Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2019

Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2019

This November guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 13 logs and 12,131 words that describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished. It features the undertakings of Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; and John Thomas of Denton, Texas.

In short, Mother Nature’s wet, windy, and wintery ways and some of life’s necessities and duties adversely affected our abilities to get afloat on many of November’s 30 days.

We are grateful that Steve Reideler proofread every word and made every log more readable and understandable.

Nov. 4


Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 4 outing.


Here is a slightly edited version of his log.


A winter-like cold front accompanied by 40-degree rain storms lambasted north-central Texas with four to five inches of rain from the evening of October 28 through the afternoon of Oct. 30. The daytime high temperatures remained in the 40s during that time, and they did not rise back into the 50s again until Nov. 1.

The morning low temperature on Nov. 4 was 51 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 77 degrees. The barometric pressure varied from 29.96 to 29.92. A 15- to 20-mph wind blew out of the south and southeast.

From about 11:41 a.m. to 4:41 p.m., John Thomas of Denton and I were afloat at an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir that lies in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. We spent two of these five hours searching for threadfin shad, largemouth bass, and spotted bass in the middle and upper sections of the reservoir. The other three hours were spent in the reservoir’s lower region.


In-Fisherman’s solunar table indicated that the most productive fishing periods on Nov. 4 would occur from 4:24 a.m. to 6:24 a.m., 10:36 a.m. to 12:36 p.m., and 4:48 p.m. to 6:48 p.m.

The aftereffects of the rain storms made the water in the reservoir’s midsection and most of its upper section a muddy mess, exhibiting less than a foot of visibility. The water temperature in those two regions plummeted from the low 70s to the mid- to upper-50s.

But we did find one minor feeder-creek arm in the northwest section of the reservoir where the water was not as muddy as the surrounding areas, and it exhibited between 12 and 14 inches of clarity. The surface temperature inside this creek arm ranged from 61 to 64 degrees. The reservoir’s water level was 1.48 feet below its normal level. And until the winter of 2018- 2019, it was also one of our most productive late-fall and winter-time bass locales.


Red clay, gravel, and numerous submerged stumps, brush piles, and laydowns make up the majority of this creek arm’s submerged terrain.

We spent about an hour dissecting the lower end of this creek arm, and we garnered only four strikes. One was a white bass, the second one was a bluegill, and we failed to hook the other two strikes. And once it became apparent that we were not able to locate any threadfin shad or black bass in this feeder-creek arm, we left.

We then moved from the northwest end of the reservoir to its middle section, were we probed a riprap-laden main-lake shoreline that was being battered by the wind and white-capped waves. The water along this shoreline was 59 degrees and displayed about a foot of visibility. We found a couple of small schools of threadfin shad near this shoreline, but no black bass.

We then moved from the reservoir’s midsection to its lower end, where we scouted for more threadfin shad and black bass with our sonar devices at a main-lake clay and gravel flat and along about two-thirds of the dam that is covered with riprap. The water was stained in these two areas and exhibited about 18 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 61 degrees. And we failed to locate any shad or black bass at these two locales.

Along another main-lake shoreline that is situated about a mile west of the dam, we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This shoreline is littered with large boulders, rocks, gravel and clay. It has an incline of about 35 degrees.

The spotted bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a steady swimming action. The largemouth bass was attracted to a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was fastened on a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin-style jig. This rig was also employed with a steady swimming action.

The north shoreline inside a large main-lake cove in the reservoir’s southwest tributary arm yielded seven largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This shoreline is fairly flat. It is composed of clay and pea gravel. There are thin patches of flooded stickups that festoon this shoreline in two to four feet of water. Several of these bass were caught in three to five feet of water along the outside edges of the flooded stickups on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig as it was worked with a steady swimming retrieve. The others were caught in less than three feet of water and close to the water’s edge on a Z-Man’s yoga pants TRD HogZ matched to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that was implemented with a swim-glide-and shake retrieve.

Inside another feeder-creek arm just east of the main-lake cove where we caught the eight black bass, we caught another seven largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught on the yoga pants TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in two feet of water along a 35-yard section of rocky shoreline at the entrance to the creek arm.

Another largemouth bass was caught along the side of a concrete boat ramp in the middle of the creek arm. It was caught on a swimming retrieve with the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig in four feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught along a steep clay and gravel shoreline across from the concrete boat ramp in four to six feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the yoga pants TRD HogZ rig.

The last two largemouth bass were caught in three to five feet of water along another steep and rocky shoreline in the back end of the creek arm on the yoga pants TRD Hog rig with a swim-glide-and shake retrieve.

Overall, the black bass fishing at this reservoir was what we consider average. We had to cover a lot of water in order to catch 15 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, one white bass, and one bluegill.

The upper and middle section of the reservoir, where the water was muddy, was virtually fruitless.

The reservoir’s lower end, where the water was more stained than muddy, was the most productive region. More specifically, shorelines inside a main-lake cove and a feeder-creek arm were the most productive areas.

The incline of the shorelines did not seem to matter. Steep shorelines were just as productive as flatter ones. And we caught bass from the mouths of the cove and the creek arm to their back or upper ends.

Most of these 17 black bass were scattered, but we did catch four bass that were grouped together in a small pocket along the north shoreline inside the main-lake cove.

A steady swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ matched with either a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig or a 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin-type jig caught eight black bass. The yoga pants TRD HogZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured the other nine.

Nov. 5

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 5 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From about 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I journeyed to one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs in north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 5:10 a.m. to 7:10 a.m., 5:33 p.m. to 7:33 p.m., and 11:22 p.m. to 1:22 a.m.

The local meteorologist snookered us again. The weather forecast for Nov. 5 called for mostly sunny skies with an afternoon high of 68 degrees. Instead, it was foggy, overcast, and it drizzled off and on throughout the day. The morning low temperature was 56 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature barely crept up to 59 degrees for a brief spell, and then it began to fall. The barometric pressure measured 30.20 at 11:00 a.m. and 30.16 at 4:00 p.m. A chilly 12- to 15-mph wind quartered out of the northeast.

The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The surface temperature was 60 degrees, which is a drop of 13 degrees since the last time I fished at this reservoir on Oct. 22. The water level was 0.60 of a foot low.

During my outing with John Thomas of Denton on Oct. 22, we caught 30 largemouth bass and three spotted bass in five hours and 11 minutes, which is what we would consider a decent outing for this reservoir. But the fishing was much tougher this time, and it was a grind for us to catch 17 largemouth bass and one spotted bass in four hours.

We caught these 18 black bass on a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD matched to either a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw mushroom-style jig.

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

All of the locations that we plied were located in the lower end of the reservoir. We wanted to stay within a mile or so of the boat ramp in case it began to rain.

We looked for threadfin shad, largemouth bass, and spotted bass at one main-lake point and its adjacent shoreline, and inside two feeder-creek arms.

We caught two largemouth bass in eight to 10 feet of water next to a rock ledge on the west side of a prominent main-lake point. This point divides the reservoir’s east and west tributary arms. Its main feature is a shallow rock ledge that parallels the point. The ledge is covered with one to three feet of water, and it quickly descends into 20-plus feet of water. It is adorned with thick patches of flooded stickups.

The point’s and rock ledge’s adjoining shoreline has a similar makeup. We dissected about a quarter of it, and we did not find any black bass here.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, we located several small pods of threadfin shad in the main creek channel that winds its way through the center of this creek arm. The channel is covered with 17 to 31 feet of water. We caught nine largemouth bass inside this creek arm. They were caught in less than five feet of water along three flat and rocky secondary points and a large clay and gravel flat in the back end of the creek arm. The clay and gravel flat and the secondary points are adorned with small patches of American pondweed and flooded stickups, and they are situated on the east side of the creek arm. We did not elicit any strikes along several secondary points and flats on the west side of the creek arm.

The second creek arm that we inspected is much larger than the first one. This creek arm encompasses a long rock ledge that parallels its southern shoreline, many steep and rocky secondary points, five large coves, and several large mud flats.

Inside one of the five coves, we caught five largemouth bass and one spotted bass in three to six feet of water. They were associated with a pea-gravel shoreline mixed with large rocks, a few scattered boulders, patches of hydrilla, and patches of American pondweed. One largemouth was caught near one of the patches of hydrilla. The others were caught around the larger rocks and boulders.

One largemouth was caught from the end of a rocky secondary point in five feet of water.

In sum, fifteen largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught around rock-laden locales in the middle and upper ends of the two feeder-creek arms. The other two largemouth bass were caught from a shallow rock ledge that parallels a main-lake point.

We are anticipating more cold rain during the next couple of days, and if the water temperatures drop below 55 degrees, the Florida-strain largemouth bass that inhabit the state and Corps’ reservoirs in north-central Texas will become extremely difficult for us to locate and allure. Typically, this dreaded phenomenon begins in mid-December, but we are concerned that it may occur a month earlier this year.

Nov. 9

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., I conducted a solo excursion at a challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that lies in the suburbs north of Dallas.

When I arrived at the boat ramp, I was surprised to see that the parking lot was almost full of tow-vehicles and boat trailers. I spoke with a couple of anglers who were preparing to launch their boat, and they informed me that a bass tournament was in progress.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 1:33 a.m. to 3:33 a.m., 7:43 a.m. to 9:43 a.m., and 8:03 p.m. to 10:03 p.m.

It was bright and sunny, and the sky was cloudless. The morning low temperature was 38 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 68 degrees. (The average low temperature for Nov. 9 in north-central Texas is 48 degrees, and the average high temperature is 69 degrees.) A mild-mannered breeze angled out of the south and southeast at 4 to 8 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.26 at 11:00 a.m. to 30.13 by 3:00 p.m.

The water level was 1.25 feet below its normal pool. The water was muddy in its middle and upper regions, exhibiting less than 12 inches of clarity. The water in the lower end of the reservoir exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The surface temperature varied from 59 degrees in the main-lake areas to 60 degrees inside the feeder-creek arms.

There is no aquatic vegetation in this impoundment. The submerged terrain consists primarily of red clay, pea gravel, fist-size rocks, and an abundance of submerged boulders.

I stayed in the lower end of the reservoir where I searched for the clearest water I could find, and that was in the southwest tributary arm. I concentrated my efforts inside three feeder-creek arms, which contained significant schools of threadfin shad, and I caught 21 largemouth bass and six spotted bass.

Fifteen of these 27 black bass were caught on a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ that was matched with a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Eight bass were caught on a Z-Man’s pearl Finesse ShadZ that was attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. One largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. I also wielded a Z-Man’s 1/8-ounce green-pumpkin Micro Finesse skirted jig with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD CrawZ affixed as a trailer, and it allured three largemouth bass. I failed to garner any strikes with a Z-Man's yoga pants TRD HogZ matched with a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man's white lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The mud minnow Hula StickZ, pearl Finesse ShadZ, yoga pants TRD HogZ, and white lightning Finesse TRD rigs were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ was used with a steady swimming retrieve. A slow drag-and-shake presentation was utilized with the green-pumpkin Micro Finesse jig and TRD CrawZ trailer combo.

Inside the first feeder-creek arm, I failed to elicit any strikes with the green-pumpkin Micro Finesse jig and TRD CrawZ combo from an offshore rock pile that lies near the main creek channel in 27 feet of water, two rocky secondary points, and a steep clay and pea-gravel shoreline.

The second feeder-creek is about the same size as the first one. It yielded 12 black bass. Seven of them were caught in three to five feet of water from a flat clay and pea-gravel shoreline near the mouth of the creek arm. This shoreline is about 75 yards long and is adorned with thin patches of flooded stickups. These seven bass were relating to the outside edges of the patches of flooded stickups in less than four feet of water.

The other five black bass were caught along the sides and ends of three pea-gravel and clay secondary points in the midsection of the creek arm. These three secondary points are flat and are also littered with rocks and large submerged boulders. These bass were caught around the larger submerged boulders in two to four feet of water.

Inside the third creek arm, I caught 13 black bass. They were associated with flat pea-gravel secondary points and small pockets adjacent to the secondary points. They were abiding in two to five feet of water. I also dissected several steep and rocky shorelines and points close to the flatter pea-gravel points and pockets, but I was unable to generate any strikes from them.

In closing, catching 27 black bass in four hours is what I consider an above-average outing at this reservoir. Flat pea-gravel shorelines, secondary points, and small pockets in the lower and midsections of the three feeder-creek arms were the most productive areas. Steeply-sloped shorelines and points and the back or upper ends of the creek arms failed to yield a black bass, and these areas were devoid of threadfin shad.

Nov. 9

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief about his Nov. 9 outing at an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in northeastern Kansas with Wyatt Henke.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

The low temperature was 33 degrees and the high temperature was 76 degrees. The sky was fair. A mild-mannered breeze angled out of the west and southwest at 5 to 11 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.12 at 12:00 a.m., 30.10 at 6:00 a.m., 29.98 at 12:00 p.m., and 29.96 at 6:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 7:39 a.m. to 9:39 a.m., 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and 1:29 a.m. to 3:29 a.m.

We launched the boat at 8:00 a.m. and fished about seven hours.

The water level was 1.24 feet above normal. Twenty cubic feet of water per second was being released from the dam. The water exhibited about 18 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 49 to 52 degrees.

We tangled with 40 fish, and 15 of them were smallmouth bass. The rest were carp, freshwater drum, largemouth bass, and white bass.

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They were caught in two to four feet of water.

The most fruitful period occurred from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. And our most prolific location was an offshore rock pile that was covered with three to five feet of water.

We caught the fish on a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD MinnowZ , a 2 /12-inch Z-Man’s California craw ZinkerZ, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ, and a Z-Man’s pearl TRD TicklerZ. We employed those baits on either a 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig or a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The color of the jigs was either black or red.

The most effective retrieve was a swim-glide-and-constant-twitch presentation.

Nov. 10

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, filed a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 10 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

A couple of minor cold fronts have passed through north-central Texas during the past week. Another severe one is forecast to arrive on Nov. 11, and to my dismay, the Nov. 11 forecast is calling for some rain, and the night-time temperatures will plummet into the upper 20s. The high temperatures during the daytime hours will struggle to reach the mid- to upper 30s for the next several days. And to make matters worse, the wind will be howling out of the north and northwest at 44 to 52 mph, bringing the wind-chill temperatures tumbling down into the single digits at night. In short, this is not the mild mid-fall weather conditions that I am accustomed to in north-central Texas.

Norman Brown of Lewisville and I relished one of the last warm fall days for this week at a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. The last time we fished here was on Oct. 17, and the fishing was slow. We fished for four hours and twelve minutes, and we could barely scrounge up 14 largemouth bass and one spotted bass. We were hoping that the approaching cold-front would vastly improve the trying black bass fishing at this impoundment, but we were woefully mistaken.

It was partly cloudy with an abundance of sunshine on Nov.10. The morning low temperature was 48 degrees and the afternoon high temperature peaked at 75 degrees. Ten- to fifteen-mph winds angled out of the south and southeast. The barometric pressure measured 30.02 at 1:00 p.m. and 29.90 at 5:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing would occur from 2:09 a.m. to 4:09 a.m., 8:20 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., and 8:41 p.m. to 10:41 p.m. Norman and I fished from about 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The surface temperature had dropped from 72 degrees on Oct. 17 to 60 degrees. The water level was about half of a foot below its normal level.

Like most of our U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas, there is no aquatic vegetation in this reservoir. But there are a few areas in the back of the larger feeder-creek arms with some decaying flooded timber and submerged stumps. This reservoir’s underwater terrain consists of red clay, pea-gravel, rocks, and countless submerged boulders.

This Nov. 10 outing mirrored the lackluster one we experienced on Oct. 17. We started off on a good note. We launched the boat inside the first feeder-creek arm on the north end of the impoundment and immediately located some schools of threadfin shad near the boat ramp. So, we put down the trolling motor and began fishing from the boat ramp northward into the upper end of the creek arm. We were delighted that we were able to catch four largemouth bass during the first 30 minutes of the outing, but after that, the bite quickly petered out , and we struggled to catch 11 more black bass and two white bass during the next 3 1/2 hours.

We discovered that the black bass were scattered, and we had to cover a lot of water inside four feeder-creek arms in order to catch one or two largemouth bass. Only two of the four creek arms that we plied were productive, and those two are located on the north end of the reservoir. We found some schools of threadfin shad inside two feeder-creek arms on the south side of the reservoir, but we were unable to locate any black bass around them or anywhere else in those two creek arms.

Inside the two northern feeder-creek arms, we caught 15 largemouth bass and two white bass around flat pea-gravel flats, secondary points, and shorelines. Some of these areas are covered with thin patches of flooded stickups and others were littered with submerged boulders instead of flooded stickups. There were significant schools of threadfin shad around all of these locations. All of the fish that we caught were shallow and abiding in three to six feet of water. We were surprised that we could not locate any black bass that were relating to steep and rocky bluffs, secondary points, and shorelines in any of the four creek arms.

Our most effective Midwest finesse rig by far was a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ matched with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. It allured 14 of the 15 largemouth bass and both of the white bass. It was employed with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water. One largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD that was fastened on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Besides the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigs, we also wielded a Z-Man’s white lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s yoga pants TRD HogZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s pearl Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a three-inch Z-Man’s electric chicken Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, but we were unable to generate any strikes with these rigs.

Nov. 15

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Until Nov. 15, I had not been afloat since Oct. 29, which was when my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I caught 81 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir. Instead of fishing, Patty and I traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to visit our youngest daughter and her family for 10 days, and then Old Man Winter made several visits to northeastern Kansas. On one of his visits, he dropped some areas with as much as 1.9 inches of snow on Nov. 11, and on Nov. 12, he dropped some area thermometers to six degrees. On the morning of Nov. 15, many of the small ponds and streams that stipple the countryside of northeastern Kansas were covered with ice.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 26 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 56 degrees at 2:53 p.m. on Nov. 15. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being cluttered with a few clouds to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the southwest, south, and southeast at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.37 at 12:53 a.m., 30.36 at 5:53 a.m., 30.36 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.30 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:48 a.m. to 1:48 p.m., 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., and 6:02 a.m. to 8:02 a.m. From 10:31 a.m. to 2:32 p.m., I was afloat at the same community reservoir that Rick Hebenstreit and I fished on Oct. 29.

The surface temperature ranged from 47 to 49 degrees. Along one shady shoreline, there were a few ice cycles clinging to the shoreline rocks. The water level was normal. The water exhibited a secchi visibility of three to 4 1/2 feet. A cold-water algae bloom was significant enough that it embellished the hull of the boat with substantial stain. All of the patches of American water willows that grace some of this reservoir’s shorelines are exhibiting their brownish-gray inter-dead motif. Many of the patches of coontail are displaying their wintertime wilt.

Instead of catching 81 largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass as Ricky and I caught on Oct. 29, I caught 44 largemouth bass, one channel catfish and one freshwater drum.

Three of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Thirty-seven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

One largemouth bass was caught on a flat main-lake point in the middle section of the reservoir. It was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail in about six feet of water and about 45 feet from the water’s edge.

Around another main-lake point in the middle section of the reservoir, one largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation on a patch of coontail in about nine feet of water and about 30 feet from the water’s edge.

Inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the upper section of the reservoir, I caught 16 largemouth bass. They were caught from five to 40 yards from the water’s edge. Three of the 16 were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail that are adjacent to some laydowns and overhanging trees in four to six feet of water. Four of the sixteen were caught on the TRD HogZ rig, and two were caught on the initial drop, and the other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and these four were caught around patches of coontail that are adjacent to some laydowns and overhanging trees. The Finesse TRD rig caught nine largemouth bass on either the initial drop or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail in six to 10 feet of water and about 40 yards from the water’s edge.

Along about a 350-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper section of the reservoir, the Finesse TRD rig caught 16 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is endowed with several tertiary points. The water’s edge is adorned with laydowns, overhanging trees, patches of winter-dead American water willows, and some shallow-water patches of coontail. These largemouth bass were caught in water as shallow as 2 1/2 feet and as deep as about nine feet. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig. One was caught on a deadstick presentation. The others were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. They were caught from four to 12 feet from the water’s edge. Two largemouth bass were caught around a tertiary point. The others were caught around the patches of American water willows, laydowns, and overhanging trees.

Along another 350-stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper section of the reservoir, the Finesse TRD rig caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is endowed with several tertiary points. The water’s edge is adorned with scores of laydowns, numerous overhanging trees, a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, and some shallow-water patches of coontail. These largemouth bass were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as about seven feet. They were caught on either the initial drop of the rig or on a drag-and-shake presentation. They were caught from three to 10 feet from the water’s edge. They were caught around patches of American water willows, coontail, laydowns, and one tertiary point.

On a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm that lies in the middle portion of the reservoir, I fished for about 10 minutes and caught three largemouth bass around patches of coontail in about six feet of water on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught about 30 yards from the water’s edge.

On a shallow-water flat inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the lower portions of the reservoir, I fished for about five minutes, and I caught one largemouth bass on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water around a patch of coontail. It was caught about 60 yards from the water’s edge.

I failed to elicit a strike inside one medium-size feeder-creek arm in the middle of the reservoir and around a main-lake point in the upper portions of the reservoir.

Nov. 16

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 16 outing to one of northeastern Kansas’ power-plant reservoirs.

He fished from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:49 a.m. to 2:49 a.m., 1:18 p.m. to 3:18 p.m., and 7:03 a.m. to 9:03 a.m.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 31 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 56 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 22 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.27 at 12:53 a.m., 30.24 at 5:53 a.m., 30.16 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.07 at 2:53 p.m.

The water exhibited one to two feet of visibility. The water level was normal. The surface temperature with the reservoir’s warm-water plume was 57 degrees, and along the dam, it was 49 degrees.

He spent the bulk of the outing plying four steep shorelines that lie inside the warm-water plume.

His most effective rig was a well-used 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ on a red 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig, which had an extremely slow fall rate. He employed an extremely slow swim-glide-and-incessant-twitch presentation.

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He caught 32 largemouth bass, eight white bass, one wiper, and one crappie. The bulk of them were caught in two to five feet of water.

Nov. 18

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log about his Nov. 18 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 30 degrees at 2:53 a.m. and 65 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being overcast to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy. The wind was calm for five of the early morning hours, and at other times, it angled out of the east, south, southeast, southwest, and west at 3 to 22 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:53 a.m., 29.80 at 5:53 a.m., 29.73 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.69 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:56 a.m. to 4:56 a.m., 3:25 p.m. to 5:25 p.m., and 9:11 a.m. to 11:11 a.m.

I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 12:25 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. This flatland reservoir has been unfruitful since the early summer of 2018, and it continued to be unfruitful on Nov. 18.

I struggled to catch 19 largemouth bass, three freshwater drum, and two rainbow trout.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 45 degrees. The water was afflicted by an algae bloom, causing the water to exhibit a greenish hue. The Secchi-stick revealed that there was three to four feet of visibility.

A Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 17 largemouth bass, three freshwater drum, and two rainbow trout. A Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught two largemouth bass.

One largemouth bass was caught around a main-lake point in the upper third portions of the reservoir. This point possesses a 45- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is lined with patches of winter-dead American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught on the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig in about six feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper third portions of the reservoir, I caught two largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 40- to 70- degree slope. Its water's edge is adorned with patches of winter-dead American water willows, laydowns, and overhanging trees. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Patches of Eurasian milfoil grace some of the underwater terrain. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig along the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows in about four feet of water. This Finesse TRD rig caught the other largemouth bass with a drag-and-shake presentation around some rocks, boulders, and milfoil in about seven feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught around a main-lake point in the middle section of the reservoir. This point has a 45- to 75-degree slope. Its water’s edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and one overhanging tree. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Patches of Eurasian milfoil grace some of the underwater terrain. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig in about eight feet of water around some boulders and milfoil as I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation. The third largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows in about four feet of water.

Along a 65-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower half of the reservoir, I caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 40-degree slope. Its water’s edge is lined with patches of winter-dead American water willows, one laydown, and two docks. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Minor patches of Eurasian milfoil occasionally grace some of the underwater terrain. One largemouth bass was caught near the corner of one of the docks in about four feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig. The other five were caught adjacent to the patches of winter-dead American water willows on the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig, and they were caught in four to six feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three largemouth bass were caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

I caught two largemouth bass along a 40-yard stretch of a shoreline that lies about 80 percent of the way inside a large feeder-creek arm in the lower portions of this reservoir. This shoreline has a 30- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The underwater terrain is graced with occasional patches of milfoil. The water’s edge is bedizened with occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows and several laydowns. These two largemouth bass were caught on the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water.

Five largemouth bass were caught along a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm in the upper third portion of this reservoir. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 75-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. There are occasional patches of milfoil embellishing some of the rocks and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with occasional patches of winter-dead American water willows, scores of laydowns, and many overhanging trees. Three of the five largemouth bass were caught on the 1/16-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig, and two of the five were caught on the 1/20-ounce jig and Finesse TRD rig. One largemouth bass was caught on a protracted deadstick presentation in about five feet of water. The others were caught in four to seven feet of water while I was strolling and employing either a drag-and-shake presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

There were four main-lake points, six secondary points, several tertiary points, portions of three main-lake shorelines, portions of four shorelines inside three feeder-creek arms, and three shallow-water flats where I failed to garner a strike.

I also failed to elicit a strike on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and two-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

In short, it was a sorry Midwest finesse outing.

Nov. 19

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log about his Nov. 19 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 32 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 64 degrees at 1:52 p.m. For most of the day, the sky was fair, but it became partly cloudy around 4:52 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it angled out of the northwest, south, southeast, and east at 5 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.83 at 12:52 a.m., 29.88 at 5:52 a.m., 29.96 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.91 at 4:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:53 a.m. to 5:53 a.m., 4:21 p.m. to 6:21 p.m., and 10:07 a.m. to 12:07 p.m.

I cannot remember the last time that I made my first cast at 2:20 p.m., and the last one at 4:30 p.m. I prefer making my first around 10:00 a.m. and my last one around 2:00 p.m. But for a variety of reasons, I have had a difficult time getting afloat this November. In fact, November is more than half over, and I have fished only nine hours and 31 minutes.

The weather forecasters are predicting that the weather on Nov. 20. 21, and 22 will be unpleasant. So that is why I squeezed in two hours and 10 minutes of fishing late on the afternoon of Nov. 19 at a nearby state reservoir.

The water level at this flatland reservoir was normal. A mild-mannered algae bloom bespattered a greenish hue to the water that exhibited a Secchi-stick visibility of four to more than six feet. The surface temperature ranged from 46 to 48 degrees.

In two hours and 10 minutes, I caught 24 largemouth bass. Two of them were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. A Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 22 largemouth bass.

Along two short shorelines and across a small shallow-water flat inside a very small feeder-creek arm, I caught 13 largemouth bass. One shoreline has a 20-degree slope, and the other one has a 35- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of clay, silt, gravel, and a few rocks. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few stumps, and some laydowns. Some wilted patches of coontail adorn portions of the shorelines and the shallow-water flat. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-and-glide presentation around the outside edges of the patches of winter-dead American water willows in four to five feet of water. Eleven largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig in two to five feet of water. One of the eleven was caught adjacent to a stump. Two of the eleven were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig along the outside edges of the patches of winter-dead American water willows. Eight were caught on either a swimming retrieve or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the patches of wilted coontail or adjacent to the outside edges of the patches of winter-dead American water willows.

Around a main-lake point at the mouth of this small feeder-creek arm, I caught two largemouth bass. This point has a 20-degree slope. Its water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows. A submerged creek channel courses nearby. These two largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Around a main-lake riprap jetty, I caught one largemouth bass while I was strolling with the Finesse TRD rig and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline in the back half of a primary feeder-creek arm, I caught five largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope and several shallow-water flats. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of wilting American pondweeds, winter-dead American water willows, and scores of laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, rocks, and some boulders. Patches of wilted coontail embellish some of the shallow-water flats. A submerged creek channel courses nearby. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-shake presentation around a pile of rocks and boulders in about seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig around a patch of winter-dead American water willows in about four feet of water. One was caught adjacent to a laydown on the Finesse TRD rig with a swimming presentation in about three feet of water. Two of the five were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation across patches of coontail in about five feet of water.

I fished around four riprap jetties at the mouth and near the mouth of a medium-size feeder-creek arm. I caught one largemouth bass around one of the jetties on the Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. I caught two at another jetty. One of those two largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water, and the second one was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse TRD rig in about three feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of winter-dead American water willows that graces the water’s edge of the side of this jetty.

I ended the outing with a catch rate of slightly less than 12 largemouth bass an hour.

Nov. 20

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log about his Nov. 20 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 46 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 66 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind angled and howled out of the southeast and south at 7 to 38 mph. The sky was fair from 12:53 a.m. to 12:53 p.m., and then it became mostly cloudy, overcast, rained, and thunder stormed. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:53 a.m., 29.91 at 5:53 a.m., 29.86 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.82 at 2:53 p.m.

This is my week for fishing three of the sorriest reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, and the howling south wind on Nov. 20 made the fishing even more trying.

During this hold-onto-your-hat and employ-a-drift-sock endeavor, I ventured to one of northeastern Kansas’ suburban community reservoirs.

The black bass fishing at most of the public flatland reservoirs that lie within a 75-mile radius of Lawrence, Kansas, has been off-kilter for about two years. But the largemouth bass fishing at this community reservoir and the community and state reservoirs that I fished on Nov. 18 and 19 are extremely off-kilter.

The surface temperature at this community reservoir ranged from 45 to 46 degrees. The water level was a tad above normal. The Secchi-stick revealed that the water exhibited more than four feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated the best fishing would transpire from 4:46 a.m. to 6:46 a.m., 5:13 p.m. to 7:13 p.m., and 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

I fished from 10:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and struggled mightily to catch 23 largemouth bass, which is a sorry catch rate of less than six bass an hour.

A Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught 10 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ jig caught four largemouth bass. Four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce TT Lures’ NedlockZ jig. Two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

I was hoping to find and catch the largemouth bass around patches of coontail on this reservoir’s shallow-water flats in the upper reaches of its primary feeder creek and inside one of its small feeder-creek arms. But many of the coontail patches that grace the flats were paltry. What’s more, this reservoir is chronically plagued with eruptions of filamentous algae, which coats many of the patches of coontail, and that filamentous algae fouls about 10 percent of our Midwest finesse presentations.

To my chagrin, I caught only one largemouth bass around those coontail patches on the shallow-water flats. It was the first largemouth bass of the outing, and I did something that I rarely do: I took two minutes away from my fishing to weigh this fish. Initially, it looked and felt like it was a real lunker. But my aged and infrequently used Normark Rapala Pro Guide Digital Scale indicated that it was far from being a real lunker; it weighed just five pounds, eight ounces.

This largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around patches of coontail.

Along a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, I caught nine largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge is embellished with some patches of winter-dead American water willows, laydowns, overhanging trees, three docks, a 75-foot concrete retaining wall, and a stone bridge. Patches of coontail adorn portions of the shallow-water areas along this shoreline. Four of the nine largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig and 1/20-ounce jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig with either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water. The Finesse ShadZ caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop in about four feet of water, and this rig caught another one in about seven feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation. Two of these largemouth bass were caught around a patch or two of coontail.

I caught six largemouth bass along a 60-yard stretch of a flat shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 25-degree slope. The water’s edge is lined with a concrete retaining wall and five docks. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and it is adorned with a few significant patches of coontail and a few manmade brush piles. The TRD TicklerZ rig and 1/20-ounce jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught three largemouth bass in about five feet of water around patches of coontail. The TRD HogZ rig caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop around a patch of coontail and a dock, and it caught one largemouth bass on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water around a patch of coontail. The Finesse ShadZ rig caught one largemouth bass on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a patch of coontail near a dock in about five feet of water.

The TRD TicklerZ rig and 1/20-ounce jig caught one largemouth bass as I was strolling and employing a slow swimming presentation in about four feet of water along a flat shoreline inside a very small feeder creek. I suspect this largemouth bass was abiding around some meager patches of coontail.

Along a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle portions of the reservoir, the TRD TicklerZ rig and 1/20-ounce jig caught two largemouth bass and the TRD TicklerZ rig and 1/16-ounce jig caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its water’s edge is graced with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows and 10 docks. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. There are occasional patches of coontail and some manmade brush piles adorning the underwater terrain. One largemouth bass was caught under a dock in about six feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation. One was caught adjacent to a patch of winter-dead American water willows in about four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The third one was caught around some rocks in about six feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along a 35-yard stretch of a shoreline and a tertiary point inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm, the TRD TicklerZ rig and 1/16-ounce jig caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline and point possess about a 35-degree slope. The water’s edge is lined with concrete and rock retaining walls, some meager patches of winter-dead American water willows, and three docks. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. There are some minor patches of coontail gracing the underwater terrain. These three largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water, and two of them were caught around a patch of coontail.

I have said many times in years past that I prefer to catch 50 dinky largemouth bass rather than catch one five-pound largemouth bass. And again on this outing, I would have preferred to catch 50 dinky largemouth bass rather than that five-pound, eight-ounce largemouth bass that I caught. Unfortunately, it looks as if it will be an impossible task to catch 50 largemouth bass in four hours at this community reservoir any time in the near future.

Nov. 20

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

The wind was howling in north-central Texas on Nov. 20, which made it too dangerous for us to launch a boat on the nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs. Therefore, John Thomas of Denton and I opted to conduct a bank-walking excursion at three community reservoirs located in two suburbs northwest of Dallas.

The morning low temperature was 60 degrees and the afternoon high reached 83 degrees. The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy. The wind quartered out of the southeast and south at 20 to 30 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.93 at 11:00 a.m. and 29.84 at 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 4:54 a.m. to 6:54 a.m., 5:21 p.m. to 7:21 p.m., and 11:08 p.m. to 1:08 a.m. John and I were afoot at these three reservoirs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and we fished for about 4 1/2 hours during this five-hour and 15-minute foray.

At the first reservoir we fished, we caught seven largemouth bass and one green sunfish.

The water level appeared to be normal. The water was murkier than usual and exhibited about 12 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 55 degrees at the north end of the reservoir and 56.7 degrees at its south end.

This reservoir’s underwater terrain consists of clay, sand, and gravel.

Our first casts were made around a shallow ditch that cuts across a large flat on the north end of the reservoir. When we failed to elicit any strikes there, we fished our way southward. We also failed to garner any strikes along a steeper stretch of a shoreline and around a fishing pier in the middle portion of the west shoreline.

The area around a gravel and sandy tertiary point that is situated about 50 feet south of the fishing pier yielded four largemouth bass. Two of them were attracted to a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in less than five feet of water with a Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed on a custom-painted blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The third largemouth bass was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The fourth largemouth engulfed a three-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ that was matched with a custom-painted chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This Slim SwimZ combo was presented with a slow swimming retrieve.

The concrete-slab dam that forms the southern boundary of this reservoir failed to yield a largemouth bass or a strike.

On the east side of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. One was caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin Slim SwimZ rig in four feet of water around a shallow sand and gravel ledge that parallels the south end of this shoreline. The hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve allured the second largemouth from five feet of water along the wind-blown side of a broad point in the midsection of this shoreline.

Along a clay and gravel point on the north end of the east shoreline, we failed to generate a strike.

On the north end of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass and one green sunfish inside a small feeder-creek arm. Both of these fish were relating to a patch of large rocks in four feet of water. They were attracted to the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig and a slow hop-and-bounce presentation. The remainder of the north shoreline, which encompasses a large and shallow clay and gravel flat and is bordered with thick stands of cattails, failed to yield a largemouth bass.

After that miserable start, we travelled 13 miles to the other two community reservoirs. These two reservoirs are adjacent to each other, and the largemouth bass bite was almost nonexistent in both of them.

The second impoundment is about a quarter of the size of the third one. The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The water level appeared to be normal. The water temperature was 58 degrees. Its submerged terrain consists of clay and gravel.

A shallow clay and gravel flat occupies the reservoir’s south end. The north shoreline has a 30-degree slope and is endowed with a small concrete water outlet. This area was once adorned with a large hydrilla bed, but we did not find any evidence that it still exists. The west shoreline is endowed with one broad clay point and a small rock pile that lies about 10 yards north of the point. The east shoreline is mostly flat and curved with a shallow submerged gravel and clay ledge that runs parallel to this shoreline.

This reservoir used to be one of our most fruitful late-fall and early-winter venues, but it surrendered only one largemouth bass this time. It was caught about 15 feet from the water’s edge along the north shoreline, and it was abiding in five feet of water. It was caught on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The third community reservoir is about 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. A large island with an adjacent cove occupies a goodly portion of the west side of this impoundment. Two ditches run parallel to the island’s northern and southern shorelines. The south shoreline is steeper than the north and west ones, and it is endowed with several prominent points and a decorative stone wall that borders one of the points. The east end of the reservoir is formed with a steep clay shoreline, and this area contains the deepest water in the reservoir. The north shoreline is relatively flat, and features several small clay points and a small concrete water outlet.

The water exhibited about 14 inches of visibility. The water level was normal. The water temperature was 55 degrees. Its submerged terrain consists primarily of gravel and red clay. Winter-dead aquatic vegetation adorns most of the shallow-water areas near the water’s edge.

This impoundment surrendered only two largemouth bass and one white crappie.

John caught a handsome four-pound largemouth bass from the east end of the north shoreline in four feet of water. It was caught on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig, which was worked in a swim-glide-and-shake manner. The remainder of the north shoreline was fruitless.

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The second largemouth was caught in five feet of water on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. It was associated with a clay and gravel ledge along the south side of the cove on the west side of the reservoir.

A small rock pile on the southeast end of the island yielded one white crappie. It was caught in three feet of water on the hot snakes TRD TicklerZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We failed to generate any strikes along the east, west, and south shorelines. The ditches on the north and south sides of the island also failed to yield a fish.

Overall, it becomes a difficult task for us to catch significant numbers of Florida-strain largemouth bass in north-central Texas when the water temperature drops below 60 degrees. And it was a chore for us to catch 10 largemouth bass, one white crappie, and one green sunfish in the 55- to 58-degree water during this outing.

Seven largemouth bass were caught in the first reservoir, one was caught in the second reservoir, and two were caught from the third one.

Six largemouth bass were caught on the Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. Two were caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin Slim SwimZ rig.

One was caught on a swimming retrieve with the three-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ. And one largemouth was caught on a hop-and-bounce presentation with the Z-Man’s hot snakes TRD TicklerZ. We failed to generate any strikes with nine other Midwest finesse rigs.

Nov. 25

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, filed a log about his Nov. 25 outing on the Finesse News Network.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 38 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 59 degrees at 12:53 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to being partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the south, southwest, west, and north at 7 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.63 at 12:53 a.m., 29.59 at 5:53 a.m., 29.66 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.64 at 2:54 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m., 9:06 p.m. to 11:06 p.m., and 2:26 a.m. to 4:26 a.m.

My cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 10:05 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.

The surface temperature was 46 degrees. The water level was normal. The water exhibited 2 1/2 to five feet of visibility.

We caught 40 largemouth bass and one crappie, and Rick caught largemouth bass number 40 on his last cast at 2:05 p.m.

A Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 28 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught 10 largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one largemouth bass. A Z-Man’s meat dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig caught one largemouth bass.

Four of the seven locales that we fished failed to yield a strike.

Inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm in the upper half of the reservoir yielded 28 largemouth bass.

One of the 28 was caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig, 10 largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig, and 16 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig.

Six of the 28 were caught on a massive coontail-laden flat in the middle portions of this feeder-creek arm. This flat is about the size of two football fields. The six largemouth bass were in an area about the size of a tennis court and about 50 feet from the water’s edge in about eight feet water. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Twenty-two of the 28 were caught along a 50-yard stretch of one of this feeder-creek’s shorelines. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is graced with several small patches of winter-dead American water willows, some overhanging trees, and many laydowns. There are several significant patches of coontail embellishing portions of this shoreline, and most of the 22 largemouth bass were abiding around these patches of coontail. We caught them from about 10 to 25 feet from the water’s edge in five to eight feet of water. All of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and several were caught while we were strolling our rigs with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation across the patches of coontail.

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We caught five largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. This point has about a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of winter-dead American water willows. The underwater terrain is endowed with a few patches of coontail. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD rig in four to eight feet of water. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and one was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught five largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are quite significant. The water’s edge has many laydowns, numerous overhanging trees, and several patches of winter-dead American water willows. Occasional patches of coontail adorn some of this shoreline’s shallow-water terrains. One of the five largemouth bass was caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a laydown and overhanging tree on the initial drop in about four feet of water. The Finesse TRD rig caught two largemouth bass around some patches of coontail and a significant laydown with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in four to six feet of water. Around a tertiary point that is laden with many boulders and a few minor patches of coontail, we caught two largemouth bass on the Finesse TRD rig in about six feet of water. One of them was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation, and the other one was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

Across a massive flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. This flat is endowed with many patches of coontail, but a goodly number of them have wilted significantly since Oct. 29. We caught these largemouth bass while strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail in about six feet of water.

In conclusion, it was our final outing for November. It has been a trying month to get afloat and to catch largemouth bass. I fished only four times for a total of just 13 1/2 hours and I struggled to catch 106 largemouth bass. To Rick’s and my chagrin, this reservoir, which has been our most fruitful one in 2019, will be closed until March.

Nov. 25

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 25 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

A significant cold front passed through north-central Texas during the evening hours of Nov. 20, and it has been cold and windy during the past few days. But it was sunny and mild on Nov. 25. Therefore, John Thomas of Denton and I opted to spend 4 1/2 hours at an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir in north-central Texas.

The morning low temperature on Nov. 25 was 45 degrees. The afternoon high temperature was 70 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.67 at noon and 29.62 at 4:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the south, southwest, and northwest at 5 to 10 mph.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 2:35 a.m. to 4:35 a.m., 8:48 a.m. to 10:48 a.m., and 9:15 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. John and I fished from noon to 4:30 p.m.

We targeted three feeder-creek arms. One is situated in the north end of the reservoir, and the other two are located in the reservoir’s lower or southern end.

The water was stained with 14 to 18 inches of clarity. Floating leaves, branches, and other debris littered the water’s surface in a couple of the feeder-creek arms. The surface temperature ranged from 56 degrees in the main-lake areas to 60 degrees inside one of the three creek arms. The water level appeared to be about a foot low.

There is no aquatic vegetation in this reservoir. Red clay, rocks, pea gravel, and submerged boulders make up the majority of its submerged terrain.

The black bass fishing in our neck of the woods has become slow and difficult, and it appears that our dreaded wintertime black bass fishing, which typically begins in mid-December and lasts into mid-March, has started earlier than usual this year. Our best efforts garnered only six largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and three white bass.

The first feeder-creek arm that we plied on the north end of the reservoir was fruitless. Until the winter of 2018-19, this creek arm used to be one of our most dependable and consistent late-fall and winter black bass locales. It became foul after a sewage line ruptured and dumped raw sewage into this creek arm in October 2018. It has not been the same since, and we are now wondering if it ever will be productive again.

Inside the second feeder-creek arm, which is located on the lower end of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This creek arm contains a large marina. We looked for signs of threadfin shad, but we found only a few small pods of shad scattered around here and there. One largemouth was caught in five feet of water from a steep, pea-gravel, and red-clay shoreline near the mouth of the creek arm. The spotted bass was caught in four feet of water from the side of a concrete boat ramp that lies on the west side and in the midsection of the creek arm. The other largemouth was also caught in the middle portion of the creek arm next to a clay, gravel, and rock shoreline in six feet of water.

One of the two largemouth bass and the spotted bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a Z-Man’s chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that was employed with a slow swimming retrieve. One largemouth was attracted to a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD HogZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Inside the third feeder-creek arm, which lies about 1 1/2 miles west of the second one, we caught four largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and three white bass. They were caught in three to eight feet of water around the two main-lake entry points to the creek arm and three rocky secondary points in the lower portion of the creek arm. These areas attracted several large schools of threadfin shad that were dimpling the surface about 35 to 50 feet from the water's edge and where the water had a depth of eight to 15.

Two largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one white bass were caught on the three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ and a slow swimming retrieve. Two largemouth bass and two white bass were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ matched with a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. One spotted bass was attracted to a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ.

We failed to elicit any strikes with a 1/8-ounce Z-Man’s green-pumpkin skirted Micro Finesse jig with a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ attached as a trailer, a Z-Man’s pearl Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s hot snakes Finesse TRD attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD CrawZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We spoke briefly with two other anglers at the boat ramp. One reported that he had caught one small largemouth bass and was heading home, and the other one said he had not generated a strike all day.

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