For the last couple of weeks, we’ve talked about preparations for this coming fall and winter fishing. It may be too early yet, but still not that early for the fish — they already sense that it’s time for them to get ready.
Right now, water temps are still pretty high but that will change soon. When they drop into the lower 70s, the fish will be following the shad and bluegill along major creeks, heading toward the backs of those creeks, and you’ve got to be ready. You’ll still see fish feeding on schools of shad, but this will be very quick, and they’ll be gone so have those rods tied and ready. Also try cover — like stumps or scattered wood in shallow flats. If those areas have some grass, that’s a bonus.
Once the change begins, go to the creeks and flats where most of us have been many times, so turn off your electronics and make long casts to those structures or targets. You do this because these fish are coming off their summer patterns and are still spooky.
High percentage baits that you might have tied on are topwaters such as wake baits, walking baits and buzzbaits. Spinnerbaits and bladed jigs will be good also.
In some of your areas, there will be rocks or root systems and crawfish love this so you need to have a jig ready. I like a 3/8 or a ½ ounce green pumpkin with a craw trailer that has kicking activity during its fall. You can give them a one-two punch by using two baits like a topwater or a bladed jig and the green pumpkin jig with a kicking trailer. Always have this one tied on and ready because you can get some of these crawfish eaters.
Try to key on the shad movements. One thing you want to take note of is their size so you can match the hatch. You need to get as close to their size as you can but not necessarily their color because sometimes it pays to be different. Schooling is going on at Mayse right now. The bass are suspending over deeper water in the 5 to 10 foot range. Baitfish or shad are about 2 ½ to 3 inches in size so you need to match that size. Small swimbaits or a suspending jerk bait worked in that depth will produce for you. Deeper brush piles will pull you in, but these bass are suspended above the brush. There will be a few crappie in there too.
So get ready — keep up with the shad movements and size whichever lake you are on. Just be prepared and have fun.
One more thing — if you catch a lunker bass but don’t want to leave the lake to enter it in the Toyota Sharelunker Program that started Jan. 1 and ends in December, you can enter your fish with their new mobile app. Anyone can enter their lunker bass from their smartphone or tablet right from their favorite fishing spot.
The Toyota ShareLunker app is now available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Bob Sandlin: Water stained; 86-89 degrees; 0.68 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on Flukes, and topwater frogs. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows. White bass are good on slabs. Catfish are fair with live bait.
Bonham: Water lightly stained; 86-88 degrees; 1.28 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on Texas rigged plastic craws, spinnerbaits, and shallow jigs. Crappie are slow on minnows. Catfish are fair on live bait.
Cooper: Water stained; 86-90 degrees; 0.65 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on Texas rigged craws and Carolina rigged worms. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows. Hybrid striper and white bass are good on slabs
Fork: Water stained; 87-90 degrees; 0.79 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on deep diving crankbaits, and spinners. White and yellow bass are good on Alabama Rigs. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows. Catfish are good on prepared bait.
Tawakoni: Water stained; 85-90 degrees; 0.51 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on topwaters in the mornings/evenings, and crankbait during the day. White bass and hybrids are good on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.
Broken Bow: Elevation below normal, water 83 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fair on flukes and topwater lures along creek channels, main lake, points and river channel. Look for bass schooling in the mornings and afternoons. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around brush structure.
Hugo: Elevation normal, water 85 degrees and murky. Blue, channel and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish below the dam, main lake, river channel and shorelines.
Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Trout excellent on PowerBait, small lures, tube jigs and worms along channels and spillway. .
McGee Creek: Elevation above normal, water 83 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass good on Alabama rigs, flukes and topwater lures around brush structure, points and standing timber. Channel and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, shad and stinkbait along creek channels and river mouth. .
Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on spinnerbaits and topwater lures in coves, creek channels and points. Crappie good on jigs around brush structure and creek channels. Channel catfish good on cut bait and punch bait along creek channels
Texoma: Elevation normal, water 80 degrees. Largemouth bass are good on topwaters. Striped bass good on Alabama rigs, cut bait, shad, slabs and topwater lures below the dam, main lake and around points. Topwater action is great in early mornings and late evenings near Washita Point to Platter Flats. Topwater fishing has been producing a great quantity of small boxfish if anglers are looking for larger fish they should use live bait or use sinking lures beneath smaller surface feeding fish (only two striped bass over 20 inch per angler). Crappie fair on minnows and jigs around brush structure and docks. Blue catfish fair on cut bait, live bait and shad below the dam. Crappie fishing is hit or miss beneath docks where structure is present depths from 15-25 feet has been the producing crappie. Lake fishing has been good the past week with the rains cooling off water temps fish bite should be good the days following. Below the dam, fish numbers are still good but mostly small striped bass are being caught. Anglers should use cut or live bait with casting cork or free lining.
Fish smart, be safe, and I’ll see you on the lake.