John Gosselink

Lake Conditions: We just can't get ahead of the weather. The extreme cold, lots of rain and more on the way this week. The Lake is currently at 201.25 with the gates open releasing water and more rain on the way. The water is stained in the backs of all the creeks and pretty much everywhere on the North end of the Lake. Water surface temperature is 44 to 50 degrees. Weather conditions don't look real good for the rest of the week; but, clearing and warmer on the weekend. We need the water temperature to be at least 52 degrees to allow the crappie back in the shallows. Black bass fishing has been only fair due to the below normal cold water temperature with fish holding around boat dock, riprap, jetties and other structure in 12 -15 feet of water. Crappie fishing continues to be good in deep water weather permitting. Crappie were in 22 to 30 feet this week with most all of the fish on the bottom! Catfish fishing has also slowed due to the cold water temperatures. Most fish caught have been 22- 25 feet of water. Hybrid activity is picking up on main lake points early and late and around the 1097 Bridge. Be sure and listen to the reports on Sports Radio 610 for weekend updates by Tex Bonin. If you have a fishing story you would like to share with our readers, go to our "Blog" and let us hear all about it in the "comments" section or you can send pictures and the story to Papa John at: and I will post it for you.

Black Bass.

The weather has slowed bass fishing; but, the Lake continues to produce outstanding stringer results in our bass tournaments. The IGNITION BASS Individual Tournament was held on January 24 on Lake Conroe. Donald Gregg II won first place with 5 fish weighing 17.48 lbs. Visit the IGNITION site for all the results. Wesley Pullig of Eden caught ShareLunker #477 on O.H. Ivie On January 21st. Click Here For Full Story. See the 2008-2009 ShareLunker fish caught on Lake Conroe. The early bite has been the best; but, the water temperature needs to come up to get the fish into the shallow water. Good solid fish are being caught early in shallow water, near the bulkheads and boat stalls, marina walls and riprap. Spinner-Baits have been very productive. Small crank baits in Perch, Chartruse and Crawfish colors have been good in close conditions. Carolina rigged worms & lizzards in Watermellon Red, Black, Green and Plumb have been great in brush 12 to 14 feet. Soft plastics and Texas rigged dark colored worms have been the bait of choice of many fishermen. The Original Texas Wheedles Wacky Worm® is still a favorite and is catching lots of fish. The Rat-L-Trap has been good for some in order to cover large areas and locate fish. All we need is for the water to warm up and the big bass bite will be on.


Catfish fishing has been fair. The size of the fish caught in smaller numbers has been outstanding. The bite in many instances is very light. Vertical fishing in chum in 22 -25 feet of water with Stick!It and Premo have been producing the most fish. The catfish bite has been good on the edges of creeks with many fish already spawned out and hungry. We are luck to have our catfish spawn several times a year. Bait of choice for many fishermen is still Premo, Shad and Liver. Tex Bonin is a fan of the Glo-Worm under a cork in 12 -18 feet of water on baited bulkheads. Stump patches baited with range cubes have also been producing some nice stringers of catfish. Lake Conroe continues to be one of the highest producing catfish lakes in Texas. The fish feed mostly on shad giving them a wonderful taste and making them the favorite of many fish fries.

White Bass and Hybrid/Striped Bass

Hybrid activity has picked up even with the bad weather if you can stand it out there in the wind. Main lake points and humps along the 1097 Bridge and humps on the South end of the lake have been producing some huge hybrids. Live bait continues to get the best results after you locate the fish. There are lots of sea gulls that have migrated to the lake for the winter and they are a great lookout for schooling hybrids. The past few days it has been pretty easy to find the hybrids by finding the birds both early and late. The shad are constantly on the move with all of the wind and fronts. Usually, if you find the shad, the hybrids will be close by. Jigging slabs and three-quarter ounce spoons off the bottom has been working for some fishermen and trolling a Pet Spoon behind a deep diving crank bait or other device to get the spoon down is another technique many are starting to use. Trolling Storm swim baits in baby bass and shad colored have also attracted a hybrid or two in 12 to 20 feet of water. Remember the legal length is 18 inches before the fish goes in the livewell. Click Here for more information on size and identification. Very few White Bass have been reported the past few weeks.

Bream & Crappie

Crappie fishing continues to be outstanding. The fish are wanting to spawn and just need some warmer water temperature. Large numbers of fish had moved to the shallows and then the extreme cold front hit and pushed them back to the deep water. We need a minumum of 52 degree water for the crappie to move to the shallows. Preferably 55 to 58. Most fish have been caught in (16 - 22 feet) of water, under the 1097 Bridge and in brush piles on the edge of creeks and humps. All the females had egg roe that is fully developed and ready to be dropped. There are lots of points and secondary points holding crappie on brush piles. A 1/32 - 1/16 oz. crappie jig with chartreuse grubs has been a very popular bait. The "Baby Assassin" has also been very productive with a double rig. The Kalin's Triple Threat 2" Grub, John Deere Green has also been a great crappie bait.Where To Buy... Uncle Josh Bait Company. Minnows are always the favorite of many fishermen. The crappie bite has been pretty steady on the 'solunar times, with the "Minor Times" also getting a good bite. Be sure and be aware of your 10 inch minimum length for a crappie to be kept. You can visit The Texas Parks & Wildlife online to make sure you know how to measure your fish. This link will take you right to the correct page online. We have been blessed with a huge increase in our crappie population and we want to be sure and do everything possible to keep the growth cycle in tact.

Bream fishing is also getting better with "monster" bream being caught on crappie jigs. Some of the bream are in the brush with the Crappie. Glow-Worms (Green Nightcrawlers) have been paying off for several of the guides. We now have some really big bream in Lake Conroe.

Don't forget to check out our "Blog". Let us know if there is something that you would like to discuss with others and we will post it.

With all of the rain the Lake has been over pool now for several weeks. The River Authority has been releasing water to try and keep the Lake at pool. The continued release has a tendancy to draw floating timber, loose bulkhead boards, even furniture and pot plants into the water and floating toward the dam. Be on the constant look out for floating trash when on the Lake. This trash can be very harmful to a lower unit if hit or boat hull.

Keep A Tight Line & Enjoy - Papa John

Fish Species: Catfish, Bass, Crappie, Hybrids
Bait Used:
Tackle Used:
Method Used:
Water Depth: 22 feet
Water Temperature: 44
Wind Direction: Northwest
Wind Speed: 10 -20
Limit Of Crappie
Limit Of Crappie

The catfish and crappie bite outstanding!
The catfish and crappie bite outstanding!

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John Gosselink

About The Author: Captain John Gosselink

Company: Papa John Lake Conroe Guide Service

Area Reporting: Lake Conroe

Bio: Fishing Lake Conroe for over 25 years. Love to take individuals, familes and kids are always fun. We fish for catfish, hybrid/striper bass, white bass, crappie and black bass from a very comfortable pontoon boat.

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Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain John Gosselink