Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

June 17, 2013

GONE FISHING WITH JERRY MILLER : Report on Lake Jacksonville


         By the end of this month the Parks & Wildlife Department will make a major announcement concerning the protection of Triploid grass carp that were introduced into Lake Jacksonville about seven years ago. 

            Richard Ott, project leader, Inland Fisheries, District 3C, informed me of this major change.  According to Ott, the wildlife commission recently voted to drop the protection on the controversial grass carp that was introduced into Lake Jacksonville several years ago to control the growth of the prolific growing hydrilla.

            There has always been a love-hate relationship concerning hydrilla.  Hydrilla is loved by the avid bass fisherman but disliked or even hated by lake property owners.  Hydrilla, if left uncontrolled, can rapidly spread over an entire lake in a few short years and has been seen growing to depths of 20 feet or more in clear lakes.

            In June of 2007 Lake Jacksonville was chemically sprayed, and 3,500 grass carp were released.  In August that year Ott reported that they had treated 120 acres and got a 200 acre result.  That’s almost double what they had anticipated.

            The big drop in hydrilla growth was due to several factors: the chemical spraying, plus the carp stocking, plus the inordinate amount of rain we received that year.  We had an unusually cooler and wetter June and July that contributed to the rapid decline of hydrilla.

            By 2008 most of the hydrilla had completely disappeared along with the coontail moss and other aquatic plants.  The grass carp ended up obliterating all the grass in Lake Jacksonville including the good native grass.  By the summer of 2008 fishermen shifted from fishing grass to brush piles. 

            As a fisherman I was excited to hear that the commission had voted to drop the protection on the grass carp.  Ott said, “They voted to allow us the versatility when grass carp has met management control.  Later the control can be put back on the list if needed.”  By the end of this month they will make a major announcement about this control on Lake Jacksonville and Purtis Creek also.

            This summer P&WL will once again begin planting aquatic plants in protected cages in Cat Creek and Byrd Branch.

            Ott also reported that there was a good distribution in sizes of all fish species.  Ott said there was a lot more forage for the bass.  There is a lot more sunfish based species which is the main prey in Lake Jacksonville.  Ott said, “Our catch rate of sunfish increased from about 300 to 800 per hour.  The red breast sunfish seem to thrive in Lake Jacksonville which is deep and rocky.” 

            The shad population is low on Lake Jacksonville.  Ott said this was due to low population of zooplankton and the type of reservoir.  Lake Jacksonville is much deeper and rockier than other lakes in our area – it’s almost a riverine type of lake.  Most of the lakes in our area are considered flat land lakes, Lake Jacksonville being the exception.

            This September the new regulations concerning the change in length size will go into effect.  At that time you can keep 5 bass per day.  Two black bass can be kept of any size.  That’s right there in no minimum length size for two bass out of a five bass limit.  The other three bass have to be 18 inches or longer.  There is still no minimum size on Kentucky bass. 

            For the last three weeks or so bass on Lake Jacksonville have been biting real good on a Nichols’ perch-colored Pop-U-Lure.  This chugger is colored up like a bream.  The early morning bite has been good.  Then you need to target the main lake wherever you can find shade.  The larger bass seem to prefer the bream color over the shad color, but I expect that to change as bass start feeding more and more on shad.  I’m already seeing a few schools of bass out over deep water.

            Some fishermen are also catching bass on Carolina rigs and soft plastic baits out in the 15 to 18 foot range.  As soon as the surface temperature moves up from the low 80s to the 90s, you will see most of the bass move out of the shallows.


Jerry Miller can be contacted at: gonefishing2@suddenlink.net



Text Only
Local Sports
  • 07-31-greene +photo.jpg Bullard's Greene collects 2 hit in Pensacola loss

    Brodie Greene, a product of Bullard High School, clubbed a pair of singles and drove in a run Monday night, but it wasn't enough to give his Pensacola Blue Wahoos a victory.

    The Mississippi Braves pounded Pensacola, 6-2, at Trustman Park, in a Southern League (Class AA) game.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-31-FB + foto.jpg Fightin' Indians' new district stacked with quality

    Any Jacksonville Fightin' Indian football fans that have not taken note of the Tribe's new conference home — District 16-5A — will probably want to take a few minutes and get familiar with a league that has been labeled as perhaps “the deepest (Class 5A) district in the state” by at least one expert in such matters.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-31-D-II + 2 images.jpg Trio of former local prep standouts playing for top 10 D-II schools

    Three former local and area high school football phenoms will be playing for NCAA Division II top 10 teams this fall.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • I07-31-07-29-VB + foto.jpg High school volleyballers to hit ground running Monday

    High school gymnasiums around the area will be hubs of volleyball activity beginning Monday, when fall camp opens for all teams.

    In fact, the entire week will be jammed packed with dig, set and spike activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-29- Josh + foto.tif McCown says he likes direction Tampa Bay is heading in

    Josh McCown expects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be better this season. He's just reluctant to speculate how much.

    The 35-year-old quarterback is beginning his 13th NFL training camp, though it's his first as a team's projected starter since he was with the Arizona Cardinals in 2004.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • I07-29-VB + foto.JPG Prep volleyballers to return to the gym Monday

    Volleyball season for local and area high school teams will get under on Monday with the opening of the respective fall camps.

    Most of the clubs will take part in scrimmages or playdays in late week before opening the regular season the following week.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-29-Patton + foto.jpg Patton about to start his 7th season in Rusk

    My how time flies.

    When the Rusk High School football team trots out to Eagle Stadium on Monday morning to open fall camp, Ted Patton, Rusk's athletic director and head football coach, will be kicking off his seventh season at the helm of the Eagle program, which makes him the most tenured football coach in the Cherokee County/Southern Smith County area.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-26-Brown + foto.jpg Junior golf: Brown claims a pair of 3rd place finishes this week

     The summer junior golf tour schedule is now in the home stretch and Jacksonville's Cameron Brown is closing like a freight train.

    Brown played in two tournaments this week and came in third place in each, while going up against some top-caliber junior golfers from the Metroplex.

    On Monday and Tuesday, the son of Dean and Mary Carol Brown, played in a Texas Junior Golf Tour (TJGT) stop at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney where he shot rounds of 73 and 71 to earn third place out of a field of 54 boys.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • JJHS logo.png Forrest picked to guide Fightin' Maiden volleyball

    Jacksonville High School will have a new head volleyball when fall camp opens up on Aug. 4.

    Jan Forrest, a veteran high school coach who calls Borger, Texas home, has been promoted from the Jacksonville Middle School coaching staff into her new position.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-26-Minter + photo.jpg Guard-ex Minter helps USA win tourney in the Netherlands

    Spurred on in part by the efforts of A. J. Minter, a former diamond star at The Brook Hill School, the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team was able to nail down the championship of the 27th edition of the Haarlem-Honkbal Week.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo