Conditions are changing on our area lakes; water levels are continuing to drop and water colors are clearing. Fishing on all our lakes has been good — bass, crappie, catfish and white bass are all active.

This report is sort of deceiving because there are more people fishing and boating than normal on our lakes, and some of them are going to hit schools of fish, thus catching more. Remember that old saying, “Ten percent of fishermen are going to catch fish in 10% of the lake”? Well it’s proving to be true now because of the number of people fishing.

During these busy times on the water, the thing to do is try to get away from the crowds and the fishing pressure. Main lake points will get hammered with this pressure along with the boating traffic. Wooded areas along main creek channels can provide less pressure, and on Pat Mayse it’s a high percentage area. Channel swings, bends with some type of cover can provide ambush points for the fish. The key is baitfish such as shad movements and if you locate these baitfish, you’ll have fish that will be feeding.

At Pat Mayse, the creek channel towards the Emberson Bridge where you have bank on both sides of the main creek can provide some action, and you’ll be away from the crowds. Banks along the creek have overhangs with the trees and this provides shade cover. The shade is a perfect cover for the fish and topwater baits, shallow running cranks, spinnerbaits, bladed jigs and Texas rigged creature baits are ideal choices for baits to have tied on. This creek not only provides you with good bass, but it holds crappie and catfish as well. If you have ever been up in this area of Mayse, I’m sure you have noticed holes dug into the banks, and these are ideal places for catfish to hide. Catfish prefer holes like these and they like hollow trees too.

Crappie fishing on the main lake brush piles are slowing, but not if you find the right brush pile and if you do the crappie will be good. You may have to adjust your depth, as well as hitting as many of the piles that you can. It won’t take much time to tell if you have hit a school.

Main lake fishing is good early and late. Night fishing has been good also because there is so little traffic. My high percentage areas are early on the main lake, then as traffic begins to heat up, I go to the creek and get away from the crowds. If you take your time and stay in the creek, you won’t have any trouble getting to where you have bank on both sides and you’ll find the shade and get a little relief from the sun.

I got my boat seats back from Jody Sullivan and they look just like they did when I bought the boat from the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri. Thank you so much Jody — you did a great job. See you all up the creek around the next bend. Be safe.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 0.04 feet high. Black bass are good on swimbaits, jigs, 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; 85 degrees; 0.86 feet high. 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 feet fishing channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 85 degrees; 0.67 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on red, or plum-colored Carolina rigged plastic worms, crankbaits, and jigs in 12 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 to 89 degrees; 0.52 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on blue, purple and dark green plastic worms, bladed jigs and chatter baits near deep structure, points and humps in 14 to 28 feet. Some topwater action early. White and yellow bass are good in deeper water 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.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 85 to 88 degrees; 0.33 feet low. Catfish are excellent on punch bait and cut bait in 13 to 28 feet. Largemouth bass are good 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 plastics around brush structure and points. White crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation normal, water 80 degrees and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish good on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, stinkbait, and sunfish below the dam, and around 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, powerbait, tube jigs, and worms around creek channels, rocks, and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation normal, water 85 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on Alabama rig, crankbaits, flukes, and plastics around brush structure, coves, main lake, and points. White and spotted bass fair on Alabama rig, jigs, top water, and look for surfacing schools around coves, dam, flats, and main lake.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits and top water around channels and coves. Black crappie good on jigs and minnows around brushes structure and standing timber. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and hot dogs around river channel and spillway.

Texoma: Elevation normal, water 84 degrees. Striped bass good on Alabama rig, live bait, and top water around flats and main lake. Black crappie slow on jigs and minnows around brush structure and docks. Blue catfish fair on shad around the main lake and river channel. Topwater bite is on !! Anglers should get out early in the morning to find surface feeding striper, as the morning progresses anglers should switch to trolling A rigs after surface feeding fish have went into deeper water. Largemouth bass are good fishing jigs, plastic worms and crankbaits in 8 to 24 feet. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs by boathouses, marinas and brush piles in 15 to 25 feet. Catfish are still being caught near cleaning docks on cut 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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