FISHERMEN NEEDED FOR UNDER-UTILIZED LAKE
There is a honey hole of a fishing spot that almost no one knows about. A 72 acre lake open to the public filled with bass, catfish, crappie, and bream. Itís not that it is a secret; you can easily look it up on the internet,
it is that few people know to look it up or better yet to go fishing there. Not a giant lake to be sure, it isnít for the super-fast long range high power bass boats Ė let me take that back, you can use them there with your trolling motor, you wonít need the big engine (think of the gas savings!) - but it is ideal for medium size boats, canoes, and kayaks. This is a no-wake lake. Fishing the entire perimeter of the lake can be accomplished in half a day no problem. The lake is 25 feet deep with intermittent deeper holes throughout so fishing deep water isnít a problem either for those hot summer time conditions.
Virtually hidden in the wooded hills Northwest of Waco, an easy hour and twenty minute drive through scenic hills and woods Southwest of Fort Worth, this jewel of a lake has escaped attention. Surrounded by quiet and peaceful campgrounds the lake was built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Thereís a small but dedicated group of campers that visit the park consistently. But they visit mostly for the quiet peacefulness of the hiking trails and scenery. It is a refuge for the tired and weary far from traffic noises and bustle, yet everything you could want or need can be found in the nearby small town of Meridian. The lake has a boat ramp and a wheel-chair accessible fishing pier, and for bank fishermen the surrounding trails provide plenty of access. With the recent rain-falls that weíve been so lucky to receive the lake is at full level now also.
I was recently contacted by the TPWD Park Police Officer/Interpreter Erika Chaisson to see if I could help with a project:
ďI was inquiring to see if a local bass fishing chapter would be interested in assisting me in doing a bass fishing 101 day for campers/guests of our park. I am putting together ideas and we have a perfect 72 acre "no wake" fishing lake. The bass are abundant but the amount of people fishing, however, are not quite up to what weíd like to see. Our mission for TPWD: To manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas to provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. My job is to get people involved in outdoor recreation! My hopes are that with your resources and knowledge combined with mine that we can make a difference while having fun!Ē
So, after reading that I had to give Erika a call. We talked for quite a while about the fishing potential of the lake, the amount of bass and the size of the bass, ease of access, and the beauty of the place. Erikaís desire is to see the lake utilized to its sustainable level, and currently it is a long way from being adequately utilized. The fish in Lake Meridian havenít seen any fishing pressure. They may not be completely naÔve fish, but they are awful close to it. There is a weigh in station and the largest bass lately to come through was seven pounds. Of course that doesnít account for catch and release or people who donít stop to weigh their catch.
If you are looking for a great place to fish away from the crowds and the roaring high power boats, take a look at this lake, I think youíll be quite pleased that you did.
If you are a member of a bass club that would like to get together at the lake and help TPWD officers put on a Fishing 101 learning experience for other anglers that donít have your level of expertise, then give Erika a call at 254-435-2536. It would be a great way to spend an afternoon, and get in some excellent fishing. I think youíll agree when you get there.
Oh yeah, and there is outstanding camping if you care to spend the weekend.