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   January 3, 2005
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Texas Sportsman Magazine
D/FW Compass-Point Bass Fishing
Head anywhere north, south, east, or west of the Metroplex this month, and you still won't find better bass fishing than what these four hot lakes can yield.

By Bob Hood

The cold rush of air from a norther brought gray, fast-moving clouds over much of North Texas. It was the kind of February frontal system that keeps most bass anglers gathered around the breakfast tables of small-town cafes for longer than is usual.

Jason Ashtell was far ahead of the others, launching his bass rig in a chilly cove just as the morning's first light spread across the upper reaches of Lake Ray Roberts.

"It would be easy to sit around with the others, drinking coffee and talking about how bass don't bite good during a cold front," said Ashtell, a North Texas construction worker who has been fishing the popular reservoir ever since it opened, "but I've caught some of my biggest fish ever on days just like this.

"Look at this way: Big bass may not be as active when the water temperature already is in the 50s and suddenly is shocked harder by a cold front - but if you know where they hang out on days like this, your chances of catching them aren't really that bad.

"One thing's for sure: I've never caught a big fish while sipping coffee."

Ashtell's hopeful assessment of the kind of action the morning would bring was right on target. Within two hours, he had boated two bass over 6 pounds, and a whopper that barely missed pushing his portable hand scales past the 10-pound mark.

Now that's getting results!

Photo by Ron Sinfelt

Ashtell didn't have to spin a roulette wheel to make his choice of lakes near the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to fish for big bass, either - but he did use a compass. He wanted to fish North Texas' top trophy-bass lake, and Ray Roberts certainly fills that bill.

Veteran Metroplex anglers like Ashtell - and Bill Wilcox, Ronnie Poe, Jerry Nichols and quite a few others - are fortunate, indeed, that they can head only a short distance from their residences, regardless of where the compass needle points, to find exceptional bass fishing. North, south, east or west, great winter and pre-spawn bass fishing awaits them.

South of the Metroplex lies Lake Whitney, a Brazos River impoundment that benefited rather than suffered from two golden algae fish kills in the past three years.

To the west there is another Brazos River jewel in Possum Kingdom Lake, and to the east the compass points to Cedar Creek Lake, which - with one of the highest and healthiest bass populations within a 100-mile radius of the Metroplex - is one of those fisheries that are always good.

And - to keep with the concept of many compass bearings leading to worthy bass action - several lakes that deserve much recognition for helping satisfy anglers' appetites for hot bass action in February and on into March lie within the circle Among those are Lake Texoma, farther north of Ray Roberts, Lake Tawakoni, just a short drive east of Dallas, Lake Granbury to the south, and Lake Weatherford to the west.

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