Fishing & Boating News

October Fishing On Lake Palestine

by: Ricky Vandergriff,

Photo by Ricky Vandergriff
Photo by Ricky Vandergriff
(Sep. 29, 2011 - Tyler, TX) Fishing in October has always been good in the past years and this year won't be an exception. At this time we are about 51/2 feet low but fishing is good. I have had several fisherman calling to ask is Lake Palestine safe to run on when it gets down low like it is now, is fishing any good, how do I catch them when it drops like it has and another question from some of our fisherman/women that fish on Lake Palestine all the time is why are we catching larger fish with the lake this low rather than other times when the lake is at full pool.

My reply to them is yes it is safe to run but you do need to take extra precaution in the areas where you have standing timber showing and watch for sand bars out from your shore lines and be sure you stay in the boat lanes. My reply to fishing is that fishing is good and next to spring time fishing, I think that fishing in October can be some of the best fishing of the year.

Now for the last question why are we catching larger fish in the low water conditions rather than when we we're in normal pool and is it just because the lake is low? Well this one is a hard one but my thoughts are yes the low water does have a lot to do with it and here is why.

First let me start off by saying it again yes the low water is a big part of more folks catching big fish because it puts more fish in an area and this brings our odds way up and our Texas Fish and Game know more about growing larger fish now than years ago and this helps as well, but now let me go more into it and you tell me if it makes since to you.

When our lakes are at full pool we have a lot more water to cover and we have to rely on our knowledge of our electronics and our ability to read our waters and the layouts of our land and bottom structure such as creek channels, sloughs or drainages that run into our creeks and lakes. We have to know how to find brush piles, lay downs, the edges of our standing timber and the different kinds of timber such as hard wood timber and soft wood timber and knowing that the soft wood trees grow on high places and the hard woods grow more in your valleys. All these things make a difference when finding big fish. In low water conditions we can see the brush piles, the creeks, drainages and humps that we would normally have to find with electronics and this makes it easier to locate them. Now I say it makes finding our fish easier but I didn't say you don't have to still work for them because you do. Bass and other fish move as our water drops and rises and the bait fish they feed on will move and you have to find them as well. The weather will play a big part in catching fish such as high or low pressure, is it sunny and calm, cloudy, rainy or is it windy and do I throw top water, a plastic worm on the bottom or do I use a moving lure such as a crank bait or spinner bait and being able to figure all this out helps you to be consistent in catching big fish. There are so many reasons that I could go into about why we are catching bigger fish but that may take me a day to explain so I just touched a little on why I think we are catching the larger fish in these low water conditions and I hope it will help you to under stand and get you to fine tune yourself on things you see now and things that will help you when the water go's back up.

Bass can be found in many areas of the lake in October. You can find them out on your main lake points, back in your main lake coves and all the way back in your creeks where you have nothing but creek channel to fish. Bass can be caught on several types of lures when fishing these type locations. When fishing back in your creeks you will find your bass on the bends and in the small drainages. I will fish a jig n pig and a shimmy shaker along the bends and where you find the drainages.

When I fish the main lake points and the main lake pockets I will fish a Texas rigged worm, Shimmy Shaker, Carolina rig or a small crank bait. I will work the shallows early and the deeper water as the day go's on. I will fish slow and this will get me more bites which means more fish.

Now bass are not all that you can find in October, Crappie fishing can be great. You can find the crappie moving back up on brush piles in the 12 to 18 foot range and if you like fishing deep water for them you will find fishing under the 155 bridge to be great. You can find crappie biting one day on jigs and the next day on small minnows but jigs are my favorite way of fishing for crappie. You can find many types of jigs on the market today but the one I call my favorite is the Mr. Minos by Mister Twister Lures. This jig can be purchased in a variety of colors, but my favorites are the goby green and the white and I always put just a touch of chartreuse on the tails and tip my hook with a crappie nibble.

Catfish are picking up now on punch baits and chicken liver and they are doing well on jug lines baited with shad.

I hope I have answered questions that you had for me and that they help you to find more and bigger fish.

If you are coming to Lake Fork or Lake Palestine and need a guide you can reach me at (903)561-7299 or just email me at

Until next time remember to keep only the fish you can use and release the rest for another day and take a kid fishing when you can and you will be blessed for ever.
Photo by Ricky Vandergriff