While the leaves have been trying to turn, we have been experiencing summer-time heat, but this is about to change. Fishing patterns have also changed a little. Some of the fish have changed their positions, moving back to a little deeper water.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting hits very close to the boat, and I thought at first that the fish were following my bait, but I realized that my boat position was wrong. After changing to a little deeper water, some of the fish were there and some of them were still up shallow.

Keep your eye on your electronics because cover and breaklines with baitfish are keys to success. Brush, rock and grasslines are all ambush sites for bass and are excellent areas to use 3 inch swimbaits with a light weighted hook. Other good choices for early mid-day baits are bladed jigs rigged with a swimbait trailer, a jig rigged with a craw-type trailer and a wacky rig. Early mornings, buzzbaits, squarebills, wacky rigs and a quarter ounce spinner bait with double willowleaf blades are all good choices.

These have been working for me and you might have your own favorites that will work as well. With water temps in the lower 70s, I prefer baits that I can cover a lot of water fast, until I can set a pattern that I can use in several areas of the lake. Many years ago we established this pattern and we called it “picking cherries” and we would start hitting areas all over the lake that fit the pattern.

Over at Lake Fork, even though the report says fishing is slow, there are coves that have resident fish. Some that I know are the Lake Fork Marina coves, Chaney Creek, the back of Dale Creek up to the Pylons and No Name. All of these have resident fish. Wacky rigs, bladed jigs, topwaters and squarebills are all good choices. Keep in mind that Fork always has deep fish, and by deep, I mean 15 to 25 feet.

Over at Texoma, this is the month for smallmouth bass, or brownies, as they are called, and they like the cooler water. They also like rocky places. Areas for smallmouth hangouts are the Eisenhower Park area along the Rock Bluffs, the Little Glasses area, Willow Springs and Catfish Bay. I’ve had success in these areas in past Octobers, and they also have black bass and Kentuckys. You can catch all three species and that makes for a really fun fishing trip.

Whichever lake or pond you choose to fish, it’s a great time to be on the water. Just fish smart and be safe and remember, water temps are dropping so keep that life jacket on.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water clear; 74 degrees; 0.54 feet low. Black bass are good on drop shots, crankbaits and long Texas-rigged plastic worms in 18 to 28 feet near deep water humps, flats and boat docks with some bass caught in 3 to 10 feet early. Crappie are good on minnows in brush piles, bridges and creek intersections in 15 to 25 feet. Catfish are good on live bait and punch bait in 12 to 25 feet near baited holes.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 74 degrees; 0.64 feet high. Largemouth bass are good in shallow water near trees, stumps and grass beds fishing plastic frogs, poppers, chuggers and skirted jigs in 3 to 5 feet. Texas-rigged plastic worms and crankbaits are productive in deeper water near timber and vegetation lines in 4 to 10 feet. Crappie are fair on minnows near brush piles and timber edges in 14 to 25 feet. White bass are fair on jigs and slabs in the main lake. Chain pickerel are slow. Catfish are good on prepared bait and nightcrawlers in 12 to 20 feet fishing baited holes near channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water clear; 75 degrees; 2.99 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on drop shots, medium size crankbaits and skirted jigs in 12 to 25 feet. The white bass and hybrids are fair in 25 to 35 feet with live bait, slabs and jigging spoons over humps, flats edges and near main lake drop-offs. Crappie are fair with minnows on brush piles and timber near creek channels. Catfish are good on cut bait and prepared bait in 14 to 25 feet’.

Fork: Water stained; 73 degrees; 1.66 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on slowly fished finesse worms and jigs near standing flooded timber, points and drop-offs. White and yellow bass are fair in deeper water with slabs and jigging spoons. Crappie are slow on minnows in 18 to 25 feet in brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are fair on punch bait in 12 to 24 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 75 degrees; 2.5 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on plastic worms and brush hogs near brush piles, drop-offs and flooded timber. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 18 to to 20 feet.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 73 to 76 degrees; 1.33 feet low. Catfish are excellent on punch bait and cut bait. Largemouth bass are good on crankbaits, senkos, jigs and swimbaits. White bass and hybrid stripers are excellent on live bait and slabs with some fish schooling on the surface. Use sonar to locate fish in deeper water near drop-offs, large flats and humps in the main lake. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs around brush piles, docks and bridge pilings.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 76 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, plastic baits, and spoons around brush structure and standing timber. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 75 degrees and murky. Blue, channel and flathead catfish good on cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish around brush structure, channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout excellent on caddis flies, PowerBait, tube jigs, worms and salmon eggs below the dam, around shallows and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 77 degrees and murky. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, jigs,and plastic baits around brush structure, creek channels and points. White and spotted bass fair on Alabama rigs, lipless baits and topwater lures below the dam and around the main lake. Crappie good on minnows around river channel and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits, plastic bait, and spinnerbaits around points. Crappie good on minnows around brush structure and standing timber. Channel catfish excellent on cut bait, hot dogs and punch bait around creek channels and river channel.

Texoma: Water lightly stained; 76 degrees; 3.02 feet low. Striped bass and white bass are excellent on live bait, swimbaits and topwater baits when fish are near the surface. Diving birds are marking feeding schools on the surface throughout the lake. Use sonar to mark schools along the river channel and flats. Largemouth bass are good fishing black or purple Texas-rigged plastic worms and diving crankbaits in 16 to 28 feet with some fish moving into shallow water in the 8 to 12 feet range. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs by boathouses, timber and brush piles in 15 to 25 feet. Catfish are good on cut bait 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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