Fishing & Boating News

The Kayak Advantage in Bass Fishing Naconiche

by: Michael Banks, DDS,

Dr. Banks with Lake Naconiche Bass
Photo by courtesy Dr. Michael Banks, DDS
plastic frogs
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
(Apr 29, 2016 - Lake Naconiche,TX) Texas is blessed with many lakes that are being called the best bass fishing lakes around. That’s how good bass fishing in Texas has become.  The Inland Fisheries Divisions of Texas Parks and Wildlife are doing a fantastic job in developing these lakes.  Multiple trophy bass are being caught from several lakes, especially in East Texas. 

An East Texas lake that is becoming a favorite of trophy bass fishermen is Lake Naconiche in Nacogdoches County.  This lake was an impoundment in 2009 of Naconiche and Telesco creeks which are tributaries of Attoyac Bayou in the Neches River watershed basin.  Lake Naconiche is 692 acres with a shoreline of 13.1 miles.  It is located 14 miles northeast of the city of Nacogdoches off Highway 59.

Now to the fish: Lake Naconiche has been stocked from 2011-2015 with a yearly average of 100 adult Florida strain Largemouth Bass and 76,000 fingerlings.  An advantage of stocking adult bass is their natural spawning will place hundreds of thousand fingerlings each year in the lake.  The adult Florida strain Largemouth Bass has an average lifespan of 16 years. 

Naconiche has adequate reproducing prey source of shad and sunfish for the bass.  Largemouth Bass are the top predator in this aquatic ecosystem which makes fishing exciting.

Now to fishing:  Fly fishers know to “match the hatch” meaning to match their fly pattern to what insect is hatching at the moment.  In the case of Naconiche, bass fishers match the prey using crank baits, jerk baits and swim bait plastics that are like the shad and sunfish natural prey in this lake.  Fishing this way works.

A delicacy for Largemouth Bass in Lake Naconiche is the frog.  There are several top water frog lures and I have been using mostly plastic frogs without a weight.  Fishing with these are a blast since most of the strikes are ferocious top water takes.
Experience has taught me a modification to increase the hook ups of the takes using these frog plastics.  I use a 3-0 worm hook and make an incision under the head of the plastic frog.  I push the eye of the hook through the nose of the bait.  The hook is turned to be insert through the body of the frog, and point of the hook is inserted back into the plastic, making the bait weedless. 

Another incision is made on the underside from the hook shank forward.  This allows the hook to easily move forward with the hook set.  Then the hook, inserted into the plastic frog, is tied onto the line.  This modification greatly increases the catches per strikes.

Lake Naconiche was impounded with acres and acres of standing timber.  Most of this timber has now died and the limbs and trucks have fallen making layers of laydowns that are impossible for a bass boat to manipulate.  Thus the advantage of kayak fishing Lake Naconiche.  With a kayak it is possible to get up to the grassy banks amongst the laydowns where the frog is the sought prey of the Largemouths.  The natural croaking of the bullfrog along the bank solidifies the selection of a frog pattern as bait, matching the prey. (Naconiche has plenty of water to be fished from bass boats and has travel lanes for motorized boats.)
A change to braided line is a good idea fishing these laydowns.  Recently, I lost three good fish using monofilament line that broke rubbing against the stumps, snags and ruff tree trunks.  Braided line has no stretch which requires great patience to wait after the strike to do the hook set, otherwise the bait will be removed before the actual take by the bass.

Personal outdoor experience, whether hunting or fishing, has taught me wildlife is active mid-day after a full moon.  My last trip to Naconiche (last Friday, April 22) was the day of the full moon and I caught the most and largest bass (5 pounds, 4 ounces) from 11:30 am to 1 pm.  The full moon was setting as I was putting in at 6:30 am.

The amount of accomplishment is directly proportionate to the degree of challenge.  It is a difficult challenge to manipulate a kayak through these laydowns on Lake Naconiche and to get into a position to make a cast up against the grassy banks. Enticing a trophy Largemouth Bass to bite an imitation frog, making the hookup and then landing this trophy through the obstacles in nearly impossible.  These difficult challenges make the catching of a Naconiche trophy bass an outstanding accomplishment!

The best days of trophy bass fishing on  Lake Naconiche are yet to come.

Until we put in again,
Gsmakatsu Hook
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
Lake Naconiche Bass
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS