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Lone Star Bass Outlook
While there’s no such thing as a “bad” option when it comes to Texas bass fishing, these lakes should rank a cut above the rest for producing largemouths this year. (March 2008). ... [+] Full Article
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Texas Sportsman
Lone Star Bass Forecast

“In spring 2005 the doors opened up,” marveled TPWD fisheries biologist John Findeisen. “The average tournament fish weighed about 3.5 pounds, with lots of fish in the 7- to 10-pound range. One tournament had 198 boats that weighed in 886 bass with a total weight of 3,085 pounds. We started to hear reports of 10- to 11-pound fish, and one guy had a 9-, 11-, and 12-pounder on the same day. Not long after, we got a ShareLunker.

“Bass fishing on Choke Canyon is expected to be even better in 2007. Numerous fish over 7 pounds are being caught daily. On average, largemouth bass are reaching 14 inches in 1.5 years, a full year earlier than in other reservoirs in South Texas. Forage is abundant. Anglers should continue to catch larger fish and have heavier stringers in tournaments. Several tournaments in 2006 reported stringers in the upper 30s and one over 40 pounds. I expect there to be more 40-pound-plus stringers in 2007.”

Findeisen proposed focusing on long-celebrated locations such as Four Fingers, Opossum Creek, Hawg Island, Mason Point, Greyhound Point, South Shore, and the little coves on North Shore. “Try to find areas where timber and vegetation are together,” he suggested. “Those types of areas have paid off in the past. The topwater bite is fantastic over hydrilla, with frog-imitating baits being very productive, but it only lasts a couple of hours except on cloudy days. Crankbaits and lipless crankbaits have been productive along the outside edge of the vegetation, as have weightless soft plastics and jerkbaits.

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“When fishing the timber/vegetation combination, throw soft plastics such as Senkos, brush Hogs, or Power Worms and jigs at the base of the timber -- and hang on! Braided line is a must, as the fish will run into the timber after being hooked.

“I don’t think we’ve hit carrying capacity on this reservoir yet,” he added. “My expectation is the next three years will be incredible, with more double-digit fish than ever before. This is the longest period of time Choke Canyon has stayed at conservation level, and that means good spawns and tremendous growth.”

Findeisen offered one further piece of advice for spring fishing on Choke. “Move to deeper water instead of pounding the bank,” he said. “Fish humps like at the entrance to Four Fingers, or creek channels. Doing that has put a 6-pounder in the boat for me on every trip.”

Falcon Reservoir on the Rio Grande below Laredo is another South Texas success story because of rising levels. “Border fish have a nearly year-round growing season, and they grow fast,” said TPWD fisheries biologist Randy Myers. “Even during the drought years, the tournament guys were doing really well, and it took close to 30 pounds to win a tournament.”

Bass took advantage of flooded vegetation to produce tremendous numbers of young that are now of legal size. However, Falcon also offers the opportunity to catch 8-pound-plus fish.

“The big issue is water level,” said Myers. Rio Grande water is heavily used for irrigation by farmers on both sides of the border. However, if El Niño develops as predicted, farmers should need less irrigation water, and South and West Texas lakes, as well as those in East Texas, should rise or maintain their levels. And that’s good news for anglers for several years to come.

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