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Old 03-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Considering visit

I live a few hours from Lake Sweetwater and am considering coming fishing. I own a 19 foot boat would I be able to put it in? Also any info on how the fishing is would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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I don't know about the fishing, but I assume that it is OK for the time of the year.

Below is a picture of the boat ramp on 1 January 2012. It looked about the same when I drove by it this afternoon (6 March 2012).

Last time I checked, the concrete extended about six feet beyond the end of the dock. But you should confirm that yourself before launching.

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Old 03-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response. I will mainly be targetting crappie and catfish. Is there a very good crappie population in the lake?
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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The 29 Feb TPWD fishing report for Lake Sweetwater said; "Water murky; 49?55 degrees; 13.8? low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigs, Rat?L?Traps and shakyheads. Crappie are fair to good on jigs and minnows. Catfish are fair to good on prepared bait and night crawlers."

Something to remember is that there were no fish in Lake Sweetwater in the summer of 2007 (except for a few dozen carp) due to a ten year drought that reduced the lake to a small mud hole near the dam.

The lake refilled in one weekend during a tropical storm in August of 2007. Except for the carp, everything else now in the lake was put there as fingerlings by TPWD in the year following the refill.

How big does a crappie grow in five years?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info just checked the tpwd website and it doesnt look like crappie have ever been stocked. Just Bass and Channel Cat.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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The stocking info on the TPWD site is incomplete. The folks from the Abilene office have been out several times per year since the lake refilled in Aug 2007, putting in both sport fish and smaller fish for the sport fish to eat.

You might call the bait shop and ask about the crappie.

Phone number is (325) 235-1223. The bait shop is still on winter hours - 8 to 5 Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. Also closed if weather is bad.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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Default We are considering a visit as well

We're considering a visit for this coming Friday - March 23rd 2012. We have not been to Lake Sweetwater but we're looking for a decent fishing lake that's reasonably close. We're coming from Midland and most of the local lakes are either dried up or suffering golden algae issues.

Since we've not been there before, can anyone answer a few questions? We'll be fishing for catfish mainly.

We'll be arriving latish on Friday - about 7 or 8pm. Will the bait shop be open?
I have a small 8' bass buggy but will need shoreline access as a home base, will that be available and where do I get a permit if the store is closed?

Can you have a camp fire?

I'm sure I have more questions but will start there...

Thanks in advance!

Casey
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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> We'll be arriving latish on Friday - about 7 or 8pm.
> Will the bait shop be open?

Maybe. The bait shop is on "winter hours" right now and closing time tends to be 5 or 6. That will probably change to 7 to 9 in coming weeks. However, if the bait shop is closed when you arrive, just pick a spot in the camping area next to it and pay when it next opens. The owners are very friendly and that is how they have handled that in the past. It is fairly easy (at least in day time) to tell where the camping spots are at the bait shop because they are right next to the shop and each spot has a three or four foot tall metal frame with a water outlet and an electrical box.

You can also camp in the large campground below the dam. Again, if you arrive late, just pick a spot and set up. For that area, you will need to go to the golf course pro shop the next day to pay. There is a big map sign at the campground with road directions and rules.

For detailed info on camping at Lake Sweetwater, check these web pages.

http://www.lakesweetwater.com/sweetwater/Camping.html

http://www.lakesweetwater.com/sweetwater/Camping_2.html

> I have a small 8' bass buggy but will need shoreline access
> as a home base, will that be available and where do I get
> a permit if the store is closed?

If you camp at the bait shop, you can probably beach your boat overnight right next to your camp site. That is technically against the City lake regulations but I don't think it is enforced as there is currently no lake keeper. I saw people doing that all last summer. Ask the folks at the bait shop to be sure that nothing has changed on that.

If you arrive on friday night then the bait shop will almost certainly be open the next morning. You can get your "lake use" permit then and there.

> Can you have a camp fire?

Maybe.

Open fire is a touchy subject these days in Nolan County. A lot of the county burned up last summer.

First that will depend on whether a county wide burn ban is on or not. Right now there is no burn ban but that can change every two weeks.

Second, is the policy of the bait shop owners. I don't know what their current feelings are about campfires in their camping area. Some folks are neat about removing their ashes, some or not so I can see that it might be a problem. Ask the folks at the bait shop.

There are no permanent burn rings or fire pits at the bait shop, nor at the city campground below the dam.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Wow... thanks for the quick response!

I guess we'll try and get there earlier. I don't think we're ""camping"" as 2 of the guys have to work on Saturday. We'll probably only be there from about 7pm to midnight-ish.
I'll call the bait shop tomorrow and work something out. I know for some it's not a big deal but I'm one to follow the rules. It's the usage fees and permits that keep our recreational areas open and maintained!

I did read the rest of the website info and it states that fires are allowed in a BBQ, Fire ring, or portable fireplace thingie. I'll probably just skip it as we're not going to be there all that long anyway.

Anyone know how that cat-fishing has been? Particularly from the bank there by the bait shop...

Thanks for all the info, it's been very helpful.

Casey
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