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Midwest Finesse Fishing: May 2022

Pat Kehde with one of the 60 largemouth bass that were caught in two hours and one minute on May 6.

May 2

Tom Bett of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 2 outing.

Here is an edited version of his log.

In Wisconsin, it is time to think spring, but this year has been a test of patience. It seems the Great Lakes area is trapped beneath the jet stream and multi-day Nor'easters are a frequent occurrence. Because of the strong winds and very rough conditions, it is nearly impossible to fish effectively on our larger lakes. When this pattern is repeated over and over again, the need to catch a black bass exceeds my threshold of waiting. Therefore, I attach the Mud Boat (duck boat) to the truck and head for the smaller and somewhat protected tributary river in search of migrating largemouth bass.

By the onset of May, the bass are moving, which is driven by day length. They are undertaking their spring migration, and may not yet be in their pre-spawn mode of operation.

I fished and explored this waterway for six hours.

It was a cool outing. At the start, the air temperature was 46 degrees. The sky was overcast. The wind angled out of the northwest at 10 to 18 mph. By the end of the outing, the air temperature had risen to 53 degrees. The sky was overcast. The wind angled out of the northwest at 10 to 14 mph.

The river's temperature was 46 degrees. The water exhibited five feet of visibility. It was bank full, and the current velocity was normal for early May.

The fish were not in the backwaters, as would be expected for a pre-spawn pattern, which typically occurs here in early May when it is a decently warm year. I caught a 17-inch largemouth bass on my second cast inside a backwater channel. But this 17-inch female proved to be what I call a "sucker fish" because it provoked me to spend about 90 minutes fruitlessly exploring the backwater option.

I found most of the fish were still in the river and situated on deep bends and located only on the outside curves at the head of the bends where the drop starts and the current accelerates. They appeared to be in pretty deep water, ranging from 4 ½ to eight feet of water.

Fishing under these conditions, one must anchor the boat out from the bank, cast to the bank, and then basically bring the lure down the slope into the correct depths. It is a slow and tedious process. Poor boat control or too much speed and power-fishing tactics ensure wretched results.

Once this formula was defined, I fished seven bends, catching from two to eight largemouth bass from four of the seven bends. In total, I handled 22 largemouth bass. The smallest was 16 inches. Six were over 19 inches. The biggest was 20.3 inches. ,

All of them appeared to be females in very good condition. All appeared to be stuffed with crayfish, so much that some were excreting partially digested crayfish from both ends of their system.

Because of the combination of the wind and current, and the reluctant nature of the largemouth bass to accept a moving lure, I found it was necessary to use a 3/16- ounce to a quarter-ounce jig in order to deadstick it, delicately shake it, and slowly drag it. Each cast of moderate length could have taken me a minute or more to complete. I worked with spinning tackle that is spooled with six-pound-test fluorocarbon line.

The best lures were what we call "Ned Jigs". They are skirted jigs with a weed guard that we dress with a Z-Man's Finesse TRD or similar soft-plastic trailers.

Because of the vast amount of wood, shells, and vegetation in the river, the standard mushroom-style jig we use for finesse fishing was not effective for this task.

I also power fished as I moved from bend to bend, using bait casting tackle with a 3/8-ounce Z-Man's ChatterBait affixed to a Z-Man's RaZor ShadZ . I did not get skunked while doing this, but it was an inefficient use of my time.

In summary, weather notwithstanding, I enjoy fishing during the spring migration of these largemouth bass into the rivers. This period of fishing is generally short-lived, and they will move out of the river and into the backwaters and sloughs very soon.

I am hoping the weather will be warmer, and then I can complain about mosquito density instead of cold fingers.

May 3

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 3 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 45 degrees at 7:52 a.m., 54 degrees at 1:52 p.m., and 52 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northwest at 10 to 26 mph. The sky was overcast. It rained about a half of an inch during the evening hours of May 2. The barometric pressure was 29.77 at 12:52 a.m., 29.89 at 5:52 a.m., 30.05 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.07 at 3:52 p.m.

To my 82-year-old torso, it felt wintery, and I donned long underwear and several layers of clothing. Both of us wore stocking caps.

Besides us, there was one boat trailer and tow vehicle at the boat ramp's parking lot. Perhaps, Mother Nature's windy and wintery ways kept most anglers at bay.

The water level looked to be about 12 inches above normal. The water exhibited more than six feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 58 degrees. This reservoir's underwater terrain is endowed with magnificent patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, and curly-leaf pondweed. Its shorelines are girdled with thick patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are enmeshed with wads of filamentous algae.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 12:37 a.m. to 2:37 a.m., 1:02 p.m. to 3:02 p.m., and 6:05 a.m. to 8:05 a.m.

Despite the unseasonably cold weather, this was an extraordinary Midwest finesse outing. Years ago, we used to call an outing like this "bass fishing 101". That was when the black bass fishing in many of the flatland reservoirs that grace the landscapes of northeastern Kansas was stellar, and we occasionally could catch 101 black bass in four hours. But until today, it has been an impossible task to celebrate this 101 feat for many years.

We made our first casts around 10:00 a.m., and on our first two casts, we caught two largemouth bass. At 1:50 p.m., we caught largemouth bass number 116 and ended this wind-blown and frigid outing. Besides those 116 largemouth bass; we also caught one smallmouth bass, two bluegill, and 13 crappie.

Until the final 20 minutes of this outing, all of the fish were caught on either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. During those final 20 minutes, eight largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

We spent the entire three hours and 50 minutes in the lower portions of this reservoir. We fished the shoreline of the dam, around the dam's spillway, around three main-lake points, around three secondary points, around three main-lake shorelines, and along two secondary shorelines inside one primary feeder-creek arm. These are the reservoir's steeper shorelines and points.

We avoided the massive patches of curly-leaf pondweed, which are thoroughly covering the reservoir's shallow-water flats and shorelines. These patches will dissipate once the water temperature gets into the low 70s in June. Then they will begin to sprout again during the winter of 2022-23, which will provide us with a goodly number of delightful wintertime habitats from which we can catch an array of largemouth bass. During the summer, these shallow-water flats and shorelines will be enhanced with patches of bushy pondweed and coontail from which we hope to catch oodles of largemouth bass.

Eight largemouth bass were caught along the shoreline of the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally entwined with minor patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. It has about a 50-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows. Six of the eight largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs with either the initial drop or with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in four to about eight feet of water. Two were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

Around one of the main-lake points and its adjacent main-lake shoreline, we caught 27 largemouth bass. The shoreline looks to be almost two hundred yards long. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and scores of humongous boulders, which are occasionally entwined with minor patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. It possesses about a 45- to 80-degree slope. Portions of the water's edge are adorned with significant patches of winter-dead American water willows and several laydowns. These largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs. Five were caught on the initial drop. One was caught on a deadstick presentation. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. They were caught in about four to 10 feet of water.

Around the spillway, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which are embellished with patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. It has a 20- to 25- degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows. Three of the four largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. One was caught on the initial drop of the TRD MinnowZ rig. They were caught in four to five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake shoreline, we caught 31 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, a house foundation, and a barn foundation, which are occasionally adorned with minor patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. It possesses about a 40- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with significant patches of winter-dead American water willows and several laydowns. These largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation in about seven feet of water. Five were caught on the initial drop of the rig in four to five feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to ten feet of water.

Along about a 100-yard stretch of a secondary shoreline and around a secondary point inside one of the primary feeder-creek arms, we caught 16 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, and a stone fence, which are embellished with a few minor patches of coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. It possesses about a 35- to 60-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows. Five of the largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Eleven were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. They were caught in five to 10 feet of water, and from four feet from the water's edge to about 20 feet from the water's edge.

Along about a 300-yard stretch of a secondary shoreline and around two secondary points inside this primary feeder-creek arm, we caught 21 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally adorned with significant patches of curly-leaf pondweed and several massive wads of filamentous algae. It possesses about a 30- to 50-degree slope. Some segments of the water's edge are adorned with patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. These largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs. Two were caught on the initial drop, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-incessant shake. They were caught in four to about 10 feet of water. Several were caught around the wads of filamentous algae.

Around a main-lake point and short portions of its two shorelines, we caught eight largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which are adorned with several patches of curly-leaf pondweed and a few wads of filamentous algae. It possesses a 30- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is girdled with patches of winter-dead American water willows and one massive laydown. The largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs. Two were caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. They were caught from five feet to almost 20 feet from the water's edge.

Decades ago, there were windy, wet, and cold days when Rick and I would fish from sunup to sunset, and there were miserable nights when we would fish from sundown to sunup. But on this windswept and unusually cold day in May, we were happy old codgers to call it a day after fishing for just three hours and 50 minutes. And the weather forecasters are telling us that Mother Nature's windy and wet ways will keep us at bay for several days.

It is important to note that the Finesse ShadZ and TRD MinnowZ, which used to be the Rain MinnowZ, have played a significant role in our Midwest finesse tactics since 2010. And here is a photograph of one of the Finesse ShadZ rigs that we used to catch 116 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two bluegill, and 13 crappie on this outing.

May 3

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

Norman and I had a hankering to tangle with a goodly number of smallmouth bass. We decided that our best chance of doing so would most likely occur at our most productive smallmouth bass venue. It is a scenic Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma.

This was our first outing at this reservoir in 2022.

A significant cold front accompanied by a severe thunderstorm passed through south-central Oklahoma and north-central Texas during the early morning hours of May 3. When we arrived at the boat ramp at about 8:40 a.m., we didn't know what to expect. The sky was overcast. The wind was quartering out of the north-by-northeast at 15 to 20 mph. The air temperature was 51 degrees. And the barometric pressure measured 29.98. But as the morning transitioned into the afternoon, the air temperature rose to 63 degrees. The wind died down to 8 mph. The barometric pressure dropped slightly to 29.96. And the sky remained overcast.

The water exhibited an emerald-green hue with three feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 67 degrees everywhere we fished. The water level appeared to be about three feet high.

We opted to search for post-spawn smallmouth bass inside three coves and along two secondary points inside a large bay, and around four prominent main-lake points and sections of their adjoining rocky shorelines in the middle portion of the west tributary arm of the reservoir. All of these locales are located within a mile of the boat ramp where we launched.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the best fishing would occur from 12:45 a.m. to 2:45 a.m., 6:57 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., and 1:09 p.m. to 3:09 p.m. It also noted that the fishing would be average.

We employed four Midwest finesse rigs: a shortened three-inch Z-Man's Canada-craw Hula StickZ rigged on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-style jig; a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-style jig; a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD attached on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead; and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ fastened on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. All four of these Midwest finesse rigs where effective.

We began the outing inside the largest cove located on the north side of the large bay. We focused on the west shoreline, which provided some protection from the wind. The upper end of this shoreline is flat and the water's edge is adorned with thick patches of newly-sprouting cattails. In the middle and lower sections of this shoreline, the water's edge is rocky with 30- to 35-degree slopes. The middle and lower sections of this shoreline, and the two adjoining rocky secondary points, yielded 45 smallmouth bass, eight spotted bass, and six largemouth bass. They were caught on either the Canada-craw Hula StickZ rig with a steady swimming retrieve, the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, and the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD and a steady swimming retrieve around submerged boulders mixed with patches of partially-flooded cattail stalks in three to six feet of water. The flatter upper end of this shoreline was fruitless.

We also dissected a portion of this cove's east shoreline, but we failed to elicit any strikes from it.

The other two coves in this bay are smaller and shallower than the largest cove, and we failed to locate any black bass inside of them.

The remainder of this outing revolved around four main-lake points and their adjoining main-lake shorelines. These four points are flat, and their adjoining shorelines are steeper with 30- to 40-degree inclines. They vary from 60 to 100 yards in length. They are cluttered with scores and scores of large boulders entwined with chunk rocks the size of basketballs. They are also endowed with shallow rock ledges that are covered with a foot or two of water and radically drop into 20-plus feet of water. Some of these ledges lie within 10 to 15 feet from the water's edge, and others were situated from 25 to 40 feet from the water's edge.

Along these four points and shorelines, we caught a total of 92 smallmouth bass. They were caught in five to 13 feet of water near the ledges where the flat and shallow sections quickly drop off into deeper water.

They were caught on either the Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ, the coppertreuse Finesse TRD, and the green-pumpkin Finesse TRD combos. Eighty-five of these 92 smallmouths were caught on a slow-and-steady swimming retrieve, five were allured by the initial fall of these rigs, and two were inveigled with a deadstick presentation.

In conclusion, this was the most bountiful smallmouth bass fishing we have ever experienced. What's more, it set a new numbers' record for us at this reservoir. All totaled, we caught 151 black bass in six hours: 137 were smallmouth bass, eight were spotted bass, and six were largemouth bass. We caught 95 of them in the first four hours of this outing, which came up short of the 101 black-bass goal that many Midwest finesse anglers attempt to achieve in four hours.

Our previous two numbers' records for this reservoir occurred on Oct. 21, 2021, when Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, and I caught 85 smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass in six hours. The other previous record was caught on Oct. 24, 2020, when Norman Brown and I caught 75 smallmouth bass, four largemouth bass, and two spotted bass in six hours.

May 5

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 53 degrees at 2:52 a.m., 65 degrees at 12:52 p.m., and 63 degrees at 2:52 p.m. The wind was calm from 6:52 a.m. to 8:52 a.m., and at other times, it angled out of the northeast, east, and north at 3 to 29 mph. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to being cluttered with a few clouds to partly cloudy to raining lightly. It rained .39 of an inch during the evening hours of May 4. The barometric pressure was 29.96 at 12:52 a.m., 29.98 at 5:52 a.m., 29.88 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.82 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about three feet above normal. The water exhibited from about 12 inches to 20 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 60 to 61 degrees. This reservoir's underwater terrain is endowed with submerged patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, sago pondweed, and massive wads of filamentous algae, which coats much of the submerged aquatic vegetation, stumps, laydowns, and piles of brush. To our dismay, the patches of coontail have been waning during the past five years.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:27 a.m. to 4:27 a.m., 2:52 p.m. to 4:52 p.m., and 8:39 a.m. to 10:39 a.m.

I made my first cast at 12: 14 p.m.

What a difference 50 hours and 14 minutes make in northeastern Kansas. That was when Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I made our first casts at another northeastern Kansas' state reservoir, where the water exhibited more than six feet of visibility, and we caught 116 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two bluegill, and 13 crappie in three hours and 50 minutes.

By the time I made my last cast at 3:14 p.m. on this May 5 outing, my fish counter revealed that I had struggled to catch 18 largemouth bass, and I accidentally caught 18 crappie and one green sunfish.

Eleven of the 18 largemouth bass were caught along the shoreline of the dam. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 50- to 65-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with three small patches of winter-dead American water willows, several partially submerged logs, and some minor piles of brush. All of the patches of the American water willows and many of the rocks and boulders are covered with wads of filamentous algae. And many of my retrieves with these three rigs became covered with filamentous algae. Six of the 11 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-incessant shake presentation in five to eight feet of water. Three of the 11 were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a slow swim-glide-and-incessant shake presentation in five to eight feet of water. Two of the 11 were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a slow swim-glide-and-incessant shake presentation in five to eight feet of water.

I caught one largemouth bass along about a 50-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows that were entwined with wads of filamentous algae. The largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD MinnowZ rig adjacent to the outside edge of a patch of American water willow in about 2 ½ feet of water.

Along portions of a massive shoreline inside this major feeder-creek arm, I caught six largemouth bass. This shoreline has a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a bit of silt. The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows, a few stumps, many laydowns, several piles of brush, and much of it is coated with wads of filamentous algae. All six of the largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnowZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. They were caught in proximity to the outside edges of the patches of American water willows.

In short, it was a sorry three hours of Midwest finesse fishing. I was hoping to tangle with at least 15 largemouth bass an hour. I fear there is something awry with the largemouth bass population in this state reservoir.

May 6

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 6 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 54 degrees at 7:52 a.m. and 67 degrees at 5:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the northeast, north, northwest, and east at 5 to 10 mph. The sky was overcast. It rained .42 of an inch during the nighttime hours of May 5 and 6. The barometric pressure was 29.77 at 12:52 a.m., 29.88 at 5:52 a.m., 29.84 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.86 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 20 inches above normal. The water exhibited more than six feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 59 to 60 degrees. This reservoir's underwater terrain is endowed with outstanding patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, curly-leaf pondweed, and sago pondweed. Its shorelines are adorned with massive patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are enmeshed with wads of filamentous algae.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 3:22 a.m. to 5:22 a.m., 3:47 p.m. to 5:47 p.m., and 9:34 a.m. to 11:34 a.m.

In a way, this was an encore outing at the state reservoir that Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and Ned fished on May 3, which was when we caught 116 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two bluegill, and 13 crappie in three hours and 50 minutes. Normally, we would not fish the same reservoir twice in a week, but our other nearby reservoirs had been riled by the recent rains, and the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass fishing has been sorry in most of them.

Therefore, our aim was to fish for just two hours with hopes of tangling with 50 largemouth bass. And to our delight, we caught 60 largemouth bass, seven crappie, and one bluegill in two hours and one minute. Fifty-nine of the largemouth bass, all of the crappie, and the bluegill were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. We caught 31 largemouth bass during the first 40 minutes of this outing.

We made our first casts at 2:10 p.m. and our last ones upon catching largemouth bass number 60 at 4:11 p.m.

Around one main-lake point and both of its adjacent shorelines, we caught 35 largemouth bass. The underwater terrain of this locale consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, a rock fence, a house foundation, and a barn foundation. Some of this terrain is enhanced with patches of curly-leaf pondweed, coontail, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is embellished with many patches of winter-dead American water willows, which are entwined with wads of filamentous algae. This area has a 45- to 50-degree slope. Six of the 35 largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of our Finesse ShadZ rigs in four to five feet of water. Two were caught on a short deadstick presentation in six to 10 feet of water. One was caught on our TRD MinnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The others were caught while we employed a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in five to 11 feet of water. They were caught within a foot or two from the outside edges of the patches of the winter-dead American water willows to about 20 feet from the water's edges. Some were caught around the rocks and boulders. Some were caught around the patches of curly-leaf pondweed and wads of filamentous algae.

Around another main-lake point and a short section of its adjacent shoreline, we caught seven largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which are adorned with several patches of curly-leaf pondweed and wads of filamentous algae. It possesses a 30- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is embellished with patches of winter-dead American water willows and one massive laydown. The largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs. Three were caught on the initial drop of our Finesse ShadZ rigs in about four feet of water, and the others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two were caught around the inside edges of the submerged patches of curly-leaf pondweeds, and two were caught on the top of the submerged wads of filamentous algae with our Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation.

Around the spillway and about a 20-foot section of the dam, we caught four largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The spillway has a 20- to 25- degree slope; the dam has a 45- to 50-degree slope. Portions of the underwater terrain of this area are embellished with patches of coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is adorned with some patches of winter-dead American water willows. The four largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in three to six feet of water.

Around one main-lake point and its adjacent main-lake shoreline, we caught 18 largemouth bass. The shoreline looks to be almost two hundred yards long. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and scores of humongous boulders, which are occasionally entwined with minor patches of coontail and curly-leaf pondweed. It possesses about a 45- to 80-degree slope. Portions of the water's edge are adorned with significant patches of winter-dead American water willows and several laydowns. These largemouth bass were caught on our Finesse ShadZ rigs. Five were caught on the initial drop. Two were caught on a deadstick presentation. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. They were caught in about four to 10 feet of water.

In conclusion, this was Pat's first outing since April 26, and she was delighted to help catch an average of 30 largemouth bass an hour.

May 10

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 10 outing with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

On May 3, Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas, and I enjoyed a splendid six-hour outing at a scenic Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma. During this May 3 outing, we tussled with 137 smallmouth bass, eight spotted bass, and six largemouth bass.

On May 10, Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, and I returned to the same Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in south-central Oklahoma that Norman and I fished on May 3. We were not expecting another triple-digit numbers outing like the one Norman and I enjoyed on May 3, but we did set a reasonable goal of catching 40 smallmouth bass in six hours for this May 10 excursion.

The sky was overcast. The barometric pressure was steady at 29.98. The wind was quite brisk and quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 20 to 25 mph. The morning low temperature was 69 degrees, and the afternoon high reached 91 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the fishing would be poor. It also indicated that the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 12:34 a.m. to 2:34 a.m., 6:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., and 7:08 p.m. to 9:08 p.m. We fished from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The water had cleared significantly since May 3 and exhibited between four feet of clarity inside a large bay on the west side of the reservoir to seven feet of visibility in the main-lake areas. The water level was about three feet high. The surface temperature ranged from 73 to 76 degrees.

We targeted the post-spawn smallmouth bass inside one cove and two secondary points inside a large bay, around two main-lake humps, nine prominent main-lake points and sections of their adjoining shorelines in the middle portion of the reservoir's west tributary arm. In the reservoir's east tributary arm, we dissected one main-lake point, a 40-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, and a main-lake flat.

During this six-hour endeavor, the black-bass fishing was the most bountiful that either of us have ever experienced. Though the peppy wind was problematic and played havoc with our boat control, we still had a marvelous time catching and releasing 168 black bass, which consisted of 162 smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, and three spotted bass. We also caught two white bass that were mixed in with a school of smallmouth bass.

One-hundred-and-seven of these black bass were caught during the first four hours of this outing. This achieved the elusive Midwest finesse goal of "Bass Fishing 101" or 101 black bass in four hours. Our hourly catch rate totaled 28 black bass per hour, which is virtually unheard of in our neck of the woods. We also temporarily hooked, then lost, another dozen or so smallmouth bass.

We caught two smallmouth bass on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; four smallmouth bass were tempted by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin finesse TRD rigged on a 1/16-ounce chartreuse OG Mushroom Jighead; eight smallmouth bass were enticed by a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead; 10 smallmouth bass, one spotted bass, and one largemouth bass were induced by a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ attached on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead; and 138 smallmouth bass, two largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and two white bass were allured by a three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ fastened on a black 3/32-ounce OG Mushroom Jighead. We failed to elicit any strikes on a Z-Man's Canada-craw Finesse TRD rigged on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin OG Mushroom Jighead.

All of these Midwest finesse rigs were employed with a steady swimming retrieve, which was the only effective presentation during this outing.

In the middle portion of the east tributary arm, we caught 16 smallmouth bass. Two were caught in less than five feet of water from a shallow mud flat adorned with thick patches of stickups. They were abiding about 10 to 15 feet from the outside edges of two large patches of stickups. The other 14 smallmouth bass that were caught in the east tributary arm, and another 146 smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and two white bass that were caught in the west tributary arm, were all abiding in four to 12 feet of water and relating to the deep-water sides of shallow rock ledges. These ledges are covered with two to four feet of water and drop sharply into 20-plus feet of water. Two of the ledges are situated on the sides of the two rocky main-lake humps, others are located on one side of the nine main-lake points. But the most productive ones are situated 10 to 40 feet from the water's edges of the main-lake shorelines. All of these ledges were wind-blown and being pummeled with white-capped waves. They are also graced with an abundance of submerged boulders, chunk rocks, and gravel.

In conclusion, we were able to establish a finesse swimbait bite for the first time at this reservoir with a moderate-paced swimming retrieve with the three-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Slim SwimZ rig, which helped us to cover more water in less time, and catch more black bass in less time than we can using what we consider to be slower-presentation lures such as Z-Man's Finesse TRDs, TRD TicklerZs, Finesse ShadZs, and Finesse WormZs that we mostly employ with either a slow swimming retrieve, a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve, a hop-and-bounce retrieve, a drag-and-shake retrieve, or a slow drag-and-deadstick retrieve.

Also, this colossal catch not only set a new numbers record for us at this reservoir for the second time in seven days, but it also set our new personal-best number's record that includes all the federal, state, and community waterways that we have ever fished.

As the water temperature approaches 80 degrees, we know we don't have much longer to take advantage of this outstanding smallmouth bass fishing, but we will try to make the most of it while we can.

May 7, 10, and 11

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted two briefs and one log on the Finesse News Network about three outings that occurred on May 7, 10, and 11 at three community reservoirs in northeastern Kansas.

Here is an edited version of the briefs and log.

The black bass fishing was so wretched on May 7 and May 10 that it was impossible for me to compile a traditional FNN log about those endeavors. So, here are two brief descriptions of what transpired.

On May 7, our grandson Brady Cayton of Lawrence, Kansas, and I were hoping to tangle with a significant number of smallmouth bass. We fished from noon to 2:55 p.m. at a community reservoir and failed to hook a smallmouth bass.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 53 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 76 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind was calm from midnight to 4:53 p.m., and then it angled out of the southeast at 9 to 21 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.89 at 12:53 a.m., 29.89 at 5:53 a.m., 29.89 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.86 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 24 inches above normal. The water exhibited from eight inches to four feet of visibility. The upper portions of the feeder-creek arms were stained from a recent deluge. The surface temperature ranged from 60 to 61 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:15 a.m. to 6:15 a.m., 4:40 p.m. to 6:40 p.m., and 10:27 a.m. to 12:27 p.m.

We eked out four largemouth bass from a submerged rock wall. This is an offshore locale in the lower third of this reservoir, and it traditionally yields an array of smallmouth bass during the last week of April and the first week of May. These largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom jighead with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in four to six feet of water.

We failed to elicit a strike along another submerged rock wall, along two main-lake shorelines, around three main-lake points, and along a 100-yard segment of the riprap-laden shoreline of the dam.

Inside a large feeder-creek arm in the lower quarter of this reservoir, we caught five largemouth bass. Two were caught on back-to-back casts around a secondary point. They were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The other three were caught on our Junebug Finesse ShadZ rigs along about a 300-yard stretch of a shoreline in four to six feet of water inside this feeder-creek arm.

The tenth largemouth bass was caught inside a small feeder-creek arm in the lower third of the reservoir. It was caught on the Junebug Finesse ShadZ rig along a shoreline about halfway inside this feeder-creek arm. It was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a patch of winter-dead American water willows in four feet of water.

Besides the horrific smallmouth bass fishing, the never-ending 21-mph wind gusts made this endeavor quite chaotic.

On May 10, I ventured to another community reservoir.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 78 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 92 degrees at 3:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the south at 9 to 28 mph. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to fair to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 29.75 at 12:52 a.m., 29.77 at 5:52 a.m., 29.90 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.90 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 10 inches above normal. The water exhibited from 12 inches to 3 1/2 feet of visibility. The upper portions of the feeder-creek arms were stained from a recent rain. The surface temperature was 70 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 6:38 a.m. to 8:38 a.m., 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and 12:26 a.m. to 2:26 a.m.

I fished from noon to 2:35 p.m. and struggled to catch 12 largemouth bass. And I accidentally caught four crappie and 15 green sunfish.

One largemouth bass was caught along about a 25-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline adjacent to the reservoir's spillway. It was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a 1/15-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water.

The spillway was fruitless for largemouth bass.

Along the shoreline of the dam, which is more than 200 yards long, I caught six largemouth bass. They were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. Two were caught on the initial drop adjacent to patches of winter-dead American water willows in about four feet of water. One was caught around the rock-laden area that supports the outlet tower, and it was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. The other three were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation near patches of winter-dead American water willows in about five to seven feet of water.

Along a very short main-lake shoreline at the end of the dam and along about a 200-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm that is adjacent to the dam, it was a struggle to catch four largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's coppertreuse TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead in about five feet of water near a patch of winter-dead American water willows. The other three were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to seven feet of water around the underwater terrain that consists of gravel, rocks, and humongous boulders, which is graced with some patches of Eurasian milfoil.

I failed to catch a largemouth bass along another shoreline inside this large feeder-creek arm.

Around three main-lake points, along about a 75-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, and along about a 125-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, I failed to catch a largemouth bass.

I eked out two largemouth bass on two back-to-back casts along about a 300-yard shoreline inside a primary feeder-creek arm. They were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and nearly 20 feet from the water's edge.

It was a perplexing and disheartening two hours and 35 minutes. But I was delighted to cross paths with patches of Eurasian milfoil, bushy pondweed, and curly-leaf pondweed, which spawned a hope in my heart that this reservoir's black bass fishing will enjoy a renaissance, and we will be able to occasionally tangle with 101 largemouth bass in four hours as we used to do before the reservoir's managers spent nearly a decade of spraying aquatic herbicides.

On May 11 my cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and I ventured to one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 73 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 89 degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 6 to 23 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being occasionally cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:53 a.m., 30.04 at 5:53 a.m., 30.06 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.04 at 3:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be several inches above normal. The water exhibited from 15 inches to almost four feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 70 to 73 degrees. Until the pace of the wind picked up, a significant algal bloom was erupting along portions of the dam around 10:00 a.m., but around 2:00 p.m. there was no sign of this bloom. We crossed paths with many burgeoning patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, and curly-leaf pondweed. Duckweed is also beginning to flourish. Wads of filamentous algae are embellishing much of the shallow-water environs of this reservoir. Many of our retrieves became entangled with these wads. During several of our entanglements with this reservoir's largemouth bass, they became almost totally enmeshed with filamentous algae, and it was a chore to remove these wads from the fish's torsos and our lines. Its patches of American water willows are sprouting green leaves. We counted 34 dead channel catfish that were littering various shorelines around this reservoir.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:49 a.m. to 9:49 a.m., 7:41 p.m. to 9:41 p.m., and 1:08 a.m. to 3:08 a.m.

We made our first casts at 9:50 a.m. and our last ones at 1:50 p.m.

This was a more fruitful outing than the May 7 and 10 outings. But it was far from equaling the catch that Rick and I enjoyed on May 3, which was when we tangled 116 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass in three hours and 50 minutes at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

During the first 110 minutes of this outing, we struggled to catch 10 largemouth bass. But during the last 130 minutes, we caught 30 largemouth bass, and largemouth bass number 40 was inveigled as we made our last casts and retrieves at 1:50 p.m.

Along the shoreline of this reservoir's dam, we caught four largemouth bass. This shoreline is about 100 yards long, and it has a 50- to 60-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are laced with patches of filamentous algae and a few burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. The water's edge is endowed with patches of American water willows that are entwined with filamentous algae, a concrete outlet tower, and some minor piles of brush. These largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a 1/32-ounce chartreuse Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three were caught on the initial drop of this rig adjacent to the patches of American water willows in about four feet of water. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake of this rig around a patch of coontail and wads of filamentous algae in six to seven feet of water.

Along a shoreline that is immediately adjacent to the dam, we caught one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are embellished with patches of submerged aquatic vegetation and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, one laydown, and a dock; massive wads of filamentous algae are coating the American water willows, the laydown, and parts of the dock. The largemouth bass was caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around the patches of submerged aquatic vegetation in about seven feet of water.

One largemouth bass was caught along an offshore ledge in the lower quarter of the reservoir. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and an array of humongous boulders, which are laced with wads of filamentous algae and a few burgeoning patches of submerged aquatic vegetation. It possesses a 20- to 25-degree slope. This largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water and 25 feet from the water's edge.

We fished around three main-lake points and along a massive shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. The underwater terrains of these locales consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are adorned with occasional patches of coontail and bushy pondweed. They possess a 25- to 50-degree slope. The water's edges consist of occasional patches of American water willows, some laydowns, one stone bridge, 19 docks, several overhanging trees, and several concrete and rock retaining walls. Wads of filamentous algae clutter much of the underwater environs. Along this vast terrain, it was a struggle for us to catch four largemouth bass. Two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig around a patch of coontail and filamentous algae in three feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the TRD MinnnowZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation; one was caught near a patch of American water willows and the beginning of a concrete retaining wall in about four feet of water; the second one was caught around patches of coontail in about six feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We fished around two main-lake points and along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir. We caught six largemouth bass along the shoreline and four around one of the points. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are occasionally laced with coontail. It possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. The water's edge is cluttered with 22 docks, several patches of American water willows, a few overhanging trees, some piles of brush, a few laydowns, and many concrete and rock retaining walls. Wads of filamentous algae seem to be clinging to all of the shallow-water objects. Along the shoreline, we caught six largemouth bass. Four of them were caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse TRD affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to seven feet of water, ranging from three to almost 20 feet from the water's edge, and two were caught adjacent to a dock. Two of the six largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig on patches of coontail. Around one of the points, we caught four largemouth bass. Three were caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig adjacent to patches of American water willows in about 3 ½ feet of water. One was caught on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a pile of rocks and patches of coontail.

We ended the outing by fishing around one main-lake point and along three sections of another shoreline in the middle section of the reservoir. This shoreline is graced with three tertiary points, many concrete and retaining walls, piles of rocks and boulders, 27 docks, several laydowns, some overhanging trees, and patches of American water willows. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are endowed with patches of coontail and bushy pondweed. Along this massive area, we caught 20 largemouth bass. Eleven were caught on the Finesse TRD rig, and nine were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig. One largemouth bass was caught on an accidental deadstick presentation in about 12 feet of water along the outside edge of one of the docks. Four were caught as we were employing a swim-glide-and-shake presentation adjacent to the sides of three of the docks in about six to 11 feet of water. Five were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in four to six feet of water. The others were caught as we employed a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to 10 feet of water around patches of coontail.

May 11

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief about his May 11 outing to one of northeastern Kansas' power-plant reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 73 degrees at 6:53 a.m. and 89 degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 6 to 23 mph. The sky fluctuated from being fair to being occasionally cluttered with a few clouds. The barometric pressure was 30.02 at 12:53 a.m., 30.04 at 5:53 a.m., 30.06 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.04 at 3:53 p.m.
In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:49 a.m. to 9:49 a.m., 7:41 p.m. to 9:41 p.m., and 1:08 a.m. to 3:08 a.m.

The surface temperature was 73 degrees along the dam, which was significantly warmer than it was a week ago. I suspect they opened the gates of the spillway to flush out all the rainwater that followed into the reservoir during last week's massive thunderstorms. Therefore, the water level was about six inches above normal. The water exhibited a dingy appearance and about 12 inches of visibility.

I launched my boat at 7:00 a.m., and I was the first one, and when I put the boat on my trailer, there was only one trailer and tow vehicle in the parking lot, which might be a reflection of how difficult the fishing has become at this reservoir during the past 10 years.

I spent seven hours fishing the riprap shorelines around the power plant, along the dam, and along a roadway.

I caught 10 largemouth bass, and inadvertently caught 14 channel catfish, eight crappie, three green sunfish, and two freshwater drum.

My most effective Midwest finesse rigs were a Z-Man's California-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig.

The largemouth bass were caught in two to eight feet of water. I caught them while I executed casts that were perpendicular to the shorelines and retrieved the rigs with a swim-and-glide presentation with an occasional twitch.

May 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 11 outing with Roger Farish of Highland Village, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

I consider bass fishing to be one of those Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde type of sports. One trip, you can do no wrong. You're catching bass at a hand-over-fist pace like they are being divvied out from a candy Pez dispenser. The next trip, you can't do anything right, and you're left scratching your head and thinking your time would have been better spent watching wet paint dry.

A good example of this analogy occurred on April 28, when Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas, and I travelled to a U.S. Army Corps' of Engineers hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas. I have not fished at this impoundment in over 30 years, and Bear had never fished there. It was a wretched Mr. Hyde-type day of fishing; we caught only one largemouth bass in five hours. Then on May 10, we travelled to a Civilian Conservation Corps' hill-land reservoir in southern Oklahoma. It turned out to be a Dr. Jekyll-type of outing, and we could do no wrong. We caught a total of 162 smallmouth bass, three largemouth bass, and three spotted bass in six hours. Go figure.

From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 11, Roger Farish and I fished at a popular and challenging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex area.

It was sunny, humid, and windy. The morning low temperature was 74 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature reached 95 degrees. A blustery wind quartered out of the southeast at 18 to 25 mph. And while we were afloat, the barometric pressure remained steady at 29.94.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 1:15 a.m. to 3:15 a.m., 7:26 a.m. to 9:26 a.m., and 7:49 p.m. to 9:49 p.m. It also indicated that the fishing would be poor.

The black-bass fishing was ho-hum at best. And when the black-bass fishing becomes too trying, we split our time between pursing black bass and white bass. This was another outing where we spent the first four hours searching for largemouth and spotted bass, and the last hour we devoted to chasing white bass.

During the first four hours that we searched for black bass, we had a difficult time locating any significant aggregations of threadfin shad, which is a key element for us in locating appreciable numbers of black bass during the warm-weather months of the year. We targeted mostly black-bass lairs in the main-lake area such as main-lake points, long main-lake shorelines, two riprap-laden embankments on each end of an overpass bridge, pea-gravel and chunk-rock flats, and the perimeter of an island. But we also dissected quite a few secondary points, several concrete boat ramps, and a couple of minor gravel-and-rock flats in the upper and midsections of two minor feeder-creek arms.

All of these areas are situated in a major tributary arm in the southwest region of the reservoir, and the bulk of them were devoid of bass.

The underwater terrains of these areas are similar and consist of red clay, pea-gravel, baseball-size rocks, and a few submerged boulders. The majority of the shorelines' terrestrial vegetation is now partially flooded from recent rains and encircled with water as shallow as 12 inches and as deep as two feet.

The recent rains have also raised the water level to 1.35 feet above its normal level. The water clarity varied from 14 to 24 inches. The surface temperature ranged from 76 to 82 degrees.

We caught one spotted bass and one largemouth bass in less than five feet of water from two clay-and-gravel main-lake shorelines on the south side of the tributary arm. These two shorelines are about a mile apart from each other. The spotted bass was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The largemouth bass was caught on a steady swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.

One largemouth bass was caught near the riprap of an embankment on the south end of a large overpass bridge. Another largemouth bass was caught from around the riprap of the embankment on the north end of the same bridge. Both of them were abiding in about four feet of water and within 10 feet of the water's edge. They were coaxed into striking a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead that was employed with a slow swim-glide-and shake presentation.

Two rocky secondary points inside one minor feeder-creek arm surrendered only two large bluegills that were caught in three to five feet of water on a steady swimming retrieve with the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig. We failed to catch any largemouth bass or spotted bass from this creek arm and from the secondary points and boat ramps that are situated in the midsection and lower ends of a second minor creek arm.

Along a flat clay-and-gravel main-lake shoreline just north of the overpass bridge, we caught two largemouth bass. These bass were relating to a couple of small patches of large rocks in three to five feet of water and about 15 to 20 feet from the water's edge. They were bewitched by the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming presentation.

At this point, we had fished for four hours and caught only five largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and two large bluegills. So, we decided to take a break from the tediously slow black-bass fishing and spent the last 60 minutes of this outing pursuing white bass.

We stumbled upon a minor wind-blown main-lake flat on the north side of the tributary arm. This flat is about the size of two tennis courts. It is adorned with some patches of partially-flooded bushes and stickups. There were also several small pods of threadfin shad abiding on this flat, and some of them were flittering on the surface around the flooded bushes and stickups in two to six feet of water.

Across this flat, we caught six white bass, three hybrid-stripers, three dinky spotted bass, and three small largemouth bass. They were associated with the outside edges of the flooded bushes and stickups in less than six feet of water. They were all caught on the 2 1/2-inch pearl Slim SwimZ rig and a steady swimming retrieve.

In closing, this outing leaned more to the side of a Mr. Hyde-type of outing. We can only surmise that the largemouth bass and spotted bass that inhabit this reservoir are in a post-spawn funk, but we did not see any signs of small bass fry anywhere in this reservoir to validate this assumption.

May 13

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 13 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Summer is just around the corner, and the weather is already becoming more humid with daytime temperatures heating up into the mid- to upper-90s in north-central Texas.

On May 13, the morning low temperature was 70 degrees. The afternoon high temperature reached 97 degrees. (The average low temperature for north-central Texas on May 13 is 64 degrees, and the average high temperature is 84 degrees.) The wind quartered out of the south-by-southwest at 10 to 15 mph, which is the lowest wind velocity we have seen in quite some time. The barometric pressure measured 29.87 at 7:00 a.m., and it dropped slightly to 29.85 by noon. The sky was partly cloudy. and there was no shortage of bright sunshine.

The black-bass fishing in north-central Texas has been mostly below-average so far this year. So, Norman and I thought we would try to find more bountiful black-bass fishing at one of several popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

We fished from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the prime fishing periods would most likely occur from 1:55 a.m. to 3:55 a.m., 8:06 a.m. to 10:06 a.m., and 8:29 p.m. to 10:29 p.m.

This reservoir's water level was normal. The water displayed 2 1/2 feet of clarity. The water temperature ranged from 74 degrees to 77 degrees.

The underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, pea gravel, rocks of all shapes and sizes, and an abundance of large boulders. In many areas of the reservoir, there are acres of thick stands of flooded timber, laydowns, stumps, brush piles, and buck brush.

Along a 25-yard stretch of a riprap-laden shoreline just inside the mouth of a small main-lake cove where we launched the boat, we caught two largemouth bass in three to six feet of water. We also dissected an adjacent 50-yard section of a main-lake shoreline just outside of this cove, but we failed to elicit any strikes from it.

We caught three largemouth bass and one spotted bass inside a large feeder-creek arm in the southeast end of the reservoir. Two of these four black bass were caught in two to five feet of water from the perimeter of an island in the lower section of the creek arm. The other two were caught along a flat gravel- and boulder- laden shoreline at the mouth of the creek arm in three to eight feet of water. We failed to locate any black bass around three steep and rocky secondary points in the mid- and upper sections of the creek arm, on an offshore rock pile in the creek arm's midsection, and along a 50-yard stretch of a gravel-and-rock shoreline adjacent to the rock pile.

Two largemouth bass were caught in four to seven feet of water and in close proximity to another 30-yard segment of a riprap-covered main-lake shoreline adjacent to the dam on the south end of the impoundment. They were abiding in three to five feet of water. We also fished around three bluff-like main-lake points just north of the riprap shoreline, but we did not locate any black bass around any of them.

In the center portion of the dam, we caught a combination of nine largemouth and spotted bass, one crappie and one channel catfish.

Six of these back bass were suspended about eight feet below the surface in 53 feet of water and were relating to the sides of the concrete walls of a large water-outlet tower. The other three were caught in three to six feet of water along a 45-yard section of riprap of the dam.

In the lower end of a minor creek arm in the south end of the west tributary arm, we failed to catch a largemouth bass or spotted bass. But we did battle a gargantuan carp that was too large for us to net or hoist into the boat. After wrestling with this monster for about seven to 10-minutes, it finally broke our eight-pound-test leader while we were attempting to net the fish.

At the mouth of another large feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the east tributary arm, we investigated a flat main-lake entry point, a shallow rock ledge that runs parallel to this point and leads into the lower end of the feeder-creek, and a steeply-sloped rocky secondary point. This area yielded two largemouth bass and two spotted bass. One largemouth bass was caught from the end of the main-lake entry point in eight feet of water; one largemouth bass and one spotted were caught about 75 to 100 feet inside the entrance to the creek arm from the deep-water side of the shallow rock ledge in four to seven feet of water; and one spotted bass was caught in five feet of water from one side of the rocky secondary point. We did not go any further back in this creek arm.

We finished the last couple of hours of this outing at the north end of the east shoreline of the east tributary arm. There, we fished in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 12 feet around five flat main-lake points and two long gravel-and-chunk-rock shorelines. We failed to encounter any black bass, and we garnered only one freshwater drum from one of the main-lake points.

In sum, I have not fished at this reservoir since April 18, when Bill Kenney of Denton and I caught a total of 20 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and one spotted-bass hybrid in seven hours. Norman and I fished for five hours during this May 13 outing, and it was a chore for us to catch 15 largemouth bass and six spotted bass. We also crossed paths with one white bass, one crappie, one channel catfish, three freshwater drum, and one humongous carp. All of the black bass were caught during the first three hours that we were afloat. We caught only one freshwater drum during the last two hours.

We wielded nine Midwest finesse rigs, and six of them were productive. A combination of seven largemouth and spotted bass were tempted by a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat that was matched with a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and employed with a slow and steady-swimming retrieve. Four were coaxed into striking a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a steady-swimming retrieve. Three were allured by a steady-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD rigged on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake finesse mushroom-style jig. Three more bass were enticed by a shortened Z-Man's Canada-craw Hula StickZ fastened to a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake finesse mushroom-style jig that was implemented with a slow-swimming presentation. Two were induced by a steady-swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ affixed on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake finesse mushroom-style jig, and the last two preferred a Z-Man's blue-steel Finesse ShadZ matched with a blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

May 14

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 14 outing with their grandson Brady Cayton of Lawrence, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 60 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 89 degrees at 5:52 p.m. The wind was calm, but occasionally a mild-mannered breeze angled out of the north, northwest, east, and southeast at 3 to 6 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.95 at 12:52 a.m., 29.94 at 5:52 a.m., 29.99 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.92 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about 24 inches above normal. The water exhibited from five to six feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 78 to 81 degrees. (It is interesting to note that the surface temperature at this reservoir eight days ago ranged from 59 to 60 degrees.) This reservoir's underwater terrain is endowed with outstanding patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, curly-leaf pondweed, and sago pondweed. Its shorelines are adorned with massive patches of American water willows, which are beginning to exhibit their springtime growth. The American water willows are enmeshed with wads of filamentous algae, and there are wads of filamentous algae clinging to various kinds of underwater objects.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:23 a.m. to 11:23 a.m., 9:48 p.m. to 11:48 p.m., and 3:10 a.m. to 5:10 a.m.

This is the same reservoir that Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, and Ned fished on May 3, which was when they caught 116 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, two bluegill, and 13 crappie in three hours and 50 minutes. And Pat and Ned fished it on May 6 and caught 60 largemouth bass in two hours and one minute.

May 14 was the first warm and windless Saturday in 2022. Consequently, the parking lot at the boat ramp was overflowing with tow vehicles and trailers. What's more, scores of anglers were walking and standing along several of the shorelines and riprap jetties.

Even though Saturdays are the only days of the week that Brady has time to fish, we opted to make this outing a short one. We made our first casts at noon and our final ones at 1:49 p.m., and our catch rate was a far cry from the ones on May 3 and May 6. We caught 14 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass, and we accidentally caught seven crappie, and two green sunfish.

They were caught on three Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's Canada-craw Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Along a main-lake shoreline adjacent to the spillway, we caught one smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass. This shoreline is about 50 yards long and has a 35- to 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this terrain is entwined with bushy pondweed, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is graced with patches of American water willows and several laydowns, which are engulfed by wads of filamentous algae. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig in about four feet of water near a patch of American water willows, a wad of filamentous algae, and some curly-leaf pondweed. The green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD with a deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water caught one largemouth bass. The Canada-craw Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation around a patch of curly-leaf pondweed caught a largemouth bass in about seven feet of water. The Finesse ShadZ rig with a very slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation caught two largemouth bass in seven to nine feet of water.

One largemouth was caught around a main-lake point. It has a 50-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and some of this terrain is quilted with bushy pondweed, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with a magnificent patch of American waters willows, which are covered with wads of filamentous algae. The largemouth bass was caught on the Canada-craw Finesse TRD rig while strolling with a drag-and-shake presentation in about 12 feet of water.

We caught five largemouth bass around a secondary point and along about a 200-yard section of a shoreline inside a major feeder-creek arm. This shoreline has a 25- to 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, and many of them are adorned with patches of curly-leaf pondweeds and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with patches of American water willows, which are covered with wads of filamentous algae. Two of the largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig in four to six feet of water between the patches of American water willows and patches of curly-leaf pondweeds; one was caught on a deadstick presentation, and the other one was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation; one was caught parallel to the inside edge of a massive patch of curly-leaf pondweeds, and the other two were caught in the gaps between the patches of American water willows and patches of curly-leaf pondweeds.

Around another main-lake point, we caught one largemouth bass. This point has a 45- to 50- degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, boulders, a house foundation, and a barn foundation. This terrain is endowed with some patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is lined with a magnificent patch of American water willows and several laydowns, which are covered with wads of filamentous algae. The largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about 12 feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass around another main-lake point. It has about a 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and some boulders, and most of them are adorned with patches of curly-leaf pondweeds and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is bejeweled with a stellar patch of American water willows, which are virtually concealed with wads of filamentous algae. The Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation caught the largemouth bass in about seven feet of water around a humongous patch of curly-leaf pondweed.

Two largemouth bass were caught along about a 100-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline that is enhanced with two riprap jetties. It has a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are bestowed with patches of curly-leaf pondweed, coontail, bushy pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edge is dressed with several patches of American water willows, a few laydowns, and some minor piles of brush. One on the largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD rig in about four feet of water near a patch of American water willows, a wad of filamentous algae, and some curly-leaf pondweed. The second largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water about a patch of curly-leaf pondweed.

As we were making our last casts of the very short outing, the three of us confessed it seemed to be the longest and strangest one hour and 49 minutes that we have ever fished. Patty and Brady thought that the unseasonably warm weather played a role in making a strange endeavor. What's more, we were hoping that we would catch at least 20 black bass an hour rather than an average of just eight an hour, and that disappointment played a role in making an odd and uncomfortable outing. On top of that, I broke a spinning rod.

May 16

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' federal reservoirs on May 16.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 51 degrees at 5:52 a.m. and 81 degrees at 4:52 p.m. The wind fluctuated from being calm to angling out of the north and northwest at 3 to 8 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.03 at 12:52 a.m., 30.06 at 5:52 a.m., 30.08 at 11:52 a.m., and 30.00 at 3:52 p.m.

The water level was 2.76 feet above normal. The water in the lower 15 percent of this reservoir exhibited from about 15 inches to four feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 70 degrees.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:08 p.m. to 1:08 a.m., 4:54 a.m. to 6:54 a.m., and 5.23 p.m. to 7:23 p.m.

This was my first outing at a federal reservoir in 2022.

Before Bob picked me up, he had been fishing since 6:30 a.m., and he had caught one smallmouth bass and seven largemouth bass. The largemouth bass were caught along the riprap shorelines of a massive causeway, and the smallmouth bass was caught around a main-lake point.

I hopped onto Bob's boat around 9:00 a.m., and we made our first casts at 9:08 a.m. along about a 60-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm. This shoreline used to yield a goodly number of black bass in springs of the past, but it yielded only one crappie.

We caught four smallmouth bass around a massive pile of humongous boulders adjacent to a relatively flat main-lake shoreline. Two were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-slight-shake presentation in four to six feet of water. One was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in about six feet of water. The fourth smallmouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Junebug TRD TicklerZ affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. These smallmouth bass were many yards from the water's edge.

Around a massive main-lake point, we caught two smallmouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel rocks, humongous boulders, and the remnants of a farm silo. It possesses a 25-degree slope, and a portion of it has a ledge that quickly plummets into deep water. The two smallmouth bass were caught on the Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a very slow swim-glide-and-subtle-twitch presentation. One was caught in about four feet of water, and the other one was caught in 10 to 12 feet of water. These smallmouth bass were caught many yards from the water's edge.

Around another main-lake point, we caught four smallmouth bass. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel rocks, gravel, boulders, and the remnants of a farmstead. Parts of it possess a 25-degree slope, and parts have a 45-degree slope and quickly drop into deep water. One smallmouth bass was caught on the Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ rig with a very slow swim-glide-and-subtle-twitch presentation in about six feet of water. Three were caught on the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. These smallmouth bass were caught many yards from the water's edge.

We caught one smallmouth bass around a flat point about a quarter of a mile inside a major feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It has a 25- to 30-degree slope. The smallmouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig in about three feet of water around several boulders. It was caught about five feet from the water's edge.

Along a steep shoreline adjacent to the riprap shorelines of a massive causeway, we caught one largemouth bass. This causeway is situated about 1 ½ miles inside this large feeder-creek arm. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel rocks, gravel, boulders, and the remnants of a farmstead. It possesses a 25- to 50-degree slope. This largemouth bass was caught on a drag-and-shake presentation with the Junebug TRD TicklerZ rig in about 12 feet of water.

We fished along two long stretches of the riprap shorelines of the causeway. It possesses a 35- to 50-degree slope. We eked out three largemouth bass. One was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water and 20 feet from the water's edge. Two were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ rig affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to six feet of water.

I had to head home at noon. It was a difficult and puzzling 172 minutes of fishing. Bob is a Midwest finesse lunker hunter, and I am a Midwest finesse numbers hunter. Neither one of us met our goals. It was a task to catch 11 smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass, and we also accidentally caught five crappie, four green sunfish, two freshwater drum, one channel catfish, and one white bass.

Periodically throughout this outing, Bob and I deliberated about what has happened to the vast numbers of eight- to 12-inch largemouth bass that were washed into this reservoir during the massive flood of 2019. Back in 2020, it was a relatively easy task to catch an average of 10 to 13 largemouth bass an hour. Since 2020, it has become a whale of a chore to catch four largemouth bass an hour.

We also talked about how glad we are that we encouraged and helped Kirk Tjelmeland of Topeka, Kansas, who was the fisheries biologist at this reservoir from 1993 to 2015, to stock it with smallmouth bass. Those original stockings of the smallmouth bass in 2008 and 2009 have proven to be much more procreative than this reservoir's largemouth bass have been for many decades. Starting back in 2009 and up to May 16, 2022, we wish the fisheries biologists would have stocked more smallmouth bass than they did, and now we are hoping that this reservoir's managers will attempt to boost the population of the smallmouth bass by stocking more of them. Back in the 1990s, Leonard Jirak of Hartford, Kansas, taught us how smallmouth bass can procreate and survive in the big flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas, and we need to re-employ his tactics.

After Bob dropped me off at the boat ramp, he fished until 3:00 p.m., and he struggled to catch two smallmouth bass, and they weren't lunkers.

In conclusion, it was a sorry day afloat in the eyes of two veteran Midwest finesse anglers.

May 17

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 11 outing with John Thomas of Denton.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we fished at a state reservoir that is located in the rural countryside of north-central Texas.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the fishing would be average. The best fishing would occur from 6:07 a.m. to 8:07 a.m., 11:51 a.m. to 1:51 p.m., and 12:23 p.m. to 2:23 p.m.

The morning low temperature was 71 degrees, and the afternoon high temperature soared to 99 degrees. It was overcast for most of this outing. The clouds dissipated around 12:30 p.m., and the sun began to shine. The barometric pressure decreased from 29.87 at 8:00 a.m. to 29.84 at 1:00 p.m. The wind quartered out of the east and southeast at 10 to 20 mph.

We concentrated our efforts on two main-lake islands, four rocky main-lake shorelines, four riprap-covered jetties, seven main-lake points, and a portion of a rocky shoreline inside a small bay.

The bulk of this reservoir's shorelines are littered with rocks and boulders. And the entire underwater terrain is composed of mostly red clay, gravel, rocks and boulders. Some of the shorelines are adorned with flooded buck brush, stickups, overhanging trees, and some laydowns. There used to be flourishing patches of hydrilla and American pondweed in the lower end of this reservoir, but they have vanished this year, and we don't have a clue as to what caused their disappearance.

Depending on where we were fishing, the water exhibited between 12 inches and 2 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 77 to 81 degrees. The water level was 3.44 feet below its normal pool level.

One of the two islands that we investigated is located in the southeast end of the reservoir. Its shoreline is flat and laden with rocks and boulders. The east side of the island had a few small pods of three-inch threadfin shad meandering around in three to five feet of water. This island is usually one of our most productive spots in this reservoir, and on this outing, it yielded six largemouth bass, four spotted bass, and one white bass. Ten of these black bass, and the one white bass, were caught in less than five feet of water and within 10 to 15 feet of the water's edge with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The other largemouth bass was induced into striking a 3 1/2-inch Z-Man's white-lightning Trick ShotZ on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead while it was being implemented with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

The other island is situated in the northwest section of the reservoir. Its shoreline is also flat and rocky. There were a few small aggregations of threadfin shad dwelling around a shallow rocky flat on the south and west sides of the island, and this flat yielded four largemouth bass, two spotted bass, one spotted bass-hybrid, and two white bass. These fish were abiding in three to five feet of water, and were attracted to a steady-swimming presentation with the Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat combo.

Two of the riprap jetties, which are situated at the midsection of the reservoir's east shoreline, yielded three spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and two white bass. These fish were caught in three to six feet of water and within 15 feet of the water's edge. Two of the spotted bass, the largemouth bass, and the two white bass were allured by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the 3 1/2-inch white-lightning Trick ShotZ rig. The other spotted bass was caught on a steady-swimming presentation with the pearl Baby Goat rig.

We also investigated the other two riprap jetties. They are located on the north end of the east shoreline. We did not locate any significant concentrations of threadfin shad around either of these two jetties, so we did not spend any time fishing them.

At a rocky main-lake point and a flat 50-yard section of an adjacent rocky shoreline that is also located a short distance from the first set of riprap jetties, we caught two largemouth bass and two spotted bass. They were relating to several large clusters of submerged boulders in four to six feet of water. They were caught on the pearl Baby Goat combo with a steady-swimming retrieve.

The other six main-lake points and the three main-lake shorelines produced seven largemouth bass, two spotted bass, and 19 white bass. Two of these shorelines and all of the main-lake points are flat. The third main-lake shoreline is steeper than the other two, and it has 60- to 80-degree inclines. These shorelines are situated in the upper end of the reservoir. All of them were inhabited with goodly numbers of three-inch threadfin shad. And all of these 28 fish were beguiled by the pearl Baby Goat rig and a steady-swimming presentation.

Our last locale was inside a small bay in the lower end of the reservoir. This bay produced quite a few largemouth bass for us during our recent wintertime excursions in January, February, and early March. But this time, it relinquished only one largemouth bass. It was caught in three feet of water near a large submerged boulder with the pearl Baby Goat rig and a steady-swimming retrieve.

All told, the black-bass fishing was better than we expected. We caught a total of 35 back bass and 22 white bass. Twenty-one of the black bass were largemouth bass, 13 were spotted bass, and one was a spotted-bass hybrid. We also inadvertently tangled with 22 white bass.

There were several other main-lake shorelines, flats, and points that we scanned with our 2-D and side-imaging sonar units. These areas were entertaining good concentrations of threadfin shad, but we failed to locate any black bass around the shad.

Our most effective lure was the Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Our most potent presentation was a steady-swimming retrieve.

May 18

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

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 64 degrees at 6:52 a.m. and 85 degrees at 4:52 p.m. The wind angled out of the west, northwest, north, and east at 6 to 10 mph. It rained 1.46 inches by 3:52 a.m., and then the sky fluctuated from being overcast to being cluttered with a few clouds to partly cloudy to fair. The barometric pressure was 29.81 at 12:52 a.m., 29.87 at 5:52 a.m., 29.74 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.82 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about four feet above normal. The water exhibited from three feet to six feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 75 to 79 degrees. This reservoir's underwater terrain is endowed with submerged patches of coontail, bushy pondweed, and sago pondweed. Massive wads of filamentous algae coat much of the submerged aquatic vegetation, stumps, laydowns, piles of brush, and the patches of American water willows, and some largemouth bass have been abiding around the wads of filamentous algae.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 12:49 a.m. to 2:49 a.m., 1:22 p.m. to 3:22 p.m., and 7:05 a.m. to 9:05 a.m.

I made my first cast at 12: 02 p.m. and the last one at 2:57 p.m.

The first hour was spent fishing inside a tiny feeder-creek arm and across a massive shallow-water flat in the back 10 percent of a major feeder-creek arm.

I caught eight largemouth bass around patches of bushy pondweed and gigantic wads of filamentous algae in five to eight feet of water on a shallow-water flat in the back of the major feeder-creek arm. Three of the eight largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. Five largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation.

Around the point of a riprap jetty at the mouth of a tiny feeder-creek, I caught one largemouth bass on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

Along the shorelines inside the tiny feeder-creek arm, I caught five largemouth bass. These shorelines have a 20- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are coated with patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, and wads of filamentous algae. The water's edges are endowed with patches of American water willows, stumps, laydowns, and wads of filamentous algae. The five largemouth bass were caught around the wads of filamentous algae on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four to seven feet of water.

Along a shoreline and a flat in the back of a medium-size feeder-creek arm, I caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are graced with many patches of bushy pondweed and wads of filamentous algae. The shoreline has a 25-degree slope. And one largemouth bass was caught around the outside edge of a wad of filamentous algae on the Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water. Two largemouth bass were caught on the massive flat in the back of this feeder-creek arm. They were caught around wads of filamentous algae on a Z-Man's Junebug Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four to five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point at the mouth of this large feeder-creek arm, I caught four largemouth bass. This point has a 25-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are enhanced with several piles of brush, patches of bushy pondweed, and wads of filamentous algae. The four largemouth bass were caught on the green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-shake-and-pause presentation around the outside edges of the wads of filamentous algae in about five to six feet of water and many yards from the water's edge.

Along portions of two shorelines and across portions of a massive flat in the back of a primary feeder-creek arm, I caught 14 largemouth bass. The underwater terrains consist of gravel and rocks, which are graced with patches of bushy pondweed, coontail, sago pondweed, and manmade piles of bush. The first shoreline I fished has about a 25-degree slope. The second shoreline has a 25- to 45-degree slope. The water's edges of the shorelines are embellished with occasional patches of American water willows, some laydowns, patches of bushy pondweed and coontail, and wads of filamentous algae.

Along the first shoreline, I caught six largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-shake-and-pause presentation around wads of filamentous algae in five to six feet of water.

Across the massive flat, I caught three largemouth bass on the green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation in seven feet of water around patches of sago pondweed and wads of filamentous algae.

Along the flatter portions of the second shoreline, I caught five largemouth bass. They were caught on the green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation around the wads of filamentous algae in four to seven feet of water.

In total, I fished for two hours and 55 minutes. And I caught 35 largemouth bass, one channel catfish, and three bluegill.

To prevent the Finesse TRD rig and Finesse ShadZ rigs from becoming entangled with the wads of filamentous algae, it was essential to employ a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation at most locales. But there were a few spots where I could execute a pause in that routine, which elicited several strikes.

May 20

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing on May 20 at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

Bob has been dubbed on this network as being a Midwest finesse lunker hunter. But on this outing, he became a primo Midwest finesse numbers hunter.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 63 degrees at 10:53 a.m. and 67 degrees at 4:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the south, southwest, northwest, north, and northeast at 3 to 26 mph. The sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 29.35 at 12:53 a.m., 29.36 at 5:53 a.m., 29.53 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.56 at 2:53 p.m.

The water was surprisingly clear, exhibiting at least seven feet of visibility along the dam. The surface temperature was 73 degrees. The water level looked to be a few inches above normal.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most productive fishing periods would occur from 3:08 a.m. to 5:08 a.m., 3:38 p.m. to 5:38 p.m., and 9:23 a.m. to 11:23 a.m.

I had not fished this reservoir since Ned Kehde and I fished it on Nov. 30, when we caught 72 largemouth bass from 9:50 a.m. to 2:07 p.m.

I made my first cast at 6:30 a.m., and my last one around 1:45 p.m. By the time that I executed my last cast, my fish counter indicated that I had caught 135 largemouth bass, eight smallmouth bass, two crappie, one freshwater drum, and one green sunfish.

Initially, the fishing was slow. The north wind was quite bothersome at many locales. The bite gradually improved and was at its peak during the mid-to-late-morning hours. The best areas were main-lake points and main-lake shorelines. Some of the steeper shorelines are enhanced by scores of laydowns, and around a significant number of the laydowns, I caught three and four largemouth bass.

Overall, the fishing seemed to be extremely easy. I caught these 147 fish in water as shallow as two feet and as deep as 12 feet as I employed a swim-glide-and-subtle-shake presentation. Not one was a lunker. The biggest black bass was a 17-inch largemouth bass.

They were caught on four standard Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ rig affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ on a red 1/10-ounce mushroom-style jig.

May 23

Pat and Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about their May 23 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log

The National Weather Service reported that it was 47 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 68 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the east, southeast, and northeast at 3 to 28 mph. The sky fluctuated from being partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.32 at 12:53 a.m., 30.27 at 5:53 a.m., 30.24 at 11:53 a.m., and 30:13 at 3:53 p.m.

According to our Secchi stick, the water in the upper half of this reservoir exhibited from 3 ½ to 5 ½ feet of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 70 to 71 degrees. The water level looked to be a few inches above normal.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most productive fishing periods would occur from 6:01 a.m. to 8:01 a.m., 6:24 p.m. to 8:24 p.m., and 11:49 a.m. to 1:49 p.m.

This was another one of our old-codger outings, which means that we fished in the middle of the day for fewer than three hours. We made our first casts at 12:40 p.m. and our last ones at 3:25 p.m. During this two-hour and 45-minute outing, we caught 71 largemouth bass, five smallmouth bass, one walleye, one freshwater drum, one crappie, and eight green sunfish.

We spent the entire outing in the upper half of this reservoir, fishing along portions of one main-lake shoreline that looks to be more than a mile long, along about a 400-yard stretch of another main-lake shoreline, and around two main-lake points and several tertiary or minor points.

The underwater terrains of these shorelines and points consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are extremely large, and there are several significant piles of them. Some of the water's edges are adorned with patches of American water willows. And many of the edges are entwined with an array of laydowns, overhanging trees, and overhanging terrestrial vegetation. The two main-lake points have about a 30-degree slope. The shorelines and tertiary points possess a 25- to 70-degree slope. At times, some of the steeper locales were more fruitful than the flatter ones, and at other times, some of the flatter ones were more fruitful than the steeper ones. The majority of the fish were caught around laydowns, boulders, overhanging trees, and overhanging terrestrial vegetation.

The vast majority of the fish were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. The others were caught on either a Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

Some were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. A few were caught on a deadstick presentation. Most were caught on a swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation. Around laydowns and shallow-water or flat locales, the pace of our swim-glide-and-incessant-shake presentation was faster than the ones we executed along the steeper locales.

We caught the fish in water as shallow as four feet to as deep as 10 to 12 feet.

We haven't fished this reservoir together since Nov. 22, 2021, when we fished from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and caught 43 largemouth bass. It was delightful to be back and catching an average of 27 black bass an hour.

May 23

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 23 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

On April 22, John Thomas of Denton and I fished at a very challenging north-central Texas' U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir. The water was dingy and rising from recent rains, and that outing turned into a frustrating and perplexing endeavor to catch six largemouth bass. Ultimately, we switched our focus to white bass, which were much more cooperative than the black bass, and we caught 35 of them before calling it a day. During our drive back home, we decided that we would not return to this reservoir again until sometime in May and after the water-conditions had stabilized.

A month has now passed, so Norman Brown of Lewisville and I elected to return to this same Corps' reservoir that had completely vexed us on April 22. Our goal was to re-evaluate the status of this reservoir's black-bass fishing under more normal water conditions.

It was an overcast and cooler day on May 23. The barometric pressure measured 30.11 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.00 at 2:00 p.m. The morning low temperature was 59 degrees; the afternoon high temperature reached 79 degrees. The wind meandered out of the southeast, east, and northeast at 5 to 10 mph.

The cooler weather was refreshing. So, we decided to fish a little longer than we usually would. We were afloat from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing periods would occur from 6:11 a.m. to 8:11 a.m., 11:59 a.m. to 1:59 p.m., and 6:34 p.m. to 8:34 p.m. It also noted that the fishing would be great.

The water exhibited about 1 1/2 feet of visibility. The surface temperature was 76 degrees. The water level was still 1.02 feet high.

In the main-lake areas, we concentrated on 13 main-lake points, an island, two rocky main-lake shorelines, and two clay-and-gravel flats. We also investigated portions of three feeder-creek arms. Inside those three creek arms, we probed the perimeter of an island, seven secondary points, and two clay- and-gravel flats that are cluttered with flooded stickups, small rocks, and a few large boulders. All of these areas are situated from the southeast region of the reservoir to its northwest end.

The south and east ends of this reservoir were the most productive regions. The most fruitful locale was a main-lake island that is located in the southeast end of the impoundment, and we fished it twice. It yielded a total of 12 largemouth bass.

This island's shorelines are flat. Its underwater terrain consists of pea-gravel, some flooded timber, patches of flooded buck brush, and several laydowns. Eight largemouth bass engulfed a three-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a steady-swimming retrieve. Two were induced by a steady- swimming retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's Canada-craw Hula StickZ affixed on a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-style jig. One was tempted by a swimming retrieve with a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ attached on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And one largemouth bass was enticed by a swimming retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's coppertreuse Hula StickZ fastened on a white 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. They were all associated with the outside edges of the flooded buck brush in less than five feet of water and within 15 feet of the water's edge.

In three to five feet of water near a broad main-lake point and a minor clay-and gravel flat next to the point, we caught two largemouth bass. The main-lake point has a 35-degree slope. Its underwater terrain is composed of red clay, gravel, rocks, a few submerged boulders, and several patches of flooded bushes. One of the largemouth bass was caught from the side of a large boulder located on one side of the main-lake point with a swimming retrieve with the shortened Z-Man's coppertreuse Hula StickZ. The other largemouth bass was associated with the outside edge of a cluster of flooded bushes, and it was enticed by a steady-swimming retrieve with the three-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ. We failed to garner any strikes from another nearby main-lake point and an adjoining clay-and-gravel main-lake shoreline.

The dam was another productive spot, but it was not as fruitful as the main-lake island. The dam is covered with riprap, and it forms the eastern boundary of the impoundment. It features a large concrete water-outlet tower situated at its midsection. There was another boat angler dissecting the riprap at the center and lower end of the dam when we arrived, and we fished behind him.

We failed to locate any black bass around the concrete-outlet tower. But along the center and lower segments of the dam, we were amazed that we caught nine smallmouth bass, one largemouth bass, and one channel catfish. Catching nine smallmouth bass is quite a feat for us at this reservoir. These fish were caught along the riprap of the dam in three to 10 feet of water, and they were caught many yards apart from each other. Five smallmouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's coppertreuse FinesseTRD affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Three smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass were beguiled by the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a steady-swimming retrieve. And one smallmouth bass was caught on a steady-swimming presentation with the shortened coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig.

After fishing two-thirds of the dam, we moved to the north side of the reservoir, where the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass became much more difficult for us to locate and allure.

We had a good start though. Along a 20-yard segment of a main-lake point at the mouth of a minor feeder-creek arm in the northeast section of the impoundment, we caught two largemouth bass and two spotted bass in quick succession. They were abiding in three to six feet of water and within 10 to 25 feet of the water's edge. But as we worked our way inside the creek arm, the bite slowed way down, and we struggled to catch one more largemouth bass in three feet of water from a small gravel-and-clay flat that is located halfway back inside the creek arm.

Two of the three largemouth bass and the two spotted bass were caught on a swimming presentation with the three-inch space-guppy Slim SwimZ. The other largemouth bass was coaxed into striking the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ that was utilized with a swimming retrieve. We failed to elicit any other strikes around three rocky secondary points and another clay-and-gravel flat inside this creek arm.

Around a series of 10 prominent main-lake points, and two flat and rocky main-lake shorelines, we caught only one spotted bass. It was relating to the side of a large boulder at the end of a point in five feet of water. It was tempted by a steady- swimming retrieve with the three-inch space-guppy Slim SwimZ rig. We failed to cross paths with any other black bass around the other nine main-lake points and two rocky main-lake shorelines.

We also failed to locate any black bass around the perimeter of a small island just inside the entrance to another major feeder-creek arm. This creek arm was not very productive this past spring, and this island was the only spot we fished inside this creek arm.

We finished the outing inside a third major feeder-creek arm on the north side of the impoundment. This creek arm was also unproductive during this past spring, but we had hoped to encounter a largemouth bass or two across a large flat adorned with sand, gravel, boulders, a few flooded stickups, and two dilapidated concrete boat ramps. We caught one largemouth bass here, and it was abiding in about two feet of water next to a patch of large rocks bordering the side of one of the boat ramps. It was allured by the shortened coppertreuse Hula StickZ rig and a swimming presentation.

In closing, the black-bass bite at this Corps' reservoir was sporadic and inconsistent, and we were able to determine that the black bass have not yet moved to all of their normal summertime haunts. Overall, we caught a total of 19 largemouth bass, nine smallmouth bass, and three spotted bass. We also accidentally caught three white bass, one channel catfish, and one freshwater drum.

All of the places that we fished had significant concentrations of threadfin shad around them, but the vast majority of these areas were not entertaining any black bass. Hopefully, that will change in the coming days and weeks as spring slowly transitions into summer.

May 23

Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, filed a brief on the Finesse News Network about his outing on May 23 at one of northeastern Kansas' federal reservoirs, where he hoped to employ his mastery with Midwest finesse tactics to tangle with at least one lunker-sized black bass.

Here is an edited version of his brief.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 47 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 70 degrees at 3:53 p.m. The wind was calm for six early-morning hours, and then it angled out of the east, southeast, and northeast at 3 to 28 mph. The sky was fair for seven early-morning hours, and then it fluctuated from being partly cloudy to being cluttered with a few clouds to mostly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.11 at 12:53 a.m., 30.27 at 5:53 a.m., 30.23 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.11 at 3:53 p.m.

The water exhibited 2.5 feet of visibility along the dam. The surface temperature was 68 degrees. The water level was 2.08 feet above normal.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most productive fishing periods would occur from 6:01 a.m. to 8:01 a.m., 6:24 p.m. to 8:24 p.m., and 11:49 a.m. to 1:49 p.m.

At 7:00 a.m., I was the first individual to launch my boat at one of the boat ramps inside a major feeder-creek arm. And throughout this outing, the only anglers that I crossed paths with were pursuing crappie.

I spent a lot of time slowly dissecting the riprap shorelines along a massive causeway and its adjacent shorelines inside this feeder-creek arm. The black bass fishing was lackluster, but for about 10 minutes, I battled a 10-pound smallmouth buffalo, which I foul-hooked in its dorsal fin.

Then, I fished along a portion of a shoreline and around a boat ramp at the entrance of a small feeder-creek arm. The shoreline's underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 25- to 45-degree slope. This area was the most bountiful one that I fished; it yielded one largemouth bass and six smallmouth bass.

As the speed of the easterly wind increased, I fished around a wind-sheltered main-lake point and portions of some wind-sheltered main-lake shorelines. The underwater terrains of these locales consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders; some of the boulders are massive. These areas possess a 25- to 45-degree slope. To my disappointment, these areas yielded only a few black bass.

From those wind-sheltered environs, I completed this outing by dissecting about 100-yards of the riprap-laden shoreline of the dam and another section of the riprap shoreline of the massive causeway where I began this outing at 7:00 p.m.

I made my last cast at 2:00 p.m. At that time, my mechanical fish counter indicated that I caught 60 fish. One was a white bass, one was a smallmouth buffalo, two were crappie, three were green sunfish, and 13 were freshwater drum. Forty of them were black bass, and the vast majority of them were smallmouth bass, which was an average catch rate of 5.7 black bass an hour, and none of them were my much-sought-after lunkers.

They were caught on five standard Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ rig affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's PB&J ZinkerZ on a red 1/10-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD BugZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

The majority of my retrieves were executed by a slow swim-glide-and-occasional-shake presentation. The black bass were caught in two to eight feet of water.

May 26

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 26 outing with Rick Allen of Dallas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

Rick and I conducted a four-hour excursion at a rural state reservoir in north-central Texas.

Area thermometers recorded the low temperature of 50 degrees at 6:00 a.m., and the high temperature of 88 degrees at 2:30 p.m. The wind quartered out of the southwest, west, and northwest at 5 to 20 mph. The sky was mostly clear and exhibited a vibrant blue hue with an occasional wispy cloud or two drifting overhead. The barometric pressure measured 30.11 at 7:00 a.m., and 30.00 at noon.

Upon our arrival at the boat ramp, we were disheartened to discover that the water was heavily stained from recent thunderstorms that walloped this reservoir during the evening hours of May 23 and early-morning hours of May 24. The water clarity ranged from 12 to 18 inches. It displayed an unusual chalky-white and green hue in the middle and lower sections of the reservoir, and we could see a humongous wall of muddy water seeping in from two large feeder-creek arms and slowly creeping across the main-lake areas in the upper end of the reservoir. The surface temperature varied from 71 to 74 degrees. The water level had risen nearly three feet since May 24, but it is still 2.94 feet below normal.

According to In-Fisherman's solar calendar, the most productive fishing periods occurred from 2:03 a.m. to 4:03 a.m., 8:14 a.m. to 10:14 a.m., and 8:35 p.m. to 10:35 p.m.

Rick and I fished from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

In summary, we spent a lot of time fishing around the perimeter of three main-lake islands. One is located in the southeast region of the reservoir, the second one is situated in the middle section, and the third one is located in the northwest region. They appear to be similar and endowed with flat and rocky shorelines. Their underwater terrains are composed of red clay, gravel, chunk rocks, submerged boulders, some patches of flooded stickups and bushes, and a few submerged stumps. They are surrounded by 20 or more feet of water.

The first island, which is usually quite productive, yielded two largemouth bass. The second island surrendered two spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and one smallmouth bass. The third island relinquished two spotted bass and one largemouth bass. They were caught around submerged boulders and clusters of chunk rocks in three to six feet of water.

We fished along several long and rocky main-lake shorelines and prominent rocky main-lake points in the middle and upper sections of the reservoir. The shorelines are steep with 30- to 45-degree inclines. The points, however, are flat. The rocky main-lake shorelines, and most of the points, were fruitless.

Two of the rock- and boulder-laden main-lake points yielded two largemouth bass and three spotted bass. They were abiding near clusters of submerged boulders in three to five feet of water.

We also probed a riprap jetty and portions of a spillway channel. We caught one white bass and one freshwater drum near the riprap of the jetty, but we did not encounter any black bass here.

By the time this perplexing outing came to an end, we had caught 22 fish. Five were white bass, and three were freshwater drum. Fourteen of them were black bass: seven were spotted bass, six were largemouth bass, and one was a smallmouth bass.

These 14 black bass were caught on four Z-Man Midwest-finesse rigs: nine were allured by a Z-Man's hot-snakes Baby Goat rigged on either a chartreuse 1/16- or 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's black-blue Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead attracted three, a pearl Z-Man's Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead tempted one, and a three-inch pearl Z-Man's Slim SwimZ rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead also enticed one.

In conclusion, the black bass and threadfin shad were difficult for us to find, and the black-bass bite was unusually slow for this reservoir for this time of year. We are speculating that the foul water conditions may have negatively affected the black bass and threadfin shad that inhabit this reservoir, but we have no scientific evidence to support our theory. But we do know that we will wait a couple of weeks for the water conditions to improve before we return.

May 27

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on May 27 with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' many community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of that log.

The National Weather Service reported that it was 47 degrees at 5:53 a.m. and 76 degrees at 2:53 p.m. The wind angled out of the north and northwest at 5 to 8 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:53 a.m., 29.96 at 5:53 a.m., 30.00 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.97 at 2:53 p.m. On May 24, 25, and 26, 2.37 inches of rain drenched much of the landscape around this reservoir.

The water level looked to be almost two feet above normal. The surface temperature ranged from 69 to 70 degrees. The water exhibited from three feet to seven feet of visibility. It is interesting to note that we saw one large congregation of newly hatched fish, and it was our first sighting this spring. In the stained waterways of northeastern Kansas, it is a rare phenomenon for us to see any spawning fish and newly hatched fish.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:38 a.m. to 10:38 a.m., 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and 2:27 a.m. to 4:27 a.m.

Before I hopped into Bob's boat, he had fished from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and caught 45 largemouth bass, five smallmouth bass, and one green sunfish. From 9:45 a.m. to 1:25 p.m., we caught 82 largemouth bass, six smallmouth bass, and two green sunfish.

During the first hour and two minutes, we caught 35 of those 82 largemouth bass along about a 400-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are gigantic. Small segments of the underwater terrain are endowed with meager patches of coontail. It possesses a 25- to 70-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with untold numbers of overhanging trees, overhanging terrestrial vegetation, and laydowns. There are a few patches of American water willows gracing this shoreline. We caught the 35 largemouth bass on three Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's hot-snakes TRD MinnowZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig, and a four-inch Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse WormZ affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom jig. A few were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Two were caught on accidental deadstick presentations. The others were caught on swim-glide-and-shake presentations. A few were caught by strolling and employing the swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in about four to about 11 feet of water and from about three feet to about 20 from the water's edge. A lot of them were abiding in the shade provided by the overhanging trees and overhanging terrestrial vegetation. A few were caught adjacent to the patches of American water willows. Some were caught around the laydowns. Several were caught adjacent to the gigantic boulders. This shoreline is graced with several tertiary points, and a few of the largemouth bass were caught around these small points. Steeper sections of this shoreline were a tad more fruitful than the flatter sections.

We failed to elicit a strike from meager patches of coontail that adorn a main-lake flat in the middle section of the reservoir.

Around a main-lake point, along about a 30-yard section of this point's main-lake shoreline, and a 75-yard section of its secondary shoreline inside a medium-size feeder-creek arm, we caught eight largemouth bass. This area is located in the upper half of the reservoir. This point and its shorelines have a 25- to -40 degree slope. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous, and they provide some significant ledges. This terrain is occasionally graced with some patches of coontail. The water's edges are embellished with a dock, four metal poles, about a dozen laydowns, some patches of American water willows, several overhanging trees, and a few overhanging terrestrial vegetation. The eight largemouth bass were caught on two Midwest rigs: a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD BugZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and our Finesse ShadZ rig. Three were caught while we were strolling and using a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in 10 to 12 feet of water. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in four to five feet of water. The others were caught with a standard swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four to six feet of water. Two were caught on the ledges created by the boulders. They were caught from five feet to about 20 feet from the water's edge.

In the lower half of the reservoir, we fished around two main-lake points, along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline, and about a 150-yard stretch of a secondary shoreline inside a large feeder-creek arm. We caught 19 largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass at this locale. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Scores of the boulders were monsters; some of them were in piles; some created a variety of ledges. This area possesses a 25- to about a 60-degree slope, and it is adorned with several tertiary points and one secondary point. The water's edge is laced with a few patches of American water willows, many laydowns, and a few overhanging trees. We caught these largemouth bass and smallmouth bass on four Midwest finesse rigs: a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TicklerZ affixed to a black 1/10-ounce mushroom-style jig, a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, the green-pumpkin BugZ rig, and the green-pumpkin-blue Finesse ShadZ rig. Four were caught on the initial drop of our rigs in about four feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in four to 10 feet of water from a few feet to about 20 feet from the water's edge. One was caught adjacent to a patch of American water willows. Others were caught around some of the boulders, adjacent to some of the laydowns, and under the shadows created by the overhanging trees. The two main-lake points were fruitless.

In the upper half of the reservoir, we caught 16 largemouth bass and three smallmouth bass around a main-lake point and along a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are entwined with a few meager patches of coontail. The slope of this terrain varies from 25 to almost 70 degrees. The water's edge is bedizened with overhanging trees, overhanging terrestrial vegetation, and laydowns. These black bass were caught on four Midwest finesse rigs: the Finesse ShadZ rig, the Finesse WormZ rig, the TRD BugZ rig, and the TRD MinnowZ rig. One was caught on an accidental deadstick presentation. Several were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as 12 feet and as close as three feet to as far as about 20 feet from the water's edge. The main-lake point was fruitless.

Around a flat main-lake point in the middle section of this reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are embellished with significant patches of coontail. It possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. One largemouth bass was caught on an accidental deadstick presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig in about seven feet of water. The other two were caught on the TRD TicklerZ rig with a slow swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about seven feet of water.

We caught one largemouth bass on a shallow-water flat in the back of a small feeder-creek arm. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders, which are embellished with patches of coontail. It possesses a 30-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with riprap, one overhanging tree, and one dock. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of the TRD TicklerZ rig in about five feet of water around a patch of coontail and about 15 feet from the riprap shoreline.

In sum, we caught an average of 23 black bass an hour.

May 27

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 27 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:00 a.m. to 12:24 p.m., Norman and I fished at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

Normally, we avoid the federal, state, and community reservoirs in north-central Texas during the three-day Memorial Day weekend, but we made an exception this time. This reservoir wasn't too busy when we launched the boat at 6:50 a.m., but by 8:30 a.m., it was bustling with scores and scores of people, pleasure boaters, jet skiers, water skiers, kayaks, and one float-tube angler. Several areas that we had planned to fish were already occupied by several other anglers. We also spent a few minutes at the boat ramp assisting a ski-boat operator to look for his lost wallet, which he eventually found tucked inside a pocket of his backpack on his boat.

It was sunny and partly cloudy. The wind angled out of the south and southeast at 4 to 8 mph, and at times, it was calm. The morning low temperature was 60 degrees, and the afternoon high reached 87 degrees. The barometric pressure was steady at 30.02.

In-Fisherman's solunar table noted that the best fishing would occur from 2:37 a.m. to 4:37 a.m., 8:48 a.m. to 10:48 a.m., and 9:09 p.m. to 11:09 p.m. It also indicated that the fishing would be poor.

The water level was at its normal level. The water displayed between 10 inches of clarity in the upper end of the reservoir, and 1 1/2 feet of visibility in its middle and lower sections. The surface temperature ranged from 71 to 77 degrees.

We targeted black-bass lairs located in the main-lake basin from the southwest region of the reservoir to its northeast end, but we also fished a couple areas inside a major feeder-creek arm.

The underwater terrains of these areas are similar. They consist of red clay, pea-gravel, baseball-size rocks, and submerged boulders. The minor differences between them are that some of these areas have more flooded terrestrial vegetation and stickups than others, and a couple of them had no flooded vegetation and stickups.

We wielded the following Midwest finesse baits: a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to either a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, 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 TRD TubeZ threaded on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, a Z-Man's The Deal TRD TubeZ mounted on a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ attached to either a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

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. This shoreline and point are endowed with 25- to 35-degree slopes, and this area yielded six largemouth bass and five spotted bass. Six of these 11 black bass were allured by the pearl-jig Slim SwimZ rig and a steady-swimming retrieve. Five were caught on the pearl Baby Goat combo and a steady-swimming retrieve. These bass were dwelling in three to five feet of water and near the sides of several submerged boulders, the sides of two laydowns, and the outside edges of two large patches of partially-flooded bushes.

From this main-lake point and shoreline, we traveled about a mile eastward to another prominent main-lake point and shoreline on the south side of the tributary arm. This point is enhanced with a deteriorating concrete boat ramp, and its adjacent shoreline has a shallow rock ledge that extends about 10 to 15 feet out from the shoreline. The point and the end and sides of the boat ramp were fruitless, however, we scrounged up one spotted bass that was caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with the Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ affixed to a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig in five feet of water and about 20 feet away from the submerged ledge.

We then moved about two miles west of that main-lake point to the north side of the tributary arm, and we fished around portions of a main-lake island.

We dissected the south and west sides of the island with the pearl-jig Slim SwimZ and pearl Baby Goat rigs, but we failed to elicit any strikes.

We then elected to move to the south end of the reservoir. And we fished along a 30-yard wall of flooded bushes on a shallow flat that is situated a short distance from the west end of the dam, and two portions of the dam. The dam forms the southern perimeter of the reservoir.

We shared the main-lake flat with another boat angler, and we also fished behind him. We caught two spotted bass and two largemouth bass around the outside edges of the flooded bushes in three to five feet of water. They were enticed with a steady-swimming retrieve with our two three-inch Slim SwimZ rigs.

Around the riprap on the west end of the dam, we crossed paths with a goodly number of threadfin shad, but we scrounged up only one largemouth bass. It was caught in 10 feet of water and about 20 feet away from the riprap on the dam with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with The Deal TRD TubeZ rig.

In 11 feet of water and in close proximity to the riprap covering the east end of the dam, we caught two largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were caught on The Deal TRD TubeZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We did not fish along the center section of the dam because it was already crowded with nine other boats.

After that, we traveled three miles eastward into a large feeder-creek arm on the southeast end of the reservoir. We probed a long-submerged point, an island, and a rocky shoreline in the midsection of this creek arm, but we failed to encounter any black bass.

We then left the feeder-creek arm, and we made a 10-minute run to the northeast end of the reservoir. In this region of the reservoir, we fished around a small main-lake island, a rocky main-lake point, a small segment of an adjacent riprap shoreline, a clay-and-gravel bridge embankment, and around several large concrete support columns underneath the bridge. We caught one largemouth bass from the west side of the island in four feet of water on The Deal TRD TubeZ rig and a slow swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. We failed to catch any largemouth bass or spotted bass from the riprap point and shoreline, the clay-and-gravel bridge embankment, and the concrete support columns under the bridge.

We then meandered to the northwest end of the reservoir, where we investigated portions of a boulder-laden shoreline on the east end of a large bridge, and a series of concrete support pilings underneath the bridge. After failing to garner any strikes from the boulder-laden shoreline, we caught one largemouth bass from the side of a concrete piling under the east end of the bridge. This bass was suspended about eight feet below the water's surface in 26 feet of water. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with The Deal TRD TubeZ combo. We fished a few other pilings under the west end of the bridge, but we did not locate any black bass around them.

We finished the outing by dissecting sections of two long riprap embankments that connect to each end of an old concrete spillway, and two minor main-lake points.

Along a 25-yard section of the first embankment, we caught four largemouth bass in three to six feet of water and 10 to 15 feet from the embankment. They were allured by a steady-swimming presentation with the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig.

The two minor main-lake points yielded one black crappie. These two points have 25- and 30-degree inclines. They are covered with chunk rocks that have been cemented in place. This crappie was caught off the end of one of the points in three feet of water on the 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ rig and a steady-swimming retrieve. The other main-lake point failed to yield a black bass or a strike.

In closing, we had what we consider an above-average outing for this reservoir. We caught 17 largemouth bass, eight spotted bass, and one crappie. We caught 19 of these 25 black bass between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 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 3 hours and 24 minutes of this outing.

May 31

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his May 31 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of his log.

From 7:20 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., Norman and I fished at one of several popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar indicated that the most lucrative fishing periods would occur from 2:37 a.m. to 4:37 a.m., 8:48 a.m. to 10:48 a.m., and 9:09 p.m. to 11:09 p.m. it also noted that fishing would be poor.

It was another windy day in north-central Texas. When Norman and I launched the boat at 7:00 a.m., the wind was blowing out of the south at 15 mph. As we were trailering the boat at 1:43 p.m., the wind was quartering out of the southeast at 25 mph, and a few gusts reached 30 mph. The morning's low temperature was 75 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature reached 93 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 29.81 at 7:00 a.m. and 29.83 by 1:00 p.m. The sky conditions changed from overcast to mostly cloudy to partly cloudy with bright sunshine.

The water temperature ranged from 75 degrees to 77 degrees. The water level was normal. The water displayed 2 1/2 feet of clarity.

As I noted in my May 13 log, this reservoir's underwater terrain consists primarily of red clay, pea gravel, chunk rocks, and numerous large boulders. Many sections of this reservoir are graced with acres and acres of thick stands of flooded timber, laydowns, stumps, brush piles, and buck brush.

During this six-hour endeavor, we fished a variety of locales in the east and west tributary arms.

Here is how this outing unfolded.

We began fishing in the southeast end of the east tributary arm. We made our first casts along a 25-yard stretch of riprap-laden shoreline just inside the mouth of a small main-lake cove where we launched the boat. This area provided some protection from the blustery winds, but we failed to elicit a strike.

From that small main-lake cove, we traveled about a mile southward, where we fished along the south and west sides of an island that is situated in the lower end of a major feeder-creek arm.

This island did not provide much protection from the wind, but it did yield four largemouth bass, one spotted bass, and one channel catfish. These fish were abiding in three to five feet of water near a shallow gravel-and-rock ledge that extends several yards out from the water's edge. Four of the black bass were allured by a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead and a steady-swimming retrieve. The other black bass and the channel catfish were caught on a swimming retrieve with a shortened Z-Man's green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce finesse mushroom-style jig.

From that island, we elected to fish several areas that are located on the east shoreline of the east tributary arm.

One of these areas is a fishing jetty and an adjacent main-lake shoreline that is about 50-yards long. They are both covered with riprap. The fishing pier was unproductive, and we caught one spotted bass from the riprap on the shoreline adjacent to the fishing pier. It was caught in less than three feet of water, and it engulfed the pearl Baby Goat rig on the initial fall. The remainder of this shoreline was fruitless.

By this time, it was 8:32 a.m., and the morning's black-bass bite had petered out. We continued to fish our way northward along the east shoreline, and we either fished or scanned with our 2-D and side-imaging sonar a series of seven main-lake points, portions of three major main-lake shorelines, and two islands. None of them were very productive, and most of them were fruitless.

One of the seven main-lake points surrendered one dinky spotted bass. It was caught from the side of one of the larger points near a section of chunky rocks that festoon the water's edge. It was caught on the initial fall of the pearl Baby Got rig in about two feet of water and within three feet of the water's edge. The other six points were bereft of any largemouth and spotted bass.

One 20-yard section of a flat gravel-and-chunk-rock main-lake shoreline yielded two largemouth bass. They were extracted from three to five feet of water and were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve with the shortened green-pumpkin Hula StickZ combo. The other two main-lake shorelines were unproductive.

The two main-lake islands that we investigated are located on the north end of the east shoreline.

Around the first island, we scanned portions of its west, south, and east shorelines with our 2-D and side-imaging sonar, but we did not find any threadfin shad or black bass around it. So, we did not fish there.

We did find a goodly amount of threadfin shad around the rocky and flat south shoreline of the second island, and we fished this area for about 15 minutes before the blustery wind forced us to leave, and we failed to garner any strikes from that island's shoreline.

At this point in the outing, the wind velocity had increased substantially, so we decided to move to the dam in hopes that it would shelter us from the robust winds.

The dam is covered with riprap, and it forms the southern boundary of this reservoir. And it did provide us with some shelter from the peppy wind. We caught one largemouth bass from a 30-yard segment of the riprap-covered shoreline on the east end of the dam. It was abiding in about two feet of water. It was caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pumpkin-chartreuse ZinkerZ attached to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig on the initial fall.

We also fished around three bluff-like main-lake points just north of the dam's riprap shoreline. One of the three points surrendered a largemouth bass that was caught next to a large submerged boulder in five feet of water. It was enticed by a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's white-lightning Finesse TRD matched with a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. We did not locate any black bass around the other two points.

After that, we scanned the dam from its east end to its west end for threadfin shad and black bass. We also fished around a large concrete outlet tower that is positioned near the center of the dam, and we were amazed that we could not locate any black bass and threadfin shad along any portion of the dam or next to the outlet tower.

From the dam, we decided to leave the east tributary arm and move to the west tributary arm in hopes of finding some wind-protected areas that offered better fishing, and we failed to locate any significant concentrations of shad and black bass in this tributary arm, too.

However, in three to five feet of water along the wind-blown side of a flat and rocky main-lake point at the entrance to a medium-size feeder-creek arm on the south end of the west tributary arm, we caught two spotted bass and one freshwater drum. They were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the white-lightning Finesse TRD. We were also delighted to find several large and flourishing patches of Eurasian milfoil in the back end of this creek arm. We slowly dissected the outside edges, points, and open pockets of the milfoil mats, but we could not generate a single strike around them.

From that creek arm, we moved westward about half of a mile to a minor creek arm. Just inside the entrance to this creek arm, we fished around a cluster of large submerged boulders that lie in three to five feet of water and about 40 to 60 feet from the water's edge. We garnered two strikes. We temporarily hooked then lost a fish that struck the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig that was implemented with a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve between two of the boulders. The second fish struck the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ rig while it was being retrieved with a steady-swimming action next to one of the large boulders, but we failed to hook that fish. We fished around the boulders for a few more minutes without another strike, so we left.

Next, we ventured back to the east tributary arm, where we investigated a prominent main-lake point and an adjoining shallow rock ledge at the mouth of another large feeder-creek arm in the midsection of the east tributary arm. The main-lake point and a portion of the rock ledge were being pummeled by the wind and white-capped waves. But in 12 to 23 feet of water along one side of this point, and a 25-yard section of the rock ledge adjacent to the main-lake point, we caught eight largemouth bass and two spotted bass.

Seven of them were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the white-lightning Finesse TRD rig. Two were caught on a swimming retrieve with the green-pumpkin Hula StickZ, and another one was caught on a swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a pearl 1/16-ounce mushroom-type jig.

In conclusion, we caught 15 largemouth bass and seven spotted bass in six hours. We also tangled with one freshwater drum and one channel catfish. We had not fished at this reservoir since May 13, when we had a similar outing that mirrored this one. During that five-hour outing on May 13, we caught a total of 15 largemouth bass and six spotted bass.

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