Smith: Anglers on collision course with fall bass
Sept. 13, 2017 at 8:24 p.m.
This weather has many hunters in the mood to hit the field. Dove hunters and Teal/Canada Goose hunters are already out there enjoying their chosen sport.
There is another group of outdoors enthusiast that welcome the cooler temperatures just as much. Anglers feel the crisp mornings (however short-lived) and start making plans to hit the lakes and rivers.
Bass will start moving shallow as the fall progresses and will be in a feeding mood. The oppressive heat of a few weeks ago should be gone until next year.
It is East Texas and we will still have a few more hot days, but the transition has begun. With all area lakes being full, this will put anglers on a collision course with bass in the shallows.
Lake Fork in particular is at near capacity and has tons of shallow cover after being low for a while. The lake is in great shape and should be in prime condition for the fall bite. Fork has an outstanding crappie population and within the next few weeks look for good catches under the bridges and on brushpiles.
Lake O' the Pines is nearly full as well and there is always an outstanding bite during late September on this old lake. Pines continues to amaze me at the crazy number of 5 to 8 pound bass this lake pumps out.
Sam Rayburn may be the crown jewel of fall fishing. Big Sam is currently 2.24 feet high which should put bass anglers in the wheelhouse of incredible surface lure action. Rayburn fluctuates regularly and when the water gets in the bushes the bass do too. There is plenty of submerged vegetation on Rayburn as well and it will be holding hungry largemouth.
The 147 bridge is another hotspot for September crappie on Big Sam. Of course the vast "Hay Grass" fields on this lake should be perfect for flipping as well as surface lures.
Finally Toledo Bend has been up and down since the heavy rains and as of this writing sits at 171.73 elevation (172 capacity) but it is dropping. It may be a few more weeks before the shallow bite gets fired up on Toledo. Rest assured the bass are still biting here but it may be more of an offshore affair. The story for crappie at Toledo is the same, get under the Pendelton Bridge and get busy.
We have many other lakes and of course multiple rivers to enjoy. Get out to your favorite fishery this weekend and spend some quality time.