Lake Fork

 

 

 

 

Tom Redington

www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com 

January 27h, 2011

Lake Fork Report & Pics—January 27, 2011

 

I’ve been fishing most days for the past week and a half on Fork and the bite has been quite good for numbers and average size.  Outside of a very slow day on Saturday, we’ve had consistent success with jigs, suspending jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits.  Because of the cold couple of weeks in the middle of January, concentrations of bass have fallen back a little deeper to creek channels, ledges, and points.  It takes a while to find these groups but the fishing is very good once you do.  Case in point, my customer and I had 8 fish in one spot yesterday plus 6 more in another.  Neither area was longer than 15 yards, nor could be get bit anywhere else in those areas.  We didn’t catch that many at all the spots we fished and not everywhere produced, but almost everywhere that we caught a fish, we caught at least one or two more.  That’s the mixed blessing of cold fronts in the spring—the fish aren’t nearly as active but they are grouped up.  We fished both areas for over an hour so it’s not like you catch them on every cast, but once you get bit in the spring you really need to work the area over thoroughly.  With temps in the 60s for the next few days, I suspect the bass will be roaming the flats a lot more again like they were earlier in the month and we’ll start doing better covering water.    

 

The only disappointing part of the fishing lately has been the absence of a great big fish.  While almost all of the fish we’ve caught have been nice slot fish from 3 to 7 pounds, we’re overdue to start catching a few big ones.  I’ve been concentrating on patterns for prespawn staging females, so a big bass is only a cast away on Fork.  The best part about the fishing has been the complete lack of fishing pressure.  The most trailers we have seen at Lake Fork Marina on a weekday were 3 (counting mine) and I’ve only seen a couple other guides out all week.  If you want to beat the spring crowds at Fork and have a shot at a true lunker bass, now is a great time to come.      

 

If you haven’t caught it yet, I’ll be a frequent participant and host of “The Big Bass Battle” on Versus.  The show will also run on WFN (World Fishing Network), as well as on Time Warner cable in the Dallas area.  The show features 4 anglers on the same lake fishing at the same time, all trying to catch the one largest bass that day.  With bragging rights on the line, guys use their very best tactics to catch them and there should be a lot of good instructional material in the show in addition to big fish catches.  I’ve recently filmed shows at Fork along with some other lakes in TX, MS, and LA.  It has been a lot of fun to film and I hope everyone enjoys watching it.

 

Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale.  It is a demo boat through my dealer and you’d be titled as the first owner.  She’s value priced to save you big bucks off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.  Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OatBx6KpyJk

 

Lake Conditions:  Fork’s water is clearing and warming after some cold rain and snow earlier this month.  The lake level is currently 399.56’ (about 3’ 6” below full pool) and a ton of stumps are now visible.  The boat lanes are still safe to run in general, but definitely exercise caution when heading out of the clear-cut areas.  Water temps are slowly climbing back up with temps reading 47 to 49 yesterday in the main lake and in the upper 40s to just over 50 in the creeks.  The main lake is the normal greenish clear color, except on the north ends where it is more stained.  Some of the creeks are stained, but those with grass are pretty clear.  Speaking of the grass, it is very spotty on the northern half of the lake but the south end still has a lot of green grass and subsequently clearer water. 

 

Location Pattern: Many big bass are schooled up in deep water right now and it’s a great time for spoon fishermen.  With the colder temps, offshore structure in 23’ to 36’ have some very large schools this time of year, so keep searching with your graph until you find them.  You can find these deep fish into early Feb each year.

 

If you’re like me though, from late-December through much of March I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves hold a lot of fish this time of year, as do main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and onto the flats.  After cold fronts, they’ll typically drop back just a little bit to adjacent points and creek channels.   .

 

As I say each spring, bear in mind that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern:  A few simple lures produce big bass each winter from grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in or oz, like the Lucky Craft LV500 and LVR D-7.  Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the bait fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.  oz Redemption spinnerbaits with tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming a 4.5” Live Magic Shad on the back of a oz Phenix Vibrator Jig and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait. 

 

After cooling trends like we’ve had recently, the bite slows and I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Lucky Craft’s model 100SP Pointers in gold or chrome patterns are my traditional choices, although Gunmetal Shad & Phantom Chartreuse Shad are my new favorites.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.  For jigs, I go with the oz black and blue MPack jig from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and pair it with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight.  I’m using Dobyns brand new 7’4” Extreme model DX745C for pitching my jigs and Texas rigs.  It is well balanced making it easy to pitch all day and it is ultra sensitive which is important because the jig bites in this cold water are ultra faint.  Occasionally you’ll feel a slight thump but most of the time the fish just pick up the jig and hold it.  If you put a little pressure on them they’ll drop it immediately, so you need a rod that detects even the slightest bit of pressure.  The heavy power rod has plenty of muscle to horse fish out of cover when paired with Lake Fork’s new fluorocarbon coated FluoroBraid.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

 

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.  Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

November 19, 2010

This fall has been very mild and a lot of fun on Lake Fork.  Last year’s autumn was rainy and cold, with muddy water and overall the slowest fall and winter bite that I can recall.  Fall 2010, on the other hand, has generally been mild, dry, and warm; and the fish have responded.  After an active shallow bite in the first half of the fall, Fork finished up turnover in October and the deep bite has been quite consistent.  I’m still catching most of my offshore fish in the shallower range, about 17 to 25 feet, whereas I normally catch a lot of fish in 28’ to 38’ zone by this time of year, so expect the good fall bite to carry on for a while.  Furthermore, with the warm water temps and low water levels, winter and spring fishing should be excellent this year for wintering and early staging females in the creeks.

 

 With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies.  2010 has been another super year on Fork, and the prospects for 2011 look even better with the low lake level and warm temps.  Moreover, forecasters are calling for a warmer and drier than normal winter and spring, setting up perfectly for good spring fishing.  Prespawn starts in late-December, so it won’t be long until my favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through March.  If you’re looking for a fish of a lifetime, prespawn is the time to head to Fork.

 

My fishing report is below.  If you want more information on fall fishing, check out the articles on my website: http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .  Included is the In-Fisherman story from the October issue with me talking about fall fishing, an article with my flutter spoon techniques in Bass West, plus the dozens of articles I’ve written, including the Nov 2010 article about the basics of deep water fishing. 

 

Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale.  It is a demo boat through my dealer and you’d be titled as the first owner.  She’s value priced to save you big bucks off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.  Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OatBx6KpyJk

 

Lake Conditions:  Fork’s water level continues to slowly drop, as it has all autumn.  The lake level is currently 400.04’ (just less than 3’ below full pool) and a lot of stumps are now visible.  The boat lanes are still safe to run in general, but definitely exercise caution when heading out of the clear-cut areas.  Water temps have been bouncing up and down with the regular passage of fronts, but in general the main lake has been holding in the mid-60s.  The main lake has returned to the normal greenish clear color, except on the north ends where it is more stained.  Some of the creeks are stained, but those with grass are pretty clear. 

 

Location Pattern: There are still lots of fish to be caught up shallow.  Grass on the main lake or around points in the creeks has been consistently good, while I haven’t done as well in the very backs of creeks lately.  With all of the exposed timber, creek channel edges, fencerows, and treelines are all productive areas as well.  For the past couple of weeks, the deep bite has been my most consistent bite during the middle of the days.  The schools have been big and easy to find with your graph.  Some of the schools are very large, with huge numbers of yellow bass, white bass, and catfish mixed in the with largemouth; while other schools have been entirely largemouth.  It is a safe assumption this time of year that if you find the white bass and yellow bass, the largemouth will be there with them.  Usually it is just a matter of figuring out some that the bass will eat and the smaller fish will leave alone, but sometimes you just have to weed through all the smaller fish to get to the black bass.  Shallower main lake structures still seem to be best for the offshore bite, with areas topping out in 17’ to 25’ being the most productive. 

 

Presentation Pattern:  During fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, the topwater action has slowed for me, especially on cool mornings.  I have had better luck, especially in the afternoons, in areas with loosely matted grass using topwaters like buzzbaits and Fork Frogs.  Shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft’s RC 1.5 or BDS3 square bills, spinnerbaits and rattle baits, and 3/8 oz chatterbaits with 3.5” Live Magic shads have been productive, especially on the windy and cloudy days.  As I mentioned before, bass are grouping on grass points, main lake grass, and treelines, so try these lures out in those areas and experiment until you find the hot lure that day.  As you might expect, the best bait and color changes dramatically from day-to-day.  It’s the time of year when dozens of different baits will work, so having several jack-of-all-trade rods on the deck is more helpful than a few specialized Carolina rig or cranking rods.  Rods like the Dobyns Champion 733C and 734C (7’3” rods in medium to medium heavy powers) are equally adept at throwing topwaters and spinnerbaits to weightless soft plastics and jigs.  Pair them with easy casting 15 lb PowerSilk mono and you’ll have some rigs that will be up to all but the most demanding bass fishing tasks this fall.

 

If the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, switch to a Carolina rigged Baby Ring Fry or Baby Fork Creature with a oz weight and a 12” leader and work along the grass edges for quality fish.  If the bass won’t respond to the C-rig, slow down even more with a wacky rigged Hyper Finesse Worm and the slow fall of these worms will get lots of action from the smaller fish and an occasional good one.   For these soft plastics, green pumpkin and junebug colors are working best on cloudy days, while watermelon/red and watermelon candy are better on sunny days.  These techniques will also catch additional fish in areas where I’ve already caught some fish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters.  For a shot at a true lunker, a 3/8 oz green pumpkin or blue bruiser colored MPack Jig with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer or a 10” Fork Worm Texas rigged will produce big bass when pitched to the deep weed edge, especially on points and around creek channels. 

 

For the bass out deep, Fork Flutter Spoons and tail spinners are catching a lot of suspended fish.  The more wind and cloud cover, the greater the likelihood that the bass will be suspended.  Here again, the 3 and 4 power Dobyns rods do these chores well, with the 733C working great with tail spinners and smaller spoons, while the 734C is better when you break out 1 oz jigging spoons or throw the big 5” and 6” Fork Flutter Spoons.  Fish relating to the bottom are a lot more dependable, so seek out these schools if you can locate them.  Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys and Twitch Worms and drop shotting Hyper Finesse worms work best.  Once you get around a good school, catching these fish is usually just a matter of staying on them.  The real key is finding the good schools with your graph.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

Oct 16th, 2010

High pressure has dominated the weather at Lake Fork for the better part of 3 weeks now, with cool mornings and comfortably warm mid-70s to low-80s bluebird days and light winds.  Lots and lots of small to keeper sized bass are in the shallows and very willing to bite most days, with the occasional very aggressive or slow day mixed in around the infrequent weather fronts.  The lake seems to be getting closer to finishing up turning over, but until then, the deep bite has been less consistent that the shallow bite.  In another week or two the deep bite will really turn on as bass follow the hordes of shad and yellow bass school up.  In the meantime, we are slowly but surely starting to see the big fish being caught more regularly in the shallows as the water continues to cool. 

 

At this point last year, the lily pads and cattails had already died way back, yet they remain green and thick now.  This suggests to me that fall is running significantly later this year on Fork and we should have good fishing well into November this year, both shallow and deep.

 

Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale.  It is a demo boat through my dealer and you’d be titled as the first owner.  She’s value priced to save you big bucks off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.  Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OatBx6KpyJk

 

Lake Conditions:  Fork’s water level continues to drop after a small rise from a healthy rain on Monday.  The lake level is currently 400.34’ (about 2’ 8” below full pool) and a lot of stumps are now visible.  The boat lanes are still safe to run in general, but definitely exercise caution when heading out of the clear-cut areas.  Water temps fell quickly early in October but have now stabilized, holding in the 71 to 72 range in most areas, although I have seen it as low as 66 degrees a couple of times in the creeks.  The main lake is closer to the normal Fork clear-greenish color in some areas, yet many places are still brownish and murky from the turnover.  Most of the creeks remain stained. 

 

Location Pattern: The most consistent pattern continues to be shallow grassbeds.  Some days they are biting better on points and flats with grass on the main lake, while other days the points, creek channels and flats in the backs of creeks are better.  Regardless, I’ve consistently done better in areas with hydrilla, milfoil, or coontail.   Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I’m focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline.  When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 6’ to 10’.  Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you’re likely to find more fish.  Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you’ll fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch several in a small area.  I’ve found a few good schools out deep, but the shallow bite remains more consistent.  Shallower main lake structures seem to be best for the offshore bite, with areas topping out in 12’ to 24’ being the most productive. 

 

Presentation Pattern:  During fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, topwaters are catching a lot of good keeper fish early and late.  Smaller topwaters closely imitate the size of the shad and catch lots of keeper fish, so go with smaller sizes of poppers like Lucky Craft G-Splashes or Gun Fish when it is calm, or switch to the walking baits like Sammys if there is more chop on the water.  I throw these topwaters on floating mono line like PowerSilk for the best action with my lures.  Bass in areas with loosely matted grass will bite topwaters like buzzbaits and Fork Frogs even with the sun beating down, so try these on braided line if you want to topwater fish all day.  After the sun gets up a bit, I normally switch to shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft RC 0.5, RC 1.5, or BDS 0 square bills, oz spinnerbaits and rattle baits, and 3/8 oz chatterbaits with 3.5” Live Magic shads.  To keep those money fish hooked up on crankbaits with treble hooks, I like fiberglass rods like the Dobyns 705CB Glass.  The slower action of fiberglass allows bass to deeply take the lures and also keeps them hooked up well when fighting them in.  Match it with sensitive line like FluoroHybrid Pro and you’ll still have great feel, even with a fiberglass rod. 

 

If the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, switch to a Carolina rigged Baby Ring Fry or Baby Fork Creature with a oz weight and a 12” leader and work along the grass edges for quality fish.  If the bass won’t respond to the C-rig, slow down even more with a wacky rigged Hyper Finesse Worm and the slow fall of these worms will get lots of action from the smaller fish and an occasional good one.   For these soft plastics, green pumpkin and junebug colors are working best on cloudy days, while watermelon/red and watermelon candy are better on sunny days.  These techniques will also catch additional fish in areas where I’ve already caught some fish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters.  For a shot at a true lunker, a 3/8 oz green pumpkin or blue bruiser colored MPack Jig with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer or a 10” Fork Worm Texas rigged will produce big bass when pitched to the deep weed edge, especially on points and around creek channels. 

 

For the bass out deep, Fork Flutter Spoons and Lucky Craft deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns will catch some suspended fish.  Fish relating to the bottom are a lot more dependable, so seek out these schools if you can locate them.  Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys and Twitch Worms and drop shotting Hyper Finesse worms are working best.  I like using the 7’8” Dobyns Champion Extreme model DX784ML for Carolina rigs and the extra length allows me take up extra line and get control of big fish at the end of long casts.  If you haven’t tried worm and jig fishing with a longer rod, give it a try and you’ll land more fish. 

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

The fishing at Lake Fork has been good to fantastic almost everyday for the past week.  Since last Tuesday (April 27) through yesterday (Monday), we’ve had at least a 7 lb’er in the boat every single trip and a number of 8 to 10 pounders.  Our best 5 fish weighed 31 to 36 lbs each day from Wednesday through Saturday.  The good news is that most of the fish are still up shallow and many folks are really strokin’ them right now on a wide range of presentations.  Basically, focus on a shallow technique that you like and you’ll probably be able to catch some good fish right now.   Muddier than normal conditions have them holding shallow and actively feeding as opposed to being spooky while shallow in clearer water. 

 

Because of the late spring, a lot of bass are still spawning and many of the early spawners are just now starting to turn on again while chasing shad and bluegill.  As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a 10+.  That means topwaters early or all day on cloudy days.  After that, it is offshore structure fishing the rest of the day on possibly the best structure fishing lake in the country.  So if your plans didn’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July.  In addition to catching a lot of big fish, it is also the premier time to learn how to read your electronics to graph big schools of bass on deep structure.

 

Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale.  It is a demo boat through my dealer with low hours and you’d be titled as the first owner.  She’s value priced to save you big bucks off the cost a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.  Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OatBx6KpyJk

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork is full and considerably more stained than normal.  The lake level is currently 403.29’ and steady, about 3” above full pool.  Water temps are reading from 68 to 72 in the main lake, warmer in the creeks.

 

Location Pattern: I’m finding most of the bigger spawning fish near the mouths of coves and on main lake flats in 6’ and less.  The northern half of the lake still has a few spawners, but the south end has more fish moving up.  The slightly deeper structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 4’ to 12’, adjacent to areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass, is where we’ve found most of the bigger females, both prespawn and postspawn.  On the northern half of the lake, grass flats and points will continue to hold numbers of fish until the bluegill and shad finish their spawns and temps turn hot.  In general, the fish up north are getting way less pressure than the areas down south too.

 

Presentation Pattern:  Topwaters are starting to turn on, and Lucky Craft G Splash, Kelly J’s, and Gunfish will get a lot of bites early and late.  You can work these baits all day long and catch good fish, especially if you are in areas with lots of bass fry.  Work these lures on a floating mono line, like 15 lb PowerSilk.  A Dobyns 704CB Champion rod will cast these smaller topwaters very well and has a soft tip to help you land more fish too.  Around heavier grass or pads, throw Fork Frogs and buzzbaits too.  If the wind kicks up, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and vibrating jigs work well in shad or bluegill color schemes.  oz Redemption spinnerbaits, Lucky Craft RC 2.0 square billed cranks, and Phenix Vibrator jigs with 3.5” Live Magic Shads will all catch good bass, especially on the windy and cloudy days.  For a real pig, try slow swimming a 5.5” or 8” Live Magic Shad on a swimbait hook through the same areas.  You’ll get fewer bites, but some real monsters.

 

For bass that are on spawning flats and on points, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Zig Zags, and the all new Hyper Stick work.  The Hyper Stick combines the shape of Senko-style stick worm baits with the segmented body action of the Live Magic Shad.  The result is a worm with unique action from even the slightest rod movement.  Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, but don’t forget Blue Bruiser with the muddy water this year.  These fish are often spooky, so long casts are key.  For weightless soft plastic jerkbaits, I’m using Dobyns’ 733C with 14 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line.  The 7’3” rod whips the baits out there, while it still has enough backbone to drive the hook through thick worms on long casts.  The new FluoroHybrid Pro line has the feel and invisibility of fluorocarbon, yet it casts well and ties strong knots like mono—it’s truly the best of both worlds.  If the wind is blowing, rig the Hyper Stick on a 12” leader and a oz weight on a Carolina rig with 17 lb FHP line and you’ll keep on catching them.   Finally, I’ll pitch a 3/8 oz green pumpkin MPack jig with a matching Fork Craw with a 7’3” Dobyns 736C Champion rod to shallow cover like stumps, laydowns, and clumps of grass, plus pitch to the deep weed edge.  Big females hang out here before and after the spawn and this is a great way to catch a lunker in the late spring. 

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

 

Feb 24, 2010


Despite a bitterly cold winter, the bass are hanging out in their typical
prespawn locations.  Many are even in the very backs of creeks in 2' of 42
to 48 degree muddy water.  As soon as we get a significant warming trend the
bite will become consistent and bass will start bedding.  In the meantime,
the bite has been very slow to fair at best most days. 

The cold temps have been especially hard on the relatively fragile threadfin
shad and there have been a number of significant shad kills.  That's a
windfall for the bass, and they're getting a lot of easy meals as a result.
The good news is that the bass we're catching are downright obese and full
of shad.  The bad news is that food is so readily available that they aren't
having to work very hard to eat and that makes it tough to catch them on
lures.  As opposed to normal when I favor areas where I'm seeing shad in the
water, lately we haven't been able to get bit in areas where there's a lot
of bait.  Basically, if you're seeing a number of shad struggling in the
area, we're normally not getting bit in those spots.

As the lake warms, we're going to have a very good spring this year.   The
extra flooded shallow cover and the very well fed bass will make for a very
productive spawn and a lot of heavy fish.  In the meantime, plug away in key
areas and you'll eventually connect with some big ones.  My report is large
unchanged from my last one and will remain that way until the spawns gets
going in March. 
Lake Conditions:  The lake is full and more stained than normal, plus cooler
than normal.  The lake level is currently 403.01', right at full pool.  The
water clarity is clearer on the south end, getting more stained as you head
up the lake, and quite muddy in some creeks up north.  Water temps are
reading 45 to 47 in the main lake, while 51 was the warmest we found in the
creeks yesterday.
Location Pattern: From late-December through much of March, I concentrate on
the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or
creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla,
milfoil, or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish.
While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas
that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands
to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring
will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  I've found fish in grass
anywhere from the very backs of creeks to main lake flats, with about 2/3
the way back in creeks being most productive lately.

As I say each spring, bear in mind that the absolute water temperature is
not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For
instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing
if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great
if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In
general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during
warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds
after cold fronts.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be
absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming
trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

Presentation Pattern:  A few simple lures produce big bass each winter from
grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in
or oz, like the Lucky Craft LV500 and LVR D-7.  Red and crawfish colors
are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often
produce better on any given day.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on
a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the bait
fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.
Lipless cranks are notorious for losing fish, so I've gone to the 8' Dobyns
804CB cranking rod.  You can whip baits a country mile and it is so well
balanced that it feels like having a little 6'6" rod in your hands.  The
804CB has plenty of backbone to rip baits free from grass, yet a soft tip to
let the bass eat the bait deeply and to keep them on.  And a long rod moves
a lot of line and keeps steady pressure on fish, resulting in more landed
lunkers.  If you're out at the lake, run by Lake Fork Tackle's pro shop in
Emory and check it out for yourself.  oz Redemption spinnerbaits with
tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts
will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless
cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try
swimming a 4.5" Live Magic Shad on the back of a oz Phenix Vibrator Jig
and fish it in the same areas you'd throw a spinnerbait.  With the
spinnerbait, mono like 28 lb PowerSilk line works best, while 30 to 50 lb
braided line works better with the lipless cranks and vibrating jigs to help
rip them through the grass.

When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I'll switch to a
suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Lucky Craft's model
100SP Pointers in gold or chrome patterns are my traditional choices,
although the new Gunmetal Shad & Phantom Chartreuse Shad are my new
favorites.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.
A long rod with a forgiving tip helps land big fish that just slap at these
baits, so I throw them on a Dobyns 705CB cranking rod.  Match it with 12 to
17 lb Fluorohybrid Pro, a new line that is as clear and sensitive as
fluorocarbon, yet as smooth and easy handling as mono.  For jigs, I go with
the new oz black and blue MPack jig from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and pair
it with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer in the blue bruiser
color.  For the Texas rig, I'll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak in
black neon or blue bruiser with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight.  Work your jig or
Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great
shot at a lunker.

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area
over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.
Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots
will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and
more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you'll have a
milk run of honey holes now through March.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through
http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

 

Lake Fork Report —January 23, 2009

 

After a brutally cold start to 2010 at Lake Fork, we’ve had over a week of very mild weather, including a couple nights in the 60s and some warm sunny days in the 70s.  Water temps have risen steadily and there are even a few fish in the very backs of the creeks.  I’ve fished Fork the last 6 days in a row and although it has warmed dramatically, the bass are only slowly working their way back shallow.  With the warm weather continuing this week, look for them to steadily show up shallow.  Last week started off well and slowed as it went on for numbers, but the size of the fish has been very good and the females are already fat with a lot of eggs. 

 

Depending on our weather, the earliest spawners are only 20 to 45 days away, so my favorite time of year (the prespawn) is getting going.   Numbers run lower this time of year; however, the average size of your catch is at its highest for the year, usually in the 3.5 to 5 lb range, with a good shot at bass 7 lbs or greater.  It’s also the time of year when more 10s, 11s, 12s, 13s, and bigger are caught.  Best of all, you’ll have the lake mostly to yourself, especially on the cold and nasty days when the lunkers bite the best!

Boat for Sale: My 2009 Ranger Z520 boat is for sale.  It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Mercury Pro XS motor with a 5 year warranty (good until 2014).  It’s value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note. 

Lake Conditions:  The lake is full right now and a bit more stained than normal, with temps rebounding this week.  The lake level is currently at 403.15’ (2” above full pool).  The water clarity is clear on the south end, getting more stained as you head up the lake, and even muddy in some creeks.  Water temps are reading 48 to 51 in the main lake, while the backs of some creeks have been as warm as 57 the past few days.

 

Location Pattern: Many big bass are schooled up in deep water right now and it’s still a good time for structure fishermen.  If you’re like me though, from late-December through much of March, I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil, or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

 

As I say each spring, bear in mind that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern:  A few simple lures produce big bass each winter from grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in or oz, like the Lucky Craft LV500 and LVR D-7.  Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the bait fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.  Lipless cranks are notorious for losing fish, so I’ve gone to the 8’ Dobyns 804CB cranking rod.  You can whip baits a country mile and it is so well balanced that it feels like having a little 6’6” rod in your hands.  The 804CB has plenty of backbone to rip baits free from grass, yet a soft tip to let the bass eat the bait deeply and to keep them on.  And a long rod moves a lot of line and keeps steady pressure on fish, resulting in more landed lunkers.  If you’re out at the lake, run by Lake Fork Tackle’s pro shop in Emory and check it out for yourself.  oz Redemption spinnerbaits with tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming a 4.5” Live Magic Shad on the back of a oz Phenix Vibrator Jig and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait.  With the spinnerbait, mono like 28 lb PowerSilk line works best, while 30 to 50 lb braided line works better with the lipless cranks and vibrating jigs to help rip them through the grass.

 

When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Lucky Craft’s model 100SP Pointers in gold or chrome patterns are my traditional choices, although the new Gunmetal Shad & Phantom Chartreuse Shad are my new favorites.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.  A long rod with a forgiving tip helps land big fish that just slap at these baits, so I throw them on a Dobyns 705CB cranking rod.  Match it with 12 to 17 lb Fluorohybrid Pro, a new line that is as clear and sensitive as fluorocarbon, yet as smooth and easy handling as mono.  For jigs, I go with the new oz black and blue MPack jig from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and pair it with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

 

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.  Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  



Lake Fork Report & Fall Fishing Article-October 9, 2009

Today's morning of cold rain, north winds, and dropping temperatures
reinforced that fall fishing is on its way.  Even though we're approaching
mid-October, water temps are still sitting in the mid-70s and our best fall
bite is yet to come.  As cold fronts roll through regularly and the water
temps move into the 60s, big bass will come more consistently from the
shallows and lunker fish will also group up out deep.  Due to the later than
normal cool down, we're catching mostly smaller fish in the shallows and
most days the deep fish remain pretty scattered.  The good news is that the
fall bite should be good through November this year.


Lake Conditions:  Our rainy pattern continues, with a couple more inches
falling this morning.  The lake level is currently at 403.51' (6" above full
pool) and rising.  The water clarity is still good in most areas, although
the backs of bigger creeks are pretty muddy. Water temps today were reading
from 70 to 75, both in the main lake and in the creeks.  I normally have my
best fall fishing with the water temps from 55 to 65 degrees, so we're
getting close to the magic range.

Location Pattern: The clouds, rain, and wind have kept the deep bass
scattered most days.  Look for that to improve as the sun comes back out,
especially on the post frontal days.  In the meantime, the shallow bass
around the grass are more active, especially early and late in the day.  My
October article (see below) covers the shallow patterns in depth.  For deep
fish, most of the best spots are shallower now, around 18 to 25' deep.  As
the deep bite turns on, you'll start seeing more fish in the 28' to 33'
range too. 

Presentation Pattern:  For the shallow patterns, see my article below.  If
you're fishing deep, these basic patterns generally work best in the fall.
For the suspended bass, Fork Flutter Spoons and Lucky Craft Flat CB D-20
crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns work best and will catch some
lunkers too.  The key is getting your bait down to the level of the bass and
keeping it in front of them for as much of the retrieve as possible.  For
deep bass on the bottom, Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys and Twitch Worms and
drop shotting Hyper Finesse worms are my favorites.  I use watermelon shades
on sunny days, while green pumpkin hues & Junebug works better on cloudy
days.  I've been using the 7'8" Dobyns Champion Extreme model DX784ML lately
and the extra length allows me take up extra line and get control of big
fish at the end of long casts.  If you haven't tried worm and jig fishing
with a longer rod, give it a try and you'll land more fish. 

[img]http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/boatforsalepics/index.16.jpg[/img]
Boat for Sale: My 2009 Ranger Z520 boat is for sale.  It is fully loaded,
rigged with a 250 HP Mercury Pro XS motor with a 5 year warranty (good until
2014).  It's value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a
new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website
(www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

August 2009

The bass fishing over the past couple of weeks on Lake Fork has been slower than normal.  Summertime structure fishing is normally the most consistent bite of the year; however, dramatically fluctuating water levels and temps seem to have slowed the bite and we’re catching lower numbers and not many big fish as of late.  It’s still Lake Fork and we’ve had a number of days with 20 or more fish and the average size fish is around 3 lbs most days, but this is well below average in both categories.  With the weather turning hotter once again, I expect the bite to get back to normal.  In the meantime, I’m running a lot of water looking for a few good schools of fish, then working them over for a long time to get the fish to bite.  The key is covering water with the graph until you find a good school, and then having the confidence to stay there and the patience to get those fish to bite.

 

Looking forward, September & October are always popular months on Fork as the fall tournament season really cranks up.  It’s perfect timing for the tournaments too, because the cooling water turns on the fishing in both the shallows and out deep.  September-November normally produces our fastest action on Fork for numbers, with lots of keeper sized fish chasing bait in the shallows, while big groups of bass school up out deep.  Whether you like topwaters, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits up shallow or fishing with soft plastics and spoons out deeper, fall is a fun time to fish Lake Fork.

 

 

Lake Conditions:  After 10” of rain in a week and quick rise, the lake is back down around full pool again now.  The lake level is currently at 402.89’ (about 1” below full pool) and slowly dropping.  The water clarity is running about normal, with stained water up north and clear greenish water on the south end.  Water temps are on the rise again, reading 86 to 90 degrees in most areas of the main lake.  I’m showing the thermocline around 28’, which is about where it normally develops on Fork.

 

Location Pattern: Although some fish are still shallow relating to the grass, I’m concentrating on schools of fish on offshore structure.  Structure like points, humps, channel bends, and roadbeds in 20’ to 33’ continue as my main pattern.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom.  Many of these schools are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth finder closely for them and make precise casts or you’ll miss these fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern:  I’m still using pretty much the same baits I’ve used all summer, but the best technique and lure color changes from day to day, so keep experimenting until you find what they want..  Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I’m using Bama bug or red bug 10” Fork Worms or the new 6” Hyper Worm for Texas rigs.  Meanwhile, junebug , watermelon candy, or green pumpkin Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and the new 6” Hyper Lizard with its thumping tail are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Try these with the new Dobyns Champion Extreme DX744 rod and you’ll feel every little bump, while having plenty of fish fighting power.  The DX744 is a lightweight 7’4” rod that is so well balanced it feels like nothing in your hand, yet somehow it delivers enough power to tear big bass away from standing timber down 25’.  When the bass are more finicky, drop shots will catch good numbers of slot fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a junebug, watermelon/red, or red bug Hyper Finesse Worm or Twitch Worm.

 

I’m trying to keep my baits near the bottom, sometimes a trick on windy days in rough open water.  Therefore, I use a big oz sinker on both my Texas rigs and drop shots, while 1 oz is what I use to Carolina rig with.  For line, I’ve been using the brand new FluoroHybrid Pro (FHP) line, now available at the Lake Fork Trophy Lures pro shop in Emory.  I’m using 12 lb test on a spinning reel for my drop shots and the 20 lb test on bait casters for my TX and Carolina rigs.  While their PowerSilk and regular Fluorohybrid lines are perfect for moving baits like cranks and spinnerbaits, the FHP is truly revolutionary.  Stronger and lower in stretch than regular FluoroHybrid line, FHP is the first and only line that combines the sensitivity, abrasion resistance, and invisibility of fluorocarbon line with the strength and ease of handling of mono.  This innovative line is made with an exclusive co-extruded process instead of a fluorocarbon coating over mono like all of the other hybrids on the market, resulting in its unique characteristics.

 

When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter spoons, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too.  The trick with crankbaits is to get them deep, and light line and long casts help you do this.  Therefore, I use the 805CB cranking rod from Dobyns, paired with low stretch 12 lb PowerSilk line.  With this 8’ rod and the zero memory line, you can whip crankbaits a country mile.  For the Flutter Spoons and swimbaits, count them down to the depth of the fish and try to swim your bait slightly above the bass.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

For those of you looking for more frequent updates on Lake Fork fishing and my adventures as a Pro on the FLW Tour, check out my Facebook and Twitter sites: http://www.facebook.com/tom.redington  http://twitter.com/Tom_Redington

 

 

Boat for Sale: My 2009 Ranger Z520 boat is for sale.  It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Mercury Pro XS motor with a 5 year warranty (good until 2014).  It’s value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

June 29th, 2009

The temps have turned hot here at Fork, grouping up lots of fish out deep.
Shallow grass and wood cover are still producing some good fish and even
some big ones, especially early and late.  For the majority of the day
though, offshore structure fishing has been best for me.  The hot, sunny
afternoons of summer are prime time to catch these big schools of big fish,
and thankfully we've had a nice breeze most days to keep us cool.  If you're
looking to learn deep structure fishing skills-reading topo maps, setting up
your graph correctly & decoding the images on your sonar to find schools,
and learning deep water techniques like big spoons, football jigs, drop
shots, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and deep crankbaits-now through early
September is the time to head to Lake Fork.  And not only is it a great time
to learn, but you'll probably catch a lot of big fish as well.  

Boat for Sale: My 2009 Ranger Z520 boat is for sale.  It is fully loaded,
rigged with a 250 HP Mercury Pro XS motor with a 5 year warranty (good until
2014).  It's value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a
new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website
(www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

Lake Conditions:  Fork remains full and the grass is green and growing all
over the lake.  The lake level is currently at 403.21' (about 3" above full
pool) and slowly falling.  The water clarity is running about normal, with
stained water up north and clear greenish water on the south end.  Milfoil
and hydrilla are both growing rapidly and starting to mat out in places,
which should make for great grass fishing in the fall.  Water temps really
rose this week, reading 89 to 93 degrees in most areas of the main lake.
With the continued hot days and light winds, I expect the thermocline will
set up around 28' deep pretty soon, as usual.   

Location Pattern: Early and late, I'm finding good bass feeding on points
and flats near or in the main lake.  These fish are mostly in 8' to 15',
often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or milfoil.  Deep structure like
points, humps, and roadbeds in 18' to 30' continue as my main pattern,
producing both good numbers and size.  Some days these bass are suspended
and other days they're on the bottom.  Many of these schools have been small
and are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth
finder closely. 

Presentation Pattern:  First thing in the morning, I'm working shallow grass
on the main lake and in the 1st half of creeks.  For bass feeding over the
top of the grassbeds, try a spinnerbait, chatterbait, or Fork Frogs.  For
bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged 10" Fork Worm
to holes in the grass and lily pads on flats or near stumps on points in the
deep weedline.  I'm using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed jig
with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer, or a
watermelon Fork Worm on the Texas rig. 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from
schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I go with green pumpkin
or red bug 8" or 10" Fork Worms for Texas rigs.  Meanwhile, junebug or green
pumpkin Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and the new 6" Hyper Lizard are on
the business end of my Carolina rigs.  The new 6" Hyper Lizard is the
perfect size for Carolina rigs, and it thumping Hyper tail really calls fish
in.  A great set up for the C-rig is a stout 7'6" 764C Dobyns Rod with low
stretch 32 lb PowerSilk mono.  This set up will allow for monster casts,
while still delivering strong hook sets at long distances. Drop shots will
catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a
watermelon or green pumpkin Hyper Finesse Worm.  When the bass are
suspended, Fork Flutter spoons, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad
or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations,
and catching some lunkers too.  The trick with crankbaits is to get them
deep, and light line and long casts help you do this.  Therefore, I use the
805CB cranking rod from Dobyns, paired with low stretch 15 lb to 21 lb
PowerSilk line.  With this 8' rod and the zero memory line, you can whip
crankbaits a country mile.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

May 10th, 2009

After a prolonged stretch of really good fishing on Lake Fork, things slowed
down recently, particularly for bigger fish.  Despite an overnight 2' rise
in the water after flooding rains, we could still catch good numbers of buck
bass to 5 lbs.  However, the bite for the females went away for me.  I'm
guessing that we're in between waves of spawners but that shouldn't last for
long.  With the full moon this weekend, the final major wave of big fish
should move up to spawn in main lake pockets and flats.

Deep water structure fishing will begin soon and the topwater bite is just
getting started, offering superb fishing well into the heat of the summer.
As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent
fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with
a shot at a 10+.  And although the bass are wrapping up their spawn, the
shad and bluegill are just cranking up.  To learn my tips on how to
capitalize on these other spawns, check out my May article, "The Other
Spawns": http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles/may2009.htm

Lake Conditions:  Flooding rains hit this weekend and Fork crested at 2'
over full pool.  The lake level is currently reading at 403.67' (about 8"
above full pool) and dropping fast.  By lowering the lake quickly, the
resultant current drew a lot of muddy and stained water into normally
clearer areas.  There remains plenty of clear areas though, especially near
the main lake and on the south end.  Milfoil and hydrilla are both growing
rapidly and expanding coverage, plus the lily pads are starting to burgeon
as well.  Water temps are at a comfortable 68 to 72 degrees in most areas of
the main lake. 

Location Pattern: I'm finding most of the bigger spawning fish nearer the
mouths of coves and on main lake flats in 8' and less.  While some bass are
spawning in the newly flooded grass and cattails, many are spawning or
staging along the inside grassline in about 3'.  In addition, many bass are
also holding amongst the rapidly growing lily pads.  The slightly deeper
structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 8' to 14', adjacent to
areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass, is where we've found most of
the bigger females, both prespawn and postspawn. 

Presentation Pattern: Topwaters, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, swimbaits, and
crankbaits in shad and bluegill colors are catching fish early and all day
on windy or cloudy days.  Fork is famous for its topwater fishing this time
of year and bass will come up all day for small poppers (like Yellow Magics
or Pop-Rs).  I'm throwing small poppers with 15 lb PowerSilk, about the
equivalent of 10 lb mono.  The floating, zero memory line lets me whip out
casts even in windy conditions with these light baits.  Because of its zero
memory, both PowerSilk and Fluorohybrid are great on spinning reels as well.
Vary your popper retrieve because some days they'll want a nonstop spit,
while other days a couple pops with long pauses works better.

For bass that are on spawning flats, we've been able to catch steady numbers
of fish on weightless or wacky rigged soft plastics.  The Lake Fork Trophy
Lures Zig Zag, rigged with a weedless wacky hook and a small nail weight in
the nose, has been killer most days.  When it gets tough and the bite is
slow, downsize and go with a 3.5" Live Magic Shad on a 3/0 Ultimate Swimbait
Hook or wacky rig a Hyper Finesse Worm and you'll still be able to catch
good numbers of fish, although the fish size will run a bit smaller on
average. Shades of green pumpkin typically work better on cloudy days, while
I normally switch to the watermelon colors if the sun comes out.  I normally
fish these rigs on low stretch 17, 21 or 28 lb PowerSilk line (use lighter
line in calmer, clearer water with less cover), but I've been experimenting
with a new prototype line lately called Fluorohybrid Extreme.  This line has
all of the best properties of the standard Fluorohybrid line-low memory,
high abrasion resistance, and small diameter-plus it has much lower stretch
so it delivers a lot more feel.  This line will be ideal for techniques that
require a lot of sensitivity, like worms, jigs, and dropshots.  Look for it
to be available in a few weeks.  For bigger fish, casting a jig to the
inside and outside grasslines has been our most productive bait.  You'll get
less bites than with soft plastics, but they are almost all good ones.  I've
been using Mark Pack's new jig design in the 3/8 and oz sizes in
black/blue and several shades of green.  It has an awesome hook, the first
thing I look for in a good jig, and great looking skirts.  Look for the new
jig to be available in a few weeks as well.  Simply pitch it to the edge of
the grass and work it with slow hops and pay close attention, as bites are
often very subtle.

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Baby Fork Craws, Flippers and Craw
Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the
bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more
finicky bass.  Many spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see
bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any
wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can't
see.  In addition, a Carolina rig on 21 lb PowerSilk with a 12" leader and a
3/16 to 5/16 oz weight is deadly when worked in 3' to 8' for beds that are
too deep to see and for females waiting to move up.  Rig it up on a heavy
power fast tipped 7'3" Dobyns 735C and you'll be all set.  I put a Top Dog
lizard, Magic Shad, or Zig Zag on the hook and it consistently catches big
fish. Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a
long time or you'll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

April 13th, 2009

 

Despite very windy conditions (often 25 to 40 mph) and cold fronts passing through every few days, a lot of big fish moved up during the past week.  Best of all, you can fish for quantity or quality right now.  While good numbers (20 to 40 fish/day) can usually be caught in the shallows by throwing soft plastics, most of these fish are male bass that are 5 lbs and less.  My customers and I backed off and fished a little deeper (5’ to 15’) on points and grasslines and had a very good week for size.  Although we didn’t get a double digit fish, we managed to catch fish over 7 lbs on every trip this week except yesterday (Friday).  We did catch one fish over 7 lbs on a bed, but all of the rest of our big fish came out deeper on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, and Texas or Carolina rigs.  Lots of fish are spawning on the north end of the lake, while the south end is just getting started, so there should be a few more weeks of good spring fishing.

 

I expect the spawn to continue into early May, as it does most every year on Fork.  By the end of April, many fish will already be in post spawn and early summertime patterns.  As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a 10+.  That means topwaters early or all day on cloudy days.  After that, it is deep water structure fishing the rest of the day on possibly the best structure fishing lake in the country.  So if your plans don’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July.

 

Lake Conditions:  The lake level is currently holding at 402.82’ (about 2” below full pool).  Strong winds muddied large areas of the lake over the past couple of weeks.  Much of the upper lake is stained, while the south end has good visibility in some areas.  The milfoil has really greened up and is spreading in coverage quickly, while the hydrilla and lily pads are just starting to grow.  Water temps rose and fell all week, with temps in the mid-60s in protected pockets, while the main lake was running from 59 to 63 on Friday. 

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn and staging fish, key on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Basically, look for the first drop off or cover adjacent to spawning flats.  Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most fish, although wood has produced some good fish lately too.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding some fish, as are main and secondary points inside the coves.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.  After the fronts, drop back to deeper water adjacent to where the fish were before the front and you’ll quickly relocate them.  For spawning fish, look for protected bays in the north end of the lake or at the very backs of major creeks.  As the water continues to warm, bass will start spawning nearer the mouths of creeks and in deeper creeks.  The main lake flats are typically the last areas to spawn, often as late as early May. 

 

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, and chatterbaits are still catching big fish, especially on overcast and windy days.  With lots of stained and muddy water, bright color schemes that include some orange, chartreuse, or red have worked best.  For a big bass, go with a oz chatterbait with a watermelon/red/pearl 4.5” Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait.  On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig.  Go with gold or clown colored jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go.  I go with a 1/2 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper, Top Dog Lizard, or Hyper Freak in black neon, green pumpkin or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  I throw these on 65 lb braided line and a heavy action 736C model Dobyns Rod to horse those brutes out before they tangle me up. 

 

For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, we’ve been able to catch great numbers of fish on weightless or wacky rigged soft plastics.  The Lake Fork Trophy Lures Zig Zag, rigged with a weedless wacky hook and a small nail weight in the nose, has been killer most days.  I also like the 4.5” Live Magic Shad rigged on a 5/0 Ultimate Swimbait Hook for big fish in the shallows, fished with a short swim and long pauses.  When it gets tough and the bite is slow, downsize and go with a 3.5” Live Magic Shad on a 3/0 Ultimate Swimbait Hook or wacky rig a Hyper Finesse Worm and you’ll still be able to catch good numbers of fish, although the fish size will run a bit smaller on average. Shades of green pumpkin typically work better on cloudy days, while I normally switch to the watermelon colors if the sun comes out.  I’m throwing all of these baits on the 7’ 3” medium heavy power Dobyns 733C model rod.  This long rod will launch light soft plastics a long ways to skittish shallow fish, but still has enough power to make a hook set at the end of a long cast and to fight them out of heavy cover.   I normally fish these rigs on low stretch 17, 21 or 28 lb PowerSilk line (use lighter line in calmer, clearer water with less cover), but I’ve been experimenting with a new prototype line lately called Fluorohybrid Extreme.  This line has all of the best properties of the standard Fluorohybrid line—low memory, high abrasion resistance, and small diameter—plus it has much lower stretch so it delivers a lot more feel.  This line will be ideal for techniques that require a lot of sensitivity, like worms, jigs, and dropshots.  Look for it to be available in a few weeks.        

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  Many spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see.  In addition, a Carolina rig on 21 lb PowerSilk with a 12” leader and a 3/16 to 5/16 oz weight is deadly when worked in 3’ to 8’ for beds that are too deep to see and for females waiting to move up.  I put a Top Dog lizard, Magic Shad, or Zig Zag on the hook and it consistently catches big fish. Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

Mar 21, 2009

 

After an extended warming trend in early March brought in a big wave of spawners, a strong cold front with heavy rains muddied up and cooled Lake Fork, slowing the bite considerably last week.  The water has steadily warmed again this week and that is drawing a number of fish into the shallows to start spawning again.  Meanwhile on the south end of the lake and nearer deeper water, the vast majority of bass remain prespawn and lunker females are staging on points and creeks leading to spawning areas.  With a steady forecast for the next week and the New Moon as well, we’ll see another big wave of fish to move up shortly. 

 

I expect the spawn to continue into early May, as it does most every year on Fork.  By the end of April, many fish will already be in post spawn and early summertime patterns.  As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a 10+.  That means topwaters early or all day on cloudy days.  After that, it is deep water structure fishing the rest of the day on possibly the best structure fishing lake in the country.  So if your plans don’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July.

 

As a side note, I added my March article to my website.  It’s the first part of an in-depth 2 part series on fishing a jig in the springtime for lunkers.  You can check this and all of my other bass fishing articles out at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  The lake level is currently holding steady at 402.73’ (about 3” below full pool).  Much of the upper lake is stained to muddy but starting to clear, while the south has good visibility in most areas.  There are still large areas of milfoil and hydrilla but the grass coverage seems to be getting thinner.  I expect these areas to green up and start expanding as the water warms.  Water temps are on the rise, with temps in the mid- to upper-60s in protected pockets, while the main lake was running from 58 to 62 on Friday. 

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn and staging fish, key on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most fish.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding some fish, as are main and secondary points inside the coves.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.  After the fronts, drop back to deeper water adjacent to where the fish were before the front and you’ll quickly relocate them.  For spawning fish, look for protected bays in the north end of the lake or at the very backs of major creeks.  As the water continues to warm and we move towards April, bass will start spawning nearer the mouths of creeks and in deeper creeks.  The main lake flats are typically the last areas to spawn, often as late as early May. 

 

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and chatterbaits are still catching big fish, especially on overcast and windy days.  With lots of stained and muddy water, bright color schemes that include a lot of orange, chartreuse, or red have worked best.  For throwing shallow and medium running cranks, I’ve finally discovered a set up that delivers all the features I want.  The new fiberglass 705CB/GLASS model from Dobyns Rods is the lightest fiberglass rod I’ve ever used and it’ll chunk crankbaits a mile, with an action that is slow enough to let bass engulf the bait and then keep the trebles hooked up during the fight.  To maintain sensitivity, I pair this rod with the new 11% stretch PowerSilk mono in 28 lb test from Lake Fork Trophy Lures.   The line has the diameter of about 17 or 20 lb test and has virtually no memory, so it casts a mile, and the low stretch allows me plenty of feel to feather my cranks along the top of the grass.  This awesome set up delivers the best of all worlds—it allows me to easily fish all day with its light weight, enables me to land most everything that bites my treble hook lures, all while maintaining a good feel of the bait. 

 

For a big bass, go with a oz chatterbait with a watermelon/red/pearl 4.5” Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait.  On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig.  Go with gold or clown colored jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go.  I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper, Top Dog Lizard, or Hyper Freak in black neon, green pumpkin or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  I throw these on 65 lb braided line and a heavy action 736C model Dobyns Rod to horse those brutes out before they tangle me up.  For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, and Hyper Whack’n Worms become your best option.  Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, with watermelon/red baits with the tail dipped in chartreuse being the top producer lately.

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  Many spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see.  Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

Feb 3rd, 2009

 

Despite a week of bitter cold temps with sleet and ice, the fishing at Lake Fork has been good on most days.  More big prespawn bass are showing up in the shallows all the time and 11+ lb fish are starting to come into marinas on a more regular basis.  Prespawn is my favorite time of the year on Fork because the crowds are light and you have a shot at a true lunker on any cast.  You really only needed a lipless crankbait rod and a jig rod this past week, although the bass will start chasing a larger variety of baits soon as the water warms back up.

 

Remember, spring is the season when a great pair of polarized sunglasses makes a huge difference.  Sight fishermen need them to scope out bass on deep beds that other anglers can’t see.  Meanwhile, if you’re trying to spot isolated grass clumps or laydowns where skittish lunkers lurk, premium sunglasses also help.  I recently picked up a pair of Costa Del Mar Wave 580 glasses.  Friends had told me for years that the 580s block light waves from the yellow and blue spectrums that our eyes have problems processing and really sharpen your focus.  I figured it was a bunch of marketing hype, but once I tried them out, I couldn’t believe how much of a difference they make.  Simply slide on a pair and look at a distant billboard and you’ll instantly notice how your focus is sharpened.  Amazing!  I personally like the Silver Mirror lens color: the mirror cuts down harsh light on bright days, while the amber lens color provides great contrast in all light conditions, even on cloudy days.  You can check them out for yourself at www.costadelmar.com .     

 

As a side note, I posted my February article on my website, entitled “Top 5 Spots for Finding Bass Quickly.” It details my strategy for finding bass fast on unfamiliar waters.  http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles/feb2009.htm 

 

Lake Conditions:  Heading into the prespawn, Fork is in great shape. The lake level is currently reading 402.11’ (about 11” below full pool).  Most of the lake is clear, with stained water on the north ends and in areas where the wind has been pounding.  Thanks to mostly stable water levels this year, large amounts of hydrilla & milfoil are growing in the lake, making for awesome shallow water fishing all spring.  Water temps bottomed out around 45 last week, then rebounded to near 50 with the latest warm up. 

 

Location Pattern: Much of my location and presentation info remains unchanged from last time, and will probably stay that way through most of the prespawn.  From late-December through much of March, I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

 

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern: The jig and lipless crankbait have excelled in the cold recently, but as the water warms, you’ll want to expand your offerings.  My prespawn arsenal is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in or oz.  Stick with the for grass that is near the surface and go with the for grass that is deeper.  Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.  to oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades in white, black, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming a 4.5” Lake Fork Live Magic Shad on the back of a oz chatterbait and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait.  When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Jerkbaits in gold, silver, or clown patterns are my primary colors.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.  For jigs, I go with oz black and blue Mega Weight jigs with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon red color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or the new Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a to 3/8 oz bullet weight.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

 

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.  Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

 

January 19th, 2009

 

Tom Redington

www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com 

www.BigMexicoBass.com 

 

 

 

Fishing at Lake Fork is somewhat like the stock market lately—very volatile.  We’ve had some really good days and some really slow days.  Thankfully, help is assuredly on the way for the fishing; with a couple days in the 70s forecast this week and more prespawn bass showing up in the shallows with each day.  And even on the slow days at Fork, there is still a good shot at a big ole bass to save the day.  Case in point, yesterday Mike Biggins from Missouri caught his biggest bass ever, a 9 lb 13 oz prespawn lunker that was full of eggs, on a day that the bites were few and far between.  We’ve had to cover a lot of water to scratch out our fish the last couple of trips, while good numbers of bass aggressively chased moving baits like traps and spinnerbaits a few days before.  Concentrate on key prespawn staging areas and work them thoroughly for the next couple of months and your odds of catching a giant are very good!

 

As a side note, for those of you asking about the Lake Fork Trophy Lures website re-launch, it is now up and running with all of their new products, including the famous Fork Flutter Spoons, Live Magic Shads, and the new Hyper Series of baits that Mark Pack used to win the $200,000 1st prize in the 2008 FLW Tour Walmart Open on Beaver Lake.  They also have some great closeouts on 2008 model Dobyns Rods, with up to 40% off on some models.  www.lftlures.com  

 

Lake Conditions:  Heading into the prespawn, Fork is in great shape. The lake level is currently reading 402.19’ (about 10” below full pool).  Most of the lake is clear, with stained water on the north ends and in areas where the wind has been pounding.  Thanks to mostly stable water levels this year, copious amounts of hydrilla, milfoil and coontail are growing in the lake, making for awesome shallow water fishing all spring.  Water temps dipped to the mid-40s after a cold snap but are now rebounding, reading 48 to 50 on the main lake yesterday.  We caught a number of big bass in much colder than normal conditions last spring, with water temps as low as 38, so don’t let the temps discourage you from going. 

 

Location Pattern: Much of my location and presentation info remains unchanged from last time, and will probably stay that way through most of the prespawn.  Many big bass are schooled up in deep water right now and it’s a great time for spoon fishermen.  If you’re like me though, from late-December through much of March, I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

 

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern: My prespawn arsenal is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in or oz.  Stick with the for grass that is near the surface and go with the for grass that is deeper.  Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.  to oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades in white, black, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming a 4.5” Lake Fork Live Magic Shad on the back of a oz chatterbait and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait.  When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Jerkbaits in gold, silver, or clown patterns are my primary colors.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.  For jigs, I go with oz black and blue Mega Weight jigs with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or the new Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a to 3/8 oz bullet weight.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

 

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.  Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

December 20th, 2008

 

Happy Holidays to everyone.  Thanks to all of my friends, family, and customers for a fabulous 2008 and I hope everyone has a year of great catches in 2009.  After a couple of wonderful fishing trips to Mexico, I’m gearing up for another season on Lake Fork and for the start of the FLW Tour season too.  Heading into the New Year, the early stages of prespawn are starting in some areas of the lake.  Meanwhile, lunker bass continue to be caught from deep water as well.  With big prespawn bass smoking jigs, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits now through March, this is my favorite time of the year on Fork.  Numbers run lower this time of year; however, the average size of your catch is at its highest for the year, usually in the 3.5 to 5 lb range, with a good shot at bass 7 lbs or greater.  Best of all, you’ll have the lake mostly to yourself, especially on the cold and nasty days when the lunkers bite the best! 

 

As a side note, my new November article on alternative rigs for the Live Magic Shad is now on my website: http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles/december2008.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  Heading into the prespawn, Fork is in great shape. The lake level is currently reading 402.22’ (about 9” below full pool).  Most of the lake is clear, with some stained water on the north ends.  Thanks to mostly stable water levels this year, copious amounts of hydrilla, milfoil and coontail are growing in the lake, making for awesome shallow water fishing all spring.  Water temps are dropping with the parade of cold fronts, reading in the low 50s in the main lake.  We caught a number of big bass in much colder than normal conditions last spring, with water temps as low as 38, so don’t let the temps discourage you from going. 

 

Location Pattern: Many big bass are schooled up in deep water right now and it’s a great time for spoon fishermen.  If you’re like me though, from late-December through much of March, I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

 

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

 

For deep structure enthusiasts, points, roadbeds, humps, flats and ledges in 18’ to 45’ will produce some big fish during the winter months as well.  Use your electronics to find the schools of bass and baitfish and work them over with spoons and dropshots.  I’m primarily concentrating on the shallow bass, so my presentation pattern will focus on that.

 

Presentation Pattern: My wintertime arsenal is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in or oz.  Stick with the for grass that is near the surface and go with the for grass that is deeper.  Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.  to oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades in white, red, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming a 4.5” Lake Fork Live Magic Shad on the back of a oz chatterbait and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait.  When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Jerkbaits in gold or clown patterns are my primary colors.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.  For jigs, I go with oz black and blue Mega Weight jigs with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or the new Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a to 3/8 oz bullet weight.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

 

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.  Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

November 17th, 2008

 

The fall fishing really turned on this past week at Lake Fork with the long
awaited end to our warm temps.  Even after the cold fronts, numbers of bass
have been good to great.  Big fish have been hard to come by for my
customers and me lately, with regular catches of 5 and 6 lb bass, but we
haven't been landing many 7 or bigger for the past few weeks.  I know some
of you don't want to hear me complaining about "only" catching 5s and 6s,
but that's the warped reality we live with at Fork.  Big fish have started
coming into the marinas more regularly again, including double digits in the
last few days, so I expect the big bite to return now that the water is
cooling again.  Until then, we're having a blast catching loads of  quality
bass shallow and deep as they feed up for winter.

With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates
available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies.  2008
has been another super year on Fork, with the lake being full and in great
shape for the coming season.  Prespawn starts in late-December, so it won't
be long until my favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through
March.  If you're looking for a fish of a lifetime, prespawn is the time to
head to Fork

Lake Conditions:  Nearly 4" of rain and frequent cold fronts are rolling
over Fork, which seems to have turned on the fishing.  The lake level is
currently reading 402.42' (about 7" below full pool).  Most of the lake is
clear despite the rain, with some stained water on the north ends.  Water
temps are dropping with the cool nights, reading from 61 to 63 in the main
lake on Sunday, while we found temps in the creeks as low as 57 early in the
morning. 

Location Pattern: Both the shallow and deep fish have bit well some days
this past week, but the best pattern depends on the day.  Fishing shallow
grassbeds on the main lake all the way to the backs of major creeks has
produced a lot of fish.  Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy
days, I'm focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the
inside weedline.  When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in
8' to 15'.  Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you're likely
to find more fish.  Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you'll
fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch several in a small
area.  I'm also catching bass back in the coves along creek channel bends.
For the deep anglers, concentrate on main lake structure in 18' to 33' and
you can load the boat when you find them.  The best areas and depths change
daily, so you'll need to do some scouting to find the schools each day.
Watch your graph closely and key on schools located tight to the bottom if
you can find them, because they are normally easier to catch than the
suspended schools.

Presentation Pattern: During fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure
choices and colors reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are
always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, I'm using smaller
baits that are about the size of the shad I'm seeing.  I'm throwing these
lures on the new fluoro/mono hybrid line from Lake Fork Tackle called
Fluorohybrid FH.  Its zero memory and tiny diameter allow me to boom casts
way out there, even with finesse baits.  Shallow running crankbaits and
lipless cranks, small spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle's 4" Hyper Worm are
all working well, especially on windy banks.  When the bite slows,
weightless rigged Magic Shads and Live Magic Shads in shades of watermelon
or the Magic Shad color are catching less active fish.  Work these slowly
with a few twitches and a long pause.  For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon
red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw or a TX rigged watermelon/red
or Bama Bug colored Hyper Freak pitched to timber or grass on points or
along creek channels are your best bet. 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and jigs will catch bass from schools
located near the bottom on deep structure.  Watermelon, green pumpkin, or
purple haze colored Baby Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and Magic Shads are
on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Drop shots will catch good numbers
of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a watermelon or Bama Bug
Hyper Finesse Worm.  When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter Spoons, and
to oz slab spoons are working best.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  
 

 

Oct 26th,2008

Bass are settling into regular fall patterns here on Lake Fork.  Normally,
I'm catching fish consistently out deep at this time of year, but the
offshore bite has been slow for me lately.  I expect it to pick up again
soon, and in the meantime, there are a lot of fish chasing shad in the
shallows right now.  I'm covering a lot of water to catch fish shallow, but
you can normally pick up several fish from a single area once you find them.
The mild days and the start of fall colors make it a joy to be on the water
this time of year, and a big fish or two are just icing on the cake.

With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates
available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies.  2008
has been another super year on Fork, with the lake being full and in great
shape for the coming season.  Prespawn starts in late-December, so it won't
be long until my favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through
March.  If you're looking for a fish of a lifetime, prespawn is the time to
head to Fork

Lake Conditions:  High pressure has dominated Fork lately, resulting in
little rain and light winds, and as a result, the water conditions are quite
stable.  The lake level is currently reading 402.40' (about 7" below full
pool).  Most of the lake is pretty clear now, with some stained water on the
north ends.  Water temps are slowly dropping with the cool nights, reading
from 69 to 73 in the main lake on Saturday. 

Location Pattern: The best pattern for numbers of bass is fishing shallow
grassbeds on the main lake and the backs of major creeks.  Early and late
and all day on cloudy and windy days, I'm focusing on shoreline grass,
openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline.  When the sun gets up,
concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8' to 15'.  Key on points, inside
turns, and along ledges and you're likely to find more fish.  Most of the
shallow fish have been in groups, so you'll fish for a while without getting
a bite, and then catch several in a small area.  I'm also catching bass back
in the coves along creek channel bends.  For the deep anglers, concentrate
on main lake structure in 12' to 32'.  As the lake settles down from
turnover and cools, this pattern will really turn on.  Watch your graph
closely and key on schools located tight to the bottom if you can find them,
because they are normally easier to catch than the suspended schools.

Presentation Pattern: During fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure
choices and colors reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are
always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, topwaters are
catching fish early and late, as well as Fork Frogs in the lily pads.  As
the sun gets up a little higher, shallow running crankbaits, small
spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle's 3.5" and 4.5" Live Magic Shad & Hyper
Worm swimbaits work better, especially on windy banks.  When the bass aren't
in a chasing mood, switch to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon
candy 8" Fork Worm or the new Hyper Finesse Worm with a 1/8th oz bullet
sinker and work it over the tops of grass and along the edges.  For bigger
fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw or a
TX rigged watermelon/red or Bama Bug colored Hyper Freak produce well when
pitched to the deep weed edge. 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, jigs, and Texas rigs will catch bass
from schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I go with a green
pumpkin or watermelon red 8" or 10" Fork Worm for my Texas rigs.  Meanwhile,
watermelon candy, watermelon/red, or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring
Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Drop
shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged
with a watermelon or green pumpkin Hyper Finesse Worm.  When the bass are
suspended, Fork Flutter Spoons and deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow
bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching
some lunkers too. 

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  


 

 

 

Lake Fork Fishing Report

October 1st, 2008

 

After a couple of tumultuous weeks in early September dealing with many
rainy days and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, we've had several of the most
consistent weeks of weather I can remember at Lake Fork.  Every day starts
off cool and clear, warming into the mid-80s under mostly sunny skies.  Once
you figure out the fish it is easy to stay with them, since there aren't any
fronts to change things up.  Don't expect it to last forever though, as fall
is just around the corner and we'll start getting cold fronts and chances of
rain on a regular basis once again.  And that's good news, because cooling
water temps usually result in good bass fishing at Lake Fork until things
turn really cold in late November. 

On a personal note, I finished up my season on the FLW Stren Series and did
well enough to qualify for the Walmart FLW Tour next year.  I'm looking
forward to an exciting year in 2009, guiding for lunkers on Lake Fork and
also competing against some of the world's best anglers on the FLW Tour.

Finally, I'm headed to Mexico to fish Lake Baccarac in Nov and Dec this year
for trophy bass.  Our group had one angler drop out of our first trip due to
health reasons, so I'm looking for someone to fill his spot for that trip.
It's Nov 21-26 and we're flying a charter plane directly to the lake.  If
you're interested, please let me know. 

Lake Conditions:  With no rain and light winds, the water conditions are
quite stable at Fork.  The lake level is currently reading 402.58' (about 5"
below full pool).  Some creeks are quite clear, although much of the main
lake is brownish due to the fall turnover.  Water temps remain fairly warm
due to the sunny days, reading in the upper 70s in most areas.  As the water
level has dropped this summer, the expansive hydrilla and milfoil beds are
really matting up, which makes for good fishing in late summer and fall.

Location Pattern: The best pattern for numbers of bass is fishing shallow
grassbeds on the main lake and in the first half of major creeks.  Early and
late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I'm focusing on shoreline grass,
openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline.  When the sun gets up,
concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8' to 15'.  Key on points, inside
turns, and along ledges and you're likely to find more fish.  Most of the
shallow fish have been in groups, so you'll fish for a while without getting
a bite, and then catch several in a small area.  I'm also catching some bass
back in the coves along creek channel bends but this pattern hasn't really
picked up yet like it will as the water cools.  For bigger bass, concentrate
on main lake structure in 15' to 35'.  As the lake settles down from
turnover and cools, this pattern will really turn on.  Watch your graph
closely and key on schools located tight to the bottom if you can find them,
because they are normally easier to catch than the suspended schools.

Presentation Pattern: As fall approaches, bass will start keying on shad and
most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of
white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the
shallows, topwaters are catching fish early and late, as well as Fork Frogs
in the lily pads.  As the sun gets up a little higher, shallow running
crankbaits, small spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle's 3.5" and 4.5" Live
Magic Shad swimbaits work better, especially on windy banks.  When the bass
aren't in a chasing mood, switch to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or
watermelon candy 8" Fork Worm or the new Hyper Finesse Worm with a 1/8th oz
bullet sinker and work it over the tops of grass and along the edges.  For
bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork
Craw or a TX rigged watermelon/red or Bama Bug colored Hyper Freak produce
well when pitched to the deep weed edge. 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, jigs, and Texas rigs will catch bass
from schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I go with a green
pumpkin or watermelon red 8" or 10" Fork Worm for my Texas rigs.  Meanwhile,
watermelon candy, watermelon/red, or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring
Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Drop
shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged
with a watermelon or green pumpkin Hyper Finesse Worm.  When the bass are
suspended, Fork Flutter Spoons and deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow
bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching
some lunkers too. 

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 27th, 2008

 

Fishing patterns are starting to change at Lake Fork, as a couple good rains and cooler temps have some fish just starting on fall patterns.  September is always a popular month on Fork, as the fall tournament season really cranks up.  It’s perfect timing for tournaments too, because the cooling water turns on the fishing in both the shallows and out deep.  September-November normally produces our fastest action on Fork for numbers, with lots of keeper sized fish chasing bait in the shallows, while big groups of bass school up out deep.  Whether you like topwaters, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits up shallow or fishing with soft plastics and spoons out deeper, fall is a fun time to fish Lake Fork.

 

As a side note, for those of you looking for some direction for fall tournaments on Lake Fork, check out my September article on fall tournament strategies:   http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm

 

Lake Conditions:  Cooler temps and some good rains have Fork in great shape heading into the fall.  The lake level is currently reading 402.94’ (less than 1” below full pool).  Most of the lake is pretty clear, with some stained water in the north ends.  Water temps cooled significantly, reading anywhere from 81 to 85 in the main lake.  As the water level has dropped this summer, the expansive hydrilla and milfoil beds are really matting up, which makes for good fishing in late summer and fall.

 

Location Pattern: Early and late, focus on grass beds in the main lake or near deep water in larger creeks.  Deep structure like points, humps, and roadbeds in 18’ to 28’ continues as my main pattern during the day, producing both good numbers and size.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom.  Many of these schools have been small and are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth finder closely.  As the water continues to cool, look for lots of bass and some lunkers to come from shallow water, especially on cloudy and windy days 

 

Presentation Pattern: As fall approaches, bass will start keying on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, topwaters are starting to catch fish early and late, as well as Fork Frogs in the lily pads.  As the sun gets up a little higher, shallow running crankbaits, small spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle’s 3.5” and 4.5” Live Magic Shad swimbaits work better, especially on windy banks.  When the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, switch to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon candy 8” Fork Worm or the new Hyper Finesse Worm with a 1/8th oz bullet sinker and work it over the tops of grass and along the edges.  For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw or a TX rigged watermelon/red or Bama Bug colored Hyper Freak produce well when pitched to the deep weed edge. 

 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, jigs, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I go with a green pumpkin or watermelon red 8” or 10” Fork Worm for my Texas rigs.  Meanwhile, watermelon candy, watermelon/red, or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Drop shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a watermelon or green pumpkin Hyper Finesse Worm.  oz Mega Weight jigs with matching Fork Craws are also catching some big bass out deep.  When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter Spoons and deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too. 

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

July 3rd, 2008

 

Bass have settled into their normal summertime patterns on Lake Fork and the fishing is pretty consistent.  Grassy points produced some nice bass early and late, while I’m spending most of my days fishing deep structure for schools of big fish.  Once we’ve found a school with our graph, it has been pretty easy to catch at least a few of these fish most days.  Some days the fish are more scattered and the schools have been smaller and harder to find, while other days there seem to be big schools on every piece of deep structure.  Keep graphing until you find a good school, then fish a variety of deep water techniques until you hook up.  Once you do, the bass are coming up and jumping several feet out of the air, then diving back down and pulling like freight trains.  Needless to say, we’ve been having a lot of fun on the water for the last few weeks!

 

As a side note, I’ve added my July article to my website.  It covers my approach to fishing shallow in the summer for bass—a great technique when the deep water bass won’t bite or if they’re getting a lot of pressure. http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm   

 

Lake Conditions:  A few more rains continue to keep Fork’s water level high for summertime.  The lake level is currently reading 403.55’ (about 6” above full pool).  Most of the lake is now clear, with some stained water on the north ends.  Water temps are mild for this time of year, reading from 83 to 86 in the main lake.

 

Location Pattern: Early and late, I’m finding good bass feeding on points and flats near or in the main lake.  These fish are mostly in 8’ to 15’, often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or milfoil.  Deep structure like points, humps, and roadbeds in 18’ to 30’ continues as my main pattern, producing both good numbers and size.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom.  Many of these schools have been small, so watch your depth finder closely. 

 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, I’m working shallow grass on the main lake and in the 1st half of creeks.  Pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged 7” or 10” worm a few feet inside the deep weedline and work it out slowly.  I’m using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer, and a watermelon/red or green pumpkin Fork Worm on the Texas rig. 

 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, jigs, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I go with a green pumpkin or watermelon red Twitch Worm or 10” Fork Worms for Texas rigs.  Meanwhile, watermelon candy, watermelon/red, or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Drop shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a watermelon or green pumpkin Twitch Worm.  oz Mega Weight jigs with matching Fork Craws are also catching some big bass out deep.  When the bass are suspended, swimbaits, spoons, or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too. 

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

June14th, 2008

Due to high water, flooded vegetation, and relatively cool water temps, the bass fishing patterns continue to be wide open at Lake Fork.  Up shallow, bass are chasing shad and spawning bluegill in the flooded cover, with lots of big bass still coming from less than 8’.  Meanwhile, I’m catching fish out deep with regularity now.  As the water warms up, look for the numbers of big bass to increase on the deep structure.  With so many options, anglers can fish with their favorite techniques and catch good fish, so go with your strengths. 

 

Best of all, the perpetual overcast & windy days have not only kept the shallow fish active, but it has also made the days very comfortable for us fishermen.  From lunkers on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on crankbaits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs; it’s hard to beat the summer for numbers of bass in the 3 to 8 lb range, with a shot at a 10+ pounder.  Head on out to Lake Fork and find out why the summer is the favorite time for many Fork regulars.

 

As a side note, I’ve added the June article to my website.  It covers my approach to fishing boat docks—from finding the best docks to effective presentations for catching bass from them.  http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm    And for more info on bass fishing and Lake Fork, check out my video tips on BassEdge.com http://www.bassedge.com/sections/show_media_center/Videos  (another 7 or 8 videos will be coming in the near future), or listen to my interview on Wired2fish.com http://www.wired2fish.com/WhatsUp/LakeForkisstillredhot.aspx .

 

Lake Conditions:  After a couple more rainy days, Fork remains high for summertime.  The lake level is currently reading 403.55’ (about 6” above full pool).  Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are still stained, however, the south end remains clear.  Water temps held mostly steady this week, reading from 79 to 84 in the main lake.

 

Location Pattern: As I noted before, many bass remain shallow on spawning flats chasing after bluegill, fry, and shad in the ever expanding submerged and emergent weeds.  For bigger females, fish slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and ledges; any of which are in close proximity to spawning areas.  These fish are mostly in 8’ to 15’, often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or milfoil.  Deep structure in 18’ to 30’ has turned on, producing both good numbers and size.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom.  Most of these schools have been small, so watch your depth finder closely. 

 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, I’m working shallow grass on the main lake and in the 1st half of creeks.  For bass feeding over the top of the grassbeds, try a spinnerbait, chatterbait, or shallow running crankbait.  Some days, bluegill color schemes work better, while shad colors like white or chrome work better for those bass chasing baitfish.  Or try a swimbait like the 4.5” Live Magic Shad.  Rig these weightless and try the watermelon red/pearl, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors.  For bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged 10” Fork Worm to holes in the grass and lily pads on flats or near stumps on points in the deep weedline.  I’m using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer, or a watermelon Fork Worm on the Texas rig. 

 

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure.   I go with a green pumpkin or watermelon red Twitch Worm or 10” worms for Texas rigs.  Meanwhile, watermelon candy or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  Drop shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a watermelon or green pumpkin Twitch Worm.  When the bass are suspended, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too. 

 

[img]http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/images/index.1.jpg[/img]

Boat for Sale: My 2008 Ranger Z520 boat was new in Dec ’07 and is for sale.  It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha Series 2 motor with a 6 year warranty (good until 2014).  It’s value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

May 25, 2008

With summer just around the corner, the bass fishing patterns are still wide
open at Lake Fork due to a cooler than normal spring and high water.  Up
shallow, some males are guarding fry and a few bass are still spawning.  In
addition, tons of shad and bluegill are spawning in the shallow flooded
cover, so big bass are still coming from less than 8'.  Meanwhile, I'm
finally starting to catch some good fish out deep, although the schools are
relatively small.  As the water warms up, look for the numbers of big bass
to increase on the deep structure.  In between the shallows and deep is the
most productive zone on many days, about 8' to 15'.  I've found a number of
bass are relating to deep grass edges or the first drop near productive
spawning areas as they transition from shallow to deep for the summer.  As I
stated in my last report, just about any bait in your tackle box will work
at some point until the water gets hot, and the fishing will continue to get
better as the bass wrap up their spawning rituals and put on the feedbag.
>From lunkers on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on
crankbaits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs; it's hard to beat the summer for
numbers of bass in the 3 to 8 lb range, with a shot at a 10+ pounder.  Head
on out to Lake Fork and find out why the summer is the favorite time for
many Fork regulars. 

Lake Conditions:  After a big rain last week, Fork is above full pool and
clearing.  The lake level is currently reading 403.54' (about 6" above full
pool).  Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are still stained,
however, the south end remains quite clear.  Water temps warmed steadily
this week, reading from 73 to 79 in the main lake, while some muddy creeks
are reading in the mid-80s.

Location Pattern: Although most of the spawning has wrapped up, many bass
remain shallow on spawning flats chasing after bluegill, fry, and spawning
shad in the ever expanding submerged and emergent weeds.  For bigger
females, fish slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and
ledges; any of which are in close proximity to spawning areas.  These fish
are mostly in 8' to 15', often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or
milfoil.  Deep structure in 18' to 30' is starting to turn on, producing
mostly big bass.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they're
on the bottom.  Most of these schools have been small, so watch your depth
finder closely. 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, frog baits like a Fork
Frog in black neon or watermelon/red flake/pearl belly are working well some
days.  Cast these all the way to the bank and drag them across the newly
flooded grass, then let them drop after coming across the mat.  Other days,
poppers and white chatterbaits are working better along the edges of the
grass.  For bass on the grass flats and in the pads, 4.5" Live Magic Shads
and regular Magic Shads are catching some bass.  Rig these weightless and
try the watermelon red/pearl, watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or
Magic Shad colors.  For bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a
Texas rigged 8" Fork Worm to holes in the grass and lily pads on flats or
near stumps on points in the deep weedline.  I'm using a green pumpkin/black
or a watermelon seed jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer, or a
watermelon Fork Worm on the Texas rig.  Shad colored medium running
crankbaits are also catching some good bass over grass flats and on timbered
points.  Out deeper, Carolina rigs, jigs. and Texas rigs are catching some
really big bass from schools located on the bottom on deep structure.   For
jigs, I use oz Mega Weight jigs in watermelon with watermelon colored Fork
Craw trailers, while I go with a green pumpkin Twitch Worm or Flipper for
Texas rigs.  Watermelon candy or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring
Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs.  When
the bass are suspended, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or
yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and
catching some lunkers too. 

Boat for Sale: My 2008 Ranger Z520 boat was new in Dec '07 and is for sale.
It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha Series 2 motor with a 6 year
warranty (good until 2014).  It's value priced and will save you about
$10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat,
please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  
 

 

April 26th, 2008

As we enter May, I'm still seeing some spawning pairs in the shallows at
Lake Fork.  Between the fry guarders, spawning fish and the bass chasing the
hoards of shad spawning in the grass, 10' and less has been my best depth
range this week.  As a result, I expect the shallows will remain the best
pattern for a couple more weeks.  Meanwhile, a few fish are starting to show
up on deep structure and a number of fish are hanging out in mid-range
depths (8' to 18').  Just about any bait in your tackle box will work at
some point in May, and the fishing will continue to get better as the
females wrap up their spawning rituals and put on the feedbag.  From lunkers
on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on crankbaits,
swimbaits, and Carolina rigs, the annual summer whack-fest is about to
begin.  Head on out to Lake Fork this summer and find out why May, June, and
July are the favorite months of many Fork regulars. 

Lake Conditions:  With a little less rain this week, Fork is about normal
pool and clearing.  The lake level is currently reading 402.86' (about 2"
below full pool).  Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are still
stained to muddy, however, the south end remains quite clear.  We've been
catching the bass equally from muddy and clear water, so don't let the
stained water keep you out of productive coves.  Water temps were reading
from 65 to 70 in the main lake, while we found some creeks as warm as 80.

Location Pattern: I'm finding most of the bigger spawning fish nearer the
mouths of coves and on main lake flats in 8' and less.  While some bass are
spawning in the newly flooded grass and cattails, many are spawning or
staging along the inside grassline in about 4'.  In addition, many bass are
also holding amongst the rapidly burgeoning lily pads.  The slightly deeper
structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 8' to 18', adjacent to
areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass, is where we've found most of
the bigger females.  Deep structure in 15' to 30' is also starting to hold a
few good fish, but the bite is very sporadic. 

Presentation Pattern: Shad colored topwaters, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and
jerkbaits have been productive for actively feeding post spawners this week.
Concentrate on areas with a lot of spawning shad, bass beds, or bluegill
beds for the fastest action.  For the bass holding in the newly flooded
vegetation, swimming a green pumpkin red/pearl Fork Frog is hard to beat.
Meanwhile, for bass around beds and on the spawning flats, 3.5" and 4.5"
Live Magic Shads have produced well this week.  Rig these on the new
Swimbait hooks from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and try the watermelon red/pearl,
watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors.  While some
bass are biting on the swim, our best retrieve has been dead-sticking on the
bottom, followed by swimming it a few feet and letting it fall back to the
bottom, repeating this all the way back to the boat.  When the bass are more
finicky, a regular Magic Shad rigged weightless or on a light Carolina rig
has done well.  Try watermelon candy, watermelon/red or bull bream colors
for this.  For spawning bass, white or watermelon Fork Craws and Merthiolate
twitch worms have worked well.  Out deeper, oz Mega Weight Jigs in
black/blue with blue bruiser or watermelon candy colored Fork Craw trailers
or Texas rigged Fork Creatures in the same colors are catching some big bass
on points.  And swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass
patterns are catching some suspended bass as well. 

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  
 

 

 

April 13th, 2008

 

 

With bass in all 3 phases of the spawn and sections of the lake that are clear, stained and muddy, it’s possible to catch big Lake Fork bass on just about any shallow water technique right now.  Spawning and post spawn patterns are producing the biggest numbers of fish, with some good ones mixed in.  My customers and I concentrated mostly on slightly deeper structure just outside shallow spawning flats, a pattern that catches big prespawners moving into the shallows and also big females on their way back out.  With so many bass up shallow right now and so many different patterns working, anglers can concentrate on their strengths and fish the pattern that suits them best—be it flipping heavy cover in muddy water, finesse fishing with light line or sight fishing in clear water, to anything in between.  In general, the windier and cloudier the day, the better our fishing results, while sunny and calm winds made things a lot tougher.

 

I expect the spawn to continue into early May, as it does most every year on Fork.  By the end of April, many fish will already be in post spawn and early summertime patterns.  As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a 10+.  That means topwaters early and all day on cloudy days, and then deep water structure fishing the rest of the day.  So if your plans don’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July.

 

Lake Conditions:  Another couple rounds of storms brought Lake Fork up over full pool once again, currently reading 403.10’ and falling fast (about 1 inch above full pool).  Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are stained to muddy, but the south end still remains quite clear.  We’ve been catching the bass equally from muddy and clear water, so don’t let the stained water keep you out of productive coves.  Water temps were reading from 64 to 69 degrees on Saturday, perfect for spawning.

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats.  For these big prespawn females, we did better around grass and wood cover in 4’ to 10’ in the middle to mouths of creeks or on cover on the main lake.  For spawning fish, concentrate on the very back ends of large creeks.  In addition, flats and protected bays nearer the mouths of coves are also holding some spawners.  Spawning activity seems to be sporadic, so you may need to move around to a few coves to find an area with a wave of bedding fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn and postspawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwaters, jerkbaits, and lipless crankbaits are catching big fish, especially on overcast and windy days.  With lots of stained and muddy water, bright color schemes that include a lot of orange, chartreuse or red have worked best.  For a big bass, try slow rolling swimbaits through the shallow grass and wood, like a 4.5” or 5.5” Live Magic Shad on a matching Lake Fork Trophy Lures’ Ultimate Swimbait hook.  On calm days, you’ll typically do better by pitching a jig and a Texas rig to shallow cover.  For the jig, I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors.  Meanwhile on the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in black neon, green pumpkin or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around wood cover and in any holes in the grass.  For bass on spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option.  Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are top colors in clearer water, while blue bruiser, black neon, and June bug work better in the murkier water.

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  Most spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see.  Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

Lake Fork Report : March 30, 2008

 

Heading into April, the spawn is in full swing at Lake Fork.  While muddier than normal water has made sight fishing options limited, blind casting traditional spawning areas has produced good catches.  Based on the number of small males I’ve seen caught in the shallows in the past few days, I suspect another big wave of females will be moving up shortly.  Instead of catching the mostly smaller males up shallow, my customers and I have been keying on the 4’ to 10’ range for the past week and we’ve caught mostly bigger prespawn females.  Best of all, by focusing on the slightly deeper water, you can fish in areas with lots of other anglers and still consistently catch fish. 

 

I expect the spawn to continue through April into early May, as it does most every year on Fork.  By the end of April, many fish will already be in post spawn and early summertime patterns.  As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a 10+.  That means topwaters early and all day on cloudy days, and then deep water structure fishing the rest of the day.  So if your plans don’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July.

 

As a side note, I added my April article to my website.  It details the finesse Carolina rig, one of the most deadly rigs for catching big bass in the spawn in tough conditions.  You can check this and all of my other bass fishing articles out at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  More rainstorms this weekend has Lake Fork rising up over full pool once again, currently reading 403.22’, about 3 inches above full pool.  With more rains forecast for Monday, expect it to be high and muddy for much of this coming week. Many creeks started clearing this week after being muddy for almost a month now, while the water on the south end remains pretty clear.  We’ve been catching the bass equally from muddy and clear water, so don’t let the stained water keep you out of productive coves.  Water temps were reading from 61 to 67 degrees on Saturday, perfect for spawning.

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats.  For big prespawn females, we did better around grass and wood cover in 4’ to 10’ in the middle to mouths of creeks or on cover on the main lake.  For spawning fish, concentrate on the very back ends of large creeks.  As the water continues to warm, flats and bays nearer the mouths of coves will start holding more spawners, too.

 

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and lipless crankbaits are still catching big fish, especially on overcast and windy days.  With lots of stained and muddy water, bright color schemes that include a lot of orange, chartreuse or red have worked best.  For a big bass, go with a oz chatterbait with a shad colored 4.5 Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait.  On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig.  Go with gold or clown colored jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go.  I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in black neon, green pumpkin or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option.  Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, with watermelon/red baits with the tail dipped in chartreuse being the top producer lately.

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  Most spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see.  Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

March 16th, 2008

 

A major warming trend has Lake Fork bass rapidly heading towards the first wave of spawning.  After recent days of sun burnt customers wearing shorts, it’s hard to believe that we fished all morning in a major snowstorm on March 7th with water temps dipping into the upper 40s.  While the bass had been biting very strong in the backs of creeks before the cold front, I’ve caught most of my fish on an “outside” pattern since then--around grass and timber on points and creek channels leading into spawning areas.  As the water warmed back up, the bite was slow for numbers most days with a lot of 6 to 10 fish days, although we did manage to catch some big bass.  In addition, Fork anglers donated two fish over 13 lbs this week to TX’s ShareLunker program.  With a few more warm days and the full moon next week, I expect a major wave of spawners to hit the shallows any day now in warmer areas of the lake.  As usual, we’ll have waves of spawners move up through April, with a few stragglers on beds into mid-May.  

 

Lake Conditions:  Since a few heavy rains brought Lake Fork up well over full pool, the water level dropped steadily, currently reading 402.84’, about 2 inches below full pool.  The current created by drawing water from the lake pulled a lot of muddy water from the very backs of creeks and much of the lake is stained to muddy.  Meanwhile, the south end and some protected creeks remain clear.  Water temps were reading from 56 to 67 degrees on Saturday, up considerably from last week.

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats.  With the water being cold this week, we did better around grass and wood cover in 4’ to 10’ in the backs of creeks or on cover on or near the main lake.  In many cases, we’ve caught multiple fish from very small areas, so really work an area over once you’ve caught a fish there.  A few spawning bass are currently located in protected bays and typically in the very back ends of creeks.  As the water continues to warm, flats and bays nearer the mouths of coves will start holding spawners, too.

 

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and lipless crankbaits are still catching a lot of fish, especially on overcast and windy days.  For a big bass, go with a oz chatterbait with a shad colored 4.5 Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait.  On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig.  Go with gold jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go.  I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in black neon or watermelon/chartreuse with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option.  Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, with green pumpkin baits with the tail dipped in chartreuse being the top producer lately.

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  Most spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see.  Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

Feb 9th, 2008

Despite the wind, cold and rain, I've been fishing almost every day on Fork
for the past 4 weeks now.  As the water cooled and warmed over the past two
weeks, our fishing has been exceptional.  By that I mean it was either
exceptionally awesome or exceptionally tough!  After a good bite in the
first half of January, the extended cold period at the end of the month made
fishing very slow and we had a number of 4 to 6 fish trips.  Last weekend
saw a big warm up and the fishing was awesome on Monday through Wednesday
this week.  Tuesday was one of my best numbers days ever for February, with
the fish biting all day.  Right before the second hailstorm of the day at
dark, the action was continuous, with fish after fish and a lot of doubles
for the last hour of daylight.  Numbers slowed down on Wednesday after the
front came through but the big fish were on.  Bernie from MN caught a 10-00
and a 7-06 that morning, with our biggest 5 fish totaling over 35 lbs for
the day.  A couple more cold fronts on Thursday and Friday slowed the
fishing for us once again, with only 8 and 11 fish caught the past 2 days.

February is big bass time, so concentrate on warming trends and fish
patiently in key staging areas.  Even on the slowest days we caught some big
bass, so fish thoroughly and you might be rewarded with the biggest bass of
your life.  My fishing patterns remain mostly unchanged from my last report
and will remain that way until sometime in March when the spawning patterns
start to dominate.   

Lake Conditions:  Fork is holding steady about 3" below full pool, currently
reading 402.77'.  The lake is full of aquatic vegetation, with a deep
weedline anywhere from 8' to about 15'.  The main lake is clear in most
areas, while the creeks are ranging from clear to muddy, depending on how
much wind exposure they have.  Water temps were reading from 50 to 53
degrees on Friday, down from the mid- to upper-50s earlier this week.

Location Pattern: From now through much of March, I concentrate on prespawn
and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.
Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or coontail)
for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy
area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of
spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the
coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most
prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these
coves are holding a lot of fish now, as are main and secondary points inside
the coves, provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends,
follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and
creek channels.

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as
important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water
temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps
were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps
warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for
bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends;
conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.
Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely
miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are
usually the most productive times to fish. 

For deep structure enthusiasts, points, roadbeds, humps, flats and ledges in
18' to 45' will produce some big fish during the winter months as well.  Use
your electronics to find the schools of bass and baitfish and work them over
with spoons and dropshots.  I'm primarily concentrating on the shallow bass,
so my presentation pattern will focus on that.

Presentation Pattern: My wintertime arsenal is pretty simple for fishing
along grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are red, crawfish,
or shad pattern lipless crankbaits in or oz.  Stick with the for grass
that is near the surface and go with the for grass that is deeper.
Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve works best some
days, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of
the grass will trigger most of the bites.  to oz spinnerbaits with
double willow blades in white, red, or chartreuse and white will produce
some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work,
especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming the new
5.5" Live Magic Shad in the same areas you'd throw a spinnerbait during
warming trends.  Rig it on the new Lake Fork Trophy Lures 7/0 wide gap hook
and swim it slowly back to the boat with a few pauses.  When the bite slows
or the conditions are sunny and calm, I'll switch to a suspending jerkbait
or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Jerkbaits in gold or clown patterns are my
primary colors.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the
edges.  For jigs, I go with oz black and blue jigs with a Fork Craw
trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig, I'll pitch a Lake
Fork Flipper in black neon or blue bruiser with a to 3/8 oz bullet weight.
Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep
grass for your best shot at a lunker.

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area
over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.
Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots
will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and
more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you'll have a
milk run of honey holes now through March.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  For those of you looking
for a guide trip, I'm booked for February, but I do have March 5 and 31
available, as well as a number of good dates for the spawn in April.  If I
can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or
972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through
http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

Jan 22nd, 2008

2008 is off to a good start for my customers and me.  I spent the first part of this month fishing the FLW Stren Series event on Falcon and caught them well, sitting in 5th place on day 2 before struggling on day 3 and finishing in 19th place.  Now I’m back to fishing Lake Fork on a daily basis and although the weather has been chilly, the bass don’t seem to mind.  We had 11 to 17 fish in the boat on most days this past week, although we only boated 7 fish on one slow day.  Early prespawn females are starting to show up in their usual locations, and we caught a lot of fish with big bellies, including a 9 lb 3 oz beauty and a good number of chunks in the 5 to 7 lb category, with only 1 or 2 dinks each day.  Regardless of the weather over then next two months, staging fish will continue to show up in the shallows in preparation for the spawn, making this the best time of the year to catch a true giant on Fork.  Until bass start to spawn in March, my fishing patterns will remain basically the same.  That’s good news for those of you who find fish now, as you’ll be able to hammer them for the next two months.

 

Lake Conditions:  Fork is holding steady around about 4” below full pool, currently reading 402.66’.  The lake is full of aquatic vegetation, with a deep weedline anywhere from 8’ to about 15’.  The main lake is clear, while the creeks are ranging from clear to stained.  Water temps were reading from 47 to 52 degrees on Monday, normal wintertime water temps for Fork.

 

Location Pattern: >From now through much of March, I concentrate on prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding a lot of fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves, provided there is deep water nearby.  During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

 

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.  Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. 

 

For deep structure enthusiasts, points, roadbeds, humps, flats and ledges in 18’ to 45’ will produce some big fish during the winter months as well.  Use your electronics to find the schools of bass and baitfish and work them over with spoons and dropshots.  I’m primarily concentrating on the shallow bass, so my presentation pattern will focus on that.

 

Presentation Pattern: My wintertime arsenal is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are red lipless crankbaits in or oz.  Stick with the for grass that is near the surface and go with the for grass that is deeper.  Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is working best now, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites.  to oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades in white, red, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming the new 5.5” Live Magic Shad in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait.  Rig it on the new Lake Fork Trophy Lures 7/0 wide gap hook and swim it slowly back to the boat with a few pauses.  When the water looks like a toilet just flushed, it’s time to set the hook!!  When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Jerkbaits in gold or clown patterns are my primary colors.  Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges.  For jigs, I go with oz black and blue jigs with a Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper in black neon or blue bruiser with a to 3/8 oz bullet weight.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for your best shot at a lunker.

 

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.  Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

 

Lake Fork Report-December 28, 2007

Happy New Year to everyone.  Thanks to all of my friends, family, and
customers for a fabulous 2007 and I hope everyone has a year of great
catches in 2008.  As we head into the New Year, the early stages of prespawn
are starting in some areas of the lake.  Meanwhile, lunker bass continue to
be caught from deep water as well.  With big bass smoking jigs, swimbaits,
spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits now through March, this is my favorite
time of the year on Fork.  Numbers run lower this time of year; however, the
average size of your catch is at its highest for the year, usually in the
3.5 to 5 lb range, with a good shot at bass 7 lbs or greater. 

Lake Conditions:  Fork came up a little with recent rains and is about 3"
below full pool, currently reading 402.72'.  The lake is full of aquatic
vegetation, with a deep weedline anywhere from 8' to about 15'.  The main
lake is clear, while the creeks are ranging from clear to stained.  Water
temps are generally holding in the low to mid-50s, normal wintertime water
temps for Fork.

Location Pattern: From late-December through much of March, I concentrate on
prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek
channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or
coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about
any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have
lots of spawning fish in late February through March.  It stands to reason
that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have
the most prespawn fish in the winter.  Main lake grass beds near the mouths
of these coves are holding a lot of fish now, as are main and secondary
points inside the coves, provided there is deep water nearby.  During
warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of
grass flats and creek channels.

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as
important now as the recent water temperature trend.  For instance, water
temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps
were 58 a couple days ago.  In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps
warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before.  In general, look for
bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends;
conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts.
Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely
miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are
usually the most productive times to fish. 

For deep structure enthusiasts, points, roadbeds, humps, flats and ledges in
18' to 45' will produce some big fish during the winter months as well.  Use
your electronics to find the schools of bass and baitfish and work them over
with spoons and dropshots.  I'm primarily concentrating on the shallow bass,
so my presentation pattern will focus on that.

Presentation Pattern: My wintertime arsenal is pretty simple for fishing
along grasslines and creek channels.  First and foremost are red lipless
crankbaits in or oz.  Stick with the for grass that is near the
surface and go with the for grass that is deeper.  Buzzing these over the
top of the grass on a quick retrieve is working best now, but after cold
fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will
trigger most of the bites.  to oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades
in white, red, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass
in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and
cloudy days.  For a true giant, try swimming the new 5.5" Lake Fork Live
Magic Shad in the same areas you'd throw a spinnerbait.  Rig it on a 7/0
wide gap hook and swim it slowly back to the boat with a few pauses.  When
the water looks like a toilet just flushed, it's time to set the hook!!
When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I'll switch to a
suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig.  Jerkbaits in gold or
clown patterns are my primary colors.  Work these with long pauses over the
grass and along the edges.  For jigs, I go with oz black and blue jigs
with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser color.  For the Texas rig,
I'll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper in black neon or blue bruiser with a to 3/8
oz bullet weight.  Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek
channels or through deep grass for your best shot at a lunker.

Cover lots of water until you get bit.  Once you catch one, work the area
over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits.
Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots
will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and
more big bass move shallow.  Find some good staging spots and you'll have a
milk run of honey holes now through March.

Website Update: My January fishing article on catching big bass will be
added to my website shortly (it may be up already):
http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .  In addition, I've
added a discussion forum to my website.  It's new, and I'm hoping it will be
a great place to find out more information about fishing Lake Fork and my
services.  Feel free to join the discussion at:
http://www.lakefork.proboards91.com/index.cgi  My January article is posted
here as well.

Boat for Sale: My 2007 Ranger Z21 boat is for sale and I've reduced the
price. I picked it up in late October of last year and it is fully loaded,
rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha with a 5 year warranty.  It's value priced and
will save you over $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and
pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or
drop me a note.

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

 

Lake Fork Report-December 3, 2007

 



With cooler nights and shorter days, the bass at Lake Fork are settling into
late fall and winter patterns.  With a week of 60s and 70s forecasted, now's
a good time to avoid the crowds at Fork and enjoy some good fall fishing.
As the water cools, numbers start to run lower on average, although you can
catch a boatload of fish on the right days.  While numbers start to decline,
big fish become more common and will only continue to increase as we move
towards the spawn in March and April.  Go fishing after several days of
stable weather, especially right before a front, and you'll be able to catch
big bass in deep or shallow water this month.

With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates
available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies.  2007
has been a fantastic year on Fork, benefiting from ample rains and a full
lake.  With prespawn starting in late-December, it won't be long until my
favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through March.  And with
the lake in such good shape, Fork should be awesome in '08.

Lake Conditions:  Fork is 5" below full pool right now, currently reading
402.58' and dropping very slowly.  The lake is full of aquatic vegetation,
with a deep weedline anywhere from 8' to about 15'.  The main lake is clear,
while the creeks are ranging from clear to stained.  Water temps are general
holding in the mid-50s, good wintertime water temps for Fork.

Location Pattern: Depending on the conditions, the bite may be best in
shallow grass or on deep structure.  Early and late and all day on cloudy
and windy days are typically the best times for the shallow grass bite.
When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8' to 15' and
creek channels running through grass flats in large coves.  You'll find fish
over the flats more after warming trends, while fronts typically drive them
more towards the creek channels or into thick deep grass.  Most fish are in
groups, so you'll fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch
several in a small area.  When the shallow bite is off, concentrate on main
lake structure in 14' to 40'.  Find the schools of yellow bass and the big
largemouth will be with them.  Normally, you'll find the fish schooling
shallower on windy and cloudy days, while it's not uncommon to catch fish on
Fork in the wintertime in 38' or deeper on sunny days after a front.   

Presentation Pattern: As the water cools, I start to limit the variety of
baits that I throw, sticking with key lures and working areas thoroughly.
In the shallows, oz chrome, red or crawfish colored lipless crankbaits and
oz white spinnerbaits are my top choice for finding fish.  When they won't
chase, slow down with a suspending jerkbait and you'll trigger inactive
bass.  Once I've found a school, weightless rigged Magic Shads and Live
Magic Shads or wacky rigged Twitch worms in shades of watermelon are
catching fish best.  For bigger fish, a 1/2 oz blue bruiser Mega Weight jig
with a matching Fork Craw trailer is your best bet when pitched to the deep
weed edge or stumps along the creek channel.  Out deep, Twitch Worms in
watermelon or green pumpkin work well on drop shots, as do Carolina rigged
Baby Ring Frys, when bass are located on the bottom.  Both of these
techniques will produce numbers of bass as well as the occasional big fish.
For the suspended bass, I start with Lake Fork Tackle's new big Fork Flutter
Spoon in the Yellow Bass or Magic Shad colors.  These catch fewer yellow
bass and are great for catching really big bass.  If the bass are finicky
and won't hit the big spoons, switch to oz spoons and 1 oz tail spinners
and you'll catch some largemouth and lots of yellow bass with these.

Boat for Sale: My 2007 Ranger Z21 boat is now for sale and I've reduced the
price. I picked it up in late October of last year and it is fully loaded,
rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha with a 5 year warranty.  It's value priced and
will save you over $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and
pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or
drop me a note.

Website Update: My December fishing article on choosing the right hook has
been added to my website:
http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .  In addition, I've
added a discussion forum to my website.  It's new, and I'm hoping it will be
a great place to find out more information about fishing Lake Fork and my
services.  Feel free to join the discussion at:
http://www.lakefork.proboards91.com/index.cgi

Mexico Update:  Fishing is off to a very fast start for the 2007-2008 season
at Lake Baccarac, with lots of fish over 10 lbs being caught.  All Mexico
lakes go through boom and bust cycles and Baccarac is certainly peaking
right now.  I'm also working with a new lodge at Lake Guerrero.  The new
owners are very friendly and put customer service first, while offering very
low rates for such a clean resort.  If you're headed to Guerrero this year,
let me know and I can put you in touch with them.  For more info on a trip
to Mexico, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  
 

 

October 20th, 2007

 

 

After a much warmer than average fall, a big rain and cooler nights seem to have the bass on Lake Fork shifting to more of a fall pattern.  Until a couple days ago, water temps were staying in the low to mid-80s.  Contrast that to this time last year, when water temps were running 68 to 72 degrees.  In the last few days I’ve noticed a distinct shift in bass position in deep water from summertime structure to my favorite traditional fall deep structure locations, with tons of shad and yellow bass showing up in those locations as well.  At the same time, I’m finding a lot of shad starting to move into shallows, so I expect the back of creek pattern to pick up shortly as well.  For the past 3 weeks, my customers and I have enjoyed excellent action most days for numbers of keeper sized bass shallow early and then all day out deep.  While some good fish were mixed in, most of our bass were under 3 lbs, with some 5s and the occasional 7 pounder being the exception instead of the rule, with catches between 40 and 60 bass some days.  As much fun as the action is, I’m more of a trophy hunter and am looking forward to getting into the lunkers again.  With the water finally cooling, expect the bigger bass to become more prevalent both shallow and deep, while good numbers of keepers should continue through November.  The fall is typically our best numbers time of the year, so it’s an excellent time to get a child or a non-fishing buddy hooked on bass fishing.

 

Lake Conditions:  Fork is exactly at full pool right now after a 2+” rain on Monday, currently reading 403.00’ above sea level and dropping very slowly.  The lake is full of aquatic vegetation, with an inside grassline at about 6’ and a deep weedline anywhere from 8’ to about 15’.  The main lake is slightly stained, while the creeks are ranging from clear to stained.  Water temps cooled 5 to 10 degrees recently, reading from 74 to77 in the main lake yesterday (Wednesday). 

 

Location Pattern: The best pattern for numbers of fish continues to be fishing shallow grassbeds on the main lake and in the first half of major creeks.  Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days are the best times.  I’m focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline.  When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8’ to 15’.  Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you’re likely to find more fish.  Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you’ll fish for a while without getting a bite, then catch several in a small area.  I’m also catching some bass back in the coves along creek channel bends but this pattern hasn’t really picked up yet like it will as the water cools.  For bigger bass, concentrate on main lake structure in 15’ to 35’.  I’ve found a number of good schools this past week that were relating to the bottom and easy to catch once you found them with your graph.  Other days, the bass are more suspended and a little tougher to catch. 

 

Presentation Pattern: As fall approaches, bass will start keying on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, topwaters have been hot some days, with poppers and black buzzbaits leading the way.  Other days, lipless crankbaits and shallow running crankbaits have worked better.  When the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, I’m switching to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon candy 8” Fork Worm, Twitch Worm, or Baby Fork Creature with an 1/8th oz bullet sinker and working it over the tops of grass and along the edges.  In addition, Magic Shads and Live Magic Shads in watermelon/red worked weightless over the grass beds are catching some big fish and good numbers, as well.  For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight jig with a matching Fork Craw trailer is producing well when pitched to the deep weed edge.  Out deep, Twitch Worms in shades of watermelon are working well on drop shots, as are Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys, when bass are located on the bottom.  Both of these techniques will produce numbers of bass as well as big fish.  For the suspended bass, I’ve had some excellent days recently on Lake Fork Tackle’s new big Fork Flutter Spoon in the Yellow Bass color.  The dying shad action of this big bait while it flutters is irresistible to the bass and it was the only bait we threw on several days this month and most of September.  Big fluttering spoons have been the secret bait of Fork guides for the past 3 years and now the secret’s out, so try them out on Fork or your home lake while they’re hot!

 

More information on fall fishing patterns is available in my two most recent articles on shallow and deep fall fishing: www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm

 

My 2007 Ranger Z21 boat is now for sale.  I picked it up in late October of last year and it is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha with a 5 year warranty.  It’s value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  Fishing is off to a very fast start for the 2007-2008 season at Baccarac.  I’ve updated the fishing reports on my website and they are staggering.  In the past few days, one group of 6 anglers had 23 bass over 10 lbs in 4 days.  Another angler at the lodge caught 6 over 10 pounds in one day!!  All Mexico lakes go through boom and bust cycles and Baccarac is certainly peaking right now.  There are still a few openings left for this coming season, but the remaining dates are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac this winter or spring should finalize their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

September 29, 2007

After a record breaking McDonald's tournament with 35 bass of over 24" being
weighed in, the bite has remained strong at Lake Fork.  It appears the lake
has finished turning over and the deep bass are starting to bite regularly,
while very good numbers of bass are coming from the shallows.  Whether you
like fishing shallow, deep, or in-between, all depth ranges and almost any
lure in your tackle box will produce on Lake Fork during the months of
October and most of November.  The key (and the fun part) will be
determining what bait at what depth is best on any given day.  Fall is
historically the bite time of the year for numbers on Fork, with a decent
shot at catching a true lunker as well.  And before you know it my favorite
time of the will be here-prespawn fishing for lunker bass in January through
March.  Based on the fishing this summer and in recent tourneys, we're on
pace for an excellent fall and spring.  And best of all, you'll have much of
the lake to yourself on these mild days filled with fall colors because many
sportsmen have left the lake to take up hunting. 

Lake Conditions:  Although we had another good rain this week, Fork's water
level has remained essentially the same, currently reading 403.18', about 2"
above full pool.  The lake is full of aquatic vegetation, with an inside
grassline at about 6' and a deep weedline in 8' to about 15'.  The main lake
is at its clearest in a number of weeks, while the creeks are ranging from
clear to muddy.  Water temps remain about the same, reading from 80 to 83 in
the main lake yesterday. 

Location Pattern: The best pattern for numbers of fish continues to be
fishing shallow grassbeds on the main lake and in the first half of major
creeks.  Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I'm focusing
on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline.
When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8' to 15'.  Key
on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you're likely to find more
fish.  Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you'll fish for a
while without getting a bite, then catch several in a small area.  I'm also
catching some bass back in the coves along creek channel bends but this
pattern hasn't really picked up yet like it will as the water cools.  For
bigger bass, concentrate on main lake structure in 15' to 35'.  I've found a
number of good schools this past week that were relating to the bottom and
easy to catch once you found them with your graph.  Other days, the bass are
more suspended and a little tougher to catch. 

Presentation Pattern: As fall approaches, bass will start keying on shad and
most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of
white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the
shallows, topwaters have been hot some days, with poppers and buzzbaits
leading the way.  Other days, lipless crankbaits and shallow running
crankbaits have worked better.  When the bass aren't in a chasing mood, I'm
switching to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon candy 8" Fork Worm,
Twitch Worm, or Baby Fork Creature with an 1/8th oz bullet sinker and
working it over the tops of grass and along the edges.  In addition, Magic
Shads and Live Magic Shads in watermelon/red worked weightless over the
grass beds are catching some big fish and good numbers, as well.  For bigger
fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw
trailer is producing well when pitched to the deep weed edge.  Out deep,
watermelon/red Twitch Worms are working well on drop shots, as are Carolina
rigged watermelon/red Baby Ring Frys, when bass are located on the bottom.
For the suspended bass, swimming weighted 4.5" and 5.5" Live Magic Shad
swimbaits, spoons, deep diving crankbaits, and oz jigs are working best
and catching some lunkers too. 

My 2007 Ranger Z21 boat is now for sale.  I picked it up in late October of
last year and it is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha with a 5 year
warranty.  It's value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of
a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website
( www.lakeforkguidetrips.com ) or drop me a note.

Lake Baccarac Update:  After being closed for a short summer break, the
lodge reopened and is already producing excellent catches.  Following is the
report from legendary coach Bobby Knight's group, after their first two days
of fishing (September 27 and 28). "Opening afternoon, Russ Johnson caught an
11.2 in Norte Canyon. All boats reported excellent fishing. Today, September
27, was a special day for the Bobby Knight group. Ross Jones caught an 11.5
and a 9.9. Also, he caught 30 fish between 7 and 8 lbs. Tim Knight landed an
11.12 and a 10.4. He reported that he caught more fish today than at all his
previous trips combined to El Salto. Pat Knight's big fish of the day was a
10.2. Randy Farley caught a 10.2, a 10.0 and six fish over 8 lbs. Chris
Cassidy caught an 11.2 and reported excellent, excellent fishing. Coach
Knight didn't break the 10 lb. mark today, but we are confident he will
tomorrow! On September 28th, as a group the Knight group caught 8 more fish
over 10 pounds. Tim Knight found one spot where he caught 23 bass over 6
pounds and 8 over 9 pounds.  Crankbaits, rattletraps and swimbaits are
working up the river and in the small canyons near the lodge. Topwater is
very slow."  The lodge was briefly opened for a couple of groups this summer
during the break and the results were spectacular for big fish, including a
15.6 caught on July 20 by Wendell Bennett along with a 16.1 caught by Joe
Dillard and a 15.2 caught by Tom Secrest on their trip in mid-August.  Full
reports are available on my website.
 
There are still a few openings left for this coming season, but the
remaining dates are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing
Baccarac this winter or spring should finalize their plans soon, as the
lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked
solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website:
http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

 

September 9th, 2007

 

Tournament season is in full swing on Lake Fork, with 4 tournaments yesterday and the McDonald’s Big Bass Splash, Berkley Big Bass tourney, and many others happening in the next few weeks.  Just in time, lots of keeper sized bass are showing up in the shallows, while big fish are still available for the experienced structure fisherman.  As the lake continues to cool, Fork will turn over in the next couple of weeks and fishing will become very good both shallow and deep in October and November.  With much of the angling emphasis on tournament fishing at Fork right now, my report will focus on those patterns.

 

As a side note, for more information on shallow water fall fishing, my September article is now posted on my website:   http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm

 

Lake Conditions:  After a 3” rain this week, Lake Fork’s water level is now steady, currently reading 403.30’, about 4” above full pool.  The higher water levels have flooded a bunch of shallow vegetation that is holding fish and is acting as a nursery for young baitfish and bass.  Meanwhile, there is an inside grassline at about 6’ and a deep weedline in 8’ to about 13’.  The main lake remains stained in most areas, while the creeks are ranging from clear to muddy.  Water temps dropped during the past week, reading from 81 to 86 in the main lake.  The thermocline is still showing at about 25’ to 28’ but the lake is starting to show signs of turning over, which typically occurs around mid-September. 

 

Location Pattern: The most consistent pattern this past week has been fishing shallow grassbeds on the main lake and in the first half of major creeks.  Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I’m focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline.  When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8’ to 13’.  Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you’re likely to find more fish.  Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you’ll fish for a while without getting a bite, then catch several in a small area.  I’m also starting to catch a few fish back in the coves along creek channel bends but this pattern hasn’t really picked up yet like it will as the water cools.  For bigger bass, many fish are still suspending in timber or in open water over deep structure.  These fish are holding 12’ to 25’ down over deeper water, so watch your graph closely to pinpoint their location. 

 

Presentation Pattern: As fall approaches, bass will start keying on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference.  Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork.  In the shallows, topwaters are catching a few fish early and late.  More consistent are shallow running crankbaits, small spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle’s new 4.5” Live Magic Shad swimbait.  Rig the swimbait weedless Texas style with a 1/16th oz weighted hook and slowly swim it over the grass.  Hits have been pretty hard and easy to detect.  When the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, I’m switching to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon candy 8” Fork Worm or Twitch Worm with a 1/8th oz bullet sinker and working it over the tops of grass and along the edges.  For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw trailer is producing well when pitched to the deep weed edge.  For the suspended bass out deep, weighted 4.5” and 5.5” Live Magic Shad swimbaits, spoons, or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  The key is counting your bait down to the level of the bass and keeping it in front of them for as much of the retrieve as possible. 

 

My 2007 Ranger Z21 boat is now for sale.  I picked it up in late October of last year and it is full loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha with a 5 year warranty.  It’s value priced and will save you about $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website or drop me a note.

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

August 14th, 2007

The heat of summer finally hit Lake Fork this week.  Other than a couple of
slow days, the deep structure fishing is hot as well, with several days with
catches from 33 to 47 bass.  While we didn't catch any monsters this week,
fishing has been very good for slot fish, with a lot of fish being caught in
the 5 lb to a little over 7 lb range.  I expect the good deep structure
fishing during the day to continue until mid-September when the lake turns
over. 

Fishing in both the shallows and deep water typically picks up in late
September each year and stays strong through most of November.  With all of
the newly flooded cover and the abundance of shad, it's shaping up for a
great fall season on Lake Fork.  Look for lots of good fish to come in
during the McDonald's Big Bass Splash, Berkley Big Bass tourney, Irving Bass
Club Open and the rest of the fall tournaments.  Best of luck to those of
you headed this way!

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork's water level is dropping very slowly, currently
reading 403.56', about 7" above full pool.  The higher water levels have
flooded a bunch of shallow vegetation that is holding fish and is acting as
a nursery for young baitfish and bass.  Meanwhile, there is an inside
grassline at about 6' and a deep weedline in 8' to about 13'.  The main lake
remains more stained than normal for this time of year, while the creeks
with lots of vegetation have cleared considerably.  Water temps warmed this
past week, reading from 86 to 94 in the main lake.  The thermocline has
developed at about 28' and will remain in place until the lake cools
dramatically and turns over, typically in mid-September. 

Location Pattern: My location and presentation patterns remain largely
unchanged, and I expect it will stay that way until the lake turns over.
Although some bass remain in shallow water, I'm concentrating on offshore
structure.  Points, ledges, pond dams, channel bends, road beds, and humps
in anywhere from 10' to 36' is where I'm looking for fish with my Z21
Ranger.  Most days, shallower structure, about 18' and less, is best early
and I'll work progressively deeper as the sun gets higher.  Basically, look
for significant depth changes anywhere from the middle of major creeks out
to the main lake and you'll be in business.  Some days these bass are
suspended and other days they're on the bottom, although fishing is easier
and usually more productive if you can find schools on the bottom. 

Presentation Pattern: Texas rigged watermelon/red flake or blue fleck 10"
Lake Fork Worms are catching some big bass from schools located on the
bottom on deep structure.  In these same areas, drop shotting watermelon
candy or watermelon/red flake Twitch Worms are catching lots of keeper sized
fish and some big ones, too.  Or switch to a Carolina rigged Killer Craw or
watermelon/red colored Baby Fork Creature or Baby Ring Fry and steadily drag
it along until you find a piece of wood, then slow it way down and get ready
for a big one.  When the bass are suspended, weighted 4.5" and the new 5.5"
Live Magic Shad swimbaits, spoons, or deep diving crankbaits in shad or
yellow bass patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  The
key is counting your bait down to the level of the bass and keeping it in
front of them for as much of the retrieve as possible. 

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

 

 

July 30th, 2007

Although the bass fishing on Lake Fork normally slows somewhat during the dog days of summer, the cool and wet weather has the bass biting very well on most days this past week.  Even better, the big ones seem to be biting well, with a couple of bass over 11.5 lbs being caught during the daytime this past week.  After a slower morning trip on Saturday, the bite was strong again yesterday, with 44 fish on the line, including a 7-1/4 pounder and a lot of nice slot fish.  With the lake water now stratified and the thermocline in place around 28’, the bass have repositioned on deep structure but are biting well nonetheless once you find them. 

 

With a full lake and cooler than normal temps, fishing should remain good through August this year.  Fishing in both the shallows and deep water typically picks up in September each year and stays strong through most of November.  With all of the newly flooded cover and the abundance of shad, it’s shaping up for a great fall season on Lake Fork.  Look for lots of good fish to come in during the McDonald’s Big Bass Splash, Berkley Big Bass tourney, Irving Bass Club Open and the rest of the fall tournaments.  Best of luck to those of you headed this way!

 

As a side note, I posted my August article, an overview of fishing for summer and fall bass in matted grass.  All of my fishing articles can be viewed at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level remained fairly stable this week, currently reading 403.42’, about 5” above full pool.  The higher water levels have flooded a bunch of shallow vegetation that is holding fish and is acting as a nursery for young baitfish and bass.  Meanwhile, there is an inside grassline at about 6’ and a deep weedline in 8’ to about 13’.  Due to all of the vegetation, most of the lake has remained fairly clear, while the backs of some creeks are stained from runoff.  Water temps continue to run below normal for this time of year, reading from 84 to 88 in the main lake most days.  As I mentioned before, a thermocline has developed at about 28’ and will remain in place until the lake cools dramatically and turns over, typically in late September. 

 

Location Pattern: Although many bass remain in shallow water, I’ve concentrated on offshore structure this past week.  Points, ledges, pond dams, channel bends, road beds, and humps in anywhere from 6’ to 38’ is where I’m looking for fish with my Lowrance.  Most days, shallower structure, about 18’ and less, is best early and I’ll work progressively deeper as the sun gets higher.  Basically, look for significant depth changes anywhere from the middle of major creeks out to the main lake and you’ll be in business.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom, although fishing is easier and usually more productive if you can find schools on the bottom. 

 

Presentation Pattern: Texas rigged watermelon or blue fleck 10” Lake Fork Worms are catching some really big bass from schools located on the bottom on deep structure.  In these same areas, drop shotting watermelon candy or watermelon/red flake Twitch Worms are catching lots of keeper sized fish and some big ones, too.  Or switch to a Carolina rigged Killer Craw or watermelon/red colored Baby Fork Creature or Baby Ring Fry and steadily drag it along until you find a piece of wood, then slow it way down and get ready for a big one.  When the bass are suspended, weighted 4.5” and the new 5.5” Live Magic Shad swimbaits, spoons, or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  The key is counting your bait down to the level of the bass and keeping it in front of them for as much of the retrieve as possible. 

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

July 15th, 2007

 

With lots of fresh runoff and cooler than normal temps, the bass at Lake Fork remain scattered from the backs of creeks to deep water structure.  For those who enjoy fishing shallow, bass are scattered all over the shallow grassbeds in all of the newly flooded cover.  Anyone familiar with Texas summers knows that throwing spinnerbaits and topwaters midday in low 80 degree air temps is pretty unusual.  On the other hand, deep water continues to produce our biggest bass, with a number of good ones in the 6 to a little over 9 lb category coming recently.  The rising and falling water levels coupled with the quick changing weather conditions have changed the best fishing pattern daily and often even hourly, so stay flexible until you start catching good ones.

 

As a side note, I posted my July article, an in-depth review of the drop shot technique.  All of my fishing articles can be viewed at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level is on the rise again after falling earlier this week, currently reading 403.89’, about 11” above full pool.  While many area lakes are way over their banks causing ramp closures, there are no problems with any of the Fork boat launches.  The higher water levels have flooded a bunch of shallow vegetation that is holding fish, along with an inside grassline at about 6’ and a deep weedline in 8’ to about 13’.  Due to all of the vegetation, most of the lake has remained pretty clear, while the backs of some creeks are stained from runoff.  Water temps have stayed moderate because of the rains and overcast days, reading low 80s in most areas. 

 

Location Pattern: Many bass are remaining shallow near spawning flats and chasing after bluegill, fry, and shad in the shallow grass.  Although the bass are feeding in only 1’ to 8’, most of the bass and especially the bigger fish are holding near deeper water.  Look for creek channels or ledges on the edge of flats or find grass on main lake points or flats next to quick drop-offs.  Deep structure in 14’ to 36’ is once again where we’ve caught most of our big fish this week.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom.  And most of these schools have been small, so watch your depth finder closely. 

 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning and on cloudy days, poppers and black or white Fork Frogs have worked well some days.  Once the bass stop chasing topwaters, switch to a spinnerbait or a wacky rigged watermelon or Junebug Twitch Worm in the same areas and you’ll continue to catch fish. For bigger bass, pitch a Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged Flipper along the deep weedline and key on any timber in the area.  I’m using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed 3/8 oz jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer and a green pumpkin or watermelon/red flake Flipper on the Texas rig with a 3/16 oz sinker.  Another great way to catch hogs is to go with a 4.5” or the new 5.5” Live Magic Shad in white or shad colors and slow roll it over the top of grassbeds, while pausing and letting it flutter down into the holes.  Out deeper, Texas rigged green pumpkin and black neon 10” Lake Fork Worms are catching some really big bass from schools located on the bottom on deep structure.  In these same areas, drop shotting watermelon candy or watermelon/red flake Twitch Worms are catching lots of keeper sized fish and some big ones, too.  Or switch to a Carolina rigged watermelon candy or green pumpkin colored Baby Fork Creature or Fork Creature and steadily drag it along until you find a piece of wood, then slow it way down and get ready for a big one.  When the bass are suspended, swimbaits, spoons, or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  The key is counting your bait down to the level of the bass and keeping it in front of them for as much of the retrieve as possible. 

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  Fishing has remained excellent since the end of May for both numbers and size.  Here are a couple of reports from the last 2 weeks.  Will Garrison's group of 26 anglers recorded an unbelievable trip with 40 fish over 10 pounds. 23 out of the 26 anglers caught a fish 10 pounds with the biggest fish weighing 15.6 and the second biggest weighing 14.9. David Davies catching the 14.9 along with 5 others over 11 pounds on the same day!  Many boats report catching between 150 and 200 bass a day.   Mark Barton reports, there were 5 of us, from Phoenix,  Scott Anderson, Bill Meredith and myself.  We had two buddies from Flagstaff and Sedona, Dan Bright and Steve Ash.  Steve and Dan used swim baits and caught a bunch of great fish in the rancho padre area.  Dan had an 11.10 and Steve a 9.6, they also caught numerous fish in the 6 to 9 pound range.  Scott, Bill and I also did very well, with Bill bagging an 11.9, Scott a 10.14 and me with a 10+.  We caught a bunch of fish in the 6 to 9 range and tons in the 4 and 5 pound range.  Baits used were swim baits in white and/or chartreuse, jigs in white, black and green, worms or lizards in darker colors with watermelon the best. 

 

The fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly, with already only limited dates left in most months.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

June 17th, 2007

 

With many cloudy and rainy days, the shallow bite at Fork has remained good
with all of the flooded grass, aquatic vegetation, and reasonable water
temps.  Until the rains stop and the water temps warm up, the deep bite will
remain a little inconsistent. Some days we have found good schools on the
bottom and you can catch a number of big fish very quickly.  Other days,
we're finding only small schools out deep or lots of suspended bass, so it's
more of a one here and one there approach.  As we move into our hot and dry
season in July, look for water temps to rise quickly and the ever popular
deep bite will turn on with it.

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork's water level has continued to creep up during
June, currently reading 402.67', about 4" below full pool.  With more rain
today and a chance of storms all week, Fork is in great shape this summer
with lots of newly flooded vegetation and deep grassbeds all over the lake.
While there are thick hydrilla and coontail beds in some areas of the lake,
milfoil really seems to be coming on strong in many areas of the lake this
year.  Due to all of the vegetation, most of the lake is clear right now,
although a few places are stained from runoff and wind.  Water temps have
stayed moderate because of the rains and overcast days, reading in the upper
70s to low 80s in most areas. 

Location Pattern: Many bass are remaining shallow near spawning flats and
chasing after bluegill, fry, and shad in the shallow grass.  Although the
bass are feeding in only 1' to 8', most of the bass and especially the
bigger fish, are holding near deeper water.  Look for creek channels or
ledges on the edge of flats or find grass on main lake points or flats next
to quick drop-offs.  Deep structure in 14' to 33' is once again where I've
caught most of my big fish this week.  Some days these bass are suspended
and other days they're on the bottom.  And most of these schools have been
small, so watch your depth finder closely. 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, poppers and Spooks are
working well and these baits have worked all day long if it's cloudy.  Once
the bass stop chasing topwaters, switch to a spinnerbait or a wacky rigged
watermelon or Junebug Twitch Worm in the same areas and you'll continue to
catch fish. For bigger bass, pitch a Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged
Flipper along the deep weedline and key on any timber in the area.  I'm
using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed 3/8 oz jig with a
watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer and a green pumpkin or watermelon/red
flake Flipper on the Texas rig with a 3/16 oz sinker.  Out deeper, oz Mega
Weight tungsten jigs in green pumpkin/black with watermelon candy or Blue
Bruiser colored Fork Craw trailers or Texas rigged green pumpkin Twitch
Worms are catching some really big bass from schools located on the bottom
on deep structure.  In these same areas, drop shotting watermelon candy or
watermelon/red flake Twitch Worms are catching lots of keeper sized fish.
Or switch to a Carolina rigged watermelon/red flake or Killer Craw colored
Baby Fork Creature and steadily drag it along until you find a piece of
wood, then slow it way down and get ready for a big one.  When the bass are
suspended, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass
patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  Light line and a
stop and go retrieve are working best with the crankbait and the swimbaits.


Lake Baccarac Update:  Fishing has remained very good since the end of May.
Here are a few snippets from recent reports.  Tommy Baxter reports excellent
fishing trip with fish up to 9 pounds caught up around the ranch. At one
point Tommy reports catching 17 fish in a row that totaled 107 pounds. Glen
Burda caught 11.4 and 10.5 and his partner also caught two over 10.  Don
Regus while fishing with guide Jesus caught 11.9, 11.7, 11.6, 10.1, and 10.0
on the morning of the 28th. David Lundsford reported that his group has had
a great trip with 4 out of 6 in his group catching fish over 10 pounds.  On
May 31st Jeff Hannes while fishing with Chino caught 2 over 8, 1 over 10 and
a true trophy that weighed 14.8 pounds, while using spinning gear rigged
with 17 pound test.  Jack Prewitt caught 4 fish over 10 pounds. Bill
Cromer's first day on the water caught 2 over 10. Most fish are on the main
lake suspended in 18 feet of water. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and swimbaits
are all catching these fish. 

There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and
winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing
Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge
only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked
solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website:
http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of
assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027
(evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where
your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom  
 

 

May 28th, 2007

 

 

Fishing hasn’t changed much this past week, with a few really good days and a few really slow days.  When the deep bite has been on, we’ve caught a lot of 6 to 10 pound bass.  Other days, the fish just seemed to disappear out deep.  Shallow fishing has been very good at times on topwaters and wacky worms, making for lots of excitement with repeated jumps from 2 to 5 pounders, along with the occasional big fish.  And with the continued rains, rising water, and more newly flooded vegetation, look for the shallow fishing to remain good at least through June.  Until the rains stop and the water temps warm up, the deep bite will remain a little inconsistent. Once the summertime patterns really get going, late May, June, and July is my 2nd most favorite time of the year, with big fish coming regularly on swimbaits, crankbaits, and Carolina rigs out deep and on jigs along deep weedlines.

 

I’ve added my June fishing article to my website, “Rules of Thumb for Carolina vs. Texas Rigs.”  To read this and my other articles, check them out at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level rose a little after a couple rains this week, currently reading 402.05’, about 11” below full pool.  With rain forecast for all week, Fork should be in great shape this summer with lots of newly flooded vegetation and deep grassbeds.  Due to all of the vegetation, most of the lake is clear right now, although a few places are stained from runoff and wind.  Water temps have stayed moderate because of the rains and overcast days, reading in the mid 70s in most areas. 

 

Location Pattern: While almost all of the spawning has wrapped up, many bass are remaining shallow on spawning flats and chasing after bluegill, fry, and spawning shad in the ever expanding submerged and emergent weeds.  For bigger females, fish slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and ledges; any of which are in close proximity to spawning areas.  Deep structure in 18’ to 30’ is once again where I’ve caught most of my big fish this week.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom.  And most of these schools have been small, so watch your depth finder closely. 

 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, frog baits like a Fork Frog in black neon or watermelon/red flake/pearl belly are working well some days.  Cast these all the way to the bank and drag them across the newly flooded grass, then let them drop after coming across the mat.  Other days, poppers are working better, and these baits have worked all day long sometimes.  For bass on the grass flats that won’t chase a topwater, a wacky rigged watermelon or Junebug Twitch Worm is hard to beat. For bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged Flipper to holes in the grass and lily pads on flats or near stumps on points and creek channels.  I’m using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer and a green pumpkin or watermelon/red flake Flipper on the Texas rig.  Out deeper, oz Mega Weight tungsten jigs in green pumpkin/black with watermelon candy or Blue Bruiser colored Fork Craw trailers or Texas rigged green pumpkin Twitch Worms are catching some really big bass from schools located on the bottom on deep structure.  When the bass are suspended, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  Finally, my Carolina rig and drop shot bite came on a little this week.  Try a watermelon/red flake or Killer Craw colored Baby Fork Creature on your Carolina rig or a watermelon chartreuse Twitch Worm on your drop shot.  

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  Fishing was very good for numbers this past week but after all of the 10 to 15 pounders for most of May, double digit bass were scarce for a few days last week.  Things returned to normal on Thursday, with 4 over 10 caught, including a 12.2.  There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

 

May 20th, 2007

 

Fishing has been inconsistent at Lake Fork this past week.  When the deep bite has been on, fishing is good and we’re catching mostly postspawn females in the 4 to 9 lb range.  Other days, we’re only finding a few small schools out deep and I’ve had to resort to shallow water fishing, where the bite has been sporadic at best.  Flipping jigs and Texas rigs up shallow will produce some good bass but lower numbers, while weightless plastics often produce better numbers but mostly smaller fish.  And on a few days, it was slow on just about everything.  As we move out of the spawn and into postspawn and summertime patterns, fishing will stabilize and good fish will be caught on more predictable patterns. And once the summertime patterns get going, late May, June, and July is my 2nd most favorite time of the year, with big fish coming regularly on swimbaits, crankbaits, and Carolina rigs out deep and on jigs along deep weedlines.

 

I’ve also added a fishing articles section to my website, with monthly articles on techniques to help you catch bass on Fork or on most any other lake.  You can check them out at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level is the highest it has been in almost 2 years heading into summer, currently reading 401.91’, about 1’ 1” below full pool.  With normal rains in May and June, Fork should be in great shape this summer with lots of newly flooded vegetation and deep grassbeds.  Due to all of the vegetation, most of the lake is clear right now, although a few places are stained from runoff and wind.  Water temps continue to rise, currently reading in the mid 70s to mid 80s. 

 

Location Pattern: While almost all of the spawning has wrapped up, many bass are remaining shallow on spawning flats and chasing after bluegill, fry, and spawning shad in the ever expanding submerged and emergent weeds.  For bigger females, fish slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and ledges; any of which are in close proximity to spawning areas.  Deep structure in 18’ to 30’ is where I’ve caught most of my big fish this week.  Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom, and most of these schools have been small, so watch your depth finder closely. 

 

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, frog baits like a Fork Frog in black neon or watermelon/red flake/pearl belly are working well some days.  Cast these all the way to the bank and drag them across the newly flooded grass, then let them drop after coming across the mat.  Other days, poppers are working better.  For bass on the grass flats, 4.5” Live Magic Shads and regular Magic Shads are catching some bass.  Rig these weightless on an Owner 4/0 or 5/0 Wide Gap Plus hook and try the watermelon red/pearl, watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors.  For bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged Flipper to holes in the grass and lily pads on flats or near stumps on points and creek channels.  I’m using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer and a green pumpkin or watermelon/red flake Flipper on the Texas rig.  Out deeper, oz Mega Weight Jigs in black/blue with watermelon candy colored Fork Craw trailers or Texas rigged green pumpkin Twitch Worms are catching some really big bass from schools located on the bottom on deep structure.  When the bass are suspended, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working best and catching some lunkers too.  

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  As in the past seasons, the May/June lunker period at Baccarac is producing once again!  Check out the recent reports.  Orlean Smith and his fishing partner Leo Osburn from OK on May 4th caught 10 fish over 10 pounds using topwater and swimbaits. Donny Harkey in Leo's group caught 2 over 13. Out of the 12 fishermen in Orlean's group, 20 fish over 10 where caught. In total, the lodge has added 36 more fish over 10 pounds to the trophy board this week. Stephen Jones, Executive V.P. of the Dallas Cowboys, caught a 12.4 the first 20 minutes on the water at Baccarac. Joe Hickman caught a 12.7. Pryor Blackwell caught 10.0 and the list goes on.  There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

May 6th, 2007

Fishing on Lake Fork has been very good for us on most days this past week.  Yesterday, we had 6 fish over 6 pounds, while we had a couple 7s along with several 6s and a lot of 3.5 to 5.5 pounders on Monday after a slower day on Tuesday.  Good fish are coming from a variety of patterns right now, allowing us to adjust to conditions and usually catch big fish whether it’s sunny and calm or windy and rainy.  While a few fish are showing up out deep, many fish are still spawning in the shallows.  Just about any bait in your tackle box will work at some point in May, and the fishing will continue to get better as the females wrap up their spawning rituals and put on the feedbag.    From lunkers on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on crankbaits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs, the annual summer whack-fest is about to begin.  Head on out to Lake Fork this summer and find out why May, June, and July are the favorite months of many Fork regulars. 

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level is rising and currently reading 402.00’, 1’ below full pool.  Recent rains will muddy up some creeks but much of the lake is very clear right now.  Water temps dropped slightly after the rains, currently reading in the upper 60s or low 70s. 

 

Location Pattern: I’m finding most of the bigger spawning fish nearer the mouths of coves and on main lake flats in 8’ and less.  While some bass are spawning in the newly flooded grass and cattails, many are spawning or staging along the inside grassline in about 4’.  In addition, many bass are also holding amongst the rapidly burgeoning lily pads.  Near where we found numbers of shallow spawning bass on slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and ledges is where we’ve found most of the bigger females.  Deep structure in 15’ to 30’ is also starting to hold some good fish. 

 

Presentation Pattern: Shad colored topwaters have been very productive for actively feeding post spawners on some days this week.  For the bass holding in the newly flooded vegetation, swimming a green pumpkin red/pearl Fork Frog is hard to beat.  For bass around beds and on the spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged 4.5” Live Magic Shads have produced very well this week.  Rig these weightless on an Owner 4/0 or 5/0 Wide Gap Plus hook and try the watermelon red/pearl, watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors.  While some bass are biting on the swim, our best retrieve has been dead-sticking on the bottom, followed by swimming it a few feet and letting it fall back to the bottom, repeating this all the way back to the boat.  For spawning bass, white or watermelon candy Fork Craws and Merthiolate twitch worms have worked well.  Out deeper, oz Mega Weight Jigs in black/blue with blue bruiser or watermelon candy colored Fork Craw trailers or Texas rigged Fork Creatures in the same colors are catching lots of big bass on points.  And swimbaits or medium and deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are catching lots of suspended bass as well.  

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  Baccarac continues to be smokin’ hot!  Check out the reports from this past week.  Some boats catching up to 180 a day.  Frank Zuniga caught a nice 13.5 on May 1st using a 6 inch swimbait. Randy Potter reports his 5 biggest fish May 1st at 46.5 pounds, all caught using 1 oz gold/chart rattletrap. Chuck Misak reports catching 90 fish the first 3 hours on the lake and at one point catching fish on 40 consecutuve casts!  Dale Quisenberry caught 10.8 and 12.3 this morning on topwater. Guide Eddie has been able find a good topwater bite the last 3 mornings.  Big swimbaits have been doing very good on the long points.  Awesome!! May is historically one of the best trophy bass months, so look for this trend to continue.  There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

April 26th, 2007

 

As we near May, I’m still seeing a number of spawning pairs in the shallows at Lake Fork.  Between the fry guarders, spawning fish and the bass chasing the hoards of shad spawning in the grass, 8’ and less has been my best depth range this week.  I expect the shallows will remain my main pattern for a couple more weeks, too.  Meanwhile, a few fish are starting to show up on deep structure and a number of fish are hanging out in mid-range depths (8’ to 18’).  Just about any bait in your tackle box will work at some point in May, and the fishing will continue to get better as the females wrap up their spawning rituals and put on the feedbag.    From lunkers on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on crankbaits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs, the annual summer whack-fest is about to begin.  Head on out to Lake Fork this summer and find out why May, June, and July are the favorite months of many Fork regulars. 

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level is currently reading 401.93’, about 1’ 1” below full pool.  Recent rains and winds have resulted in some areas that are still muddier than normal; however, the visibility is still very good in most places.  Water temps continue to rise, holding in the mid-60s in the main lake to the mid-70s in the creeks. 

 

Location Pattern: I’m finding most of the bigger spawning fish nearer the mouths of coves and on main lake flats in 8’ and less.  While some bass are spawning in the newly flooded grass and cattails, many are spawning or staging along the inside grassline in about 4’.  In addition, many bass are also holding amongst the rapidly burgeoning lily pads.  Near where we found numbers of shallow spawning bass on slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and ledges is where we’ve found most of the bigger females. 

 

Presentation Pattern: Shad colored topwaters and jerkbaits have been very productive for actively feeding post spawners on some days this week.  For the bass holding in the newly flooded vegetation, swimming a green pumpkin red/pearl Fork Frog is hard to beat.  My jig bite produced a few big fish when pitched to timber on points and creek channels or on the deep grasslines.  I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight green pumpkin jig with a watermelon candy 4” Fork Craw trailer.  For bass around beds and on the spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged 4.5” Live Magic Shads have produced very well this week.  Rig these weightless on an Owner 4/0 or 5/0 Wide Gap Plus hook and try the watermelon red/pearl, watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors.  While some bass are biting on the swim, our best retrieve has been dead-sticking on the bottom, followed by swimming it a few feet and letting it fall back to the bottom, repeating this all the way back to the boat.  For spawning bass, white or watermelon candy Fork Craws and Merthiolate twitch worms have worked well.

 

Lake Baccarac Update: 

Baccarac is on fire for big bass!  Check out a few snippets from the latest reports.  James Fraioli writer for Bassmaster on April 22 caught a 13.10, 11.5 and 10.14. On April 23rd James's camera man Kevin Goodrich caught a 15.2 using a Storm swim bait then James again landed a 10, 10.7 and 11.4.  On April 24th James Frioli caught 2 more over 10 and Kevin Goodrich caught a 14.1.  April 23rd John Thurston caught 11.4 and 9.14 and Barry Weiland also caught 11.4.  Mike Hammer had a great topwater day April 19th catching 3 fish over 10 on topwater.  Wilo Blackwell caught 11.10 using a 7" senko.  April 20th Mike Hammer had another great day, his 3 biggest fish 13.6, 10.7, 10.4 all on swimbaits.  Awesome!! May is historically one of the best trophy bass months, so look for this trend to continue.  There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

April 13th, 2007

 

Lake Fork is rebounding nicely after a major cold front dropped our water temps by 10 to 15 degrees.  Although our numbers slowed this week, big fish are still being caught and another wave of spawning fish seem to be pulling up shallow with the recent warming trend.  A couple of 13 pounders were donated to the ShareLunker program on Wednesday and we found prespawn fish this week on the first break near spawning areas.  In contrast, a few early spawners are ahead of schedule and already starting to show up in typical May areas.  Meanwhile, newly flooded vegetation is starting to hold a lot of bass and should make for awesome frog and buzzbait action very soon.  Whether you want to fish prespawn, spawn, or postspawn patterns, you have a good shot at a lunker on Fork right now.

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level is currently reading 401.78’, about 1’ 3” below full pool.  After a big rain and a few windy days, some areas are still stained but much of the lake is starting to clear up.  Water temps fell dramatically after a strong cold front, dropping from the low 70s into the upper 50s.  Temps are on the rise again, holding in the low 60s in most places.

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats.  In many cases, we’ve caught multiple fish from very small areas, so really work an area over once you’ve caught a fish there.  Spawning activity has spread from protected bays and typically in the very back ends of creeks all the way to the mouths of creeks as well as onto some main lake flats.  Basically, if you can find a 2’ to 8’ flat with ample grass and wood cover, you’ll likely find spawning fish right now.

 

Presentation Pattern: For late prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, jigs and Texas rigs are producing some big fish.  Go with gold jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go.  I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the watermelon candy color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in green pumpkin or watermelon/chartreuse with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option.  Once again, shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are top colors in clearer areas.  In muddier water, try Junebug color plastics or use chartreuse dyed tails on your baits for more bites.

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Dog Lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  My favorite is the Lake Fork Baby Craw.  Its tiny size and realistic look catch many bass that will run off the bed when bigger baits are pitched in there.

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  The spawn is winding down and postspawn fishing is the main pattern right now at Baccarac.  Numbers are still running strong, with several 10s weighed in this week.  As the big girls set up on summertime patterns, look for the giant fish to start showing up again shortly, as May is historically one of the best trophy bass months.  There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

April, 2nd, 2007

Heading into April, the spawn is in full swing at Fork.  Prespawn and postspawn bass are still available all over the lake as well.  As evidence, we had an 8 lb’er that was clearly prespawn and full of eggs at the back end of a creek way, way up north this week, while we also saw some bass fry on main lake flats on the south end.  As usual, I expect the spawn to continue into early May.  A strong front with heavy rain muddied or stained much of Fork while raising our lake level almost a foot.  The front and new muddy water significantly slowed the bite for us this weekend; however, the new flooded cover will be home to many beds in the coming weeks and a real boon for catching actively feeding postspawn lunkers.

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level is basically done rising, currently reading 401.88’, about 1’ 1” below full pool.  High winds followed by a big rain have most of the creeks muddied, while much of the main lake is stained.  Water temps continue to rise, with the main lake reading in the upper 60s and protected bays registering well into the 70s.

 

Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats.  In many cases, we’ve caught multiple fish from very small areas, so really work an area over once you’ve caught a fish there.  Spawning activity has spread from protected bays and typically in the very back ends of creeks all the way to the mouths of creeks as well as onto some main lake flats.  Basically, if you can find a 2’ to 8’ flat with ample grass and wood cover, you’ll likely find spawning fish right now.

 

Presentation Pattern: For late prespawn bass, crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs and Texas rigs are producing some big fish.  Go with gold jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go.  I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the watermelon candy color.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in green pumpkin or watermelon/chartreuse with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option.  Once again, shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are top colors.

 

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Dog Lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great.  White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass.  My favorite is the Lake Fork Baby Craw.  Its tiny size and realistic look catch many bass that will run off the bed when bigger baits are pitched in there.

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  Lots of 10 to 11 pounders are coming from the shallows right now, with fish up to 13 lbs being reported in the last week.  There are still a few openings left for this season, while the fall and winter of 2007/2008 are booking very quickly.  Anyone interested in fishing Baccarac next season should start finalizing their plans soon, as the lodge only holds 24 anglers and many of the premium dates are already booked solid.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

March 5th, 2007

 

A sustained warming trend has the big bass on the move at Fork, with fish up to 10 lbs caught in my boat this week and lots of big fish being reported at local marinas.  Typical of this time of year, we’ve had several days with well over 20 bass caught, while a couple days were downright tough.  A number of very windy days, including a few days with gusts in the 40s and mid-50s have muddied up large areas of the lake; however, the bite has been best for us on windy days.  While some areas are warming very quickly and reading into the upper 50s and low 60s in the afternoons, the boat ramp temp is reading 48 the last couple of mornings and we even found the backs of some creeks reading 49 late in the afternoon.  Based on these temps, some spawning will start soon if the warm sunny days continue, while it will be quite some time before the bass spawn in many other areas of the lake.  As is the norm, I expect we’ll have fish spawning into early May.

 

Lake Conditions:  Lake Fork’s water level has remained stable, currently reading 400.97’, about 2’ below full pool.  Due to recent strong winds, many areas of the lake are stained to muddy.  Water temps are on the rise, reading 48 to 55 in main lake areas and up to the low 60s in some protected pockets late in the day.

 

Location Pattern: I’m still concentrating on prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels.  Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish.  While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in March.  It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter.  The specific location of the bass within creeks has seemed to change daily.  Check productive coves and creeks from main lake points and flats to the very back to find active fish each day.  In many cases, we’ve caught multiple fish from small areas, so really work an area over once you’ve caught a fish there.

 

Presentation Pattern: My prespawn arsenal is pretty simple for fishing grass flats and creek channels.  First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in or oz, in red, orange and crawdad patterns.  Slow rolling lipless cranks was best last week in the cold water, but a faster stop and go retrieve is working better now. oz to 1 oz spinnerbaits with double willow or single Colorado blades in white, red, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass as well.  With the deeper grass and colder temps, switch to smaller blades and slow your retrieve until the bait is just ticking the top of the grass.  On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig.  Go with gold jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days.  Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses.  My flipping bite has been slow the last few days, but for a real monster, it’s normally your best option.  I go with oz Mega Weight black and blue jigs with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser color.  The Fork Craw has an air pocket in its belly and it stands up on the back of a jig, making a very realistic looking presentation for dead-sticking around cover.  For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in black neon or watermelon/red flake with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.  Finally, when the bass move onto the flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option.  Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors; work these baits very slowly and pay attention for subtle bites from that big mama!

 

Lake Baccarac Update:  With the water on a warming trend, bass are making a move to the backs of creeks and many big bass up to 13 lbs have been caught shallow in the last few days.  There are still a few openings left for March and April and there is good availability for May and June (historically one of the best times for trophy bass).  I’m starting to plan my group trips for Fall & Winter 2007/2008. Our trip last year was fun and productive for double digit bass; let me know if you want to be part of the lunker action.  For more info on a trip to Baccarac, please check out my website: http://www.bigmexicobass.com .

 

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

 

Good Fishing,

 

Tom  

 

 

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