FORECAST CENTER: Freshwater – February 2020

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK – Tides & Prime Times – February 2020
January 24, 2020
FORECAST CENTER: Saltwater – February 2020
January 24, 2020

Trophy Bass Season Ready for Kickoff

Reported by TF&G STAFF

FEBRUARY IS WHEN trophy bass anglers start getting serious, as the pre-spawn activity begins on Fork, Conroe, Rayburn and other big largemouth lakes.

Look for the fish to start moving toward points and mid-depth areas in preparation for the spawn.

Meanwhile, white bass will be moving up stream for the kickoff of their own spawning season.

Don’t forget crappie and catfish, as this month can be a great crappie producer on Livingston and the cats get big this month on Lake Conroe.

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Location: Caddo Lake
Hotspot: Ames Spring Basin
GPS: N 32 42.7619, W 94 5.43
(32.7127, -94.0905)

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake Ames Spring Basin

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Black/blue 1/2 oz. V&M bass jigs, Senkos, Rat-L-Traps
Contact: Caddo Lake Guide Service/Paul Keith
318-455-3437
[email protected]
www.caddolakefishing.com
Tips: The February time frame can produce some giant bass on Caddo Lake. Ames Spring Basin on the Texas North side of the lake is just one example of where we catch big ones in February. If water temperatures are below 55, I will start with fishing the grass and trees with a 1/2 oz. red or crawfish colored Rat-L-Trap around the cypress and grass flats here. Most of the water here is 3-5 feet deep. If the water is above 55 degrees, I start concentrating more on just the cypress trees using a jig or weightless Senko in most any dark color. There many other areas like this on Caddo such as Big Green Break, Whatley Island, etc. that can be fished the same way as well.

Location: Lake Conroe
Hotspot: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 24.0899, W 95 34.398
(30.4015, -95.5733)

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe Main Lake

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Stinkbait, chicken livers, shrimp
Contact: Richard Tatsch
936-661-7920
[email protected]
www.fishdudetx.com
Tips: Catfish this time of year are pretty big! Fish the main lake points between the creeks in anywhere from 10 to 20 feet of water. I normally bait an area using cattle cubes and the 1 1/2 to 5-pound channels will show up and, occasionally, you’ll have a big blue cat make the rounds. I’ve been catching a lot of them between 20 and 60 pounds. You can get them to hit stink baits, chicken livers or shrimp or cut shad well this time of year.

Location: Lake Fork
Hotspot: 154 Bridge Pilings
GPS: N 32 51.5459, W 95 31.9919
(32.8591, -95.5332)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork 154 Bridge Pilings

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: 3/4 oz. red Rat-L-Trap, white swim baits, 3/4 oz. spinner baits in white or white/chartreuse, chatterbaits in white, plastic lizards in black
Contact: Doug Shampine
940-902-3855
[email protected]
www.lakeforktrophybass.com
Tips: February is the month on Lake Fork the big females are moving around and thinking about early pre-spawn. This is also the first month the ShareLunker bass will start showing up, especially under the 154 bridge around the bridge pilings. The other areas they will be showing up will be Glade, Burch, Running, Coffee Creeks and the north areas of the lake that is protected from a strong north wind. If you can find vegetation in those areas, the bass will be hanging around there.

Location: Lake Fork
Hotspot: Kintchloe Branch
GPS: N 32 57.18, W 95 37.6439
(32.9530, -95.6274)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork Kintchloe Branch

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Lunker Thumper, Grandebass 6.5” Rattlesnake
Contact: Lance Vick
(903) 312-0609
[email protected]
www.guideonlakefork.com
Tips: “ February on Lake Fork is the kickoff 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 www.finchnastybaitco.com. 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: Lake Fork
Hotspot: Little Caney Creek
GPS: N 32 49.686, W 95 33.42
(32.8281, -95.5570)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork Little Caney Creek

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: Crappie jigs in pink/chartreuse
Contact: Doug Shampine
940-902-3855
[email protected]
www.lakeforktrophybass.com
Tips: February is the last month on Lake Fork that you keep the first 25 per person crappie you catch no matter the size. March starts back to a 10” length limit. The crappie will be starting to move from their winter holding pattern, which is on the deeper ridges and humps, and start moving towards shallower water. But early February check the deeper flats in the mouth of Little Caney, humps in front of the damn and start your search in 30-45 feet of water. Here is where good electronics will help you locate baitfish and the schools of crappie feeding in the deeper water. Use two jigs on your pole. One will cover the bottom and one will cover the suspended crappie. The bite is normally light in the cold water but this is when you can catch some really nice sized fish.

Location: Lake Livingston
Hotspot: White Rock Creek
GPS: N 30 57.2999, W 95 19.9199
(30.9550, -95.3320)

Lake Livingston

Lake Livingston White Rock Creek

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: Live minnows, micro tube crappie jigs in black and chartreuse
Contact: David S. Cox, Palmetto Guide Service
936-291-9602
[email protected]
www.palmettoguideservice.com
Tips: February on Lake Livingston can be one of the best fishing months of the year. Weather dependent, all species of game fish can be good now. Water temperature and clarity are two important factors to look for this time of year. Head up White Rock Creek now for some of the best crappie fishing this season. Crappie will be in the deep holes in the cut banks. Fish 5 to 6 feet down near wood and lay downs. “Stump jumping” is a favorite technique. Catch three or four off a stump and move quietly to the next stump. Best bait is live minnows; however, they will take a variety of jigs this time of year and the black and chartreuse micro tube is one of my favorites right now. Good Luck fishing Lake Livingston!

Location: Sam Rayburn Res.
Hotspot: Brush Creek
GPS: N 31 21.2459, W 94 26.7059
(31.3541, -94.4451)

Sam Rayburn Res.

Sam Rayburn Res. Brush Creek

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Rat-L-traps in red
Contact: Mike Knight
936-635-2427
[email protected]
www.easttxfishingguide.com
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 North
Hotspot: Sabine River (Grand Cane Bayou)
GPS: N 31 56.76, W 93 58.614
(31.9460, -93.9769)

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
936-368-7151
[email protected]
www.toledobendguide.com
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 several 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 downside 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: Toledo Bend Res.
Hotspot: Staveyard Branch
GPS: N 31 17.334, W 93 45.564
(31.2889, -93.7594)

Toledo Bend Res.

Toledo Bend Res. Staveyard Branch

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Jig and pig combo, deep diving crankbaits
Contact: Mike Knight
936-635-2427
[email protected]
www.easttxfishingguide.com
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.

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Cold or No Cold, Plenty of Fishing in February

Reported by TF&G Staff

FROM STRIPERS TO pre-spawning largemouth, to ready-to-run white bass, catchable crappie and plenty of catfish action, February offers a full plate of opportunities for anglers. Weather permitting, of course.

The pre-spawn is on for most of the best bass producers in the region. Meanwhile, stripers are moving on Buchanan, Canyon, and of course, Texoma.

White bass are getting into the starting blocks up rivers and creeks in preparation for their spring run on Eagle Mountain, Granbury and Whitney.

Catfish action is good on Buchanan, Lavon, Richland Chambers, Somerville and Tawakoni.

Smaller lakes like Bachman, Coleto Fayette County, Gibbons and Granger offer plenty of bass, catfish and crappie opportunities this month.

   

 

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Location: Bachman Lake
Hotspot: Webb Chapel Road Bridge
GPS: N 32 51.552, W 96 51.3659
(32.8592, -96.8561)

Bachman Lake

Bachman Lake Webb Chapel Road Bridge

Species: Largemouth Bass and Crappie
Best Baits: Bass: spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps | Crappie: minnows and jigs
Contact: Carey Thorn
469-528-0210
[email protected]
www.whitebassfishingtexas.com
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 for them.

Location: Lake Buchanan
Hotspot: Rocky Point
GPS: N 30 49.092, W 98 23.232
(30.8182, -98.3872)

Lake Buchanan

Lake Buchanan Rocky Point

Species: Striped Bass
Best Baits: Live shad
Contact: Clancy Terrill
512-633-6742
[email protected]
www.centraltexasfishing.com
Tips: February will find Stripers moving up the lake for spawning patterns. Concentrate your efforts from Rocky Point to Garrett Island. Fish drifting or anchored with live bait. Focusing on humps and ridges in 25-40 feet of water is your best strategy.

Location: Lake Buchanan
Hotspot: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 49.014, W 98 24.894
(30.8169, -98.4149)

Lake Buchanan

Lake Buchanan Main Lake

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Cut bream, carp, shad, chicken or beef liver
Contact: Ken Milam
325-379-2051
[email protected]
www.striperfever.com
Tips: Blue catfish will be along the river channel, on the sides of humps and along old tree lines. Jug lines and rod and reel are the best methods to catch catfish this time of year. Cut bait will do well along with any bloody bait such as chicken or beef liver. Just get on the lake and have FUN!

Location: Canyon Lake
Hotspot: River Channel
GPS: N 29 53.508, W 98 17.808
(29.8918, -98.2968)

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
210-573-1230
[email protected]
www.sanantoniofishingguides.com
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: Cedar Creek Lake
Hotspot: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 18.768, W 96 8.562
(32.3128, -96.1427)

Cedar Creek Lake

Cedar Creek Lake Main Lake

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: 3/8 oz. bass jigs with plastic craws or creature trailers in multiple colors
Contact: Jason Barber
903-603-2047
[email protected]
www.kingscreekadventures.com
Tips: This month we are “dock skipping” for largemouth bass. Focus on spawning creeks and fish all the docks in an entire cove. Skip bait under and around all areas of each dock and near any visible cover including brush, rocks and retaining walls.

Location: Coleto Creek Res.
Hotspot: Turkey Creek
GPS: N 28 44.604, W 97 10.182
(28.7434, -97.1697)

Coleto Creek Res.

Coleto Creek Res. Turkey Creek

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Shad colored lures
Contact: Rocky’s Guide Service
361-960-0566
Tips: The fish should be hungry, and the food should be a little scarce. Fish will be taking 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 the bass.

Location: Lake Eagle Mountain
Hotspot: Mud flats just east of Church Point
GPS: N 32 55.492, W 97 30.051
(32.9249, -97.5009)

Lake Eagle Mountain

Lake Eagle Mountain Mud flats just east of Church Point

Species: White Bass
Best Baits: Slab with a fly 12” above or a spinner with shiny blade
Contact: Johnny Stevens
817-597-6598
johnnysguideservice.com
[email protected]
Tips: This area is composed of many slopes and humps. Water depth is normally 12 to 24 ft. deep. When water temperature approaches 60 degrees many white bass spawn on humps and slopes. Look on each slope and hump with your electronics until you see a series of small humps on the bottom. Throw out a marker buoy, anchor over them, and jig up and down with slab rig. On many occasions you will catch two at a time. Another productive way is to cast to the hump with a lure that has a lot of flash to it.

Location: Fayette County Res.
Hotspot: Dead Fish Cove
GPS: N 29 57.0179, W 96 44.6339
(29.9503, -96.7439)

Fayette County Res. Dead Fish Cove

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Shad, CJ’s punchbait
Contact: Weldon Kirk
979-229-3103
[email protected]
www.fishtales-guideservice.com
Tips: This cove is 8 feet deep for a good way. North wind is blocked in this cove. Chum along edge of channel and drift bait with cork through the chummed area.

Location: Gibbons Creek Res.
Hotspot: Hog Island
GPS: N 30 37.9919, W 96 3.498
(30.6332, -96.0583)

Gibbons Creek Res.

Gibbons Creek Res. Hog Island

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Shad, CJ’s punchbait
Contact: Weldon Kirk
979-229-3103
[email protected]
www.fishtales-guideservice.com
Tips: Water is deeper here, around 10-18 foot. Blues seek deeper water in the winter. Tie to stump in shallower water and cast out using tight lines. Use #4 Kahle hook with shad.

Location: Lake Granbury
Hotspot: Channel Bends in the River
GPS: N 32 32.869, W 97 48.959
(32.5478, -97.8160)

Lake Granbury

Lake Granbury Channel Bends in the River

Species: White Bass
Best Baits: White/chartreuse jigs and roadrunners worked near spawning grounds.
Contact: Michael W. Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters
817-578-0023
Tips: Bouncing Jigs off the bottom where fish are located. Trolling spinner baits or rattle traps can be used to locate active fish.

Location: Granger Lake
Hotspot: Willis Creek
GPS: N 30 41.958, W 97 23.9819
(30.6993, -97.3997)

Granger Lake

Granger Lake Willis Creek

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: 1/16 oz. crappie jig
Contact: Tommy Tidwell
512-365-7761
[email protected]
www.gotcrappie.com
Tips: Now is the time white bass and crappie start to move up the creeks and river. Whites will be on and off, but you just have to go fish to have a chance. Crappie are moving into shallow water in the sloughs and can be caught in very shallow water. A good way to catch crappie is to wait until there are 3 warm days and nights and that will move the crappie to the shallows. Use slip bobbers set at 14 to 18 inches. Good luck and good fishing.

Location: Lake Lavon
Hotspot: Elm Creek
GPS: N 33 5.8679, W 96 26.1119
(33.0978, -96.4352)

Lake Lavon

Lake Lavon Elm Creek

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Cut shad
Contact: Carey Thorn
469-528-0210
[email protected]
www.whitebassfishingtexas.com
Tips: Now is a good time to catch some good catfish on Lavon. Fish 1 to 15 feet deep in coves in timber using cut bait for best results.

Location: Lake Palestine
Hotspot: North End
GPS: N 32 17.6519, W 95 26.9399
(32.2942, -95.4490)

Lake Palestine

Lake Palestine North End

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Junebug red Big Eye Jigs, Big Eye spinnerbaits, Big Eye buzzbaits
Contact: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
[email protected]
www.rickysguideservice.com
Tips: Fish the drains in by the islands and weeded areas using the above Big Eye baits. Take your time and fish this area thoroughly.

Location: Lake Ray Roberts
Hotspot: Elm Creek
GPS: N 33 29.345, W 97 05.805
(33.489086, -97.096753)

Lake Ray Roberts

Lake Ray Roberts Elm Creek

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: 1/16-oz. jigs
Contact: Cliff Spindle
940-727-3493
[email protected]
www.spindleguideservice.com
Tips: Fishing for crappie during the spawn can be a lot of fun and exciting action. Target areas along the creek with any type of cover such as log jams, laydowns or weeds. Work the area slow from 1 FOW to 5 FOW. I personally like using a Walley Marshall Signature Series 10’ rod to be able to work the area over without having to get right on top of what I am fishing, this will help avoid spooking the fish that are up shallow. The crappie relate to the water temp’s during the spring so the warmer the water the better the action, with that being said, at the beginning of the spawn the morning bite may not be as good as the evening bite. The water will often warm up 8 to 10 degrees throughout the day and then cool back down over night. The males should start pushing up as water gets around 60 degree’s and the females should start moving up to the beds as the water warms to 65 degree’s or warmer. Please note that navigating to the creeks can be very tricky with a lot of shallow flats and wooded areas that are not visible. Take your time and be safe.

Location: Richland Chambers Lake
Hotspot: Grape Creek
GPS: N 31 57.348, W 96 18.7139
(31.9558, -96.3119)

Richland Chambers Lake

Richland Chambers Lake Grape Creek

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Danny Kings Blood Punch Bait
Contact: Royce Simmons
903-389-4117
[email protected]
www.gonefishin.biz
Tips: February as well as the other winter months are prime time for Catfish on Richland Chambers. Both blue and channel cats can be caught in large numbers in the timber along the Richland Creek Arm of the Lake. The Crab Creek area is equally good. Focus on areas in depths of 20’-30’feet of water and especially look for timber where the cormorants roost. We use blood punch bait on a # 4 Treble Hook and usually fish on or near the bottom. We also use 15 lb. line and a 1/4 to 1/2 oz. weight depending on water depth, wind speed and how the catfish are biting. On some days, it helps to chum with sour maize or range cubes.

Location: Lake Somerville
Hotspot: Dam Area
GPS: N 30 19.038, W 96 31.986
(30.3173, -96.5331)

Lake Somerville

Lake Somerville Dam Area

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Shad, cut bait
Contact: Weldon Kirk
979-229-3103
[email protected]
www.fishtales-guideservice.com
Tips: Water is at its coldest. Fish deep, drifting is good – use a no roll sinker. Drift 1/2 mph. using a drift sock to slow down. Time to catch large blues in deep water!

Location: Lake Tawakoni
Hotspot: Wichita Bay
GPS: N 32 55.8359, W 95 59.238
(32.9306, -95.9873)

Lake Tawakoni

Lake Tawakoni Wichita Bay

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: Cut gizzard shad
Contact: Andrew Taylor, Lake Tawakoni Guide Service
903-269-6587
[email protected]
www.Laketawakoni.guide
Tips: As we progress further into fall/winter look for water temperatures to continue to fall. One of my favorite parts of wintertime fishing is the deep bite. Typically, I will look and find most of my fish in the 35’-50’ of water range. 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 feeding 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, remember, 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, Sassy Shad jigs
Contact: Bill Carey
903-786-4477
[email protected]
www.striperexpress.com
Tips: Winter fishing on Lake Texoma is legendary. Chances of landing trophy stripers in February are in your favor. Road Runner ½oz.- 1oz. white Bucktail 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. white glo Sassy Shad jigs under the birds where large schools of stripers can be feeding. Multiple hook-ups are common with lots of action in the open water.

Location: Lake Whitney
Hotspot: State Park Area
GPS: N 31 55.074, W 97 21.8219
(31.9179, -97.3637)

Lake Whitney

Lake Whitney State Park Area

Species: Striped Bass & White Bass
Best Baits: 3” chartreuse, swim baits from RSRLURES.com and chartreuse Bass Assassins
Contact: Randy Routh
817-822-5539
[email protected]
www.teamredneck.net
Tips: 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. 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!

Toledo Bend Lake Country

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Find the Sweet Spot Between Cold Fronts

Reported by DEAN HEFFNER

WINTER IN West Texas poses many challenges for anglers, but there are also ample opportunities.

On the one extreme, the cold days can be brutal both for the fish and the fisherman, and are probably best spent doing something other than facing an ice-blue wind out of the cruel north from the bow of a boat. Fishing for crappie in the shelter of a covered marina dock—a Texan’s version of ice fishing—is about the only sane option on such days.

On the other hand, there will be plenty of breaks from the winter cold, even in February, and West Texas lakes offer a lot of action. The stripers, largemouth, and white bass are starting to move into predictable patterns in anticipation of their spring ritual.

Stay tuned to local weather reports and time your trips to beat the cold fronts to the water by a couple of days. That’s your best bet for reaping winter success in the West.

 

Email Dean Heffner at [email protected]

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Location: Lake Alan Henry
Hotspot: Gobbler Creek
GPS: N 33 2.5379, W 101 6.99
(33.0423, -101.1165)

Lake Alan Henry

Lake Alan Henry Gobbler Creek

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Crankbaits in shad colors, spinnerbaits, bass jigs, shaky heads, jerkbaits
Contact: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services
806-792-9220
[email protected]
www.lakealanhenry.com/fishing-guides.html
Tips: February is one of my favorite times to fish Alan Henry because I have caught a lot of my big fish in this month. The bass will start moving up the creeks on warm days. If they are not up the creeks, I then go to the steep banks where I will use jigs, shaky heads, jerk baits, and shad-colored crank baits.

LOCATION: Amistad
HOTSPOT: Pencil Point
GPS: N29 36.35118, W100 58.4484
(29.605853, -100.974140)

Amistad

Amistad Pencil Point

SPECIES: largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged worms, jigs, deep-diving crankbaits
CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl
830-768-3648
[email protected]
amistadbass.com
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 Leon
Hotspot: LaMancha Resort
GPS: N 32 21.6857, W 98 41.1983
(32.3614, -98.6866)

Lake Leon

Lake Leon LaMancha Resort

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: Jigs, curly tails, tubes
Contact: Michael E. Homer, Jr., TPWD
325-692-0921
[email protected]
Tips: During the cold months, many anglers can be successful by fishing the rocks and off the pier at LaMancha Resort on Lake Leon. The LaMancha Resort has a use-for-fee dock and pier that often yields successful catches in white crappie. Fishing along the rocks along the resort also may yield successful catches. Using 1/16 to ¼ oz. jigs with curly tails or tubes work very well for catching keeper crappie. Colors can be challenging to decide between, but chartreuse and red or white and blue combinations may work well. Other baits such as small spinner baits like rooster tails and beetle spins also work well.

Location: Possum Kingdom
Hotspot: Costello Island
GPS: N 32 54.777, W 98 27.989
(32.9130, -98.4665)

Possum Kingdom

Possum Kingdom Costello Island

Species: White Bass
Best Baits: Slabs, trolling
Contact: Dean Heffner
940-329-0036
[email protected]
Tips: It’s time to slab, troll and deadstick at Possum Kingdom. The fish are fat and ready to make their spring run up the rivers. Stick to natural colors. When the water is muddy, go with bright colors. Best days are before a cold front gets here, but any day is a good day to be fishing. Be careful when keeping white bass because we have a lot of short hybrids this year. You can identify them by the two tongue patches instead of one. Also, it’s pretty obvious when it looks like a HUGE white bass, chances are it is a hybrid, so just be careful, the ticket isn’t cheap and its per fish!

Location: Proctor Lake
Hotspot: Promontory Pier
GPS: N 31 58.7268, W 98 29.3465
(31.9788, -98.4891)

Proctor Lake

Proctor Lake Promontory Pier

Species: Crappie and Bass
Best Baits: Jigs for crappie; dropshots, Carolina rigs for bass
Contact: Michael D. Homer Jr.
325-692-0921
[email protected]
Tips: Catch deep-water crappie and largemouth bass off of some submersed brush piles and artificial fish habitat structures. Curly-tail and tube jigs will work well to target crappie. Drop-shots and Carolina rigs may produce a bass bite. Also, February 18th, we are co-hosting a youth trout derby at Grover Nelson Park in Abilene from 10AM-1PM. The event is free. Please see the flyer for more details.

 

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