Winter has arrived and the year is winding down here at Lake Fork. December is still an exciting month on Lake Fork as the fish continue to feed up in the winter. This year that bite has been extended due to the somewhat mild temperatures that we have had so far this fall. So expect plenty of opportunities to catch big bass this month while you are at Lake Fork as the big bass continue their feeding habits into early winter.
The lake is currently 3 feet low so we could use a little winter rain. The water levels are still real good going into 2017 though. Water temperatures are ranging from 58-62 degrees currently and will cool even further as the month progresses. Water clarity is fairly clear on the main lake to clear to slightly stained in some of the creeks. There is a lot of grass up in some of the creeks still so this has helped maintain the overall water clarity on the lake.
I am catching fish both shallow and out in deep water right now. It has kind of been a mixed bite for the most as fish in all ranges of the water column have been active. The shallow bite has been good from main lake points to the backs of the major creeks. I am finding most of the fish in 2-8 feet of water. Lipless crank baits and square bill crank baits have been good in any shad pattern. I like red or chrome and sexy shad colors respectively. A Santone Lures spinnerbait, chatter bait, or a 3:16 Lure Company swimbait has also been a great producer especially on windy days. Frontal cloud cover days are usually better for the shallow fishing but I often times find a lot of bass up shallow in the coldest part of the year on a sunny day. They like to sit up there in the sun as it warms the shallow water. As the waters cool and winter sets in don’t forget to break out the jerk baits also. On days that the bite gets tougher you can break out one of these and save the day. I like a traditional suspending rogue in gold/black/orange, black & chrome, or clown colors. Jerking this bait around stumps and grass with slow twitches will draw some big fish out to get it!
The deep bite is still a blast this time of year also. I am using my new Garmin 7612xsv touch screen units right now to find schools of bass offshore. And with my Garmin Clear Vu and Panoptix scans, finding brush piles is a breeze and an added bonus for more productive fishing. I can find these deep-water bass havens relatively easy and the fish love them. Most off the bass are located in 18-25 ft of water but you can find some starting to move even deeper in 26-32 ft. Humps, points, road beds, channel swings, pond dams, and ridges are great places to focus your efforts on. These big fish will be schooling up in these areas following shad, yellow bass, white bass, and crappie around looking for an easy meal. The Carolina rig is deadly on these deep bass. I like to rig my new Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 rods and Revo reels spooled up with 20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line and a 1oz weight, 4-5 foot leader, and a 3/0 wide gap hook. The Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper, Backslide, or a 7” Power Worm on this rig. Best colors are green pumpkin, watermelon candy, blue fleck, or chartreuse pepper. The jig bite out deep can be good for the big ones too. A 5/8- 3/4 oz Santone football jig with a Berkley Havoc Pit Chunk craw style trailer on the back will catch some of the biggest bass out of the school. Best colors on the jig are Black & blue, Bass Candy, and of course my custom “JC’s Spicy Craw” color is always a good choice. The jigging spoon and tail kicker are also very good right now. A big Lake Fork flutter spoon or KT spoon in ½ oz size has been best. Getting over the top of these big schools of fish with one of these or even a Little George can yield some real trophies and are something even the kids or wife can enjoy. I am also catching a number of fish on the Hog Farmer umbrella rig tipped with Santone Rig Heads and Berkley swimbaits. It’s not for the faint of heart casting it all day but it is a very rewarding technique for big bass this time of year for those that choose to fish it.
If you are headed to Lake Fork in pursuit of a trophy bass and are looking to book a guide, I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and show you a great time on Lake Fork. I will also be taking some trips to our local power plant lakes (Monticello and Welsh) for those that want to get in on some of the great winter action there. I still have a few dates available for winter and am already taking 2017 reservations as well. Most people don’t realize how quick my spring and early summer calendar fills up on Lake Fork so please be sure to start thinking about scheduling your 2017 dates soon if you would like to get on my schedule. My available dates are already becoming limited. I also have gift certificates available for those of you that are interested in purchasing a friend or loved one a guided trip on Lake Fork. They make great Christmas presents!!! You can contact me to make your reservation at 903-736-9888 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit my website for more information about Lake Fork and my guide service at http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com You can find me on Facebook and follow my official Lake Fork Guide page at https://www.facebook.com/lakeforkfishingguides
Also, while you are at the lake, be sure to stop by Diamond Sports Marine located on highway 154 just north of the bridge. They are receiving the new 2017 Ranger Boats daily and you do not want to miss the opportunity to check out the new Z series bass boats as well as the economical Ranger aluminum series. These boats have some amazing features are definitely eye catchers! Give Fred a call at 903-383-7829 to set up your personal demo ride in a Ranger Boat.
I would like to thank all of my current 2016 sponsors for supporting my FLW Series tournament fishing and my guide service on Lake Fork: Toyota, Carhartt, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Leer, Garmin, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, Rigid Industries, Road Armor, Fabtech Motorsports, Royal Racks, and Elite Tungsten.
Luke 11:28 – “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Tight Lines & God Bless,