Hey folks! It is April and the spring fishing on Lake Fork has really turned on. The last several weeks my clients and I have been catching a lot of big bass. These fish are on the move toward the shallows and their annual spawning activities are in full swing. If you are in search of the trophy bass of a lifetime, now is a great time to hit Lake Fork for some awesome big bass action!
The lake is about 3.5 feet low with stained water on the north end of the lake, especially in wind blown areas, and clearer water as you go south. Water temperatures have been in the mid to high 60’s in most areas with several creeks reaching the low 70’s on real warm days. Please be cautious of the lower water conditions if you head out. Follow the marked boat lanes closely and if you are not sure how to navigate an area, stop and idle where you want to fish. With stumps just beneath the surface in areas be safe out there and wear your kill switches with your life vest.
The warmer days have really moved the fish up shallow and some fish have already spawned. You can find fish in all stages of the spawn right now. The pre-spawn fish are still staging on main lake points, secondary points, pond dams, road beds, and creek channel edges near major spawning areas in 8-15 feet of water. There are also some post-spawn bass starting to showing up so a lot of times you can catch fish that are coming and going from the spawning areas on the same spot. The bass are relating heavily to any type of cover available to them in these areas including: stumps, lay-downs, boat docks, and brush piles. With the lake levels low and the lack of grass, due to very little rain and a frigid winter, it is typical for the fish to congregate to any available cover that they can find. I have noticed some good areas where the grass has started to develop and you can expect to see more of it rebound as we move through the spring. Best baits for targeting these big pre-spawn and post-spawn bass has been chatter type baits, shallow crank baits, suspending jerk baits, jigs, Carolina rigs, and Texas rigs. Most of these fish are oriented to a feeding bite so fronts can be best for catching numbers of these big fish eating!
For spawning bass, I have been using lots of soft plastics. Berkley Powerbait and the “New” Berkley HAVOC have been phenomenal lately. If you have not used any of the new Havoc baits, you will want to give them a try. These Lake Fork bass have not seen them yet. The pro designed styles and actions of the Havoc are amazing and they come in a variety of popular colors. I am throwing light Carolina rigs and Texas rigged 6” Power Lizards and 4” Power Hawgs in the Powerbait in black, green pumpkin, and watermelon red colors. Using as light of a weight as the conditions allow has been key. I like to use just an 1/8 or 3/16 oz weight if I can. If the wind gets up or I am targeting the deeper beds, I use a 1/4 to 3/8 oz tungsten weight on 15 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line. You can rig a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss or Craw Fatty on a 4/0 hook and really do some damage flipping it around shallow cover. Best colors for me have been California, Big Texan, Okeechobee Craw, Green Pumpkin, and Watermelon Candy. On the windy days we have been throwing the Havoc Grass Pig on a 5/0 weighted hook with some success. When the water clears up and the grass gets thicker, this bait will really turn on more so keep it handy! This bait also makes a great trailer on a chatter bait. Best colors in it have been California, Swamp Gas, Pearl, and Watermelon Candy. In calm conditions you can sight fish for spawning bass or use finesse worms like the Berkley Heavyweight Sink Worm rigged weightless on a 1/0 hook. I like to use green pumpkin, black & blue, and breen colors in this bait.
Deep water fishing this month can be great also for pre and post spawn bass are moving in and out of the major creeks and spawning areas. Look for schools of fish to start showing up on humps, ridges, pond dams, road beds, and points in 15-25 ft of water. I use my Lowrance HDS units to locate schools of bait and bass on these key areas. Knowing your electronics to the fullest is a big advantage. These fish will be hungry and when you find a school of fish, you can really catch some nice ones! Lots of these fish like to suspend over structure so deep diving crank a DD 22 in shad patterns does well. Carolina rigged creature baits like the Power Hawg or a 10” Power worm are hearty meals for hungry post spawn and pre spawn bass. Best colors are watermelon red, watermelon candy, blue fleck, and green pumpkin. Big jigs like the Talon 3/4 or 1 oz football jig are great for fishing these deep areas also. Colors like California 420, Dark PB&J, Watermelon Candy, and Willie’s Weed are great choices. Use the Berkley Havoc Deuce as a trailer and you are in action!
I hope this helps all you anglers that are headed to Lake Fork this month in pursuit of a trophy bass! If you would like to book a guided trip on Lake Fork, feel free to contact me at (903)736-9888 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . My schedule for 2011 is filling fast so get your reservations in now for best available dates. I am really enjoying my new 2011 Ranger Z521 Comanche www.rangerboats.com paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XS www.mercurymarine.com . This new ride is an amazing machine! If you have not checked one of these boats out yet you can go by and see one at Diamond Sports Marine www.diamondsportsmarine.com on Hwy 154 while you are in the area. Test rides are available upon request. Just give Ben Hogan a call at 903-383-7829 he’ll be glad to help you find the Ranger boat that is right for you. Again, a big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Oakley, Lowrance, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure Conditioner, BTS, Navionics, Sure Life, Power Pole, and Hamby’s.
15. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16. making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Tight Lines and God Bless,