Prairies & Lakes Region Week of February 28, 2024

Arlington
SLOW. Water stained; 61 degrees; 0.06 feet below pool. Bass are in a pre-spawn and early spawn pattern. Bass are slow, on docks with grass throwing creature baits and moving baits.
Athens
FAIR. Water slightly stained; 61 degrees; 0.46 feet above pool. Fish are finicky with the weather, but fish should pattern nicely when the weather stabilizes over the next week. Bass are fair as fish start moving to shallow water. Cast small moving baits underpins, jerkbaits in the wind. Crappie are slow scattered moving shallow minnow under a float in shallow water 2-6 feet of water. Report by Jim Brack, Athens Guide Service.
Bastrop
GOOD. Water stained; 60 degrees. Water temperatures are holding steady so the bite is consistent. Bass are fair slowly working creature type baits, and weightless swimbaits in the grass lines. Green pumpkin worms are good on transitions in 8-12 feet. Visibility is about 2-3 feet and cloudy. Report by Jason Hernandez, Bass Institute of Bastrop. Bass continue to be good working soft plastics like 4 inch worms, flukes and craws in or on the edge of grass lines. A Carolina rig or ball head jig with small straight tail swimbait is still working on humps and deeper ledges. Report by Bryan Cotter, Texas Hawgs.
Belton
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 58 degrees; 12.31 feet below pool. Water level is steady and warming thanks to unseasonably mild weather. White bass, hybrid stripers and shad have all begun shifting shallower due to what is shaping up to be an early spring. Fish are in 19-30 feet of water. Fish have been noticeably aggressive thanks to a net warmup over the past four weeks. A go-to tactic right now is easing with the white, 5/8 ounce or 3/4 ounce Bladed Hazy Eye Slab. Relying on side imaging to find fish, Spot-Locking atop them, then fishing vertically aided by Garmin LiveScope. The easing tactic involves slowly and steadily lifting the slab from near bottom upwards and watching sonar for signs of fish following the bait. If a follow occurs, the bait must continue to be moved steadily upwards. Beware that the surface temperature can be very misleading, and that the temperature from 10 feet below the surface and deeper is still significantly cooler. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service. Catfishing has been excellent in 10-25 feet of water. Slow drifting with suspended baits around points and river channels has worked best for blue catfish. Flatheads are becoming more active at night and have been caught near structure and rock piles with live perch or shad. Channel catfish are fair and have been caught in shallow water around timber using punch bait. Report by Brian Worley, B&S Catfishing.
Benbrook
GOOD. Water stained; 64 degrees; 0.53 feet above pool. Crappie are up the creeks gearing up to spawn but can be caught on minnows or jigs. Catfish can be caught at the mouths of creeks with cut bait. Bass are shallow for the spawn biting shallow crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits. Report by Camron Wilkerson, Camron’s Quality Crappie Guiding.
Bridgeport
GOOD. Water slightly stained; 50 degrees; 15.37 feet below pool. The low water ramp off of U.S. Route 380 and the dam are the best launch options. Beaching is required at both ramps. Sand bass and Hybrids are setting up for their spawn. Look toward the north end and the river. These fish will be grouped up but maybe hard to find. Deadsticking and slabs are the best bet. Largemouth bass are in pre-spawn mode. Look north for the warmest water you can find around the mouths of creeks and coves. Try a Minnow or craw imitator. Catfish continue to be good on cut shad, try drifting flats near the river channel. Crappie continue to be scattered. Look for them to be staging for their spawn very soon. Report by Keith Bunch, Lake Bridgeport Guide Service.
Cedar Creek
EXCELLENT. Stained; 58 degrees; 0.15 feet below pool. White bass are staging in full force for the spring spawn and heading into shallower water, 6-18 feet, and into any shallow creek that has flowing water. Hybrids and white bass continue to be caught deadsticking in 25-35 feet in the mouths of the big creeks. Deadsticking utilizing a thumper and a splasher with deadsticking lures with a 1-1.5 ounce jighead with a tandem hook or jig above it paired with a small plastic fluke. You must keep your drift speeds under .5 mph with the ideal drift being .3 mph utilizing drift socks to keep you slowed down in windy conditions. In the weeks to come hybrids and white bass will continue to migrate to the shallower water from 8-20 feet to spawn and will be easy to find. You may even try trolling a small spinner bait or a hellbender or pet spoon rig at 2 mph in the shallower depths. The crappie bite has picked up in the creeks and inlets in 2-10 feet of water throughout the entire lake. The warm weather will continue to drive these fish shallow to spawn. If you can find a brush pile near a dock you can find them stacked up but most of the crappie have migrated into the creeks or shallow water now. Guides have been reporting exceptionally nice catches on sunny warmer days. Report by Brent Herbeck, Herbeck’s Lonestar Fishing Guide Service.
Comanche Creek
GREAT. Water stained. 65 degrees; 0.08 feet above pool. Comanche Creek continues to boast great catches of black bass to 7 pounds on soft plastics. Channel catfish populations are great, and the bite is good on prepared baits and cut shad. Tilapia can be taken on worms or through the use of cast nets in the shallow. Report by Michael Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters.
Cooper
GOOD. Water stained; 57 degrees: 1.00 feet below pool. The water is turbid after the recent rainfall and rising water level. Few anglers on the water but reports indicate the blue catfish bite is good.
Cypress Springs
FAIR: Water stained; 58 degrees; 0.59 feet above pool. Crappie are fair with fish scattered 2-20 feet of water, with some fish pushing shallow using minnows or jigs. Catfish are fair in 20-25 feet of water on tire reefs with cheese bait. Sand bass are good on main lake points with slabs. Report by Marty Thomas, Lake O the Pines Crappie Fishing. Bass are good with most bass still roaming in deeper water, but in the coming weeks bass will push shallow to beds. Bass are biting lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged lizards and chatterbaits. Report by Mike Stroman, R & R Marine.
Eagle Mountain
GOOD. Water stained; 61 degrees; 5.93 feet below pool. White bass are fair on main lake structure on slabs and in mid depths on chartreuse and white cocahoes. Crappie are fair to good on brush piles shallow and in mid depths and main lake structure on jigs. Blue catfish and channel catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait on structure. Report provided by Chad Ferguson of North Texas Catfish Guide Service.
Fairfield
Closed to the public.
Fayette
GOOD. Water stained; 57 degrees. Fishing patterns are consistent, but fish may push shallow with the full moon. Bass are good targeting roadbeds and the dam with Carolina rigs and finesse worms. Look for fish staging for the spawn in the backs of coves and cuts. Report by Bryan Cotter, Texas Hawgs.
Graham
SLOW. Water stained; 55 degrees; 5.71 feet below pool. Crappie are fair to good on jigs and minnow. Catfish are moving into shallow water and catching them on shad. Bass have been hard to catch.
Granbury
GOOD. Water clear; 57 degrees; 0.12 feet below pool. Water temperatures on Granbury are in the middle 50s on the main lake and near 60 in the river above Granbury. The lake is relatively clear. Some shad kills have been reported mid to lower lake. Spawning sand bass and crappie are starting to be caught in the river near Tin Top. Largemouth bass are also being caught in the backs of major creeks and in the river near Tin Top. Some good blue and yellow catfish catches to 20 pounds are possible on the flats north of Hunter Park. Striped bass are reported as slow from Decordova to Indian Harbor. Crappie catches on submerged structures on small jigs are producing from mid lake to the Peninsula and in the river above Granbury. Report by Michael Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters. Granbury striped bass are slow, but can be caught on live bait, deadsticking, strolling swim baits and umbrella-rigs. Fish are scattered from Striper Alley to the railroad bridge. Report provided by Kraig Sexton, Sexton's Guide Service LLC, Fishing Charter, Marine Electronics & Whitney.
Grapevine
FAIR. Water slightly stained; 57 degrees; 0.09 feet above pool. Most of the white bass have moved into the creeks to spawn. There are still some fish in 40-50 feet of water suspended down 20-35 feet of water biting slabs on stingers hooks using a thumper. Crappie are in the deeper water and can be caught on jigs. Reports that bass are in the backs of creeks on spawning beds. Report by Omar Cotter, Luck O’ the Irish Fishing Guide Service.
Hawkins
SLOW. Water slightly stained. 58 degrees. Chain pickerel are shallow in the lily pads and around brush and grass. Black bass will feed in shallow water on warm banks and creeks. Try small baitfish imitations with barbless hooks. Fish calm sunny banks. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service.
Jacksonville
SLOW. Water stained; 58 degrees; 0.14 feet above pool. Bass are in 8-10 feet of water biting Texas rigs, wacky worms and rattletraps.
Joe Pool
FAIR. Water normal stain; 55 degrees; 0.21 feet above pool. The bite remain consistent. Crappie are biting when you can find them stacked. Report by Gilbert Miller, GTB Outdoors.
Lavon
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 55 degrees; 0.37 feet below pool. Fishing patterns are holding steady, but this should change next week after the forecasted rain. It should be amazing fishing after the creek clears, but for that to happen, the water level would have to come up 2 to 4 feet or more, for a couple hours. That will get a bunch of white bass spread out through the creek system in higher numbers. Crappie seem to be moving north, so watch for spawning activity. Starting to see some in 18-20 feet of water on structures. A few roamers out in 15 feet. So basically, they are scattered around the lake. I would be on the north end, looking more than the south end. A majority of white bass are on the north end, funneling into the creeks for their annual white bass spawning run. 4 pound line and small jigs, rooster, tails, in-line, spinners, or minnows are working great in the creek systems. Catfish are great using cut bait on a santee rig drifting in 20-30 feet of water. If you are the first one out on the lake and you see the cormorants roosted in a tree, you can bobber out chicken liver, or cut bait or punch bait 3-6 foot under a bobber underneath the cormorants where they were in the tree, and you should find blue catfish and channel catfish feeding on what the birds were dropping into the water at night. Expect black bass to come shallow in the full moon to put these fish in 1-10 feet of water on beds. Best places to look are rocks, concrete or sandy bottom with gravel. Senko watermelon green watermelon, red work very well for hitting the bushes and tree stumps surrounding the shores. Work your way back into the back of the coves. don’t overlook the sides of boat ramps as they will use that to lay their eggs in the rip rap and sandy bottoms. Report by Carey Thorn, White Bass Fishing Texas.
Lewisville
FAIR. Water lightly stained; 56 degrees; 0.01 feet below pool. White bass are fair in the river channels, up the creeks, or moving towards deep ledges of humps and points in 30-45 feet of water. Slabs, jigs, and live bait are working. Keeper sized hybrid stripers are fair. They will be in similar depths as the white bass. If you are keeping fish, please be aware that there are a lot of undersized hybrid stripers in the lake that look very similar to a white bass. Catfish are fair to good. Now is a great time to catch the bigger blue catfish drifting flats near the river channel and ledges of wind blown points has produced in 12-30 feet of water. The shallow water catfish bite is also picking up with the water temperature warming. Fishing on anchor in 1-8 feet of water near wind blown points, timber, and creek and river mouths has been good. Crappie are fair to good in 5-32 feet of water on bridge columns, brush piles, rock piles, stumps, and laydowns. Standing timber near creek mouths and shallow coves has produced as well. Crappie are being caught both in the main lake and in the creeks. Minnows and jigs are catching those fish. Report by Wes Campbell, BendARod Fishing. Baitfish are cruising high in the water column due to warmer temperatures. Sand bass, hybrids and crappie are excellent and will be chasing baitfish. Largemouth bass are tough, but fish are starting to move shallow. After the full moon, smaller largemouth bass are sitting in 4-6 feet of water and bigger bass are in 10-20 feet of water off main lake points mainly foraging on small shad. Small swimbaits, wacky rigs and shakey heads are producing catches.
Limestone
GOOD. Water normal stain; 67 degrees; 0.04 feet above pool. Largemouth bass are good in 1-4 feet of water in the creek channels using swim jigs, Texas rigs, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits. Crappie are good fishing minnows in brush, standing timber, and creek channels in 1-10 feet of water. White bass are in 10 feet or less using silver jigging spoons on points and humps. Lots of white bass up the river at the Texas State Highway 164 bridge for bank anglers. Catfish are in 10 feet or less on creek channels and main lake points using cut bait. Report by Colan Gonzales, CG’s Just Fishing Guide Service.
Navarro Mills
GOOD. Water stained; 55 degrees; 0.29 feet above pool. The lake is 2 feet high and the dam gates are open. Fishing on the main lake will remain slower than usual until the lake level comes down and the gates are closed. White bass are slow on minnows in 20 feet of water. Crappie a slow on jigs with a slow presentation in 20 feet of water. Blue catfish are fair on cut bait near timber. Channel catfish are fair on Danny King's punch bait. Report by Clay Major, Major Guide Service.
Palestine
GOOD. Water normal stain; 62 degrees; 0.13 feet above pool. Crappie continue to spawn, but half of them are done already. Most fish are 1-14 feet. Bite is good on jigs and minnows. Largemouth bass are good in 2-8 feet on baits that make a lot of commotion such as chatterbaits. Report by Sam Parker, Freshwater Fishing Adventures. Crappie have finally moved into the shallows, the white bass are in the Neches River, and the pear and plum trees are blooming. The crappie are mostly whites and mostly males, as noted by catches in the central part of the lake, but with good blackface spawning markings. Water temperatures were still a little low, with none in the central and southern areas over 60 degrees, only the Kickapoo Creek area being slightly higher. White bass were biting good along the Chandler River Park, mostly on 2 inch crappie twisters. Channel catfish are good on shrimp along that same section of the Neches River. Blue catfish continue to be good on humps and roadbed edges in the main lake in 15-23 feet on live minnows. The new Sunshine hybrid stripers were reported schooling for their pseudo spawn runs in the Saline Bay area, and are keeping size now. Trolling with Coyote spoons and 1.5-2 ounce roadrunners works. Jim Beggerly, Report by Jim Beggerly, Jim’s Fishing.
Palo Pinto
SLOW. Water lightly stained; 55 degrees; 9.59 feet below pool. Water temperature is nearing the 60 degree mark, so watch for pre-spawn patterns to emerge. Catfish are slow. Crappie bite slowed to fair off the docks.
Ray Hubbard
GOOD. Water slight stain; 63 degrees; 0.01 feet below pool. White bass are good in 5-12 feet off of flats with fish showing up on some ridges and humps. Small lures like 3 inch CoHo’s with a 1/2 jig head and in line spinners working best for shallow water, and 3/4 ounce Bovee Spin slabs for deeper water. Cast out, let sink to the bottom and 10 reels then re drop and repeat. White bass are also showing up on long points in 18-24 feet later in the mornings as well as grouping in deep flats 35-38 feet of water using slab and jig combination. Crappie are on deep brush piles and trees roaming in deep water moving shallower in the afternoons, jigs or minnows keeping the baits 17-24 feet of water. Catfish are moving deeper on points roaming in 17-28 feet of water and grouping up in deep water. Report by John Varner, John Varner's Guide Service.
Ray Roberts
FAIR. Water slightly stained; 55 degrees; 0.45 feet below pool. Catfish have improved in 5-15 feet of water using cut gizzard shad. Should continue to only get better with this warm weather should see some bigger ones showing up shallow real soon. Catching some whites up closer to the creeks but not in the creeks yet. Don’t think it will be long before we see guys catching them off the side of the roads way up in the creek. First big rain with this warm weather I think a lot of them will move up especially the males. Report by Justin Wilson, Wilson Outdoor Connection.
Richland Chambers
FAIR. Water clear; 53 degrees; 0.06 feet above pool. The water temperature is in the 50 degree range early in the morning, but increases to 56 degrees by mid afternoon. White bass and hybrid stripers are fair to good with fish being caught on a slab and jig combination off main lake points and humps in 30-40 feet of water. Deadsticking continues to be the approach, but the fish are becoming more aggressive with the warmer temperatures. Many of the white bass are up the creeks for their annual spawn. A few reports of crappie being caught in the shallow water, and the coves and creek channels on minnows. Eater size channel catfish are fair and continue to be caught on punch bait on a treble hook fished in the timber off the Richland Creek Channel in 15-20 feet of water. Shallow water off points is kicking into gear for the blue catfish. Targeting windblown points with cut shad has been key for bigger blues. Report by Royce Simmons, Gone Fishin' Guide Service.
Somerville
FAIR. Water stained; 59 degrees; 0.34 feet below pool. Spawn temperatures are almost here. Some fish are leaving the creeks, into the main lake. Catfish and crappie fair and bluegill slow on minnows, worms, and stink bait at Somerville Marina early morning. Black Bass are fair, hitting spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits. Fish are staged 6-10 feet of water with a few shallow. Crappie are fair on the main lake brush piles and pilings in 14 feet of water on pilings, but the best bite is up creeks, now full of water. Biting minnows and very small jigs. Catfish are fair, scattered in shallow water. Larger catfish are fair in deep water drifting or on jug lines baited with shad or cut bait. White bass are slow in the lake and fast bite up the creeks. White bass are caught using Pet spoons and jigs. Hybrids are fair, fishing schools, caught on cut bait and 2 ounce jigs. Hybrids are also being caught from shore at the Dam and Welch park areas. Report by Weldon Kirk, Fish Tales Guide Service.
Stillhouse
GOOD. Water stained; 58 degrees; 16.79 feet below pool. Water is rising and warming due to recent rains and mild weather. White bass and shad have begun shifting shallower due to what is shaping up to be an early spring. Fish are in 18-32 feet of water and are more aggressive. A go-to tactic right now is easing with the white 5/8 ounce or ¾ ounce Bladed Hazy Eye Slab. The easing tactic involves slowly and steadily lifting the slab from near bottom upwards and watching sonar for signs of fish following the bait. If a follow occurs, the bait must continue to be moved steadily upwards. Utilize side imaging to find fish, Spot-Locking atop them, then fishing vertically aided by Garmin LiveScope to catch. Bird activity is still sufficient to help find fish in the mornings only. Once the fish loses interest in a vertical presentation, throw a 3/8 ounce jig head and 3 inch white curltail grub to mop up any nearby fish. Once those fish quit, it is time to move. If you encounter schools of migrating white bass using the river channel, a short, fluke-like soft plastic on a jighead tied to hang horizontally and fish similar to deadsticking will add fish to your count before they move on. Beware that the surface temperature can be very misleading, and that the temperature from 10 feet below the surface and deeper is still significantly cooler. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service.
Tawakoni
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 52 degrees; 0.34 feet above pool. The hybrid striper and white bass are being caught on plastics and swim baits in 20-35 feet. The trophy catfish are good on fresh cut shad and cut bait in 10-25 feet. Both drifting and anchoring are working equally well. The largest fish we landed this week was 60 pounds. The eating sized smaller catfish are also becoming active and can be targeted in shallow water on very small pieces of cut shad. Look for these fish in 2-10 feet of water on wind blown points. The crappie are good right now. They are in transition and we are starting to see them move up out of deep water and into the mid depths and semi-shallow water. Minnows and jigs are working equally good. The largemouth bass bite has also turned on. Anglers are catching fish on rip-rap and shallow docks on soft plastics like brush hogs and small flukes in 2-6 feet. Report by Captain Michael Littlejohn, Lake Tawakoni Guide Service.
Texoma
GOOD. Water normal stain; 50 degrees; 1.01 feet below pool. Striped bass fishing is slow on flukes and live shad in the main lake river channels. Watch for birds in the backs of coves where big stripers will be feeding on gizzard shad. Cast swimbaits in 5-10 feet of water with a fast retrieve. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are fair on swimbaits in the mouths of creeks around stumps. Fish in 5-8 feet of water with a slow retrieve across the bottom. To catch some smallies use soft plastics along the bluffs in the backs of the coves. Catfish are slow on cut gizzard shad and prepared baits. Need rain and muddier water, but look for the trophy fish to be shallow in 2-12 feet of water near the rivers. Plenty of bait to eat has them hard to catch. Crappie are slow at the boathouses and brush piles using 1/16 ounce head and a 2 inch glo head. Look for fish to be in the creeks shallow on structure and along the banks on laydowns. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Striped bass are good with nice size fish and limits caught daily. Fish are in 8-20 feet of water on structure using Alabama rigs or 4-5 inch swimbaits. Fish are starting to stage in the tributaries for the spawn. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.
Weatherford
FAIR. Water stained; 58 degrees; 7.38 feet below pool. Catfish are fair in the main lake using cut bait. Crappie are fair in the crappie house with minnows and jigs. Crappie should spawn in the next few weeks. Bass continue to be slow, with a few catches in 15-20 feet of water using Texas rigs and crankbaits. Bass should be pushing shallow soon for the spawn.
Whitney
GOOD. Water slightly stained; 55 degrees; 0.56 feet above pool. Fishing patterns are holding steady but look for fish to push shallow with the warming trend and full moon. Hybrid stripers can be caught from the island to Bear Creek on live bait, deadsticking, strolling swimbaits and umbrella-rigs. Report provided by Kraig Sexton, Sexton's Guide Service LLC, Fishing Charter, Marine Electronics & Whitney.
Worth
FAIR. Water normally stained; 61 degrees; 3.06 feet below pool. White bass are fair on main lake structure on slabs and in mid depths on chartreuse and white cocahoes. Crappie are fair to good on brush piles shallow and in mid depths and main lake structure on jigs. Blue catfish and channel catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait on structure. Report provided by Chad Ferguson of North Texas Catfish Guide Service.

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