TOLEDO BEND — Water level is still seven feet low and clear. Water temp in the upper 50s.
Fishing guide Stephen Johnston says crappie fishing has been excellent along the Sabine River at midlake. The Chicken Coop area has been particularly good with some solid catches coming on live bait fished on 22-28 feet of water; the fish are suspended at 12-16 feet. Major creeks also giving up good results. Bass are fair on square bills and ’Traps worked around shallow stumps near channels in 2-5 feet. Also some fish hitting Texas rigs and cranks on main lake ridges in 9-15 feet. Spoons and drop shots are good for numbers around timberlines in 18-25 feet, but not much size. Rhonda Shively at Bill’s Landing says trotliners are reporting some good quality blue cats on cut bait up north. Stump hooks along creeks still producing some flatheads, but the bite is beginning to wane.
SAM RAYBURN — Water level is 2.38 feet low and clear. Water temp in the upper 50s.
Fishing guide Brian Branum says bass fishing has been good with a consistent bite coming in 30-38 feet of water using spoons and drop shot finesse worms to target hard bottom drops along the river channel. Lots of fish grouped around balls of shad. Also some bass to be caught shallow around pockets and creeks with grass, but they are skittish due to heavy pressure. For best results throw square bills, ’Traps, Senkos, bladed jigs and wacky worms.
Crappie fishermen reporting mixed results with the better catches still coming along the river up north as well as brush piles.
NACONICHE — Water level is at full pool and slightly stained. Surface temp in the mid-to-upper 50s.
Local angler David Russell says bass anglers are picking some solid fish in the four-pound range using swim baits, underspins and shaky heads. The bite is best around pods of shad in 15-17 feet of water. Fishing guide Larry Mosby reported some decent numbers up to four pounds on Carolina rigs, jerk baits and deep cranks. No report on crappie.
NACOGDOCHES — Water level is about 2.26 feet low and clear. Water temp in the upper 50s.
Bass anglers reporting some solid fish in the 4-5 pound range on shallow cranks worked along outside grass lines and over grass flats in 3-8 feet of water. Offshore bite is producing some decent numbers up to 3 1/2 pounds in 17-25 feet of water on hard bottoms near channel swings, mostly on Carolina rigs and spoons. No report on crappie fishing over the holidays.
’PINES — Water level is five inches high and slightly stained. Water temp in the upper 50s.
Local bass pro Jim Tutt says bass fishing has been good at the lake’s upper reaches around shallow grass, mainly on Flukes and crawfish pattern ’Traps. Also some fish holding along river channel breaks, hitting trick worms Carolina rigged or on a shaky head. Points down south are giving up some good quality on crankbaits. Crappie fishermen are picking up limits along the river up north around the bridge and down south around brush. Live shiners and jigs producing equally well at times.
FORK — Water level is 2.4 feet low and fairly clear. Water temp in the upper 50s.
Tony Parker at the Minnow Bucket says bass fishing continues to be slow with a few small fish coming on drop shots and cranks worked on secondary and main lake points in 2-15 feet of water. Crappie fishing is good around bridges and main lake points in 25-35 of water; shiners and jigs producing equally well at times. Lots of limits with few undersize fish. Catfish are good over baited holes and along channels in 25 feet.
CEDAR CREEK — Water level is nearly three feet low and stained. Water temp in the low 50s.
Fishing guide Jason Barber says blue cat are good to 40-plus-pounds on cut shad drifted near bottom in 38 feet of water. Also some good fish up to 30 pounds reported up north on windy banks and points. Hybrids and white bass are good ideal sticking Flukes and Sassy Shads over deep water near the dam. Crappie are good around deeper docks with brush in 5-10 feet of water. Black bass also good around docks using jigs, Texas rigs and cranks.
HOUSTON COUNTY — Water level is at full pool and stained. Surface temp in the upper 50s.
Crockett Family Resort says bass anglers are picking up a few solid fish in the 5 1/2 pound range working black spinnerbaits, Flukes and watermelon worms near drop-offs. Also some fish reported on live bait. Crappie fishing has been good around brush piles in 25 near the dam. Also some crappie holding in 10 feet in coves closer to shore. Catfish are fair, hitting liver, punch bait and night crawlers.
RICHLAND CHAMBERS — Water level is about 3.65 feet low and fairly clear to stained. Water temp in the mid-50s.
James Cantrell at Wooded Acres Bait Shop says catfish are good around boat houses and on windy banks using King’s punch bait. Channel cat are best over baited holes in 15-18 feet. Black bass and white bass are slow. Crappie fishing has been picking up at the upper reaches of creeks near I-45, mainly on shiners fished under a cork.
ATHENS — Water level is seven inches low and clear. Water temp in the mid-50s.
Bass fishing reports have been spotty with the best action still coming around outside grass lines using crawfish pattern lipless cranks, square bills shaky head worms. Brush piles in 20-25 feet are the best bet for crappie with partial limits coming on jigs and worms.
LIVINGSTON — Water level is about normal level and fairly clear. Water temp in the upper 50s.
Fishing guide Dave Cox says crappie fishing has been good in Harmon and White Rock creeks around cut banks. Small jigs tight lined on long poles are working best in about six feet of water. Cox says the river is low and green; things are setting up for an outstanding white bass run in coming weeks. Drift fishing with cut shad in big water around Pine Island is producing some good quality blues in the 12-20 pound range. Rip raft at the Highway 190 bridge also giving up some blue cats. No report on black bass.