Fishing & Boating News

What Happened To Winter & Spring?

Fish are already in summer patterns on "Big Sam" & "The Bend"

by: Duck Wright,

(Monday, May 03,1999 - Zavalla, TX) For those readers, that are not living in East Texas, this might be hard to understand, but we did not have a winter. Some of you had a little ice, and a minimum of light snow, but here in the Piney Wood, insects are going to be in great supply this Spring! Well I might ought to rephrase that too. It is just the first of May, and we have already had days over the 90 degree mark, so I'm not sure that we are going to have a Spring either.

The fishing patterns on Rayburn and Toledo have been going to the traditional methods of fishing in the Summer months, a whole lot quicker than usual. We usually have a 45 to 60 day period, when the water is slowly warming up, where there is a good top-water pattern being used. This Spring, with the warm Winter, the hydrilla has grown to the surface, or near the surface, much quicker than normal, which provides a quick change in the way one fishes.

Already this year, many of the fish being caught on both lakes, are coming by poking the grass with jigs and heavy weighted worm rigs. This is usually a pattern that does not start till the hotter months of July thru September. I feel as though part of the reason for this is that we had such a mild winter, that the majority of the spawn was over before most anglers realized that it had begun.

One thing about the early spawn that will be interesting to see, is if the natural restocking that occurs will be a larger benefit to both lakes than normal. As most of you can see by the weights being weighed in, with Sam Rayburn the predominate of the two, is that we need a year or two with a good reproduction of our bass population. Don't misunderstand me, Sam Rayburn has a lot of bass, but any lake that goes through the heat that this lake did last year, can always stand a fresh start.

I feel as though the Texas Parks and Wildlife have done a great job in stocking and controlling these two large lakes, and are currently proposing many new ideas to better the conditions of these reservoirs. I am also in agreement with the local guides and merchants, in that the 14 inch limit on Rayburn and Toledo Bend is the correct size limit for these two lakes. We have an abundance of black bass in both lakes, and to increase the size limit or to put a slot limit on either lake, would in my opinion, do nothing to better the circumstances that help make these great fishing lakes.

We, as East Texans, have two great lakes to fish, and I feel as though the catch and release programs, and the ever-increasing awareness of the future of bass fishing will insure an excellent fishing for our kids to come.

Till next Month: