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Lake Fork Report & Pics

Texas - Port Arthur to Brownsville

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Lake Fork Report & Pics

Postby tom redington » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:11 pm

Adam and Kara spending “quality time” on Lake Fork during winter break:

Rick landed his biggest bass ever with the help of a Rat-L-Trap:

This big one hit my jig and craw:

With the spawn just around the bend, more and more big bass are showing up in prespawn locations on Lake Fork. Recent rains brought up the lake over a foot and muddied up many creeks; however, we’re still catching some good bass by diligently working key staging areas. With warm sunny days forecasted for this week and the clearing water, look for the lunker bite to really get going in the coming weeks.

Lake Conditions: Lake Fork’s water level is currently reading 398.85’, about 4’2” below full pool. This is 1’ 2” 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. Even with the low water, almost all of the main ramps are still useable without any issues. Due to the rains, the water is stained to muddy in some creeks, while the main lake remains relatively clear. While we haven’t caught many bass in the extremely muddy areas, the bass haven’t seemed to mind the stained water (areas with 6” to 18” of visibility). Water temps are running about normal for early January, reading between 51 and 53 degrees in most areas.

Location Pattern: 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.

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. I’m 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 red lipless crankbaits in ½ or ¾ oz. While they are more work to throw, the bigger ¾ oz lipless cranks, with their larger profile and tighter wobbles, have been producing more fish lately in the cold muddy water. Buzz these over the top of the shallowest grass, then slow down and yo-yo them on a lift/fall retrieve over the deeper grass. ½ to 1 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 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.

Cover lots of water until you get bit. Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits. Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the prespawn and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the spawn period as more and more big bass move shallow. Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

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 redington
Deck Hand
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Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:09 pm

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