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The Best Bass Lakes In Texas
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Texas Sportsman
Hubbard Creek Is Hot
And so is the bass action on this select group of lakes west of the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex! (April 2009)

Horace Greeley may not have been an avid angler, but he certainly ushered many Texans in the right direction with his advice to go west. And for some of the greatest bass-fishing action today, a stop at Hubbard Creek Lake at Breckenridge could surprise even many veteran anglers who have tabbed the lake a "has been."

Ronnie Poe of nearby Granbury nets a hefty Hubbard Creek largemouth. By producing regular catches like this, Hubbard Creek is attracting the attention of more and more bass anglers these days.
Photo by Bob Hood.

There are several other lakes west of the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex that provide great bass action during April, too, including Possum Kingdom. That lake has made a great rebound from the major golden-algae fish kill in 2001, and lakes Proctor, Brownwood, Sweetwater, O.H. Ivie, and Alan Henry also fit into the mix.

I was fortunate to have "discovered" Hubbard Creek Lake's great bass fishery in 1968. At that time, only a small number of avid bass anglers in Fort Worth had fished the lake. Those fishermen and a few others from Abilene and Wichita Falls provided the only so-called "fishing pressure" on its bass fishery.

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I had just begun writing outdoors articles for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was invited by a friend to go with him to Hubbard Creek to fish a lake he assured me "no one knows about." We were up and on the road at 5 a.m. the next morning.

In that summer of 1968, Hubbard Creek's level had risen high enough to flood acres of dead mesquites and willows in flats and along the edges of creek channels. Like many West Texas anglers, my friend had become proficient at fishing shallow water simply because their main fishing areas were stock tanks, small city-owned lakes and shallow reservoirs. Also, they called their style of fishing "doodlesocking," a term that modern-day bass anglers now call flippin' and pitchin'.

I am convinced that no one who was not at Hubbard Creek Lake in those early years from about 1968 to 1974 can realize just how great the action was. Catching a bass was a matter of elimination. Every bush you pitched a plastic worm into that did not produce a bass just put you one bush closer to one that did.

Occasionally, a bush next to the one you pitched a plastic worm into would shake as a bass left it to go for your worm in the bush next to it. The bass averaged between 3 and 4 pounds due to the high number of that age-class bass during the lake's initial stockings, with some in the early 1970s weighing 5 to 6 pounds.

Like many lakes, Hubbard Creek "peaked out" seven to eight years after it was impounded. Newer lakes came on the horizon and average anglers as well as the major West Texas bass club tournaments from Odessa-Midland, Wichita Falls and Fort Worth soon went elsewhere. By the 1990s, drought conditions resulted in a lake level of almost 18 feet below its conservation pool elevation. Its two major boat ramps were left high and dry but city officials and concerned anglers worked to have a new ramp built near the dam to accommodate those wanting to use the lake.

Then came the heavy rainwaters of late spring and early summer in 2007 that brought Hubbard Creek's level back to the full mark. Naturally, it has dropped some since then, but remains like a virtual "new lake" with lots of flooded vegetation and other new-growth habitat supporting both forage fish and game fish alike. Now, the word has gotten out about Hubbard Creek's comeback and many veteran anglers who fished Hubbard Creek in its heyday are re-discovering this West Texas jewel, either on their own or through talk generated from an increased number of bass tournaments held there in recent years.

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