If you’ve been outside, you know how hot it is, and if you’re like me, you don’t get enough fishing time just fishing early or late.

Now is the perfect time to go night fishing. I’ve fished at night for a number of years and yes it is totally different. I’ve noticed that on Monticello, Lake Fork and Pat Mayse, the biting bugs begin to back off about 11 p.m. and you usually get a little breeze then until right about daylight. One tip for night fishing is to keep that light off unless it’s needed and then try to keep it in the bottom of the boat. If you happen to have a 12 volt blacklight, then you’ll be ready for some great nighttime fishing.

Night fishing is really different. It’s so peaceful and quiet and can be really productive because your chance of catching some monster bass is very good. Usually during sunny, hot days these larger fish are not in the same places that they are at night. The dark hours provide cover and it’s easier for them to feed. Flats close to deep water access, main lake points and secondary points with baitfish and cover such as rock or brush with a leading line to deeper water are good areas to try. The fish will move into these areas to feed under the cover of darkness. Ideal depths are from 8 to 15 feet. I’ve found that you catch fish in areas that you’ve never caught fish in before — areas that we call a no-nothing bank or shoreline.

Baits that are effective for night fishing are topwaters, spinnerbaits, and 8 to 10 inch worms, all usually dark in color. Remember, fish feed up and those dark or black colors stand out against the sky. It’s pretty much a rule of thumb, sometimes any color will work, but I recommend starting off with the darker colors.

Fishing at night will give you more time on the water and as the sun heats up, you can be on your way home. Give this a try, be prepared to be on the lake all night — take snacks, bug spray and cold water and have your tackle rigged and ready. Keep your light as limited as possible and enjoy the cooler fishing.

Good news for dove hunters

TPWD says conditions are ripe for prime Texas dove hunting. The regular dove season in the North Zone runs Sept. 1 to Nov. 12 and resumes Dec. 20 to Jan.5, 2020. The regular season in the Central Zone is Sept. 1 to Nov. 3, then resumes Dec. 20 to Jan.14, 2020. The regular season in the South Zone is Sept. 14 to Nov. 3 and Dec. 20 to Jan. 23, 2020. The Special White-Winged Dove Days in the South Zone are Sept. 1-2 and 7-8. Licenses are on sale now for the 2019-2020 hunting seasons. Check your calendar — some of those start dates are different from the past.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water stained; 88-92 degrees; 0.35 feet low. Black bass are fair on Senkos, shakyhead worms and spinnerbaits. Crappie are slow on minnows. White bass are good on slabs and topwaters. Catfish are fair on trotlines

Bonham: Water lightly stained; 87-91 degrees; 0.62 feet low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, topwater poppers, and buzzbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfish are fair on trotlines

Cooper: Water stained; 88-99 degrees; 0.80 feet low. Black bass are slow on shallow crankbaits, Texas rigged craws and weightless Flukes. Crappie are fair on minnows. Hybrid striper and white bass are fair on slabs.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 87-91 degrees; 0.84 feet low. Black bass are slow on Texas rigged creature baits, football jigs and hollow body frogs. White and yellow bass are slow on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are good on trotlines and prepared bait.

Monticello: Water stained; 88-92 degrees; 2.97 feet low. Black bass are slow on hollow body frogs, Senkos and Texas rigged creature baits. Crappie are slow on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Tawakoni: Water stained; 88-92 degrees; 0.37 feet low. Black bass are good 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 good on trotlines and rod and reels.

Broken Bow: Elevation below normal, water 87 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass good on plastics and topwater lures around brush structure and points.

Hugo: Elevation normal, water 87 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, and sunfish below the dam, and around creek channels, 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 good on tube jigs and worms around creek channels, rocks, and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 85 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, flukes, plastics, and topwater lures around coves, points, and rocks. Crappie and white bass good on minnows around creek channels, river channel, and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on sassy shad, spinnerbaits, and worms around coves, creek channels, and points. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and cut bait around creek channels and river channel.

Texoma: Elevation normal, water 82 degrees and clear. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, shakyhead worms and weightless Senkos. Striped bass good on live shad, slabs, and topwater lures below the dam, and around flats, main lake, and shallows. Blue catfish fair on cut bait, live bait, and shad below the dam and around the main lake. Crappie fair on hair jigs, live bait, and tube jigs around brush structure and docks. Lake fishing has been good early mornings and late evenings, Striped bass hitting topwater lures when surfacing feeding is present. Striped bass holding on ledges and hitting live baits early in the mornings, from 7-9 a.m. The topwater action has been good on the southern end of the lake. By 9 a.m. most of the striped bass bite has diminished to very slow. Blue cats hitting cut bait below Denison Dam at night. Striped bass hitting live perch below Denison Dam.

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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