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Lake Fork Report & Pics

Texas - Port Arthur to Brownsville

Moderator: admin

Lake Fork Report & Pics

Postby tom redington » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:47 pm

7.3 lb’er hit a black and blue Lake Fork Tackle Mega Weight jig:
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6 inches of rain with a high of 36 degrees—Perfect. Making your brother take off his gloves to take your picture with big bass—Priceless!
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At long last, it appears that the drought in East Texas has broken and heavy rains have Lake Fork on the rise. A warming trend and lots of freshly flooded vegetation had bass biting very well last week. An artic cold front, heavy rain and the impending ice storm had the bass really active this weekend, with an even 20 bass in a half day of fishing on Saturday and 16 quality bass again on Sunday. Best of all, we only saw 1 other bass boat each day, along with the occasional home owner that came to his dock to inquire what in the world we were doing on the lake in such conditions. While the temps stayed a few degrees above freezing over the weekend, things have now turned colder, with the high staying under the freezing mark both yesterday and today.

While cold, muddy water is often labeled as the kiss of death for a good bite in the short term, the fish will quickly adjust and get back to a regular pattern in a few days. While I expect the numbers caught to go down, adaptable anglers will still be able to catch lunker bass by adjusting their approaches. Look for many of the bass in the backs of creeks to move tighter to creek channels and move to the points nearer the mouths of coves. Meanwhile, the many bass that were hanging out in main lake grass beds or still residing in deep water will only be minimally affected by the cold front. Finally, with all of the newly flooded cover, look for a number of bass to be active in extremely shallow water, especially during our next warming trend.

Lake Conditions: Lake Fork’s water level continues to rise and is currently reading 400.47’, about 2’6” below full pool. This is 2’ 10” higher than the level was on 12/15 and the ground is very wet right now, so any rains in the near future should help fill the lake. Due to the rains, the water is stained to muddy in most creeks, while the main lake remains relatively clear on the lower end. Water temps were reading around 53 degrees in the main lake and as warm as 59 in the backs of creeks on Friday. By late Sunday, the main lake was reading around 50 degrees in most areas and some creeks with lots of runoff were reading as low as 42 degrees. After the cold days yesterday and today, I’m sure many areas are reading well into the 40s, while the deeper waters on the south end of the lake should remain warmer and clear for a while.

Location Pattern: While the cooler temps will change the fish location slightly, my main patterns will remain basically the same for the next couple of months. From now through February, I concentrate on prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels. Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish. While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February and through March. It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter. Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding a lot of fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves, provided there is deep water nearby. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend. For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago. In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before. In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts. Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish. Saturday and Sunday were perfect examples of this.

For deep structure enthusiasts, points, roadbeds, humps, flats and ledges in 18’ to 45’ are still producing some big fish as well. Use your electronics to find the schools of bass and baitfish and work them over with spoons and dropshots. As water temps drop, these deep fish will be unaffected and will continue to bite on days when the shallow bite is slow. I’ve been concentrating on the shallow bass, so my presentation pattern will focus on that.

Presentation Pattern: My prespawn *beep* is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels. First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in ½ or ¾ oz, in red, orange and crawdad patterns. While the water warmed last week, quickly retrieving ½ oz baits over the top of grass was working best; however, yo-yoing the baits in deeper grass with a lift/drop retrieve and switching to tighter wobbling ¾ oz baits worked better as the water cooled this weekend. ½ oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades in white, red, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days after a warming trend. When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig. Gold jerkbaits with orange bellies and black backs are my primary color. Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges. For jigs, I go with ½ oz Mega Weight black and blue jigs with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser color. The Fork Craw has an air pocket in its belly and the craw stands up on the back of a jig, making a very realistic looking presentation for dead-sticking around cover. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper in black neon or blue bruiser with a ¼ to 3/8 oz bullet weight.

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom
tom redington
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Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:09 pm

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