Lake Fork Report: November 17, 2008
November 17, 2008
Lake Fork - Freshwater Fishing Report
The fall fishing really turned on this past week at Lake Fork with the long awaited end to our warm temps. Even after the cold fronts, numbers of bass have been good to great. Big fish have been hard to come by for my customers and me lately, with regular catches of 5 and 6 lb bass, but we haven't been landing many 7 or bigger for the past few weeks. I know some of you don't want to hear me complaining about "only" catching 5s and 6s, but that's the warped reality we live with at Fork. Big fish have started coming into the marinas more regularly again, including double digits in the last few days, so I expect the big bite to return now that the water is cooling again. Until then, we're having a blast catching loads of quality bass shallow and deep as they feed up for winter.
With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies. 2008 has been another super year on Fork, with the lake being full and in great shape for the coming season. Prespawn starts in late-December, so it won't be long until my favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through March. If you're looking for a fish of a lifetime, prespawn is the time to head to Fork.
As a side note, my new November article on fishing Shaky Head rigs is now on my website: www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles/november2008.htm .
Lake Conditions: Nearly 4" of rain and frequent cold fronts are rolling over Fork, which seems to have turned on the fishing. The lake level is currently reading 402.42' (about 7" below full pool). Most of the lake is clear despite the rain, with some stained water on the north ends. Water temps are dropping with the cool nights, reading from 61 to 63 in the main lake on Sunday, while we found temps in the creeks as low as 57 early in the morning.
Location Pattern: Both the shallow and deep fish have bit well some days this past week, but the best pattern depends on the day. Fishing shallow grassbeds on the main lake all the way to the backs of major creeks has produced a lot of fish. Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I'm focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline. When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8' to 15'. Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you're likely to find more fish. Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you'll fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch several in a small area. I'm also catching bass back in the coves along creek channel bends. For the deep anglers, concentrate on main lake structure in 18' to 33' and you can load the boat when you find them. The best areas and depths change daily, so you'll need to do some scouting to find the schools each day. Watch your graph closely and key on schools located tight to the bottom if you can find them, because they are normally easier to catch than the suspended schools.
Presentation Pattern: During fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure choices and colors reflect that preference. Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork. In the shallows, I'm using smaller baits that are about the size of the shad I'm seeing. I'm throwing these lures on the new fluoro/mono hybrid line from Lake Fork Tackle called Fluorohybrid FH. Its zero memory and tiny diameter allow me to boom casts way out there, even with finesse baits. Shallow running crankbaits and lipless cranks, small spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle's 4" Hyper Worm are all working well, especially on windy banks. When the bite slows, weightless rigged Magic Shads and Live Magic Shads in shades of watermelon or the Magic Shad color are catching less active fish. Work these slowly with a few twitches and a long pause. For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw or a TX rigged watermelon/red or Bama Bug colored Hyper Freak pitched to timber or grass on points or along creek channels are your best bet.
Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and jigs will catch bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure. Watermelon, green pumpkin, or purple haze colored Baby Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and Magic Shads are on the business end of my Carolina rigs. Drop shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a watermelon or Bama Bug Hyper Finesse Worm. When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter Spoons, and ½ to ¾ oz slab spoons are working best.
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 www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.
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