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East Texas fisheries report | ` Texas

Athens – SLOW. water clear; 58-61 degrees; 1.49 feet below. Bass is good on brush piles out to 25ft on jigs and dropshot worms. Bass still feeds flat too. Target weed lines in 10-12 feet with wobbly worms and jigs. Crappie are good on deep brush with minnows and small jigs. Report by Jim Brack, Athens Guide Service.

Caddo- GOOD. water spotted; 60 degrees; 0.71 feet above. The bite on Caddo is good with tons of white bass and yellow bass running in the river systems. You can catch them with shad pattern baits like spoons, rattle traps, crankbaits and Alabama rigs. The black bass is slow at the party but gets better as the water temps start to drop into the mid 50’s. It only gets better if you love winter fishing on Caddo. This is a popular time of year to go fishing with the family so they can learn why we spend all day on the water. The bite will be easy and you can also easily hook them while fishing. Plus, you can share with them the majestic views that only Caddo has when God created this beautiful lake. Report provided by Vince Richards, Caddo Lake Fishing & Fellowship.

Cedar Creek – EXCELLENT. water normal stain; 54-58 degrees; 4.98 feet low. Crappie is fair to use minnows or jigs on select docks with 6-8 ft of water and brush pilings in 5-20 ft of water and bridge pilings. Largemouth bass do well on bush pilings in 5-10 feet of water with Carolina rigs or on bridge pilings with their heads bobbing. White bass and hybrid bass are among birds in 30-40 feet of water. Report by Kyle Miers, Lake Country Outfitters.

Fork – FAIR. water spotted; 65 degrees; 7.02 feet low. Bass fishing continues to be slow with only a few bites per day. Suspension jerkbaits are best worked across streams and ditches in 7-10 feet. Viper XP Jigs in Purple Passion or Black and Blue or PBJ work well for big wood on the edges of the creeks near deeper water, 8-10 feet. Carolina rigs worked very slowly around points with wood doing well in 8-12ft of water with Xcite Lizards in green gourd. Reported by Lake Fork Fishing Guide Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. Perch are slow on Carolina rigs, dropshots and jigging spoons in 15-18ft water and squarebill crankbaits in 3-6ft water. Reported by Jason Hoffman, Lake Fork Guide Service. For bass try slow moving streamers and sculpin patterns early up to 10ft, look for shallow bass as the water warms up. Crappie will move toward winter schools in open water and deep pockets, woolly pearls fished with a 5W rod and sinking lines. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. Crappie begin to pile up trees in deeper water for the winter pattern. Water temperatures have finally dropped into the upper 50’s and the fish are becoming more aggressive. You can still see a few stingy black crappies up trees here and there but most of the last few days fish are biting well. See fish throughout the lake on timber along the creek channels from depths of 20 to 50 feet. On this pattern you can catch fish between the 154 bridge towards the dam and from the 2946 bridge towards the dam. Minnows are still the dominant baits on Lake Fork but I’m sure the jig bite will pick up again as the fish become more aggressive with the colder water. Report by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins Guide Service.

Hawkins- GOOD. 63 degrees. Streamers fished around lily pads and over submerged vegetation attract strikes from grouper and chain garke. Chainfish become more active as the water cools, try small fish patterns around lilies and boathouses. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service.

Jacksonville- GOOD. water slightly stained; 67 degrees; 2.31 feet below. Perch are good on rattles and squarebill crankbaits on brushes at 20 feet or less.

Lake O’the Pines – FAIR. water slightly stained; 50 degrees; 0.78 feet low. Crappie are good standing wood from 30-40 foot water minnows or jigs. Catfish do well in 20-30 foot holes with water baits. Bass is slow on crankbaits. Report by Marty Thomas, Lake O’ the Pines Crappie Fishing.

Palestine – FAIR. water slightly stained; 55 degrees; 2.53 feet low. Bass are slow points with brushes or stumps throwing crazy rigs, Carolina rigs and small crankbaits. Crappie are fair in natural wood and brush heaps in 20 feet of water on yellow-green and white jigs or minnows. Bass and hybrids are slow, best at throwing tail spinners from the bottom of the points. Keeper-sized catfish do well on the river’s edges and under some boathouses for biting revelers, cutting shads and hitting bait. Report by Ricky Vandergriff, Ricky’s Guide Service.

Sam Rayburn- FAIR. water spotted; 58 degrees; 6.34 feet low. Bass are slow out of the grass line in the mornings, rattle traps and crankbaits try a worm. Cover a lot of water by throwing imitation red crabs like Rayburn Red. The bite improves movement to the surface of the grass when the sun is shining. Crappie are slow around the stumps, up the creek channels, and use minnows in 26 feet of water. Catfish hang out with crappie cut baits and minnows fished on the bottom. White bass are slow and should migrate into the river channels. Report by Lynn Atkinson, Reel Um N Guide Service.

Toledo Bend – GOOD. water spotted; 61 degrees; 4.50 feet low. The water level is 167.5 with no generators running. The water temperature at the dam is 61 degrees. The Back Feeder Creeks are patchy and muddy, and the main lake remains clear. Wind and cold drizzle rolled in this week with fluctuating fall temperatures. Chatterbaits are still produced in 3/8 to 3/4 ounce white, chartreuse, watermelon pepper and red/black skirts. To cover a lot of water use a squarebill crankbait or a flat side crankbait and smaller rattletraps up to 2.5m in imitation shad and perch colors and the red Rayburn traps will still work. For deeper bass, cast out a Carolina rig with a worm or lizard. Jigging spoons still produce quality bass at 1/2 to 3/4 ounces in silver with a white or yellow accent tail feather or deep dive crank lure in citrus shad and Tennessee shad colors. The jig and pig bite was strong. Cast your jig at long, tapered tips that drop down into deep water. The best colors are black and blue, PB&J football jigs 3/8 – 3/4 oz with a 3 inch matching color tag and a green pumpkin jig with a chunk style tag. Crappie bite is still good in 12-20 feet on the edge of the river channels with 1/16 and 3/32 ounce Wager Baits, #46 Bluegrass, #3 Monkey Milk, #09 Electric Chicken, #10 Black and Chartreuse and small minnows depending on cloud cover and cool night temperatures. Now that the lake is at a winter low, it’s high time to keep an eye out for new spring fishing. Look for areas such as tributaries, ditches, artificial structures, river bends and undercuts, etc. Reminder: keep an extra set of clothes in a dry bag on your ship just in case you get caught in rain or strong winds, etc. Hypothermia enters quickly. Good luck and tight lines! Reported by Master Captain Steve (Scooby) Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide and Mudfish Custom Rod Shop

Tyler — SLOWLY. water slightly stained; 60 degrees; 3.17 feet below. Catfish are good for night crawlers in bush packs in 12-16 feet of water. Perch are fair on crankbaits on the brush piles of the fishing boats. Crappie is slow and uses live minnows on brush piles. Bluegill are good at a nice size of up to 9 inches from fishing in 12 foot water on minnows and nightcrawlers. Reported by Paul Taylor, The Boulders at Lake Tyler.

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