Tom Redington Lake Fork Report June 4th 2009

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 still guarding fry, while many others are chasing tons of shad and spawning bluegill. As a result, some big bass are still coming from less than 8’. Meanwhile, I’m starting to catch some good fish out deep, although the schools remain 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, about 8’ to 15’, lies a very productive intermediate zone. I’ve found a number of bass are relating to deep grass edges or the first drop near spawning areas as they transition from shallow to deep for the summer. Just about any bait in your tackle box will work until the water gets hot, and the fishing will continue to get better as the bass congregate in summer locations. 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, my June article is now posted. It’s an informative interview with Gary Dobyns, founder of Dobyns Rods and the West’s all time tournament money winner (he’s won 39 boats and over $2 million in prizes). He talks about his new line of rods, as well as discussing how to pick out the best rod for a variety of applications. http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles/junejulyaug2009.htm

Lake Conditions: Fork is in great shape heading into the summer. The lake level is currently at 403.54’ (about 6” above full pool) and slowly falling. The water clarity has returned to normal, with stained water up north and clear water on the south end that is currently turning greenish with our first algae bloom. Milfoil and hydrilla are both growing rapidly and expanding coverage, plus the lily pads are spreading out as well. Water temps are moving closer to normal summer temps, reading 78 to 83 degrees in most areas of 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 14’ to 30’ has turned on and will keep getting better. Some days the 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 and 5” Hyper Worms. Rig these on 5/0 Ultimate Swimbait hooks 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 or Hyper Freak trailer, or a watermelon Fork Worm on the Texas rig. Rig either of these up with a 736C Dobyns pitching rod with 37 lb FluoroHybrid line and you’ll have a setup that is easy to fish and cast, while retaining more than enough power to extract big fish from heavy cover.

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. I like to throw this on a stout 7’6” 764C Dobyns Rod with low stretch 32 lb PowerSilk mono. This set up will allow for monster casts, while still delivering strong hook sets at long distances. 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. The trick is to get the baits deep, and light line and long casts help you do this. Therefore, I use the 805CB cranking rod from Dobyns, paired with low stretch 15 lb to 21 lb PowerSilk line. With this 8’ rod and the zero memory line, you can whip crankbaits a country mile.

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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