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Lake Fork Report & Pics: March 30, 2008

Texas - Port Arthur to Brownsville

Moderator: admin

Lake Fork Report & Pics: March 30, 2008

Postby tom redington » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:42 pm

Major Pat from NC, home safely once again from Iraq, caught a number of nice bass:
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Pat’s wife Darlene proved over and over that he and I missed a lot of fish:
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Craig with one of several nice bass during his trip:
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David with a spinnerbait lunker:
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A typical prespawn female from this week:
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Heading into April, the spawn is in full swing at Lake Fork. While muddier than normal water has made sight fishing options limited, blind casting traditional spawning areas has produced good catches. Based on the number of small males I’ve seen caught in the shallows in the past few days, I suspect another big wave of females will be moving up shortly. Instead of catching the mostly smaller males up shallow, my customers and I have been keying on the 4’ to 10’ range for the past week and we’ve caught mostly bigger prespawn females. Best of all, by focusing on the slightly deeper water, you can fish in areas with lots of other anglers and still consistently catch fish.

I expect the spawn to continue through April into early May, as it does most every year on Fork. By the end of April, many fish will already be in post spawn and early summertime patterns. As those females feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a 10+. That means topwaters early and all day on cloudy days, and then deep water structure fishing the rest of the day. So if your plans don’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July.

As a side note, I added my April article to my website. It details the finesse Carolina rig, one of the most deadly rigs for catching big bass in the spawn in tough conditions. You can check this and all of my other bass fishing articles out at http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

Lake Conditions: More rainstorms this weekend has Lake Fork rising up over full pool once again, currently reading 403.22’, about 3 inches above full pool. With more rains forecast for Monday, expect it to be high and muddy for much of this coming week. Many creeks started clearing this week after being muddy for almost a month now, while the water on the south end remains pretty clear. We’ve been catching the bass equally from muddy and clear water, so don’t let the stained water keep you out of productive coves. Water temps were reading from 61 to 67 degrees on Saturday, perfect for spawning.

Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats. For big prespawn females, we did better around grass and wood cover in 4’ to 10’ in the middle to mouths of creeks or on cover on the main lake. For spawning fish, concentrate on the very back ends of large creeks. As the water continues to warm, flats and bays nearer the mouths of coves will start holding more spawners, too.

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and lipless crankbaits are still catching big fish, especially on overcast and windy days. With lots of stained and muddy water, bright color schemes that include a lot of orange, chartreuse or red have worked best. For a big bass, go with a ½ oz chatterbait with a shad colored 4.5 Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait. On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig. Go with gold or clown colored jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days. Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses. For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go. I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in black neon, green pumpkin or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover. For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option. Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, with watermelon/red baits with the tail dipped in chartreuse being the top producer lately.

For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great. White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass. Most spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see. Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.

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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