Archive for January, 2013

Happy New Year everyone! It’s hard to believe that another year has passed already and it is Twenty- Thirteen. The 2012 fishing year on Lake Fork was spectacular and I expect this year to be as good or better. We saw a lot of real big fish show up this fall including a 15.02 pound bass that entered the Share Lunker program as the second fish in Texas and the first of the year for Fork. There were also reports of other bass over 13 lbs that were caught and released as the anglers chose not to donate the fish to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s program. I expect we will see more fish of that caliber come spawning time this spring and a lot of other great bass to be caught as well.

Lake Fork is in great shape right now despite low water conditions. We are currently sitting at 398.50 which is right at 4 ½ feet low. We had another relatively dry summer and fall which didn’t help us rebound completely from the record drought of last year. If we have normal precipitation amounts this spring though, we could find ourselves at or near full lake levels again soon. I’m keeping the spring rains in my prayers LOL
The water conditions are great with fairly clear water 2-3 ft in most areas except the backs of some of the creeks and windblown areas. The water temperatures have been in the 50-55 degree range which is normal for this time of year. I’m excited to see a lot of the grass that is rebounding continue to hold on even though we have had some below freezing nights. I think if the temperatures will remain mild, we will see a lot of new grass in a lot of different areas this spring. The hydrilla is always fun to fish in!

The best pattern for me in January is always in the shallow to mid-depth regions. I like to target main lake areas or secondary points at the mouth of any of the major creeks. A lot of fish hold out in these areas until the water temperatures rise in the spring and the backs of the creeks are conducive for spawning. I start off shallow in the 2-8 ft range and fish reaction baits like a red/orange lipless crank bait. If you can reel it past, rip it off the grass, bang it off a tree, etc… These fish will react to it and bite it. Other great choices for reaction baits are a ½ oz Talon spinner bait with a single Colorado blade in chart/white or black/chart. I also use a ½ oz chatter bait a lot this time of year in white or chart/white. Covering water and making lots of casts at cover along the bank will pay off. Remember to hit everything at different casting angles to ensure that you are covering the areas thoroughly. If you catch a few fish in a certain stretch of bank be sure and back track and make multiple passes through that area. There is always a key feature holding fish in these areas. Sometimes it’s a depth change like a ditch or drain, bottom change from rock, to sand, or vegetation that is causing the fish to hold there. If the fishing gets tough up shallow I like to back off a little deeper and throw a little heavier lipless bait like a ¾ oz model. I will also break out the suspending jerk bait on an Abu Garcia Villain rod with an MGX reel so that I can cast it long distances. The jerk bait can really save the day especially when it’s cold and the sun is up high under calm wind conditions. I like to throw gold, orange, clown, and Pro blue. I like to use a smaller line on these like 12 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon if I can get away with it. Otherwise if I am in heavy cover I opt for 15 lb. I will also pull out to the creek channel edges this time of year and flip timber. The depths I target are 8-16 ft. With the low water conditions you can really read the water and tell exactly where the creeks run through the middle of the areas you are fishing. I will take a Talon 3/8 oz or 1/2 oz flipping jig and pitch at every tree along the channel edges. Pay attention to the direction the wind is blowing as the fish will position themselves a certain way on the timber according to wind direction and channel drops. I like to focus on areas where the creeks make a bend and especially if it makes a bend near a point or any other bottom structure. My favorite jig colors in January are black/blue, black /blue/purple, Texas craw, or Bama bug. I will trail my jig with a Berkley Power bait Chigger Chunk or the “New” Havoc Pit Chunk in matching colors. The big mama bass on Lake Fork can’t resist this jig combination!

Look for the deep bite out there too as there are lots of fish still roaming around out in the depths. I will look at main lake structure on my Lowrance HDS Gen2. I also have the new Gen2 Touch and they can’t hide from these state of the art electronics. I will look forward schools around bait in 18-25 ft. Sometimes the bass are suspended but you can catch them on Talon big dandy spoons or a small slab “t-spoon”. Tail kickers are also very productive as well as drop shots and single tail Berkley grubs on a 1/4-3/8 oz jig head. I like to use watermelon red, smoke, pearl, chart pepper, and red shad colors during the winter. I get a lot more bites out deep using very light line and spinning gear also. I am using the new 10 lb Berkley Nanofil on my Abu Premier spinning reel and tying in a fluorocarbon leader of the same test. Alabama rigs can really smoke the schools of fish so you will always want to keep one of those close by. You can rig it with Berkley Swim Shads or Hollow Belly swim baits and 1/8-1/4 oz jig heads if you are not using the weighted swim baits.

I am excited about this New Year and the bass fishing on Lake Fork! If you are thinking of coming out and would like to book a trip this spring, feel free to contact me before I fill up. I still have a few choice dates available and will work hard to put you on the fish of your dreams! You can contact me to book your trip by email at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or give me a call at 903-736-9888. Also, visit my website to find out more information about Lake Fork bass fishing and my guide service at http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com You can also keep up with me by joining my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/james.caldemeyer I just picked up my new 2013 Ranger Z520c and man is this new boat model awesome! I will definitely have some excited customers when they get to ride in this thing. Be sure to go by Diamond Sports Marine on Hwy 154 here at Lake Fork and see these new 2013 Ranger Boats. If you are in the market for a new boat this year and would like to take a test ride, feel free to contact me or the dealership at 903-383-7829 and we will get you out on the water in one! I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for another year that He has blessed me with as well as all my 2013 Sponors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Berkley, I Am Second, Abu Garcia, Interstate Batteries, Lowrance, Talon Lures, Elite Tungsten, Hambys, Navionics, Simms, and Power Pole.

Psalms 100: 4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer

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