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Midwest Finesse Fishing: July 2021

July 1

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., we sojourned to a state reservoir located in a rural area of north-central Texas. I fished this same reservoir on June 22 with Rick Allen of Dallas, Mark Acridge of Watauga, and Norman Brown of Lewisville, and the four of us caught a combined total of 32 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and spotted-bass hybrids.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be poor with the best opportunities occurring from 4:54 a.m. to 6:54 a.m., 5:14 p.m. to 7:14 p.m., and 11:04 p.m. to 1:04 a.m.

The sky conditions changed from clear to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy, and it rained on us for a couple of minutes as we were returning to the boat ramp at the end of the outing.

The morning low temperature was 73 degrees and the afternoon's high temperature soared to 99 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.98 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.97 at noon. The wind was light and variable for most of the morning, and there were a few short spells when it was calm.

The water exhibited about 24 to 26 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 86 degrees. The water level was normal.

Overall, the black-bass fishing in north-central Texas has been tough, and during quite a few of our outings, we had to cover a lot of water in order to catch 10 to 12 black bass.

During this five-hour excursion, we covered about five miles of the middle and lower sections of the reservoir. We caught a total of 53 black bass, which consisted of 26 largemouth bass, 23 spotted bass, and four spotted-bass hybrids. This reservoir is also inhabited by smallmouth bass, but we have not come across any of them in many months. Besides the 53 black bass, we intentionally caught six white bass and unintentionally caught three channel catfish and one black crappie.

We spent most of our time fishing shaded areas on the east side of the reservoir's lower and middle sections. We fished only one spot on the west side of the reservoir. We targeted two main-lake islands, two main-lake bluffs, two main-lake jetties, the outside edge of a rocky main-lake flat, one rocky shoreline with two boat houses, and one side of a causeway that is covered with chunk rock.

We had mixed results at the two main-lake islands.

One of the islands has a flat topography with flooded bushes, stickups, standing timber, and boulders cluttering the island's perimeter. The shaded areas around this island relinquished seven largemouth and spotted bass that were relating to the outside edges of the flooded bushes and stickups in less than five feet of water. Six of them were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One was caught on a Z-Man's bubble-gut TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The sun-drenched areas around this island were unproductive.

The second island has no flooded terrestrial vegetation or submerged aquatic vegetation. It also had no shaded areas. Its submerged terrain is rock- and boulder-laden. The shoreline is steeper than the first island, exhibiting a 25- to 35-degree gradient. We fished around this island much later in the morning, and we failed to catch any black bass from around it.

An offshore rock ledge that is situated on the outside edge of a large main-lake flat surrendered 16 largemouth and spotted bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid. These black bass were foraging on small threadfin shad where the rock ledge radically drops off from three feet of water to 21 feet or more of water. Seven of them were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve. Ten were beguiled by a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead sporting a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD.

Along the two rock bluffs, the shaded areas along the first bluff yielded two spotted bass and one catfish. This bluff is about 50-yards long. It features large rocks and boulders that litter the base of the bluff in three to eight feet of water. One of the spotted bass and the channel catfish were caught in the vicinity of some submerged boulders in five to eight feet of water on the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig as it was used in a swim-glide-and-shake fashion. The other spotted bass was caught near a pile of large rocks on a four-inch Texas-rigged grape-firetail curly-tail worm and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in five feet of water.

When we began fishing at the second bluff, we were temporarily distracted by a medium-sized school of white bass that suddenly appeared in open water that was 30 to 35 feet deep and 30 to 40 yards away from the bluff. They were chasing and foraging on small pods of threadfin shad on the top of the water. We caught six of them on a moderately-fast swimming retrieve just below the surface of the water with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigs before they disappeared a couple of minutes later.

The shaded areas of the second bluff were more productive than the first bluff. This bluff relinquished a combination of 16 spotted bass, largemouth bass, and spotted-bass hybrids. We also crossed paths with one black crappie and one channel catfish.

This bluff features countless numbers of large boulders and rocks, some stumps, a couple of laydowns, and four boat houses. We caught 12 of the16 black bass near the large submerged boulders in three to eight feet of water. Four were caught five feet below the surface in 21 feet of water from underneath two of the four boat houses. Fourteen of the black bass and the channel catfish were caught on the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig; one largemouth bass and the black crappie were caught on a Z-Man's blue-craw Hula StickZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation; and one spotted bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

A rock ledge, a decorative-rock retaining wall, and two boat houses that grace a main-lake shoreline on the east side of the impoundment yielded two spotted bass and another channel catfish. The submerged terrain around this shoreline and the shallow-water side of the rock ledge is composed of red clay, baseball-size rocks, and numerous medium- and large-size boulders. The rock ledge is situated 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge before it rapidly descends into 20-plus feet of water.

The two spotted bass were associated with some large rocks and boulders at the base of the rock retaining wall in three to five feet of water. They were induced into striking the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The channel catfish was caught in 10 feet of water from underneath one of the two boat houses on the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to elicit any strikes from underneath the other boat house.

We caught five largemouth bass and one spotted bass in three to five feet of water along the sides and ends of two riprap jetties that form a long channel that leads to a large concrete spillway on the north end of the east shoreline. These six black bass were enticed by the Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We did not find any black bass relating to the riprap inside the spillway's channel.

On the west side of the reservoir, we slowly picked apart the south side of a 100-yard section of a riprap-covered causeway that extends eastward from the west shoreline to a large main-lake island. The submerged terrain around this causeway is flat and consists of red clay, gravel, stumps, laydowns, rocks, and boulders. Along this causeway, we caught two spotted bass and one largemouth bass. They were extracted from three to six feet of water near a laydown and a couple of large boulders. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD combo. Another one was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a three-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The third one was caught on a swimming retrieve with an unpainted 3/16-ounce mushroom-style jig dressed with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat.

Our two most effective lures were the Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD that was matched with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The Finesse TRD rig was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The Slim SwimZ combo was utilized with a steady swimming retrieve.

July 2

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

From June 24 through July 1, many drops of rain fell upon many of the landscapes and waterways of northeastern Kansas. Our rain gauge recorded that our gardens received six inches of rain; some locales received many more inches than we did. And except for two very short outings at a nearby federal reservoir, which is always a very problematic reservoir for pursuing largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, we took a hiatus from fishing in the rain. But during one of those very short endeavors at the federal reservoir, Mother Nature drenched us and our boat. What's more, we caught only seven smallmouth bass during those two outings, and they were such sorry affairs that we did not have the wherewithal to post a log about them on the Finesse News Network.

Because of this rainy spell, the water levels at most of our community, federal, and state reservoirs are well above their normal levels. And the water clarity has been affected, too.

On July 2, the National Weather Service reported that it was 67 degrees at 3:53 a.m. and 87 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm from 12:53 a.m. to 6:53 a.m., and then it angled out of the east at 5 to 8 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being partly cloudy for a short spell to being cluttered with a few clouds three times. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:53 a.m., 30.09 at 5:53 a.m., 30.12 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.09 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level at the community reservoir that we fished looked to be about one foot above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 80 to 83 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about four feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and in the middle section of the reservoir, there was about three feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 5:40 a.m. to 7:40 a.m., 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

We were afloat from 10:52 a.m. to 1:36 p.m. During those 164 minutes, we fished for 129 minutes, and it was a chore to catch nine smallmouth bass and nine largemouth bass. We also accidentally caught one walleye.

We worked with seven Midwest finesse rigs, which is an indication of how difficult it was to locate and catch this reservoir's black bass. Only two of the seven rigs were effective.

Three smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Six smallmouth bass and five largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Along a submerged rock fence in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This fence is about 75 yards long. The top of it is covered with three to five feet of water. It is adjacent to a ledge that quickly plummets into 20 and more feet of water. The largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One was caught immediately after the rig was liberated from being hung up on the rock-laden fence in about four feet of water. The second one was caught on a swim-and-subtle-glide presentation in about five feet of water.

Along another submerged rock fence in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. This fence is about 45 yards long. The top of it is covered with three to five feet of water. It is adjacent to a ledge that quickly plummets into 20 and more feet of water. The Finesse ShadZ rig caught the smallmouth bass on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water around several boulders. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in about four feet of water.

We caught two smallmouth bass along the shoreline of the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45- to 55-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with many patches of American water willows, a few minor piles of brush, and some piles of rocks and boulders. One of the smallmouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a drag-shake-and-pause presentation in about seven feet of water and 20 feet from the outside edge of the patches of American water willows. The other one was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of water and 10 feet from the outside edge of the patches of American water willows.

Along a flat shoreline adjacent to the dam, we failed to elicit a strike.

Around a main-lake point at the mouth of the spillway, which is in the vicinity of the dam, we caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. This point's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Its water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, overhanging terrestrial vegetation, and some minor laydowns. These bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop at the edge of a patch of American water willows in about three feet of water. The largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of water and about 12 feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

We failed to garner a strike along the shorelines, rock piles, and pilings in the area that encapsulates the spillway.

Around a main-lake point at the other side of the mouth of the spillway, we caught one smallmouth bass. This point's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. Its water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willows, one overhanging tree, and one laydown. The Finesse WormZ rig caught the smallmouth bass on the initial drop along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water.

We caught one smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass around a main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45- to 55-degree slope. The water's edge is graced with many patches of American water willows, some minor laydowns, some overhanging trees, and overhanging terrestrial vegetation. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse ShadZ rig along the outside edge of an overhanging patch of terrestrial vegetation in about four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a drag-shake-and-pause presentation in about eight feet of water and about 10 feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. The second largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of water and about eight feet from the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

Around another main-lake point in the lower section of the reservoir, we caught two largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass on the Finesse WormZ rig. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45- to 55-degree slope. The water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows and two laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught adjacent to one of the laydowns in about seven feet of water with a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. One smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about four feet of water. The other smallmouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught as I was about to lift the rig out of the water at the end of a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation.

Around a main-lake point in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 45- to 75-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of American water willows, overhanging trees, and overhanging terrestrial vegetation. The largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig on a drag-shake-and-pause presentation around the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about six feet of water. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig under a large overhanging tree in about three feet of water.

Our three youngest grandsons are arriving in Lawrence on July 5, and the focus of this outing was to find several worthwhile black-bass lairs for these boys to mine with their Midwest finesse rigs. To our chagrin, we failed to find any lucrative ones for them to fish at this community reservoir. Thus, they will fish elsewhere.

We will not fish during the Fourth of July weekend, and from July 6 to July 9, we will not post any logs on the Finesse News Network about our short outings with our grandsons and their mother. After they leave, we hope to compile a summary of how, where, and when they fished.

July 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse Net Network about his five short outings on July 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. On these outings at two northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs, he fished with four grandsons and his youngest daughter. They are Anna Kehde of San Antonio, Texas, and her three sons: James Cox of San Antonio, Nicholas Cox of San Antonio, and Andrew Cox of San Antonio. The fourth grandson is Brady Cayton of Lawrence, Kansas.

Brady is 20 years old. James is 16, Nicholas is 14, and Andrew is 11.

All of them are novice anglers, who fish infrequently. Since the advent of the Covid pandemic, this was the first time that Anna and her three sons have fished since the summer of 2019. It was the third time that Brady had fished since the summer of 2019, and he fished with James on July 10, which is the first time that they have ever fished together.

Like most novice anglers, it is difficult and tiring for them to fish intensely for more than two hours. Therefore, our five outings at two of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs were short, consuming a total of seven hours and 58 minutes. And they proved once again that novice anglers can inveigle a goodly number of largemouth bass in a short time by employing Midwest finesse rigs.

They worked with four rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to either a chartreuse or a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

They used these rigs with a variety of Midwest finesse presentations and tangled with 104 largemouth bass.

Here are a few details about these five outings:

On July 6, the National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 86 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 3 to 10 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being partly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.07 at 12:53 a.m., 30.05 at 5:53 a.m., 30.07 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.02 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level at the community reservoir that James Cox, Andrew Cox, and I fished looked to be at normal level. The surface temperature was 84 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about four feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and in the middle section of the reservoir, the visibility was about three feet. There were oodles and oodles of duckweed, which was intermixed with floating stems of coontail, covering and cluttering most of this reservoir's shorelines and some of its shallow-water flats, and it confounded our abilities to thoroughly dissect many of these locales.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:11 a.m. to 10:11 a.m., 8:34 p.m. to 10:34 p.m., and 1:29 a.m. to 3:59 a.m.

We fished from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and struggled mightily to catch 12 largemouth bass, one crappie, and two green sunfish.

One largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. The others were caught on the Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ rig.

They were caught on the following presentations: initial drop, swim-glide-and-shake presentation, drag-and-shake presentation, and drag-and-deadstick presentation.

All of them were caught in the lower quarter section of the reservoir. And we failed to elicit a strike in other areas of the reservoir.

We caught four of the 12 largemouth bass along the shoreline of the dam, which is where Andrew caught the first of the 12 largemouth bass on the initial drop of his second cast of the outing. Four largemouth bass were caught around the spillway. Three largemouth bass were caught along an offshore ledge that graces a shallow-water flat and shoreline. One largemouth bass was caught on an offshore hump that is associated with a main-lake point.

The dam has a 45- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally laced with patches of coontail and bushy pondweed. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows and a concrete outlet tower. Portions of the dam's water's edge were cluttered with floating wads of coontail, duckweed, and filamentous algae. The largemouth bass were caught in four to eight feet of water.

The spillway is flat with a 20-degree slope, which becomes embellished with a significant ledge that is adjacent to 16 to 25 feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which are graced with a few patches of coontail, and several small patches of American water willows embellish its shallow-water environs. The four largemouth bass were caught on the flat areas in about five to six feet of water.

The area associated with the offshore ledge that graces a shallow-water flat and shoreline has a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally embellished with a few patches of coontail. At the ledge, the depth of the water drops from four to five feet into eight and 10 feet of water. The three largemouth bass were caught in about four to five feet of water and several feet above the ledge.

The offshore hump that is associated with a main-lake point has a 20- to 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and many boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. Patches of coontail are intertwined with the boulders and rocks. The largemouth bass was caught in about four feet of water.

On July 7, the National Weather Service reported that it was 67 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 84 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the east, southeast and southwest at 3 to 10 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 29.94 at 5:52 a.m., 29.96 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.92 at 1:52 p.m. The NWS noted that the high-pressure dome and heatwave that has waylaid the Pacific Northwest has brought unseasonably cool temperatures to northeastern Kansas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8: 55 a.m. to 10:55 a.m., 9:20 p.m. to 11:20 p.m., and 2:43 a.m. to 4:43 a.m.

Anna Kehde, James Cox, and I fished at a community reservoir from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. During this 75-minute outing, we caught 27 largemouth bass and five green sunfish. We elicited a goodly number of strikes that felt as if they were panfish, and we had three substantial strikes that we failed to firmly hook.

The water level looked to be a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about three feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and inside a large feeder-creek adjacent to the dam, the clarity was about 2 ½ feet.

There was a tad of duckweed covering the shorelines of the dam and a nearby shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm.

Twenty-six largemouth bass were caught along the shorelines of the dam and its spillway.

One largemouth bass was caught along a 50-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline adjacent to the dam and around the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm.

The spillway has about a 20-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water's edge is adorned with shallow-water patches of American water willows and a shallow-water patch of cattails.

The dam has a 45- to 65-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge has numerous patches of American water willows, as well as an occasional log and some minor piles of brush.

The 50-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline adjacent to the dam and around the mouth of a large feeder-creek arm possesses a 30- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some humongous boulders, which are graced with an occasional patch of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is lined with continuous patches of American water willows, and it is also endowed with one overhanging cottonwood tree.

These 27 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig, TRD BugZ rig and Finesse WormZ rig.

Several of the largemouth bass were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake-and-pause presentation in six to 10 feet of water. Some were caught on the initial drop of rigs adjacent to patches of American water willows. Others were on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to 10 feet of water. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation in five to seven feet of water. A few were caught on a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to eight feet of water.

On July 8, the National Weather Service reported that it was 61 degrees at 4:52 a.m. and 84 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the north and northwest at 3 to 10 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:52 a.m., 29.96 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.97 at 3:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:42 a.m. to 11:42 a.m., 10:07 p.m. to 12:07 a.m., and 3:39 a.m. to 5:39 a.m.

James Cox and I fished at the same community reservoir that we fished with his mother on July 7. We fished from 12:30 p.m. to 1:48 p.m. We caught 25 largemouth bass, five green sunfish, and one channel catfish.

The water level looked to be a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. Our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about three feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam. Elsewhere, the clarity ranged from two to three feet of visibility.

We caught 13 largemouth bass along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm and along about a 250-yard stretch of another shoreline inside this feeder-creek arm. One was caught on the TRD BugZ rig and 12 were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig.

These shorelines have a 30- to 45-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which are embellished with some stumps and a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. Their water's edges are embellished with patches of American water willows, laydowns, and overhanging trees.

We caught 12 largemouth bass along about a 100-yard stretch of the shoreline of the dam. One was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig, five were caught on the green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rig, and six were caught on the TRD BugZ rig. (Details about the dam are outlined in the July 7th log.)

On July 9, the National Weather Service reported that it was 68 degrees at 1:52 a.m. and 95 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and south at 3 to 26 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.92 at 5:52 a.m., 29.95 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.89 at 2:52 p.m.

It was the first windy day that we have fished in a long spell.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:13 a.m. to 12:31 p.m., 10:57 p.m. to 12:57 a.m., and 4:18 a.m. to 6:18 a.m.

Andrew, Nicholas, and I returned to the same community reservoir that is described in the July 7 and 8 logs.

The water level looked to be a few inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The wind and white caps diminished the clarity of the water along the dam, and our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about two to 2 ½ feet of visibility.

We began fishing at 11:45 a.m.

Andrew and Nicholas caught nine largemouth bass along a 175-yard stretch of the dam, which was windblown and difficult for them to fish. After battling the gusty south and southeast wind and white caps along the dam, Andrew and Nicholas opted to go swimming and paddle boarding at 12:30 p.m. (Details about the dam are outlined in the July 7th log.)

While they were frolicking in the reservoir's swimming area inside a large feeder-creek arm, I stayed nearby in the boat and fished for another 30 minutes along a portion of the shoreline inside this large feeder-creek arm. This shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are gigantic. There are a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is lined with continuous patches of American water willows, a few minor laydowns, and an overhanging tree.

While they were swimming and paddle boarding, I caught six largemouth bass, which boosted our catch to 15 largemouth bass.

These 15 largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. Six were caught on the initial drop of the rig around patches of American water willows. A few were caught by strolling and employing a drag-and-subtle-shake presentation. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-minor-shake presentation. They were caught in three to about 10 feet of water.

On July 10, the National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 82 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and when it stirred, it angled out of the southwest, north, southeast, southwest, west, and northwest at 3 to 18 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to raining lightly to thunderstorms to partly cloudy to overcast to mostly cloudy to littered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.85 at 12:52 a.m., 29.91 at 5:52 a.m., 29.94 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.90 at 2:52 p.m.

Brady Cayton, James Cox, and I fished at the same community reservoir that was fished on July 7, 8, and 9.

The thunderstorms that roared across portions of northeastern Kansas during the early morning hours of July 10 caused the water level of this reservoir to rise several inches, and the backs of several of its feeder-creek arms became very muddy. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. According to our secchi stick, the water clarity along the dam was about 3 ½ feet and about 2 ½ feet of visibility elsewhere.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:53 a.m. to 12:53 p.m., 11:23 p.m. to 1:23 a.m., and 5:10 a.m. to 7:10 a.m.

We fished from noon to 2:10 p.m. and caught 25 largemouth bass.

One of the 25 largemouth bass was caught on the Slim SwimZ rig. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. Ten largemouth bass were caught on a TRD BugZ rig. Eleven were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig.

Eighteen largemouth bass were caught along the shoreline of the dam. Some were caught on the initial drop. Some were caught while we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation. Several were caught on a swim-glide-and-and-shake presentation. A few were caught on a drag-and-slight-deadstick presentation. (Details about the dam are outlined in the July 7th log.)

One was caught on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig along about a 40-yard stretch of a shoreline adjacent to the dam. It possesses a 30- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is lined with continuous patches of American water willows, and it is also endowed with one overhanging cottonwood tree.

We quickly fished three main-lake points, a short portion of a main-lake shoreline, and a 100-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm that were fruitless.

We eked out one largemouth bass along a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 30- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, which are embellished with some stumps and a few patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is embellished with patches of American water willows, laydowns, and overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig in the vicinity of an overhanging tree.

Along a 75-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 35- to 75-degree slope. A submerged creek channel courses nearby. Its water's edge is lined with American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on the Slim SwimZ rig with a swimming presentation along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about five feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD BugZ rig around a patch of American water willows in about four feet of water. The third largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water around a patch of American water willows.

We caught largemouth bass number 24 and 25, along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows that lines the shoreline about 100 feet inside a small feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has about a 40-degree slope. Both of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation in four to five feet of water.

July 7

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing at a federal reservoir in northeastern Kansas on July 7.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 67 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 84 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the northwest, east, southeast, and southwest at 3 to 10 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.99 at 12:52 a.m., 29.94 at 5:52 a.m., 29.96 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.92 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level is about four feet above its normal level. Some of the terrestrial vegetation is partially flooded. The water exhibited about three feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 78 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:55 a.m. to 10:55 a.m., 9:20 p.m. to 11:20 p.m., and 2:43 a.m. to 4:43 a.m.

I launched my boat just after sunup and quit fishing around 1:00 p.m.

I fished around an array of main-lake and secondary points. I fished along several main-lake shorelines. And I fished along portions of the riprap shorelines of the dam, one causeway, and one jetty.

During the first 40 minutes, it seemed that I was getting a strike on nearly every cast. But to my chagrin, this delightful phenomenon was a short-lived affair.

My two most effective Midwest finesse rigs were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. I caught a few fish on a four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig.

Throughout this outing, I spent a lot of time strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in six to 10 feet of water.

By the time that I made my final cast and retrieve, my fish counter noted that I had caught 56 fish. Four were largemouth bass. Fourteen were smallmouth bass. The others were a mixture of bluegill, freshwater drum, sauger, and white bass.

July 8

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 8 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished at a popular but problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. All but one of the public boat ramps at this reservoir have been closed since mid-May because of flooding, but we were delighted to discover that the local authorities have now opened all the boat ramps again.

It was sunny and partly cloudy on July 8. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 5 to 10 mph. The morning low temperature was 82 degrees and the afternoon high reached 95 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.92 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.94 at 11:00 a.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 3:36 a.m. to 5:36 a.m., 9:49 a.m. to 11:49 a.m., and 10:14 p.m. to 12:14 a.m.

The water level was 2.02 feet above its normal level, and it did not appear that the Corps has been releasing water from the dam. The water displayed between two and 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 88 degrees.

We targeted locales in the lower and upper regions of the reservoir. The underwater terrains of these areas are mostly similar. They consist of red clay, pea-gravel, baseball-size rocks, a few laydowns, and some submerged boulders. The minor differences between them are that some of these areas have more flooded terrestrial vegetation than others, and a couple of them had no flooded vegetation.

Our spinning outfits sported the following Midwest finesse baits: a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on either a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to an 1/8-ounce green-pumpkin-white jig, a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ attached to a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a white 1/16-ounce underspin jig dressed with a blue and silver two-inch curly-tail grub, an 1/8-ounce Z-Man's green-pumpkin skirted Micro Finesse Jig with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ attached as a trailer, and a 1/16-ounce blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead matched with a 2 1/2-inch goby-bryant ZinkerZ.

We also employed two power-fishing lures: a topwater propellor-style bait and a square-billed crankbait.

We began the outing on the south side of the southwest tributary arm at a main-lake point and along its adjoining main-lake shoreline. The south side of this point was shaded, and this shaded area yielded three spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and one channel catfish.

A 50-yard section of the adjacent main-lake shoreline, which was not shaded, relinquished only one spotted bass.

Four of these five black bass were caught around several flooded bushes in less than five feet of water on a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a steady-swimming retrieve. One spotted bass was caught in less than two feet of water on the initial fall of the three-inch Slim SwimZ rig.

From this main-lake point and shoreline, we travelled about a half of a mile eastward to another main-lake point on the south side of the tributary arm. This area is endowed with a shallow rock ledge next to a submerged roadbed. We scrounged up one spotted bass that was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with the pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead.

About two miles west of that main-lake point, we probed another main-lake point that possesses another submerged roadbed, thick patches of flooded bushes, and some flooded stickups. This point was fruitless.

We then moved to the north side of the tributary arm and fished around a main-lake island, two main-lake points, a portion of a large main-lake flat, and the northwest side of a riprap-covered bridge embankment.

Around the main-lake island, we caught four spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and one channel catfish. All but one of the black bass were caught in the shade around the outside edges of the flooded bushes in less than three feet of water. One spotted bass was caught next to a flooded bush on the north side of the island in two feet of water where there was no shade. Three of the black bass and the channel catfish were allured by a steady-swimming retrieve with the pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo and a steady-swimming retrieve. The other spotted bass was caught on the initial fall of the 1/8-ounce green-pumpkin Micro Finesse jig and 2 1/2-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ trailer from the base of a flooded bush in 24-inches of water.

The propeller-style topwater lure generated a couple of subtle strikes, but we failed to hook those two fish.

Just east of the island, we fished another main-lake point and about 50-yards of its adjoining shoreline. This point and shoreline are cluttered with flooded bushes and stickups in less than three feet of water. This endeavor was for naught, and we were unable to provoke any strikes around the flooded vegetation with the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig and the square-billed crankbait.

A couple of miles west of the main-lake island, we fished around another main-lake point at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm on the north side of the tributary, and a large main-lake flat that is located next to the point.

The main-lake point is rocky with a gradient of less than 25-degrees. Its shallow-water areas are adorned with flooded bushes mixed with chunk rock and gravel. The tip of this point has some flooded bushes in three feet of water and a small pile of rocks that lie in five feet of water and several feet outside the row of flooded bushes. This rock pile yielded two largemouth bass. One was caught with a steady-swimming retrieve with the two-inch blue-and-silver curly-tail grub, and the other largemouth was caught on the pearl Baby Goat and a steady-swimming retrieve.

The adjacent main-lake flat is covered with patches of flooded stickups and bushes, but we did not locate any largemouth or spotted bass on this flat.

A mile to the east of this main-lake point and flat, we slowly probed a 40-yard stretch of riprap that covers a bridge embankment and a shallow rock ledge just north of the bridge embankment. These two areas were shaded by the bridge. We caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

The largemouth bass was caught in seven feet of water and about 10 feet away from the water's edge on a steady-swimming retrieve with the two-inch blue-and-silver curly-tail grub. The spotted bass engulfed the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig as it was worked in a swim-glide-and-shake manner in three feet of water next to the shallow rock ledge.

We then elected to move to the south end of the reservoir. Here, we searched along a ditch that courses its way across a shallow main-lake flat, a 30-yard wall of flooded bushes on a shallow flat that is situated a short distance from the west end of the dam, two portions of the dam, and a rocky main-lake flat on the east end of the dam.

We shared the main-lake flat and ditch area with two other boats, and we were unable to locate any black bass around the ditch or in it.

The wall of flooded bushes on the west end of the dam was also unproductive.

Along the riprap on the west end of the dam, we crossed paths with significant numbers of threadfin shad and scrounged up one largemouth bass. It was caught in 10 feet of water and about 20 feet out from the riprap on the dam. It was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig.

In 11 feet of water and in close proximity to the riprap covering the east end of the dam, we caught one largemouth bass and one hefty freshwater drum. The largemouth was caught on the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The drum was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 2 1/2-inch goby-bryant ZinkerZ rig.

Across a minor main-lake flat on the east end of the dam, we caught two largemouth bass. This flat is graced with many yards of flooded bushes, stickups, and laydowns in less than five feet of water. Both of these bass were caught near the outside edges of the flooded bushes on a steady-swimming presentation with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ combo in three to five feet of water.

Next, we made a 15-minute run to the northwest end of the reservoir. In this region of the reservoir, we fished around a rocky main-lake point, a boulder-laden flat, and around several large concrete support columns underneath a large bridge.

We failed to catch any largemouth bass or spotted bass from any of these lairs. But we did manage to catch three white bass from a small school that was briefly foraging on small threadfin shad in 30 feet water and many yards away from the water's edge. This school of white bass was foraging on the surface for less than a minute, and then they were gone. There were several other small schools of white bass that were briefly chasing shad on the surface in this area, but we decided it was a waste of time for us to attempt to get within casting distance of them before they would disappear.

In closing, we had what we consider an above-average outing for this reservoir. We caught a combination of 20 largemouth and spotted bass, three white bass, a hefty freshwater drum, and a channel catfish in 4 1/2 hours. We caught 14 of the black bass between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. After that, the bass bite slowed to a snail's pace, and we could muster only six more black bass during the last 2 1/2-hours.

Our most effective lure and presentation was a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. This combo was employed with a steady swimming retrieve about a foot below the surface of the water.

July 12

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 12 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We elected to fish at one of several north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on June 25 with Rick Allen of Dallas. It was a sunny day. We fished from 8:00 a.m. to noon, and it was a chore for us to catch eight largemouth bass, two spotted bass, two freshwater drum, and two channel catfish.

As Bill and I were making the three-mile scenic drive from the entrance of the state park to the boat ramp, we spotted five white-tailed deer foraging along the edge of a thick tree line close to the road. When we spot deer at this reservoir, we anticipate a decent day of black-bass fishing, and it was.

The morning low temperature on July 12 was 73 degrees. The afternoon high temperature reached 91 degrees. The wind was light and variable. The barometric pressure measured 30.01 at 6:00 a.m. and 30.04 at 1:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be average, and the most lucrative opportunities would occur from 12:54 a.m. to 2:54 a.m., 7:07 a.m. to 9:07 a.m., and 1:19 p.m. to 3:19 p.m.

We fished from 6:40 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Corps was releasing water out of this reservoir. The water level was 1.63 feet above normal pool. (When Rick and I were fishing here on June 25, the water level was four feet above normal.) The surface temperature ranged from 84 to 87 degrees. The water exhibited between 24 and 30 inches of visibility.

We traversed about four miles of this reservoir's lower end in search of largemouth bass and spotted bass. We focused on three rock bluffs, portions of the riprap-laden dam, six main-lake points, two rock ledges and two submerged roadbeds that are associated with two of the six main-lake points, portions of a large main-lake island, and a small hump just east of the island.

We had what we consider an above-average outing for this impoundment. We fished in water as shallow as 1 1/2 feet and as deep as 57 feet, and we caught a mixed bag of 26 largemouth bass and spotted bass. We also unintentionally caught three freshwater drum and two channel catfish.

Throughout the morning, we occasionally crossed paths with several small schools of white bass that were briefly chasing shad on the surface of the water, but we could not get within casting distance of them before they would quickly disperse.

On the southeast end of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass from one of the three rock bluffs. It was suspended about five feet below the surface in 31 feet of water. It was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat that was rigged with a gray 1/8-ounce minnow-head jig. The torso of the Baby Goat was rigged with the hook coming out of its side instead of its back, which allowed it replicate the profile of a bait fish. The other two bluffs failed to produce a strike or a black bass.

Just south of the three rock bluffs, we probed a 35-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is covered with riprap, and we failed to garner any strikes.

The east end of the dam, which forms the southern boundary of this reservoir, yielded one spotted bass. The dam is covered with riprap and is adorned with a couple of large laydowns. This spotted bass was extracted from five feet of water near the end of one of the large laydowns. It was tempted by a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ matched with a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The remainder of this section of the dam was unproductive.

The center section of the dam, which is endowed with a large concrete water-outlet tower located a few yards out from the center section of the dam, was our most productive spot. Close to the submerged riprap on the dam, we caught one spotted bass in three feet of water and about four feet from the water's edge. It engulfed a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ rigged on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Two concrete columns that support a large overhead walkway that leads from the dam to the water-outlet tower yielded one largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were caught next to one of the concrete columns in six feet of water. The largemouth bass was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat that was rigged on an 1/8-ounce minnow-head finesse jig (with the lure rigged in a normal horizontal fashion). The spotted bass was attracted to the Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The other concrete support column, which is situated in less than three feet of water, was fruitless.

The walls of the water-outlet tower surrendered a mixed bag of 12 largemouth bass and spotted bass. They were relating to the shade on the west side of the tower, and they were suspended. Some were caught about eight feet below the surface, and others were caught about 12 feet below the surface. The depth of the water on the south wall of the tower is 37 feet deep, and it is 57 feet deep on the north end of the wall. All of them were within three feet of the tower's wall.

Nine of them were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ matched with a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Five of them were caught on five consecutive casts after the TRD TubeZ rig was allowed to sink for eight to 10 seconds before we began a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange Baby Goat rigged on a blue 1/5-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a slow swimming retrieve. One was enticed into striking a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead that was bedecked with a blue-steel Finesse ShadZ. And one was induced into striking a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a gray 1/8-ounce minnow-head jig with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We experimented with letting our lures fall next to the west wall of the tower for 15 to 25 seconds, but we did not garner any strikes fishing them that deep.

We caught three black bass from the west end of the dam. These bass were caught next to a small brush pile in eight feet of water and about 15 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ matched with a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other one consumed the Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ as it was implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

Just west of the dam area, we fished the north and west sides of a main-lake island, and we failed to elicit any strikes.

From there, we moved a short distance eastward to a small main-lake hump that is located near the island, and we failed to garner any strikes there, too.

We then decided to meander northward and fished around six main-lake points. These points are scattered along the lower ends of the west and east tributary arms. This endeavor turned into a wild-goose chase, and the black-bass bite was lackluster at best.

The first three main-lake points are situated in the lower end of the west tributary arm.

The first main-lake point was devoid of largemouth and spotted bass. This point is flat and its underwater terrain consists of mostly pea-gravel mixed with a few chunk rocks.

The second main-lake point is similar to the first one. It is also flat, and the composition of its underwater terrain is pea-gravel and chunk rock. This point yielded one spotted bass and one freshwater drum that were caught in three to five feet of water from one side of this point. They devoured the 2 3/4-inch Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ as it was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We caught two spotted bass from the third main-lake point. This point is located about 50 yards east of the second one. This point is flat and its underwater terrain is composed of pea-grave and chunk rock. There are remnants of three small concrete building foundations, some flooded stickups, and many yards of partially-flooded patches of terrestrial vegetation that grace this point and its adjoining main-lake shoreline. Both of the spotted bass were caught in four feet of water near the side of one of the three concrete building foundations on the Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We did not generate any strikes from the other two building foundations. We also failed to elicit any strikes from a 50-yard portion of flooded stickups and terrestrial vegetation on the adjacent main-lake shoreline.

The fourth main-lake point is the largest of the six. It divides the reservoir into two tributary arms. Part of its underwater terrain protrudes about 75 yards out from the shoreline, and that part of the point is covered with three to 11 feet of water. The west side of the point is steep and it radically descends into 20-plus feet of water. The east side of the point is flatter, and it gradually slopes downward into 10 to 15 feet of water.

We spent about 30 minutes slowly strolling the 2 3/4-inch Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ rig and a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ fastened on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Nedlock jig up and down the steep drop-off in 7 to 21 feet of water on the west side of the point, then across the top of the point in three to 10 feet of water, but we were unable to muster any strikes. We did see a small school of white bass surface-foraging on small threadfin shad on the east side of the point, but by the time we got into casting range of them, they were gone.

We then moved into the lower end of the east tributary arm and fished our way northward. We quickly discovered that the black-bass-bite had not improved.

At the fifth main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass. This point is embellished with two submerged roadbeds, a rock ledge, submerged boulders, some flooded stickups and standing timber, and large patches of American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught in less than three feet of water from the top of one of the roadbeds. It engulfed the pearl TRD TicklerZ combo on the initial fall. We were unable to locate any largemouth bass or spotted bass around the patches of American water willows, the rock ledge, the flooded stickups, the standing timber, and the other roadbed.

About a mile north of this main-lake point, we targeted the sixth main-lake point, which is situated at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm. This point is covered with three to six feet of water and the end of the point quickly drops into 20-plus feet of water. The top of it is adorned with flooded bushes and stickups. It underwater terrain is laced with a mixture of chunk rocks.

This point yielded one spotted bass that was associated with some of the flooded stickups on the top of the point in three feet of water. It was caught on the pearl TRD TicklerZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

After we failed to garner any more strikes at that point, we fished our way along an adjacent rock ledge that leads into a major feeder-creek arm. The top of this ledge is covered with about a foot of water and it quickly drops into 15 to 21 feet of water. We caught one spotted bass that was suspended about five feet away from the ledge in 12 feet of water. It was caught about five below the surface on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ rig. The remainder of the ledge did not yield a black bass.

We also investigated a steep and rocky secondary point just west of the rock ledge, and we failed to catch a black bass.

In closing, we employed 10 Midwest finesse rigs and six of them were effective. Of those six productive combos, the most dominate one was the 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ matched with a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The most effective presentation was a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

July 16

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his unusual outing with Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas's federal reservoirs on July 16.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 82 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it angled out of the east, southeast, northeast, and south at 3 to 12 mph. From midnight to 2:53 a.m., thunderstorms erupted, and it rained. From 3:53 a.m. to noon, the sky fluctuated from being overcast to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 29.99 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.98 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level was about 2.19 feet above its normal level. Twenty cubic feet per second was being released from the dam's outlet. The surface temperature was 85 degrees. The water exhibited 2 ½ to three feet of visibility.

This reservoir has experienced some profound changes during the past six years. It was waylaid by a major flood in 2018, and we suspect that a substantial number of its smallmouth bass were washed out of the reservoir. It has been afflicted with the largemouth bass virus, which has killed vast numbers of smallmouth bass. The recreational and tournament angler predation has been intense, which seems to have played havoc with the reservoir's once significant smallmouth bass population. Consequently, our abilities to catch at least 10 smallmouth bass an hour has dramatically diminished since 2017. This was the first time that I have fished it since Sept. 24, 2019.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:20 a.m. to 6:20 a.m., 4:43 p.m. to 6:43 p.m., and 10:32 a.m. to 12:32 p.m.

We fished from 8:00 a.m. to 11:58 a.m.

The primary focus of this outing was to examine the many virtues of the two new custom-built spinning rods that Drew has recently acquired. Thus, rather than fishing intensely, we spent a lot of minutes conversing about the history of these rods and the early days of Midwest finesse fishing, which Drew calls light-line fishing.

It is important to note that Drew is one of the primary pioneers of Midwest finesse fishing. In my eyes, he is one of the world's finest practitioners of this tactic.

His contributions date back to the 1960s. And in 1971, he introduced the black bass that abide in Lake Mead, Nevada, to these tactics when he competed in the first Bassmaster Classic, where he garnered seventh-place honors. During the second decade of the 21st century, he has also worked with Daniel Nussbaum of Charleston, South Carolina, who is president of Z-Man Fishing Products, to create several stellar Midwest finesse rigs.

For years on end, he has been infatuated with pursuing smallmouth bass with his light-line methods on either a G Loomis SJR 6400 rod or an SJR 700 rod. To satiate this piscatorial love affair, he normally resides at the Lake of the Woods in Ontario, Canada, from the middle of May into early September. But since 2019, the pandemic lockdown in Canada has prevented him from enjoying his passion for catching scores and scores of smallmouth bass.

Thus, during the spring of 2021, he spent a number of days pursuing smallmouth bass at Bull Shoals Lake in the vicinity of Peel, Arkansas, and Highway 125 Marina, where the water level was extremely high and the water was exceedingly clear.

To pursue and catch these deep- and clear-water smallmouth bass, he employed his classic and custom-built five-foot, 10-inch G. Loomis SJR 700 spinning rod, and his spinning reel was spooled with four-pound-test Berkley FireLine Fused Fishing Line in a flame-green hue.

And he had a delightful time catching an impressive array of smallmouth bass at Bull Shoals Lake. In fact, he became so enthralled with this light-line combo that he wanted to custom-build another five-foot, 10-inch G. Loomis SJ 700 spinning rod. But those blanks are no longer available.

Thus, he began the daunting task of searching the Internet in hopes of finding a similar rod blank.

Eventually, he talked to the head of the product development department at Mud Hole Custom Tackle, which became a grand and rewarding conversation.

The folks at Mud Hole thought they could help him, and to help them to find a sequel to the G. Loomis' rods, Drew shipped them a sample, which allowed them to search through Mud Hole's inventory and use a deflection graph to compare their blanks to Drew's SJ 6400 and SJ 700. Eventually, they found a blank that possesses nearly the same action and power of Drew's Loomis rods. It is Mud Hole's MHX NEPS78LMF Elite Pro Rod blank. It is described as having a light-power rating and a moderate-fast action. But it is six feet, six inches long or eight inches longer than the SJ 700 and 14 inches longer than the SJ 6400.

Therefore, Mud Hole provided Drew with instructions on how to customize the MHX NEPS78LMF Elite Pro Rod blank and build a sequel to the SJ 700, as well as how to custom-build a sequel to the five-foot, four-inch G. Loomis SJ 6400 spinning rod that has played a significant role in Drew's light-line tactics for many decades.

Mud Hole's efforts and delightful customer service motivated Drew to immediately purchase several of Mud Holes' blanks. And his hopes of custom-building rods that would replicate the SJR 6400 and SJR 700 rods that he had used for decades were soon to be realized.

It is important to note that Gary Loomis created the SJ 6400 and SJ 700 by copying the much-lauded Stinger rod created by the late Ray Fincke of Overland Park, Kansas. And when Drew was a high-school and college student, he worked part-time in Ray's tackle shop and learned a lot about the art and science of assembling a spinning rod. At Ray's shop, Drew also became a dear friend of Chuck Woods, who created the Beetle, Beetle Spin, Puddle Jumper, and several other lures.

He says he is eternally grateful for the roles that they played in his life.

Thus, hardly a day goes by that Drew doesn't think about the various contributions that Chuck and Ray gave to him and the angling world.

As Drew assembled these custom-built these new five-foot, 10-inch and five-foot, four-inch Mud Hole rods, he did it in tribute to Ray and Chuck.

Because these rods lie at the heart of the Midwest finesse fishing, Drew hopes that in the days to come that Mud Hole will elect to create an MHX rod-building kit for both of these rods.

To make the five-foot, 10-inch rod, Drew removed eight inches from the butt of the Mud Hole blank, and he removed 14 inches from the butt of the Mud Hole blank to make the five-foot, four-inch rod.

He affixed a nine-inch cork handle to the five-foot, four-inch rod and an 11-inch cork handle to the five-foot, 10-inch rod. And Drew used red Vintage Scotch Brand 3M Plastic Tape to affix his spinning reels to the cork handles. These cork handles are often called Tennessee handles.

Each rod is adorned with a series of CRB SSR Concept Style Spinning Guides. The five-foot, four-inch rod has five guides, and the sizes of the guides are 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20. The butt guide or first guide is a 20, and it is situated 17 ½ inches from the tip of the spool of the spinning reel.

The five-foot, 10-inch rod has six guides, and the sizes of the guides are 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 25. The butt guide or first guide is a 25, and it is situated 18 ½ inches from the tip of the spool of the spinning reel.

These state-of-the-art spinning rods are almost as light as a feather. The five-foot, four-inch model weighs 1.4 ounces, and the five-foot, 10-inch model weighs 1.8 ounces.

After he assembled his Mud Hole rods, Drew discovered that they possess a slightly quicker action than his old SJ 6400 and SJ 700 rods, which are described as having an extra-fast action and a power that is described as being magnum light. And in Drew's and my hands, this slightly quicker action is an asset; it facilitated our casting and our tussles with the fish that we hooked.

On this July 16 outing, I spent most of the time using the five-foot, four-inch rod with a top-of-the-line Daiwa spinning reel tapped to the cork handle of the rod. The reel was spooled with four-pound-test Berkley FireLine Fused Fishing Line in a flame-green hue. It is the lightest and most sensitive rod I have ever had in my hands. What's more, I could rather easily execute a 90-foot cast with a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Drew used the five-foot, 10-inch rod with a top-of-the-line Daiwa spinning reel tapped to the cork handle of the rod. The reel was spooled with four-pound-test Berkley FireLine Fused Fishing Line in a flame-green hue. He worked with two rigs: a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ Jig and a Z-Man's hot snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ Jig.

Attached to the Fireline with a Seaguar knot was a nine-foot leader made with six-pound-test Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon Fishing Line.

As we almost constantly examined and talked about these two rods and occasionally reminisced about times gone by, we fished around eight main-lake points and short portions of four main-lake shorelines and two shorelines inside two medium-sized feeder-creek arms that are adjacent to these points. We also fished around a pile of rocks and boulders that surround a rural-water-supply outlet and a shallow offshore hump. These spots are situated from about 1 1/3 miles to 4 1/3 miles from the dam.

The shorelines and secondary points failed to yield a black bass.

One main-lake point was fruitless.

But around the other locales, we tangled with 14 smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, eight freshwater drum, and five walleye.

The underwater terrains of these locales consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some stumps and manmade piles of brush adorn these terrains. They possess a 25- to 45-degree slope.

The most fruitful point has about a 25-degree slope, and it yielded one largemouth bass, two freshwater drum, and four smallmouth bass.

A few of the fish were caught on the initial drop of our rigs near the water's edge in about two to four feet of water. The others were caught on a subtle hop-and-drop presentation, swim-and-glide presentation, and drag-and-pause presentation in about four to 12 feet of water.

By spending three hours and 58 minutes working with and conversing about these rods, this outing was one of the most delightful, surprising, and edifying ones that I can remember.

Drew and I have always been enamored with short spinning rods, and we have never understood why anglers would want to wield long ones.

Some finesse anglers have told us that long rods allow them to make long casts and land larger fish more effectively.

By the time we made our last casts and retrieves, Drew's light-line rods proved that they possessed the wherewithal to tangle with some heavy specimens. For example, one of the freshwater drum weighed 10.8 pounds, and it provided us with a whale of a tussle and much joy.

When necessary, we could execute extremely long casts with ease with these state-of-the-art short rods. We estimated that we executed several test casts that were in the 90- to 100-foot range, and we suspected that longer ones can be easily achieved. But we must note that long casts are rarely a part of our Midwest finesse tactics in northeastern Kansas.

What's more, with every cast, short rods will allow us to execute our retrieves more seductively than we can implement with long rods. And these rods seemed to facilitate and enhance the various retrieves that we employed.

Since I made my first casts with a fishing rod in 1948 and until July 16, 2021, I have never had a lighter and more castable rod in my hands. Initially, it felt as if I had a magic wand in my right hand.

Drew's rods are an amazing and grand addition to the Midwest finesse repertoire, which has a history stretching back to the late 1950s.

I am grateful that Drew asked me to join him. And he made some headway in coaxing me out of my antiquated world of spinning rods and reels that stretch back to the 1970s and 1980s and revolve around my devotion to frugality, simplicity, and the good old days of Midwest finesse fishing.

In the near future, we hope to post more details about the manifold virtues of these two rods.

July 19

Ned and Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their July 19 outing at one of northeastern Kansas's many community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 66 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 86 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind was calm at times, and at other times, it was variable and then angling out of the east, northeast, and northwest at 3 to 7 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being partly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.15 at 12:52 a.m., 30.17 at 5:52 a.m., 30.17 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.14 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level at this community reservoir was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 81 to 84 degrees. There was a significant algae bloom, and our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about two feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and in the middle section of the reservoir, there was about 1 1/2 feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:44 a.m. to 8:44 a.m., 7:12 p.m. to 9:12 p.m., and 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

We fished from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. We were hoping to catch at least 20 largemouth bass, but it was a struggle to catch 17 largemouth bass.

We failed to catch a largemouth bass around the spillway, along about a 35-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, and around one main-lake point.

We caught 14 along the dam. It has a 45- to 65-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge has numerous patches of American water willows, an occasional log, and some minor piles of brush. Two of the 14 were caught on a Z-Man's pearl Rain MinnowZ affixed wacky-style on a jig with a drag-and-shake presentation in six to seven feet of water. Four were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in four to eight feet of water. Eight were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom; some were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation; two were caught on a deadstick presentation; one was caught on the initial drop; the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation; and they were caught in four to eight wee of water.

We caught one largemouth bass along a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline adjacent to the dam. This shoreline has a 35- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are adorned with some minor but burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is embellished with thick patches of American water willows and one overhanging tree. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Finesse WormZ rig under the overhanging tree in about three feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass along about a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 40- degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is embellished with thick patches of American water willows and two overhanging trees. This largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation near the outside edge of a patch of American water willows in about six feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. This shoreline has a 45- to 75-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is graced with a series of thick patches of American water willows and a few laydowns. The largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows.

In conclusion, the last three weeks of July are traditionally the most difficult weeks of the summer, and some of that difficulty revolves around alga blooms.

July 20

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

The black-bass fishing in north-central Texas has us perplexed.

On July 1 and July 15, Bill Kenney of Denton and I fished at our most bountiful state reservoir in north-central Texas. This reservoir surrendered a combination of 53 largemouth bass, spotted bass, and spotted-bass hybrids on July 1. But on July 15, we toiled from 7:00 a.m. to noon, and we were baffled that we could catch only nine largemouth bass and two spotted bass. We did, however, cross paths with 63 white bass, and they kept us amused during the long and tedious spells between black-bass bites.

On July 20, I opted to fish at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, accompanied me.

The sky conditions varied from mostly cloudy to partly cloudy, and just before noon, it sprinkled on us for a few minutes. A cool northeasterly wind blew at 8 to 10 mph, which made the morning feel more comfortable than it usually does this time of year. The morning low temperature was 75 degrees and the afternoon high reached 90 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.93 at 6:00 a.m. and 29.97 at noon.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar table, the fishing would be poor, but it also indicated that the best fishing opportunities would occur from 3:38 a.m. to 5:38 a.m., 9:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., and 4:01 p.m. to 6:01 p.m. Norman and I fished from 6:40 a.m. to noon.

The Corps has been slowly releasing water out of this reservoir for the past month. On June 20, the water level was 4.41 feet above normal, and now it is at its normal pool. The water displayed about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 82 to 87 degrees.

We started the outing in the southwest tributary arm, where we caught and released 32 spotted bass, three largemouth bass, and nine white bass.

Of these 35 black bass, 12 were caught along four flat and rocky main-lake shorelines; nine were caught around the outside edges of some partially-flooded bushes and stickups surrounding a main-lake island; five were caught from three rock- and boulder-laden main-lake points; five were caught along the edge of a ditch that parallels a flat and rocky shoreline inside a small main-lake cove; and four were caught from two riprap embankments that are situated at each end of a large bridge.

All of them were caught in less than five feet of water and within 15 feet of the water's edge.

From the southwest tributary arm, we moved to the middle and upper regions of the reservoir's east tributary arm and explored several main-lake points, a small main-lake island, two main-lake flats, a chunk-rock shoreline just inside the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm, and five riprap retaining walls located on five main-lake shorelines.

Unlike the southwest tributary arm, this one was like a ghost town; we caught only one largemouth bass and one white bass. They were abiding in three to five feet of water near one of the riprap retaining walls in the upper end of the reservoir. The other areas we explored were fruitless.

Our most effective lure and presentation was a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. This combo was employed with a steady-swimming retrieve that allured 24 of the 36 black bass that we caught.

Another 10 black bass were tricked into striking a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig as it was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

One spotted bass was caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with a

2 1/2-inch Z-Man's blue-steel Slim SwimZ mounted on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and another spotted bass was enticed by a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Overall, this turned out to be a very unusual, but delightful, outing for us. We have never caught 32 spotted bass in one outing from any federal, state, or community reservoir -- especially where the dominant black-bass species is the largemouth bass. What's more, this problematic reservoir has not relinquished 30 or more black bass in one outing for months on end. So, we are hoping that it is on the mend.

July 23

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 23 outing at one of northeastern Kansas's many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 69 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 91 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, south, and southwest at 3 to 12 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being partly cloudy to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.10 at 12:52 a.m., 30.07 at 5:52 a.m., 30.08 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.04 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 85 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited about 5 ½ feet of visibility in the vicinity of the dam, and elsewhere, the visibility ranged from 2 ½ to four feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 10:22 a.m. to 12:22 p.m., 10:53 p.m. to 12:53 a.m., and 4:06 a.m. to 6:06 a.m.

I fished from 10:06 a.m. to 2:06 p.m. My mission was to find some largemouth bass that our grandson Brady Cayton of Lawrence, Kansas, could catch tomorrow during our regular Saturday outing.

He loves to fish along the shorelines of dams. Therefore, I spent 55 minutes plying this reservoir's dam, and it was abominable, yielding just three largemouth bass. The dam's shoreline has a 45- to 70-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. There are a few patches of American water willows in very shallow water, some patches of American pondweeds, and brittle naiad.

One of the three largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in seven to eight feet of water. (The purple-haze Finesse WormZ is traditionally a stellar summertime hue in northeastern Kansas, but it is no longer manufactured.) The second largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water. The third one was caught on a Z-Man's pumpkin-green-flake Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead on a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. (The pumpkin-green-flake hue Finesse ShadZ is no longer manufactured.)

During the next 185 minutes, I was able to tangle with 36 largemouth bass.

They were caught along portions of three shorelines inside two feeder-creek arms, across two massive shallow-water flats inside those two feeder-creek arms, and around three flat main-lake points.

Five largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig along portions of one of the shorelines. This shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some silt; some of this terrain is interlaced with patches of brittle naiad and coontail. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willow, American pondweed, many overhanging trees, and scores of laydowns. The largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation along either the outside edges of the patches of American pondweeds or in the vicinity of the patches of brittle naiad and coontail in four to seven feet of water.

Nine largemouth bass were caught across a massive shallow-water flat inside one of the feeder-creek arms. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt; some of the terrain is interlaced with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, sago pondweed, and a goodly number of manmade piles of brush. Eight of the largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water around either brush piles or patches of coontail. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six feet of water near a patch of Sago pondweed and coontail.

Along a section of another shoreline in this feeder-creek arm, the TRD MinnowZ rig caught one largemouth bass with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four feet of water around a patch of brittle naiad. This shoreline has a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and silt; some of the underwater terrain is interlaced with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and a few manmade piles of brush. The water's edge is adorned with patches of American water willow and American pondweed.

Eleven largemouth bass were caught around a large and flat main-lake point. This point has about a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks; portions of this terrain are interlaced with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and three manmade piles of brush. A few patches of American pondweed covered about 10 percent of the point's surface. Three largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD MinnowZ rig in five to six feet of water around the patches of American pondweed and brittle naiad. The other eight were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water around the brittle naiad.

Three largemouth bass were caught around another main-lake point. It has about a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks; small portions of the terrain

are adorned with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and two manmade piles of brush. These largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water around the piles of brush and patches of brittle naiad.

Around the third main-lake point, the TRD MinnowZ rig, with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, caught three largemouth bass around several minor patches of brittle naiad in about six feet of water. This point has about a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks; small portions of the terrain are embellished with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and several manmade piles of brush.

Across a shallow-water flat and its adjacent shoreline inside another feeder-creek arm, the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught four largemouth bass. This area has about a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and silt; portions of the terrain are graced with patches of brittle naiad, coontail, and several manmade piles of brush. The shoreline's water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows and American pondweeds, and the outside edges of this emergent vegetation is interlaced with patches of coontail and brittle naiad. The largemouth bass were caught around the patches of coontail, brittle naiad, and piles of brush.

July 23

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 23 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

We fished from 6:30 a.m. to noon at our most challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

The last time I fished at this reservoir was on June 2 with Rick Allen of Dallas. The black-bass bite was poor; our best efforts could muster only two largemouth bass in a couple of hours. We left sooner than we had planned because of the lackluster fishing.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would be average on July 23. It also noted that the best fishing opportunities would occur from 5:32 a.m. to 7:32 a.m., 11:21 a.m. to 1:21 p.m., and 5:54 p.m. to 7:54 p.m.

Area thermometers recorded the morning low temperature at 76 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 94 degrees. The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure measured 30.07 at 6:00 a.m. and 30.08 at noon. A peppy wind quartered out of the south and southwest at 10 to 18 mph.

The water exhibited 18 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 83 to 87 degrees. The water level was normal for the first time in months.

The black-bass fishing has been wretched at this reservoir all year, and we have not caught more than nine black bass during several outings here. Our outings at this reservoir have primarily resulted in catches of only four to six black bass. But the black-bass bite improved during this jaunt. We caught 22 largemouth bass, one spotted bass, seven white bass, and one freshwater drum in 5 ½ hours.

Our most fruitful locations were in the southeast end of the reservoir.

At a mid-lake island, we caught six largemouth bass, four white bass, and one freshwater drum. They were caught in two to five feet of water around some partially-flooded bushes, laydowns, and stickups along the perimeter of the island.

Along a 30-yard stretch of a brush-laden shoreline at the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm, we caught four largemouth bass and two white bass. They were caught in two to five feet of water near the outside edges of some clusters of partially-flooded bushes and stickups.

At a prominent main-lake point west of the mid-lake island, we caught one spotted bass. It was caught in less than five feet of water from the side of the point where a few small pods of threadfin shad had gathered.

About a mile east of the that main-lake point, we fished along a 40-yard section of shoreline situated just inside the mouth of a feeder-creek arm, and we caught one largemouth bass. This shoreline is also cluttered with partially-flooded bushes and stickups. This largemouth was caught near the outside edge of a large patch of partially-flooded bushes mixed with a few stickups in three feet of water.

The area around a floating tractor-tire reef at the entrance of a marina relinquished four largemouth bass and three white bass. The four largemouth bass were suspended a couple of feet below the outside edges of the floating tires; the depth of the water at this locale is 29 to 31 feet. The white bass were surface-foraging on small threadfin shad about 25 to 30 yards away from the floating-tire reef.

There is a riprap-covered dam that forms the east boundary of this reservoir. We failed to catch a black bass or garner a strike around the riprap on the dam and from the shaded side of a concrete water-outlet tower positioned close to this dam.

The northwest end of the reservoir was less productive.

We caught two largemouth bass in three to seven feet of water around some submerged rocks and boulders from seven rocky main-lake points.

Two largemouth bass were caught near some large submerged boulders along a 75-yard section of a main-lake shoreline in three to five feet of water.

We failed to catch a black bass around another island that is situated inside a major feeder-creek arm, but we did catch one largemouth bass in 15 feet of water from the edge of a creek channel that is adjacent to the island.

We caught three largemouth bass around a rock bluff at the mouth of a major-feeder-creek arm. These bass were suspended in 19 to 21 feet water.

Catching 23 black bass in 5 1/2 hours is what we consider an above-average outing by north-central Texas' standards. We have not caught more than twenty black bass in one outing at this reservoir since Oct. 17, 2020, when Talban Kantala of Summerville, South Carolina, and I caught 22 of them during a five-hour excursion.

Sixteen of the 23 black bass that we inveigled during this outing were caught between 6:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. After that, it was a grind to catch seven more in the remaining 3 1/2 hours of this outing.

Our most effective Midwest finesse rigs were a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ attached to either a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig or a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigs were implemented with a steady-swimming retrieve. The green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ combo was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve in water depths of 12 feet or less. We strolled the TRD TicklerZ with a dragging presentation while we were fishing it along the edges and bottom of a creek channel in 15 to 30 feet of water.

July 24

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 24 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

I joined Rick Allen at one of several north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the fishing would be excellent, and the most productive periods would occur between 4:18 a.m. to 6:18 a.m., 10:33 a.m. to 12:33 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. We made our first casts at 7:00 a.m. and our last ones at noon.

It was a bright and sunny day. There was not a cloud in sight for miles around. The morning's low temperature was 76 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature reached 96 degrees with a heat-index of 106 degrees. The wind quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 10 to 15 mph. The barometric pressure was steady and measured 30.01 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.01 at noon.

The water level was 0.37 of a foot above normal pool. The surface temperature ranged from 81.4 to 82.2 degrees. The water exhibited between 24 and 30 inches of visibility.

We stayed in the lower end of the reservoir. We targeted three rock bluffs, the riprap-laden dam, five main-lake points, and a portion of a shoreline just inside the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm.

We began this outing probing three rock bluffs in the southeast region of the reservoir. We caught five spotted bass and three largemouth bass from these bluffs. They were abiding in four to seven feet of water and were relating to some large submerged boulders that lie at the base of these bluffs. Four of them were caught on a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ that was rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TubeZ that was affixed on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

From the rock bluffs, we continued to work our way southward to the dam. The dam is covered with riprap and forms the southern perimeter of this reservoir. It relinquished six spotted bass and one largemouth bass. These spotted bass and largemouth bass were caught in three to seven feet of water and between five and 15 feet from the water's edge. Three were coaxed into striking a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ rigged on a 1/12-ounce Z-Man's pearl Finesse EyeZ Jighead and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat fastened on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And two were caught on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead dressed with a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ that was manipulated with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

We also found a massive concentration of threadfin shad that were inhabiting a deep ledge that is situated about 25 to 30 yards out from the dam. The shallowest portion of this ledge is covered with 17 feet of water and it quickly drops off into 22 feet of water. We slowly strolled and employed a dragging presentation with a four-inch Z-Man's easy-money Finesse WormZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig up and down this ledge, which was where the shad were the most concentrated, but we were unable to garner any strikes.

After we fished the dam, we moved about two miles north and fished at five main-lake points. All of them are flat, and their submerged terrains consists of mostly red-clay mixed with pea-gravel and a few chunk rocks. One of the points is more prominent than the other four, and it divides the reservoir into two major tributary arms. It is adorned with a few thin patches of flooded stickups. Another one of these points is embellished with a couple of dilapidated concrete building foundations, and two of them form the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm.

We caught two largemouth bass and two spotted bass from these five points.

One largemouth was caught in six feet of water from one side of the largest point. It was allured by the pearl Baby Goat rig and a steady-swimming retrieve. Two spotted bass were caught in less than six feet of water from two of the smaller points. They were attracted to a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD attached to a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And one largemouth was caught from the side of one of the dilapidated concrete building foundations in five feet of water on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig.

We then dissected a 75-yard section of a flat shoreline just inside the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm. This shoreline's underwater terrain is composed of mostly red-clay and pea-gravel. It is also bedecked with standing timber.

Around the standing timber in 10 to 14 feet of water, we caught two largemouth bass. They were caught on the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In closing, we generally don't like to fish during the weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day — the waterways are just too crowded with pleasure boaters, jet skiers, water skiers, and wake-boarders. But we did have a decent outing for this busy impoundment. We fished in water as shallow as 1 1/2 feet and as deep as 22 feet, and we caught 13 spotted bass and eight largemouth bass. We also unintentionally caught six freshwater drum and one channel catfish. Surprisingly, we did not cross paths with any white bass during this outing, which is an unusual occurrence for us during the hot summer months.

July 26

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 26 outing with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, who is a newcomer to Midwest finesse tactics.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Our goal was to introduce Bear to the techniques and the advantages of employing Midwest finesse tactics at one of several state reservoirs in north-central Texas.

We have been thankful that we have not had to endure the usual 100-plus degree daytime temperatures so far this summer in north-central Texas, which are not uncommon in July and August. But much to our dismay, our good fortune has run out, and the scorching summertime temperatures have arrived.

It was sunny on July 26. About 10 percent of the sky was decorated with thin wispy clouds. The morning's low temperature was 73 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature reached 103 degrees with a heat index of 111 degrees. The wind was light and variable. The barometric pressure measured 29.89 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.91 at noon.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the black-bass fishing would be average, and the best fishing periods would occur from 1:05 a.m. to 3:05 a.m., 7:18 a.m. to 9:18 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The water exhibited about three feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 86 to 88 degrees. The water level was normal.

During this 4 1/2-hour endeavor, we covered portions of the lower, middle, and upper sections of the reservoir. The bass-bite was not as good has it has been earlier in the summer, and it became a grind for us to catch 15 largemouth bass and eight spotted bass. We also inadvertently caught five green sunfish.

In the lower and middle sections of the reservoir, we targeted two main-lake islands, two main-lake bluffs, two main-lake jetties, the outside edge of a rocky main-lake flat, one rocky shoreline with two boat houses and a decorative rock- retaining wall, and an offshore hump.

Inside a major feeder-creek arm in the upper end of the reservoir, we focused on three steep and rocky secondary points, two sections of a rocky shoreline where the creek channel is adjacent to the shoreline, and a rock bluff.

At one of the two main-lake islands, we caught five largemouth bass and one spotted bass. This island's topography is flat and littered with flooded bushes, stickups, standing timber, and boulders. The shaded areas on the west side of the island relinquished four largemouth bass and one spotted bass that were relating to the outside edges of the flooded bushes and stickups in less than five feet of water. They were caught on either a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning Trick ShotZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The second island has a steeper shoreline than the first island. It has a 25- to 35-degree slope. It is devoid of flooded terrestrial vegetation, stickups, and standing timber. It also had no shaded areas. Its submerged terrain is composed of mostly red-clay, pea-gravel, rocks, and boulders. We fished around the south and east sides of this island, and we failed to elicit any strikes.

An offshore hump, which is located about 200 yards southwest of the second main-lake island, yielded one largemouth bass. This hump is about the size of four tennis courts. The top of it is covered with three to 10 feet of water. Most of it is unremarkable except for a cluster of medium-size boulders that adorn the north end of the hump. We observed a couple of black bass surface-foraging on small threadfin shad around those boulders in six feet of water, and we caught one of them on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady-swimming retrieve.

The offshore rock ledge that is situated on the outside edge of a large main-lake flat surrendered eight largemouth bass and two spotted bass. This ledge is covered with three to five feet of water, and it quickly descends into 21 feet or more of water. These black bass were relating to the deep-water side of the ledge in eight to 12 feet of water. Six of them were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve. Three were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the white-lightning Trick ShotZ rig, and one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

The shaded areas along the two rock bluffs yielded three spotted bass and one largemouth bass. These bluffs feature large rocks and boulders that lie at the base of the bluffs in three to eight feet of water. These bass were caught in the vicinity of the submerged boulders in five to eight feet of water. The first one was caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve. The second one was caught on the white-lightning Trick ShotZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The third one was caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ combo and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and the fourth one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD TicklerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

We failed to elicit any strikes around a main-lake shoreline that featured a rock ledge, a decorative-rock retaining wall, and two boat houses.

In five feet of water along the side of one of two riprap jetties that form a long channel that leads to a large concrete spillway, we caught one largemouth bass. It was caught on the white-lightning Trick ShotZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We did not find any black bass relating to the riprap inside the spillway's channel.

Inside a major feeder-creek arm in the upper end of the reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass and one spotted bass in eight to 11 feet of water near a rock bluff. Both of them were caught on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ combo and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We failed to locate any threadfin shad or black bass around the three steep and rocky secondary points, and the two sections of a rocky shoreline that is embellished with a submerged creek channel.

The two most effective combos were the 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and employed with a steady-swimming retrieve. The other one was a Z-Man's white-lightning Trick ShotZ fastened on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

After we trailered the boat, I spoke with another bass angler who had just trailered his boat. He reported that the bass fishing was unusually tough, and he could not buy a bite all morning.

July 28

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 28 outing with Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas's many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 97 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, west, south, and southwest at 3 to 8 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being cluttered with a few clouds. While we were fishing the sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 12:52 a.m., 30.07 at 5:52 a.m., 30.08at 11:52 a.m., and 30.03 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level was about 10 inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 85 to 88 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited more than six feet of visibility at many locales around this reservoir. Many of its shorelines are embellished with the finest and thickest patches of American water willows that we have ever seen in northeastern Kansas. Some of these patches are six feet tall, 10 feet wide, and growing in water that is as deep as 3 3/4 feet. Its shallow-water flats and some of its shallow-water shorelines are groomed with significant and burgeoning patches of coontail. Some of the flats are graced with patches of bushy pondweed.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:41 a.m. to 4:41 a.m., 3:03 p.m. to 5:03 p.m., and 8:26 a.m. to 10:56 a.m.

We fished from 9:30 a.m. to 1:31 p.m.

The last two weeks of July are often a problematic time for black-bass anglers at all of the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas. For example, Patty Kehde and I fished on July 26 for 135 minutes at another state reservoir, which has been a horrific reservoir to fish during the past eight Julys, and we struggled to catch six largemouth bass; the fishing was so horrendous that we didn't have the wherewithal to post a log about it. But the state reservoir that Travis and I fished on July 28 has not been as perplexing and daunting during past Julys as the reservoir that Patty and I fished on July 26. Therefore, Travis and I were hoping that we would be able to find and inveigle at least an average of 10 largemouth bass an hour by plying this reservoir's massive shallow-water flats inside its three feeder-creek arms. To our chagrin, however, it was a chore to catch an average of eight largemouth bass an hour. As we pursued the largemouth bass, we unintentionally caught one channel catfish and seven handsome bluegill.

Across one massive shallow-water flat and along a portion of one of its shorelines, and around a secondary point, we eked out four largemouth bass. We dissected about 15 percent of the shallow-water flat. This area is about the size of four football fields. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and a few boulders, which is interlaced with coontail patches, manmade piles of brush, and patches of bushy pondweed. Its shorelines are adorned with patches of American water willows. Three of the largemouth bass were caught in the vicinity of three different manmade piles of brush. One largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on a three-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-and-shake presentation in three to four feet of water. One largemouth bass was caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed on a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 400-yard stretch of a shallow-water shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm that is adjacent to this point, we caught 14 largemouth bass. This point and shoreline have a 25- to 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders. This terrain is interlaced with occasional patches of coontail, manmade piles of brush, and bushy pondweed patches. The water's edge is graced with significant patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, and a few laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on a three-inch Z-Man's black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Drew's-craw Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Three largemouth bass were caught on the three-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ rig. Eight largemouth bass were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

These largemouth bass were caught in three to six feet of water. Five were caught near the front edge of the patches of American water willows. The others were caught from about six to about 20 feet from the outside edge of the patches of American water willows. Some were caught near and around patches of coontail. One of the 14 largemouth bass was caught on a deadstick presentation. Two of the 14 were caught on the initial drop of our rigs, and the other 11 were caught on a variety of Midwest finesse presentations, such as the swim-glide-and-shake presentation, drag-and-deadstick presentation, and a straight-swimming presentation.

Around another main-lake point and along about a 500-yard stretch of a shallow-water shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm that is adjacent to this point, we caught five largemouth bass. This point and shoreline have a 25- to 50-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, some boulders, a barn foundation, and a rock fence. Many segments of this terrain are embellished with patches of coontail patches, manmade piles of brush, and patches of bushy pondweed. Many portions of the water's edge are adorned with patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, and some laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Drew's-craw Finesse TRD rig around a patch of coontail in about five feet of water. One was caught on the black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ near the inside edge of a patch of coontail in about five feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail in five to six feet of water.

Across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another feeder-creek arm, we struggled to catch two largemouth bass. This flat is about the size of three football fields, and we fished about 20 percent of it. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, silt, and a few boulders. This area is adorned with coontail patches, manmade piles of brush, bushy pondweed, a humongous patch of lily pads, and patches of American water willows. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ around a pile of brush in about five feet of water. Along the outside edge of the lily pads, we caught one largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water.

Around the spillway, along a main-lake shoreline, around a main-lake point, along a 40- and a 100-yard portion of a massive shoreline inside a feeder-creek arm, and around a secondary point, we caught five largemouth bass. The slopes of the spillway, points, and shorelines range from 25 to 90 degrees. The water's edge is bedizened with magnificent patches of American water willows, some laydowns, and a few overhanging trees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Several of the boulders are gigantic. Portions of the underwater terrain are graced with patches of coontail and bushy pondweed. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ, and three were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig. These largemouth bass were caught either along the front edge of the American water willows or around a laydown in four to seven feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Three were caught on a drag-and-subtle-shake of our rigs.

We fished across three small shallow-water flats, around one main-lake point, and two shorelines. We eked out two largemouth bass. These areas have a 25- to 30-degree slope. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders that are graced with some patches of coontail. There are several manmade piles of rocks and boulders cluttering one of the shallow-water flats. The water's edges are lined with patches of American water willows, some overhanging trees, and a few laydowns. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ rig under an overhanging tree in about three feet of water. The second largemouth bass was caught on the black-blue-laminated ZinkerZ with a swim-and-glide presentation near some of the manmade piles of rocks and boulders, which are interlaced with some coontail.

In sum, we were baffled about what was going on with this reservoir's largemouth bass. At the end of this outing, we talked for a spell and spent a few minutes examining a patch of American water willows. We were amazed by the many characteristics of this patch. Ultimately, we conjectured that a significant number of largemouth bass might be abiding inside the vast thickets of American water willows that line most of this reservoir's shorelines. Of course, it would be an impossible chore for Midwest finesse anglers to tangle with them. In fact, these patches are so dense that it looked as if it would be a chore even for some of the world's finest jig pitchers and flippers to penetrate them.

July 28

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief log on the Finesse News Network about his July 28 outing at one of northeastern Kansas's federal reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 70 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 97 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, west, south, and southwest at 3 to 8 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being cluttered with a few clouds. While we were fishing the sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.04 at 12:52 a.m., 30.07 at 5:52 a.m., 30.08 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.03 at 2:52 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:41 a.m. to 4:41 a.m., 3:03 p.m. to 5:03 p.m., and 8:26 a.m. to 10:52 a.m.

I overslept a bit and didn't launch the boat until about 7:48 a.m., and I fished until 1:00 p.m.

The water level was 2.37 feet above normal. Water was flowing out of the dam's outlet at 59 cubic feet per second. The surface temperature reached 89 degrees. The water exhibited about two feet of visibility. Some shorelines were afflicted with an algae bloom that created green streaks of algae on the surface. There was very little boat traffic.

I began fishing around a main-lake point on the east side of the reservoir's lower end. And immediately, I caught a dozen fish.

Then, the bite steadily diminished. It picked up again about 30 to 45 minutes prior to when the moon set at 11:04 a.m. (It's difficult to speculate if the increased bite was influenced by the moon or if I was at a good location).

My most fruitful points and shorelines were steep and adorned with chunk rock.

I caught most of the fish in four to eight feet of water.

My most effective rigs were a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD BugZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

I employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, and the rig made contact with the bottom once or twice on each retrieve.

After I executed my final retrieve of the outing, my fish counter revealed that I had caught 55 fish. Fourteen were smallmouth bass and 13 were largemouth bass. The others species consisted of one bluegill, one channel catfish, one sauger, one white bass, and 24 freshwater drum.

July 29

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 29 outing at one of northeastern Kansas's many state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 72 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 97 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the east, west, southwest, and northwest at 3 to 10 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being foggy and misty to being cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:52 a.m., 30.05 at 5:52 a.m., 30.06 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.02 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level was about normal. The surface temperature ranged from 88 to 91 degrees. The secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited more than six feet of visibility at many locales around this reservoir. Portions of this reservoir's shallow-water flats and some of its shallow-water shorelines are groomed with patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, American pondweed, and sago pondweed. But we are sorry to say that this reservoir's patches of coontail are not as abundant as they were five years ago.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:29 a.m. to 5:29 a.m., 3:50 p.m. to 5:50 p.m., and 9:39 a.m. to 11:39 a.m.

I fished from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I was the only angler afloat. (It is interesting to note that there has been a significant decline in the number of anglers on our state and community reservoirs this year.)

For years on end, our community and state reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, which are graced with shallow-water flats that are adorned with significant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, have been our most fruitful locales for catching vast numbers of largemouth bass during the heart of the summers and winters.

But Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, and I were puzzled by our inabilities to catch even a paltry number of largemouth bass on the shallow-water flats at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs that we fished on July 28.

Therefore, at the state reservoir that I fished on July 29, I spent a lot of time visually searching for patches of coontail across several massive and shallow-water flats, hoping to find a largemouth bass bonanza. And when I did fish, I spent a lot of time fishing around areas that I have never fished before.

Ultimately, I caught 28 largemouth bass and accidentally caught four hefty channel catfish. All of them were caught across portions of five shallow-water flats.

The sections of the flats that I focused on are covered with five to nine feet of water. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and silt. The most fruitful areas were around manmade piles of brush that were intertwined with coontail and bushy pondweed and adjacent to a drop off.

The most bountiful area yielded 12 largemouth bass. The second most bountiful area yielded 10 largemouth bass. The other six largemouth bass were caught around three other flat areas.

Since this was purely a searching and experimental outing, I worked with a lot of Midwest finesse rigs. Here are the four rigs that were productive: a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight-swimming presentation caught two largemouth bass; a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass; a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught 10 largemouth bass; a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught 14 largemouth bass.

In conclusion, this was the third state reservoir that I fished this week. The first one that Pat Kehde and I fished on July 26 was so horrendous that we didn't have the wherewithal to post a blog about catching six largemouth bass in 2 ½ hours. All we know is that this state reservoir's once massive patches of coontail have disappeared, and that demise has adversely affected the largemouth bass fishing.

During my three-hour endeavor on July 29 at the third state reservoir, I failed to find a largemouth bonanza. But I did discover one locale that might bear some fruit in the winters and summers to come if its coontail patches can continue to grow.

As we have uttered numerous times across the years, it is important for Midwest finesse anglers to urge the managers of our reservoirs to cultivate and thoughtfully maintain aquatic vegetation -- especially coontail.

July 30

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 30 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:00 a.m. to noon, we fished at a popular, but challenging, north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir.

The last time Bill and I fished at this reservoir was on July 12. It was a sunny day. We fished from 6:40 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and we caught a mixed bag of 26 largemouth bass and spotted bass.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the black-bass fishing would be poor on July 30. However, the most productive periods would occur from 4:21 a.m. to 6:21 a.m., 10:32 a.m. to 12:32 p.m., and 4:42 p.m. to 6:42 p.m.

The morning low temperature was 76 degrees on July 30. The afternoon high temperature reached 100 degrees. The wind was light and variable for the first two hours that we were afloat, then it was calm for the remainder of the morning. The barometric pressure measured 30.03 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.04 at noon.

The water level was normal. The surface temperature ranged from 85 degrees at the boat ramp to 92 degrees at the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm in the west end of the reservoir. Depending on where we were fishing, the water exhibited between 12 and 30 inches of visibility.

We spent our time in the south end of the reservoir's east tributary arm and in the lower and middle sections of the west tributary arm. We targeted the perimeter of an island inside one major feeder-creek arm, eight main-lake points, portions of a riprap-laden dam, a concrete water-outlet tower, a floating tractor-tire reef at the entrance to a marina, and a concrete bridge embankment and several concrete support columns underneath the bridge.

The outing started off on a good note. As we were heading to our first spot, we crossed paths with a huge school of white bass that were viciously surface-foraging on small half-inch threadfin shad in the mouth of a major feeder-creek arm in the southeast region of the reservoir. This feeding frenzy occurred in 32 feet of water and many yards from the nearest shoreline, and they covered about an acre of the water's surface. Their rambunctious foraging was surprisingly noisy, and it sounded like we were fishing in a heavy downpour of rain. We decided to stop and catch a few of them, and we quickly caught and released 30 of them before we continued on our way. We caught them about a foot below the surface on a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Our first stop was at an island inside a major feeder-creek arm in the southeast end of the reservoir. We caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass from five to seven feet of water next to a rock ledge that is adjacent to the north and west sides of the island. They were enticed by the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady-swimming retrieve.

Our second locale encompassed three main-lake rocky points and a 35-yard stretch of a riprap-covered shoreline located just south of the southeast feeder-creek arm. These three points are composed of mostly red-colored sandstone and have 60- to 75-degree gradients. They are also graced with numerous large boulders and rocks that are covered with two to five feet of water. From these three points, we caught two largemouth bass and one spotted bass. They were abiding in open water that was 10 to 17 feet deep, and they were caught about 25 to 40 feet from the ends of the points. Two of them were caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rigs and a steady-swimming retrieve just below the surface of the water. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-vigorous-shaking retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's mud-minnow Hula StickZ matched with a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Our third spot was a riprap-laden dam that is situated a short distance from the sandstone points that we just fished. This dam forms the southern boundary of the impoundment.

The east end of the dam was fruitless. So, we moved to the center section of the dam and fished around the riprap that covers the center portion of the dam, a water-outlet tower, and a concrete support pillar underneath a large walkway that leads from the top of the dam to the top of the water-outlet tower. We fished behind two other boats.

We caught one spotted bass near the riprap of the dam in five feet of water. It was caught on the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We failed to elicit any strikes from around the concrete support pillar under the walkway.

We waited until the other two boats left the tower. Then we caught 25 largemouth bass and one spotted bass around it. They were all caught in close proximity to the walls of the tower where we could see scads of small half-inch threadfin shad congregating next to the tower's walls. These 26 black bass were suspended; some were caught about five feet below the surface and underneath the large pods of shad, and others were caught underneath the large pods of shad and about eight feet below the surface. The depth of the water that surrounds this tower varies from 37 feet on its south side to 57 feet on its north side.

Nineteen of them were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the shortened mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig; three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's blue-craw TRD TicklerZ rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig; two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning Trick ShotZ attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; and two were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's goby-bryant ZinkerZ fastened on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We failed to garner any strikes from the west end of the dam.

From the dam, we traveled about two miles westward to the entrance of a marina that is located in the southeast end of the west tributary arm. Here, we slowly probed a floating tractor-tire reef that is situated in five to 32 feet of water, and a flat and rocky main-lake point that is adjacent to the tire reef.

The rocky main-lake point was devoid of any black bass.

The floating tractor-tire reef yielded four largemouth bass, one spotted bass, one white bass, and one large bluegill. All of these fish, except for the white bass, were suspended around the outside edges of the tires. The one white bass was caught in 32 feet of water and about 25 feet away from the tire reef while it was chasing small shad on the surface of the water. Four of the five black bass were caught on the shortened mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. One largemouth bass and the one bluegill were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat that was rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that was manipulated with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

After we finished fishing around the tire reef, the wind became calm, the surface of the water became smooth as glass, and the black-bass fishing became much more difficult.

We then travelled another 1 1/2 miles to the west, where we opted to fish around a bridge that crosses the west tributary arm. And on the way to the bridge, we stopped and investigated several main-lake points on the south side of the tributary arm. None of these points had any significant concentrations of threadfin shad around them, and we did not fish them.

When we arrived at the bridge, we noticed that the water clarity had diminished from 2 1/2 feet of clarity to 12 inches of clarity. We slowly dissected the concrete embankments on each end of the bridge and several concrete support columns underneath the bridge. The fishing was trying in the dingier water, and we scrounged up one largemouth bass and one freshwater drum from the west end of the bridge. This largemouth bass was caught in five feet of water in a shaded area under the bridge and was abiding next to a submerged ledge that was formed in the concrete embankment. It was caught on the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The freshwater drum was caught from one of the concrete support columns in 12 feet of water, and it was also caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the mud-minnow Hula StickZ rig. We failed to elicit any strikes from the east end of the bridge.

From the bridge, we travelled back eastward a couple of miles and fished at a main-lake shoreline, two main-lake points at the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm, and a 50-yard section of shoreline inside the creek arm. These places are located on the north side of the tributary arm.

We failed to generate any strikes from the main-lake shoreline, one of the two main-lake points at the mouth of the creek arm, and the short section of shoreline inside the creek arm.

We caught one spotted bass from the other main-lake point. This point is located about 50 yards east of the first one. It is flat and its underwater terrain is composed of pea-gravel and chunk rock. There are three small dilapidated building foundations and a few flooded stickups that adorn this point. This spotted bass was caught in four feet of water next to the side of one of the building foundations on The Deal Baby Goat rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. We did not generate any strikes from the other two building foundations.

Overall, we had what we consider an outstanding outing for this impoundment. We enjoyed tussling with 36 largemouth bass and four spotted bass. We also intentionally caught 31 white bass and unintentionally caught one freshwater drum and one large bluegill.

It has been 10 months since this reservoir has relinquished 30 or more black bass to us in an outing. That fruitful endeavor occurred on Sept. 30, 2020, when John Thomas of Denton and I fished from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and we caught 29 largemouth bass and three spotted bass.

Furthermore, we have not caught 40 or more black bass at this reservoir since Sept. 9, 2019. During that bountiful excursion, John Thomas and I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and we caught a combination of 58 largemouth bass and spotted bass.

July 31

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his July 31 outing at one of northeastern Kansas's many state reservoirs with his grandson Brady Cayton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 76 degrees at 6:52 a.m., 88 degrees at 12:52 p.m., and 84 degrees at 1:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the east, southeast, northwest, northeast, and north at 3 to 15 mph. The sky vacillated from being fair to being cluttered with a few clouds to being mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.00 at 12:52 a.m., 29.96 at 5:52 a.m., 30.03 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.04 at 1:52 p.m.

The water level was about normal. The surface temperature ranged from 88 to 90 degrees. At the boat ramp, our secchi stick indicated that the water exhibited more than six feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:56 a.m. to 6:56 a.m., 5:17 p.m. to 7:17 p.m., and 11:07 a.m. to 1:07 p.m.

On this Saturday outing, which is the only day of the week that Brady can fish, we were surprised to see that there were only two bass boats afloat when we arrived at the boat ramp, and by 11:30 a.m., we were the only anglers afloat. This is another sign of the demise of fishing pressure in northeastern Kansas in 2021.

We began fishing at 10:30 a.m. and fished until we caught 31 largemouth bass, which occurred at 12:09 p.m.

We spent one hour and 10 minutes dissecting a large shallow-water flat in the back of a major feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain of this flat consists of clay, gravel, and silt. It is decorated with many manmade piles of brush, patches of coontail, and patches of bushy pondweed, which are covered with four to eight feet of water. A submerged creek channel meanders around this flat.

This flat yielded 22 largemouth bass. One was caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight-swimming presentation. Seven were caught on a 3 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin GrubZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a straight-swimming presentation. Thirteen were caught on a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We spent the next 20 minutes quickly fishing portions of the outside edge of a massive shallow-water flat in the back of another major feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of clay, gravel, and silt. It is adorned with numerous patches of coontail, sago pondweed, and bushy pondweed. There are also scores of manmade piles of brush, which are occasionally intertwined with coontail and bushy pondweed. The entire flat looks to be the size of about six football fields, and it is covered with three to 10 feet of water. A submerged creek channel dissects portions of this flat.

This flat yielded nine largemouth bass, which were caught on the Finesse WormZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

(It is interesting to note that Glenn Young, who is the national sales manager for Z-Man Fishing Products, introduced us to the virtues of Z-Man's purple-haze hue on May 25, 2011, at one of northeastern Kansas community reservoirs. On that outing, we used a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's purple-haze Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig to catch 101 largemouth bass. This hue is still a productive one in northeastern Kansas during the warm-water months, but to the chagrin of many of our Midwest finesse colleagues, it is no longer part of Z-Man's repertoire. But Z-Man does manufacture a ZinkerZ in the purple-haze hue.)

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