Posts Tagged ‘guide’

​February is finally here on Lake Fork! With it brings some early signs of spring on the horizon. It is a an absolutely awesome month to catch the fish of your dreams as some of the biggest bass in Lake Fork start to prepare for the annual spring spawn. I expect to see several Share Lunker Program bass brought in between now and the end of the spring spawn on Lake Fork. There was already one fish contributed from Lake Fork on December 12 by Gary Sims that weighed 15.02 lbs. This is exciting as we move into spring and the reality of fishing Lake Fork is that you could hook on of these giant bass on any given cast.

​The lake is still in great shape despite low water levels. The lake is currently 4 feet low but I anticipate spring rains should raise Lake Fork some over the next few months. Water temperatures are back up into the low to mid fifties degree range after bottoming out in the 40’s during the month of January. There is still some grass growing in areas around the lake and could really burst out if we have water levels rise. The overall clarity of the lake is good with stained water mostly in the backs of some of the creeks and other windblown areas.

​The primary patterns for bass this month revolve around their pre-spawn activity. As the water warms the fish will begin migrating into the creeks from the depths into the shallower water. I always stress to anglers that are coming to Lake Fork this time of year that water temperature is everything! Its important to be observant about the water temperature as you move around on the lake. Having great electronics like the Lowrance HDS Gen2 that I use helps. It will give you an accurate reading of surface temperatures and help you eliminate less productive water. The bass are generally going to focus on the warmest water that they can find and the fish in those areas are going to be the most active. I like to look for areas that temperatures are increasing daily. A good place to look first is in the creeks and pockets that are protected from the north. These areas do not cool as fast during a front and often times warm up quicker, especially the ones furthest north on the lake. If I am in temperatures between 52-56 degrees, I consider that ideal for pre-spawn bass activity. If it gets any warmer than that you can expect them to start spawning.

​One of the best baits for targeting these pre-spawn Lake Fork bass are baits like the Sebile Flatt Shad or any other lipless crank bait in the 1/4-3/4 oz size range. Anything red on Lake Fork is always great but I like to mix it up with chrome, white, and some chartreuse colors also. Main lake points and secondary points are always great places to start. I like to fish these baits in the 2-8 foot depth range as many of the bass will be holding around shallow cover looking for a meal and often times just up there sunning themselves on a warmer day. If you can find clumps of vegetation those are best. The fish will lay in the hydrilla and smoke a lipless crank bait as it comes by! Some of the biggest fish of the year are caught this way. If you had the opportunity to watch the shows that I filmed with Honey Hole All Outdoors you can see the potential of February pre-spawn feeding frenzies on Lake Fork. Here is a link to the shows if you missed them:

Show #1 –

Show #2 –

If you can’t get excited about fishing watching that, then it’s time to sell boat and give your rods to someone else! Lake Fork is going to be awesome this spring but the lipless crank bait isn’t the only way to go. You can also hammer a big one with a jig! These big female bass crave crawfish this time of year so anything that resembles one is fair game. I like to use a flipping model like the Talon jig in a 3/8 or 1/2 oz size. My favorite colors are black & blue, black/blue & purple, Bama bug, green pumpkin, and tx craw with a great matching trailer like the Berkley Powerbait Chigger Chunk or the New Berkley Havoc Pit Chunk. You will find the jig fish out a little deeper until the water warms up. I usually find them on the points and channel bends in 8-14 feet of water. Having practiced your flipping or pitching technique all winter while you had cabin fever really pays off. These bass will be tight to cover so pitching your jig right directly next to a stump or dock as opposed to a foot away from it will mean the difference between bites or a lack thereof. Be persistent if you decide to pick up a jig and go after the big ones. It is often times a technique of fewer bites but it can pay off big! On a slower day or during a cold front I like to break out a jerk bait. My favorite is a smithwick rogue or the mega bass 110 in gold, pro blue, or clown colors. These baits worked slowly through the same areas can produce when nothing much else will.

There are some fish that are holding out deep but I seldom target those fish right now as I am focused on those that are ready to start making their move to the shallows in preparation for the spring spawn. If you like to fish out deeper you will find schools of fish in 25-32 feet of water. These bass usually go for a smaller more finesse approach like a drop shot, a small spoon, or tail kicker.

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 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 You can also keep up with me by joining my Facebook page at 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

Hey everyone! It is hard to believe that it’s December already. Where has the year gone? I know I’m ready for 2012 for a number of reasons but let’s not go into politics and just stick to fishing. I know that most boaters have put their rigs up for the year and are getting ready for the New Year already but those that are still getting out on the water know how great some fishing days can be this time of year on Lake Fork. So if you are one of those like myself that love to fish in the winter or you just have cabin fever and would like to get out on the lake, here are some tips and techniques that will help you land some nice fish or even possibly the fish of your dreams! The lake conditions are considerably different going into winter this year than any other year that we have seen before. With the Texas drought of 2011 the lake is now between 7 ½ and 8 feet low. The water temperatures are in the 60’s as I write this but you can expect water temperatures to dip into the 50’s and remain there for much of the month unless it stays unseasonably warm. With the low water, it is very important to navigate the lake with caution and do not run in any areas that you are not familiar with including some marked boat lanes. One my favorite winter and December shallow water patterns is targeting fish around any shallow vegetation or stumps near main lake or secondary points. Most of these winter fish will move into these shallow grass beds or hug stumps to ambush prey. During the sunny warmest part of the day can be best as water temperatures in these shallow areas is at its peak and the fish are most active. My first lure of choice is a lipless crank bait. My favorite sizes are a 1/2 oz or 5/8 oz but will also keep a 3/4 oz bait handy as well. I like to use shades or red, orange, or a combination of these two colors as well as chrome or gold. I like to use a 7’ medium heavy Abu Garcia Veritas rod with 17-20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon on a high speed reel like the NEW Abu Garcia Revo MGX. This reel comes in a 7.1:1 or 7.9:1 ratio so you can really burn a bait with this set up or use it to take some of the work off of your arms while you fish these baits all day making numerous casts. I like to use the lipless bait as a search bait and once I get bit I will slow down and work the area over thoroughly. A lot of times you will find the fish in small groups this time of year but may not be able to catch all of them on the same bait or presentation. If you double back and fish something like a suspending jerk bait or jig you may catch a few more fish or that BIG one you’ve been looking for! On the jerk bait I will throw a suspending model in a gold/black, clown, or ayu color. Fishing this bait slowly with twitch and long pause technique is great for a real big fish especially during the sunny calm days. On cloudy days I do better fishing slowly through the area with a jig and I will flip or pitch a 3/8 or 1/2 oz Talon jig tight to every piece of cover available. A jig can be very effective on deeper points at the mouth of creeks and the creek edges inside the creek. With the lake low like it is you can follow the trees that line the channel edge very easily. Best colors for me are black & blue, black/blue/purple, bama bug, or black/brown. I like to tip my jigs with a 3” or 4” Berkley Chigger Craw or Chigger Chunk in matching colors. The action on the Chigger Craw is very attractive to a big fish and they hold onto the jig longer with the Powerbait scent. This is an important advantage as most bites are light and normally fish will not hold onto the jig long during the winter months. The deep water patterns are effective as well during the winter. You can find a lot of bass in the mouth of major creeks, on the bridges, and on structure near open water on the main lake at the mouth of major creeks. I will use my Lowrance HDS unit to graph these deep areas first. If I find bait and shad, I know that the bass are nearby. Once I locate a school of bass, I will usually drop a marker on them. I like to use spoons, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and a tube jig on these deep fish. If you are interested in coming out for some big bass action this winter 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. I am also booking winter trips on Lake Monticello for those that are interested in catching spawning fish in the cold on this great power plant lake. The fishing last winter was awesome there and already starting off with a bang this year. I still have a few dates available and want to remind anyone that is considering making spring reservations with me to do it ASAP. My spring’s 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 You can also visit my website for more information about trophy bass fishing on Lake Fork My new 2012 Ranger Z521 Comanche powered with a Mercury 250 Prop XS will be here any day and man I’m excited. These boats are awesome! 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 Electronics, 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, James Caldemeyer

The fishing these past few weeks has been incredible! My clients and I have been catching 30-50 fish a day on most days even despite the wind and storms. The quality of the fish has been excellent also with most days yielding 30+ lbs. with best 5 and we had a day last week with sack over 40 lbs.!

The lake is still in great shape with water levels still around 3.5 feet low. The water temperatures are ranging from 72-76 degrees. The water clarity is slightly stained in a lot of areas with clearer water on the main lake and south end. The grass is starting to grow real good in a lot of areas and the fish like it.

The top water fishing has been very good this year with poppers, yellow magic, and zara spooks in shad patterns getting the best action worked early and late around main lake points. The explosions on these baits are fierce. As the shad are finishing up their spawn a square billed crank bait, white spinner bait, chatter bait, or a Berkley Hollowbelly Swim bait fished in the same areas are doing well also. These fish are very aggressive and will pound these baits as you reel them through 2-6 feet of water.

There are also a lot of mid depth fish holding on timber in 8-12 feet. Talon jigs in 3/8–5/8 sizes in green pumpkin with matching Berkley Chigger Craw for a trailer have worked really well fished around the the standing trees and stumps. I make sure to have some 25 lb. Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line spooled up on an Abu Garcia Revo and 7’3” Veritas medium heavy flipping rod. A Texas rigged Berkley Havoc Pit Boss in big Texan, California, or green pumpkin color has been excellent A shaky head has also produced well in this depth on certain days when the fish are not as eager to bite the bulky baits.

The deep bite has really stared to turn on over the past couple of weeks. As the fish finish up spawning you can find schools of fish congregated on points, humps, creek channel bends, roadbeds, ridges, and pond dams in 18-28 feet of water. I will idle over these areas with my Lowrance HDS unit and look for schools of bass around shad, sand bass, or yellow bass. The big bass will feed on all three. Once I have located a school I have been using several different presentations. The Carolina rig has been the most effective lately. I am using a 7’6” medium heavy Abu Garcia Veritas rod rigged with a 1 oz. tungsten weight and 4-5 foot leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook. My best baits have been a Berkley 5” wacky crawler, 4” Power Hawg, lizard, or centipede in watermelon or green pumpkin colors. The football head jig bite has been good for big fish. I am using a ¾-1 oz. Talon football jig in green pumpkin, watermelon candy, Bama bug, and Willie’s weed colors with a Berkley Havoc “Deuce” in green pumpkin as a trailer A lot of these deep fish are suspended over this structure too and a deep diving crank bait, Talon “Big Dandy” spoon, or big swim baits do best. Working these baits through the middle of the water column will get you bit!

I hope this helps all you anglers that are headed to Lake Fork 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 If you are interested in learning deep structure fishing and how to read electronics, now through the end of the year is the time to book with me. My summer and fall schedule for 2011 is already filling fast so get your reservations in now for best available dates.

You can also visit me at or at my new site I am really enjoying my new 2011 Ranger Z521 Comanche paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XS . This new ride is an amazing machine! If you haven’t checked one of these boats out yet you can go by and see one at Diamond Sports Marine 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 and 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, Hamby’s, and Affordable Tungsten.

Isaiah 25:1 – O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer

February is a big month at Lake Fork for big bass! The fish are moving heavily into their pre-spawn patterns and preparing themselves for their annual migration to the spawning grounds. If you are eager to catch a trophy bass before the spring crowds roll in, now is the time to get out on the water.

            The lake has been steady at or near 3 ½ feet low the past couple of months. I’m sure we will get an annual dose of spring precipitation that will bring the lake up some, but until we do you’ll want to be cautious running the lake as there are numerous stumps appearing in areas that we have not seen them in awhile. The water clarity is fairly off colored in most areas on the north end with clearer areas found on the southern end of the lake. Water temperatures are in the mid 40’s as I write this report but you can expect to see them in the low to mid 50’s most of the month unless we see some major cold fronts hit us again.

            Best areas to target these pre-spawn bass are main lake and secondary points at the mouth of the major creeks or creek channel edges, bends, drains, and ditches adjacent to spawning flats. These big fish will be primarily in a “staging” mode this month. The bass will target these areas to feed heavily and wait for the water temperatures to reach 58-60 degrees before moving up on beds. Water temperature is probably the single most important factor this time of year. The bass will be most active in the warmest water available which is generally located on a north bank that is protected from frontal winds. Grass is also a key component to locating the fish right now. You can usually look for the coots and they will point you to the best available grass where bass will be congregating for food and warmth as the spring progresses.

            There are just a few basic patterns and baits that I implement to catch pre-spawn lunkers. My number one favorite is a lipless crank bait over shallow grass beds 2-8 feet of water. There are such a wide variety of these baits it can be overwhelming but I like to stick with reds, oranges, crawfish patterns, chrome/blue, or white shad colors in 1/2 or 3/4 oz sizes. I like to use a very sensitive rod like the new Abu Garcia Veritas rod with a 7:1 ratio Revo reel spooled up with 17-20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line with my lipless baits. I make long casts over the grass and rip the bait as it tips the top of the grass on the retrieve. Most strikes are reaction strikes and will come as the bait pops loose from the grass. My other favorite for a big fish in February is a jig. I will use a 1/2 oz Talon jig in black/blue, bama bug, or Texas craw color with a matching Berkley Chigger Craw trailer to flip the timber lining the mouth of the creeks. A lot of these big females will be eating crawfish and there is no better imitation to fool big mama than the jig. This presentation is often best during a cold front situation or when you have located a group of fish in a certain area with moving baits. Often times slowing down and dissecting an area will reap big rewards as these fish are often in groups. Another great bait, especially after a cold front or calm sunny days, is the old suspending jerk bait. I will pick this up when I absolutely cannot get bit on anything else. I will fish it over the same shallow water areas as I do the lipless baits with long pauses between jerks. These big bass will come up and eat it when they will not go after much else. Best colors for me are clown and black/gold.

            There are some schools of deep fish to be found in 25-35 feet during the month of February. It is very important to have a great graph like a Lowrance HDS unit to locate these deeper bass. Areas at the mouth of major creeks and spawning areas like points, roadbeds, and ridges are prime locations. Drop shot rigs and jigging spoons are your best bet once you find them.

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 . My schedule for 2011 is filling fast so get your reservations in now for best available dates. I am already in my new 2011 Ranger Z521 Comanche paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XS . 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 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 and 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, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Sure Life, Power Pole, Hamby’s, and Lowrance.

Luke 6:43,44 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.”

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer