Monticello fishing great, Lake O’ the Pines tougher

Written by Conor Harrison, Lone Star Outdoor News

Lone Star Outdoor News’ Operations Manager Mike Highs spent the weekend chasing largemouth bass on two lakes in northeast Texas — Monticello Reservoir and Lake O’ the Pines.

Hughs left the office Friday afternoon headed for a tournament with his local bass club — Century Bass Club — on Lake O’ the Pines. But not before a quick stop at Monticello, one of his favorite lakes in Texas.

Hughs said the lake was fishing well — the south end was 97.5 degrees. The power plant was not generating, but one stack was turned on, creating some current in the lake.

“I fished above the thermocline in 20 feet of water,” Hughs said. “I caught my fish in Carolina rigs — the trailer did not matter, I caught them on everything.”

Fishing in clear water, Hughs caught about 20 fish in three hours. The bass averaged around 3 pounds, with the biggest pulling the scales to 4.75 pounds. His biggest five went a shade over 20 pounds.

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On Saturday, a north wind blew and brought a small cold front to Pines.

Hughs said the bite got tougher during the weekend. He focused on top-waters early, getting multiple blowups but nothing would bite hard. He failed to hook a bass on his top-water Strike King Rage Shad.

Around 9:30, he moved to an area around the Highway 155 Bridge and started flipping shallow grass mats. From 9:30 until 11, he caught good fish on crawfish-patterned baits such as the Lake Fork Tackle Craw Tube.

“Most of the anglers stayed in the main lake and that is where the winning sack came from,” he said. “Fishing main lake humps, the winning angler caught 24-plus pounds on Saturday and another 18 pounds on Sunday in the same spot.”

Flipping was the dominate tactic used by most anglers in the tournament.

The stained water was around 88 degrees.

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