Cooper Lake, Texas Monster Bass
The sun was just peeking above the horizon when Cooper Lake Guide Marc Mitchell
fired up the Mercury on his Cobra Bass Boat and headed for some
of his favorite bass spots. A little chop on the water and the
cooler temperatures assured he would have a challenging day
looking for Monster Bass on Cooper!
by Jim Holderfield
day started at 5:30AM when he met my son Danny and me at the
Burtonís Restaurant, right next to the Best Western Motel in
Suphur Springs Texas. This location is convenient to both Cooper
and Fork, where Marc offers guided trips. Both these lakes have
gained a reputation throughout the U.S. as two of the top lakes
for an angler to have an opportunity to catch trophy bass.
Looking through Marcís photo album
during breakfast, I could see why in
the bass fishing world, these two lakes are high on the list for
those attempting to break the Texas state record for black bass.
Dozens of photos of past clients were testimony to the size of
bass that come from these two lakes.
It was hard to imagine being present when this many BIG fish
were caught. Marc still gets excited when he tells stories about
his clients that had the good fortune to hang onto one of these
exceptional fish in the 10 lb. range. In detail, he would
describe each move that took place to finally boat the fish, take
a quick photo, and just as quickly, release the fish back into
Marc has been guiding on Fork and Cooper for over eight years,
and as his photo album attests, Marc has the uncanny ability to
find the trophies. My stomach was in knots just thinking about
the possibility of having the chance to add my photo to his
After finishing a hearty breakfast at Burtonís,
Danny and I followed Marc in our vehicle to the boat-launching
ramp near the dam. Just at daylight, looking across the rippled
lake, I could see the wide-open waters near the dam. Mark assured
me there was lots of structure left in the lake when the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Dam. I was soon to find
out just how much structure, as the boat lanes were the only
passageways through large expanses of uncleared areas.
We reached our first point after a short,
fast ride and began fishing. Danny and
I had met Marc on this occasion to field test some of Dannyís
ďHurricoma LureĒ spinner baits and buzzbaits. In addition to
fishing these baits, Marc also fishes jigs, crankbaits, soft
baits and any other lures that have made him the successful guide
for these lakes. Both Danny and Mark are on the Pro Staff for
Cameron Rods. Cameron Rods are available in lengths and flex
weights that allow the pro bass fisherman to have an arsenal of
superior quality rods at his disposal.
Marc indicated that today, we would give the buzzbaits
and spinnerbaits the workout. As we moved from brush pile to
brush pile and from weed bed to weed bed, it became apparent that
he was an absolute master presenting his bait into difficult
locations. An underhanded toss with the wrist and the spinnerbait
lands gently under over-hanging brush that I passed up because I
thought it impossible to get a bait back there. I watched cast
after cast and started trying some of the techniques. Marc was
more than patient in trolling me over to the brush to retrieve my
bait. I watched Danny and was surprised that he was skillful
also. Guess Iíll just have to practice more. My crappie fishing
didnít prepare me for this kind of action!
Just as I was about to decide that I would have to stick with
Crappie fishing, I hooked a nice bass. This was exciting! Danny
helped land the fish and I quickly grabbed my camera to record a
photo of Danny and MY fish!
As we caught and released fish, Marc
told of the history of Fork and Cooper. How through the years
they had consistently produced trophy bass, and produced t hem in
quantity. He ventured a prediction that the next Texas State
Record would be caught on Cooper! He had that twinkle in his eye
that indicated to me that he felt his chances were good that it
could be one of his clients that would have a chance to catch the
The morning passed quickly, as Marc recanted stories of other
fishing trips, unusual happenings on the lake and all too soon,
it was getting close to lunch and time to head for home. That was
when Danny latched onto a good-size bass well over 5 lb. He
fought the bass to the top, I got a quick photo as Marc reached
down to release the fish, and it came off! Danny watched a
second, quickly dropped his spinnerbait back in front of the fish
and as Marc and I watched, the Bass made a run at the bait and
was hooked again! In all my fishing days, I had never seen this
happen. I was attempting to get my camera a second time when the
fish broke the line and was gone!
In all, it was a very successful fishing trip. We caught
good-sized fish, although this time we did not get the trophy
size (weíll be back), but the guide service was excellent, we
successfully tested the baits and learned some fishing techniques
from a real Pro.
Sulphur Springs is located between Fork and Cooper and has a
number of motels that provide quality service. The Sulphur
Springs Chamber of Commerce can provide you with information on
lodging and eating establishments.
As for a Licensed Professional Fishing Guide, contact Marc
Mitchell at (800) 657-1969. He has a limited number of open
dates. Who knows, you may be the one that fills the photo album
with the Texas State black bass record!