Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 3, 2012

10/3 East Texas Fishing Report

Matt Williams
The Athens Review

Athens — Editor's Note: Due to heavy runoff from last weekend's big rain event, water levels on many lakes across the region are on a fast rise, above pool or at full pool normal level.

ATHENS — Water clarity is fairly clear. Water temp in the upper 70s.

Jerry Hanson at Lake Athens Marina says bass fishing is steadily improving. Some reports of fish up to 7 pound range and lots of slot fish coming on topwaters and spinnerbaits early around shallow grass, then switching to drop shot rigs.

Bream are excellent on crickets. Crappie fishing is good in 20 feet of water, suspended about five feet below the surface. Lots of small fish reported.

CEDAR CREEK — Water clarity is stained and on a rise. Water temp in the low 80s, upper 70s.

Fishing guide Jason Barber said crappie are on the move with come good catches reported in water ranging 7-16 feet deep. Bridges and brush piles are most productive using minnow and jigs.

Black bass are holding around docks in 3-10 feet of water, hitting plastics, cranks and topwaters early and late. Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits have been effective at times. Barber says Carolina rigs are producing some fish in the 10-16 foot range.

Catfish are good on shad, shrimp and live bait in 10-20 feet of water. The fish are moving in the shallows at night, especially on windy shorelines. Hybrids and white bass are hitting slab and swim baits on points in 10-18 feet of water.

RICHLAND CHAMBERS — RC is is fairly clear and on a rise. Water temp in the low 80s, high 70s.

Larry Winters at Midway Landing says crappie fishing has been fair; partial limits reported in 15-20 feet of water in standing timber, suspended at 6-15 feet.

Black bass are good on topwaters around grass early to 9 a.m. then switching to buzz baits and Texas rigs around wood. Catfish are good on windy shorelines in shallow water using shad and punch bait. Baiting holes in standing timber in 12-15 feet of water also has been effective.

White bass are fair. Not much schooling activity. Early in the day the fish are running flats in 5-10 feet of water, hitting 'Traps beneath the birds.

PALESTINE — Water level is fairly clear and on a slow rise. Water temp in the upper 70s, low 80s.

Fishing guide Ricky Vandergriff says bass are taking crankbaits and Carolina rigs on points in 3-5 feet and around boat docks in 2-5 feet. Crappie are bunching up around the Highway 155 bridge in 19 feet of water. White bass are very slow. A few fish hitting 'Traps on points early.

Catfish are excellent in shallow water using night crawlers and punch bait around baited holes. Blues and flatheads are good on jugs tipped with cut shad.

NACOGDOCHES — Surface temp in the upper 70s. Water clarity is stained to clear and rising.

Prior to the influx of fresh water, bass were good to three pounds on lipless cranks, square bills, Chatterbaits and wacky worms worked around new growth hydrilla in 2-6 feet of water. Also a few fish hitting topwaters early and under cloudy skies.

Crappie fishermen are picking up partial limits using shiners and jigs around brush piles.

NACONICHE — Water clarity is fairly clear and rising. Water temp in the low 80s, upper 70s.

Bass are fair to four pounds using Texas rig plastics, jigs and spinnerbaits around outside grass lines. A few fish also reported on Pop-Rs and Zara Spooks under low light conditions. Flipping plastics and jigs in standing timber also has been effective at times.

Crappie fishermen are using jigs and shiners to pluck occasional limits off grass beds, bridge pilings and standing timber. No report on catfish.

SAM RAYBURN — Water temp in in the low 80s, upper 70s. The lake is on a rise.

Ann Wilson at Ann's Tackle says bass fishing has been good to 10 pounds. Lots of fish hanging in skinny water, hitting assorted topwaters, Flukes and Hunch Back wake baits. Jigs and spoons fished along drops and ledges on the main lake are yielding good numbers of quality fish.

Wilson says crappie are taking live shiners and popsicle color jigs fished around brush piles in 17-22 feet of water. The Highway 147 bridge is also producing some partial limits.

No reports on catfish.

— Matt Williams

TOLEDO BEND — Water clarity is clear down south, stained up north and in the backs of some creeks. Water temp in the low 80s, upper 70s.

Fishing guide Tommy Martin says bass fishing has been tough. The best bite has been coming on Texas rig and drop shot worms in 18 feet of water. Fishing guide Guide Danny Iles says topwaters, spinnerbaits worked around shallow cover have been effective early and under cloudy skies.

Iles says crappie are good around brush piles in 28 feet of water, suspended 12-15 feet down. Also some good concentrations of fish holding along the edges of the Sabine up north.

Catfishing has been good to 40 pounds on trotlines tipped with cut perch.

PINKSTON — Water clarity is stained and on a rise. Water temp in the low 80s, upper 70s.

Bass are good to six pounds. Lots of schooling activity reported on the main lake, hitting topwaters, 'Traps and spoons. Flukes and light Texas rigs have been effective along outside edges in 8-10 feet of water.

Crappie are hit and miss around brush tops in 25-28 feet of water. Best bite is on shiners, while jigs are effective at times.