Categories: 1901Jan

HOTSPOTS: Freshwater – January 2019


LOCATION: Toledo Bend Lake
HOTSPOT: “Chicken Coop” Area
GPS: N 31 31.512, W 93 46.746
(31.5252, -93.7791)

Toledo Bend Lake: “Chicken Coop” Area

SPECIES: Crappie
BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs
CONTACT: Mike Knight
TIPS: Graph for man-made brush piles on top of the ledges. Best baits should be heavy jig/plastic combos. If water temps drop into the 40’s, crappie should pile up on the legendary “chicken coop” area about 4 miles north of Pendleton Bridge.

LOCATION: Caddo Lake
HOTSPOT: Big Cypress River
GPS: N 32 43.9559, W 94 8.682
(32.7326, -94.1447)

Caddo Lake: Big Cypress River

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Crankbaits and umbrella rigs in shad or white color, 1/2 oz. chrome jigging spoons
CONTACT: Caddo Lake Guide Service/Paul Keith
TIPS: Concentrate on the bends and cuts in this main channel. When the bass are active, throw the shad or white colored crankbaits and umbrella rigs. When they are not feeding well, drop a 1/2 oz. chrome jigging spoon in these same areas and vertically jig off them off the bottom. Watch visibly and on your electronics for balls of shad to increase your odds of finding these wintertime schools of bass.

LOCATION: Lake Conroe
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 22.3499, W 95 33.342
(30.3725, -95.5557)

Lake Conroe: Main Lake

SPECIES: Hybrid Stripers
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. Good luck and good fishing! Bank Access: Stowaway Marina

HOTSPOT: Woodpecker Island or Dam Area
GPS: N 32 49.2839, W 95 32.934
(32.8214, -95.5489)

Lake Fork: Woodpecker Island or Dam Area

SPECIES: Crappie
BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs: 1/8 oz. jig head, pink in color with a chartreuse/pink jig body
CONTACT: Doug Shampine
TIPS: January is the month we look deep for the schools of crappie located on deep humps and creek channels on Lake Fork. It’s also one of the months you are required to keep the first 25 per person you catch. There is, however, no length limit for the months of December, January and February. The humps I like to fish are around the damn area or the flats in the mouth of Little Caney. I also fish the deeper flats off of Woodpecker Island or point. I look for the crappie in 30-45 foot of water and you will see the bait fish and the crappie will be around them. This is the time of year you will need good electronics and calmer winds to hold in the open water. Once you locate the crappie, throw out a marker buoy and get out your favorite jig or crappie poles and go to work. If the jig bite is working, I like to put 2 jigs on the pole about 18 inches apart, using a 1/8 oz. head, pink in color and use a chartreuse/pink jig body. This will catch you a good mess in no time. If you are interested in a crappie trip call or text me for open dates or check out our website for booking details. I have been guiding on Lake Fork for 18 years.

HOTSPOT: White Oak Branch
GPS: N 32 55.608, W 95 40.824
(32.9268, -95.6804)

Lake Fork: White Oak Branch

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Lipless rattle baits, spinnerbaits, Finch Nasty Thumpers, GrandeBass Air Pro, Texas rigged 6.5 Mag Rattlesnake
CONTACT: Lance Vick
TIPS: “Happy New Year! On Lake Fork the bass are moving into pre-spawn stage. Rattle baits, spinnerbaits and Finch Nasty Thumpers work well on the windy
days. On sunny days weightless soft plastics like the GrandeBass Air Pro, a salt heavy stick bait with the airtail chamber so you can put scent or rattles in it, or a light Texas rig with a 6.5”” Mag Rattlesnake. Work secondary points and creek channel swings on flats. Lay down logs and any vegetation are great cover this time of year. Its big fish season!”

LOCATION: Lake Livingston
HOTSPOT: Bedias Creek
GPS: N 30 54.858, W 95 36.9059
(30.9143, -95.6151)

Lake Livingston: Bedias Creek

SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad, Blue Fox, Rat-L-Traps, Tsunami Cocktail spinners, road runners
CONTACT: David S. Cox, Palmetto Guide Service
TIPS: January brings in the start of the incredible white bass spawn on Lake Livingston. Spring white bass fishing is met with a fanatical following here. Whites will move into upper Lake Livingston creeks in huge numbers to spawn. Bedias Creek is famous for white bass fishing in January. However, many factors need to come together to get in on the great fishing here in January. Current conditions can dictate the fishing as one day can be feast and the next day, famine. Water conditions, temperature and fluctuating levels can dictate success or failure. Typically the best time to go is with a warming trend bringing a southeast wind following a recent local rain. The moving water from run off will pull the fish up stream and stack them up in deep holes far up Bedias Creek. The “shoals” is a well-known area here where the whites stack up under the right conditions. Launch at the county ramp on Bedias Creek and go far up stream looking for clearing or “tea” colored water. Key in on the downstream side of sandbars in deep holes. Make a long cast and work the baits slowly. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is fishing the baits too fast. With lower water temperatures in January the whites’ metabolism is lowered making for a less aggressive bite. BANK ACCESS: County ramp on Bedias Creek off Highway 247 north of Huntsville.

LOCATION: Lake Sam Rayburn
HOTSPOT: Five Fingers
GPS: N 31 7.92, W 94 7.71
(31.1320, -94.1285)

Lake Sam Rayburn: Five Fingers

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: 6” – 7” suspending jerk baits, red Rat-L-Traps, bass jigs, Carolina rigs, deep diving crankbaits
CONTACT: Mike Knight
TIPS: January is one of the three best months of the year to catch a bass over 10 pounds on this lake. If the winter is mild, look for big pre-spawn females to move into big bays and stage in drains and ditches that are 8 to 15 feet deep. BEST BAITS: will be 6” – 7” suspending jerk baits and the Rayburn standby, red Rat-L-Traps. If the winter is cold/bitter, try ledges and channel swings in 15 to 25 feet with jigs, Carolina rigs and deep cranks.

LOCATION: Toledo Bend North
HOTSPOT: Brown’s Bend
GPS: N 31 42.324, W 93 47.8199
(31.7054, -93.7970)

Toledo Bend North: Brown’s Bend

SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Slab spoons, Rat-L-Traps, tail spinners
CONTACT: Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service and Lake Cottages
TIPS: In January, the White Bass will be feeding heavy, bulking up before making their annual run up the river to spawn. The whites will be holding on the north end river channel sandbars. If we receive a lot of rain and have a strong river current, you will start seeing some action in the river proper. Otherwise, work the main lake sandbars with slab spoons, Rat-L- Traps and tail spinners. Use your electronics to locate the bait fish and you’ll locate the whites. Your daily limit is 25 fish per person.



LOCATION: Lake Granbury
HOTSPOT: Deep water ledge on the lower ends
GPS: N 32 23.014, W 97 42.55
(32.3836, -97.7092)

Lake Granbury: Deep water ledge on the lower ends

SPECIES: Striped bass
BEST BAITS: ¾- to 1-oz. jig heads with 5 inch swimbaits/jerkbaits in blue/chartreuse
CONTACT: Michael W. Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters
TIPS: Work over structure slowly and work deeper until you locate the best depth. Granbury water temperatures continue to be in the upper 40s and low 50’s. Winter patterns are in full force with an early spring just around the corner. Stripers are active and are moving back and forth from the river to deeper water on the main lake. The warmest water on the really cold days is near the bottom of the channel. Find the bait, find the fish. Wintering Birds are in place and are pointing anglers to active feeding fish from the dam to the river above Granbury. Passing cool fronts continue to dominate the weather pattern. White bass and stripers are hovering around deep baitfish. Small jigs with soft plastics are putting sandbass in the boat. 5 inch swimbaits and jerkbaits worked slowly is the best pattern for striped bass. Crappie action is good near deeper structure like bridge pilings. Catfish action is great on cut shad and hotdogs fished under docks near deeper water. Some good catfish are being taken in the river on the deeper bends. Black bass action is good to 6lbs on Carolina rigs worked on drop offs near lake points.

LOCATION: Bachman Lake
HOTSPOT: Bridge or Dam Areas
GPS: N 32 51.5699, W 96 51.3839
(32.8595, -96.8564)

Bachman Lake: Bridge or Dam Areas

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: Lower Main Lake
GPS: N 32 13.8899, W 96 5.0219
(32.2315, -96.0837)

Cedar Creek Lake: Lower Main Lake

SPECIES: Hybrid Striper & White Bass
BEST BAITS: Swimbaits, buck tail jigs, flukes on jig heads
CONTACT: Jason Barber
TIPS: This month we are “dead sticking” for hybrids and whites. Fish the lower main lake in 30’-50’ of water with shad imitations such as swimbaits, buck tails, flukes on jig heads, etc. Present your bait vertically to fish relating to suspended schools of shad.

LOCATION: Eagle Mountain Lake
HOTSPOT: South of Pelican Island
GPS: N 32 54.304, W 97 30.237
(32.9051, -97.5040)

Eagle Mountain Lake: South of Pelican Island

SPECIES: Blue catfish
BEST BAITS: Whole or cut shad
CONTACT: Johnny Stevens
TIPS: This area is surrounded by two channels, Walnut creek on the west and Trinity river on the east. This area is 4- to 10 feet deep. The water warms up during the day. The shad go up in the shallow water and the blue cats follow them. I like to anchor the front and the back of the boat to eliminate sway. I use a Carolina rig with circle hooks. If you don’t find them in a few minutes move until you find them. They tend to stack up in one area.

LOCATION: Fayette County Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Hog Pond Trees
GPS: N 29 55.2779, W 96 43.23
(29.9213, -96.7205)

Fayette County Reservoir: Hog Pond Trees

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Shad, CJ’s punch bait
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: Stumps in the area. North winds are blocked here by the trees. Fishing a tight line due to winds this time of year helps keep bait in the prime area. There is lots of brush in this area to get hung up on so get your fish to your boat as soon as possible.

LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir
HOTSPOT: North Eagle Point
GPS: N 30 38.118, W 96 3.0779
(30.6353, -96.0513)

Gibbons Creek Reservoir: North Eagle Point

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: CJ’s punch bait, shad
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: This lake is full right now. Gibbons Creek comes close to shore here. Tight line this area for blues and channels. Use kahle hooks with shad or treble hooks with punch bait.

LOCATION: Granger Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 42.402, W 97 20.91
(30.7067, -97.3485)

Granger Lake: Main Lake

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Shad, cut bait, Zote Soap
CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell
TIPS: Not much except catfishing is going on right now at Granger. The blues are still biting good on various baits. Cold fronts seem to turn them on and blow the shad to the windy banks. Fish those areas and you will have the best luck. Jug lines work well this time of year. I like to use Zote Soap, but shad are preferred by many. The larger blues are better on shad or large pieces of cut bait. Drift fishing with the wind is a good technique to put some of the good tasting blues in the boat. Good luck and good fishing.

LOCATION: Lake Lavon
HOTSPOT: Island and Dam Area
GPS: N 33 3.0119, W 96 28.416
(33.0502, -96.4736)

Lake Lavon: Island and Dam Area

SPECIES: White Bass & Crappie
BEST BAITS: Live minnows, flukes in white or chartreuse
CONTACT: Carey Thorn
TIPS: Crappie will be suspended next to the dam in 18-25 feet of water. Spider rigging minnows is your best bet. White bass will be near the island and out towards the dam. Concentrate your fishing efforts in 20-30 feet of water. Dead sticking Berkley Gulp Minnows, dead sticking live minnows, or dead sticking a 3” to 4” fluke in white or chartreuse just one foot above the school when you find them usually produces the best catches.

LOCATION: Lake Palestine
HOTSPOT: Flat Creek
GPS: N 32 12.522, W 95 31.782
(32.2087, -95.5297)

Lake Palestine: Flat Creek

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Big Eye jigs, Texas Spinnerbaits
CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
TIPS: This time of year there are a few locations that I will focus on, all in the Flat Creek area. There is standing timber so fish your lure around all your trees and any tree you find up near the creek bends. Take extra time fishing this area and cast to the tree several times. Lures I will use will be my Big Eye jigs and the Texas Spinnerbaits. The best Jig colors will be black/brown amber, black/blue and blue candy. These colors will work in clear, stained and muddy water. Spinnerbaits in chartreuse/white and black neon will work well too.

LOCATION: Lake Ray Roberts
HOTSPOT: Johnson Branch
GPS: N 33 23.753, W 97 0.801
(33.3959, -97.0134)

Lake Ray Roberts: Johnson Branch

SPECIES: Crappie, white bass
BEST BAITS: Minnows, ¾ to1oz. slabs
CONTACT: Justin Wilson
TIPS: Start of the year is here along with cold temperatures but the fishing is still great. White bass bite has been consistent. Look for big schools of fish stacking up on points and humps close to creek channels in 20-30 feet of water. Slabs off the bottom have been the best with bucktail teasers tied on as well. Light boat traffic has made it easier to stay on fish once you find them. Keep an eye out for diving gulls making easy meals off bait fish being pushed up from schooling fish. The crappie bite has been good. Crappie have been on brush piles in 20-30 foot of water. Jigs are working well but the quality of fish seem to be better on minnows.

LOCATION: Richland Chambers Lake
HOTSPOT: Crab Creek
GPS: N 31 57.348, W 96 19.914
(31.9558, -96.3319)

Richland Chambers Lake: Crab Creek

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Danny King’s Punch Bait
CONTACT: Royce Simmons
TIPS: Bundle up, take a thermos of coffee and get ready to catch some really nice blue cats on Richland Chambers. While we fish all winter for catfish, January and February are the best months to catch some of the bigger blues. Our target is “eater size” blues and channel cats but almost every trip someone will hook into a really big blue. We’re fishing in the heavy timber in Crab Creek and along the Richland Creek channel in 25’-35’ using Danny Kings Punch Bait on a # 4 treble hook. If you want to stock up on catfish filets, the winter is the time to do it on Richland Chambers!

LOCATION: Lake Somerville
HOTSPOT: Big Creek Park Shoreline
GPS: N 30 19.2419, W 96 34.908
(30.3207, -96.5818)

Lake Somerville: Big Creek Park Shoreline

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Shad, cut bait
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
TIPS: Good area to drift fish. Drift at speed of 1/2 mph. Use 4/0 hook, three foot leader and a 1 oz. “no roll” weight. This is also a good area for jug lines this time of year if you are going after big cats.

LOCATION: Lake Texoma
HOTSPOT: Paw Paw Creek and Willis Bridge
GPS: N 33 53.9879, W 96 53.796
(33.8998, -96.8966)

Lake Texoma: Paw Paw Creek and Willis Bridge

SPECIES: Striped Bass
BEST BAITS: Live shad, Road Runners and Sassy Shad jigs
CONTACT: Bill Carey
TIPS: “January is a big fish month at Lake Texoma. The cool water winter fishing is legendary. Large stripers up to 20 pounds will hold on structure. A 7-foot medium heavy fishing rod with 20-pound test is recommended. The 1 oz. Road Runner jig with a white 9-inch worm will produce fish located on main lake points and the mouths of creeks and humps with deep water nearby. The cooler the weather the better the fishing holds true for these fighting fish. Bait fishing with live shad is also an excellent way to catch stripers. Pay attention to the weather forecast and dress warm. Our charters depart at 10:30 a.m. in the winter. The fish will bite all day and the solar heat can help keep you warm. Keep your eyes on the seagulls as they can be your best fish locator. Bank Access: The Oil Wells and Texas Flats (Using the same baits mentioned, shad will work best on the banks, tie on jigs if the seagulls are working near you.)”

LOCATION: Lake Whitney
HOTSPOT: State Park and Brazos River at the mouth of Nolan River
GPS: N 31 55.074, W 97 21.8219
(31.9179, -97.3637)

Lake Whitney: State Park and Brazos River at the mouth of Nolan River

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: 3” chartreuse swim baits from RSR lures and chartreuse Bass Assassins
CONTACT: Randy Routh
TIPS: SLOW IS THE NAME OF THE GAME! The water temp has dropped. The shad have been pushed from the creeks, ganging up in a “safety in numbers” type of pattern in the open water. The stripers and whites are following and gorging on them. The water is cold, the bait fish are lethargic and not moving as fast as normal so when you think your fishing slow enough, slow down even more. Two patterns are putting stripers and whites in the boat right now. Wild Eyed chartreuse swim baits cast out behind the boat slow trolled with the trolling motor covers a lot of water and presents your baits to more fish. Again SLOW is the name of the game. Watch your graph and when you do come up on a school of bait and fish, mark the fish, stop the boat and switch over to 5 to 6” Bass Assassins with 3/4 oz. lead heads. Drop them down to just above the fish then “DO NOTHING!” Hold the bait dead still (dead sticking). Every so often raise your rod tip slowly then drop it back down slowly and get ready for a quick hook set. The bite will more often than not feel like the tap of a small fish. Be quick on the trigger, set the hook, and hang on to the rod!




LOCATION: Lake Alan Henry
HOTSPOT: Cat Hollow
GPS: N 33 2.868, W 101 5.9039
(33.0478, -101.0984)

Lake Alan Henry: Cat Hollow

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Deep diving crankbaits, bass jigs, spoons
CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services
TIPS: “January will find the bass following the shad and perch into deep water. Everything will
depend on the weather and the cold fronts that roll through. Some bass will remain shallow if the water temps stay in the 50’s. If the water drops below 50, the bass will move into the deep water, chasing the shad. Use your electronics to find the balls of shad and you will find the bass. I can’t tell you where the bass will be because the shad can be anywhere. You just have to search until you find the shad. Fish fun and fish safe!”

LOCATION: Lake Possum Kingdom
HOTSPOT: Carter Island
GPS: N 32 57.677, W 98 25.122
(32.9613, -98.4187)

Lake Possum Kingdom: Carter Island

SPECIES: Striped & white bass, hybrids
BEST BAITS: Live shad, cut bait, slabs, crankbaits
CONTACT: Dean Heffner
TIPS: We had a lot of floodwaters come in October and November, so a lot of fish are already staged at the mouths of the major creeks and rivers that feed the lake. But this month’s hotspot will still be close to the mouth of the mighty Brazos River. Live shad is best, but cut bait will work. If you can find clearer water, then you can clean up with slabs. Mixed species will be staged waiting for any water flow to start the spring migration up the river. Chartreuse and white are the color palettes this month. You can also catch fish trolling RatLTraps and cranks.




HOTSPOT: Arapahoe Ledges
GPS: N29 36.36912, W100 57.6816
(29.606152, -100.961360)

Amistad: Arapahoe Ledges

SPECIES: largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad jigs, plastic worms
CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl
TIPS: There are several rock ledges near the channels with stumps here. Fish small jigs or finesse worms on light line on the ledges in 18-25 feet of water and set the hook at the slightest tap. Fish slowly and gradually work deeper as the sun rises.




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

Canyon Lake: Potters Creek Park

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. Tight lines and Fish On!”


LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Paradise Point and Rocky Point Areas
GPS: N 30 50.022, W 98 24.2879
(30.8337, -98.4048)

Lake Buchanan: Paradise Point and Rocky Point Areas

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: Live shad, slabs
CONTACT: Clancy Terrill
TIPS: “January should be the ending month of the transition for all species moving from fall and winter patterns to early spring patterns. Striper and white bass fishing should be good in the upper half of lake from Rocky Point to Paradise Point.
Focus your efforts on early and late in the day using live bait and jigging slabs in 20 to 40 feet of water near ridges and humps close to the river channel.”

LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Shaw and Garret Island
GPS: N 30 50.85, W 98 24.8424
(30.8475, -98.4140)

Lake Buchanan: Shaw and Garret Island

SPECIES: Stripers, Hybrid Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: Jigs, slabs, Rat-L-Traps
CONTACT: Ken Milam
TIPS: Stripers are going to around the Shaw and Garrett Island area of the lake. The upper end of the lake seems to be the best area this time of year. Watch for seagulls. White bass will be on the upper end of Lake Buchanan as well, getting ready for the white bass run! Troll along the river channel in the Paradise and Silver Creek area. Just try something different if what you start with doesn’t work!




LOCATION: Coleto Creek Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 28 45.906, W 97 11.1959
(28.7651, -97.1866)

Coleto Creek Lake: Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Zoom pearl white or watermelon Fluke using a 4/0 worm hook, rigged weedless
CONTACT: Rocky’s Guide Service
TIPS: Starting the new year out right has always been important to me. I like to go to bed at a decent hour get up rested and spend the first day of the new year on the water. I figure I have a better chance of the rest of the year going right compared to getting off on the wrong foot (hungover)! January is kinda a relaxing month to fish. Fishing is a little slower as a rule along with presentation. If you watch the water, usually, most everything is moving slower. So to look natural, slow your baits down and enjoy. I hope everyone has a great new year! May your bites be big and your fish be healthy!


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