We wrote in the introduction to our September 2012 guide to Midwest finesse fishing that we began compiling these monthly guides on In-Fisherman's website to create detailed accounts of every outing that I and several Midwest finesse colleagues have enjoyed (or at times endured) in our pursuits of the largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass.
My wife, Patty, spawned my initial interest in writing logs about our piscatorial endeavors years ago when she gave me a copy of "Muriel Foster's Fishing Diary," which was published by Penguin Studio in 1980. Foster penned her first log about her angling adventures in Scotland and England on Sept. 16, 1913 and her final one on June 1, 1949, and she ultimately created a splendid look into the history of angling.
Our interests in logging were further accentuated when we crossed paths with Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, and saw his logs and notes about the tournaments he fished. Clunn explained how, when, and where the winners of those events accomplished their deeds. And when the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society began peddling log books for everyday anglers to keep, they planted the seed that has materialized into these monthly contributions.
Nowadays, we have modest hopes that the logs that appear in the monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing will provide piscatorial historians with a few insights to how, when, and where some of us fished during the early years of the 21st century. We also hope that our logs and monthly guides will help scores of recreational anglers to discover how, when, and where they can employ Midwest finesse tactics and inveigle scores of black bass on each outing.
On April 1, we announced that at the first of each month we would assemble a short bibliography (with Internet links) to our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing. We began this task at the behest of some members of the Finesse News Network who wanted to know if there have been any noticeable and noteworthy changes in the fishing that we write about in our monthly guides. We replied that not enough time has elapsed since we began this task in January of 2012 to write a substantial history that highlights any substantial changes. Instead, we said we would assemble a monthly bibliography, which would allow anglers to have quick and easy access to what we have written about each month of the year. Some of these monthly guides contain more than 20,000 words that explain how Midwest finesse anglers have caught largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and a few incidental species.
Here are the links to our September monthly guides for the years of 2012, 2013, and 2014:
(1) During September of 2012, I and an occasional colleague fished 14 times, which encompassed a total of 44 3/4 hours of fishing, and we caught a combination of 414 largemouth and smallmouth bass or 9.2 black bass an hour. In addition to those 14 logs, this guide includes the logs and Finesse News Network reports from Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Brian Waldman of Coatesville, Indiana; Casey Kidder of Topeka, Kansas; Chris Rohr of Overland Park, Kansas; Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas; Darryl Brown of Toronto, Ontario; John Kehde of Sedalia, Missouri; Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas; and Terry Bivins of Lebo, Kansas. Here is the link to this guide: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/an-addendum-to-the-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesseseptember/.
(2) I fished 12 times, which encompassed 46 hours of Midwest finesse fishing, in September of 2013. On six of those outings, I was joined by another angler, and on one of the outings, there were three of us fishing. And with the help of those seven anglers, we inveigled 344 largemouth bass, 209 smallmouth bass and two spotted bass. This guide also focuses on how, when, and where these anglers fished: Burton Bosley of Sutton, West Virginia; Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas; Charlie Croom of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Clyde Holscher of Topeka, Kansas; Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina; Steve Reideler of Lewisville, Texas; Brian Waldman of Coatesville, Indiana; and Dave Weroha of Kansas City, Kansas. Here is the link to this guide: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/midwest-finesse-fishing-september-2013/.
(3) During September of 2014, I fished 11 times. This guide features 11 logs that focus on how, when, and where I and an occasional colleague caught a combination of 286 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. It also features an array of insights of Rick Allen of Dallas, Texas; Donald Baldridge of Springfield, Missouri; Terry Claudell of Overland Park, Kansas; Charlie Croom of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Ethan Dhuyvetter of Manhattan, Kansas; Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri; Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas; Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas; Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas; Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas; Greg Monahan of Lee's Summit, Missouri;Dave Weroha of Kansas City, Kansas; Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and Sioux Narrows, Ontario; and Steve Reideler of Lewisville, Texas. Here is the link to this guide https://www.in-fisherman.com/panfish/midwest-finesse-fishing-september-2014/. Here is a link to an update of the September 2014 guide that features Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-september-2014-update/
(4) Here is the link to "A Month-by-Month Guide to Midwest Finesse for Bass:" https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/a-month-by-month-guide-to-midwest-finesse-for-bass/. The section on September in this article has a synopsis of how, when, and where we used Midwest finesse tactics during the first decade of the 21st century.
From the short perspective of writing three guides to the month of September since 2012, we can now state that since we started writing from 15,000 to 30,000 words a month about Midwest finesse fishing that we don't fish as much and catch as many black bass as we used to catch. For instance, my partners and I caught 721 largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in 16 outings in 2011.Since then, we have never surpassed it or equaled or come close to equaling it.
What's more, several of our reservoirs in northeastern Kansas have been walloped by the largemouth bass virus, and that phenomenon has reduced the numbers of largemouth bass that we can catch since 2011. The angling pressure has increased at these reservoirs, too, and some of these anglers are employing Midwest finesse tactics, which might be changing or affecting the behavior of the black bass.
In addition to the aftereffects of the largemouth bass virus, to the increased angling pressure, and to spending more time writing rather than fishing, I am 75 years old. In essence, I have become a geriatric angler, and it is quite noticeable that age has hampered my physical and mental abilities as an angler.
Not only am I not as agile mentally and physically as I was five years ago, our grandchildren are of the age where they have a lot more activities for us to relish, and consequentially, we spend a lot of time with them and partaking in their events, and some of that includes watching and helping them fish.
In the future, we hope to write more words about aging and angling. Eventually, we might even change our focus from Midwest finesse to geriatric finesse. Some readers might be interested in reading the column we published on Sept. 1, 2013, which focused on the effects of aging on anglers. Here is the link to that column: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/catching-fish-and-the-mind-and-body-of-old-anglers/.