Learning how to fish in a spring-like winter

December 8, 2012

I wonder if we will ever get a winter.

Some may appreciate the warm weather, but the hunters and anglers need the cold weather to bring on the winter patterns, get the animals moving, etc.

We also need a good freeze to lower the bug count. This is the second year in a row with really mild temperatures. I keep hoping temps will change soon.

The other item we need desperately across the state is a series of good rains to fill up the reservoirs. We think we have it bad with our lake being 5 feet low, but there are lakes far worse.

Lake Travis, for example, is around 48 feet low due to the extended drought of several years. In Texas it is usually feast or famine on rain, but hopefully we will feast sooner than later.

The winter patterns typically starting in late November or early December are not here. Water temperatures continue to be in the low 60s on most area lakes.

Fish migrations that typically occur this time of the year are not happening. What this means is that you need to target the main lake areas to find fish.

The main lake is staying warmer than the incoming rivers, and until that condition reverses we will not get the migration. In addition, there is essentially no water flow.

If we don’t get the water flows and the colder temperatures, the spawns will be affected as well. The attempted spawns will occur on main lake points and other major creeks. The spawns in the spring will also more than likely occur earlier.

Last year the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) missed getting the striped bass brood fish they needed to stock our Texas waters. The fish had spawned out early due to the warm winter. That was the first time in over 30 years that the TPWD missed getting the striper brood fish needed to stock our home lakes.

The other bad news is that stagnant salty water in the Brazos will allow for golden algae blooms to be more likely once the water does cool down. In other words, we really need the rain to fall and allow the water in our lakes to flow. Water flow will break up golden algae blooms.

Last winter on Lake Whitney, I never fished the river as the lake was 16 feet low.

On Granbury, the sand bass action continues to be tremendous. I was out last Sunday and we easily put limits in the boat. Limits on sand bass are25 per person, which means there was a whole lot of “catching” going on.


Water temperatures on Granbury and most all non-power plant lakes were in the low 60s. Granbury black bass and sand bass angling are good on main lake structure.

Sand bass are good on silver and chartreuse slabs fished near birds. Mid-lake near Western Hills and the lower ends near Striper Alley are good locations for locating schools of sand bass.

Black bass are good on soft plastics near laydowns. With the warmer weather the bait fish will move up.

Squaw Creek black bass numbers are excellent on soft plastics. Some good fish to 6 pounds are being caught. Benbrook hybrids are good on live bait and sassy shads. Bridgeport hybrids are also good on slabs and live bait fished near main lake points and humps.

Possum Kingdom sand bass are good on soft plastics and slabs near Costello Island. Stripers are fair to good on PK on sassy shads and slabs from near Hogs Bend to Peanut Patch.

Whitney sand bass are good on flats near the island. Crappie are being caught in the river near Kimball Bend on small jigs.

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