Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2020

Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2020
Steve Reideler with one of the largemouth bass that he and Roger Farish caught on May 18.

This May guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 22 logs and 19, 577words.

Some of these logs reveal that we were still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they reflect how it affected our fishing.

These words will provide readers with the  piscatorial methods of  Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Lou Clewell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Brandon and Jason Marlow of Lafollette, Tennessee; Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas; and Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas.

As always, we are extremely grateful that Steve Reideler composed many of these logs and proofread all of the 19,578 words. He made them more readable and understandable.


May 2

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 2 outing.


Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 60 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 80 degrees at 2:53 p.m. From 5:53 a.m. to 7:53 a.m., the wind was calm, and at other times, it angled out of the south, southwest, and northeast at 5 to 23 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.86 at 12:53 a.m., 29.90 at 5:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.93 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:52 a.m. to 8:52 a.m., 7:19 p.m. to 9:19 p.m., and 12:38 a.m. to 2:38 a.m.

At the community, federal, and state reservoirs across northeastern Kansas, the COVID-19 pandemic has made every day of the week seem like a Saturday. In other words, these waterways are bustling with scores and scores and scores of anglers, recreational boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders, and a hodgepodge of other people on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.


We rarely fish on weekends, but Pat Kehde and I decided to see what a real Saturday looked like at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs on May 2. And it was a mistake.

We fished from 11:03 a.m. to 1:13 p.m. And while we were on the water, the wind howled out of the northeast, and the reservoir’s surface was rank with waves, white caps, and boat wakes. What’s more, radios were blaring and even fireworks were exploding, which was unnerving. There was rarely an iota of social distancing being executed. Patty described it as Coney Island, which is not a delightful place for us old codgers, who are 79 and 80 years old, to be fishing and hoping to catch an average of at least 10 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass an hour.

The water level at this reservoir was several inches above normal. The surface temperature was 65 degrees. The water exhibited from less than six inches to about three feet of Secchi-stick visibility. Along some locales, the waves and boat wakes created very muddy water.  An algae bloom has also erupted.


We fished very half-heartedly, and our catch reflected our demeanor.

It was a struggle to catch 14 largemouth bass and to accidentally catch one crappie, one freshwater drum, and one green sunfish. We elicited eleven strikes that we failed to hook.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man Fishing Products’ purple death TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other 13 were caught 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.

We caught three largemouth bass along a 30-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to a main-lake point in the lower portion of the reservoir.  This shoreline has a 50- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is littered with laydowns, overhanging trees, and a few minor patches of winter-dead American water willows. There is an occasional patch of submerged coontail. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig around laydowns on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  They were caught from five feet to nearly 20 feet from the water’s edge in water as shallow as five feet and as deep as 10 feet.

We caught one largemouth bass along the dam on the Finesse WormZ rig.  The dam is rock laden. It possesses a 45-degree slope. It is graced with several man-made brush piles, and some submerged patches of coontail. The largemouth bass was caught on a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water.

We caught three largemouth bass along a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is adjacent to the dam. This shoreline has a 60- to 90-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, clay, rocks, and boulders. Its water’s edge is endowed with laydowns, overhanging trees, and a few minor patches of winter-dead American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig around a laydown in about five feet of water. Two were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

We failed to elicit a strike along a 120-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper reaches of the reservoir. It was pummeled by the wind and waves, and it was muddy and nearly impossible to fish.

Along two shorelines and around one secondary point in the back of a major feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass. These areas were sheltered from the wind, but it was cluttered with a gaggle of anglers and recreational boaters and even swimmers. These shorelines and the secondary point have 30- to 90-degree slopes. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous.  The water’s edge is graced with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, a goodly number of laydowns, and several overhanging trees. And there are some submerged patches of coontail embellishing the secondary point and portions of the shorelines. These seven largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse WormZ rigs in four to six feet of water. 

Three were caught on the initial drop. Four were caught of a drag-and-shake presentation.

While we were catching largemouth bass numbers 13 and 14, an extremely loud eruption of fireworks occurred nearby, which provoked us to go home. To our chagrin, it was a quagmire at the boat ramp, and it took us nearly 20 minutes to get the boat on the trailer.

In sum, we declared as we were driving home that we will never again fish this reservoir on a Saturday in May.

May 2

Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, filed this report on the Finesse News Network about his May 2 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report.

I am getting back into finesse fishing. I had one of my best trips in two years at a community reservoir in northeastern Kansas on May 2.

With unprecedented fishing pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to leave my "big-boy" tackle at home.

The largemouth bass have seen enough spinnerbaits, crankbaits and big Senkos lately. Light line and Ned rigs were the way to go.

That decision paid off. I was joined by a longtime friend who also has been quarantining.

As we fished, we had to take a number to fish some of our favorite shorelines. At one point, I counted four boats that had worked a rocky shoreline on the east side of the reservoir before we fished it.  By late morning, there were 20 boats afloat, which is unheard of on this subdivision reservoir.

We fished from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and the fishing pressure grew as the weather got warmer.

The surface temperature was 61 degrees.  The water had a little color to it, which is ideal at this  normally clear-water reservoir. The surface was calm when we first got out, but the wind picked up as our trip progressed.

It was really kind of funny, seeing boats in a parade working some of the shorelines and points. I didn't see many people in front of us catch fish, but we were surprised to see how well our finesse baits performed.

I used a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, and my friend Jeanne used an identical rig. We concentrated on main-lake shorelines that were adorned with table-shaped boulders.  We employed a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the shadows created by those boulders.

A lot of the largemouth bass we caught were small, but they were fun on four-pound-test monofilament line and a St. Croix Lite Power spinning rod.

We did catch four bass that were 15 inches or longer, including one that measured 18 inches. We ended up with 50 largemouth bass, which is the best we have done at this reservoir in 2020.  I know the exact number because we were stuck on largemouth bass number 49, and we had to work for about 15 minutes to catch the 50th one.

I did try a coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig for a while, and caught three largemouth bass with it. But the others were caught on the Junebug Finesse TRD rig.

This experience emphasized what Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, preaches. He says these rigs will catch largemouth bass when nothing else will in heavily-pressured waterways.

I didn't think we would do that well with all the boats on the water. Now, I might have a hard time going back to my baitcasting stuff for a while.

Thanks to Ned and Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas, for teaching me the ways of finesse fishing. It is truly a blast fighting a keeper-size bass on light tackle. I had gotten away from finesse fishing for a while, but I am hooked again.

May 6

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network about their May 6 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Since March, Patty Kehde and I have adhered to Governor Laura Kelly’s prohibitions to help tame the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The prohibitions have halted Patty’s tennis endeavors.  But fishing has not been prohibited, and when Mother Nature hasn’t walloped us with too much wind and rain, which she has done frequently, Patty and I have tried to fish two to three times a week. They have always been short endeavors, ranging in length from about 95 minutes to about 180 minutes.

On May 6, we ventured to one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs and fished from 10:09 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 43 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 63 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to being mostly cloudy to being overcast. The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it angled out of the northwest, north, and northeast at 3 to 7 mph.  The barometric pressure was 30.17 at 12:52 a.m., 30.24 at 5:52 a.m., 30.28 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.26 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 10:03 a.m. to 12:03 p.m., 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and 3:50 a.m. to 5:50 a.m.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be slightly more than a foot above its normal level. The surface temperature was 64 degrees. The water exhibited about three feet of visibility along the dam, and it diminished to about 10 inches in the back ends of two of this reservoir’s feeder-creek ends. Some shallow-water areas are littered with incredibly large patches of filamentous algae. We crossed paths with one patch of American water willows that is sprouting many green stems and leaves, but the rest of the American water willow patches that embellish many yards of this reservoir’s shorelines are still in their winter-dead motif.

For the first two hours and 24 minutes, we struggled to catch 21 largemouth bass. During the final 27 minutes, we caught 12 largemouth bass. Throughout this outing, we accidentally caught five crappie, two green sunfish, and one pumpkinseed. We also elicit about a dozen strikes that we failed to hook.

A slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught 23 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught nine largemouth bass. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We spent one hour and 15 minutes fishing portions of two massive shorelines inside one of the reservoir’s primary feeder-creek arms. These shorelines possess a 20- to 35-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of clay, silt, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is graced with three riprap jetties, one dock, laydowns, many patches of winter-dead American water willows, and gobs of filamentous algae.  Our Finesse WormZ rigs caught 12 largemouth bass along these shorelines. Most were caught while we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to 4 ½ feet of water. The others were caught on the initial drop of our Finesse WormZ rigs. Most were caught near the outside edges of the patches of American water willows.

We spent about 60 minutes probing portions of two shorelines inside another primary feeder-creek arm. These shorelines possess a 20- to 55-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of clay, silt, gravel, and rocks. There are some burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation embellishing some of the underwater terrains of these shorelines. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of winter-dead American water willows, an array of laydowns, and several manmade brush piles. Our Finesse WormZ rigs caught nine largemouth bass in four to six feet of water.  Two of them were caught while we employed a deadstick presentation. Three were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.  One largemouth bass was caught around a large and partially submerged brush pile. Three were caught around the burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Five of them were caught adjacent to either patches of American water willows or around laydowns.

We spent the final 27 minutes of this outing fishing along a portion of the dam. This portion of the dam has a 40- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of riprap. We caught 12 largemouth bass in three to eight feet of water. One of them was caught on the PB&J Finesse TRD rig. Two were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. And nine were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig.  Four were caught on the initial drop of our rigs, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In conclusion, we caught an hourly average of slightly more than 11 largemouth bass an hour, which is far from being a bonanza in the eyes of us old longstanding Midwest finesse anglers.  But it was our first outing during the pandemic that we didn’t encounter scores of other anglers and an array of other folks frolicking along the shorelines and in and on the water, and that made this outing a joyful time in our minds and hearts.  On previous outings, it has been a chore to concentrate on fishing.

May 6

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

I journeyed 53 miles to a state reservoir located in an ex-urban area north of Ft. Worth in hopes of outdistancing myself from the large crowds of people, fishing boats, kayaks, pleasure boaters, jet skiers, and other watercraft that have overcrowded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs in north-central Texas. This plan backfired.

When I arrived at this state reservoir, it was the busiest I have ever seen it. I was disheartened to see its parking lots were jam-packed with tow vehicles and boat trailers. I had to wait about 15 minutes for a lane on the boat ramp to clear so I could launch my boat. I ended up parking on the grass shoulder of a nearby gravel-and-dirt service road.

I fished this same reservoir on May 6, 2019, with John Thomas of Denton. We had an outstanding day. We caught 98 fish in six hours. Those 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. But to my dismay, this outing was a mere shadow of that bountiful May outing.

The morning low temperature was 50 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 86 degrees. About 20 percent of the sky was covered with wispy clouds. The wind was light and variable. The barometric pressure measured 30.23 at 10:00 a.m. and 30.16 at 2:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., 10:13 a.m. to 12:13 p.m., and 10:40 p.m. to 12:40 a.m.

I fished from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The water exhibited about 1 1/4 feet of visibility. Its normal clarity varies from three to five feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 69 degrees to 76 degrees. And for the first time since it was flooded in mid-March, the water level has returned to its normal level.

The bulk of this reservoir’s shorelines are rock- and boulder-laden. A few of them are adorned with flooded buck brush, stickups, overhanging trees, and some laydowns. In the south end of this reservoir, there are a few flourishing patches of hydrilla, American pondweed, and American water willows.

I slowly fished portions of two large bays, a small main-lake cove, the perimeter of a main-lake island, two riprap jetties, and two main-lake flats, and the black bass fishing was slow, but it was better than the Corps’ reservoirs that I have been fishing.  I caught 20 black bass, which consisted of 13 largemouth bass and 7 spotted bass. I also unintentionally caught 18 white bass, three channel catfish, three black crappie, and one freshwater drum.

Twelve of these 20 black bass were caught on a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Three bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/10-ounceZ-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two were caught on a hop-and-bounce retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ fastened to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Another couple of bass were caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ threaded on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig while I employed it with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.  And one bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ.

Inside the first bay on the south end of the reservoir, I slowly plied a rocky shoreline on the east side of the bay that is about 100-yards long. It has a 35- to 40-degree slope. Sections of this shoreline are adorned with patches of green hydrilla. I saw two small water snakes and a larger venomous water moccasin, which I estimated to be about 3 1/2-feet long, sunning themselves on large boulders at the water’s edge. (We also call water moccasins “cottonmouths”, and we give them a wide berth.) Thankfully, these three snakes showed no interest in me as I admired their beautiful skin colorations while I worked my way down this shoreline.

I shared this shoreline with three other boat anglers and two kayak anglers, and I managed to scrounge up three largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and two black crappie that were scattered around the inside edges of the patches of hydrilla in five to seven feet of water.

I usually ply two riprap-covered shorelines on the west side of the bay, but these areas were already occupied by several kayak, boat, and bank anglers. So, I meandered over to the east side of the reservoir.

I failed to elicit any strikes from the perimeter of the main-lake island, which is located on the south end of the reservoir’s east shoreline.

Inside a small main-lake cove just north of the island, I fished behind two other anglers in another boat, and I caught three largemouth bass that were relating to the outside edges of some flooded buck brush that adorns the north shoreline of the cove. These three largemouth bass were abiding in three to five feet of water.

From that small main-lake cove, I moved about a quarter of a mile northward to two riprap-covered jetties. The first of the two riprap jetties surrendered two largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and four white bass. The second jetty was mostly unproductive and yielded only one channel catfish. All of these fish were relating to the submerged riprap of the jetties in three to eight feet of water.

At the first rocky main-lake flat, which is situated a short distance from the two riprap jetties, I caught one largemouth bass, one spotted bass, seven white bass, and one channel catfish. The two black bass and the catfish were caught along the outside edges of several flooded bushes in three to five feet of water. The seven white bass were caught in open water about 60 feet away from the flooded bushes in 12 to 17 feet of water as they were chasing two-inch threadfin shad on the surface of the water.

Along the second rocky main-lake flat, I failed to catch a black bass, but I inadvertently caught seven more white bass and a freshwater drum that were also foraging on threadfin shad along the water’s surface in five to eight feet of water. This point is covered with large boulders and flooded buck brush.

I finished the outing fishing inside the second bay, which is located on the west side of the reservoir. I shared this bay with several other boat anglers, and I caught four largemouth and one spotted bass while fishing behind two of the other anglers. I also caught another channel catfish and a large black crappie.

This shoreline is adorned with many submerged boulders, some metal pipes, a couple of metal seawalls, and about a dozen boat houses. These five black bass were caught in three to seven feet of water from a rocky shoreline on the north side of the bay. Two were relating to some submerged boulders. The third one was caught from underneath a boat house. The fourth bass was caught from underneath a walkway that extends from the shoreline to a boat house, and the fifth one was caught next to several metal pipes that were extending about 30 feet from the shoreline into the water.

When I returned to the boat ramp, I had to wait 20 minutes to trailer my boat, and I noticed that the parking lots were still full. Such are the trials and tribulations of fishing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

May 7

Ned Kehde filed this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 7 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Throughout much of April and during the first week of May, Mother Nature has waylaid Midwest Finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas with either her windy or rainy ways.  She did it again on May 7, and it was unseasonably cool.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 37 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 59 degrees at 10:52 a.m. The wind was calm for a few hours, and when it erupted, it angled out of the northwest, south, and southeast at 3 to 9 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to being foggy and misty to being partly cloudy to being overcast to raining. The barometric pressure was 30.22 at 12:52 a.m., 30.18 at 5:52 a.m., and 30.14 at 11:52 a.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would transpire from 10:56 a.m. to 12:56 p.m., 4:42 a.m. to 6:42 a.m., and 5:10 p.m. to 7:10 p.m.

I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 9:59 a.m. till it began to rain at 11:33 a.m. And until 11:20 a.m., I was the only angler afloat.

There were eight bank-walkers, but no terrestrial and waterway frolickers. One of the virtues of Mother Nature’s foul-weather motifs is that it keeps the circus-like atmosphere that has sprouted at many of our community, federal, and state reservoirs at bay during the prohibition period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 63 degrees. The water exhibited from 10 inches to 30 inches of secchi-stick visibility. Throughout this reservoir, untold numbers of gobs and globs of filamentous algae clung to the patches of American water willows and other submerged objects. It is important to note that some of the patches of American water willows were exhibiting green leaves and stems. We also crossed paths with submerged patches of curly-leaf pondweed and other kinds of submerged aquatic vegetation.

This outing does not merit a full-fledged Midwest finesse log. So, here is an abbreviated one.

I caught two largemouth bass on my first three casts, and after that, which encompassed one hour and 29 minutes of fishing, I caught 13 largemouth bass, two bluegill, and two green sunfish.

The first 10 largemouth bass were caught 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. The last five were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

I fished along portions of two shorelines inside one small feeder-creek arm, around two main-lake points, along about a 250-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, along portions of two shorelines inside a primary feeder-creek arm, and around a portion of the shoreline of the reservoir’s spillway.

These shorelines possess a 25- to 40-degree slope. Most of these shorelines are embellished with patches of American water willows and gobs of filamentous algae. One shoreline has a dock from which I caught two largemouth bass. Some of the shorelines are graced with a few stumps, laydowns, and overhanging trees. One shoreline is adorned with a small and shallow-water patch of cattails. Most of the stumps and laydowns were enmeshed with filamentous algae. Their underwater terrains consist of clay, silt, gravel, rocks, and occasional boulders.

I failed to elicit a strike around the two main-lake points. But along the four shorelines inside the two feeder-creek arms, along the one main-lake shoreline, and around the spillway, I gradually eked out 15 largemouth bass. They were caught in four to six feet of water.  One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation, four of them were caught on the initial drop of my rig, and 10 of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three were caught around laydowns and stumps. Eleven were caught near or adjacent to the patches of American water willows that were encased with filamentous algae. One was caught on gravel and rocks adjacent to a patch of cattails.

In sum, I was hoping to fish until at least 1:00 p.m., which was when the rain was predicted to commence. I was also hoping to catch at least an average of 15 largemouth an hour. And, of course, those hopes failed to transpire. Instead of fishing for 181 minutes and catching at least 30 largemouth bass, I fished for 94 minutes and struggled to catch 15 largemouth bass or an average of about 10 per hour.

The fishing in 2020 has been odd and difficult for this old man. And across the second decade of this century, the fishing has changed dramatically at this community reservoir. For example, I caught 125 largemouth bass at this reservoir in three hours and 30 minutes on May 9, 2013.

May 9

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 9 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

I had a hankering to chase some post-spawn smallmouth bass, so I journeyed to a scenic Civilian Conservation Corps’ hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma. I wasn’t surprised to see that this impoundment was crowded with people and watercraft of all kinds. It was as jam-packed as the reservoirs I have been fishing in north-central Texas.

On April 7, Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, joined me for a smallmouth bass excursion at this reservoir. At that time, we were searching for pre-spawn and spawning smallmouth bass, and we concentrated on flats and secondary points in the backs of some bays. We fished for five hours,  and we had to work hard to catch 21 smallmouth bass.

On May 9, I fished from 9:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from12:36 a.m. to 2:36 a.m., 6:50 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., and 1:05 p.m. to 3:05 p.m.

The sky conditions changed from being mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to clear. As I launched the boat at 9:27 a.m., it was chilly and felt more like early-March than May. The air temperature was 55 degrees and a blustery wind blew out of the south and southwest at 18 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.26. It was 73 degrees when I trailered the boat at 3:00 p.m. The wind had subsided substantially by then, and it angled out of the south at 5 mph. The barometric pressure measured 30.16.

The water exhibited about six feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 69 degrees. The water level appeared to be normal.

I employed six Midwest finesse rigs: a three-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s easy money Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man’s sprayed grass TRD TicklerZ attached on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ fastened on a chartreuse  1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; and a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

This outing was much more bountiful than the one Roger and I experienced on April 7. This time, I concentrated on wind-blown main-lake smallmouth bass lairs in the middle section of the reservoir’s west tributary arm where no one else was fishing, and I caught a total of 56 smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and one freshwater drum.

Five of the six Midwest finesse rigs where effective. I was unable to elicit any strikes with the Z-Man’s sprayed grass TRD TicklerZ rig, which was the most effective lure that Roger and I employed on April 7.

The most effective lure during this outing was the Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ, which allured 35 smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and the freshwater drum. The four-inch easy money Finesse WormZ enticed 14 smallmouth bass. Three smallmouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ. Three other smallmouth bass were caught on the three-inch green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ. The green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig inveigled one smallmouth bass.

A slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation was by far the most productive retrieve, and this presentation was utilized with both of the TRD TicklerZs, the four-inch easy money Finesse WormZ, the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, and the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rigs. A swim-and-pause retrieve was used with the three-inch green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ.

Twenty-five smallmouth bass were caught from around patches of submerged boulders on an offshore hump in five to nine feet of water. The top portion of this hump is covered with three to five feet of water. It’s perimeter has 12 to 20-plus feet of water adjacent to it.

The other 31 smallmouth bass, the one largemouth bass, and the freshwater drum were caught from three main-lake shorelines. These shorelines are shallow and flat within 10 to 15 feet of the water’s edge, and then the flat sections quickly descend into water that is 12 or more feet deep. These shorelines are also graced with all sizes of boulders, rocks, and some patches of cattails and American water willows. These 32 black bass were caught in seven to 11 feet of water along the ledges where the flat sections drop off into deeper water.

In short, I relished the stellar smallmouth bass fishing in spite of the heavy angler pressure and boat traffic at this reservoir.

May 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 11 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., I conducted a solo outing at a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

The black bass fishing at this reservoir has been lousy all year. I endured one of several lackluster outings at this reservoir on April 29, when I caught only five largemouth bass and two spotted bass in four hours. The fishing wasn’t much better this time.

On May 11, the sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 64 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 84 degrees. The barometric pressure was 30.23 at noon and 30.12 at 3:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the southeast at 13 to 15 mph.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 2:44 a.m. to 4:44 a.m., 8:59 a.m. to 10:59 a.m., and 3:13 p.m. to 5:13 p.m.

The water exhibited between 1 1/2 to two feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 74 degrees. The water level was normal.

I have been having a heck of a time locating significant numbers of largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this impoundment. So, I opted to ply some main-lake black bass lairs as well as a few others inside three feeder-creek arms in the southwest tributary arm. By the time this three-hour endeavor came to an end, I had caught eight largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and two white bass.

In the main-lake areas, I plied four main-lake points, portions of two main-lake shorelines, and two main-lake flats.

The four main-lake points yielded four largemouth bass and three spotted bass. These points are flat and are covered with large rocks and boulders. The wind was pushing countless numbers of white-capped waves on them.

One point surrendered three spotted bass and one largemouth bass. The second point yielded two largemouth bass. The third point yielded one largemouth bass, and the fourth point was fruitless. All seven of these bass were relating to submerged boulders in three to five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water’s edge. Six of them were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. One bass was caught on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a three-inch Z-Man’s bad shad Slim SwimZ. Both of these Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a steady swimming retrieve.

I failed to locate any largemouth bass or spotted bass around portions of two rocky main-lake shorelines and two main-lake flats.

Inside the three feeder-creek arms, I concentrated on rocky shorelines, rock- and boulder-laden secondary points, several small coves, some clay-and-pea-gravel flats, and a few small pockets along their shorelines. These areas yielded four largemouth bass and two spotted bass.

The first feeder-creek arm relinquished one spotted bass and one largemouth bass that were abiding in three to five feet of water near some riprap on one side of a dilapidated concrete boat ramp that is situated on a flat secondary point in the lower section of the creek arm. The largemouth bass was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ.  The spotted bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ matched to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. I was unable to locate any other black bass in the remainder of this creek arm.

In the second feeder-creek arm, I caught one spotted bass in five feet of water that was associated with a large submerged boulder on top of a secondary point in the lower section of the creek arm. It was caught on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside the third feeder-creek arm, I caught three largemouth bass. One was caught from the end of a concrete boat ramp in five feet of water. One largemouth was caught from the end of a rock- and boulder-laden secondary point that has a 35-degree slope. This largemouth was caught near a patch of large rocks in four feet of water. The third largemouth was caught along the outside edge of a flooded bush in three feet of water on a clay-and-pea-gravel flat.

In closing, the black bass fishing was still tough at this reservoir, and I failed to locate any significant aggregations of black bass. I did, however, manage to catch a mix of 13 largemouth and spotted bass, and I accidentally caught two white bass.

Rocky main-lake points were the most productive locales.

The most effective lure was a 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The most effective presentation was a steady swimming retrieve.

May 12

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 12 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 44 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 52 degrees at 2:52 p.m. It was foggy, misty, and overcast, and it rained a tad before midnight.   The wind was calm for four hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the north, northeast, southeast, and east at 3 to 14 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.26 at 12:52 a.m., 30.23 at 5:52 a.m., 30.23 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.17 at 2:52 p.m.

The normal low temperature for May 12 is 51 degrees and the normal high temperature in 75 degrees. Since May 6, Mother Nature has allowed area thermometers to plummet way below their normal levels. In fact, she dropped the temperature to 35 degrees on May 11.

To ward off the effects of the damp-and-cold weather, Patty Kehde and I wore some of our wintertime wardrobes while we fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 3:38 a.m. to 5:38 a.m., 4:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m., and 9:52 a.m. to 11:52 a.m.

The weather was so uncomfortable that we could muster the wherewithal to fish for only 81 minutes. We made our first casts at 1:01 a.m. and our last ones at 2:22 p.m.

Here is what occurred while we were afloat:

The water level looked to be about 12 inches above its normal level. The water in the lower portions of this reservoir exhibited about five feet of secchi-stick visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 58 to 59 degrees, which is a six- to seven-degree drop since May 2. As we were launching our boat, another pair of anglers were putting their boat on their trailer, and they said they were “chilled nearly to their bones.”  After they got their boat onto their trailer, we were the only anglers at this reservoir.

We spent the entire outing fishing along the reservoir’s spillway and the dam. This area has a 30- to 55-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is graced with a few patches of American water willows, which have begun to sprout green leaves and stems. There are several patches of submerged aquatic vegetation beginning to sprout. It is also embellished with a few laydowns, logs, and manmade brush piles.  To our delight, we failed to cross paths with the vast globs of filamentous algae that have been littering most of our community and state reservoirs this spring.

During the 81 minutes that we fished, we tangled with 50 largemouth bass, three green sunfish, one crappie, and elicited eight strikes that we failed to hook.

The first largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The next 48 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to either a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a red 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD Jighead.

We caught these largemouth bass in three to about 10 feet of water. Two of the largemouth bass were caught around a small entanglement of logs. Three of them were caught adjacent to the outside edges of patches of American water willows. And 45 largemouth bass were caught around gravel, rocks, and boulders.

Four of them were caught as we employed a deadstick presentation. Eleven were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Thirty-five were caught as we worked our rigs with either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation.

In sum, it is getting more and more difficult for Patty and me to tolerate fishing when it is cold. Our 79- and 80-year old minds and bodies aren’t what they used to be.  Yet, we were surprised and pleased by the fruitfulness of this outing.

By the way, the Finesse ShadZ is a shad-shaped worm, and a shad-shaped worm has played a critical role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers since 2006. It is especially effective in the spring, and of all the manifestations of a shad-shaped worm that we have used, the Finesse ShadZ is the most durable and effective one of them all.

By the way, Finesse ShadZ is a shad-shaped worm, and a shad-shaped worm has played a critical role in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers since 2006. It is especially effective in the spring, and of all the manifestations of a shad-shaped worm that we have used, the Finesse ShadZ is the most durable and effective one of them all.

May 14 

The National Weather Service reported that it was 64 degrees at 2:52 a.m. and 83 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being overcast to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to being overcast again. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and south at 7 to 29 mph.  The barometric pressure was 29.82 at 12:52 a.m., 29.85 at 5:52 a.m., 29.84 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.75 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 5:26 a.m. to 7:26 a.m., 5:49 p.m. to 7:49 p.m., and 11:13 a.m. to 1:13 p.m.

I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 12:46 p.m. to 3:46 p.m. It was predicted that it would rain. Therefore, Patty, my wife and pandemic fishing partner, elected to not fish today.

The water level looked to be normal, but a significant flow of water was being released from the reservoir’s outlet. Surface temperature was 64 degrees. The water exhibited 15 inches to about 36 inches of secchi-stick visibility. There are horrendous amounts of filamentous algae cluttering the shorelines, patches of American water willows, laydowns, boulders, stumps, and other submerged and partially submerged objects; it is an ugly sight.

I was the only angler afloat. There were 10 anglers walking the shorelines.  For some reason, the circus-like atmospheres that have afflicted the reservoirs in northeastern Kansas during the COVID-19 pandemic has abated during the past seven days; this demise might stem from the foul weather and predictions of foul weather that we have experienced.

I began this outing by fishing along the spillway and dam with the hope of repeating the largemouth-bass bonanza that Patty and I encountered on May 10, when we caught 50 largemouth bass in 81 minutes along the dam and spillway at one northeastern Kansas’ state reservoir. But this hope failed to materialize.

During this 120-minute endeavor on May 14, I caught 21 largemouth bass, seven crappie, three green sunfish, and one bluegill.

One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The rest of them were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Along the dam, I struggled to catch three largemouth bass. They were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water. The dam has a 40- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of rocks and boulders. The water’s edges are graced with shallow-water patches of American water willows and a few logs.

Along significant portions of two shorelines inside a large feeder-creek arm, I caught 16 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 40-degree slope. The water’s edge is cluttered with scores of patches of American water willows that are disheveled with unsightly globs of filamentous algae and a few logs. To my chagrin, I noticed that several patches of American water willows along the south shoreline had been annihilated from the 2, 4-D herbicide that the reservoir’s managers used in September of 2019 to kill patches of Eurasian milfoil. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and it is enhanced with some stumps and brush piles. Some of the underwater terrain might be embellished with a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, but I never did see it; I merely felt it during some of my retrieves, and it might have been more manifestations of filamentous algae rather than coontail or bushy pondweed or curly-leaf pondweed.

One of the 16 largemouth bass was accidentally caught on the Finesse TRD rig as I was quickly retrieving to make another cast. The other 15 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig in three to about seven feet of water. They were caught from five feet to almost 20 feet from the water’s edge. Two were caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation. Three were caught on the initial drop. Ten of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Four of the largemouth bass were caught in the vicinity of some of the underwater stumps. Six of them were caught along about an 80-foot stretch of this feeder creek’s north shoreline.

During the final six minutes of this outing, largemouth bass number 20 and 21 were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig along a shoreline in the back of a small feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope.  Its water’s edge is enhanced with patches of American water willows, which were littered with ungodly amounts of filamentous algae, several overhanging trees, and a few laydowns.  The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about three feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows, and they were caught on the first two casts that I made along this shoreline.

The most fruitful sections of the three shorelines inside the two feeder-creek arms were about 60 to 70 percent of the way inside these arms.

In conclusion, our catch-rate per hour of largemouth bass at this reservoir has deteriorated rather significantly during the past five years. This decline parallels the usage of aquatic and terrestrial herbicides that the managers of this reservoir have used.  Back in 2009 and 2010, the largemouth bass virus walloped this reservoir, but the largemouth bass population recovered quickly and dramatically. For example, I caught 125 largemouth bass at this reservoir in three hours and 30 minutes on May 9, 2013, and that was when it was embellished with patches of Eurasian milfoil, which helped to foster the largemouth bass population.

Nowadays most of the milfoil has been eradicated. The herbicides have also killed scores of trees and other kinds of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation. This reservoir used to be a piscatorial jewel.

 As I was putting the boat on the trailer, I crossed paths with a fellow and ardent largemouth bass angler who was walking along the shoreline adjacent to the boat ramp and fishing. To my surprise and dismay, he reported that he had been waylaid by COVID-19 on Mar. 13.  And it was a serious case. He was hospitalized for a long spell, and when his wife took him to the hospital, it was thought that he would die. Since then, it has adversely affected his heart and lungs. He is now struggling to get back into shape to fish again, and part of his getting-back-into-shape routine revolves around walking along shorelines of some of northeastern Kansas’ community and state reservoirs. He said a lot of folks are not taking the COVID-10 pandemic seriously enough. He is aware that some folks are calling the pandemic a hoax. But his experiences reveal that it is not a hoax. He has never endured such a sickness, and at this point in time, he is not sure that he will ever totally recover from its effects on his body.

May 15

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 8:30 a.m. to 1:17 p.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I fished at the same U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that I fished on May 11.

The water level was 0.48 of a foot high. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees. 

This reservoir’s submerged terrain consists of red clay, pea gravel, silt, some sand, and rocks and boulders of all sizes. There is no aquatic vegetation.

The sky conditions fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy.  The morning low temperature was 72 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 91 degrees. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 13 to 17 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.83 at 8:00 a.m. and 29.87 at 1:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the best fishing would occur from 12:07 a.m. to 2:07 a.m., 6:18 a.m. to 8:18 a.m., and 6:40 p.m. to 8:40 p.m.

Norman and I dissected two main-lake islands, portions of six main-lake shorelines, a ditch that cuts across a large clay and gravel flat at the mouth of a medium-size bay, two main-lake points and their adjoining shorelines, and the west end of the dam. All of these locales are located in the south and east regions of this reservoir.

Our spinning outfits sported the following Midwest finesse rigs: a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on either a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig or a 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin jig head, a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigged to a 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ fastened to a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s pearl TRD TicklerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man’s purple death TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We began this endeavor fishing along the south end of one of the two main-lake islands. This island is situated on the west side of the reservoir. We concentrated on its southern shoreline, which is graced with several clusters of submerged boulders and some flooded stickups, but we failed to elicit any strikes. Another boat angler was also fishing at this island, so we left it to him.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-May-2020-1.jpg

From the island, we travelled eastward for about a mile and fished a 50-yard section of a main-lake shoreline and its adjacent main-lake point. This shoreline and point are adorned with patches of boulders, several laydowns, and some flooded stick ups. It is relatively flat within 15 to 20 feet of the water’s edge, and then it slopes downward into 20-plus feet of water. A ten-yard segment of this section of shoreline yielded three largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The adjacent main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. They were all abiding in less than five feet of water near submerged boulders that are situated five to 10 feet from the water’s edge.

Of these five black bass, a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Junebug Finesse ShadZ combo garnered two largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The other two largemouth bass were caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser jig.

Next, we moved inside a medium-size bay that is located next to the main-lake shoreline and point that we just fished. We fished a small cove in the northeast corner of this bay and a 100-yard stretch of shoreline on the north side of the cove. The cove and shoreline are flat and adorned with flooded stickups, rocks, and boulders. 

We failed to generate any strikes inside the small cove. The 100-yard stretch of shoreline surrendered one largemouth bass. It was abiding in four feet of water near a patch of flooded stickups. It engulfed the Junebug Finesse ShadZ as it was manipulated with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass from a long main-lake point that lies a half of a mile east of the bay that we just left. This point is fairly flat, and its most prominent feature is a large dilapidated concrete boat ramp at its tip. There is also a shallow ledge on one side of the point. The ledge extends about 15 feet out from the water’s edge and is covered with three to four feet of water. It then descends into seven or more feet of water.

One of the two largemouth bass was caught in four feet of water from the top of the ledge. It was enticed into striking the chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw Laser jig dressed with a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ while it was being retrieved with a steady swimming action. The spotted bass and the other largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve from one side of the boat ramp.

Next, we ventured to another large and shallow bay on the south end of the reservoir and west of the dam. Most of this bay consists of a clay-and-gravel bottom and is covered with less than seven feet of water. At the mouth of this bay, there is a ditch that courses its way into the entrance of this bay. This ditch is covered with 14 feet of water, and its edges are lined with patches of flooded stick ups that stand in three to seven feet of water. Norman hooked a hefty fish on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig in five feet of water from the outside edge of a patch of stickups on the edge of this ditch. He fought it for a couple of minutes before it broke off in the stickups. We never got a glimpse of it. And that was the only strike we generated at this spot. We did not go any further back into this bay.

After that, we meandered over to the west end of the dam. The dam is long and covered with acres and acres of riprap. It forms the southern boundary of this reservoir. We had seen another boat with two anglers fishing this section of the dam while we were fishing around the ditch, but we did not see them catch any fish.

The dam wasn’t very productive for us either. We caught one largemouth bass here, and it was caught on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a swimming retrieve. The Corps was in the process of repairing a large section of this dam and parts of it was buoyed off, so we did not fish the remainder of it.

We then investigated two flat and rocky main-lake shorelines east of the dam, and they were both fruitless.

On the east side of the reservoir, we travelled into a large tributary arm. Inside this tributary, we looked for threadfin shad and black bass near two riprap shorelines, an island, and two main-lake points.

We caught one spotted bass from the side of a concrete boat ramp at the end of one of the main-lake points in seven feet of water. It was caught on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig as it was deadsticked on the bottom. The other point and two riprap shorelines failed to yield a strike.

The island is situated in the midsection of this tributary arm. We focused on the south side of this island where the wind was blowing at about a 45-degree angle onto it. This side of the island is flat and covered with patches of flooded stickups. Its submerged terrain is composed of pea gravel and clay. Here, we caught five largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one white bass, and one freshwater drum.

Three largemouth bass and one white bass were caught on a swimming retrieve with an 1/8-ounce chartreuse Blakemore Roadrunner underspin jig head dressed with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ.  Two largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and the freshwater drum were caught on a swimming retrieve with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig sporting a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ. All of these fish were caught in less than five feet of water and 15 to 25 feet from the water’s edge.

We finished the outing at another long main-lake shoreline on the east side of the reservoir. We dissected a 75-yard segment of it.  This shoreline is shallow and adorned with many laydowns. Norman hooked another hefty fish by some laydowns,  but it was able to liberate itself before we could see it. That was the last strike we elicited.

The two three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigs and a swimming retrieve caught six largemouth bass and three spotted bass. The Junebug Finesse ShadZ and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation allured four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ underspin rig caught three largemouth bass. We failed to elicit any strikes with the Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ, purple death TRD TicklerZ, and pearl TRD TicklerZ rigs.

In conclusion, the fishing at this reservoir has been tough this year, but it appears to be slowly improving. During this outing, Norman and I caught a mixed bag of 17 largemouth bass and spotted bass, which we usually consider to be an average catch for this reservoir. But in our minds, it seemed much more bountiful this time around.

May 15

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing to one of northeastern Kansas’ power-plant reservoirs with Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, on May 15.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 61 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 66 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to overcast to foggy and misty. The wind angled out of the southwest, north, southeast, south, east, and northeast at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.75 at 12:53 p.m., 29.86 at 5:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.94 at 3:53 p.m.

The reservoir’s surface temperature ranged from 68 to 74 degrees. Along the dam, the water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar note that the best fishing would occur from 6:09 a.m. to 8:09 a.m., 6:31 p.m. to 8:31 p.m., and 11:58 a.m. to 1:58 p.m.

Bob began fishing at 7:30 a.m., and Travis joined him at 9:00 a.m. And they fished together until 3:30 p.m.

Initially, they plied a couple of offshore lairs, which were virtually fruitless.

They spent most of the outing fishing along this reservoir’s many yards of riprap shorelines.

Travis primarily used a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s California craw ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Bob’s most effective Midwest finesse rig was a 2 ½-inch Z-Man’s PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. A four-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was effective at times.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-May-2020-2.jpg

As they made their last casts and retrieves, their mechanical counter revealed that they had caught 63 fish. Bob estimated that 13 of them were largemouth bass, and the others species were channel catfish, crappie, and freshwater drum.

During the past five to six years, the largemouth bass fishing at this reservoir has become more and more trying. It used to be lauded as Kansas’ finest largemouth bass venue. It still yields some lunkers, but if an angler is interested in inveigling an average of 10 or more largemouth bass an hour, this reservoir has become a nightmare.

May 18

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 18 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

Roger Farish of Highland Village and I fished at a troublesome hill-land reservoir that lies in an ex-urban area of north-central Texas.

Roger and I fished from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:02 a.m. to 4:02 a.m., 8:12 a.m. to 10:12 a.m., and 8:32 p.m. to 10:32 p.m.

The morning low temperature was 59 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature peaked at 91 degrees. There was a hint of wind out of the southeast from about 9:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m., then it was calm for the remainder of our outing. This lack of wind made the day feel hotter than usual. The barometric pressure measured 29.97 at 9:00 a.m. and it dropped to 29.88 at 3:00 p.m. About 20 percent of the powder-blue sky was highlighted with thin wispy clouds.

The water level was 1.31 feet above its normal pool. The water exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 72 to 80 degrees.

This reservoir contains many acres of flooded timber, stickups, stumps, brush piles, buck brush, and laydowns. Its underwater terrain is composed of red clay, fist-size rocks, boulders, and pea gravel.

We spent six hours on the east side of the reservoir plying portions of three major feeder-creek arms, a goodly number of rocky main-lake points, and a few main-lake flats that are situated in this impoundment’s lower, middle, and upper sections.

It was no surprise to us that the black bass fishing was slow. We have been having a difficult time locating significant numbers of largemouth bass and spotted bass at this reservoir, and this outing was no exception. We did manage to cross paths with 17 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, 16 white bass, and two freshwater drum.

Two largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught from a series of seven rocky main-lake points. Some of these points were flat and the others had 25- to 45-degree inclines. These three black bass were abiding near submerged boulders in five to seven feet of water on two of the flatter points.

The other fifteen largemouth bass, both freshwater drum, and the 16 white bass were caught around 11 rocky secondary points inside the three feeder-creek arms.

One of the 11 secondary points yielded seven largemouth bass and 16 white bass. This point is unique compared to all of the other ones we plied. This one is also relatively flat, but it is adorned with submerged boulders, a large patch of American pondweed, and a couple of laydowns. This point was also entertaining a large school of threadfin shad, which we have not seen very often at this reservoir this year.These seven largemouth bass were relating to the outside edge of the large patch of American pondweed in three to five feet of water.

While we were slowly probing the outer edge of the American pondweed, a good-size school of white bass began chasing some of the threadfin shad on the surface of the water about 45 to 75 feet away from the end of this point. We focused our attentions on the school of white bass for about 20 minutes and caught 16 of them before they dispersed and disappeared.

The other eight largemouth bass were caught here and there along several of the other flat and rocky secondary points. None of them were grouped together.

Unfortunately, were unable to find another main-lake point or secondary point similar to the fruitful one where we caught the seven largemouth bass and 16 white bass.

We failed to elicit any strikes in a couple of large coves inside one of the feeder-creek arms and on the main-lake flats.

In closing, the most effective lure was a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

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

May 19

The National Weather Service reported that it was 55 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 68 degrees at 1:52 p.m.  The sky fluctuated from being hazy to overcast to mostly cloudy.  The wind angled out of the north, northwest, east, and northeast at 5 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:52 a.m., 29.92 at 5:52 a.m., 30.00 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.97 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m., 8:59 p.m. to 10:59 p.m., and 2:29 a.m. to 4:29 a.m.

I fished with my wife, Patty, at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 10:40 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.  Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has become my only fishing partner, and during these pandemic outings, we usually fish from an hour and a half to about three hours.

During the first hour that we were afloat, she said that the unseasonably cool weather that we have been enduring made it feel as if we were fishing in Canada rather than northeastern Kansas on May 19. In addition to the unusual goings on with the COVID-19 pandemic, the weather in northeastern Kansas has been unusually dank during the last 15 days.

The water level looked to be about 10 inches below its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 63 to 64 degrees.  The water exhibited 15 to 36 inches of secchi-stick visibility. This reservoir’s patches of American water willows are burgeoning, but some of them are coated with thick gobs of filamentous algae, and many underwater objects are also covered with it. Because the water level is below its normal level, many portions of the American willow patches are out of the water. The patches of curly-leaf pondweed are reaching the surface, and they will be there until they begin to wilt as the water temperature climbs above 72 degrees. There were two other boats afloat, and six anglers walking the shorelines.

Patty and I spent 161 minutes quickly probing portions of two shorelines inside one large feeder-creek arm, portions of two shorelines inside another large feeder-creek arm, one shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, and one main-lake point.

Inside the two large feeder-creek arms, we ventured about halfway inside these arms. These shorelines are long, and we fished from 25 to 40 percent of them. And we quickly fished about 90 percent of the shoreline inside the small feeder-creek arm.

We hooked 28 largemouth bass, and accidentally hooked 10 crappie, two green sunfish, and one warmouth. We elicited uncountable numbers of strikes that we failed to hook. We hooked five fish that liberated themselves. One of the self-liberators felt quite humongous, and we suspected it was a carp.

Three of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD Jighead. Twenty largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to either a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig or a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD Jighead. (The PB&J TRD MinnowZ is no longer available. Nine years ago, it was one of the dominant Midwest finesse rigs in northeastern Kansas. But as we constantly used it, its effectiveness waned. Back then, the TRD MinnowZ was called the Rain MinnowZ. Now, Patty and I are hoping that the PB&J TRD MinnowZ will have a renaissance.)

The water’s edges along the portions of the shorelines that we fished are embellished with an array of patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and some overhanging trees.  One of the shorelines is littered with 13 docks. Another shoreline has five docks. The other three shorelines are devoid of docks. The underwater terrains of these shorelines consist of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The underwater terrains are also enhanced with stumps, one defunct beaver hut, a few brush piles, and occasional patches of curly-leaf pondweed.  These shorelines have a 25- to 50-degree slope.

The main-lake point has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its water’s edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows and one significant laydown. There are several insignificant patches of curly-leaf pondweed.

Around noon, Patty remarked that we had been unable to establish a location pattern, and it remained that way to the time we made our final casts and retrieves.

Some of the largemouth bass were caught near the water’s edge. Some were caught about 20 feet from the water’s edge. Some were caught from six to 15 feet from the water’s edge. Some were caught along the portions of the shorelines that had a 25-degree slope.  Some were caught on the portions of the shorelines that had a 45- to 50-degree slope. Some were caught along the shorelines that had a 35-degree slope.

We caught a few on the initial drop of our rigs. We caught a few employing a straight and slow swimming presentation. We caught four on a deadstick presentation.  We caught some on a drag-and-shake presentation. Some were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. A few were caught while one of us was strolling.

We caught one largemouth bass around the main-lake point. We caught one largemouth bass along the shoreline inside the small feeder creek arm.

Along the shoreline that is littered with 13 docks, we caught five largemouth bass. Along the shoreline that has five docks, we caught nine largemouth bass. Inside the second large feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass along one of its shorelines, and we caught six largemouth bass along its other shoreline.

The only consistent element of the outing was Patty’s discovery of the effectiveness of the PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue jighead. Every other element of  this outing was completely helter-skelter.  If fact, it was so unintelligible that I am unable to compose a readable log about it.

In short, we merely made scores of casts to a variety of locales and employed several Midwest finesses retrieves, and every once in a while, we caught a largemouth bass.

(By the way, during the evening of May 19, Patty and I fished from a friend’s dock for about 15 minutes at an oxbow lake, and she caught a largemouth bass on the initial drop of her PB&J TRD MinnowZ rig, and we estimated that it weighed around five pounds. During that 15 minutes, we also caught two crappie and two more largemouth bass.)

May 20

The National Weather Service reported that it was 55 degrees at 3:52 a.m. and 70 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northeast and east at 3 to 13 mph. It was overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:52 a.m., 30.00 at 5:52 a.m., 30.01 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 9:16 a.m. to 11:16 a.m., 9:37 p.m. to 11:37 p.m., and 3:05 a.m. to 5:05 a.m.

I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ many state reservoirs from 12:16 p.m. to 3:16 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 12 inches above its normal level.  The surface temperature was 65 degrees. The water exhibited about six feet of secchi-stick visibility in the vicinity of the dam. At some wind-blown areas, the visibility was reduced to three to four feet. The patches of American water willows are green and getting greener. Along the outside edges of many of the patches of American water willows are burgeoning patches of American pondweed, and the leaves of the American pondweed are 10 to 12 inches below the surface. I crossed paths one healthy patch of coontail.

I was the only boat afloat. But there looked to be about two dozen anglers fishing from the shorelines, and there was one kayak angler. As the Memorial Day week is approaching, the camping areas were getting chockful of folks.

During this three-hour outing, I caught 43 largemouth bass and accidentally caught six green sunfish and four crappie.

A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 39 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s PB&J TRW MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught three largemouth bass.

Along the dam and spillway, I caught 31 largemouth bass. This area is several hundred yards long, and it took me 92 minutes to fish it. The underwater terrain of the dam and spillway consists of gravel, rocks and boulders. The slope ranges from 30- to 50-degrees. The water’s edge is graced with three patches of American water willows, and it is embellished with a few partially submerged logs, tree limbs, and small laydowns.

Three of the largemouth bass that were caught along the dam and spillway were inveigled on the TRW MinnowZ rig in about five feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The Finesse ShadZ rig caught 28 of the largemouth bass. They were caught in three to about seven feet of water. Five were caught on the initial drop of the rig. The rest were caught on either a drag-and-shake presentation or a swim-glide-and -shake presentation. They were caught from three feet to about 12 feet from the water’s edge. Four were caught next to the outside edges of the American water willow patches. Four were caught the vicinity of the logs, tree limbs, and laydowns. The rest were caught around the rocks and boulders.

One largemouth bass was caught around an overhanging tree along a short portion of a massive shoreline that I fished inside the primary feeder-creek arm. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught around a manmade brush pile, which lies in about nine feet of water and about 100 yards from the shorelines. It is situated on a massive shallow-water flat inside the reservoir’s primary feeder-creek arm. Much of this flat is graced with submerged aquatic vegetation. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig.

Eleven largemouth bass were caught inside a tiny feeder creek arm and around a riprap jetty that is situated at the mouth of this feeder-creek arm. The slope of the shorelines of the jetty and feeder-creek arm ranges from 25- to about 40-degrees. The shorelines are adorned with patches of American water willows, which are coated with gobs of filamentous algae. Some of segments of the shorelines are bedecked with some laydowns and a few overhanging trees.  The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. There are a few stumps, a small farm-pond dam, and some burgeoning patches of coontail gracing parts of the underwater terrain.  The Finesse Shad Z rig caught these seven largemouth bass. Four were caught on the initial drop in four to six feet of water around the laydowns. Three were caught on a slow swimming presentation.

In conclusion, Mother Nature’s rainy ways might keep us at bay until after the Memorial Day weekend. But Patty and I are hoping to squeeze in a couple hours on either May 21 or 22.  It is interesting and delightful to note that the chaos that initially plagued our reservoirs during this COVID-19 pandemic has disappeared at the community and state reservoirs that we have fished during the past two weeks.

May 20

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas,  joined me for a five-hour excursion  to a state reservoir located in an ex-urban area north of Ft. Worth. It is the same state reservoir where I caught 20 black bass on May 6, but it was not nearly as crowded this day as it was on May 6.

Norman and I fished from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would  occur from 3:16 a.m. to 5:16 a.m., 9:26 a.m. to 11:26 a.m., and 9:47 p.m. to 11:47 p.m.

It has been sunny and quite warm in north-central Texas during the past couple of weeks. The air temperatures are quickly approaching our normal hot summertime levels. But the sky was overcast on May 20, and it was a touch cooler, too. The morning low temperature was 64 degrees. The afternoon high was 78 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.84 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.76 at 2:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the east and southeast at 10 to 15 mph.

The water has cleared a bit since May 6, when we noticed that the upper half of this impoundment was muddy with less than a foot of visibility. The mud has settled now, and the water exhibited a nice green tint with about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 71 degrees to 77 degrees. The water level was normal.

The majority of this reservoir’s shorelines are laden with rocks and boulders. There are some flourishing patches of hydrilla, American pondweed, and American water willows in the south end of the reservoir.

We targeted 11 areas, which included portions of one large bay, three main-lake coves, two main-lake shorelines, two main-lake islands, two riprap jetties, and a rocky causeway that leads to another large island. These areas stretched from this reservoir’s southwest end to its northeast end. Most of them are situated on its east side. Only one of these 11 locales is adorned with significant patches of aquatic vegetation, and it was also our most productive area.

The black bass fishing was what we consider stellar for our neck of the woods. We caught 37 largemouth bass and five spotted bass. We also caught two channel catfish, two crappie, and two large green sunfish. We were surprised that we did not cross paths with any white bass. Usually, we can stumble across a goodly number of them at this reservoir without having to exert much effort to find them.

We began this outing looking for patches of hydrilla and American pondweed inside a bay on the southwest end of the reservoir.

We fished a rocky shoreline on the east side of the bay twice, and it relinquished a total of 21 largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. The patches of hydrilla and pondweed lie about 10 to 15 feet from the water’s edge. These largemouth bass were relating to submerged rocks and boulders along the inside edges of the larger patches of hydrilla in five to seven feet of water.

We also fished a 30-yard section of a rocky shoreline on the west side of the bay twice, and it yielded a total of eight largemouth bass and five spotted bass. This shoreline has a gradient of about 35-degrees. It is also adorned with thick patches of hydrilla. These 13 black bass were relating to the top and outside edges of the patches of hydrilla in five to 10 feet of water.

We did not garner any strikes from the south end of this bay, and we did not fish in the bay’s northern end.

On the east side of the reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass from a rocky shoreline inside a main-lake cove. This shoreline is relatively flat and is graced with submerged boulders and some flooded bushes in three to five feet of water. These three largemouth bass were associated with submerged boulders in five to seven feet of water. We did not garner any strikes around the flooded bushes.

Just north of the main-lake cove, we caught three largemouth bass along a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is flat and is covered with submerged boulders, softball-size rocks, and flooded bushes. These three largemouth bass were abiding in three to five feet of water around the submerged boulders. We hooked two hefty largemouth bass in the same area where we caught the three largemouth bass, but both of them jumped a foot or so out of the water and were able to dislodge our lures from their mouths while they were vigorously shaking their heads to and fro.

Along the north side of a riprap-laden causeway on the west side of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water. This causeway leads out to a large island. It’s shoreline is covered with overhanging trees, submerged boulders and rocks, and a few laydowns. Both of these largemouth bass did not appear to be relating to anything in particular. They were caught in open water about 20 to 25 feet out from the water’s edge.

We failed to elicit any strikes from a long and rocky main-lake shoreline, two main-lake islands, two other main-lake coves, and two riprap jetties.

We had not been able to generate any strikes between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the upper end of the reservoir, so we decided to return to the large bay in the lower end and where we began this outing.  We probed the same patches of hydrilla and American pondweed a second time, and we caught a few more largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water around those patches of aquatic vegetation before we called it a day.

Twenty-five of these 42 black bass were caught on a Z-Man Fishing Products' hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Eleven were caught on a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce A-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Six were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD BugZ matched to a blue 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Twenty-eight bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Eleven were caught on a steady swimming retrieve. Three were caught on the initial fall of our lures. We hooked and lost another five bass, including the two largest ones of the day.

May 21

The National Weather Service reported that it was 59 degrees at 3:53 a.m. and 75 degrees at 3:53 p.m.  The sky was fair for three hours, mostly cloudy for one hour, partly cloudy for an hour, scattered with a few clouds for about an hour, and overcast during the rest of the day. The wind angled out of the east and southeast at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.92 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 29.97 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.90 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 9:58 a.m. to 11:58 a.m., 10:20 p.m. to 12:20 a.m., and 3:46 a.m. to 5:46 a.m.

Pat Kehde and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ many community reservoirs from 11:32 a.m. to 1:37 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be about 15 inches above its normal level. The water exhibited about three feet of secchi-stick visibility. The water was affected by an algae bloom. The surface temperature ranged from 65 to 66 degrees.

During this 125-minute outing, Patty and I struggled to catch 15 largemouth bass and five smallmouth bass, and we accidentally caught one bluegill, one crappie, one freshwater drum, and three green sunfish.

Ten of the black bass were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD HogZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD Jighead. The other ten were caught on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD Jighead.

We failed to catch a black bass along about a 90-yard stretch of this reservoir’s dam, along about a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, and along short portions of two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm.

We caught two largemouth bass on the TRD HogZ rig around one main-lake point. This point has a 35-degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its water’s edge is lined with American water willows. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig in about four feet of water near to the outside edges of the patches of American water willows.

One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water around another main-lake point. It possesses a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and several significant boulders. Part of the water’s edge is graced with a patch of American water willows.

Along a shoreline that is adjacent to this main-lake point, we caught one smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass. The shoreline has a 25- to 40-degree slope. The water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, some overhanging terrestrial vegetation, and two docks. One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to one of the docks on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to an overhanging Japanese honeysuckle on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig in about three feet of water. The smallmouth bass and the third and fourth largemouth bass were caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of the water.

A largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass were caught on a massive offshore pile of rocks and boulders. The largemouth bass was caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a drag-and-shake-and-deadstick presentation in about six feet of water. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig in about five feet of water.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-May-2020-3.jpg

Three smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass were caught on another massive offshore pile of rocks and boulders. Two of the smallmouth bass were caught on the TRD HogZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water. Four largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig; one of the four was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about five feet of water, and three of the four largemouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake-presentation in about five feet of water. Three of the seven largemouth bass were caught on the TRD HogZ rig; one was caught on the initial drop in four feet of water, and the other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water.

In conclusion, this reservoir used to be a piscatorial gem, allowing Midwest finesse anglers to catch and release oodles of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. On numerous outings, these anglers tangled with as many as 18 to 25 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass an hour. And some of the smallmouth bass were hefty specimens, weighing six pounds, ten ounces and six pounds, six ounces. But since 2016, this piscatorial gem has become severely tarnished.

It remained tarnished in Patty’s and my eyes on May 21, 2020.  Nowadays, we have to struggle to catch 10 black bass an hour, and we can rarely accomplish that meager feat.

It is interesting to note that the demise of the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing at this reservoir paralleled the eradication of its submerged aquatic vegetation, which leaves us to hoping that the managers of all the reservoirs in northeastern Kansas will learn how to cultivate and mechanically harvest or control the aquatic vegetation rather poisoning it.  This reservoir has also been plagued recently by eruptions of blue-green algae, and some knowledgeable limnologists suspect that blue-green algae eruptions can be caused by not mechanically cutting, harvesting, and cultivating the submerged aquatic vegetation.

May 23

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 23 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From about 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Lou Clewell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania, and I fished at a north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir. I have not fished at this reservoir since the middle of November of 2019, and it was closed in mid-March of 2020 because of flooding. The Corps opened it again on May 19, 2020.

We rarely fish during the Memorial Day weekend, but the most recent weather forecasts are predicting severe thunderstorms to begin during the evening hours of May 23 and lasting through May 31. Therefore, we elected to take advantage of this one sunny day before the week of thunderstorms begins.

When we arrived at the boat ramp at about 12:15 p.m., we discovered that the reservoir was crowded with people, fishing boats, pleasure boats, sailboats, ski boats, jet skiers, wake boarders, kayak anglers, swimmers, and bank anglers. It was chaotic. We attempted to stay away from them as much as possible.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would most likely occur from 5:24 a.m. to 7:24 a.m., 11:12 a.m. to 1:12 p.m., and 11:37 p.m. to 1:37 a.m.

It was  67 degrees at 5:00 a.m. and 94 degrees at 5:00 p.m. The wind was a bit of a nuisance; it blew incessantly out of the south-by-southeast at 17 to 25 mph. While we were afloat, the barometric pressure varied from 29.89 to 29.78. About 60 percent of the sky was covered with thick grey clouds.

The water exhibited about 1 1/4 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 77 to 79 degrees. The water level was 2.42 feet above the normal pool. 

We caught 11 largemouth bass and two spotted bass in three to 12 feet of water from 13 main-lake points on the northwest and south ends of the impoundment. We also caught one freshwater drum by accident. We hooked and lost three other largemouth bass.

These main-lake points were receiving the brunt of the robust wind and white-capping waves, so we did not have to share them with any other anglers or boats.

These points had gradients of 25 to 40 degrees. Their submerged terrains are similar. They are comprised of red clay, gravel, large rocks,  and boulders. Several of them had some partially-flooded bushes and stickups near the water’s edge.  All of them were attracting small- to medium-size schools of threadfin shad.

Seven of these 13 black bass were allured by a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This combo was implemented with a steady swimming retrieve. The other six were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ that was threaded on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We fished about two-thirds of the dam. The dam is covered with riprap and forms the reservoir’s eastern boundary. We caught only one freshwater drum on a steady swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ. It was caught from the midsection of the dam in eight feet of water, and it was the only strike we could generate at this locale.

We also fished around some wind-protected areas inside a large feeder-creek arm on the north end of the reservoir. We failed to elicit any strikes from several steep and rocky secondary points, two shallow clay-and-gravel flats, and a 75-yard segment of a steep shoreline on the east side of the feeder-creek arm.

In sum, the black bass fishing was tough and the bass were scattered and difficult to catch. We dissected a total of 19 black-bass lairs, and we barely managed to scrounge up 11 largemouth bass and two spotted bass. When we did cross paths with them, we caught only one or two bass at a spot, and then we had to cover two or three more lairs in order to catch one or two more.

May 23

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his outing to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in northeastern Kansas on May 23.

Here is an edited version of his report.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 58 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 84 degrees at 5:52 p.m.  The sky was fair for most of the day, but it was mostly cloudy at 10:52 a.m. and overcast at 11:52 a.m. The wind angled out of the southwest, west, northwest, and south at 3 to 10 mph, and it was calm at 11:52 a.m. The barometric pressure was 29.77 at 12:52 a.m., 29.79 at 5:52 a.m., 29.86 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.82 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 11:05 a.m. to 1:05 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and 5:17 a.m. to 7:17 a.m.

When I began this outing at 7:30 a.m., there was only a few boat trailers and tow vehicles in the parking lot. But by late morning, there were clusters of bank fishermen and oodles of pontoon boats and other kinds of boats packed with people -- so much for social distancing during this pandemic, which has affected some recreational boaters in northeastern Kansas in May.

Although there was only a whisper of a breeze, I felt like I was fishing at the Lake of the Ozarks with large boat wakes coming at me from all directions. Eventually I became tired of struggling to maintain my balance on the front deck of my boat and quit fishing around 1:30 p.m. At that time, the parking lot was filled to the brim.

The water level at this reservoir was a few inches below its normal level. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. The surface temperature warmed to 66 degrees while I was afloat.

I started the outing by fishing along about a 300-yard stretch of a riprap shoreline in the vicinity of a marina. And I caught a few crappie and largemouth bass.

After that I concentrated on fishing a long stretch of a shoreline that is about a mile west of the dam.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-May-2020-4.jpg

Ultimately my fish counter registered a total of 49 fish. One was a bluegill. One was a freshwater drum. One was a green sunfish. About half of them were crappie. The other half was evenly divided between largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

The bulk of the smallmouth bass were caught along areas that had an underwater terrain consisting of gravel and rocks with a slope where you could reach the water’s edge with a long cast and the boat was floating in eight to 10 feet of water.  The smallmouth bass were abiding in four to six feet of water.

The largemouth bass were in shallower areas.

All of the smallmouth bass were nice ones. All of the largemouth bass were dinks.

 Most of the fish were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Jade's Jig. I caught a few fish on a Z-Man’s California craw TRD HogZ on a red 1/16-ounce Jade’s Jig.

Most of the smallmouth bass were caught while I was executing an extremely slow presentation by dragging the rig along the bottom, and 

I hooked one smallmouth bass while staring at my phone while trying to tell the time.

May 27

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 27 outing.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 62 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 72 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The conditions of the sky varied from being foggy and misty to being overcast to being mostly cloudy. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the south, southwest, west, and northwest at 3 to 6 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.88 at 12:53 a.m., 29.87 at 5:53 a.m., 29.90 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.87 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:53 a.m. to 4:53 a.m., 3:20 p.m. to 5:20 p.m., and 9:06 a.m. to 11:06 a.m.

Pat Kehde and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs. Patty made the first cast at 11:02 a.m. We were hoping to catch 30 black bass in two hours, but we had to fish until 1:22 p.m. before we achieved that goal. During this two hour and 20 minutes outing, we tangled with 25 largemouth bass, five smallmouth bass, and one crappie.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The water exhibited four to six feet of secchi-stick visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 73 to 74 degrees. This reservoir’s patches of coontail are quite bountiful, and they are occasionally intermixed with sprouts of curly-leaf pondweed. The patches of American water willows that adorn some the reservoir’s shorelines are surprisingly immature.  To our delight, there were only nine boat trailers and tow vehicles in the parking lot. The last time we fished this reservoir it was so crowded that we had to wait about 10 minutes to launch our boat and 30 minutes to put it on the trailer.

During this short outing, we worked with six Midwest finesse rigs, which is a rare phenomenon. We usually work with three and nor more than four. The reason for this stemmed from the fact that we never felt comfortable with any of our rigs. Therefore, we experimented with six of them in hope of finding an effective one, and we never found one.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. We caught two smallmouth bass on a Z-Man’s PB&J TRD HogZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD jig. We caught three largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s meat dog Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. We caught three smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Eight largemouth bass were caught on Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. A Z-Man’s PB&J TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ HD jig caught eight largemouth bass.

We failed to elicit a strike around two main-lake points, along about a 60-yard stretch of the dam, and along short portions of two main-lake shorelines.

We caught five largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm. This flat is embellished with significant patches of coontail. These largemouth bass were caught around the coontail patches in three to six feet of water on the PB&J TRD MinnowZ rig with a slow swimming presentation.

We caught three largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the middle section of the reservoir.  This point has a 30- to 40- degree slope.  Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and boulders, and portions of this terrain is endowed with patches of coontail. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows. These largemouth bass were caught on the PB&J TRD MinnowZ rig with a slow swimming presentation in five to eight feet of water around the outside edges of the coontail patches.

Around a main-lake point and a portion of its adjacent shoreline in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught one smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.  This point and shoreline have a 45- to 75-degree slope. Their water’s edges are embellished with occasional patches of American water willows, some laydowns, and an array of overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and boulders, and patches of coontail adorn some of the underwater locales.  The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the PB&J TRD HogZ along the outside edge of a coontail patch in about seven feet of water. The largemouth bass was caught adjacent to a laydown and under an overhanging tree on the initial drop in about three feet of water.

Around another main-lake point and a very short portion of its adjacent shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught four largemouth bass. This point and shoreline have a 35-degree slope. Their water’s edges are graced with two patches of American water willows and four laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and some boulders. A few patches of coontail also adorn the underwater terrain. Three of the largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ with a swim-glide-and-slight-shake presentation around a coontial patch in about six feet of water.  One largemouth bass was caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around another coontail patch in about six feet of water.

We caught three smallmouth bass and eight largemouth bass along a long main-lake shoreline in the upper section of this reservoir. This shoreline has a 30- to 80-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rock, and boulders; some of the boulders are humongous. The water’s edge is decked out with patches of American water willows, scores of overhanging trees, and numerous laydowns. There are occasional patches of coontail bedecking some of the underwater terrains. The three smallmouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the meat dog TRD MinnowZ rig in about four feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the meat dog Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-shake-and-deadstick presentation in five to six feet of water. Four largemouth bass were caught on the meat dog TRD MinnowZ rig on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in two to five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and a short portion of its adjacent shoreline in the upper section of the reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. This locale has a 70-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of rocks and boulders. The water’s edge is laced with laydowns and overhanging trees. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the PB&J HogZ rig in about four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the meat dog Finesse TRD rig on a drag-and-shake-and-deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-slight-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

Even though we caught an average of about 13 black bass an hour, we were puzzled throughout this outing about how and why we caught them. It seemed to us as if the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were catching us rather than the other way around.

May 28

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 28 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Lou Clewell of Roslyn, Pennsylvania, and I fished at a Civilian Conservation Corps’ hill-land reservoir that is located in south-central Oklahoma. Lou and I had planned to fish longer than four hours, but an unexpected thunderstorm erupted over the north end of the reservoir and forced us to scurry back to the boat ramp sooner than we expected.

The sky conditions changed from being overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to overcast again. It lightly rained on us for a few minutes as we were trailering the boat at 2:17 p.m. The morning low temperature was 61 degrees. The afternoon high reached 82 degrees. The wind blew out of the northeast, north, and northwest at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 10:00 a.m. and 29.94 at 2:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 4:02 a.m. to 6:02 a.m., 10:16 a.m. to 12:16 p.m., and 4:29 p.m. to 6:29 p.m.

The water level appeared to be about two feet above normal. The water exhibited about four feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 77 degrees.

We employed seven Midwest finesse rigs: a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a three-inch Z-Man’s smelt Slim SwimZ fastened on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man’s easy money Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man’s Houdini TRD TicklerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man’s smelt TRD TicklerZ threaded on a black 1/15-ounce Z-man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TicklerZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig; and a Z-Man’s The Deal Finesse ShadZ fastened on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

During this outing, we targeted wind-blown main-lake smallmouth bass lairs in the middle section of the reservoir’s west tributary arm, and we caught a mixed bag of 32 smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. We also tangled with three channel catfish by accident.

Two of the seven Midwest finesse rigs we employed were ineffective. We were unable to elicit any strikes with the Z-Man’s smelt TRD TicklerZ rig and the three-inch smelt Slim SwimZ rig.   

The most effective lure was The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig, which allured a combination of 18 smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. The four-inch easy money Finesse WormZ rig enticed 10 smallmouth bass. One smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were caught on the Houdini TRD TicklerZ rig. One smallmouth was caught on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig, and one smallmouth was caught on The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig. 

A steady swimming retrieve was utilized with the two three-inch Slim SwimZ combos. But the most effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. This presentation was employed while we were wielding the three TRD TicklerZ rigs, the four-inch easy money Finesse WormZ rig, and The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig.

Twenty-nine smallmouth and largemouth bass were caught from nine main-lake shorelines. These shorelines are flat and shallow. They extend about 15 feet out from the water’s edge, then they quickly drop off into 12 or more feet of water. All of these shorelines are graced with boulders, rocks, some thick stands of cattails, and a few shallow patches of American water willows growing near the water’s edge. Twenty-five of these black bass were caught in seven to 11 feet of water around patches of submerged boulders in four to seven feet of water. The four largemouth bass were caught around the deep-water edges of the cattail stands in three to five feet of water.

Three smallmouth bass were caught from an offshore hump in five to nine feet of water. The top portion of this hump is covered with three to five feet of water. It is surrounded by 12 to 20-plus feet of water.

In conclusion, we discovered that the smallmouth and largemouth bass were scattered around, and we had to cover a lot of water in order to catch one or two bass here and there. It appears that our spring-time smallmouth bass pursuits at this reservoir is coming to an end as they become more difficult to locate and catch during the hot summer months. Therefore, we will probably wait until the water temperature begins to cool down again in mid- to late-September before we venture back to this scenic hill-land reservoir. 

May 29

Brandon Marlow of Lafollette, Tennessee, posted a report on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Jason Marlow on May 29 at a Tennessee Valley Authority reservoir in eastern Tennessee.

Here is an edited version of his report:

We arrived at the boat ramp at 12:15 p.m.  The air temperature was 73 degrees. The barometric pressure was 30.05 and falling. A cold front was heading our way, and the sky was thick with clouds. The wind was mild mannered.

According to the In-Fisherman solunar calendar, the best times to fish were 5:07 a.m. to 7:07 a.m, and 5:33 p.m. to 7:33 p.m.

In the feeder-creek arm that we fished, the water exhibited eight to 10 feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 70 degrees.

We arrived at our first spot at 12:37 p.m. It was a main-lake point with a brush pile that sits in about 15 feet of water. We fished it for about 10 minutes but no takers. 

Then we moved across the lake to a channel-swing bank or shoreline. Around 12:50 p.m., the wind picked up slightly, which created a light chop on the water's surface that got the bite going. At 12:53 p.m., Jason caught a smallmouth bass on a Z-Man’s hot snakes Finesse TRD on a homemade 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin jig with a number 2 sickle-style hook. It was a small one but it was a start. A couple minutes later, I caught a short smallmouth bass on a Z-Man’s PB&J Finesse TRD that was rigged on a homemade 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin jig with a number 2 sickle-style hook.  This channel-swing bank falls into the water at roughly a 45-degree angle, and its underwater terrain consists of large rocks. It is littered with laydowns. We fished this shoreline for several hundred yards picking up three more short smallmouth bass.

At 1:25 p.m., we moved to a cove just down the lake from the channel-swing bank. We started fishing on a wind-beaten riprap shoreline.  And on my first cast, 

I caught a 16-inch largemouth bass in less than five feet of water on the PB&J Finesse TRD rig. Jason elicited a strike that he failed to hook. This riprap shoreline has several docks, but none of them yielded a fish for us. The riprap shoreline transitions to natural rock, and these rocks are large, and they cover most of this reservoir’s shorelines.  At 1:50 p.m. Jason caught a spotted bass on the transition from riprap to large rock. We continue fishing out of the cove towards the main lake. Shortly after 2:00 p.m., I made a cast to the base of a laydown as we neared the mouth of the cove. While I was deadsticking my PB&J Finesse TRD rig in about 10 feet of water, I hooked up with a good one. While I was fighting my fish, Jason hooked one on his hot snakes Finesse TRD rig. We get them in the boat. My smallmouth bass was about a four-pounder, and Jason's was about a six-incher. It was not what we were hoping for but it made for a good picture. We fished out to the cove’s main-lake point that leads into the cove without another bite.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-May-2020-6.jpg

Just before 2:30 p.m., it started to rain, and the wind picked up.  So, we headed back to the channel-swing bank. Jason caught two short smallmouth bass on back-to-back casts on his hot snakes Finesse TRD rig.

Around 3:00 p.m. the wind had really picked up. I grabbed a Z-Man’s the deal Finesse ShadZ that was rigged on an unpainted 3/8-ounce scrounger head with a long bill. The boat was sitting in 40 feet of water, and I made a long and angled cast, and during the retrieve, I tried to keep the bait in 20 to 25 feet of water. As I was slowly retrieving it, it got hammered, and I when I got the fish to the boat, I saw that it was a striped bass. Not what I was hoping for, but it was fun to catch.

At 3:20 p.m., the sky was looking rough.  So, we started heading back towards the ramp, making a couple stops on main-lake points, which failed to yield a fish. We got off the water just after 4:00 p.m.

May 30

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted this log on the Finesse News Network about his May 30 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

On May 23, Lou Clewell and I fished at a challenging north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that had been closed until May 19 because of flooding. It was the Memorial Day weekend, and it was chaotic with the large crowds of weekend revelers enjoying the reservoir. Lou and I did the best we could to keep some distance between ourselves and the crowds of people and various watercraft that were running about in a harum-scarum fashion, but we  managed to catch 11 largemouth bass and two spotted bass in spite of the hectic conditions.

A week has now passed, so Norman Brown of Lewisville and I elected to return to this same Corps’ reservoir on May 30 and re-evaluate the black-bass fishing under more normal conditions.

Upon our arrival at the boat ramp, we were delighted to find that the large crowds from the previous holiday weekend had diminished substantially. It was still busy, but not nearly as much as it was on May 23.

Norman and I fished from 8:10 a.m. to 1:10 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing periods would occur from 5:51 a.m. to 7:51 a.m., 11:39 a.m. to 1:39 p.m., and 6:17 p.m. to 8:17 p.m.

It was a beautiful and sunny day. The barometric pressure measured 30.15 at 8:00 a.m. and 30.09 at 1:00 p.m. The sky was cloudless and exhibited a vibrant-blue hue. The morning low temperature was 62 degrees; the afternoon high tempertature reached 89 degrees. The wind meandered out of the east and northeast at less than seven miles per hour throughout the day.

The water exhibited about 1 1/4 feet of visibility in the northwest end of the reservoir and two feet in its south and east regions. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 80 degrees. The water level was 4.63 feet above its normal pool. It was 2.42 feet above normal pool on May 23.

On May 23, Lou Clewell and I concentrated on 13 wind-blown main-lake points and a few rocky shorelines and secondary points inside a large feeder-creek arm on the northwest and south ends of the impoundment.

This time, Norman and I began our outing in the northwest section of the reservoir. We had hoped to cross paths with some black bass along the same rocky points and shorelines where Lou and I caught some of them on May 23. We noticed that the water in this section of the reservoir was murky with a muddy-brown tint, and after we probed several of these areas for an hour and seven minutes, we failed to elicit any strikes.

From there, we ventured to the reservoir’s southern and eastern regions where the water was a little bit clearer and exhibited its normal pea-green tint. These two sections of the reservoir yielded 23 largemouth bass.

Thirteen of them were caught from flat clay-and-pea-gravel secondary points just inside the mouths of three feeder-creek arms. These points were adorned with recently flooded terrestrial vegetation. These largemouth bass were abiding in the open pockets and along the outside edges of the flooded vegetation in less than seven feet of water. We also discovered that the further back we moved into the creek arms, the fewer bites we generated.

The other 10 largemouth bass were caught along the shoreline of a main-lake island. This island is located in the southeast end of the reservoir. Its shoreline is flat and cluttered with flooded trees, bushes, stumps, and stickups. Its underwater terrain also consists of clay and pea-gravel. These bass were caught around the edges and open pockets in the flooded trees, bushes, and stumps in three to five feet of water.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/Midwest-Finesse-May-2020-5.jpg

Twenty-two of these 23 largemouth bass were bewitched by a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ that was matched to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was retrieved in a swim-glide-and-shake manner. One was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ. It was fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

In closing, the black bass fishing at this Corps’ reservoir was what we would consider to be above average. We also hooked and lost four largemouth bass. All of the fruitful flat clay-and-pea-gravel shorelines and secondary points had significant concentrations of threadfin shad near them.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

G Loomis NRX Rods

G Loomis NRX Rods

Whatever the target species, these rods feel good in the fly shop when you're giving them a test drive.

Secrets to Busting Big Fish

Secrets to Busting Big Fish

The In-Fisherman staff tackles super-tough customers, trolling up 50-inch muskies!

Sight Fishing Carp

Sight Fishing Carp

The In-Fisherman staff slips into stealth mode sight tactics for barrel-shaped carp.

Daiwa Tatula 300 Baitcaster

Daiwa Tatula 300 Baitcaster

The new Tatula reel is perfect when an angler is on the water fishing big baits for big bass!

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Introduced species often directly or indirectly adversely affect native species. Other Fish

Questioning Fish Introductions

Dr. Hal Schramm - July 06, 2020

Introduced species often directly or indirectly adversely affect native species.

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...

High-quality components that offer high-end performance seemed to be the theme for freshwater spinning rods this year. ICAST

ICAST 2020: New Freshwater Spinning Rods

In-Fisherman Staff - July 16, 2020

High-quality components that offer high-end performance seemed to be the theme for freshwater...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

8 Best Catfish Rigs - When, Where and How to Use Them

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs. Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2020

Ned Kehde - July 06, 2020

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs.

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm. Midwest Finesse

Mann's Bait Company's SpringR Worm

Ned Kehde - July 02, 2020

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm.

Its ribbed body and small tail produce great action in the water. Midwest Finesse

Trophy Technology's Castaic CBT Finesse Worm

Ned Kehde - June 29, 2020

Its ribbed body and small tail produce great action in the water.

Specifically designed to enhance the action of your Ned rig. Midwest Finesse

Brian Schmidt Baits' Ned Dred

Ned Kehde - June 02, 2020

Specifically designed to enhance the action of your Ned rig.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now