Bubbles mean good fishing

May 10, 2014

Many anglers who fish the lakes in Benbrook and/or Bridgeport may have noticed in the past few years that aerators have been added in the deeper areas close to the dam.

These aerators function to improve water quality, but can also add to the fishing experience.

These aerators do not run all the time, but more than likely they will run more in the summer when the lake starts to stratify.

My understanding is that these aerators, or “bubblers” as many call them, improve water quality. They increase dissolved oxygen, which helps to release other gases such as carbon dioxide, methane or hydrogen sulfide.

I am certainly no expert on water quality chemistry, but I can tell you these areas will draw in fish.

First, the baitfish, then the predators come in. Most every species of fish in the lake can benefit from the increased oxygen levels, especially in the summer when the hotter water cannot hold oxygen as well.

There are numerous aerators on Benbrook and Bridgeport. Also, Lake Cleburne has had one forever.

It is a good idea to learn where these are located if you have them on your lake. They are not easily seen from the distance if there is any wind. If it is calm, you can see them pretty clear.

If you want to catch some bait, it is fairly easy to throw your net on the bubbles and you will do so. If you are looking for big gizzard shad, you still might have to go the backs of muddy creeks this time of the year to get those.

If you are looking for threadfin shad, you may be surprised on how many you can get in a short amount of time.

The bait may or may not be there early, but as the sun emerges more baitfish will be at these aerators. When you throw your net don’t be surprised when you catch most every species that feeds on shad.

Remember, it is illegal to keep any game fish caught with a throw net.

Typically, when throwing a cast net in shallow water you allow the net to hit bottom to trap the fish and then cinch the net. When throwing in 40 to 60 feet of water, I let the net fall several feet and then cinch the net closed quickly so as to minimize losing bait.

If you are not interested in catching baitfish, then maybe you may be interested in fishing around the bubbles. You may have to try several depths, and you will have to impart good action on the bait you are using to get the predators to find your bait among the bubbles and the numerous bait fish at the spot.

Bridgeport is a little different this year. The cold winter devastated the threadfin shad. However, the bubbles continue to be a hot spot for sand bass and hybrids.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife department is restocking baitfish in Bridgeport due to the large winter shad kill. I was on Bridgeport this past weekend and numerous sand bass and some hybrids could be caught by tossing your lure across the bubbles and reeling through the bubbles.

Be careful as Bridgeport is 22 feet low, and some mid-lake humps are just inches below the surface. Only one launch is functional in Runaway Bay.


Water temps vary from the upper 60s to low 70s. Granbury sand bass and small stripers are good on the lower ends. Black basss continue to be good on soft plastics fished near laydowns and creek entrances.

Water levels continue to be over 10.5 feet low and falling.

Squaw Creek is warming fast (power plant), and fish are moving to the upper ends. Black bass continue to be caught on soft plastics. Still don’t have any Tilapia reports, however the catfish action on prepared baits is good.

Lake Benbrook and Lake Bridgeport continue to have fair to good catches of sand bass and hybrid stripers. I was at both lakes this past weekend, and the action is good on slabs and live bait.

Possum Kingdom sand bass continue to be good on slabs and live bait from South D&D to North D&D. Look for underwater points and sand flats.

Whitney sand bass and small stripers are good to excellent near the Island and near Bee Bluffs.

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Category: Sports