Fayette County Fishing Report

February 2002


            Well we missed a great few months of fishing due to the closing of the plant. The lake is back to normal operation with no launch window and inspection and we are now back in full swing ready for Spring! Spring should bring big fish and good numbers to an area that most fishermen can readily fish: the shallows

            The weather has been warm as of this writing and the fish are behaving accordingly. You need to pay close attention to the weather in January. We have received a lot of rain and I would not anticipate the lake being low but rather a bit above normal pool. If the weather in January gets cold, look in early February, for fish in the traditional deep-water locations: humps, creek channels and the discharge. If the weather stays warm look for fish on the secondary points and other staging areas. There should be good numbers there with some nice bigger fish.

Two events trigger the beginning of the spawn: water temperature and available light. As the water temperature moves into the low 60s, the instinctual spawning ritual begins. On Fayette there will be 62-65 degree water in January and, for some bass, the spawn will start early. For others, they will wait for another sign from Mother Nature in the form of longer periods of daylight. During the full moon some fish will be ready to spawn while others will wait until the March full moon. All this means that the weather conditions will be critical once again this year.

Some fish will still be holding in traditional winter haunts: deep humps and creek channels. For them, I generally have use a ¾ ounce spoon and that has produced some fish. This winter however I have focused my fishing on the deep trees. The trees that are at the mouth of Three Fingers are a great place to start. Look for these trees along the creek channel. They will be in 30 to 40 feet but the boughs will be in 15 feet of so. I like to run a grub through these trees with a real light head, ¼ at the heaviest. I also especially like to throw a 10” Berkley Power Worm in the same areas. Throw that worm into the middle of the tree and slowly fish it out of there. Hold on, the bigger bass will be holding there if they have not moved to the points yet!

The first places I will look for pre-spawn bass will be the points and secondary points. Pay attention to the wind. If the prevailing wind has been from the south, begin with the points on the west side of the lake near the discharge. They will warm first. If the wind has pushed the warm water from the north, move to the baffle dike and fish the riprap. Be aware, these conditions change rapidly. Pay attention to the cold fronts as they pass.

The secondary points are excellent staging areas and you can, under the right conditions, sit on one all day and catch fish. Norman has some new colors out this winter and I particularly like the “Splatter Bass” Normal DLN bait will dive 8-10 feet on ten-pound test line. If you can find the grass throw parallel to the shoreline and hesitate when you hit the grass. Rip it through and be ready for a nice bass to hammer your bait.

Both a spinner bait and a Carolina rig will be effective this time of year too. Don’t hesitate to throw either if you prefer them to a crankbait. I have had great success these past few months with a Zoom Finesse worm in either smoke/green or redbug. Finally, all the “Senko” type baits that are now hitting the market can also do the trick. I rig them with a 4/0 hook and a 6-inch leader of fluorocarbon. Your bait will fall parallel to the water column in a slow enticing manner.

The shallow bit should begin to pick up towards the end of the month. Soft jerkbaits can be very effective. I like the Zoom Super Fluke but truth be know, almost all of these baits can be very effective. The colors may vary but with the Fluke I begin with watermelon/red with a chartreuse tail. Don’t forget the Senko and wacky worm in this shallow water too!

Drop shotting can also be deadly on the bedding bass. Throw the rig past the bed and then slowly lower your rod tip and allow your bait to sit just above the bed. This will drive the bass nuts and eventually agitate them into striking.

Mother Nature loves to remind us just who is in charge so dress in layers. The afternoon will warm and you will need to strip down a few layers but those mornings will chill you to the bone if you are not properly dressed. Always wear your life jacket when you are running. Be considerate of others out there. They are looking for a good time as well. This is a crowded month on the lake so try to fish during the week if you can and if you must fish on the weekends look out for the other guy.

On a final note, I want to thank all of you folks that came by the Bass Pro Shops booth at the Houston Boat Show. I appreciate the good conversations and fellowship we had. Next up is the "Super Angler's Weekend" at Bass Pro Shops in Katy. It runs Friday Jan. 25 - Sun. Jan. 27 and will be geared towards freshwater fishing. The second event at the store is the "Spring Fishing Classic" and runs March 9 - March 17. We will have all the vendors, reps., and pro's here on the second weekend. Don’t forget the fee fishing classes I teach. You can contact the store for more information.

If you would like to book a trip to Fayette you can email me at: FishCoach@compassnet.com or check out my website:  http://www.compassnet.com/fishcoach.