Boy, this past week was something else and it sure kept us off the lakes.

Water color at Pat Mayse is OK for now, although I don’t know yet what the melted snow run-off did. I’m pretty sure it will be OK on the color, but the water temps dropped lower than I can remember. Fishing was only fair before the week of snow and low temps, and now I think it will be slow for awhile.

Don’t let those low water temps mess with you — if you can go, then go, and I promise you you’ll learn about cold water fishing. If you do go, keep in mind that those fish still have to eat, but just not very often. For example, if a bass eats a 3-inch shad, it takes about 72 hours to digest it. Since fish don’t feed at the same time, somewhere on the lake there’s a fish or two that’s ready to eat, and all you have to do is be there and be ready.

According to the weather forecast, we do have warmer days coming, but at this time of the year nighttime temps are important. When the nighttime temps rise into the 50s, and we have sun and day-temps in the 70s, be ready to start catching numbers. As you begin catching a few fish, notice the size. If the fish seem to be on the smaller side of the ruler, they are most likely males. What this means is they are looking for an area to build beds. Yes, the spring spawning cycle is not far away. For now though, we are faced with extreme cold water temps and the bite is very slow on most lakes.

Baits that will come into play are A-Rigs, Jerkbaits, jigs, mid-range crankbaits and red or crawfish (orange) lipless cranks. Brannan’s is well stocked with all the good colors. You might also catch them on a drop-shot or a shaky-head rig. All these baits are worth having on the deck of your boat. Areas with the higher percentage are rock, wood, ditches and bluffs.

As this weather warms, lake conditions will also change pretty quickly, so be ready to make that change. If you have a chance, get out on the lake now — just layer up on your clothing so you can remove a layer or two as the temps warm up during the afternoon. It’s all a fun learning experience and who knows, you just might land that fish of a lifetime.

Fish smart, keep it simple and I’ll see you on the lake.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 47 degrees; 0.50 feet high. Black bass are fair on A-rigs, skirted jigs, suspended jerk baits and finesse worms in 18 to 30 feet near creek bends, timber, rocky shorelines and drop-offs. Crappie are slow on minnows and jigs in brush piles and near open water bait schools. Catfish are fair on cut bait and punch bait in 12 to 25 feet near baited holes.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 46 to 49 degrees; 0.11 feet high. Largemouth bass are slow working brush hogs, crankbaits and swimbaits near channel edges, boat docks and creek mouths. Crappie are slow on minnows and jigs near brush piles and timber near a drop-off or creek channel in 14 to 24 feet. White bass are slow on slabs in the main lake. Chain Pickerel are slow with spoons and small jigs. Catfish are fair on punch bait fishing baited holes near channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 47 degrees; 0.67 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on finesse worms, crankbaits, spoons and jigs. The white bass and hybrids are fair in 25 to 35 feet with live bait and slabs and over humps, ridges and near main lake drop-offs. Crappie are slow with minnows and jigs tipped with minnows on brush piles and near timber. Catfish are fair on cut bait and in punch bait 15 to 25 feet.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 48 to 53 degrees; 0.77 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on spinners, spoons, crankbaits and jigs near deep points, roadbeds, brush piles, timber and rocky shorelines. White and yellow bass are slow in deeper water with slabs and jigging spoons. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 28 to 45 feet near bait schools in the main lake. Catfish are fair on punch bait and cut bait in 12 to 30 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 48 degrees; 0.13 feet high. Largemouth bass are slow on jigs, plastic worms and crankbaits near points, creek bends and fallen timber. Crappie are slow on minnows in 13 to 28 feet near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are slow on punch bait.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 46 degrees; 0.14 feet high. Blue catfish are good on fresh cut bait and live bait. Channel catfish are fair on punch bait. Largemouth bass are fair on brush hogs, football jigs and jerk baits. White bass and hybrid stripers are fair on live bait near ridges and humps in the main lake. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs around brush piles, docks, bridge pilings and main lake bait schools.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 49 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fair on bill baits, crankbaits, jigs and spoons around brush structure and points. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure and points.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 49 degrees and murky. Blue, channel and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad and sunfish below the dam, along channels, main lake and river channel. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, river channel and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout good on jigs, plastic baits, PowerBait, tube jigs and worms below the dam, along creek channels and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation below normal, water 46. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on Alabama rigs, crankbaits and jigs in coves, along the dam and flats. Crappie and white bass slow on minnows along creek channels and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass fair on plastic baits and spoons in coves and along creek channels. Crappie good on jigs, small lures and spoons around brush structure and creek channels. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and stinkbait along the river channel and spillway.

Texoma: Elevation normal, water 44 degrees. Fishing has still been good this week. Striped bass good on flukes, live shad and sassy shad along channels, main lake and points. Striper have been caught on the western and northern part of the lake. Largemouth bass are slow fishing plastic worms, crankbaits, jerk baits and flutter spoons in 15 to 30 feet. Crappie are fair on minnows and white jigs near deep boathouses, timber and brush piles in 18 to 32 feet. Blue catfish fair on cut bait, live shad and sunfish along creek channels, main lake and river channel. Blue cats are being caught on juglines, rod-and-reel in the 30 to 40 feet of water.

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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