This arctic blast has put our fishing on hold for now because our lakes are almost impossible to even get to. So, it’s a great time to arrange your tackle and get your springtime gear in shape.

First of all, make sure to keep a charge on all your boat batteries. All we can do now is stay in and be safe. Even if you could make it to a lake, your chances of catching fish are not going to be good, so just wait for a better time. According to the weather forecast, this entire week is going to be really bad, but it will be getting better.

For myself, I intend to get my hook and weight box straightened out. I know I have my hooks all scrambled up and so are my weights. I also know I have other stuff thrown in with them — like spoons and jigs and other type baits — and how they got there I don’t know. I got some new extra tackle boxes and I plan to put them to use.

After you get your tackle boxes straight, it will be a good time to clean and oil your reels. A good cleaning solution is regular Dawn liquid soap and an old toothbrush. There’s no need to break the reel completely down — just take the handle side off and remove the spool. Let the reel soak in the warm soapy water for awhile and then scrub it with the toothbrush. Then rinse with plain water and dry it completely. When this is done, oil the reel with Lucas Reel Oil and re-assemble. Next step is to put fresh line on, and now your reel is completely done.

Now take a look at your rods — check your cork handles — if they are dirty just clean them with Comet and a brush, then rinse and dry. Check your guides — are your guides and wrap good? If so, then put a coat of boat or car polish on the rod and you’re done.

These are just a few things you can do while you’re waiting for the weather to clear up, but whatever you do, be safe, and remember — spring is really not that far away. Come on warmer weather!

Fishing Reports

Bob Sandlin: Water lightly stained; 47 degrees; 0.45 feet high. Black bass are good on A-rigs, skirted jigs, suspended jerk baits and finesse worms in 18 to 30 feet near creek bends, timber, rocky shorelines and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in brush piles and near open water bait schools. Catfish are fair on cut bait and punch bait in 12 to 25 feet near baited holes.

Caddo: Water lightly stained; 46 to 49 degrees; 1.16 feet high. Largemouth bass are fair working brush hogs, crankbaits, wacky worms and 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 slow on slabs in the main lake. Chain Pickerel are fair with spoons and small jigs. Catfish are good on punch bait, and cut bait in 12 to 28 feet fishing baited holes near channels and timber edges.

Cooper: Water lightly stained; 47 degrees; 0.64 feet low. Largemouth bass are slow on finesse worms, crankbaits, spoons and jigs. The white bass and hybrids are fair in 25 to 35 feet with live bait and slabs and over humps, ridges and near main lake drop-offs. Crappie are fair with minnows and jigs tipped with minnows on brush piles and near timber. Catfish are fair on cut bait and in punch bait 15 to 25 feet.

Fork: Water lightly stained; 48 to 53 degrees; 0.72 feet low. Largemouth bass are fair on spinners, spoons, crankbaits and flipping jigs near deep points, roadbeds, brush piles, timber and rocky shorelines. White and yellow bass are slow in deeper water with slabs and jigging spoons. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 28 to 45 feet near bait schools in the main lake. Catfish are fair on punch bait and cut bait in 12 to 30 feet.

Sulphur Springs: Water lightly stained; 51 degrees; 0.16 feet high. Largemouth bass are slow on jigs, plastic worms and crankbaits near points, creek bends and fallen timber. Crappie are slow on minnows in 13 to 28 feet near brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are fair on cut shad and punch bait in 16 to 25 feet.

Tawakoni: Water lightly stained; 46 degrees; 0.16 feet high. Blue catfish are good on fresh cut bait and live bait. Channel catfish are good on punch bait and chicken liver. Largemouth bass are fair on brush hogs, crankbaits, football jig, and jerk baits. White bass and hybrid stripers are fair on live bait and slabs near ridges and humps in the main lake. Trolling swim baits is effective as well. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs around brush piles, docks, bridge pilings and main lake bait schools.

Broken Bow: Elevation normal, water 51 degrees. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass fair on bill baits, crankbaits, hair jigs and spoons around brush structure and points. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver, punch bait, stinkbait and worms along channels, coves and river channel.

Hugo: Elevation above normal, water 47 degrees and murky. Blue, channel and flathead catfish good on cut bait, dough bait, live bait, punch bait, shad, stinkbait and sunfish below the dam, along channels, main lake, river channel and shorelines. Crappie good on jigs and minnows below the dam, around brush structure, channels, main lake, river channel and standing timber.

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

McGee Creek: Elevation below normal, water 47 degrees. Largemouth and spotted bass slow on Alabama rigs, crankbaits and plastic baits in coves, around docks, rocks and flats.

Pine Creek: Elevation above normal, water murky. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits along the river channel. Crappie fair on spoons around brush structure and river channel. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and cut bait in the main lake and river channel.

Texoma: Water clear; 51 degrees; 0.71 feet low. Striped bass are good on live shad. White bass are fair on slabs and jigging spoons. Largemouth bass are fair fishing plastic worms, crankbaits, jerk baits, and flutter spoons in 15 to 30 feet. Crappie are fair on minnows and white jigs near deep boathouses, timber, and brush piles in 18 to 32 feet. Catfish are good on fresh cut bait and punch 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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