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Midwest Finesse Fishing: March 2021

March 4

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 4 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

I have not fished since Feb. 8, and that is because of the severity of Mother Nature's wintry ways.

Between February 14 and 20, Texas was virtually shut down by a colossal winter storm that dumped as much as 10 inches of snow across the state. Temperatures around Denton ranged from -1 degree on Feb. 16 to 28 degrees on Feb. 20. And just as quickly as the ice and snow came, it was gone. On Feb. 22, daytime temperatures reached 70 degrees and all the ice and snow from the previous week was nowhere to be seen. But after that warm up, it rained for several days, which continued to keep us at bay until March 4.

On March 4, I enjoyed a delightfully warm late-winter day and conducted a four-hour bank-walking excursion around two community reservoirs in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 1:44 a.m. to 3:44 a.m., 7:57 a.m. to 9:57 a.m., and 2:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.

The sky was cloudless. The wind quartered out of the south and southeast at 10 to 20 mph. The morning low temperature was 49 degrees and the afternoon high peaked at 73 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.10 at 11:00 a.m. and it fell to 29.95 at 4:00 p.m.

I fished from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the first community reservoir, and my best efforts produced one largemouth bass.

This first reservoir exhibited about a foot of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal. The water temperature was 57 degrees.

The north end of this reservoir consists of a large and shallow mud flat that is lined with tall stands of cattails, and I did not fish this area.

I started fishing along the north end of the reservoir's west shoreline, which possesses a slope that varies from 25 to 35 degrees. Its submerged terrain consists of mostly sand and gravel. A fishing pier is situated in the middle portion of this shoreline. A small tertiary point lies about 50 feet south of the pier, and two other tertiary points are situated several yards north of the pier. A shallow ditch lies on the north end of this shoreline, and it cuts across the large mud flat that is a protected waterfowl nesting area on the north end of the reservoir.

I caught one largemouth bass from the small tertiary point just south of the pier. It was caught in five feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge on a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man Fishing Product's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. It was employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

I failed to garner any strikes from the vicinity of the shallow ditch on the north end of this shoreline, a small patch of submerged hydrilla near one of the two tertiary points north of the fishing pier, and along the steeper portions of this shoreline next to the fishing pier.

I also failed to catch a largemouth bass or provoke any strikes around the concrete-slab dam that forms the southern perimeter of the reservoir.

The east shoreline features a long clay and gravel point on its north end, a small ditch that lies just south of the clay and gravel point, a wide sand and gravel point that is located in the middle section of this shoreline, and another ditch is situated on its south end. A long sand-and-gravel ledge parallels most of this shoreline. I executed scores and scores of casts and retrieves along this entire shoreline, but I was unable to generate a single strike.

After that dismal start, I traveled 13 miles to the second community reservoir, which I have not fished since the fall of 2020. This community reservoir is smaller than the first one; it is about 100 yards long and about 60 yards wide. I fished at this reservoir from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The water in this reservoir was dingier than normal and displayed about 12 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 57 degrees. The water level was slightly high.

I dissected a steep clay-and-gravel shoreline on the east side of the impoundment, two creek channels that course along the north and south side of an island, a flat clay and gravel shoreline with several minor points along the southern portion of the reservoir, a cove on its west side, and one major point and several minor points along the north shoreline.

From all these spots, I barely managed to scrounge up two largemouth bass. I caught both of them in three to five feet of water from around the major point that is situated at the mouth of the west cove. They were enticed by a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation with a shortened four-inch Z-Man's black-neon Finesse WormZ that was matched to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

By the time this tedious and frustrating outing had come to a merciful end, I had caught a total of three largemouth bass in four hours, which is considered an average catch rate for this time of year.

After I got home, I spoke with Bill Kenny of Denton on the phone. He reported that he fished on March 3 and caught only two dinky largemouth bass and one keeper-size bass at a private impoundment in north-central Texas.

We are grateful that we have only a week or two more of this horrendous winter bass fishing to endure before the mid- to late-March pre-spawn transition begins and our catch rates become more substantial again.

March 4 & 5

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, Pat Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted logs on the Finesse News Network about their March 4 and 5 outings.

Here is an edited version of their logs.

Old Man Winter began covering the community, federal, and state reservoirs in northeastern Kansas with many inches of ice on Feb. 6, and the ice covered the reservoirs until March 2, 3, and 4.

Thus, during the first 63 days of 2021, Patty Kehde and I fished only eight times and for 17 hours. And it was a horrendous and dispiriting struggle for us to catch 64 largemouth bass. During this same spell, Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, found the largemouth bass fishing at one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs and a state reservoir to be as humbling as Patty and I endured during our outings.

For example, Gum fished at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on March 4.

The nearest National Weather Service reported that it was 37 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 70 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind was calm for six hours, and when it stirred it angled out of the east, southeast, southwest, west, and northeast at 3 to 24 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 12:53 a.m., 30.11 at 5:53 a.m., 30.11 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.04 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 2:36 a.m. to 4:36 a.m., 3:03 p.m. to 5:03 p.m., and 8:49 a.m. to 10:49 a.m.

The surface temperature was 44 degrees. The water exhibited 1 ½ to two feet of visibility.

This state reservoir is embellished with burgeoning patches of curly-leaf pondweed, which begin sprouting every year in November and begin to wilt and virtually disappear in June. Bob found the most robust plants were growing in 10 feet of water in the lower portions of the reservoir, and the largest plants were two to three feet tall. Traditionally, patches of curly-leaf pondweed and other kinds of submerged aquatic vegetation that embellish the shallow-water flats of our reservoirs' feeder-creek arms have yielded scores and scores of largemouth bass during the first week or two after the ice melts. For instance, a pair of Midwest finesse anglers caught 102 largemouth bass in three hours around patches of curly-leaf pondweed in four to six feet of water in the back of a feeder-creek arm at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs on Feb. 9, 2012, and this occurred the day after the ice disappeared and the surface temperature was 39 degrees. But Bob Gum failed to find a bonanza of largemouth bass on this March 4 outing. He caught two largemouth bass and accidentally caught one channel catfish, which were caught on either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig or a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

On March 4, Patty Kehde and I fished at a state reservoir that lies about 77 miles west of the state reservoir that Gum fished.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 30 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 72 degrees at 1:53 p.m. The wind was calm for nine hours, and when it stirred it angled out of the south, east, and southeast at 3 to 26 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.08 at 12:53 a.m., 30.11 at 5:53 a.m., 30.09 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.02 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be a few inches below its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 43 to 48 degrees. The water exhibited three to nearly six feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 2:36 a.m. to 4:36 a.m., 3:03 p.m. to 5:03 p.m., and 8:49 a.m. to 10:49 a.m.

We fished from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. We spent most of this outing searching for patches of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as brittle naiad, coontail, and curly-leaf pondweed, on the shallow-water flats in the backs of four feeder-creek arms. But our searches discovered just a few tads of brittle naiad. Therefore, we struggled to hook two largemouth bass that liberated themselves in about four feet of water and accidentally caught five crappie on the shallow-water flats and the vicinity of some beaver huts. It is somewhat interesting to note that on Jan. 21 we caught 15 largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat in the back of one of this reservoir's six feeder-creek arms, and we caught 17 largemouth bass in the back of another one of this reservoir's six feeder-creek arms. On that outing, the surface temperature ranged from 36 to 38 degrees, and there were several skimpy patches of brittle naiad embellishing these two flats, and we caught the largemouth bass around that vegetation and around two beaver huts that were enhanced with that vegetation. In our minds, this outing proved once again how important it is to have vibrant patches of submerged aquatic vegetation gracing the shallow-water flats and shorelines of northeastern Kansas flatland reservoirs.

On March 5, Patty and I ventured to one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 40 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 55 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind was calm for nine hours, and when it stirred it angled out of the east and southeast at 5 to 26 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being fair to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.13 at 12:53 a.m., 30.17 at 5:53 a.m., 30.28 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.25 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be nearly normal. The surface temperature ranged from 40 to 41 degrees. The water exhibited four to nearly six feet of visibility. To our chagrin, we failed to find any of this reservoir's once-bountiful patches of coontail. The managers of this reservoir have worked to make this waterway more like a swimming pool than a flatland reservoir, and to accomplish this task, they have applied aquatic herbicides and stocked grass carp.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 3:34 a.m. to 5:34 a.m., 4:03 p.m. to 6:03 p.m., and 9:49 a.m. to 11:49 a.m. We were afloat from 11:39 a.m. to 2:25 p.m., and while we were on the water, we were accompanied by anglers in five bass boats and a research crew from Garmin Marine Electronics. We conversed with one angler who said that he had caught one largemouth bass in two days of fishing.

We dissected all of the traditionally wintertime shallow-water flats and shorelines that used to yield significant numbers of largemouth bass when these areas were endowed with patches of coontail. And we failed to garner a strike. Ultimately, we caught two largemouth bass around two underwater poles on the northside of a dock in about six feet of water. The first one was caught on a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation. The second one was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught two largemouth bass in about eight feet of water between two docks on the green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation.

These four largemouth bass were in the upper third of this reservoir's primary feeder-creek arm.

We plied several steeper locales in the lower half of the reservoir, which failed to yield any dividends.

In short, 2021 is starting to be as sorry as the black bass fishing was in 2020.

March 6

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 6 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

Bill and I opted to enjoy a warm afternoon foray at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir located in a suburb northwest of Dallas. We fished from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Because the wretched wintertime black bass fishing at the Corps' reservoirs in north-central Texas is not expected to improve for another couple of weeks, our mission was to search for the first concentrations of pre-spawn white bass migrating into the reservoir's feeder-creek arms.

It was sunny and 38 degrees at 7:00 a.m. and 59 degrees when we launched the boat at 11:43 a.m. By 3:00 p.m., it was 65 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.37 at noon and 30.27 at 5:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the east at 5 to 10 mph.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 4:40 a.m. to 6:40 a.m., 10:54 a.m. to 12:54 p.m., and 5:09 p.m. to 7:09 p.m.

We concentrated our efforts inside a minor feeder-creek arm in the northern region of the reservoir.

The surface temperature inside this feeder-creek arm varied from 53 to 60 degrees. The water clarity ranged from 10 inches in its lower section to 16 inches in its middle section. We did not venture into the upper end of the creek arm. The water level was 0.56 of a foot above normal.

This feeder creek is graced with an abundance of submerged laydowns, stumps, and brush piles. Its underwater terrain is composed of mostly gravel, clay, some sand, and a few rock ledges.

We shared this feeder-creek arm with anglers in 12 other boats.

Overall, the fishing was stellar.

But during the first 90 minutes, it was a grind for us to allure three white bass and one largemouth bass. However, once the afternoon sun warmed the water to 60 degrees, we relished catching 73 white bass during the last 3 1/2 hours.

All of these fish were caught from the lower end of the creek arm. They were abiding within 10 feet of the water's edge in two to five feet of water near laydowns, stumps, and brush piles. Seventy-five fish were caught along the creek arm's north shoreline, which was receiving the most sunshine. Two white bass were caught from the south shoreline, and they were caught at the mouth of the creek arm during the final 15 minutes of this outing.

We caught 73 of the 76 white bass on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat attached to a blue 1/16-ounce Mushroom Jighead, and a blue 1/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead dressed with a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ.

Bill caught three white bass on an Alabama rig.

The one largemouth bass was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with the Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat rig.

The Slim SwimZ rigs, Baby Goat rigs, and the Alabama rig were employed with a slow and steady swimming retrieve, and the strikes were quite aggressive.

The pearl TRD TicklerZ combo was utilized with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

In sum, this white bass endeavor was a nice break from the wretched black bass fishing that we have been enduring this winter. And as an added bonus, it was the most white bass Bill has ever caught during an outing.

March 8

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., we fished at a state reservoir located in an exurban area of north-central Texas. This reservoir was our most bountiful venue in 2020, and we wanted to check the state of its black bass fishing for the first time in 2021.

When Bill and I launched the boat at 10:38 a.m., it was sunny. The sky was partly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 40 degrees and the afternoon high temperature reached 70 degrees. Typically, the daytime high temperature for this time of March in north-central Texas is 66 degrees. The average low temperature is 46 degrees. The wind blew incessantly out of the south at 15 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.44 at 11:00 a.m. to 30.30 by 4:00 p.m.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, would occur from 12:15 a.m. to 2:15 a.m., 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and 6:58 p.m. to 8:58 p.m.

We spent these five hours probing portions of a small bay that is situated on the lower end of the reservoir and two riprap jetties on the east side of the reservoir.

This impoundment's geological terrain consists of many rock-laden shorelines and points. The majority of them are graced with laydowns, submerged boulders, overhanging trees, and flooded buck brush. We found a few paltry patches of brownish-green hydrilla in the shallow-water areas of this bay. In 2020, these patches of hydrilla were thick and flourishing, but we suspect the extraordinarily cold weather during Feb. 14 through Feb. 20 may have had a negative effect on the hydrilla patches.

This reservoir's water level has been slowly dropping during the past few weeks, and it was 4.10 feet below its normal pool. The water exhibited an odd milky-green color with about 12 inches of visibility. We found the surface temperatures as cold as 36.4 degrees, which is the coldest water temperature I have ever seen in north-central Texas, and as warm as 51.2 degrees.

We started our search for largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass on the east side of the south bay along two steep and riprap-covered shorelines that are separated by a prominent pocket in the back end of the bay. The water temperature in this area averaged 49 degrees, and we caught 10 largemouth bass along these two shorelines and inside the pocket. These bass were relating to submerged rocks and boulders in six to 10 feet of water.

We then moved to the west side of this bay, where we slowly plied another steep and rocky shoreline. Portions of this shoreline are also adorned with sparse patches of brownish-green hydrilla. Here, we were astonished to find that the water temperature ranged from 36.4 to 38 .7 degrees. We searched for signs of baitfish and black bass with our sonar devices and we made a few half-hearted casts and retrieves to a small segment of one of the shorelines, but we failed to locate any black bass there.

We then moved to the middle portion of the impoundment and dissected two riprap jetties that are situated on the east shoreline.

This area yielded one largemouth bass. It was caught from the end of the first jetty in 14 feet of water.

After that, we decided to return to the first bay where we started the day. We fished about 100 yards of one of the shorelines that had yielded 10 largemouth bass the first time we fished it. The water temperature had warmed from 49 degrees to 51 degrees, and it relinquished six more largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were abiding in five to nine feet of water and were associated with the larger submerged rocks and boulders. We failed to catch any largemouth bass around the sparse patches of brownish-green hydrilla.

Overall, five largemouth bass were allured by a slow hop-and-bounce presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Baby Goat matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Four were enticed by a slow and steady dragging presentation with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD CrawZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. Four largemouth bass were attracted to a swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ underspin rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Another three bass engulfed a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead that was sporting a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ with a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve. One largemouth bass was coaxed into striking a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkinseed Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin jighead.

In total, we caught 17 largemouth bass in five hours, and it was our most productive black bass endeavor so far this year.

Surprisingly, we failed to cross paths with any spotted bass and smallmouth bass.

March 10

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 10 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy. The morning low temperature was 60 degrees. The afternoon high temperature climbed to 72 degrees. A peppy wind quartered out of the south-by-southeast at 20 to 25 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 29. 99 at noon to 29.89 at 5:00 p.m.

From 11:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., we fished for five of those six hours at three community reservoirs in north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the optimum fishing periods would take place from 1:55 a.m. to 3:55 a.m., 8:08 a.m. to 10:08 a.m., and 8:34 p.m. to 10:34 p.m.

At the first community reservoir, the water was stained a bit more than usual from the robust wind, exhibiting about 12 inches of clarity. The water level appeared to be normal.

We shared this reservoir with a couple of other anglers who were plying the south side of the impoundment. We saw one of them catch a largemouth bass on a white spinnerbait as we were driving up to the impoundment, and we did not see this angler or the other one catch another bass before they left about 30 minutes later. The north and west sides of this reservoir have a concrete culvert and a shallow ditch that extends from the south end of the west shoreline. This shoreline is endowed with scores of bald cypress tree knees, several points, and a small brush pile. A shallow sand-and-gravel ledge protrudes about three to five feet from the water's edge, and this ledge encompasses the entire impoundment. The ledge is covered with a foot of water and drops off into three to five feet of water. The bottom terrain consists of sand mixed with small pieces of gravel and rocks.

Along the west shoreline we caught one largemouth bass in five feet of water from the deep-water side of the sand-and-gravel ledge. It was caught on a shortened Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ rigged Texas-style on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Charlie Brewer Slider Company's Crappie Slider jig and a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation. We also temporarily hooked then lost another largemouth bass on the Junebug WormZ rig and a drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve.

The north shoreline yielded two largemouth bass. One was caught near a small brush pile in four feet of water. It was also caught on the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig and a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve. The third largemouth bass was caught from the east end of the north shoreline in six-feet of water and about 10 feet away from the shallow sand-and-gravel ledge. It was also caught on a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation with the Junebug Finesse WormZ rig. We failed to elicit any strikes from the east shoreline. We did not fish the south one.

At the second reservoir, we struggled to catch three largemouth bass. We also caught a large bluegill by accident. This reservoir lacks any significant visible features. There are two minor points on its east shoreline and a small concrete water-outlet drain on the west end of the north shoreline. The underwater terrain consists of sand and gravel. There are a few paltry stems of American pondweed beginning to sprout along the south shoreline.

The water temperature was 59 degrees. The water level appeared to be about three feet low. The water exhibited about 12 to 14 inches of visibility.

All three of these largemouth bass were caught in three to five feet of water inside a small pocket where the north and east shorelines meet in the northeast corner of the reservoir. Two were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner underspin jig that was employed with a slow hop-and-bounce presentation. The third largemouth bass was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Baby Goat that was attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The large bluegill was enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. It was caught in three feet of water near the concrete water-outlet drain.

The third impoundment was the most bountiful one. It relinquished 21 largemouth bass and one large bluegill. Its underwater terrain consists of small gravel and sand. There are numerous tree limbs and other wood debris littering the south and west shorelines. A shallow sand and gravel ledge extends about five feet out from the water's edge along the north and east shorelines. The north and east shorelines are the steepest of the four and possess 30- to 45-degree slopes. The south and west shorelines are flatter with 10- to 15-degree inclines. Their water's edges are adorned with bald cypress trees and partially-submerged bald cypress tree knees.

The water was stained with about 14 inches of clarity. The water temperature was 60 degrees. The water level appeared to be about three feet low.

We caught one largemouth bass from the north shoreline, 17 largemouth bass and one large bluegill from the steeper east shoreline, three largemouth bass from the south shoreline, and six more largemouth bass from the west shoreline. They were abiding within 15 feet of the water's edge in four to six feet of water.

They were caught on the four-inch Z-Man's Junebug Finesse WormZ rig and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ matched with a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Most were caught on a slow drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation. A couple were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve and a slow hop-and-bounce presentation.

All totaled, we relished tangling with 27 largemouth bass and two large bluegills in five hours. The bulk of them were smaller specimens with several keeper-size ones mixed in. The largest one weighed three pounds.

Three largemouth bass were caught from the first community reservoir, three largemouth bass and one large bluegill were caught from the second community reservoir, and 21 largemouth bass and one large bluegill were caught from the third community reservoir.

Some local anglers are beginning to report that largemouth bass are occupying spawning nests or building nests in the shallow-water areas of some local community reservoirs. But so far, we have not seen any spawning activity in the community, state and federal reservoirs that we ply in north-central Texas.

March 12

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

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

We traveled to a scenic Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma for our first smallmouth bass endeavor in 2021.

The sky was overcast and it misted off and on throughout the morning and early afternoon hours. The barometric pressure measured 30.15 at 10:00 a.m. and 30.08 at 3:00 p.m. As we launched the boat at 10:00 a.m., it was 67 degrees and the wind angled out of the southeast at 13 mph. It was 74 degrees when we trailered the boat at 1:15 p.m., and the wind angled out of the south-by-southeast at 16 mph.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the most productive fishing periods would occur from 3:37 a.m. to 5:37 a.m., 6:34 a.m. to 8:34 a.m., and 9:48 p.m. to 11:48 p.m.

The water exhibited an emerald-green hue with about five feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 48 degrees in the southeast portion of the reservoir to 51 degrees in its northwest region. The water level appeared to be about three feet high.

We employed several Midwest finesse rigs: a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's sprayed-grass TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Baby Goat attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's yoga pants TRD HogZ fastened on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

During this three-hour excursion, we investigated two major creek arms in the south end of the reservoir and one in the north end. Inside those three creek arms, we dissected several steep and rocky secondary points, several small coves, a large rock pile, and two long rock-laden bluffs. We fished as shallow as three feet and as deep as 24 feet, and we were frustrated and baffled that we could not locate any smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, or spotted bass in this reservoir.

The only strike we garnered was a white bass that was abiding around a rocky shoreline in six feet of water inside one of the coves in the north creek arm, but it was able to liberate itself before we could hoist it over the gunnel.

In the early part of the afternoon, we decided to trailer the boat and return to Denton and put the boat away. However, we didn't want to go home empty-handed, so we finished the afternoon at a private reservoir in north-central Texas.

We fished at this reservoir from 3:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., and we caught 20 largemouth bass, three bluegills, and one large crappie.

The water exhibited three feet of visibility. The water temperature was 66 degrees. The water level appeared to be normal.

This reservoir's east and south shorelines are flat and are adorned with aquatic vegetation and a couple of laydowns. The west shoreline has a shallow ledge that extends about 25 feet out from the water's edge and is covered with submerged aquatic vegetation. This ledge descends into 14 feet of water near the middle of the impoundment. The east shoreline is steep with thick patches of terrestrial vegetation at its water's edge. There is a prominent point at its east end. Submerged aquatic vegetation also adorns sections of this shoreline.

We caught these fish in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 14 feet. Most of them were associated with the patches of aquatic vegetation, but three of them were caught around the laydowns.

We caught them on these Z-Man's Midwest finesse rigs: a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's sprayed- grass TRD TicklerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-orange TRD TicklerZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Baby Goat affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead, a four-inch Z-Man's coppertreuse ZinkerZ rigged Tex-posed on a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's BulletZ jig, and a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ Texas-rigged on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce slider-style jig.

The green-pumpkin Trick ShotZ and the two TRD TicklerZ rigs were employed with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The four-inch coppertreuse ZinkerZ and TRD HogZ rigs were utilized with a slow hop-and-bounce retrieve. The Baby Goat was used with a slow swimming retrieve and a hop-and-bounce retrieve.

March 19

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

On this last day of the winter, the National Weather Service reported that it was 33 degrees at 7:53 a.m. and 57 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the north, northwest, northeast, and east at 3 to 10 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.37 at 12:53 a.m., 30.41 at 5:53 a.m., 30.43 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.42 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 12 inches above its normal level. The surface temperature ranged from 48 to 52 degrees. The water exhibited two to nearly six feet of visibility. To our disappointment, we failed to find any patches of submerged vegetation.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 3:31 a.m. to 5:31 a.m., 3:54 p.m. to 5:54 p.m., and 9:43 a.m. to 11:43 a.m.

We fished from 12:55 p.m. to 3:57 p.m. And we struggled to catch 25 largemouth bass and unintentionally caught one white bass. And we were the only anglers afloat, which revealed in our eyes how trying the largemouth bass fishing has been this winter.

We spent one hour and 15 minutes fishing along the shallow-water shorelines and flats in the upper reaches of two feeder-creek arms, and we failed to catch a largemouth bass. In winters past, significant aggregations of largemouth bass would abide in shallow-water patches of submerged aquatic vegetation that embellished these areas, but we failed to find any vegetation. We were also hoping that these areas would be enhanced by the runoff from the recent rains that fell upon this reservoir's watershed.

We spent a few futile moments plying the current areas adjacent to the reservoir's spillway adjacent to its dam.

We also spent about 15 minutes fishing along the riprap shoreline of the dam where we failed to catch a largemouth bass.

Ultimately, we caught two largemouth bass from the same spot on a main-lake point. This point's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and several boulders. It has a 25- to 45-degree slope. Portions of its water's edge is endowed with winter-dead stems of American water willows. One of the largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-glide presentation in about eight feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water. Both were caught along the area of the point that had a 45-degree slope.

Along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught 23 largemouth bass. This shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and several boulders. It has a 25- to 80-degree slope. Most of its water's edge is endowed with winter-dead stems of American water willows. It is also enhanced with some laydowns, manmade brush piles, and several riprap jetties. Three short areas along this 400-yard shoreline yielded the bulk of these 23 largemouth bass, and the steeper potions of this shoreline were more fruitful than the flatter portions.

One of the 23 largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a slightly shortened four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about five feet of water and several feet from the outside edge of a winter-dead patch of American water willows.

Ten of the 23 were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig in five to about 11 feet of water, and they were caught on three presentations: swim and glide, drag and shake, and drag and deadstick. A few were caught as far as 25 feet from the water's edge.

Twelve of the 23 were caught on the ZinkerZ rig in four to about 11 feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of the rig in about five feet of water. Ten were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to 11 feet of water.

In conclusion, wintertime fishing for largemouth bass fishing in northeastern Kansas is always the most challenging time of the calendar year.

But the winter of 2020/21 was the worst in recent memory. Perhaps some of the problems stem from our 80-year-old minds and bodies, which do not have the abilities and wherewithal to tolerate winter's cold and windy ways for as many hours as we used to endure. What's more, the conditions of our reservoirs and the populations of largemouth bass are not as glorious as they used to be.

For instance, our logs for the winter of 2010/11 revealed that Old Man Winter allowed us to fish 12 times and for a total of 45 hours during those 90 days of winter. And we caught 274 largemouth bass, which was an average of 22 per outing and six an hour. On one of those 12 outings, we failed to catch a largemouth bass.

During the 91 days of the winter of 2011/12, we fished 22 times and for a total of about 90 hours, and we caught 700 largemouth bass, which was an average of 31 largemouth bass an outing and seven an hour. One of the February outings awarded us with 118 largemouth bass in four hours.

In contrast to the winters of 2010/11 and 2011/12, we fished 14 times for a total of just 25 hours during the winter of 2020/21. Four of those outings were about 90-minute affairs, and the longest was about three hours. During thirteen of this winter's 91 days, area thermometers never reached 29 degrees, and some of them plummeted to 22 degrees below zero on Feb. 16. Traditionally, March is one of the windiest times of the year, and during this March, we had gusts of wind that ranged from 29 to 51 mph on March 7, 8, 9, and 10. The Covid-19 pandemic also had a minor effect on where we fished. But the most confounding problem has been the demise of the submerged aquatic vegetation that used to enhance several of our community and state reservoirs. Some of this demise was caused by spraying aquatic herbicides and the stocking of grass carp. And during the fall of 2020 and winter of 2020/21, our most productive community reservoir was waylaid by an eruption of red euglena, which has wreaked havoc with this reservoir's bountiful patches of coontail. Therefore, we failed to catch a largemouth bass on three very short outings. Our most bountiful outing yielded 32 largemouth bass in two hours and 45 minutes. In total, we struggled to catch 101 largemouth bass during this sorry, sorry, sorry winter, and we didn't have the mental wherewithal to post a log about most of these short and sorry endeavors.

During the bountiful years of our Midwest finesse endeavors at northeastern Kansas' reservoirs, we always hoped to catch an average of 25 largemouth bass or smallmouth bass an hour. Nowadays, we are grateful to catch 25 of them an outing.

March 21

Brandon and Jason Marlow of LaFollette, Tennessee, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their outing on March 21.

Here is an edited version of their log.

I was finally able to get on the water after about a month-long hiatus because of motor issues. It is still not running at 100 percent, but at least we are fishing again.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 9:08 a.m. to 11:08 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

We fished in the upper end of a major feeder-creek arm on a Tennessee Valley Authority highland reservoir in eastern Tennessee from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The weather was delightful. The sky was mostly sunny. The high temperature was 64 degrees. A light breeze angled out of the south.

The water level was 12.5 feet below full pool. The surface temperature was 54 degrees. The water exhibited about four feet of visibility.

We caught 11 smallmouth bass and two largemouth bass.

I used a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a Z-Man's The Deal Slim SwimZ affixed to an unpainted 1/16-ounce round-headed jig.

Jason used a Z-Man's PB&J Micro Finesse Jig with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD CrawZ as a trailer.

We fished a little bit of everything, ranging from main-lake shorelines and points to secondary points and coves. The only areas we did not fish were bluffs. The rising water level and diminishing water clarity seemed to caused the black bass to be scattered at a variety of locales from as shallow as a couple of feet to as deep as 20 feet.

The Slim SwimZ rig caught eight of the 11 smallmouth bass. Along the shorelines that are endowed with chunk rocks and boulders, I employed the Slim SwimZ rig with a yo-yo retrieve off of the bottom. Along the pea-gravel shorelines, I used a steady and slow swimming retrieve, which allowed the Slim SwimZ rig to maintain contact with the bottom.

Three of the 11 smallmouth bass were caught on the Finesse TRD and 1/16-ounce jig with a slow dragging presentation.

The Z-Man's PB&J Micro Finesse jig caught one of the largemouth bass around the base of a laydown inside a cove in a couple feet of water. The other largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse TRD and 1/16-ounce jig in the middle of a pocket inside the same cove. This largemouth bass was caught when I saw a couple of fish on the Garmin Panoptix Livescope System, and I dropped the Finesse TRD rig down on them, and one of them engulfed it on the fall.

I failed to catch a fish on the Z-Man's PB&J Finesse TRD affixed to a green-pumpkin 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig.

I wish I had more to report. If we can get some stable weather, our catch rates should pick up during the next couple of weeks. The smallmouth bass will be moving into their prespawn locales, and the largemouth bass won't be far behind.

March 26

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

Here is an unedited version of their log.

Mother Nature's drizzly, windy, and cool ways kept us at bay for six days in a row. She was a tad kinder on March 26, but we had to use our wind sock for the first time in 2021 to abate some of her gusty behavior.

The nearest National Weather Service station reported that it was 32 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 66 degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind was calm for six hours, and when it blew, it angled out of the northeast, east, and southeast at 3 to 26 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being foggy to misty to overcast to fair to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:53 a.m., 29.95 at 5:53 a.m., 29.99 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.91 at 4:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be more than 12 inches above its normal level. The surface temperature was 51 degrees. Our seechi stick revealed that the water in the lower areas of this reservoir exhibited about six feet of visibility. We failed to find any patches of submerged vegetation.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 9.17 a.m. to 11:17 a.m., 9:34 p.m. to 11:34 p.m., and 3:04 a.m. to 5:04 a.m.

We fished from 1:45 p.m. to 4:01 p.m. We caught and quickly released 33 largemouth bass and unintentionally caught two white bass. And we were the only anglers afloat, which again revealed in our eyes how trying the largemouth bass fishing has been this year. During the first 61 minutes, we caught 25 of the 33 largemouth bass. For many years one of our aims or wishes on every outing was to catch an average of 25 black bass an hour, but that aim and wish gradually waned in 2019 and 2020. This was the first time that we almost reached that goal in 2021, but during the next hour and 16 minutes, we struggled to catch eight largemouth bass and the two white bass, but we did elicit a few strikes and hooked three fish that quickly liberated themselves.

One of the 33 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's motor-oil TRD CrawZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Twenty-nine largemouth bass were caught on a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin ZinkerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, we caught 29 largemouth bass. This shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and several boulders. It has a 25- to 80-degree slope. Most of its water's edge is endowed with untold numbers of winter-dead stems of American water willows, which are laden with wads of filamentous algae. It is also embellished with some laydowns, manmade brush piles, and several riprap jetties. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about four feet of water adjacent to the outside edges of the patches of American water willows. A few were caught on a swimming presentation. The others were caught as we employed either a drag-and-shake presentation or a drag-and-deadstick presentation in five to about nine feet of water. The wind and our drift sock allowed us to stroll at times and employ those two presentations along many yards of this main-lake shoreline.

We caught four largemouth bass along about a 30-yard stretch of the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and riprap. It has about a 45-degree slope. Some of its water's edge is graced with winter-dead stems of American water willows, and there is one laydown. It was also sheltered from the wind. One of the four largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the ZinkerZ rig in about four feet of water. The other three were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation of the ZinkerZ rig in about seven feet of water.

We failed to catch a largemouth bass around a main-lake point, along about a 20-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, along about a 150-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, along about a 70-yard section of a main-lake shoreline, and across a small section of a shallow-water flat in the back of a feeder-creek arm.

In short, it was far from being a bonanza Midwest finesse endeavor, and our catch would not have won a tournament or made footage for a television show or a YouTube video, but the number of largemouth bass that we caught in 166 minutes looked to be a tad more fun and fruitful than what many of the 80 anglers caught who competed at the Major League Fishing's Bass Pro Tour event at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas, on March 21-26, 2021, and the 156 anglers caught who competed at the Major League Fishing's Toyota Series at Lake Texoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border on March 25-27, 2021. In other words, the black bass fishing looks to be a struggle at a variety of locales.

March 26

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 26 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

The black bass fishing in north-central Texas continues to be slow, but it is gradually starting to improve. For instance, on March 24, I spent 2 1/2 hours plying a nearby problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir and caught five largemouth bass, which is the most black bass this reservoir has relinquished since November 2020.

From 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on March 26, a friend and I fished at a state reservoir located in an exurban area of north-central Texas. This reservoir was our most productive reservoir in 2020. The last time I fished this reservoir was with Bill Kenney of Denton on March 8, and we were satisfied with catching 17 largemouth bass.

On March 26, when we launched the boat at 8:43 a.m., it was sunny. There was not a cloud in sight. The morning low temperature was 45 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature soared to 85 degrees. The wind blew incessantly out of the south and southwest at 15 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure dropped from 29.97 at 9:00 a.m. to 29.90 at 2:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing would occur from 3:13 a.m. to 5:13 a.m., 9:26 a.m. to 11:26 a.m., and 9:52 p.m. to 11:52 p.m.

We spent five hours probing portions of a small bay that is situated on the lower end of the reservoir, two riprap jetties on the east side of the reservoir, and the upper or back section of a major feeder-creek arm located on the northwest end of the impoundment.

Rock-laden shorelines and points make up the vast majority of this impoundment's geological terrain. The shorelines are cluttered with laydowns, submerged boulders, overhanging trees, and flooded buck brush. There are a few paltry patches of brownish-green hydrilla in the shallow-water areas inside the small bay.

The water level was 4.11 feet below its normal pool. The water was muddy from recent rains and exhibited five to 10 inches of clarity. The surface temperatures ranged from 56.4 degrees in the main-lake to 60 degrees in the upper end of the feeder-creek arm.

We started our search for largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass on the east side of the small bay that is situated in the southwest end of the reservoir. The water temperature was 57 degrees. We slowly picked apart the steep and rocky east shoreline, which has a 45- to 60-degree incline, and caught five largemouth bass. These bass were scattered here and there and were relating to large submerged rocks and boulders in three to six feet of water.

We also fished along the west side of the bay, where we slowly dissected another steep and rocky shoreline that appeared to be identical to the east-side shoreline. Portions of this shoreline are also adorned with sparse patches of brownish-green hydrilla. We failed to garner any strikes along this shoreline.

We then moved to the midsection of the impoundment and investigated two riprap jetties that are situated on the east shoreline. We generated only one strike from these jetties, and that one strike was a hefty five-pound, 15-ounce freshwater drum that was extracted from three feet water next to the side of the jetty.

Next, we made a long run into the back end of a major feeder-creek arm in the northwest region of the reservoir. We were hoping to find clearer and warmer water. In this area, the water was muddy with five inches of visibility. The water temperature was a tad warmer at 60 degrees. We fished inside a large pocket and around a couple of minor rocky secondary points near the pocket. Inside the pocket, we caught one largemouth bass from the side of a large submerged stump in four feet of water, and that was the only black bass we caught in this creek arm.

After that, we decided to return to the first bay where we started the day. We fished about 75 yards of the east shoreline where we caught the five largemouth bass the first time we fished it. We discovered that the water temperature had warmed from 57 to 59 degrees along this stretch of shoreline. We hooked six more largemouth bass and landed five of them. These largemouth bass were also associated with the submerged rocks and boulders in three to six feet of water. We failed to catch any largemouth bass around the sparse patches of brownish-green hydrilla.

Five largemouth bass were allured by a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a four-inch Z-Man's black-neon Finesse WormZ attached to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other five largemouth bass were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's black-blue TRD HogZ rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. A slow and steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead allured one largemouth bass. The hefty freshwater drum was caught on a slow swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's green pumpkin Slim SwimZ underspin rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

In conclusion, this outing was a tedious grind. We hooked 12 largemouth bass in five hours, but one of them was able to liberate itself before we could land it. We also caught one freshwater drum by accident.

We failed to cross paths with any spotted bass and smallmouth bass during our March 8 outing here, and we failed to catch a spotted bass and smallmouth bass on this outing.

March 26

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, posted a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing to one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs on March 26.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The nearest National Weather Service station reported that it was 33 degrees at 4:53 a.m. and 71degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, south, and southeast at 3 to 32 mph. The conditions of the sky varied from being foggy to misty to overcast to fair to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy to cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 29.90 at 12:53 a.m., 29.93 at 5:53 a.m., 29.96 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.86 at 2:53 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar table indicated that the best fishing would take place from 9.17 a.m. to 11:17 a.m., 9:34 p.m. to 11:34 p.m., and 3:04 a.m. to 5:04 a.m.

I fished from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and relied on a drift sock to tame the dastardly effects of the wind.

The water level was around four inches below full pool. The power plant was not operating, which has been a week-long phenomenon. The surface temperature was 54 degrees. The water exhibited about two feet of clarity. I failed to find any aquatic vegetation.

I worked with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ on a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a Z-Man's meat-dog TRD MinnowZ on a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. The primary presentation was to stroll with the wind and drag these rigs along the underwater terrain, which consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.

My catch was atrocious: three smallmouth bass and 11 freshwater drum.

In retrospect, this reservoir used to be a jewel in the eyes of Midwest finesse anglers. For years on end, there were scores of outings when these anglers were able to catch an hourly average of 10 to 20 smallmouth bass. But beginning in about 2017, the largemouth bass virus significantly waylaid this reservoir's largemouth bass and smallmouth bass populations, and these populations are still struggling to recover from this scourge.

And there are other woes that revolve around the benefits of zebra mussels. They arrived at his reservoir around 2012, and they caused the water to become significantly clearer, which spawned the growth of American pondweed, brittle naiad, and other kinds of aquatic vegetation, creating excellent sanctuaries for black bass to abide around. But during the past few years, the zebra mussel population has experienced its natural decline, which has adversely affected the water clarity and caused the patches of American pondweed, brittle naiad, and other kinds of aquatic vegetation to dwindle. Because of the demise of the aquatic vegetation, the young largemouth bass and smallmouth bass have fewer places to readily find food and shelter from species, such as blue catfish, that forage on them.

Thus, it looks as if it will be a tussle for this reservoir to become the jewel that it once was.

March 30

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his March 30 outing.

Here is a slightly edited version of his log.

The wind was problematic in north-central Texas on Mar. 30, which made it too dangerous for me to launch a boat on any of the nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoirs. Consequently, I opted to fish at two community reservoirs located in two suburbs northwest of Dallas.

The morning low temperature was 59 degrees and the afternoon high reached 78 degrees. The sky conditions varied from overcast to mostly cloudy. The wind quartered out of the southeast and south at 20 to 25 mph with an occasional gust up to 30 mph. The barometric pressure was 29.21 at 11:00 a.m. and 29.16 at 4:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 12:20 a.m. to 2:20 a.m., 6:33 a.m. to 8:33 p.m., and 12:26 p.m. to 2:26 p.m. I was afoot at these two reservoirs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and I fished three hours during this four-hour excursion.

The first reservoir is about the size of a football field. A large island with an adjacent cove occupies the west side of this impoundment. Two ditches run parallel to the island's northern and southern shorelines. The south shoreline is steeper than the north and west ones, and it is endowed with several prominent points and a decorative stone wall that borders one of the points. The east end of the reservoir is formed with a steep clay bank, and this area contains the deepest water in the reservoir. The north shoreline is relatively flat, and features several small clay points and a small concrete water outlet.

The submerged terrain is composed of gravel, red clay, and sand. Winter-dead aquatic vegetation adorns the shallow-water areas near the water's edge.

The water exhibited an odd grayish tint with about 14 inches of visibility. The water level was slightly high. The water temperature was 65.7 degrees.

The bass bite was tough, and this impoundment surrendered only five largemouth bass.

I caught one largemouth bass from the steep east shoreline in four feet of water. It was relating to the end of a shallow tertiary point near the middle portion of this shoreline. It was induced by a slow and steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat rigged on a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The second, third, and fourth largemouth bass were caught in five to seven feet of water along the north shoreline. They were many yards apart from each other and abiding about 15 to 25 feet from the water's edge. They were enticed into striking a slow and steady swimming retrieve with the Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat rig.

At the north entry point to the cove just west of the island, I caught the fifth largemouth bass. It engulfed the black-blue Baby Goat combo as I was slowly swimming it in five feet of water across the end of the point. Inside the cove, I saw the first spawning beds of this spring clustered around the north shoreline of the cove. Several of them were occupied by a largemouth bass. (In years past, I delighted in catching largemouth bass from their beds, then I would quickly release them and watch them return to their beds. But nowadays, the bass fishing has become so trying in these community reservoirs that I'm concerned that catching these bass from their beds may be detrimental to the spawning process, so I have decided not to disturb the bass that are on beds and fish for those that are not associated with beds.) I continued fishing my way around the west and south shorelines of the cove without garnering any other strikes. I did not see any spawning beds in these areas, and I failed to garner any strikes there.

I also failed to generate any strikes along the south shoreline. The ditches on the north and south sides of the island were devoid of bass, too.

After that disappointing start, I travelled 13 miles to the second community reservoir.

At the second reservoir, the water level appeared to be normal. The water was murkier than usual and exhibited about 12 inches of visibility. The water temperature was 66.2 degrees. Surprisingly, I did not see any spawning activity at this reservoir.

This reservoir's underwater terrain consists of clay, sand, and gravel.

My first casts were made around a shallow ditch that cuts across a large flat on the north end of the reservoir, and I failed to elicit any strikes.

I then fished my way southward along the west shoreline. I failed to garner any strikes along a steeper stretch of this shoreline and around a fishing pier in the middle portion of the shoreline. The south end of this shoreline was also fruitless.

A concrete-slab dam forms the southern perimeter of this reservoir, and it failed to yield a largemouth bass or a strike.

On the east side of the reservoir, I caught three largemouth bass and two large bluegills. One of the three largemouth bass and one of the large bluegills were caught from the south end of this shoreline. They were abiding in five feet of water around the deep-water side of a sand and gravel ledge that parallels this shoreline. Both of these fish were caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's hot snakes TRD TicklerZ that was matched to a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

I failed to generate any strikes from the sides and end of a relatively large and broad point that is situated in the midsection of this shoreline.

My last spot was a long clay point that protrudes from the north end of this shoreline. A ditch that is covered with four to seven feet of water is oriented in a perpendicular fashion just south of this point and is about 10 feet from the water's edge. I failed to catch any largemouth bass from the point, but the edges of the ditch surrendered two largemouth bass and one large bluegill. These three fish were allured by a slow swimming retrieve with the black-blue Baby Goat rig in four to six feet of water.

Overall, it was a difficult task for me to catch eight largemouth bass and two large bluegills in three hours. I was baffled by the slow fishing. Usually, during the last week of March, the shallow-water areas in these two community reservoirs begin attracting significant numbers of chunky pre-spawn largemouth bass. And with the water temperatures in the mid-60s, I had hoped to catch 15 to 25 largemouth bass from each of these two reservoirs. But those hopes did not materialize during this outing.

In short, I caught five largemouth bass from the first reservoir, and three largemouths and two large bluegills from the second one.

I employed several of Z-Man's Midwest finesse rigs, but only two of them were effective.

Seven of the eight largemouth bass were caught on a slow and steady swimming retrieve with the Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat rig. One largemouth was caught on a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with the Z-Man's hot snakes TRD TicklerZ combo.

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