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Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2021

Aug. 2

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 2 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 59 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 83 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the north, northwest, and west at 3 to 7 mph. The sky vacillated from being foggy and misty to being partly cloudy with haze to being mostly cloudy with haze to being cluttered with a few clouds with haze. The barometric pressure was 30.16 at 12:52 a.m., 30.17 at 5:52 a.m., 30.17 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.14 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 84 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from five to six feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:20 a.m. to 8:20 a.m., 8:43 p.m. to 10:43 p.m., and 12:08 a.m. to 2:08 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:15 a.m., and we fished until we caught largemouth bass number 40, which occurred at 12:29 p.m.

It is August, which is when we traditionally spend many outings dissecting an array of massive shallow-water flats that grace our state and community reservoirs in northeastern Kansas. And this year, we began that routine on July 28, and it began yielding some fruit on July 29. And our Aug. 2 outing was a tad more fruitful than the July 29 and 31 outings.

During this 134-minute outing on Aug. 2, we fished across significant portions of two massive shallow-water flats in the backs of two large feeder-creek arms.

The underwater terrains of these two flats consist of clay, gravel, and silt. They are adorned with many manmade piles of brush, patches of coontail, patches of bushy pondweed, and patches of sago pondweed, which are covered with three to eight feet of water. A submerged creek channel meanders across each flat.

We spent about 80 percent of our time with our boat floating along the submerged creek-channels and casting our Midwest finesse rigs onto the flats and retrieving them around the piles of brush and patches of submerged vegetation.

Each flat yielded 20 largemouth bass.

Two of them were caught on a Z-Man Fishing Products' meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a deadstick presentation, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in about five feet of water.

Three of the 40 were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pink-glow Slim SwimZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight-swimming presentation. They were caught in four to six feet of water.

Fourteen largemouth bass were caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig; the others were caught on a straight-swimming presentation. They were caught in three to six feet of water.

Twenty-one largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a deadstick presentation; four were caught on the initial drop; the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in four to about eight feet of water.

In sum, this is the simplest and easiest way to catch largemouth bass in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas, and we are hoping to find similar bonanzas elsewhere in the days and weeks to come. And at the same time, we and some of our colleagues will encourage the various managers of our reservoirs to cultivate submerged aquatic vegetation and to maintain those patches manually rather than using herbicides and grass carp.

Aug. 3

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 3 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We fished from about 7:00 a.m. to noon at one of our most challenging and frustrating U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

It was sunny and the sky was partly cloudy. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 74 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 91 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.99 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.00 at noon. The wind was light and variable.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be poor. It also indicated that the best fishing would most likely occur from 12:57 a.m. to 2:57 a.m., 7:09 a.m. to 9:09 a.m., and 7:34 p.m. to 9:34 p.m.

The water exhibited 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 86 to 88 degrees. The water level was normal.

The black-bass fishing at this reservoir has been wretched this year, and we have struggled to catch an average of four to six black bass per outing. But when Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished at this reservoir on July 23, we were astonished that we were able to catch 23 largemouth and spotted bass in 5 1/2 hours. And to my great delight, it was even more bountiful during this Aug. 3 outing, when we caught 40 largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass. We also unintentionally caught two bluegill, one white bass, one freshwater drum, and one crappie.

The last time this reservoir surrendered 30 or more black bass was on Sept. 19, 2019, when I caught 34 largemouth bass and one spotted bass during a solo 4 1/2-hour outing. Since then, our catch rates at this impoundment have fallen dramatically.

Our most fruitful locations were rock- and boulder-laden main-lake points and main-lake flats located in the upper end of the reservoir. These areas relinquished a combination of 33 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass. The flatter points were more productive during the first couple of hours of the morning, but as the morning progressed, the steeper main-lake points with gradients of 45- to 60 degrees became much more fruitful than the flatter ones. These 33 black bass were associated with large submerged boulders and a couple of rock ledges in five to eight feet of water.

In the lower end of the reservoir, the bass were more difficult to pattern. We caught seven black bass in less than five feet of water around the perimeter of a mid-lake island; three were caught while they were suspended about five below the surface in 37 feet of water around a floating tractor-tire reef at the mouth of a marina; two were caught in less than four feet of water along a brush-laden main-lake shoreline; and one was caught in 11 feet of water next to a rock bluff at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm.

We failed to locate any black bass around the riprap that covers a large dam on the east end of the reservoir; across two clay-and-gravel flats just inside two minor feeder-creek arms located in the northeast section of the impoundment; and along a rock bluff at the entrance to another major feeder-creek arm in the reservoir's upper end.

Twenty-nine of these 46 black bass were allured by a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; nine were attracted to a steady-swimming retrieve with an unpainted 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig that was sporting a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ; three were coaxed into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve; three were tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ fastened on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; and two were enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

In conclusion, we do not have a clue as to why a couple of our most stingy Corps' reservoirs have suddenly loosened up and are becoming more productive, but we do know that we will enjoy this bountiful phenomenon while it lasts.

Aug. 3

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 3 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 56 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 84 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northeast, northwest, east, and west at 3 to 7 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.12 at 12:52 a.m., 30.12 at 5:52 a.m., 30.13 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.09 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 87 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from about one foot to 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The water was affected by an algae bloom, which deposited a significant stain on the boat's hull.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:02 a.m. to 9:02 a.m., 7:26 p.m. to 9:26 p.m., and 12:50 a.m. to 2:50 a.m.

I made my first cast at 12:05 p.m. Upon seeing the algae bloom, I immediately suspected that it would be a difficult task to catch 20 largemouth bass. So, I decided to fish for no more than three hours or until I caught 20 largemouth bass. Ultimately, I caught largemouth bass number 20 at 2:54 p.m., which was 11 minutes short of my three-hour deadline.

My past six outings occurred at three of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs, which are endowed with clear water and no algal blooms.

Two of these state reservoirs are embellished with massive patches of submerged aquatic vegetation on their shallow-water flats and shorelines, which often provide us with some bountiful catches of largemouth bass in the heart of the summer. They can also be fruitful areas to dissect in the heart of the winter.

The third state reservoir used to have grandiose patches of coontail, where we used to tangle with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of largemouth bass every summer. But for some unknown reason, those patches disappeared about 10 years ago. Since then, the largemouth bass fishing has become problematic in July and August. During the past three years, however, this reservoir has experienced a minor growth of bushy pondweed, American pondweed, and curly-leaf pondweed, but these patches are not substantial enough to provide us with prolific catches of largemouth bass in July and August.

The community reservoir that I fished on Aug. 3 has been waylaid by its managers, who spent a lot of money during the second decade of this century spraying aquatic herbicides on its shallow-water flats and shorelines to kill submerged aquatic vegetation, such as curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, which are castigated as being invasive species. And all of this spraying and killings of the plant life have affected the water clarity and resulted in terrible algal blooms for several years. During all of this spraying, this reservoir gradually turned from being our most fruitful community reservoir at which to catch largemouth bass to a very lackluster one. And on Aug. 3, it remained quite lackluster.

In short, there are no shallow-water flats adorned with bourgeoning and healthy patches of submerged aquatic vegetation to fish. Therefore, I spent the entire two hours and 54 minutes plying shorelines and one offshore hump.

I caught three largemouth bass along about a 75-yard shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Its shoreline is graced with patches of American water willows and two overhanging trees. The three largemouth bass were caught adjacent to the outside edge of one of the patches of American water willows on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about 3 ½ feet of water. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

Along about a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the lower portions of the reservoir, I caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 35- to 60-degree slope. A submerged creek channel lies nearby. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and one overhanging tree. These largemouth bass were caught from a 10-foot-square area adjacent to a patch of American water willows. They were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Mushroom Jighead with a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to 10 feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught along about a 300-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a primary feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25- to 75-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, several boulders, and a few ancient stumps, which are interlaced with dying patches of Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge is lined with six docks, several overhanging trees, some laydowns, and several patches of American water willows. The two largemouth bass were caught on back-to-back casts and retrieves with a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's pink-glow GrubZ affixed to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight-swimming presentation around a few laydowns in three to four feet of water.

Along about a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline in the back of this primary feeder-creek arm, I caught three largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 45- degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are intertwined with dying patches of Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge is bedecked with patches of American water willows, a few minor laydowns, and one overhanging tree. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. Two were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation near patches of American water willows and some minor laydowns in three to four feet of water.

Along a short stretch of a very flat shoreline that is situated halfway inside this primary feeder-creek arm, I caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, and rocks, which are laced with dying patches of Eurasian milfoil. It was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water around some stems of some dying Eurasian-milfoil plants.

I caught one largemouth along a shoreline near the mouth of this primary feeder-creek arm This shoreline has a 40- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are adorned with a few meager and dying plants of Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge consists of patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and two overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in four to five feet of water on the Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I fished about 40 percent of the shoreline of the dam and caught six largemouth bass. It has a 60- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is bedecked with many patches of American water willows, which are either in shallow water or out of the water. There are a few minor laydowns and piles of brush littering this shoreline. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four of them were caught in about 20-foot square area at one end of the dam around piles of brush and a patch of American water willows. One of those four was caught on the initial drop of the rig, and the other three were caught on a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water. One of the six was caught while I was strolling with a Finesse TRD rig and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. The sixth largemouth bass, which was also largemouth bass number 20, was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig as I was strolling with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water.

I failed to elicit a strike across an offshore hump, around two main-lake points, along many yards of a main-lake shoreline, and four shorelines inside three feeder-creek arms.

Besides catching the 20 largemouth bass, I inadvertently caught one bluegill, three green sunfish, and four channel catfish.

In my eyes, it is always a disheartening sight to fish a reservoir that is afflicted with an algae bloom, and the black-bass fishing is usually problematic. This was true on the Aug. 3 outing.

Here's hoping this reservoir's managers will stop creating algal blooms and destroying the aquatic vegetation by employing aquatic herbicides. We need them to cultivate and manually maintain the vegetation when it is necessary to cut it.

Aug. 4 & 5

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 4 and 5 outings at two of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an unedited version of his logs.

On Aug. 4, the National Weather Service reported that it was 56 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 85 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the southeast and south at 5 to 10 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.11 at 12:52 a.m., 30.12 at 5:52 a.m., 30.13 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:44 a.m. to 9:44 a.m., 8:09 p.m. to 10.09 p.m., and 1:32 a.m. to 3:32 a.m.

On Aug. 4, Patty Kehde and I ventured to a community reservoir in hopes of catching and quickly releasing a goodly number of largemouth bass and perhaps a smallmouth bass or two that have traditionally abided around the scores of magnificent patches of coontail that have graced this reservoir's shallow-water flats and shorelines. But we quickly discovered that the vast majority of those patches have disappeared, and the few that are lingering are significantly smaller than they were a year ago.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited four to five feet of visibility.

We fished from noon to 2:15 p.m., and struggled to catch 13 largemouth bass.

Four of them were caught in the first 12 minutes of this outing. They were caught around what used to be a massive wad of coontail that adorns a massive shallow-water flat in the middle portion of this reservoir. This patch used to be the size of eight 20-foot bass boats; now it has wilted to be about the size of one 20-foot bass boat. It is covered with about seven feet of water. One of the four largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pink-glow Slim SwimZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a very slow straight-swimming presentation. Three were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Five minutes later, we caught largemouth bass number five. It was caught around a coontail patch that adorns a flat main-lake point in the middle portion of the reservoir. The size of this patch has diminished dramatically, too. The largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water on the initial drop of a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's pink-glow GrubZ affixed to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Ten minutes later, we caught two largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the middle portion of the reservoir. This point used to be bedecked with several significant patches of coontail, but we failed to cross paths with them. Instead, we caught the two largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation around rocks and boulders in about six feet of water rather than the once wonderful patches of coontail.

After those first 27 minutes elapsed, we failed to find any patches of coontail and to elicit another strike until 2:04 p.m. From 2:04 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., we caught six largemouth bass around several patches of coontail across a small shallow-water flat and along a shallow-water shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. Three of them were caught on the Slim SwimZ rig with a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and the other three were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. These bass were caught in five to eight feet of water.

After our sorry outing on Aug. 4, Patty elected not to join me as I ventured to another community reservoir on Aug 5.

On Aug. 5, the National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 80 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the southeast, west, and south at 3 to 9 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being mostly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to being overcast to raining lightly. The barometric pressure was 30.11 at 12:52 a.m., 30.12 at 5:52 a.m., 30.13 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level at this reservoir looked to be about two to three inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 82 degrees. The secchi stick revealed that there was from 1 ½ feet to almost 2 ½ feet of visibility.

On Aug. 5, In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:32 a.m. to 10:32 a.m., 8:58 p.m. to 10:58 p.m., and 2:19 a.m. to 4:19 a.m.

I began fishing at 11:54 a.m., and I fished until I caught largemouth bass number 25, which occurred at 2:16 p.m.

Even though this outing failed to be a Midwest finesse bonanza, it was measurably more fruitful than yesterday's dastardly affair.

I spent many of this outing's 142 minutes by fishing differently than I normally fish. I did this by making the majority of my casts and retrieves nearly parallel to the shorelines or water's edge, probing depths as shallow as two feet and as deep as about eight feet.

From 11:54 a.m. to 1:06 p.m., I fished along the shoreline of the dam and spillway. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The dam has a 60- to 70-degree slope. The spillway has a 15-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with many shallow-water patches of American water willows, a patch of cattails, several logs, and a few piles of brush. I caught 10 largemouth bass.

One of the 10 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water in front of a patch of American water willows and the patch of cattails.

Four of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Mushroom Jighead. Two were caught around a pile of brush and a log in three to four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other two were caught about six feet from the outside edges of patches of American water willows with a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to seven feet of water.

The other five were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

I caught two largemouth bass along about a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows. It has about a 45-degree slope. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in three to five feet of water.

Along about a 100-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline, I caught two largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 35- to 60-degree slope. A submerged creek channel lies nearby. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and one overhanging tree. One largemouth bass was caught around one of the laydowns on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water adjacent to a patch of American water willows.

From 1:40 p.m. to 2:16 p.m., it rained occasionally, and I fished about a 375-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a primary feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of silt, gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. This shoreline has a 20- to 45-degree slope. Its water's edge is endowed with many patches of American water willows, scores of laydowns, numerous overhanging trees, and several piles of brush. The Finesse WormZ rig caught 11 largemouth bass. Two were caught around laydowns with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. Four were caught in two to four feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in two to four feet of water on a shallow-water flat that is devoid of any vegetation or underwater objects. The other four largemouth bass were caught along or near the outside edges of patches of American water willows in three to four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In conclusion, the grand old days that we called "bass fishing 101," which was when we could occasionally tangle with 101 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours in August are long gone. Some of this decline parallels the demise of submerged aquatic vegetation that used to grace the two community reservoirs that we fished on Aug. 4 and 5. It also parallels the arrival of the largemouth bass virus in several of our waterways.

Aug. 6

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 6 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The black-bass fishing in north-central Texas has suddenly become as red-hot as the summer weather.

For example, Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished on July 30 at one U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas for five hours, and we caught 40 largemouth and spotted bass. Then on Aug. 3, Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished for another five hours at what we consider to be our most challenging Corps' reservoir in north-central Texas, and we were amazed that we caught another 46 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass.

So, Norman and I thought we would check the state of the black-bass fishing at another popular north-central Texas' Corps' reservoir on Aug. 6. This reservoir receives an enormous amount of angler pressure.

To make this outing more interesting, we decided to push our luck and see if we could catch another 40 or more largemouth and spotted bass in five hours.

The sky was partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 8 to 12 mph. The morning low temperature was 72 degrees and the afternoon high reached 95 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.01 at 6:00 a.m. and 30.00 at 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the fishing would be average, and the best fishing periods would occur from 3:13 a.m. to 5:13 a.m., 9:27 a.m. to 11:27 a.m., and 9:53 p.m. to 11:53 p.m.

We fished from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The water level was at normal pool. The water displayed about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees.

We committed ourselves to fishing in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm, and we enjoyed tussling with 52 black bass, which consisted of 30 largemouth bass and 22 spotted bass. We also caught 12 white bass and one black crappie.

The underwater terrain in this tributary arm consists primarily of red clay and pea gravel mixed with chunk rock and large boulders. And now that the reservoir has returned to its normal level, the flooded terrestrial vegetation and almost all of the laydowns are now on dry land.

Twenty-one of these 52 black bass were caught along nine flat and rocky main-lake points; 18 were caught around a series of large concrete support columns underneath a railroad-trestle bridge; seven were caught around some submerged clusters of rocks and small boulders at a main-lake island; four were caught along the edge of a ditch that parallels a flat and rocky shoreline inside a small main-lake cove; and two were caught from two riprap embankments that are situated at each end of a large highway bridge.

Thirty-four of them were caught in three to six feet of water and within 15 feet of the water's edge. Eighteen largemouth bass were suspended near the large concrete bridge support columns in 15 to 44 feet of water.

We caught all 65 of these fish on three of Z-Man's Midwest finesse lures: a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-steel Slim SwimZ fastened on a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig; and a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ matched with a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The pearl Baby Goat and blue-steel Slim SwimZ rigs were employed with a moderate- to fast-pace swimming retrieve about a foot or two below the surface of the water. The Hula StickZ combo was utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In closing, this turned out to be another delightful, but very unusual, outing for us. We were astounded that we were able to reach our goal of catching 40 or more black bass in five hours, and this is the third Corps' reservoir in three consecutive outings where we have been able to accomplish that feat.

This recent black-bass-fishing bonanza might be just a momentary flash in the pan, but we sure are enjoying it while it lasts.

Aug. 12

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 12 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Three parts of my 81-year-old body have been slightly out of sorts since Aug. 5. And when the wind began to blow and area thermometers climbed to nearly 100 degrees and the heat index regularly exceeded 100 degrees on Aug. 6, I took a geriatric respite from fishing until the weather forecaster predicted that the wind would calm down around noon on Aug. 12. They also predicted that it would rain during the nighttime hours of Aug. 11 and 12, and it did. Our garden's rain gauge collected 4 ¾ inches of precipitation.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 79 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 97 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The heat index reached 111 degrees at 2:52 a.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, southwest, south, west, northeast, northwest, and east. For three hours, it was calm. The sky vacillated from being fair to being cluttered with a few clouds to being mostly cloudy to roaring with thunderstorms. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 12:52 a.m., 29.90 at 5:52 a.m., 29.94 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.92 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:05 a.m. to 4:05 a.m., 2:29 p.m. to 4:29 p.m., and 8:17 a.m. to 10:17 a.m.

I was the only angler afloat.

I made my first cast at 1:35 p.m., and I would keep making casts until I caught 20 largemouth bass or until 3:35 p.m. I caught largemouth bass number 20 at 3:15 p.m. And I caught two more as I moved with the electric-trolling motor to retrieve two marker buoys that were more than 100 yards apart.

The water level was a tad below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 84 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from five to six feet of visibility.

Across a large shallow-water flat in the back third of a primary feeder-creek arm, I caught 10 largemouth bass. This flat is endowed with patches of coontail and bushy pondweed and an array of manmade piles of brush, which are covered with four to seven feet of water. Three submerged creek channels meander across this flat; two of them are tiny.

Five of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on back-to-back casts. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig; three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in five to six feet of water.

Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on the initial drop, and four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in five to six feet of water.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another primary feeder-creek arm, I caught 12 largemouth bass. This flat is embellished with patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, sago bushy pondweed, and scores of manmade piles of brush, which are covered with four to 10 feet of water. A submerged creek channel adorns the west side of this flat. There were several schools of bluegill and one school of gizzard shad swimming around the patches of coontail and in the vicinity of the submerged creek channel.

One of the 12 largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pink-glow Slim SwimZ affixed to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight swimming presentation between several patches of coontail. One was caught on the TRD TickerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Ten were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig; four of them were caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in six to eight feet of water. Nine of the 12 were caught adjacent to the submerged creek channel.

Aug. 12

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 12 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Three parts of my 81-year-old body have been slightly out of sorts since Aug. 5. And when the wind began to blow and area thermometers climbed to nearly 100 degrees and the heat index regularly exceeded 100 degrees on Aug. 6, I took a geriatric respite from fishing until the weather forecaster predicted that the wind would calm down around noon on Aug. 12. They also predicted that it would rain during the nighttime hours of Aug. 11 and 12, and it did. Our garden's rain gauge collected 4 ¾ inches of precipitation.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 79 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 97 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The heat index reached 111 degrees at 2:52 a.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, southwest, south, west, northeast, northwest, and east. For three hours, it was calm. The sky vacillated from being fair to being cluttered with a few clouds to being mostly cloudy to roaring with thunderstorms. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 12:52 a.m., 29.90 at 5:52 a.m., 29.94 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.92 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:05 a.m. to 4:05 a.m., 2:29 p.m. to 4:29 p.m., and 8:17 a.m. to 10:17 a.m.

I was the only angler afloat.

I made my first cast at 1:35 p.m., and I would keep making casts until I caught 20 largemouth bass or until 3:35 p.m. I caught largemouth bass number 20 at 3:15 p.m. And I caught two more as I moved with the electric-trolling motor to retrieve two marker buoys that were more than 100 yards apart.

The water level was a tad below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 84 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from five to six feet of visibility.

Across a large shallow-water flat in the back third of a primary feeder-creek arm, I caught 10 largemouth bass. This flat is endowed with patches of coontail and bushy pondweed and an array of manmade piles of brush, which are covered with four to seven feet of water. Three submerged creek channels meander across this flat; two of them are tiny.

Five of the 10 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on back-to-back casts. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig; three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in five to six feet of water.

Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on the initial drop, and four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in five to six feet of water.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another primary feeder-creek arm, I caught 12 largemouth bass. This flat is embellished with patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, sago bushy pondweed, and scores of manmade piles of brush, which are covered with four to 10 feet of water. A submerged creek channel adorns the west side of this flat. There were several schools of bluegill and one school of gizzard shad swimming around the patches of coontail and in the vicinity of the submerged creek channel.

One of the 12 largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pink-glow Slim SwimZ affixed to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight swimming presentation between several patches of coontail. One was caught on the TRD TickerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Ten were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig; four of them were caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in six to eight feet of water. Nine of the 12 were caught adjacent to the submerged creek channel.

Aug. 13

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 13 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We elected to return to our most problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be poor. It also indicated that the best fishing would occur from 3:05 a.m. to 5:05 a.m., 9:17 a.m. to 11:17 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

We made our first casts at 7:00 a.m. and our last ones at about 11:00 a.m. We ended the outing about an hour sooner than we had planned when the heat and humidity became too oppressive for our liking.

It was sunny and the sky was mostly cloudy. The wind was light and variable, and at times, it was calm. The morning low temperature was 78 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 97 degrees with a heat index in the lower 100s. The barometric pressure measured 30.04 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.07 at 11:00 a.m.

The water level was normal. The water's clarity was 18 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees.

We were hoping to duplicate my Aug. 3 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville. During that jaunt, Norman and I spent a delightful morning tangling with a mix of 40 largemouth bass, five spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass, and that catch rate has become an unusual phenomenon at this miserly reservoir since the fall of 2019.

The black-bass bite was not as good as it was on Aug. 3, but it was still good enough to be what we consider above average. We caught 21 largemouth bass and four spotted bass. We also caught seven white bass and one large green sunfish.

Unlike the Aug. 3 outing, we quickly noticed that the large aggregations of threadfin shad and black bass were now thinned out and scattered, which made locating and catching the bass much more difficult.

In the lower end of the reservoir, we struggled to catch eight largemouth bass. Three largemouth bass and six white bass were caught in less than five feet of water around partially-flooded laydowns and buck brush along the perimeter of a mid-lake island; three were caught in less than four feet of water along a rock- and brush-laden main-lake point at the entrance of a major feeder-creek arm; and two were caught suspended about eight feet below the surface in 37 feet of water next to a floating tractor-tire reef at the mouth of a marina.

The upper end of the reservoir was more productive and relinquished 13 largemouth bass, four spotted bass, one white bass, and one large green sunfish. They were caught from steep main-lake points with gradients of 45- to 60-degrees, which are adorned with large submerged boulders and a couple of shallow rock ledges. Most of the black bass were relating to the sides of the large submerged boulders on the main-lake points in five to eight feet of water. One of the spotted bass that we caught had a green-pumpkin-and-orange crawfish partially sticking out of its gullet.

Fourteen of these 25 black bass were tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ fastened on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; six engulfed a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead that was employed with a slow hop-and-bounce presentation; four were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; and one was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD matched with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We were not the only ones that found the black-bass bite trying in the lower end of the reservoir. We crossed paths with another bass angler while we were fishing the floating tractor-tire reef in the lower end of the reservoir, and he had spent his morning dissecting some ledges, rocky points, and flats, and he had not caught a bass.

Aug. 16

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 16 outing at one of northeastern Kansas state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 65 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 85 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the southeast, east, and south at 3 to 5 mph. The sky vacillated from being mostly cloudy to fair to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.05 at 12:52 a.m., 30.00 at 5:52 a.m., 30.02 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.97 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 83 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from about 3 ½ to five feet of visibility.

There was one other largemouth bass angler afloat; it was Rodney Hatridge of Shawnee, Kansas, who is a Midwest finesse devotee, and he was concluding his outing as we were beginning ours.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:38 a.m. to 7:38 a.m., 6:07 p.m. to 8:07 p.m., and 11:24 a.m. to 1:24 p.m.

This was another one of our geriatric outings. Thus, we fished for no more than two hours or until we caught 20 largemouth bass.

We executed our first casts and retrieves at 10:17 a.m., and we made our last casts and retrieves at 12:12 p.m., which is when we caught largemouth bass number 20. During those 115 minutes, we also caught one channel catfish, one white crappie, and one redear sunfish. None of the largemouth bass would impress a tournament angler or the host of a TV fishing show.

For years on end in August, we have spent most of our outings on the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas dissecting vast shallow-water flats that are adorned with a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as bushy pondweed, coontail, and Eurasian milfoil. And we spent 95 minutes of this outing plying those environs. The other 20 minutes were spent dissecting three flat and shallow-water main-lake points.

Across one massive shallow-water flat inside a large feeder-creek arm, we struggled to eke out three largemouth bass. This flat is endowed with patches of coontail and bushy pondweed and scores of manmade piles of brush that are covered with four to seven feet of water. A submerged creek channel, which is covered with eight to 12 feet of water, meanders across portions of this flat. Two of the three largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-and-shake presentation; one was caught in about six feet of water along the outside edge of a patch submerged aquatic vegetation, and the other one was caught in four feet of water around several significant patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught along the submerged creek channel with a deadstick presentation with a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's PB&J Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We caught two largemouth bass around one flat and shallow-water main-lake point. This point's shoreline is embellished with patches for American water willows, some stems of American pondweed, and a meager patch of water primrose. This emergent vegetation is interlaced with patches of bushy pondweed. One largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig in about five feet of water. The second one was caught on the initial drop of the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water.

Across a coontail-adorned shallow-water flat inside a tiny feeder-creek arm, we caught three largemouth bass. They were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around several large patches of coontail in six to seven feet of water.

Across an extremely large shallow-water flat, which encompasses about 10 acres of water inside another large feeder-creek arm, we caught seven largemouth bass. It is embellished with untold numbers of patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, sago pondweed, and an array of manmade piles of brush, which are covered with three to eight feet of water. A submerged creek channel, which is covered with eight to 15 feet of water, meanders along the west side of this flat. The PB&J Finesse WormZ rig caught four of the seven largemouth bass; one was caught on the initial drop of the rig, and the other three were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three of the seven were caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in five to seven feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass around a flat and shallow-water main-lake point. This point isn't graced with significant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, but there are three large manmade piles of brush and two minor patches of American pondweed. The largemouth bass was caught on the PB&J Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation near the outside edge of a patch of American pondweed in about five feet of water.

Four largemouth bass were caught around another flat and shallow-water main-lake point. This point is endowed with about half of a dozen manmade piles of brush. A few of those piles are intertwined with some bushy pondweed and coontail. And there are a few meager patches of bushy pondweed and coontail adorning several portions of this point. Two of the four largemouth were caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The other two were caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in five to six feet of water.

Aug. 17

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 17 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., we fished at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. It is a different Corps' reservoir than the one we fished on Aug. 13.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on Aug. 6 with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas. We fished in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and we caught a combination of 52 largemouth bass and spotted bass, 12 white bass, and one black crappie.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the fishing would be poor, but the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 3:05 a.m. to 5:05 a.m., 9:17 a.m. to 11:17 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The weather was unsettled and thunderstorms were erupting across north-central Texas throughout the day. The barometric pressure measured 30.04 at 6:00 a.m. and 30.08 at 11:00 a.m.

The sky conditions fluctuated from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast, and it lightly rained on us from 7:51 a.m. to 8:09 a.m. The wind angled out of the southeast at 5 to 10 mph. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 78 degrees and the afternoon high reached 83 degrees, which is unusually mild for this part of Texas in August.

The water displayed about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. The water level was half of a foot below its normal pool.

We spent four hours and 45 minutes dissecting main-lake black-bass haunts in the reservoir's southwest tributary arm.

The majority of the submerged terrain in this tributary arm is composed of red clay and pea gravel mixed with chunk rock and large boulders. Almost all of the terrestrial vegetation that was flooded a couple of months ago is now on dry land.

Even though In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated poor fishing, the black-bass fishing was outstanding by north-central Texas' standards. By the time this outing came to a close, our mechanical counter indicated that we had caught and released 44 spotted bass, 15 largemouth bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid, and this spotted-bass hybrid is the first one that we have encountered at this reservoir. We also crossed paths with four white bass and one freshwater drum.

Twenty-seven of the 60 black bass were caught along seven flat and rocky main-lake points; 16 were caught around the rocky perimeter of a main-lake island; nine were caught from a shallow ledge along a 60-yard stretch of a flat pea-gravel and chunk-rock shoreline, and eight were caught from a 75-yard section of a steep and rocky shoreline that possessed a 40- to 60-degree slope.

We failed to locate any black bass around a small floating tractor-tire reef at the entrance to a marina, along two riprap embankments at the ends of a large bridge, and inside a minor main-lake cove on the north side of the tributary arm.

All of these fish were caught in three to six feet of water and within 15 to 20 feet of the water's edge.

As for the black bass, forty of them were allured by a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; 15 were bewitched by a slightly shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, two were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning ZinkerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead; one engulfed the Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat fastened on an 1/8-ounce Z-Man's pearl Trout Eye Finesse Jighead; one was fooled by a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning Trick ShotZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and another one preferred a Z-Man's shiner Finesse ShadZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The two pearl Baby Goat rigs were employed with a moderate-pace swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water. The mud-minnow Hula StickZ, white-lightning ZinkerZ, white-lightning Trick ShotZ, and shiner Finesse ShadZ rigs were mostly employed with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Several bass were also caught on a slow swim-and-pause presentation with the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig.

In conclusion, we caught an average of 12 bass per hour. What's more, we have not caught 60 or more black bass at this reservoir since the late-spring of 2016, and we suspect that we will be hard-pressed to duplicate this stellar outing in the near future.

Aug. 19

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 18 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an unedited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 71 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 88 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and south at 3 to 12 mph with one gust of 18 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being cluttered with a few clouds to being mostly cloudy to being partly cloudy. (It sprinkled on me for a few minutes.) The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:52 a.m., 30.02 at 5:52 a.m., 30.04 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:53 a.m. to 10:53 a.m., 8:53 p.m. to 10:53 p.m., and 2:08 a.m. to 4:08 a.m.

I made my first cast at 11:06 a.m. and my last one at 2:20 p.m.

I was the only angler afloat. And there were no anglers walking along the shoreline. We have noticed that the fishing pressure has been amazingly minimal at all of the community and state reservoirs in northeastern Kansas that we have fished in 2021. Since 2015, the fishing pressure at all of our community, federal, and state reservoirs had increased dramatically, and during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the fishing pressure was incredibly intense. In our eyes, our waterways need this decline.

One of the woes of being an old codger in the Midwest finesse world is that I can remember the numerous outings when I and my various fishing partners tangled with 101 or more largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours back in the heydays of our youth. During those good-old days, we used to relish the so-called dog days of August. For example, Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, and I caught 111 smallmouth bass at one of northeastern Kansas' federal reservoirs on Aug. 9, 2016, from 10:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. But since the increase in bass tournaments and recreational angling, the largemouth bass virus making its nasty mark on many of our waterways -- even on the smallmouth bass populations -- and significant amounts of the aquatic vegetation being eradicated from several of our waterways, our ability to tangled with 101 black bass an outing has vanished. Consequently, the dog days of August have become trying for me. For example, I struggled mightily on this Aug. 19, 2021, outing to tangle with 21 largemouth bass in three hours and 14 minutes.

On Aug. 13, parts of northeastern Kansas were walloped with four to eight inches of rain, and some of that precipitation flowed into this reservoir, and its water level was still more than a foot above normal. The water exhibited from less than 10 inches in the backs of several of its feeder-creek arms to about 30 inches of visibility around several mid-lake areas. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 85 degrees.

Along about a 150-yard stretch of a shoreline in the middle section of a primary feeder-creek arm, I caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this shoreline consists of gravel, rocks, and some significant boulders. The shoreline is adorned with many overhanging trees, a number of laydowns, and many patches of American water willows. It has a 35- to 50-degree slope. These largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught around some boulders on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. One was caught around a laydown on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. Two were caught in the vicinity of the outside edge of patches of American water willows; one was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about 2 ½ feet of water; the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 100-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this primary feeder-creek arm's middle section. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with about a dozen large stumps. The shoreline is adorned with an array of overhanging trees, several laydowns, a deteriorated beaver hut, and patches of American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig in about 2 ½ feet of water around a few boulders and under an overhanging tree.

I eked out one largemouth bass along about a 75-yard stretch of the front section of a shoreline inside another primary feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline is endowed with a few laydowns and many patches of American water willows. It has a 35-degree slope. This largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig as I was strolling with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation parallel to the American water willows in about four feet of water.

Along about a 75-yard section of a main-lake shoreline near the middle portions of the reservoir, I caught one largemouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This shoreline is endowed with one laydown, one overhanging tree, and many patches of American water willows. It has a 40- to 75-degree slope. A submerged creek channel meanders nearby. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead around a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught along a shoreline about halfway inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower section of this reservoir. This shoreline has a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. The water's edge is lined with American water willows, two overhanging trees, and a few minor laydowns. The largemouth bass were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig as I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water adjacent to the American water willows.

I fished along most of the shorelines of the dam and spillway. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The dam has a 60- to 70-degree slope. The spillway has a 15-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with many shallow-water patches of American water willows, a patch of cattails, several logs, and a few piles of brush. I failed to engender a strike around the spillway. Along the dam, I struggled to catch three largemouth bass. One was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation adjacent to a patch of American water willows in four to five feet of water. Two were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Along two shorelines near the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm in the lower section of the reservoir, I caught six largemouth bass.

One of the two shorelines has about a 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a multitude of humongous boulders. It is adorned with one overhanging tree, lined with patches of American water willows, a few stumps, and some minor laydowns or piles of brush. I fished about 100 yards of this shoreline, and it yielded four largemouth bass. They were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the boulders and near the outside edges of the American water willows in 3 ½ to five feet of water.

The other shoreline has a 45- to 60-degree slope and quickly plunges into deep water. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its shoreline has one dock and patches of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water. The second one was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation parallel to the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in five to six feet of water.

I caught two largemouth bass along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the lower section of the reservoir. This shoreline has a 40- to 45-degree slope, and deep water is nearby. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

At 2:20 p.m. I caught largemouth bass number 21 and went home. Largemouth bass number 21 was caught along about a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline about a third of the way inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower section of the reservoir. It has a 45- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is enhanced with handsome patches of American water willows and a few minor patches of brush. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. This largemouth bass was caught on the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation parallel to the patches of American water willows in three to four feet of water.

On my drive home, I pondered about this old codger's diminishing stamina and abilities as an angler during the dog days of August. I spent some moments thinking about the sorry state of the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass populations in our community, federal, and state reservoirs. And I also wondered if we will ever again catch 101 or more largemouth bass or smallmouth bass in four hours.

Aug. 20

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 20 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We opted to fish at one of several state reservoirs in north-central Texas.

This reservoir has become our most bountiful venue during the past couple of years, but lately, its largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and spotted-bass hybrids seem to be in a funk.

For example, on July 26, Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, and I fished at this reservoir for 4 1/2 hours, and it was a grind for us to catch 15 largemouth bass and eight spotted bass in 4 1/2 hours. Usually, we can catch more than 30 black bass during a 4 1/2-hour outing.

Another reason why my cohorts and I have not returned to this reservoir in almost a month is because the black-bass fishing at several of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' impoundments in north-central Texas has suddenly become quite good, and they are located much closer to my home in Denton. Therefore, we have enjoyed spending less time driving and more time fishing.

About five inches of much needed rain fell on Denton and the surrounding countryside on Aug. 18 and 19. On Aug 20, the rain had moved off to the east, and about 70 percent of the sky was covered with thick grey clouds during the early morning hours; then it was cloudless by 9:20 a.m. The morning low temperature was 75 degrees. The afternoon high temperature reached 96 degrees. And much to our delight, the humidity level was minimal for the first time in weeks. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, and southwest at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure was steady at 29.87.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the black-bass fishing would be poor on Aug. 20, and the best fishing would most likely occur from 3:13 a.m. to 5:13 a.m., 9:27 a.m. to 11:27 a.m., and 9:56 p.m. to 11:56 p.m.

Norman and I were afloat from 7:00 a.m. to noon.

The water exhibited about three feet of visibility in most places, but there was about a foot of clarity along one stretch of a main-lake island's shoreline that was buffeted by the 15-mph winds and white-capped waves. The surface temperature ranged from 81.7 to 82.8 degrees. The water level was normal.

During this five-hour jaunt, we targeted only main-lake black-bass lairs in the lower, middle, and upper sections of the reservoir. The action was much better than it was on July 26. We had fun tussling with 29 largemouth bass and 27 spotted bass even though the size of them was not impressive. We also caught four white bass and one large bluegill.

In the lower, middle, and upper sections of the reservoir, we targeted four main-lake islands, a main-lake bluff, four main-lake jetties, an offshore main-lake rock ledge, and an offshore hump. All of these locations were entertaining significant concentrations of threadfin shad.

The four main-lake islands are scattered around the lower and middle sections of the reservoir. One is located in the southeast end of the impoundment, and one is situated in the middle portion of the main-lake area and is about a quarter of a mile from the nearest shoreline. The other two are located along the west side of the impoundment.

We failed to catch a black bass or garner any strikes from the island in the middle section of the reservoir and at one of the two islands on the west side of the reservoir.

Around the southeast island and one of the west-side islands, we caught 17 largemouth bass, nine spotted bass, and one large bluegill. These two islands' topography are completely opposite of each other. The southeast island is flat and cluttered with thick patches of partially-flooded bushes, stickups, and standing timber. The west-side island's shoreline is steep and is adorned with chunk rock and boulders.

These 26 black bass were caught in three to eight feet of water. Fifteen of them were caught around the outside edges of the thick patches of partially-flooded bushes and stickups that surround the southeast island. The other 11 were caught from the sides of the large submerged boulders that grace the west-side island.

Along the deep-water side of a main-lake rock ledge, we caught 13 spotted bass, eight largemouth bass, and four white bass. This ledge is located in the middle section of the reservoir and near the east shoreline. It is situated about 40 to 70 feet from the water's edge. The top of the ledge possesses several rock piles of various sizes and is covered with three to five feet of water. The deep-water side of the ledge rapidly descends into 30 or more feet of water. We caught some of these 21 black bass mixed in with a school of white bass as they were foraging on a few small pods of threadfin shad on the surface; the depth of the water ranged from 19 to 30 feet. The other black bass were caught in three to five feet of water around the larger submerged boulders on the top of the ledge.

Of the four main-lake jetties that we investigated, two are located on the east shoreline in the midsection of the reservoir, and the other two are located on the east shoreline in the reservoir's upper end. They are all covered with riprap.

Only one of the two jetties in the upper end of the impoundment was productive; it yielded one spotted bass and one largemouth bass. The spotted bass was caught in six feet of water and about 15 feet away from the riprap that covers the jetty. The largemouth bass was caught in four feet of water from a cluster of flooded cedar trees and buck brush that are situated near the jetty. The two riprap jetties in the midsection of the reservoir were fruitless.

The main-lake bluff yielded five spotted bass and one channel catfish. This bluff is located on the east shoreline in the midsection of the reservoir. It is about 75 yards long and is adorned with countless submerged boulders, chunk rock, and four boathouses. All of these fish were caught in a 25-yard section of the bluff near large submerged boulders in five to eight feet of water.

We also probed a main-lake hump. It lies about 100 yards south of the main-lake island in the middle section of the reservoir. The top of the hump is covered with eight to 12 feet of water, and it is surrounded by 20 or more feet of water. A large rock pile is situated on the north end of the hump and is covered with eight feet of water. We dissected the rock hump for about 15 minutes, but we could generate only one subtle strike which we failed to hook.

Thirty-seven of these 56 black bass were caught on either a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-steel Slim SwimZ fastened on a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jighead. Nineteen of them were allured by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. We failed to garner any strikes with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a steady swimming retrieve.

Aug. 21

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 21 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We conducted a five-hour excursion at a state reservoir in north-central Texas. This is a different state reservoir than the one Norman Brown of Lewisville and I fished on Aug. 20. Bill and I chose to fish at this reservoir on a Saturday morning so we could avoid the usual Saturday-morning crowds and chaos that occurs on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs.

This is a fairly new impoundment to me and Bill. Until this year, it was a reservoir that I drove by on my way to and from another reservoir in southern Oklahoma, and I never stopped to fish it. This was my third outing here and Bill's second.

The first time I fished at this reservoir was on May 28 with Bill. During that excursion, the sky was overcast and the wind was angling out of the northeast at 10 to 15 mph. It was an enjoyable black-bass endeavor, and we caught 20 spotted bass and 17 largemouth bass in six hours.

My second outing at this impoundment occurred on June 14. I fished with Rick Allen of Dallas and his grandson Tim Michels of Sulphur Springs, Texas. It was a sunny day with little wind. The black-bass bite was much more difficult than it was on May 28. We fished for four hours, and we had a tough time locating and catching eight largemouth bass and four spotted bass.

This third outing was what we would consider above-average for our neck of the woods. We hooked a combination of 23 largemouth bass and spotted bass and landed 20 of them. We also accidentally caught three channel catfish, one large green sunfish, and a bluegill.

Weather wise, the morning hours of Aug. 21 started off overcast, but by 9:30 a.m., it was sunny and the sky was mostly clear with a few passing clouds. The wind was light and variable, and at times, it was calm. The morning low temperature was 75 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 97 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.86 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.91 at noon.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 4:04 a.m. to 6:04 a.m., 10:17 a.m. to 12:17 p.m., and 10:45 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. It also indicated that the fishing would be good.

We were afloat from 7:00 a.m. to noon.

We concentrated our efforts on a clay and pea-gravel main-lake flat and an adjacent rocky main-lake point, four other rocky main-lake points, one main-lake bluff and a bluff situated just inside the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm, the riprap-laden dam, and a 35-yard section of a steep shoreline inside a minor feeder-creek arm.

This outing was what many anglers would call a junk-fishing endeavor. We employed nine Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ rigged Texposed on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin weedless finesse mushroom-style jig, a three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ rigged Texposed on a 1/16-ounce blue weedless finesse mushroom-style jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's shiner Finesse ShadZ rigged on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The water was stained and exhibited about 30 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 83. 8 to 84.8 degrees. The water level was normal.

This reservoir has several varieties of aquatic vegetation: American water willows, American pondweed, yellow floating-heart, milfoil, coontail, and muskgrass.

We caught seven largemouth and spotted bass at a main-lake flat and an adjacent main-lake point. The shallow-water portions of this flat and the adjoining main-lake point are covered with several patches of yellow floating-heart vegetation, American water willows, and American pondweed. The underwater terrain consists of clay, pea gravel, rocks, and a few submerged boulders. These black bass were caught around the outside edges of the patches of yellow floating-heart and American pondweed in three to five feet of water. One was caught on the three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve. Another one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ combo and a steady swimming retrieve. The third one was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ rig, and four were caught on the 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's TRD TubeZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and shake retrieve.

The other four main-lake points surrendered seven largemouth and spotted bass. These main-lake points are flat and possess numerous large rocks and boulders. These bass were caught in three to seven feet of water. Five of them were allured by the 2 3/4-inch green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation around and over the top of the submerged rocks and boulders. One was tempted by the shiner Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Along the main-lake rock bluff, we caught two spotted bass and lost a third one that was able to liberate itself before we could get it to the boat. This bluff is located near the dam on the reservoir's north end. It is cluttered with overhanging trees, a few laydowns, large boulders, submerged tree trunks, and a rock ledge.

These spotted bass were suspended five to seven feet below the surface in 19 feet of water and about 30 to 45 feet from the water's edge. They were enticed into striking the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig. Of the two that we caught, one was caught on a slow swim-and-pause presentation, and the other one was caught on a slight variation of the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The one that we failed to land was induced by the swim-and-pause motif.

The other bluff is situated at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the impoundment. It is graced with a couple of laydowns, some large boulders, and many submerged tree trunks and stumps. This bluff yielded two largemouth bass and one bluegill that engulfed the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation near the end of a laydown in five feet of water. We also hooked and lost one spotted bass and another largemouth bass that were relating to the end of the same laydown.

Along the riprap-laden dam, we caught one largemouth bass, a large green sunfish, and one channel catfish. This dam is about 60 yards long and located on the reservoir's north end. It is endowed with a large concrete spillway, a medium-size concrete outlet tower, several laydowns, and some submerged stumps and tree trunks. This largemouth bass and the channel catfish were both allured by the 2 3/4-inch green-pumpkin TRD Tube Z combo and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in five to seven feet of water and about 15 to 20 feet from the water's edge.

The concrete tower adjacent to the dam relinquished only one channel catfish. It was suspended next to one of the corners of the tower; the water at the corner of the tower is 21 feet deep. It was also caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The area around the spillway was surrounded by a large partially-submerged chain-link fence, so, we were unable to fish there.

We caught one spotted bass and one channel catfish from a 30-yard section of a steep shoreline. This shoreline is located in the middle portion of the southeast feeder-creek arm. Its submerged terrain consists of clay, pea gravel, chunk rock, and boulders. This shoreline has two decorative rock retaining walls and six boat docks. The spotted bass was caught from the side of a large patch of rocks and boulders in five feet of water. It was coaxed into striking the shiner Finesse ShadZ rig as it was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The channel catfish was caught in 12 feet of water from underneath one of the boat docks with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig.

In closing, the 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TubeZ rigged on a chartreuse Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead was the most effective Midwest finesse rig, and it was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Aug. 24

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 24 outing with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We fished from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at a prominent and popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. This was Roger's first black-bass outing in 2021.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the fishing would be average. The best fishing would occur from 12:26 a.m. to 2:26 a.m., 6:39 a.m. to 8:39 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The sky was cloudless. The wind was calm from the time we launched the boat at 6:45 a.m. until 9:17 a.m. Then it began to stir out of the southeast at 5 to 10 mph. Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 76 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 100 degrees.

The water displayed between 14 and 18 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. The water level was 0.17 of a foot above normal pool.

We spent 4 1/2 hours searching for largemouth bass and spotted bass around a slew of main-lake black-bass lairs in the lower end of the reservoir.

Like most of the aging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas, this impoundment is devoid of aquatic vegetation. Its submerged terrain consists of silt, red clay, some sand, pea gravel, chunk rock, and large boulders.

The black-bass fishing continues to be outstanding by north-central Texas' standards. We caught and released 36 spotted bass, six largemouth bass, and one white bass.

Twenty-five of these 42 black bass were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat that was rigged on either a blue or a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and employed with a steady swimming retrieve. Fifteen were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ matched with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One spotted bass was enticed into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that was used with a steady swimming retrieve.

A combination of 21 largemouth bass and spotted bass, and one white bass, were caught around clusters of chunk rock in three to six feet of water from the shady west- and south-sides of a main-lake island. Six spotted bass were caught in three to five feet of water from two flat and rocky main-lake points. Ten largemouth and spotted bass were caught in four to seven feet of water from two flat and rock-laden main-lake shorelines. Four largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught around a series of 11 concrete bridge-support columns underneath a railroad-trestle bridge, and these five bass were suspended in five to eight feet of water below the surface next to the concrete support columns that are situated in 27 to 43 feet of water.

In closing, we discovered that the black-bass bite is still strong in the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas. Main-lake points, main-lake islands, and main-lake shorelines with submerged terrains of red clay and pea-gravel mixed with chunk rock have been the most productive areas.

During our August outings, we have also been experimenting with an array of Midwest finesse rigs. And we have determined that steadily swimming a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl or blue-steel Slim SwimZ have been the most effective lures and presentation from about 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. After that, the Baby Goat and Slim SwimZ bite begins to wane; then a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ or a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's TRD TubeZ in either The Deal, Drew's craw, or green-pumpkin hues becomes more effective.

Aug. 26

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 26 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 75 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 95 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the southeast, east, southwest, and south at 3 to 12 mph with one gust of 18 mph. It was calm at 7:52 a.m. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:52 a.m., 30.04 at 5:52 a.m., 30.06 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.04 at 1:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 1:56 a.m. to 3:36 a.m., 2:17 p.m. to 4:17 p.m., and 8:06 a.m. to 10:06 a.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 86 degrees. The seechi stick indicated that the water exhibited from four to six feet of visibility.

I was the only angler afloat. There were about two dozen college students engaged in a biology-class project along one shoreline, and three anglers walking along two shorelines.

I made my first cast at 11:05 a.m. This was another one of my more and more frequent geriatric outings, which are two-hour or less endeavors.

On this outing, I planned to fish until I caught largemouth bass number 20 and no later than 1:05 p.m. I caught largemouth bass number 20 at 12:40 p.m. And from 12:41 p.m. to 1:01 p.m., I used my bow-mounted trolling motor to slowly propel the boat to the boat ramp, which allowed me to casually put away my tackle as I searched for patches of submerged aquatic vegetation across a portion of a shallow-water main-lake flat that I haven't fished for many months. As I searched and slowly put away my tackle, I strolled with either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a Z-Man's bubble-gut Finesse TRD affixed to a 1/16-ounce blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. As I strolled, I employed a slow swimming-and-gliding presentation with these rigs. The Finesse ShadZ rig caught three largemouth bass in five to seven feet of water around patches of bushy pondweed and coontail. The Finesse TRD rig caught one in about five feet of water near a submerged cedar tree.

I caught 11 largemouth bass across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of a primary feeder-creek arm. This flat is endowed with oodles of patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, sago pondweed, and manmade piles of brush. A submerged creek channel meanders along the west side of this flat.

One of the 11 largemouth bass was caught around a patch of coontail in about six feet of water on the initial drop of a slightly shortened Z-Man's PB&J Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other ten were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig; three were caught on the initial drop; seven were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and piles of brush in five to seven feet of water.

Three largemouth bass were caught around a large and flat main-lake point. This point is graced with a few patches of bushy pondweed, some meager patches of coontail, and about six piles of brush. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

Across a large shallow-water flat in the back of another primary feeder-creek arm, I caught five largemouth bass. This flat is dissected by three submerged feeder creeks. It is embellished with scores of patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and piles of brush. These largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig; two were caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water; three were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water.

Aug. 27

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 27 outing with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:00 a.m. to noon, we fished at our most penurious U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. As we arrived at the boat ramp, we discovered that we were the first ones there. We also noticed that as the morning unfolded, the amount of boat traffic was almost nonexistent for the first time in months.

It was hot and humid. The sky was cloudless. The barometric pressure measured 29.93 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.94 at noon. The wind blew incessantly out of the southeast at 12 to 15 mph. The afternoon high temperature reached 93 degrees with a heat index of 101 degrees. The morning low temperature was 76 degrees.

The water level was about a foot high. The water clarity ranged from 18 inches around a main-lake island in the southern region of the reservoir to 14 inches around several main-lake points in the reservoir's northwest end. The surface temperature ranged from 86.2 to 88.7 degrees.

The solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 2:49 a.m. to 4:49 a.m., 3:11 p.m. to 5:11 p.m., and 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. It also noted that the fishing would be poor, but in our eyes, the black-bass bite was very good. We caught a mixed bag of 36 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass. And while we were pursuing black bass, we also crossed paths with two large bluegill, one channel catfish, one freshwater drum, and one white bass.

The black-bass bite was pretty decent for the first 90 minutes of the outing, but after 8:30 a.m., the fishing slowed to a crawl. Then, we were relegated to covering a lot of water in order to catch one or two bass at a variety of locales.

We began the outing in the lower end of the reservoir, where we caught 10 largemouth and two spotted bass. Eight of the largemouth bass were caught in less than five feet of water around partially-flooded laydowns and buck brush that festoon the perimeter of a mid-lake island. In less than four feet of water, we caught two spotted bass from a rock- and brush-laden main-lake point. Two largemouth bass were caught in five to eight feet of water along a rocky shoreline at the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm. We also caught one white bass from the side of a floating tractor-tire reef at the mouth of a marina, but we did not catch any black bass there.

The northwest end of the reservoir was much more fruitful. It relinquished 24 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass.

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