Fall is in full swing during the month of November here at Lake Fork. As the leaves continue to fall from the trees and the temperatures continue to grow colder, you can expect the fishing to be very good. This time of year really gives any angler the opportunity to catch fish on any given day and often times lots of them. Now through the end of the year is one of my favorite times to catch a giant bass as well!
The lake is still in good shape with water levels at 400.30 right now almost 3 feet low. Most of the lake has completed the turn over phase and the water conditions have stabilized. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 70’s right but you should see a lot of water in the 60’s this month. It would be nice to see a little more rain soon to put some more water in the lake although it does fish real good low. Just have to be careful navigating out there.
The fishing has been great on most days with lots of fish being caught and some big ones at that. You can always count on fall fishing to provide a number of different patterns and baits to be producing at the same time. I always suggest anglers fish their strengths if they want to catch a lot of fish and to fish their weakness to gain confidence in a technique you are not very good at or have not had a lot of productive results with. For instance, if you are not a big jig fisherman, now is the time to gain some confidence. Go out there and throw it until you catch fish on it. This month is also a great time to get the wife or young children involved in fishing. With all these hungry bass in the lake, it becomes easier for them to keep their interest and their attention focused on the next bite.
The bite has been good both shallow and deep. If you like a top water bite, it has been very good! Frogs, buzz baits, zara spooks, and popping baits like a yellow magic have been great early and late or all day some days. Fishing these around shallow grass or dying lily pads very methodically can yield you a monster fish. Main lake points, secondary points, creek channel edges and the very back flats can all hold fish in the fall. After the top water bite, I am switching over to an assorted arsenal of baits. I like to throw a wacky rigged worm over and around shallow grass beds in 2-6 feet of water this time of year if possible. Best baits have been a 5” Berkley Shaky Worm in blue fleck or watermelon red. I also like the Texas rigged Berkley Power Worm or the new Thump Worm in blue fleck, plum, watermelon red, or black & blue. The fish are following the bait closely so if you find the shad, you will find the bass. I will use a lot of moving baits this time of year to keep up with these migrating fish while presenting a bait to them that mimics their prey. A blade bait, spinner bait, swim bait or a small crank bait in any white color or shad pattern are excellent choices and will cover a lot of water fast when you are searching for the mother load. If you catch a fish or two in an area, work it over thoroughly because usually these bass will be grouped up. Another great technique for catching a big bass right now is backing out to the center of the creek channels and fishing any of the outside or inside turns in the channel. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in one spot and caught one after the other when everyone else was up on the bank fishing. The old creek beds are easy to see right now with the water low so that will help you if you are not too familiar with where the channels run.
The deep bite is still a blast this time of year also. I am using my new Lowrance HDS 8’s right now to find schools of bass offshore. And with my Structure Scan on patrol, no brush piles are safe now either. I can find them relatively easy and the bass love them. Most off the bass are located in 18-25 ft of water. Humps, points, road beds, pond dams, and ridges are great places to focus your efforts on. These big fish will be schooling up in these areas following shad, yellow bass, white bass, and crappie around looking for an easy meal. The Carolina rig is deadly on these deep bass. I like to rig my new Abu Garcia Veritas rods and Revo reels spooled up with 20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line and a 1oz weight, 4-5 foot leader, and a 3/0 wide gap hook. The Berkley Wacky Crawler, Power Hawg, 5” Shaky Worm, or a good ole 7” Power Worm on this rig. Best colors are green pumpkin, watermelon red, camo, blue fleck, or plum. The jig bite out deep is very good for the big ones too. A 5/8- 3/4 oz Talon jig with a twin tail grub or Chigger Craw on the back will catch some of the biggest bass out of the school. Best colors on the jig are Dark PB&J, Watermelon Candy, Watermelon Red BW , Green Pumpkin, and good ole Black & Blue. The jigging spoon and tail kicker are also very good right now. A Talon Big Dandy or T-spoon in 3/8-1/2 oz sizes are best. Getting over the top of these big schools of fish with these or a Little George can catch some real trophies and is something even the kids or wife can enjoy.
If you would like to come out and fish with me yet this fall, I still have a few dates available. I am also taking bookings already for winter trips on Monticello or Welsh for those that are interested in catching spawning fish in the cold on these great power plant lakes. You can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888 or drop me an email at email@example.com You can also visit my website for more information about trophy bass fishing on Lake Fork http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com
My new 2011 Ranger Z521 Comanche powered with a Mercury 250 Prop XS has arrived and man are these boats sweet! If you get a chance while you are here, stop by Diamond Sports Marine on highway 154 and check out the new 2011 Ranger Boats in stock. Talk to Ben Hogan or Robert Gilliland and they will be glad to help you find the right boat for your needs or just give them a call at (903)383-7829. If you would like a demo ride in my new boat, feel free to contact me also to schedule your test ride.
Again, a big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I AM SECOND, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Interstate Batteries, Lowrance Electronics, Power Pole, Hamby’s, Talon Lures, Line & Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Oakley, and Sure Life.
Psalms 27:1- The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Tight Lines and God Bless, James Caldemeyer