The Athens Review
The East Texas Fishing Report for the week of December 24:
ATHENS — Water level is 3.65 feet low and stained. Water temp in the low 50s.
Lake regular Jerry Hanson says crappie fishing has been excellent. Plenty of limits coming around brush piles in 10-15 feet of water, mainly on shiners.
Hanson said bass fishing has been fair to four pounds on lipless cranks fished along grassbeds from the bank out to 10 feet.
Deep cranks are good for a few fish in 25-30 feet of water around drop offs.
CEDAR CREEK — Water level is 3.93 feet low and stained. Water temp in the low-50s and falling the 40s by the end of the week.
Fishing guide Jason Barber says crappie fishing has been good around brush piles in 15-20 feet of water using shiners and jigs.
Catfish are good to 30 pounds on cut shad soaked on stump flats and points up north. Farther south, anchoring and drifting has been effective around deeper humps.
Bass are good to six pounds on cranks, spinnerbaits and jigs fished around boat docks and rocks. White bass are good on slabs in 14-16 feet.
Also some fish suspended around bait at 26 feet.
PALESTINE — Water level is 1.89 feet low and fairly clear. Water temp in the low 50s.
Fishing guide Ricky Vandergriff says jigs are producing solid fish up north along the edges of the Neches River and Kickapoo Creek.
Sharp bends with stumps are most productive.
Carolina rigs dragged on main lake points 3-10 feet in are the ticket down south. Jigs/pork combos and square bill cranks are working around boat houses with brush.
Crappie are fair at the Highway 155 bridge in 18-20 feet of water. Standing timber near bridges is holding fish as well.
Catfish are excellent in 15 feet of water. Jugs tipped with live perch producing the better blues and flatheads.
RICHLAND CHAMBERS — Water level is 4.86 feet low and fairly clear. Surface temp in the low 50s and falling by midweek.
Larry Winters at Midway Landing says bass fishermen are reporting some solid fish in the 4-5 pound range using spinnerbaits and shallow cranks in 3-6 feet of water around stumps and brush near channel breaks.
Catfish have slowed down. Partial limits of blues and channels reported in standing timber 12-16 feet deep, mostly on punch bait and cut shad.
White bass are fair. Best bite coming on slabs in 20-28 feet of water. Crappie are slow.
NACOGDOCHES — Water level is 3.21 feet low and clear. Water temp in the upper 50s and falling after the front.
Bass are fair to seven pounds on crawfish crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps and Chatterbaits worked around shallow grass beds and lily pad stubble in 2-6 feet of water. Main lake shorelines and flats are holding fish.
Crappie fishermen reporting partial limits around brush piles in deep water using live shiners.
NACONICHE — Water level is at normal level and stained to clear. Surface temp in the upper 50s before the front, chilling to the low 50s by the end of the week.
Bass are slow overall. Not much traffic out. A few fish in the four pound range reported on crankbaits, Texas rig plastics and soft jerk baits worked along outside grass edges and timber flats adjacent to boat lanes.
No report on crappie.
TOLEDO BEND — Water level is 4.44 feet low and clear. Water temp in the upper 50s and falling.
Fishing guide Stephen Johnston said good numbers of small fish hitting spoons in 25-35 feet of water around timber lines and adjacent flats.
Good electronics are essential for locating bait. Wacky worms and Texas rigs are good for some sold fish along outside grass edges in 6-10 feet of water.
Not many crappie fishermen out. Johnston says the bite should improve around the Chicken Coop if water temps will stabilize.
Farther north, anglers are boxing good numbers along the edges of the Sabine in 18-22 feet.
Charlie Shively at Bill's Landing says catfishing has been good on trotline sets tipped with cut or live perch.