Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.23 Water Temperature:
77  degrees - top
degrees - bottom



  Catfish love rising water, but why?
By Luke Clayton
Special to The Monitor

As a kid growing up in rural northeast Texas, I remember my dad watching the sky closely, and when he thought a good, soaking rain resulting in runoff into Pecan Creek was in the forecast, he and I seined bait – it was time to go catfishing!
From a lifetime spent as a devout fisherman, he knew that rising water always puts catfish in the biting mode. I grew up knowing this fact and I’ve put together my share of “fish frys” by targeting whiskerfish after periods of heavy rainfall.
Much of the Cedar Creek Lake watershed was recently deluged by several inches of slow, steady rain, the kind that saturates the ground and causes creeks and rivers to go on a gradual rise.
Most anyone who loves catfishing understands the equation of rising waters equals good fishing, but many of us never stopped to wonder exactly why.

Courtesy Photo/Luke Clayton
Guide Jason Barber shows a blue catfish he landed recently on Cedar Creek Lake. Recent rainfall has put lakes on the rise, and catfish fishing has been good.

The reason is pretty simple, says Cedar Creek Lake catfish guide Jason Barber.
“The rising water floods crayfish holes, causing this favored catfish food to surface and become swept into the current. Earthworms, grubs and all sorts of invertebrates are also made available to become part of the catfish’s dinner,” Barber explained. “This rise in water level has the same effect on catfish bound to reservoirs. As the water level rises, a smorgasbord of food enters the water from newly flooded banks, and catfish go on a big-time bite.”
Cedar Creek Lake is fed by a few large creeks, and after several inches of rainfall in the watersheds above the lake, the water in the creeks was, once again, on the move. Barber had enjoying some great blue catfish action the two days after the rain.
As Barber and I motored into the big flat out from the mouth of Kings Creek, a distinct mud line was visible, but with a stiff south breeze, it was difficult to tell if the wave action coming from the creek was caused by wind, or current from runoff.
“If we were fishing for white bass or hybrids, we would concentrate on the clearer water outside the mud line, but actively feeding catfish can be caught from the muddiest of water,” Barber said.
It soon became obvious the current had ceased and the creek was once again still. The water was shallow, averaging two to three feet, and without current, it was doubtful we would do very well fishing such shallow water, especially with a water temperature in the high 70s.
The mark of a good fisherman is adapting to ever-changing weather/water conditions and having a plan B.
“With all this fresh water, catfish will still be on a good bite. We will just have to go elsewhere to find them,” Barber said.
The next time our anchor went overboard, we were in water around 15 feet deep, just out from a submerged roadbed.
“It’s a good bet these shallow-water fish I was catching just after the rains have moved deeper,” Barber said. “Look at all these fish stacking up along the edge of the roadbed.”
We soon had chunks of fresh cut shad near bottom on short Carolina rigs and it instantly became obvious Plan B was a good one! In a matter of a couple hours, we had the makings of a whopping fish fry in the ice chest.
The catch consisted of several blues in the six- to 10-pound range and some smaller fish. I lost the biggest fish of the day boatside because I thought I could “lip” it, rather than use the landing net.
Regardless which waters you fish, a few ironclad rules of successful catching catfish can be learned from this recent trip.
Until cool fronts begin dropping water temperatures, usually in mid- to late October, the majority of blue catfish will be landed from relatively deep water, 15 feet or deeper, with the exception of periods immediately following heavy rainfall, when current causes them to move into flowing creeks and streams.
Barber expects the dependable fall bite for blue catfish to begin by the end of October, after the passage of the first cold fronts of the season.
“During this period, drift fishing with large pieces of cut shad usually produces the best action,” Barber said. “We often make drifts that cover as much as a couple miles of open water and boat blue regularly in the 20-40 pound range.”
Until colder weather triggers the trophy blue bite, devout catfish anglers will have to be content with numbers of “eater” blues. To my way of thinking, that’s not a bad thing!

Do you like high school football?
Do you like to write stories?

The Monitor is looking for reporters to cover the Eustace, Kemp and Mabank High School varsity football games this season.
As a reporter, you would:
  • Attend Eustace, Kemp or Mabank’s home and away varsity football games on Friday nights
  • Keep statistics of the game and email them to the paper Friday night after the game
  • Write a story about the game and email the story to the paper Friday night after the game
    An eligible reporter, must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have reliable transportation and a good driving record
  • Have a computer with Microsoft Word
  • Have email capability

If this position interests you, please come to
The Monitor office and complete an application,
Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Monitor • 1316 S. Third St., Suite 108
Mabank • Next to Groom’s
No phone calls please!


EHS girls stop Canton, 3-1
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–The hosting Eustace Lady Bulldogs improved to 2-0 in District 14-3A volleyball play with a 3-1 victory over the Canton Eaglettes Tuesday night.
Now 20-10 on the season, the Lady Bulldogs were scheduled to host the Van Lady Vandals Friday night.
Tuesday, Oct. 6, the Eustace girls will go on the road for a key district match against the Kemp Lady Yellowjackets, and will return home Friday, Oct. 9, to host the Mineola Lady Yellowjackets.
Both evenings open with sub-varsity contests, starting at 4:30 p.m. in Kemp and 5 p.m. in Eustace.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace Lady Bulldog Erica Sanchez (right) returns a Canton shot as teammate Alyssa Walker (19) looks on during the Lady Bulldogs' 3-1 District 14-3A volleyball win over visiting Canton Tuesday. Sanchez wound up with nine digs on defense.

Missing starter Vanessa Lopez, out with illness, the Lady Bulldogs won the first game 25-20, but struggled in the second game, losing 25-20.
The Lady Bulldogs then won two straight, 25-13 and 25-18, to secure the match.
“Canton is really improving,” veteran Eustace coach Chuck Powers said later. “Their entire athletic department is really on an upswing.”
Junior Allison Cass had a big night for the Lady Bulldogs on offense, notching 20 kills, one block and four digs, while classmate Harmony Allen led the defense with 25 digs, six kills, two assists and three serving aces.
Both Catania Grant and Jenny McConathy had eight kills each, with Grant adding a block and 13 digs, and McConathy adding five blocks and 12 digs, along with an ace.
Senior setter Kim Austin had a strong all-around performance, racking up 34 assists, 12 digs, one block and two kills, along with three aces.
Aurora Beasley, subbing for Lopez, had three kills, one dig, one assist and one ace, with senior Tori Bynum adding one kill, nine digs and two aces.
On defense, Erica Sanchez had nine digs, Shelley Temple had five digs and Kelsey Maltos added one dig.
In sub-varsity games, the Eaglettes won the junior varsity match 25-19 and 25-21, while the hosting Lady Bulldogs won the freshman contest, 25-13 and 25-19.


Upcoming games

Cross country

Oct. 10
MHS @ Jacksonville
KHS @ Jesuit Classic
(Norbuck Park, Dallas)
EHS @ Union Grove

Oct. 17
KHS hosts meet
EHS hosts meet

Oct. 26
EHS, KHS @ 14-3A meet
(4 Pines Ranch, Eustace)

Oct. 31
MHS @ District 15-4A meet

Oct. 6
MHS vs Lancaster*

Oct. 9
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS vs Van*
EHS vs Mineola*

Oct. 13
MHS @ West Mesquite*
KHS @ Mineola*
EHS @ Wills Point*

Oct. 16
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*
KHS vs Wills Point*
EHS @ Canton*

Oct. 20
MHS bye
KHS vs Canton*
EHS @ Van*
(*district contest)

Oct. 9
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS vs Van*
EHS vs Mineola*

Oct. 15
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*

Oct. 16
KHS vs Wills Point*
EHS @ Canton*

Oct. 23
MHS vs Forney*
(*district contest)


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