May has arrived and what a great month it is for trophy bass fishing on Lake Fork. The weather is warming and early summer patterns are starting to take shape. You can catch fish just about any way you want to right now which gives many anglers the opportunity to catch fish using their favorite baits. Whether its shallow water top waters, or deep structure Carolina rigs, to anything in between, you can have a blast catching lots of Lake Fork bass right now.
The lake level is currently right at 2’ low. Water clarity has been clear 2-3 ft in most mid lake to south areas with the exception of windy days stirring the water up in certain areas. The water up north remains fairly stained. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 70’s. The warm weather is already setting in so it will be interesting to see what kind of summer this starts out to be. I pray that it is not as dry or hot as last summer.
The shallow fishing has been excellent early and late in the day. The shad have begun spawning on windy banks all over the lake and the bass are close behind them. Top water poppers, buzz baits, shallow crank baits, spinner baits like the Talon 3/8 oz Shibui, and 5-6” Berkley Hollow belly swim baits have all been very good fished from 2-6 ft depths. Anything shad with white on it or shad patterns is best. The action can be short in the morning so you have to get out early to take advantage of the action. Days with cloudy overcast skies can be outstanding all day long on this pattern.
Mid depth fishing in 10-18 ft has been real good also. There are still some fish staging to move up and spawn as well as others that are holding in these depths to feed up after spawning. Best areas in these depths to target are points, creek channel bends, roadbeds, and humps. You can also catch these fish on a number of different baits. Deep diving crank baits in shad or bream patterns are great. The jig and Carolina rig also get the nod. I have been using a 5/8 oz Talon football head or the new Talon Roto-Rooter. Putting your favorite plastics such as a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss or your favorite craw trailer has been very effective. Green pumpkin, Big Texan, California and watermelon red have been the best colors.
As the bass move out from spawning you will find them starting to gang up on real deep structure areas. These bass are hungry in numbers and man is it fun when you get on a big school of them. I rely on my new Lowrance HDS Gen2 electronics to show me where these fish are at and how they are relating in the water column. It really makes it hard for them to hide! Deep humps, roadbeds, points, and ridges in 18-24 ft have been where they are holding. Some days they are on slow gradual breaks and other days they are on the steeper drops. Once I have established a nice school of fish with my electronics I am breaking out several different baits according to depth the fish are in. For suspended bass I am fishing deep diving crank baits and swim baits. Any shad pattern will do. Cranking these baits down to the fish or yo yo retrieving them through the school can draw some big bites! When the fish are on the bottom I am quickly picking up my Abu Garcia Veritas rod and Revo MGX combo. I like to fish with a 7-7’6” medium heavy rod spooled with 25 lb Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and a 17 lb leader. I use a long leader that is usually 4-5 ft in length. A 1oz Elite Tungsten weight is mandatory for me and my clients. If you have not ever used tungsten for your rigs you might want to try them out as there is a huge difference in sensitivity and I believe the tungsten weight makes a more appealing sound to the fish which in turn draws curiosity to the area you are dragging your bait. The tungsten is also a lot smaller so it is not as bulky as lead and less likely to get hung up. I have been rigging a 4/0 hook and Berkley Power Worm or Havoc Bottom Hopper in blue fleck or watermelon candy. The Talon football head jig is awesome this time of year in these same areas. I opt for the ¾- 1oz size out in these deep areas. Best colors are PB&J, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, and willies weed. I like to use a twin tail grub like the Berkley Havoc Deuce in matching color as a trailer.
Good luck to all the tournament anglers headed out this month for the big tournaments. I hope this helps you in your quest on Lake Fork for a trophy bass. 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 this summer, contact me anytime. I still have a few dates available and want to remind anyone that is considering reservations with me contact me as soon as possible. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit my websites for more information about trophy bass fishing on Lake Fork www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com or www.jamescaldemeyer.com
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, Sure Life, and Elite Tungsten.
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,
James Caldemeyer (more…)