Remote is the only way to describe this pristine river setting at the mouth of Bee Tree Slough several miles downriver from the Bevilport boat ramp. Anglers can fish for a variety of fish including Kentucky spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. The river is a hotbed for swimmers and boaters alike. Here, a man unleashes from one of the many homemade rope swings found up and down the main channel. Any number baits will fool the fiesty Kentucky. From left to right are the 1/8-ounce spinnerbait, Pop-R, and shallow-running crankbait. Bass relate heavily to wood cover lining the river’s edge, particularly in areas where this some sort of the defined change in contour. before we start a discussion about those places where Kentucky spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish these fishes are easily found, you have to worry about your entertainment. So I suggest you use Pubfilm to watch movies and shows when you feel your self bore. now let’s start our fishing tour!
The boat ramp ain’t much, probably 10 feet across at the widest point. But don’t let its meager size fool you. The tiny concrete slab dumps into a wide-open river system that’s unlike any other I’ve seen in nearly 20 years of traipsing around East Texas backroads in search of the ultimate weekend fishing adventure.
Located at the tip of FM 2799 West in Jasper County, the Bevilport ramp serves as a gateway to what could be one of the best-kept secrets in the entire Pineywoods region. It’s called “The Forks” – the unique spot where the Angelina and Neches rivers converge to form a single channel that dumps into B.A. Steinhagen Lake, better known as “Dam B.”
While geographical uniqueness is to credit for the catchy title, what sets “The Forks” aside from most other East Texas river gigs are the 40-some-odd miles of clear water between the intersection and the Sam Rayburn dam upriver.
Look closely amid the still backwaters of Bee Tree Slough and you might witness a sultry cottonmouth curled up at the base of moss-draped cypress, or a big bull ‘gator peering from a patch of flowering hyacinth as it waits patiently for a potential meal to swim dangerously close. Just don’t get so caught up in the sights that your bass lure goes unattended for too long. That could result in a missed strike, quite possibly more than one if you happen to be situated around some sort of underwater drainage that feeds in from the heavily-wooded mainland.
The slightest change in depth can make a big difference this time of year. These fish like to gang up around any type of little drainage that feeds into the river. They’ll also bunch up around points on the little bottlenecks where the river opens up into an old slough or oxbow. This has got to be my very favorite place in the world. Not only is it beautiful and peaceful down there, but it’s an adventure every time you go. You never know what you’ll see or catch. Last year I pitched a jig at this cypress stump and a 35-pound alligator gar latched onto it. It was quite a fight. While many anglers would probably rise to the challenge of landing one of the prehistoric-looking critters on conventional tackle, most venture to The Forks to cast for bass in a scenic setting that’s unrivaled anywhere east of I-45.
Laydown logs, fallen trees, shoreline bushes, cypress stumps, and submerged grass beds are all viable targets to chunk at. And there are plenty of them. But some sort of depth change will go a long way towards holding a solid concentration of fish. In addition to a healthy population of native largemouths, savvy anglers will be quick to learn the Angelina is chockful of feisty spotted bass.
Also referred to as Kentucky spotted bass, these fish are plentiful in reservoirs and rivers east of Colorado. They do best in clearer rivers and streams, particularly those that offer a little current with some still water pools. Like its smallmouth cousin, the spotted bass likes a little water movement when it spawns. But it doesn’t grow near as large. The state record spot stands at five-pounds, nine-ounces and was caught in 1966 from Lake O’ The Pines. The average size on the Angelina will range 1-3 pounds, with fish on the upper end of the scale rating exceptionally large.
As is the case with river fishing in other areas of the state, the more productive bass fishing techniques generally involve utilizing finesse baits and lures that are scaled-down in size in comparison to those typically used in reservoir situations. Wacky worms, small crankbaits, 1/8-ounce spinnerbaits, topwaters, and small curly-tail worms rigged Texas-style are among my favorites. I’ve also had pretty decent luck on soft jerk baits from time to time. My favorite soft plastic colors are red bloodline and black/blue. Good hard body colors bream or shad. Chartreuse/white is the preferred spinnerbait choice.
The best time to go? Late summer and fall are the best for fishing The Forks. Water levels on Sam Rayburn are normally at their lowest during this period, which means the Corps of Engineers won’t have the flood gates wide open to keep up with the steady inflow of water coming in via the river and creek channels. This means the river will stay within its banks the majority of the time, which naturally keeps the fish confined to a much smaller area.
A lot of people just don’t like to fish in muddy water, but it doesn’t impact the fishing that much. The bass is adapted to it. The only difference is you might have to use some darker bait colors to catch them. They’ll be relating to the same types of places. In addition to its banner bass fishing opportunities, The Forks also produces some excellent catches of crappie and bluegill. It’s also a trotlines haven for big ops and blues.
The hotspot for springtime slabs is an old oxbow referred to by locals as Moon Lake, but they’ll also stack up in dense shoreline brush lining any number of old backwater sloughs and cuts off the main channel. Bluegill fishing can be good year-round in the same areas.
Other Wet Options
While fishing is the biggest draw at The Forks, it’s also a warm-weather hotbed for recreational boaters, water skiers, jet skiers, and swimmers. The river spans 75-100 yards across in most places and it’s wide open with very few stumps and other obstructions. Water depth in the middle of the river is 20-feet-plus. And since the banks are fairly steep, even big boats blow and go without a worry.
There are numerous sandbars located up and down the main channel from the State Highway 63 bridge to The Forks. Not only are these great places to kick back and lounge, but many come readily equipped with homemade rope swings dangling from overhanging limbs.
Weekend campers who enjoy slumbering in remote locations will want to check out the Corp or Engineers campsites downriver from the Bevilport Community. The riverside camping sites are primitive, but they appear to be well maintained. What makes the set-up unique is the fact the sites are only accessible by boat unless you make the long hike from the Martin Dies State Park area along the shores of Dam B.
Getting to The Forks is simple. Take State Highway 63 East out of Zavalla until you cross the Angelina. There is a good public ramp there and all the water downriver is prime. The Bevilport ramp is situated about halfway between the bridge and The Forks. To get there, take Highway 63 East from Zavalla to FM 1747, turn right and go to FM 2799. Turn right. The road dead-ends at the boat ramp.