February is finally here on Lake Fork! With it brings some early signs of spring on the horizon. It is a an absolutely awesome month to catch the fish of your dreams as some of the biggest bass in Lake Fork start to prepare for the annual spring spawn. I expect to see several Share Lunker Program bass brought in between now and the end of the spring spawn on Lake Fork. There was already one fish contributed from Lake Fork on December 12 by Gary Sims that weighed 15.02 lbs. This is exciting as we move into spring and the reality of fishing Lake Fork is that you could hook on of these giant bass on any given cast.
The lake is still in great shape despite low water levels. The lake is currently 4 feet low but I anticipate spring rains should raise Lake Fork some over the next few months. Water temperatures are back up into the low to mid fifties degree range after bottoming out in the 40’s during the month of January. There is still some grass growing in areas around the lake and could really burst out if we have water levels rise. The overall clarity of the lake is good with stained water mostly in the backs of some of the creeks and other windblown areas.
The primary patterns for bass this month revolve around their pre-spawn activity. As the water warms the fish will begin migrating into the creeks from the depths into the shallower water. I always stress to anglers that are coming to Lake Fork this time of year that water temperature is everything! Its important to be observant about the water temperature as you move around on the lake. Having great electronics like the Lowrance HDS Gen2 that I use helps. It will give you an accurate reading of surface temperatures and help you eliminate less productive water. The bass are generally going to focus on the warmest water that they can find and the fish in those areas are going to be the most active. I like to look for areas that temperatures are increasing daily. A good place to look first is in the creeks and pockets that are protected from the north. These areas do not cool as fast during a front and often times warm up quicker, especially the ones furthest north on the lake. If I am in temperatures between 52-56 degrees, I consider that ideal for pre-spawn bass activity. If it gets any warmer than that you can expect them to start spawning.
One of the best baits for targeting these pre-spawn Lake Fork bass are baits like the Sebile Flatt Shad or any other lipless crank bait in the 1/4-3/4 oz size range. Anything red on Lake Fork is always great but I like to mix it up with chrome, white, and some chartreuse colors also. Main lake points and secondary points are always great places to start. I like to fish these baits in the 2-8 foot depth range as many of the bass will be holding around shallow cover looking for a meal and often times just up there sunning themselves on a warmer day. If you can find clumps of vegetation those are best. The fish will lay in the hydrilla and smoke a lipless crank bait as it comes by! Some of the biggest fish of the year are caught this way. If you had the opportunity to watch the shows that I filmed with Honey Hole All Outdoors you can see the potential of February pre-spawn feeding frenzies on Lake Fork. Here is a link to the shows if you missed them:
Show #1 -
If you can’t get excited about fishing watching that, then it’s time to sell boat and give your rods to someone else! Lake Fork is going to be awesome this spring but the lipless crank bait isn’t the only way to go. You can also hammer a big one with a jig! These big female bass crave crawfish this time of year so anything that resembles one is fair game. I like to use a flipping model like the Talon jig in a 3/8 or 1/2 oz size. My favorite colors are black & blue, black/blue & purple, Bama bug, green pumpkin, and tx craw with a great matching trailer like the Berkley Powerbait Chigger Chunk or the New Berkley Havoc Pit Chunk. You will find the jig fish out a little deeper until the water warms up. I usually find them on the points and channel bends in 8-14 feet of water. Having practiced your flipping or pitching technique all winter while you had cabin fever really pays off. These bass will be tight to cover so pitching your jig right directly next to a stump or dock as opposed to a foot away from it will mean the difference between bites or a lack thereof. Be persistent if you decide to pick up a jig and go after the big ones. It is often times a technique of fewer bites but it can pay off big! On a slower day or during a cold front I like to break out a jerk bait. My favorite is a smithwick rogue or the mega bass 110 in gold, pro blue, or clown colors. These baits worked slowly through the same areas can produce when nothing much else will.
There are some fish that are holding out deep but I seldom target those fish right now as I am focused on those that are ready to start making their move to the shallows in preparation for the spring spawn. If you like to fish out deeper you will find schools of fish in 25-32 feet of water. These bass usually go for a smaller more finesse approach like a drop shot, a small spoon, or tail kicker.
I am excited about this New Year and the bass fishing on Lake Fork! If you are thinking of coming out and would like to book a trip this spring, feel free to contact me before I fill up. I still have a few choice dates available and will work hard to put you on the fish of your dreams! You can contact me to book your trip by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 903-736-9888. Also, visit my website to find out more information about Lake Fork bass fishing and my guide service at http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com You can also keep up with me by joining my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/james.caldemeyer I just picked up my new 2013 Ranger Z520c and man is this new boat model awesome! I will definitely have some excited customers when they get to ride in this thing. Be sure to go by Diamond Sports Marine on Hwy 154 here at Lake Fork and see these new 2013 Ranger Boats. If you are in the market for a new boat this year and would like to take a test ride, feel free to contact me or the dealership at 903-383-7829 and we will get you out on the water in one! I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for another year that He has blessed me with as well as all my 2013 Sponors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Berkley, I Am Second, Abu Garcia, Interstate Batteries, Lowrance, Talon Lures, Elite Tungsten, Hambys, Navionics, Simms, and Power Pole.
Psalms 100: 4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Tight Lines and God Bless,