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Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2022

John Thomas of Denton, Texas, with one of the spotted bass that he and Steve Reideler caught on Aug. 9.

Aug. 1

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 1 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., we fished at a state reservoir in north-central Texas.

We had the luxury of an overcast sky for most of the morning, which kept the morning's temperature from climbing too quickly. The morning's low temperature was 84 degrees, but when the clouds dissipated and the sun began to shine at 11:08 a.m., it became quite humid, and the afternoon's high temperature skyrocketed to 106 degrees. The wind was pleasant and a bit refreshing as it meandered out of the south and southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 6:00 a.m. and 30.01 at 11:00 a.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be poor, but the most productive fishing periods would occur from 4:47 a.m. to 6:47 a.m., 10:59 a.m. to 12:59 p.m., and 11:23 p.m. to 1:23 a.m.

This outing turned out to be another junk-fishing endeavor. We employed an array of Midwest finesse rigs, and eight of them were effective.

A steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on either a Z-Man's chartreuse 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce finesse fish-head-style jig allured 13 spotted bass, six largemouth bass, and one hybridized spotted-bass. Five spotted bass were tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The swim-glide-and-shake and hop-and-bounce presentations with a Z-Man's purple-death TRD TicklerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead enticed two largemouth bass and one spotted bass. A Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve induced two more spotted bass. A slow-swimming retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ mounted on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught one spotted bass. A Z-Man's chartreuse 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead sporting a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's chartreuse-sparkle GrubZ and a slow-swimming retrieve fooled another spotted bass. And one spotted bass was caught on a hop-and-bounce presentation with a four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ matched with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's BulletZ jig.

The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees. The water level appeared to be about a foot low.

We spent our time mostly at main-lake locales, which consisted of main-lake points, a couple of main-lake flats, a riprap-laden dam, main-lake shorelines, and two of these shorelines are endowed with a rock-laden bluff .

This reservoir has several varieties of aquatic vegetation, such as American water willows, American pondweed, yellow floating-heart, milfoil, coontail, and muskgrass, but they were not entertaining many black bass during this outing.

In the northeast region of this reservoir, we caught three spotted bass and one largemouth bass in three to eight feet of water around the riprap that covers a dam.

Five spotted bass were caught in three to 12 feet of water from a 100-yard stretch of a rock bluff that merges into the south end of the dam.

A 50-yard section of rocky main-lake shoreline that abuts the north end of the dam relinquished three spotted bass that were abiding in five to 10 feet of water next to the deep-water side of a shallow rock ledge.

In the reservoir's south end, we caught 11 spotted bass and two largemouth bass from the end of a concrete boat ramp that lies on the side of a flat and rocky main-lake point. These bass were abiding in two to seven feet of water. The end of this point and a clay-and-gravel main-lake flat that is adjacent to this point were fruitless.

Around the vicinity of another rocky main-lake point that lies about half a mile to the east of the first main-lake point with the boat ramp, we caught two largemouth bass and one hybrid-spotted bass. This point has a steep incline of about 45 degrees. There are numerous patches of American pondweed around it. These three black bass were caught in five to seven feet of water from the outside edge of a large patch of American pondweed.

In the north end of the reservoir, we caught one spotted bass in about three feet of water from the end of another concrete boat ramp that is situated on the east end of a 60-yard long main-lake shoreline. We enticed several other subtle strikes along this shoreline, but we failed to hook those fish.

The second main-lake bluff, which is situated a short distance from the 60-yard main-lake shoreline, yielded two largemouth bass. This bluff is graced with patches of American pondweed, some standing timber, and submerged stumps. This bluff is long and stretches into the lower end of a major feeder-creek arm. Both of these largemouth bass were caught from the main-lake end of this bluff in seven to nine feet of water. We also fished about a 75- yard segment of the bluff in the lower end of the creek arm, but we failed to garner any strikes there.

In the western portion of this reservoir, we explored an enormous bay that encompasses an enormous mud flat, a long clay-and-gravel shoreline, a small cove with several boat docks and a small patch of yellow-heart pads, and a gravel-and-clay main-lake point at the entrance to the bay.

Across the long clay-and-gravel shoreline, which is located on the north side of the bay, we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline is flat, and its shallow-water areas are littered with a myriad of laydowns, submerged logs, and stumps. This largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water from the side of a large submerged log that was lying about 10 feet from the water's edge.

The main-lake point at the entrance to this bay surrendered one spotted bass. This point is flat. It is bedecked with red clay, gravel, and a few submerged stumps and logs. This spotted bass was caught in three feet of water on the top of the point. It was associated with one of the larger submerged stumps.

In conclusion, the black-bass bite was what we consider to be stellar for this reservoir. We caught 33 black bass in five hours. Twenty-five of them were spotted bass, eight were largemouth bass, and one was a hybridized spotted bass. We also caught two large bluegills, one green sunfish, and one white bass by happenstance. Not a bad start for August.

Aug. 2

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 2 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 75 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 98 degrees. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 3 to 21 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.93 at 12:53 a.m., 29.94 at 5:53 a.m., 29.92 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.87 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 85 degrees. The water has about four feet of visibility along the dam and about three feet along two shorelines in the upper half of this reservoir. Most of this reservoir's patches of coontail and blankets of duckweeds have disappeared, but significant wads of filamentous algae clutter the water's edges.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 a.m., and 8:41 a.m. to 10:41 a.m.

I made my first cast at 10:44 a.m. and my last one at 2:50 p.m.

I caught 28 largemouth bass, three green sunfish, and one warmouth. Throughout most of this outing, I elicited scores of picayunish strikes that I failed to hook. I suspect that most of those strikes were rendered by bluegill and green sunfish.

One of the 28 largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. It was caught along the dam.

Along the other five areas that I fished, a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 25 largemouth bass.

A Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's Mushroom Jighead caught one largemouth bass.

And a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig caught one largemouth bass.

The shoreline of the dam yielded two largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally entwined with a few meager patches of coontail and many wads of filamentous algae. A few piles of brush also enhance the underwater terrain. Portions of the water's edge are lined with patches of American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam.

One of the dam's two largemouth bass was caught on the coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation adjacent to the inside wall of the outlet tower in about six feet of water.

The second largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water in front of a patch of American water willows.

An offshore ledge that is situated in the lower quarter of the reservoir produced one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are gigantic. The Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation caught this largemouth bass in about six feet of water around some of the boulders.

In the middle section of the reservoir, three largemouth bass were caught along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. These boulders create some ledges. The water's edge is lined with six docks, a few patches of American water willows, and three overhanging trees.

These three largemouth bass were caught adjacent to a large patch of American water willows on the Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about three feet of water. One was caught on a deadstick presentation in five to six feet of water. One was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Five largemouth bass were caught along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This massive stretch of water has a 20- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows, wads of filamentous algae, some overhanging trees, 10 docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, occasional piles of brush, and a few laydowns.

One of the five largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation as I was strolling adjacent to a concrete retaining wall.

The Finesse WormZ rig inveigled one on the five largemouth bass under an overhanging tree as I was employing a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

The third of the five largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around another overhanging tree in about six feet of water.

The fourth largemouth bass was caught in about two feet of water on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig next to a wad of filamentous algae.

The fifth one was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig as I was employing the swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a meager patch of coontail adjacent to a dock in about six feet of water.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, I caught 13 largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with a few sorry coontail patches. The water's edge is lined with 20 docks, several concrete and rock retaining walls, several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, one massive laydown, and some piles of brush.

One of the 13 largemouth bass was caught as I was dragging and shaking the Finesse WormZ rig in about nine feet of water on piles of rocks between two docks.

Four of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on and around the massive laydown while I employed a relatively fast swim–glide–and–shake presentation with the Finesse WormZ rig. This retrieve was executed one to two feet below the surface, and the rig did not touch any portion of the laydown.

Between two docks, I caught one largemouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Across a flat portion of this shoreline that is embellished with the meager residue of a once magnificent patch of coontail, the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught one largemouth bass in about four feet of water.

Six of the 13 largemouth bass were caught on a significant pile of rocks that is adorned with a tiny patch of coontail. Two sides of this pile of rocks and patch of coontail are bordered by two docks. Five of the six largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. One of the six largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the pearl TRD TicklerZ rig in about six feet of water.

In the middle section of the reservoir, I fished along about a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. It possesses a 20- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. An offshore ledge that plummets into deep water parallels a portion of this shoreline. The water's edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows, one overhanging tree, wads of filamentous algae, and 12 docks.

This shoreline yielded four largemouth bass.

One was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig around a wad of filamentous algae in about 2 ½ feet of water.

The second one was caught between two docks on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation of the Finesse WormZ rig in about 10 feet of water.

The third and fourth ones were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig adjacent to the shady side of a dock with a drag-and-shake presentation; one was caught in about six feet of water, and the other one was caught in about 10 feet of water.

In conclusion, the first two hours and five minutes were very trying. It was a struggle to catch seven largemouth bass. During the final two hours and one minute, I was able to catch 21 largemouth bass.

Aug. 4

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug.4 outing with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Local thermometers recorded the morning's low temperature at 82 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature at 104 degrees. The wind blew out of the south at 5 to 12 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.85 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.87 at noon.

Bear Brundrett and I conducted a six-hour and one-minute piscary excursion at a rural state reservoir in north-central Texas. This state reservoir is located about 53 miles from the other state reservoir that Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished on Aug 1.

The water exhibited 3 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. The water level was 5.76 feet below its normal summer pool, and we are concerned that if the water level drops much further, the local authorities that oversee this impoundment will close the boat ramps.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing periods would occur from 5:36 a.m. to 7:36 a.m., 11:23 a.m. to 1:23 p.m., and 5:58 p.m. to 7:58 p.m. It also noted that the fishing would be great.

We fished from 6:20 a.m. to 12:21 p.m.

We started at a main-lake island that is situated in the southeast section of the reservoir. Its shoreline is flat. Its underwater terrain is composed of clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, and large boulders. With the reservoir's low water level, most of the rocks, boulders, stickups, stumps, and bushes that we normally target around this island are now out of water.

First, we fished around most of the island's perimeter, and we caught one spotted bass and one largemouth bass. They were caught near the remaining submerged patches of chunk rocks and boulders in three to four feet of water. The spotted bass engulfed a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The largemouth bass was caught on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ fastened on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Both of these rigs were employed with a slow and steady swimming retrieve.

Our next spot was a 50-yard section of a flat and boulder-laden main-lake shoreline just east of the island that we just fished. This shoreline yielded one spotted bass and one white bass. The shoreline was shaded from the sun. It is endowed with red clay, small gravel, chunk rocks, slab boulders, a decorative stone retaining wall, and two boat houses. The largemouth bass and white bass were caught around the larger slab boulders in three to six feet of water and within 20 feet of the water's edge. They were allured by a slow-and-steady swimming retrieve with the Z-Man's pearl GrubZ. We failed to elicit any strikes from around or underneath the two boat houses.

After that, we fished around two rocky main-lake points, then, we scanned the perimeter of another main-lake island in the midsection of the reservoir. We failed to garner any strikes at the two main-lake points. Our 2D and side-imaging sonar revealed a lack of threadfin shad around the main-lake island, so we did not make any casts there.

Our third spot is located in the midsection of the reservoir's east shoreline. We dissected a main-lake bluff that is about 75 yards long. The base of the bluff is cluttered with a multitude of large rocks and boulders, and deep water lies adjacent to it. ThFour boat houses adornhe lower end of the bluff. This was our most fruitful locale; it relinquished five largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one freshwater drum. Four of the largemouth bass, the two spotted bass, and the freshwater drum were caught around the large submerged boulders in four to six feet of water. One of the largemouth bass was caught from underneath one of the boat houses that is situated in 27 feet of water. It was suspended about five feet below the surface and next to a hydraulic boat lift. Four of these black bass were allured by a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's The Deal Trick ShotZ rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass and the two spotted bass were tricked by a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Our fourth stop was at two riprap-laden jetties that are located on the east side of the impoundment and about a mile south of the main-lake bluff that we just left. One of the jetties relinquished one freshwater drum. It was caught in five feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with The Deal Trick ShotZ rig. The other jetty was devoid of any black bass. There is also a small creek channel that courses between the two jetties. The portion of it that we fished is covered with 22 to 31 feet of water. We caught two spotted bass from one ledge of the creek channel that were abiding on the bottom in 22 feet of water. They were caught on The Deal TRD TicklerZ rig and a slow drag-and-deadstick presentation. We also detected a large aggregation of threadfin shad gathered in the bottom of the creek channel and along the other ledge of the channel with our sonar unit, but we were unable to elicit any strikes from those two areas.

Next, we moved to the west side of the reservoir and dissected a goodly number of submerged boulders that lie on the north end of an offshore hump. This hump is surrounded by 24 to 32 feet of water. The top of the hump is usually covered with four to 10 feet of water, but some of this hump is now out of water. We spent about 20 minutes probing the submerged boulders in water as shallow as seven feet and as deep as 32 feet, and all we could muster were a couple of subtle strikes that we failed to hook.

Our final stop was another main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is mostly flat and about 200 yards long. Its submerged terrain is comprised of red clay, pea gravel, fist-size rocks, and boulders as large as a small automobile. It is also graced with numerous points, pockets, and a few small patches of stickups. We drifted with the wind from its south end to its north end, and we garnered two spotted bass and one freshwater drum. Both of the spotted bass were relating to the sides of a couple of large submerged boulders that lie in three to five feet of water. One of the spotted bass engulfed The Deal TRD TicklerZ on the initial drop next to one of the boulders, and the other one was attracted to a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The freshwater drum was caught in more open water about 40 feet from the water's edge on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 3 1/2-inch The Deal Trick ShotZ rig.

In closing, we have considered this impoundment to be our most consistently bountiful black-bass venue for the past couple of years, but during our last two outings here, the black-bass fishing has been poor to ho-hum. For example, on July 7, Norman Brown of Lewisville and I spent 4 1/2 hours at this reservoir, and it was a laborious chore for us to scrounge up six largemouth bass and five spotted bass.

During this Aug. 4 endeavor, the fishing was a tad better, but we still had difficulty locating and catching 11 largemouth bass, six spotted bass, three freshwater drum, and one white bass. We caught the bulk of these 21 fish around shaded main-lake lairs in water less than 12 feet deep before 9:00 a.m. But once the sun was high in the sky and the shade disappeared, the shallow-water bite quickly fizzled out. We then moved out to deeper water that was 17 to 32 feet deep in hopes of developing a deep-water bite, but the only deep-water bites we managed to eke out were two spotted bass that we caught in 22 feet of water next to a creek channel.

Aug. 5

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 5 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 94 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east and southeast at 3 to 10 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 12:52 a.m., 30.01 at 5:52 a.m., 30.01 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.97 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about two feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees. Most of the water was afflicted by a minor alga bloom, and the water exhibited from 3 1/2 to five feet of visibility. To our chagrin, this reservoir's once grand patches of coontail are in dismal shape, and many of them have completely disappeared. Tiny fragments of coontail are floating on the water's surface in the back of one of the reservoir's major feeder-creek arms. Likewise, wads of a greenish-blue alga are floating on the surface at many locales. Some of these algal blooms are quite large. Despite those sour notes, this reservoir's shorelines are still adorned with the most splendid patches of American water willows in northeastern Kansas. And there is a shallow-water flat in the back of one of the feeder-creek arms endowed with a patch of water lilies about the size of a football field.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 11:28 p.m. to 1:28 p.m., and 5:14 a.m. to 7:14 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:27 a.m. and our last ones at 1:55 p.m.

During this two-hour-and 28-minute outing, it was a struggle to tangle with 27 largemouth bass and to accidentally catch three crappie, one bluegill, and one warmouth.

We spent most of this outing dissecting a massive shallow-water flat in the back of one of this reservoir's major feeder-creek arms. We estimated that this flat is about the size of six football fields. It used to abound with robust patches of coontail, but the bulk of them have disappeared. Ultimately, we found a few patches of coontail from which we caught 14 largemouth bass. They were caught in three to seven feet of water.

A Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught two of the 14 largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about three feet of water. The second one was caught on a swimming presentation while we were strolling in about six feet of water.

A Z-Man's mood-ring TRD TicklerZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught three of the 14 largemouth bass. One was caught on a deadstick presentation in about five feet of water. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in five to six feet of water.

A Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught three of the 14 largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about seven feet of water. The other two were caught on a swimming-and-slight-pause presentation in three to six feet of water.

A slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught six of the 14 largemouth bass. One was caught adjacent to a partially submerged tree trunk and a skimpy patch of coontail with a deadstick presentation in about six feet of water. Another largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of this rig around a manmade pile of brush and a meager patch of coontail in about 3 ½ feet of water. The other four were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water.

We spent about 15 minutes fishing around a main-lake point and along a portion of a secondary shoreline that is adjacent to this point. The underwater terrain of the point and shoreline consists of gravel and rocks, and bits of it are occasionally entwined with some very scrawny patches of coontail. The water's edge is graced with stellar patches of coontail, a few laydowns, and several overhanging trees.

The point was fruitless.

The shoreline, however, yielded three largemouth bass, which were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. They were caught in the shady sections of the shoreline. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig along the outside edge of the American water willows in about 3 ½ feet of water. The third one was caught by strolling and employing a swimming-and-slight-pause presentation in about six feet of water several feet from the outside edges of the American water willows.

The final 20 minutes of this outing were spent in the back end of another major feeder-creek arm, where we probed a small segment of a massive shallow-water flat and one of its adjacent shorelines and two tertiary points. We primarily search for offshore areas that are endowed with some patches of coontail, and we found a few of them. Around them, we caught 10 largemouth bass on our The Deal Slim SwimZ rigs. The shoreline and its tertiary points are lined with glorious patches of American water willows and a few laydowns, and it possesses one shaded section that is endowed with several overhanging trees. The underwater terrain of the shoreline and tertiary points consists of gravel and rocks, and a significant stretch of the shoreline and one of the tertiary points are blessed to have some anemic patches of coontail that yielded six largemouth bass. And we found several wishy-washy patches of coontail on a small segment of the shallow-water flat that produced four largemouth bass. Two of the 10 were caught on the initial drop of our Slim SwimZ rigs. Two were enticed by a short deadstick presentation of Slim SwimZ rigs. The other six were caught by a swimming-and-slight-pause presentation. These largemouth bass were caught in four to about 6 1/2 feet of water.

For years on end, we have sermonized about the necessity of having submerged aquatic vegetation, such as coontail, flourishing on all of the shallow-water areas of the flatland reservoirs that grace the landscapes of northeastern Kansas. The reservoirs that are devoid of submerged aquatic vegetation are difficult venues for Midwest finesse anglers to locate and catch largemouth bass in the summer and winter months. Thus, we were disheartened on this summer outing to witness the continued demise of this reservoir's once glorious patches of coontail. What's more, this dreadful phenomenon is occurring at several nearby reservoirs.

Aug. 9

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 9 at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 63 degrees, and it was 87 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, north, northeast, and southeast at 3 to 7 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to overcast to partly cloudy to cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.09 at 12:52 a.m., 30.06 at 5:52 a.m., 30.12 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.06 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be nearly a foot above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 84 degrees. The Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from three feet to four feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:32 a.m. to 10:32 a.m., 9:04 p.m. to 11:04 p.m., and 2:15 a.m. to 4:15 a.m.

I made my first cast at 11:53 a.m. and my last one at 2:30 p.m.

During this two-hour and 37-minute outing, I caught 42 largemouth bass, and I accidentally caught three crappie and one bluegill.

I spent the entire time dissecting submerged patches of bushy pondweeds and coontail that adorn a shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm.

And during about the last 30 minutes, Greg Cooper of Lawrence, Kansas, and I shared portions of this flat. He is a longtime Finesse News Network member. He reported that he fished this flat several evenings ago for two hours and caught 62 largemouth bass and several channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, and green sunfish on a Z-Man's Canada-craw Finesse TRD rig.

In our eyes, the size of the area that we thoroughly dissected looked to be the size of about four football fields. A submerged creek channel crisscrosses it, and this channel is intersected by two very small feeder creeks. It is cluttered with scores of manmade piles of brush constructed from eastern cedar trees. Many locales that are situated in three to seven feet of water are quilted with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. A few areas are graced with American pondweeds.

Eight of the 42 largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Nine of the 42 were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Ten were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Fifteen of the 42 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

These largemouth bass were caught in about four to about nine feet of water.

Five of the 42 largemouth bass were caught around several of the manmade piles of brush. Some of these brush piles are entwined with coontail and tads of bushy pondweeds.

Thirty-seven of the 42 were caught next to, on top of, and around the patches of American pondweeds, bushy pondweeds, and coontail.

Nine of the 42 were caught on the initial drop of the rigs. A swimming-and-pause presentation with the Slim SwimZ rigs also inveigled 12 of the largemouth bass. A swim-glide-and-shake presentation was employed with the Finesse WormZ rigs, and it caught 21 largemouth bass.

On this outing, we learned once again that bountiful largemouth bass fishing in northeastern Kansas' flatland reservoirs occurs during the summer around submerged aquatic vegetation—especially coontail. It is also an essential ingredient in the winter for bountiful fishing.

Since Leonard Jirak of Hartford, Kansas, retired on Sept. 16, 2011, we are not aware that any of our reservoir managers have worked on cultivating and maintaining aquatic vegetation in our reservoirs. We remember seeing Jirak walking nearly hip deep in the water along shorelines and planting American pondweeds and American water willows. (Here is a link to an In-Fisherman article about several of Jirak's many virtues: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/the-irreplaceable-leonard-jirak/156754.)

It is somewhat interesting to note that on Aug. 8 Pat Kehde and I fished at a northeastern Kansas' community reservoir, which was waylaid by its managers in the 2010s with numerous applications of aquatic herbicides. Since then, it has become a sorry mess. Consequently, we didn't compose a log about our struggles on Aug. 8 to catch five largemouth bass in two hours and 10 minutes.

Aug. 9

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug.9 outing with John Thomas of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:30 a.m to noon, John and I fished at a popular U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

At daybreak, the sky was partly cloudy, and as the morning progressed, it became overcast with lightning and scattered rain showers. It was also very humid. The morning's low temperature was 84 degrees. The afternoon's high reached 103 degrees before it began to rain later in the afternoon, and the temperature dropped to 82 degrees. The wind blew out of the southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 6:00 a.m. and 30.03 at noon.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be poor, and the best opportunities would occur from 2:23 a.m. to 4:23 a.m., 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m., and 9:12 p.m. to 11:12 p.m.

The water level was 1.14 feet below its normal pool. The surface temperature ranged from 86 to 87 degrees. The water exhibited about 2 1/2 feet of visibility.

We covered about four miles of the reservoir's lower end.

We made our first casts before dawn at a rocky and flat main-lake shoreline, which is situated in the southeast region of the reservoir and close to the boat ramp where we launched. Its underwater terrain is composed of clay and gravel. A concrete wall borders its water's edge. We caught one large crappie, and a few casts later, we caught a huge spotted bass that weighed three-pounds and 10-ounces. Both of these fish were caught in less than four feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. This is the largest spotted bass that we have ever seen or caught —and it is an exceptional one for north-central Texas. (It should be noted that most of the spotted bass that we catch in this part of Texas weigh less than two pounds, and we consider a two-pounder a large specimen.) Both of these fish were enticed by a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce

Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. It was implemented with a steady-swimming retrieve.

We then ventured inside a major feeder-creek arm about a mile south of the rocky main-lake shoreline where we began. We targeted an island that is located in the middle portion of the creek arm. The terrain surrounding this island is flat, and the south, west, and north sides of it consists of red clay, gravel, sandstone, and a few large boulders. The east side is dissimilar to the other three sides. Its submerged terrain is comprised of mostly sand and gravel. The east side of the island is also graced with a few large patches of American pondweeds. The sun-drenched east side of the island yielded one largemouth bass and four white bass that were abiding in three to five feet of water near the outside edges of the patches of American pondweeds. The south and west sides of the island were mostly shaded, and those two areas relinquished two largemouth bass and two spotted bass that were extracted from three to five feet of water. Two of the four black bass, and the four white bass, were allured by a steady-swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch space-guppy Slim SwimZ. The other two black bass were fooled by a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The north side of the island, which was devoid of shade and submerged aquatic vegetation, was fruitless.

From that island, we travelled about half a mile southward to three main-lake points. These points are steep with 45- to 60-degree slopes. Their shorelines are cluttered with bunches of large rocks and boulders. Two of these points were devoid of any threadfin shad and black bass. Around the third point, we stumbled upon a ledge with a rock pile on it. The ledge and rock pile are covered with seven to nine feet of water. The ledge quickly descends into 30-plus feet of water. We caught nine largemouth bass from the sides and top of the rock pile. They were allured by a slow-dragging retrieve with a 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ matched with a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

After that, we moved to the dam. The dam forms the southern boundary of this impoundment and is covered with riprap. We failed to locate any threadfin shad or black bass along the east and west sections of the dam.

At the center of the dam, there is a large outlet tower. It is surrounded by 37 to 53 feet of water. In the shaded areas of the tower's north- and west-side walls, we caught three largemouth bass and two spotted bass. They were suspended about three to five feet below the surface of the water and within a foot or two of the walls. They were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation that was retrieved parallel to the walls with the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig.

The riprap along the center of the dam and near the outlet tower yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught in less than five feet of water on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ combo.

We then made a six-minute run to the southeast end of the reservoir's west tributary arm, where we fished around a main-lake entry point to a minor feeder-creek arm, and a portion of a small and floating tractor-tire reef that is located near the entry point. The rocky main-lake point is flat and covered with large rocks and some boulders. It surrendered one largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was caught in four feet of water next to a large boulder situated on one side of the point. It was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. The remainder of this point, and the floating tractor-tire reef next to it, were fruitless.

We then meandered into the back of the feeder- creek arm and investigated a shallow clay-and-gravel flat that has been adorned with patches of Eurasian milfoil mixed with pondweeds, and to our surprise, we did not find any milfoil and only a couple of small patches of pondweeds at the water's edge. And once we discovered that the aquatic vegetation was virtually gone, we decided to move to the north side of the west tributary arm.

On our way out of the creek arm, we stopped for a few minutes at another clay-and-gravel flat in the midsection of the creek arm. This flat was adorned with several thin patches of American pondweeds, but it was devoid of threadfin shad and black bass, and we failed to elicit any strikes from it.

From that creek arm, we moved to the north side of the west tributary arm, where we scanned five main-lake points, two main-lake flats, and a submerged roadbed, and we failed to locate any shad and black bass around them.

We opted to finish the outing at the same rock pile where we caught nine largemouth bass earlier in the morning. This time, we employed the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig and a slow-crawling retrieve around the top and sides of the rock pile situated on the submerged ledge, and we caught three more largemouth bass. We also hooked a large fish near the rock pile, and it was able to break our eight-pound-test fluorocarbon leader before we could see it.

Overall, the black-bass bite was better than we expected. We were expecting to catch 14 to 17 black bass, which is what we consider an average outing for this reservoir. Instead, we caught 20 largemouth bass and five spotted bass. Besides these 25 black bass, we also caught five white bass, one channel catfish, one large crappie, and a large bluegill.

Aug. 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 11 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

I conducted a four-hour solo excursion to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. It was the first day of the new school year for the kids in north-central Texas, and I was delighted to find that the number of anglers and the amount of boat traffic at this reservoir had dropped significantly.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the best fishing periods would occur from 4:21 a.m. to 6:21 a.m., 10:37 a.m. to 12:37 p.m., and 4:52 p.m. to 6:52 p.m.

I fished from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The first eight spots that I fished are located in the southwest tributary arm and at the dam on the south end of the reservoir. The last spot I investigated is situated in the midsection of the east tributary arm.

The morning's low temperature was 78 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature peaked at 98 degrees. The high-humidity level was annoying, and I had to wipe condensation off the lenses of my sunglasses from time to time. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.03 at 11:00 a.m. The wind was calm from the time I launched my boat at 6:45 a.m. until 9:47 a.m., then it became light and variable.

The water displayed about 18 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. The water level was 2.60 feet below its normal level.

I started at a main-lake point, which is located on the south side of the reservoir's southwest tributary arm. Its submerged terrain is relatively flat and consists of red clay, small gravel, patches of chunk rocks, and a few clusters of large boulders. There are also two large laydowns and some patches of partially-flooded bushes and stickups that are usually in the shallow-water areas near the water's edge on one side of this point, but they are out of the water now.

This point relinquished six largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one white bass. These eight fish were caught in three to six feet of water around the tip of the point. They were surface-foraging on small threadfin shad, and they were herding them up against the deep-water side of a large pile of chunk rocks near the water's edge. The seven black bass were enticed by a swim-and-pause retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed on a Z-Man's blue 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. A steady swimming retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead enticed the one white bass.

My second stop was at a main-lake island that is located on the north side of the southwest tributary arm and about 1 1/2 miles west of the main-lake point that I just fished. The submerged terrain around this island is flat and composed of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rocks, and a few scattered boulders. The rubble of an old concrete building foundation is located at the water's edge on the island's southeast end. I mostly concentrated on the shaded areas along the south and west sides of the island, and I was surprised that I could not garner a single strike. I did mange to catch a spotted bass in three feet of water from the concrete rubble on the southeast end of the island. It was caught on a swim-and-pause retrieve with the pearl Slim SwimZ rig.

From the island, I moved a couple of hundred yards northward into a minor feeder-creek arm. About halfway back inside this creek arm, I dissected a 60-yard section of a clay-and-gravel shoreline, and probed two stony secondary points that are also endowed with concrete boat ramps.

The clay-and-gravel shoreline appeared to be featureless, except for a pile of softball-size rocks situated in three to five feet of water on the end of a small tertiary point. This pile of rocks yielded two spotted bass. They were caught on a swim-and-pause presentation with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ.

The two rocky secondary points were fruitless.

From that feeder-creek arm, I travelled about a mile westward to my fourth locale, which is a 50-yard section of a shoreline inside a second minor feeder-creek arm. This creek arm is also situated on the north side of the tributary arm. The shoreline is located on the east side and in the lower portion of the creek arm. Most of its shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. It encompasses a couple of small ledges and several small secondary points. Red clay, pea gravel, rocks of all sizes, and large boulders make up the bulk of this shoreline's underwater terrain. This shoreline yielded one spotted bass and one white bass. These fish were caught in less than five feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. They were associated with the larger rocks and boulders that grace the sides of two minor secondary points. They were allured by a swim-and-pause presentation with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig.

From there, I moved another half a mile westward, where I fished along a rocky main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is about 75-yards long. It has a 30- to 45-degree slope. It is adorned with numerous boulders and large rocks. This section of shoreline relinquished two spotted bass and one largemouth bass that were relating to the sides of several large boulders near the water's edge in three to five feet of water. One largemouth bass and one spotted bass were tempted by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other spotted bass engulfed the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig on the initial drop by the side of a medium-size boulder.

After that, I traveled southeastward about three miles to my sixth spot, which is located at the south end of the reservoir. There, I fished around a large concrete outlet tower on the east end of the dam. The tower is surrounded by 31 to 54 feet of water. I focused on the shady areas close to the walls, and I caught five largemouth bass. These bass were suspended about two to five feet below the surface of the water and within two feet of the walls. Four of the largemouth bass were caught on a slow swim-and-glide retrieve with a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The riprap that covers the dam near this tower was not productive.

After I finished fishing around the outlet tower, I moved to the west side of the dam and fished along the edges of a creek channel that cuts across a massive mud flat. The flat is covered with three to five feet of water, and the ditch is covered with 10 to 14 feet of water. One side of the ditch is lined with a thin wall of stickups that stand in three to five feet of water. I saw plenty of small threadfin shad swimming around and through the wall of stickups, but I did not cross paths with any largemouth or spotted bass.

My final stop of the day was in the midsection of the east tributary arm at an old submerged concrete boat ramp that is located on a rock ledge about 30-yards offshore. The top of the boat ramp is covered with 10 feet of water, and the bottom of the ramp ends in 14 feet of water. The sides of the ramp are lined with chunk rocks. I dissected the ledge, the chunk rocks, and the entire length of the boat ramp, but I was unable to garner any strikes.

In a nutshell, the black-bass bite wasn't great, but it was decent. I fished for four hours, and I caught 19 black bass. Thirteen of the black bass were largemouth bass and six were spotted bass. I also caught two white bass.

Aug. 12

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their two-hour outing on Aug. 12 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs. It was one of their traditional old-codger and conjugal affairs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 66 degrees at 6:53 a.m., and 88 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the south and southeast at 3 to 8 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.14 at 12:53 a.m., 30.16 at 5:53 a.m., 30.17 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.13 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 85 degrees. The water exhibited a tea-like hue, and our Secchi stick indicated that there were 2 ½ to three feet of visibility in the upper half of this reservoir, which is where we spent the entire outing in search of patches of coontail and largemouth bass. And the largemouth bass and patches of coontail were difficult to find. But significant wads of filamentous algae cluttered the water's edges.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:02 a.m. to 1:02 p.m., 11:26 p.m. to 1:26 a.m., and 5:12 a.m. to 7:12 a.m.

We were afloat from 11:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., and during this 150-minute ordeal, we fished for about 123 minutes.

We had hopes of catching more than 20 largemouth bass. But we were disheartened by our struggle to catch only 11 largemouth bass.

One of the 11 largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two of them were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jighead. Eight were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We inadvertently caught one warmouth, two bluegill, and three green sunfish. We also tangled with four specimens that unfettered themselves before we could identify them, and one of them was a hefty creature who provided us with about a two-minute battle before it somehow became unbound from the hook of the baby-blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jighead. We also engendered many strikes that we failed to hook, and we suspect the bulk of them were generated by bluegill and green sunfish.

Along about a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is directly adjacent to a main-lake point, we caught two largemouth bass. This shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. These boulders create some ledges. The water's edge is lined with four docks, patches of American water willows, and several overhanging trees. This area marks the beginning of the upper half of this reservoir.

These largemouth bass were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and 20 feet from the water's edge in the vicinity of several of the gigantic boulders.

Seven largemouth bass were caught along portions of a massive main-lake shoreline. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 20- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows, wads of filamentous algae, some overhanging trees, 10 docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, occasional piles of brush, and a few laydowns.

One of the seven largemouth bass was caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation adjacent to the end of a concrete retaining wall.

The Junebug Finesse WormZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve inveigled one on the seven largemouth bass around a very scrawny patch of coontail between two docks in about five feet of water.

Three of the seven were caught at the same locale, which was about eight feet from the outside edge of some patches of American water willows in about seven feet of water. One was caught on the purple-haze Finesse WormZ rig, and the other two were caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ. Two were caught simultaneously, and the third one was caught on the first cast after the first two were released. These three were caught while we were employing very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentations.

The fifth largemouth bass was caught in about six feet of water along a very flat portion of this shoreline. It used to be endowed with bountiful patches of cootail. Nowadays, these patches are virtually nonexistent. Some of it has been replaced with massive wads of filamentous algae. This largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-and-pause presentation, and it was inveigled on a prolonged pause about 12 feet from the boat.

Along this flat section, we caught two more largemouth bass. The sixth one was caught around a very meager patch of coontail in about five feet of water in the vicinity of a dock and 50 feet from the water's edge. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. The seventh one was caught several feet from some significant wads of filamentous algae in about four feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig.

We probed about a 100-yard section of another massive shoreline, which yielded two largemouth bass. This shoreline has about a 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with one very sorry coontail patch. The water's edge is lined with seven docks, several concrete and rock retaining walls, several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, one massive laydown, and some piles of brush.

One largemouth bass was caught around the massive laydown. It was caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. To prevent the rig from becoming entangled with this laydown, it was retrieved with a relatively fast swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and the rig did not touch any portion of the laydown. This largemouth bass was caught about two feet below the surface, 20 feet from the shoreline, and about three feet from the tip or end of the laydown.

The second largemouth bass was caught on a major pile of rocks and boulders. It is adorned with a tiny patch of coontail and two docks. This largemouth bass was caught in six to seven feet of water in front of one of the docks with the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

Throughout this outing, we learned again and again how important it is for the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas to be endowed with significant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation— such as coontail. But this reservoir's managers and residents have worked hard to remove it. And it has adversely affected Midwest finesse anglers' abilities to locate and catch bountiful numbers of largemouth bass on summer and winter outings.

Aug. 15

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their Aug. 15 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs. It was another one of their traditional old-codger and conjugal affairs, which means it was a short one.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 68 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 92 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east and southeast at 3 to 18 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.98 at 12:52 a.m., 29.96 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.94 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 85 degrees. Our Secchi stick indicated that there were about five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 1:49 a.m. to 3:49 a.m., 2:12 p.m. to 4:12 p.m., and 8:01 a.m. to 10:01 a.m.

We made our first casts at 12:33 p.m. and our last ones at 2:30 p.m.

As anglers, we are numbers hunters; not lunker hunters. And in our eyes, this was an ideal outing.

We caught three largemouth bass on our first three casts. By 1:08 p.m., we had caught largemouth bass number 25. Largemouth bass number 50 was caught at 1:46 p.m. Number 64 and number 65 were caught at 2:30 p.m.

All of them were caught on a massive shallow-water flat in the back of one of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms. Portions of it are graced with many patches of coontail and some burgeoning patches of brittle naiad.

We focused on the patches of coontail across an area about the size of two football fields.

Twenty-nine of the 65 largemouth bass were on a three-inch Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ HD jig with a swim-and-pause presentation in about three to seven feet of water. Some of the pauses were short deadstick affairs.

Thirty-six of the 65 were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Six were caught on the initial drop of this rig. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation in about four to five feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about three to seven feet of water.

Our Junebug Finesse WormZ rig is at the top, and our The Deal Slim SwimZ rig is at the bottom of this photograph.

Once again, we learned how essential it is during the summer for us to focus on shallow-water areas that are embellished with significant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation – especially coontail. These patches are also bountiful in the winter and on many autumn outings.

Aug. 15

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 15 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Rick and I spent four hours and twenty minutes fishing at a challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, Aug. 15 was predicted to be a poor day for bass fishing in north-central Texas. It also noted that the most lucrative fishing periods would most likely occur from 1:57 a.m. to 3:57 a.m., 8:08 a.m. to 10:08 a.m., and 2:20 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.

Rick and I made our first casts at 6:30 a.m., and our last ones at 10:50 a.m.

Weather wise, it was another sunny, hot, and humid day in north-central Texas. The morning's low temperature was 84 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 100 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure rose slightly from 29.90 at 6:00 a.m. to 29.93 at 11:00 a.m.

The water exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 85 degrees to 88 degrees. The water level was 1.30 feet below normal pool. Our sonar units detect a very prominent deep-water thermocline that had formed 30 feet below the surface in 40-plus feet of water.

We caught three dinky white bass from a rocky main-lake shoreline on the north end of the reservoir. This shoreline is flat and encompasses several small points and pockets. Its underwater terrain is composed of red clay, small gavel, baseball-size rocks, and some boulders about the size of a coffee table. There was also an abundance of threadfin shad all along this shoreline. These three white bass were caught around several of the large boulders in less than five feet of water from two of the flatter points. Two were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ matched with a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And with all of the threadfin shad that were inhabiting this shoreline, we were surprised that we did not cross paths with any largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass.

We caught four largemouth bass and one white bass around the perimeter of a main-lake island in the southeast end of the reservoir. This island's submerged terrain is flat. It consists of red clay, small gravel, chunky rocks, and a few boulders. The shallow-water areas on the south and east ends of the island are usually cluttered with laydowns, some standing timber, clusters of buck brush, and stumps, but with the lower water level, they are mostly on dry land now. These five fish were abiding in three to seven feet of water, and they did not appear to be relating to anything that we could determine. Three of the largemouth bass were caught within a few feet of the water's edge, and the other largemouth bass and the one white bass were caught in more open water as far as 60 feet from the water's edge. All of them were caught in three to eight feet of water on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We caught one largemouth bass from a series of six main-lake points that are situated in the north and northeast sections of the reservoir. Small gravel, basketball-size rocks, large boulders, and red clay make up the majority of these points' underwater terrains. Only three of these six points had small to medium-size schools of threadfin shad grouped around them. This largemouth bass was caught in six feet of water from the top of a submerged rocky point that is covered with four to seven feet of water and extends several yards out from the shoreline. It was caught on a steady- swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. The other five points were devoid of black bass.

We fished about half of a riprap-covered dam, which is about 500-yards long. It forms the eastern boundary of this impoundment. We also probed the walls of a medium-size outlet tower that is situated near the upper end of the dam.

The riprap along the dam yielded three largemouth bass and one large crappie. They were caught in five to 12 feet of water and 10 to 25 feet from the water's edge in the center section of the dam. Two of the largemouth bass, and the large crappie, engulfed a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead as it was being utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The other largemouth bass was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse WormZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The walls of the outlet tower relinquished six largemouth bass. They were suspended about five to eight feet below the surface in 54 feet of water that abuts the west side of the tower. Four of them were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig. One largemouth bass was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with the four-inch coppertreuse Finesse WormZ combo. And the other one was tempted by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We did not fish along the riprap that covers the upper end or the lower end of the dam.

We then investigated portions of two offshore ledges in hopes of developing an offshore deep-water pattern. One of the ledges is located at the mouth of a feeder-creek arm on the south end of the reservoir, and the other one is situated at the entrance to another feeder-creek arm on the north end of the impoundment. Their underwater terrains are similar and consist of silt, pea gravel, red clay, and small rocks. The top of these two ledges are covered with 10 to 12 feet of water, and they quickly descend into 24 to 27 feet of water. Portions of them had good concentrations of threadfin shad that were dwelling around the base of the ledges in 17 to 24 feet of water. We did not locate any threadfin shad or black bass on the slopes or on top of the ledges.

Along the base of the south-side ledge, we hooked and lost an unknown species of fish that was abiding on the bottom in 19 feet of water. It was enticed by a slow drag-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ affixed on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig garnered a couple of subtle strikes, but we were unable to hook those two fish.

We then moved to the rock ledge on the north side of the reservoir, but we were unable to provoke any strikes along that ledge.

In sum, we covered about six miles of the eastern half of this impoundment, and we struggled to catch 14 unimpressive largemouth bass, four dinky white bass, and one large crappie.

Aug. 17

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 17 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 64 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 85 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northeast, east, and north at 3 to 10 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to cluttered with a few clouds to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:53 a.m., 30.10 at 5:53 a.m., 30.13 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.09 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about six inches below its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 83 degrees. The water has about three to four feet of visibility along the dam and less than three feet at many other locales. To the chagrin of Midwest finesse anglers, this reservoir's managers have spent a lot of money to remove its once bountiful patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Nowadays, only a few fragments of submerged vegetation exist. Thankfully, the magnificent patches of American water willows that embellish most of the shorelines are still thriving, but because of the low-water conditions, a significant number of the patches are out or nearly out of the water.

An enormous number of 1 ¾- to two-inch gizzard shad were meandering along many shorelines, around many points, and on top of several offshore piles of rocks. Traditionally, this is a phenomenon that adversely affects Midwest finesse anglers' abilities to inveigle a significant number of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass from the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:31 a.m. to 5:31 a.m., 3:54 p.m. to 5:54 p.m., and 9:24 a.m. to 11:24 a.m.

I made my first cast at 11:00 a.m. and my last one at 3:00 p.m.

During these four hours, it was a whale of a struggle to catch 10 smallmouth bass, nine largemouth bass, one channel catfish, one freshwater drum, one green sunfish, and one bluegill.

Two of the smallmouth bass were hefty creatures, which would tickle the fancy of most lunker hunters. But I would have readily traded those two smallmouth bass for 20 much smaller specimens.

One smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The Finesse WormZ rig inveigled one smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. This point possesses a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with American water willows and two laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught in the midst of one of the laydowns with a rapid swimming presentation and less than a foot below the surface. Another largemouth bass was caught on a swimming presentation near the end of the retrieve and a few feet from the side of the boat and a few feet below the surface. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five to six feet of water in front of the American water willows and eight to 10 feet from the water's edge. The smallmouth bass was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and about 10 feet from the water's edge.

Along a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, the Finesse WormZ rig caught two largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass. This shoreline has a 30- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and many humongous boulders. A submerged creek channel touches a short portion of this shoreline. Its water's edge is endowed with one dock, patches of American water willows, many minor laydowns, and an array of overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. One of the two largemouth bass was caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water in front of a patch of American water willows. The second largemouth bass was caught near the inside corner of the dock on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in 12 feet of water. One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in two feet of water under an overhanging tree. The other two smallmouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about 3 ½ feet of water in front of some American water willows, skimpy laydowns, and overhanging terrestrial vegetation.

One smallmouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig around a main-lake point in the lower half of the reservoir. This point has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its shoreline is graced with patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and three aged laydowns. This smallmouth was caught while I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water and a few feet in front of some American water willows.

Along an offshore and submerged fence that consists of rocks and boulders, the Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. Both were caught on the initial drop of the rig in four to five feet of water.

Along the entire shoreline of the dam, three smallmouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig, and one smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 40- to 55-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with American water willows, and much of this emergent aquatic vegetation is on dry land. The four smallmouth bass were caught as I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water and around vast arrays of tiny gizzard shad.

The Finesse WormZ rig caught one largemouth bass around a main-lake point at the mouth of the reservoir's spillway. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It has a 30-degree slope. The water's edge is entwined with extremely thick patches of American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about three feet of water.

Around a secondary point inside a medium-sized feeder-creek arm, the Finesse WormZ rig caught one largemouth bass. This point has about a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, two submerged logs, and one massive laydown. The largemouth bass was caught on top of the massive laydown and about 12 inches below the surface with a quick-paced swimming presentation.

In my mind, the lack of submerged aquatic vegetation and the untold number of tiny gizzard shad played a mighty role in prohibiting me from locating and catching a substantial number of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

I made my first cast at 11:00 a.m. and my last one at 3:00 p.m.

During these four hours, it was a whale of a struggle to catch 10 smallmouth bass, nine largemouth bass, one channel catfish, one freshwater drum, one green sunfish, and one bluegill. Two of the smallmouth bass were hefty creatures, which would tickle the fancy of most lunker hunters. But I would have readily traded those two smallmouth bass for 40 much smaller specimens.

One smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The Finesse WormZ rig inveigled one smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the upper half of the reservoir. This point possesses a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with American water willows and two laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught in the midst of one of the laydowns with a rapid swimming presentation and less than a foot below the surface. Another largemouth bass was caught on a swimming presentation near the end of the retrieve and a few feet from the side of the boat. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five to six feet of water in front of the American water willows and eight to 10 feet from the water's edge. The smallmouth bass was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and about 10 feet from the water's edge.

Along a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, the Finesse WormZ rig caught two largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass. This shoreline has a 30- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and many humongous boulders. A submerged creek channel touches a short portion of this shoreline. Its water's edge is endowed with one dock, patches of American water willows, many minor laydowns, and an array of overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. One of the two largemouth bass was caught while I was strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water in front of a patch of American water willows. The second largemouth bass was caught near the inside corner of the dock on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in 12 feet of water. One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in two feet of water under an overhanging tree. The other two smallmouth bass were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about 3 ½ feet of water in front of some American water willows, skimpy laydowns, and American water willows.

One smallmouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig around a main-lake point in the lower half of the reservoir. This point has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its shoreline is graced with patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and three laydowns. This smallmouth was caught while I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water a few feet in front of some American water willows.

Along an offshore and submerged fence that consists of rocks and boulders, the Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. Both were caught on the initial drop of the rig in four to five feet of water.

Along the entire shoreline of the dam, three smallmouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig, and one smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It is endowed with a 40- to 55-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with American water willows, and much of this emergent aquatic vegetation is on dry land. The smallmouth bass were caught as I was strolling and employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in three to seven feet of water and around vast arrays of tiny gizzard shad.

The Finesse WormZ rig caught one largemouth bass around a main-lake point at the mouth of the reservoir's spillway. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. It has a 30-degree slope. The water's edge is entwined with extremely thick patches of American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about three feet of water.

Around a secondary point inside a medium-sized feeder-creek arm, the Finesse WormZ rig caught one largemouth bass. This point has about a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, two logs, and one massive laydown. The largemouth bass was caught on top of the massive laydown and about 12 inches below the surface with a quick-paced swimming presentation.

In my mind, the lack of submerged aquatic vegetation and the untold number of tiny gizzard shad played a mighty role in prohibiting me from locating and catching a substantial number of largemouth bass and smallmouth

bass.

Aug. 18

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his two outings on Aug. 18. The first one transpired at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs. The second one took place at a northeastern Kansas' state reservoir.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 59 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 86 degrees at 4:52 p.m. The wind was calm until 2:52 p.m., and then it angled out of the east and southeast 5 to 7 mph. The sky was foggy and misty until after 7:52 a.m., and then it became fair but was occasionally cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.09 at 12:52 a.m., 30.08 at 5:52 a.m., 30.07 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.98 at 4:52 p.m.

From 9:25 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., I fished at the community reservoir with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas. We were hoping to fish for at least four hours around scores of coontail patches and tangle with an array of largemouth bass and a few smallmouth bass. But Bob's trolling motor went awry at 11:30 a.m. Before that woe, we were able to locate only one patch of coontail, and it was a sorrowful patch.

The water level was about normal. And to our amazement, the water in the vicinity of the dam exhibited 11 feet of visibility. In the upper reaches of the reservoir, the visibility was about 4 ½ feet. The surface temperature ranged from 79 to 81 degrees. As noted above, this reservoir's once bountiful patches of coontail have disappeared, and consequently, its midsummer fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has become hellishly awful.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:19 a.m. to 6:19 a.m., 4:42 p.m. to 6:42 p.m., and 10:31 a.m. to 12:31 p.m.

Around one main-lake point and along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught one smallmouth bass. The point has a 35-degree slope; the shoreline has a 30- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This underwater terrain is embellished with a number of tires and 55-gallon metal barrels, which are used as spawning caves for channel catfish. The water's edge is adorned with scores of laydowns, overhanging terrestrial vegetation, overhanging trees, and a few patches of American water willows. The smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a drag-and-slight-shake in about nine feet of water and 20 feet from the water's edge.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 350-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is furbished with some patches of American water willows, scores of laydowns, overhanging trees, and overhanging terrestrial vegetation. The largemouth bass was 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 with a swimming presentation in about two feet of water in front of a patch of American water willows. The two smallmouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD HogZ rig around two laydowns. One was caught in about two feet of water; the second one was caught in about four feet of water.

Along a main-lake shoreline and shallow-water flat in the lower section of the reservoir, we found the sorrowful residue of what was once a magnificent patch of coontail. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are graced with skimpy stalks of coontail, man-made piles of brush, PVC-pipe fish attractors, and several other odd fish attractors. The water's edge is lined with some magnificent patches of American water willows. This area yielded six largemouth bass. Four were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD HogZ rig, and two were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about four feet of water, and three were caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to five feet of water.

Adjacent to the reservoir's dam, we fished around a main-lake point, a concrete outlet tower, and a short section of a main-lake shoreline. We elicited several strikes that we failed to hook.

As we were probing the shoreline along the dam, the trolling motor went awry.

Thus, Bob put his boat on the trailer and went home. And I got my boat and went fishing at a state reservoir from 2: 15 p.m. to 5:19 p.m.

The water level at this state reservoir looked to be several inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 86 degrees. The Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited from three feet to four feet of visibility.

I spent the first half of this outing dissecting a shallow-water flat in the back of a large feeder-creek arm. And part of the time, I shared portions of this flat with Dave Petro of Lecompton, Kansas, who is Pat Kehde's cousin. He is also a longtime member of the Finesse News Network, and he occasionally contributes a log.

The size of the portions of this flat that I tried to thoroughly dissect is about the size of two football fields. A submerged creek channel crisscrosses it, and this channel is intersected by two very small feeder creeks. It is cluttered with scores of manmade piles of brush constructed from eastern cedar trees. I primarily focused on areas that are quilted with patches of coontail. A few areas are graced with American pondweeds, which are an emergent vegetation, and bushy pondweed. The patches of coontail and three of the piles of brush eventually yielded 19 largemouth bass, one crappie, and one bluegill.

One of the largemouth bass was caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a vertical presentation in about seven feet of water.

Two largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-pause presentation in four to six feet of water.

Sixteen largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four of the 16 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in four to six feet of water. The other 12 were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water.

The second half of this outing was spent fishing a tiny portion of a shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm and main-lake point at the mouth of this feeder-creek arm. I failed to elicit a strike at these two locales.

But eventually, I caught 16 largemouth bass across a very small segment of a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another large feeder-creek arm. This flat is decorated with untold numbers of patches of coontail and sago pondweeds in four to about eight feet of water. The western section of this flat is adorned with a submerged creek channel, and one edge of the channel is graced with an array of manmade piles of eastern red cedar trees. Some of these piles of trees are entangled with patches of coontail and sago pondweeds. There are also many man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees littering the entire flat. The shallow-water shoreline on the east side of this flat is endowed with many patches of American pondweeds.

One of the sixteen largemouth bass was caught on the pearl Slim SwimZ rig with a swim-and-pause presentation parallel to the patches of American pondweeds in about four feet of water. The other 15 were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. Four were caught on the initial drop in six to seven feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water. Five of the 15 were caught around the piles of eastern red cedar trees. The others were caught around the patches of coontail and sago pondweeds.

In conclusion, this was the most hours I have fished and the most miles I have driven to fish since before the Covid-19 pandemic erupted. What's more, these two outings punctuated once again the necessity of cultivating coontail and other submerged aquatic vegetation in the flatland reservoirs that adorn the various landscapes of northeastern Kansas.

Aug. 20

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Bill Kenney and I fished at a bustling U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas that was swarming with other boat anglers, pleasure boaters, wakeboarders, water skiers, and jet skiers.

The days are beginning to get shorter, air temperatures are starting to drop from 100-plus degrees to the mid to upper 90s, and water temperatures are beginning to dip from the upper 80s to the mid-80s. Hence, we opted to focus our attention on determining whether or not the black bass and threadfin shad have started their annual late-summer and early-fall migrations from the reservoir's main-lake areas into the mouths and lower regions of the feeder-creek arms.

The sky was partly cloudy, and it became mostly cloudy as the morning progressed. The morning's low temperature was 74 degrees. The afternoon high was 95 degrees. The humidity also increased throughout our outing. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 5 to 10 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.94 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.97 at 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would be poor, but the best opportunities would occur between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 11:48 a.m. to 1:48 p.m., and 6:25 p.m. to 8:25 p.m.

We fished from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The water level was 1.35 feet below the normal pool. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 87 degrees. The water exhibited about three feet of visibility.

We made our first casts inside a major feeder-creek arm about a mile south of where we launched the boat. We targeted an island, nine rocky secondary points, two small flats, and a small cove in the lower and middle sections of the creek arm.

We started at the island, which is located on the north side and near the mouth of the creek arm. The terrain surrounding this island is flat, and the south, west, and north sides of it consist of red clay, gravel, sandstone, and a few large boulders. In contrast, the island's eastern side has a submerged terrain that is comprised of mostly sand and gravel. The shallow-water areas on the east side of the island are also graced with several large patches of American pondweeds, and most of these patches of American pondweeds were brown and devoid of largemouth and spotted bass.

Bill caught the first largemouth bass on his second cast. It was abiding in less than three feet of water near a cluster of large rocks on the island's south side. It was induced by a Z-Man's The Deal Finesse ShadZ matched with an 1/8-ounce Z-Man's pearl Finesse Eyes jig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

One particularly large patch of American pondweeds was still green, and it extends about 20-yards out from the island's east shoreline and forms a distinct point. The point at the end of this pondweeds patch yielded seven largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were abiding in less than three feet of water. Five of the largemouth bass and the one spotted bass were allured by a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. It was employed with a steady-swimming retrieve. The sixth largemouth bass was caught on a swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The seventh largemouth bass was enticed into striking the Z-Man's The Deal Finesse ShadZ combo that was matched with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

The north and west sides of the island were fruitless.

We then moved a short distance eastward from the island, where we investigated two rocky secondary points and a 50-yard segment of a rocky shoreline that is situated between the two points. The two points and the shoreline are flat. Their submerged terrains consist of red clay, gravel, baseball-size rocks, and a few medium-size boulders. In five feet of water at the end of one of the two rocky secondary points, we caught one spotted bass. It was caught on a swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch space-guppy Slim SwimZ rig.

We failed to generate any strikes from the 50-yard section of rocky shoreline and the other secondary point.

We then spent some time scanning seven other secondary points, two clay-and-gravel flats, and a small cove on the south side of the creek arm with our sonar units, and we did not locate any threadfin shad or black bass around any of them.

From that creek arm, we traveled about five miles westward to a smaller feeder-creek arm located on the south side of the west tributary arm. We concentrated on a rocky main-lake point and an adjoining boulder-laden flat just inside the entrance to this creek arm. We found a few medium-size pods of threadfin shad inhabiting both of these areas, but we did not cross paths with any largemouth or spotted bass.

After that, we traveled about a mile eastward, which was where we investigated the entrance and midsection of another major feeder-creek arm on the southeast end of the west tributary arm.

The area around the south entry point to this creek arm yielded one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This point is flat and graced with small gravel, rocks, and boulders. The largemouth bass was caught from one side of the point near a small group of rocks and boulders in three feet of water. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with The Deal Finesse ShadZ rig. The spotted bass was caught from between two large boulders that lie on the opposite side of the point in five feet of water. It was enticed by a steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat fastened to a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We searched the lower and midsections of the creek arm for mats of American pondweeds and schools of threadfin shad and black bass. We found some paltry mats of American pondweeds that appeared to have met their demise from the lower water level and excessive summer heat along the water's edge of a mud flat on the east side of the creek arm. We also noticed the lack of threadfin shad and black bass in this creek arm.

From this creek arm, we moved another mile eastward and fished along the west end of the dam. This dam forms the southern perimeter of this impoundment. It is covered with riprap. As we were motoring toward the dam, we stumbled upon an offshore rock ledge that is located about two hundred yards from the west end of the dam and many yards from the closest shoreline. This ledge is covered with 12 feet of water and it quickly drops down into 24 feet of water. There was a large aggregation of threadfin shad with some other unknown species of fish near the shad, and they were dwelling around the base of this ledge in 24 feet of water. We slowly worked several Midwest finesse offerings through and around the school of shad and other fish by slowly crawling our lures down the slope and along the base of this ledge in 19 to 25 feet of water, but our efforts were to avail.

After that, we moved on to the west end of the dam, and though we found a large concentration of threadfin shad, we didn't find any largemouth or spotted bass around them.

At the center of the dam, there is a large concrete outlet tower. It is surrounded by 37 to 53 feet of water. We had observed four other boats of anglers fishing around this tower while we were plying the riprap on the west end of the dam. We waited until they left, then we moved to the tower and fished around it. We caught seven largemouth bass and one white bass around the walls of this tower. These fish were suspended about three to five feet below the surface of the water and within a foot or two of the walls. Three largemouth bass were caught with a slow swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a Z-Man's silver Colorado-blade TRD SpinZ rig inserted into the backend of the Finesse TRD. Two largemouth bass and one white bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Z-Man's The Deal Finesse ShadZ combo. And the other two largemouth bass were allured by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

A short distance from the outlet tower, we probed another offshore submerged rock ledge. The top of this ledge is covered with six to eight feet of water, and the ledge radically descends into 23 feet of water. We caught one largemouth bass in six feet of water from the top of the ledge on a slow swimming retrieve with the white-lightning Finesse TRD and TRD SpinZ rig. We caught another largemouth bass from the slope of the ledge in 19 feet of water. It was tempted by a 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ attached to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that was employed with a slow hop-and-bounce retrieve down the slope of the ledge.

We finished the outing probing a rock pile that is situated on another rock ledge in the lower end of the reservoir's east tributary arm. This ledge and rock pile are covered with seven to nine feet of water. The ledge is steep and descends into 30-plus feet of water. Our sonar devices detected several large schools of threadfin shad and some other unknown species of fish dwelling around and on top of the rock pile, and we were surprised that we could not garner any strikes with several of our Midwest finesse rigs.

By the time we made our last casts, we were able to determine that the late-summer-early-fall migration of shad and black bass had not yet started. Though we caught nine black bass from an island and one secondary point inside one major feeder-creek arm, we suspect that it was an anomaly. The remainder of that creek arm and the other two feeder-creek arms that we searched were lacking the large aggregations of threadfin shad and black bass that we normally find during the fall bass and shad migrations.

In short, we caught the bulk of these 21 black bass from main-lake points and one offshore rock ledge.

Aug. 24

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 24 at one of northeastern Kansas' many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 58 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 90 degrees. The wind was either calm or variable at 3 to 5 mph. The sky fluctuated from being foggy and misty to fair to cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:52 a.m., 30.03 at 5:52 a.m., 30.07 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.03 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about normal. The surface temperature was 86 degrees. The Secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited slightly more than four feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:54 a.m. to 10:54 a.m., 9:19 p.m. to 11:19 p.m., and 2:42 a.m. to 4:42 a.m.

This outing was another one of my old-codger endeavors. In other words, it was a short one. I made my first cast at 2:29 p.m. and my last one at 3:58 p.m.

My primary focus was on finding a spot or two where our grandson Logan Cayton of Las Vegas, Nevada, could tangle with a goodly number of largemouth bass and several other species on Aug. 25.

I spent the first 69 minutes dissecting a small portion of a massive shallow-water flat in the back of one of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms.

This flat is embellished with scads of patches of coontail and sago pondweeds in four to about eight feet of water. A submerged creek channel meanders across some of it, and one edge of the channel is graced with an array of man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. Some of these piles of trees are entangled with patches of coontail and sago pondweeds. There are also many man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees littering the entire flat. Some of its shallow-water shorelines are endowed with many patches of American pondweeds.

During the first 59 minutes of fishing, I caught 25 largemouth bass, and during the next eight minutes, I caught four more largemouth bass.

I spent the next 21 minutes quickly exploring another shallow-water flat in the back of another feeder-creek arm. I was disheartened to discover that most of the patches of coontail that once embellished this shallow-water flat have disappeared. Consequently, it yielded only five largemouth bass.

During this 89-minute outing, I caught 34 largemouth bass, three crappie, and one bluegill.

Four of the 34 largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a baby-blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swimming presentation around the submerged piles of eastern red cedar trees in about seven to nine feet of water. Nine of the 34 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal TRD BugZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; three were caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the piles of eastern red cedar trees and patches of coontail and sago pondweeds in four to nine feet of water. Twenty-one of the 34 largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; five were caught on the initial drop of this rig, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the piles of eastern red cedar trees and patches of coontail and sago pondweeds in four to nine feet of water.

None of these largemouth bass would please a lunker hunter or a tournament angler or a television-show producer. But they would please all of our 10 grandchildren and their parents and grandparents.

Aug. 26

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, on Aug. 26 at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 71 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 93 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the east, southeast, west, and northeast at 3 to 8 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.06 at 5:53 a.m., 30.08 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.03 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 86 degrees. The water had a slimy demeanor at several locales. Our Secchi stick indicated the water exhibited 2 ½ to three feet of visibility. Significant wads of filamentous algae cluttered the water's edges of the shorelines and one shallow-water flat in the upper portions of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm, which used to be endowed with glorious and fruitful patches of coontail.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:22 a.m. to 12:22 p.m., 10:45 p.m. to 12:45 a.m., and 4:10 a.m. to 6:10 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:00 a.m. and our last ones at 1:45 p.m.

We tangled with 35 largemouth bass, three green sunfish, one channel catfish, one bluegill, and one warmouth.

Two of the 35 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three of the 35 were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Eight were caught on a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Nine were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed to either a red 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a red 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. Thirteen of the 35 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We caught two largemouth bass along the shoreline of the dam. Its shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A few piles of brush also enhance the underwater terrain. Portions of the water's edge are lined with patches of American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam. Wads of filamentous algae adhere to some of the American water willows, the outlet tower, piles of brush, and the rocks and boulders along the underwater terrain. These two largemouth bass were caught on the TRD HogZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop in three feet of water adjacent to a wad of filamentous algae. The second one was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in eight of 10 feet of water and 15 feet from the water's edge.

We caught one largemouth bass along an offshore ledge that is situated in the lower quarter of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are gigantic. Portions of this terrain are entwined with filamentous algae. This largemouth bass was caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around one of the boulders in about eight feet of water.

In the middle section of the reservoir, we caught six largemouth bass around two main-lake points and along the main-lake shorelines that are contiguous to the two points. This area is about 300 yards long. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders. These boulders create some ledges. The points and shorelines possess a 20- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with 16 docks, some riprap, a few patches of American water willows, some retaining walls, a few overhanging trees, and many wads of filamentous algae. These largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse WormZ rig. One was caught around a main-lake point on a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six feet of water and many yards from the water's edge. Two of the six were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in about nine feet of water around the boulders. Around another main-lake point, three largemouth bass were caught around two docks in about six feet of water, and they were caught with an incessant shaking presentation as the Finesse WormZ rig was slowly inching its way on the underwater terrain of rocks and filamentous algae.

We caught 16 largemouth bass across a large shallow-water flat, around two main-lake points, and along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and portions of the flat are laden with silt. This area has a 15- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, 10 docks, several concrete retaining walls, a stone bridge, occasional piles of brush, and a few laydowns. Innumerable wads of filamentous algae coated much of the shoreline – especially along its shallow-water areas. The wads of filamentous algae also adorn significant segments of the shallow-water flat, which used to be festooned with glorious patches of coontail. In other words, the patches of filamentous algae have replaced the patches of coontail, and a significant number of largemouth bass were abiding in and around the wads of filamentous algae.

Two of the 16 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. Two of the 16 were caught on the hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig. Three were caught on our Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ rigs. And nine were caught on our Slim SwimZ rigs.

Three of the sixteen were caught along retaining walls. One was caught on the initial drop of the Canada-craw TicklerZ in three to four feet of water. One was caught near the end of one of the retaining walls on the Canada-craw TicklerZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The third one was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in seven to eight feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to a segment of the bridge on the initial drop of the Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ rig in about two feet of water. This rig also caught a largemouth bass with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation under an overhanging tree in about six feet of water.

Along a very flat portion of the shoreline, which might be graced with some patches of bushy pondweeds, the Finesse WormZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught a largemouth bass near the end of that retrieve and a few feet from the boat.

Eleven of the largemouth bass were caught on the shallow-water flat around the wads of filamentous algae.

One of the 11 largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ rig in about three feet of water. This rig with a swimming presentation caught a largemouth bass in about five feet of water.

Our Slim SwimZ rigs caught nine of the 11 largemouth bass in three to about five feet of water. Three were caught on the initial drop of the rig. The others were caught on either a swimming presentation or a swim-and-slight-pause presentation.

Along about a 350-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir, we caught 10 largemouth bass, and they were caught on our Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ rigs. This shoreline has a 30- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this underwater terrain is entwined with filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with 23 docks, several concrete and rock retaining walls, several patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, one large laydown, some piles of brush, and wads of filament algae.

Four of the 10 were caught on the initial drop of the rig. One was caught adjacent to a concrete retaining wall in about three feet of water. Two were caught at the two front corners of one of the 23 docks in about four feet of water. The fourth one was caught on top of a pile of boulders in about five feet of water.

The others were caught as we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to about 10 feet of water.

In the middle section of the reservoir, we fished about a 125-yard section of a shoreline. It possesses a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. An offshore ledge that plummets into deep water parallels a portion of this shoreline. The water's edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows, one overhanging tree, some patches of filamentous algae, and nine docks. We failed to elicit a strike along this shoreline. And upon suffering through that failure, we headed home.

Endnote:

On Aug. 25, our grandson Logan Cayton and our son, John, joined me for a short family outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs, where we dissected portions of two shallow-water flats inside one tiny and one large feeder-creek arm. We did not compose a log about this family get-together. But we did keep an accurate count of the fish we caught, which was 25 largemouth bass, three crappie, two bluegill, and one channel catfish. And they were caught on seven different Midwest finesse rigs.

Aug. 27

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 20 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Rick and I fished at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

It was humid. The sky was partly cloudy. The morning's low temperature was 73 degrees, and the afternoon's high reached 94 degrees with a heat index of 106 degrees. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.89 at 10:00 a.m. The wind quartered out of the southeast at 5 to 10 mph.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 4:53 a.m. to 6:53 a.m., 5:15 a.m. to 7:15 a.m., and 11:26 p.m. to 1:26 a.m. It also noted that the fishing would be excellent.

Local meteorologists reported that the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area received between five and 15 inches of rain on Aug. 21 and 22, but it was not enough to fill the federal, state, and community reservoirs that are plagued with low-water levels. During our Aug. 27 outing, the water level at this reservoir was 3.04 feet below its normal summer pool. The water clarity was about 18 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 86 to 88 degrees.

We investigated a potpourri of areas in the southwest tributary arm of the reservoir that included three prominent main-lake points, two rocky shorelines, a portion of an island, an offshore main-lake hump, the riprap-laden embankments on each end of a major freeway bridge, a series of large concrete support columns underneath a major freeway bridge, several other concrete support columns underneath a railroad-trestle bridge, and a 40-yard stretch of a steep and rocky shoreline inside a minor feeder-creek arm.

These areas are endowed with submerged terrains that consist of some silt, red clay, pea gravel, chunky rocks, large boulders, and riprap. The 40-yard section of the steep and rocky shoreline inside a minor feeder-creek arm, and the 50-yard segment of the main-lake shoreline that we fished possess 30- to 60-degree gradients.

To our dismay, the black-bass bite was slow, and it was a grind to catch eight spotted bass and four largemouth bass. These 12 black bass were extracted from eight feet of water or less. What's more, all of them were caught by 9:00 a.m. After that, the black-bass bite petered out, and the white-bass bite had fizzled out by 8:00 a.m., too.

We attempted to establish a deep-water pattern when the shallow-water bite ended. We discovered a large school of threadfin shad and some other unknown species of fish dwelling about three to seven feet off the bottom in 23 feet of water at the end of a long submerged main-lake point, but we were unable to provoke them to strike. We also failed to elicit any strikes around numerous concrete support columns under the freeway overpass and the train-trestle bridge. Those support columns are encircled by 12 to 43 feet of water.

Here is how this toilsome outing unfolded:

We caught two spotted bass in two to nine feet of water at a flat and rocky main-lake point at the mouth of a large main-lake bay. We also saw a few scattered white bass feeding on the surface in a minor creek channel in 13 to 15 feet of water. This creek channel courses its way inside the bay and parallels one side of the main-lake point, and we were baffled at how difficult it was to catch only two of them.

We caught three spotted bass and two largemouth bass in three to five feet of water and within 10 feet of the riprap-laden embankment situated on the southeast end of a major freeway overpass. The riprap on the west side of the south embankment surrendered one largemouth bass that was abiding in less than five feet of water and within five feet of the water's edge. We also dissected the riprap that covers the east and west sides of the north bridge embankment, but we were unable to garner any strikes from them.

We tangled with three spotted bass and one largemouth bass that were caught in five to eight feet of water from a 40-yard stretch of a steeply-sloped and rocky main-lake shoreline. This shoreline is about 100-yards long. Numerous large boulders line the shoreline near the water's edge, and these black bass were relating to the deep-water sides of the submerged boulders.

Besides the concrete support columns underneath the two bridges, we also failed to locate any largemouth bass and spotted bass around an offshore main-lake hump, along the south and west sides of a main-lake island, along the sides and deep-water ends of a couple of rocky main-lake points, and a 40-yard section of a steep and rocky shoreline in the lower end of a minor feeder-creek arm.

We wielded an array of Midwest finesse baits, and six of them were effective. A 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on either a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and employed with a steady-swimming retrieve caught two largemouth bass and two spotted bass, and both of the white bass. A swim-and-slight-pause presentation with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl GrubZ matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead allured two spotted bass. A slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Finesse ShadZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead enticed one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. A slow drag-and-shake retrieve with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning Trick ShotZ rigged on an 1/8-ounce drop-shot rig induced one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. A slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead sporting a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ attracted one spotted bass. And a slow swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD modified with a silver Colorado-blade TRD SpinZ attached as a trailer tricked one spotted bass.

Aug. 20

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:40 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., John Thomas and I fished at a state reservoir in north-central Texas. Except for three anglers in another bass boat, we had this reservoir to ourselves.

This reservoir has several varieties of aquatic vegetation, such as American water willows, American pondweeds, yellow floating-heart, coontail, Eurasian milfoil, and muskgrass.

Its underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, small gravel, chunky rocks, boulders, stumps, and some standing timber. The dam, which is located in the northeast corner of the reservoir, is covered with riprap. Many of the shorelines are embellished with numerous boat houses.

The water exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water level appeared to be about six inches below normal pool.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the fishing would be average, and the most productive fishing periods would occur from 12:25 a.m. to 2:25 a.m., 6:36 a.m. to 8:36 a.m., and 12:47 p.m. to 2:47 p.m.

The morning's low temperature was 76 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature reached 96 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southeast at 8 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.84 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.91 by 11:00 a.m. Throughout the morning hours, the sky was mostly cloudy.

We spent about 90-percent of this outing plying main-lake locales in the western portion of the reservoir. These areas consisted of main-lake points, a couple of main-lake flats, and main-lake shorelines. One of these shorelines is a rock-laden bluff. We spent a small amount of time in the northeast region of the reservoir, where we dissected a riprap-laden dam and the dam's adjacent rocky main-lake shoreline without success.

The black-bass bite was excellent for most of the morning. We caught 40 spotted bass, seven largemouth bass, three hybrid spotted bass, three green sunfish, a large channel catfish, and one white bass between 6:40 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. But after that flurry of action ended, we eked out only one largemouth bass between 10:00 a.m. and 11:20 a.m.

Forty-three of these 50 black bass were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with either a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ matched with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The other seven black bass were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, or a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We caught 48 of these 50 black bass in less than 10 feet of water from four flat and stone-laden main-lake shorelines bedecked with thick patches of American pondweeds, laydowns, and boat houses. These areas are situated in the reservoir's west tributary arm.

Two spotted bass were caught from a prominent rock-laden and steeply-sloped main-lake point that was adorned with thick patches of American pondweeds. They were caught in six to eight feet of water near the outside edges of one of the larger mats of American pondweeds.

Fishing around the sides, corners, and underneath a slew of boat houses was not very fruitful; this tactic yielded only two spotted bass, three green sunfish, one white bass, and one channel catfish.

Our most bountiful locale was a 40-yard section of a flat main-lake shoreline on the south side of the reservoir's west tributary arm. Here, we caught 37 spotted bass and two largemouth bass. This section of shoreline encompasses two flat points and a small flat that forms a pocket between the two points. One point is adorned with small gravel, chunk rocks, and a shoddy concrete boat ramp. The second point is smaller than the first one, and its main feature is a rock pile that is covered with five to nine feet of water. This section of shoreline is also enhanced with an abundance of patches of American pondweeds that are growing in three to five feet of water.

The larger main-lake point with the run-down boat ramp yielded one largemouth bass and 12 spotted bass. They were abiding in three to five feet of water and associated with the crumbling end of the boat ramp and some patches of American pondweed growing next to the boat ramp. Twenty-five spotted bass and one largemouth bass were relating to the rock pile and the outside edges of the patches of American pondweed adjacent to the rock pile. They were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as nine feet.

The rock-laden bluff shoreline, which is adorned with standing timber, was unproductive.

In closing, I have not fished at this reservoir since Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished here on an overcast day on Aug. 1, and we caught 33 black bass in five hours. And this Aug. 29 outing is the first time any of my cohorts and I have ever caught 50 black bass in one outing at this reservoir.

Aug. 30

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a short report on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Aug. 30 with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' federal reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their report.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 64 degrees, and it was 90 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the north and northeast at 3 to 8 mph. The sky was fair for most of the day, but it was foggy and misty and overcast and cluttered with a few clouds during the early morning hours. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:52 a.m., 30.05 at 5:52 a.m., 30.14 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.09 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level was about four inches above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 84 degrees. The water exhibited from one foot to three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 1:05 a.m. to 3:05 a.m., 1:27 p.m. to 3:27 p.m., and 7:16 a.m. to 9:16 a.m.

We caught 42 fish.

But we were fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. And it was a hellish and disheartening struggle to catch four largemouth bass and six smallmouth bass. Therefore, this is not a traditional Midwest finesse log that precisely chronicles where and how the black bass were caught.

The other 32 fish consisted of 12 freshwater drum, 11 crappie, four green sunfish, two bluegill, and two flathead catfish.

One of the flathead catfish weighed seven pounds, six ounces. We estimated that the second one weighed about 20 pounds.

We spent most of the time dissecting 90 percent of the shoreline along the dam, and it is a massive shoreline. The bulk of the fish was caught there.

After we thoroughly dissected the dam, we quickly fished around 10 main-lake points, one riprap shoreline, and two short segments of two main-lake shorelines, which yielded four smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, three freshwater drum, one crappie, and one green sunfish.

The most interesting part of this outing revolved around catching the two flathead catfish on Drew Reese's five-foot, eight-inch finesse rod and four-pound-test Berkley FireLine (https://www.wired2fish.com/fishing-rods/the-history-and-evolution-of-the-tennessee-handle-for-bass-fishing-rods; https://zmanfishing.com/cms/chatter/midwest-finesse-goes-saltwater-fishing/).

Our two most effective Midwest finesse rigs were a Z-Man's Drew's craw TRD TicklerZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a slightly shortened 4.75-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Aug. 31

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Aug. 31 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 53 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 87 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm for many hours, and when it stirred, it angled out of the south, east and southeast at 3 to 7 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.13 at 12:52 a.m., 30.12 at 5:52 a.m., 30.12 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.09 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about one foot above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 84 degrees. Most of the water was afflicted by an alga bloom, and it is quite significant in the back of one of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arms. The water exhibited from three to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 1:55 a.m. to 3:55 a.m., 2:17 p.m. to 4:17 p.m., and 8:06 a.m. to 10:06 a.m.

We made our first casts at about 10:15 a.m. and our last ones at 2:15 p.m.

During this four-hour outing, we caught 94 largemouth bass, and we did not catch another species.

One largemouth bass of the 94 largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in about seven feet of water.

Fourteen were caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 3/32-ounce mushroom-style jig. One was caught on the initial drop of this rig. The others were caught with a swimming presentation.

Seventy-nine were caught on either a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Three were caught on a shake-and-deadstick presentation with the Finesse WormZ rig. A few were caught on the initial drop of these rigs. The others were caught as we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We caught a few while we were strolling with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We spent most of this outing dissecting two massive shallow-water flats in the back of two of this reservoir's major feeder-creek arms. We spent a few minutes fishing across two tiny flats inside two tiny feeder-creek arms.

We caught 55 largemouth bass across a shallow-water flat inside one of the major feeder-creek arms. This flat is about the size of three football fields. It is endowed with an island that is embellished with American water willows. Its shorelines are also adorned with magnificent patches of American water willows. We focused on offshore locales that were covered with four to eight feet of water and embellished with patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and some man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. A submerged creek channel meanders across the middle of this flat. One of the 55 largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. Four were caught on the GrubZ rig. The others were caught on our Finesse ShadZ and Finesse WormZ rigs.

Across the massive shallow-water flat in the back of another major feeder-creek arm, we caught 37 largemouth bass. We estimated that this flat is about the size of four football fields. One of those so-called football fields is encompassed with a gigantic patch of water lilies. Its shorelines are lined with American water willows. Two submerged creek channels crisscross parts of this flat. Other areas of this flat are adorned with man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees and patches of brittle naiad and coontail.

We fish along the outside edge of the patch of water lilies and along about a 45-yard stretch of a shoreline and two tertiary points that are adorned with grandiose patches of American water willows, and some of the outside edges of the American water willows are embellished with patches of brittle naiad and occasional patches of coontail. The outside edges of the water lilies, which are intertwined with bits and pieces of coontail and brittle naiad, yielded eight largemouth bass. The shoreline and its two tertiary points yielded six largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were caught in three to six feet of water.

We caught 23 largemouth bass by fishing around and on top of the submerged patches of coontail and brittle naiad in four to eight feet of water.

Ten of the 37 were caught on the GrubZ rig. And 27 were caught on either the Finesse ShadZ rig or the Finesse WormZ rig.

We failed to elicit a strike while fishing across a shallow-water flat inside a tiny feeder-creek arm.

Inside the other tiny feeder-creek arm, we caught two largemouth bass around patches of brittle naiad in about five feet of water on the Finesse WormZ rig.

In contrast to the hellish outing that Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, and I endured on Aug. 30 at one of northeastern Kansas'federal reservoirs, where we struggled for four hours to catch four largemouth bass and six smallmouth bass, this Aug. 31 outing was a heavenly one. It is interesting to note that Rick and I caught 25 of the 94 largemouth bass in the first 35 minutes of this four-hour outing.

Once again, we are grateful that some of our flatland reservoirs are graced with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Rarely does a day go by that we fail to hope that the managers of our community, federal, and state reservoirs will begin to work diligently to cultivate emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation.

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