January 11, 2017
From early November through late March, some Midwest finesse anglers partake in an endeavor that they call bass fishing for trout. And a number of years ago, Steve Desch of Topeka, Kansas, discovered that one of the most effective lures to employ for alluring largemouth bass and rainbow trout in the shallow-water environments of the flatland reservoirs that he fishes is a short, bubble-gum colored stickbait affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. (At other times of the year, a small pink stickbait on a small red jig can be a very effective combination for catching swallow-water smallmouth bass in northeastern Kansas, as well as elsewhere across the U.S.)
During the summer of 2016, Z-Man Fishing Products announced that they had created a bubble gum Finesse T.R.D., and when it is slightly customized, it is a dandy stickbait for employing on a small jig to inveigle rainbow trout and largemouth bass.
The Finesse T.R.D. is 2 3/4-inch long. When Midwest finesse anglers are bass fishing for trout, they usually prefer to use either a 2 1/4 to a 2 1/2-inch Finesse T.R.D. Therefore, they will customize it by shortening it a tad.
Before it is shortened, some of these anglers will vigorously stretch it several times, and when it is fully stretched, they will release one end of it, which allows it to snapback to its original shape. This tactic causes some of the impregnated salt to become dislodged, which also makes the surface of the Finesse T.R.D. more porous. After the stretching and snapback routine is completed, these anglers will soak the Finesse T.R.D. in warm water, which will allow much of the impregnated salt to dissipate.
When the salt is dissipated, the Finesse T.R.D. becomes softer, more buoyant, and more flexible. And in these anglers' eyes, the softness, buoyancy, and flexibility make it more alluring to the rainbow trout and largemouth bass. (During the past decade, Midwest finesse anglers discovered that the Z-Man's ElaZtech-style baits -- like the Finesse T.R.D. -- become softer, more buoyant, and more flexible as they age and catch scores and scores of fish. And when they age and become tattered and torn from a myriad of piscatorial donnybrooks, they tend to catch more largemouth bass and trout than a new one is capable of accomplishing. The stretching and soaking routine accomplishes the aging task before the angler makes his first cast and retrieves and catches his first rainbow trout or largemouth bass of the outing.)
What's more, Desch and many other anglers like to marinate the Finesse T.R.D. with some Pro-Cure, Inc.'s Nightcrawler Super Gel, and while they are fishing, they usually partially coat it with the Super Gel every 15 minutes.
Desch prefers to work with a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. But other Midwest finesse anglers have found that there are spells -- especially when the rainbow trout and largemouth bass are abiding upon shallow-water flats that are adorned with submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, or Eurasian milfoil -- that a smaller jig is more effective than the 1/16-ouncer.
A relatively slow, straight swimming, and do-nothing retrieve is often the most fruitful presentation, but there will be times when Midwest finesse anglers will find that one of the other six Midwest finesse retrieves will be the most effective one. (For more information about those retrieves, see endnote No. 2.)
(1) For more information about the Finesse T.R.D., please see the gear guide at this link: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-t-r-d/.
(2) For insights on how to employ the six Midwest finesse retrieves, see this Midwest finesse column at https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.