The weather last week during Spring Break was almost perfect for fishing. Had it not been for the Arctic front and snow on the last weekend, the whole week would have been ideal.
The bass on Lake Texoma have set up in a text book pre-spawn pattern. Meaning: the fish are being drawn into shallow water from their deep winter habitat by the warming surface temperatures. The bass are set up in four to eight feet of water in areas adjacent to spawning grounds. As the water temperature nears 60 to 65 degrees, the fish will begin making beds for their annual spawn. Many anglers consider early spring to be the best fishing because this is the only time of year that almost all of the bass are in shallow water.
During my trips to Lake Texoma last week, I observed morning water temperatures hovering close to fifty degrees. By mid-afternoon the temperature has risen to fifty-eight degrees in sun-drenched, back-water areas. Normally, the northern creeks and coves on any body of water have the most active fish because the angle of the sun will warm these areas the fastest. On Texoma these regions include Buncombe Creek, Limestone Creek and Cardinal Cove. Strangely, because of a persistent north wind last week, the south bank held warmer water.
Most of the bass that I caught were taken on red rattle traps, shallow crank-baits and black and blue jigs. The most active fish seemed to be in the Big Mineral arm of the lake. These fish were located on sunny banks that had a sufficient amount of chunk rock.
While launching the boat each morning, I talked with some of the striper guides as they waited for their customers at the Highport boat ramp. Surprisingly, the guides were having very limited success in catching shad for their trips. As an alternative, they were purchasing large minnows from area bait shops. While not as productive as shad, the minnows were catching fish. Most of the boats went west each morning and were set up from the mouth of Big Mineral to the Willis Bridge.