With the annual whitebass & crappie spawning run underway up the creeks and rivers there are many opportunities to plan and go fishing. Kayaking is by far the best method to access the creeks for crappie and whitebass when they move into tight quarters waiting for warmer & longer days to spawn.
Crappie are the easiest to find in big numbers as they will stack up at certain points along the creeks several weeks before spawning begins. When you find where they are holding it can be ridiculously good fishing both in numbers and size. I’m always surprised when sitting in my kayak right on top of a big school of crappie how tolerant they will be as one by one they are pulled out of the creek. Crappie do not move from good structure and will often be found in the same areas year after year.
Whitebass are a very different matter as they move constantly and tend to be spooky when in the shallows. The creeks that feed Lake Somerville vary in size and more importantly flow and current. Whitebass seek moving water to spawn and the only reliable flowing source of water to Lake Somerville is Yegua creek. The smaller creeks (Nails, Birch, Cedar, Big creek and Jerdelle) depend entirely on floodwater to draw any whitebass into them. So far this winter we have not had the rain in the amount necessary to flood these smaller creeks and bring up the whitebass. All it takes is one good wet week to bring a rise of these smaller creeks and the lake to get the party started.
All that being said, "fishing is still fishing" and we do have many "off" days when the fish simply do not bite! Overall, the last two summers Lake Somerville flooded to record levels and stayed way above normal pool level until the fall. This set up a boom in fish populations and we are seeing the benefit of all that water now when fishing the creeks.
Largemouth bass fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal both in numbers and size. The last 4 miles of the Yegua just above the lake is loaded with chunky largemouth bass like never before.
This kind of fishing does make for some great memories but it is not without effort and sometimes we will put in the extreme effort and have no fish to show for it. But the odds are really stacked in our favor like never before especially for the kayak fishermen willing to venture off the beaten path. This is cold weather outdoor adventure so prepare yourself properly and be safe!
A few of us Brazos Valley Fly Fishers are planning to explore the Fort Parker paddle trail up near Groesbeck / Mexia on the Navasota river Saturday January 14th. Should be a good easy paddle for most anyone with a kayak. Join us if you can! http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/boat/paddlingtrails/inland/limestone_bluffs/index.phtml