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March 2018 Fishing Report

3/3/2018 8:51:48 PM

March by any name is an enigma. On the one hand it separates winter from spring, even though as the saying goes, " it"comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion." What I thinks this means is that we usually experience a few weeks of tantalizing warmth which we all hope means that spring is here. But we all know that those beautiful warm spring breezes can change in a few hours into a very cold grey day with biting north winds and intermittent rain and icy fog. What I like to think of the month though is that of a great equalizer. Given its penchant for rapid changing weather, one thing remains the same. It is arguably the one time of the year when the novice angler can compete on level ground with the seasoned professional and often come out on top. Young people, aged individuals and those anglers who lack a boat and must fish from shore each has a chance of embarrassing the pro with a hundred thousand dollar shiny, metallic flake, hydro blaster fishing boat. Believe me because in my some five decades of guiding clients it has happened to me more than once, more than twice, actually a bunch of times! Why does this happen? It is very simple. Most game fish move shallow to spawn and if one has the good fortune to be in the exact right spot at the right time then it just may be you posing for pictures at the marina as the hot shot guide ducks his head and quickly trailers his boat and departs the area. That lucky individual just might be you and even though I may shake my head and wonder how this could happen as I hurry away from the celebration, maybe some of the following tips will put you on that pedestal.

Black bass have moved from the depths into relative shallow water. The first movement will be by the smaller males as they seek out a suitable nesting area and then soon afterwards the bigger females will make an appearance. Because of the soil content, mud with very little sand, spawning areas are heavily used. Once an area is found there may be ten or more pairs spawning at the same time in an area no larger than a living room of a small house. These areas can be readily detected by observing the edge of the water. Due to the almost constant winds on Hubbard there are spots that have been swept clean of the mud upper layer exposing the sand and gravel that sometimes lies beneath it. These are the "honey hole"areas and it is very possible to put together a twenty five pound or better five fish stringer without moving the boat. The majority of the spawn will take place on lay-down logs and standing trees. Many years ago before the concept of fish spawning in trees became part of the go to for the savvy angler, Bass Master Magazine sent a writer and a biologists to fish with me following this idea. The article was titled "When Bass Climb Trees" I think and it changed a lot of people's minds about that possibility.

Bass anglers should seek out this type structure early in the month on all western edges of the lake. I advise looking for some type point or group of trees and/or brush that reach the shore. Plastic lizards, spinner baits and lipless crankbaits are the lure of choice although the bass sometimes prefer the jig and trailer to all others. Later in the month it would be a good idea to move to all the rip-rap and especially to the Miller Creek arm. This water will likely be stained but it can offer fantastic fishing. Towards the end of the month when the temperature has been balmy for a week or so the bass will turn on down lake in any of the small coves. Try going as far back into these areas as possible even though the water may be less than a foot deep. Spinner baits and lizards are my go to baits. Friends do not be afraid to chunk that lure into the thickest cover. After all those lure were made to be lost and it makes the manufactures very happy every time you loose one! It will also make you happy when the bass of a lifetime slams that lure. This is when an angler results to prayer above skill because we can all use a little Heavenly assistance.

The sandies and hybrids will be very difficult to locate during the first part of the month. Due to the heavy February rains they have moved up the creeks and river. Here one can easily catch ten to over a hundred if the right spot is located and there is a heavy flow. There are not many places where the bank angler can reach these fish but the intrepid souls can fish the upper reaches of Rowlett Creek in some spots. The area just below Lavon Dam will also hold tons of fish when the spillway is open. For the rest of you anglers who have a boat travel up the East Fork of the Trinity and go up above the second set of power lines and fish each right bend in the river. Use small grubs or beetle spin type lure. Cast across the current into the slack water and allow the current to pull the lure out into the moving water. Sandbass are some of the fish that readily feed even as they are spawning so look for surface activity where the small males pursue the egg laden females to the surface. An in-line spinner will allow you to load the boat in short order with the hard fighting, tasty fish.

Crappie will begin to move into the shallows with the rising surface temperature. Depending upon the water the water clarity this migration to shall water may come during the first of the month but as a rule it will be later in the month around the full moon time. All the boat slips and the fishing barge will hold fish as will the rip rap and the bushes in the shallows. Find brush in three feet or less water and there will be crappie just waiting to bite your jig or minnow. Good spots are on the extreme west end of I-30 in the main lake and on the extreme East side just above the Hilton. Small grubs or minnows will be about all the tackle one needs to catch a good bunch of these tasty fish.

Catfish are on the move and will work the deeper points of the main lake and up the river where the current is slicing across the flats. Cut shad and punch baits are my choice. The great thin g about fishing the flowing river at this time is that one can catch cats on straight line cast downstream from the boat and sandies directly across the current. It is hard to beat killing two birds with one stone! Either way the lucky angle will catch something and many times a bunch of somethings!

Having read this report I hope that the reader is armed and ready to go out and catch a bunch of fish or that bass of a lifetime. Either way when I see you taking pictures at the dock when my clients and I have not fared so well, do not let the fact that I put the boat on the trailer and leave in a hurry bother you of the good luck. There may be a tear in this old man's eyes but it will be of happiness for you and not tears of sorrow!

The Cajun Guide/Johnny Procell

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