September 16, 2013

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:

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Lake Fork Fishing Report – July 4, 2013

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.

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Lake Fork Fishing Report – December 5, 2012

Not much has changed here on Lake Fork in the last month – the bite is still pretty darn good. Lake level is 398.52, or 4.48 ft below full pool, and water temps are sitting around 61-63 degrees. That will change with the big cold front that is coming in on Monday, so it will be interesting to see what that does to the bite next week. I’m not convinced that it will hurt the deep bite too much.

I know there are some shallow fish that can be caught flipping jig to big timber around the creek channels, but I am spending all of my time fishing the deep fish. Luckily, I’ve been off on the days where the wind has blown 25-30 mph!!!

I’m still throwing the same baits in (many of) the same places as last month. Points, road beds, deep channel swings, and humps are all holding fish. The road beds on the north end are in the 16-18 ft range, while the points on the south end will hold fish as deep as 30-31 ft. Use your electronics to cover water and look for the schools of fish. You will find the bass mixed in with the BIG white bass on many of these spots.

Flutter spoons from Lake Fork Trophy Lures, jigging spoons, tail spinners, and a Santone Slamma rig (umbrella rig/Alabama rig) will all catch fish of all species. The Santone Slamma rig is my personal favorite. The strikes are vicious, and it’s not uncommon to catch more than one fish (bass and/or big white bass) at a time!!!

I still have some open dates this month if you’d like to come out to Lake Fork and get in on some of this action. I also made a trip to Lake Welsh last week and we boated 34 largemouth bass in 4 hours of fishing. I run trips on Lake Welsh and Lake Monticello in the winter months, and it’s a lot of fun to catch these hard fighting power plant lake fish!!!

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Lake Fork Fishing Report – November 7, 2012

The fall big bite on Lake Fork seems to be taking shape. Huge schools of shad and yellow bass are starting to load up on road beds, humps, and points, and when that happens, you know Lake Fork’s giant bass are too far behind. This makes November one of my favorite months to fish Lake Fork.

We are fortunate that Lake Fork has plenty of deep structure for these fish load up on. Some days, the best depth will be 16-18 feet of water, while other days, I will find them as deep as 31 feet. Having good electronics and learning how to read them will make your job of finding fish a lot easier.

Once I locate a school, we are typically throwing three different baits – a Lake Fork Trophy Lures Flutter Spoon, a 1 oz jigging spoon (various brands), and a tail spinner (various brands). We will throw all three at each stop, but you will find that one of those baits will outperform the others on a given day. If I see lots of bass suspended, I will also throw a Santone Lures Slamma Rig. Talk about a good time, it doesn’t get much better than catching big bass on a Slamma Rig.

In addition to catching big largemouth bass, we are also catching good numbers of yellow bass and white bass. Our yellow bass population has exploded this year, and that is a good sign. These fish are the perfect sized forage for big bass. I haven’t been catching as many large white bass this year as I have the last two years, but I’m hearing of some big white bass being caught here and there. They are lots of fun to catch, but we would like to see their population reduced as they are direct competitors for our largemouth.

Lake Fork’s water temperature is ranging from 66-68 degrees, and water clarity is very good at about 2-3 feet. The lake level is 398.83 or 4.17 feet below full pool.

Lake Fork guide Jason Hoffman November 2012

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May 3, 2012

Good day today. The early bite is very good IF you are in the right place. Yesterday, we zeroed on my starting spot and this was a spot that I had 18 on a couple of days prior. Today, we boated a dozen topwater fish early and then switched to the LFT Magic Shad to finish the morning with 18. We are working the Magic Shad with a series of quick jerks and a pause. You will see most of the strikes, and this makes for some exciting fishing.
After lunch, we decided to go look for some deep fish and we found a couple of nice schools. The largemouth are mixed in with the white bass, and the action is nonstop. We boated 9 more largemouths and an insane number of whites on a big flutter spoon to finish off a very fun day.