We had a great day on Lake Fork today despite the 30+ mph winds. My client, Chris Morrison from Maryland, set his new personal best this morning with a 7.94 pounder. This afternoon, he shattered that by catching a 12.31 pounder!!! Our best 5 fish today topped 39 pounds!!! What a day…..
April is here, and the spawn on Lake Fork is in full swing. There are fish on beds in almost every creek on the lake, and there are plenty more that are waiting their turn.
The water temps are ranging from 58-61 on the main lake, and it is several degrees warmer than that in the backs of the creeks.
We have been catching most of our fish on a Santone Piglet Shaky head. I opt for the round ball 3/16 oz Piglet most of the time, but if the wind is blowing too much, I will switch us to a 1/4 oz head. The main thing that differnentiates the Piglet from other shaky heads on the market is it’s hook. It’s perfect for catching big bass in heavy cover. I throw it on no less than 15 lb line. Right now, I am targeting spawning fish in 1-6 ft of water. I’m not sight fishing, but instead, I am blind casting the spawning areas in the very backs of the creeks and pockets. Work the bait just a few inches at a time with small shakes in between movements.
Oak Ridge Marina and Lake Fork Marina both carry the Piglet here on the lake, and Tackle Warehouse carries them online as well.
If you have any questions, or if you’d like to book a trip, please send me an email and I will get back with you ASAP. If I am already booked, I work with several other very good guides that I can put you in contact with.
Here are a few fish we have caught the past couple of weeks:
We have finally been blessed with some warm weather the past few days, and the fishing seems to be picking up around the lake. We had a very good month of January and a good start to February despite the cold weather and below average water temperatures. During that time, the lake was fishing “small”, and most of my fish were coming from the same few areas. Most fishermen were either catching them well or they weren’t catching them at all. With the warmer days, we are starting to see more fish in other areas. This is good.
This past Friday, or best five weighed 36 pounds. That is not unusual as the fish are at their heaviest this time of year. I’m really excited to see what the lake kicks out this spring. I’ve got my fingers crossed for some stable weather in March and April.
As is typical for this time of year, the best baits are a lipless crankbait, suspending jerkbait, vibrating jig, Santone spinnerbait, and a jig. The jig bite has been very disappointing so far this year, but I’ve got to believe that it will pick up any day now. It is definitely a bait that you need to have tied on this time of year. It’s proven to get bigger bites.
For me, it’s been tough to beat the lipless crankbait. We are throwing several different brands, but the Strike King Red Eye shad is a top producer. We are fishing grass flats out to about 6 feet of water, staying in contact with the grass as much as possible. Some days I think color matters more than others, but we are throwing different versions of red, chartreuse, and gold. There are some days when one color will out produce another.
The jerkbait, spinnerbait, and vibrating jigs can be fished in the same areas, and it’s a good idea to fish these baits back through an area where you caught them on a lipless crankbait. Different baits will sometimes trigger a fish that didn’t eat the lipless crankbait.
I will do my best to post an update after this weekend, and my reports will stay more current as the patterns change.
Here are few fish from the past few weeks. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to book at trip!
Happy New Year everyone! We are looking forward to another fantastic year here on Lake Fork. The water has come several inches since the rain last week, and we are sitting at 398.25 or 4.75 ft below full pool. We have our fingers crossed for more rain this winter to bring the lake up even more. We have lots of growth around the shoreline that would offer great habitat with some water on top of it. It would make for a fantastic spawn!!!
Fishing has been a little slow since the rain, but you can still grind out a few bites if you put in a little time out here. The water temp is 48-49 degrees and water clarity is good for the most part. It is fairly stained in the backs of most creeks. We have a good growth of hydrilla in several areas of the lake, and the fish are in it. Our best bait for fishing the grass has been a red 1/2 oz lipless crankbait such as the Strike King Red Eye Shad. It is important to cover lots of water with it, but once you get bit, be sure to fish that area thoroughly.
The jig bite was good before the rain, and it will be the bait of choice for the next couple of months when looking for a true Lake Fork giant. I prefer a 1/2 oz or 3/4 oz Santone flipping jig in black/blue, Camo, or Bullfrog. I will match these jigs with a Lake Fork Tackle HyperFreak or Flipper, or a Strike King Rage Craw. Work the jig around the big trees along creek channel ledges that lead into spawning areas. I prefer 20 lb Seaguar Invizx fluorocarbon on a Dobyns Champion Extreme DX 745c rod. The rod is light and sensitive, but strong enough to bring big fish out of the heavy cover.
I have also been catching a few fish out deep on a Santone Slamma Rig (umbrella rig). Look for schools of shad, sandbass, yellow bass, and largemouths in 29-34 ft of water. You will load the boat with sandbass, and catch a few largemouths as well.
My spring is booking up quickly, so if you’re interested in a spring date, please contact me as soon as possible. If you have any questions, or if I can help in any way, please let me know!
The bite on Lake Fork has been up and down for the past several weeks. I have been waiting to post a new Lake Fork fishing report until the bite stabilized, and it looks like it’s finally starting to be more consistent.
We are starting to see some fish on deeper, main lake structure, and there will be many more heading that way. That will begin one of my favorite times of the year here on Lake Fork. Those fish will be feeding heavily on shad and yellow bass, and they can be caught on a variety of different baits including a jigging spoon, tail kicker, Flutter spoon, and my favorite, the Santone Slamma rig (umbrella rig).
Look for these fish on main lake structure (points, humps, road beds, creek channel ledges) in 18-21 feet of water. You will normally see the sand bass (white bass) and the largemouths mixed together. These fish are normally in a feeding mood, so try various different techniques and you will usually find something that works. Timing is everything, so if you can’t get them to bite, come back later and try them again. We usually catch between 15-25 largemouth and 60-80 sand bass per day this time of year.
There are still some shallow fish to be caught, so if the deep bite is not for you, you can fish wind blown main lake and secondary points and scratch out some nice fish. The grass in the upper ends of the lake still holds a good number of fish. The best baits for these fish are a Strike King Red Eye Shad, a Santone Got Five spinnerbait, and an LFT Magic Shad. A Strike King KVD 1.5 crankbait and a chatterbait will catch them well on the wind blown points as well.
The bite should continue to be good for the next few weeks. I have a couple of open dates in November and several in December if you’re interested in coming out and getting in on the great action. The fishing at the power plant lakes will be good in December and January if you’d like to go fish for some prespawn and spawning fish.
If you have any questions, please feel free to use the comments section below or shoot me an email. I’m glad to help.
Lake Fork has been pretty stingy the past couple of weeks. We have had a couple of good days here and there, but for the most part, it’s really tough. The lake is falling (currently 6.20 ft low), and water temps are in the 88-91 degree range. This is the time of year when the fish are suspended and more scattered out than any other time of year. We are still catching fish in the 6-7 pound range, but our overall numbers aren’t what we’d like for them to be. That will change once we start to get some consistent cooler weather.
For those of you who are coming in this week to fish the McDonald’s Big Bass Splash, here are a few ways that we’ve been catching fish the past few days.
My best pattern for catching numbers and size has been to throw a Strike King 5XD (in any of the shad patterns) in 10-15 feet of water. I’m concentrating most of my efforts on timbered points, but some fish can be found on humps and treelines in the same depth range. Be sure to bring a “plug knocker” or lots of crankbaits, because in order to catch these fish, you need to be banging your crankbait off of the wood. I’m throwing mine on 15 lb Seaguar Invizx and making as long of a cast as possible.
There are some fish starting to show back up on some of the deep structure spots. Road beds, humps, and points in 25-30 feet of water are the place to look for these fish. A 1 oz Santone football jig (Pinto Beans and Carrots color) will get you bit when the fish are on or close to the bottom. If they are up off the bottom several feet, I will throw a LFT Flutter Spoon and rip or reel it off the bottom – trying to get it above the fish’s head.
Wherever you are, be on the lookout for schooling fish. This is a great way to catch a big, fat under (under the slot) for your tournament. A Strike King Sexy Dawg, Santone Got Five spinnerbait, Strike King Red Eye Shad, and a LFT Magic Shad/Live Magic Shad are great choices for these schooling fish.
For those of you who would like to concentrate on grass, there is a lot of good hydrilla in Birch, Coffee, Glade, and Running Creeks. A LFT Lake Fork Frog, Santone Swim Jig, Strike King Red Eye Shad, and a Santone Got Five spinnerbait are very good choices for the grass.
Lake Fork Marina and Oak Ridge Marina both have great selections of tackle in their shops, and their prices are far better than what you’d expect to pay at the lake. Don’t hesitate to stop in and see them while you’re here.
I hope this helps put more fish in the boat while you’re here. I am booking dates for October, November, December, January, and Spring of 2014 if you’d like to come get in on some of the action. If you have any questions, please feel free to use the comments section below or you can email or text me.
Here are just a few fish from the past few weeks:
It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster ride the last couple of weeks, but we have had more good days than tough days. Most days the difference in having a good day versus a bad day is one or two schools of fish. On the good days, we are finding at least one school that yields 6-10 fish, and if you’re fortunate, you find two schools like that, and have a really good day. When you don’t find a big group of fish, you are working hard to scratch out 8 or 10 fish in a full day. The average size of our fish is very good, and most days, we will have at least one fish over 7 pounds.
I’m starting my mornings fishing a frog and buzzbaits around the hydrilla. Most mornings, you can expect 5-8 blowups, but some mornings, you’ll only get 3 or 4.
At about 7:30 or so, I’m moving to deeper water and picking up my Strike King 6XD. I’m covering quite a bit of water with it, and once I catch one, I slow down and work the area with the 6XD, a Santone Football jig, and a Carolina rigged LFT Hyper Stick and Ring Fry.
I’m still finding most of these fish in 18-21 ft of water, but there are some schools a little shallower and some quite a bit deeper (27-31′). Use your electronics and move around until you find fish on your screen. I’ll post a screen shot at the bottom to give you an idea of what some schools will look like. For those fish in the 27-31′ range, the football jig, Carolina rig, Santone Slamma rig, Strike King 10XD, and a flutter spoon are the best choices.
I hope this helps you catch more fish on your next trip out. I still have a handful of August dates available, and I am booking September-November dates as well. If I can help you on your best trip to Lake Fork, please contact me. Best of luck!!!
It’s been a good week for us here on Lake Fork with several fish over 6 pounds caught by my clients and me. We are still finding most of our fish in deeper water, and 18-21 feet seems to be the best depth for me.
As far as baits and presentations go, a drop shot, Carolina rigged LFT Hyper Stick and Baby Ring Fry, and a Strike King 6XD are putting the majority of our fish in the boat.
On some days, we are seeing some schooling fish busting big shad on the surface. When we see them, we are throwing a Strike King Sexy Dawg on top of them and the strikes are VIOLENT!!! Keep your eyes open while you’re fishing offshore structure and you might see them blowing up!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my report. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the Comments section below or send me a text or email.
Happy Independence Day everyone! The fishing on Lake Fork has been very good in my boat the last few days. We have had a couple of slow days after this cold front where we had a hard time locating a school of fish that wanted to bite, but that’s not totally unusual for this time of year.
This year, I’m not finding as many schools of fish, but the schools of fish I am finding seem to be bigger than ever. Tuesday, we caught 22 out of one school, and yesterday we caught 16 in each of two different schools.
Learning to read and trust your electronics is of the utmost importance when fishing deep structure. My new Z521 Ranger is rigged with a Lowrance HDS-9 with Structure Scan at both my bow and my console. These units are incredible. I’ll show a few pics at the bottom of this report.
There are some schooling fish in some areas, but for the most part, I am catching all of my fish relating to the bottom in 20-22 ft and also in 28-30 ft of water. This time of year, you will always find a Carolina rig with LFT Hyperstick, 1 oz Santone Football jig in Pinto Beans or Mexican Heather, Strike King 10XD or 6XD crankbait in Sexy Shad, Santone Slamma rig (umbrella rig), and a flutter spoon. Depending on the day, one bait/presentation will outperform all others. Even after we have figured out what that presentation is, we will still throw another bait at them just to see if we can pick up an extra bite or two.
For the schooling fish, I’ve been throwing a Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater, the Santone Slamma rig, and an LFT Magic Shad. The schooling fish I’ve found aren’t very big (2-3 lbs), but the explosions on the Sexy Dawg have been a ton of fun.
I still have a few open dates in July if you’re interested in coming out and getting in on some of the action. Here are a few pics from the past few days. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to use the comments section below this report.
We just wrapped up an incredible month of fishing here on Lake Fork. The topwater bite continues to be good early in the morning and all day when we have cloud cover. A Super Spook and a Yellow Magic are both great choices.
I am still catching the majority of my fish on a Carolina rigged LFT Magic Shad in less than 3 ft of water. Watermelon Red and Golden Bream are both producing very well. The wind really helps keep this bite going all day, and we haven’t had a shortage of wind this month.
I have been checking on the deep fish just about everyday, and there are more and more of them showing up out there. We are catching a few each afternoon on a 1 oz Santone football jig, and that bite will only get better in June and July. My favorite colors for Lake Fork are Pinto Beans and Carrots, and Mexican Heather. Trail these jigs with a LFT Hyper Freak or Baby Hyper Freak, and you will catch some deep fish. This technique is one of my favorite ways to catch fish.
The same Carolina rig that I’m using in shallow water will also get you bit out deep. In addition to the Magic Shad, I like to use a LFT Baby Ring Fry and a Hyper Stick. Stick with your confidence colors. Chartreuse Pepper is one of my favorites for fishing deep with soft plastics.
Right now, I am finding most of the deep fish in 18-25 ft of water (depending on location and time of day). Most of the time, you will find the school of bass beside or mixed in with a big school of white bass.
I still have some summer dates open, but they are starting to fill up. If you would like to come learn how to use your electronics and/or catch some big fish in deep water, please send me an email or text, or give me a call in the evenings.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the Comments section below!!!
Here are a few pics from the last few days: