallmouth bass was a hefty specimen that measured 18 1/4 inches and weighed 3.4 pounds.

Around the other main-lake point at the entrance to this small feeder creek, I caught two more smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass. All of these bass were caught on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig. A couple were caught on the initial drop, a couple hit on a deadstick presentation, and the rest were taken with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along a 200-yard stretch of a rocky main-lake shoreline and a 300-yard stretch of a riprap shoreline, I managed to catch one smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass. These fish were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with several Midwest finesse retrieves.

At the end of my second hour of fishing, my counter showed that I had landed 15 largemouth bass and four smallmouths.

And then I ran into something really special. At the end of the riprap shoreline, I reached the spot where a bridge passed over the channel of a primary feeder-creek arm. I have been striving to be more effective at fishing bridge pillars, so I planned to attempt to catch bass from one or two of the five pillars under this bridge. The wind was blowing briskly and creating ranks of whitecaps, which made boat control very difficult. However, I found that I could use the trolling motor and sideslip from side to side while staying under the bridge. After catching two largemouth bass on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve around the riprap under the bridge, I focused on one of the pillars and made a cast toward the downwind side of the pillar. The lure hit the concrete pillar about two feet above the water, and then it dropped straight down. I immediately received a strike and landed a largemouth bass on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. I made a second cast to the same spot with the same result; and the third, fourth and fifth casts also yielded a largemouth bass. In short order, I caught 10 largemouth bass from this one pillar. As I was maneuvering the boat around in the wind, I kept seeing more bass swimming into the sun from the shadow of the bridge. They appeared to be chasing baitfish, but I could never see exactly what they were chasing. They were out in the wind and waves and seemed to be concentrated in an area next to the adjacent pillar. I made a cast to that area and received another strike from a largemouth bass as I was employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. And I quickly boated and released 10 largemouth bass from that area. Though I am sure there were more bass to be caught, I imposed a 10 bass limit on myself. Therefore, I moved the boat over to the third or middle pillar, and I started casting to the downwind side of the pillar, and I made six casts and caught five largemouth bass. I decided five were enough. I elected not to fish the fourth pillar. Instead, I headed towards the fifth one, and I made a random cast to the edge of the shadow of the bridge between pillar number four and five, and that cast yielded another largemouth bass that was caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. At the fifth pillar, I caught three largemouth bass.

Altogether, I caught 29 largemouth and two smallmouths in about one hour and 15 minutes under that bridge. All of them were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. They were caught on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. They were caught in water as shallow as 4 1/2 feet and as deep as 29 feet. The concentration of black bass and the feeding frenzy that they were engaged in was something special and unique in my experience. I think that the wind and currents under the bridge, combined with the presence of a large colony of barn swallows in the girders of the bridge that were bombarding the area with their droppings, had concentrated bait fish under the bridge. The bass were there trying to forage on the bait fish. It was a tough call to leave that area; I am sure that there were many more black bass to be caught, but I had other areas that I wanted to ply, and it was starting to get late in the day.

Thus, I moved to a steep rocky main-lake point at the mouth of a small feeder-creek arm. The water in this area seemed noticeably more stained. So, I picked up the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig, hoping it would be more visible in the stained water. After several casts to the tip of the point and its immediately adjacent shorelines, I hooked and landed two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. All three of these black bass were enticed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Along both shorelines inside the feeder creek, I managed to catch only one largemouth bass. This fish was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve while I was strolling. At the other main-lake point at the mouth of this feeder creek, I caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. One largemouth bass struck the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ on the initial drop, and the other two fish were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along a 200-yard stretch of a rocky main-lake shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass on the coppertreuse TRD Tickler Z rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass was relating to the base of a large tree that was partially inundated by the high water. This shoreline ended at another main-lake point. The wind, waves, and a considerable amount of flooded brush made it impossible to fish the TRD TicklerZ rig effectively. And I switched to the pearl Slim SwimZ rig and used a straight swimming retrieve. I made several passes back and forth along this point and its adjacent shoreline and managed to catch four largemouth bass.

My designated quitting time was 7:00 p.m., but my back and shoulders were aching with fatigue, and I really did not have anything left to accomplish for the day.

I caught 64 black bass in four hours and 20 minutes, which is a catch rate of 14.78 per hour. I also inadvertently caught 21 other fish of other species, which is a catch rate of 19.63 fish per hour or nearly one fish every three minutes. It is a pity that the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions have prevented me from having a partner. I believe that two anglers would have easily attained the coveted 101 bass in four hours hallmark.

June 12

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log about their June 12 outing.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 63 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 89 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to being partly cloudy to being endowed with a few clouds. The wind was calm for five hours, and when it was not calm, it angled out of the east, southwest, and south at 3 to 23 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.23 at 12:52 a.m., 30.25 at 5:52 a.m., 30.24 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.21 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar reported that the best fishing would occur from 4:50 a.m. to 6:50 a.m., 5:11 p.m. to 7:11 p.m., and 11:01 p.m. to 1:01 a.m.

For the past three months, Patty Kehde has been my Midwest finesse partner, and in the heat of the summer, she prefers two-hour outings. But if the weather is delightful, she can tolerate about three hours in the midday sun. But during most of our outings during the first 12 days of June, the heat index was rather torturous. Therefore, our outings at nearby waterways have been very short endeavors, encompassing one hour and eight minutes to one hour and 30 minutes. Because they were so short, we decided not to create a log about those endeavors. But we can say that we struggled to catch an average of seven largemouth bass an hour on those short affairs, and there was virtually nothing to write.

On June 12, she wanted to start fishing a tad earlier than we normally do. So, we made our first casts at 9:36 a.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs. We made our finals casts at 11:45 a.m.

Upon arriving at the parking lot of the boat ramp, which was cluttered with boat trailers and tow vehicles and a bevy of shore anglers, we were astonished to see that the water level of this reservoir was more than five feet below its normal level. Thus, it was a chore to launch the boat and to get it back on the trailer. Consequently, all of this reservoir’s patches of American water willows, which are usually the grandest patches in all of Kansas, were about four to six feet from the water’s edge; it is a sad sight. This reservoir has one grand and massive patch of water lilies, which are dry and dead. Many square yards of its shallow-water flats, which were once embellished with a variety of wonderful varieties of submerged aquatic vegetation, are dry and sorry looking. The water exhibited from three to six feet of secchi-stick clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 80 degrees. Some of the shallow-water flats were endowed with patches of bushy pondweed and wilted curly-leaf pondweed stems. We failed to encounter any patches of coontail, which is alarming.

During this two-hour-and-nine-minute outing, we caught 30 largemouth bass and accidentally caught four green sunfish. Patty also caught a rod and reel that sported a Z-Man’s Chatterbait JackHammer, which was the first time in her 79 years that she has caught a rod and reel and a $15.99 Chatterbait JackHammer. And it was the first time that we had a Chatterbait in our boat.

We failed to garner a strike around two main-lake points and their adjacent shorelines. We also failed to elicit a strike across a massive shallow-water flat in the back end of one of this reservoir’s primary feeder-creek arms.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline inside one of the reservoir’s primary feeder creek arms, we caught 12 largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, sand, clay, rocks, and boulders. Some of the flatter areas are graced with significant patches of bushy pondweed and wilted curly-leaf pondweed. This shoreline is graced with several tertiary points. There are about a dozen man-made brush piles situated along this shoreline. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed. Two of the 12 were caught on a 3.5-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, and one of these two was caught with a slow swimming presentation around patches of bushy pondweed in about five feet of water, and the other one was caught on the initial drop around a patch of bushy pondweed in about four feet of water. Four of the 12 were caught on a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD jig, and they were caught on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in three to six feet of water. Five were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD jig, and they were caught on either the initial drop or a slow swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation in three to six feet of water. The four of the nine that we caught on our TRD MinnowZ rigs were caught around the patches of bushy pondweed, and five were caught around rocky terrains.

Along another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm, we caught five largemouth bass. We fished about a 50-yard stretch of this shoreline. It is situated further inside this feeder-creek arm than the 150-yard stretched that yielded 12 largemouth bass, and it is on the other side of this feeder-creek arm. It possesses the same characteristics as that 150-stretch on the other side of the feeder creek. Three of the five were caught on the meat dog TRD MinnowZ rig, and one was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about five feet of water. Two were caught on the PB&J TRD MinnowZ rig, and one of them was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water, and the other one was caught on a straight swimming presentation in five to six feet of water.

We spent the final hour and nine minutes fishing portions of two shorelines and a segment of a shallow-water flat inside another primary feeder-creek arm.

Along about a 100-yard stretch of one of those two shorelines, we caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the flatter areas are embellished with patches of bushy pondweed. It is also littered with a few man-made brush piles. This shoreline is graced with a secondary point and one significant tertiary one, and both of these points yielded one largemouth bass. Two of the six largemouth bass were caught on the meat dog TRD MinnowZ rig, and four were caught on the PB&J TRD MinnowZ rig. Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in three to four feet of water, and one was caught adjacent to a man-made brush pile. The other three were caught on a swim-glide-and-no-shake presentation around the outside edges of the patches of bushy pondweed.

We caught five largemouth bass along another shoreline inside this primary feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some areas are graced with patches of bushy pondweed, and there are a few man-made brush piles situated along this shoreline. Three of the five largemouth bass were caught on the PB&J TRD MinnowZ rig, and two were caught on the meat dog TRD MinnowZ rig. Three were caught along the outside edges of the patches of bushy pondweed. Two of the five were caught along rock- and boulder-laden terrains. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. One was caught with a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. These five largemouth bass were caught in water as shallow as three feet and no deeper than six feet.

Two largemouth bass were caught on the shallow-water flat that is about 55 percent of the way inside this feeder-creek arm. We fished an area about half of the size of a football field. Its underwater terrain is embellished with patches of bushy pondweeds and several man-made brush piles. The boat floated in about seven feet of water. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the meat dog TRD MinnowZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Next week, the National Weather Service is forecasting for midday temperatures to range from 92 to 94 degrees. Therefore, it is likely that Patty and I will not be posting logs about 90-minute endeavors to catch the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that abide in the community, federal, and state reservoirs that are relatively near to Lawrence, Kansas.

Our geriatric body, minds, and souls are slowly creating another way for us to fish. During the past several years, we have been pondering about creating a geriatric fishing network, and this might be the start of it.

June 13

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 13 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

John Thomas of Denton and I conducted a morning outing at a challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. We started earlier than usual so we could beat the anticipated weekend boat traffic and heat.

The last time I fished at this Corps’ reservoir was on May 15 with Norman Brown of Lewisville. We fished for four hours, and we had a difficult time catching 17 black bass.

On June 13, it was sunny and humid. The sky was partly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 69 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 93 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.14 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.13 at 11:00 a.m. The wind quartered out of the east-by-southeast at 3 to 12 mph.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 5:40 a.m. to 7:40 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 84 degrees. The water level was 0.72 of a foot above normal.

We targeted six main-lake points, portions of four main-lake shorelines, three riprap-covered bridge embankments, one main-lake flat, and a small section of a main-lake cove.

The six main-lake points were not very productive. These points are scattered along the north and south sides of the tributary arm and are quite a distance apart from each other. They are, however, similar in that they are flat and their underwater terrains consist of red clay, rocks, submerged boulders of various sizes, and pea gravel. One of these points features a long-submerged roadbed that extends across the entire tributary arm and ends at a flat shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm. Another one of these points is endowed with a dilapidated asphalt boat ramp. Two of them are adorned with flooded stickups and stumps.

The point with the dilapidated boat ramp yielded one largemouth bass. The point with the submerged roadbed yielded a spotted bass. The third point, which lies at the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm, surrendered one largemouth bass. The other three main-lake points were fruitless.

All three of these bass were caught in three to five feet of water and within 15 feet of the water’s edge. Two of them were caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ rigged on a Z-Man’s black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other one was caught on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that was sporting a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Electric Chicken Slim SwimZ. The Finesse ShadZ rig was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve; the 2 1/2-inch Slim SwimZ was employed with a steady swimming retrieve.

The main-lake flat that we plied lies adjacent to the main-lake point with the submerged roadbed extending from it. This flat yielded two spotted bass. Its submerged terrain consists of mostly red clay and pea-gravel. Its water’s edge is festooned with thick patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. These two spotted bass were relating to an offshore patch of flooded stickups in six feet of water and about 50 feet from the water’s edge. They were coaxed into striking a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with The Deal Finesse ShadZ combo.

The four main-lake shorelines were the most productive areas. Their underwater terrains are also similar; they are composed of red clay, pea-gravel, rocks, and boulders. They are also endowed with several minor pockets and tertiary points. One of these shorelines is adorned with a couple of large partially-submerged laydowns.

From these four shorelines, we garnered a mixture of 11 spotted bass and largemouth bass. They were abiding in three to seven feet of water. Most of them were relating to the sides of the submerged boulders. One largemouth bass was caught from the end of one of the two laydowns.

Eight of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with The Deal Finesse ShadZ combo. Four were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch Electric Chicken Slim SwimZ rig.

Of the three riprap bridge embankments that we probed, two were shaded by the bridge. We caught three spotted bass and two largemouth bass from one of the shaded embankments. They were caught near the riprap in less than five feet of water. All five of them were beguiled by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig.

The other shaded embankment was occupied by several bank anglers and we were unable to generate any strikes along it. The third embankment was drenched in sunshine, and it did not relinquish any largemouth bass or spotted bass.

Inside one main-lake cove, we crossed paths with a school of white bass. They were in 12 to 15 feet of water and surface-foraging on bunches of small threadfin shad that appeared to be less than an inch long. This feeding spree lasted only a few minutes, and we managed to catch eight of them before it ended. They were caught on a moderate-paced swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch Electric Chicken Slim SwimZ.

In closing, locating significant numbers of largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this impoundment is easier said than done. We elected to ply main-lake black bass lairs in the reservoir’s southwest tributary arm from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and we had a hard time locating and catching 10 spotted bass, nine largemouth bass, and eight white bass. None of these 19 black bass were grouped together.

Rocky main-lake shorelines were the most productive locales.

The most effective lure was a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ matched with a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

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

June 15

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

Norman Brown of Lewisville and I opted to return to a state reservoir that we fished on June 8. It is located in an ex-urban area north of Ft. Worth.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the fishing would most likely be poor, and the best fishing would occur from 12:45 a.m. to 2:45 a.m., 6:55 a.m. to 8:55 a.m., and 7:19 p.m. to 9:19 p.m.

This is the time of year when we prefer to get out on the water early before it gets uncomfortably hot. Therefore, Norman and I fished from 7:24 a.m. to 11:37 a.m.

Thin wispy clouds covered about 35 percent of the morning sky. The morning low temperature was 65 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 96 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.11 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.13 at noon. The wind was calm when we launched the boat around 7:15 a.m., and there wasn’t a hint of wind until 10:47 a.m., which was when it began to stir out of the south and southeast at 3 to 5 mph.

The water was calm and smooth. It exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 80 degrees. The water level was at its normal pool level.

We concentrated our efforts on four areas: two main-lake points at the mouth of a small bay and a portion of their adjoining shorelines, the perimeter of a main-lake island, a rocky main-lake shoreline, and an offshore hump.

At the two main-lake points that form the entrance to a small bay on the southeast end of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass and one freshwater drum. These two points are adorned with submerged rocks, boulders, and partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation. They are both relatively flat. Both of them were entertaining several pods of small threadfin shad that were about an inch long.

The largemouth was relating to a large submerged boulder on the end of the northern point in five feet of water. It was enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The freshwater drum was also caught in the same area where we caught the largemouth bass. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Finesse jig.

We failed to elicit any strikes from the southern main-lake point.

The main-lake shoreline adjacent to the south point yielded one spotted bass and two white bass. This shoreline is flat and covered with large rocks and boulders. There are a few patches of American pondweed that exist about 15 to 20 feet from the water’s edge in five to eight feet of water. These three fish were abiding in three to five feet of water near some submerged boulders. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ rig.

We were delighted to cross paths with a combination of 28 largemouth bass and spotted bass along the perimeter of an island, which lies about a mile east of the bay where we started this outing. This island’s shoreline and underwater terrain consists of clay, pea gravel, submerged boulders, flooded bushes, and a small stand of flooded timber on the south side of the island.

These 28 largemouth and spotted bass were schooling and chasing small threadfin shad on the water’s surface in two to 21 feet of water. We also caught several white bass that were mingling with the school of black bass. Twenty of the black bass were caught on the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ rig. Seven were caught on the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig. One was caught on a Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TicklerZ that was attached to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. A few of them engulfed our lures on the initial drop, but the bulk of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

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After that, we moved about 500 yards to the north and stopped at another rocky shoreline on the east side of the reservoir. This shoreline is flat and is covered with submerged boulders and flooded terrestrial vegetation. About 25 to 30 feet from the water’s edge are two submerged rock ledges. The shallower ledge is covered with three feet of water, and the deeper one is covered with 12 feet of water. There is also a long and narrow rock-laden point that extends out from the shoreline about 35 yards; it is covered with three to 12 feet of water. This shoreline and rocky point relinquished 23 largemouth and spotted bass, as well as 19 white bass and another freshwater drum.

The majority of these black bass were caught in five to nine feet of water around the top of the long submerged rocky point. A few were caught in less than eight feet of water from the top and deep-water side of the shallower rock ledge. A couple of largemouth bass were caught from a school of white bass in 41 feet of water and about 35 yards out from the water’s edge. All of them were foraging on large schools of small threadfin shad on the water’s surface.

Thirteen of these black bass and a couple of white bass were caught on the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ. Seven black bass, two white bass, and a freshwater drum were caught on the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ. Three black bass and 15 white bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Electric Chicken Slim SwimZ that was affixed on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Most of these black bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. A few were caught on the initial fall of our rigs. Three were caught on a steady swimming retrieve. We were amazed to see one spotted bass suddenly appear next to the boat and engulf Norman’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig just as he freed it from a snag in some shallow boulders in three feet of water.

We finished the outing at an offshore hump in the midsection of the reservoir. This hump is covered with about 10 feet of water and is surrounded by 21 to 35 feet of water. The north end of this hump is littered with a large patch of boulders.

The north side of the hump yielded a mix of 13 largemouth bass and spotted bass and a couple of white bass. All of them were schooling on the surface and chasing small threadfin shad in 12 to 15 feet of water. Ten were caught on The Deal TRD TubeZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three were caught on the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Around 11:30 a.m. it was beginning to get hot and the black bass and white bass bite had petered out. We also noticed an increase in boat traffic, so we made a few more fruitless casts and retrieves, then we called it a day.

Overall, the black bass fishing was outstanding. We found two large concentrations of black bass that were schooling with white bass as they foraged on small threadfin shad on the surface of the water. It is also the first time this year that we have observed this much surface-schooling activity in any of the waterways that we ply in north-central Texas. We relished this opportunity to tussle with 66 black bass, which consisted of 58 largemouth bass and eight spotted bass in four hours and 13 minutes. We also caught 29 white bass, and three freshwater drum.

Our most effective lure was the 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation by far.

June 16

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about their June 16 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 71 degrees at 6:53 p.m. and 85 degrees at 11:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 18 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to being littered with a few clouds to being partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.18 at 12:53 a.m., 30.18 at 5:53 a.m., and 30.17 at 11:53 a.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 7:23 a.m. to 9:23 a.m., 7:44 p.m. to 9:44 p.m., and 1:13 a.m. to 3:13 a.m.

Patty Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, and I had another short conjugal outing in chase of the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that abide in one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs.

The surface temperature was 83 degrees. The water level looked to be normal. The water exhibited about seven feet of visibility. Most of this reservoir’s patches of coontail have wilted, but we crossed paths with a few patches of coontail and some patches of bushy pondweed. The patches of American water willows that grace some of this reservoir’s shorelines are blooming, exhibiting scores of dainty white blossoms, and they are a delightful sight. We saw a deer munching on the blossoms.

We made our first casts at 8:55 a.m. and our last ones at 11:25 a.m.

We caught 10 smallmouth bass and 28 largemouth bass, and we accidentally caught one bluegill, one channel catfish, and one green sunfish.

To catch these 38 black bass, we primarily used five classic Midwest finesse rigs: a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s bama-bug ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD jig; a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead; a 3 ½-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a green-pumpkin 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead; a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead, and a 3 ½-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. But we did catch one smallmouth bass on a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD jig, and we caught one largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

Along two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm and two main-lake points at the mouth of this feeder creek, we caught three smallmouth bass and nine largemouth bass. The shorelines and the points have a 25- to 40-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with oodles of laydowns, overhanging trees, and some patches of American water willows.

Around this feeder creek and its points, one largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about five feet of water. A smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to a patch of American water willows. On the pumpkin GrubZ rig we caught two largemouth bass, and one was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water, and the other one was caught on a swim-and-glide presentation in about five feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin GrubZ rig, and two were caught on the initial drop in four to five feet of water, and one was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in five to six feet of water. Two smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse Worm Z rig on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water. Seven of the 12 black bass were caught in water that was shaded from the sun by overhanging trees. Three were caught in the vicinity of a laydown. Two were caught around rocks and boulders in about seven feet of water.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, which we shared with another black-bass angler who was working with a drop-shot rig, we caught one smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 30- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with occasional patches of American water willows, scores of laydowns, and an array of overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. We crossed paths with some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, which we did not identify.

Along this shoreline, one largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a pumpkin GrubZ rig in about five feet of water. One smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin GrubZ rig in about four feet water. Four largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. Two of these four largemouth bass were caught around a patch of submerged aquatic vegetation.

We spent the last hour and 15 minutes probing portions of a massive main-lake shoreline. We haphazardly calculated that we fished about 400-yards of it, and we also fished around two of its main-lake points, which were fruitless. The shoreline has a 30- to 70-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with untold numbers of overhanging trees, an occasional stump, oodles of laydowns, and a few patches of American water willows. We fished through and around a small patch of submerged aquatic vegetation, which was fruitless.

Along this shoreline, we caught six smallmouth bass and 12 largemouth bass. The first largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in the shade created by a large overhanging tree in four to five feet of water.

During the rest of the outing, we wielded our old-fashioned Midwest finesse rigs. Three of the smallmouth bass were caught on the bama-bug ZinkerZ rig. Three smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig. Eight largemouth bass were caught on the bama-bug ZinkerZ rig, and 10 largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig. About half of the 18 black bass were caught on the initial drop of our ZinkerZ rigs in the shade created by the overhanging trees in three to five feet of water. One was caught along a ledge of boulders with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. Eight of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in the vicinity of the shade created by the overhanging trees, and the shade was also graced with laydowns, boulders, and piles of rocks.

In short, it was a fruitful affair. We caught 38 black bass in 150 minutes, which is about one every four minutes, and an average of 15 an hour.

June 17

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his June 17 outing to one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 91 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to being littered with a few clouds to being mostly cloudy. The wind angled from the south and southeast at 6 to 25 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:52 a.m., 30.06 at 5:52 a.m., 30.04 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.96 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:02 a.m. to 10:02 a.m., 8:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m., and 1:51 a.m. to 3:51 a.m.

I fished from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 83 degrees. The water exhibited 1 ½ to three feet of visibility.

I fished the entire length of the dam twice, around three main-lake points, around a riprap jetty at the mouth of a small feeder-creek, along a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, along a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm, and around three riprap jetties that embellish another main-lake shoreline.

I used four Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse Shroom jig, a Z-Man’s molting craw TRD CrawZ mounted on a red 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig, a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse WormZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse Shroom jig, and a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig.

Part of the reason for my diverse selection of rigs was to use some that I have not used very often. And I wanted to compare their effectiveness to the TRD TicklerZ, which has been consistently productive. So, I imposed a 10-fish limit on each one, vowing to change to a different style after the tenth fish was caught. I also planned to change rigs if one proved to be unproductive after using it for several dozen casts.

I started out fishing along the riprap of the dam. The wind velocity was already up and blowing whitecaps at an angle to the face of the dam. I found that I had better boat control and presentations of my Midwest finesse rigs by working into the wind. On my third cast, I caught the first largemouth bass on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. As I continued along the dam face, I kept eliciting strikes on the TRD MinnowZ rig on every fourth or fifth cast. I landed my tenth largemouth bass as I neared the midpoint of the dam. I also noted that I had missed hooking a number of strikes, and I failed to land at least 10 largemouth bass that had liberated themselves after short donnybrooks.

Having reached my 10-fish quota with the TRD MinnowZ rig, I picked up the TRD CrawZ rig. This rig seemed to be even more productive as the strikes were quicker and more positive, resulting in fewer missed strikes compared to the TRD MinnowZ rig. I landed the tenth largemouth with the TRD CrawZ rig shortly before reaching the end of the dam.

As I fished the dam face, the boat floated in five to 14 feet of water. Some of the largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, about half of them were caught on the initial drop of the rigs, and the rest were caught on a deadstick presentation. Most of the deadstick strikes were in deeper water and directly behind the boat. The initial drop and swim-glide- and-shake presentations were the most effective ones with the TRD MinnowZ rig. The deadstick was the most effective presentation with the TRD CrawZ rig.

I switched to the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig to finish plying the dam, and I was unable to elicit a strike with it. At a main-lake point and ripap jetty at the mouth of a small feeder creek, I was able to land two largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig. Both of these fish were relating to a large patch of bushy pondweed in the water adjacent to the side of the jetty. However, after several more casts to the edge of the patches of aquatic vegetation and along the jetty, which produced no additional strikes, I decided that this rig was not going to be as productive as the TRD MinnowZ and TRD CrawZ rigs.

Thus, I began using the TRD TicklerZ rig, and I quickly landed a largemouth bass from a patch of bushy pondweed and one from the tip of the jetty. Both of these fish were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. At the main-lake point on the other side of the mouth of this small feeder-creek, I caught nine largemouth bass on the TRD TicklerZ rig. Four of these fish were caught on the initial drop and five were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I was impressed by the aggressiveness of the strikes I received from these nine largemouth bass. That convinced me that the TRD TicklerZ rig was going to prove to be the best lure of this outing.

After I landed largemouth bass number 11 on the TRD TicklerZ rig, I decided to ply some different areas.

The next locale was a 150-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. It was littered with burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed. Even in places where the vegetation had not yet emerged to the surface, they were growing thickly under the surface. And I had to stop three times to clean the trolling motor’s propeller, and I continually failed to elicit a strike. I finally gave up on trying to effectively fish this area, and I decided to search for some deeper water.

This shoreline ended at a main-lake point that separates the two-primary feeder-creek arms of this reservoir. I hooked and landed five largemouth bass around this point. All of them were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in the vicinity of a deep-water edge of patches of submerged vegetation.

Around another main-lake point that separates two small feeder-creek arms, I caught one largemouth on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

On a 100-yard stretch of shoreline adjacent to this point and inside one of the feeder creeks, I caught three largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig, and the other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to garner a strike around three riprap jetties along a main-lake shoreline.

I decided to return to the dam. Since the TRD TicklerZ had caught 20 largemouth bass, I decided to use the molting craw TRD CrawZ rig again. During my first endeavors along the dam, I noticed that the largemouth bass were easier to catch on the TRD CrawZ rig than they were on the TRD MinnowZ rig. This time I allowed the wind to push the boat along the dam at a fairly brisk pace. I used the trolling motor to keep the boat far enough off the rocks to give me casting room. In about 25 minutes, the wind pushed the boat the entire length of the dam, and I landed nine more largemouth bass on the TRD CrawZ rig. Three or four of the largemouth bass struck on the initial drop, and the rest were caught on a deadstick presentation in deeper water.

In all, I caught a total of 51 largemouth in the four hours, which is a catch rate of 12.75 bass per hour. I also caught two green sunfish. Ten largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig, 19 were caught on the TRD CrawZ rig, and 20 were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig.

As far as choosing the most effective lure, it was a tossup between the TRD CrawZ, which was best along the dam, and the TRD TicklerZ, which was best along the edges of the aquatic vegetation. The strikes on the TRD TicklerZ seemed to be more aggressive, but the TRD CrawZ produced strikes from larger fish. The deadstick presentation was the most effective along the dam. The swim-glide-and-shake was the most effective along the edges of the vegetation.

The TRD CrawZ is proving to be a very effective finesse offering to entice black bass. It has, however, a tendency to easily lose the appendages that carry its claws. I hope Z-Man will address this and improve the durability of these appendages.

June 19

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 7:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I conducted a morning jaunt at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

This reservoir has baffled and frustrated us for months on end. And for some perplexing reason or reasons unknown to us, we have not been able to locate and catch 20 or more black bass from it this year. The closest we have come to reaching our 20-black-bass goal at this impoundment was on June 13, when John Thomas of Denton and I caught and released 19 largemouth bass and spotted bass in four hours. So, Norman and I challenged ourselves once again to try and catch 20 black bass during this four-hour and 45-minute outing.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 3:09 a.m. to 5:09 a.m., 9:22 a.m. to 11:22 a.m., and 9:46 p.m. to 11:46 p.m.

It was humid. The sky conditions fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy again. According to The Weather Underground, the morning low temperature was 74 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 96 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.95 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.97 at 11:00 a.m. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southeast at 15 to 20 mph with some gusts reaching 25 mph.

The water level was 0.29 of a foot high. The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 78 degrees at the reservoir’s dam to 83 degrees at the west end of its southwest tributary arm.

Norman and I dissected five main-lake points, one main-lake flat, portions of three main-lake shorelines, two riprap-covered bridge embankments, two-thirds of the riprap that covers the dam, and portions of two islands.

These points are rock- and boulder-laden. They vary from being relatively flat to having a 35-degree gradient. Their underwater terrains consist of mostly red clay and pea-grave, and they are laden with rocks and boulders. A couple of them are situated on the south side of the reservoir’s southwest tributary arm, and the others are located on the north side of the tributary arm.

We caught one largemouth bass and 10 white bass from one of these five points. This largemouth bass was extracted from three feet of water near a patch of submerged boulders at one of the flat points on the south side of the tributary arm. The 10 white bass were schooling in 12 to 25 feet of water and about 15 to 35 yards off the end of this same point. They were foraging on small threadfin shad on the surface of the water.

The largemouth bass was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s electric chicken Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The 10 white bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch electric chicken Slim SwimZ combo and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s blue steel Slim SwimZ mounted on an unpainted generic 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. Both of these Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a steady swimming retrieve just below the water’s surface.

We failed to generate any strikes from the other four main-lake points.

We also failed to elicit any strikes from the shorelines of two islands. One of the islands is located at the mouth of a small feeder-creek arm on the north side of the southwest tributary arm. The other island is situated in the middle section of a major feeder-creek arm on the east side of the reservoir. Both of them have red clay and pea-gravel terrains that are adorned with flooded stickups, rocks, and some boulders.

We dissected the shoreline and an offshore patch of stickups of a main-lake flat that lies in the midsection of the southwest tributary arm and along its south shoreline. This flat yielded two spotted bass and one largemouth bass. Its submerged terrain consists of red clay and pea-gravel; its water’s edge is lined with yards and yards of thick patches of partially-flooded terrestrial vegetation.

The two spotted bass were caught in three to five feet of water from the deep-water sides of two large flooded bushes. One of the two spotted bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s Houdini TRD TicklerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other one was caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water from the offshore patch of flooded stickups. It was enticed by a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s blue steel Slim SwimZ affixed to an unpainted generic mushroom-style jig.

One of the four main-lake shorelines was somewhat productive, but the other three were fruitless. Their underwater terrains are composed of red clay, pea-gravel, rocks, and boulders. They are also endowed with some minor pockets and tertiary points. The one fruitful main-lake shoreline yielded six spotted bass. They were caught around some submerged boulders in three to seven feet of water. Three were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch electric chicken Slim SwimZ rig. Two were caught on the 2 1/2-inch blue steel Slim SwimZ and a steady swimming retrieve. One was caught on the initial fall of the Houdini TRD TicklerZ rig.

We fished the shaded portions of two riprap bridge embankments and caught a total of four largemouth bass. They were caught near the riprap in five to seven feet of water and 10 to 20 feet from the water’s edge. All of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig. Another largemouth bass was hooked on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man’s The Deal TRD MinnowZ that was rigged on an unpainted 1/16-ounce generic mushroom-style jig, but it was able to pull free before we could get it close to the boat.

The submerged riprap along the face of the dam was our most productive area. We fished about two-thirds of it, and we caught a combination of 11 largemouth and spotted bass, two large black crappie, and one channel catfish. Most of them were scattered along the dam in four to 11 feet of water and five to 25 feet from the water’s edge, and they were many yards apart. But Norman caught two of these bass on back-to-back casts.

Five of the 11 black bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig. Two largemouth bass and one channel catfish were caught on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig matched with a four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red Finesse WormZ that was utilized with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The Deal TRD MinnowZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured the two white crappie and a couple of subtle strikes that we failed to hook.

All told, Norman and I achieved our 20-black-bass goal and caught a mixed bag of 25 largemouth bass and spotted bass. We also caught 10 white bass, two white crappie, and one channel catfish.

The riprap-covered dam and one rocky main-lake shoreline were the two most productive locales.

This outing became another junk-fishing foray, which has become the norm for us at this reservoir. We wielded a total of nine Z-Man Midwest finesse rigs, and seven of them were effective. But the most effective one was a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ matched with a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

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

June 20

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 20 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

The weather has been unstable in north-central Texas. During the late evening hours of June 19, it rained cats and dogs, and by the morning of June 20, the landscape surrounding Denton had received 2 1/2 inches of rain. But the rain had come to an end by 5:00 a.m. on June 20, so Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and Talban Kantala of Carrollton, Texas, joined me for a morning excursion at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in north-central Texas.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on June 10 with Norman Brown of Lewisville. The black bass bite was slow, but we managed to catch 17 largemouth bass in four hours and 44 minutes.

On June 20, the sky was overcast when we launched the boat at 7:15 a.m., and it became partly cloudy by 9:30 a.m. The morning low temperature was 61 degrees and the afternoon high temperature was 90 degrees. A 10- to 15-mph wind blew out of the south and southeast. The barometric pressure measured 29.96 at 7:00 a.m., and 29.99 at noon

The water level was 0.74 of a foot high. The water clarity varied from 12 to 14 inches of visibility. Normally, the water exhibits about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 80 to 82 degrees.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 4:08 a.m. to 6:08 a.m., 10:21 a.m. to 12:21 p.m., and 10:47 p.m. to 12:47 a.m.

We fished from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. And this was Talban’s first Midwest finesse outing.

In the south end of the impoundment, we targeted a main-lake island and three rock- and boulder-laden main-lake points at the mouth of a small bay.

On the east side of the reservoir, we probed about two-thirds of the dam, which is covered with riprap, and its adjoining concrete water-outlet tower.

In the reservoir’s northern region, we concentrated on a main-lake shoreline, a 75-yard section of a steep rocky shoreline, and a small island at the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm.

As we were slowly motoring out of a small feeder-creek arm on the north end of the reservoir where we launched the boat, we were delighted to cross paths with a large aggregation of white bass that were foraging on small threadfin shad on the surface of the water. They were schooling in 12 to 25 feet of water along a 100-yard section of rocky main-lake shoreline that is endowed with several rocky points and pea-gravel flats. We caught 48 of them in one hour and nine minutes. Some were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s electric chicken Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. A few others were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s space guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. And several more of them were caught on a swimming retrieve with a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

After that exhilarating start, we travelled to the south end of the reservoir and dissected the shoreline of a main-lake island. This island’s underwater terrain consists of pea-gravel and red clay. The shallow-water areas around the island are cluttered with flooded trees, bushes, stumps, and some laydowns. We shared this island with three other boat anglers. The black bass bite was slow, and we struggled to catch four largemouth bass. They were scattered around the flooded trees and bushes in three to five feet of water. Three of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ. One was caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch space guppy Slim SwimZ rig. Talban experimented with a generic white buzzbait that was employed with a steady retrieve around the flooded trees, laydowns, bushes, and stumps in less than five feet of water, but he was unable to provoke any strikes with it.

From the island, we moved a short distance westward to the mouth of another feeder-creek arm. Here, we probed three minor rocky points. These points are relatively flat. Red clay, pea-gravel, fist-size rocks, and various sizes of boulders constitute the majority of their underwater terrains. We shared these points with two other boat anglers.

One of the three rocky points surrendered one largemouth bass, and the other two points were fruitless. The largemouth was caught in five feet of water near the end of the point as it was chasing some small shad on the surface of the water. It was bewitched by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig.

From that feeder-creek arm, we moved eastward to the dam. The dam forms the eastern boundary of this impoundment and has a north-to-south orientation. A large concrete water-outlet tower is situated near the north end of the dam and is encircled by water as deep as 30 feet and as shallow as 12 feet. This area was busy with weekend boat traffic, wake boarders, and several other anglers in boats.

We briefly spoke with three boat anglers who were trolling near the dam. They reported that they were having a trying time locating black bass, and they had caught only two largemouth bass all morning.

The riprap along the dam yielded five largemouth bass that were extracted from three to 10 feet of water. The concrete walls of the water-outlet tower relinquished seven largemouth bass that were suspended about five below the surface in 12 to 30 feet of water.

Seven of these 12 largemouth bass were coaxed into striking a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three were enticed by a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig, and one was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser Sharp Pro-V Finesse Jig.

From the dam, we moved westward about three miles to the mouth of another feeder-creek arm on the north side of the impoundment.

We caught two largemouth bass and one white bass from a 50-yard section of a shoreline at the mouth of the feeder-creek arm. This shoreline is fairly steep with about a 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain is made up of red clay, pea-gravel, and various shapes and sizes of rocks and boulders. Both of these largemouth bass and the white bass were associated with some large submerged boulders in five feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rig. The white bass preferred a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig.

A short distance from the 50-yard stretch of shoreline, we probed the shoreline of a small island. Its submerged terrain is made of boulders, rocks, pea-gravel, and red clay.

On the south side of the island near some submerged boulders that lie in four feet of water, we caught two largemouth bass. They engulfed the Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ rig as it was manipulated in a swim-glide-and-shake manner.

In conclusion, it was a good outing in which to introduce Talban to the manifest virtues of Midwest finesse tactics. It was also his most bountiful outing he has ever experienced. We fished in water as deep as 30 feet and as shallow as two feet, and we caught 21 largemouth bass and 49 white bass.

A 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s Drew’s craw TRD TubeZ matched with a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig was the most productive combo.

A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.

June 21

Brandon and Jason Marlow of LaFollette, Tennessee, posted a report on the Finesse News Network about their June 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of their report.

The National Weather Service forecasted a high temperature of 83 degrees with mostly sunny skies and a chance of  thunderstorms during the afternoon hours.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated the best fishing would occur from 11:49 p.m. to 1:49 a.m., 5:08 a.m. to 7:08 a.m., and 5:36 p.m. to 7:36 p.m.

Jason Marlow and I fished in a feeder-creek arm of a Tennessee Valley Authority’s highland reservoir in northeastern Tennessee from 5:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This reservoir hosted two Bass Fishing League tournaments this weekend; one on June 20 and one on June 21.

We decided not to fish our regular spots, thinking that the tournament guys had beat on them pretty good.

I had marked several deep-water trees in 2019 when the water was at its winter level. And we figured these trees hadn't seen any fishing pressure this weekend. So, our plan was to fish those trees.

We arrived at our spot at 5:57 p.m. The sky was mostly cloudy. The wind was calm. The water clarity was around 8 feet. The surface temperature was 81 degrees. The water level was at full pool.

The boat floated in 37 feet of water and directly above the trees. The limbs and branches reach up to within 15 feet of the surface. We used a Garmin Panoptix Livescope System to scan the area and locate fish.

We used a vertical presentation with a homemade green-pumpkin 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Jason dressed his jig with a Z-Man’s hot-snakes Finesse TRD. I dressed my jig with a Z-Man’s PB&J Finesse TRD.

Most of the fish were abiding in 20 to 25 feet of water and situated near and in the limbs and branches.

It took us about 20 minutes to garner the first strike. Then, we caught seven smallmouth bass in 10 minutes. Five of them were caught on the initial drop or fall of our rigs. Two were caught while we were slowly reeling the rigs up and implementing a subtle shake with the rod tip.

After that smallmouth bass frenzy petered out, we decided to leave them alone for a little while. We moved across the arm to a main-lake shoreline. It has about a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of mostly chunky rocks. The water’s edge is littered with some scattered laydowns.

We fished a couple hundred yards of this shoreline. Jason caught two smallmouth bass on his Finesse TRD rig, and I caught one on a shortened Z-Man’s PB&J Hula StickZ affixed to a homemade green-pumpkin 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

A thunderstorm erupted just before 7:30 p.m., and we took shelter in an empty boat dock nearby.

Once the thunderstorm subsided, we returned to the deep-water timber to finish the outing.

This time, we approached it from a different angle, but we still used the vertical presentation and the same rigs that we used the first time.

We caught nine smallmouth bass and one catfish in less than an hour. One smallmouth bass was caught on the slow reel-up-and-shake presentation. The others were caught as our rigs were falling or dropping.

All of the smallmouth bass weighed in the one- to two-pound range. The biggest one weighed 2.7 pounds.

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The painfully slow fall of our rigs played a big role in provoking the smallmouth bass to engulf them. If the wind had been blowing, this presentation would not work. It would have been impossible to get our rigs into 25 feet of water and keep them in the correction position in the wind and waves.

We caught 19 smallmouth and one catfish in a little over three hours.

June 22

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about their June 22 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 87 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm during four of the early morning hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the southwest, north, and northwest at 5 to 22 mph. The condition of the sky varied from being fair to being embellished with a few clouds to being partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.97 at 12:53 a.m., 29.80 at 5:53 a.m., 29.84 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.84 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:38 a.m. to 1:38 p.m., 12:06 p.m. to 2:06 p.m., and 5:52 a.m. to 7:52 a.m.

Patty Kehde and I fished at one northeastern Kansas’ community reservoir from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The water exhibited about three feet of secchi-stick visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 82 degrees.

This reservoir has been walloped by significant doses of herbicides twice this year and several times during the past 10 years, and since 2017, our logs reveal that our catch rates for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass have plummeted. From our point of view, the herbicides have adversely affected the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass populations at this reservoir, and it has also killed virtually every stem of submerged aquatic vegetation, and our hearts were sickened today when we saw portions of a significant number of this reservoir’s patches of American water willows becoming yellow and beginning to wilt.

Patty and I struggled to catch two smallmouth bass and 18 largemouth bass, which was an average of eight per hour. We inadvertently caught one bluegill, one channel catfish, and one freshwater drum. We elicited 13 strikes that we failed to hook.

We caught one largemouth bass on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. One smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s bama-bug ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead. One smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s OG Mushroom Jighead.

One largemouth bass was caught around a main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir. The water’s edge around this point is graced with patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks and boulders. It has about a 45-degree slope to a ledge that radically plunges into deep water. This largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water on the Finesse WormZ rig, and this bass engulfed this rig immediately after we popped it off of a boulder on which it was snagged.

One largemouth bass was caught around a bridge pillar in about five feet of water. This bridge is in the lower section of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It was caught on the initial drop of the bama-bug ZinkerZ rig.

One largemouth bass was caught around another main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir. The water’s edge around this point is graced with patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks and boulders. It has a 25-to 40-degree slope until it reaches a sharp ledge, which is where it plunges into deep water. This largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

We failed to elicit a strike around one main-lake point in the lower half of the reservoir and around three main-lake points in the upper section of the reservoir.

We caught one largemouth bass along a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is laced with patches of American water willows, a couple of stumps, a few minor laydowns, a PVC pipe, some overhanging terrestrial vegetation, and a few overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught on the bama-bug ZinkerZ rig on the initial drop adjacent to the PVC pipe in about four feet of water.

Along a portion of another main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 45- to 85-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is graced with patches of American water willows, laydowns, overhanging terrestrial vegetation, a few stumps, and overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to some American water willows and a wad of overhanging terrestrial vegetation.

We caught two largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. It has about a 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A few of the boulders are the size of a small coffin. These largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation around the boulders in six to seven feet of water.

Around another main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir and along portions of its secondary shoreline and main-lake shoreline, we caught four largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. This area has a 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, some laydowns, and overhanging trees. All five of these fish were caught on the bama-bug ZinkerZ rig. One was caught on a deadstick presentation in about five feet of water. Two of the five were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation around some boulders in four feet of water. The other two were caught on the initial drop of the rig in about four feet of water.

Around another main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir and along portions of its secondary shoreline and main-lake shoreline, we caught three largemouth bass. This area has a 35- to 60-degree slope. Its water’s edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, overhanging terrestrial vegetation, overhanding trees, and a dock. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks and boulders. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the bama-bug ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water adjacent to a patch of American water willows. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig in about six feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around some boulders.

In the lower half of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass along two segments of two significant offshore piles of rocks and boulders. These piles lie in about seven feet of water, and there is more than 20 feet of water within a very short cast from each of these piles. Several of the boulders and rock are covered with water as shallow as four feet. All five of these fish were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop in about six feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the boulders in four to seven feet of water.

In sum, the last time that Patty and I fished this reservoir was on May 21, and on that outing, we also struggled to catch five smallmouth bass and 15 largemouth bass in two hours and five minutes. Whereas on May 21, 2014, we caught a combination of 81 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. For years on end, this reservoir has been part of our monthly repertoire of northeastern Kansas' waterways to fish, but because of the sorry state of its largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing, we are about to remove it from our repertoire.

June 22

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 22 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

It rained during most of the early morning hours of June 22. It was still raining as John Thomas of Denton and I drove to a state reservoir in the rural countryside of north-central Texas, and it stopped raining just before we arrived at the boat ramp at about 8:00 a.m. The sky conditions changed from overcast to partly cloudy by 9:30 a.m. The afternoon high temperature was 92 degrees. The morning low temperature was 69 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.85 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.83 at noon. A 12- to 20-mph southeasterly wind blew throughout the morning hours and into the early afternoon.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would most likely be average, and the most prosperous fishing periods would occur from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 11:46 a.m. to 1:46 p.m., and 12:14 p.m. to 2:14 p.m.

John and I fished from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The water was murky with a brown tint as a result of the muddy runoff from all the rain we have received during the past couple of days. It exhibited between 14 and 18 inches of visibility in the main-lake areas and about 10 to 12 inches inside the two primary feeder-creek arms. The surface temperature ranged from 78 to 82 degrees. The water level was slightly above its normal pool level.

We fished in the lower end of the reservoir first. Then we worked our way northward along the reservoir’s east shoreline. But when the wind’s velocity increased to 20 mph and the white caps reached a height of three feet, we decided to seek shelter in the reservoir’s two primary feeder-creek arms in the northwest end of the impoundment.

In the lower end of the reservoir, we focused on the shoreline of an island. In the midsection of the impoundment, we investigated a flat rocky shoreline. And in the northeast end of the impoundment, we probed portions of two riprap-laden jetties.

The shallow-water areas along the north and east side of the island yielded 11 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain around this island consists of clay, pea gravel, submerged boulders, and flooded bushes. The south end of the island is graced with some flooded timber. These largemouth bass were caught around patches of submerged boulders near the outside edges of the flooded bushes in three to five feet of water. We did not locate any black bass inhabiting the flooded bushes and trees on the south and west sides of the island.

Four of the 11 largemouth bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Products’ electric chicken Slim SwimZ fastened to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Four others were tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ. The other three largemouth bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

In three to six feet of water along a rocky shoreline on the east side of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass, one hybrid spotted bass, a white bass, and a hefty freshwater drum. This shoreline is flat and is covered with submerged rocks, boulders, and clusters of flooded terrestrial vegetation.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. One largemouth bass and the hybrid spotted bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch electric chicken Slim SwimZ. A swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Junebug TRD TicklerZ garnered one largemouth bass.

From that main-lake shoreline, we moved to the northeast end of the reservoir and probed two riprap jetties at the mouth of a channel that leads to a concrete spillway. This area was being pummeled by the wind and waves, and after about 15 minutes of fruitless casts and retrieves, we decided to find some wind-protected areas inside the two primary feeder-creek arms on the northwest end of the impoundment.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, we targeted three secondary points and a 50-yard section of an adjacent rocky shoreline. These areas are rock- and boulder-laden. They have 35- to 40-degree slopes. They are all adorned with many yards of flooded bushes and laydowns along their banks.

One point yielded one spotted bass; the second point was fruitless; and the third point relinquished five largemouth bass.

The rocky shoreline adjacent to the first secondary point surrendered three largemouth bass and one white bass. These fish were relating to large boulders in three to five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water’s edge.

Five of these nine black bass were allured by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two largemouth bass and a white bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s black-blue TRD TicklerZ and a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We finished the outing plying one secondary point and about 100 yards of a long rocky bluff in the second feeder-creek arm.

This secondary point has a 35-degree gradient and is littered with large boulders and rocks. In four feet of water next to a large submerged boulder, we caught one largemouth bass. It was induced into striking the black-blue TRD TicklerZ rig as it was worked with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The rock bluff adjacent to this secondary point yielded two largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one green sunfish. This bluff is about 300 yards long. Along the 100-yard section that we fished, it has 12 to 27 feet of water next to it.

One largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the black-blue TRD TicklerZ rig. The other largemouth and spotted bass were caught on the coppertreuse Finesse TRD and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface in 17 to 27 feet of water, and were within 10 feet of the face of the bluff.

In total, we caught a combination of 30 largemouth, spotted, and hybrid spotted bass. We also caught two white bass, two freshwater drum, and a green sunfish by accident while we were searching for black bass.

Although In-Fisherman’s solunar table indicated average fishing for June 22, we consider 30 black bass in four hours a stellar outing by north-central Texas’ standards.

June 23

Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his June 23 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

I made a solo trip to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ flatland reservoir in northeastern Kansas from 12:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m., and I fished five hours and had a 20-minute break for lunch and hydration.

The weather was pleasant, but breezy. The sky was mostly clear early, and it became partly cloudy to mostly cloudy later in the day. The morning low temperature was 62 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature was 83 degrees. While I was afloat, the northeast wind blew from 9 to 26 mph, which was a problematical direction at the large feeder-creek arm that I chose to fish. The barometer read 29.97 at 3:00 p.m., and it was steady.

The reservoir’s surface temperature was 83 degrees. The visibility ranged from eight to 16 inches. The clarity was affected by the wind and an algae bloom. The water level was normal.

My goal on this trip was simply to enjoy a relaxing afternoon plying some of the known black bass lairs that I had not had a chance to fish yet this year and spend some time prospecting for new lairs that might harbor largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

During this trip, I used five different Midwest finesse baits: Z-Man’s molting craw TRD CrawZ mounted on a red 1/16-ounce Strike King Laser Pro-V Finesse Jig, a Z-Man’s California-craw TRD CrawZ mounted on a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig, a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig, a 2 ½- inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man’s sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig.

Along one side of a primary feeder-creek arm, I dissected a 250-yard section of a shoreline, a 300-yard long section of a shoreline, and three main lake points. The underwater terrains of these two shorelines are adorned with rocks, gravel and boulders, and they were broken up with several small pockets and secondary points. Along these shorelines, the boat floated in water as deep as 14 feet and as shallow as 2 1/2 feet.

On the other side of the primary feeder-creek arm, I fished around four points, along a 200-yard section of a shoreline, a 250-yard section of shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, and along a 150-yard section of the other shoreline inside this small feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrains of these areas are adorned with gravel, rocks, and boulders of various sizes. Along these shorelines and points, the boat floated in water as shallow as 2.5 feet and as deep as 16 feet. Along all of the shorelines, there were several places where creek channels swung very close to the shorelines, which creates a steep-sloping shoreline.

The 250-yard stretch of shoreline was completely exposed to the wind and waves, which churned up a five-to-15-foot ribbon of opaque and muddy water. When I saw these poor conditions, I let the wind push the boat along quickly and tried to cast to the transition between the muddy and clearer water. I managed to eke out two smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass. They were caught on the TRD CrawZ rig on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. At the point at the end of this section of shoreline, the lake channel made a turn and a high bluff began to provide some protection from the wind.

Along the 300-yard section of shoreline, I caught three smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass. The three smallmouth bass were abiding in about seven feet of water along the steep portion of the shoreline adjacent to a point. One was caught of the initial drop of the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. The other one was caught on a deadstick presentation with the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. The Junebug TicklerZ rig, with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, caught a largemouth bass in five feet of water around a small tertiary point. Around another teritary point, the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig caught the third smallmouth bass. The Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve inveigled the second largemouth bass from a point at the mouth of a small feeder-creek arm.

When I checked my watch and counter, they showed that I had been fishing for 80 minutes and had caught five smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass. This was a subpar catch rate compared to my previous trips to this reservoir when I averaged 10 to 12 black bass per hour.

After a quick lunch, I decided to dissect the points and shorelines on the other side of the creek arm. I also change my lure strategy from dark to bright hues. I was hoping the shorelines on the other side would provide more protection from the wind and that the brighter lures would be more visible to the fish in the stained water.

I began by dissecting the water at the tip of a point. The wind was still a major problem, but the water clarity was better. At the tip of this point, I caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass in about 4 ½ feet of water. The smallmouth bass was caught on a deadstick presentation with the coppertreuse ZinkerZ rig, and the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of that rig.

On a 300-yard section of shoreline adjacent to the point that leads into a medium-sized feeder-creek arm, I found the wind to be problematical. I managed, however, to catch two smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass along this shoreline. One smallmouth bass was caught of the ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve where a submerged creek channel swung close to the shoreline. This area is adorned with very large rocks and boulders. One of the largemouth bass was abiding in the shade of a bushel-basket-sized boulder sitting in about 12 inches of water, and it was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the ZinkerZ rig. The second smallmouth bass struck the ZinkerZ on the initial drop around a small area of riprap next to a boat ramp. The second largemouth bass was caught under the end of the dock at the boat ramp with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the ZinkerZ rig. The third largemouth bass was caught adjacent to a dead bush in the shallow water next to the riprap on the other side of the boat ramp, and it was caught on the ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along a 150-yard section of a shoreline on the opposite side of this medium-sized feeder-creek arm, I caught two smallmouths and one largemouth. The two smallmouth bass were abiding on small secondary points, and they were caught on the ZinkerZ rig with a deadstick presentation. The largemouth bass was caught in shallow water on the ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve along the shoreline.

I returned to the point where I began fishing after lunch. I wanted to fish that point, the shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, and the point and adjacent shoreline on the other side of the mouth of this small feeder-creek arm. However, I found that more fish had moved in on this point in my absence, and I lingered on this point while I made several passes on the side protected from the wind. I caught four smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass on this point. Two of the smallmouth bass were caught on the ZinkerZ rig with a deadstick presentation. I hooked a sizeable largemouth bass, which completely cleared the water and then dove for the bottom. After a short, fierce donnybrook, I found that I could not control it with my light tackle, and it managed to get the line caught under a rock. As I seesawed the line back and forth trying to free it, I could still feel this largemouth bass, but the rocks and zebra mussels ended the encounter by severing the leader. I replaced the lost ZinkerZ rig with the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig and found the fish to be even more enthusiastic about eating it than they had the ZinkerZ rig. In short order, I caught two smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass on the TRD TicklerZ rig from the tip of the point. The two smallmouth bass were caught on a deadstick presentation, and the largemouth bass was enticed by a swim-glide-and- shake retrieve.

Along a 250-yard section of a rock-laden shoreline, I caught two smallmouth bass on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in 4 1/2 feet of water, and the other was caught on a deadstick presentation in eight feet of water.

I ended the outing around a point, where I caught three smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass on the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ rig. Two smallmouth bass were caught on a deadstick presentation. The largemouth bass and the third smallmouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In all, the day was a struggle with the wind and poor water conditions, but I managed to eke out a catch of 18 smallmouth bass and 11 largemouth bass. I also caught eight green sunfish, four crappie, and one freshwater drum. I would rate the deadstick presentation as the most effective presentation for the day, and that is because it produced the best quality fish. All of the larger smallmouth bass that I caught hit on the deadstick. I would also rate the sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig as the best lure. The fish hit it quicker and harder than any of the other rigs I tried. I had dozens of strikes from fish that I failed to hook. I also had at least 15 or so (I didn’t keep count) short melees with fish that managed to escape. Of these, five were with lunker-sized bass. One of these was the encounter with the largemouth that broke my line. I estimated this one weight between 3 ½ and four pounds. Two others were smallmouth bass that weighted from 2 ½ to three pounds. Another was a very fast and strong fish that I never saw, but I am guessing that it was another big smallmouth. The last one, however, created a very memorable experience. After a cast to the shoreline, I hooked a small green sunfish, and as I reeled it in quickly along the surface, a giant smallmouth bass swirled under it and completely engulfed it. For about 10 seconds, I had a fierce fight on with the largest smallmouth bass I have ever seen in Kansas, and in my eyes, it weighed far more than five pounds. I hoped against hope that the jig hook was exposed enough to hook that brute. When the fight ended, the line pressure from the big fish was suddenly gone and the green sunfish floated up to the surface, and it was still hooked on my sprayed-grass rig. I unhooked it, and it swam away with a much more terrorizing story to tell than mine.

June 24

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his June 24 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished at a vexing U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that lies in an ex-urban area of north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would take place from 12:44 a.m. to 2:44 a.m., 6:58 a.m. to 8:58 a.m., and 1:12 p.m. to 3:12 p.m. It also indicated that the fishing would be average, and it was.

The morning low temperature was 64 degrees. The afternoon high temperature peaked at 91 degrees. The wind quartered out of the northeast at 5 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.91 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.92 at noon. The sky was partly-cloudy, and the sunshine was plentiful.

The water level was 1.01 feet above its normal pool. The surface temperature ranged from 78 to 80 degrees. The water clarity varied from 18 inches to two feet of visibility

We spent four hours in the lower and middle sections of the east tributary arm.

We wielded nine Z-Man Midwest finesse rigs to entice 19 black bass, two freshwater drum, two green sunfish, and one channel catfish. Sixteen were largemouth bass, two were spotted bass, and one was a hybrid spotted bass. It is the first hybrid spotted bass that we have seen or caught at this reservoir.

Of those nine Z-Man Midwest finesse rigs, a shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Finesse Pro-V jig allured 11 of the 19 black bass. A Z-Man’s bubble gut TRD TicklerZ attached to a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig enticed five largemouth bass and one hybrid spotted bass. A black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ enticed one largemouth bass. And a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ affixed on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig allured one largemouth bass.

All of these Midwest finesse rigs were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Along the center section of the dam on the south end of the reservoir, we caught six largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The six largemouth bass were caught near a large concentration of small threadfin shad that were abiding in a shaded area on the west side of a large concrete water-outlet tower. This tower is situated about 25 yards out from the center of the dam and is surrounded by 31 to 53 feet of water. These largemouth bass were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface in 53 feet of water. Five of them were enticed by the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig, and one preferred The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig.

In eight feet of water next to a concrete support column underneath a large walkway that extends from the top of the dam to the water-outlet tower, we caught one spotted bass. It was caught on the shortened Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig.

We did not locate any threadfin shad or black bass near the submerged riprap that covers the dam.

We caught five largemouth bass, two green sunfish, and a freshwater drum from a large main-lake flat about a mile north of the dam. This flat is located where the east and west tributary arms divide. It is covered with three to seven feet of water. Its submerged terrain is composed of pea-gravel, red clay, and rocks. The shallower areas are cluttered with flooded stickups, patches of American water willows, and the remnants of two concrete building foundations. Three of the five were hoodwinked by the Z-Man’s bubble gut TRD TicklerZ combo, and the other two were fooled by the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig. They were all relating to patches of flooded stickups in three to five feet of water.

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Three largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught in four to seven feet of water around the edges of a shallow ditch that courses its way across the north end of a main-lake flat. This ditch is lined with thick patches of flooded stickups, American water willows, some American pondweed, and a few laydowns.

Three of these four bass were relating to the outside edges of the flooded stickups, and the other one was associated with a thick patch of American pondweed. Three were caught on the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig, and one was caught on the bubble gut TRD TicklerZ. Across the remainder of this flat, we failed to catch a largemouth and spotted bass, but it did relinquish a freshwater drum that was caught on the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ in four feet of water near a patch of stickups.

One largemouth bass, one hybrid spotted bass, and one channel catfish were caught from two flat main-lake points on the northeast end of the east tributary arm. These two points are similar; they have red clay and pea-gravel underwater terrains that are graced with patches of flooded stickups, American water willows, some flooded bushes, and numerous submerged rocks and boulders.

Both of these black bass were caught near submerged boulders in three to five feet of water on the bubble gut TRD TicklerZ rig.

One largemouth bass was caught from a large group of submerged boulders along one side of a steep rocky point just north of the dam. It was suspended about five feet below the surface in 21 feet of water. This largemouth was caught on the 2 3/4-inch The Deal TRD TubeZ rig.

As the morning unfolded, we failed to garner any strikes from seven main-lake points, two roadbeds that intersect at the end of one of the seven main-lake points, a riprap-laden main-lake shoreline, and a red clay and pea-gravel main-lake shoreline.

In short, the black bass fishing at this Corps’ hill-land reservoir has been a grind all year, and it wasn’t much better this time.

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