HOTSPOTS: Freshwater – April


LOCATION: Lake Livingston
HOTSPOT: The Pocket | Off the River Channel
GPS: N 30 55.662, W 95 15.054 (30.9277, -95.2509)

The Pocket Off River Channel

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Texas rigged Watermelon Seed or June Bug creature baits, Texas rigged June Bug or black chartreuse lizards, shad pattern or Fire Tiger colored medium diving crankbaits
CONTACT: David S. Cox, Palmetto Guide Service
TIPS: “Look for clear or green water here in the spring. The river channel can be muddy but the water may be clear in the Pocket. Fish soft plastics around boat houses, key in on brush piles and lay-downs. Fish crankbaits off rocky points here. BANK ACCESS: Launch at Highway 19 bridge at Riverside, Texas, Carolina Cove Marina, Bethy Creek Resort”


LOCATION: Caddo Lake
HOTSPOT: Ames Basin and Red Belly
GPS: N 32 42.756, W 94 5.3579 (32.7126, -94.0893)

Ames Basin and Red Belly

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: 8.5”-10” V&M Wild Thang worm, senkos, swim jigs
CONTACT: Caddo Lake Guide Service/Paul Keith
TIPS: Fish the cypress trees on these lake flats in 2’-5’ of water. I like to cast and pitch the soft plastics to the base of the cypress trees that sit in areas that hold hydrilla. Colors of choice are black/blue, black/red flake, watermelon/red and junebug. Black/blue 1/2 oz. swimjigs thrown past the trees and swimming it past them can be a deadly presentation in the spring too. Most of my largest bass from Caddo Lake have come in April and May.


LOCATION: Lake Conroe
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 24.894, W 95 34.776 (30.4149, -95.5796)

Lake Conroe

SPECIES: Hybrid Stripers & Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Live shad, Storm Swim shad
CONTACT: Richard Tatsch
TIPS: “The hybrid stripers are schooling around ledges along the river channel. Find the schools of shad and you will find the hybrids. This time of year they will run shad up on these ridges during the day they will move deeper around the area. Find the depth the bait are in and you will find the fish. As the water temperatures drop they will be in the 30 to 40 foot depths. Live shad will be the bait of choice in deeper water but the swim shad will work as long as you can control your retrieve to keep the bait in the depth the fish are going to be in. The depths will vary from one day to the next, today they may be in 20 foot of water and tomorrow they may be in 40 foot. It all depends on the schools of shad. This is also a good time of year to find black bass schooled up feeding along channel edges and ledges. Once you find them they should be big. Carolina rigs worked extremely slow should do the job. Good luck and good fishing! Bank Access: Stowaway Marina”


HOTSPOT: Running Creek
GPS: N 32 54.414, W 95 31.3559 (32.9069, -95.5226)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Texas rig or Carolina rig using a light bullet weight with a baby brush hog in green pumpkin or watermelon red. Dip the tail in Spike-It chartreuse.
CONTACT: Doug Shampine
TIPS: April bass fishing on Lake Fork is the time to catch the bass of a lifetime. Over the 18 years I have guided on Lake Fork I have seen more 10 pound plus bass caught by my clients in April than any other month. There are a lot of big females shallow in April and have one thing on their mind and that is to spawn. I do not bed fish for the big bass, in fact I fish deeper for the bigger bass than the 1-3 feet where you see a lot of bass show up. But over the years the bigger bass have gotten smart and will spawn deeper (4-7 ft.). That is where I look for the trophy bass. several places to look will be Burch Creek, Glade Creek, Running Creek and Oil Well Bay. Fish the areas protected from a strong north and south wind. Fish either Texas rig or Carolina rig very slow.


HOTSPOT: Main Lake Shallows
GPS: N 32 52.974, W 95 32.316 (32.8829, -95.5386)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Bream imitating lures, top water lures such as poppers and plastic frogs
CONTACT: Lance Vick (903) 312-0609
TIPS: “April is my favorite month to fish Lake Fork. I know I say that a lot but, really, April is the bomb! Why? Because it is top water season! There are more fish shallow than any other time
of the year. Fish are still spawning and lots of fish are guarding fry. Therefore, bream imitators are on top of the lure list. Poppers and soft plastic frogs are go to lures for awesome top water action. Poppers are best used in more open water areas around stumps and over submerged grass. On days with less wind, use frogs. Get busy when you are throwing in the junk, over emergent grass, under boat docks and around stumps. Remember when working the popper and the frog you will get three times the bites if you work the lure like a Zara Spook. Walking the dog, the zig zag side to side action, keeps the lure in the strike zone much longer than a straight pull with popping action. Remember to pause your lure around points of grass, stumps or corners of boat docks. Good fishin’ to all!”


LOCATION: Toledo Bend
HOTSPOT: McDonald’s Boat Lane
GPS: N 31 45.558, W 93 49.632 (31.7593, -93.8272)
SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Slab spoons, Rat-L-Traps, shallow diving crankbaits
CONTACT: Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service and Lake Cottages
TIPS: The white bass will be moving back into the main lake returning from the river after their spawn. Work the north end river channel sand bars with slab spoons, Rat-L-Traps and shallow diving crank baits. Use your electronics to locate the baitfish and watch for the birds. You will find the whites. Try to locate a number of schools and rotate fishing those areas so as not to over fish one location. The whites will remain in those locations unless we have a weather change or the location is over fished.



LOCATION: Richland Chambers Lake
HOTSPOT: 309 Flats
GPS: N 31 59.274, W 96 8.3939 (31.9879, -96.1399)
SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Top water lures, Lil’ Georges, slabs
CONTACT: Royce Simmons
TIPS: The white bass spawn is normally over in March and the fish make their way to the main lake and go on an “eating frenzy.” You are likely to see top water action, have suspended fish that will bite Lil’ Georges, and you can always catch fish on slabs bumped off the bottom! April and May are the two easiest months of the entire year to get your limit (25 per fisherman) of whites on RC! It’s definitely the time of the year to get the kiddos, or adults who think like kids, out on the water! It’s all about family fishing fun!


LOCATION: Bachman Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 51.1859, W 96 52.014 (32.8531, -96.8669)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass and Crappie
BEST BAITS: Bass: spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps | Crappie: minnows and jigs
CONTACT: Carey Thorn
TIPS: For bass, throw spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps along the weed lines. Bass fishing is especially good at the dam, by the banks and near the timber under the bridge. Crappie are under the bridge at night this time of year. Minnows and jigs are your best bet right now.


LOCATION: Cedar Creek Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake Shoreline and Coves
GPS: N 32 15.6617, W 96 4.344 (32.2610, -96.0724)
SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Fresh cut shad
CONTACT: Jason Barber (903) 603-2047
TIPS: Fish early at daylight around rocks and retaining wall areas near the mouth of all major coves and on main lake shoreline areas. Take large weighted float or bobber and fresh shad on a 1’ to 3’ leader with 2/0 to 4/0 circle or khale hook with no extra weight. Throw right against rocks or walls and be ready. There should be a shad spawn and lots of action in the best areas.


LOCATION: Eagle Mountain Lake
HOTSPOT: Twin Points Humps
GPS: N 32 53.16, W 97 29.672 (32.8860, -97.4945)
SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Slabs with a fly 12-in. above or a Mepps spinner
CONTACT: Johnny Stevens
TIPS: This area has two very large humps surrounded by deeper water. During the spring the shad congregate around these humps and the sand bass follow. I find the shad and the fish on the electronics and jig straight up and down with a slab and fly and many times you will get a double. For people who like to cast. Fan cast over the humps with a Mepps spinner worked very slowly off the bottom.


LOCATION: Fayette County Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Boggy Creek Timber
GPS: N 29 56.502, W 96 43.998 (29.9417, -96.7333)
SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: CJ’s punch bait
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: The spawn is in the later stages right now. Work the stumps in this area with corks, fishing close to the bottom using treble hooks.


LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Boat Ramp at Big Cedar Tree
GPS: N 30 37.3499, W 96 3.2279 (30.6225, -96.0538)
SPECIES: Crappie
BEST BAITS: Minnows, grey jigs
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: There is a large cedar tree east of boat ramp. The water here is about 18 feet deep. Try different depths close, under the limbs of the tree.

LOCATION: Granbury
HOTSPOT: Indian Harbor Ditch
GPS: N 32 24.576, W 97 44.91 (32.4096, -97.7485)
SPECIES: Largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Jig and pig, soft plastics and spinner baits.
CONTACT: Michael W. Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters
TIPS: Work your presentation around bedding areas/ seawalls and shallow structure. Small feeder creeks near housing additions will have numerous beds. The river above Granbury will also have blacks spawning in shallow flats off of creek channels. Black bass action is excellent is good on soft plastics worked near bedding grounds. Largemouths are on the beds in the backs of sloughs and creeks. Granbury water temperatures are in the 70’s. Spring patterns are in full force. Stripers are active and are moving upstream to attempt to spawn. White bass spawning is essentially ending and crappie are spawning in the shallows. Wintering Birds are still in place and are pointing anglers to active feeding fish on the main lake. Passing cool fronts/storm fronts continue to dominate the weather pattern. White bass and stripers are pushing baitfish to the surface and the birds will help. Jigs with soft plastics and jigging slabs continue to put stripers and sandbass in the boat. Catfish action is great on cut shad and hotdogs fished under deeper docks and creek entrances.

LOCATION: Granger Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake Creeks, Rivers and Sloughs
GPS: N 30 39.84, W 97 24.0119 (30.6640, -97.4002)
SPECIES: Crappie
BEST BAITS: Live minnows
CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell (512) 365-7761
TIPS: “Now is the peak of the spawn for crappie. They can be found all over the lake in very shallow water next to the banks. All you need is a good crappie pole, preferably 10 feet long. Use a slip bobber rig and set it 12 to 18 deep depending on the water color and location. Last year on my best springtime trip, we had our bobbers set at 8 inches. That is how shallow the crappie were. Just keep trying different spots until you hit the jackpot. Good luck and good fishing.”


LOCATION: Lake Lavon
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 33 4.3259, W 96 27.3419 (33.0721, -96.4557)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: White and chartreuse spinnerbaits, 1 to 6 foot diver crankbaits, black and blue jigs
CONTACT: Carey Thorn
TIPS: Look in 1-12 feet of water for bass this time of year. Some huge fish in the 10+ pound range are lurking. Find structure like concrete, rocks or sandy bottoms.


LOCATION: Lake Palestine
HOTSPOT: Flat Creek
GPS: N 32 12.996, W 95 32.9939 (32.2166, -95.5499)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Mister Twister’s Comida, Big Eye Jig trailed with the Mister Twister Pocket Craw, Mister Twister 12” Buzz Worm
CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
TIPS: Very good fishing this time of year. Fish 3-7 foot with Mister Twister’s Comida. Fish very slow along the shoreline. Also consider fishing a Big Eye Jig trailed with the Mister Twister Pocket Craw. Cast to any stumps or lay down near the shore. Another great spring time bait is the Mister Twister 12” Buzz Worm fished with small bullet weight in the same location.


LOCATION: Lake Ray Roberts
HOTSPOT: Brush Pile
GPS: N 33 23.392, W 97 3.126 (33.3899, -97.0521)
SPECIES: Crappie/white bass
BEST BAITS: Minnows, White/chartreuse jigs, slabs
CONTACT: Justin Wilson
TIPS: Spring is here and with the water temperature rising the fish are schooling up getting ready to spawn. Crappie bite is getting better each day. Lots of fisherman are starting to hit the creeks and that’s great but a lot of slab female crappie will stay and spawn on the main lake brush piles while the smaller fish move up shallow. This is my favorite time of the year to catch good quality fish on this lake. Bouncing around from pile to pile is a good way to fill the cooler. I will try a few different depths each day until I find a pattern for that day, as the month moves on and the temperature rises I tend to get a little bit shallower. The white bass bite is great at the mouth of creeks on nearby humps or ledges. There will be a day or two when it seems they have disappeared and it’s due to them moving up into the creeks, where a lot of walk in fisherman will absolutely slam them. White road runners and just about anything flashy will yield a high catch.


LOCATION: Lake Somerville
HOTSPOT: Brushy Point Shoreline
GPS: N 30 20.2559, W 96 33.3359 (30.3376, -96.5556)
SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Cut Shad, CJ’s punch bait
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: Shad are coming shallow this time of year. Fish close to the shoreline in 1-3 foot of water. Tight line or use a cork depending on structure.


LOCATION: Lake Texoma
HOTSPOT: Mill Creek Cut and Plater Flats
GPS: N 33 49.7339, W 96 45.3059 (33.8289, -96.7551)
SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: 5” flukes in Baby Bass and Ice colors, Pencil Poppers, Zara Spooks
CONTACT: Bill Carey
TIPS: “April on Lake Texoma. Spring fishing is in full swing. Thousands of stripers are staging and ready to run up the tributaries. The males go up river first and the large females are on the prowl. Egg-laden females will tip the scales at 20 pounds. Your best baits are soft plastics. The Zoom Fluke in the 5 length and 4 chartreuse Sassy Shad tails. Worm your tail on ¾ or 1 oz. jig head. Fish the cuts, main lake points and the mouths of feeder creeks. Structure like humps, ditches and ledges will hold schools of hungry stripers. Texoma has the largest white bass, commonly called sandies. We expect the record to fall in April. The lake holds 3-pound females. Sand bass with eggs should get close to 4 pounds. Our personal best was a 6-year old boy that landed a 19 inch 3.5 pound sandy. Top water fishing will begin the first week of April. Cast 6 Pencil Poppers and Zara Spooks on shallow banks. ”There is nothing more exciting than top water striper fishing on Lake Texoma with Striper Express,” says Jimmy Houston.”


LOCATION: Lake Whitney
HOTSPOT: Shallows Between Whitney and Towash Creeks
GPS: N 31 54.792, W 97 20.6939 (31.9132, -97.3449)
SPECIES: White Bass and Striped Bass
BEST BAITS: A-rig and/or umbrella rig loaded with 1/2 Stripaholic lead head jigs (www.rsrlures.com) rigged with the Striper Sniper 7” lemon lime trailer, Pencil Poppers
CONTACT: Randy Routh
TIPS: “One just has to love Lake Whitney in April and big sow stripers up shallow gorging on shad. The plop-plop of a top water bait methodically working in the shallows during the early morning peace and quiet, then “kaboom,” all heck breaks loose with a big linesider screaming drag as it tears through the shallows. That is exactly what is going on at Whitney and you ought to come get you some! Early on we are throwing a couple of different baits starting out with Pencil Poppers and Redfins, running them on top and producing some awesome blowups in the shallows. After the sun comes up a little or on those days they just don’t seem to want them on top we are switching over and using the A-Rigs and umbrella rigs loaded with Striper Snipers Lemon Lime Snake Worms. We are also catching with chartreuse swim baits and RSR lure’s 1/2 oz. jig heads up in the shallows in places like between Whitney and Towash Creeks or the Willow Islands. As always may God bless you and hope someday soon to See Ya on the Water!“



LOCATION: Lake Coleman
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 2.0317, W 99 28.3785 (32.0339, -99.4730)
SPECIES: Largemouth & hybrid striped bass
BEST BAITS: Soft plastics, spinnerbaits
CONTACT: Michael D. Homer Jr., Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
TIPS: April is a great time to catch largemouth bass and hybrids. Pitching weedless soft plastics and spinners should produce a bite. The water tends to be clear, so flashy colors should be considered.


LOCATION: Lake Alan Henry
HOTSPOT: Rocky, Gobbler and Big Grape Creeks
GPS: N 33 1.674, W 101 6.534 (33.0279, -101.1089)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Shad colored crankbaits, shaky head jigs, chatter baits
CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services
TIPS: “In April the bass will still be chasing shad up the creeks and moving along the steep banks. The buck bass will also be moving into the flats to find a place to spawn. I will start by using shad colored crankbaits up Ince, Rocky, Gobbler, and Big Grape Creeks. I then will go to the steeper banks that are everywhere on Alan Henry. I will fish one far away with a shaky head jig. If I don’t get bit, I will keep moving until I find the fish. Most of the time the bass will be on the steep banks that the sun is directly hitting. I will still be looking for the warmest water in the lake which will require looking up several creeks. Also don’t forget to check the water far up the Brazos River.”


LOCATION: Possum Kingdom
HOTSPOT: Caddo Bay
GPS: N 32 51.246, W 98 32.670 (32.8541, -98.5445)
SPECIES: Stripers, hybrids, white bass
BEST BAITS: Shad, jigs, swimbaits
CONTACT: Dean Heffner
TIPS: The fish are spawning for the most part this month, even the shad are. Watch for any spring floods coming in and go to where the water is flowing if that happens because that where they will be to move upstream and spawn. threadfin shad are of course best bait this time of year then net best is anything resembling them. We copy them while trolling with bucktail jigs tipped with a “Mister Twister” curly tail. They can`t refuse them. Stripers, white bass and hybrids will be suspended and I like to target them a half foot above them. It helps with the wounded presentation and produces more violent strikes. Smaller baits for crappie and medium for bass striper and most everything else. We like to take a to four-inch bait cut his head and tail off fresh dead and worm it on the hook for best catfish results. So “Quit wishin’ and Go Fishin’!”



HOTSPOT: Upper River Canyons
GPS: N29 33.55494, W101 12.5784 (29.559249, -101.209640)
SPECIES: largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Soft plastics, topwaters
CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl
TIPS: Fish the backs of the cuts with topwater lures early, casting as close to the rocky banks as possible. After sunrise, fish Carolina-rigged plastics over the grass beds close to where the grass drops off into deeper water near the channels.



LOCATION: Canyon Lake

HOTSPOT: Guadalupe River
GPS: N 29 54.468, W 98 17.3759 (29.9078, -98.2896)
SPECIES: Striped Bass, White Bass, Crappie
BEST BAITS: Luhr-Jensen Radar 10 in chrome blue or chartreuse
CONTACT: Capt. Steve Nixon, Fishhooks Adventures
TIPS: Troll the Luhr-Jensen Radar 10 in the main river channel from the rapids of the river to the mouth of the lake until you locate the fish and then fish the area of the river you find them in. This is one of my favorite times of year on Canyon Lake! On any cast you may catch a white bass, striped bass, largemouth bass, crappie or even catfish.


LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Upper End of Lake
GPS: N 30 52.56, W 98 26.8859 (30.8760, -98.4481)
SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Cut shad, live bait
CONTACT: Clancy Terrill
TIPS: “Trophy catfish on rod and reel are very good right now. Chances of catching 20 pound or bigger blues and flatheads are good.
Fish the upper end of lake, double anchored, early and late in 15-25 foot. Mid-day move to deeper water off steep ledges. Fish with large cut baits such as shad for blues and live bait for flatheads”


LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Main Lake Points
GPS: N 30 46.188, W 98 24.6479 (30.7698, -98.4108)
SPECIES: Striped Bass, Hybrid Striper and White Bass
BEST BAITS: Threadfin shad, topwater lures
CONTACT: Ken Milam
TIPS: The threadfin shad will be spawning along the points and other areas. Everything eats Threadfin shad. Look for white bass along the banks. The stripers will be there as well. Stripers as well as white bass will be caught on topwater baits. Have fun out there and obey the TPWD rules!




LOCATION: Coleto Creek Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 28 43.278, W 97 11.16 (28.7213, -97.1860)
SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, flukes (my personal favorite)
CONTACT: Rocky’s Guide Service
TIPS: April is usually a great month to bass fish. We can catch fish about any way we want to. The weather is usually good, the fish are very active and the bite is on. Anywhere you find fry you should find active fish. The top water bite should be great early morning or later evening. If it’s cloudy they will hit lures most all day. If it’s sunny go little deeper. Remember we are out there to enjoy. Take a friend or even a family member- heck, maybe even the wife? As always stay safe and enjoy!


LOCATION: Calaveras Lake
HOTSPOT: North Road Bed
GPS: N 29 18.583
W 98 18.450 (29.309722, -98.3075)
SPECIES: Freshwater Redfish
BEST BAITS: Queen Cocahoe Minnow glow or chartreuse
Capt. Steve Nixon, Fishhooks Adventures
TIPS: Troll the Cocahoe on downriggers over the top of the road bed from 10 foot deep to 15 foot deep, most strikes come on the drop off of the road bed.


LOCATION: Falcon Lake
HOTSPOT: Veleno Creek
GPS: N26 53.60664, W99 14.57088 (26.893444, -99.242848)
SPECIES: largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Lake Fork swimbaits, Skinny Deepers, 10-inch plastic worms, magnum plastic lizards
Robert Amaya
TIPS: Veleno Creek is a big bass haven in the early spring. Fish the flats close to the main creek channel and tributary creek channels. You will find post-spawn bass there along with spawning bluegills. The best lure colors are Watermelon red.


Get More HOTSPOTS Here Return to CONTENTS Page

Roy Neves: