Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

February 4, 2013

GONE FISHING WITH JERRY MILLER: Winter Fishing At Its Best  

JACKSONVILLE —  

 

            Under winter conditions if you want to target shallow bass try to plan your outing about three days following a warm trend.  An example: one day is calm and sunny with a high of about 65 degrees F, followed by three more days of temperatures ranging from 58 degrees up to 72 degrees F.  This is when the bass will become a lot more active.  They will often move out of the deeper water into depths of one to five feet.

            Normally the best hours to feed will be from about 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  But I have seen times when they bite at first light.  That’s a decision you will have to make.  Don’t worry if the day you’re fishing is heavy overcast.  In fact, that may enhance your bite, especially if the water you’re fishing is real clear.  Muddy, cold water is not a good mix.  Always target clear lakes in the winter.

            One obvious sign that you’ll find bass up shallow is when you see gnats or lots of small winged creatures on the surface of the lake.  These gnats will draw the bait fish into the shallows to feed, and the larger predators will be close behind.

            The best fishing will be on the north banks that are shielded from the cold winds and receive the most direct sunlight.  Some areas on the south bank can be good if they have shallow water protected by an island or a manmade jetty of some kind.

            Even small private lakes will be tough fishing whenever the surface temperatures are in the 40’s.  But when the conditions are right (warming trend) they will really turn on and the fishing can be excellent.

            Last week I experienced the same conditions that I’ve just described.  I was fishing the 20-acre Tosh lake in Rusk, Texas.  The morning bite was slow, but from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the bite dramatically increased. 

            One of my favorite lures under these cold water conditions is a Nichols’ 1/2 oz. Golden Shiner, Rattle Shad.  I’ve caught a lot of nice quality bass on this lure.  About 11:00 a.m. I began fishing the north side of this lake.  Surface temperature was in the 50’s.  The bass were relating to green reeds growing in the shallows.  I was fishing the Rattle Shad as slow as possible in about two to four feet deep.  In a 30 yard stretch I caught about 10 bass in the two-pound range.

            At 11: 30 I was fishing a shallow round point near a dam and caught three bass back to back that weighed from five to six pounds.  Big bass favor main lake points close to deep water. 

            Later I found a large group of smaller bass around a shallow island.  These fish were in very shallow water, so I switched to a small red crank bait.  This bait was a silent runner with no rattles.

            That day I caught about 30 bass.  Again I was fishing under perfect winter conditions.  The weather had been stable and warm for three days.  The next day a cold front came through and the bass shut down. 

            John Long and Frank McLeod fished the very same day on Lake Striker.  They targeted the protected north end of the lake.  Long said they fished in one to five feet of water with spinner baits and soft plastics.

            This area of Lake Striker has a tremendous amount of shallow cover including buck brush, lily pads and coontail moss.

            Long said they caught several bass up to three pounds.   They started on a long point where the main Striker Creek came through and fished their way back towards the eight ball area (launching area).  Long reported getting broke off by a huge bass further up the creek.

            Stable, warm, winter conditions are hard to come by, but whenever possible you need to plan your trips accordingly. 

---------------------------------------

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

 

 

1
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