A big weekend approaches with the Seeley’s Big Bass Splash at Lake Fork and we can expect a lot of fishermen on the water. I know several of our area anglers are going to be there and I expect to see them earning checks. Even if you don’t fish this event, there will be lots of displays and several food vendors to visit and the spectators can enter into nice drawings.

Now if you have entered this tournament, what do you do? Do you go after a Big Bass only or do you target fish under the slot just for a check? There are several theories about this, but for myself since this is a three day event, I would go after fish under the slot and get my entry fee back, then I would target the Big Bass. Maybe you don’t have time to pre-fish and there are so many places that could give you one over the slot. The problem here though, is that a lot of fishermen have pre-fished and those areas will have a lot of traffic. So if you can, find fresh water in areas like Running Creek which is in the Coffee Creek area and also try the area in or around the 515 East Bridge.

Of course there are many areas that can produce both under and over the slot — in and around the dam is always good for a fish or two. Early morning hours, try around the dams’ east end all the way to the outlet area where you have a shallow ridge that holds both under and overs. Also, if you’ll notice just past the outlet, there is a point coming off of the Dam itself. This is called, for some reason, The Dam Point. You can also fish both unders and overs here and this is one of my favorite spots because I caught 27 overs here once because it’s very close to 25 to 30 foot water.

With the shallow point, fish move up to feed and then retreat back to deeper water. Think shallow whichever area you select. There are so many areas like these on this lake that are capable of getting you a check or two. Two of my other favorite areas are the main lake and secondary points around the Sabine River Authority right there around the dam area.

Whatever you do, stay aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for shad flicking or popping the surface and watch for bird activity — these are clues. It’s also likely that you might see or hear fish schooling on top.

Here’s a final tip — just fish and have fun! See you all there and good luck, be safe and fish smart — be prepared for some foul weather. They are calling for wind and rain so have that rain gear handy.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water stained; 83-88 degrees; 0.80 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on topwater frogs at sunrise and deeper baits are good during the day. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows. White bass are good on slabs. Catfish are fair with live prepped and 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; 83-89 degrees; 0.83 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on Texas rigged craws and Carolina rigged worms. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows. Hybrid stripers and white bass are good on slabs.

Fork: Water stained; 86-89 degrees; 0.97 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on deep diving crankbaits, bumping artificial worms, and spinners. While slow some large 8–10lb fish have still been caught the past week. 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; 85-89 degrees; 0.68 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on topwaters in the mornings/evenings and crankbaits during the day. White bass and hybrid stripers are good on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines.

Broken Bow: Elevation below normal, water 85 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass fair on bill baits, crankbaits, and flukes around brush structure and points. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation below normal, water 86 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, shad, and sunfish 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, main lake, river channel, and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout good on PowerBait, small lures, and salmon eggs below the dam, and around creek channels and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 84 degrees. Largemouth, spotted, and white bass fair on crankbaits, flukes, plastics, and topwater lures around brush structure, coves, points, and standing timber. Flathead and channel catfish fair on goldfish and sunfish around creek channels and river channel. Crappie, spotted bass, and white bass fair on minnows around creek channels and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits and topwater lures around coves and points. Largemouth bass also slow on jigs around brush structure and creek channels. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and punch bait below the dam.

Texoma: Elevation normal, water 83 degrees and clear. Largemouth bass are good on topwaters. Striped bass good on Alabama rigs, live bait, live shad, slabs, and topwater lures below the dam, and around flats, main lake, and points. Blue catfish fair on cut bait and shad below the dam and around the main lake. Fishing on the lake has been good. Early mornings and late evening topwater fishing has been good, if looking for bigger striped bass live bait on 50 ft. ledges has been producing fish. Below Dam lots of small striped bass are being caught on live bait as well lots of small blue catfish.

Jim Blassingame is a Paris resident and an avid angler. 

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