Tom Redington Lake Fork Report 7-14-2008

Due to high water, flooded vegetation, and relatively cool water temps, the bass fishing patterns continue to be wide open at Lake Fork. Up shallow, bass are chasing shad and spawning bluegill in the flooded cover, with lots of big bass still coming from less than 8’. Meanwhile, I’m catching fish out deep with regularity now. As the water warms up, look for the numbers of big bass to increase on the deep structure. With so many options, anglers can fish with their favorite techniques and catch good fish, so go with your strengths.

Best of all, the perpetual overcast & windy days have not only kept the shallow fish active, but it has also made the days very comfortable for us fishermen. 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.

As a side note, I’ve added the June article to my website. It covers my approach to fishing boat docks—from finding the best docks to effective presentations for catching bass from them. And for more info on bass fishing and Lake Fork, check out my video tips on (another 7 or 8 videos will be coming in the near future), or listen to my interview on .

Lake Conditions: After a couple more rainy days, Fork remains high for summertime. The lake level is currently reading 403.55’ (about 6” above full pool). Much of the north end and backs of major creeks are still stained, however, the south end remains clear. Water temps held mostly steady this week, reading from 79 to 84 in the main lake.

Location Pattern: As I noted before, many bass remain shallow on spawning flats chasing after bluegill, fry, and 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’ has turned on, producing both good numbers and size. 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, I’m working shallow grass on the main lake and in the 1st half of creeks. For bass feeding over the top of the grassbeds, try a spinnerbait, chatterbait, or shallow running crankbait. Some days, bluegill color schemes work better, while shad colors like white or chrome work better for those bass chasing baitfish. Or try a swimbait like the 4.5” Live Magic Shad. Rig these weightless and try the watermelon red/pearl, golden shiner, or Magic Shad colors. For bigger bass, pitch a 3/8 oz Mega Weight jig or a Texas rigged 10” 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.

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure. I go with a green pumpkin or watermelon red Twitch Worm or 10” worms for Texas rigs. Meanwhile, watermelon candy or green pumpkin Baby Fork Creatures, Ring Frys, and Twitch Worms are on the business end of my Carolina rigs. Drop shots will catch good numbers of fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a watermelon or green pumpkin Twitch Worm. 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 ( 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 , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,



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