FORECAST CENTER: Freshwater – March 2020

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

March is the Month for Largemouth Fishing

Reported by TF&G STAFF

IF YOU’RE A BASS fisherman, March is your month. Look for spawning bass in the shallows and any standing timber.

Hydrilla and grass flats are also proven producers. Swimbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics are the go-to artificials.

Hybrids on Lake Conroe will be running in the 15-to-40 foot depth range, and this is the time to catch a real trophy.

Meanwhile, white bass are on the run at Livingston and many other lakes.


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Location: On Little Elkhart Creek 10 miles northwest of Crockett

Surface area: 1,330 acres

Maximum depth: 40 feet

Impounded: 1966

HOUSTON COUNTY LAKE has the potential to produce large trophy largemouth bass as well as large redear sunfish. The lake also has a substantial population of spotted bass.

The lake has abundant standing timber in the upper end. Some native emergent and submergent vegetation is also present. In 2018, TPWD staff added fish attracting structures to this reservoir. Man-made fish attractors, installed in 2018, provide additional structure.

Largemouth bass can be caught most readily in early spring and fall on a variety of baits.

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Location: Caddo Lake
Hotspot: Lake: Bird Island Flats
GPS: N 32 40.62, W 94 5.0219
(32.6770, -94.0837)

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake Bird Island Flats

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: V&M Thundershad Swimbaits and V&M Pacemaker flippin and swim jigs in colors of black/blue or watermelon/red.
Contact: Caddo Lake Guide Service/Paul Keith
[email protected]
Tips: Work the shallows in this area and other similar areas like Big Green Break-Clinton Lake and Ames Spring Basin. Target the cypress trees for spawning bass and fish the surrounding hydrilla grass flats for staging bass. Most productive areas this time of the year are in 2-4 feet of water. March through May is when most of our largest trophies are caught.

Location: Lake Conroe
Hotspot: Main Lake
GPS: N 30 24.7379, W 95 34.9199
(30.4123, -95.5820)

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe Main Lake

Species: Hybrid Stripers
Best Baits: Live shad and Storm Swim shad
Contact: Richard Tatsch
[email protected]
Tips: The hybrid stripers are doing great now. They will be all around the lake on main lake points and humps.Use electronics to find the schools of shad and you will find the Hybrids. Find the depth the bait are in and you will find the fish. One mistake a lot of people make is not watching the depth the fish are in. These fish move up and down in the water column hour to hour and if you don’t follow them you will stop catching fish. Live shad will be the bait of choice but the swim shad will work if you can control the depth.

Location: Lake Fork
Hotspot: Main Lake Creeks
GPS: N 32 49.2959, W 95 32.88
(32.8216, -95.5480)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork Main Lake Creeks

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Black/blue jig with a green pumpkin trailer-Carolina rig-red square bill crankbait-and a 3/4 oz. red rattletrap-baby brush hog in green pumpkin on Carolina rig
Contact: Doug Shampine
[email protected]
Tips: If you are into Texas bass fishing, March is the month you want to visit Lake Fork. The big female bass are now looking for a place to spawn—feeding on the way. This month I look at the first secondary point of a pocket, then work my way toward the back of the pocket as the month goes on. The bass will be in that 10-15 foot range early March and by the end of the month be in that 5 foot or less range. My favorite places to fish in March will be Burch-Little Caney-Big Mustang, Wolf-Running Creek and Bell.

Location: Lake Fork
Hotspot: Caney Creek cove
GPS: N 32 50.088, W 95 33.1499
(32.8348, -95.5525)

Lake Fork

Lake Fork Caney Creek cove

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Texas Spinnerbait 430 Special in chartreuse/white-The Big Eye Jig-the Shimmy Shaker and the Mr. Twister Super Lizard black/blue tail
Contact: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
[email protected]
Tips: Caney Creek has many pockets so you will need to fish all the way back in each of them. Fish the weeds-grass and the lay downs you find these areas will hold some big bass as well as the smaller ones. Fish as slow as you can. When you move out of the back of the pockets you will have standing timber on the points. Fish your Big Eye Jigs around the timber.

Location: Lake Livingston
Hotspot: Harmon Creek
GPS: N 30 52.05, W 95 25.3199
(30.8675, -95.4220)

Lake Livingston

Lake Livingston Harmon Creek

Species: White Bass
Best Baits: and Rat-L-Traps in Chrome-Blue
Contact: David S. Cox-Palmetto Guide Service
[email protected]
Tips: Cast jigs and Rat-L-Traps in the deep holes off sandy points. Troll the deep holes with the same baits.

Location: Lake Sam Rayburn
Hotspot: Boggy Creek
GPS: N 31 21.558, W 94 19.7939
(31.3593, -94.3299)

Lake Sam Rayburn

Lake Sam Rayburn Boggy Creek

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Rat-L-traps in red, spinnerbaits, soft plastics
Contact: Mike Knight
[email protected]
Tips: The bass spawn will be on fire all month long. Lots of fish are shallow and this is the eas-iest month of all to catch a bunch of fish with some real big ones thrown in. Bed fishing will be great, but the bass will be way back in the flooded stuff. Throw Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits the 1st two weeks of this month and plastics the last half.

Location: Toledo Bend North
Hotspot: Bayou Seipe
GPS: N 31 44.1119, W 93 51.474
(31.7352, -93.8579)

Toledo Bend North

Toledo Bend North Bayou Seipe

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Rat-L-Traps-soft plastics-frogs-tubes-jigs-spinnerbaits-top water baits-stick baits and shallow diving crank baits.
Contact: Greg Crafts-Toledo Bend Guide Service and Lake Cottages
[email protected]
Tips: March is probably the most fished month out of the year. The bass are in shallow water moving in to spawn-on the beds or moving off the beds. If a cold front moves in-the fish will stay in the same area but will back out to the closest drop into deep water. Start off with a fast moving bait like a Rat-L-Trap or spinner bait to cover a lot of water to locate the fish. If you catch one-slow down because there will usually be more fish in that area. Please practice catch and release especially this time of year.


Bernie's Boats & Motors


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As the Seasons Pivot, So Does the Fishing

Reported by TF&G Staff

WATER TEMPERATURES should start climbing into the 60’s. Spring patterns are in full force. On lakes with striped bass, they are active and are moving back and forth from the river to deeper water on the main lakes and in the mouths of rivers and creeks.

Wintering birds should still be in place on many lakes, and can be expected to point anglers to active feeding fish. Passing cool fronts and storm fronts continue to dominate the weather pattern. White bass are spawning and many are moving back to the main lakes. Jigs with soft plastics and jigging slabs should still put white bass in the boat. Five-inch swimbaits and live shad will put striped bass in the boat.

Crappie are moving into their shallow spawning grounds. Look for them in creeks and submerged structure (rocks, timber). Minnows and jigs are the go-to baits.

Catfish should respond favorably to cut shad and hotdogs fished under deeper docks and creek entrances. Largemouth bass should go for soft plastics worked near bedding grounds. Largemouth bass are starting to move to the shallows in a pre-spawn pattern.


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Location: 35 miles north of Waco off Highway 310, just off Interstate 35 near Hillsboro

Surface area: 3,020 acres

Maximum depth: 59.5 feet

Impounded: 1982

BOTH THE Hackberry and Aquilla Creek arms are loaded with standing timber and brush, but they are shallow in most areas and provide little fish habitat. TPWD has installed fish attractors at strategic points around Aquilla Lake. Anglers may use GPS in conjunction with a fish finder to locate these structures.

Largemouth bass fishing can be good on Aquilla. The combination of stained water, localized cover, and light fishing pressure means there are some big bass to catch but you have to work for them. Fish spinner baits, jig and pork combos, and plastic worms in and around cover. Tree lines, fencerows, and creek channels are good places to start. Crappie are usually found on submerged brush piles and large isolated trees. Live minnows seem to be the preferred bait. Channel and blue catfish are caught drift fishing flats or on trotlines set around shallow, brushy areas. Shad, cutbait, or bloodbait will all work. White bass are caught trolling small tailspinners, jigs, and spoons across windy flats.

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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 espe-cially 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 now.

Location: Cedar Creek Lake
Hotspot: Mid to Upper Lake
GPS: N 32 21.2442, W 96 11.616
(32.3541, -96.1936)

Cedar Creek Lake

Cedar Creek Lake Mid to Upper Lake

Species: White Bass
Best Baits: Fresh shad, shrimp, crawfish
Contact: Jason Barber
(903) 603-2047
[email protected]
Tips: Try fishing very shallow areas near points in the mid to upper end of the lake this time of year. Fish with a small Carolina rig and focus on wind-blown points and shorelines in 2-to-10 feet.

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

Eagle Mountain Lake

Eagle Mountain Lake Mud Flats East of Church Point

Species: White bass
Best Baits: Slab with a fly 12-in. above or spinner with a shiny blade
Contact: Johnny Stevens
[email protected]
Tips: This area is composed of many slopes and humps. Water dept is normally 12-to 24 ft. deep. When water approaches 60 degrees many sandbass spawn on these humps and slopes. Look on each slope and hump with your electronics until you see a group of small humps on the bottom. Throw a marker and anchor over them and jig up and down with your slab rig. Many times you will catch two at a time.

Location: Fayette County
Hotspot: Joe’s Jigging Hole
GPS: N 29 55.572, W 96 43.3739
(29.9262, -96.7229)

Fayette County

Fayette County Joe’s Jigging Hole

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: CJ’s Punch Bait
Contact: Weldon Kirk
[email protected]
Tips: Put out a marker buoy here. Water is 40’-50’ deep here and there is sunken timber and a sunken bridge. Chum around the buoy, then fish tight line straight down close to the buoy.

Location: Gibbons Creek
Hotspot: Crappie Hole
GPS: N 30 36.7079, W 96 4.0019
(30.6118, -96.0667)

Gibbons Creek

Gibbons Creek Crappie Hole

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: Minnows, grey crappie jigs
Contact: Weldon Kirk
[email protected]
Tips: The crappie spawn is close. If the power plant is not running. Use a cork and cast around the rocks and work the cork slowly back to the boat. Stop the cork a minute at a time.

Location: Granger Lake
Hotspot: San Gabriel River and Willis Creek
GPS: N 30 39.2759, W 97 24.3119
(30.6546, -97.4052)

Granger Lake

Granger Lake San Gabriel River and Willis Creek

Species: White Bass
Best Baits: Road Runners, plastic grubs, Marabou jigs, Rooster Tails
Contact: Tommy Tidwell
(512) 365-7761
[email protected]
Tips: Now is the time to catch the spawning white bass. They are up the creek and river in large numbers. Look for eddy areas where the current swirls as the fish are holding in these spots. Late evening, during the last hour of daylight, is a prime time for them to turn on. Just cast out and use a slow retrieve keeping the bait just off the bottom. This is the one time of year that you do not need a boat to fill the freezer.

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: Crappie
Best Baits: Small jigs with soft plastics in Electric Chicken and Chartreuse colors worked near structure near banks/docks
Contact: Michael W. Acosta
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. Crap-pie will be spawning in creeks and sloughs all over the lake and in the river.

Location: Lake Lavon
Hotspot: Main Lake
GPS: N 33 2.124, W 96 29.0459
(33.0354, -96.4841)

Lake Lavon

Lake Lavon Main Lake

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: Crappie jigs
Contact: Carey Thorn
[email protected]
Tips: Crappie are spawning shallow in 1-10 feet of water this time of year. Look for them on wood, gravel, sand, and rocks. If the lake is up at full, look in the submerged willows and stand-ing timber. You can also try fishing a jig and bobber the rocks.

Location: Lake Palestine
Hotspot: Kickapoo Creek and Cades Lake
GPS: N 32 18.0119, W 95 26.9639
(32.3002, -95.4494)

Lake Palestine

Lake Palestine Kickapoo Creek and Cades Lake

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Shimmy shakers, Big Eye Jigs trailed with Mister Twister Pocket Craws Black? Blue and on Texas Rig the Mister Twister Swim Station water melon Red Shimmy Shakers, Big Eye Jigs trailed with Mister Twister Pocket Craws in black/blue, Texas Rigged Mister Twister Swim Station in Watermelon Red, Mister Twister 5-inch Pocket Raiser black/blue
Contact: Ricky Vandergriff
903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201
[email protected]
Tips: Bass fishing is really good right now in both of these areas. The best depth 2-5 feet. Fish as slow as you can and use as little of weight on your worms as you are able to use and still fish effectively.

Location: Lake Ray Roberts
Hotspot: Elm Creek
GPS: N 33 29.3451, W 97 5.8051
(33.4891, -97.0968)

Lake Ray Roberts

Lake Ray Roberts Elm Creek

Species: Crappie
Best Baits: Jigs
Contact: Cliff Spindle
[email protected]
Tips: Fishing for crappie during the spawn can be a lot of fun. Target areas along the creek with any cover such as log jams, laydowns or weeds. Work the area slow from 1-to 5 feet. I use a Walley Marshall Signature Series 10’ rod to work the area over without having to get right on top of what I am fishing—not spooking the fish that are up shallow. Crappie relate to the water temps in spring, so the warmer the water, the better the action. 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. Males should start pushing up as water reaches 60 degrees and the females should start moving up to the beds at 65 de-grees. Navigating to the creeks can be 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: Highway 309 Flats
GPS: N 31 59.106, W 96 7.944
(31.9851, -96.1324)

Richland Chambers Lake

Richland Chambers Lake Highway 309 Flats

Species: White Bass and Hybrid Striper
Best Baits: 1 oz. Silver Glitter RSR Shad Slabs (
Contact: Royce Simmons
[email protected]
Tips: Watch for the gulls and pelicans dipping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concen-trate on drop-offs and ridges in the 309 Flats Area in water depths ranging from 20’-30’. Bounce the slab off the bottom and when the strike occurs, HOLD ON!

Location: Lake Somerville
Hotspot: Apache Cove Island
GPS: N 30 20.412, W 96 34.4399
(30.3402, -96.5740)

Lake Somerville

Lake Somerville Apache Cove Island

Species: Catfish
Best Baits: CJ’s Punch Bait/Crawdad
Contact: Weldon Kirk
[email protected]
Tips: Deep water comes close to this island point. Fish the windy side of this island. Use a slip cork and drift your bait in towards the island.

Location: Lake Texoma
Hotspot: Paw Paw Creek & Mill Creek Cut
GPS: N 33 53.9879, W 96 53.796
(33.8998, -96.8966)

Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma Paw Paw Creek & Mill Creek Cut

Species: Striped Bass
Best Baits: Road Runner jigs, Sassy Shad jigs
Contact: Bill Carey
[email protected]
Tips: In March the white bass have already spawned and the stripers are staging up the main tributaries. Structure like main lake points, ditches and creeks will hold stripers. 1 oz. Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs in white or chartreuse will work best. Fish the creeks in 12’ to 20’ of water with slow retrieve for the fish up to 20 lbs. Pay attention to the seagulls as they can be your best fish finder. When you are fishing under the birds keep your lure in the top 15’ of water. Most activity will be west of the Willis Bridge and north of the railroad bridge on the Washita arm of the lake.

Location: Lake Whitney
Hotspot: Whitney Creek
GPS: N 31 55.2, W 97 20.6939
(31.9200, -97.3449)

Lake Whitney

Lake Whitney Whitney Creek

Species: Striped Bass & White Bass
Best Baits: Wild-eyed Shad, Flutter Jigs from RSR, 1/2 oz. jigs and 7 Snake Trailers from, Stripaholic Jigs and sassy shads.
Contact: Randy Routh
[email protected]
Tips: Look for stripers in the mouths of creeks. We’re using 3 baits to target these fish. The wild-eyed shad swim bait in Chartreuse, the 1 oz. Stripaholic lead head with swim baits the buck tail jigs with 7 snake trailers, throwing them up along the shoreline in the grass making a medium to fast retrieve. Back off later in the morning and troll these lures behind the boat. Make long cast behind the boat and use the trolling motor to drag baits through big schools of fish. You can also anchor up on these schools and use the 1oz Flutter Jigs. You can use live shad as well. A good top water bait can also be handy this time of year up shallow. Good luck and may God bless you and I hope someday soon to see ya on the water!


Visit Conroe


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Spring is in the Air on West Texas Lakes

Reported by DEAN HEFFNER

SPRING IS PARTIALLY in the air and everything is feeding up for the spring migration and spawn on West Texas venues.

Largemouth will be starting to bed but a few pre-spawners will be plump and just out of sight beyond the beds. Live shad is best butyou should also try red shad Texas-rigged worms, ijgs with a craw tail, crankbaits and any other artificials you have confidence in. The spinnerbait in white and chartreuse is excellent and match the blades for water color but try to stay in stained water which is better than crystal clear. In clear water, have a topwater on and throw at any active feeding bass.

This and next month are the best for spawning Crappie so don’t miss out.

If you have shad, anchor and pinch heads and tails to make a chum line and fish with mid-sections. The longer you stay in one spot the more the sharks (catfish) will come to you.


Email Dean Heffner at [email protected]

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Location: 15 miles southeast of Wichita Falls off US Highway 281

Surface area: 14,969 acres

Maximum depth: 45 feet

Impounded: 1966

LAKE ARROWHEAD is a premier white crappie lake. Be prepared to share the water with many other anglers in spring, when limits of nice-size crappie are caught in the lower half of the reservoir. Arrowhead also contains channel, blue, and flathead catfish. All three species can get big here.

Largemouth bass fishing can be very good at times, depending on water turbidity and lake elevation. Florida-strain largemouths were stocked in 1995, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2010.

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HOTSPOT: Main Lake Points
GPS: N 29 30.32514, W 101 0.1446
(29.505419, -101.00241)


Amistad Main Lake Points

SPECIES: largemouth bass
BEST BAITS: Jigs, Senkos,
James Burkeen
[email protected]
TIPS: Concentrate on the main lake points and the drains near bends in the creek channels. Drop shot rigs work well in these areas as well as jigs in the brush and Senkos along the banks.

Location: Lake Alan Henry
Hotspot: Rocky Creek
GPS: N 33 1.0619, W 101 6.888
(33.0177, -101.1148)

Lake Alan Henry

Lake Alan Henry Rocky Creek

Species: Largemouth Bass
Best Baits: Crankbaits, jigs, and jerk baits
Contact: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services
[email protected]
Tips: Look for the warmest water in the lake, usually be found way up the Brazos River, and up the creeks. Look also up Ince, Big Grape, Gobbler, and Rocky Creeks. If you don’t find bass up the creeks, go to any steep bank that the direct sunlight is hitting, and try crankbaits, jigs, and jerkbaits. Up the creeks, try the same lures as on the steep banks. Fish fun – fish safe!

Location: Ft. Phantom Hill Res.
Hotspot: Main Lake
GPS: N 32 35.690, W 99 41.217
(32.5949, -99.6869)

Ft. Phantom Hill Res.

Ft. Phantom Hill Res. Main Lake

Species: Largemouth bass, white crappie
Best Baits: Jigs, jerkbaits, live minnows
Contact: Michael D. Homer Jr.
[email protected]
Tips: Largemouth Bass have been caught in high numbers by anglers as of late, with multiple fish reportedly over 8 pounds. Largemouth Bass can be landed by fishing swim jigs in darker colors, jerk baits, and darker soft plastics. White Crappie during this time of year can be caught in deeper water 12-18 ft with jigs and/or live minnows while fishing around rocky structure or submersed woody debris.

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
[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: Peanut Patch
GPS: N 32 53.627, W 98 30.998
(32.8938, -98.5166)

Possum Kingdom

Possum Kingdom Peanut Patch

Species: Striped bass, hybrids, white bass
Best Baits: Live shad, crankbaits, jigs
Contact: Dean Heffner
[email protected]
Tips: Look for stripers, hybrids and white bass to be on the flats feeding up. If the floods are here, they will be headed up the rivers, creeks and tributaries that flow into the lake. Live shad is always best, but you can troll RatLTraps and crankbaits this month and do well. We also do very well trolling, jigging and downrigging Bucktail Jigs with Mister Twister curly tails on them for stripers, bybrids, white bass and even largemouth, with an occasional blue catfish or big crappie hitting them. Fish jigs & minnows over and in the treetops and start looking for them to be staged up in 6 to 12 feet of water.



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Texas Lakes & Bays



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