Summertime hybrid stripers on many of our area lakes are relatively easy to pattern. These fish are predictable, and all one needs is a little success to boost that self-confidence.
When the full-blooded striper fishing starts to slow with the hot summer sun (and we definitely have been hot for a while this year), the hybrid striper is a little more tolerant of the heat.
Many reservoirs are reporting great hybrid catches, which is typical this time of the year. The key is to be patient at times and of course be prepared for the heat.
Summertime hybrids are creatures of habit. I will find them on most any reservoir in the summer on major feeding flats/humps adjacent to a lot of deeper water.
Generally these locations will be on the lower part of the lake where the deepest water resides. When they get hungry they move up on shallower feeding flats or humps where the baitfish are corralled by predators.
Sometimes you can get them to bite in deeper water, and other days they will be feasting on the flats. On many reservoirs there will be locations that the fish will frequent most every day.
Benbrook has the famous Hybrid Hill near Dutch Branch, the underwater dam at Richardson’s slough, and the humps right off the dam. Lewisville and Ray Hubbard have old underwater rock quarries that hold big fish.
Finding the stripers
I will use my graph to locate depths of baitfish and predators. I will also look for thermocline depths as you know the fish will be in the thermocline or above this time of the year.
Look for that early bite. Though early may be good on most days, hybrids will feed at midday at times.
If I have looked at all the choice spots on a certain body of water and the bite is off, I will generally come up with the best possible location.
I like to anchor on the spot and set my baits out. I then will cut up some chum and thrash the water.
If the fish are extremely active, artificial baits may be the choice. However, for stripers and hybrid stripers in the summer, live shad is hard to beat.
When nothing else will work, live shad will put fish in the boat. The right size shad is important too. I like to have 4- to 6-inch shad for most conditions, and I like to have plently of 8-inch or larger baits as well.
Don’t be afraid to use large baits as 18-inch or larger hybrids will inhale an 8-inch shad with no problem.
Keep several rods ready to replace the bait rods you have out there.
Benbrook, Proctor, Ray Hubbard, Bridgeport, Tawakoni, Lewisville and Cedar Creek are some of the North Texas hybrid lakes that I fish and they all have a lot in common when it comes to summertime hybrids.
Hood County fishing report
Water temperatures are in the upper 80s in the middle of the day, and will cool slightly in the mornings. Water levels continue to recede, however access is available at the Hilton and at Rough Creek.
Sand bass and small stripers can be located in numbers on the lower ends. Some of those small stripers will be keeper size in the next couple of months.
Granbury black bass are fair to good near deeper water near docks and creek entrances on soft plastics and crank baits. The thermocline is around 20-25 feet down.
Squaw Creek water temperature is right at the upper 90s. Tilapia and catfish are being caught on night crawlers fished under a bobber. Good black bass catches are reported on deep diving crankbaits worked near underwater structure.
On other reservoirs, Possum Kingdom stripers are good to 16 pounds downrigging jigs or with live bait on the lower ends.
The best hybrid action is on Lewisville and Bridgeport. Bridgeport access is still possible near the 380 bridge, but be careful navigating that lake.