Z-Man Fishing Products Logo
Z-Man Fishing Products Tagline
THE CHATTER
Keep up with the latest Z-Man
tips, news and happenings.
Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2022

Roger Kehde of Sedalia, Missouri, with one of the 43 largemouth bass that were caught on Nov. 7.

Nov. 1

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 1 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Norman and I thought we would take advantage of the delightful fall weather by sojourning to one of our most problematic U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas.

We relished the pleasant weather so much that we decided to fish longer than usual. We fished for seven hours.

We started at 7:20 a.m. and we finished at 2:20 p.m.

It was mostly sunny, and about 45 percent of the sky was adorned with thin gray clouds. Area thermometers recorded the morning's low temperature at 54 degrees, and the afternoon's high reached 78 degrees. The barometric pressure measured 30.11 at 7:00 a.m. and it rose slightly to 30.16 by 2:00 p.m. The wind was calm from 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; then it became light and variable.

I have not fished at this reservoir since Oct. 7, when Rick Allen of Dallas joined me for a 3 1/2-hour excursion. The black-bass fishing was what we consider to be average at best for this impoundment, and it was a chore for Rick and me to scrounge up 10 largemouth bass, three spotted bass, and one smallmouth bass.

According to In-Fisherman's solunar calendar, the best fishing on Nov. 1 would occur from 5:22 a.m. to 7:22 a.m., 11:12 a.m. to 1:12 p.m., and 5:50 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. It also noted that the fishing would be great.

The water exhibited from 12 to 20 inches of visibility. The surface temperature ranged from 67 to 69 degrees. The water level was at its normal level for the first time in months.

The underwater terrain consists of red clay, sand, some silt, small gravel, fist-size rocks, and sandstone boulders of various sizes. A few patches of stickups grace some sections of shorelines inside the feeder-creek arms.

It was a shame that the black-bass fishing wasn't as stellar as the weather. The black-bass bite was tough, and it was a grind for us to locate and catch 15 largemouth bass and four spotted bass. We also encountered one white bass and one crappie.

It is difficult to compile an informative log on such a paltry catch, but we can report that we caught these 21 fish in less than eight feet of water and within 10 to 15 feet of the water's edge. Eighteen of the 19 black bass that we caught were found near significant schools of threadfin shad that were abiding around rocky secondary points inside three feeder-creek arms. Two of these feeder-creek arms were on the south side of the reservoir, and the other one was on the north end.

These secondary points are scattered from the lower portions of the creek arms to their upper ends. We did not notice any significant difference in productivity between flat and steep points. What did seem to matter was that the productive points had a combination of gravel, chunky rocks, and some boulders. Pea-gravel-and-clay points were fruitless.

We also investigated two other feeder-creek arms, a main-lake island, and several main-lake points and their adjoining flats. These locales stretch across the north and southeast regions of the reservoir. They were all devoid of black bass except one rocky main-lake point on the south end of the reservoir; it yielded one largemouth bass and one crappie.

As for lure selection and presentation techniques, we caught three largemouth bass and three spotted bass on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TicklerZ rigged on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Four largemouth bass and one spotted bass were caught on a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig and employed with a steady swimming retrieve. A swimming presentation with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat threaded on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig snookered three largemouth bass. A steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's California-craw TRD TicklerZ affixed on a chartreuse 1/16-ounce mushroom-style finesse jig allured two largemouth bass. Another couple of largemouth bass were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a chartreuse 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig donning a Z-Man's pearl TRD TicklerZ. And a swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ matched with a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake mushroom-type finesse jig enticed one largemouth bass.

We typically fish this reservoir from the first of April through mid-November. During the other 4 1/2 months of the year, the black-bass fishing is so difficult that we prefer fishing at other black-bass venues than this one.

We may try to fish this reservoir one more time before this month comes to an end, but for now, we feel no urgency to return any time soon.

Nov. 3

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his windblown outing on Nov. 3 with Brady Cayton of Lawrence at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 62 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 76 degrees. The wind roared out of the southeast and south at 9 to 44 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.01 at 12:53 a.m., 29.93 at 5:53 a.m., 29.90 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.82 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about three feet below normal. The surface temperature was 59 degrees. The water exhibited about 3 ½ feet of visibility. Many of this reservoir's shorelines and points are embellished with fantastic patches of American water willows, but most of them are 50 percent out of the water.

We were the only boat afloat.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:08 a.m. to 9:08 a.m., 7:33 p.m. to 9:33 p.m., and 12:56 a.m. to 2:56 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:50 a.m. as the wind was howling from 24 to 41 mph, and we didn't have any hopes of tangling with any largemouth bass or smallmouth bass or rainbow trout or freshwater drum or crappie or bluegill or green sunfish or channel catfish. Therefore, we thought it would be a short-lived affair. But we somehow persevered until we caught largemouth bass number 13 at 2:28 p.m. And we accidentally caught one bluegill, one channel catfish, and two freshwater drum.

Many of these 158 minutes were spent slowly traversing over a multitude of white caps at nearly an idle speed in our search for some wind-protected shorelines and points. And it was a hellish ordeal traveling into the wind and 3 1/2-foot white caps to get back to the boat ramp.

This reservoir has seven feeder-creek arms that were somewhat sheltered from the wind and 90 percent sheltered from the white caps. We fished inside four of them, which include small portions of two main-lake points.

The first shoreline and its main-lake point that we fished are situated in the upper third of the reservoir. They have a 45- to 75-degree slope. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and a lot of this terrain used to be adorned with wonderful and fruitful patches of Eurasian milfoil, which has been eradicated by aquatic herbicides. Nearly a dozen rainbow-trout anglers were fishing from the shoreline in the back end of this arm. The water's edges are laced with scores of overhanging trees, many laydowns, a massive blanket of maple and oak leaves that coated the surface, and several patches of American water willows. The blanket of autumn leaves made it very difficult to fish this area, and we failed to elicit a strike.

The second feeder-creek arm that we fished is situated near the middle of the reservoir. Two rainbow-trout anglers were fishing from a shoreline in the back of this feeder-creek arm. We focused on three secondary points and about a 50-yard section of one of its shorelines in the middle section of this arm. This area has a 30- to 40-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which used to be embellished with patches of Eurasian milfoil that used to yield scores of black bass and rainbow trout in November's past. The water's edge is lined with a few patches of American water willows and a small blanket of autumn leaves. This area yielded five largemouth bass. Three were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; one was caught around one of the secondary points on the initial drop in about one foot water along the outside edge of a patch of American water willows; two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water along the outside edge of the blanket of autumn leaves. The other two largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; one was caught in about three feet of water with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in the vicinity of another secondary point; the second one was caught on the initial drop near the blanket of autumn leaves.

The third feeder-creek arm and one of its main-lake points that we fished are in the lower half of the reservoir. Two rainbow-trout anglers were fishing from two of the shorelines in the back of this arm. This area has a 30- to 45-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which used to be endowed with some patches of Eurasian milfoil. The water's edge possesses many patches of American water willows, two docks, a few laydowns, several minor piles of brush, and some overhanging trees. The portion of the main-lake point that we tried to fish was fruitless. Along nearly 250 yards of shorelines and around three secondary points, we eked out one largemouth bass. It was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig in about six feet of water around a pile of brush.

It was a whale of a task to endure the countless 3 ½-foot white caps that we encountered as we crossed the reservoir's main body on our way to fish inside the fourth feeder-creek arm. There were five rainbow-trout anglers plying two of the shorelines inside this feeder-creek arm. We estimated that we fished along about 300-yards of the various shorelines inside this arm. We also fished around six secondary points. The underwater terrains of these areas consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which used to be graced with some patches of Eurasian milfoil and coontail. Some of the boulders are quite large, and some portions of the shorelines are covered with silt. One of the shorelines is a riprap jetty. Some areas possess a 25-degree slope, and one has about a 70-degree slope. The water's edges are graced with some overhanging trees, many laydowns, a few piles of brush, and an assortment of patches of American water willows. We caught seven largemouth bass inside this feeder-creek arm. Two were caught on Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig; both were caught around a gap along the riprap with a swimming presentation in two to three feet of water. Five were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig; one was caught on the initial drop in about three feet of water around the gap along the riprap jetty; one was caught around one of the secondary points on the initial drop in about four feet of water; another one was caught around several boulders at another secondary point with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water; one was caught along a shoreline and around several major boulders with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation; and one was caught adjacent to a wind-blown laydown with a swimming presentation in about five feet of water.

In closing, I have never in my eight decades of fishing been afloat in that kind of wind. And straightaway Brady and I concluded we would never do it again.

The highlight of this wind-laden endeavor occurred when Brady picked up the prototype of Z-Man's five-foot, four-inch Drew's rod, which is the state-of-the-art Midwest finesse spinning rod that is scheduled to be available to anglers to purchase in the spring of 2023. When he picked it up, the first words that Brady immediately uttered were: "It is incredibly light; in fact, it is lighter than a feather." He also described it as a joy to cast and a delightful way to land a largemouth bass.

Nov. 3

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 3 outing with Bill Kenney of Denton.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Bill and I traveled 81 miles to fish for smallmouth bass at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reservoir in north-central Texas. This reservoir is known more for its outstanding striper fishing than its black-bass fishing. And as we made this journey, we expressed our aspirations of locating and catching a significant number of smallmouth bass.

The sky was overcast, and it lightly misted on us for a brief period on our way to the reservoir. The morning's low temperature was 61 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 81 degrees. The wind blew incessantly out of the southeast, east, and northeast at 7 to 16 mph with occasional gusts of 20 mph. The barometric pressure fell slightly from 30.06 at 7:00 a.m. to 30.01 at 1:00 p.m.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would occur from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., 7:21 a.m. to 9:21 a.m., and 7:36 p.m. to 9:36 p.m.

We fished in the southeast region of this impoundment from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The water displayed three feet of clarity. The water level was 2.40 feet below normal. The surface temperature was 67 degrees everywhere we fished.

The black-bass bite was sluggish. It took us 1 1/2 hours to allure our first black bass of the outing, which was a smallmouth bass. But by the time we made our last casts at 1:00 p.m., we had managed to catch 32 smallmouth bass, one spotted bass, and one largemouth bass in 5 1/2 hours. We also crossed paths with eight stripers.

We plied portions of 11 shorelines and 17 secondary points inside four main-lake coves and two feeder-creek arms, and we also probed five main-lake points. The main-lake points and secondary points have inclines that vary from 25 to 60 degrees. The portions of the 11 shorelines that we fished were mostly flat. These shorelines, main-lake points, and secondary points are all adorned with pea gravel, chunk rocks, and boulders, and quite a few of the boulders are gigantic.

The five main-lake points yielded four smallmouth bass; the gravel-and-rock shorelines yielded seven smallmouth bass; and the rock-and-boulder laden secondary points yielded 21 smallmouth bass, one spotted bass, one largemouth bass, and eight stripers. These 42 fish were scattered and abiding in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as 17 feet.

Thirty-two of these 34 black bass were caught on a steady-swimming retrieve. They were caught on two rigs: a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat and a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat. The pearl Baby Goat was affixed to a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We used three different jigs with The Deal Baby Goat, and they were a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, a blue-and-pearl 1/12-ounce Z-Man's Finesse EyeZ jig and a black 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

One smallmouth was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake retrieve with a Z-Man's Drew's-craw TRD TicklerZ attached to a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, and another smallmouth bass was caught on a deadstick presentation with a 2 3/4-inch Z-Man's PB&J TRD TubeZ rigged on a blue 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

In closing, we have not fished at this reservoir since October 23, 2021, when we caught 32 smallmouth bass, three spotted bass, and two largemouth bass in six hours. The bulk of the 42 fish that we caught during this Nov. 3 outing were caught either at the mouth or in the lower third of the main-lake coves and feeder-creek arms.

Nov. 7

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported that the morning's low temperature was 44 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature was 57 degrees. The wind angled out of the northeast and east at 7 to 26 mph. The barometric pressure was 30.31 at 12:53 a.m., 30.39 at 5:53 a.m., 30.44 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.36 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be a few inches above normal. The surface temperature was 56 degrees. The water exhibited about 4 1/2 to six feet of visibility.

We were the only boat afloat.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:49 a.m. to 10:49 a.m., 9:12 p.m. to 11:12 p.m., and 2:37 a.m. to 4:37 a.m.

Roger is our family's preeminent temperate bass angler. He pursues them at two of the reservoirs that embellish the northern region of the Ozarks in Missouri. He is a master at wielding finesse-size marabou jigs and inline spinnerbaits, which are the lures and tactics that our family learned many decades ago from the late and great Guido Hibdon.

On this rare hiatus from using a marabou jig or tiny inline spinnerbait in his pursuit of temperate bass in central Missouri, Roger spent four hours in northeastern Kansas working with the prototypes of Z-Man's five-foot, four-inch Drew's rod and their five-foot, 10-inch Drew's rod, which are the state-of-the-art Midwest finesse spinning rods that are scheduled to be available to anglers to purchase in the spring of 2023.

During the entire four hours and one minute of this outing, Roger was astounded at how light these rods are, how sensitive they are, how fun they are, how effective they are, and how unusual they are. It was the easiest four hours of incessant casting and retrieving that he has ever experienced. Throughout this outing, these rods sported a Z-Man's meat-dog Finesse ShadZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig and a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig.

We made our first casts at 10:29 a.m., and our last ones at 2:30 p.m. These casts yielded 43 largemouth bass and three bluegill.

We caught seven largemouth bass along the shoreline of the dam. This shoreline has about a 60-degree slope. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Bits of wilting filamentous algae clutter a few segments of the underwater terrain. The water's edge is graced with a few patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows. A concrete outlet tower is situated near the west end of the dam. Three largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. Four were caught on the TRD HogZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop adjacent to a patch of American water willows in about 3 ½ feet of water. Two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to seven feet of water. The others were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five to eight feet of water.

Along an offshore ledge and hump in the lower half of this reservoir, we caught three largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and humongous boulders. They were caught on the TRD HogZ rig. One was caught on the initial drop in about five feet of water. Two were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in five to six feet of water.

Around a secondary point and a very short section of its shoreline inside a small feeder creek in the lower half of this reservoir, we caught one largemouth bass. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 30- to 35-degree slope. The water's edge is lined with rock retaining walls, three docks, and a meager patch of nearly winter-dead American water willows. This largemouth bass was caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation near the patch of nearly winter-dead American water willows in about five feet of water.

Around a main-lake point and along about a 300-yard stretch of this point's main-lake shoreline, we caught seven largemouth bass. This area is situated in the middle of this reservoir. The underwater terrain of this area consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders, which are adorned with patches of wilting filamentous algae and one very minor patch of coontail. This shoreline has a 25- to 50-degree slope. The water's edge is adorned with some meager patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows, an array of docks, and numerous concrete and rock retaining walls. The seven largemouth bass were caught on the Finesse ShadZ rig. One of the seven was caught around the point adjacent to a patch of nearly winter-dead American water willows in about four feet of water with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. One was caught around the minor patch of coontail and adjacent to the inside corner of a dock with a drag-and-shake presentation. The other five were caught between several of the docks and in the vicinity of the nearly winter-dead American water willows in about four to six feet of water with a drag-pause-and-shake presentation.

In the upper half of the reservoir, we fished around four main-lake points and portions of four shorelines.

The underwater terrains of these areas consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders. They possess a 15- to 50-degree slope. Their water's edges are mixed with a multitude of docks, many rock and concrete retaining walls, one bridge, some overhanging trees, several laydowns, some patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows, and numerous patches of wilting wads of filamentous algae.

These locales yielded 25 largemouth bass.

Two of the four points were fruitless. We caught two largemouth bass around one point, and two around another point.

Around one of the flat points that is endowed with patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows and wilting patches of filamentous algae, we caught two largemouth bass on a swimming-and-shake presentation with the Finesse ShadZ rig in about four feet of water.

Around a steeper point that is bordered by a concrete retaining wall, we caught two largemouth bass on the TRD HogZ rig with a drag-pause-and-shake presentation in four to five feet of water.

We estimated that we fished about 350 yards of these shorelines, which yielded 21 largemouth bass.

Along a flat section of one of these shorelines, we caught six largemouth bass on the Finesse ShadZ rig. Five were caught on a fast swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about four feet of water around patches of wilting filamentous algae. One was caught near a dock, a patch of nearly winter-dead American water willows, and a concrete retaining wall in about four feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation.

Along one of the steeper sections of these four shorelines, we caught 16 largemouth bass. They were caught on the TRD HogZ rig.

Nine were caught along a stretch that is adorned with five laydowns, patches of nearly winter-dead American water willows, and several overhanging trees. One was caught on a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about eight feet of water. Three were caught on the initial drop in three to five feet of water. Five were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water.

Seven were caught adjacent to a dock and a massive concrete retaining wall while we employed either a drag-and-shake presentation or a drag-pause-and-shake presentation in five to about eight feet of water.

We quickly fished along three short sections of another steep shoreline. And we caught three largemouth bass. One section was fruitless.

Two of the three were caught along about a 60-foot stretch between two docks with a drag-pause-and-shake presentation with the TRD HogZ rig in about five feet of water.

At 2:30 p.m., largemouth bass number 43 was caught on the TRD HogZ rig with a drag-pause-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water around and over a massive pile of rocks and boulders and in the vicinity of three docks.

After that catch, we decided to call it a day, so Roger and his wife, Tabitha, could make their drive back to Sedalia before nightfall.

The National Weather Service is predicting that Mother Nature's wet, windy, and frigid ways might keep us at bay for a while.

Nov. 11

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 11 outing with John Thomas of Denton and his son Scott Thomas of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Here is an edited version of their log.

We fished at a popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoir in north-central Texas.

It was a wet, windy, and chilly day in north-central Texas. When we launched the boat at 6:45 a.m., the air temperature was 50 degrees. The wind was blowing out of the north at 17 mph. When we trailered the boat at 11:21 a.m., the air temperature had dropped to 44 degrees, and the wind had shifted to the northwest at 30 mph. The barometric pressure measured 29.91 at 7:00 a.m. and 30.01 at 11:00 a.m. The sky was overcast, and it was misty and lightly rained periodically during the morning and early afternoon hours.

The reservoir's water level was a couple of feet low. The water exhibited 24 inches of clarity. The surface temperature ranged from 65 to 66 degrees.

We focused our attention on three feeder-creek arms in the reservoir's west tributary arm, where we found some protection from the robust wind and white-cap waves. Two of the three feeder-creek arms are on the north side of this tributary arm, and one is on its south side.

Though the weather was miserable, the black-bass bite was above average for this reservoir. We tussled with 27 largemouth bass and one spotted bass. We also crossed paths with one freshwater drum.

The feeder-creek arm on the south side of the tributary arm is the largest of the three, and it relinquished 19 largemouth bass and one spotted bass. The first of the two creek arms on the north side of the tributary arm is the smallest of the three, and it yielded three largemouth bass and one freshwater drum. And the third feeder-creek arm, which is medium-sized and situated about a mile east of the second one, surrendered five largemouth bass.

The underwater terrains in these three feeder-creek arms are similar. They are composed of red clay, pea gravel, rocks of all shapes and sizes, and quite a number of large boulders. In one of the creek arms, there are thick stands of flooded timber, laydowns, stumps, and several large patches of green milfoil.

We allured 14 of these 28 black bass with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; 11 were enticed with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat affixed on a blue 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead; two were tempted by a three-inch Z-Man's pearl Slim SwimZ fastened to a black 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and one largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes Baby Goat matched with a chartreuse 3/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. All of these rigs were employed with a steady-swimming retrieve.

In a nutshell, 27 of these 28 black bass were caught in three to seven feet of water from flat shorelines and secondary points in the lower and midsections of all three creek arms, and they are laden with boulders and chunky rocks. One largemouth bass was associated with a flat clay-and-gravel secondary point in the lower end of the first feeder creek. And surprisingly, we were unable to garner any strikes around the patches of green milfoil.

Nov. 14

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 14 outing with Bob Gum of Kansas City, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 29 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 44 degrees. The wind angled out of the southeast, south, northeast, and east at 3 to 13 mph. The sky fluctuated from being overcast to partly cloudy to overcast to mostly cloudy to raining lightly to snowing lightly. The barometric pressure was 30.18 at 2:53 a.m., 30.16 at 5:53 a.m., 30.16 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.08 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be about a foot below normal. The surface temperature was 53 degrees. The water exhibited from 3 ½ to five feet of visibility. Minor algal blooms affected several locales around this reservoir. All of the patches of American water willows that grace the shorelines are in their winter-dead phase. Most of this reservoir's patches of coontail have been devastated by grass carp and significant eruptions of euglena algae during the winters of 2020-21 and 2021-22. It is interesting to note that we could find only one meager patch of coontail 89 days ago. But we have recently discovered a surprising resurrection of some of the coontail patches, and to our delight, a noteworthy number of largemouth bass have begun to abide around them.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:35 a.m. to 4:35 a.m., 2:59 p.m. to 4:59 p.m., and 8:47 a.m. to 10:47 a.m.

We made our first casts at 10:45 a.m. By the time we made our last ones at 2:45 p.m., our fish counter revealed that we had caught 85 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass, one crappie, and one freshwater drum.

Along portions of the two shorelines inside a small feeder-creek arm, we caught 30 largemouth bass. This feeder creek is situated in the middle section of the reservoir. Most of its shorelines possess a 25-degree slope, and about a 75-yard stretch of one of the shorelines has a 45- to 50-degree slope. The water's edges of the two shorelines are lined with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, 12 docks, two concrete boat ramps, and a few laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks. We were delighted to find numerous patches of coontail embellishing the shallow-water portions of the underwater terrains. The 40 largemouth bass were caught around, over, and adjacent to the outside edges of the patches of coontail. We caught them on either a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig or a 2 ½-inch Z-Man's watermelon-red-flake ZinkerZ affixed to a red 1/20-ounce mushroom-style jig. We caught them in four to about nine feet of water. Over and across the patches of coontail, we caught them by employing a variety of retrieves: a swimming presentation, a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, a swim-pause-and-short-deadstick presentation, and during the initial drop of the rigs. We caught a few by employing a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation along the outside edges of the coontail patches. Several were caught around three of the docks that are floating above the patches of coontail or near the outside edges of the patches. One largemouth bass was caught around a laydown that is entangled with coontail.

Around the two main-lake points at the mouth of this feeder-creek arm, we caught 12 largemouth bass.

The underwater terrain around one of the main-lake points is covered primarily with gravel, but portions of it are mixed with rocks and an occasional boulder. It is flat with about a 20-degree slope that is eventually endowed with a radical drop-off. About 40 percent of it is graced with burgeoning patches of coontail. The water's edge is barren. These patches yielded seven largemouth bass, which were caught on our ZinkerZ and TRD HogZ rigs in five to 10 feet of water. One was caught on the initial drop. Two were caught on a drag-shake-and-short-deadstick presentation. Two were caught on a swimming presentation. Two were caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They were caught many yards from the water's edge.

The underwater terrain around the other main-lake point consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. It possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. The water's edge is endowed with a dock and a significant patch of winter-dead American water willows that is adjacent to the inside edge of a patch of coontail. This point yielded five largemouth bass. Three were caught on the TRD HogZ rig around the coontail and within a few yards of the outside edge of the American water willows; one was caught on the initial drop in about four feet of water; two were caught on the swim-glide-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water. The ZinkerZ rig caught two largemouth bass adjacent to the dock with a drag-and-deadstick presentation in about 10 feet of water and many yards from the water's edge.

Around another main-lake point and along about a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the middle section of this reservoir, we caught 22 largemouth bass. This area has a slope that ranges from 25 degrees to 55 degrees. The water's edge is embroidered with several large patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. Much of the flatter segments of the shoreline and point are endowed with patches of coontail, and a few of the patches are quite large.

Our TRD HogZ and ZinkerZ rigs inveigled all of these largemouth bass. Four were caught as we were strolling and employing a drag-and-shake presentation in five to eight feet of water. The others were caught on the initial drop of our rigs or with a swimming presentation or a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a swimming-and-pause presentation or a drag-and-deadstick presentation or a drag-and-shake presentation. We caught them in three to about nine feet of water. Seven were caught adjacent to the patches of winter-dead American water willows that were bordering some scanty patches of coontail. Four were caught over sections of rock and boulders that are not endowed with aquatic vegetation. The others were caught around the patches of coontail.

It is interesting to note that we caught largemouth bass number 50 at 12:42 p.m. or in one hour and 57 minutes of fishing. When we finished fishing this main-lake point and the 200-yard stretch of its main-lake shoreline at 1:25 p.m., our fish counter indicated that we had caught 64 largemouth bass, and we thought that if we could find some substantial patches of coontail elsewhere on this reservoir that we might be able to catch 101 largemouth bass in four hours. But our hopes of reaching that 101 mark were short-lived, and during the next hour and 20 minutes, we failed to find those patches of coontail and struggled to catch 21 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass.

We did find two small patches of coontail around two secondary points in the back of a large feeder-creek arm in the middle section of this reservoir. These points are in close proximity to each other. Their underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and a few boulders. One exhibits about a 20-degree slope, which yielded one smallmouth bass and four largemouth bass. The other one has about a 25- to 30-degree slope, and it yielded two largemouth bass. We caught them on the Canada-craw TRD HogZ rig and a Z-Man's molting-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The other five were caught on either a swim-glide-and-shake presentation or a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation. They were caught in about four to six feet of water around or in close proximity to the patches of coontail.

Around a series of tertiary points and four main-lake points and along about a 300-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline in the upper half of the reservoir, we searched in vain to find any coontail patches. This area has a slope that ranges from 25 to 75 degrees. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. The water's edge is laden with scores of laydowns, almost a countless number of partially submerged tree limbs, some patches of winter-dead American water willows, and many overhanging trees and terrestrial vegetation. Somehow we caught 15 largemouth bass along this area. One was caught on the Canada-craw TRD HogZ rig. Seven were caught on the molting-craw TRD HogZ rig. Seven were caught on a Z-Man's green-pumpkin-goby Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Micro Finesse ShroomZ jig. Four were caught in the vicinity of the outside edge of the patches of winter-dead American water willows with a drag-and-shake presentation. One was caught on the initial drop. Three were caught around rocks and boulders with a drag-and-shake presentation. The others were caught around the laydowns and tree limbs with a swimming presentation. They were caught in about four to six feet of water.

In conclusion, it was one of those rare outings that we had to constantly work with a variety of presentations.

The National Weather Service is forecasting that Ol' Man Winter has arrived, and he will keep area thermometers in a range from a low of 14 degrees to a high of 38 degrees for the next four days. And one day the high temperature will climb to 28 degrees. It looks as if we will be at bay until next week.

Nov. 18

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 18 outing with Bear Brundrett of Valley View, Texas.

Here is an edited version of their log.

Bear Brundrett and I fished at one of several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' hill-land reservoirs in north-central Texas. This is the same reservoir where John Thomas of Denton, and his son Scott Thomas of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I fished on Nov. 11.

We fished from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and as we fished,as we noticed that several high-school bass-fishing teams were practicing for a tournament that is scheduled for Nov. 19.

The morning's low air temperature was 35 degrees. The afternoon's high temperature peaked at 44 degrees. The wind quartered out of the north and northwest at 15 to 20 mph. The barometric pressure ranged from 30.44 at 10:00 a.m. and 30.35 at 3:00 p.m. The sky conditions changed from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast.

The water exhibited 26 inches of clarity. The surface temperature had dropped significantly during the past seven days, and it ranged from 57 to 59 degrees. (It fluctuated between 65 and 66 degrees on Nov. 11.)

On Nov. 11, John, Scott, and I focused on portions of three feeder-creek arms in the reservoir's west tributary arm, and we caught 27 largemouth bass and one spotted bass in four hours. On Nov. 18, Bear and I continued to target portions of four feeder-creek arms in the west tributary arm, but the black-bass fishing was much slower and difficult this time. We fished for five hours, and we could barely eke out 13 largemouth bass and one spotted bass.

The underwater terrains in these four feeder-creek arms are identical. These terrains consist of red clay, small gravel, baseball-size rocks, and numerous boulders of various sizes. The fourth creek arm possesses thick stands of flooded timber, laydowns, and stumps. The third and fourth creek arms are also adorned with a few patches of green milfoil.

The first feeder-creek arm, which is the largest of the four and located in the southeast region of the tributary arm, yielded 10 largemouth bass. These largemouth bass were scattered across the upper and middle sections of this arm. They were abiding in three to seven feet of water and relating to flat and rocky points and shorelines. Eight of these 10 largemouth bass were allured by a slow-and-steady swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's pearl Baby Goat rigged on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. One was caught on a swim-glide-and-shake presentation with a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD TicklerZ fastened on a red 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. And another largemouth bass was caught on a slow-swimming retrieve with a three-inch Z-Man's space-guppy Slim SwimZ matched with a chartreuse 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.

The second one is a medium-sized feeder creek. It is situated in the northwest end of the tributary arm. This creek arm possesses three coves and several large and rocky secondary points. It yielded one largemouth bass, which was caught from one of the pea-gravel-and-chunky-rock secondary point at the mouth of one of the coves in the upper end of this creek arm. It was caught in four feet of water and about 20 feet from the water's edge on a slow-swimming retrieve with the pearl Baby Goat rig. We failed to locate any other black bass inside the three coves, around several other rocky secondary points, and along a rocky and flat shoreline in the lower end of the creek arm.

The third feeder-creek arm is medium-sized. It is situated about two miles east of the second one. It surrendered one largemouth bass and one spotted bass, which were caught from the perimeter of a small island at the mouth of the creek arm. The largemouth bass was caught in four feet of water from the top of a small patch of milfoil on the north side of the island. The spotted bass was caught near a large laydown in three feet of water on the south side of the island. Both of these black bass were tempted by a slow-swimming retrieve with a Z-Man's The Deal Baby Goat mounted on a blue 1/10-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. We did not encounter any black bass inside two small coves and around three rocky secondary points in the upper and middle sections of this creek arm.

Inside the fourth creek arm, which is located about a mile east of the third one, we caught one largemouth bass. This largemouth bass was caught in three feet of water between the shallow-water edge of a patch of milfoil and an adjacent chunk-rock shoreline inside a small pocket situated in the upper end of the east shoreline. This largemouth bass was caught on The Deal Baby Goat rig and a slow swimming retrieve.

In closing, the water temperatures in the Corps' reservoirs across north-central Texas are dropping into the upper 50s, and the black-bass bite is becoming lackluster at best. And in a couple of weeks, the water temps will drop below 55 degrees, which will be too cold for us to find any significant activity from the Florida-strain largemouth bass that inhabit these waterways.

Nov. 21

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 21 outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 30 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 57 degrees. The wind angled out of the southwest and west at 6 to 13 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.19 at 12:53 a.m., 30.19 at 5:53 a.m., 30.22 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.21 at 2:53 p.m.

The winter solstice is 30 days away, but Ol' Man Winter arrived in full force seven days ago. Thus, most of our streams and farm ponds are covered with ice.

The water level looked to be about a foot below normal. The surface temperature during the past seven days dropped precipitously to 47 degrees. The water exhibited from 3 ½ to five feet of visibility. Minor algal blooms affected several locales around this reservoir. All of the patches of American water willows that grace the shorelines are in their winter-dead phase. This reservoir's once magnificent patches of coontail have been devastated by grass carp and significant eruptions of euglena algae during the winters of 2020-21 and 2021-22. A few patches, however, are undergoing a significant resurrection. And to Midwest finesse anglers' delight, a noteworthy number of largemouth bass have begun to abide around them, but these patches have begun to wilt as the water temperature plummeted into the 40s.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 7:32 a.m. to 9:32 a.m., 7:56 p.m. to 9:56 p.m., and 1:20 a.m. to 3:20 a.m.

I made my first cast at 11:14 a.m. and I made my last one at 2:36 p.m. when I caught largemouth bass number 50.

These 50 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

This is the Z-Man's hot-snakes rig that I used on Z-Man's five-foot, 10-inch Drew's rod and four-pound-test Berkley FireLine with a six-pound-test fluorocarbon leader.

I spent the bulk of this 202-minute outing fishing along about a 125-yard stretch of a shoreline inside a small feeder-creek arm, around three main-lake points, and along about a 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. These areas are situated in the reservoir's middle section, and they are embellished with patches of coontail.

I began the outing by methodically probing a large patch of coontail adjacent to the 125-yard stretch of the shoreline inside the small feeder-creek arm. This patch looks to be slightly larger than a baseball field's infield. It is bordered by two docks. I caught three largemouth bass on my first three casts. During the next 40 minutes, I caught 10 more largemouth bass from this patch. All 13 were caught near and along the outside edge of the patch of coontail in seven to 11 feet of water. Six were caught with a vertical presentation with a subtle twitch-and-deadstick application. The other seven were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation and a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

Around another nearby patch of coontail along this shoreline, I caught eight largemouth bass. This patch is about the size of a softball field's infield, and it is also bordered by two docks. These largemouth bass were caught on either a drag-and-shake retrieve or a drag-shake-and-deadstick retrieve in nine to 11 feet of water.

At 12:14 p.m., my fish counter noted that I had caught 21 largemouth bass.

Along this 125-yard stretch of shoreline, I caught five more largemouth bass.

Four were caught on a patch of coontail about the size of a tennis court. This patch is also bordered by two docks. One of the four was caught on a vertical presentation in about nine feet of water. The other three were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in seven to 10 feet of water.

The fifth largemouth bass was caught around a meager patch of coontail adjacent to a dock in about eight feet of water with a drag-and-deadstick presentation.

At 12:36 p.m., my fish counter noted that I had caught 26 largemouth bass.

Around one of the main-lake points, which is endowed with a wilted, scrawny, and shallow patch of coontail, I failed to elicit a strike.

The second main-lake point yielded nine largemouth bass. It possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are graced with a large patch of coontail. The water's edge is lined with a massive patch of winter-dead American water willows and a dock. Three of the largemouth bass were caught next to the dock that is floating over the patch of coontail, and they were caught in about eight to 10 feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation. The other six largemouth bass were caught along the outside edge of the patch of coontail with a drag-and-shake presentation in six to eight feet of water.

I caught 12 largemouth bass along the 200-yard stretch of a main-lake shoreline. It has a slope that ranges from 25 degrees to 65 degrees. The water's edge is embroidered with several large patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. Much of the flatter segments of the shoreline are endowed with patches of coontail. One of the patches is quite large, and it bedecks a gigantic shelf that endowed with many piles of rocks and boulders. This shelf yielded eight of the 12 largemouth bass. One was caught on the initial drop of the rig in about six feet of water. The other seven were caught on a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight to 10 feet of water. Four of the 12 largemouth bass were caught in about five to six feet of water with a drag-and-shake presentation around patches of coontail that are adjacent to the patches of winter-dead American water willows.

The third main-lake point yielded one largemouth bass. This point possesses a 25- to 30-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are entwined with a few meager sprouts of coontail.

Some of its water's edge is enhanced with some shallow-water patches of winter-dead American water willows. The largemouth bass was caught in about seven feet of water on a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

At 2:00 p.m., the fish counter noted that I had caught 47 largemouth bass.

I spent about 30 minutes fishing along a short stretch of a main-lake shoreline and its main-lake point in the upper half of this reservoir. The shoreline possesses a 45- to 90-degree slope. The point has about a 35-degree slope. The underwater terrains consist of gravel, rocks, and boulders, and to my chagrin, I failed to find any patches of coontail. The water's edges are embellished with a few patches of winter-dead American water willows, many overhanging trees, and scores of laydowns. The main-lake point was fruitless. The shoreline yielded two largemouth bass; one was caught several feet in front of a patch of winter-dead American water willows on a drag-and-shake presentation in about five feet of water; the other one was caught around some rocks and boulders on a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water.

From this main-lake shoreline and main-lake point, I ventured back to the large patch of coontail where I began this outing, and on my first cast, which was also my last cast, I caught largemouth bass number 50.

In conclusion, this outing once again proved how essential patches of submerged aquatic vegetation -- such as coontail, curly-leaf pondweeds, Eurasian milfoil, brittle naiad, or sago pondweeds -- are for providing anglers with bountiful catches of largemouth bass throughout the calendar year. And for years on end, we have been wishing that the managers of our reservoirs would work on creating and properly maintaining patches of submerged aquatic vegetation in all of northeastern Kansas' reservoirs. Instead, some of them loathe it and work on eradicating it.

Nov. 22

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 22 dreadful outing at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 30 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 61 degrees. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 5 to 33 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.25 at 12:53 a.m., 30.23 at 5:53 a.m., 30.22 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.17 at 2:53 p.m.

The water level looked to be normal. The surface temperature was 44 degrees. The water exhibited from five to seven feet of visibility. This reservoir's patches of coontail have been almost totally devastated by grass carp and many applications of aquatic herbicides, which is a great detriment when the water temperature drops into the low and mid-40s and upper 30s. The coontail has been replaced by vast patches of filamentous algae, which yielded several bountiful catches of largemouth bass in October. But now most of these patches have wilted and possess a blackish hue rather than a green one, and the largemouth bass seem to have vacated them.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 8:17 a.m. to 10:17 a.m., 8:43 p.m. to 10:43 p.m., and 2:05 a.m. to 4:05 a.m.

I made my first cast at 11:55 a.m. and my last one at 2:44 p.m., and only six casts yielded a largemouth bass. At around 1:15 p.m., I chatted with a pair of veteran and knowledgeable crappie anglers who reported that they had not caught a crappie.

One of the six largemouth bass was caught along a steep shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. It was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about eight feet of water between two docks and on top of an underwater terrain that consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders.

The second one was caught along another steep shoreline in the upper half of this reservoir. It was caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation in about nine to 10 feet of water and an underwater terrain that consists of gravel and rocks.

Along a shoreline in the middle portion of this reservoir, I caught four largemouth bass.

Two of them were caught on a Z-Man's The Deal TRD BugZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a drag-and-shake presentation on a rock-and-boulder-laden ledge between two docks in about 11 feet of water.

Largemouth bass number five and number six were caught on the TRD BugZ rig with a drag-and-shake presentation on a gravel and rock terrain in about eight feet of water between two docks.

I fished around numerous points and along many yards of shorelines in the upper section, middle section, and lower section of this reservoir, where I failed to elicit a strike.

I suspect most of my woes revolved around my inability to find any significant and healthy patches of coontail or other kinds of submerged aquatic vegetation.

Nov. 22

Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 22 outing with Norman Brown of Lewisville, Texas.

Here is an edited version of their log.

On Nov. 21, Bill Kenney of Denton and I travelled to southern Oklahoma and fished for smallmouth bass at a Civilian Conservation Corps reservoir. The water temperature ranged from 56 to 58 degrees, and the smallmouth bass fishing was wretched. After 3 1/2 hours of exasperating fishing, we could muster only one largemouth bass and one freshwater drum before we decided to quit and head back home.

On Nov. 22, Norman Brown and I opted to fish at a state reservoir located in an exurban area of north-central Texas. The last time we fished at this impoundment was on Oct. 6, and during that four-hour endeavor, we struggled to catch 17 largemouth bass.

This impoundment's geological terrain consists of many rock-laden shorelines and points. Most of them are adorned with submerged boulders, laydowns, overhanging trees, and flooded buck brush. There used to be many large patches of American pondweeds and flourishing patches of green hydrilla in the shallow-water areas in the lower end of the impoundment, but most of them disappeared a couple of years ago.

The sky was overcast during the morning hours of Nov. 22, and it became partly cloudy at about 1:45 p.m. A light wind meandered out of the south at 5 to 10 mph. The morning low temperature was 35 degrees, and the afternoon high reached 59 degrees. The barometric pressure dropped from 30.39 at 9:00 a.m. to 30.31 by 3:00 p.m.

The best fishing, according to In-Fisherman's solunar table, would occur from 1:31 a.m. to 3:31 a.m., 7:42 a.m. to 9:42 a.m., and 8:06 p.m. to 10:06 p.m.

The water level was 8.77 feet below normal pool, which is the lowest level I have ever seen it. The surface temperature ranged from 55 to 56 degrees. The water displayed two feet of clarity.

With the reservoir's water temperature in the mid-50s, we weren't expecting much. We spent these 5 1/2 hours probing two shorelines inside a small bay on the south end of the reservoir.

We began on the east side of the bay along a steep and boulder-laden shoreline that is about 100 yards long, and we slowly dissected it for five hours. We spent the last 30 minutes of this outing probing another 50-yard section of a steeply-sloped and rocky shoreline on the west side of the bay.

We caught 22 largemouth bass, two spotted bass, two freshwater drum, and two green sunfish from the east-side shoreline. These fish were relating to submerged rocks and boulders in three to 15 feet of water. Twenty-one of these 24 black bass were allured by a Z-Man's green-pumpkin TRD TicklerZ that was matched with either a red 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead or a 1/16-ounce green-pumpkin-red-flake finesse jig. Two were caught on a Z-Man's black-blue TRD CrawZ rigged on a blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead, and one largemouth bass was caught on a shortened four-inch black-red-flake finesse worm Texas-rigged on a black 1/8-ounce Z-Man's Football NedZ jig. We employed all of these rigs with a slow-and-steady dragging retrieve along the tops and sides of the large rocks and boulders.

The rocky west-side shoreline was fruitless.

In closing, we were delighted to tangle with 24 largemouth bass during this 5 1/2 hour endeavor. And just before we called it a day, we spoke with four bass anglers in another boat that were headed to a nearby boat ramp, and they reported that they had struggled to catch three small largemouth bass.

Nov. 23

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 38 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 60 degrees. The wind angled out of the south and southwest at 8 to 24 mph. The conditions of the sky fluctuated from being fair to cluttered with a few clouds to partly cloudy to mostly cloudy to overcast. The barometric pressure was 30.13 at 12:53 a.m., 30.09 at 5:53 a.m., 30.04 at 11:53 a.m., and 29.99 at 2:53 p.m.

Despite several days of warm weather, we noticed that several of our streams and farm ponds are still covered with some ice.

This reservoir's water level looked to be about a foot below normal. The surface temperature was 47 degrees. The water exhibited from four to five feet of visibility. Minor algal blooms affected several locales around this reservoir. All of the patches of American water willows that adorn this reservoir's shorelines are in their winter-dead phase.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 9:08 a.m. to 11:08 a.m., 9:36 p.m. to 11:36 p.m., and 2:53 a.m. to 4:53 a.m.

We made our first casts at 11:50 a.m. and our last ones at 2:30 p.m.

We spent 147 minutes of this 160-minute outing fishing around four patches of coontail inside a small feeder-feeder creek, around a patch of coontail that adorns a main-lake point, and along a series of patches of coontail that embellishes portions of a 100-yard segment of a main-lake shoreline. These areas are situated in the reservoir's middle section. They yielded 34 largemouth bass.

The four patches of coontail inside the small feeder-creek arm yielded 29 largemouth bass. Ten were caught on a Z-Man's Goby Bryant Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. And a Z-Man's hot-snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 17 largemouth bass. They were caught in six to 11 feet of water and many yards from the water's edge. Five docks float on top portions of these four patches of coontail, and six of the 29 largemouth bass were caught around or in close proximity to these docks. Two were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. Three were caught while employing a vertical presentation with a twitch and deadstick application. Five were caught with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. The others were caught on either a drag-and-shake presentation or a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation.

Our hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig caught one largemouth bass around a main-lake point that is situated at the mouth of the small feeder-creek arm. It possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are graced with a large patch of coontail. The water's edge is lined with a massive patch of winter-dead American water willows and a dock. The largemouth bass was caught along the outside edge of the patch of coontail with a drag-and-shake presentation in about six feet of water and many feet from the water's edge.

We caught four largemouth bass along the 100-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline. It has a slope that ranges from 25 degrees to 50 degrees. The water's edge of this shoreline is embroidered with several large patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous. The four largemouth bass were caught around a large patch of coontail that is situated on top of a gigantic and shallow-water shelf of rocks and boulders. The outside edge of this shelf plummets into deep water. One was caught on the Goby Bryant Finesse TRD rig and three were caught on the hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig. They were caught as we employed a drag-and-shake presentation in about seven to 10 feet of water and many yards from the water's edge. The frequent and intense blusters of the wind made fishing difficult and uncomfortable around this shelf.

To seek a bit of shelter from the wind, we spent about 13 minutes traveling and quickly examining and fishing around a main-lake point and along a short portion of its adjacent shoreline. This area is located in the upper half of this reservoir; it used to be endowed with a multitude of coontail patches that provided habitats for an array of largemouth bass. But we searched in vain for patches of coontail, and we failed to elicit a strike from the few casts and retrieves that we executed.

Then, we put the boat on its trailer and drove home.

Nov. 26

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

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 19 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 53 degrees. The wind was calm, but occasionally it stirred and angled out of the east, southeast, and north at 3 to 6 mph. The sky was fair for many hours, and then it quickly became mostly cloudy. The barometric pressure was 30.18 at 12:52 a.m., 30.05 at 5:52 a.m., 29.92 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.83 at 2:52 p.m.

This reservoir's water level looked to be about 2 ½ feet below normal. The surface temperature was 43 degrees. The water exhibited from four to five feet of visibility.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 11:52 a.m. to 1:52 p.m., 12:42 p.m. to 2:24 p.m., and 6:08 a.m. to 8:08 a.m.

We made our first casts at 12:55 p.m. Throughout this outing, we were hoping to catch 25 largemouth bass. But when we made our last casts at 2:35 p.m., our fish counter revealed that our hopes were unfulfilled; instead, we caught 24 largemouth bass and accidentally caught two crappie.

We spent the entire outing plying three shallow-water flats inside two large feeder-creek arms and one tiny feeder-creek arm, where we fished around patches of coontail that are situated in about three to eight feet of water and in or near the back ends of these feeder creeks.

One of the flats is the size of about six football fields. A submerged creek channel meanders along the west side of it. In addition to the patches of coontail, there are patches of sago pondweeds and numerous man-made piles of eastern red cedar trees. We caught 19 largemouth bass and two crappie across a section of this flat that is about half of the size of a football field, and it is intertwined with the submerged creek channel. Two of the 19 largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's California-craw TRD BugZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Seven largemouth bass were caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead caught 10 largemouth bass. We caught the largemouth bass in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as eight feet. Because of the vast variations in the height, density, and sizes of the patches of coontail and piles of eastern red cedar trees, we employed a variety of retrieves. One largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop. The others were caught on a swimming presentation, a swim-and-pause presentation, a drag-shake-and-short-deadstick presentation, and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We fished around several small patches of coontail and one man-made pile of eastern red cedar trees in the very back end of the other large feeder-creek arm for about 10 minutes, and we caught four largemouth bass in three to four feet of water. One was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a baby-blue 1/16-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead with a swim-and-shake presentation. One was caught on the hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig with a swim-and-shake presentation. Two were caught on the coppertreuse Finesse TRD rig with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

We caught largemouth bass number 24 in the very back end of the tiny feeder-creek arm. It was caught on the initial drop of the hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig in about three feet of water around a patch of coontail and adjacent to a partially submerged eastern red cedar tree.

Soon after that catch, we put the boat on its trailer and headed home. As we drove home, we talked about how wonderful and unusual it was to enjoy a virtually windless outing on a flatland reservoir in northeastern Kansas.

Endnote:

Our friends at Aquarius Systems (https://aquarius –system.com./) sent us a Thanksgiving note that included the following words that were music to our ears:

"Instead of algae, we and our customers prefer water made clear by aquatic vegetation in the form of native macrophytes. We don't dislike certain non-native plants either, particularly if they will also do the job of absorbing nutrients, provide habitat, and supply oxygen. We'd rather give the abundant weed growth a harvester-haircut to enable the use of the waterway, while leaving behind living plants that will continue to grow and keep the water clear."

Here's hoping that our reservoirs 'managers and biologists will find it music to their ears, too.

Nov. 28

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his outing on Nov. 28 at one of northeastern Kansas' state reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of his log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 20 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 57 degrees. The wind was calm from 12:52 a.m. to 5:52 a.m., and then it angled out of the east, southeast, and south at 3 to 14mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 29.91 at 12:52 a.m., 29.88 at 5:52 a.m., 29.83 at 11:52 a.m., and 29.73 at 2:52 p.m.

The water level looked to be about two feet below normal. The surface temperature was 43 degrees. The water exhibited almost six feet of visibility at the boat ramp, which is situated in the lower half of the reservoir. In the upper reaches of two large feeder-creek arms, the visibility was about three feet, and there was one large streak in one of the feeder-creek arms that was quite murky, which was the residue of a significant amount of rain that fell upon its watershed during the night of Nov. 26.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 2:11 a.m. to 4:11 a.m., 2:41 p.m. to 4:41 p.m., and 8:26 a.m. to 10:26 a.m.

My plans were to fish for two hours or until I caught 25 largemouth bass. I made my first cast at 1:02 p.m. and caught number 25 at 2:54 p.m. And as I was putting my rods in their rod socks and into the boat's rod locker, I made another cast and caught largemouth bass number 26 at 2:56 p.m.

I spent the bulk of this outing fishing across a massive shallow-water flat in the back of this reservoir's largest feeder-creek arm. This flat is the size of many football fields, and I focused on an area that is about the size of two football fields. This area is endowed with innumerable patches of coontail, sago pondweeds, and extremely wilted bushy pondweeds. The bushy pondweeds look as if they are glued to the silt that covers the floor of this shallow-water flat. There are also many man-made piles of eastern cedar trees littering the entire flat.

By 2:39 p.m., this area yielded 22 largemouth bass and six crappie.

One of the 22 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's coppertreuse Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Nine of the largemouth bass were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's purple-death TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A dozen of the largemouth bass were caught on Z-Man's hot-snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead.

These largemouth bass were caught in water as shallow as three feet and as deep as eight feet. Because of the vast variations in the height, density, depth, and sizes of the patches of coontail and piles of eastern red cedar trees, I employed a variety of retrieves. Two largemouth bass were caught on the initial drop. The others were caught on a swimming presentation, a swim-and-pause presentation, a drag-shake-and-short-deadstick presentation, and a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

I spent about 12 minutes fishing in the back of another feeder-creek arm. I used two Midwest finesse rigs and quickly probed about a 75-foot section of its flat shoreline and a tiny section of its shallow-water flat that is about the size of a tennis court. The underwater terrains of the shoreline and flat are endowed with patches of coontail, several stumps, and four man-made piles of red cedar trees. The patches of coontail yielded largemouth bass numbers 23, 24, 25, and 26. They were caught in about six feet of water as I employed the swim-glide-and-shake presentation. Two were caught on the purple-death TRD TicklerZ rig, and two were caught on the hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig.

This outing proved once again how important it is to have submerged aquatic vegetation adorning the flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas -- especially during the cold-water months.

Nov. 30

Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas, posted a log on the Finesse News Network about his Nov. 30 outing with his cousin Rick Hebenstreit of Shawnee, Kansas, at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs.

Here is an edited version of their log.

The National Weather Service reported the morning's low temperature was 22 degrees, and the afternoon's high temperature was 37 degrees. The wind angled out of the west and northwest at 7 to 22 mph. The sky was fair. The barometric pressure was 30.16 at 12:53 a.m., 30.27 at 5:53 a.m., 30.39 at 11:53 a.m., and 30.39 at 3:53 p.m. This was a post-cold-front phenomenon, which many anglers dread.

This reservoir's water level looked to be slightly more than a foot below normal. The surface temperature ranged from 45 to 46 degrees. The water exhibited from three to five feet of visibility. Some minor algal blooms have erupted. All of the patches of American water willows that adorn this reservoir's shorelines are in their winter-dead phase. To our chagrin, its patches of submerged coontail are either wilting or being consumed by grass carp.

In-Fisherman's solunar calendar noted that the best fishing would take place from 4:08 a.m. to 6:08 a.m., 4:33 p.m. to 6:33 p.m., and 10:21 a.m. to 12:21 p.m.

We made our first casts at 11:46 a.m. and our last ones at 3:08 p.m. And despite the unseasonably cold temperatures and a difficult wind, we were able to eke out 32 largemouth bass.

We spent the entire 202 minutes fishing around four patches of wilting coontail inside a small feeder-creek, around some meager and wilting patches of coontail that adorn three main-lake points, and along a series of patches of coontail that embellishes portions of a 75-yard segment of a main-lake shoreline.

The small feeder-creek arm, the 75-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline, and two of the main-lake points are situated in the middle section of this reservoir. The third lake point is located in the reservoir's lower section.

The four patches of coontail inside the small feeder-creek arm yielded 26 largemouth bass. One was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw TRD HogZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Another one was caught on a Z-Man's hot-snakes Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. One of the 26 largemouth bass was caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. Eleven were caught on a slightly shortened Z-Man's purple-death TRD TicklerZ affixed to a red 1/32-ounce Z-Man's OG Mushroom Jighead. A dozen were caught on a Z-Man's Canada-craw Finesse TRD affixed to a red 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.

The first patch of coontail, which is adjacent to the mouth of this feeder-creek arm, yielded eight largemouth bass. It is about the size of 3 1/2 tennis courts.

The second patch, which is about 45 yards from the mouth, yielded 16 largemouth bass. It is about the size of two tennis courts.

The third patch, which is about 75 yards from the mouth, yielded two largemouth bass. It is about the size of two tennis courts.

The fourth patch of coontail, which is situated about 100 yards from the mouth of this feeder-creek arm, was fruitless. It is about the size of two tennis courts. This patch has become quite wilted and meager.

These 26 largemouth bass were caught in four to about 11 feet of water. A few were caught between 10 and 20 feet from the water's edge. But most of them were caught many yards from the water's edge. Five docks float on top portions of these four patches of coontail, and five largemouth bass were caught around or in close proximity to these docks. Three were caught on the initial drop of our rigs. The others were caught on three different retrieves: a swim-glide-and-shake presentation, a drag-and-shake presentation, and a drag-shake-and-deadstick presentation. The swirling wind created a multitude of bows in our line, which hampered our abilities to make dexterous and exact presentations, and at times, it seemed as if the largemouth bass were catching us rather than us catching them.

Our hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig caught two largemouth bass around a main-lake point that is situated at the mouth of the small feeder-creek arm. This point possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel and rocks, which are graced with some wilting patches of coontail. The water's edge is lined with a massive patch of winter-dead American water willows and a dock. Both largemouth bass were caught as we were strolling and dealing with significant line bows and trying to employ a drag-and-shake presentation. They were caught many feet from the water's edge, and we could not determine how deep the water was, but we suspect that they were caught in six to eight feet of water.

We caught two largemouth bass along the 100-yard stretch of the main-lake shoreline. It has a slope that ranges from 25 degrees to 50 degrees. The water's edge of this shoreline is embroidered with several large patches of winter-dead American water willows and a few laydowns. The underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. Some of the boulders are humongous.

One largemouth bass was caught in about five feet of water on a large patch of wilted coontail that is situated on top of a gigantic and shallow-water shelf of rocks and boulders, and the outside edge of this shelf plummets into deep water. This largemouth bass was caught on the initial drop of a Z-Man's smelt Hula StickZ affixed to a blue 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jighead.

The second largemouth bass was caught along the only wind-sheltered spot that we fished. It was caught along a steep portion of the shoreline, which is endowed with dense patches of American water willows sporadically enhanced with some wilting patches of coontail. It was caught on the initial drop of our hot-snakes Finesse TRD rig in about five feet of water.

The second main-lake point that we fished was fruitless. This point used to be graced with patches of coontail, but we failed to cross paths with them around the wind-sheltered section that we fished.

But we caught two largemouth bass around the third main-lake point, which is situated near the dam. It possesses a 35- to 40-degree slope. Its underwater terrain consists of gravel, rocks, and boulders. A significant portion of this point supports a large concrete water tower. A small segment of the underwater terrain is adorned with a few meager patches of wilting coontail. Both of the largemouth bass were caught around the patches of coontail as we strolled and employed a drag-and-shake presentation in about six to seven feet of water.

The National Weather Service tells us that northeastern Kansas will be waylaid with wind gusts of 35 mph on Dec. 1 and 45 mph on Dec. 2. So, we will be at bay for a few days.

FIND A DEALER
See something you like? Need to re-stock? Find the dealer nearest you to get all our latest products.
RECENT NEWS
HeadlineZ

Toughest Swimbait Ever?

HeadlineZ

Z-Man® Signs Texas' Captain Ernest Cisneros

HeadlineZ

Midwest Finesse Fishing: December 2022

HeadlineZ

Supertanker Smallmouths

HeadlineZ

Z-Man Project Z ProfileZ: Jody Queen

CONNECT WITH US
LIKE US
On Facebook
FOLLOW US
On Twitter
SUBSCRIBE TO
Our YouTube Channel
CHECK US OUT
On Instagram