It sounds like a broken record, but it looks like we are going to have more rain and thunderstorms. Already our lakes are right at flood levels, and now more rain. Since the ground is already saturated, the runoff is bringing dirt into the water, which results in a water color that is muddy to heavily stained. This means the fish will be scattered, but the good thing is the water temps are warm, and that’s a lot better than cold muddy water.

Since the fish will be somewhat scattered, we can power fish with reaction baits. The runoff water will bring fresh nutrients into the lake and baitfish will move in on this fresh food supply. When this happens, bass and other species will also move in to feed on the baitfish. If you find only a fish or two feeding on these baitfish, then your answer might be power fishing, which is simply covering as much water as you can in a short time. You might be passing up some fish, but if you just want the aggressive fish, there are a number of baits to choose from. Early in the morning, I prefer a type of topwater that I can fish fast. As the day gets up toward 9 or 10 a.m., I like a bladed jig, or a spinnerbait, and also a squarebill or even a lipless crank.

Areas to look for are points, shellbars, hard bottom areas with bank grass, buck brush and cattails. This type of pattern will work on just about any of our area lakes. Depths will range from 2 feet all the way to 15 feet. If we happen to get some sunny days with little or no wind, it will make this pattern better. At this time, with all our flooded lakes, the bite is hard, but it’s only a challenge.

The spawning cycle for bass and crappie, as well as perch or bream, has been affected by all these high water levels. Since water temps have been lower than normal, I feel like the perch and bream spawn is going to happen a little later. When these fish go to the beds, the bass will follow them to feed. Usually their beds are in 4 to 8 feet of water depending on the water color. Since our lakes are muddy to heavily stained, the beds might be even shallower. Perch, shad or crawfish pattern colored baits will work on these fish. Remember, sometimes these perch or bream might select a “No Nothing” sandy bank, so be sure to check these areas.

Fish smart, have fun and be safe.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 74 degrees; 0.75 feet high. Black bass are good on topwaters, flipping craws, crankbaits, frogs and double-bladed spinners near shorelines, brush and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in brush piles, under docks and timber near creeks or channels. Catfish are good on chicken liver, cut bait and punch bait.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 72 degrees; 2.89 feet high. Largemouth bass are good working bladed spinners, frogs, crankbaits, flipping jigs and Texas rigged plastic worms near grass lines, shallow drop-offs and trees. Crappie are good on minnows near brush piles and timber. White bass are excellent on slabs and swimbaits on the channel edges, flats and main lake humps. Chain pickerel are slow with spoons and small jigs. Catfish are good on chicken liver and prepared bait in water depths 12 to 25 feet.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 71 degrees; 1.55 feet high. Largemouth bass are good on shad like crankbaits, red or purple Carolina rigged worms, bladed spinners and skirted jigs. The white bass and hybrids are good in water depths 15 to 30 feet using live bait, slabs, spoons and swimbaits working over humps, ridges and flats. Crappie are good with minnows and jigs on brush piles, creeks and near timber. Catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 72 to 76 degrees; 0.84 feet high. Largemouth bass are good on plastic worms, spinners, buzz baits and skirted jigs. White and yellow bass are good with jigging spoons and slabs on humps, flats and ridgelines. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs near brush piles. Catfish are fair chicken liver and live bait in water depths 15 to 25 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water stained; 74 degrees; 1.19 feet high. Largemouth bass are slow on crankbaits, skirted jigs and drop shots near points, drop-offs and fallen timber. Crappie are slow on minnows and jigs in near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are fair on punch bait and chicken liver.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 73 degrees; 1.66 feet high. Blue catfish are excellent on fresh-cut bait and live bait. Channel catfish are excellent on chicken liver and punch bait. Largemouth bass are good on skirted jigs, flukes and bladed spinners near vegetation lines, docks and flooded brush. White bass and hybrid stripers are excellent on swimbaits, slabs and live bait near the main lake channel, flats, drop-offs and humps. Crappie are good on minnows around brush piles, docks and bridge pilings.

Broken Bow: Elevation rising, water 74 degrees. Largemouth bass slow on spinnerbaits around points. All public boat ramps are closed due to flooding.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 69 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, along channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation above normal, water murky. Rainbow trout good on PowerBait and tube jigs along rocks.

McGee Creek: Elevation 8 feet above normal, water 72 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass good on buzz baits, flukes and spinnerbaits along creek channels, shorelines and standing timber. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver, dough bait, punch bait and worms along creek channels, river mouth and rocky shoals.

Pine Creek: Elevation rising, water murky. Largemouth bass slow on topwater lures along the river channel. All public boat ramps are closed due to rising water levels at all boat ramps on Pine Creek reservoir.

Texoma: Elevation rising, water 73 degrees. Fishing this week is still good. Striped bass good on cut bait, live shad and sassy shad along channels, main lake and points. Striper are feeding very well on cut bait and live shad. Blue catfish fair on cut bait, punch bait and sunfish below the dam, along channels and main lake. Blue cats are biting below the Denison Dam on cut bait. They are also being caught on rod-and-reel in the main lake in 20 to 30 feet of water. Largemouth bass are fair fishing skirted jigs, crankbaits, topwaters, and bladed spinner baits in water ranging 3 to 18 feet. Crappie fair on jigs, minnows and PowerBait around brush structure, docks and standing timber. Crappie are doing about the same, some days are better than others. PowerBait on jigs have been a pretty good way to catch them.

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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