Posts Tagged ‘lake fork report’

March Madness is here everyone! What an exciting time of year to be at Lake Fork. Spring has arrived and Lake Fork is primed up for another great spawning season. Many anglers have waited all winter for this month to come and the great fishing that goes along with it. If you are after a big bass, now is the time. For those looking for a place to have some fun this month, come on out to Lake Fork with your friends or family to enjoy some time away this spring break! Here are some tips and techniques that will hopefully help you land the fish of your dreams!

The lake is currently 5.5 feet low. Despite recent rains bringing the lake up about 2 feet, we could definitely use some more rain. Water temperatures have been in the high 50’s to low 60’s lately due to a relatively mild winter. I expect with the full moon upon us that a number of fish will begin spawning soon. The water clarity is very stained in the northern creek arms but clears as you get to the south end.

I am targeting both prespawn as well as spawning fish right now. One of my best baits lately has been a square billed crank bait. I am using the new Talon Shibui 1.5 in chartreuse splatter back or dirty ghost colors www.talonlures.com. This is an awesome bait for working through the shallows. I like to target flats, points, shallow drains, or ditches in spawning creeks from 2-6 feet deep. The key to catching fish on this bait is allowing it to come into contact with timber. Bouncing it into any trees on the retrieve will draw more strikes. On real windy spring days I am also breaking out the Talon Shibui spinner bait. A chartreuse/white double willow in 3/8 or 1/2 oz sizes as done well in the same areas. If the fish are hesitant to bite these I know I can always do well on a chatter bait in the same size and color. It has a lot more vibration and will agitate a strike out of even the most stubborn fish. When I am able to find the right water and especially on windy days I opt for a swim bait to target the big females. A Berkley Hollow Belly is hard to beat! I like the 5” and 6” models best this time of year and my favorite colors are pearl, gizzard shad, and ayu. Slow roll this bait on the shallowest windy banks you can find this spring and you will be surprised at the fish you catch!

 When the fish are not active on moving baits in the spring it’s time to sloooowwww way down. And when I say “slow” I mean fish very slow. As the fish move out of prespawn and into their spawning activity they will become more territorial than anything. Putting a bait in their nests or close to where they are and leaving it lay there will entice them to pick it up and move it out of the bedding area. On the contrary if you move it around a lot they will just watch it go by. So fishing slow is very important. Look for the fish to be spawning in 2-8 feet of water on standing timber, lay downs, docks and any re-emerging grass. Some of my favorite baits to flip and pitch are the new Berkley Havoc and Powerbait. A Texas rigged Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty or Pit Boss is very effective right now. Best colors are black/blue, green pumpkin, Okeechobee craw, and Big Texan www.berkley-fishing.com I will rig mine with a 4/0 wide gap hook and 5/16 oz Elite Tungsten weight on 17 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line. My most favorite new set up to throw this on is the Abu Garcia Revo MGX paired with a 7’1”-7’3” Abu Garcia Villian rod. If you had a chance to come by and see me at the Bassmasters Classic you know how excited I am about this awesome new combo and its overall weight of 10 ounces. Another new product that I am excited about is the new Powerbait “Thief”. This is another awesome new flipping bait from Berkley that will catch a lot of fish presented in the same way as the previous mentioned Havoc. If the fish are finicky and will not bite the bigger soft plastics I will often downsize to a 3/16-1/4 oz shaky head or drop shot rig. A great bait for these is the 4” or 6” Havoc Bottom Hopper. For anyone that is coming out to fish the tournaments, this is a very effective worm for catching under the slot fish. Also, If you are sight fishing for bass and find one that will not bite try one of these and you may be surprised how aggressively the bite it.

 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 onLake Fork this summer, contact me anytime. I still have a few dates available and want to remindanyone 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 lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.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 dealer 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, 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


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Fall is in full swing during the month of November here at Lake Fork. As the leaves continue to fall from the trees and the temperatures continue to grow colder, you can expect the fishing to be very good. This time of year really gives any angler the opportunity to catch fish on any given day and often times lots of them. Now through the end of the year is one of my favorite times to catch a giant bass as well!

The lake is still in good shape with water levels at 400.30 right now almost 3 feet low. Most of the lake has completed the turn over phase and the water conditions have stabilized. Water temperatures are in the low to mid 70’s right but you should see a lot of water in the 60’s this month. It would be nice to see a little more rain soon to put some more water in the lake although it does fish real good low. Just have to be careful navigating out there.

The fishing has been great on most days with lots of fish being caught and some big ones at that. You can always count on fall fishing to provide a number of different patterns and baits to be producing at the same time. I always suggest anglers fish their strengths if they want to catch a lot of fish and to fish their weakness to gain confidence in a technique you are not very good at or have not had a lot of productive results with. For instance, if you are not a big jig fisherman, now is the time to gain some confidence. Go out there and throw it until you catch fish on it. This month is also a great time to get the wife or young children involved in fishing. With all these hungry bass in the lake, it becomes easier for them to keep their interest and their attention focused on the next bite.

The bite has been good both shallow and deep. If you like a top water bite, it has been very good! Frogs, buzz baits, zara spooks, and popping baits like a yellow magic have been great early and late or all day some days. Fishing these around shallow grass or dying lily pads very methodically can yield you a monster fish. Main lake points, secondary points, creek channel edges and the very back flats can all hold fish in the fall. After the top water bite, I am switching over to an assorted arsenal of baits. I like to throw a wacky rigged worm over and around shallow grass beds in 2-6 feet of water this time of year if possible. Best baits have been a 5” Berkley Shaky Worm in blue fleck or watermelon red. I also like the Texas rigged Berkley Power Worm or the new Thump Worm in blue fleck, plum, watermelon red, or black & blue. The fish are following the bait closely so if you find the shad, you will find the bass. I will use a lot of moving baits this time of year to keep up with these migrating fish while presenting a bait to them that mimics their prey. A blade bait, spinner bait, swim bait or a small crank bait in any white color or shad pattern are excellent choices and will cover a lot of water fast when you are searching for the mother load. If you catch a fish or two in an area, work it over thoroughly because usually these bass will be grouped up. Another great technique for catching a big bass right now is backing out to the center of the creek channels and fishing any of the outside or inside turns in the channel. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in one spot and caught one after the other when everyone else was up on the bank fishing. The old creek beds are easy to see right now with the water low so that will help you if you are not too familiar with where the channels run.

The deep bite is still a blast this time of year also. I am using my new Lowrance HDS 8’s right now to find schools of bass offshore. And with my Structure Scan on patrol, no brush piles are safe now either. I can find them relatively easy and the bass love them. Most off the bass are located in 18-25 ft of water. Humps, points, road beds, pond dams, and ridges are great places to focus your efforts on. These big fish will be schooling up in these areas following shad, yellow bass, white bass, and crappie around looking for an easy meal. The Carolina rig is deadly on these deep bass. I like to rig my new Abu Garcia Veritas rods and Revo reels spooled up with 20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line and a 1oz weight, 4-5 foot leader, and a 3/0 wide gap hook. The Berkley Wacky Crawler, Power Hawg, 5” Shaky Worm, or a good ole 7” Power Worm on this rig. Best colors are green pumpkin, watermelon red, camo, blue fleck, or plum. The jig bite out deep is very good for the big ones too. A 5/8- 3/4 oz Talon jig with a twin tail grub or Chigger Craw on the back will catch some of the biggest bass out of the school. Best colors on the jig are Dark PB&J, Watermelon Candy, Watermelon Red BW , Green Pumpkin, and good ole Black & Blue. The jigging spoon and tail kicker are also very good right now. A Talon Big Dandy or T-spoon in 3/8-1/2 oz sizes are best. Getting over the top of these big schools of fish with these or a Little George can catch some real trophies and is something even the kids or wife can enjoy.

If you would like to come out and fish with me yet this fall, I still have a few dates available. I am also taking bookings already for winter trips on Monticello or Welsh for those that are interested in catching spawning fish in the cold on these great power plant lakes. You can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888 or drop me an email at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com You can also visit my website for more information about trophy bass fishing on Lake Fork http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com

My new 2011 Ranger Z521 Comanche powered with a Mercury 250 Prop XS has arrived and man are these boats sweet! If you get a chance while you are here, stop by Diamond Sports Marine on highway 154 and check out the new 2011 Ranger Boats in stock. Talk to Ben Hogan or Robert Gilliland and they will be glad to help you find the right boat for your needs or just give them a call at (903)383-7829. 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.

Psalms 27:1- The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Tight Lines and God Bless, James Caldemeyer

The dog days of summer have been relentless this year. We have definitely seen our share of 100+ degree days so far and I know a lot of us are ready for some relief. The fishing has still remained decent on most days despite the hot conditions but there have also been some days that I have really struggled to keep up with the fish. Especially during the blazing heat of the day and no wind. But, cooler days and more consistent fishing are just around the corner. The conditions are really shaping up towards some spectacular fall fishing!

The lack of rain over the past several weeks has the lake falling fast in this heat. Water levels are a foot and a half low and declining. The water temperatures are ranging from 88-92 degrees in most areas and the water clarity is off colored in a lot of areas up north with the clearer water found on the southern end.

The shallow water bite has been consistent around main lake and secondary points that are holding good grass and bait fish in 3-10 ft. Texas rigged worms like the new Berkley Thump Worm or 7” Power Worm have been producing a number of quality fish. I like to use a 5/16- 3/8 oz weight and peg it when fishing the grass. I will rig these on a 4/0 wide gap hook with 17 lb Trilene 100% fluorocarbon as well. Best colors are green pumpkin party, watermelon red, and june bug. Crank baits and spinner baits have also been catching some fish when the bass are up shallow chasing these shad. The top water bite has still been very inconsistent for me, but keep it tied on and close by for the fish that come up schooling during the day.

Deep structure fishing this time of year is great also. Lately, the deep fish have been very inconsistent. One day they are on the bottom good and you can catch them all day long, then the next they are scattered and suspended all over the lake. Understanding your electronics like my Lowrance HDS’s is crucial. You can determine what the fish are doing on a given day with these units and make a decision on how to fish for them, whether it be on the bottom or employing suspended fishing tactics. Some days you may have to wave the white flag and go shallow if its just not happening out deep. Either way, good electronics are the key to a successful day of fishing! When I locate fish on the bottom and feeding out deep, I have been using several baits to catch them. Carolina rigged worms like the Berkley Wacky Crawler and 4” Power Hawg do well. Best colors are camo, green pumpkin, watermelon, and red bug. Also a Talon 5/8-3/4 oz football head jig tipped with a craw worm or twin tail grub. The best jig colors right now are watermelon candy, watermelon red, watermelon chartreuse, green pumpkin, or texas craw. Drag either of these rigs slowly through these schools of deep fish and hold on! For the bass that have been suspended (and there are a lot of them right now), a Talon “Big Dandy” flutter spoon in the LakeFork Maniac color has been best. I work this spoon on an Abu Garcia 7’3” medium heavy rod and work it vertically through these fish. If you are not use to throwing one of these big spoons, it takes some getting use to. The bite will come as the spoon falls so keep in tune with the bait as it descends. Another great bait for catching some really nice bass right now is the 5” or 6” BerkleyPower Mullet. These big swim baits have truly lifelike action and can be fished at a variety of depths. Just cast them out and count them down to the desired depth. Use a slow rolling retrieve. When they hit it, they hit it HARD!

The Sealy McDonald’s Big Bass Splash is fast approaching and Bass Champs TFF tourney here this weekend. If you are coming out for these tournaments, please be careful out there. The water is falling and stumps pose a threat to everyone. Please wear your PFD’s and kill switches! If you get a chance, also stop by Diamond Sports Marine on highway 154 here on Lake Fork and check out the new 2011 Ranger Boats in stock. Talk to Ben Hogan and he’ll be glad to help you find the right boat for your needs or you can give them a call at (903)383-7829. If you would like to pre-fish for a tourney or are interested in booking a fishing trip for the fall, please feel free to contact me. You can reach me by email at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or just give me a call (903)736-9888. You can also go to my website to get more information about Lake Fork Trophy Bass fishing!www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com

Hebrews 11:1

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

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July is a HOT time for some great summer bass fishing on world famous Lake Fork! This time of year offers so much in the way of great fishing. Whether you like to catch big bass from deep structure on a variety of techniques during the heat of the day or you are prefer to beat the heat and take advantage of the fabulous night fishing Lake Fork has to offer, now is the time to do it. Here are some tips and techniques that will help you in pursuit of a trophy bass.

Water conditions on the lake a good right now with the lake level at 402.68 which is about 5 inches below full pool. We have had some rain to keep the lake close to full which is a blessing. As much as we loose to evaporation this time of year, every little shower we get helps. The water temperatures have remained steady in the high 80’s to low 90 degree range. Visibility in most areas is clear to 3 feet.

Fishing has been excellent still with most trips producing 30-60 fish a day with the exception of a few off days here and there. There are a number of fish shallow both early & late in the day and at night or out deep where you will find some very large schools of bass concentrating on shad and bar fish.

The shallow bite is best around grass in 4-10 foot. Fishing these grass beds with top waters, wacky worms, and light Texas rigs has been very good early in the morning, late evening, and at night. For the top water, I go for the yellow magic or zara spook in shad patterns. On the wacky worm, best baits have been trick worms or Berkley Shaky Worms in watermelon red, blue fleck, or pumpkin chartreuse. On the t-rig the 7” and 10” Berkley Power Worm are hard to beat in the summer out here. I usually opt for the 7” size during the day when the fish are more finicky and the 10” when they are biting real good or at night. I try to rig my Texas rig with as light of a weight as I can get away with in the wind. Usually a 1/8-5/16 will work best in the shallow grass and a 3/8-1/2 is best out deep. Working these worms along the edge of the grass around main lake points and creeks can be amazing. Best colors are watermelon red, blue fleck, tequila sunrise, red shad, and “The General”.

After the sun gets up in the morning, I am concentrating on deep structure all day. Humps, roadbeds, points, ridges, and pond dams in depths of 18-28 feet are all great areas to look for these deep bass. My Lowrance HDS 8 is an instrumental part of my deep water agenda and it will tell me exactly where the fish are. Look for on your electronics for bait fish in these areas and the bass will not be far away. If you graph a spot and see bait but no fish, try it again later. You can leave and come back in 30 minutes to find that the fish have just shown up to feed. It’s all about timing!

Once I have located a school of fish with my electronics, I am targeting them several different ways depending on how the fish are arranged in the water column and relating to structure or cover. If the fish are on the bottom the number one producer has been a Carolina rig. I like to use a long leader (5ft.) and a big heavy 1 oz weight to drag the bottom. Trilene 20 lb test Fluorocarbon is a must with a 2/0 or 3/0 wide gap hook. Best baits on the c-rig have been BerkleyPowerbait 7” or 10” Power Worms, Power Lizards, 4” Power Hawgs, and Wacky Crawlers in blue fleck, watermelon red, green pumpkin, and watermelon candy. www.berkley-fishing.com Drag these baits slowly over the areas you are fishing and hang on! Texas rigged 10” Power Worms have also been doing very well in the same colors rigged with a 3/8-1/2 oz weight and a 5/0 hook. If you want to catch the biggest fish out of the school, you will definitely want to have a Talon Lures 3/4 oz football head jig tied on. www.talonlures.com I like to throw watermelon candy, watermelon red, California 420, Willies Weed, or Texas Craw with a twin tail grub trailer orBerkley Chigger Craw. If throwing a jig intimidates you, now is the time to gain some confidence with it. Just throw it out there in the same areas you would fish anything else and drag it until you feel one thump it then set the hook hard and hold on!

For those suspended fish that are so hard to catch you’ll want to have a DD 22 or a spoon like the Talon “Big Dandy” or Joe Spaits Spoon from Weedless Lures here on the lake. These baits have been responsible for catching a lot of big bass lately and will continue to do well thru the summer. The technique of working these big spoons over deep structure is intimidating to most that have never done it but once you get acquainted with it, you’ll be wanting to do a lot more of it.

If you are thinking about heading out to Lake Fork this summer 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. I have several mid summer dates still available for both day and night trip packages. Gift certificates are also available upon request. You can also get more information about Lake Fork by visiting my website www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com Again, a big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I AM SECOND, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star Rods, Oakley Sunglasses, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Sure Life,  DFW MRI and Lowrance Electronics.

Psalms 27:1- The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

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

Right now is a great time to catch big bass here on Lake Fork. While most anglers have put their boats up for the year, there is still a tremendous amount of excellent fishing to experience with little or no fisherman on the water to compete with getting to your favorite honey holes. Wintertime bass fishing on Lake Fork is an often overlooked season to catch a fish of a lifetime and I expect this December to be better than usual due to the lack of cold temperatures in November that normally drive the fish into their fall feeding frenzy. That means there are still a lot of hungry fish out there to be caught this month. A fish nearly 16 lbs was caught by a crappie fisherman recently as well as several other big bass like 11 yr old Calvin Fease’s 11.04 lb Lake Fork HAWG!

With all the warmer than normal weather this fall, the water temperatures have hung in the 60’s the whole month of November. As the temperatures continue to fall this month and the lake levels maintain themselves at full pool levels, you can expect to find fish that are susceptible to being caught on a number of different patterns both shallow and deep.
In the mornings look for fish on main lake points, secondary points and in the back of the major creeks to be feeding on shad. The presence of baitfish is key during this time of year. These big Lake Fork bass will be congregating around shad for an easy meal. If you find the bait you will find bass! Spinner baits, chatter baits, lipless crank baits and swim baits fished over the shallow grass beds in 2-8 feet are best. With a spinner bait or chatter bait white is best. I like to use a small 1/4 oz. in white or white/chartreuse over the shallowest grass and a 1/2 – 3/4 oz. on the deep outside edges of the grass. As for the lipless crank baits, the same sizes apply but I am varying the colors. Red or any shade of red/orange is excellent from now through pre-spawn but I will occasionally throw a chrome/blue or gold in there on certain days. You would think that with these reaction type baits color would not be of such importance but it is and can change from day to day. More importantly, how you fish the bait over the grass will determine whether you get many bites or not. There is a fine line between working the baits to fast which will not allow it to come in contact with the grass and working them to slow where the bait is continually fouling up with grass. If you can perfect your retrieve where you are able to contact the grass then rip the bait free, this is when you will get most of the bites. Another great way to catch a huge bass this time of year is with a shallow running swim bait fished in these same areas. The 5” or 6” Berkley Hollow Body www.berkley-fishing.com is an excellent choice in gizzard shad, ayu, or Tennessee shad colors. Simply cast these baits out there and slow roll them back. Coming into contact with the grass is not as important but reeling it in with a SLOW steady retrieve is and when they eat these baits there is no mistaking the bite. It will feel like a truck just ran over your bait!

The wacky worm is still catching numbers of fish up shallow too but I prefer a jig this time of year for the big ones. A black/blue, Bama bug, or Texas craw Talon 3/8 or 1/2 oz. jig with a matching trailer is hard to beat. I grab my Abu Garcia Vendetta www.abugarcia.com flipping rod with a Revo Premier spooled up with Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and start picking every piece of timber apart in an area with the jig. A lot of times I can locate fish by covering water with moving baits then slow down and start flipping to catch those bigger fish that are slow and lazy. You won’t get many bites using this technique during the winter but the bites you do get will be good ones!

The deep bite is excellent this time of year as well. These big ole bass will be found feeding on big schools of shad and bar fish this time of year. I have been running the new Lowrance HDS8 over points, humps, road beds, and pond dams in 18-32 feet of water to locate these schools of fish. There are also a number of fish to be found in flats at the mouth of the major creeks in 28-32 feet. Once I have located a school of fish I have been targeting them with Carolina rigged soft plastics, jigging spoons, drop shots, or heavy swim baits. On the Carolina rig, I like to use a heavy 1 oz. weight and 4-5 foot leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook tied to 20 lb. main line and a 17lb. Trilene 100% fluorocarbon leader. Best baits have been a 5” Berkley Wacky Crawler, 4” Power Hawg, Centipede or French fry in watermelon red, green pumpkin, or chartreuse pepper. The jigging spoon is deadly this time of year on deep fish and is a great thing to have tied on if you are bringing the family out to catch some fish. I use a Talon Big Dandy in the Lake Fork Maniac color or “t-spoon” in the 3/8-1/2 oz

size. www.talonlures.com Drop these spoons down to the bottom in an area that is holding fish and pick the rod tip up and let it back down. It is some easy fishing and great for the family. Most bites will come on the fall and you can catch many different species of fish with them including a real big bass! The new Berkley 5” or 6” Powerbait Saltwater Mullet in Silver Mullet or Sand Perch colors is a good choice for catching big bass out deep as well as a drop shot rig when the fish are finicky.

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 or would like to go fishing on one of the two best winter power plant lakes, Monticello or Welsh, feel free to contact me at (903)736-9888 or email me at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com . I just picked up my new 2010 Ranger Z521 Comanche www.rangerboats.com paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XS www.mercurymarine.com . 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 www.diamondsportsmarine.comon 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!

Thanks to all my sponsors for their support: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, “I AM SECOND”, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star Rods, Interstate Batteries, Oakley Sunglasses, KVD Line &Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Talon Lures, Sure Life, and to my Lord and Savior for His forgiveness through His blood on the cross!

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer
www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com