Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2019

Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2019

Our May guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 13 logs and 16,296 words that explain how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the efforts of Rick Allen of Dallas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; and John Thomas of Denton, Texas.

Mother Nature walloped many of the waterways in north-central Texas, northeastern Oklahoma, northeastern Kansas, and central and northwestern Missouri. And it prohibited us from fishing.

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

May 2


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


Here is a slightly edited version of that log:


The end of April and the beginning of May has been wet and windy. Typically, we see about 3 1/2 inches of rain in April. But during this April of 2019, we received more than nine inches of rain.

From April 30 through May 2, the urban and exurban areas around the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan areas have been lambasted with three to five inches of rain, and the runoff from these recent storms have flooded many of the waterways in north-central Texas. Many of those waterways were already filled to the brim from the April storms.

On May 2, Rick Allen of Dallas joined me for an afternoon outing at a north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that Norman Brown and I visited on April 23. But when I arrived at the boat ramp at about 9:30 a.m., I was disheartened to find that the boat ramp parking lot was covered with a couple of feet of water and the ramp was closed. This reservoir’s water level had risen 8.2 feet since April 23, and the high water had flooded many of the picnic areas and a couple of parking lots. I also noticed that the water was extremely muddy and displayed the color of chocolate milk.


I called Rick on his cell phone before he arrived and we decided to change our plans and fish at another Corps’ reservoir that lies about 18 miles northeast of this one.

When we arrived at the second Corps’ reservoir, we could see another rain storm quickly approaching from the west, so we took shelter underneath a bridge and we waited about 30 minutes for the storm to pass. After the storm pushed through the area and moved off to the east, we continued to a nearby boat ramp. But to our dismay, we discovered that this reservoir was flooded as well. The boat ramp was still open, but we were unable to use it. We then spent some time driving to three other boat ramps around the southern end of the reservoir before we found one we could use.

The weather was unsettled during the morning hours of May 2, and it rained off and on until noon. The morning low temperature was 59 degrees and the afternoon high was 82 degrees. The wind angled out of the northwest and west at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.01 at noon and it fell to 29.93 by 4:00 p.m. The sky conditions fluctuated from being overcast to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy then back to overcast.


According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 3:08 a.m. to 5:08 am, 9:19 a.m. to 11:19 a.m., and 9:40 p.m. to 11:40 p.m. Rick and I fished from noon to 3:30 p.m.

We targeted a feeder-creek arm, a section of a main-lake shoreline, a portion of a large main-lake cove, two sections of a large mud flat that is covered with flooded stickups and buck brush, and a stretch of riprap along the dam. These areas are located in the lower end of the reservoir.

The water where we fished exhibited about 14 to 18 inches of clarity, but we avoided other areas in the western region of the reservoir where the water was muddy with less than a foot of clarity. The water level appeared to be about five feet high. The surface temperature was 72 degrees.

Inside the feeder-creek arm, we fished from the mouth of the creek arm to its back end, and we caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass. It rained on us for a few minutes during this time.

One of the three largemouth bass was caught from the north end of the west shoreline. This bass was relating to a flooded bush in four feet of water. It was caught on a three-inch Z-Man Fishing Product’s Space Guppy underspin Slim SwimZ. using a slow swimming retrieve.

Another largemouth bass was caught from a patch of flooded buck brush on the end of a secondary point. It was abiding in less than three feet of water and engulfed a five-inch Trophy Lure Company’s Junebug-hue Rattlesnake that was Texas-rigged with an 1/8-ounce slip sinker. This rig was slowly twitched and paused through the patch of flooded buck brush.

Along the south shoreline, we caught the third largemouth bass. It was caught from a shallow rock ledge in four feet of water on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ combo.

Around the same secondary point where we caught the first largemouth bass, we caught the spotted bass in five feet of water. It was associated with some flooded stickups and was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ attached to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

From this feeder-creek arm, we dissected a 35-yard section of a rocky main-lake shoreline just east of the feeder-creek arm. It was fruitless.

Along a 50-yard section of a shoreline inside a large main-lake cove we caught three largemouth bass. This section of shoreline lies on the south end of the cove and is adorned with flooded buck brush, stick ups, overhanging trees, some riprap, and several laydowns. One largemouth was caught in three feet of water on a four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ nose-hooked on an 1/8-ounce drop-shot rig as it was twitched and paused next to a patch of flooded buck brush. The other two largemouths were caught from the outside edges of some flooded buck brush in three to five feet of water as we were swimming, gliding, and shaking a four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We failed to elicit any strikes from this cove’s west shoreline. We did not fish its northern or eastern shorelines.

From this cove, we moved to a large mud flat near the dam. This flat is graced with many yards of flooded stickups and buck brush. We fished several large patches of flooded stickups on the east end of the flat, and most of those patches of stickups were completely submerged in the high water. But we failed to locate any black bass in this area.

We caught our last largemouth bass of the outing from some flooded buck brush in three feet of water on the south end of the flat. It was caught on the Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Rattlesnake and a twitch-and-pause presentation.

We finished the outing dissecting about 70 yards of submerged riprap on the west end of the dam. And when we failed to elicit any strikes from a largemouth bass or spotted bass, we decided to call it a day.

In short, the fishing was wretched. It was a tedious task to catch seven largemouth bass and one spotted bass in 3 1/2 hours.

More rainstorms are in the forecast for May 3, and if they are significant ones, we are concerned that our Corps’ reservoirs may be closed until the high water recedes.

May 3

The National Weather Service reported that it was 53 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 61 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, northeast, and north at 3 to 10 mph. The sky was overcast, and it rained lightly several times. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.01 at 5:53 a.m., 30.03 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.00 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 9:49 a.m. to 11:49 a.m., 10:11 p.m. to 12:11 a.m., and 3:38 a.m. to 5:38 a.m.

On April 30, Mother Nature’s incessant thunderstorm waylaid many of the flatland reservoirs that stipple the urban, suburban, and exurban landscapes of northeastern Kansas, and in our eyes, most of these reservoirs were not fishable on May 1 and 2. But on May 3, Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, ventured to one of the community reservoirs, and we were delighted to find that its water level was about 18 inches above its normal level, and its water clarity exhibited three to four feet of visibility. Despite several days of unseasonably cold weather, the surface temperature ranged from 59 to 61 degrees.

We fished from 10:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., and we caught 49 largemouth bass and four smallmouth bass. We accidentally caught one freshwater drum, which was the biggest specimen of the outing.

Four largemouth bass were caught along a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, more than a dozen laydowns, and occasional patches of coontail that are intermixed with curly-leaf pondweeds and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s purple-haze ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The other two were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in four to eight feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along a 40-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, scores of laydowns, several overhanging trees, and a few patches of coontail. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. This largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five feet of water.

We caught 15 largemouth bass along a 400-yard stretch of a shoreline, which is graced with several secondary and tertiary points, inside a large feeder-creek arm. The slope of this shoreline ranges from 25- to 90-degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are massive. The water’s edge is embellished with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, scores of laydowns, dozens of overhanging trees, and occasional patches of coontail that are intermixed with curly-leaf pondweeds and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. Five largemouth bass were caught on the coppertreuse Finesee TRD rig. Five were caught on the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig. Three were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig. Two were caught on a Z-Man PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. These largemouth bass were caught in five to 10 feet of water. Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Some were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Several were caught while we were strolling and executing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation.

Nine largemouth bass were caught along another 400-yard stretch of a shoreline and several secondary points inside this large feeder creek arm. The slope of this shoreline ranges from 25- to 80-degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some the boulders are massive, and one is bigger than a pickup truck. The water’s edge is embellished with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, many laydowns, several overhanging trees, and occasional patches of coontail that are intermixed with curly-leaf pondweeds and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. The largemouth bass were caught in three to six feet of water. Five were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig. Two were caught on the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig. Two were caught on the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig. Five were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

We caught two largemouth bass along a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and two main-lake points. The slopes of this shoreline and its points range from 25- to 90-degrees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, some laydowns, a few overhanging trees, and occasional patches of coontail that are intermixed with bushy pondweed. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig in about five feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught on the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

We caught three largemouth bass along an 80-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm. The slope of this shoreline ranges from 25- to 60-degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, scores of massive laydowns, overhanging trees, and a few patches of coontail. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. The green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig caught two of the largemouth bass with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig in about five feet of water.

Three smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass were caught along a 30-yard stretch of one end of the dam and short segment of its main-lake shoreline. The dam is boulder-laden. It possesses a 45-degree slope. It is graced with patches of coontail. The adjacent shoreline’s underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has a 45- to 75-degree slope. It is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, one laydown, and a few patches of coontail. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. The three smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ affixed to a green 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig caught two largemouth bass with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water.

Around a main-lake point, we caught two largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. This point has a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and boulders. It is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few patches of coontail. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. The green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught the smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water.

Inside a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and boulders. It is embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, several laydowns, some overhanging trees, and a few patches of coontail and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig in about five feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation.

We caught six largemouth bass along a 20-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with three laydowns, one overhanging tree, and a patch of coontail and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. The green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ rig caught five of the largemouth bass in four to six feet of water. They were caught on either the initial drop of the Finesse HogZ rig or on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. The sixth largemouth bass, which was largemouth bass number 49 of this outing and caught on the last cast of this outing, was caught on the initial drop of the purple-haze ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water.

May 6

The National Weather Service reported that it rained 0.63 of an inch during the night of May 5-6. It was 51 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 78 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being overcast, fair, foggy, misty, and partly cloudy. A mild-mannered wind angled out of the northeast, northwest, southeast, north, east, and south at 3 to 14 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 12:52 a.m., 29.88 at 5:52 a.m., 29.98 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.94 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:47 a.m. to 1:47 p.m., 12:13 p.m. to 2:13 p.m., and 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished from 9:39 a.m. to 1:14 p.m. at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs.

After Mother Nature’s rainy ways walloped northeastern Kansas last week, Rick and I were pleased to find that this reservoir’s water exhibited 1 1/2 to nearly three feet of visibility. (The water at several of our reservoirs exhibits the hue of chocolate milk.) A lot of water was coursing across the dam’s spillway. The surface temperature ranged from 65 to 71 degrees. The patches of American water willows are sprouting, and there are massive patches of coontail. Wads of filamentous algae cover many underwater objects.

Before we executed our first casts, we anticipated that it would be a relatively fruitful outing. But by the time we made our final casts, we were mightily discouraged and bewildered.

It was the most dreadful three hours and 15 minutes of Midwest finesse fishing that Rick and I can remember enduring during the month of May, and we have been doing it for more Mays than we want to count.

In sum, we caught five largemouth bass and accidentally caught one green sunfish. Three largemouth bass unfettered themselves before we got them to the boat.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Another one was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

The third one was caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Two were caught on back-to- back casts with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Except for the two largemouth bass that we caught on the Finesse HogZ rig, we failed to establish location and presentation patterns.

The weather forecasters are predicting that Mother Nature will wallop portions of northeastern Kansas again with thunderstorms and heavy winds from May 6 through much of May 8.

May 6

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

Here is a slightly edited version of that log:

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG-3240.jpg

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I journeyed many miles to fish at a state reservoir located north of Ft. Worth. I last visited this reservoir on April 25 with Norman Brown of Lewisville. We fished it for five hours, and we were delighted to tangle with a mixture of 38 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass.

On May 6, John and I were concerned that the recent thunderstorms that waylaid north-central Texas between April 30 and May 3 would have left this reservoir flooded with muddy runoff like several other waterways in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. But our worries quickly evaporated once we arrived at the boat ramp and discovered that the water was not muddy.

The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. Its normal clarity varies from three to five feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 71 degrees along the spillway in the northeast end of the reservoir to 69 degrees at the boat ramp in its southwest end. The water level appeared to be a couple of feet high.

The sky conditions varied from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. The afternoon high temperature reached 82 degrees. The morning low temperature was 64 degrees. It was a tad windy, and it quartered out of the south and southwest at 12 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.91 at 10:00 a.m. and it fell to 29.86 by 4:00 p.m.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman’s solar calendar, would occur from 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., 6:13 a.m. to 8:13 a.m., and 2:26 p.m. to 4:26 p.m. John and I were afloat from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The vast majority of this reservoir’s shorelines are rock-and boulder-laden. A few of them are graced with overhanging trees, flooded buck brush, and some laydowns.

We spent our time fishing the east side of the middle section of the reservoir where the water was the clearest. We probed the shorelines of two main-lake islands, two riprap jetties, a main-lake shoreline adjacent to one of the two jetties, portions of one feeder-creek arm, and the area around a riprap-covered channel that leads to a large spillway. Most of these areas were wind-blown, and we deployed a drift sock as we plied the shorelines of the two main-lake islands.

We caught three largemouth bass and two white bass in three to six feet of water from the rocky shorelines of the first island.

Three largemouth bass and one white bass were caught from the outside edges of some flooded bushes that adorn the shorelines of the second main-lake island. These bass were abiding in three to five feet of water.

The first of the two riprap jetties surrendered five largemouth and spotted bass, six white bass, and John enjoyed tussling with a feisty freshwater drum that weighed seven pounds and five ounces. We also hooked a 3 1/2-foot alligator gar, but we shook it off next to the boat so we would not have to wrestle with it in the boat. All of these fish were relating to the submerged riprap of the jetty in three to eight feet of water.

A combination of nine largemouth bass and spotted bass were caught from the second jetty and its adjacent rocky shoreline. They were dwelling in three to eight feet of water near large submerged boulders that lie about five to 10 feet from the water’s edge.

Inside the feeder-creek arm, we caught one spotted bass from the south entry point to this creek arm. This point is covered with riprap, large boulders, and a fishing pier. This spotted bass was caught in five feet of water next to a large boulder on the side of the point. We did not elicit any strikes from around the fishing pier.

One largemouth bass, two green sunfish, and one large bluegill were caught from a steep and rocky secondary point located on the south side and about halfway inside this creek arm. They were caught from a large patch of shade underneath a large overhanging tree in less than three feet of water and close to the water’s edge. We were unable to entice any other strikes from the submerged boulders around this point.

Another largemouth bass was caught from the side of a small dock that is situated on the side of another rock jetty near the back end of this creek arm in four feet of water. We also failed to generate any strikes from another rock jetty that lies a short distance from this one.

We finished the outing fishing portions of two long riprap-laden jetties that form a long channel that leads to a large spillway. About halfway back in the channel, a line of warning buoys prevent boating anglers from accessing the upper end of the channel near the spillway.

The spillway was open and releasing water at a goodly pace, and we could see a visible current flowing through the channel that affected our retrieves.

Along the riprap and large submerged boulders that adorn the shorelines of this channel, we caught three largemouth bass. They engulfed our lures as we allowed the lures to drift with the current and in close proximity to some large boulders that provided some protection from the current flow.

Eight largemouth and spotted bass, as well as 50 white bass, were caught in three to 10 feet of water from some large submerged boulders around the end of the jetties at the mouth of the channel. The 18- to 20-mph southwest wind was blowing directly on these two jetties. The south jetty yielded all eight of the black bass and 49 of the 50 white bass. The end of the north jetty had been pummeled by a couple of white bass anglers while we were fishing the south jetty and inside the spillway channel, and this northern jetty surrendered only one white bass when we fished it after the other two anglers left.

All totaled, we caught and released 98 fish in six hours. These 98 fish consisted of 27 largemouth bass, seven spotted bass, 59 white bass, two green sunfish, one freshwater drum, one alligator gar, and one large bluegill.

Our most effective lures were a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ attached on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 2 1/2-inch
Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ and the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigs were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ was most effective as it was steadily swimming at a moderate pace about a foot or two below the surface of the water. And at times, we could see the white bass aggressively striking the Slim SwimZ rig just under the water’s surface.

May 13

The National Weather Service reported that it was 43 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 70 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being partly cloudy. The wind was calm for spells, and when it blew, it angled from the east and southeast at 3 to 5 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.94 at 12:52 a.m., 29.97 at 5:52 a.m., 30.00 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.95 at 2:52 p.m.

The NWS reported on May 13 that 15.22 inches of precipitation has fallen into the gauges at their Lawrence, Kansas, station in 2019, and 4.56 inches have fallen during the first 13 days of May. The normal year-to-date precipitation rate is 10.63 inches, and the monthly rate is 1.93 inches. Many areas have endured many more inches of precipitation than those that the NWS collected in Lawrence. Consequentially, scores of the flatland reservoirs that grace northeastern Kansas are in a sorry state. One U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ is 27 feet above its normal level, and another one is 48 feet above its normal level. Thus, Midwest finesse anglers are struggling to find a reservoir where they can catch some largemouth bass.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 7:32 a.m. to 9:32 a.m., 7:58 p.m. to 9:58 p.m., and 1:19 a.m. to 3:19 a.m.

I ventured to quickly examine a community reservoir that I fished on April 29 and caught 48 largemouth bass and one white crappie in three hours. Since that April outing, this reservoir’s watershed was inundated with more than six inches of rain, which wreaked havoc with the water level and clarity.

I launched the boat a 12:02 p.m. and put it on the trailer at 12:15 p.m. A secchi-disk reading revealed that the clarity was nearly three feet at some locales and 1 1/2 feet at other locales, which is a significant improvement from what it was a few days after the torrential rains walloped it. The water level looked to be about two feet above its normal level, and that was a significant improvement than what it was 10 days ago. Even though the secchi disk registered 1 1/2 to three feet of visibility, the water exhibited a brownish-and-milky hue, which was not pleasing to the eyes of a Midwest finesse angler. The patches of American water willows that grace some of this reservoir’s shorelines are sprouting green stems and leaves. The are several massive shallow-water patches of curly-leaf pondweed that clutter the surface. Thousands and thousands of stems of curly-leaf pondweed have been uprooted, and they are floating all over the reservoir, and many of them are clinging to the burgeoning patches of American water willows and cluttering every laydown and overhanging trees. Wads of filamentous algae were clinging to all kinds of underwater objects. The surface temperature ranged from 65 to 66 degrees.

I caught one largemouth bass along the spillway. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows and cattails. Most of this area has a 25-degree slope. This largemouth bass was caught in about four feet of water on a Z-Man’s black/blue TRD HogZ with a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim, glide, and no-shake presentation.

Three largemouth bass were caught along a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, laydowns, a beaver hut, a few overhanging trees, and some stumps. It has a 25- to 40-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s pearl TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five feet of water and 20 feet from the water’s edge. Two largemouth bass were caught around an overhanging tree on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. One of the two was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about three feet of water, and the other one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Ten largemouth bass were caught along a 200-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline’s underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, laydowns, several overhanging trees, a patch of curly-leaf pondweed, a large patch of cattails, and some stumps. It has a 25- to 40-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s pearl TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five feet of water in the vicinity of the patch of cattails. Nine largemouth bass were caught of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. They were caught in four to six feet of water. One was caught on a deadstick presentation. Eight were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Four were caught around laydowns, and four were caught around rocks and adjacent to patches of American water willows.

Three largemouth bass were caught along a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm. This shoreline’s underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, laydowns, overhanging trees, and some stumps. It has a 25- to 55-degree slope. They were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. One was caught adjacent to a patch of American water willows, and the other two were caught around laydowns.

In sum, 17 largemouth bass were caught in two hours and 13 minutes. The Junebug Finesse WormZ rig was the by far most effective of the five Midwest finesse rigs that I employed.

May 14

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log about his May 14 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is a slightly edited version of that log:

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, and I spent 5 1/2 hours pursuing smallmouth bass at a Civilian Conservation Corps’ hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma on May 14.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG-3247.jpg

It was a picture-perfect spring day. There were a few thin white clouds that occasionally drifted across the powder-blue sky. There was also an abundance of bright sunshine everywhere. The afternoon high temperature was 86 degrees and the morning low temperature was 59 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.01 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.96 at 4:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the southeast and south at 8 to 14 mph.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 1:25 a.m. to 3:25 a.m., 7:38 a.m. to 9:38 a.m., and 8:03 p.m. to 10:03 p.m. John and I fished from about 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and after we took a 30-minute break, we continued fishing from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The water was what we consider to be clear with four feet of visibility. The water level appeared to be three feet high. The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 71 degrees.

We focused our attentions on two submerged main-lake humps, five main-lake shorelines, four main-lake points, a submerged roadbed inside a minor feeder-creek arm, and a shoreline and its adjacent secondary point inside a larger feeder-creek arm. All of these areas are located in the upper end and midsection of the reservoir.

The first main-lake hump lies in the mid-section of the reservoir’s west tributary arm. Its underwater terrain is comprised of gravel, sand, rocks, boulders, and a few submerged stumps. The top of the hump is usually covered with about a foot of water, but it was covered with about four feet of water on this day. This hump is surrounded by six to 23 feet of water.

This hump was our most fruitful locale, and it relinquished 15 smallmouth bass. These smallmouth bass were caught in three to 12 feet of water from the south, east, and north sides of the hump.

The other main-lake hump is smaller than the first one that we fished, and it yielded only one smallmouth bass. This hump is covered with six feet of water and surrounded by 21 to 32 feet of water. This smallmouth bass was caught from a pile of boulders on the top of the hump in six feet of water.

We caught 45 smallmouth bass, two spotted bass, and one largemouth bass from the five main-lake shorelines. The underwater terrains of these shorelines are comprised of mostly sand, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and numerous large boulders. Most of these bass were caught next to the submerged boulders in three to eight feet of water, but a couple of smallmouth bass were caught as they were suspending about five feet below the surface in 24 feet of water and about 15 yards from the water’s edge.

Inside one minor feeder-creek arm, we probed the sides and top of a submerged roadbed that is situated in the midsection of the creek arm. The edges of the roadbed are lined with large submerged boulders and rocks and buffeted with at least 20 feet of water. The three sections of the roadbed that we fished are covered with four to 12 feet of water. This roadbed yielded one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass that were caught in 12 feet of water near several large submerged boulders along one side of the roadbed.

Inside the other feeder-creek arm, we fished a 50-yard section of a steep and boulder-laden shoreline in the lower section of this creek arm, but we could only scrounge up one smallmouth bass and one green sunfish in three to six feet of water close to some submerged boulders. The rocky secondary point at the end of this shoreline was fruitless.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG-3249.jpg

Along the four main-lake points we caught seven smallmouth bass. These four points are fairly flat and adorned with scores and scores of basketball-size boulders and fist-size rocks. These smallmouths were caught around the larger boulders in five to seven feet of water.

All totaled, we caught 70 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one green sunfish during this 5 1/2 hour endeavor, but none of them were big ones. These 74 black bass set a new Midwest finesse numbers record for us at this reservoir. Our previous record for this reservoir was set on October 5, 2017, when Rick Allen of Dallas and I caught 67 black bass, which consisted of 56 smallmouth bass, 10 largemouth bass, and one spotted bass in six hours.

Sixty of these black bass were allured by a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ that was fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Nine of the black bass were beguiled by a three-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ dressed on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Three were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD HogZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two engulfed a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ that was attached on a custom-painted 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The most effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve that was employed with the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, Canada craw TRD HogZ, and green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ rigs, but we also allured nine smallmouth bass with a steady swimming retrieve.

May 16

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 6:54 a.m. and 90 degrees at 1:54 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the south, southeast, and southwest at 6 to 33 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.86 at 12:54 a.m., 29.84 at 5:54 a.m., 29.81 at 11:54 a.m., and 29.78 at 1:54 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:57 a.m. to 10:57 a.m., 9:22 p.m. to 11:22 p.m., and 2:44 a.m. to 4:44 a.m.

My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Upon arriving at the boat ramp, we were astonished at the state of the water clarity. It exhibited nearly 10 feet of visibility. At some wind-blown locales, the clarity declined to three to five feet of visibility. (Most of the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas were inundated with muddy water during the final day of April and the first week of May, and many of them are still out of sorts.) The surface temperature ranged from 67 to 70 degrees. The water level looked to be about 10 inches above its normal level. There are coonail patches galore adorning many of the shorelines and shallow-water flats. Massive wads of filamentous algae cling to underwater objects, and most of the coontail patches are covered with it.

During the first 93 minutes that we were afloat, we struggled mightily to catch three smallmouth bass and six largemouth bass.

We caught three of the nine largemouth bass and one of the smallmouth bass along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline, which is graced with several secondary points, inside a large feeder-creek arm. The slope of this shoreline ranges from 25- to 90-degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are massive. The water’s edge is embellished with a few patches of American water willows, scores of laydowns, dozens of overhanging trees, and occasional patches of coontail that are intermixed with curly-leaf pondweeds and bushy pondweed. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects -- especially the coontail patches.

Two of the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a red mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Around a secondary point along another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about five feet of water adjacent to a patch of coontial.

We caught two largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass along a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline and two main-lake points. The slopes of this shoreline and its points range from 25- to 90-degrees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with a few patches of American water willows, some laydowns, a few overhanging trees, and occasional patches of coontail that are intermixed with bushy pondweed.

The two smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig in four to seven feet of water. One smallmouth bass was caught of the initial drop, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The two largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig in about six feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along the dam and a 40-yard stretch of its adjacent shoreline, we caught five smallmouth bass and 23 largemouth bass. The dam is boulder-laden. It possesses a 45-degree slope. It is graced with patches of coontail that are littered with wads of filamentous algae. Wads of filamentous algae were floating on the surface. The adjacent shoreline’s underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline has a 45- to 75-degree slope. It is embellished with a few patches of American water willows, one laydown, and a few patches of coontail. Ranks of white caps pummeled the dam. (As we fished it, Rick and I felt as if we were back in our prime in the 1960s and 1970s and plying the wind-blown points and shorelines at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, for temperate bass.) Seventeen of the 28 black bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig. Nine of the 28 were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two of the black bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One of the 28 was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. These 28 black bass were caught in four to 10 feet of water on either the initial drop of our rigs or as we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig in about three feet of water under an overhanging tree along the main-lake shoreline adjacent to the spillway. This shoreline possesses a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge is graced with some laydowns, overhanging trees, and patches of coontail.

Another largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water along a 50-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows and adjacent to the American water willows are some patches of coontail.

We spent the first 199 minutes of this outing in the lower half of this reservoir, and the final 41 minutes were spent in the upper half of the reservoir.

Eight largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass were caught along a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper-third portion of this reservoir. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is festooned with laydowns, overhanging trees, patches of coontail, and a few paltry patches of American water willows. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. One largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The two smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

Two smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass were caught along a 40-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper-third region of the reservoir. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with laydowns, overhanging trees, and patches of coontail. Wads of filamentous algae cling to many of the underwater objects. One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rig under an overhanging tree in about four feet of water. The other smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a slightly shortened Z-Man’s PB&J Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig under an overhanging tree in about four feet of water. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One of these two largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of a patch of coontail in about six feet of water. The other one was caught under an overhanging tree in about five feet of water.

In sum, we caught 10 smallmouth bass and 43 largemouth bass in 240 minutes, and nine smallmouth bass and 35 largemouth bass were caught during the final 147 minutes of this outing. We inadvertently caught one crappie and two bluegill.

May 17

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 87 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the south at 6 to 37 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.74 at 12:53 a.m., 29.72 at 5:53 a.m., 29.74 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.70 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated the best fishing would occur from 9:46 a.m. to 11:46 a.m., 10:11 p.m. to 12:11 a.m., and 3:33 a.m. to 5:33 a.m.

I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 10:55 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 18 inches above its normal level. I was surprised to discover that the water at several locales exhibited about six feet of visibility. Because the wind was howling, ranks of white caps covered much the reservoir’s main body, and around some of the main-lake shorelines, the white caps stirred up sediment, which reduced the visibility to about 15 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 67 to 71 degrees. Wads of filamentous algae adhered to many underwater objects and littered the surface around several locales.

Since this reservoir’s managers ill-advisedly elected to poison the patches of Eurasian milfoil that adorned many shorelines and shallow-water flats, the fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has often been problematic in 2018, and it continues to be a struggle in 2019. Besides killing the milfoil, which corresponds with the demise of the black bass fishing, the aquatic herbicide ruined most of the patches of American water willows that used to embellish many of the shorelines. This reservoir used to have the most bountiful and glorious patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas, and they provided untold numbers of lairs for largemouth bass to abide around. The patches that were out of the water and in very shallow water were not killed during the spraying. And now, because the water level is above its normal level, there are patches of American water willows in the water, but the water level around most of them is so shallow that they do not provide suitable lairs for the largemouth bass to abide in.

Since the death of the milfoil, some patches of curly-leaf pondweed, brittle naiad, and bushy pondweed have developed.

During the four hours that I fished, I caught eight smallmouth bass and 31 largemouth bass. I accidentally caught two freshwater drum and four crappie.

The wind was brisker and the white caps were more challenging than they were when my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I battled them on May 16 at another northeastern Kansas’ community reservoir. Even when I was employing a mega drift sock, the wind, which blew my hat into the water twice, and white caps made some locales virtually impossible to fish.

Here is a short synopsis of where and how I struggled to catch the 39 black bass.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper-third portion of this reservoir, I caught five largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass. The underwater terrain of this locale consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with many overhanging trees, laydowns, occasional patches of curly-leaf pondweeds, and shallow patches of American water willows. The slope ranges from 25 to 70 degrees. The point yielded one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass. The smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about six feet of water. The two largemouth bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16 –ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water, and the second one was caught in about six feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Along the 250-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline, I caught one smallmouth bass on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig around an overhanging tree in about four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in about five feet of water adjacent to a laydown. The ZinkerZ rig caught two largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along a 75-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline and point, I caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its slope ranges from 20 to 45 degrees. The water’s edge is graced with overhanging trees, a few laydowns, minor patches of American water willows, a few PVC pipes, and a stump. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water under an overhanging tree. The smallmouth bass was caught under an overhanging tree on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swimming retrieve in about four feet of water around the point, which is very flat and graced with some mature curly-leaf-pondweed sprouts. This area is in the upper half of this reservoir.

Three largemouth bass were caught along a flat shoreline and around a tertiary point inside a small feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is graced with patches of American water willows that are adjacent to patches of curly-leaf pondweed, brittle naiad, and bushy pondweed. These three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about 2 1/2 feet of water. The second one was caught around the tertiary point on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. The third one was caught on a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water. This area is in the upper half of the reservoir.

Inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm, I caught two smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is graced with some overhanging trees, a few laydowns, patches of American water willows, and patches of curly-leaf pondweed that are interlaced with a tad of brittle naiad and bushy pondweed. This area is in the lower half of the reservoir.

Two of the eight largemouth bass were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught near a laydown in about seven feet of water, and the other one was caught adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water.

Six of the eight largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One of the five was caught under an overhanging tree in about four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two of the six were caught on back-to-back casts and initial drops of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water around a tertiary point and along the outside edge of an overhanging tree. Two of the eight largemouth bass were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water on a flat that is adorned with boulders, minor laydowns, and patches of curly-leaf pondweed. The sixth one was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

The two smallmouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water on a flat that is adorned with boulders, minor laydowns, and patches of curly-leaf pondweed. The second one was caught near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Around two main-lake points and along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, I caught one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a slope of 25 to 50 degrees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with meager patches of American water willows (before herbicides were sprayed these patches were magnificent), some laydowns, and a few overhanging trees. The smallmouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig in about seven feet of water around a wind-blown main-lake point. At the other main-lake point, which was sheltered from the wind, I caught another largemouth bass adjacent to a laydown, and it was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig in about six feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught along the rock-laden shoreline with the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. This area is in the lower half of the reservoir.

Two largemouth bass were caught along the shoreline adjacent of the spillway. This area is flat and shallow. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. The water’s edge is endowed with patches of American water willows, and there are a lot of patches of curly-leaf pondweeds that are occasionally interlaced with bushy pondweed. The two largemouth bass were caught around the boulders and patches of curly-leaf pondweed on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-shake presentation in about three feet of water.

Along a 40-yard stretch of the riprap-laden dam and one of its adjacent shorelines, I caught three largemouth bass on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. The shoreline of the dam possesses a 45-degree slope. The adjacent shoreline possesses 30- to 50-degree slope, and its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This area was very wind-blown, and those three bass caught me rather than me catching them, or in other words, I do not know how I caught them. But I think two were caught on the initial drop of the rig. The wind and waves had diminished the water clarity at this locale.

I spent a few minutes fishing another very wind-blown and white-cap laden locale. This area is graced with three massive rock-laden ridges or walls that are as shallow as four feet and graced with 25 and more feet of water very nearby. One ridge yielded two largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass. The other ridge yielded one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass. The two smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. But the wind and white caps were so intense that I have no idea of the depth of water that these fish were caught in, and I have no idea what kind of presentation that I was employing. As I was trying to fish this locale, I saw a trio of trollers catching temperate bass with some regularity. This area is in the lower half of the reservoir. The wind and waves were too intense for me to spend more than six minutes at each of these ridges. The wind and waves had not diminished the water clarity at this locale.

I caught two largemouth bass along a 50-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. It possesses a 35- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, some minor laydowns, and scattered patches of curly-leaf pondweed that are intertwined with tads of bushy pondweed. These two largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water. This locale lies near the dividing point of the upper and lower sections of this reservoir. The wind and waves had diminished the water clarity along this shoreline.

Around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir, I caught a smallmouth bass and a largemouth bass. This point is adorned with a riprap jetty. The Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation inveigled both of these fish in about five feet of water. The wind and waves had diminished the water clarity around this point.

In sum, the Finesse ShadZ rig caught 25 of the black bass. The Junebug Finesse WormZ rig caught 10 of them. The green-pumpkin ZinkerZ rig caught four.

At 11:00 a.m., I crossed paths with a recent convert to Midwest finesse fishing, who reported that he had struggled to catch six largemouth bass and several walleye. He had been fishing since about 7:00 a.m. Across our many years of fishing on the flatland reservoirs that stipple the countrysides of northeastern Kansas, we have found that the midday hours are more fruitful that the early morning hours. In fact, Rick Hebenstreit and I noticed that phenomenon again on our May 16 outing.

May 20

The National Weather Service reported that it was 46 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 56 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being mostly cloudy to raining and thundering. The wind angled out of the east, northeast, and north at 3 to 29 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 12:53 a.m., 30.07 at 5:53 a.m., 30.08 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.85 at 3:53 p.m.

Mother Nature has been walloping northeastern Kansas this spring. For instance, severe storms hit Emporia, Kansas, and surrounding areas on May 18. During these storms, wind speed reached 90 mph, and flood warns were issued for portions of Coffey and Osage counties.

The National Weather Service is predicting that there is a significant likelihood that showers and thunderstorms will prevail across northeastern Kansas on May 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, and 26. It is possible that a few of them will be severe.

What’s more, most of northeastern Kansas’ flatland reservoirs are radically out of sorts with too much muddy water. Thus, it is difficult to find a worthwhile reservoir to fish.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated the best fishing would occur from 11:56 a.m. to 1:56 p.m., 12:33 p.m. to 2:23 p.m., and 6:09 a.m. to 8:09 a.m.

I fished the same community reservoir that I fished on May 17. I usually refrain from fishing in the same reservoir for at least seven days. But because this reservoir has not gotten out of sorts from Mother Nature’s wrath that commenced on April 30 and it is a relatively short distance from our front door, I elected to fish it again on May 20.

I made my first cast at 10:05 a.m. Around 2:00 p.m., lightning and a thunderstorm approached and sent me home, and according to the weather forecasts, it is unlikely that I will be afloat anytime soon.

As I fished during this outing, it drizzled occasionally. From my first cast to my last one, my hands were cold, and it felt good to stick them into the water to release a fish.

The surface temperature was 67 degrees. The water in the lower half of the reservoir exhibited four to six feet of visibility. The water level looked to be about two feet above normal. Since May 17, this reservoir’s aquatic vegetation is burgeoning dramatically. Some of its American water willow patches, which were adversely affected by the spraying of an aquatic herbicide in 2017, look as if they might rebound this year, but there are still several shorelines that used to have bountiful patches of American water willows that are barren. There are significant patches of brittle naiad, bushy pondweed, and curly-leaf pondweed, and a lot of these patches are littered with wads of filamentous algae.

During this outing, I caught two smallmouth bass and 35 largemouth bass, and I accidentally caught one white bass, one channel catfish, one bluegill, two crappie, and four freshwater drum.

Before the storm arrived, the wind was mild-mannered, which allowed me to thoroughly probe a lot of areas that I was unable to methodically fish on May 17 when the wind and white caps were rank.

Three largemouth bass were along the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 35- to 45-degree slope. It is graced with occasional patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, which I did not stop to identify. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The second one was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about three feet of water. The third largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Along a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to the dam, I caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and several large slabs of concrete. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, laydowns, and several overhanging trees and bushes. Patches of curly-leaf pondweed and bushy pondweed were growing in four to five feet of water. The three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a straight swimming presentation next to a laydown and over the tops of the patches of aquatic vegetation.

Seven largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass were caught along two long boulder-and-rock-laden ridges or walls that are as shallow as four feet and graced with 25 and more feet of water very nearby. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. One smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig in five to six feet of water, and they were caught on three different presentations: initial drop; drag and shake; swim, glide, and shake. One smallmouth bass and three largemouth bass were caught on a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point, two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about four feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. This area has a 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is laced with American water willows.

Along three shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, I caught nine largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and several minor laydowns. Patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed grace much of the shallow-water terrains. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around the patches of pondweeds. Seven largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. Four of the seven were caught on the initial drop around overhanging trees in three to four feet of water, and three of the seven were caught on the initial drop adjacent to the outside edges of the patches of American water willows and in the vicinity of the patches of pondweeds in about four feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught around a flat main-lake point. It possesses a 20- to 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and many humongous boulders. A small patch of American water willows graces a portion of the water’s edge, and some patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed surround some of the boulders and rocks. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught around a boulder in about four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other one was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water along the outside edge of the patch of American water willows.

One largemouth bass was caught around another main-lake point. This point has a 40- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some concrete blocks. Its water’s edge is lined with some meager patches of American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught in about three feet of water around some rocks on the Finesse WormZ rig with a deadstick presentation.

Along a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake point, I caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, and some laydowns. Some of the shallow-water terrains are adorned with patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed. One of the largemouth bass was caught around a boulder and adjacent to an overhanging tree on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about 3 1/2 feet of water. Five of the six largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig on the initial drop around patches of American water willows and pondweeds in three to six feet of water.

Along two shorelines inside a minor feeder creek, I caught five largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is embellished with a dock, patches of American water willows, and some overhanging trees. The shorelines possess a 25- to 35-degree slope. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig as I was executing a straight-swimming retrieve around, over, and through patches of bushy pondweed and curly-leaf pondweed.

Soon after I caught these five largemouth bass, the lightning commenced and the thunder rumbled.

During the twenty-two hours that have lapsed since the lightning and thunderstorm sent me home, a nearby National Weather Service station calculates that 2.23 inches of rain have fallen in the vicinity of this community reservoir. And many more inches are predicted to fall.

There are flash-flood warnings galore across northeastern Kansas.

One nearby stream is flowing at 5,800 cubic feet per second. Its normal rate of flow is 15 cubic feet per second. And this stream flows out of one of the community reservoirs that we regularly fish.

The boat ramps at several nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs are closed, and they are predicted to be closed through the Memorial Day weekend. The water level at one of these reservoirs is 22 feet above its normal level. At another one, it is 50.9 feet above normal.

We do not have an inkling when we will fish again.

May 25

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed this log on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log:

After returning home from my daily work duties last night, I headed to the river on which we live. Most of these after-work jaunts are to free my mind from a great amount of work duties. At other times, they are simply to test the drop rates of lures and the effectiveness of new offerings for manufacturers.

Last evening, as I headed back to our side-by-side UTV and after catching 29 smallmouth bass and more than a dozen incidental panfish, I envisioned that today would be a special one even for us who spend hundreds of hours annually fishing riverine smallmouth. And it was.

As of right now, water conditions are more favorable for river smallmouth than they were at any one point for the entirety of 2018 up and down the east coast. In 2018, we endured relentless floods. Locally, the floods that occurred on more than one occasion caused property damage, made our mountainous road impassable on three occasions and changed our river and the nearby ones for decades to come. Reports from guides and my many angling friends who pursue smallmouth bass, the more popular waterways endured similar woes. Last season will go down in infamy for the east-coast smallmouth-bass anglers who love life on the streams and rivers. They, like me, were eager to get back to normalcy. But 2018 did allow us to get recharged from the physicality of fishing for river smallmouth bass, and in some cases, it allowed us to rethink our approaches.

At no one point in 2018 were the conditions as favorable as they were today, and they are getting better.

The United States Geological Survey gauge read 391cubic feet per second. The surface temperature was 72 degrees. The water visibility was six feet, which is typical of this time of year, and we suspect it to be 12 feet a month from now.

The weather forecast predicted that it was to be humid and in the mid-80s. By mid-day, severe storms would be arriving around 5:00 p.m. There was a tornado watch at 6:00 p.m. just to our south. But we saw just rain and a severe temperature drop.

At 10:50 a.m., after mowing the lawn, my favorite fishing partner, who is my wife, asked if I was ready to make a few casts. Then I quickly hitched up our Jackson Big Tuna kayaks trailer to our UTV. And off we went to a remote launch -- even for us -- with a trek through the deep woods on what is essentially a logging trail.

Last night, I perused through some logs for this time period and similar weather and water conditions. This morning as I sipped my morning coffee on our upper deck I made a few strokes on my turkey box call and had one travel to within feet of the house. Besides my logs, the dispositions of the wild turkeys and natures’ other clues tell me where I need to be on the water and what I need to be doing. They are more significant than moon phases, daily barometric pressures, and any other modern-day weather calculators.

From my abbreviated outings after work, I had determined that the smallmouth bass were yet to spawn. I was still catching big females. During many of the years prior to 2019 -- except for the horrendous year of 2018 -- the smallmouth bass were spawning now. When we witness spawning activity, which I suspect to see very quickly, we will happily cease our fishing until the post spawn. While the smallmouth bass carry on their ritual, I simply split and stack firewood for the next winter.

As we launched our kayaks, we were facing an extremely daunting run. Once we are in this run, there are extremely high cliffs on both sides. To get out of the river once we are enveloped between these cliffs, there is either the choice to go eighteen river miles downriver or to paddle upriver to where we launched. Upon paddling back to our UTV, we are so physically exhausted from out four-mile jaunt downriver and back upriver that we typically use the winch to get our Jackson Big Tuna kayaks back on the trailer.

On to the fishing:

I started with my mainstays. For some newcomers to the Finesse News Network that have not read my logs, there was a time when I submitted reports many times a month, and at times, there were multiple reports every week. In those reports, I often reported of my usage of the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s dirt-colored ZinkerZ, and my uses of the Finesse ShadZ. They are still my mainstays, but I also work with a couple of other Z-Man’s offerings. Though I lipped hundreds of fish a year on the original Finesse ShadZ colors, in my estimation the Finesse ShadZ has become even more effective with the recent laminate colors.

Today's offerings were:

1) Presoaked 2 1/4-inch ZinkerZ in a dirt hue on a red 1/64-ounce prototype jig from a major manufacturer.

2) Finesse ShadZ in a shiner hue on a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig.

3) TRD MinnowZ in a green-pumpkin hue on a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Moon Eye jig.

4) TRD HogZ in a dirt hue on a red 1/32-ounce prototype jig from a major manufacturer.

Everything was liberally covered in a custom blend of Pro-Cure Super Gel scent between catches.

All these rigs were thrown on the same model rod, reel, and line.

My wife used one offering:

1) A shortened Hula StickZ in the mud minnow hue on a red 1/64-ounce prototype jig.

Upon launching, my wife and I began with a beating sun on our back. We would soon have a reprieve from the sun as we approached the steep canyon walls, which are adorned with massive oaks at their peeks.

Trees from yesteryear litter the bottoms of this stretch of the river, and those old trees are intermingled with massive boulders.

The depth of the water around these cliffs ranges from 12 feet at their base to one foot on top of the granite spines. If I am looking at these areas from the side, they resemble a ridged potato chip. They are simply a series of undulating up and severe downs. These undulating spines continue on for about 500 yards.

We approached these undulations from the severe weak side of the river, and we made casts to the strong side at the base of the cliffs walls. A great many of our strikes, as they often do, came upon the initial drops of our rigs. We often will employ an initial shake before letting them touch bottom. That initial touch with the bottom is the last time that our offerings touch bottom. We use that initial touch as a point of reference. We typically wish to achieve a near no-feel suspension of our offering, and we only occasional impart action. This type of retrieve is relatively easy while fishing around these undulating spines, and that is because there is very little current that sweeps through this locale. If I see or suspect that there is a handsome specimen in any of these areas, I will completely deadstick my offering.

I caught 32 smallmouth bass on the TRD MinnowZ rig, 21 smallmouth bass on the ZinkerZ rig, 19 smallmouth bass on the TRD HogZ rig, and 16 smallmouth bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig. I incidentally caught two fall fish, eight healthy rock bass, and 13 big bluegill. My wife caught 29 smallmouth bass, 15 bluegill, and a channel catfish.

From the time that we launched to the time that we were headed home, five and a half hours had elapsed.

In this part of the country, a citation smallmouth bass is recognized by the Department of Natural Resources as 20 inches. In my circle of riverine smallmouth-bass friends, we often converse as to how many citation-sized smallmouth bass we catch on each outing. Today I caught one and my wife caught two. On the one-cast-wide rivers that we fish, catching three citation-size specimens is pretty-dog-gone good.

I will be back on the water tomorrow on an entirely different kind of water.

May 26

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed this log on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log:

In my May 25 report, I mentioned that I would be fishing much different water today, and I did.

My original plan was to launch the kayak in another zip code for an eight-mile downriver jaunt that would have taken most of the day to complete given the many barriers that nature has deposited. That plan was changed while I looked at the weather forecast this morning, which was calling for severe storms to be passing throughout the day. Plan B.

Therefore, I chose to fish a spot that is 200 yards in length that would enable me to quickly get off the water if need be. I left our kayak on the trailer in the garage and packed the essentials to include three or four jigs, two bags of Z-Man’s baits, two identical rods, and a bottle of customized Pro-Cure Super Gel scent.

The United States Geological Survey’s gauge indicated that the water was flowing at 381 cubic feet per second.

The surface temperature was 73 degrees. The water exhibited six feet of visibility.

It was a particularly humid, partly cloudy, and 79 degrees.

This 200-yard stretch of the river had an average depth of three feet. Its underwater terrain consists of white sand and grapefruit-sized rocks. At the upper most end of this flat, there is a riffle of visible surface current approximately 60 feet in length.

As I began walking up the river I would occasionally see pairs (or in some cases three) smallmouth bass of identical size seemingly just meandering about aimlessly.

I began casting in a grid-like pattern from where I stood on the weak side of the river. My casts landed anywhere from just in front of me to nearly across the river’s width. I would execute the same grid-like casting pattern from left to right for the entire 200 yards of this section until I reach the riffles at the top of this flat. The riffle called for a different approach.

On my initial walk upstream and until I reached the riffles I used a Z-Man’s green-pumpkinTRD MinnowZ rigged on a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig, which was still rigged from my May 25 outing.

Since incoming weather was an issue, I worked the bait faster than I normally would have. The fish found me rather than the other way around. Every smallmouth bass engulfed the rig in nearly an identical fashion. Upon making a cast with the TRD MinnowZ, I would shake my rod tip when the rig hit the surface of the water. I would then let it settle and shake once more. If I did not receive an initial take I quickly reeled in and made another cast and presentation.

On my initial walk upriver and long this flat, I caught17 smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, five rock bass, and four green sunfish.

Upon reaching the riffles, I took my second rod from my waistline holder and retired the first rod.

As I began dissecting this 60-foot-long riffle that had an average depth of 2 1/2 to three feet, I would make casts on both sides of the eddy line and also up the middle of the visible current. I worked the area with a high rod tip and let the Z-Man’s dirt TRD HogZ on a 1/32-ounce prototype jig tumble its way through the riffle. This presentation is similar to the way a live-bait angler would employ a crayfish on a split-shot rig.

I caught seven smallmouth bass from this riffle.

As I made my way back to the UTV, I would make a cast to the strong side of the river and simply let the TRD HogZ tick along the bottom. The path of the TRD HogZ was in a giant U shape. As the offering would reach its path directly below me I would reel in and make another cast. At the height of the swing, I would shake the tip of my rod to hopefully trigger any bass that was curious of the offering.

As I made my way back down river, I caught eight smallmouth bass and six incidental rock bass.

As I rode back to our home, I heard very strong thunder in the distance.

I fished for two hours and 36 minutes.

May 27

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed this log on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log:

At the end of yesterday's jaunt on foot, I had eyed as far as the eye could see downriver. And as far as I could see, the river, which I know so well, makes a very hard dog-leg turn to the left. It is a spot that my wife and I have dearly labeled as the August hole. The name derives from the too-many-to-count smallmouth bass that have been caught from that spot across the years in the month of August.

Typically, August is when the river’s surface temperature feels like bath water, and the water levels are at their lowest levels of the year. The August hole always held more depth than anywhere within a mile in either direction, and even at the lowest river levels, it had some visible current. Unless we are fishing at first light, after dark, or during an unusually cloud-covered day with incoming storms, it is during the month of August that alluring a smallmouth bass of size becomes a daunting task. Even catching numbers of fish in that month is not easy. In fact, it is when I have to work for them.

I have been pondering about it because it is where my wife and I have inveigled no less than a couple of dozen smallmouth bass of citation-size, which is a 20-inches or longer specimen. In fact, two dozen may be a very conservative number. My largest riverine largemouth bass, which was a 23-incher, was caught here.

Besides being a fruitful August locale, it has been a productive one during most months of the year, and we suspect that some of the river’s younger and smaller smallmouth bass spend their winters at this hole.

What’s more, I suspected the floods of 2018 had changed it. And from a distance, it did not look like the spot that we had spent so many hours on when the tough August bite was upon us. It looked as if four or five big oak trees were stacked in it.

This spot is the size of two tennis courts. It has a long flat of nothing-looking water above it, which feed into the head of the hole. At its head, the water is typically two feet deep. Then it quickly plummets over my head, and I am six-feet, two-inches tall. The bottom always had a mix of giant boulders that are intertwined with some old trees, and those trees were deposited there during high-water events. That is what I fondly remembered.

This spot is directly behind our property and easily walked to. After I parked the UTV, I began my trek along the river’s path, and I was a bit nervous of what I would find.

On May 26, we received two frog-soaking downpours. As a result, the river’s flow had risen from 381 to 481 cubic feet per second. The water temperature remained a steady 75 degrees. The water exhibited six feet of clarity.

It was sunny. The sky was cloudless.

After having traveled 300 yards on the same trail that many creatures use daily along the river’s path, I arrived at the August hole. As I suspected, the floods of 2018 had indeed changed it.

For what must have been close to ten minutes, I peered into the depths and looked at the many changes to the water’s edge on the other side of the river, which has become littered with logs that are positioned tight to the shore with their trunks extending vertically into the water.

After having taken in what was in front of me, I made a cast. It was aimed to what I hoped was a shallow-water lip that was adjacent to a radical drop-off.

That first cast yielded an 18 3/4-inch smallmouth bass, which engulfed a shortened Z-Man’s mud bug Hula StickZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce VMC Moon Eye jig. This smallmouth bass engulfed this rig on its initial drop and during the first shake of my rod tip.

I made a second, third, fourth, and fifth cast to the same spot, and they yielded four smallmouth bass and one hefty rock bass.

As anyone that has ever fished with me can attest, anytime I am unhooking a fish I am looking into the Y of its throat to see if anything is peeking back at me. Four of my first catches had crayfish pincers extending from their gullets.

On a couple of occasions, when my Hula StickZ rig was allowed to reach the bottom, I could feel the familiar boulders that I remembered. I used them as a point of reference, and I swam the Hula StickZ rig inches above them.

I also focused on the many logs that skirted the perimeter of this hole. I made casts that landed next to the logs, and as soon as the Hula StickZ rig hit the surface, I would shake my rod's tip so as to see where the rig was and what it was doing. I executed this tactic for more than an hour, and I caught fish with astonishing regularity.

I fished from 4:32 p.m. to 5:48 p.m., and I caught 13 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, seven rock bass, one channel catfish, and one behemoth fall fish that measured more than 20 inches long. I also saw one smallmouth bass, which looked to be 22 inches long.

All of them were caught on the Hula StickZ rig, which was presoaked in water to remove the impregnated salt that makes up 25 percent of the Hula StickZ’s body weight. It was lathered with a customized Pro-Cure Super Gel scent.

May 31

Many parts of northeastern Kansas endured the wettest May in recorded history. What’s more, at many of those locales, the first 150 days of 2019 have been the second wettest in recorded history.

Since May 20, it has been a chore to find a fruitful flatland reservoir in northeastern Kansas to fish. For example, the water level at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir that is about 10 miles from our front door is 18.59 feet above its normal level, and it is closed. Another nearby one is 21.70 feet above normal, and it is closed. Another one is 27.49 feet above normal. And one that is 110 miles from our front door is 50.80 feet above its normal level. The water levels at our community and state reservoirs are not exceedingly high, but their waters have been riled with mud, silt, and trash.

All of this was exasperated by a tornado on May 28 that was intertwined with a massive amount of rain. A newspaper account noted that this tornado was a mile wide and crisscrossed about 32 miles of northeastern Kansas, and some of it traversed the landscapes that lie about four miles from our front door. About 1 1/2 to two inches of rain fell at many locales along the route of this tornado.

The torrential rain that was interlaced with the tornado walloped one of our most fruitful state reservoirs and one of our most fruitful community reservoirs. When we talked to the staff at the community reservoir’s marina on May 30, they reported that the water exhibited about four inches of visibility, which is a drastic decline from the six to 10 feet of visibility that it had on May 16.

On May 31, we received two telephone calls from members of the Finesse News Network. One was from Kyle Markham of rural Lawrence, Kansas, who reported that the community reservoir where he and his family reside had cleared up a touch, and on May 30 he and his young sons had caught on May 30 a couple lunker-size largemouth bass on Midwest finesse rigs in about hour of fishing. The other telephone call was from Bill Beach of Topeka, Kansas, who reported that the community reservoir where he and his family reside was not extremely murky, and he and his young grandchildren caught a couple of black bass and other species in about an hour of fishing.

At Markham’s behest, I gave his community reservoir a piscatorial whirl from 1:11 p.m. to 3:41 p.m. on May 31.

Because of the many days of rain, riled waterways, and several important family obligations, this was my first outing since May 20.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 56 degrees at 3:52 a.m. and 81 degrees at 5:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind was often calm, and when it stirred, it angled from the north, northwest, west, and southwest at 3 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:52 a.m., 29.97 at 5:52 a.m., 30.02 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 8:37 a.m. to 10:37 a.m., 9:07 p.m. to 11:07 p.m., and 2:26 a.m. to 4:26 a.m.

The water level looked to be about two feet above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 79 degrees.

Water was running into the reservoir from all of its feeder-creeks and even its traditionally dry and minuscule branches of water. Water was also running across the dam’s spillway.

I am unable to simply describe in a few words the color of the water. It looked to be cluttered with countless minuscule particles that exhibited a tan hue. At times and at some locales, my secchi stick exhibited two to 2 1/2 feet of visibility. At other times and locales, the visibility was about 12 inches. The color of several of the largemouth bass that I caught exhibited the yellowish hues of largemouth bass that reside in a very murky environment. The color of several of the other largemouth bass that I caught exhibited the brilliant hues of largemouth bass that reside in a clear-water environment. Most of the time and at most locales, I could see the lower unit of the outboard engine, and I could see a Z-Man’s pearl TRD MinnowZ on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about 15 inches of water. The color of several of the largemouth bass that I caught.

Much of this reservoir’s vast patches of curly-leaf pondweeds have been uprooted, and a lot of it is floating on the surface and cluttering some of the shorelines and the patches of American water willows. I crossed paths with some burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, which we hope will be a godsend in the weeks to come.

The reservoir was bustling with a variety of anglers, paddle boarders, swimmers, kayakers, and picnickers.

Amongst all of this activity, I squeezed in 2 1/2 hours of fishing, and I caught 14 largemouth bass, two white crappie, two green sunfish, and one bluegill. I elicited many strikes that I failed to hook, and I suspect that they were green sunfish and bluegill.

I am not a lunker hunter, but one of the 14 largemouth bass was a lunker, which I did not weigh or measure. But it was the biggest one that I have caught since the fall of 2108, and I am guessing that it weighed around the proverbial five-pound range. When I struggle to catch fewer than seven largemouth bass an hour, I must admit it feels good to tangle with a lunker.

But day in and day out, I prefer catching vast numbers of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. In my mind, catching 100 small ones in four hours is more enjoyable than catching five lunkers in four hours. For years, we have had a piscatorial routine that we called bass fishing 101, and that entailed catching 101 black bass in four hours. To my chagrin, that feat has not occurred since November of 2017, and for a variety of reasons, I suspect that it will not happen in 2019.

One of the 14 largemouth bass was caught along a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm. It was caught in about six feet of water near a patch of American water willows and around some submerged aquatic vegetation on a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swimming presentation.

One largemouth bass was caught along the rock- and boulder-laden dam around a pile of flotsam in six to seven feet of water on a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag and shake presentation.

One largemouth bass was caught along a rock-laden shoreline adjacent to a main-lake point and dock. It was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught along about a 75-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. They were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig along the outside edge of a vast patch of American water willows in about four feet of water. Inside this feeder-creek arm, another largemouth bass was caught around a significant tertiary point, and it was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

One largemouth bass was caught around a rock- and boulder-laden main-lake point while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig in about eight feet of water.

Along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass on back-to-back casts. They were caught along the edge of a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig.

Three largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. They were caught along about a 350-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. They were abiding in about five feet of water around the outside edges of patches of American water willows. Along this shoreline and a small patch of American water willows, I caught the lunker-size largemouth bass on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water.

Along a 250-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this larger feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This largemouth bass was caught under an overhanging tree in about six feet of water.

All of the shorelines and points that I fished have a slope of 25 to 50 degrees.

Some of the underwater terrains were laden with rocks and boulders. The other underwater terrains consist of gravel and rocks.

Most of the shorelines were embellished with patches of American water willows. Some were graced with submerged aquatic vegetation. A few of them had overhanging trees.

I failed to establish a pattern regarding the slope and make-up of the underwater terrain.

None of the largemouth bass were caught around the many patches of floating curly-leaf pondweeds that were littering some of the shorelines and patches of American water willows. And 10 of the 14 largemouth bass were caught around or near the outside edges of patches of American water willows. In addition, most of them were caught on the initial drop.

Recommended for You

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat! Bass

Topwater Lure Secrets for Bass

Jim Edlund - April 26, 2018

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat!

Spring walleye fishing often means large numbers of fish concentrated in small areas. Walleye

Spring Walleye Fishing Tackle Choices

Steve Ryan - October 19, 2017

Spring walleye fishing often means large numbers of fish concentrated in small areas.

In-Fisherman

Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

In-Fisherman Calendar Periods

In-Fisherman Calendar Periods

In-Fisherman staffers target all fish and key on the revolving season calendar periods to maximize the the likelihood of catching more and bigger fish.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

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

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

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

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

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

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Bass Snax Custom Baits' Shaker has the profile and action of baitfish and is extremely effective on a variety of rigging methods. Midwest Finesse

Bass Snax Custom Baits' Shaker

Ned Kehde - October 17, 2019

Bass Snax Custom Baits' Shaker has the profile and action of baitfish and is extremely...

The Ned Fry excels when it is affixed to a mushroom-style jig. Midwest Finesse

6th Sense Fishing Products' Ned Fry

Ned Kehde - October 25, 2019

The Ned Fry excels when it is affixed to a mushroom-style jig.

Designed by Micheal Iaconelli, the Berkley Powerbait Water bug provides a unique profile and action. Midwest Finesse

Berkley Fishing's Powerbait Water Bug

Ned Kehde - November 25, 2019

Designed by Micheal Iaconelli, the Berkley Powerbait Water bug provides a unique profile and...

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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