Even though we had rain Monday, I don’t think it raised lake levels very much, but it did add some oxygen to the lakes and that’s a good thing. Regardless, the fish are still in their summer patterns on all our area lakes.

Early mornings, late evening hours or even at night, topwaters, wacky rigs, stickbaits, chatterbaits or Texas rigs are all good choices. During mid-day periods, deep diving cranks, Carolina rigs, football jigs and spoons are effective. Areas to fish the early and late hours are shallow water areas that have access to deeper water. Also good are main lake and secondary points, humps, channel bends and, of course, shallow man-made brush piles.

During mid-day periods, good areas are deep brush piles, deep channel bends, deep humps close to even deeper water, main lake and secondary points along the sides or on the point out in deeper water. If you’re fishing the brush piles or any kind of structure, you might have to hit several of these spots before you find aggressive feeding fish. When you find them, you can expect to catch several because these fish have schooled up.

I’ve mentioned several baits that are good summer pattern baits, and if they just aren’t working for you, think about the lures that used to trigger the fish for you. Some of my favorites are the almost forgotten Little George and the Rocket Shad and I still use them. Jerkbaits are good also, and not many fishermen use them so they could give the fish a different look. Any of these three could end up triggering a school. Of course, the main thing is to find those aggressive fish. You can still catch fish along the way, but maybe just not numbers of them.

Just remember where you did catch a fish or two because it could hold a school at a different time of day.

Sometimes you just have to experiment — but have fun figuring out a pattern and just being on the lake. Fish smart, be safe and don’t forget about those “old school baits” because with the number of fishermen on the water, these fish are pressured.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water clear; 86 to 89 degrees; 0.13 feet low . Black bass are good on flipping jigs, top waters, spinners and plastic worms near grass lines, brush and rocky shorelines. Drop shots, football jigs and crank baits are working in deeper water near cover or timber. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in brush piles, under docks and timber near a creek or channel. Catfish are good on punch bait and cut bait.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 87 degrees; 0.85 feet high. Largemouth bass are good working crankbaits, flipping jigs, topwaters and drop shots near grass lines, drop-offs and trees. Crappie are good on minnows and light weight jigs near brush piles and timber. White bass are fair on slabs and swimbaits on the channel edges, flats and main lake humps. Chain pickerel are slow with spoons and small jigs. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, chicken liver and live bait.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 89 degrees; 0.11 feet high. Largemouth bass are good on diving crankbaits, green or black Carolina-rigged worms, double bladed spinners and flipping jigs. The white bass and hybrids are good over humps, ridges and flats using live bait, slabs, spoons and swimbaits. Crappie are good with minnows and jigs working brush piles and timber. Catfish are good on live bait and earthworms.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 86 to 90 degrees; 0.27 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on topwaters and buzz baits (early or late in the day), Carolina-rigged plastic worms and craws, shad like crankbaits and football jigs working timber and brush piles. White and yellow bass are fair using live bait, jigging spoons and slabs on humps, flats and ridge lines. Crappie are good on minnows near brush piles, bridges and timber. Catfish are good using cut bait and live bait in water depths 15 to 25 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 88 degrees; 0.73 feet low . Largemouth bass are slow on crankbaits, football jigs and drop shots working near points, drop-offs and fallen timber. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are fair on punch bait and earthworms.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 88 degrees; 0.20 feet high. Blue catfish are good on fresh cut or live bait. Channel catfish are good on earthworms, punch bait and chicken liver. Largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits, Texas-rigged plastic worms, flipping jigs and bladed spinners near vegetation lines, docks and flooded brush. White bass and hybrid stripers are good on swimbaits, slabs and live bait near the main lake channel, flats, drop-offs and humps. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs around brush piles, docks and bridge pilings.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 81 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass good on Alabama rigs, bill baits, crankbaits and plastic baits around brush structure, points and standing timber. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation normal, water 83 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, along channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie good on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 86 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, flukes, plastic baits and topwater lures in coves, along flats, points and rocks. Crappie fair on minnows along creek channels and standing timber.

Texoma: Water lightly stained; 80 to 83 degrees; 6.40 feet high. Striped bass are good on live bait, top waters and swimbaits in the river channel and tributaries. White bass are good on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are good fishing bladed spinners, shaky head jigs, crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. Crappie are fair on minnows near boathouses, timber near a channel and brush piles. Catfish are good on earthworms and punch bait.

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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