Welcome to Lake Fork everyone! February is here. Everyone that has had cabin fever over the winter is heading out to the lake to take advantage of the early spring opportunities to catch a giant Lake Fork bass. This time of year is an exciting time of year because you can catch a giant on any given cast as the big females prepare themselves for their annual spawning activities. Here are a few tips and techniques that will help you in pursuit of a Lake Fork trophy bass…
We have had some recent rains which have brought the lake a good bit but we need a lot more to get it full. That’s okay though because I can assure you the fishing this spring will be amazing even if we do not get a lot of rain. With the low water the fish will be concentrated specific areas and grouped up tighter trying to share the same spawning areas. February is more of a time to target the fish that are in pre-spawn staging patterns though. Look for fish to be holding on main lake points, secondary points (at the mouth of major creeks), or along the creek channel edges adjacent to spawning flats.
Water temperature is probably the single most important factor to locating active fish this month. You will want to concentrate on areas where the water is warmer or on a warming trend. Having an accurate temperature gauge is important. I rely on my “New” Lowrance HDS Gen2 units to deliver and they do. This new generation of HDS technology is also amazing as you can view “Structure Map” as an overlay feature not to mention its updated processor that is super fast! Most water temps are going to range in the low to upper 50’s this month but fishing in 57 degree water is more productive than 54 so keep an eye on your electronics for changes.
My go to baits this month are just a few basic ones that are legendary for catching big bass on Lake Fork for years. My first and most productive bait this time of year is a lipless crank bait. I like to use the 1/2-3/4 oz sizes on a 7’ Med Hvy Abu Garcia Veritas or the “New” Villain rod. These new rods are awesome! Super light and sensitive with plenty of backbone still. I am also using my new Revo MGX HS reel spooled with 17 lb Trilene 100 % Fluorocarbon. This reel has a 7.9:1 gear ratio which is great for burning a lipless bait and fishing it all day long. Best depth is the 2-8 feet range. Concentrate on main lake and secondary points at the mouth of the creeks or channel swings that come up flat and make a point off the channel bend. Fish with be congregated at times feeding and preparing for the spawn. My second bait and best suggestion for a big bass is a jig. I like to use a Talon 3/8-1/2 oz black/blue or black/blue/purple flipping jig tipped with a Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw. Once you have located some fish with a search bait like the lipless crank bait, slow down and back off to the 8-14 foot depths. Flip every tree on the edge of the channel and fish slow. A lot of times the bite will be very faint so watch your line and be prepared to set the hook. Some of the biggest fish in the lake this year will be caught using this method especially with the lack of grass and the fish holding tight to the standing timber. Lastly, when the bit is slow or a cold front has hit, I reach for a suspending jerk bait. You can catch a lot of big fish on these this time of year when they will not bite much else. I like to use the old Smithwick gold/black/orange or clown colored models as well as Talon’s new Shibui 110 jerk baits. I like the Champagne Black, Budas Clown, and Gulf Killifish colors in this bait. They have an amazing paint job that appeals to big bass. Work these baits slowly over shallow water with a twitch & pause technique. If you do more pausing than you do twitching, you get more bites. I hope these tips help you in your
If you are interested in coming out for some big bass action this spring or would like to just take an instructional trip to learn about electronics, seasonal patterns, or some new techniques on Lake Fork, contact me anytime. The fishing last spring was great and I know it will be even better this year. I still have a few dates available and want to remind anyone that is considering spring reservations with me to do it ASAP. I book up extremely fast so get your 2012 date now before my schedule is full. 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 www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com
My new 2012 Ranger Z521 Comanche powered with a Mercury 250 Prop XS just arrived and man I’m excited. These boats are awesome! I am currently rigging it up with all the latest and greatest equipment like the new Lowrance HDS Gen2 electronics as well as the Power Pole Blades. If you get a chance while you are here, stop by Diamond Sports Marine on highway 154 and check out the new 2012 Ranger Boats already in stock. Talk to Ben Hogan or Robert Gilliland and they will be glad to help you find the right boat for your needs. Let them show you why they are the #1 Ranger Boat dealership in the country. Or just give them a call at (903)383-7829 for information. 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, Power Pole, Hamby’s, Talon Lures, Line & Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Oakley, and Sure Life.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Tight Lines and God Bless,