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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).
That’s because anglers in the Lone Star State are already lucky enough to be able to catch the nation’s most sought-after freshwater game fish -- the largemouth bass. That’s true in every corner of the state in a variety of different lakes and reservoirs ranging from steep canyon impoundments to power-plant reservoirs and everything in between.
Thanks to habitat management practices and the stocking of Florida bass in numerous bodies of water, Texas boasts an impressive number of great bass-fishing locales.
What follows is a look at some of the top waters for Texas bass fishing this year.
Bruce Hysmith, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist in Denison, said this year is no different.
“The best lakes for largemouth bass in our district based on surveys for big fish are Lavon, Davy Crockett, Texoma, Coffee Mill and Nocona,” he said. “The top places for numbers are Bonham, Bridgeport and Coffee Mill.
“Those bodies of water were probably least impacted by the drought and least impacted by all the rain we had last spring. Those reservoirs don’t seem to suffer a serious drawdown.”
Lake Texoma has long been known as the best striped bass fishery in the world, but Hysmith said it also boasts good-sized largemouths and smallmouths.
“The best place for catching smallmouths on Texoma is at the dam,” he said. “You can’t beat the rocky riprap for smallies. Also, there’s fish to be had along the bluffs at Eisenhower State Park to Navigation Point. They lock in on a particular habitat and stay there, but some have migrated up the Washita to the Frisco Railroad Bridge where good rockpiles have kept them there.”
Hysmith also said Ray Roberts will be a great place to catch bass.
“We did a survey and there were fish all over there,” he said. “We caught fish up to the top of the slot limit and some bigger ones, too. A lot of nutrients washed into the lakes that were flooded last year, including Bridgeport, which boasts largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass. Anglers have caught 6-pound smallmouths and 8-pound largemouths or better in there.”
Rafe Brock, a TPWD fisheries biologist in Fort Worth, echoed Hysmith on the number of good lakes in North Texas.
“We had a great recruiting class this last year on many area lakes,” he said. “Grapevine, Joe Pool and Ray Hubbard should all be great this year. We’ve stocked most of the lakes in this area with Florida largemouths and we should continue to see good results in the coming years. Another good lake is Lewisville, which saw its lake record fish seemingly go up monthly recently. There’s also been a lot of tournaments out at Eagle Mountain.”
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