Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2019

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2019

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 26 logs and 24,327 words that explain how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers fished.


It features the efforts of Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Eric Gilgenbach of Winneconne, Wisconsin; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia; Preston Parks of Pittsboro, North Carolina; Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina; Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas; John Thomas of Denton, Texas; and Camille Trinidad of Kansas City, Kansas.

Some of the big waterways in north-central Texas, northeastern Oklahoma, northeastern Kansas, central Missouri, and northwestern Missouri are still riled from the various antics and deluges that Mother Nature has created this year. And it prohibited Midwest finesse anglers from fishing them.

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


June 1

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:


North-central Texas is still drying out from all the rain storms that walloped this area over the past month. Many of our waterways are still flooded, and a couple of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs that my companions and I regularly fish are still closed.

John Thomas of Denton and I elected to fish at the only open Corps’ reservoir we could find in north-central Texas on May 31. It was the first time either of us have fished since May 16. This Corps’ reservoir is also one of our most challenging ones.

The water level was more than five feet above its normal level. We were surprised to find that the water displayed close to three feet of clarity. The water’s surface temperature was 79 degrees.

Much to our dismay, the black bass fishing was still problematic, and we had a difficult time locating and catching a mix of 12 largemouth bass and spotted bass in four hours. As we were meandering back to the boat ramp, we crossed paths with several small schools of white bass that were foraging on one-inch threadfin shad along the surface in 33 feet of water. They were extremely spooky and most of them ignored our offerings. But we did manage to catch 31 of them in about 90 minutes before their surface-foraging activities can to an end.

On June 1, Rick Allan of Dallas, and his grandson Tim Michel of Dallas, joined me for a three-hour excursion at a state reservoir that lies northwest of the Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

The water’s clarity varied from 2 1/2 feet along the east side of the reservoir to less than a foot along its western side. The surface temperature ranged from 79 degrees to 83 degrees. The water level was about a half of a foot high. Water was also being released through the spillway gates at a brisk pace.

The morning hours were pleasant with a low temperature of 67 degrees. But the afternoon felt hot and humid as the high temperature reached 92 degrees. Clouds covered about 30 percent of the sky. The wind was light and variable, and for a couple of brief spells, it was calm. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 10:00 a.m. and it dropped slightly to 29.94 by 1:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar table indicated that the best fishing would occur between 2:32 a.m. and 4:32 a.m., 8:43 a.m. to 10:43 a.m., and 9:06 p.m. to 11:06 p.m. Rick, Tim, and I fished from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

This reservoir’s submerged terrain consists of mostly rocks and boulders. It has a few sparse patches of floating pondweed and chara.

We were not expecting much during this short outing, but we were delighted to catch 25 largemouth and spotted bass. We also accidentally caught one green sunfish and one white bass.

We spent most of our time along the east shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir where the water clarity ranged between two and 2 1/2 feet.

We started the outing fishing along a rock ledge that parallels a short shoreline next to the boat ramp where we launched. This ledge is covered with three to five feet of water and is a known bluegill spawning area. We failed to locate any bluegill, largemouth bass, or spotted bass along this ledge.

Our next spot was at the dam, which is situated a short distance from the rock ledge that we fished. The dam is covered with riprap, and a 40-yard stretch of it surrendered four largemouth bass. Three were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other one was caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse WormZ attached on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Both of these offerings were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. All four of these bass were abiding in less than six feet of water and within five feet of the water’s edge.

From the dam, we moved northward about half a mile and dissected a 50-yard section of a main-lake shoreline next to the entrance of a channel that leads to the spillway. This shoreline is graced with flooded buck brush, rocks, and boulders. Along this stretch of shoreline, we caught two largemouth bass and two spotted bass. One largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One spotted bass was caught on a customized three-inch Z-Man’s pearl underspin Slim SwimZ and a steady swimming retrieve. The other largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the four-inch coppertreuse Finesse WormZ rig. These four black bass were caught on the water less than five feet deep and within 10 feet of the water’s edge.

At the two entry points to the spillway channel, and along the riprap shorelines inside this channel, we caught 10 largemouth and spotted bass. The two entry points are littered with a couple of submerged bushes, fist-size rocks, and boulders. The slope of these two points is less than 25 degrees. The shorelines of the channel are covered with riprap, boulders, and terrestrial vegetation. The channel’s shorelines possess a 45- to 60-degree slope. The channel is about 75 feet wide and about halfway back inside the channel, a line of warning buoys prevented us from venturing to the spillway. The middle of the channel is covered with 21 feet of water.

Six of these 10 bass were tempted by the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to six feet of water near the submerged boulders and riprap. One was caught while we were slowly swimming the three-inch pearl underspin Slim SwimZ in four feet of water around a large submerged boulder inside the channel. Three others were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig around the submerged riprap in less than six feet of water.

We finished this outing at two riprap-laden jetties that lie about a mile south of the dam. These two jetties yielded seven largemouth and spotted bass. Five of these seven bass engulfed the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo as we were slowly swimming, gliding, and shaking it near the submerged riprap in three to eight feet of water. One largemouth was caught in open water and about 50 feet away from one of the jetties. This largemouth bass was suspended about five feet below the surface in 18 feet of water and was caught with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One bass engulfed the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ on the initial fall next to the submerged riprap.

In closing, we consider catching 25 black bass in three hours a splendid outing in our neck of the woods. And this state reservoir that we once ignored for many, many years has now become one of our most bountiful venues this year.

June 1

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, filed a report on the Finesse News Network about his June 1 outing.

Here is an edited version of his report:

Upon returning home from work duties on May 31, my wife asked what I thought the river that runs behind our home was at. My response was 305 cubic feet per second. From several of my reports in years past, I have written about a huge Volkswagen-Bug-sized boulder that I have used as a reference to gauge river levels. Last evening, I did just that. I was slightly off. The United States Geological Survey reported that the river’s flow was 311 cubic feet per second.

We went to the water and managed to catch 17 smallmouth and 14 incidental specimens in exactly two hours. I worked with a 1/32-ounce VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig in the Fathead color affixed to a well-worn Z-Man’s shiner Finesse ShadZ. My wife was using the same jig head that was affixed to a Z-Man’s smelt TRD MinnowZ.

As I thought about and prepared for my June 1 outing, I decided to fish a stretch that the abysmal 2018 flooding prohibited me from fishing -- even though I employ a much larger kayak than is the standard on eastern smallmouth-bass rivers.

After tending to some household duties for three hours during the morning of June 1, I was in the UTV headed to the water. The kayak and multiple rods would stay on the trailer in the garage. I needed to see this stretch on foot to get a more intimate feel for what 2018 had left us.

The USGS gauge was reading that the river was flowing at 288 cubic feet per second. I recorded a 74-degree surface temperature at the beginning of my outing. By the end of my outing, I recorded a 77-degree surface temperature in the exact same spot that I took my first reading. The water exhibited eight feet of visibility.

The sky was cloudless. The sun was blazing.

I began my upriver trek carrying two slightly shortened Z-Man’s dirt TRD HogZs, two shortened Z-Man’s Drew’s craw Hula StickZs, four 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jigs, and some drinking water. The Hula StickZs had been soaked in water for two days, and this removed the impregnated salt that makes up 25 percent of its body weight.

I began fishing with the TRD HogZ rig along a flat section of the river. I made my way up the weak side of the river, making casts as they seemed appropriate and peering into the depths with my polarized glasses in search for any undulations of the bottom’s topography. I moved upriver at a fairly good pace and caught 13 smallmouth bass. This flat is the size of a football field. It is 3 1/2 feet in depth along the shoreline that is embellished with the strong-side current. The bottom consists of softball sized chunk rock.

At the head of this flat, there is a nasty tangle of wood and logs pushed into a corner. This corner has always been littered with timber, but it typically consists of one log. The floods of 2018, however, deposited three logs. The depth typically maxes out at four feet. And across the 13 years that I have fished this river, it has always been a fruitful area. And during this June 1 outing, it was fruitful again.

I was able to lure nine smallmouth bass and two rock bass from this array of timber. The largest smallmouth bass looked to my eyes as being 19 3/4 inches long. My initial casts were slightly angled up and across the visible surface current in the middle of this hole. My remaining casts were straight into the timber, and these casts were like threading a needle. All the strikes were on the initial drop or the first couple of shakes as my rig began its left/right dance.

As I exited the timber-filled hole, I looked upriver at 200 yards of a flat that has a sheer cliff on the strong side of the river, and this area reminds me of one that appeared in the movie Deliverance. I walked straight up the middle of this 200-yard stretch of water and made multiple casts to the base of the cliff. Where this sheer cliff meets the water’s edge, the water is three feet deep with a couple of scoured out holes of six feet. Both of these six-foot holes are adorned with one big massive boulder, and the current scours around them.

My casts were up and across and straight across as I worked the TRD HogZ rig into and across current on a slack-line drift with an occasional twitch. My straight-across casts were much the same as an angler would use an inline spinner for stream trout, and I would allow the offering to make a big U-shaped path with a shake at the end of the drift.

The above procedure took me just shy of an hour to complete. While doing so I caught 16 smallmouth bass that appeared to be all little males and three largemouth bass. I also caught more big rock bass and bluegill than I wanted to count. All of these fish took my offering on the drop or on the first shake of the rod tip once the rig touched the bottom. Upon it hitting bottom, I immediately gave my offering a shake and began my retrieve inches off the bottom using the bottom only as a point of reference.

At the head of this run, I sat on a large rock, took in the sights of this canyon, and ate my breakfast.

On my trek back downriver, I used a Hula StickZ rig and worked it through the same areas that I had fished on the way upriver. And I caught 11 smallmouth bass and 13 panfish.

As a side note, I have yet to exhaust a single Z-Man’s rig in 2019, and the more that I use them the more effective they become. I have also yet to render a VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig as unusable. It is my modern-day replacement for Gopher Tackle’s 1/32-ounce Mushroom Head jig, which I used to catch hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of smallmouth bass in years past. What’s more, the Moon Eye jig possesses a couple of features that outshine the classic Gopher jig.

I fished 3 1/2 hours on this outing. Our waters are better than they have been since 2017.

June 3

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG_3290.jpg
//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG_3293.jpg

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 3.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas, and I returned to the same state reservoir that Rick Allen of Dallas, his grandson Tim Michel of Dallas, and I fished on June 1. Normally, we do not like to fish the same reservoir twice in three days, however, our options were limited to either fishing at this fruitful state reservoir or an U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir where the fishing has been lousy. We chose to fish at this state reservoir.

During this outing, we could see a vast amount of muddy water littered with debris slowly working its way from the northwest section of this reservoir, where two major feeder creeks enter the reservoir, to its southern end. About two-thirds of the water in this reservoir is now muddy with less than a foot of clarity. (About half of the reservoir was muddy on June 1.) The other water in the reservoir’s lower-third portion is murky with about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. Normally, the water displays about four feet of clarity. The surface temperature was 79 degrees. The water level appeared to be about half of a foot high.

The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy, and though the clouds seemed to protect us from a blazing sun, it still felt hot and humid. The afternoon high reached 95 degrees. The morning low temperature was 70 degrees. The wind was mostly light and variable, except for a 45-minute period between 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. when the wind quartered out of the southwest at 12 to 15 mph, and then it became calm. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 10:00 a.m. and it fell to 29.91 by 3:00 p.m.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, would occur from 4:50 a.m. to 6:50 a.m., 5:18 p.m. to 7:18 p.m., and 11:32 p.m. to 1:32 a.m. Roger and I were afloat from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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

We also located a few patches of hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation that we could not identify in the lower end of the reservoir.

Our time was spent mostly fishing along the east side of the reservoir’s middle section and portions of its southern or lower end where the water has not yet been adversely effected by the approaching muddy water.

We probed the shorelines of two main-lake islands, two riprap jetties, a main-lake shoreline adjacent to one of the two jetties, a rocky shoreline graced with several patches of hydrilla, and the area around a riprap channel that leads to a large spillway. We concentrated our efforts on the most wind-blown areas. Calm-water areas were fruitless.

We caught 10 largemouth bass and one white bass in three to six feet of water from the rocky shorelines adorned with flooded buck brush at the first main-lake island.

Eight largemouth bass and three white bass were caught in four to seven feet of water from patches of submerged boulders that grace the shorelines of the second main-lake island. These bass were abiding in three to five feet of water.

The first of the two riprap jetties and its adjoining rock- and boulder-laden shoreline were fruitless. The second jetty yielded one largemouth bass that was abiding in eight feet of water next to a large submerged boulder.

At the ends of the two riprap-laden jetties that form a long channel leading to the large spillway, and an adjacent rocky shoreline of one of the two jetties, we caught six largemouth bass and 14 white bass in three to 17 feet of water. The water at this locale was muddy, and the 12- to 15-mph wind was blowing ranks of white-capped waves onto these two points. We decided not to venture inside the spillway channel so we would have more time to ply a couple of other areas that we have not fished before.

At one locale that we have not fished before, we caught four largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were caught in three to five feet of water around some large patches of flooded buck brush that adorn the end of a main-lake point near the south end of the east shoreline.

At the other area that we wanted to investigate, we caught three largemouth bass and five white bass. This area is a rocky shoreline that is about 75 yards long with about a 35-degree slope. We were delighted to find some burgeoning patches of hydrilla that are beginning to mat on the surface in five to eight feet of water. We also observed a few small pods of baitfish that were dimpling the surface around the patches of hydrilla.

This spot yielded three largemouth bass and five white bass, and all of them were caught around the patches of hydrilla.

All totaled, we caught and released 33 black bass, 23 white bass, and one green sunfish in 5 1/2 hours. Thirty-two of the 33 black bass were largemouth bass; one was a spotted bass.

Our two most effective lures were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s space guppy Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s chartreuse-sparkle GrubZ attached on a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

Our most effective presentation was a moderate-paced swimming retrieve that kept the 2 1/2-inch Slim SwimZ and 3 1/2-inch GrubZ combos about two to three feet below the surface.

June 5

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/20190605_113432.jpg

The National Weather Service reported that it was 72 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 91 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm for short spans of time, and at other times, it angled out of the south, southwest, west, and northwest at 6 to 13 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.80 at 12:52 a.m.., 29.79 at 5:52 a.m., 29.80 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.78 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing on June 5 would occur from 1:31 a.m. to 3:31 a.m., 2:01 p.m. to 4:01 p.m., and 7:46 a.m. to 9:46 a.m.

We are in the midst of our annual days afloat with some of our grandchildren. It started on June 3, and it will run off and on until July 21. Logs for most of these outings will not be posted on the Finesse News Network. And if they are, they will be brief ones, consisting of a few sentences, like this one: Our grandson Brady Cayton of Lawrence, Kansas, joined me for two hours on June 3 at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs. We struggled to catch seven largemouth bass, three smallmouth bass, one channel catfish, one white bass, three green sunfish, and one bluegill. Our most effective Midwest finesse rig was a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

Mother Nature’s stormy ways have wreaked havoc with most of the flatland reservoirs in the vicinity of Lawrence, Kansas, and she walloped the one that Brady and I fished on June 3.

We have three grandsons from San Antonio, Texas, arriving in Lawrence, Kansas, on June 6. And I asked my longtime Midwest finesse colleague Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, to help me to find a more fruitful reservoir than the one that Brady and I fished on June 3.

Therefore, Pok-Chi and I fished at another northeastern Kansas’ community reservoir on June 5 from 11:32 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

According to our Secchi stick, the water exhibited six inches to 48 inches of visibility. The best visibility is in the lower quarter of the reservoir, and the worst visibility is inside two of its largest feeder-creek arms. During the past four days, the water level has dropped more than three feet, and it is still dropping. It looks to be six or more inches below its normal level. This radical change in the water level has many of the patches of American water willows that adorn this reservoir’s water’s edges to be on dry ground. The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 82 degrees. Some shorelines are cluttered with floating patches of curly-leaf pondweed, which is uprooted and dying. Some locales are also cluttered with wads of filamentous algae.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm, we caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows that have one to two feet of water along their outside edges. There are also some laydowns, several stumps, some overhanging trees, a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, and four docks embellishing this shoreline. The water exhibited eight to 13 inches of visibility. These six largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to either a chartreuse or a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. They were caught in two to six feet of water on either the initial drop of our rigs or with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Around a flat main-lake point, we caught two largemouth bass a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on the initial drop of this rig in about two feet of water, and the other one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and it possesses a 20- to 25-degree slope. The water exhibited about 15 inches of visibility. Its water’s edge is lined with three scrawny patches of American water willows in very shallow water.

We caught three largemouth bass along about a 250-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows that have one to two feet of water along their outside edges. There are also some laydowns, a few overhanging trees, and some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation gracing this shoreline. The Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce S-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig caught two of the largemouth bass; one was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water, and the second one was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig in about six feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The third one was caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation adjacent to a minor laydown in about five feet of water.

Along about a 175-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this second feeder-creek arm, we caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows that have one to 3 1/2 feet of water along their outside edges. There are also some laydowns, several stumps, some overhanging trees, a beaver hut, and a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation embellishing this shoreline.

The water exhibited eight to 13 inches of visibility. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in the vicinity of American water willow patches. The third one was caught on the initial drop of the Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig in about 18 inches of water between two patches of American water willows.

We caught four largemouth bass along a 50-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline possesses a 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows that have one to two feet of water along their outside edges. The water exhibited about 30 inches of visibility. We caught these largemouth bass in about eight feet of water while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation with our Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigs.

Along about a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. It was caught in about 2 1/2 feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. This shoreline possesses a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows that have one to 3 1/2 feet of water along their outside edges. The water exhibited about 40 to 43 inches of visibility.

We caught two largemouth bass around a main-lake point. The shoreline of this point possesses about a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks,a few boulders, and a concrete boat ramp. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about 2 1/2 feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 75-yard stretch of a shoreline inside another large feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 60-degree slope. The water’s edge is adorned with three docks and some scrawny American water willows that have two to three feet of water along their outside edges. The water exhibited about 45 to 48 inches of visibility. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig in about 1 1/2 feet of water around some rocks and a slab of concrete.

Along another shoreline inside this large feeder-creek arm, we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows that have one to two feet of water along their outside edges, some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, and several stumps. The water exhibited about 45 inches of visibility.

On top of an offshore hump inside this large feeder-creek arm, we caught four largemouth bass on our Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigs with a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is graced with several massive stumps and some brush piles. The water exhibited about 48 inches of visibility.

We caught two largemouth bass along a short section of the east end of the dam. This shoreline possesses about a 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of rocks and boulders. The water exhibited about 48 inches of visibility. These largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigs with a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along the spillway. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 25-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows that have one to two feet of water along their outside edges. The water exhibited about 48 inches of visibility. This largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig affixed to the chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

On top of a main-lake hump, we caught two largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is embellished with some minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water exhibited about 48 inches of visibility. These largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig affixed to the chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

We caught three largemouth bass along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with three docks, patches of American water willows, one overhanging tree, a few laydowns, and patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. These three largemouth bass were caught on our Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigs. One was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The other two were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to five feet of water near an overhanging tree and amongst patches of submerged vegetation.

In sum, we caught 33 largemouth bass in three hours and 43 minutes. We also caught one channel catfish, six green sunfish, and three bluegill. Our Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigs were our most effective ones. To my chagrin, however, this community reservoir is not fruitful enough to be an entertaining venue for our three youngest grandsons who will be arriving on June 6.

June 7

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 3.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

John Thomas of Denton and I returned to the state reservoir that I and three of my companions fished on June 1 and June 3.

The morning low temperature was 68 degrees on June 7. The afternoon high temperature reached 88 degrees. An annoying wind quartered out of the northwest at 15 to 18 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 10:00 a.m. and it dropped to 29.91 by 4:00 p.m. The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy.

Typically, the water in this impoundment displays about four feet of clarity. However, we have noticed a wall of muddy water slowly creeping across this reservoir since June 1, and the muddy water has advanced to the point where about 90 percent of this reservoir exhibits less than a foot of visibility. But we did find a few areas where the water exhibited between 1 1/2 and 2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature was 79 degrees. The water level appeared to be at its normal level, and water was being released through the spillway at a rapid pace.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 4:50 a.m. to 6:50 a.m., 5:18 p.m. to 7:18 p.m., and 11:32 p.m. to 1:32 a.m. John and I fished from 9:45 a.m. to 3: 45 a.m.

The preponderance of this reservoir’s underwater terrain consists of clay, silt, gravel, rocks, and boulders. There are a few burgeoning patches of hydrilla and other patches of aquatic vegetation adoring some of the shallow-water areas in the south end of the reservoir.

We employed a variety of Midwest finesse rigs. Our most effective ones were a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Pearl GrubZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, 2 1/2- and 3-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZs attached on chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jigs, and Z-Man’s green-pumpkin and Junebug Finesse ShadZs affixed on chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jigs.

The 3 1/2-inch pearl GrubZ and the 2 1/2- and 3-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigs were utilized with a slow and steady swimming retrieve. The two Finesse ShadZ combos were implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We probed the shorelines of two main-lake islands, two riprap jetties that form the entrance to a channel that leads to a spillway, a 50-yard section of rocky shoreline inside the spillway channel, and three rocky main-lake shorelines. These areas are situated along the lower, middle, and upper northeast regions of this impoundment.

This outing was our most bountiful one at this impoundment and set a new Midwest finesse numbers record. We were delighted to tangle with 45 largemouth bass and three spotted bass. We also caught 47 white bass, one channel catfish, one freshwater drum, and one green sunfish during this six-hour endeavor.

All of these fish were caught along wind-blown areas in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as six feet. The bulk of them were relating to submerged rocks and large boulders. A few were caught along the deep-water edges of patches of flooded terrestrial vegetation and buck brush. The flourishing patches of aquatic vegetation and hydrilla yielded one green sunfish.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG_3299.jpg

The two main-lake islands surrendered a total of 10 largemouth bass. Seven were caught from the first one. The second one relinquished three largemouth bass.

Five largemouth bass were caught from one main-lake shoreline, two were caught along the second one, and the third one was fruitless. All three of these shorelines were steep with 35- to 70-degree slopes.

The two riprap jetties at the entrance to the spillway channel and its adjoining rock- and boulder-laden shoreline yielded 11 largemouth bass, 45 white bass, and a hefty freshwater drum.

And the 50-yard stretch of rocky shoreline inside the spillway channel yielded 19 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, two white bass, and one channel catfish.

June 8

Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina, posted a brief report on the Finesse News Network about his June 8 outing.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

Out of necessity of dodging rain showers, I made a midday trip to our local community lake Saturday. The sky was heavily overcast. The wind angled out of the east at 7 mph. Area thermometers climbed into the 70s.

When I started fishing at 12:30 p.m., I thought that these conditions would allow me to easily find and catch some roaming largemouth bass. But that was not the case.

The largemouth bass that I caught were abiding around very specific channel-bank areas. And I failed to elicit a strike from windblown points and shallow-water flats. I have no clue why.

Only two baits garnered any bites. One was a Zoom Bait Company’s black-red-flake Ultra Vibe Speed Craw on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ Weedless jig. The other was a Z-Man’s TRD CrawZ affixed to either a 1/10- or 1/6-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ Weedless jig.

After I became tired of having to regularly replace the easily tattered-and-torn Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, I switched to the TRD CrawZ rig, and I was immediately impressed with the strikes it engendered. It seemed that most casts had a bump, nibble, or bite on the Canada Craw TRD CrawZ.

Unfortunately, only 19 of those bumps resulted in a landed largemouth bass. Only one was as big as three-pound. The rest were what we call Major League Fishing’s score-able bass.

A pull-and-occasional-hop retrieve in three to five feet of water around rocks was the only effective presentation and location.

Usually, when we get around so much fish activity, we catch a lot more largemouth bass and bigger ones.

I have no algae-bloom excuses as I had last week. The water was fine, exhibiting about a foot of visibility. 

The lack of bites on traditional summer spots is confusing. More investigation is in order.

June 8

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his June 8 outing.

Here is an edited version of his brief:

I fished at one northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs with Camille Trinidad, who is a graduate student at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

When we arrived around 8:00 a.m., there was a youth-fishing derby taking place at the pond west of the marina cove. The parking lot was full, but there was little traffic on the reservoir.

The water exhibited 4 1/2 feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam and 2 1/2 feet in the backs of the feeder-creek arms. The surface temperature was 78 degrees. The water level was normal. Lake level was normal.

The area thermometers ranged from 69 to 88 degrees. The wind was mild-mannered and angling out of the northwest.

We fished until 1:00 p.m.

Overall, the fishing was spotty with the best bite occurring around noon. We had no discernable pattern. The black bass seemed to be scattered, equally distributed around main-lake points, rocky shorelines, and patches of coontail.

We caught 20 largemouth bass, 10 smallmouth bass, and two freshwater drum.

A couple of times, while we were battling a hooked black bass, we spotted a larger specimen hovering just below the hooked fish. But we failed to get these followers to accept our offerings.

Most of the fish were caught on either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse ZinkerZ or Junebug ZinkerZ, and they were affixed to either a black or a red mushroom-style jig. A few were caught on a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

They were caught in four to eight feet of water with a swim-and-glide presentation.

June 13

The National Weather Service reported that it was 47 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 80 degrees at 4:52 p.m. The sky was fair. The wind angled out of the north, northwest, west, southwest, and south at 3 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:52 a.m., 30.10 at 5:52 a.m., 30.14 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.07 at 3:52 p.m.

During the early morning hours, it was cool enough that some folks around northeastern Kansas could see their breaths.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 7:49 a.m. to 9:49 a.m., 8:13 p.m. to 10:13 p.m., and 1:36 a.m. to 3:36 a.m.

I was afloat at one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs from 11:50 a.m. to 3:14 p.m.

I had not fished this reservoir since May 21, 2018, and during that four-hour outing, I caught 64 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. Shortly after that outing, this reservoir’s water level dropped to the point that it was unfishable for many months.

Now, its water level looks to be about 12 inches above its normal level. The water exhibited eight to 10 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 78 degrees. Many yards of this reservoir’s shorelines are graced with magnificent patches of American water willows, and in my eyes, they looked as if they are the finest patches in northeastern Kansas. What’s more, there are many patches of submerged vegetation, such as bushy pondweed, curly-leaf pondweed, and coontail, embellishing many shallow-water locales.

Since May 5, I have not fished. Instead, I have spent my time delightfully guiding three of our youngest grandsons: James, Nicholas, and Andrew Cox. They range in age from nine to 14. And on one outing, Andrew was joined by his mother, who is our youngest daughter. They live in San Antonio, Texas, where the fishing is difficult. During their stay in Lawrence, Kansas, they fished at a community reservoir and a state reservoir. The two reservoirs that they fished were still plagued with the aftereffects of Mother Nature’s tornado and seemingly incessant deluges.

Nevertheless, they were able to catch an average of seven largemouth bass an hour. They returned to San Antonio on June 12.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/DSCN2233-770.jpg
Andrew Cox with one of the laremouth bass he caught.

During these outings with our grandsons and daughter, I operated the electric trolling motor, took a few photographs, unhooked a few fish that were too difficult for the boys to unhook, made a few suggestions about places to cast and types of retrieves to employ, and I occasionally made a cast with one of their rods for illustration purposes.

So, on June 13, it had been seven days since I had made a serious cast. And on my first cast, I caught a largemouth bass. It was caught around a main-lake point, which has a 40- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain of this point consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with American water willows, and there are some patches of submerged vegetation in about eight feet of water. This largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the inside edge of the submerged vegetation in about seven feet of water. On my fourth cast, I caught another largemouth bass on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Then for the next 76 minutes, I struggled to catch three largemouth bass.

Two of those three largemouth bass were caught around another main-lake point, which has a 35- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is graced with a small patch of American water willows. There are also a few patches of submerged vegetation gracing this point. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about three feet of water, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

The third largemouth bass was caught on a shallow-water flat in the back of a feeder-creek arm. It was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water around patches of submerged vegetation.

After those sorry 76 minutes ended, I returned to the first main-lake point that I fished, and I caught five largemouth bass. Three of them were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. The fourth one was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig. The fifth one was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Along about a 350-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, I caught 10 largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 35- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is graced by patches of American water willows, several laydowns, some overhanging trees, and many patches of submerged vegetation. All of these largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. Three of these seven largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop in three to five feet of water under an overhanging tree adjacent to a patch of American water willows, and around a laydown. Seven of the largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water around the inside edges of patches of submerged vegetation.

I caught three largemouth bass around a main-lake point. It possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is lined with a massive patch of American water willows. There are several patches of submerged vegetation that grace this point. These three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water and near the patches of submerged vegetation.

Across three offshore humps and around a riprap jetty, I caught seven largemouth bass. These are main-lake locales. The underwater terrains of this area consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some patches of submerged vegetation adorn these locales. Six of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the TRD BugZ rig on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Throughout the three hours and 24 minutes that I was afloat, I crossed paths with scores of other anglers. Several of them said that it is one of the few northeastern Kansas’ reservoirs that haven’t been waylaid by Mother Nature’s deluges.

In sum, the Finesse ShadZ was my most effective rig, and the swim-glide-and-shake presentation was the most effective presentation. Main-lake locales yielded 29 of the 30 largemouth bass that I caught. Unfortunately, I spent about 65 minutes fishing locales inside one of this reservoir’s feeder-creek arms, which might be the reason why I failed to catch at least 10 largemouth bass an hour.

June 13

//content.osgnetworks.tv/infisherman/content/photos/IMG_3300.jpg

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

I am still anxiously waiting for a couple of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs, which we routinely fish, to open again. They have been closed because of flooding since May 13.

At the present time, my companions and I have two venues to choose from. One is a problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir where the fishing has been in a sorry state for months on end. The other one is what we consider a more fruitful state reservoir, which we fished on June 1, 3, and 7. Both of them are located in north-central Texas.

On June 13, Norman Brown of Lewisville and I were suffering from a severe case of piscatorial greed. So, we fished at the state reservoir from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar table indicated that the fishing would be best from 1:49 a.m. to 3:49 a.m., 8:01 a.m. to 10:01 a.m., and 8:46 p.m. to 10:46 p.m.

The afternoon high temperature was 93 degrees. The morning low temperature was 69 degrees. The wind was light and variable during the morning hours, and it was calm during the afternoon. The barometric pressure measured 30.14 at 10:00 a.m. and dropped to 30.07 by 3:00 p.m. It was sunny, and the sky was partly cloudy.

The wall of muddy water that we have been watching since June 1 has now overrun this entire reservoir. The water exhibited less than a foot of visibility in most areas, but we found a couple of small spots where the visibility was about 1 1/4 feet. The water level was 0.37 of a foot high. The surface temperature varied from 79 degrees in the lower section of the impoundment to 82 degrees in its upper end.

Nearly all of this reservoir’s underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, clay, and boulders. There are a few patches of hydrilla and other patches of aquatic vegetation flourishing in some shallow water areas on the south end of the reservoir.

In the lower end of the reservoir, one main-lake flat covered with flooded buck brush, stick ups, and submerged boulders yielded nine largemouth bass and one spotted bass. But a nearby rocky main-lake shoreline adorned with patches of hydrilla was fruitless.

These 10 black bass were relating to the outside edges of flooded buck brush in three to six feet of water.

One main-lake island adorned with flooded patches of terrestrial vegetation and submerged boulders surrendered one largemouth bass that was caught in three feet of water next to a flooded bush.

The most effective lure that we employed at these three locales was a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. But we also caught a few of these bass on a Z-Man’s bubble gum Finesse TRD rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ attached on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ attached on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s green-pumpkin GrubZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

In the midsection of the impoundment, we dissected two riprap-laden jetties, a steep rocky shoreline that lies adjacent to one of the two jetties, and another main-lake island.

The rocky main-lake shoreline was the most productive of these four areas. It yielded four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This shoreline possesses a 45- to 60-degree slope. It is adorned with submerged boulders of various shapes and sizes.

The two riprap jetties relinquished one largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

We were unable to locate any black bass along the shoreline of the island.

The most effective rigs at these locales were the Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these combos were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We also probed two main-lake shorelines, a riprap-covered spillway channel, a main-lake point, and one main-lake island in the upper end of the reservoir.

One of the two main-lake shorelines that we plied is situated next to the channel leading to the spillway. This shoreline is relatively flat and is graced with submerged rocks, boulders, stumps, and flooded buck brush. A 50-yard section of this shoreline surrendered eight largemouth bass, a five-foot alligator gar that weighed 10 pounds and six ounces, and a hefty freshwater drum. These fish were beguiled by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the coppertreuse Finesse TRD and green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigs.

The other main-lake shoreline and the main-lake point next to it are similar to the shoreline adjacent to the spillway channel. They are flat and littered with flooded bushes and stick ups, submerged boulders, rocks, stumps, a few boat houses, two concrete boat ramps, submerged metal pipes, and a metal retaining wall. This shoreline yielded one largemouth bass, and the adjoining main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. Both of these bass were abiding in three to five feet of water. One largemouth was caught from the outside edge of a patch of flooded stick ups, and the other one was relating to one of the submerged metal pipes. Both of them were coaxed into striking the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside the spillway channel, we caught five largemouth bass in less than five feet of water with the coppertreuse Finesse TRD and green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ combos. These bass were associated with the submerged riprap that covers the shorelines. Four of them were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, and one was caught with the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig. Both of these lures were implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

This outing was not as bountiful as the one we enjoyed on June 7, when we caught 48 largemouth bass and spotted bass. But we still managed to catch 30 largemouth bass and three spotted bass during the six hours that we were afloat.

June 14

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his June 14 outing.

Here is an edited version of this log:

Late spring in central Wisconsin has been a belabored affair. The below normal temperatures, brisk winds, low clouds, and an overabundance of precipitation have conspired to extend – if not delay - the spawning progression of black bass residing within the Winnebago Pool lakes.

Consequently, my fishing time has been primarily directed towards largemouth bass that reside within protected backwater areas and well away from main-lake points, reefs, and offshore structures that I would normally be sampling during June. These situations generally do not favor Midwest finesse tactics. Hence, the lack of reports to the network.

That progression was destined to change, however, when Eric Gilgenbach of Winneconne, Wisconsin, informed me that he was available to support a survey of some of our favorite Upper Pool habitats on June 14.

The weather conditions can be described as typically miserable and consistent with the majority of the offerings this spring. The air temperature ranged from 52 to 58 degrees. The wind shifted from the southwest to east to southeast at a moderate 5 to 12 mph. An overcast sky produced light to moderate rain, and on an average, it rained for 45 minutes of each hour that we were on the water. The surface temperature averaged 61 degrees. The disk transparency ranged from two to three feet of visibility at most locations. The water flow through the system has been brisk, running at 8,000 to 10,000 cubic feet per second.

We fished for 6 1/2 hours, from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Because of constant rain and poor conditions for data logging and photography, my notes are somewhat more abbreviated than usual.

Our goal on this adventure was to determine the seasonal progression of the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The largemouth bass generally progress through spawn before smallmouth bass on these waters, and that is because the largemouth bass inhabit protected backwaters and sloughs that warm before the main-lake habitats. The smallmouth bass typically reside in more exposed locations within the basins and river channels of the system, and they are therefore more susceptible to weather-induced setbacks.

For this trip, we selected an array of 17 locations known to us to provide reasonable black bass fishing during the post-spawn dispersal phase.

Our first stop was admittedly a risky one, being a rock ridge in the mouth of a large tributary. The flow had recently reduced to about 3,500 cubic feet per second, which is a bit high for black bass. Consequentially, all we found there were walleye.

We then moved about a quarter of a mile to a line of riprap protecting a backwater area, and at one channel entrance, we caught 11 largemouth bass in short order. These fish were active and readily accepted a Z-Man’s Finesse TRD in three different hues: green pumpkin, green pumpkin goby, and the Deal. They were rigged on a black 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The X Zone Lures’ green-pumpkin-purple-flake Pro Series 3-inch Ned Zone affixed to a chartreuse 1/8-ounce VMC Neon Moon Eye Jig also caught some fish.

From there, we sampled similar looking areas of riprap and one offshore rock pile on the opposite shore. But we found only walleye and the occasional freshwater drum. We surmised that this was due to heavy wave action on June 13, which was created by a 15- to 35-mph wind that angled out of the northwest. Across the years, we have found that heavy winds usually blowout the black bass populations that reside around these structures.

Thus, we returned to shoreline structures that had some protection from the winds of the prior day, and we once again encountered an array of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, freshwater drum, and one yellow perch. These fish showed no preference for lure color; green pumpkin goby and The Deal being equally effective. The 1/10-ounce and 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jigs worked well. We could not discern a preference for the color of our jigs; black, green pumpkin, and chartreuse were equally effective. Some fish were actively feeding on either shiner minnows or crawfish, and they would strike our rigs before they could sink to the bottom. Other fish were tempted by either a slow swim-and-glide retrieve or our usual drag-and-pause method.

In sum, we handled 57 fish. Thirty were largemouth bass, 16 were smallmouth bass, six were walleye, four were freshwater drum, and one was a yellow perch. We caught an average of seven black bass an hour.

June 15

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 15.

Here is an edited version of his log:

This morning felt more like late September than the middle of June. The air was a crisp 59 degrees. The sky was very cloudy, and there was no humidity. The weather was forecasted to change later in the day, and the temperature would reach the low 80s, and the sun would shine.

The water was flowing at 261 cubic feet per second, which was a 72-cubic-feet-per-second increase from what I had experienced when I last fished on June 9 on another section of this river, and it was a stellar outing. The water temperature was 68 degrees.

Upon reaching the spot where I intended to launch, I slid my Jackson Big Tuna kayak off the trailer and used my UTV's winch to slowly back it down a steep incline.

I had four identical rods and reels rigged with Z-Man finesse rigs, which were rigged on various 1/32-ounce jigs.

The plan was to get on the paddle and go straight upriver without making a cast until reaching a spot three miles away. Over the course of these three miles, I would also have to stand and use my Yak Attack park-n-pole to go through some narrow chutes that are too narrow to paddle through.

After traversing that significant stretch of water, I rounded the final bend of the river, and I could see what I came for. I had a great amount of trepidation, fearing that the flooding of 2018 had drastically changed a stretch of river that I so fondly remembered. Of those memories was one September day when I lipped 109 smallmouth bass on various Z-Man’s offerings to include four smallmouth bass that measured between 21 and 22 inches. I remember sending Mr. Kehde some video clips of those fish on that day.

To my delight, I was elated. I saw nothing that had negatively changed this stretch since late 2017. If anything, Mother Nature may have helped. I counted at least a dozen of newly deposited logs on the strong side of the river that I did not recall being there. I also noticed no discernible shoreline erosion.

As I looked upriver, this spot consists of a beautiful mountainous 300-yard view. Every inch of these 300 yards consists of what we call holding water for smallmouth bass. On the extreme weak side of the river, which is the right side looking up river, it is 2 1/2 feet deep. The bottom of the strong side of the river undulates with ledges, ranging in depth from three to seven feet, and it has more old red oaks and birch trees that hang out over the water than I can count. This 300-yard pool is wide by my standards; in my eyes, it is from two to 2 1/2 casts wide.

I began by push polling my way upriver on the extreme weak side. And I made casts to the V-shaped trench that courses its way smack dab through the middle of the river.

When I am in my kayak anywhere and no matter the season, if I suspect that smallmouth bass are present, I typically make four to five casts with a particular Z-Man offering. Then I pick up another rod and Z-Man offering, and I repeat that routine. This is the reason why I like to have four identical rods and reels rigged with Z-Man finesse rigs.

This June 15 outing, however, would be different. I picked up one rod and threw one lure all day. I did not make more than six casts on this day that was not met with a willing biter. I fish for biters.

When I was on the extreme weak side, I was able to fish only half of this very long and wide pool. Then when I reached the very top of this pool, I floated back down river, placing the kayak over the V-shaped trench that I initially was casting to as I worked up the river. While on the weak side, I pushed my stake-out pole into the bottom every 20-25 feet after fishing an area.

As I made my way up river casting into the V-shaped trench, the water visibility was eight feet. As I made my first five casts, I caught four smallmouth bass and one big bluegill. In doing so, I was reminded of an excerpt from Billy Westmoreland’s “Them Ole Brown Fish” in which he used to call them Army fish when he was a little boy, and he did that because of their ability to camouflage themselves. On this day and being able to see the bottom very clearly, I was not able to see a single smallmouth bass in this V-shaped trench. A great percentage of the smallmouth bass hit on the initial drop. Others would hit after my offering hit bottom and was completely in a deadstick motif. More on this in a bit.

After having reached the top of this 300-yard stretch, the river narrows into a very fast and narrow riffle. Upon reaching it, it was time to begin floating down the river and executing casts tight to the strong side of the river under the overhanging trees.

The smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, and rock bass were stacked in great numbers. They were situated no more than five feet from the water’s edge, and my casts threaded the needle between treetops. I enjoyed even better fishing than I had in the V-shaped trench on the initial path up the river.

After effectively fishing this 300-yard stretch, covering one half of it and then the other half, I caught 79 smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, and I also caught more bluegills and rock bass than I wanted to count. Two of the smallmouth bass were 20-inchers.

I fished for a total of four hours and 25 minutes, and I was on the river for seven hours.

I used a Z-Man’s TRD HogZ in the dirt hue all day. It was rigged on a homemade blood-red 1/32-ounce aspirin-head jig that is adorned with 3D eyes and sports a number–four light-wire Owner hook.

When the TRD HogZ and a 1/32-ounce jig come to rest on the bottom, its torso very slowly and methodically pivots upward. It looks like every baby crayfish that I have ever tried to catch.

This offering on a 1/32-ounce aspirin-head jig with a small hook has become a mainstay, and fish of all sizes readily eat it. Not since the first time that I began using a pre-soaked 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s dirt ZinkerZ, which was years ago, have I been as impressed with a rig as I am with this one.

June 15 and 16

Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina, filed a series of briefs on the Finesse News Network about his outings on June 15 and 16 and Preston Parks’ outing on June 15.

Here is an edited version of his briefs:

Let's start with the good news.

Preston Parks of Pittsboro, North Carolina, who is my son-in-law, used a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig to salvage a poor trip at a local reservoir.

He fished from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. And it was a bright and sunny day.

After a couple of fruitless hours of fishing, he began employing the Finesse ShadZ rig. He rigged it Texas style on the jig to prevent it from becoming snagged on the submerged objects that embellish a river channel. The largemouth bass were abiding around those objects. During the last three hours of this outing, he caught 14 largemouth bass, and their average size was 2 3/4 pounds. He caught them in four to six feet of water adjacent to the river channel.

While Preston was starting his outing, I was ending mine, which was on the University Lake in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

I had never fished it, which is a tailor-made excuse for why I struggled.

It is a recreational spot for the community. And it is well equipped with rental boats, canoes, and kayaks. I estimate it to be around 300 acres in size.

From 7:00 a.m. unit noon, I struggled mightily to catch 12 largemouth bass.

My only Midwest finesse strikes came from a very nice largemouth bass that I failed to land and a two-pound largemouth bass. They were caught immediately after I launched the boat. They were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD CrawZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

This reservoir has steep shorelines with few contour changes. So, I just concentrated on shady areas with some rocks.

After about an hour of sorry fishing, I abandoned my finesse tactics, and I began wielding my trusty Repel P70 Pop-R in the bone hue. A productive 100-yard stretch with it ruined the morning for anything else, but that petered out as well.

I then proceeded to the very upper end of one of the feeder creeks. It was beautiful with decades-old cypress trees along one shoreline. And there were no other boats. There were also laydowns that had a few active and aggressive largemouth bass abiding around them, and I caught them by pitching a Texas-rigged Zoom Bait Company’s black-sapphire Ultra-Vibe Speed Worm.

That was it. No bites after 10:30 a.m., regardless of the method. The size of the largemouth bass was fine. One was a four pounder. I failed to land two that looked to be five-pounders. The rest weighed around two pounds.

On June 16, I decided to treat myself for Father's Day with an early morning trip to my closest community reservoir.

To my chagrin, I was immediately humbled, and I didn't even have a no-experience card to play as I have been fishing this lake for 58 years.

Only a Zoom’s black-red-flake Ultra-Vibe Speed Craw affixed to a (color of jig?) 1/16-ounce Z-Man’s weedless Finesse ShroomZ jig elicited any strikes.

And I failed to garner a strike inside this reservoir’s best feeder-creek arm.

Any bite I had occurred in three to five feet of water along shorelines adjacent to a submerged creek channel that were adorned with rocks. I failed to get a strike around the numerous windblown points and flats that are traditionally fruitful this time of year.

I fished from 5:50 a.m. until my pride could take no more at 11:30 a.m.

I caught 12 largemouth bass, and none of them weighed two pounds.

The water exhibited an ugly-green hue in the feeder-creek arm where I failed to get a strike. Other areas had about 18 inches of visibility. The water level was full to the brim. The surface temperature was in the 80s.

The sun was extremely bright.

So in the space of two days I caught as many and bigger bass from a reservoir unseen until the day I fished it.

I am not sure whether to laugh at the circumstances or cry at my lack of ability.

Now, I am wrangling to get a seat in Preston's boat next weekend. This old dog obviously needs some new tricks.

June 17

The National Weather Service reported that it was 68 degrees at 12:52 a.m. and 83 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky conditions fluctuated from being fair to being partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the northwest, east, north, and northeast at 3 to 9 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.89 at 12:52 a.m., 29.89 at 5:52 p.m., 29.96 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.92 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would take place from 10:58 a.m. to 12:58 p.m., 4:44 a.m. to 6:44 a.m., and 5:11 p.m. to 7:11 p.m.

Paul Finn of Olathe, Kansas, and I fished at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 10:41 a.m. to 2:33 p.m.

As we were about to make our first casts, Finn remarked that the first 5 1/2 months of 2019 have vexed him with the most trying largemouth bass fishing that he can remember. And I said that I had endured a similar fate. To our chagrin, this woeful and cockamamie fishing plagued us again on June 17.

The water level at this reservoir has fluctuated dramatically during the past eight weeks, and on this outing it looked to be about 10 inches below its normal level. The water clarity in the lower half of this reservoir exhibited two to 3 1/2 feet of visibility, and the visibility diminished to about 10 inches in its upper half. The surface temperature was 78 degrees at 10:45 a.m. A few of the shallow-water locales are plagued with significant gobs of filamentous algae. Several shallow-water locales are adorned with patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, and we are hoping these patches will continue to flourish and expand as 2019 wears on. Many of the shorelines are adorned with patches of American water willows.

During the three hours and 52 minute that we were afloat, we caught 25 largemouth bass. They were caught on eight different Midwest finesse rigs at a variety of locations, depths, and presentations. While we are afloat, we are always in search for the rhyme and reason that we are catching or not catching the largemouth bass that we are pursuing. And on this outing, we failed to ascertain any substantial rhymes or reasons.

One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Three were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man’s California craw Hula StickZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Three were caught on a Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig, Four were caught on a Missile Baits’ bamer craw Ned Bomb affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Five were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s Junebug ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom jig. Six were caught on a Bass Pro Shops’ cally craw Tournament Series Baby Stik-O-Craw affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. (It is an odd outing indeed when we have to use eight Midwest finesse rigs.)

Our most fruitful locale was along a relatively short portion of the shoreline of the dam and its spillway. About 80 percent of the dam and its spillway failed to yield a largemouth bass. The underwater terrain is laden with gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 20- to 45-degree slope. The water’s edge is graced with an occasional patch of shallow-water American water willows. There are also minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation and a few laydowns. During the hour it took us to meticulously dissect this massive area, we caught 11 largemouth bass. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in three to four feet of water. Some were caught while we employed a drag-and-lift presentation. A few were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Others were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation. Some were caught from three to four feet from the water’s edge. A few were caught about 15 feet from the water’s edge. And the others were caught in between those locations.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a 75-yard stretch of a steep and rock-laden main-lake shoreline while we were employing a drag-and-lift presentation in seven to 10 feet of water and about 10 to 15 feet from the water’s edge.

Along a flat main-lake point we caught three largemouth bass in three to five feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It has a 25-degree slope. The water’s edge has a couple patches of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a patch of American water willows. The second largemouth bass was caught about 15 feet from the water’s edge with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The third one was caught several feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows with a drag-and-lift presentation.

We eked out three largemouth bass along a 250-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Its water’s edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, several laydowns, two docks, and a few overhanging trees. Two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rig along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The third one was caught about 15 feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows while we were employing a drag-and-minor-deadstick presentation.

Along about a 275-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this same feeder-creek arm, we caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 20- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. It is littered with seven docks. Some of the water’s edge is lined with concrete retaining walls. There are several patches of American water willows along the water’s edge. It is also graced with a few laydowns and one massive overhanging tree. There are also patches of bushy pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, which are often coated with filamentous algae. Two largemouth bass were caught around the outside corners of two of the docks in about 10 feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught between two of the docks and almost 20 feet from the water’s edge in about eight feet of water and in the vicinity of the outside edge of some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Another largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop along the outside edge of a patch of Eurasian milfoil in about four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. And largemouth bass number 25 was abiding in about 10 feet of water and 20 feet from the water’s edge while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation.

As we noted earlier in this log, we were unable to make heads or tails about what was going on with the largemouth bass. Our inability to locate and catch them was disheartening. When we used to fish elsewhere in this world, we used to call it hodgepodge fishing. Since November of 2017, this phenomenon is occurring with astonishing regularity in northeastern Kansas. And in our eyes and hearts, it is a sorry state of affairs.

June 17

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 17.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

I ventured to a popular north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir where the black bass fishing has been in a sorry state for many months. It is also the only Corps’ reservoir within a short drive from my house that is open. The others are in flood stage and closed.

I had set a goal to catch 20 largemouth bass and spotted bass during this foray. Though I came close, I still came up short of my goal.

It was mostly cloudy when I arrived at the boat ramp at 9:37 a.m. The morning low temperature was 66 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 88 degrees. And as the morning unfolded, the sky conditions turned to partly cloudy, and the sun began to shine. The barometric pressure fluctuated between 29.88 and 29.86. There was hardly a breath of wind.

The best fishing periods, according to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, 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. I was afloat from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The water was stained and exhibited 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature varied from 79 to 82 degrees. The water level was 3.85 feet high. The surface of the water was calm and as smooth as glass.

I spent these five hours in the south end of the reservoir’s east tributary arm, where I dissected four main-lake shorelines, five main-lake points, the riprap that covers the dam, and a riprap-laden jetty.

I failed to generate any strikes from the five main-lake points. The submerged terrain of these points consist primarily of red clay, gravel, and baseball-size rocks. These points are also adorned with patches of American water willows, flooded stickups and buck brush, and some remnants of standing timber.

Along two of the four main-lake shorelines, I caught two spotted bass, two largemouth bass, three freshwater drum, and three channel catfish. These shorelines are flat and graced with large and flourishing patches of American water willows that are intertwined with flooded stick ups and buck brush. These four largemouth and spotted bass were widely scattered among two of the shorelines and were dwelling in three to five feet of water. Two spotted bass and one largemouth bass were enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red-flake Finesse WormZ attached on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other largemouth bass was coaxed into striking a shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ attached on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I failed to elicit any strikes from the other two shorelines, which in my eyes, appeared to be similar to the first two that yielded the four black bass.

I fished half of the dam. The riprap on the dam relinquished five largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were abiding in seven to nine feet of water and 20 to 30 feet from the water’s edge. Four largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the shortened mud minnow Hula StickZ rig. The other largemouth was caught on a Z-Man’s chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig dressed with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ as it was worked with a slow and steady swimming retrieve about two to three feet below the surface of the water. A Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD HogZ rigged on a red 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve enticed one freshwater drum.

The riprap jetty was my final stop of the outing and it surrendered seven largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were abiding in six to ten feet of water and about 20 feet away from the submerged riprap. They were caught on the shortened four-inch watermelon-red-flake Finesse WormZ combo. Five were caught on the initial drop and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Overall, my best efforts garnered 14 largemouth bass and three spotted bass in five hours. I also caught four freshwater drum and three channel catfish.

A shortened Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red-flake Finesse WormZ rigged on a red 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig were the most effective rigs.

I experimented with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves, and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve was the most effective presentation.

In closing, the black bass fishing at this north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s hill-land reservoir continues to be a grind, and I am having a difficult time locating large aggregations of them in areas where they were once plentiful. The vast majority of the ones that I have encountered at this impoundment this year have been scattered about here and there with no dominate location pattern. But during this outing, riprap areas along the dam and a jetty were more productive than the main-lake shorelines and points with flooded terrestrial vegetation and American water willows.

June 19

The National Weather Service reported that it was 67 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 80 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The sky fluctuated from being foggy and misty to being mostly cloudy to being overcast to being partly cloudy. The wind angled from the southwest, north, and northwest at 3 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.80 at 12:52 a.m., 29.75 at 5:52 a.m., 29.75 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.72 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 1:17 a.m. to 3:17 a.m., 1:42 p.m. to 3:42 p.m., and 7:29 a.m.to 9:29 p.m.

I made a quick trip to one of northeastern Kansas’ state reservoirs in hopes of catching 20 largemouth bass in less than two hours. And I barely accomplished that feat. Eleven of the 20 were caught during the first 51 minutes of this outing. But it was not until the stopwatch reached one hour and 57 minutes that I caught largemouth bass number 20.

I fished from 1:51 p.m. to 3:48 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches above its normal level. The secchi stick showed that the water exhibited about four feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and the visibility diminished to about two feet along a windblown shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm. The surface temperature ranged from 78 to 80 degrees.

Sixteen of the 20 largemouth bass were caught along the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. Its slope ranges from 30- to 50-degrees. The dam is more than 300 yards long, and most of those yards were fruitless. Five of these largemouth bass were caught on consecutive casts and retrieves. Fourteen of the 16 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom jig. One was caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom jig. Another one was caught on a Z-Man’s bama bug TRD BugZ affixed to a chartreuse mushroom jig.

One was caught on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig in about four feet of water and five feet from the water’s edge. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve of the Finesse ShadZ rig in five feet of water and around six feet from the water’s edge. One was caught while I was employing a drag-and-shake presentation with the TRD TicklerZ rig in about seven feet of water and 15 feet from the water’s edge. Thirteen of the largemouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in six to nine feet of water and 15 to 20 feet from the water’s edge, and most of these presentations were parallel to the shoreline.

The shoreline and spillway, which are adjacent to the dam, yielded one largemouth bass. This area is adorned with patches of American pondweed, bushy pondweed, and coontail. This largemouth bass was caught around these patches of vegetation in about five feet of water on the Finesse ShadZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

One largemouth bass was caught on a flat main-lake point between two patches of bushy pondweed in about five feet of water while I was employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig. This point has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel. It is littered with many patches of bushy pondweed, American pondweed, and coontail.

Along a flat shoreline inside a feeder-creek, I caught two largemouth bass around patches of bushy pondweeds and American pondweed. This shoreline has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of clay and gravel. It is adorned with patches of American pondweed, American water willows, bushy pondweed, coontail, and several stumps. This area was somewhat windblown. Both largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water. The second one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

By far, the drag-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Finesse ShadZ was the most effective presentation and rig.

Several years ago, our hearts were full of joy when we tangled with 25 largemouth bass per hour, but nowadays we are glad to eke out 20 largemouth bass in two hours.

June 20

The National Weather Service reported that it was 61 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 86 degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind was calm for six hours, and then it angled out of the southwest, west, and south at 5 to 24 mph. The sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being fair. It was foggy and misty for a short spell, and it sprinkled for a few minutes. The barometric pressure was 29.73 at 12:53 a.m., 29.75 at 5:53 a.m., 29.75 at 11:53 a.m., 29.79 at 1:53 p.m., and 29.75 at 3:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:11 a.m. to 4:11 a.m., 2:35 p.m. to 4:35 p.m., and 8:23 a.m. to 10:23 a.m.

I was float at one of northeastern Kansas’ community reservoirs from 10:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 77 to 80 degrees. The water in the vicinity of the dam exhibited a secchi stick reading of 4 1/2 feet. In the upper portions of the primary feeder-creek arm, the visibility varied from 15 inches to 26 inches. Some of the shallow-water locales are embellished with significant patches of coontail. But the tops of many of those patches are littered with ungodly amounts of filamentous algae.

During the four hours that I fishing, I tangled with 33 largemouth bass and inadvertently tangled with nine green sunfish, two bluegill, two warmouth, and one channel catfish.

Six largemouth bass were caught along the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of rocks and gravel. It possesses a 40- to 55-degree slope. The water’s edge is adorned with significant patches of American water willows, and there are occasional patches of coontail. Five of the six were caught on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two were caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water. Four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

At the spillway and along one of its adjacent shorelines, a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig inveigled three largemouth bass. They were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. Two of them were caught around a patch of coontail that embellishes some of this locale’s underwater terrain. The third one was caught upon the gravel-and-rock underwater terrain.

Ten largemouth bass were caught on top of an offshore main-lake hump. It is situated in the lower portion of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. These largemouth bass were abiding in four to six feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Another one was caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation. Eight were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation.

On a flat main-lake point in this reservoir’s lower section, I caught one largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along the side of a dock and around patches of coontail in about five feet of water.

Eight largemouth bass were caught along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is in the middle section of this reservoir, and it possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some occasional boulders. This shoreline is graced with some patches of coontail and eight minor patches of American water willows. It is littered with 23 docks. One largemouth bass was caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ rig. Three of the eight were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig. Four were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. One was caught suspended along the outside edge of one of the docks with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other seven were caught on drag-and-shake presentations in four to eight feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along a short and flat main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. It was abiding along the outside edge of a patch of coontail that was covered with filamentous algae. It was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig in about five feet of water.

Four were caught along about a 225-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, which is situated in the upper half of this reservoir. It has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water’s edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, some minor laydowns, several overhanging trees, a concrete retaining wall, and two docks. Some of its shallow-water and flat locales are adorned with patches of coontail. These largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig. One of the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop in about six feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of coontail that was covered with filamentous algae. One was caught under an overhanging tree on the initial drop in about three feet of water. The other two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

After I caught 10 largemouth bass upon the offshore main-lake hump, I dissected three other offshore humps. But I failed to elicit a strike around them.

I also failed to elicit strikes around several main-lake points and along many yards of main-lake shorelines. To my chagrin and many of my Midwest finesse colleagues, failure has become a routine phenomenon in northeastern Kansas since the beginning of the winter of 2016-17. In the good old days, we used to learn from our piscatorial failures, but that is not the case nowadays. We are, however, learning to accept the fact that the fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is not as fruitful as it once was.

June 20

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

The day became blazingly hot. The sky was overcast until about 9:30 a.m., then it became sunny with a partly-clouded sky. The morning low temperature was 69 degrees and the afternoon high temperature soared to 103 degrees with a heat index of 112 degrees. The wind angled out of the south by southwest at 15 to 20 mph with a few gusts that reached 25 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.74 at 9:00 a.m. and 29.68 at 3:00 p.m.

From 9:16 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., John Thomas of Denton and I fished at a state reservoir that lies northwest of the Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

In-Fisherman’s solunar table indicated that the best fishing would occur between 1:29 a.m. and 3:29 a.m., 7:42 a.m. to 9:42 a.m., and 1:54 p.m. to 3:54 p.m.

The water clarity varied from one to 1 1/4 feet of visibility. The water temperature ranged from 79 to 82 degrees. The water level was 0.28 of a foot above its normal pool.

The black bass fishing has been stellar at this impoundment for the past three weeks, and it was above average again this time, too. During the four hours and 59 minutes that John and I were afloat, we caught 27 largemouth bass and three spotted bass. We also caught one channel catfish. All of these fish were abiding in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as eight feet.

We caught 22 largemouth bass and two spotted bass on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ that was attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. We employed this rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught two largemouth bass on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD MinnowZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

One largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig that sported a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ. This combo was utilized with a steady swimming retrieve.

A Z-Man’s black TrailerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation inveigled one largemouth bass.

A shortened Z-Man’s black-blue Hula StickZ affixed on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig enticed one largemouth bass. This rig was also employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We were unable to locate any large aggregations of black bass. Instead, we discovered that the black bass were widely scattered, and we had to cover a lot of water in order to catch a bass or two here and another one or two there.

In the lower end and the midsection of the reservoir, windblown and rock- and boulder-laden shorelines with steep slopes were the most productive locales.

In the upper end, flat shorelines with submerged boulders, stumps, and partially-flooded buck brush that were being buffeted by the wind were the most fruitful black-bass lairs.

Main-lake islands and points were virtually devoid of any bass.

We also experimented with the hop-and-bounce, drag-and-shake, and drag-and-deadstick retrieves, but we were unable to generate any strikes with those presentations.

June 20

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 20.

Here is an edited version of his log:

An extremely heavy fog surrounded our home and the local woods as I meandered down the road on the UTV at 6:10 a.m.

As I arrived at the river’s edge, I recorded a quick video clip from a high cliff for a couple of my finesse fishing friends to show them our water’s clarity.

The water was flowing at 160 cubic feet per second. The lowest it has been since late 2017.

It was a muggy 72 degrees. The extremely heavy fog had not lifted from the river yet.

I had planned to set out on foot on a four-mile stretch downriver. But Mother Nature had other plans. There was a slight chance of passing thunder storms at or around 9:00 a.m.

When I looked at the week’s weather forecast last Sunday, I was not very pleased about the rain storms that were forecasted. But I was delighted that the river’s flow had dropped by a 100 cubic feet per second.

As I began my walk down river, I began casting at every piece of smallmouth-bass holding structure, such as boulders, logs, and current seams.

I caught eight smallmouth bass and three rock bass in short order around the first visible mid-river boulders that I saw along a flat. All but one smallmouth bass hit on the initial drop of my finesse rig in three feet of water.

After I fished this flat, I fished a canyon wall approximately 60 feet long. At its base, there was 3 1/2 to four feet of water, and there was visible surface movement. I made repeated casts to the base of the canyon wall. I held my rod tip high, and I allowed my rig to tumble over the large boulders along the bottom. I fished this no differently than I fished as a youngster in upstate New York with a split-shot rig for native brown trout. I landed 11 smallmouth bass, three big bluegill, and a fall fish from this spot that resembles an environment where trout would live more than smallmouth bass. All fish struck my rig just inches off the bottom.

I continued to walk downriver, making casts at anything that would likely hold fish. I caught four smallmouth bass from various mid-river boulders in two to three feet of water. All of them were caught on the initial drop just as I manually closed my bail.

As I continued to walk downriver, I came to a spot that has always rewarded me, and some of those rewards were handsome brutes. It is a spot that my wife and I have always called the river birch hole. Up until now, there was an extremely large birch tree that hung out over the river. Under its canopy, there was three feet of water that was enveloped in shade and graced with visible surface current. I quickly noticed that the birch tree that I had fished under for 13 years is now gone. I was, however, delighted to see that the water in this run was deeper than it ever has been in years past. It is easily two feet deeper. I suspected it was made deeper by the floods of 2018. From the top of this riffle, I worked my way to the extreme weak side of the river. I did this in order to have an angle for my presentation to travel rather than stand at the top of the riffles and fish directly below me. My first nine casts were met with willing biters: seven smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and one big green sunfish. On my tenth cast, I hooked the largest smallmouth bass that I have tangled with this year. This smallmouth bass intercepted my rig as it traveled through the boulder-laden run and inches off the bottom and after an initial shake. It made a couple of hard runs in the current. As it wallowed on the surface about six to seven feet in front of me, my rig rifled past my head. It was a handsome brute.

After that entanglement, I had to lower my polarized glasses because the sky was getting even darker. The wind also began picking up, and I felt my first rain drop. I made another cast and caught a big rock bass. I then heard thunder, and it began pouring rain.

At 8:50 a.m., I quickly began high tailing it back upriver a couple of miles. By the time that I arrived at the UTV, I felt like a drowned rat.

The weatherman nailed this one. The thunder was echoing off our nearby mountains as I rode home. And 30 minutes later the sun was out.

All of my fish were caught on a homemade 1/32-ounce aspirin-head jig with a number four Owner 5318 hook. I painted the head dark orange, and I adorned it with eyes. It was affixed to a Z-Man’s Dirt TRD HogZ. It is the same one that I have been using for two weeks, and I suspect that it has the wherewithal to endure at least three more outings.

June 19, 20, and 21

Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, posted a report about his three days in northwestern Wisconsin.

Here is an edited version of his report:

I haven't posted in a while, because I've been using mostly larger power baits lately. But I had to share a story about my return to finesse.

I traveled to the waterways in the vicinity of Hayward, Wisconsin, this week to fish with my friend, Dave Perkins of Kansas City, Missouri, who ran the Kansas City Sportshow for years, and Bill “Fuzzy” Shumway, our favorite guide up there.

We fished together two years ago and caught some big smallmouth bass. And I was eager to get back.

I had a preconceived game plan that I was convinced would work again. Two years ago I caught big smallmouth bass on tube baits and a small Jewel Bait Company’s jig with a plastic crawdad trailer, and I didn't see any reason to change. Well, you know where this is headed.

We headed back to Grindstone Lake, and we fished some of the rock bars that we had fished before, but it became obvious that the smallmouth bass weren't in the mood for tubes. We caught a few, but the action was nowhere near what it had been a couple years ago.

That's when Z-Man came to the rescue. I had my big binder of finesse baits with me, and I decided to give a Z-Man’ green-pumpkin FinesseTRD a try. Fuzzy and Perkins smirked when they saw what I was using, giving me one of those "That will never work" looks. First cast, a 17-inch smallmouth bass.

The action continued for another 3 1/2 hours, with several adjustments required. I started by putting quite a bit of action on the baits, but Fuzzy suggested something else that worked better. He advised making three rotations of the reel handle, then pausing and letting it flutter down. It worked like a charm.

What helped even more is that I went from a 1/16-ounce black jig to a 1/32-ounce jig, so that it would sink even slower over the rocky bottom. And the smallmouth bass attacked it vigorously. When there would be a lull, I would switch colors, such as green pumpkin orange and California craw, and those hues also caught fish. It wasn't long before the other two, who scoffed at these lures when they first saw them, were using these baits and catching fish.

We fished two places. They were isolated rock bars with softball-sized rocks. We caught and released 34 smallmouth bass--most of them in the 16- to 18-inch range. (We measured most of them on a bump board.) Most of the fish were suspended in 10 to 12 feet of water. Occasionally, we could see fish just cruising over the rocks.

The air temperature was 70 degrees. The water temperature was 67. The water was extremely clear. There was a light chop on the water, and I'm sure that helped. You know the old saying about "when the wind's from the east, the fish bite least?" Not always. We fished in a steady east wind all afternoon, and the fish bit.

We fished from 12:30 p.m. to about 4:30 p.m.

We gambled and went to Chetomoquen Bay on Lake Superior the second day, chasing a big-fish bite. We caught smallmouth bass. The biggest was a 19-incher. But the action was nowhere near what we had on Grindstone.

On the third day, we spent most of our time targeting walleyes, but we caught a few smallmouth bass, too.

I caught all of my fish on a six-foot-six-inch St. Croix medium-light spinning rod and six-pound-test monofilament. I used black Ned-rig heads only because I was out of the chartreuse ones.

Anyway, that's my story about my return to finesse baits. I think I'll put up the baitcasting equipment for a while.

June 22

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 22.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Early last evening as my wife greeted me back home after a three-hour on-foot affair up river from our home, she asked if I wanted to float today. I readily accepted.

I have recently been on foot to access some of the areas that I have known intimately for more than a decade in an effort to relearn those areas because of last year’s massive flooding. Consequentially, I have been flying by the seat of my pants thus far this season and relying on days gone by as my guide as I discover newly deposited structure and bottom substrate. The chance to float and relearn a stretch of water that I have known for years appealed to me greatly. In addition, I was relishing the time to give my body a day of reprieve from Bataan-Death-March-like wades.

My wife and I launched our Jackson Big Tuna kayak at 8:56 this morning.

The weather forecast predicted a bluebird sky and blazing sun with a mid-80 degree air temperature. It was forecasted correctly.

From the moment that I awoke this morning at 4:05, I proceeded to the garage to finalize our rigs. Last evening I had dropped our trailer's kayak hitch on the UTV ball.

I rigged five rods with our usual fares.

My wife adores the stretch of water that was on our menu. It does not involve traversing tricky rapids, a daunting launch down a steep terrain, or a miles-upon-miles downriver trek only to reverse it in order to get back to the trailer. On this day, I much welcomed a leisurely outing, too.

According to the United States Geological Survey’s gauge, the water was flowing at 172 cubic feet per second. The air temperature when we launched was 63 non-humid degrees, and it quickly climbed with each passing hour. The water clarity would prove to be every bit of 10 feet. It was glass calm, and the water temperature was 74 degrees.

As we backed our trailer down a narrow path on a rock bar to the water’s edge and stepped into eight inches of water, I saw numerous crayfish scurry from underfoot. The color of every one of them were identical in my mind to a well-worn Z Man’s soft-plastic bait in the dirt hue.

The stretch that we set out on this morning more closely resembles a scenic view of Dale Hollow Lake along the Kentucky and Tennessee border than a mountain river in West Virginia. This stretch is three miles long, which makes it lake-like. It is graced with sheer cliff walls on the strong side of the river. When the water temperature plummets below 45 degrees, it is a superb wintertime haunt for smallmouth bass. Every species in our waters live in it, and during the course of the calendar year, they become more noticeable. From mid-October into December, there is no other stretch of river where one is likely to tangle with some citation-size smallmouth bass.

Along the sheer cliff side of the river, the water depth ranges from eight to 15 feet of water. The base of the sheer cliffs have a jigsaw-like puzzle of deposited giant oak trees, which I was delighted to see that the floods of 2018 had not moved them.

Along the weak side of this lake-like pool, the average depth is three feet. The weak side is adorned with hundreds of low-hanging black walnut trees, and we do not float near them later in the year unless we elect to wear helmets.

During this time of year, this stretch of river provides us with the simplest and most relaxing fishing. We simply cast to the sheer-cliff side of the river and present our rigs with a no-feel drop. When we suspect that our rigs are about to make contact with the quagmire of giant boulders and oak trees, we execute a twitch and begin a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

And so it went for hours. Rarely did we make four or five casts without eliciting a strike from a willing taker of some sort. The greatest percentage of the strikes occurred on the initial drop. Some engulfed our rigs after an initial shake.

My wife landed 21 smallmouth bass, 17 bluegill, six rock bass, four green sunfish, one largemouth bass, and one channel catfish. They were caught on a shortened and presoaked Z-Man’s mud minnow Hula StickZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce VMC’s fathead Neon Moon Eye jig.

I fished a hodgepodge of Z-Man offerings.

I caught six smallmouth bass, nine green sunfish, and seven bluegill on a 2 1/2-inch presoaked Z-man’s dirt ZinkerZ affixed to a VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig with the fathead hue.

I caught 14 smallmouth bass, 11 green sunfish, seven rock bass, and one largemouth on a Z-Man’s dirt TRD HogZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig with a fathead hue.

I caught eight smallmouth bass, three rock bass, two largemouth bass, and two fall fish on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig with a fathead hue.

I caught three smallmouth bass, six green sunfish, five bluegill, and one largemouth on a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig with a fathead hue.

Every rig was embellished with liberal amounts of a Pro-Cure gel, and the barbs on the hooks of our jigs were flattened.

I was more intent on eyeing into the depths today than I was catching anything. I was searching for any bottom changes: new boulders and submerged trees. And so far, I am relearning plenty.

We fished a total of four hours and 10 minutes.

Under the blazing sun, it was a great day to test out some new sun gear.

As my wife and I drove up our road and approached home, she asked if I wanted her to leave the UTV with the trailer on it in the driveway. She then asked if I wanted to go again tomorrow.

I readily accepted the invite from my favorite fishing partner.

June 24

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

I returned to the troublesome north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir that I fished on June 17.

It was overcast when I arrived at the boat ramp at 8:00 a.m. on June 24. The morning low temperature was 69 degrees. The wind was angling out of the south at 3 to 5 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.85. The sunlit sky was partly cloudy. The barometric pressure measured 29.86. When I trailered the boat at around 1:30 p.m., the afternoon high temperature was a pleasant, but humid, 84 degrees.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 4:47 a.m. to 6:47 a.m., 10:57 a.m. to 12:57 p.m., and 5:07 p.m. to 7:07 p.m.

I made my first cast and retrieve at 8:18 a.m. and my last one at 1:18 p.m.

The water level was 3.85 feet above normal. The water clarity varied from 2 1/2 feet of visibility at the dam to less than a foot of clarity at a bridge in the northwest section of the impoundment. The surface temperature varied from 79 to 81 degrees.

Since the black bass fishing at this reservoir has been awful for months on end, I thought I would change things up a bit and spend a good amount of time searching for largemouth bass and spotted bass in deep-water lairs located in 18 to 35 feet of water in the west tributary arm.

These lairs consisted of two long and submerged points that extend many yards out from the shoreline and plummet into deep water, a couple of deep-water humps that are covered with 18 to 23 feet of water and surrounded by 30 or more feet of water, a tractor-tire reef that forms the entrance to a marina and floats in 17 to 31 feet of water, 21 covered boat slips at a marina that float in 18 to 35 feet of water, and a long bridge with a series of concrete support columns that are surrounded by 20 to 45 feet of water. All of these lairs had baitfish present, but to my bewilderment, they were all virtually fruitless.

One of the deep-water submerged points is endowed with a roadbed that courses its way up from the end of the point in 32 feet of water and comes to an end in 17 feet of water on top of the point. I caught one white bass in 27 feet of water from the top of the roadbed while I was slowly strolling a four-inch Z-Man’s coppertreuse Finesse WormZ that was matched to a custom-painted chartreuse 1/5-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig behind the boat with the trolling motor propelling the boat at 0.7 mph.

Another long and submerged point also yielded one white bass. It was caught from the side of the point in 23 feet of water while I was utilizing the trolling motor to slowly drag the four-inch coppertreuse Finesse WormZ rig behind the boat at 0.5 mph.

One of the concrete bridge embankments yielded one largemouth bass that was abiding in three feet of water and within five feet of the water’s edge. I was unable to locate any black bass around the other embankment.

I also fished around many of the concrete support columns underneath this bridge, and I caught only one white bass from the side of one of the support columns. It was suspended about three feet below the surface in 37 feet of water. I was unable to elicit any strikes from a largemouth or spotted bass. The largemouth bass and white bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. This rig was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Inside the marina, I caught one largemouth bass from under one of the 21 boat slips that I probed. It was caught about five feet below the surface in 28 feet of water. It engulfed a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. I worked this rig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The floating tractor-tire reef at the entrance to the marina was unproductive. It surrendered one large bluegill that was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ combo, but no largemouth or spotted bass.

I failed to generate any strikes from the two main-lake humps.

After my dismal failure to locate a large aggregation of deep-water black bass, I decided to investigate some shallow-water areas, which included three flat and rocky main-lake shorelines, seven rocky main-lake points, a riprap jetty, and a 200-yard section of the dam.

The submerged riprap along the jetty relinquished four spotted bass and two largemouth bass. These bass were caught in five to eight feet of water. Five were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and one was caught on a four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red Finesse WormZ that was attached on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these rigs were employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The three rocky shorelines appeared to be similar. These shorelines are flat and adorned with rocks, boulders, some scattered patches of flooded stickups and buck brush. One of the three main-lake shorelines yielded one largemouth, the second shoreline yielded a spotted bass, and the third one was bereft of black bass. Both of these black bass were enticed into striking the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig that was worked with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. I failed to generate any strikes from the other shoreline.

One spotted bass was caught in four feet of water around one of the seven main-lake points. It was associated with a patch of submerged boulders and was caught by employing a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

I was unable to locate any largemouth bass or spotted bass at the other six points.

I caught four spotted bass and one largemouth bass that were scattered along the dam. They were caught in nine to 15 feet of water and 40 to 50 feet from the water’s edge. Three spotted bass and one largemouth bass were caught while I was using a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red Finesse WormZ. One spotted bass and 14 white bass were coaxed into striking a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s bad shad Trick ShotZ that was matched with a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. And this combo was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

In sum, I failed miserably to find a mother load of largemouth bass and spotted bass inhabiting the deep-water lairs that I fished. Only white bass were there. I had a difficult time locating and catching 10 spotted bass and six largemouth bass in five hours. I also caught 17 white bass, two freshwater drum and two large bluegill.

A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig and a shortened four-inch Z-Man’s watermelon-red-flake Finesse WormZ rigged on a red 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig were the two most effective rigs.

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

I am completely baffled as to the whereabouts of the largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this reservoir. I can only hope that I can find some relief from this lackluster black bass fishing when the other Corps’ reservoirs that are flooded and currently closed in north-central Texas are open again.

June 25

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

After my frustrating and perplexing outing at a U.S. Army Corps’ of Engineers’ hill-land reservoir on June 24, Roger Farish of Highland Village and I opted to venture to a state reservoir that I have fished several times this month. This state reservoir is located in an ex-urban area northwest of Ft. Worth. And compared to the problematic Corps’ reservoir, which has me completely baffled, the fishing at this state impoundment is as different as night and day.

It was sunny and humid on June 25. About 20 percent of the sky was adorned with clouds. The morning low temperature was 70 degrees; the afternoon high temperature was 94 degrees. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph. At 9:00 a.m., the barometric pressure measured 29.96. It was 29.93 at 3:00 p.m.

For the past several weeks, the water in this reservoir has been muddy with less than a foot of visibility in most areas. But this time, we found a few areas where the water was beginning to clear, and it exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 84 degrees. The water level appeared to be at its normal level.

Roger and I fished from 9:00 a.m. to 3: 00 p.m. In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the fishing at this reservoir would be at its best from 5:32 a.m. to 7:32 a.m., 11:18 a.m. to 1:18 p.m., and 5:52 p.m. to 7:52 p.m.

We targeted five main-lake shorelines and several of their adjoining main-lake points, four riprap jetties, two rocky shorelines inside a long channel that leads to a spillway, the shoreline inside a main-lake cove, and the area around a main-lake island.

This outing was as bountiful as the one John Thomas of Denton and I enjoyed on June 7, when we set a new Midwest finesse numbers record at this impoundment. During that foray, John and I caught a mixed bag of 48 largemouth bass and spotted bass in six hours. And during this six-hour endeavor, Roger and I enjoyed tangling with another 48 black bass which consisted of 39 largemouth bass, eight spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass. Another five largemouth bass were able to liberate themselves when they jumped out of the water and dislodged our lures from their jaws. We also accidentally caught two freshwater drum, two large green sunfish, and a channel catfish.

All of these fish were caught between two and seven feet of water. A few of these black bass were caught along the edges of patches of submerged aquatic vegetation and flooded buck brush. But the vast majority of them were associated with large submerged boulders, patches of basketball-size rocks, and riprap. Small quarter-inch threadfin shad were present at all of these locales.

Four largemouth bass and four spotted bass were caught from the first main-lake shoreline on the southeast end of the reservoir. This shoreline is fairly flat and is adorned with some patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, large rocks and boulders, a few submerged stumps, and a large laydown. A few black bass were foraging on the small threadfin shad on the surface of the water in five to seven feet of water.

Seven largemouth bass were caught from the second main-lake shoreline, which is situated just north of the first one. This shoreline is also flat and is littered with patches of submerged boulders and a decorative-rock retaining wall.

The third shoreline, which is flat and covered with flooded buck brush, relinquished six largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass.

The fourth main-lake shoreline and its adjacent riprap jetty yielded four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This shoreline possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope and is graced with scores and scores of submerged boulders and basketball-size rocks. The jetty is steeper than its adjoining shoreline, and it is covered with riprap. This jetty has about a 45-degree slope.

Another riprap-laden jetty, which lies a short distance from the first one, yielded four largemouth bass. Roger and I simultaneously hooked and landed a largemouth bass near the end of the jetty.

Along the fifth main-lake shoreline, we caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline is flat and is littered with submerged boulders and a few stumps.

The two riprap jetties at the entrance to the spillway channel possesses a 30-degree slope, but the tips of the two jetties are flat. Several patches of submerged boulders and stumps clutter the ends of these two jetties in three to five feet of water, and these submerged boulders and stumps yielded three largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

Along the riprap-covered shorelines inside the spillway channel, we caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This channel’s shorelines have a slope of about 30 degrees, and these four black bass were caught around the riprap and within five feet of the water’s edge.

We failed to locate any black bass along a 50-yard stretch of rocky shoreline inside a main-lake cove, and this was the only locale where we failed to elicit any strikes.

We finished this outing by dissecting the shoreline of a main-lake island, and this island’s shoreline surrendered four largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This island’s shoreline is covered with large boulders and rocks that are anchored in place with concrete. There are other large boulders that are submerged and scattered along the base of the concrete and rock shoreline. These bass were caught within 15 feet of the water’s edge.

We caught one or two bass on several Z-Man’s Midwest finesse baits, but the most effective ones were a Z-Man’s The Deal TRD TubeZ matched with a Z-Man’s green-pumpkin 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s space guppy Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig, and a 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ attached on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The TRD TubeZ rig was employed with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The 2 1/2-inch Slim SwimZ combos were utilized with a steady swimming retrieve.

As I was driving home, I stopped by a boat ramp at a Corps’ reservoir that is located about 13 miles from my driveway. This reservoir has been closed since mid-May because of flooding, and to my delight, this boat ramp is now open. Now we have another venue to ply besides the bountiful state reservoir and the other vexing Corps’ reservoir.

June 26

Northeastern Kansas was walloped with a whale of a downpour during the evening hours of June 22 and morning hours of June 23. Our garden’s rain gauge collected 4 1/2 inches of rainwater. Some locales received 3 1/2 inches of rain. Others received five inches.

On June 25, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that the water levels at four of the flatland reservoirs that are near Lawrence, Kansas, were 17.46 feet, 21.26 feet, 24.02 feet, and 29.60 feet above their normal levels. Another one, which lies 103 miles to the west of Lawrence, was 57.34 feet above its normal level. And anglers are prohibited from launching their boats at the northeastern Kansas’ reservoirs.

By the way, Truman Lake, Missouri, which receives a lot of water from eastern Kansas, is 27.86 above its normal level.

This deluge also affected our community and state reservoirs, which are considerably smaller than the Corps’ flatland reservoirs. Because the Corps’ reservoirs are not fishable, the angler predation is quite intense at these small reservoirs.

In hopes that the water levels and clarity would improve at our community and state reservoirs, I opted not to fish these reservoirs until June 26

The National Weather Service reported that it was 68 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 86 degrees at 2:52 p.m. on June 26. The wind angled out of the southwest, south, west, east, north, and northeast at 3 to 32 mph. A thunderstorm erupted around 1:52 a.m. and it rained a touch, and after that, the sky fluctuated from being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy to being fair. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 12:52 a.m., 29.99 at 5:52 a.m., 30.09 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.04 at 3:52 p.m.

The 32-mph wind accompanied the thunderstorm during the middle of the night. While I was fishing, the wind was mild mannered.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 6:21 p.m. to 8:21 p.m., and 11:49 a.m. to 1:49 p.m.

I ventured to one of our state reservoirs, which traditionally is one of our clear-water reservoirs. And it was surprisingly clear, exhibiting five to six feet of visibility with my secchi stick. The surface temperature ranged from 78 to 79 degrees. The water level looked to be about three feet above its normal level.

I was afloat from 10:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and I spent about 15 minutes during this outing towing another pair of anglers and their boat to the boat ramp.

I anticipated that I would garner most of my strikes along the outside edges of the massive patches of American water willows that embellish many yards of this reservoir’s shorelines and points. This reservoir, by the way, is graced with the finest patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas. But the several hundred yards of these patches that I plied yielded just six largemouth bass. Two of them were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in eight feet of water. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to eight feet of water.

Twenty-five largemouth bass were caught across four shallow-water flats inside two large feeder-creek arms and inside two small feeder-creek arms.

These flats are endowed with burgeoning patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and brittle naiad. The curly-leaf pondweed is in its summer hiatus, and it will not reappear until November.

These largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ. It was affixed to either a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

They were caught in five to eight feet of water and 10 to 90 feet from the nearest shoreline.

One of these flats is the size of 3 1/2 football fields, and it yielded 14 of the 25 largemouth bass.

Five of the 25 were caught on the initial drop. Six were caught on a drag-and-shake-and-minor-deadstick presentation. Eleven were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In sum, I spent too much time dissecting the patches of American water willows along the shorelines and around several points. I also failed to elicit a strike around four riprap jetties and across a large offshore hump that is littered with boulders, rocks, and occasional patches of bushy pondweed and brittle naiad. Eventually, I eked out 31 largemouth bass in three hours and 45 minutes.

June 28

The National Weather Service reported that it was 75 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 92 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The sky varied from being fair to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy to being endowed with a few clouds. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 12 to 16 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.08 at 5:53 a.m., 30. 04 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.04 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman’s solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:19 a.m. to 9:19 a.m., 7:43 p.m. to 9:43 p.m., and 1:08 a.m. to 3:08 a.m.

In our quest to find either a community or state reservoir in northeastern Kansas that has not been too adversely affected by Mother Nature’s deluges, I spent four hours upon one of our community reservoirs, fishing from 10:05 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.

The water level was slightly above its normal level; consequently, a significant flow of water was coursing over its spillway. According to the secchi stick, the water clarity varied from less than 12 inches to more than 60 inches. The surface temperature fluctuated from 79 to 81 degrees. Some of this reservoir’s shorelines are embellished with occasional patches of American water willows, lily pads, and American pondweed. Many of the flat and shallow-water areas around this reservoir are usually graced with bountiful patches of coontail and bushy pondweed this time of the year, but it looks as if the deluges have adversely affected the growth of many of these patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. In fact, many of the coontail patches are wilting and looking like they do in the dead of winter.

I worked with four Midwest finesse rigs. Two of them failed to garner a strike. Twenty largemouth bass, two smallmouth bass, and two channel catfish were caught on a Z-Man’s Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. Twelve largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man’s Canada craw TRD TicklerZ affixed on a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig.

One smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were caught around a main-lake point. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It is embellished with some minor patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. It possesses a 35-degree slope. Both of the fish were caught in about eight feet of water. The smallmouth bass was caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The largemouth bass was caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

Along about a 125-yard stretch of a shoreline in the upper portions of this reservoir, the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig caught one smallmouth bass and 16 largemouth bass. And six of the largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to the chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig. This shoreline possesses a 15- to 40-degree slope, and the flatter-slopping areas were the most fruitful. The underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is adorned with a few patches of American water willows, many laydowns, and scores of overhanging trees. The flat areas are embellished with occasional patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The smallmouth bass and six of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ. Ten largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. These fish were caught in three to five feet of water. Nine of the largemouth bass were caught around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Three largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass were caught around overhanging trees. The others were caught around or near laydowns.

Four largemouth bass were caught along a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. This shoreline possesses a 15 to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt. The water’s edge is littered with many laydowns and overhanging trees, and there are patches of submerged aquatic vegetation intertwined with some of the laydowns and adjacent to the overhanging trees. These largemouth bass were caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ rig. Two were caught on the initial drop, and two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. These largemouth bass were residing three to five feet of water.

Along about a 350-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper reaches of the reservoir, I struggled to catch five largemouth bass. This shoreline possesses a 20- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge has some patches of American water willows, countless numbers of overhanging trees, and numerous laydowns. Patches of coontail and bushy pondweed grace some of the flat and shallow-water locales. Two largemouth bass were caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ, and three were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig. Three were caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water under overhanging trees. Two were caught around laydowns in about five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

One largemouth bass was caught around a flat secondary point in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. This point has a 15-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks. The water’s edge is graced with a significant patch of American water willows that are interlaced with patches of coontail. This largemouth bass was caught on theJunebug TRD TicklerZ with a swimming presentation around a patch of coontail in four feet of water.

Around a main-lake point, a secondary point, and their adjacent shoreline, I caught three largemouth bass. These points and the shoreline possess a 25- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge has one laydown and some American water willows. Patches of coontail enhance portions of this terrain.

One of the three largemouth bass was caught near the laydown on the initial drop of the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ in about five feet of water.

The second of the three largemouth bass was caught around the secondary point, which is laden with boulders and possesses several ledges, in about five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The third largemouth bass was caught around the main-lake point, which has a 45-degree slope and several ledges. This largemouth bass was abiding in about six feet of water, and it was caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ with a drag-and-shake presentation.

Two largemouth bass were caught around another main-lake point. This point possesses a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water’s edge is festooned with American water willows and laydowns. It is graced with several healthy patches of coontail. One of the largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water around a patch of coontail on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-deadstick presentation. The other one was caught on the Canada craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a swimming retrieve in about six feet of water.

In sum, five secondary and several tertiary points failed to render a strike, and three shorelines were fruitless. The catch rate was 8 1/2 black bass an hour, which by Midwest finesse standards is a paltry outing. When I am afloat, I am a numbers angler, not a lunker hunter. But this paltry catch rate was marginally highlighted by one largemouth bass that looked to weigh around the proverbial five-pound mark. Tangling with a lunker is somewhat entertaining when the catch rate is measly, but I would rather catch five or six small largemouth bass than one big one.

June 28

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log:

It is the end of June, and it is hot and it’s humid. That sums up summertime in north-central Texas.

On June 28, it was sunny. The morning low temperature was 72 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 96 degrees with a heat index of 103 degrees. The wind blew out of the south at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.10.

I discovered a boat ramp that was recently opened on the north end of a nearby north-central Texas’ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoir that has been closed since May 13 because of flooding. Roger Farish of Highland Village and I were anxious to see if the fishing had improved at this impoundment since the last time I fished it on May 2 with Rick Allen of Dallas. And during that short 3 1/2-hour excursion, Rick and I struggled to catch six black bass.

The black bass bite was just as tough on June 28 as it was on May 2. Roger and I had to work hard for the few bites we could generate. And by the end of our four-hour jaunt, we could barely muster four largemouth bass and three Kentucky bass, which many anglers across the country refer to as spotted bass.

According to In-Fisherman’s solunar table, the most lucrative fishing periods would occur between 1:16 a.m. to 3:16 am, 7:28 a.m. to 9:28 a.m., and 7:51 p.m. to 9:51 p.m. Roger and I were afloat from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The water level was 3.67 feet above its normal summer pool. The surface temperature was 84 degrees. The water exhibited 18 to 24 inches of clarity.

We caught all seven of the largemouth and spotted bass in the lower end of the reservoir. We also caught 61 white bass, a freshwater drum, and a large green sunfish.

Four largemouth bass were caught at the entrance to a large marina around a tractor-tire reef that was floating in 24 to 36 feet of water. They were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface and were in close proximity to the floating tires.

Two were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s space guppy Slim SwimZ matched up with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jig as we were slowly swimming it parallel to the floating tires. The other two largemouth bass were tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man’s bad shad Trick ShotZ fastened on a black 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. There were small pods of half-inch threadfin shad also inhabiting this tractor-tire reef.

We dissected another floating tractor-tire reef that is located a short distance from this one. There were plenty of half-inch shad around this reef as well, but to our dismay, it was fruitless.

We caught one spotted bass in five feet of water from a main-lake point where the reservoir’s west tributary arm converges with its east tributary arm. This point is adorned with flooded stickups and buck brush. This bass was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man’s pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig as it was being steadily retrieved around the outside edge of a thick patch of flooded buck brush.

At another main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This point’s underwater terrain consists of pea gravel, rocks, and several patches of submerged boulders. Three laydowns litter this point. Both of these bass were caught next to a large limb of one of the laydowns in four feet of water. The largemouth was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man’s bluegill-hue Scented LeechZ that was mounted on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig. The spotted bass preferred the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig as it was slowly swimming parallel to the limb.

We failed to elicit any strikes from two riprap embankments at the ends of a railroad trestle bridge and several large concrete support columns underneath the same bridge.

We also failed to generate any strikes from four other rocky main-lake points and portions of their adjoining rocky shorelines.

In the midsection of the reservoir’s east tributary arm, we dissected two riprap-covered points, a concrete spillway, and a 75-yard stretch of a rocky main-lake shoreline adjacent to the spillway without any success.

The highlight of this outing occurred in the upper region of the impoundment as we were heading back to the boat ramp. We were fortunate to cross paths with a large school of white bass that were foraging on half-inch threadfin shad on the surface in 26 to 32 feet of water on a deep-water flat. We spent about 40 minutes chasing them around this large flat, and we caught 61 of them on our 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigs before we called it quits. And if it wasn’t for this delightful flurry of white-bass action that salvaged our outing, we would have endured another dreadful morning of black bass fishing in north-central Texas.

June 29

Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on June 22.

Here is an edited version of his log:

Today was the first of nine straight days that I will be on the water.

As my wife and I stepped into the river at 9:30 this morning, the water temperature was a bath-like 82 degrees.

The heat index for the greatest portion of the week has been hovering in the mid-90s. And it has been extremely humid. Today would be no different.

When we began, the air temperature was 85 degrees with not a cloud in the sky. It was a sweltering sun. An hour later the temperature had climbed 10 degrees.

The water clarity was nearly air clear with 10 feet of visibility.

The United States Geological Survey’s gauge, which is well away from where we fished today, reported a higher flow rate than we experienced. To my eye, our river was flowing at about 145 cubic feet per second.

Today's outing was as easy as it gets for us at this time of year. We rode along a logging trail in the UTV that meanders through the woods for four miles from our home. In front of us on the trail, we saw turkey, deer, and one black bear. We parked and began wading in knee-high water. One rod each and a pocket full of VMC Neon Moon Eye jigs, Z-Man’s baits, Pro-Cure gel, Costa sunglasses, and a couple of Camelbacks filled with ice water.

I picked this stretch early in the week as a starting day of our time off from our daily work duties for a reason. This stretch of river has a great many visible riffles, and when the water is this low and clear, these riffles become a food conveyor belt for any feeding fish. Those riffles break up the directly overhead sunlight. Any shade from an overhanging tree is also a magnet, but it is not a necessity.

We fished three miles of these continuous riffles from the extreme weak side of the river. As we began casting, it was rarely a cast that my wife and I were not saying got one, had one, or audibly stating to the other what species we were unhooking, and what number we were unhooking.

Our offerings ticked among the mid- to large-size boulders that were lying predominantly in three to 3 1/2 feet of water on the strong side of the river. Our casts were made straight across the visible current and allowed to sweep downstream.

After our outing and as we ambled home on the logging trail, we commented that we made few casts without catching something.

My wife landed 38 smallmouth bass, 18 big bluegill, 17 rock bass, and one fall fish.

I landed 47 smallmouth bass, 26 bluegill, 12 rock bass, and one fall fish.

My wife threw a shortened Z-Man’s Hula StickZ in the Mud Minnow hue on a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig in the Fathead color. And after this outing, she retired her Hula StickZ after it had tangled with more than 100 fish across several outings.

I used a Z-Man’s dirt TRD HogZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce VMC’s Neon Moon Eye jig with a fathead hue. I have been using this same rig for two weeks, and it looks as if it has the wherewithal to endure another outing.

As our trek came to an end, my wife continued to catch fish as I walked along the logging trail to retrieve our UTV. My Camelback full of cold water was near empty of water when I picked my wife up for our return home.

As always, the barbs on our jigs were flattened and we rarely made five casts without applying my customized Pro-Cure gel.

I could not have asked for more willing biters and a more enjoyable time of fishing with my favorite fishing partner.

Recommended for You

Walleye

The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

Bass

Using Crankbaits For Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - January 31, 2016

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall.

Recipes

Pecan-Crusted Catfish Fillets Recipe

By: Emilie Bailey

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Striped Bass Livebait Trolling Tactics

Host Doug Stange meets up with guide Fred McClintock to troll big livebait behind planer boards next to the flooded timber along the banks of the Cumberland River in effort to catch giant striped bass.

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

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

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse

A Short History of the Marabou Jig

Ned Kehde - June 24, 2019

Ned Kehde reminisces on the marabou jig.

Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2019

Ned Kehde - July 05, 2019

Midwest Finesse June 2019 fishing logs.

Midwest Finesse

Bass Pro Shops' Tournament Series Baby Stik-O-Craw

Ned Kehde - May 27, 2019

Designed for Ned Rigs, this high-performance finesse bait can also be used as a standard jig...

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×