Archive for March, 2010

Caught this Bass on Lake Fork early March. 

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James Caldemeyer’s

Lake Fork Trophy Bass

Fishing Report

March 5, 2010

The fishing is getting hot at Lake Fork right now with warmer temperatures finally arriving and water temperatures increasing to a range adequate for the annual spawn to take off. This is a relief after all the dismal cold days that we have had this winter. I can’t remember a year that I wore thermal underwear for as many consecutive fishing days as I have this year. I am not going to put them up just yet though as it is spring and you just never know when the next cold blast will strike.

Water conditions right now are real good still and getting better as the days go by. We have plenty of water with levels above full pool at 403.40 which is about 5 inches high. The water temperatures have been starting off in the high 40’s and moving as high as 57 degrees at the peak of the day the past couple days. I expect with these next few days of almost 70 for highs and 40-50 for lows to see water temps hold consistently in the 50’s with some areas reaching 60. This will kick things off big time!

Best baits right now have been a 1/2–5/8 oz red/orange lipless crank bait. Shad patterns have done well lately also. Ripping these baits off the shallow grass beds in 2-8 ft of water is the key to attracting a reaction strike from these big females that are staging in preparation to spawn. The chatter bait has been my second best producer right now with the water temperatures in transition. I like the 3/8-1/2 oz white, white/chartreuse, and even red has been really good. Fishing these over the grass in the same manner as the lipless crank bait is the ticket, especially in the thicker grass or areas that the coots have routed through. Talon 3/8-1/2 oz spinner baits in the same colors as the chatter bait have been catching a few fish also. www.talonlures.com I have yet to get a jig bite going but am still keeping it close by as we see these water terms rising. The big bass should really start eating it good any day and man is that some fun fishing! Talon also a great flipping jig and are awesome for flipping stumps and lay downs adjacent to spawning areas for a real trophy bass. I will opt for the 1/2 oz size the majority of the time in black/blue, black/blue/purple, bama bug, or Texas craw with a black/blue or green pumpkin Berkley Chigger Craw as a trailer.

As these fish start to get active on beds plastics fished in these same areas will dominate all other baits on most days. I rig up all my Abu Garcia Vendetta worm rods and Revos reels up with 15-17 lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon for two reasons. 1) This line is very strong and sensitive. When fishing for big bass where the bites are very subtle most of the time, you need it to detect even the slightest “tick” and it’s also strong enough to get a big fish out of heavy cover. 2) Its invisible in the water. To properly fish these baits you MUST fish them slow and that means the bass get a chance to look at your bait for a while before they decide to eat it. You will get a lot more bites with fluoro than mono especially with the spring fishing pressure.

I am using several different types of plastic baits and presentations when fishing the spawning areas. A wacky rigged Berkley Powerbait Heavyweight Sink Worm and Fat Sink Worm are very good. www.berkley-fishing.com Best colors are green pumpkin, black/blue, breen, and watermelon. On the weightless or slightly weighted t-rig I am using senkos, Berkley Sinking Minnows, flukes, and Berkley Jerk Shads in a variety of colors like watermelon red, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, June bug, pearl, and others. Texas rigging some of these same baits as well as a Berkley Chigger Craw is best when the wind gets up enough where fishing weightless is not an option. Don’t forget about a swim bait either in the wind. A 5” or 6” Berkley Hollow Body is excellent for catching a monster bass in the spring!

If you are headed out to Lake Fork this year and would like to book a guided trip, feel free to email me at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or you can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888. You can also get more information about Lake Fork by visiting my websitewww.officiallakeforktrophybass.com or join my Facebook page to see up to date information about what is going on at Lake Fork. Big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, “I Am Second”, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star, Oakley, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Sure Life, and newest addition DFW MRI.

Read 1 John 3:1

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

Lake Fork water conditions right now are great as we move toward the spring with levels at full pool. This means lots of shallow water places for these big bass to hide in for the spawn. The water clarity has been fluctuating from being fairly clear in some areas to stained back in the creeks. This is common in the spring but I try to keep up with the areas that are clearer. It is more important to watch surface temperatures than clarity as spring approaches. Water temperatures are the single most influential factor involved in determining how to approach catching fish. Most of the temperatures are ranging in the mid to upper 40’s but are reaching into the 50’s on the warmer days. The weather is always very unpredictable this time of year but if you are paying attention to the water temperature changes where you are fishing and making adjustments to your fishing accordingly, you will have a lot more successful day on the water.

The shallow water patterns are my primary focus this time of year as most of the fish congregate to isolated patches of vegetation that survive the cold winter and new grass that is forming. The best and most effective way to catch a lot of big bass while the water temperatures are in the low to mid 50’s is a lipless crank bait and covering lots of water in 2-8 ft. Red or any combination of red/orange crawfish pattern lipless baits in 1/4-3/4 oz sizes are my number one choice to get bit. Main lake points, secondary points, drains, or ditches adjacent to spawning areas are where you will find the concentrations of fish staging. I like to use a 7’ Med. Heavy rod like the new Abu Garcia Vendetta paired with the Revo SX-HS spooled with 17-20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. The high speed 7:1 gear ratio reel combined with the heavier line allows me to keep the bait elevated above the grass without wearing your arm out retrieving this bait all day long. You can easily make several hundred casts during the course of a day and having the right equipment will make things a lot easier on you. The key to working these baits over the grass is fishing them slow enough to tip the top of the grass and then ripping it free. You can even implement a yo-yo type retrieve that is very productive. Fishing them too fast does not allow you to come in contact with the grass and will result in fewer bites. Another great bait to use over the grass when the water is warming is a blade bait like a chatter type bait or spinner bait. I like to go with the 1/2 oz sizes in both in most situations. White or white/chartreuse colors are best. I use either the original Chatter Bait or the Phenix Vibrator Jig. For the spinner bait, I use the Talon “Shibui”. This spinner bait is really good in the spring with either double willow or colorado/willow blade combinations. If you haven’t seen these yet, you better check them out!

You can also fish a suspending jerk bait in the same areas as the lipless baits to catch a giant. I like gold/black/orange or a clown color best. Jerk baits like the Smithwick Rogue and Luck Craft Pointer are most effective on those calm sunny days or when the water temperatures are down in the 40’s. Jerking the bait down to the top of these grass beds and letting it sit between twitches can draw some big strikes. The main thing is to fish it SLOW!

Keep your jig rod handy this time of year as well. You can often times locate areas that are holding fish with the moving baits and slow down with the jig to catch a big one. A 3/8-1/2 oz black/blue, black/blue/purple, or black/red Talon jig tipped with a matching Berkley Chigger Craw as a trailer is a great choice. Flipping every piece of timber in the area including those deeper creek channel edges in 10-14 ft of water can pay off. Fish it slow and focus on your presentation as many of these bites are very light. A lot of times when I am fishing a jig, I will flip it near a piece of cover and let it sit there for a 20 count before I even move it.

If you are headed out to Lake Fork this year and would like to book a guided trip, feel free to email me at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or you can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888. You can also get more information about Lake Fork by visiting my websitewww.officiallakeforktrophybass.com My new 2010 Ranger Z521 Comanche http://www.rangerboats.com paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XSwww.mercurymarine.com is here and ready to fish. This new ride is an amazing! If you have not checked one of these boats out yet, you can go by and see one at Diamond Sports Marine www.diamondsportsmarine.comon Hwy 154 while you are in the area. Test rides are available upon request. Just give Mike Garner a call at (903)383-7829 and he’ll be glad to help you find the Ranger boat that is right for you! Or you can visit the new Diamond Sports Marine location in Rockwall if you are close to the metroplex. Just ask for Ben Hogan. Big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, “I Am Second”, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star, Oakley, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Sure Life, and newest addition DFW MRI.

Read 1 John 3:1

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer