Lake Athens Report
Dakota Jones Fishing
Texas Fishing Guide
Summer has finally arrived in east Texas and with it, some spectacular fishing! I had a blast last week on the water with clients and am excited to get out again this week. Most of the trips I have done recently have been on Lake Athens. We are catching numbers of bass and big ones!
Lake Athens may be my favorite lake in east Texas to fish and without a doubt, the summer months seem to be the best time for big fish. Athens is a small lake south of Canton, Texas. It is home to the Texas freshwater fisheries center, located at Lake Athens Marina. This lake is loaded with hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation which may be the reason why the fishing is so good. There is also a slot limit (14-21 inches). Fancy bass boats are not the only fisherman I see on the lake. Many kayak anglers and fly fisherman enjoy fishing lake Athens as well. In fact, I welcome my clients to bring their fly rod if they wish to do so!
The fishing at Lake Athens is red hot! An angler can catch numbers of fish doing just about anything. We are still catching fish on grass edges, docks and pad fields, but the real attraction is “schooling” bass. Bass are schooling all day long, however, the best time to locate these aggressive fish are between sun-up and noon (and again later in the evening). Bass are feeding on small shad over 20-40 FOW. You can spot these fish “busting” bait on top. Once I have found a school within casting distance, I fish an unweighted fluke as close to the surface activity as possible. This bait is meant to imitate an injured shad and bass will attack the lure viciously in the chaos below the surface. My gear of choice is a Temple Fork Outfitters GTS C 735-1 casting rod and 15lb fluorocarbon on a high-speed reel (8:1:1 or better). The high-speed retrieve is very important to make quick casts to rising fish. Another important tip when fishing a weightless fluke; I always use a barrel swivel just a few inches above my bait. This reduces line twist and will make for a more enjoyable day of catching.
Remember my comment earlier about the fly rod? One of my clients last week brought their TFO 6wt axiom along to chase schooling fish! As epic and exciting as it is to cast to a school of bass busting bait on top, it’s that much interesting to do it with a fly rod (and I will admit, it may be more efficient as well). My fly selection for this scenario would be any version of a Deceiver fly or lightly weighted Clouser minnow. Most of the shad are 1-2 inches at most so match the hatch! Any standard WFF line will work as the fish are eating on the surface. If fishing from a bass boat, I would recommend a stripping basket. This will reduce the headache of line tangled in other gear or worse: stuck in your trolling motor prop.
I cannot wait to be back on the water chasing after aggressive schooling bass! As of now I am available the remainder of June (19th-30th). Contact me to book your next trip. I provide all the gear and tackle you will need for a day of fishing and that includes fly rods if you wish! Simply let me know ahead of time that you would like to try a fly rod and I will make it happen. Happy fishing to all, I look forward to wetting a line with you soon.
Lake Fork | Lake Ray Roberts | Lake Palestine | Lake Athens
Phone: (509) 309-5252