Some days require waiting and waiting

January 4, 2014

Yes, we all know there are days when it doesn’t matter what you do, the fish are not going to bite. This can happen any time of the year, but in the winter when the water gets real cold your chances of getting skunked can increase.

I pride myself on rarely getting skunked, but it can happen-and it did happen on a trip to Proctor right after the last cold snap. I was on Possum Kingdom the day the front blew in.

Luckily, I found some feeding fish at Possum Kingdom in 50 feet of water battling 20 to 25 mph north winds. More than likely, the fish on Lake Proctor fed up before the cold snap (day prior) and were not going to feed. Sometimes it is good to pick your fishing day (if you can) a couple of days after a front when the weather stabilizes.

In the dead of winter with water temperatures at 45 degrees or lower, the metabolism of the fish slow and they don’t need to feed as often. All fish still have to feed eventually, so pick your fishing times around those cold fronts.

There are exceptions to every rule. For example, the full-blooded striped bass typically feed voraciously through the winter, but even striped bass bite can slow due to excessively cold temperatures.

If you are out on the lake and the fish are not biting at all, they may bite later in the day. This particular day on the water on Lake Proctor, the predicted feeding times due to the new moon were around mid-day. I was willing to wait them out, but several frozen customers in the boat elected to call it quits early.

It was about 23 degrees in the a.m. when we first got on the water. Moto here is to be patient if you can be and dress for the occasion. We may not have caught anything waiting them out, but I sure do wonder if they might have turned on soon after we left.

It is probably a huge clue that the bite is off when even the abundant sand bass will not bite. Hybrid striped bass in general are not quite as active as their full blooded cousins (striped bass) in real cold water.

In other words, the strategy for hybrid stripers and sand bass should be slightly different. It might have been a better choice to fish the afternoon on this day.

Another choice in the winter in Texas is to fish power plant lakes. Squaw Creek Lake is real busy this time of the year due to the elevated water temperatures that keep the fish relatively active. There are lines of boats waiting to get on Squaw Creek.

You never really know in hunting or fishing what the day will bring. You will certainly not know if you’re home on the couch.


Water temperatures are in the middle 40s on most of our area lakes (except the power plant lakes of course). Granbury sand bass have slowed due to colder water.

Water levels are near 9 feet low and access is limited to Rough Creek Park and at the launch by the Hilton.

Squaw Creek black bass, catfish and tilapia are reported as good. The black bass fishing continues to be fair to good on soft plastics. Catfish are good on prepared baits near creek entrances to the main lake.

Tilapia are excellent on worms fished under a cork. This invasive species is being caught in numbers ( 50 to 100 a day). Remember, you are not allowed to release an invasive species back into the water.

Possum Kingdom sand bass has slowed, best action this past weekend was in 50 feet of water near the entrance to Cedar Creek. Hybrids have been reported as good on Lake Lewisville.

Stripers to 15 pounds are common on Texoma on soft plastics on the west end. Lake Tawakoni continues to boast on catching limits of stripers (hybrid and full blooded version both.)

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