Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

August 21, 2011

Low Lake Levels Create Launching Problems 

Gone Fishing with Jerry Miller

LONGVIEW — Launching a boat on our area lakes is beginning to be a problem.  On some ramps you have to be very careful when you launch and not back out too far. 

            You need to use caution when launching at the deep end (dam) on Lake Palestine.  One boater last week while launching a pontoon boat at the dam backed out too far. and his wheels dropped over the end of the concrete.  He panicked and tried to force the wheels back over the concrete.  This resulted in a twisted and broken axel. 

            Whenever your boat trailer wheels drop off of the ramp you must back your trailer at an angle so that you can ease it out one tire at a time.  If you try to force your tires to roll straight out, you will only damage your trailer.  Instead, keep backing your trailer at an angle until you are able to ease your tires back out and over the ramp drop off.

            There is a single ramp and a double ramp at this location.  I’ve been using the single ramp without a problem.   You can also launch at The Villages but not at Lake Palestine Resort. 

            On Lake Tyler it’s okay to launch at Lake Tyler Marina and Hill Creek.

            Lake Striker is only two feet low, so you can launch at the dam and at the eight ball area.

            On Lake Bob Sandlin the Titus County Ramp is good to go.  You can launch at this ramp even when the lake is about 8 feet low. 

            Lake Athens ramp is very shallow.  I wouldn’t recommend launching there.

            On Lake Fork the ramps in the dam area and mid-lake are still in good shape.

            The only place you can launch on Lake Murvall is at the dam area at Murvall Marina.  They recently brought in heavy equipment and added gravel to fill in the holes, thus leveling out the launch area.  No problem here.

            You can still launch at the concession area on Lake Jacksonville.  Even thought the lake is 4 to 5 feet low, it’s still possible to launch, although I did witness a man launching a big barge last Thursday, and his trailer wheels dropped off the concrete ramp.  He did manage to get his boat loaded back up, but with great difficulty. 

            The problem with this launch now is when you turn the corner to go out into the lake.  This area is a little over a foot deep.  I used my trolling motor to navigate this strip.  By Labor Day you may not be able to launch here unless we get a lot of rain.  The New Hope launch is inaccessible.  I suspect the launch at the dam is also too shallow.

            Martin Creek is 10 feet low.  They have a serious problem at this site.

The New Hope lanch site off Highway 747 is inaccessible. Boaters can still launch at the concession area on lake Jacksonville, but use caution.

            If we don’t get substantial rains over the next month you will see more boat ramps closing.  I would be extra careful when launching at any shallow ramp.

            Ron Stacey and I launched his 21-foot Triton boat at the dam on Lake Palestine last Tuesday.  We motored up to 515 bridge and caught a lot of small sand bass on small Cleo-type spoons.  We were fishing the old inundated bridge area.  All the sand bass were holding in deep water (22 feet) and wanted the spoon swimming near the bottom.  We were fishing the spoons off the sides of the sunken bridges.  I did hang one big striper, and I also landed a slab crappie that was nearly 16 inches long.  The crappie was about 12 feet down near the edge of the old sunken bridge.  The action was good from about 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  There is a ton of shad in this area.  We did see one school of sand bass schooling on top. 

Pray for rain.


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

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • 07-26-TTA logo.jpg Rusk Rangers 14U stay alive in TTA state tourney

    The Rusk Rangers 14U team were scheduled to take on Malakoff Monsters Friday night in an elimination game in the Texas Teen-Age Baseball Association (TTA) state tournament in Hillsboro.

    Rusk suffered its first lost in the double-elimination event after falling to the Eagles from Mildred.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jerry Fork 3 30 12.JPG Gone fishing with Jerry Miller

    One of the main things I really look forward to in the summer is locating and catching schooling bass. Schooling bass are not always easy to catch. Sometimes they are very aggressive and will react to a variety of baits. At other times they become very hard to catch. I have several baits that I rely on, but some are favorites.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • RNIZRWPNXJDDLGT.20140225144737.jpg Locals Hamlett, Trotter prepare for SHSU swan song

    The Sam Houston State University Bearkats will have a brand new head coach and an unfamiliar quarterback this season.

    But the Southland Conference (NCAA, Football Championship Series) team will return a rock-solid nucleus, including Cory Hamlett, a senior who prepped at Jacksonville High School and Rusk High School graduate John Trotter, who will also be in his final year playing for the orange squad from Huntsville.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • IMG_4906.JPG Johnson hired as Lady Guard basketball coach

    In filling its opening for a head girl's basketball coach, The Brook Hill School turned to Ivan Johnson, a coach that has been has achieved playoff success in TAPPS circles.

    Johnson was introduced as Brook Hill's man to lead the Lady Guard hoop charges Tuesday afternoon in a press conference that was held on campus at the Kyle Lake Athletic Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo