Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 14, 2013

3/11/13 East Texas Fishing Report

Matt Williams
The Athens Review

Athens — The East Texas Fishing Report for the week of March 11:

ATHENS — Water level is 2.65 feet low and stained. Water temp in the mid-50s and warming.

Bobby Spearman at Lake Athens Marina says bass fishing has been outstanding to nine pounds. Big numbers fish in the 5-7 pound range reported in mid-range depths using Texas rig plastics, jigs, jerk baits and spinnerbaits.

Spearman says crappie fishermen are struggling. The fish are scattered.

CEDAR CREEK — Water level is about three feet low and stained. Water temp in the high 50s and warming by the end of the week.

Fishing guide Jason Barber says lots of crappie being caught 4-6 feet of dingy water up north. Farther south the fish are hanging around brush in 10-15.

Black bass are good on plastics and spinnerbaits flipped around any shoreline cover up north. Down south, try main lake and secondary points using cranks and Carolina rigs. Spinnerbaits are effective in the backs of pockets.

Catfish are excellent to 20 pounds up north using cut shad on shallow points. Quite a few hybrids and white bass hanging in the same areas.

PALESTINE — Water level is about six inches low and stained up north, clear down south. Water temp in the upper 50s and warming.

Fishing guide Ricky Vandergriff says are scattered and isolated on key spots, often on large groups. Flat Creek Kickapoo Creek and the Neches River have been giving up some solid fish to pounds, mainly on Texas rig Brush Hogs and other plastics. Water depths of 3-8 feet are key.

Crappie are on the move towards the shallows. Black crappie hitting minnows under a slip cork at 1-2 feet. White crappie still hanging deeper out to 10 feet. Catfish slow on rod and reel. Trotliners are reporting some good fish on cut shad and live perch.

White bass are excellent up the Neches River.

RICHLAND CHAMBERS — Water level is 4.59 feet low and fairly clear on the main lake, stained on windy banks. Water temp in the mid-50s and warming by the end of the week.

Larry Winters at Midway Landing says bass fishing has been fair on spinnerbaits fished around wood cover towards the backs of creeks. Winters says the bite should improve with the warming trend. Crappie are slow. White bass are good on main lake points in 18-25 feet of water, mostly on slabs. Catfish are good on punch bait and cut shad soaked on windy banks. Baited holes giving up some fish in 8-10 feet of water around standing timber.

NACOGDOCHES — Water level is about three inches low and clear down south, stained up north. Water temp in the low 60s and warming.

Bass are good to three pounds in skinny water using Texas rig plastics, Senkos and Chatterbaits. Lot of fish should continue piling into the shallows with warm weather forecast through the week.

Crappie are fair. The fish are scattered in shallow water, hitting jigs.

FORK — Water level is about 4.3 feet low and clear. Water temp in the mid-50s and warming by the end of the week.

Fishing guide Gary Paris says bass fishing has been tough for  numbers, but a few anglers are reporting some solid fish up to 11 pound. The fish are relating to isolated patches of hydrilla in 3-5 feet of water, hitting moving baits and plastics. High winds have made it hard to fish out deep.

Crappie are on the move. Anglers are reporting a decent bite at the bridge crossings, suspended around the cross members 10-15 feet down.

NACONICHE — Water level is full and fairly clear. Water temp in the low 60 and climbing.

Lake manager Bill Plunkett says bass fishermen are reporting some solid fish up to 10 pounds. A few fish in the 6-7 pound range reported. Plunkett says the fish are gravitating towards any available shallow water, hitting plastics around hydrilla.

Crappie are slow. All boaters are advised to use caution due to floating logs in boat arms and on the main lake.