Categories: 1812Dec

HOTSPOTS: Freshwater – December 2018


LOCATION: Lake Toledo Bend
HOTSPOT: “Fisherman’s Wharf” River Ledge/Bar
GPS: N 31 46.644, W 93 49.602
(31.7774, -93.8267)

Lake Toledo Bend: “Fisherman’s Wharf” River Ledge/Bar

SPECIES: White Bass & Crappie
BEST BAITS: Slab spoons & Rat-L-Traps for the sandies and shiners and jigs for the crappie.
CONTACT: Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service and Lake Cottages
TIPS: My annual Christmas gift to you: two “Hotspot” species in one location. Catch both crappie and white bass. Here on Toledo Bend we are blessed to be able to fish year-round. December is the time to kill two birds with one stone, or I should say two limits of fish with one rod and two baits in the same relative location. December is a prime month to be fishing on the north-end of the lake for both crappie and white bass. The crappie will be bunched up on the main lake river channel ledges over planted and natural brush. The white bass will be on the channel sandbars.

LOCATION: Caddo Lake
HOTSPOT: Ames Spring Basin
GPS: N 32 42.7499, W 94 5.394
(32.7125, -94.0899)

Caddo Lake: Ames Spring Basin

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Jigs, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits
CONTACT: Caddo Lake Guide Service/Paul Keith
TIPS: Fish the cypress trees with 1/2 oz. black/blue jigs in 4-5 foot of water. Fish shad or white colored 1/2 oz. spinnerbaits and chatterbaits over the grass flats and in the pad stems. Another option is to throw umbrella rigs in the river and creek bends this time of the year.

LOCATION: Lake Conroe
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 23.7119, W 95 35.496
(30.3952, -95.5916)

Lake Conroe: Main Lake

SPECIES: Hybrid Stripers
BEST BAITS: Live shad, Storm Swim Shad
CONTACT: Richard Tatsch
TIPS: “The hybrid stripers will begin to school along ledges by 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. 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. Good luck and good fishing! Bank Access: Stowaway Marina”


HOTSPOT: Dale and Little Caney Creek
GPS: N 32 49.6199, W 95 33.444
(32.8270, -95.5574)

Lake Fork: Dale and Little Caney Creek

SPECIES: Crappie
BEST BAITS: Electric chicken colored jig (pink/chartreuse), live minnows
CONTACT: Doug Shampine
TIPS: November is big crappie month on Lake Fork. The water is cooling off and the crappie bite is always very good and aggressive as they feed up for winter. I am still fishing brush piles until the water hits the mid 50’s. At that point, I will move to the deeper humps. I have brush piles all over the lake but the ones this time of year that produce the best will be from the mid-lake area to the damn. Water temperature is a little warmer on the lower end of the lake. So, look at Dale, Little Caney, Ray, and Bell creeks for brush piles close to a main lake point of creek channel. I look at the 20-to-16-foot range for the best bite.

HOTSPOT: Main Lake Humps and Points
GPS: N 32 50.232, W 95 36.636
(32.8372, -95.6106)

Lake Fork: Main Lake Humps and Points

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Spinnerbaits, swimbaits, underspin rigged swimbaits with a flash blade like a Grandebass Hammer Jammer
CONTACT: Lance Vick
TIPS: “November is the time for bass to feed up for winter. Early morning bite will be shallow around grass with spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Later in the day the deep fish get active on humps and points. Fish 20 to 30-feet deep with spoons on the bottom. Watch for schooling fish. Later in the afternoon, catch them with an underspin with a swimbait on it like a flash blade with a Grandebass Hammer Jammer. Cast this set up past schooling fish and reel it to them for jam up action. Good fishin’ all!”

LOCATION: Lake Livingston
HOTSPOT: Harmon Creek Area
GPS: N 30 51.4379, W 95 26.43
(30.8573, -95.4405)

Lake Livingston: Harmon Creek Area

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Fresh shad, cut or whole
CONTACT: David S. Cox, Palmetto Guide Service
TIPS: “There is a lot happening this month here on Lake Livingston in East Texas. It’s a sportsman’s paradise! The falling or rising lake level can dictate your fishing or duck hunting plans. Fishing out of Harmon Creek Marina and Resort this time of year for blue cats can be outstanding. Fish around the old standing dead timber under the bird roost at Harmon Creek. Rig a Legend popping cork on 20lb. test with a 3-5ft. drop baited with fresh shad. Throw the cork up against the base of the dead tree and pop it. Just like fishing for Reds or Trout. Good luck fishing Lake Livingston! BANK ACCESS: Harmon Creek Marina and Resort”

LOCATION: Lake Sam Rayburn
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 31 8.4599, W 94 7.7459
(31.1410, -94.1291)

Lake Sam Rayburn: Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Jerkbaits, 3/4 oz. lipless crankbaits
CONTACT: Mike Knight
TIPS: Fish the drains of side coves in major bays with suspending jerkbaits and 3/4 oz. lipless crankbaits. If deep hydrilla is found in these side coves, the fishing will be even better. Late December is a perfect time to catch a double-digit fish!

LOCATION: Lake Toledo Bend
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 31 17.838, W 93 45.036
(31.2973, -93.7506)

Lake Toledo Bend: Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Weighted flukes/swimbaits, drop shots, 1/2 to 3/4 oz. football jigs
CONTACT: Mike Knight
TIPS: The fishing this time of year is very dependent on mild weather. Fish should be holding on creek channel bends in the back half of major creek arms in 8 to 15 feet. Best baits are weighted flukes/swimbaits or drop shots. If cold, with water temperatures below 50 degrees, use 1/2 to 3/4 oz. football jigs in along the main river channel ledges in 15 to 30 feet.


LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Hog Creek
GPS: N 30 37.284, W 96 4.122
(30.6214, -96.0687)

Gibbons Creek Reservoir: Hog Creek

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Punch bait, fresh shad
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: Hog Creek comes close to Pelican Island, with 13’ water. Fish the edge of creek, close to lily pads, for the best results. Big blue cats cruise through here.

LOCATION: Bachman Lake
HOTSPOT: Upper Lake
GPS: N 32 51.588, W 96 51.2639
(32.8598, -96.8544)

Bachman Lake: Upper Lake

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 line. Crappie are under the bridge this time of year. Minnows and jigs are your best bet right now.

LOCATION: Cedar Creek Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 18.906, W 96 9.72
(32.3151, -96.1620)

Cedar Creek Lake: Main Lake

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Cut shad or rough fish
CONTACT: Jason Barber
TIPS: The technique we are using this month is drift fishing for catfish. Fish long stretches in deep water throughout the lake. Fresh cut shad or rough fish is the best bait. Just cover lots of water in various depths from 20’ to 40’ deep. Use big tackle for big fish!

LOCATION: Eagle Mountain Lake
HOTSPOT: Twin Points Humps
GPS: N 32 53.16, W 97 29.672
(32.8860, -97.4945)

Eagle Mountain Lake: Twin Points Humps

SPECIES: White bass
BEST BAITS: Slabs with a fly 12” above
CONTACT: Johnny Stevens
TIPS: This area has two very large humps surrounded by deeper water. During the late fall shad congregate around these humps and sand bass follow. I find the shad and fish on my electronics and jig straight up and down with the slab and the fly and many times you will get a double. For people who like to cast. Fan cast over the humps and work the slab slowly back to the boat.

LOCATION: Fayette County Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Intake Cattails
GPS: N 29 55.398, W 96 44.8859
(29.9233, -96.7481)

Fayette County Reservoir: Intake Cattails

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Punch bait, worms, shrimp
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: At the right side of the intake you will find cattails in 5 foot of water. Chum along the cattails and fish early mornings and evenings here.

LOCATION: Granger Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 42.2939, W 97 20.9279
(30.7049, -97.3488)

Granger Lake: Main Lake

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Shad, Zote Soap, cut bait and perch
CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell
TIPS: Now is a transition time at Granger Lake and the crappie fishing and white bass fishing is fading off. However, the blue catfish are going strong and the high-water conditions from all the rain has helped to turn on the blue cat bite. Shad is the preferred bait by most but cut bait and perch are also good. I like to use Zote Soap because the gar will not bother it and it normally catches the good eating sized fish. Use 11/0 tuna circle hooks and the blues will not get off as easy as with other hooks. Good luck and good fishing.

LOCATION: Lake Granbury
HOTSPOT: Rough Creek
GPS: N 32 24.9354, W 97 47.2602
(32.4156, – 97.7877)

Lake Granbury: Rough Creek

SPECIES: White and Black Crappie
BEST BAITS: Live minnows and small jigs (electric chicken, blue ghost, and chartreuse and white
CONTACT: Michael W. Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters
TIPS: Work over structure slowly and work deeper until you locate the best depth. Bridge pilings can also be a great choice on those colder days. Fish may be suspended.

LOCATION: Lake Lavon
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 33 5.5079, W 96 28.6799
(33.0918, -96.4780)

Lake Lavon: Main Lake

SPECIES: White Bass & Crappie
BEST BAITS: Flukes and crappie jigs
CONTACT: Carey Thorn
TIPS: Both white bass and crappie will be suspended in about 18-25 feet this time of year. Tapping on the boat with a rubber mallet or a broom stick will usually call them in as they will come to investigate the noise. Dead sticking flukes is usually the best bet.

LOCATION: Lake Palestine
HOTSPOT: Main Lake Bridges and Brush Piles
GPS: N 32 8.904, W 95 28.008
(32.1484, -95.4668)

Lake Palestine: Main Lake Bridges and Brush Piles

SPECIES: Crappie
BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs in pink/white, small minnows
CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
TIPS: “Crappie fishing prospects are very good on brush piles and under the main lake bridges. Best depth is between 17-24 feet of water. Fish bridge piles and the beams down from the surface.”

LOCATION: Lake Ray Roberts
HOTSPOT: Main Lake Point
GPS: N 33 22.545, W 97 3.076
(33.3758, -97.0513)

Lake Ray Roberts: Main Lake Point

SPECIES: Crappie, white bass
BEST BAITS: Minnows, 3/4- to 1-oz. slabs
CONTACT: Justin Wilson
TIPS: Colder weather is here but that doesn’t mean the fish aren’t biting. White bass bite has been consistent. Look for big schools of fish off the main lake points in 20-40 foot of water. Once you find them, slabs jigged off the bottom usually make quick work of filling a cooler. The crappie bite has been better than the past months and more keeper fish are being caught. Look for these fish holding close to brush piles in 25-30 foot of water or deeper. Jigs are working well but the quality of fish seem to be better on minnows. Brighter color slabs and jigs have been a very good key to success.

LOCATION: Lake Somerville
HOTSPOT: Tire Reef
GPS: N 30 18.438, W 96 33.6899
(30.3073, -96.5615)

Lake Somerville: Tire Reef

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Fresh shad, shrimp
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: There is a tire reef from 6’-23’ here. Start shallow and move out deeper for the bite. Colder water tires hold more shad, attracting lots of cats. Carolina rig here and allow plenty of time to land big fish in open water.

LOCATION: Richland Chambers Lake
HOTSPOT: Richland Creek Channel Near Crab Creek
GPS: N 31 58.434, W 96 18.708
(31.9739, -96.3118)

Richland Chambers Lake: Richland Creek Channel Near Crab Creek

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Danny King’s Blood punch bait, cut bait, shad
CONTACT: Royce Simmons
TIPS: The heavy timber along the Richland Creek channel of the lake and near the Crab Creek area is loaded with blue cats as early winter arrives. These fish (both the eaters and BIG ONES over 30 pounds) will be there all winter long and actually get easier to catch in January & February. While we use Danny Kings Blood Punch Bait on a # 4 treble hook and target the 1- to 5-pound fish, other fishermen like to use shad or cut bait on a circle hook and go for the trophy catfish. You will find catfish in the clustered timber in 15 to 20 feet of water as well as along the creek channel drop off in 30 feet of water. Be sure and spool up with a heavier line and hang on as you just might catch “The Fish of a Lifetime!”

LOCATION: Lake Texoma
HOTSPOT: Juniper Point East
GPS: N 33 51.888, W 96 49.8779
(33.8648, -96.8313)

Lake Texoma: Juniper Point East

SPECIES: Striped Bass
BEST BAITS: Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs
CONTACT: Bill Carey
TIPS: “Few anglers know how good the fishing is in December. Cool water temperatures make the fish go into a feeding frenzy. Large fish up to 20 pounds will be on the prowl. Fishing a 4-inch to a 6-inch Sassy Shad on a 1 oz. jig head will work the best. Texoma’s stripers prefer white glow and chartreuse colors. Road Runner 1-ounce white jigs with a 7-inch worm are deadly on the big fish holding structure. Fish the main lake points, mouths of creeks and humps near deep water. Always keep your eyes on the seagulls. Large schools of stripers can be under the birds.
Bank Access: Juniper Point East”

LOCATION: Lake Whitney
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 31 54.8279, W 97 21.1019
(31.9138, -97.3517)

Lake Whitney: Main Lake

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: 1/2 oz. Stripaholic jigs from www.rsrlures.com with 4” chartreuse swimbaits, 1 oz. slabs
CONTACT: Randy Routh
TIPS: Winter time fishing is here. The water is cold, and the bite is hot! The cold-water temperatures have pushed the bait from the creeks and the they have ganged up in a “safety in numbers” type of deal in the main lake. Some of the satellite schools of stripers have merged into larger schools and are trapping the bait to the surface and up in the cuts along the shoreline as well as in the mouths of some of the creeks. This has been trapping the bait between colder shallow water and the open water. With the 3/4 oz. lead head and swim bait you can make long casts and count your bait down about a foot per second. Then make a medium to slow retrieve and really load the boat. On days that the fish aren’t pushing the bait to the surface we are making long casts with the swim baits and slow trolling (strolling) with the trolling motor set on a medium slow speed. Remember the water is cold and the shad are lethargic. When think you’re fishing slow enough, slow down a little more. RSR Lure’s 1 oz. chartreuse and holographic and the white with holographic slabs are producing a lot of white bass. Find the schools on ledges and edges and drop the slab to the bottom, bouncing it up and down. Remember to work it slowly and try different columns of the water to figure out which depth produces fish.




LOCATION: Lake Alan Henry
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 33 2.4239, W 101 3.7919
(33.0404, -101.0632)

Lake Alan Henry: Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Shaky head jigs, crankbaits, swimbaits, and jerkbaits in shad or perch color.
CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services
TIPS: “December will find the bass gorging themselves getting ready for the water to get cold over the winter. Most of the time in December the water temps will still be above 50 degrees and the bass will be feeding. Some of the fish will still be up the creeks and some will be on the steep banks where they can drop off into deeper water when the cold fronts roll through. If you can’t catch fish up the creeks, move to the steep banks that the sun is hitting.”

LOCATION: Lake Possum Kingdom
HOTSPOT: Mushroom Tree
GPS: N 32 56.785, W 98 26.281
(32.9464, -98.4380)

Lake Possum Kingdom: Mushroom Tree

SPECIES: Striped bass, hybrids
BEST BAITS: Shad, jigs
CONTACT: Dean Heffner
TIPS: Fish are wintering back here because of warmer water, plenty to eat, and they are gearing up to make the early spring spawn run up the Brazos. Shad are best if you can get them, but they are usually deep this time of year. This is slabbin` season. So, break out your slabs and jigs, and your teasers and Mister Twister Curly Tails, because the fish will stack up on bottom on break lines and drop-offs off the old river channel. White, yellow, chartreuse, and neon green will be the favored colors. The old mushroom tree across from bird island is what we line up on to find the flat. About the middle, from both landmarks, you look for 20 feet deep off that flat. That’s the magic number a lot but one day it could be 18 feet and the next 36 feet, but they will run that depth like a natural highway. Once you find it, you’ll catch a lot of fish!




LOCATION: Lake Amistad
HOTSPOT: Bridge Pilings
GPS: N 29 29.124, W 101 01.984
(29.4854, -101.033067)

Lake Amistad: Bridge Pilings

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: soft plastics
CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl
TIPS: Afternoon is best. Drop-shot with a 4-inch worm.



LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Paradise Point and Garrett Island
GPS: N 30 50.7899, W 98 24.918
(30.8465, -98.4153)

Lake Buchanan: Paradise Point and Garrett Island

SPECIES: Stripers, Hybrid Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: Live shad, jigs or shad colored crankbaits
CONTACT: Ken Milam
TIPS: December is a great month on Buchanan because the stripers are moving up towards the upper end of the lake and even up the river! For stripers, white bass, Hybrids fish around Garret Island and Paradise Point areas. Troll either jigs are shad colored crank baits. Just have a great time on our lakes and leave them with a boat load of good EATING!

LOCATION: Canyon Lake
HOTSPOT: Potters Creek Park Area
GPS: N 29 54.1799, W 98 16.14
(29.9030, -98.2690)

Canyon Lake: Potters Creek Park Area

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: 1 oz. red jigging spoon
CONTACT: Capt. Steve Nixon, Fishhooks Adventures
TIPS: Fish from the point back to the swim beach casting out the spoon and try to maintain a depth of 20 to 40 feet. The striped bass and white bass like to school in this area this time of year.

LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Main River Channel
GPS: N 30 50.016, W 98 24.324
(30.8336, -98.4054)

Lake Buchanan: Main River Channel

SPECIES: Striped Bass
BEST BAITS: Live shad
CONTACT: Clancy Terrill
TIPS: “Water temperature is on the way down this time of year so remember, cold water holds oxygen better than hot water. Therefore, the fishing should be improving. Stripers will be in transition moving from the lower half to the upper half of the lake. The main river channel and the humps and ridges nearby are good target areas. Drifting or anchored with 4-to-6-inch live shad is a good tactic, keeping your bait just above the fish you are marking on your graph.”

LOCATION: Canyon Lake
HOTSPOT: Guadalupe River Area
GPS: N 29 53.892, W 98 18.7199
(29.8982, -98.3120)

Canyon Lake: Guadalupe River Area

SPECIES: Crappie & largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Top water lures, spinnerbaits, square-billed crankbaits, and wacky-rigged worms
CONTACT: Barry Dodd – Teach ‘Em to Fish Guide Service
TIPS: The water temperature will fall into the low 60’s in December. Both bass and crappie are still chasing schools of baitfish so they are in one place today and another place tomorrow. The cool fronts are becoming more influential on the surface water temperature and can drop several degrees overnight. Game fish respond to prefrontal conditions with feeding frenzies but can have lockjaw for a couple days with postfrontal conditions. Remember that neither largemouth bass nor crappie prefer places in direct north wind or strong current. If the wind is strong from the north, look for more protected areas. Key areas are those with a significant depth change and cover nearby. With the water temperature more comfortable (for fish and people), enjoy the serenity and productive fishing. This area is full of cover and shallows adjacent to deep water. Crappie and bass are holding on the drop-off ledges around the cover.





LOCATION: Coleto Creek Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 28 45.792, W 97 11.3219
(28.7632, -97.1887)

Coleto Creek Lake: Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Spinnerbaits, Carolina rigs, Zoom Baby Brush Hogs or soft plastic lizards
CONTACT: Rocky’s Guide Service
TIPS: Fish should be feeding all they can, especially on those warmer days. This is the time of year they start getting on all the fat they can before the fry gets scarce. It is dog-eat-dog in the underworld, or should I say fish-eat-fish! Ha! Fish will still be shallow on warmer days. On windy days the spinnerbait is a good choice and calmer days a Carolina rig can be very productive. In South Texas, one of my favorite colors is always watermelon red dipped slightly in chartreuse. I like Zoom Baby Brush Hogs or lizards. Brush hogs are always my first choice. Have a little more patience and focus on main water grass. You’ll be sure to get some big bites. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone thanks for a great year!


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