N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

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shoffer
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N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

Post by shoffer »

II launched the kayak at daybreak at the Cagle recreation area. I trolled northward to the bridge, with two crankbaits at 8 feet - no takers. I worked topwater frogs and a Super Spook Jr. back down the shoreline to the ramp - no takers. I then moved west across the channel and worked topwater frogs in heavy cover in 1-2 feet of water where the boats generally don't go - no takers. The wind picked up a bit from the west, and a bunch of boats were working spinner baits from west to east in an area that had kelp-like areas with some grass mats and a couple of the anglers boated smaller bass. Then I started to see fish activity in some other mats that they were not fishing. Since I could work the area from a kayak better than them, I started working a weedless craw soft plastic in orange, with some popping retrieves on the outside of the mat like a trout bait - sometimes twitching and bumping the bottom, and sometimes skipping it across the mats, but I rigged it weedless on a weighted hook, I began getting bit and in about 90 minutes, I boated 5 bass and missed three other bites. A couple were good and chunky.
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While I was fishing, one older fella by himself in a powerboat got very excited and yelled "About damn time!" He yelled "woo-hoo!" several times as well. Three guys in a nearby boat asked him his name, and he said "Obie," to which the anglers in the other boat congratulated him. Obie then spent a long time idling by us while talking on his phone, and he seemed like a guy who fished out there often. Either he caught his personal best, or he caught a Sharelunker, so I will have to see if an "Obie" registers a lunker soon.
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Re: N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

Post by Cityfisher »

This is my favorite area to fish fresh water. This time of year on that west side is spawning grounds for them big bass. Caught several in the 5-6 lb range there. I always launched from the forest road that dead ends on the west shoreline but the growth has filled in so much I can not get access to the water now. And this weekend I almost got stuck in a couple of spots! I camped just north of Stubblefield this weekend at a hunters camp and fished the stubblefield area a little with no luck. Just a question if you don't mind, how much is the fee to just use the boat ramp at Cagle? Also, how was the treck across the lake to the west side? If I do it I may just go up to the bridge and cross to the west side that way so as not to cross all that open water with them bass boats speeding across! I have a bixpy motor on my feelfree but that distance still makes me nervous. By the way, if there is a bass tournament going on them bass boats will come in there and they get testy sometimes. My buddy and I got a few snide remarks there before during a tournament. But if your like me, who cares what they think or say!!
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shoffer
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Re: N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

Post by shoffer »

CityFisher:

The fee to park there is 5 dollars cash that you put into an envelope and put in a box if no one is working the gate – which is usually the case early in the morning. The parking lot is plenty big. This is a popular spot with the powerboat folks who like the double ramp, so I have only hit it once when no one else was there (launched around 4 am, as I recall), but the other times, I have not had any issues. When I launch there, I use my Hobie Cart to take my kayak down, loaded with all my stuff. When I get down to the ramp, there is a flat area off to the side where I pull the kayak so as not to block the ramp, and then put my cart back in my car, go back down and prep the boat, and then launch when I can. It usually takes no more than 15 seconds to push off and get out of the way to arrange the deck. I have not had any issues doing it that way. I have often thought about launching from the shoreline areas to the north of the ramp, but the land to water is too steep, and it is too big of a POA. [Having a powerboat and a kayak makes me more cognizant of all the issues that both types of folks experience at a boat ramp].

The trek across the lake has always been fine. Takes about 12-15 minutes, and I like to troll lures on the way over. There appears to be a known boat channel that runs parallel to the shoreline from the point to the bridge that I guess people feel is safe from underwater stumps, but I have run into stumps many times on the west side, so powerboaters never haul it through there - always puttering through. Here's a photo to help you visualize:
https://ibb.co/kGp03mT
yBZJMWIU9V.png
I have never fished north of the bridge or the coves on the west side of the lake north of the bridge or south of the ramp, but maybe I will do so next time I get out there.
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Re: N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

Post by Cityfisher »

Thank you shoffer,
I finally found where they listed the fees for Cagle. Had to dig through the National Forest website to find it.
And thanks for the info. Launching from Cagle doesn't seem to bad now hearing it from you.
Looking at your photo if you keep going west to where you see that little road (forest road 204A) dead end at the lake. (Just the tip of it is showing on your screen shot.)
That is where I have camped and also put into the lake there. But the vegetation has grown so much I can't make it to the water now.
That area where you fished and a little further west and south has been a really good spot. I have had my best luck there fishing between the shore and those 2 islands. Lots of fallen trees and stumps. My best luck was in 3' to 4' deep. Any deeper and I couldn't get a bite! I don't know how that area is after the spawn is over and it heats up. But this time of year is good.
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Re: N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

Post by Kayak Kid »

I'm a terrible bass fisherman. Just never devoted much time to it.
Having fished Conroe a couple of times, with zero luck, I am glad to see that it's a productive lake for those willing to put in the effort. Thanks for sharing that great report.
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Re: N. Lake Conroe - Cagle Launch - 3/3/24

Post by shoffer »

I have decided that bass are my side-piece fish from January to April when the winter doldrums and the Spring Transition are in their full effect at the coast. If I need to chase some fish, freshwater is a solid option during this time when saltwater fishing is simply not predictable.
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