Conditions are changing on Pat Mayse as well as all our area lakes. Mayse water levels are dropping and water temps are on the rise, plus this week we’ve had little or no rain. Since water levels are dropping, the fish will fall back to a little deeper water.

The key will still be baitfish, so keep an eye out for them because they will tell you where and how the fish are positioned. Some of these fish that were in the shallow buck brush and weeds will move into their summer patterns, but some will remain close to the original shoreline. Remember, the original shoreline will have an irregular bottom and this is a good ambush point for the shallower fish. I know you’ve heard me use the term “zig-zag pattern” and now is a good time to give this a try. You fish it by running the shallows along the original shoreline, as well as the shallow remaining cover such as rock, wood or drops in or around blow-downs. This can be done in the early hours, if the sun comes up early, or if the day is cloudy. If the sun comes up early, then most likely you will have to move deeper.

Baits that are still producing in the shallows are topwaters, vibrating jigs, spinnerbaits, squarebills and swimbaits. Since waters are clearing up, finesse baits will also be coming into play. As weather conditions change to bright sun, give cranks such as a 15 Plus or Carolina Rigs, or a ¾ ounce vibrating jig a try.

Bass that have begun their summer pattern have moved into the deeper water in the 10 to 15 foot range in or around some type of cover, plus there will be shad in the area. These fish will be more aggressive than they were a week or so ago and with other fish moving in, competition for food makes for fun fishing.

So start in the shallows and as long as you’re catching fish, stay shallow until the bite slows down. Then begin working toward the deeper water and if you see a likely target in the shallows, move back. Repeat this pattern and you’ll be zig-zag fishing. Have fun and be safe.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water stained; 83-87 degrees; 0.22 feet high. Black bass are fair on topwaters, shakyhead worms and Texas rigged creature baits. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs. White bass are good on slabs and topwaters. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Bonham: Water lightly stained; 82-85 degrees; 0.23 feet high. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, squarebill crankbaits, and topwaters. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Cooper: Water stained; 84-90 degrees; 0.86 feet high. Black bass are fair on bladed jigs, Texas rigged craws and topwater poppers. Crappie are fair on minnows. Hybrid striper and white bass are fair on slabs.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 83-88 degrees; 0.20 feet high. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged creature baits, flutter spoons and deep diving crankbaits. White and yellow bass are fair on slabs and topwaters. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Monticello: Water stained; 83-87 degrees; 1.99 feet low. Black bass are good on hollow body frogs, shakyhead worms and Texas rigged creature baits. Crappie are good on minnows. Catfish are good on trotlines.

Tawakoni: Water stained; 84-88 degrees; 1.14 feet high. Black bass are good on Texas rigged craws, black buzz baits and hollow body frogs. White bass are good on slabs and tail spinners. Hybrid bass are good on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are good on trotlines and cut shad.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 78 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass good on Alabama rig, flukes, and plastics around brush structure, points, and standing timber. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 80 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish excellent on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, and stinkbait 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, creek channels, main lake, river channel, and standing timber. Largemouth and spotted bass good on Alabama rig, crankbaits, live bait, plastics, and small lures around brush structure, channels, main lake, points, river channel, and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Stocked approximately 990 rainbow trout on June 26 and Rainbow trout fishing is good on small lures and tube jigs around shallows and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 80 degrees and clear. Largemouth and spotted bass good on Alabama rig, plastics, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures around main lake, points, rocks, shorelines, and standing timber. White bass fair on spinnerbaits and spoons around the main lake. Channel and flathead catfish fair on live bait, punch bait, and sunfish around channels, coves, and main lake.

Pine Creek: Elevation above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits around the main lake, river channel, road beds, and humps. Crappie good on jigs around standing timber. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and cut bait around creek channels and main lake.

Texoma: Elevation above normal, water 75 degrees. Black bass are good on Texas rigged craws, shallow crankbaits and Flukes. Blue catfish good on cut bait, goldfish, live bait, live shad, and shad below the dam, and around main lake and tailwater. Striped bass good on cut bait, goldfish, live bait, live shad, and topwater lures below the dam, and around flats, main lake, and tailwater. Flathead catfish fair on live bait and live shad below the dam and around tailwater. Fishing on Texoma is great with lake levels getting closer to normal. Striper fishing is good mid-lake on south on the dam. Main areas include islands, tabletop, west burns, east burns. Live bait fishing is good in the mornings on late evenings. Use black salties, goldfish, shiners, or live shad. If short on bait use cut bait, it has been producing fish as well. Also at early morning and late evening, striped bass have begun surfacing making for some great topwater fishing. When this feeding frenzy is going lure choice is not important as they will hit almost anything. Lots of small blue cats will follow behind schooling striper picking dead bait along the bottom. Tailwaters- Striped bass are still being caught on mostly cut bait or whole bait in the edge of the current. Blues are being caught on the same thing when fished along the bottom. I’ve noticed some nice flatheads being caught on live perch.

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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