9-30-08 Tom Redington Lake Fork Report

Lake Fork Report: Sep 30, 2008

After a couple of tumultuous weeks in early September dealing with many rainy days and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, we’ve had several of the most consistent weeks of weather I can remember at Lake Fork. Every day starts off cool and clear, warming into the mid-80s under mostly sunny skies. Once you figure out the fish it is easy to stay with them, since there aren’t any fronts to change things up. Don’t expect it to last forever though, as fall is just around the corner and we’ll start getting cold fronts and chances of rain on a regular basis once again. And that’s good news, because cooling water temps usually result in good bass fishing at Lake Fork until things turn really cold in late November.

On a personal note, I finished up my season on the FLW Stren Series and did well enough to qualify for the Walmart FLW Tour next year. I’m looking forward to an exciting year in 2009, guiding for lunkers on Lake Fork and also competing against some of the world’s best anglers on the FLW Tour.

Finally, I’m headed to Mexico to fish Lake Baccarac in Nov and Dec this year for trophy bass. Our group had one angler drop out of our first trip due to health reasons, so I’m looking for someone to fill his spot for that trip. It’s Nov 21-26 and we’re flying a charter plane directly to the lake. If you’re interested, please let me know.

Lake Conditions: With no rain and light winds, the water conditions are quite stable at Fork. The lake level is currently reading 402.58’ (about 5” below full pool). Some creeks are quite clear, although much of the main lake is brownish due to the fall turnover. Water temps remain fairly warm due to the sunny days, reading in the upper 70s in most areas. As the water level has dropped this summer, the expansive hydrilla and milfoil beds are really matting up, which makes for good fishing in late summer and fall.

Location Pattern: The best pattern for numbers of bass is fishing shallow grassbeds on the main lake and in the first half of major creeks. Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I’m focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline. When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8’ to 15’. Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you’re likely to find more fish. Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you’ll fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch several in a small area. I’m also catching some bass back in the coves along creek channel bends but this pattern hasn’t really picked up yet like it will as the water cools. For bigger bass, concentrate on main lake structure in 15’ to 35’. As the lake settles down from turnover and cools, this pattern will really turn on. Watch your graph closely and key on schools located tight to the bottom if you can find them, because they are normally easier to catch than the suspended schools.

Presentation Pattern: As fall approaches, bass will start keying on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference. Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork. In the shallows, topwaters are catching fish early and late, as well as Fork Frogs in the lily pads. As the sun gets up a little higher, shallow running crankbaits, small spinnerbaits, and Lake Fork Tackle’s 3.5” and 4.5” Live Magic Shad swimbaits work better, especially on windy banks. When the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, switch to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon candy 8” Fork Worm or the new Hyper Finesse Worm with a 1/8th oz bullet sinker and work it over the tops of grass and along the edges. For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz watermelon red Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw or a TX rigged watermelon/red or Bama Bug colored Hyper Freak produce well when pitched to the deep weed edge.

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, jigs, and Texas rigs will catch bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure. I go with a green pumpkin or watermelon red 8” or 10” Fork Worm for my Texas rigs. Meanwhile, watermelon candy, watermelon/red, 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 Hyper Finesse Worm. When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter Spoons and deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too.

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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