His tournament angling performance says otherwise but outdoors expert Master Sgt. Tim Rake described fishing conditions on area lakes as “real tough.”

Rake, of Gatesville, teamed up with Fort Hood game warden Donnie Mathes to win the Tuesday Night Tournament the last two weeks.

“Stillhouse is still fishing real tough,” Rake said. “It might have been the rapid rise of the water during May and June rains. It killed off a lot of the hydrilla. That might be why the fishing is tough this year. When the hydrilla died, the vegetation decayed in the water.

“With this little cold front coming and some fresh rain, hopefully the conditions improve a little bit but we won’t know until next week.”

Rake said fishing, for now, is best in the evenings.

“Early mornings and evenings are usually the best times this year,” he said. “Nighttime fishing is better fishing — it’s not only better for the fisherman, the fish are feeding at night, too.”

Rake had some advice for the non-tournament anglers.

“If you want to just catch fish, go with live bait,” he said. “It’s always better than the artificial stuff.”

Rake said area lakes aren’t the only in Texas enduring tough fishing conditions.

“Over the past month, I’ve been all the way from Toledo Bend, to Lake Limestone to Lake Waco and fishing has been slower than normal on all those lakes,” he said. “I think it’s just the heat. We dealt with 40-plus days of no rain and high temperatures, and fishing just gets tougher in the summertime.

“I’m hoping from mid-September to October that things start picking up again.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com

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