As most of you know, fish are now in their summertime mode, and this means that we have a lot of suspended fish at Pat Mayse at this time. Suspending fish are hard to catch, and this is why the bite is only fair right now.

Early mornings and late evenings remain the higher percentage times for catching. To me, early is really not a time. Early is a couple of hours before sunrise, and if I don’t hit that mark, I feel like I’m late. True late fishing, to me, is from 10 p.m. until about 2 a.m. Of course, these are just the times that have been best for me — they might not work for you. You could try them or try different times and you might find your most successful fishing hours.

At this time on Mayse, water levels are close to normal and no water is running from the outlet. This means there is no current and this causes the fish to be more alert and cautious. The bite should get better after the fish become acclimated to the change, and fishing will be a lot more fun.

Baits that will work for you with the conditions we have on Mayse and other area lakes are topwaters, squarebill cranks, swimbaits, worms and deep cranks. I know that’s a lot of baits, but with the mode that the fish are in, it might take all or at least two or three of them to have success.

On lakes that have clear water, finesse baits such as Ned rigs, drop shots or even very small cranks will get you some bites, and they work very well with light line and spinning tackle. Areas that might prove to be successful besides main lake points are channel swings, road beds and creek channels. I love that creek that runs to the Emberson bridge, and if you haven’t made that long run, someday give it a try. You might find that the wooded area on Mayse will have less pressure than the main lake and this might be more successful for you.

We have a lot to look forward to regarding fishing conditions because our lake will become stable soon and fall is right around the corner. Be safe.

When you leave any lake, please remember to check the bottom of your boat. The “Clean, Drain & Dry” campaign is for real and zebra mussels are no joke. Read up on them sometime when you get a chance. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has upgraded O.H. Ivie Lake near San Angelo and Grapevine Lake located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to fully infested with invasive zebra mussels. The list just grows and grows. Let’s do our part in protecting any Texas lake that we fish in — it’s the right thing to do, and it’s illegal if you don’t. So, drain your motor, put your fish in a portable cooler and drain your livewell, then wipe down your boat, motor and trailer with a dry towel. It’s the law, folks.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water clear; 85 degrees; 0.10 feet low. Black bass are good on swimbaits, jigs, diving crankbaits, chatter baits and plum or purple-colored plastic worms in 14 to 25 feet near creek channels, submerged timber, and boat docks. Plastic frogs are still effective early near grass lines, and lily pads. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are good on live bait and cut bait in 12 to 25 feet.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 87 degrees; 0.51 high feet. Largemouth bass are good in shallow water near trees and vegetation fishing plastic creatures. Crankbaits, bladed jigs and Texas-rigged plastic worms are productive in deeper water near structure and vegetation lines. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs near brush piles and timber in 12 to 22 feet. White bass are good on jigs and slabs in the main lake. Chain pickerel are fair. Catfish are good on prepared bait and live bait in 12 to 20’ fishing channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 0.97 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on purple or plum-colored Carolina rigged curly-tailed plastic worms, crankbaits and jigs in 16 to 25 feet. The white bass are excellent in 15 to 30 feet with slabs, swimbaits and jigging spoons over humps, flats and near main lake drop-offs. Crappie are good with minnows and jigs on brush piles. Catfish are good on live and cut bait in 12 to 25 feet’.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 85-89 degrees; 0.77 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on blue fleck, purple and dark green plastic worms, diving crankbaits, bladed jigs and chatter baits near deep structure, points and humps in 14 to 28 feet. Some topwater action early with plugs and buzz baits. White and yellow bass are good in the deeper waters of main lake drop-offs, flats and humps. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows in 18 to 25 feet in brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are good on cut bait and live bait in 10 to 20 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 87 degrees; 0.82 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits along vegetation lines, drop-offs and creek beds. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in 13 to 25 feet. Catfish are good on cut shad and punch bait in 12 to 25 feet.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 85-88 degrees; 0.50 feet low. Catfish are excellent on punch bait and cut bait in 13 to 28 feet. Largemouth Bass are fair on spinnerbaits, dark blue or black plastic worms and diving crankbaits. White bass and hybrid stripers are excellent on live bait and slab spoons. Watch for diving birds to mark feeding schools or use sonar to locate fish feeding in schools of bait near drop-offs, flats and humps in the main lake. Crappie are excellent on minnows and jigs around brush piles, docks and bridge pilings.

Broken Bow: Elevation below average, water 89 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass fair on crankbaits and plastics around brush structure and standing timber. White crappie fair on brush structure and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation below average, water 82 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish below the dam,and around channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Black and white crappie fair on jigs and minnows below the dam and around brush structure, channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout good on caddis flies, plastics, Powerbait and tube jigs around spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 85 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass slow on Alabama rig, jerk bait, plastics and top water around brush structure, points and riprap. Channel catfish slow on chicken liver and stinkbait around creek channels and river channel.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water murky. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and top water around coves and river channel. Black crappie fair on jigs around brush structure, creek channels and standing timber. Channel catfish good on chicken liver, hot dogs and shrimp below the dam and around the main lake.

Texoma: Elevation normal, water 80 degrees. Striped bass good on Alabama rig, hair jigs, live shad, sassy shad and top water around flats, main lake and river channel. Largemouth bass are good fishing jigs, Texas-rigged plastic worms and crankbaits in 8 to 24 feet. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver, punch bait and shad around shallows. Black crappie fair on hair jigs and minnows around brush structure and docks. Lake fishing is good early mornings and anglers should use top water lures when surface feeding is present and transfer to slabs and down rigging umbrella rigs as the morning progresses. Top water action has been good at the Denison Dam and fish schools tend to move north from there. Channel cat are being caught on baited holes in shallow water. Crappie are holding on deeper water structure biting minnows with a slow presentation.

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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