Lake Fork Report & Pics—October 16, 2010
October 16, 2010
Lake Fork - Freshwater Fishing Report
High pressure has dominated the weather at Lake Fork for the better part of 3 weeks now, with cool mornings and comfortably warm mid-70s to low-80s bluebird days and light winds. Lots and lots of small to keeper sized bass are in the shallows and very willing to bite most days, with the occasional very aggressive or slow day mixed in around the infrequent weather fronts. The lake seems to be getting closer to finishing up turning over, but until then, the deep bite has been less consistent that the shallow bite. In another week or two the deep bite will really turn on as bass follow the hordes of shad and yellow bass school up. In the meantime, we are slowly but surely starting to see the big fish being caught more regularly in the shallows as the water continues to cool.
At this point last year, the lily pads and cattails had already died way back, yet they remain green and thick now. This suggests to me that fall is running significantly later this year on Fork and we should have good fishing well into November this year, both shallow and deep.
Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale. It is a demo boat through my dealer 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: Fork's water level continues to drop after a small rise from a healthy rain on Monday. The lake level is currently 400.34' (about 2' 8" below full pool) and a lot of stumps are now visible. The boat lanes are still safe to run in general, but definitely exercise caution when heading out of the clear-cut areas. Water temps fell quickly early in October but have now stabilized, holding in the 71 to 72 range in most areas, although I have seen it as low as 66 degrees a couple of times in the creeks. The main lake is closer to the normal Fork clear-greenish color in some areas, yet many places are still brownish and murky from the turnover. Most of the creeks remain stained.
Location Pattern: The most consistent pattern continues to be shallow grassbeds. Some days they are biting better on points and flats with grass on the main lake, while other days the points, creek channels and flats in the backs of creeks are better. Regardless, I've consistently done better in areas with hydrilla, milfoil, or coontail. 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 6' to 10'. 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've found a few good schools out deep, but the shallow bite remains more consistent. Shallower main lake structures seem to be best for the offshore bite, with areas topping out in 12' to 24' being the most productive.
Presentation Pattern: During fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference. Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork. In the shallows, topwaters are catching a lot of good keeper fish early and late. Smaller topwaters closely imitate the size of the shad and catch lots of keeper fish, so go with smaller sizes of poppers like Lucky Craft G-Splashes or Gun Fish when it is calm, or switch to the walking baits like Sammys if there is more chop on the water. I throw these topwaters on floating mono line like PowerSilk for the best action with my lures. Bass in areas with loosely matted grass will bite topwaters like buzzbaits and Fork Frogs even with the sun beating down, so try these on braided line if you want to topwater fish all day. After the sun gets up a bit, I normally switch to shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft RC 0.5, RC 1.5, or BDS 0 square bills, ¼ oz spinnerbaits and rattle baits, and 3/8 oz chatterbaits with 3.5" Live Magic shads. To keep those money fish hooked up on crankbaits with treble hooks, I like fiberglass rods like the Dobyns 705CB Glass. The slower action of fiberglass allows bass to deeply take the lures and also keeps them hooked up well when fighting them in. Match it with sensitive line like FluoroHybrid Pro and you'll still have great feel, even with a fiberglass rod.
If the bass aren't in a chasing mood, switch to a Carolina rigged Baby Ring Fry or Baby Fork Creature with a ¼ oz weight and a 12" leader and work along the grass edges for quality fish. If the bass won't respond to the C-rig, slow down even more with a wacky rigged Hyper Finesse Worm and the slow fall of these worms will get lots of action from the smaller fish and an occasional good one. For these soft plastics, green pumpkin and junebug colors are working best on cloudy days, while watermelon/red and watermelon candy are better on sunny days. These techniques will also catch additional fish in areas where I've already caught some fish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. For a shot at a true lunker, a 3/8 oz green pumpkin or blue bruiser colored MPack Jig with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer or a 10" Fork Worm Texas rigged will produce big bass when pitched to the deep weed edge, especially on points and around creek channels.
For the bass out deep, Fork Flutter Spoons and Lucky Craft deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns will catch some suspended fish. Fish relating to the bottom are a lot more dependable, so seek out these schools if you can locate them. Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys and Twitch Worms and drop shotting Hyper Finesse worms are working best. I like using the 7'8" Dobyns Champion Extreme model DX784ML for Carolina rigs and the extra length allows me take up extra line and get control of big fish at the end of long casts. If you haven't tried worm and jig fishing with a longer rod, give it a try and you'll land more fish.
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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