Outdoors expert and tournament angler Fred Cosper, of Killeen, said fishing conditions on area lakes, overall, is “pretty tough.”

Cosper and angling partner John Guerra, of Belton, won the Tuesday Night Tournament this week.

“The heat means the fishing is still tough out there,” Cosper said. “You have to choose a spot and hope that’s the right spot. Going deep helps. To go to 25 feet makes sense because the fish try and stay in the cooler weather. They can tolerate the deeper water and stay cool. The surface temperature is so hot on the lakes that they must stay deep to stay cool.

“It’s especially important to fish deep during the heat of the day. At night, once it cools down, the fish may come closer to more shallow waters, maybe up to 12 feet of water. But, generally speaking, the deep waters are the comfort zone for them right now.”

Cosper said smallmouth are plentiful at Belton Lake.

“The smallmouth are getting active, a lot of baitfish are doing their schooling,” Cosper said. “They are chasing the baitfish off the points.”

Cosper said the Fort Hood ponds may prove fruitful.

“I’ve fished a few of them and they are pretty tough, too,” Cosper said. “To me, it’s pretty much like any lake: You need to be in the deeper waters to find them. But if you can figure out the patterns at the ponds, you can figure out where the fish are.”

Cosper had some advice for recreational anglers.

“Live bait is what will work,” he said. “Live bait does all the work for you. Live minnows, live shad.

“The fish will go after the live bait if it’s close to them.”

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

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