Lake Fork Report
May 19, 2010
Lake Fork - Freshwater Fishing Report
It's that wonderful time of year on Fork. Most bass remain shallow and even a few are still spawning, with some already making their way out deep. Having finished up their reproductive duties, the bass are now hungry and feeding aggressively on the spawning shad and bluegill. Whether you like fishing shallow or deep and anything from topwaters to deep diving crankbaits, you can consistently catch fish right now. Sure the best tactic will vary from day-to-day depending on the conditions, but in the course of a week just about anything in the tackle box will work right now. With so many aggressive fish, now's the perfect time to try a new fishing tactic and improve your skills. And if the new lure you bought can't get bit right now, you'd better find the receipt and take it back because it's a dud!
Because of the late spring, things are running behind and awesome fishing is just around the corner. As the bass 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 or all day on cloudy days. After that, it is offshore structure fishing the rest of the day on possibly the best structure fishing lake in the country. So if your plans didn'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. In addition to catching a lot of big fish, it is also the premier time to learn how to read your electronics to graph big schools of bass on deep structure.
Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale. It is a demo boat through my dealer with low hours and you'd be titled as the first owner. She's value priced to save you big bucks off the cost of a new boat. For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note. Here's a video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OatBx6KpyJk
Lake Conditions: Lake Fork is full and much more stained than normal but slowly clearing. The lake level is currently 403.13' and slowly dropping, about 2" above full pool. Water temps were reading from 74 to 80 in the main lake yesterday (Tuesday). The hydrilla and milfoil are rapidly growing and expanding in coverage in the shallows all over the lake, as are the lily pads.
Location Pattern: For the last of the spawners, check out the main lake flats on the south end of the lake. The slightly deeper structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 4' to 12', adjacent to areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass, is where we've found most of the bigger females, staging on their way back to deep water. On the northern half of the lake, grass flats and points will continue to hold numbers of fish until the bluegill and shad finish their spawns and temps turn hot. In general, the fish up north are getting way less pressure than the areas down south too. Some of the early spawners are showing up on offshore structure in 12' to 30' as well.
Presentation Pattern: Topwaters remain good producers, so try your Lucky Craft G Splashes, Kelly J's, and Gunfish early and late. You can work these baits all day long and catch good fish, especially if you are in areas with lots of bass fry. Work these lures on a floating mono line like 15 lb PowerSilk. Around heavier grass or pads, throw Fork Frogs and buzzbaits too. If the wind kicks up, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and vibrating jigs work well in shad or bluegill color schemes. ¼ oz Redemption spinnerbaits, Lucky Craft RC 1.5 square billed cranks, and Phenix Vibrator jigs with 3.5" Live Magic Shads will all catch good bass, especially on the windy and cloudy days. For a real pig, try slow swimming a 5.5" or 8" Live Magic Shad on a swimbait hook through the same areas. You'll get fewer bites, but some real monsters.
For bass that are on weed flats and on points, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Zig Zags, and the all new Hyper Stick work. Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, but don't forget Blue Bruiser with the muddy water this year. These fish are often spooky, so long casts are key. For weightless soft plastic jerkbaits, I'm using Dobyns' 733C with 14 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line. The 7'3" rod whips the baits out there, while it still has enough backbone to drive the hook through thick worms on long casts. The new FluoroHybrid Pro line has the feel and invisibility of fluorocarbon, yet it casts well and ties strong knots like mono—it's truly the best of both worlds. If the wind is blowing, rig the Hyper Stick or Zig Zag on a 12" leader and a ¼ oz weight on a Carolina rig with 17 lb FHP line and you'll keep on catching them. Finally, I'll pitch a 3/8 oz green pumpkin MPack jig with a matching Fork Craw with a 7'3" Dobyns 736C Champion rod to shallow cover like stumps, laydowns, and clumps of grass, plus pitch to the deep weed edge. Big females hang out here before and after the spawn and this is a great way to catch a lunker in the late spring.
On offshore structure like humps and points, deep diving cranks will catch suspended fish while Carolina and TX rigs will get the bottom dwellers. The key is to first locate fish on your graph, then let their position dictate your lure selection. Lots of bass suspend early in the season and super deep cranks like Lucky Craft's Flat CB D20 and RC3.5XD are very effective, with Sexy Chartreuse Shad and Chartreuse Light Blue being my favorite colors. To get the most depth out of them, use a small diameter sinking line like 12 lb FluoroHybrid Pro and launch them as far as you can. The hands down best deep cranking rod these days is the 8' Dobyns 805CB RM—it's a unique blend of a rod that can cast a country mile, yet has the power to handle a leaping lunker at great distance. Deep cranks are notorious for losing fish and this rod will help you keep them on-line. When bass group up on the bottom they are easier to catch. Simply keep a Carolina rigged Baby Fork Creature or a TX rigged 10" Fork Worm in front of them long enough and they'll eat sooner or later.
Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.
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