According to tournament angler and area outdoors expert James Millsap, fishing in area lakes has been very good the past few weeks.

“It really has been real good for a lot of guys,” said Millsap, of Belton. “It’s getting a whole lot better. Belton Lake has been really good for catching white bass. I really don’t know why it has been so good.

“It does confuse me because we had so much rain and the lakes are muddied up. All the game-fish are trying to fatten up on shad to make it through the colder months.”

Millsap competed in the Tuff Man Tournament on Sunday at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir.

“It took almost 20 pounds to win that which is quite impressive for this time of year,” Millsap said. “With five fish, that’s a 4-pound average. That is very good.”

The weather forecast for Sunday is 35 degrees.

“It’s the bluebird days after that cold day which will be the toughest,” Millsap explained. “Before the cold front, they’ll bite the best. You’ll have some bluebird days with high pressure, and the fish will shut down, they won’t feed as much. Then you need to wait until the weather stabilizes again.”

For now, Millsap recommends using vertical jigging spoons for those interested in catching white bass.

“But if someone wants to fish off the bank, go light line and use a slow presentation,” he said.

With the coming colder weather, Millsap said fishing strategy must change.

“If you can stand the cold, you can still catch fish,” he said. “It’s just that the colder the weather gets, the more fish tend to want things vertically.

“Of course if it gets too cold, you can always just stay home and watch football.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566 and read his column at

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