HOTSPOTS: Freshwater – February 2019

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK-Tides & Prime Times – February 2019
January 24, 2019
HOTSPOTS: Saltwater – February 2019
January 24, 2019


HOTSPOT: Double Branch
GPS: N 32 55.812, W 95 38.4899
(32.9302, -95.6415)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork Double Branch

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Lunker Thumper, Grandebass 6.5” Rattlesnake
CONTACT: Lance Vick
[email protected]
TIPS: “ February on Lake Fork is the kick off of trophy bass fishing. Fish are moving shallow in pre-spawn areas, secondary points leading to spawning flats and shallow creek channel bends. The best techniques to get a giant bass in the boat is casting a Lunker Thumper from This vibrating jig really calls out the big ones. When it is windy and cold, the Thumper really works. Cast to hard cover such as standing timber and boat docks. If it has been warming and the water is calm, it’s hard to beat a Grandebass 6.5”” Rattlesnake, rigged weightless. Cast around shallow cover. If it is a little deeper or windy, put a 1/8 oz. Texas weight in front of it. Fish it slow and be ready for a big bite! Good fishin’ to all!”

LOCATION: Caddo Lake
HOTSPOT: Big Cypress River
GPS: N 32 42.3305, W 94 5.9072
(32.7078, -94.0984)

Caddo Lake

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
[email protected]
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 22.638, W 95 34.776
(30.3773, -95.5796)

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe Main Lake

SPECIES: Hybrid Stripers
BEST BAITS: Live shad, Storm Swim Shad
CONTACT: Richard Tatsch
[email protected]
TIPS: The hybrid stripers are in full swing now and this is the time to catch trophy fish and possibly lake record Hybrids. They will be all around the lake on main lake points and humps. The use of electronics is a necessity! Find the schools of shad and you will find the Hybrids. This time of year, they will range in the water column from 12 feet to 40 feet. Find the depth the bait are in and you will find the fish. Live shad will be the bait of choice, but the swim shad will work if you can control the depth. Good luck and good fishing! Bank Access: Stowaway Marina

HOTSPOT: Highway 154 Bridge
GPS: N 32 51.306, W 95 31.8179
(32.8551, -95.5303)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork Highway 154 Bridge

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Red/orange square bill crankbaits, big spinnerbaits and chatterbaits in white and chartreuse
CONTACT: Doug Shampine
[email protected]
TIPS: February is the month the big female bass start moving on Lake Fork. They first show up around the bridges like the 154 bridge feeding on crappie. Then they move into the creek channels leading to the bigger creeks like Burch, Little Caney, Glade and Running Creek. There are also deeper flats along these areas, and they will begin feeding on the deeper flats, also known as the pre-spawning stage. This is the month the big females will also show up in the 5-foot range towards the end of the month.

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

Lake Livingston

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
[email protected]
TIPS: February continues 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 February. However, many factors need to come together to get in on the great fishing here in February. 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 February 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: Sam Rayburn Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 31 17.64, W 94 20.6459
(31.2940, -94.3441)

Sam Rayburn Lake

Sam Rayburn Lake Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Rat-L-traps in red
CONTACT: Mike Knight
(936) 635-2427
[email protected]
TIPS: February at Sam Rayburn is the beginning of the magic. Lots of bass and some monsters too will be on the move staging on points, mid-depth ledges and humps. There will also be plenty of bass moving into ditches and drains leading into and out of large bays and flats. This is number 2 of the 3 best months to catch a Rayburn giant.

LOCATION: Toledo Bend Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 31 23.124, W 93 42.2999
(31.3854, -93.7050)

Toledo Bend Lake

Toledo Bend Lake Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Jig and pig combo, deep diving crankbaits
CONTACT: Mike Knight
[email protected]
TIPS: “February at T-Bend depends on the type of winter we have. If it’s been mild, expect some big female bass to begin staging on deep docks and timbered points near spawning flats in 10 to 15 feet. If winter has been rough, it will be an offshore bite in 15 to 30 feet of water. Jig and pig is February’s go-to bait with a deep crankbait as a backup.”

LOCATION: Toledo Bend North
HOTSPOT: Sabine River (Grand Cane Bayou)
GPS: N 31 56.074, W 93 58.780
(31.9345, -93.9796)

Toledo Bend North

Toledo Bend North Sabine River (Grand Cane Bayou)

SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, Road Runners, Crank Baits, Slab Spoons and live Crawfish
CONTACT: Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service and Lake Cottages
[email protected]
TIPS: In February I’ll be spending the majority of my time on the Sabine River loading up the boat with white bass. The whites will be making their annual river run up the river to spawn. Locating the whites is contingent on a number of factors: river level, current and clarity. If the river is out of its bank, work the flooded sloughs and find some clear water. If the river is at normal or below normal stages, you can usually find the whites on the inside bend sandbars. If the river has a lot of current, look for still water where the fish can get out of the current. Look for the eddies formed on the down side of the inside bends of the river. When you locate the fish, they will be bunched up and feeding heavy. Be extremely careful running the river. A lot of under water hazards, mainly submerged logs and debris, can show up at any time.



LOCATION: Lake Granbury
HOTSPOT: River near Tin Top
GPS: N 32 34.559, W 97 49.295
(32.5760, -97.8216)

Lake Granbury

Lake Granbury River near Tin Top

SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: 1/4-oz.jig heads with spinners (roadrunners) with 5-inch swimbaits/jerkbaits in blue/chartreuse
CONTACT: Michael W. Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters
TIPS: Swim or bounce your jigs across the bottom. Work the bends in the river and look for fish either in the deeper holes and when active on top of flats adjacent to the deeper water. Granbury water temperatures are in the 50’s. Winter patterns are shifting towards spring as spring is just around the corner. Stripers are active and are moving back and forth from the river to deeper water on the main lake. Wintering Birds are still 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. Granbury water temperatures are in the 50’s. Winter patterns are shifting towards spring as spring is just around the corner. Stripers are active and are moving back and forth from the river to deeper water on the main lake. Wintering Birds are still 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. Stripers are hovering around deep baitfish. Sandbass are moving upstream for their annual spawning run. Jigs with soft plastics and jigging slabs are putting sandbass in the boat.

LOCATION: Bachman Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 51.1859, W 96 52.014
(32.8531, -96.8669)

Bachman Lake

Bachman Lake Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass and Crappie
BEST BAITS: Bass: spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps | Crappie: minnows and jigs
CONTACT: Carey Thorn
[email protected]
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
GPS: N 32 18.186, W 96 8.4239
(32.3031, -96.1404)

Cedar Creek Lake

Cedar Creek Lake Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Bass jigs
CONTACT: Jason Barber
[email protected]
TIPS: Fish lots of docks in the main lake area and in coves. Skip 3/8 oz. bass jigs in various colors under docks. Cover a lot of water but be sure to fish slow and thorough.

LOCATION: Eagle Mountain Lake
HOTSPOT: Just South of Pelican Island
GPS: N 32 54.302, W 97 30.237
(32.9050, -97.5040)

Eagle Mountain Lake

Eagle Mountain Lake Just South of Pelican Island

SPECIES: Blue Cats
BEST BAITS: Cut or whole shad
CONTACT: Johnny Stevens
[email protected]
TIPS: This area is surrounded by two channels, Walnut creek

LOCATION: Fayette County Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Groce Branch
GPS: N 29 56.22, W 96 43.05
(29.9370, -96.7175)

Fayette County Reservoir

Fayette County Reservoir Groce Branch

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Shad, CJ’s punch bait
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
[email protected]
TIPS: Fish in the trees, 2-8 feet deep. Fish are moving into spawning areas now. Fish stage here deeper, before moving to shallow water for the spawn.

LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir
HOTSPOT: Pelican Island
GPS: N 30 37.314, W 96 4.218
(30.6219, -96.0703)

Gibbons Creek Reservoir

Gibbons Creek Reservoir Pelican Island

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: CJ’s punch bait, shad
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
[email protected]
TIPS: Pelican Island is barely under the water and covered with lily pads right now. Use a Carolina rig and fish in 8-12 feet of water along the hump where Hog Creek comes close.

LOCATION: Granger Lake
GPS: N 30 39.24, W 97 24.3659
(30.6540, -97.4061)

Granger Lake

Granger Lake Up River

SPECIES: White Bass
BEST BAITS: Road Runners, crankbaits
CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell
(512) 365-7761
[email protected]
TIPS: This is the time of year when the white bass start their spawning runs up the river and creek. The fishing is not consistent but if you are at the right place at the right time, you can really clean them up. Fish the normal spots up river where the spawning takes place. Use the standard baits. Try after 2 or 3 warm days in a row. The whites make runs up stream and I am not talking about the small males that show up in the early part of the spawn. Don’t wait until someone reports that they caught them. You need to be the someone who catches them. The only way to do it is to keep trying every time you get a chance. When you get into them, it will be as good or better than any day in the prime spawning period. Good luck and good fishing.

LOCATION: Lake Lavon
HOTSPOT: Island Point
GPS: N 33 3.0605, W 96 28.338
(33.0510, -96.4723)

Lake Lavon

Lake Lavon Island Point

SPECIES: White Bass & Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Slabs (whites), crankbaits (largemouth)
CONTACT: Carey Thorn
[email protected]
TIPS: Look for white bass in 20-30 feet of water at Glass House Cove, Island point, or Hybrid point, using 1 oz. white slabs. Largemouth bass can be found in 10-25 feet of water using Carolina rigs and crank baits on hard structure such as ramps and rocks.

LOCATION: Lake Palestine
HOTSPOT: Cades Lake
GPS: N 32 17.7179, W 95 26.994
(32.2953, -95.4499)

Lake Palestine

Lake Palestine Cades Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Yellow/black Big Eye Buzzbait. Big Eye Spinnerbait, Big Eye Jig
CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
[email protected]
TIPS: This time of year, fishing is best for larger bass up north in the Cades Lake area. Best lures will be a yellow/black Big Eye buzzbait early. Throw it in the shallows up in this area over lily pad stems and near any brush. Fish as slow as you can for more action. As the morning goes on, switch over to the Big Eye Spinnerbait and the Shimmy Shaker fishing some of the same water. Then pitch the Big Eye Jig in black/blue color trailed with a black/blue Mr. Twister Pocket Craw. This will help this jig stand up high in the stems and along the brush. Fish this throughout the rest of the day. Fish slow and fish all your lay downs and brush areas you can find. Remember, it will be very cold, and the bass won’t move fast to get a lure.

LOCATION: Richland Chambers Lake
HOTSPOT: Crab Creek
GPS: N 31 57.2099, W 96 18.426
(31.9535, -96.3071)

Richland Chambers Lake

Richland Chambers Lake Crab Creek

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Danny Kings punch bait
Contact : Royce Simmons
[email protected]
TIPS: Put on the wool shirts, the deer blind coveralls and some warm socks and let’s catch some really nice blue cats on Richland Chambers. While we fish all winter for catfish, February is one of 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’ feet of water 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: South Schooling Area
GPS: N 30 18.1439, W 96 34.4399
(30.3024, -96.5740)

Lake Somerville

Lake Somerville South Schooling Area

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Shad or cut bait
CONTACT: Weldon Kirk
[email protected]
TIPS: This area is 12-14 feet deep. Fish along the old road bed, chumming the area first. If there are no bites there, move 50 feet and chum again. Fish travel the shoreline here as it is close to the main creek channel.

LOCATION: Lake Tawakoni
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 55.902, W 96 1.4879
(32.9317, -96.0248)

Lake Tawakoni

Lake Tawakoni Main Lake

SPECIES: Catfish
BEST BAITS: Cut gizzard shad
CONTACT: Andrew Taylor, Lake Tawakoni Guide Service
[email protected]
TIPS: Lake Tawakoni is sitting in amazing shape with all of the recent rainfall that we have had, with water still coming over the spillway. As we progress further into fall/winter look for water temperatures to continue to fall. One of my favorite parts of winter time fishing is the deep bite. Typically, I will look and find most of my fish in the 35’-50’ of water. With the water temperature dropping it forces a lot of the bait to go deep, which makes pinpointing trophy blue cats that much easier. Where there is bait there are feeding fish! I do spend a lot of time behind the graph before setting up a drift, looking for clouds of bait fish with feed blues under it. I run a Santee Cooper Rig, with about a 3’ leader, 2 oz. slinky weight, and 8/0 Gamakatsu circle hook. My favorite type of bait to run is Gizzard Shad. Sometimes they’re tough to come by in the winter months but if you can manage to get your hands on them, the bigger the better. A lot of people have different ideas on how to run the bait, but I’ve always ran chunks with better results.

LOCATION: Lake Texoma
HOTSPOT: Slickem Slough
GPS: N 33 51.3539, W 96 52.686
(33.8559, -96.8781)

Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma Slickem Slough

SPECIES: Striped Bass
BEST BAITS: Road Runner jigs
CONTACT: Bill Carey
[email protected]
TIPS: “Winter fishing on Lake Texoma is legendary. Chances of landing trophy stripers in February are in your favor. Road runner ½ 1 oz. white buck tail jigs with a 7-inch soft plastic worm are deadly on the big fish holding on structure. Always keep your eyes on the seagulls. Cast your 1 oz. Sassy Shad jigs in white glo under the birds where large schools of stripers can be feeding. Multiple hook-ups are common with lots of action in the open water. 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: Big Rocky Creek
GPS: N 31 52.794, W 97 23.682
(31.8799, -97.3947)

Lake Whitney

Lake Whitney Big Rocky Creek

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: Storm’s Wild Eyed Shad in chartreuse
CONTACT: Randy Routh
[email protected]
TIPS: “It’s a great time to be on Lake Whitney! The stripers have the shad pushed back up in the creek past the first cut. Make longs cast and drag baits behind the boat using the trolling motor. BANK ACCESS: Walling Bend”



LOCATION: Lake Alan Henry
HOTSPOT: Gobbler Creek
GPS: N 33 2.4119, W 101 6.6659
(33.0402, -101.1111)

Lake Alan Henry

Lake Alan Henry Gobbler Creek

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Shaky heads with blue worms, deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, bass jigs
CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services
[email protected]
TIPS: “February will find some of the bass starting to move up the creeks. Some of these gals will be very large. I will be using shaky heads, deep diving crank baits, and jerk baits. I will also
have a jig tied on. The hard lures will be in a shad color. I will be using a blue worm on my
shaky head. I usually start in Gobbler Creek, and then move to Ince Cove, or Rocky Creek. I
always find my way to Big Grape Creek. If the creek strategy doesn’t work, I will move to the steep banks on the main river where the sun hits the bank most of the day. I will be using jerk baits, shaky heads, and jigs in the colors mentioned above. Fish fun and fish safe.”

LOCATION: Lake Possum Kingdom
HOTSPOT: Pickwick Bridge
GPS: N 32 54.777, W 98 27.939
(32.9130, -98.4657)

Lake Possum Kingdom

Lake Possum Kingdom Pickwick Bridge

SPECIES: Striped & white bass, hybrids
BEST BAITS: Live shad, cut bait
CONTACT: Dean Heffner
[email protected]
TIPS: “Winter is still here and so are the fish hovering at the runs close to the Brazos and Cedar! Any fresh water and they’ll be off upstream to their annual spawning grounds. If the water turns muddy then you need to fish live shad or bait of cut bait because they just can’t see much in the red clay muddy water which we had a lot of last part of 2018. If you can find some clearer water, fish it. There is plenty of fish to be caught this month. you just gotta get out there.”



HOTSPOT: Pencil Point
GPS: N 29 36.35118,
W 100 58.4484
(29.605853, -100.974140)


Amistad Pencil Point

SPECIES: largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged worms, jigs, deep-diving crankbaits
CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl
[email protected]
TIPS: Fish the under-water ledges and end of the narrow point with a deep-diving crankbait early, slowly working the lure across the end of the point for feeding fish. After the sun rises, work the under-water brush and stumps with Carolina-rigged worms.



LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Silver Creek and Mid-Lake
GPS: N 30 51.8099, W 98 24.8039
(30.8635, -98.4134)

Lake Buchanan

Lake Buchanan Silver Creek and Mid-Lake

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: Live shad
CONTACT: Clancy Terrill
[email protected]
TIPS: “Fish the Silver Creek area to Mid-lake drifting or anchored with live shad. Concentrate on fishing
20-40 foot depths, fishing ridges and humps, close to the old river channel.”

LOCATION: Lake Buchanan
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 51.33, W 98 24.744
(30.8555, -98.4124)

Lake Buchanan

Lake Buchanan Main Lake

SPECIES: Crappie & Catfish
BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs, minnows, cut shad
CONTACT: Ken Milam
[email protected]
TIPS: This time of the year you will find crappie will be on deep structure and catfish will be along the old river channel. Fish with crappie jigs and minnows for crappie and cut shad for catfish.

LOCATION: Canyon Lake
HOTSPOT: River Channel
GPS: N 29 53.4479, W 98 17.778
(29.8908, -98.2963)

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake River Channel

SPECIES: Striped Bass & White Bass
BEST BAITS: 1 oz. KT jigging spoon in white and sliver
CONTACT: Capt. Steve Nixon, Fishhooks Adventures
[email protected]
TIPS: “Fish from the point back to the river channel, 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, preparing for the spawn run. Tight lines and fish on!”




LOCATION: Coleto Creek Lake
HOTSPOT: Main Lake
GPS: N 28 44.466, W 97 10.812
(28.7411, -97.1802)

Coleto Creek Lake

Coleto Creek Lake Main Lake

SPECIES: Largemouth Bass
BEST BAITS: Shad colored lures
CONTACT: Rocky’s Guide Service
TIPS: The fish should be hungry, and the food should be a little scarce. Fish will be takin advantage of any opportunity this time of year. Slow retrieves and, more importantly, natural looking lures, should be your strategy. This is probably the most important month that we need lures to look the most natural. Fish will be deeper on colder days and up against the shallows during the afternoons when the sun is out. Find the grass (hydrilla) and you will most likely find fish.


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