LeBlanc: Cold weather fishing on Lake Conroe is great
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Many of the outdoorsmen today are out of the hunting blind and getting back in their fishing boats. The weather is sure right for it this time of year because what we call cool water down here in Southeast Texas, in the mid-50 degree range, is great for most of our fish.
As a matter of fact, CONROEBASS had their First Weekend Series Bass Tournament a week or so ago and they had 57 teams turn out to harass the black bass in our lake and looking to win the big money. On top of the prize money, some nice stringers were weighed in with the winner having a five fish stringer weighing over 30 pounds.
Stow-A-Way Marina had their Sunday tournament that same weekend, and also had some nice black bass stringers weighed in looking for the money.
My family went out the same weekend and they took a couple of the preteen boys with them, and they got into a hole full of white bass, all five or six inches long, and they caught twenty five in a couple hours. All were returned safely to the lake as they were all under keeper size. In that mess of white bass they caught one black bass and it was about twelve inches long, so it too was returned safely to the lake. They caught all of them on Rooster tails and Rattle traps.
I was speaking with fishing guide Butch Terpe the other day and he said he personally enjoys going out with friends and fishing for black bass in the shallows around the vegetation and lay downs with soft plastics. Lately, they have had a lot of action and are catching a lot of fish and he even caught a few up in the four and five pound range.
The black bass are also deep as well as shallow at this time of year because the water temperature is tolerable to them all over the lake and the water is enriched with oxygen from top to bottom.
One of the lures I have had good luck with in the past that has been around for a long time and still keeps working for me is a Booyah Boo Bug jig. When your normal approach isn't working as well as you like I can surely recommend it.
You can also consider not only changing lures but might also try going to a lighter line. What a lighter line will do for you is give you lure a little more action. You may also vary you speed and let your lure work more as that will also present a different look to the fish. I'll fish it around riprap, main lake points, steep drop offs and gravel bars.
Seeing as black bass are by far not the only fish in the lake, let's take a look at some of the more popular fish for the larger population of anglers and sportsmen in our area.
I guess if you want a real tough fighting fish In our lake you would have to start looking for hybrids, or Palmetto bass if you prefer. They are a hybrid between white bass and striped bass that are created in the fish hatcheries of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Right now if you want hybrids, they are out chasing shad. We have a large population of gizzard shad in this lake and that is fantastic because they are what most of the larger fish in our lake feed on. Therefore, if you are after hybrids they can be found at this time chasing schools of shad. So search around for large schools of shad especially near drop offs and lake points, and when you spot them you can start fishing.
There are a few different ways to go after hybrids. One is to drop a hook baited with shad down into the middle of the school or near a drop off. Another method is to troll for them. You can take a deep diving crankbait, like a Hell Bender, and go out behind it with five or six feet with leader and attach a number thirteen Pet Spoon and start trolling that across the humps and points, or if you see a school, into the school. Yet another method Is to use a large spoon and lower it down near a school, a point, or a drop off.
On Lake Conroe catfish are one of the most sought after and caught fish in the lake. Our catfish here on Lake Conroe are free from the chemical pollutants of other lakes and some of the other waterways offer a white flaky delicious fish for the table.
To catch blue cats or channel cats in Lake Conroe all one needs if to get near a spot where there is preferable water five feet deep or more and bait the area with range cubes and let it sit for twenty minutes or so. Special high priced equipment is not needed and for bait you can use prepared stink baits or punch baits and drop it into the baited area.
So folks, even though there are few days when you have to hide to bait your hook, fishing on Lake Conroe is a good place to come.