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Opinion on the Chick
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   Fishing Fishing Discussion

Posted by tnsportsman86
9/23/2021 1:02 PM
I have been fishing Chick since about 2014. I have family that live in Decatur so when I visit I bring my boat. My question is do you feel like the Chick is losing its luster as being a big bass factory? I know Gville went into a slump and seems to be rebounding some. I have heard of a few people on you-tube and other articles I have read saying that Chick is not producing like it used to and seems to be in a slump. What are your thoughts?

Edited by tnsportsman86 9/23/2021 1:10 PM
Posted by Springmillvol
9/23/2021 1:37 PM
I can tell a difference in the 5yrs Ive been fishing it. But, I'm not sure if there are less fish/Big fish or just fewer places available to catch them. I dont' tourney fish but several times this year I'd leave the house with specific spots and a strategy in mind only to end up fishing wherever I could due to traffic. Mar-Jun/Jul especially.
Posted by FishingwithRusty
9/23/2021 2:30 PM
been here 5yrs, its not the same
Posted by kingcab
9/23/2021 3:06 PM
Definitely not as good , my opinion.
Posted by WarEagleChatt
9/23/2021 3:53 PM
I’ve caught fewer numbers but better fish over the last few years…until this year. Caught a lot more fish this year but the size has really fell off.
Posted by drdetroit
9/23/2021 4:55 PM

Too much pressure over the last 4-5 years!

 Dr Detroit

Posted by churly
9/24/2021 8:37 AM
It peaked several years ago for sure. But anyone that hunts and fishes is used to "cycles". Its how nature works. Lots of variables: water quality, pressure, spawn recruitment, availability of cover and food. Its still way better than the lake I learned to fish as a teenager
Posted by silvertalon
9/24/2021 10:42 AM
It's in the tanks. I started fishing here in 2014 too. At the time it was still the perfect storm thru 2017 until we started loosing a lot of veggies. It has been downhill since for numbers as well as big fish. TX fishing has grown expediently in the past few years when you factor in all the leagues - jrs to college to kayaks ... It could improve thru natural cycle but aquatic spraying, industrial pollution etc are a factor too. Bassmaster Magazine rated it from 3rd down to 15th in their most recent ratings-based on tournament results. Guntersville is so huge and has enormous consistent grass lines -it is always better. imo
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
10/4/2021 12:13 PM
I've been bass fishing the Chick since 1962 as a kid and bass fishing since 1988. I've seen many cycles of up and down. As has been mentioned, there are many factors that come into play. I believe the most important ones are and in not necessarily order of importance: Abundance or lack of aquatic vegetation (spraying certainly plays into this), weather - especially floods / swift current. I think flow rates and water levels play a major role. If we have a lot of rain and major floods / flow in the early spring it seems to always impact the fishing for several years after. It tears loose established weeds and fluctuating water levels and temperatures interferes with the spawn. Fishing pressure, especially big tournaments can't help but have an impact. Think about it, you have 300 to 600 bass boats from all the tournaments and it may be more than that on any given day with some really skilled anglers present. Thousands of bass are caught and confined in live wells often for many hours. They are transported many miles and beat up running in rough water. A certain number of fish are hooked deep and don't survive, a certain number are stressed from the ordeal and don't survive long term when released. Fame always brings a downside and the Chick is a perfect example. I'm not criticizing tournaments, I have fished plenty myself and I know the out of town folks spend money here which helps our economy. I remember a great stretch of years in the 80's which I just got in on the tail end of. Grass was abundant and it was pretty easy to go out and in 3 or 4 hours in the morning or evening you could work the grass mats and edges and catch a couple of limits of scorable bass. Big jumps of hungry bass stayed on grass covered flats and points. We didn't have the numbers of monster fish that showed up a few years ago but the Chick produced. Back then the word spread and we started seeing a lot of out of town anglers and tournaments. Sound familiar? The combination of the extra fishing pressure, some bad years weather wise, and an effort to get rid of the grass pretty much killed the boom time after a few years. Even during the great times on the Chick we all know the lake can be difficult. When it was and is good it was and is very good but when the Chick is tough it can be fickle and very tough. The difference was and is that during the great years the tough times are fewer and not as tough. My take on it is that I agree with those who say the lake peaked a few years ago and is now in decline. The numbers of fish just don't seem to be there and the average size is down some. There are for sure some giants out there and the lake is still better than many. It is just a cycle. Perhaps the downturn will also see a reduction in the out of town folks and not as many tournaments taking place all the time. When we have stable weather and water flows / levels the spawns will be better, there will be fewer people chasing the fish and we will have an upswing.
Posted by tnsportsman86
10/5/2021 9:15 AM
Thank you this was very informative I appreciate it.



ChooChooSnakeMan - 10/4/2021 12:13 PM

I've been bass fishing the Chick since 1962 as a kid and bass fishing since 1988. I've seen many cycles of up and down. As has been mentioned, there are many factors that come into play. I believe the most important ones are and in not necessarily order of importance: Abundance or lack of aquatic vegetation (spraying certainly plays into this), weather - especially floods / swift current. I think flow rates and water levels play a major role. If we have a lot of rain and major floods / flow in the early spring it seems to always impact the fishing for several years after. It tears loose established weeds and fluctuating water levels and temperatures interferes with the spawn. Fishing pressure, especially big tournaments can't help but have an impact. Think about it, you have 300 to 600 bass boats from all the tournaments and it may be more than that on any given day with some really skilled anglers present. Thousands of bass are caught and confined in live wells often for many hours. They are transported many miles and beat up running in rough water. A certain number of fish are hooked deep and don't survive, a certain number are stressed from the ordeal and don't survive long term when released. Fame always brings a downside and the Chick is a perfect example. I'm not criticizing tournaments, I have fished plenty myself and I know the out of town folks spend money here which helps our economy. I remember a great stretch of years in the 80's which I just got in on the tail end of. Grass was abundant and it was pretty easy to go out and in 3 or 4 hours in the morning or evening you could work the grass mats and edges and catch a couple of limits of scorable bass. Big jumps of hungry bass stayed on grass covered flats and points. We didn't have the numbers of monster fish that showed up a few years ago but the Chick produced. Back then the word spread and we started seeing a lot of out of town anglers and tournaments. Sound familiar? The combination of the extra fishing pressure, some bad years weather wise, and an effort to get rid of the grass pretty much killed the boom time after a few years. Even during the great times on the Chick we all know the lake can be difficult. When it was and is good it was and is very good but when the Chick is tough it can be fickle and very tough. The difference was and is that during the great years the tough times are fewer and not as tough. My take on it is that I agree with those who say the lake peaked a few years ago and is now in decline. The numbers of fish just don't seem to be there and the average size is down some. There are for sure some giants out there and the lake is still better than many. It is just a cycle. Perhaps the downturn will also see a reduction in the out of town folks and not as many tournaments taking place all the time. When we have stable weather and water flows / levels the spawns will be better, there will be fewer people chasing the fish and we will have an upswing.
Posted by rippinlips2win
10/6/2021 12:07 AM
I have been fishing it for years off and on...I can tell you that it seems to be affected by the pressure a lot more than it was, but the pressure has also increased YOY for several years. They still live there and there are still numbers of them, they are getting harder to catch on artificial lures, but watch the live baiters and you will see the numbers are still there. This in itself will kill the fishery...the fish mortality rate on live bait is terrible.

Look at Toledo Bend vs Sam Rayburn, on Rayburn they are practicing very tight fisheries management and it is getting better through the pressure, Toledo Bend is not...that being said, I urge anybody that reads this to push for better fisheries management as it has proven to be productive.
Posted by silvertalon
10/6/2021 10:28 AM
Bottom line is that, the chick is too small to hold it's own and with all the big lake pressure that is here, it will never come back without swift and firm change from state agency's etc. as noted above. IMO, Sort of like global warming. Despite best efforts to stop it we can only slow it down . Addl note; Sure there's a lot of bait/forage still here but I've noted over the past 2 seasons- most big sloughs and creeks do not have the bait migrations of past when the fishing was good. This condition is all over the lake. And it is obvious when you can't catch anything if you are looking. past 2 years I've caught only a few fish off of my sweet spots and have noted when a fish falls off my hook on to the floor and thrashes around, they have coughed up several baby bass -probably all there is to feed on in the general area (june/July). I believe it is directly related to the spraying of chemicals in populated sloughs and coves. There's enough of it to spread out all over the entire waterway and that effects the following season. It's not high current or heavy rain causing the problem. Major construction continues all over our waterways and dock associations grow. And spray more and more every year. Factor in the growth of bass fishing and it's become a coast to coast problem. Creel limits and slot limits are key. Look at Lake Fork and good management by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The writing is on the wall and it's time for our state agencies to act.
Posted by tnsportsman86
10/6/2021 2:33 PM
silvertalon - 10/6/2021 10:28 AM

Awesome points silver. Texas has it figured out for sure.


Bottom line is that, the chick is too small to hold it's own and with all the big lake pressure that is here, it will never come back without swift and firm change from state agency's etc. as noted above. IMO, Sort of like global warming. Despite best efforts to stop it we can only slow it down . Addl note; Sure there's a lot of bait/forage still here but I've noted over the past 2 seasons- most big sloughs and creeks do not have the bait migrations of past when the fishing was good. This condition is all over the lake. And it is obvious when you can't catch anything if you are looking. past 2 years I've caught only a few fish off of my sweet spots and have noted when a fish falls off my hook on to the floor and thrashes around, they have coughed up several baby bass -probably all there is to feed on in the general area (june/July). I believe it is directly related to the spraying of chemicals in populated sloughs and coves. There's enough of it to spread out all over the entire waterway and that effects the following season. It's not high current or heavy rain causing the problem. Major construction continues all over our waterways and dock associations grow. And spray more and more every year. Factor in the growth of bass fishing and it's become a coast to coast problem. Creel limits and slot limits are key. Look at Lake Fork and good management by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The writing is on the wall and it's time for our state agencies to act.
Posted by Tenncrapie
10/7/2021 9:23 AM
Been fishing for 20 years and keeping a log. Crappie that is. Numbers are way down and size of fish is way down. When I started there wasn't a problem getting a limit. Now a limit is tuff but most of the bag are 10 inchers. Seen a lot of pressure the last 2 years don't know if that has a barring and now comes along livescope that for a few plucks out the biggest fish on the tree. I may take some heat from that remark but so be it. We all know what killing the bigger bucks in a deer heard do so there you go. Several years ago we had a TWRA biologist give a talk and showed us a scale of like 6 yrs and what kind of Spawn we had. The year of the big flood can't remember years was our best spawn year and best fish showed up 4 years later. Maybe with this years rainfall we will see it again in 3-4 years. Just know theres a lot of traffic on the Chick than in the past.
Posted by WarEagleChatt
10/7/2021 1:04 PM
According to some local YouTube influencers, there has been some really good fish caught over the last week or so. Also, they have been surprised how good the bite has been in a traditional tough time of the year. You can take that for what it’s worth.

I have fished Chick for about 15 years. I always found it strange that the fall was the toughest time of the year to get bites and catch good fish. I grew up on Wheeler Lake and during its “hey day” we would slay them from Sept-Nov on the infamous “Decatur Flats”.
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