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Lone Star Bass Outlook

“Nacogdoches and Pinkston are two of the better lakes in this region though they’re not as big as some others,” he said. “Nacogdoches has got a slot limit on it and because of this, it’s got more 3- to 6-pound fish than some of the bigger lakes in the area do. Pinkston also has the same length limit as Nacogdoches and it has maintained a high percentage of Florida bass, so we haven’t had to stock the lake like we have had to do each year with larger Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.”

Though Pinkston only has a surface area of 523 acres, the lake record is a whopping 16.9-pound fish!

One East Texas lake well reputed for sprouting big bass is Lake Conroe. “We’ve been involved with an extensive habitat restoration project introducing native vegetation into the lake,” Henson said. “We’ve gotten good results and the fishery remains good. Consistently over the last three to five years, the weekend tournaments have been seeing heavier winning bags of fish.”

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Henson also said Lake Raven in Huntsville State Park is a small lake, just over 200 acres, but it has produced a number of double-digit fish and is being stocked with ShareLunker bass.

It doesn’t take long for word to spread when it comes to a great bass fishery, and Lake Alan Henry is seeing more and more boat traffic as it gains a reputation as being one of the top five bass lakes in the state.

Lake Alan Henry was planned as a future water source for the city of Lubbock and construction on the lake was completed in 1993. Since then, it has become one of the top bass lakes, producing several ShareLunker entries.

With no shortage of great bass fisheries in our state, this year is shaping up to be one for the books, no matter what area you call home. The lake also was stocked with Alabama spotted bass as it filled. These fish provide anglers with more options and grow faster than largemouths, often reaching 4 pounds or more at mature ages. The lake consists of large areas of flooded timber and has numerous coves with thick vegetation that will hold great numbers of bass beds. In a normal year, the peak of the spawn on Alan Henry will occur in April or into May, which is different from most other bass hotspots.

The TPWD’S Charlie Munger, the fisheries biologist in Canyon, said that consistency has helped the lake achieve its status. “Alan Henry has maintained its water level, and because it has so many arms and coves, it has a long reach to settle out any silt, making it clear,” he said. “We’ve been watching spotted bass closely and they’re expanding as a population. I think the next state-record spotted bass is likely to come out of there.”

According to Munger, one western lake often gets overlooked, but is known for producing nice-sized fish. “White River has always been a sleeper,” he said. “It consistently produces 4- to 8-pound fish. It’s really just been nutrient-driven. There’s not a lot of structure, but anglers can find good fish in stickups on the flats.”

Craig Bonds, a TPWD fisheries biologist in San Angelo, said three lakes in his neck of the woods have rebounded from low water levels and should be solid this year.

“O.H. Ivie, Oak Creek and Twin Buttes are all lakes that caught a significant amount of water,” he said. “Ivie would have been good regardless of water level because we had two good classes of fish in 2004 and 2005. It got a 14-foot rise in 2007 and that flooded a lot of new terrestrial habitat.

“Oak Creek just a few years ago was 34 feet low, but it filled up last year. I’ve never seen a reservoir with such eye-catching habitat. There’s flooded willows, sycamores and other vegetation, and the water clarity looks great. It was stocked also, a couple of years back, and there’s also plenty of prey fish like shad and bluegill.

“Twin Buttes also rose about 14 feet last year and there’s lot of terrestrial brush and good stands of submerged aquatic vegetation. The fish should be in position in the shallows after being in deeper water last spring, summer and fall.”

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