Archive for February, 2009

Tom Redington Lake Fork Report 2-28-09

February 28, 2009

Spring fishing is kicking into high gear at Lake Fork, with a few bass already starting to spawn. Most of the bass are still prespawn and many won’t hit the beds until April. I suspect we’ll probably have our first major wave of spawners in the next couple of weeks though. Fishing has been getting more consistent with warmer temps and our numbers have been pretty good most days, although we’ve still had some really tough postfrontal days mixed in. With the vast majority of the bass in the lake holding in the shallows for the next 2 months, it’s the most popular time of the year for bass fishermen. Despite the crowds, fish thoroughly and you’ll have a shot at a monster bass this spring.

February was a very busy month and overall it was quite productive for my customers and me. I started off my FLW Tour season with a 36th place finish at Lake Guntersville and a solid check. I continued my guiding ways at that tourney, putting my day 1 co-angler on an 8-5 and an 8-11, and a 25 lb 9 oz sack. He ended day 1 in 1st place, including the 2 largest co-angler bass of the day. Well done Jason! After that, I spent the rest of the month following Fork lunkers as they moved towards the spawning flats. It’s amazing to think that my favorite time of the year is already almost over (prespawn from Jan-Mar), but at least my 2nd favorite fishing (offshore structure bassin’ in late Apr-Aug) will be starting soon as well.

As a side note, I posted an article from the current Bass West USA magazine, http://www.basswestusa.com on my website. It details my big flutter spoon pattern for Fork and similar lakes. http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm .

Lake Conditions: The lake level is currently reading 402.10’ (about 11” below full pool). Most of the lake is clear, with stained water on the north ends and in areas where the wind has been pounding. There are still large areas of milfoil and hydrilla but the grass coverage seems to be getting thinner. I expect these areas to green up and start expanding as the water warms. Water temps really climbed the last few days, with temps in the mid-60s in protected pockets, while the main lake was running from 57 to 61.

Location Pattern: For prespawn and staging fish, key on points and along edges of flats or creek channels. Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most fish. Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding some fish, as are main and secondary points inside the coves. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels. After the fronts, drop back to deeper water adjacent to where the fish were before the front and you’ll quickly relocate them. For spawning fish, look for protected bays in the north end of the lake or at the very backs of major creeks. As the water continues to warm and we move towards April, bass will start spawning nearer the mouths of creeks and in deeper creeks. The main lake flats are typically the last areas to spawn, often as late as early May.

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, and lipless crankbaits are still catching numbers of good fish, especially on overcast and windy days. For a big bass, go with a ½ oz chatterbait with a shad colored 4.5 Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait. On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig. Go with gold or clown colored jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days. Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses. For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go. I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak in black neon, Bama Bug or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover. Or try the new 8.5” Hyper Lizard from Lake Fork Trophy Lures. It features a huge thumper on a segmented tail and produces a wild thumping action when it swims and hops along cover.

For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option. Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors. These fish are often spooky, so long casts are key. For weightless soft plastic jerkbaits, I’m using Dobyns’ new 733C with 28 lb PowerSilk line. The 7’3” rod whips the baits out there, while it still has enough backbone to drive the hook through thick worms on long casts. The new PowerSilk line from Lake Fork Trophy Lures is super thin (28 lb test is the same diameter as most 20 lb lines) with zero memory and it is super sensitive because it has a low 11% stretch. If you haven’t checked out the new Dobyns Rods or LFT lines, give them a try and you’ll love them. Another great option is the wacky rig and it’ll produce bites and some lunkers on the toughest days. The new Hyper Whack’n Worm from Lake Fork Trophy Lures has a segmented body, so both ends of the worm quiver as it falls slowly to the bottom. For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great. White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass. Many spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see. Or in clear water, back off the visible beds that everyone else is pounding and catch the unpressured bass that are slightly deeper with a finesse Carolina rig. I use about a ¼ oz sinker and a 12” leader with a Magic Shad, Zig Zag, or 5” Hyper Worm on the hook and slowly crawl this rig along the bottom for staging and deep bedding bass.

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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Skeet Reese

February 24, 2009

Skeet Reese at Lake Fork MarinaGuess who was at the marina the day after his classic win?

Lake Fork Report

February 21, 2009

I’ve been fishing almost everyday here lately with little luck. Still some nice fish coming in, but it seems like the elusive prespawn giants still elude me. I have been throwing a 1/2oz jig in 8-15ft tight to cover and had 2 fish in the last 4 trips. I’m not hitting the normal areas where the crowds are, but staying in the cooler water on the south end. I am hearing people catching fish up shallow in the spawning flats on whacky worms, but I have not heard of anything over 5lbs. Lots of bucks moving shallow in the muddy water-

Seems like most of the good fish coming out are still being caught on spinnerbaits and 3/4oz traps. Excalibur one knockers in Royal Red are my best sellers right now. Large single willow bladed spinnerbaits in white, white/chart and white gambler swimblades in 3/8 and 1/2oz.

I know I am probably going to catch some heat from guides and locals for talking about livebait, but there are some guys really smoking some good fish in creeks on the north end on black saltys. The guys are using slip bobbers, 7 foot leader with mulitple split shots and 6/0 weedless unweighted Falcon K-Whacky hooks.

On another note, Lake Fork Country Store hung there “waterdog” sign out today, so keep that in mind if you are one of the many people on the hunt for them. I do not think they ship them, but still worth a shot. Lake Fork Country Store, 903-383-7686. They also have some massive black saltys in stock that seem to hold up a lot better than shiners or the plain goldfish that make the rounds down here.

The Great Minnow Massacre of 2009

February 20, 2009

Lots of shiners…a couple of hungry fish…. Big ol’ Lake Fork Princess caught by a client fishing with John Tanner

Lake Fork Report by Chris Sinkey

February 19, 2009

Well, here we are. The time of year when any cast can produce a fish of a lifetime for any angler. The weather on Lake Fork has still been a roller coaster like normal this time of year. A few days in the 70’s, then down to a few days in the 50’s. The main thing for right now is to keep an eye on your water temps. The warmer the water, the more bites you will get. We were even lucky enough to find a few fish on beds this last week. So I’m expecting the next few weeks on Fork to just be on fire!

Baits:
-Crawfish colored Rattle Traps in 1/2 oz. and 3/4 oz.
-Weightless Grandebass Rattlesnakes in Green Pumpkin and Watermelon Red. http://www.grandebass.com
-Whacky Rigged Grandebass Trickster worms in Watermelon/Green Pumpkin and Black and Blue. http://www.grandebass.com
-Carolina rigged Grandebass Diamondback Rattlesnake in Green Pumpkin with blue fleck with a 1/2 oz. weight and shorter (2 ft. leader).
-Jig- 1/2 oz. Balck, Brown, Amber by V&M Jigs. http://www.bayououtdoors.com

Pattern:
This time of year is trap, trap, trap, time. Throwing the red traps will get you bit in shallow grass from 2 to 8 ft. right now. I have not been throwing the trap as much, but staying mainly with soft plastics.
I have mainly been switching between 2 in the shallow grass. I’m throwing a weightless Grandebass Rattlesnake and slowly working the bait back and letting it fall and sit over the tops of the grass beds. Also, Whacky rigging a 6in. Grandebass Trickster worm and working it the same way. Most of these bites are very stout and leave no doubt if you have a fish or not.
The Jig and the Carolina Rig have been my big fish baits in creek channels. I am mainly flipping timber on the edges of the creek and throwing the C-rig in any direction possible just trying to get the “1” bite that can change everything!
I had the opprotunity to show a few guys Friday on the water, the Diamondback Rattlesnake is action. During which, was able to land some good solid 5 and 3 lbs. fish. This is going to be a bait to change things in fishing!

Location:
I’m still staying in the Northern creeks and finding the warmest water I can find. Before the front last week, the main lake was reading around 53 on average, but I was able to find 59 and 60 degree water in the backs of creeks, and the fish were stacked! LOOK FOR THE WARMEST WATER! Thats the key right now!

I hope this helps anybody looking to go catch a few fish here in the next week or so. As many of you know, I’m not a guide on the lake but have fished it heavily since 1989. So my reports are done just to help anyone I can catch fish. And thats what fishing is about to me. Helping the person next to you. It will always come back to you in the long run.

Another Lake Fork Prespawn Toad video

February 13, 2009

Any doubt that things are turning on here?   What a toad for a slot fish

 

Lake Fork Guide Gene Snider Report 2-12-09

February 13, 2009

I have been fortunate enough to go  fishing with Gene dozens of times over the last few years, no one has  taught me more about night fishing and the importance of slowing down your presentation than Gene.  Gene has been fishing Fork for years and is one of the last original guides still in the business, if you are wanting to learn about the Lake and find some unique holes you should give him a shout.

 

Feb 12, 2009
Adventures on Lake Fork Guide Service
Professional Fishing Guide Gene Snider Since 1980
903-383-7668 Res or 903-638-1868 cell

Well… were in the middle of one of the best months on Lake Fork to catch a fish of a life time. February has always been one of my favorite months to fish and also one of the most frustrating months due to the changing weather, but at the same time I’ve had 8 fish between 12 and 13 lb’s in the boat over the years in February and one over 14 lb’s caught over 15 foot of water humping (or buzzing) the water with a black spinner-bait with tandem copper blades… what a lot of fishermen don’t realize is that as the days get longer and the water temp start to turn around not all of the fish head to the bank to find warmer water, they will suspend up in deeper water just under the surface against tree limbs or up against a stump soaking up the warmer surface water.

I pick up on this pattern years ago in January of 1986, Lake Fork had reach pool level and everyone was having a hard time catching much of anything, including myself. I had been fishing anywhere from the bank back out to fifteen feet on the edge of creek’s, but I kept noticing fish suspended over deeper water on my graft. One morning having one of my regulars in the boat I decide to pull up on a point in 35 feet of water and we started pitching jigs to large trees and started to catch fish over 35 foot of water and they were only 5 foot down in the tree tops and on sunny days they would sink back down to 15 feet sometimes more, these fish hadn’t headed to the bank they just move up vertical to the warmer surface water.

This pattern has held for me for 23 years now and yes I do hit the banks fishing back out to 10 foot throwing moving baits and have caught some big fish, but If I’m looking for that one fish I’m going to stay off the bank and look for fish that are holding out before they move up to spawn. My pattern in February is to start out on the bank fishing reaction baits then move out to try to find that one fish that is holding off the bank. Hope this gives you another way that you can fish Lake Fork beside’s running the bank’s, and if you like to book a trip give me a call.

Best of Luck to you on your next trip to Lake Fork.

Gene Snider

First Lake Fork Sharelunker of the year 13.13 caught by Bruce Peel

February 12, 2009

16′ on a beaver 🙂  Enjoy the video

 

Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer Bass Fishing Report 2-6-09

February 7, 2009

February is always an exciting month for fishing on Lake Fork! I anticipate this month to produce at least one, if not more, Share A Lunkers (over 13 lbs). Lake Fork always offers the opportunity to catch giant fish but from now through May your odds are greatly increased. These big females are moving shallow to feed regularly in preparation for the spawn. Needless to say, being on the water right now can be very rewarding regardless of the weather conditions!

 

Lake Fork is in great shape right now. Water levels are currently at 402.08 which is about a foot low. Surface temperatures have been hanging in the high 40’s lately and barely breaking 50 degrees in some areas. I expect the current forecast of warm days and nights to get those water temps back up into the 50’s and holding steady. This should really get the fish moving up. Water clarity has been stained and off-colored in a lot of areas up north from the wind and clearer mid lake to the south end.

 

The best patterns for catching one of these Lake Fork monsters have remained relatively the same. Red lipless crank baits are producing best and should be a staple bait for anyone fishing the lake this month. Crawfish patterns are working well in a number of color combinations as long as it has red in it. We have caught some fish lately on shad patterns and the good ole chrome/ blue back trap too so don’t count them out. You have to experiment with several different colors and sizes to figure out what they will eat best on any given day. The 1/2 oz. or 5/8 oz. sizes have been best on the shallow grass beds and warmer conditions. When it cools off during these fronts I have been switching over to the bigger and slower rattling 3/4 oz. You can get it down to the top of the deeper grass better and crawl it along when the fish back out during a front. Best depths are 2-8 ft. Main lake and secondary points leading into the creeks are good places to start looking and even into the backs of some the creeks when the water is warmer. Deeper drains and ditches adjacent to spawning areas are key spots to find big fish.

Another great way to catch a giant bass on Lake Fork this time of year is a jig. People always ask me, “If you could only have one bait to fish this lake and catch big fish, what would you throw?” Definitely a “JIG”! Especially during the pre-spawn period. These female bass crave anything that resembles a crawfish this time of year. I use a 3/8 oz. to 1/2 oz. Talon flipping jig in black/blue or black/blue/purple with a matching trailer. Once I’ve located an area that is holding fish, I like to flip every piece of timber in the area especially those that are close to the deeper creek channel edges in 10-14 ft. Flip every tree, stump, and lay down while focusing on the shady side of the cover. Don’t get in a hurry either. Just flip it in there and let it sit with little or no movement. The bite won’t feel like much a lot of times but if you pick up on it and it feels mushy, set the hook!

 

Lake Fork Guide Tom Redington Bass Fishing Report 2-3-2009

February 4, 2009

Despite a week of bitter cold temps with sleet and ice, the fishing at Lake Fork has been good on most days. More big prespawn bass are showing up in the shallows all the time and 11+ lb fish are starting to come into marinas on a more regular basis. Prespawn is my favorite time of the year on Fork because the crowds are light and you have a shot at a true lunker on any cast. You really only needed a lipless crankbait rod and a jig rod this past week, although the bass will start chasing a larger variety of baits soon as the water warms back up.

Remember, spring is the season when a great pair of polarized sunglasses makes a huge difference. Sight fishermen need them to scope out bass on deep beds that other anglers can’t see. Meanwhile, if you’re trying to spot isolated grass clumps or laydowns where skittish lunkers lurk, premium sunglasses also help. I recently picked up a pair of Costa Del Mar Wave 580 glasses. Friends had told me for years that the 580s block light waves from the yellow and blue spectrums that our eyes have problems processing and really sharpen your focus. I figured it was a bunch of marketing hype, but once I tried them out, I couldn’t believe how much of a difference they make. Simply slide on a pair and look at a distant billboard and you’ll instantly notice how your focus is sharpened. Amazing! I personally like the Silver Mirror lens color: the mirror cuts down harsh light on bright days, while the amber lens color provides great contrast in all light conditions, even on cloudy days. You can check them out for yourself at www.costadelmar.com .

As a side note, I posted my February article on my website, entitled “Top 5 Spots for Finding Bass Quickly.” It details my strategy for finding bass fast on unfamiliar waters. http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles/feb2009.htm

Lake Conditions: Heading into the prespawn, Fork is in great shape. The lake level is currently reading 402.11’ (about 11” below full pool). Most of the lake is clear, with stained water on the north ends and in areas where the wind has been pounding. Thanks to mostly stable water levels this year, large amounts of hydrilla & milfoil are growing in the lake, making for awesome shallow water fishing all spring. Water temps bottomed out around 45 last week, then rebounded to near 50 with the latest warm up.

Location Pattern: Much of my location and presentation info remains unchanged from last time, and will probably stay that way through most of the prespawn. From late-December through much of March, I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels. Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most active fish. While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March. It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter. Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.

Keep in mind, too, that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend. For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago. In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before. In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts. Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish.

Presentation Pattern: The jig and lipless crankbait have excelled in the cold recently, but as the water warms, you’ll want to expand your offerings. My prespawn arsenal is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels. First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in ½ or ¾ oz. Stick with the ½ for grass that is near the surface and go with the ¾ for grass that is deeper. Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day. Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites. ¼ to ½ oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades in white, black, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days. For a true giant, try swimming a 4.5” Lake Fork Live Magic Shad on the back of a ½ oz chatterbait and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait. When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig. Jerkbaits in gold, silver, or clown patterns are my primary colors. Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges. For jigs, I go with ½ oz black and blue Mega Weight jigs with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon red color. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or the new Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a ¼ to 3/8 oz bullet weight. Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

Cover lots of water until you get bit. Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits. Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow. Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

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