Cooler weather can do a lot of neat tricks.
Lower temperatures can help create snowflakes and a reason for endless nights of hot chocolate stuffed with tiny marshmallows. But possibly more importantly, in the Brazos River basin, cooler temperatures equal cooler water that turns sluggish fish into aggressive, active feeders, eager to regain weight lost during the summer.
David Collinsworth, the Brazos River Authority’s General Manager/CEO and an avid fisherman, explains fish are exothermic, or cold-blooded, and the water temperature affects their metabolism. So during Texas’ scorching summers, reservoirs and lake water temperatures can reach 90 degrees or hotter, causing stress to many fish species, he said. During milder winters, small fish tend to explore shallow coves of reservoirs and creeks, he said.
“However, as old man winter takes grip of Texas, baitfish will congregate and will resort to deeper parts of the lake,” Collinsworth said. “The many species of fish anglers seek such as crappie, white bass, and largemouth bass will be close behind looking for a chance to feed.”
Before heading out, check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s weekly fishing reports. Readers learned that on Jan. 8, largemouth bass were found around boat docks, and white bass are mid-lake and up north. Meanwhile, on Possum Kingdom Lake, smallmouth bass up to 16 inches were biting well and the crappie did well on jigs. And whether you’re new to finishing or an experienced angler, winter in Texas provides for exciting fishing opportunities as area bodies of water are stocked with rainbow trout. Fishing may coincide more with the other seasons of the year, but winter is no exception to possibilities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department releases rainbow trout into the Brazos River below Possum Kingdom Lake and into more than 100 various other bodies of water across the basin and the state from November through March.
Did you know rainbow trout are carnivores? While looking for bait, spice things up by using kernel corn, cheese balls, salmon eggs, and mealworms.
Some of the counties in the Brazos River basin seeing the addition of rainbow trout include:
- Upper Basin
- Seymour Pond North in Baylor County
- Haskell City Park Pond in Haskell County
- Beshears Lake and Lobo Lake in Hockley County
- Fort Richardson State Park in Jack County
- Possum Kingdom Tailrace in Palo Pinto County
- Holland Lake Park in Parker County
- Central Basin
- Nolan Creek and Carl Levin City Park Pond in Bell County
- Meridian State Park in Bosque County
- Copperas Cove City in Coryell County Amsler Park, Buena Vista Park Lake, and Nora Pond in McLennan County
- Lower Basin
- Central Park Pond #1, Cy Miller Pond, and John Crompton Park Pond in Brazos County
- Davidson Creek Pond #1 and Bluestem Pond in Burleson County
- Nails Creek Pond #1 in Lee County Kosse City Park Pond in Limestone County
- Hearne Eastside Park Pond in Robertson County
For a full list of stocking locations and dates, click here. Learn tips about trout fishing in Texas here.