Crappie Masters weigh in, Big Crappie 2.70, 7 fish limit, 15.41. AVERAGE WEIGHT 2.20. Those are some huge slabs….
Posts Tagged ‘Lake Fork Crappie Report’
CONTACT TERRI MOON: 903-383-7773 I always have 2-3 emails from people wanting to contact Ms. Moon for a guide trip.
WOW- March got here in the “blink of an eye!” But the 30 and 40mph winds have been brutal! I’m ready for some “light and variable” winds. Pre-spawn crappie can be tough to figure out but it all comes down to water temperature that triggers spawning activity.
We’ve had some mild temperatures and main lake temperatures reached the mid 50′s. The crappie started their transition up the creeks. Then front after front came through and knocked water temps to the low 50′s and then the crappie would back off to deeper water. Then we had a very cold rain that dropped the cove temperatures 4-5 cooler than the main lake temps. So needless to say these crappie have been on the move!
We’ve caught them in 30ft, 15ft, and as shallow as 10ft. We are checking around the main creeks and secondary points. When water temp reaches 55 to 60 degrees, you should find the males in the shallows and the females will stage around the nearest deep water structure. But once again, we’re at the mercy of the weather. Just when things get right here comes another northern! This can set the movement back a few days or a couple of weeks so you might have to do a lot of searching. Don’t just hang around in a spot hoping they’ll show up. Don’t give up on the deep water crappie. There are still a bunch down the lake and they are still a bunch down the lake and they are less effected by the cold fronts.
I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to have fun with a slip bobber! Also remember, in the early stages of prespawn the crappie are not aggressive so NO MOTION with your bait is more effective. It will be very light bite so really pay attention to your line. It might just go slack, but if you feel anything at all- JERK! You’ll find the more shallow they are the harder they’ll hit!
I have to say once again, THANK YOU TO ALL who contributed to helping me get through such a tough time the past couple of months. YOur generosity and compassion has been overwhelming.
I wish many blessings to you all. It is so great to be back on the water. It wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you! God Bless you all!
I receieve a lot of emails and comments from people trying to book trips through our website for Terri Moon. Please call her at 903-383-7773 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This has been an exciting month for crappie. We’ve found them in many depths through their transition. The bridges are producing crappie 8-16ft, while the staging crappie are found in timber 5-10ft and spawners 1-5ft. There are a lot of options if the weather or wind is a factor. With the crazy weather this year our water temps jumped up unusually fast and sent all the species on the fast track to the shallows. Generally the spawn drags out for a couple of months or so due to major fronts dropping water temps, but that has not been the case this year. Right now water temps are optimum and hopefully won’t affect the spawn. I am not ready for these 90+ degree days! (And I don’t think the fish are either)
As far as catching the crappie, we are using different approaches for the different depths. At the bridges we are using double rigged jigs about a foot apart. The colors producing have been cinnamon with chartreuse tails and grey with blue tail. Some days they want it straight down and some days they want it moving on the fall. For the prespawn depths we are using single jigs 1/8th oz with a Lake Fork Tackle Live Baby Shad in blue and pearl or a shad color around the timber. Then for the shallow fish we are using 1/16th oz roadrunners with chartreuse or white or a minnow on a slip bobber. So pick your favorite way of fishing and hav esome fun! Right now you never what you’re going to catch at any depth- they are all on the move.
It’s also exciting that our lake level has finally returned to only about two foot below full pool after the last set of storms that moved through. Just be extra careful out there because many stumps are just below the surface. Also keep a close eye out for floating logs while traveling around the lake. It’s just a beautiful site to see water levels finally on the rise. Also I want you to know both boat ramps are back open at Lake Fork Marina! YA-HOOO! The boat slips are also back in service!! Be sure to stop by their tackle store and check out their latest baits and tackle.
Terri Moon 903-383-7773
So hard to believe that while I’m writing this the temperature has hit the low 60′s!!! If that doesn’t get your fishing fever going, there is something wrong!
The fishing generally starts picking up mid-February. But now is the time to keep checking the deep water humps, creek channels, and main lake points! We are finding crappie at 23 to 38ft in 35 to 45ft of water. With the fish holding deeper, we’ve gone to a heavier jig. I’m double rigging them a foot apart with a 1/8oz jig on the bottom and 1/16thoz on the top. If it is windier, I’ll even go to using two 1/8th oz jigs.
The vcolors working for us have been blue w/ pearl and chartreuse w/ pearl in the Lake Fork Tackle baits, and chartreuse w/ red and shad color in Gene Larew Bobby Garland baits. If the color you are using isn’t working, don’t hesitate to change up the color you’re using. Light conditions and water clarity will play a big factor in this. It’s subject to change daily.
If you like yellow bass as much as I do, we’re catching some really nice ones on the main lake points in 30 to 38ft. of water just off the bottom. They really will hit the same baits we’re using for the crappie. The only difference I’ve found is the crappie want a slow motion or no motion presentation but the bar fish prefer a little more movement and tend to take the bait on the fall If you ar ereally serious about atching yellow bass, you can even tie on a Tackle Facotry “flash-tail spoon” and just bounce it off the bottom- they just can’t resist it!
Please just remember our lake levels are still extremely low so take extra precautions out there. Be sure to hook up your kill switch just incase you hit something. There are a lot of stumps showing but just as many that still aren’t showing.
Don’t let the weather keep you off the lake. If there is a day that the wind isn’t howling, get out there and enjoy a day on the water. Don’t forget the 10 inch minimum doesn’t go back in effect until March 1st!
Morning was cooler today, wind swapped directions at around 11am this morning. The crappie bite on Fork is still very good. Seems like the bite keeps moving earlier and earlier (of course I can’t get out until 8:30-9am) but slacks during midday. We didn’t have but 10 or so keepers this morning (9:15-11:30) and 5 throw backs…we talked to a few people that got out at daybreak that had a full livewell. Very light bite
Catching them on a mix of 1/16th oz crappie busters and minnows under bridges. You almost have to have reservations after 10am because the traffic gets heavy and the game of leap frog / musical chairs starts. One person moves out, someone takes there pillar and so and down the line.
Going to get away from the bridge and move to the trees tomorrow morning and do some scouting.
Two monster black crappie part of her clients 75 fish limit.
October could not have been more awesome! It started out a little slow, but after a couple of cold fronts things started getting real good. These big slabs have gone into a feeding frenzy. November should be incredible. Personally, it’s my favorite time to fish.
There are good crappie showing up at all the bridges. I’m pitching double rigged jigs alongside the pilings at about 20-25 feet and just let it fall back to the boat. They are hitting the jigs “on the fall” so watch your line close. They are not hitting it hard. Your line will just go slack so when in doubt JERK!
At daybreak they can be up to 12 to 16 feet. This all depends on the depth of the baitfish that are moving through. So keep monitoring your depth finder and adjust your casts accordingly.
The colors that are working for me are “Dr. Ginger” (Innamon w/ blue tail) “Bad Shad” (gray w/ black and gray tail) or “Ghost” (gray w/ blue tail).
If you hit a day where crappie just won’t cooperate at the bridges, it’s time to head south and start checking the main lake points and deep humps. I generally correlate the depth I’m catching them at the bridges and graph these depths first. They have been showing up in 22 to 28 foot. Once again, look for baitfish.
Any bright color jig seems to be working. I’m using double rigged “Hotsy Totsy” bright pink w/ yellow tail and green w/ blue tail. Gently hop these jigs one to three cranks off the bottom.
If you want to have some fun, you need to try Joe Spait’s flash tail spoons. I’m finding these baits are catching larger crappie. The fun of this bait is you’ll not only catch crappie but yellow bass, largemouth, and even catfish. Needless to say we have had a great time with these baits, especially on my Shimano Ultra lights! They make fishing fun!
I hope all of you have a wonderful thanksgiving! Be safe, especially on the water!
Terri Moon 903-383-7773
It’s September! Do you know what that means? FALL is just around the corner! Now that gets me excited. Hands down, it has to be my very favorite time of year to fish! They are already predicting cooler temperatures in the next few weeks. That’s just a bonus! In spite of the warmer temperatures in August, the fishing has been quite good. So, if we have a cooler September, the fishing should be awesome!
Now as far as the fishing, watch for surface temperatures to start to drop and get ready for the fall frenzy. The water temperature is the key factor to getting the shad to move out of the deep watyer. The shad will move up to the flats and secondary points so be sure to watch for schools of shad.
This is why GOOD electronics are so important. It can make the difference between a poor day of fishing and a GREAT day of fishing. I still take a few hours a week and just go graphing with my Lowrance LCX-10HD. This gave me a better idea of what the fish are doing. Early morning or late evening, the crappie will start showing up in 5 to 15ft. of water. But as the day heats up try looking a little deeper in the 15 to 25ft range. Look for structure near creek channels, flats and humps.
The colors that have been working are green w/ blue tail and cinnamon w/ chart. Now as far as the bream, we’re still finding them in 8 to 12 feet just off the bottom using crickets or worms. September means its time for the McDonalds Big Bass Splash out of Lake Fork Marina again. So if you get a chance come by. It’s a good time to see the latest fishing equipment. Shimano and Lowrance will be there and it’s always exciting to see what they have come up with! So, hope to see you there. Don’t foreget- it’s time to renew your fishing license.
Well it’s here- those 90 to 100 degree days…but, don’t give up on the fishing. We’ve had some pretty good days. We have just been starting early so we can be off the water before it gets too hot. One thing I’ve found is that it’s not near as hot when you’re catching fish! But, if the fishing gets a little slow, it really helps to have some umbrellas rigged up in your boat. It can make all the difference during these summer months. Also, don’t forget the sun block and plenty of water.
The next important thing for this time of year is to utilize your depth finder to locate clouds of baitfish. The crappie will be close by. Be sure to monitor the depth the fish are moving through at then target these depths with a vertical presentation. A good bait for tihs has been a Gene Larew “Slab Slayer” in electric chicken or orange/chartreuse. As the bait falls, use a twitch and pause presentation.
The crappie we’re finding have been in the 15 to 25 ft. depths in 20 to 30 ft. of water. Check vertical timber and brush piles. The crappie will tend to scatter this time of year so also check the deep water humps and any dropoffs!
The main piece of advice I can give you is DON’T just hang out in one place all day! You’ve got to keep moving to have a succesful day of fishing. What we are finding is that you might get 3 or 4 fish in one spot, then move to the next and pick up another good group.
Now if you’re out there and the crappie just won’t bite, alway shave plan B in mind especially if you have kids on board. Either take along crickets or night crawlers. The bream are very active this time of year. If you are lucky enough to be here around a new or full moon, they will be around the grass and brush in 2 to 6 foot of water…a slip cork is great for this.
As the bream back off the bank target 6 to 15 foot using just a small number 6 hook and aplit shot…and tight line. This is especially effective around the cross members of the bridges. You can get a kid hooked for life on these fish! Don’t forget to check aorund docks and big stumps while bream fishing. Once you find a school of these, there is nothing more exciting! This is the time of year when if I have a day off, you’ll usually find me out looking for bream. They have to be my all time favorite fish to catch and eat. A little cornmeal and salt and you’re good to go!
Another thing to remember is that don’t be surprised when you are fishing with crickets, you never know what you are going to catch! Big crappie, monster catfish and even bass love crickets! So hang on tight!
I hope you all have a great summer and a safe 4th of July! Good fishing!
April is going to be the month for some major spawning. The fish have been staging and just waiting for the right water temerature to get right. It has tried to get their a few times then those “MEAN OLD NORTHERNS” blow through and cool the surface temperatures down. But, it shouldn’t take but a few warm days to get it back to where it needs to be. Then look out… “It’s gonna get good!”
I have to say the fish ‘quality’ this year has been unbelievable! Probably some of the nicest crappie I’ve seen in a while!! I’m just really ready for the wind to take a break and have some of those light and variable days! But right now we’re having 3 windy days to every nice day. So, if you see a calm day is coming, get out there and enjoy it!
We found a few fish shallow during the last full moon when water temperatures were around 63 – 64 degrees. Then we had a 5″ rain with dropping temperatures and it backed the fish out deeper. A few males hung around the shallows but the big fat females backed off to 20 ft. So, at that time the bridges were your best bet. We were catching them at 12 – 16ft in 20 – 24 ft. of water. Bob Young’ s “Bad Shad” and “Grey Ghost” and Hotsy Totsie” have been really producing. It’s a smaller jig that gives a slower presentation. There’s nothing more fun catching them “on the fall!”
Now for the next move – as the water temperature warms, I’ll start targeting 8 to 16 ft along the shorelines and timber. A “Bass Assassin” or “Stanley Wedgetail Minnow” will work good for this.
When the fish make their way to the backs of the coves, don’t overlook throwing very small crank baits around stumps and along the grass lines like a “chatterbait” or “Beetle Spin” or miniature “rattletrap”. Reel these just fast enough to keep the bait off the bottom. Also a slip bobber with a jig minnow should do the trick!
Now for those of you who have a dock on Lake Fork, be sure and check for crappie at night running the shoreline. They will be coming to an area near you soon!
Last but not least, there are still crappie down on the main lake points in 18 to 24 foot, also some really nice yellow bass. Crappie Busters in chartreuse and blue or metallic blue with chartreuse and blue or metallic blue with chartreuse has worked and also “Joe Spaits” flash tail spoons. Just bounce them off the bottom.
Be sure to stop by “Lake Fork Marina” You can stock up on ALL your crappie fishing needs!
Great Fishing to You all!
The crappie fishing at Lake Fork is still on. The only problem lately is getting on the lake without 25mph+ winds from one direction or another. The good bite is in the open water / dam area on points, humps, and roadbeds which are very hard to fish with the high winds. Now, when you can get out there and locate some fish, the live well gets full pretty quick.
Last time out was last Sunday. I bass fished for a while and had had some nice bass on black and blue jigs, and started crappie fishing about 2:45pm. The sun was setting, I had 20 crappie in the box, with 8 nice 12 to 14 inch crappie, and the rest 9 to 11 inches. Here’s a picture of the bigger ones.
If you’re coming to Lake Fork for some crappie fishing, just be careful if the winds are blowing. Well, be careful all the time. You might be wondering a few things, so I’ll see if I can cover most of them.
The crappie we’ve been catching lately have been in 35 to 42 feet of water, we’re using 2 – 1/8 oz Crappie Buster jigs, char/blue and yellow/drk blue in color, and we’re using both vertical and casting presentations depending on conditions. While vertical fishing, a slow rise of the jigs off the bottom to no more than 5 feet up, and then a slow ‘controlled’ fall back to the bottom worked best for us. Most of the bites came on the drop back to the bottom. For the casting method, we would cast as far as possible, let it hit bottom, slowly reel 3 to 5 times, and let it fall slowly back to the bottom. Again most of the bites would come on the fall. During the search for some crappie, I took some pictures of my graph. Here’s what I see when I throw a buoy.
Notice the following 2 pictures and the fish marked on the slope vs the fish marked in the creek.
There’s a big difference in the number of fish isn’t there. Funny enough, I’ve found that the fish on the slope will bite better than the fish packed into the creek. Or maybe they’re just easier to catch. I like working from the bottom vs trying to locate the depth I need to suspend the bait over the creek fish to get bit.
If I can assist in your next crappie trip at Lake Fork, just give me a call. Gas is down among other things, and I feel there is a need for a break. So, I’m discounting crappie trips. Full day or until limit is reached for 1 or 2 persons is 200.00, and half days are 150.00. Come on out and enjoy a day on Lake Fork.
Lake Fork’s Fish On Guide Service