Tom Redington Lake Fork Report May 26 2008

With summer just around the corner, the bass fishing patterns are still wide open at Lake Fork due to a cooler than normal spring and high water. Up shallow, some males are guarding fry and a few bass are still spawning. In addition, tons of shad and bluegill are spawning in the shallow flooded cover, so big bass are still coming from less than 8’. Meanwhile, I’m finally starting to catch some good fish out deep, although the schools are relatively small. As the water warms up, look for the numbers of big bass to increase on the deep structure. In between the shallows and deep is the most productive zone on many days, about 8’ to 15’. I’ve found a number of bass are relating to deep grass edges or the first drop near productive spawning areas as they transition from shallow to deep for the summer. As I stated in my last report, just about any bait in your tackle box will work at some point until the water gets hot, and the fishing will continue to get better as the bass wrap up their spawning rituals and put on the feedbag. From lunkers on topwaters to structure fishing for schools of big bass on crankbaits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs; it’s hard to beat the summer for numbers of bass in the 3 to 8 lb range, with a shot at a 10+ pounder. Head on out to Lake Fork and find out why the summer is the favorite time for many Fork regulars.

Lake Conditions: After a big rain last week, Fork is above full pool and clearing. The lake level is currently reading 403.54’ (about 6” above full pool). Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are still stained, however, the south end remains quite clear. Water temps warmed steadily this week, reading from 73 to 79 in the main lake, while some muddy creeks are reading in the mid-80s.

Location Pattern: Although most of the spawning has wrapped up, many bass remain shallow on spawning flats chasing after bluegill, fry, and spawning shad in the ever expanding submerged and emergent weeds. For bigger females, fish slightly deeper structure such as points, creek channels, and ledges; any of which are in close proximity to spawning areas. These fish are mostly in 8’ to 15’, often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or milfoil. Deep structure in 18’ to 30’ is starting to turn on, producing mostly big bass. Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom. Most of these schools have been small, so watch your depth finder closely.

Presentation Pattern: First thing in the morning, frog baits like a Fork Frog in black neon or watermelon/red flake/pearl belly are working well some days. Cast these all the way to the bank and drag them across the newly flooded grass, then let them drop after coming across the mat. Other days, poppers and white chatterbaits are working better along the edges of the grass. For bass on the grass flats and in the pads, 4.5” Live Magic Shads and regular Magic Shads are catching some bass. Rig these weightless and try the watermelon red/pearl, watermelon seed/red flake, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors. For bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged 8” Fork Worm to holes in the grass and lily pads on flats or near stumps on points in the deep weedline. I’m using a green pumpkin/black or a watermelon seed jig with a watermelon/red flake Fork Craw trailer, or a watermelon Fork Worm on the Texas rig. Shad colored medium running crankbaits are also catching some good bass over grass flats and on timbered points. Out deeper, Carolina rigs, jigs. and Texas rigs are catching some really big bass from schools located on the bottom on deep structure. For jigs, I use ½ oz Mega Weight jigs in watermelon with watermelon colored Fork Craw trailers, while I go with a green pumpkin Twitch Worm or Flipper for Texas rigs. Watermelon candy or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs. When the bass are suspended, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too.


Boat for Sale: My 2008 Ranger Z520 boat was new in Dec ’07 and is for sale. It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha Series 2 motor with a 6 year warranty (good until 2014). It’s value priced and will save you about $10,000 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 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

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