Jim Blassingame

Rains have more than filled our area lakes and this means scattered fish.  

Oxygen has been added by these rains and water temps have been lowered into the high 70s to mid 80s. We are now in our fall season and with this cloud cover, water temps will drop even more. 

There will be spells where the bite will be slow and again there will be times the bite is really good — that’s the way it is in our fall season. For now, with the flooded areas into the fresh bushes and timber, it will draw you in, but for the next few days, the fish will be very close to the old shorelines. 

This is the time to use square-bills and bladed jigs, but also check that flooded brush just to make sure, because some fish will move into these places early. Soft plastics will work in these places. Keep an eye out for shad movements because this will give you the location of the fish.

As water temps drop even more, the fish will begin to feed up for winter. At first this is slow to begin, but as the nights drop into the high 60s to mid 50s, the feeding frenzy will be happening about every couple of days.  Once you spot the shad, check the size, and this will give you a clue as to what size baits to throw. 

On the days the bite seems slow, this is the time to slow down your presentation and make repeated casts to your target area.  On the days when the feeding frenzy is going on, take advantage of this and cover as much water as you can. 

These days are rare and may only happen two or three times during this fall season. If you are lucky and you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you can have a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. 

This is truly a great time of the year — very few hot days and a lot of cooler weather.  All wildlife will be on the move — as well as the fish. Conditions will be changing and this makes it a good time to be in the outdoors.  Seeing and being in the nature change is something wonderful to remember.

We have some great bass fishermen in our area and I was thrilled to see several of them on the winner’s list at the Sealy Big Bass Splash on Fork this past weekend: Jimmy Ballard, Tony Reed, Raymond Miller, Danny Sims, George Goodman, Wade Evans, William Toothman, Mitchell Hess, James Crawford, Chance Woodard, and Randy Woodard. 

In the Little Anglers Division, Legend Woodard and Kaleb Woodard were on the winners list.  

Congratulations to all you guys — great job — and I sure hope I didn’t miss anybody.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 81-85 degrees; 1.27 feet low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, hollow body frogs and bladed jigs. Crappie are fair on minnows. White bass are good on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Bonham: Water lightly stained; 80-83 degrees; 2.06 feet low. Black bass are fair on crankbaits, topwaters, and Texas rigged creature baits. Crappie are fair on brush piles on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Cooper: Water stained; 81-89 degrees; 4.21 feet low. Black bass are slow on black buzzbaits, weightless Senkos and Texas rigged worms. Crappie are fair on minnows and white jigs. Hybrid striper and white bass are fair on slabs. 

Fork:  Water lightly stained; 81-85 degrees; 2.36 feet low. Black bass are slow on Carolina rigged creature baits, flutter spoons, football jigs and deep diving crankbaits. White and yellow bass are fair on slabs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs on brush piles and bridges. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Monticello: Water stained; 82-86 degrees; 3.94 feet low. Black bass are fair on shallow crankbaits, Texas rigged craws and weightless Senkos. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Hugo: Elevation normal, water 84 degrees and murky. Blue, channel and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, dough bait, live bait and shad below the dam, along channels, main lake and river channel. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs below the dam, around brush structure, creek channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber. 

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Trout good on caddis flies along creek channels and river channel. 

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 82 degrees and clear. Largemouth and spotted bass good on buzz baits, crankbaits and plastic baits along channels, points and standing timber. Crappie, spotted bass and white bass fair on minnows and jigs along creek channels and standing timber. Channel and flathead catfish fair on chicken liver, goldfish and sunfish along river channel. 

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass fair on topwater lures along creek channels and shallows. Crappie good on jigs around brush structure. Channel catfish fair on cut bait in the main lake. 

Texoma: Water lightly stained; 80-83 degrees; 0.72 feet low. Black bass are fair on shakyhead worms, topwaters and squarebill crankbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. Striped bass are good on slabs and topwaters. Catfish are fair on trotlines and cut shad.

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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