As you might have guessed, most of our area lakes are above normal pool and the water is stained to muddy. Water temps are ranging from 57 to 64 degrees, and it has been an unusual beginning for our spring season. In our smaller lakes and ponds, the fishing has been good, and I wish I could say that about the larger lakes.

There are days when the fish will feed aggressively, but this window is small. It’s just a hit or miss, but if you don’t go, you just might miss out on the time they decide to bite. On the bright side, we are in a full moon phase and usually this will jump-start the spawning cycle. Pat Mayse has stained to heavily stained water, and the temps are ranging from 57 to 63 degrees. With this full moon, I’m going out on a limb and saying Mayse is going to be good, maybe by the weekend. Keep in mind since the lakes are stained, the fish will use this as a cover and will be more shallow than usual. The full moon started Sunday, but it was cloudy, and with a clear night, conditions will change. With the change, look for deeper waters that are close to the shallows.

Those areas with secondary points are prime places for staging fish. Besides the stained water that the fish use for cover, they will be building beds on or behind some other type of cover that they use for protection against predators. Baits for this pattern will be baits that you can work around the cover without hanging up. These baits are any bait that has the hook pinned into the bait and if it has bulk, then it’s better because bulk type baits produce a little noise.

As the night temps rise, conditions will change, and you will have to change also. I believe that this weekend you will see more action in the shallows with both bass and crappie.

Areas to keep an eye on this weekend are protected coves, which are usually east and west coves. These places are protected from north and south winds and will have warmer waters by a few degrees, which will really make a difference.

If you want to increase your chances, you’ll need several different baits tied on and ready. My choices are jigs, wackyrigs, creature baits, bladed jigs, buzz baits and squarebill cranks. With these baits I can cover water and fish any type of cover without hanging up. Also, if you miss a fish, you have a follow-up bait ready to get back in that spot.

Remember, even with tough conditions, some areas will have aggressive feeding fish. The old saying is 10% of the lake has these fish, so you get out there and find that 10%. Also, if you do have wind it can be your friend — use it and don’t fight it. Wind blows plankton into the shallows and the baitfish follow to feed on the plankton and the fish follow the shad.

Fish smart, be safe, and I’ll see you there.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 54 degrees; 0.17 feet high. Black bass are good on A-rigs, finesse jigs, chatter baits, spoons and skirted jigs in 4 to 8 feet near shorelines, brush and in the creeks. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in brush piles and near creeks. Catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait in 8 to 15 feet near baited holes.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 61 degrees; 1.82 feet high. Largemouth bass are fair working bladed spinners, square billed crankbaits, skirted jigs and small swimbaits near channel edges, boat docks and creek mouths. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs near brush piles and timber near a drop-off or creek channel in 14 to 24 feet. White bass are good on slabs in the main lake. Chain pickerel are fair with spoons and small jigs. Catfish are fair on punch bait, chicken liver and cut bait fishing baited holes near channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 53 degrees; 0.15 feet high. Largemouth bass are fair on square billed crankbaits, spinners, and football jigs. The white bass and hybrids are good in 25 to 35 feet with slabs and over humps, ridges, and main lake creeks with spoons and rooster tails. Crappie are good with minnows and jigs on brush piles and near timber. Catfish are good on cut bait and in punch bait 10 to 20 feet.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 58 degrees; 0.01 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on bladed spinners, crankbaits, chatter baits, curly-tailed worms, and skirted jigs in 2 to 8 feet. White and yellow bass are fair with slabs and jigging spoons. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in 11 to 25 feet near docks and creeks. Catfish are fair on punch bait and cut bait in 8 to 20 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 57 degrees; 0.75 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on football jigs, plastic worms, and lipless crankbaits near points, creek bends, and fallen timber. Crappie are fair on minnows in 10 to 20 feet near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are slow on punch bait.

Tawakoni: Water stained; 54 degrees; 0.36 feet high. Blue catfish are excellent on fresh-cut bait. Channel catfish are good on punch bait. Largemouth bass are good on square billed crankbaits, lizards, skirted jigs and suspended jerk baits. White bass and hybrid stripers are good on swimbaits near points and creeks. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs around brush piles, docks, bridge pilings, and main lake bait schools.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 56 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are good on crankbaits and spinnerbaits around brush structure, creek channels and points. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around points, shallows and shorelines. White bass fair on jigs and minnows around points, shallows and shorelines.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 53 degrees and murky. Blue, channel and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish below the dam, along channels, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie excellent on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel, shorelines and standing timber. White bass good on in-line spinnerbaits, jigs and small lures below the dam, along channels, creek channel, river channel and shorelines.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout excellent on PowerBait and salmon eggs along creek channels and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation below normal, water 55 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on Alabama rigs, crankbaits and plastic baits in coves, along flats and points. Crappie fair on minnows around brush structure, creek channels and standing timber. White and spotted bass good on grubs and jigs along the river mouth.

Pine Creek: Elevation above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and rattletraps in coves, creek channels and around points. Crappie excellent on jigs around brush structure, creek channels and points. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver and worms along creek channels.

Texoma: Elevation below normal, water 49 degrees. Fishing this week has been good. Striped bass fair on live shad and sassy shad along channels, main lake and points. Striper are feeding on live shad. A lot of fishermen have been catching them on the northern part of the lake near the Roosevelt Bridge. Blue catfish fair on cut bait, live shad and sunfish along creek channels, main lake and river channel. Blue cats are biting live shad and cut bait on juglines and rod-and-reel in 25 to 35 feet of water. Largemouth bass are fair fishing A-rigs, crankbaits, jerk baits and senkos in 6 to 12 feet. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure, docks and standing timber. Crappie have started pre-spawn so they are starting to bite pretty consistent. Still a couple of weeks out on spawning. They have been caught near brush structure at 15 to 25 feet.

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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