The holidays are over, and it’s time to get down to some great fishing in this new year.

Even though water temps are low in most of our area lakes, some fish are being caught — maybe not numbers of bass. If it’s numbers of fish you want, then go for crappie. Right now on Mayse, numbers of crappie are coming in the 25 foot range on jigs and live minnows. Bass are coming from the 8 to 12 foot range and some days from more shallow than 8 feet.

Remember that bass are cold blooded, and they can’t control their body temperature. They will move very slowly and feed on baits or baitfish that are moving slowly also — like crawfish or worms. Go-to baits that have a high percentage chance of getting bites are jigs, jerkbaits, lipless cranks, swimbaits and shaky-heads with finesse type baits. I also like a stickworm or the Tokyo Rig with a craw trailer.

The best areas — since most of the grass is gone — is rock and wood. Channel banks with laydowns and a steep bank are also a high percentage spot for that lunker winter bass. The rock along the Dam on Mayse can and does provide some good fish because that rock holds some heat and the baitfish, including crawfish, like the warmer water even if it’s only a few degrees warmer.

Bass are on beds at Lake Welsh. The problem, though. is the grass which makes it hard to find or reach the spawning beds. A lightweight, weedless stickworm in a Bluegill pattern seems to work better than most baits because of the thick grass mats. If you look hard enough you can find spots where you can see fish on the beds and yes they are pegged. Keep in mind not all fish come to beds at the same time.Some have staged and are waiting to move up or to be driven by the males. The ideal approach to this is to back off from the spawning area about 8 to 10 feet and work a squarebill or a jerkbait for these staging fish. You can set a pattern as to the depth and structure and now you can run this pattern and catch numbers of bass.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water stained; 52 degrees; 0.74 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits, jigs, jerkbaits, and spinners. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows. White bass are fair on jigs on deeper points. Catfish are good on worms or stinkbait.

Caddo: Water stained; 50 degrees; 0.51 feet high. Largemouth bass are good moving on rigged plastic worms and spinnerbaits with high plant life. Crappie are good on smaller minnows and jigs among the cypress trunks. Catfish are fair on stinkbait and live bait throughout the shallow reservoir.

Cooper: Water clear; 53 degrees; 2.18 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on Carolina rigged worms, crankbaits, and spinners on points or working flooded timber. The white bass continue to be good on slabs and live bait. Catfish are good on live and cut bait.

Fork: Water stained; 52-54 degrees; 2.38 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on plastic worms, spinners, and Alabama rigs on deep humps and creek bends. Bumping the bottom with worms, slugs, and plastic minnows has been successful across from the marina, use Alabama rigs and spinners on points along with flooded timber. White and yellow bass are fair on Alabama Rigs. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows around any structure. Catfish are fair on prepared bait and cut bait.

Sulphur Springs: Water stained; 55 degrees; 0.68 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on Texas rigged plastic worms, topwater, spinnerbaits, and bass jigs looking for the deeper ridges. Crappie continue to be slow on minnows and jigs. Catfish are fair on cut shad and live bait.

Tawakoni: Water stained; 57 degrees; 1.73 feet low. Catfish are great on the lake with live, cut shad, shrimp, and stinkbait. Largemouth bass are fair on spinnerbaits, plastic worms, and crankbait on the shoreline. White bass and hybrid stripers are good on slabs, spoons, and Alabama rigs among deeper lake points and structure. Crappie are fair on minnows under bridges, docks and marinas.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 54 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass good on crankbaits and spoons around main lake and points. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver, punch bait, and worms around channels, coves, and points.

Hugo: Elevation below average, water 52 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, shad, and sunfish below the dam, and around channels, main lake, river channel, and shorelines. Black and white crappie fair on jigs and minnows below the dam, and around brush structure, main lake, river channel, and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout good on grubs, Powerbait, small lures, and tube jigs below the dam, and around channels and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 52 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, plastics, and drop shots around creek channels, points, and rocks.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on spoons around points. Black crappie good on jigs and spoons around brush structure. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver, cut bait, and punch bait around creek channels and main lake.

Texoma: Water stained; 56 degrees; 1.18 feet high. Striped bass are good using slabs, swimbaits, and live bait in deeper water and deep coves. Largemouth bass are good drifting live baits and reeled baits across low traffic natural structure. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs around large structure in shallow water. Catfish are fair on live shrimp, cut bait, and minnows.

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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