Only a few days until Thanksgiving and just a few weeks until Christmas. This last October, a lot of new products hit the market, not only for new lure patterns, but also updated electronics. This might mean that it will be easier to pick Christmas presents for your favorite fishermen.

Pat Mayse water temps have lowered some, but for now until Thanksgiving, water color should stay about the same — which is good. At this time, there’s not much activity in the shallows, and maybe it’s just a little bit early. Some shad are beginning to move there, and this will bring more following fish after those early shad. These fish will be aggressive and will hit just about any bait in a shad pattern.

Baits that will work for you are spinnerbaits, swim baits on a weighted hook rig, top waters and bladed jigs. You might also have a squarebill or a jerk bait tied on just in case. With our water temps and water color, I also have a go-to bait that I like and it’s called a Scrounger. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a jig head with a clear rubber blade-type molded around the head of the jig. I rig it with a shad pattern swim bait. I like the one-quarter ounce head Scrounger and with the added weight of the swim bait, it’s really easy to cast a good distance. The rubberized blade gives off a tight wobble and vibration which is good with our lightly stained water at Mayse and most of our other area lakes. The bait was designed by Pro Angler Aaron Martins, and it’s like it was kept a secret for a long time. It’s very much like a bladed jig — you can cover more water faster.

Whatever bait you use this time of year, with the conditions that we have, there will be days where the bite is off, but it will be a day of learning and it’s still a great time to be on the water. If you happen to be there on a day when the bass are busting shad, don’t forget the A-Rig. I know we’ve talked about a number of baits, and they will all produce for you. After you catch three or four bass, you’ll know exactly which bait to stick with.

One last thing, if you are fishing a sinking-type bait, don’t forget to stop it, then let it sink a little more, then twitch it and begin reeling again. This action looks like an injured baitfish and sometimes it will trigger a bite.

Fish smart, be safe — keep that life jacket on and attached to the kill switch and most of all, have fun. I’ll see you there.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 63 degrees; 0.76 low. Black bass are fair on shad-like crankbaits, silver bladed spinners, and jerk baits in 6 to 18 feet near brush, rocks and boat docks. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in brush piles and bridges in 15 to 25 feet. Catfish are good on cut bait in 12 to 25 feet near baited holes.

Caddo: Water stained; 64 degrees; 0.35 high. Largemouth bass are good in shallow water working jerk baits, white or gray spinners and skirted jigs in 3 to 5 feet. Texas-rigged plastic worms and medium crankbaits are productive in deeper water near timber and vegetation lines. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs near brush piles and timber near a drop-off or creek channel. White bass are good on white or silver slabs in the main lake. Chain Pickerel are slow. Catfish are good on punch bait, live bait and nightcrawlers in 7 to 20 feet fishing baited holes near channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water clear; 65 degrees; 3.75 low. Largemouth bass are good on short plastic worms and finesse worms, shad like crankbaits and white skirted jigs in 2 to 15 feet. The white bass and hybrids are good in 20 to 35 feet with live bait, slabs, and jigging spoons over humps, ridges, and near main lake drop-offs. Crappie are good with minnows and jigs on brush piles and timber near creek channels. Catfish are good on cut bait and shrimp in 11 to 25 feet.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 64 degrees; 2.07 low. Largemouth bass are excellent on skirted jigs, shad or perch colored crankbaits, and bladed spinners near heavy timber, roadbeds, brushy points and rocky shorelines. White and yellow bass are fair in deeper water with slabs, small swimbaits and jigging spoons. Crappie are good on minnows in 14 to 25 feet in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs. Catfish are good on punch bait and cut bait in 8 to 24 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 65 degrees; 3.08 low. Largemouth bass are good on finesse worms and medium-sized crankbaits near brush piles, creek ledges and fallen timber. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in 13 to 28 feet near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are good on cut shad and punch bait in 6 to 18 feet.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 63 to 67 degrees; 1.41 low. Catfish are excellent on live bait and cut bait. Largemouth bass are good on crankbaits, Texas-rigged plastic worms, football jigs and light-colored swimbaits. White bass and hybrid stripers are excellent on live bait and slabs, with some fish schooling on the surface. Use sonar to locate fish in deeper water near ridges, 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 normal, water 70. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, plastic baits and spoons around brush structure, points and standing timber. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows around brush structure, points and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 66 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, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie fair on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, main lake, river channel, shorelines and standing timber.

Lower Mountain Fork: Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout good on PowerBait and small lures along creek channels and spillway.

McGee Creek: Elevation below normal, water 64. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on crankbaits, flukes, plastic baits and spinnerbaits in coves, along flats, points and shorelines. Crappie fair on minnows around brush structure, channels and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on plastic baits, spinnerbaits and spoons in coves and around points. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver and worms along creek channels and main lake.

Texoma: Water lightly stained; 66 degrees; 1.92 low. Striped bass and white bass are excellent on live shad and slabs. Diving birds are marking feeding schools feeding on the surface throughout the lake. Largemouth bass are good fishing plastic worms, silver bladed spinners and minnow-like jerk baits in 2 to 12 feet chasing shad. Crappie are fair on minnows near boathouses, timber, creek ledges and brush piles in 15 to 25 feet. Catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait. Blue catfish good on cut bait and shad around docks. White bass fair on live bait and live shad along flats and main lake. Blue cats have been biting on cut bait near cleaning docks.

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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