Fishing & Boating News

Kickapoo Creek - Lake Palestine

by: Michael Banks, DDS, Friends of the Neches River

Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
(Jun. 04, 2012 - Chandler, TX)

My faithful son warned me that folks might not like hearing fishing stories, especially on weekdays when they are at work. Well, I informed my work ethically conscious son that I had gone to school for 19 years and I have been employed for 40 years and I am still employed and if I am efficient enough to fish on weekdays, I will.

If you are offend by my fish stories, I am truly sorry, but that will not keep me from going and telling my stories. As always, should you like to be removed from this "Paddling Strokes" list, just email me back and it will be done. On the other hand, if someone wishes to be added, I will do so gladly.

For today's adventure I put in on Kickapoo Creek, anticipating the run of sand bass (white bass). I have been informed of this event by kayak fisher and supporter of the Neches River, Paul Bitter. Paul has told me what he uses as bait, where he goes and the phenomenal numbers of fish he catches. So, I had to give it a try.

Chandler, Texas is located 12 miles west of Tyler, Texas on Highway 31. Just east of Chandler is the treasured Neches River, flowing south to furnish water to Lake Palestine. Just west of Chandler is Kickapoo Creek also flowing south into Lake Palestine, but the Kickapoo is historically a tributary of the Neches River.

This time of year great numbers of male sand bass migrate up these waters in anticipation of the egg-laden female sand bass arriving for the spawn breeding. These males are very aggressive and will strike almost anything presented to them.

I do not want to give away Paul's "Honey Holes" on the Kickapoo, but I got to areas only accessible on water by a shallow-draw boat as in a kayak. To tell you the numbers of fish I caught would be sinful. The fishing for sand bass this time of year in East Texas is very close to the "combat" salmon fishing in Alaska on the Kenai River. On weekends, people line the banks, almost shoulder to shoulder. After I paddled away from Hwy. 31, I saw no one.

The very special happening on this trip and documented with attached photos, was that I caught four different species of fish, using the same bait, from the same hole! The species were sand bass (white bass), black crappie, freshwater drum, and a sucker type, carp-looking fish which I do not know the name. The crappies were some of the largest I have ever caught! All the fish fought with passion.

The water is cold. Paddling back downstream with the current was a blast! I had a great day out in God's beautiful creation and I was safely home by 3 pm. I am blessed!

Till we put in again,
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS