Tom Redington Lake Fork Report July 2009

The temps have turned hot here at Fork, grouping up lots of fish out deep. Shallow grass and wood cover are still producing some good fish and even some big ones, especially early and late. For the majority of the day though, offshore structure fishing has been best for me. The hot, sunny afternoons of summer are prime time to catch these big schools of big fish, and thankfully we’ve had a nice breeze most days to keep us cool. If you’re looking to learn deep structure fishing skills—reading topo maps, setting up your graph correctly & decoding the images on your sonar to find schools, and learning deep water techniques like big spoons, football jigs, drop shots, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and deep crankbaits—now through early September is the time to head to Lake Fork. And not only is it a great time to learn, but you’ll probably catch a lot of big fish as well.

Boat for Sale: My 2009 Ranger Z520 boat is for sale. It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Mercury Pro XS motor with a 5 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.

Lake Conditions: Fork remains full and the grass is green and growing all over the lake. The lake level is currently at 403.21’ (about 3” above full pool) and slowly falling. The water clarity is running about normal, with stained water up north and clear greenish water on the south end. Milfoil and hydrilla are both growing rapidly and starting to mat out in places, which should make for great grass fishing in the fall. Water temps really rose this week, reading 89 to 93 degrees in most areas of the main lake. With the continued hot days and light winds, I expect the thermocline will set up around 28’ deep pretty soon, as usual.

Location Pattern: Early and late, I’m finding good bass feeding on points and flats near or in the main lake. These fish are mostly in 8’ to 15’, often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or milfoil. Deep structure like points, humps, and roadbeds in 18’ to 30’ continue as my main pattern, producing both good numbers and size. Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom. Many of these schools have been small and are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, 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 Fork Frogs. 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.

Out deeper, Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure. I go with green pumpkin or red bug 8” or 10” Fork Worms for Texas rigs. Meanwhile, junebug or green pumpkin Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and the new 6” Hyper Lizard are on the business end of my Carolina rigs. The new 6” Hyper Lizard is the perfect size for Carolina rigs, and it thumping Hyper tail really calls fish in. A great set up for the C-rig is 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 Hyper Finesse Worm. When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter spoons, 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 with crankbaits is to get them 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 , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,



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One Response to “Tom Redington Lake Fork Report July 2009”

  1. bassman Says:

    just wondering if the lake had turned over yet 9-29-2009

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