Kado – Good. stained with water; 47 degrees 0.61 feet above the pool. The Caddo water temperature is between 46 and 48 and the fish congregate in the river to chase the bait. As always, look for birds on the poles as they will be chasing the bait. The current is good and the water is not stained, but white baits or shad will work great. Crankbait, Ratletrap, Swimbait, and Alabama rigs will bite, and if they are on the bottom, you will get a 1/2 to 1/4 ounce spoon of fish. It is truly an exciting time to be at Caddo fishing and enjoying this lake that God spoke into existence. Report submitted by Vince Richards, Caddo Lake Fishing & Fellowship.
Lake of the Pines – Good. stained with water; 49 degrees; 0.91 feet above the pool. When the weather is bad, crappie should be good in the deepest water you can find. Please be careful, as the boat ramps may be covered in black ice. Report by Marty Thomas, Lake O’ the Pines Crappie Fishing. Expect bass to be deep on spots you fish slowly with jigging spoons, drop shots, jigging spoons, Alabama rigs or red bell traps. Report by Mike Stroman, R&R Marine. Crappie are good in 18-25 feet on creek channel swings and standing timber on jigs and minnows. Bass are good in 20-25 feet on jigs, Carolina rigs, Alabama rigs, and Texas rigs. Report by Casey Tilley, Fish Perfect Guides & Outfitters.
Tyler – slow. stained with water; 51 degrees; 2.65 feet below the pool. Few anglers on the water due to the cold weather. For the brave souls heading out fishing, target bass and crappie in deep water channels in 30 feet of water. The bite should improve next week as the weather warms. Report by Paul Taylor, Rocks at Lake Tyler.
Palestine – Good. Plain water stain. 50-54 degrees. 1.74 feet below the pool. Crappie fishing is excellent on minnows and jigs in standing timber and on the pilings of the Bridge 155 on State Highway in 20-35 feet of water. Largemouth bass can be found in 3-8 feet of water early in the morning on moving swimbaits. Then later in the day on points or put them in 8-15 feet of water. Reported by Sam Parker, Freshwater Fishing Adventures. Reports of good blue catfish before the ice front. Jug liners have been doing well with salty black minnows after midnight. Rod and reel anglers have been doing well with large minnows during daylight in areas of the central portion of the lake. The ice front and wind stopped the bite. Jim Begerle reports, Jim’s Fishing.
Fork – good. stained with water; 49-52 degrees; 1.66 feet under the pool. Bass are cold-blooded, so expect the bite to be slow while the fish are lethargic after the recent cold snap. The bite should improve as the weather warms. Reported by Mark Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Black bass move deep for the winter submerging the treetops in 30 feet of water. Cast Clousers, ned rigs, and large sunken line shading patterns. The Crappie moves to open water in 30 feet of water and casts small jig patterns with full sinking lines. Reported by guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork is still really good and in a full winter pattern. The shadow began to pile up more in the deep woods. Look for timber along the creek channels at 48-58 feet at the moment. The majority of the fish seem to be between the West Bridge 515 and Bridge 154. We have seen some solitary white crappie on the log posts and below the deep Bois D’Arc trees. We are also seeing large schools of black crappie on tall trees that may only be 15-30 feet below the surface. Our best presentation is to rig small hand-tied jigs across the schools and swim over them to pull in one fish at a time. Minnows are still producing good, soft plastic baits. These crappies are feeding heavily on shad right now and should respond to most baits that come their way. The catfish bite has been a little tougher this week. Try to find bait areas that are close to deeper water where the shade is thick. We’ve also had good luck in past years in shallow areas with lots of perched trees. The areas in between don’t seem to have good fish at the moment. Having a good bait hole with cattle cubes or sour grains seems to be very important this winter for Lake Fork channel cats. You should still be good at treating any bait prepared for catfish once the fish are stacked. Reported by Jackie Wiggins, Jackie Wiggins Guide Service.
Athens — Good. Plain water stain. 45-48 degrees. 0.85 feet below the pool. Fishing patterns are steady but should slow after the expected cold front. Bass are reported to be slow, but they can be caught shallow around docks on worms and shaky heads, or scattered on brush piles up to 25 feet. Crappie are fair but limits can be caught on brush piles in 20-25 feet of water using jigs and minnows. Report by Jim Brack, Athens Guide Service.
Cedar Creek – Excellent. Plain water stain. 47 degrees 0.71 feet below the pool. Despite the cold front, white bass and hybrid bites are the best all winter long. Large white bass up to 14-15 inches long and hybrids up to 23 inches long are being caught averaging 17-21 inches in 37-55 feet of water throughout the entire lake. Also be on the lookout for early morning hawks and birds on the flats in 17-22 feet of water. Dead hooking with a jig or jig and using dead lures with a 1-1.5 oz jig head with a tandem hook or jig over it paired with a small plastic fluke works well. You should keep your drift speeds under 0.5 mph with an ideal drift of 0.3 mph using flotation socks to keep you slower in windy conditions. Reports indicate that the crappie bite has slowed as water temperatures have dropped. If you can find a deep pile of brush, you can find them stacked, but most of the crappie have pushed into deeper water now. Guides have reported exceptionally slower days but have had good fishing on sunny, warmer days. Some days were very difficult with cold weather conditions and cold water temperatures. Report by Brent Herbeck, Herbeck’s Lonestar Fishing Guide Service.
Hawkins – slow. The water is slightly stained. 50 degrees. The chain amaranth will feed around brush and grass. Black bass will feed in shallow water during warm periods. Try imitating small baitfish with barbed hooks along the quiet, sunny banks. Reported by guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service.
JACKSONVILLE — Good. The water is slightly stained. 54 degrees 1.33 feet below the pool. Bass are good using soft plastics shallow and deep on drop shots, and red rattle decoys with 3/4-ounce jigs on deep brush.