The state of Texas has no shortage of well-known bass fishing lakes.
Texas notched eight lakes in the Bassmaster list of the top 100 lakes in the country for 2014. Seven of the eight were in the top half of the countdown. With big names such as Falcon, Amistad, Toledo Bend, and Sam Rayburn, it is easy for a lot of great Texas fisheries to fly under the radar. One such Texas bass lake is Lake Naconiche in east Texas.
Lake Naconiche (nack-o-nitch) gets its name from a local Indian tribe. Little is known about the tribe, even the meaning of their name seems to be a mystery. Linguists know that “na” means “the place,” but have not identified what “coniche” means. I have a hunch it means “big bass” because Naconiche is indeed “The Place of Big Bass.”
The lake lies about 14 miles northeast of Nacogdoches, Texas off of Highway 59. It covers just 692 acres, which is another reason it has flown under the radar. The lake gets very little fishing pressure in large part due to its proximity to the legendary Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend Reservoirs.
Stocking at Lake Naconiche began in 2009, and it opened to fishing in 2012. Records indicate that hundreds of thousands of Florida strain largemouth have been stocked since 2009, including over 75,000 fingerlings in 2014 alone.
Growth rates of these bass have been off the charts. The lake record was tagged and stocked in 2009 as a three-pounder and caught in April of 2013, pushing the scales at 12.54 pounds. Did you catch that? That bass grew nine and a half pounds in just three years. If you’re wondering, average growth rate for an adult bass is about ½ pound per year.
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The water is moderately clear with the tea-colored tint to it that is typical in many east Texas lakes. When the lake was built, the trees were not removed, so standing timber is abundant throughout the entire lake.
Naconiche also boasts four kinds of aquatic vegetation which hold an abundance of bass. Reports indicate that fishing near or in the grass will give the best result, but fish can be caught just about anywhere in the lake. Frogs and senkos produce well around the grass, while jigs, Texas rigs, and spinnerbaits are best when fishing the standing timber.
As the weather starts to cool down, the bass bite is going to heat up, and I would highly recommend that you make time for a trip to this east Texas gem. Chances are you will catch a whole lot of good size bass, and you will find solitude that is unmatched by many other lakes.