Lake Fork Fishing Report | May 4, 2014

May is here, and the fishing on Lake Fork is nothing short of fantastic. My clients have caught a lot of big fish the past few weeks with several fish over 9 pounds (including one that weighed in at 12.31 pounds), and more 7+ pound fish than I can count. Our big fish have come on a variety of baits including a Santone Piglet Shaky head, an umbrella rig, a swimbait, a Santone Swim Jig, an LFT Magic Shad, and a Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater.

This is the time of year that you can fish with just about anything you like to fish with and get bit. There are tons of fish in less than 6 feet of water right now. Some are still on spawning beds, others are making there way in to spawn, and others have spawned and have started feeding back up. Water temps are in the upper 60s and lower 70s as of this writing. Water level is at 399.36 or 3.64 ft below full pool. A year ago today, we were 4.53 ft below full pool.

If you like to fish topwaters, May is about as good as it gets. Topwater poppers like the LFT Magic Popper or the Strike King HC KVD Splash Popper will catch fish off the nest, but it is especially effective at catching those fish that are guarding fry. You can throw them all day under any conditions right now and catch fish. For those fish that are chasing shad, it’s hard to beat a Strike King Sexy Dawg. I have thrown just about every walking topwater bait you can name, and the Sexy Dawg ranks right up there with the best. It is very easy to walk and it gets some of the most vicious strikes you have ever seen.

If dragging plastics is your thing, a Carolina rigged LFT Magic shad in Green Pumpkin will get you bit when fished around main lake and secondary points. You can catch them super shallow, and now you can catch some deep too. A drop shot is also a good choice in the 6-14′ range. We have caught some really nice fish on both of these techniques over the past couple of weeks.

The deep bite is starting to shape up, and June, July, and August look to be really good again this year. If you have ever wanted to catch fish in deep water, these are great months to do it. I am booking summer trips right now, so if you’d like to get a date(s) on the books, please shoot me an email and we will get you set up.

For those of you who would like to see daily pics and get a little more info, you can “Like” my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/lakeforkguides. I try to post 4 or 5 nights per week, so you can keep up a little easier with how the lake is fishing on a daily basis.

Here are a few pics from the past couple of weeks!!!

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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 – February 26, 2013

The bite has slowed down some with the water temperatures falling into the low 50s. Our water temps to start each morning have been in the 50-52 degree range, and have only warmed up to 53-54 late in the day. Water level as of this writing is 398.86 or 4.14 feet below normal pool. The water is very stained in many areas of the lake and slightly stained in others. We have some hydrilla trying to make a comeback in some areas, but it is all in less than 3 feet of water.

Most of our fish this week have been caught on a 1/2 oz or 3/4 oz black and blue Santone jig, but we did catch a few on a Camo colored Santone jig. I am throwing the 3/4 oz jig along the deeper creek channels in 10-14 ft of water, and I’m switching to the 1/2 oz jig when we’re fishing less than 10 ft deep. One thing that has been a key for us is to slow WAY down. I haven’t been able to trigger them to bite by fishing the jig aggressively. We are basically having to crawl it along the bottom and banging it into any available cover. If you’re not feeling the wood, you’re probably not going to get bit. The Santone jig hangs up less than most jigs because of the shape of it’s head. Being flat on the bottom, the jig doesn’t roll over on it’s side when coming through the brush like some other jigs do. Less hang-ups equal more fishing time and better hook-ups because the hook is almost always in position to stick the fish in the top of the mouth.

Once we get a bite, we are being even more thorough as there will be multiple fish in that section of creek. Sometimes, we are pitching to the same stumps 4 or 5 times before we finally get a bite. It’s not easy fishing, but it can be very rewarding.

Having quality fishing line can be critical when fishing the heavy cover here. I have seen and used lots of different brands of fishing line over the years, but I’m convinced that the best I’ve ever used is Seaguar Invizx. I use 20 lb Invizx for jigs and most soft plastics, and 15 lb Invizx for crankbaits and jerkbaits.

The weather over the next few days is going to be a little cooler than what we’d like to see. The highs are supposed to be in the low 50s and the lows are supposed to be in the low 30s. This isn’t going to bring our water temps up any, so the jig bite should continue to produce the best results for the big bite. If you need to get bit, you might try a shaky head in the same areas. Sometimes there are fish that won’t bite the bigger bait, but they’ll eat the finesse worm. I know I’ll be throwing it a little more this week.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the comments section below. Best of luck on the water!

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February 12, 2013 – Lake Fork Fishing Report

With the warmer weather, our water temperatures have been on the rise. This week, I found water as warm as 58.5 degrees, and most of the areas we fished were over 56 degrees. The warmer temps pulled a lot of big females onto the flats and secondary points where we were able to cover some water and catch them a little more easily. Water level as of this writing is 398.89 (4.11 ft below full pool), but it is slowly on the rise with the rain that we are receiving as I write.

Our best bait has been a red lipless crankbait, but you should also try a Santone spinnerbait, a Chatterbait with LFT Live Magic Shad, and a jerkbait in the same areas. Many times, we will go through an area a couple of times with the lipless crankbait, and go back through it with another bait and pick up another fish or two. You want to be very thorough when covering water as a bass’s strike zone is fairly small in this cool water. Almost all of our fish are coming from less than 3 feet of water, and if you can find some hydrilla or coontail, you will likely find some fish.

The weather forecast for the coming week shows highs in the mid-50s and lows in the low 30s. This will bring the water temps back down into the low 50s, and maybe even the upper 40s. When this happens, it’s time to pick up your Black/Blue, Camo, or Sloppy Joe colored Santone Jig, move out to the creek channels, and go to work. When the water temps fall, I normally have better success using a LFT Flipper for my jig trailer, but when water temps are on the rise, I tend to opt more for the bigger LFT Hyper Freak. The Flipper is a little more subtle in it’s action than the Hyper Freak, and sometimes, that makes all the difference when these fish are finicky. You want to split the tail on the Flipper as it is designed with “rudders” that force the tail to spread out when it’s moved, making it look a lot like a crawfish. I will work the standing timber along the banks of the creek channels in about 5-15 ft of water. When you catch one, pay attention to the fish’s depth. If you catch one in 8 ft of water, and another in 12 ft of water, but nothing shallower and nothing deeper, you can probably save yourself a lot of time by concentrating your efforts in that depth range when you move to the next creek.

I hope that helps you on your next trip to Lake Fork. If you have any questions, please let me know!

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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

June 24, 2012

Like has been the case for much of 2012, this past week has had its ups and downs. We started off the week with 19 in a full day, and had two half days with 19 each. We also had another full day with 10, and an extended half day with 9.

We did catch some good fish this week including an 8.56 caught by young Jake Evans in a Carolina rigged LFT Hyperstick. This bait and a LFT Baby Ring Fry accounted for most of our fish this week, but a Santone Slamma Rig added a lot of excitement to our trips.

If you haven’t thrown the Slamma rig yet, I highly suggest you try it. We all know that Santone builds quality lures and this rig is no different. I have caught over 20 fish on one rig including 3 bass on one cast on Wednesday and at least one double everyday. The wires have been bent every which way you can imagine, and I just keep bending them back into place. I keep thinking one of the wires is going to break on me, but it has shown incredible durability.

Here are a few fish from this past week:

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June 3, 2012

The deep bite is pretty darn good right now. As always, it’s about timing. We are getting quality bites in 22-28 ft of water on Santone football jigs and Carolina rigged LFT Hypersticks.

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.