The East Texas Fishing Report for the week of Aug. 31:

ATHENS — Lake Athens is at normal level and clear. Water temp is in the upper 80s.

Charles Spearman at Lake Athens Marina said bass fishing has excellent. Lots of schooling fish up to four pounds reported, mostly on topwaters during low light conditions. Midday bite has been good on deep cranks worked around brush piles and deep docks in 12-14 feet of water.

Crappie fishing has been good around brush piles in 18-20 feet of water, mostly on minnows. Catfish are good to seven pounds on jugs baited with chicken livers. Rod and reel traffic has been light.

CEDAR CREEK —The lake is about 18 inches low and fairly clear. Water temp is in the mid-80s.

Fishing guide Jason Barber said most fishing has slowed down during the last week. Barber said bass anglers are experiencing the best results on main lake drops and humps using Carolina rigs, Texas rigs and deep cranks. Barber said a few of the deeper boat docks are holding fish, as well. The best ones are doctored with brush.

White bass are good. Plenty of schooling activity at first light; a few hybrids in the mix. Swim baits and topwaters are working best while the fish are on the surface.

For crappie, the guide suggests vertical fishing with live shiners around bridge pilings and deep brush brush. Drifting shad over deeper humps and drops is producing some solid catfish.

RICHLAND CHAMBERS — RC is about two feet low and clear. Surface temp is in upper 80s.

Larry Winters at Midday Landing said bass fishing has been very slow. Catfish are drawing the biggest crowds. Jugliners are bringing in some nice blues to 25 pounds using gold fish in 15-25 feet of water. The fish are suspended at random depths. Rod and reelers are picking up channels and blues in standing timber at the same depths. Winters said the fish relating to bottom.

Crappie are good in standing timber in 18-28 feet of water. The fish are suspended 10-20 feet down and taking minnows. White bass are fair. Best reports are coming on Hellbenders trolled over points in 20-25 feet of water. Schooling activity has been hit or miss.

PALESTINE — The lake is at normal level and slightly stained up north, clearer down south. Water temp is in the low 80s.

Fishing guide Ricky Vandergriff said bass fishing is good on jigs fished around deeper docks with brush. Deep diving cranks and jigs worked along creek banks in 16 feet of water are producing fish to eight pounds.

Crappie are sporadic around brush piles on chartreuse jigs. Catfish are excellent to 10 pounds on Danny King punch bait soaked around brush piles in 10-12 feet of water. White bass are slow.

TOLEDO BEND — The lake is about four feet low and clear. Water temp is in the mid-80s.

Fishing guide Stephen Johnston said crappie fishing has been outstanding over deep brush in 33 feet of water. The fish are suspended in 14-16 feet of water. Minnows and jigs are working equally well.

Bass fishing has been good on deep cranks and Texas rigs worked along grass mat edges in 14 feet of water. Heavy jigs and Texas rigs are producing some quality fish up to seven pounds during the midday hours. Lots of schooling activity in standing timber over 35-40 feet of water, mostly on creek bends. Lots of 3-4 pounders in the mix.

FORK — Lake Fork is at normal level and stained-to-clear. Water temp is in the mid-80s.

Bass fishing has been good on shallow cranks, spinnerbaits and topwaters worked along outside edges of the grass. Fishing guide Gary Paris is seeing periodic schooling activity in 10-25 feet of water.

Crappie anglers are picking up limits over deep brush piles on the main lake. Bridge pilings at the Highway 515 crossing are producing good numbers, mostly on jigs.

Catfish are good on punch bait and cut shad fished in 12-18 feet of water.

 NACOGDOCHES — The lake was about 14 inches low ahead of Hurricane Gustav. Surface temp is in the mid-to-uuper 80s.

 Bass fishing has been fair to four pounds on crankbaits, drop shots, wacky worms and light Texas rigs. Just about everything is grass related, although there have be a few solid fish reported around deep brush piles.

Crappie are fair. Brush piles are the ticket. Best bite has been on minnows.

SAM RAYBURN — The lake as four feet low ahead of the hurricane. Surface temp is in the upper 80s.

Fishing guide Tommy Martin said bass fishing has been good to six pounds using light Texas rigs and jigs outside grass edges and brush piles in 7-14 feet of water. Topwaters and buzz frogs are producing some solid fish during low light conditions, mostly over shallow grass.

Crappie and catfish are holding around deep brush piles. A few partial limits reported bridge fishermen at the 147 crossing.

— Matt Williams

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