At Pat Mayse last weekend, I noticed only a few bass have moved into the shallows. There was more activity in the early morning hours, and they were pretty aggressive. They were hitting on bladed jigs, lipless cranks and spinnerbaits. Around 9 a.m., the aggressive ones disappeared and then, staying shallow, a black-and-blue jig seemed to be the better choice, just flipping in and around the flooded buck brush. After 9 a.m., main lake and secondary points were only fair, but you can catch a few on crankbaits, jigs and creature baits.

Keep an eye out for nighttime temps to reach high 50s to lower 60s because this means water temps will also be warming. The water temps on Mayse ranged from the high 50s to the lower 60s. That last arctic front pushed the fish back into their winter patterns, but with warmer nights and warmer water, you can expect to see a wave of fish moving into the shallows.

Mayse is just slightly above normal pool, and according to the forecast, we have a chance of getting a couple of showers. This could hold back the journey to the shallows. We can only hope this doesn’t happen because we’re ready for some good days on the lake.

Let’s hope that conditions on Mayse change for the better, especially on April 24. Brannan’s is hosting its 2021 Customer Appreciation Big Bass Tournament that day at Sanders Cove, Loop C, Pat Mayse Lake. Fishing starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The official weigh-in will start at noon and end at 3 p.m. First place is $1,000 guaranteed, plus any extra put in from entries. The fee is $50 per angler. This tournament is 100% plus payback. The number of paid places depends on the number of contestants, and there will be one place paid per every 10 entries.

This is a Big Bass tournament, and only one fish can be weighed in (large mouth, small mouth or Kentucky spotted bass). The minimum length is 14 inches, mouth closed, on a flat board so be sure you’re right because a game warden will be there monitoring. Eligible fishermen must have a valid Texas fishing license present, and if you’re under 16 years of age, you must be accompanied by a parent or adult with written permission. And yes, bank fishing is allowed.

This is such a good, fun tournament, so check your license, check your lifejackets and check your gear because you have to fish with artificial bait. You can pick up entry forms at Brannan’s if you want to enter early. So, come on pretty weather, though the tournament will be held even if it rains. Any questions, just call Brannan’s at 903-732-3422.

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 58 degrees; 0.24 feet high. Black bass are good on top waters, finesse jigs, chatter baits, spoons and skirted jigs in 2 to 8 feet near shorelines, brush and in the creeks. Crappie are good 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; 1.66 feet high. Largemouth bass are good working bladed spinners, square billed crankbaits, skirted jigs and drop shots near coves and creek mouths. Crappie are good 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 stained; 55 degrees; 0.79 feet high. Largemouth bass are good on shallow diving crankbaits, spinners and skirted jigs. The white bass and hybrids are good in 25 to 35 feet with slabs and over humps, ridges and in 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; 61 degrees; 0.15 feet low. Largemouth bass are good on bladed spinners, crankbaits, jerk baits, curly-tailed worms and skirted jigs in 2 to 8 feet. White and yellow bass are fair with spoons and swimbaits in the creeks and feeder arms. 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; 58 degrees; 0.15 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on football jigs, plastic worms and lipless crankbaits near points, creek bend, and fallen timber. Crappie are fair on minnows in 10 to 20 feet near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are good on punch bait and cut bait.

Tawakoni: Water stained; 56 degrees; 0.70 feet high. Blue catfish are excellent on fresh-cut bait. Channel catfish are good on punch bait. Largemouth bass are good on buzzbaits, lizards, skirted jigs and floating 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

Broken Bow: Elevation rising, water 58 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are good on buzz baits, crankbaits, grubs and spinnerbaits around brush structure and points. White bass are good on grubs and in-line spinnerbaits along channels, creek channels, river channel and river mouth. White bass good on jigs and minnows along shallows, shorelines and standing timber.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 55 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, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie are good on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, creek channels, main lake, river channel, shorelines and standing timber. White bass are good on jigs, small lures and spinnerbaits below the dam, along creek channels and river channel.

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

McGee Creek: Elevation below normal, water 59 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass good on Alabama rigs, crankbaits, flukes, plastic baits and spinnerbaits in coves, around points, shallows and standing timber. White and spotted bass good on grubs and jigs along creek channels and river mouth. Crappie fair on minnows around brush structure, river channel and standing timber.

Pine Creek: Elevation normal, water clear. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and plastic baits in coves. Crappie excellent on jigs around brush structure. Channel catfish good on chicken liver below the dam.

Texoma: Elevation below normal, water 57 degrees and lightly stained. Fishing this week has been good. Striped bass fair on live bait, live shad and sassy shad along channels and main lake. Striper have been feeding on the northern part of the lake. Live shad has shown to be the best bait for them. White bass are good on swimbaits, rooster tails, small crankbaits and spoons in creeks and tributaries. Largemouth bass are fair fishing swimbaits, lipless crankbaits, suspended jerk baits and senkos in 3 to 10 feet. Blue catfish fair on live shad and sunfish along channels, creek channels, main lake and river channel. Blue cats are being caught in the 25 to 35 feet of water range. They are being caught on juglines and rod-and-reel. Crappie slow on jigs and minnows around brush structure and docks. Crappie are still slowly starting to bite. Some days are better than others.

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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