Lake Fork Fishing Report – March 25, 2013

The fishing here on Lake Fork was very good last week as we had three consecutive days with a bass over 9 pounds (9-08 Wednesday, 9-05 Thursday, 9-00 Friday) in my boat. We also caught multiple fish over 7 pounds, and lost a giant bass that we saw that was easily in the 11-12 pound range. I also had the opportunity to guide on a smaller public lake on Tuesday, and my client caught an 11.00 pounder with me that day. What a week!

I took the weekend off to watch my daughter play in a softball tournament, and I’m glad I did. The wind and the weather were horrible this weekend!!

The water temps early in the week were in the low 60s in the afternoons, but with the cooler temps later in the week, the water temps stayed in the 57-58 degree range all day. Water temps today are 52-54 degrees. The water level as of this writing is 398.61 or 4.39 ft below normal pool. Water is very stained in the upper ends, and gets a little clearer as you move south.

There were quite a few fish on beds in the upper ends, and stills tons of staging fish both north and south. It looks like our spawn will be a little more spread out this year (as is normal), compared with last year when it seemed like the majority of the fish spawned close to the same time.

Up north, my best baits have been a white chatterbait with LFT Live Magic Shad as a trailer, a Texas rig, and a drop shot. I’m pretty much concentrating my efforts in 1-4 feet of water. Fish the soft plastics slowly and very tight to the timber for best results. You can catch fish on the chatterbait on wind blown banks and points. Just put the trolling motor down, and cover water. The LFT Live Magic Shad is important to achieving maximum success when fishing a chatterbait. I’ve tried just about every trailer known to man, it there is nothing that comes close to producing both the quality and quantity of bites that the Live Magic Shad produces. I typically start with the 4.5″ version this time of year, but some days, they seem to bite the 3.5″ version better. In the fall, I throw the 3.5″ in Live Magic Shad almost exclusively.

Down south, I am fishing a little deeper, and concentrating my efforts on main lake and secondary points. Right now, it’s tough to beat a Piglet Shaky head by Santone Lures. A good bait to screw onto the jig head is a LFT 10″ Lake Fork Worm with the tail torn off. Good colors are Watermelon, Watermelon Red, Watermelon Gold, Watermelon Blue, and Green Pumpkin. A small soft plastic crawfish will also produce bites when attached to the Piglet. I’m also pitching stumps with a drop shot. This is a super effective technique when the fish are finicky and holding very tight to cover.

The bite will probably be a little slower the next couple of days after this cold front passes, but by the end of the week, I look for things to pick back up where they left off. I know I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow.

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Lake Fork Fishing Report – 9/13/2012

Lake Fork is still turning over, and the fishing remains tough (for the most part). The best bite seems to be shallow, and if you can find some submerged vegetation, you will find some fish.

The lake is sitting at 399.36 or 3.64 ft below normal pool. Water temps have been in the mid-80s, but those will continue to fall with the cooler weather and shorter days. With the end of the turnover and the cooler water temps, the fishing will pick up.

Look for shad in the backs of pockets just off of the main lake and in the backs of major creeks as the month progresses. Just about any bait will work when these fish are actively feeding, but some of my favorites are a Santone Get Five spinnerbait, a Chatterbait with 3.5″ Lake Fork Trophy Lures Live Magic Shad, a squarebill crankbait, a lipless crankbait, and a frog.

The McDonald’s Big Bass Splash is coming up September 21-23, so the lake will be jam packed for that. If you don’t have a room yet, I hear that there are a few rooms at some of the hotels in Sulphur Springs. From what I understand, there is nothing available around the lake.

Best of luck to all of those competing in the coming weeks. October looks to be a great month to get out on Lake Fork. It is historically one of my favorite months to fish Lake Fork. If you’re looking for a guide, please give me a shout.

August 9, 2012 – Back from Falcon Lake

I just got back from spending the last 3 weeks guiding down on Falcon Lake, and we had a great time as usual. Falcon is almost 39 ft low and they need rain in the worst way. We caught a lot of fish and some big ones too, but it wasn’t nearly as good as it has been in the past. We were able to set several new personal bests on the trip, and for that, I am very thankful.

As the lake continues to fall, I look for the bite down there to get slower and slower. We fished both the north and south ends of Falcon. Up north, the flipping bite was the ticket – especially as the sun got up. Early, we would fish Santone spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, and square billed cranks around shallow cover, and as the sun got up, we would move out just a little and flip soft plastics in the hardwoods just off the river channel. The Hyperworm from Lake Fork Trophy Lures accounted for many of the fish we caught. Teamed with a 1/2 oz weight and 4/0 or 5/0 flipping hook, it was tough to beat. Our best colors were June Bug and Blue Fleck or Blue Fleck Red. Most of our fish were in the top half of the trees and not at the base of the trees. Some of this is due to the water clarity (muddy), and some of this is due to the soft bottom. We used to fish the same way on Cooper Lake during it’s heyday back in the late 90s.

Down on the south end, we concentrated on fishing the rocks with deep diving crankbaits and Santone football jigs. We didn’t get as many bites down there as we did up north, but we did locate some big fish in a few different areas. The ramp at the State Park is no longer usable due to the lower water conditions, so they have installed a temporary metal ramp so that you can launch off the bank. It’s VERY steep, and you NEED four wheel drive to get your boat out.

All in all, it was another good trip down there, and I’m looking forward to going again. I don’t think I’ll be going back until the lake comes back up. The bite is getting tougher and tougher down there with the dropping water. The bass are getting more concentrated, but so is their forage. They aren’t having to work for food, and because of that, they’re not stacked up on key structure spots like they normally are. In the past, we could catch over 25 fish off of one spot, but now, you’re lucky if you catch 5. I hate it for the local guides down there as they are really having to work their tails off to produce far fewer fish than normal. The good thing for them is, it’s still Falcon Lake, and just like Lake Fork, you could catch the fish of a lifetime on any cast.

On a side note……..

Many of you know that I’m a big fan of Mustad hooks, and this week, their new Denny Brauer Grip Pin Max Flippin’ Hooks finally hit the shelves. Unfortunately, we had to use another brand on our trip, and the keeper would slide down after catching a couple of fish on it. Mustad solved this issue by making their flippin’ hook with a “Grip Pin” welded on it. I can’t wait to get my hands on some, and I think they’re going to be a big hit for all of us that love to throw a Texas rig.

Mustad Denny Brauer Grip Pin Max Flippin' Hook

 

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Lake Fork Fishing Report – July 15, 2012

Lake Fork Fishing Report – The deep bite continues to produce quality bites, and that’s where I’m spending 100% of my time. I’m starting the mornings in 20-21 ft of water using a Carolina rigged LFT Hyperstick in Chartreuse Pepper and Watermelon Chartreuse. We’ll also throw a C-rigged LFT Baby Ring Fry in the same colors if the bite is a little slower.

As the sun gets higher in the sky, the schools of fish go a little deeper and you can find them most days in 24-31 ft of water. Use your electronics to find the schools of fish and don’t stop until you see what you’re looking for. I’m staying with the C-rig throughout the day and mixing in a 1 oz Santone Football jig in Pinto Beans and Carrots with a LFT Hyper Freak as well.

We’re averaging about 15 fish per day and those numbers have been pretty consistent. We’ve also set a few new personal bests over the last couple of weeks. Here are a few pics of the fish we’ve been catching:

Lake Fork bass

Lake Fork bass

Lake Fork bass

Lake Fork bass

Lake Fork bass

May 28, 2012

The bite has gotten better the last couple of days and should continue to get better. We are graphing a lot more fish on the deep structure spots than we were just last week. It’s time to come to Fork for some summertime fishing.

Santone football jigs, drop shots, Carolina rigged LFT Hypersticks are all working on these spots.

May 9, 2012

The deep bite continues to produce good fish for us. The last couple of days, we have caught fish a deep as 29 ft of water on Santone Football jigs, drop shots, swimbaits, umbrella rigs, and heavy spinnerbaits with a 5.5″ LFT Live Magic Shad Swimbait.

May 7, 2012

Very good day today. Started with topwaters early and switched to LFT Magic Shad after that bite slowed. Dan caught some really nice fish on it before we moved out to deeper water for the rest of the day. Found fish in 15-28 ft of water and we dropped the hammer on them. Santone football jig with LFT Baby Hyper Freak was the deal today.

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.

April 21, 2012

My apologies for the lack of reports lately. The honest truth is that the lake has been kicking my butt lately. We’re catching 15-20 each day, but it hasn’t been easy. I wish I could point you in the right direction as far as a solid pattern goes, but I’ve basically been “junk fishing” for the past week and a half. I was waiting to post a report after I had things figured out and I could give you more specific information. I’ve got them figured out now, but there’s not one “best” way to catch the big fish right now!!!

There are a lot of post spawn fish right now, but there are still a few prespawn and spawners. I have been trying my best to pattern the bigger fish as I believe that’s what most of my clients come to Lake Fork for. These big fish have been next to impossible to zero in on and that’s the main reason why I’ve been trying different depths, areas, and presentations, and that has lead to fewer fish in the boat than what I am accustomed to catching most days for this time of year. I could catch far more numbers each day if I (clients) really wanted to, but most of them would be of the smaller “fry guarding” male variety.

For me, the best time of the day for numbers of solid fish (with the occasional big fish) has been the first hour or two of the day. The topwater bite has been good most mornings and very good to excellent other mornings. The trick is being on the right point at the right time, and that’s not always easy. We are bouncing around from point to point hoping to find the school of fish that we’re looking for before our window of opportunity closes. Walking baits have been best most days, but it’s always a good idea to have a popping bait ready just in case. Squarebilled crankbaits can be highly effective in the right areas on days when the fish don’t seem to want to come up on a topwater. And lastly, a Carolina rigged LFT Hyperstick will put some big fish in the boat in the same areas once the topwater bite ends.

After that ends, I’ve been trying lots of different things. Some days, my best bite is on a LFT Magic Shad in the flooded grass. Other days, I’ve had good success pitching a LFT Flipper to shallow timber. While other days, we can get them to bite a topwater or frog all day long. The best thing to do right now is to pick your favorite way to catch fish and cover lots of water. There are fish in the backs of creeks, on the main lake, and everywhere in between right now. I can’t honestly tell you that one bait or one location is much better than the other.

The good news is that we have had an incredibly good spawn this year. I have seen A LOT of fry from one end of the lake to the other, and with the higher water levels, there is plenty of shoreline cover for these youngsters to hide in.

Also, the deep bite will be picking up soon, and that makes for some fantastic fishing on Lake Fork.

March 29, 2012

The fishing on Fork is still pretty good if you’re in the right place and doing the right thing. There were a lot of fish that made their move to the banks over the weekend to spawn, so I have a feeling that we are dealing with a lot of post-spawn females right now. Don’t get me wrong, there are still tons of fish that have yet to “do the deal”, and those are the fish that we are trying to catch.

The drop shot continues to be a mainstay in my boat, but the shaky head bite has come on strong the last couple of days. I’m using a 3/16 oz Santone piglet jig head and an LFT Zig Zag in any shade of green. We are working our baits through the stump-filled spawning flats in the 2-6 ft range.