Spring fishing in Texas has never been better. Whether you’re angling for slabs or planning on slamming catfish, these are the best places to hit.
Crappie, Lake Granger
Veteran fishing guide Tommy Tidwell says March is one of the top times of the year to load the ice chests with lots of big white and black crappie. The fish are in the spawning mode and will be in some of the thickest cover Lake Granger has to offer.
Tidwell said brushpiles, laydowns and anything else in water as shallow as 1 foot will attract crappie looking for places to spawn.
There are good crappie hangouts in the San Gabriel River, but the lower end of the lake also has lots of laydowns, stumps and willows in shallow, turbid water.
A slip-cork fished on a 1/8-ounce weight and crappie hook with a small minnow works well, but if you prefer crappie jigs they will occasionally work just as well if the fish are in an aggressive mood.
Catfish, Lake Tawakoni
You absolutely will not find another lake in Texas that not only has but also continues to have the best fishing for eating-sized channel and blue catfish. After all, Lake Tawakoni did not get its endorsement from the Texas Legislature as the “Catfish Capitol of Texas” for no reason.
Literally hundreds of channel and blue catfish from 1 1/2 to 4 pounds are caught from the East Texas lake daily, and it seems incredible that the lake keeps reproducing its incredible numbers of fish week, month and year after year.
During the spring, the catfish will be in shallow water. If the lake’s water level is up, there will be acres of flooded willows along its west shoreline, all the way from the Two Mile Bridge to Wolf Creek.
Local fishing guides keep several areas in the willows baited with soured maize to draw the fish in, but the average angler can do the same simply by chumming out an area an hour or two before fishing. As fishing guide George Rule once said, “Give them food and they will come.”
White Bass, Lake Aquilla
This little lake may be overshadowed by its larger next-door neighbor, Lake Whitney, but it’s a giant when it comes to producing action-packed white bass action. And this year’s early spawn of threadfin shad and other baitfish is now just the right size to begin roaming the lake in large packs that attract the larger predator fish.
The lower end of Aquilla typically produces the best catches. The face of the dam as well and Triplet Point are excellent places to look for the hard-battling and tasty panfish.
Topwater lures, lipless crankbaits like Rat-L-Traps, and Slabs usually are all you need in your tackle arsenal to catch scores of feeding whites.
With the temperatures beginning to warm, start early while the weather still is pleasant and you’ll probably have your limits of fish by 10 a.m.
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