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Texas Sportsman
Lone Star Crappie Forecast

Through the middle of the state, some fisheries will improve. Others, however, might not look so different. “I talked recently to a local guide on Lake Granger,” Terre said, “and he told me the crappie fishing has been phenomenal even during the drought. I believe that’s proof of the stability we’ve seen in the fishery throughout the central and eastern regions of the state on the larger reservoirs.”

One likely explanation for the situation: Water levels in these lakes having yet to drop deep into the bottom end of the double-digit range, the crappie there have only moved down the water table. In other words, anglers have found the fish fairly close to where they’ve always been found, and haven’t had to do a lot of searching to find their quarry.

One of the best resources at your disposal to get information on the current crappie hotspots is the TPWD Web site, You’ll find reports on what biologists have found in their annual sampling on lakes statewide, and you’ll get direction on the places that should be providing the best of the best in crappie fishing this season.

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You’ll be able to confirm whether those North-Central Texas lakes have turned back on. You can check on how things play out at Lake Fork, Rayburn and Toledo Bend. You also will be able to see how things are doing around the rest of the state.

Northwest Texas has a number of potentially strong crappie hotspots. Among them are lakes that include Kickapoo near Wichita Falls, O.H. Ivie near San Angelo, Palo Duro near Spearman, Baylor Creek near Childress and several others. Ivie, in particular, could be hit-or-miss because, as Terre noted earlier, the San Angelo area is one that still suffers from a lack of moisture.

In the middle of Texas, Granger shares the crappie spotlight with Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, in the Marble Falls area, and Brady Creek, near Brady. From here, it appears as though you should expect to find improved crappie fishing on all of them.

As you move down into South Texas, the relative sizes of the lakes shrink a good bit, which means that the impacts of fluctuating water levels likely are felt more intensely, both positively and negatively. Places like Alice City Lake (Lake Findley), Averhoff Reservoir and Lake Casa Blanca likely won’t ever turn up on Texas’ Top 10 list of crappie fisheries. However, rains will provide some improvement to the fisheries.

Are there sleepers? Without question, some Texas waters are going to explode with outstanding crappie action this season; and their production will shock some and, at the very least, surprise many others. It’s impossible to know with certainty where they might be. The TPWD Web site can help you there, but so can your own experiences.

If you’ve encountered good fishing on a given body of water that doesn’t get a lot of attention from magazines like this one and -- as a result -- from fishermen, then don’t be afraid to spend some time crappie fishing it this season, and for the next couple of years. This is especially true if you know the lake has newly flooded vegetation/cover as a result of 2007 rains refilling it.

There’s one other element you may experience in your crappie fishing this season and in the foreseeable future. The “new look” of your favorite spots could include different kinds of crappie than you’re used to seeing, especially in the eastern part of the state. Terre noted that biologists often find more black crappie (or whites) in their samplings than anglers’ creels reflect.

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