Welcome to August everyone! This summer is flying by and before you know it, we will be fishing in cooler, more comfortable weather. The temperatures have been fairly mild this summer, but a cool breeze is always enjoyed! The fishing has been consistent these past few weeks. For a while, schooling fish on Lake Athens was a big attraction. But we are expecting some cooler weather this week so expect some changes. Here is my first August report for Lake Athens.
I love fishing Texas lakes, but Athens may possibly be my favorite. This small lake lies just south of Tyler, TX and is a short drive from downtown Dallas. The lake has very clear water due to the abundance of aquatic vegetation, and a very healthy population of bass. There is only one boat ramp on the lake, but it is a very clean and sizable location. Lake Athens does have a slot limit (14-21 inch).
As I previously mentioned, bass have been schooling by the hundreds, chasing balls of shad. You can locate these fish by the surface commotion they cause when chasing bait. This has been a big attraction for many anglers this summer, but lately tempting these aggressive fish to eat a bait has been tough. You can catch schooling fish throughout the day, but it has been slow. I purposely try to avoid fishing for schooling bass for this reason. Instead I target grass edges in 9-12 FOW and shallow cover like pads and boat docks. The shallow fish seem to be much bigger and more rewarding to catch. Bass are eating shad mainly, but the shallow fish (the bigger bass) seem to key on the bluegill when available. The trick to catching the shallow fish has been throwing bigger baits to mimic bluegill and other larger baitfish.
The two most productive baits have been a frog and “senko” type bait. I am targeting shallow grass with the frog. Pond grass and lilly pads are key areas for big bass. Black or white KVD sexy frogs from Strike King Lures have been the most productive for me. I fish these baits on 65-80lb braided line, an 8:1:1 or faster reel and a Temple Fork Outfitters GTS C 736-1 casting rod. I fish the stick bait – weightless, around docks. I skip this bait under boat docks using light line (8-10 lb fluorocarbon) and a Temple Fork Outfitters TPM SP 705-1spinning rod.
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 8/8/2017 6:04:36 AM Solid information, Thank You!
Dave Mauldin, TX 8/8/2017 11:28:25 AM Thanks, I have fond memories of fishing Lake Athens. We had quite a few night tournaments there, and especially enjoyed the "all-you-could-eat" seafood at the restaurant by the ramp when it was open!
Is there still a store there? restaurant?
Dakota Jones (Dakota Jones Fishing), TX 8/8/2017 12:44:00 PM Dave, There is a new restaurant! I think its called "the boat house" but a very nice place and reasonably priced. Great food and clean, stylish atmosphere. Oh and they have a bar open late lol.