Lake Fork and Monticello Fishing Report by Clint Wright 11/25/2007

Lake Fork Report: 24NOV2007
Lake Level: Full
Water Clarity: Clear to stained (main lake)
Water temp: 62 and falling
Weather: Rain today and tomorrow with highs in the 40’s and lows in the 30’s. Partly cloudy skies all week with another chance for rain next weekend, highs all week in the 50’s and 60’s with lows in the 40’s.
News: Gift Certificates for the holidays are available for full and half day guided fishing trips; these make a great gift for any occasion. Spring is just around the corner and Lake Fork is expected to be very busy. Now is the time to start booking all the accommodations you will need during this time.
Budweiser Share-a-lunker program season has started, awaiting its first entry.

Fishing Report

Lake Fork:

It is hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner, time flies when you’re having fun. On 21Nov07 East Texas was hit by a Northern cold front, temperatures dropped from the 70’s and 80’s to lows in the 30’s overnight. So an exact report on what has been working the last two weeks would not do anyone much good. But, what I will report is how we catch these cold weather fish on Fork year after year during this time. Many of us have been waiting for this cooler weather for several reasons. I like the cooler weather because the appetite of the bass and crappie will kick into overdrive as they feed up for the winter. It also narrows down my bait selection to only a few and the fish will really group up on the baitfish making numbers of catches good once schools are found.
Anglers visiting Lake Fork during December and January will find concentrations of Bass in two locations, very shallow (2-9 ft.) and very deep (20-40 ft). For the shallow water bite I will be throwing two styles of baits being a lipless crankbait like the Sebile Flatt shad and a shakey head like the Arkie u-bolt or jerkey head. I will team up these finesse heads with a Reaction Innovations 6.95 or 4.95 flirt. Color on the lipless bait is something you will have to experiment with day to day. I like using the yo-yo retrieve better than a burning retrieve; this seems to always catch larger fish for us. On the flirt I like the colors Juicy, California 420 and some others in greens and browns. I fish the head in the creeks and on the edges, dead sticking. The key here is to find grass and shad in the back of the creeks. Start at the back of a creek and work half way out, if no takers try another.
For the deep water bite we will be using four styles of baits being one of my custom spoons, drop shot (flirt), swim bait and a Flatt Shad. While fishing deep this time of year I depend greatly on my electronics. I always start out with my custom spoon on these fish. A lot of guys are casting a spoon and that is fine. But, when I have marked the fish in 20-40 ft, I like to fish vertical because I can ensure where they are and if they have moved by watching my graph. Make sure you pause and shake the spoon on the way back up to the boat just incase there are some suspended fish under the boat. Another great way to catch some lunkers deep is taking the flatt shad and fishing it vertical or horizontal off the bottom (yo-yo), like a spoon. This is the only lipless bait that I will use for this presentation because it isn’t as loud as others and doesn’t seem to spook any fish in the school, others will.

Lake Monticello:

December and January offers a limited time of extraordinary wintertime fishing with daily catches in the 40’s to 50’s common. This is the time of year that this lake shines. The lake is in great shape with visibility clearing up after the algae bloom and levels rising with water from Bob Sandlin being pumped in. The big females are in a pre-spawn pattern now. We have been catching fish all over the lake to include the cold side, hot side, discharge and in between. My favorite baits to catch these bass in on topwater; baits like the Sebile splasher and a Reaction Innovations Trixie Shark will be a sure thing early, late and all day if it is cloudy. We can expect to start seeing some fish on the beds it two weeks (if the cool weather hangs around). During the day lipless baits, crankbaits, Boom Boom tubes and a drop shot is hard to beat. The lake is short of vegetation this year so the lilly pads and timber is a great place for the hawgs to be hanging out.

I would like to invite you out to Lake Fork, Lake Monticello or Lake Welsh on a professional guided fishing trip. I still have some dates available for December and January. February will kick off the pre-spawn here at Lake Fork and dates during this time will book quickly so please plan ahead for your trip.

Thanks to my sponsors Gotcha Distributing, Reaction Innovations, Revenge Jigs, Sebile, Sunline, Arkie, Moby bass rods and Oak Ridge Marina. I must also thank the Texas Parks and Wildlife for their efforts in keeping this lake great.
Feel free to contact me anytime via email or by phone 903-918-9469 if you ever have any questions about Lake Fork or to book your next guided fishing trip on this fine fishery.

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