Welcome to Ricky's Guide Service
One of the great things about keeping a log of your fishing trips is being able to go back to it and see what the fish were doing in any given month and start your next trip using the same pattern. This has paid off for me MANY times in the past and I am certain it will pay off again. A lot of people come to East Texas each year from out of town, out of state and even from other countries to take part in some of, if not the best, bass fishing in the world. Now, nothing beats an up to date fishing report, which we also have, but when that is not available logs from previous trips are hard to beat! I have compiled a condensed version of my logs that detail the patterns that I have seen time and again on these lakes. Click on the month that you are interested in to see what the fish should be doing when you get here.
Palestine and Fork - TX,
Spring Spawn, Scent Attractants and Fish Attractors
Have you ever associated spring spawn, scent attractants and fish attractors together all at the same time? Well if you haven't then you are missing out on a lot of great fish catching action. That's right you are! I know every year I place new fish attractors in the lake to help me not just in the spring, but throughout the whole year.
What are fish attractors, well they can consist of many different things. Some fisherman will use old Christmas trees. They will make the dump sites and pick up all of the trees that they can. Then they will place them in their favorite fishing holes. Others will use old tires or maybe they will cut willow trees down and use them. Then you will find some that use PVC pipe. They will take old PVC pipe and make all kinds of shapes with them. Now if you use the PVC you will need to mark each reef you put out so that you can find it because you can't rely on your electronics to find them, because PVC can't be detected by sonar. Which ever you use try to plan out where you will put them and what species of fish you will fish for.
I know that when I place a reef out I think of catching both bass and crappie. I will place very shallow reefs out to catch my fish when they are moving up in what we call pre-spawn and then to go on into what is known as the spawn where they lay their eggs and sit with them until after the eggs hatch. Then I will place some out from the shallow ones in places where the fish will go after the spawn or into what we call post spawn. After the spawn is over is when the fish go into post spawn and when this happens the fish will move out and suspend in a staging place and this is where my deeper reef will go. I will want to make this reef as big as possible so that it will hold several fish. If your reef is big enough it will hold several schools of fish in all sizes. The fish will get in, under and all around the reef and this will make them feel safe from all predators.
We now have our setting all set up for the spawn for when it begins and March is when it all starts. The fish will begin to move up when the surface temps reach the upper 50's and the spawn will begin normally when the water temps reach the 60 degree mark with 65 being perfect.
Now did I mention fish attractants? Some fishermen don't believe in scent attractants, but for me, well I believe. I will use a garlic spray on my lures that I use for bass fishing such as jigs, spinner baits and plastic worms. I also use a lot of tube jigs for bass and I will spray them full of my garlic spray to let them ease out the scent for a longer time. I will also spray the scent into the bags of my soft plastics when I am at home to let the scent impregnate into the plastics. This will make the scents stronger and last even longer.
Now your saying to yourself does scent really matter that much, well to me it does for I feel it takes away the scent that we put on our baits that might cause them to be alarmed due to sweat, oil or gas that might remain on your hands from when you fueled up. There are many odors that we come in contact with that just might make the difference in catching fish or not. I know that I keep the crappie nibbles in my boat now because back last month I was fishing a jig for crappie which is my favorite way. I caught a few and then they just up and quit biting. I had clients with me and they were using minnows. Now I had been catching as many or more on jigs as they were on minnows and when they quit for me they slowed down almost to nothing for them as well. I changed jigs and tried every color that I had and nothing worked. I then thought about some crappie nibbles I had in a compartment. I put one on my jig and dropped it to the bottom and it was almost immediate that I caught a fish. I then put another nibble on and caught another. My clients weren't catching anything now so I told them put one of these on with your minnow and see if it gets you a bite. They did just that and then we all began catching fish again. When you see me now on the water you will always see me use the crappie nibbles every time I fish for crappie.
There are all kinds of scent attractants and all will work so give them a try and see if you agree that they work for you as they do for me.
Ok we have our setting on where to catch our fish and here is what you will find me doing this month to catch the big lunker bass that I love so much.
Your larger fish will be found this month moving around in the shallows where you have some sort of drop off close to the shallow water. The drop off will serve as an escape route for them in case of fronts where the pressure may change or in dropping water. They will always have a way to survive. Lures of my choice will be jigs and tube jigs where there are lots of cover and spinner baits on the scattered cover and Rat-L- Traps along the open water where you find your drop-offs. Fish slow and fish each spot several times so that you know that you covered all your spots very good and this just might give you that catch of a life time.
Crappie well I will fish jigs with my nibbles on them in the shallow water where I find cover or in places where I put out my fish reefs. You can long pole them or use 5 to 5 1/2 foot spinning tackle. Which ever you use keep in mind to fish your area very good and as slow as you can. Another tip, try back in the back of your main lake pockets where you find brush, these places can be very productive.
If you are fishing for sand bass and hybrids you can find them early and late on the points and spoons and Rat-L-Traps will be very good.
Hey if your coming to Lake Palestine or Lake Fork this spring and need a guide then give me a call and I will try my best to help you catch that life time trophy bass or that basket full of crappie and if you want to have some fun let me take you out for the sand bass and Hybrids they are a lot of fast catching, hard pulling fun. Which ever you prefer I will show you a great time.
My number is (903)561-7299 home and office (903)530-2201 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next month remember to keep only what you can use and release the rest so our kids can enjoy the great sport we call fishing.