Jacksonville Daily Progress
CHEROKEE COUNTY —
My fishing partners and I took advantage of the recent cool spell to check out Lake Athens and Lake Nacogdoches.
I was disappointed when I discovered that most of the hydrilla had disappeared on Lake Athens, although there was a lot of pond weed and lily pads. Pond weed is shaped like a willow leaf and grows out to depths of about four feet. Bass do relate well to this kind of weed. When you find it mixed with scattered lily pads you have a formula for success.
John Long and I fished Lake Athens last Monday and caught bass on soft plastic baits. Long mostly fished a six-inch swim bait using a split shot about six inches above the worm. Bass were relating mostly to the outside edge of the pond weed.
On one grassy point I picked up three nice bass up to three pounds on a Nichols’ blue back Pop-U-Lure. It was an early morning bite and most of our bass were caught by 9:30 a.m.
Ron Stacy and I paired up to fish Lake Nacogdoches on Tuesday. We caught about five bass at daybreak in the edge of a creek near the island.
Stacy was using a four-inch Lake Fork Ring worm and I was fishing a Nichols’ 12-inch floating black fleck worm on a 1/4 oz. weight rigged Texas style. After we left the island we continued up the lake fishing mostly creek bends. The first two creek bends we drew a blank, but the third creek bend we fished was loaded with bass up to five pounds. This area just off of the creek bend dropped from nine feet down to eleven feet and back up to nine. This slight depression near the creek was like a staging area for the bass and they were very active.
From about 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. we boated about 20 bass. Most were decent size bass in the two-pound range with an occasional three to four pound bass.
Size and color of worms didn’t seem to matter. Stacy had Texas rigged a four-inch watermelon worm, and I used my Nichols’ 12-inch blue fleck worm. At one time I picked up a crank bait which happened to be a bream color and caught two more bass. There was hydrilla in this area, but it was sparse and scattered – perfect for worm fishing.
This is summer fishing 101. We simply kept searching out the creek area until we located the bass. The rest was easy.
Right now Lake Nacogdoches is about three feet low but in good shape. You can find hydrilla scattered over most of the lake growing out to about 10 feet in some places.
We did find a lot of schooling bass, but they were small. About 11:00 a.m. we fished a shallow hump out in the lake and saw hundreds of small bass busting the top.
Summer fishing is in full swing now with most of the bass moving out deep. Every lake fishes a little different. Wherever you can find grass, no matter if it is shallow or deep, you will eventually find the bass.
Open Season On Carp In Lake Jacksonville
If you are interested in shooting carp with a bow and arrow, Lake Jacksonville is the place to go. Trey Tosh, my great-nephew, has been very successful ever since the regulations were lifted that protected the grass carp. Tosh told me that some of the carp he shot were located anywhere a bush protruded out over the water. The carp would feed off the leaves drooping into the water.
Tosh would get into an area like Cat Creek, put down his trolling motor and cruise the bank while hunting carp. Tosh said, “Sometimes I would see the bushes shaking.” Carp pull the end of a bush limb down into the water and strip off the leaves. At other times he would spot carp eating shallow grass on the bank.
Carp also have very hard heads. Tosh said, “Anytime I hit a carp in the head with an arrow it would bounce off.” Tosh said it’s best to aim for the body. The largest he has shot so far weighs about 40 pounds.
Jerry Miller can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org