Pineywoods Region Week of January 25, 2023

B.A. Steinhagen
GOOD. Water stained; 65 degrees; 0.46 feet below pool. The fluctuating weather has the fishing patterns changing daily. Bass are good casting weightless flukes, rattletraps and chatterbaits in the grass.
Bob Sandlin
FAIR. Water stained; 52 degrees; 0.56 feet below pool. Crappie are fair in 4-50 feet of water under with jigs or minnows 21 bridge. Catfish are good 20-30 feet deep on baited holes. Sand bass are good HWY 21 bridge with slabs. Report by Marty Thomas, Lake O the Pines Crappie Fishing.
Caddo
FAIR. Water stained; 50 degrees; 1.27 feet above pool. With all the rain in the forecast there will be a good current on Caddo, but the river systems may get muddy. Bass are good in areas with a current, but the main lake has been slow to come around, using Alabama rigs, crankbaits and rattletraps. Reports of some bass coming off trees already, so if the river gets real muddy target tree with wacky worms, flipping jigs or Texas rigged plastics in dark colors like black and blue, black and red or junebug. Either way it is always a majestic trip when you come and fish a lake that God spoke into existence such as Caddo. Report provided by Vince Richards, Caddo Lake Fishing & Fellowship.
Conroe
GOOD. Water stained; 57 degrees; 0.28 feet below pool. Catfish have been great over all. The challenge has been chasing them down between cold fronts and warm-ups. Eater sized fish up to ten pounds are from 2 feet of water on warm days to 40 feet of water on cold days and everywhere in between on Catfish Bubblegum, liver, punch bait and small shad. Trophy class catfish were caught all over as well but usually more focused on shad schools and soft bottoms or structure. Using fresh cut or live bait. Cut gizzard shad was best on open drifting and bream were best on structure. The hybrid bass moved around quite a bit as well but could still be found with large shad schools but were as responsive to jigging. Report by Brad Doyle, Bradley’s Guide Service. Black bass are fair during this transition time at variable depths on crankbaits out in deep water chasing shad around drop-offs. Shallow fish can be caught on spinnerbaits, swim jigs, and worms. Pitching jigs with crawfish plastic trailers will produce decent action around docks, bulkheads, and brush near deeper water. Most takers have been smaller male bass. A slow presentation is key to success this month as the water cools off again. You cannot work a jig or worm too slowly to fool finicky cold water bass. A slow pull and pause crankbait retrieve mimics a wounded baitfish and gives slow minded bass time to read the menu. Report by Bryan Brawner, Lake Conroe Charters. Crappie are staying in tight on or near structure in 12-18 feet of water pitching or casting staying just above the structure. Minnows are outperforming jigs. Hit several spots for catches. Always wear your life jacket. Report by Mike Cason, Fishical Therapy Lake Conroe Guide.
Fork
FAIR. Water Stained; 56-59 degrees; 5.47 feet below pool. Bass are more active on warmer days in the backs pockets and secondary points going into the pockets. Target the warmest pockets with chatterbaits and spinnerbaits in 2-4 feet of water. Fish are traveling in the creek towards the back on warmer days and moving outwards on cooler days . Those along the creek are best on red squarebill crankbaits in a 1.5-2.5 inch around the edges and big wood 3-6 feet of water. Texas rigs with creature type baits flipped at the big wood on creeks and ditches are good in black and blue colors and June bug in 3-6 feet of water. Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. Black bass are beginning the early stages of pre-spawn. Try slow moving suspending streamers and sculpin patterns in 5-7 feet of water. Crappie are deep. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. Crappie are really good around deep main lake timber in 38-56 feet along creek channels. Fish have been a little more scattered the past week, so it is necessary to cover more water to catch limits. Seeing big white crappie mixed in with lots of smaller black crappie. Minnows will work very well and small soft plastics and hand ties are working well. Best colors for my boat have been purple and chartreuse. Getting good reports of brush pile fish biting as in 20-30 feet. Report by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins’ Guide Service.
Houston County
GOOD. Water stained; 58 degrees; 0.29 feet below pool. Largemouth bass are in 4-12 feet of water on docks, bulkheads and brush using jerkbaits, Ned rigs and shaky heads. Crappie are in 10-22 feet of water in brush, standing timber, and deep docks using minnows. Report by Colan Gonzales, DFW Fishing Guide Booking.com.
Lake O' the Pines
FAIR. Water stained; 52 degrees; 0.78 feet above pool. Crappie are good drifting with minnows or jigs off the bottom 25-30 feet of water near the dam. Catfish are fair on baited holes in 20-25 feet of water. Sand bass are near the 259 Bridge. Report by Marty Thomas, Lake O the Pines Crappie Fishing.
Livingston
SLOW. Stained; 65 degrees; 0.00 feet at pool. White bass are slow suspended in deep water. The majority of white bass will start to push towards creeks and river to the spawning grounds. Catfish are good on the main lake drifting with cut bait in deeper water. Striped bass are slow. Largemouth bass are slow. Report by Jeff Friederick, Fishin’ Addiction Guide Service.
Martin Creek
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 60-70 degrees; 1.43 feet below pool. Water temperature at the boat ramp is 60 degrees, and 70 degrees through the Scrapper Cut. Bass are good along and above the hydrilla using plum colored worms and swimbaits. Male bass have pulled up shallow in the warmer water and probably next full moon will trigger a major spawn. Crappie are good at Dirgin Bridge on minnows and jigs fishing at night mostly. Try cut bait for catfish at the hot water discharge.
Nacogdoches
GOOD. Water stained; 52-56 degrees; 2.87 feet below pool. Bait and fish are scattered throughout the lake. Largemouth bass are good on grass edges and around the creek channel. The next month is your best chance at catching a trophy fish. Sharelunker was caught this week, weighing in at a whopping 13.51 pounds. Crappie are fair, scattered in open water throughout the lake. On warm sunny days fish will suspend high in the water column. Report by Blake Oestreich, Brushbuster Guide Service.
Naconiche
GOOD. Water clear; 55 degrees. Bass are good in 6-10 feet of water casting around timber with a squarebill crankbait in chartreuse or gold has been the ticket. Cast into the same spot at least twice because the first throw gets their attention and the second the bite. A jig has been productive in the same timber areas. The Crappie population is good. Catfish are slow. Report by Eric Wolfe, NacoTack Fishing Services.
Raven
SLOW. Water stained; 59 degrees; 4.00 feet below pool. Rains have muddied the water again, and the temperature has dipped into the upper 50s. The construction issues are now resolved, so look for lake levels to rise back to full pool soon. The water level and temperature changes have again thrown the fish for a loop, and recent bites have been very subtle and sporadic. Crappie are still clinging to structure, but have been caught on minnows and jigs though not in great numbers. Catfish are fair on cut bait. Bass are fair in deeper water on cranks and dropshots.
Sam Rayburn
GOOD. Water stained; 50 degrees; 3.65 feet below pool. On warm days the bass action is on grass, and on dreary days fish are deep. Bass are good on rattletraps inside and outside of grass lines, and offshore near structure, deep points with crankbaits and Carolina rigs. Crappie have slowed with the cold water and continue n migrating into the spawning areas on brush piles. Catfish are in the creek and river channels and bend in 15-20 feet of water cut bait and minnows. White bass are running up the rivers biting jigs and minnows. Report by Lynn Atkinson, Reel Um N Guide Service.
Toledo Bend
GOOD. Water stained; 52 degrees; 3.29 feet below pool. The water level is 168.7 with no generators running. Water temperature at the Dam is 52 degrees. The back feeder creeks are clearing. The main lake is stained north and clear south. Bass are shallow searching out cleaner water to feed. Bass out to six feet of water are biting on bladed swim jigs, spinnerbaits, rattling flat sided crankbaits, and buzz baits. Top colors will be black, black/blue, red/orange, and white/chartreuse. The water warmed a little this week and ¼ or ¾ ounce rattletraps in chrome blue back, gold, black back, and Rayburn red are one of the top baits right now. Try casting in the drains and along the edge of grass or over the grass. Here is a cadence I use often: cast it out in a drain, rip it up, let it fall, rip it up, and let it fall. Once you get a hit there are more fish in the area. Another pattern for bass this week is to go up in a feeder creek that has a light current and cast a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce jig in black, blue and white with a gray back with a matching trailer up on a vertical wall with an eddy and let it fall to the bottom. The bite will be subtle, watch your line, if it moves or feels heavy, set the hook. Crappie are starting to migrate to the shallows and coves. Some are still out deep and have been caught off the edge of the river channel. The chicken coop area is still producing good numbers of crappie. The white bass are on the run up north in the ditches, drains, and feeder creeks. Catching some good numbers of white bass using a 2-3-inch small swimbait, small beetle spins, road runners in prime colors are red and white, yellow, white grubs, and of course, the Clouser minnow flies in all black, white with a red head and chartreuse/white. Remember, it is always better to play it safe by telling a loved one or friend the area you will be fishing, how many people are in your party and the expected return time. Good luck and keep casting forward! Report from Master Captain Steve “Scooby” Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide, and Mudfish Custom Rod Shop.
Tyler
SLOW. Water stained; 50 degrees; 1.91 feet below pool. Bass are slow on crankbaits in open water. Crappie are slow in 25-30 feet of water with live minnows. Bluegill are slow on red worms. Catfish are slow on cut bait in deeper water, and off the barge with worms. Report by Paul Taylor, The Boulders at Lake Tyler.
Wright Patman
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 50 degrees; 4.48 feet above pool. Catfish bite is good drifting with cut bait in deeper water.

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