Since 2012, we have published 85,436 words in our Midwest finesse columns about how, when, and where to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass throughout the month of October.
In October of 2010, I and a colleague enjoyed 16 outings, and we caught 650 black bass in 72 hours. The most fruitful outing occurred on Oct. 21, and we caught 100 largemouth bass at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs. Our most trying one occurred at one of northeastern Kansas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs, where we struggled to catch 10 largemouth bass and eight smallmouth bass.
In October of 2011, I and a colleague or two fished 15 times and caught 556 black bass in about 59 hours. One of our sorriest endeavors took place on Oct. 18. Throughout this outing at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir, the wind howled incessantly out of the northeast at 25 mph, and we battled it to catch 18 largemouth bass. Our most vexing one occurred on Oct 21, when a potent algal bloom afflicted another community reservoir, and we labored to catch 15 largemouth bass. Our most bountiful efforts revolved around catching 68 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass on Oct. 17 at a community reservoir that was not plagued with an algae bloom.
In other "Octobers of the Past" columns, we noted that October is when some Midwest finesse anglers celebrate the birthday of one of its most effective lures. It was on Oct. 12, 2006, when a friend and I first employed a 2 1/2-inch Strike King Lure Company's green-pumpkin Zero on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig. This combo helped us tangle with 109 largemouth bass in four hours at a 55-acre community reservoir. On that outing, northeastern Kansas was being waylaid by a significant cold front. The low temperature was 41 degrees, and the high temperature was 59 degrees. The sun was shining everywhere, and the wind was howling out of the northwest at 10 to 25 mph.
The Zero and Z-Man Fishing Products' ZinkerZ are siblings, and the Zero is manufactured for Strike King by Z-Man. Since Oct. 12, 2006, the 2 1/2-inch Zero and ZinkerZ affixed to mushroom-style jigs have become the standard-bearers in the repertoire of many Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas and elsewhere across the nation.
In essence, this column is a history lesson. And to learn how we and other anglers across the nation coped with algal blooms, cold fronts, and wind during October of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, see the links below. These guides describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers catch and do not catch black bass during October in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ontario (Canada), Texas, and West Virginia.
Photographs of some Midwest finesse anglers and a few of the black bass that they caught during Octobers of the past: