Last week we talked about preparation for this coming fall and winter. Preparation is not just for your tackle, or your boat and trailer. When you get all that done, what about your clothing?

At first, of course it’s not all that cold. After a few weeks it will get cooler, and eventually cold. Jackets and bibs become a major part of your wardrobe. Most of us still have our raingear already in the boat because of all the rain we had this year. If you’re like me, your foul weather gear has been packed away all summer, and even though you washed it before packing away, it smells somewhat along the lines of foul. So just freshen that up, and you are ready.

You’ve got your tackle, boat, trailer and even your clothes ready and handy and it’s time to start working on your lures.

Last week we discussed the more popular fall and winter baits. Since most of our area lakes are clear to slightly stained, baits you might consider having at hands reach are weightless stick baits for the shallows, pads or buck brush. Early morning seems to be fairly cool and a good topwater bait could be your ticket for a check at the Big Bass Splash on Lake Fork Sept. 20, 21 and 22. When the sun starts getting up, try going to a 10-inch worm or a bladed jig. I like to remove the skirt and place a good swim bait in a shad pattern color on it. If the weather is still on the warm side, you might have a squarebill or even a deep diving crank tied on and ready. Also a Carolina Rig just might be the ideal bait.

For now on Mayse, conditions remain in the summer pattern. Early and late are your best chances to get bit. Again, topwaters, squarebills, deep divers, bladed jigs and Carolina Rigs are all working from dawn to dusk. Main lake points as well as the channels in the wooded area have been best.

One other area you might check is the main creek area where you have bank on both sides toward the Emberson Bridge. This area has laydowns and shade, plus there’s a lot of baitfish there. If you like to pitch or flip, this will be ideal for you.

So get prepared — it’s the key to not only having a fun day on the water, but it’ll help you put more fish in the boat. Just fish smart and be ready for this seasonal change because it’s going to really be fun.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water stained; 86-89 degrees; 0.62 feet low. Black bass are good on Flukes, shakyhead worms and hollow body frogs. Crappie are good on minnows. White bass are good on slabs. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Bonham: Water lightly stained; 86-88 degrees; 1.12 feet low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, spinnerbaits, and shallow crankbaits. Crappie are slow on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Cooper: Water stained; 90-99 degrees; 1.02 feet low. Black bass are slow on weightless Senkos, Texas rigged craws and shakeyhead worms. Crappie are fair on minnows. Hybrid striper and white bass are good on slabs.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 87-90 degrees; 1.12 feet low. Black bass are slow on magnum shakyhead worms, football jigs and deep diving crankbaits. White and yellow bass are good on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are good on trotlines and prepared bait.

Tawakoni: Water stained; 87-90 degrees; 0.71 feet low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, white swimjigs and hollow body frogs. White bass are good on slabs. Hybrid bass are good on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Broken Bow: Elevation below normal, water 89 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass good on Alabama rig and plastics around brush structure and points. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver and punch bait around channels, river channel, and river mouth.

Hugo: Elevation normal, water 87 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, shad, stinkbait, and sunfish below the dam, and around the main lake, river channel, and shorelines. Crappie good on jigs and minnows below the dam, and around brush structure, channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout fair on plastics, PowerBait, small lures, and worms below the dam and around the spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation below normal, water 85 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass slow on flukes, jigs and plastics around coves, points, and rocks. Crappie, white bass and channel catfish fair on minnows around creek channels and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on topwater lures around coves. Crappie slow on jigs around brush structure. Channel catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait and stinkbait around coves, creek channels and river channel.

Texoma: Elevation normal, water 84 degrees and clear. Black bass are good on topwaters, shakyhead worms and Flukes. Striped bass good on Alabama rig, live bait, live shad, shad and topwater lures below the dam, and around flats, main lake and tailwater. Crappie fair on hair jigs, jigs, live bait, minnows,and tube jigs around brush structure and docks. Flathead catfish fair on live bait and sunfish below the dam and around tailwater. Lake fishing and tailwater fishing is good right now — Oklahoma wall is good for striped bass on live bait and fresh bait — baits include perch and shad — the bigger the bait the bigger the fish. Tons of small fish being caught with some large mixed in. Use free line or casting cork setups. On the lake anglers should get out early (like being on the water at daylight) in the mornings, surface feeding has been good at Washita Point and the North Island. Anglers should use surface lure while fish are feeding on top (three-inch baits will produce lots of fish). Using bigger baits beneath surface feeding will produce bigger fish but not the numbers that surface lures will. Trolling bill baits or Alabama rigs will produce fish as well.

Fish smart, be safe, and I’ll see you on the lake.

Jim Blassingame is a Paris resident and an avid angler.

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