Lake Fork Report 3-14-09 by Guide James Caldemeyer

The big bass are on the move and the spawn has begun at Lake Fork! Despite the weather being unpredictable and a recent rash of cold weather and rain, the fishing has been spectacular! As these big bass make their way into the shallows during the spring it gives every angler the opportunity to catch a fish of a lifetime.

The lake level is currently 402.41 and rising from all the rain we’ve had the past couple of days. After all this fresh run off finishes coming in, the lake should be close to full pool again which is great for the spring fishing. The water has been fairly clear to stained in some areas from the high winds and will definitely become murkier from the rain in the backs of the creeks. It won’t take long though for the grass to filter it out and clear back up. Water temperatures have been in the low 60’s before the cold front but now some of those same areas have fallen back into the low 50’s and high 40’s even in some areas. Again, don’t expect it to stay that way long as a couple warm days and some sun will get the water right back to normal. Typical early spring weather conditions at Lake Fork!

The fishing has been exceptional lately with clients catching 20-40 fish a day with most of them being males and some real nice females mixed in there. My best pattern has been fishing the flats in 2-6 feet of water at the backs of major creeks with soft plastics. A senko type bait or a fluke in watermelon red and green pumpkin fished weightless or texas rigged with a small 1/16 oz. weight in front of a 4/0 wide gap hook has been real good! I have also been dipping the tail of these baits in chartreuse dye to compensate for the stained water. Dead-sticking these baits in the spawning areas is a great technique that doesn’t take much effort…just throw it out there and let it sit! Most anglers have a tendency to fish too fast this time of year and are not keeping the bait in the strike zone long enough for the fish to bite it. These fish are becoming very territorial around their beds and they will only allow a foreign object to sit in or around the bed so long before they pick it up and move it. If you are constantly moving the bait around they don’t have to do anything to move it and just watch it go by.

Another great way to catch them right now is on a 1/2 oz. Talon spinner bait in white or white/chartreuse as well as a chatter bait in the same colors. These baits can be a lot more effective than the plastics on some days and we have been doing real well on them especially when it’s been windy. The swim bait bite has also really picked up! We caught some nice fish last week throwing the smaller hollow body type baits in areas where the shad were thick and the bass were spawning also. White, pearl, bluegill and ayu colors work great rigged with a good 1/8 to 1/4 oz. weighted hook and slow rolled across the grass. I try to swim them as close to the timber as I can, even bang it into the trees and then killing the retrieve for a moment. When you resume reeling one will have it so hold on! The jig bite hasn’t been that great for lately but I never count it out. You always want to keep one tied on this time of year and flip it around the standing timber lining the edges of the creeks or ditches adjacent to the spawning flats for a big bite. I use a 3/8 to 1/2 oz. Talon jig in black/blue, black/blue/purple, or the “new” bama bug color.

If you are interested in fishing with a guide on Lake Fork and would like to book a trip this year, feel free to contact me anytime at (903)736-9888 or you can shoot me an email at or visit my website for more great information about fishing at Lake Fork. I have gift certificates available for any occasion upon request as well. As always, I want to thank my sponsors for their support, a big thanks to all my clients who make my job so fulfilling, and glory to God as He blesses me with His love & forgiveness each day!

Read Colossians 1: 13, 14

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer


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