Most every body of water worth its salt in bass fishing has names of its various creeks, ponds and other off-shoots. The Red River is certainly no exception with its myriad oxbows known for ideal territory for the area's pre-spawn and spawning bass.
Dennis Mitchell, owner of Clark's Red River Marina, roughly 10 miles from the official launch site, offered the names and brief descriptions of some of the most popular fishing areas for this year's Bassmaster Classic. Clark's is the likely place for spectator boats to launch and is situated near mile marker 204.
Caspiana Lake: "It's got 22 feet of water in the main part and gets real stumpy the further back you go. You enter at mile marker 204. There'll be a lot of boats here that'll we'll be pretty much able to watch from the dock here."
Shaw Lake: Mile Marker 204: "It's one of the ultimate spawning areas. Very popular with a good 20-foot section of water in the middle and lots of stumps and laydowns on the shoreline."
Round Lake: "It's in the same general area of Shaw, but is a little shallower (10 feet). It's actually an old farm pond — that's our best guess — that was left when the locks were put in and the river raised. This is the place last year where (3) 10-pound fish were caught, brought to our dock, weighed and released."
Blackie Snyder's White House: Mile Marker 206: "A great spawning area. It's got everything a bass could want: timber, grass (a mixture of coontail, hydrilla and Eurasian milfoil), good flats and ridges all the way through and an island that has 10 feet of water on one side and 20 feet on the other."
McDade Lake: Mile Marker 205: "This one is tough to get in, but was very popular in practice. It's about a ¾ mile idle through stumps and water hyacinths. We called in the Brent Chapman Hole for a while after he won a big tournament there in 2000. It's got a deep section at the entrance (20 feet) and a main point that's good when there's current. If there's no current, the stumpy shorelines are real good. You can work stumps from 2- to 11-feet deep there."
Port Lake: Mile Marker 213: "Some of those guys will hardly burn any gas. This area is right at the launch. It's got two islands that are almost washed away that hold a lot of fish. There's what is left of a big rock wall on the edge of Cooley's Lake (off limits to Classic anglers). Guys can fish the wall but can't cast into it."
Bill James Lake: Mile marker 202: "There are three places to get in. The best place for this event is going to be Bishop Point Island. There's 25 feet of water all around it and a huge flat with no trees along with stumps and trees all around the shoreline."
Little Ninock (pronounced knee knock) Lake: Mile Marker 201: "This is where Homer Humphreys won the Central Division about four years ago. It's got everything. Two or three islands, about five sloughs, plenty of places to hide."
The Beehive Mile: Marker 207: "It's also called Young's Point. It's got a mile long flat that's real good with a half mile stretch that's real popular. It's also a real good crappie hole."
Sullivan's Lake: Mile marker 173: "It's a huge lake with islands, cypress trees and sloughs everywhere. It's a great spawning area with lots of small pockets. If sight fishing is a factor in this tournament, it should be really good as long as a strong south wind doesn't dirty it up."
The Jungle: Mile Marker 170: "It's a long run, but a lot of guys say it's worth it. It's deep all the way around, a good many islands and has a big flat that's a great spawning area."