Tom Redington Lake Fork Report & Pics: August 17, 2009

Zach caught this big one on a Lake Fork Twitch Worm, 7 lb 12 oz.

Dana caught her biggest bass ever on a teaching trip with her husband.

The bass fishing over the past couple of weeks on Lake Fork has been slower than normal. Summertime structure fishing is normally the most consistent bite of the year; however, dramatically fluctuating water levels and temps seem to have slowed the bite and we’re catching lower numbers and not many big fish as of late. It’s still Lake Fork and we’ve had a number of days with 20 or more fish and the average size fish is around 3 lbs most days, but this is well below average in both categories. With the weather turning hotter once again, I expect the bite to get back to normal. In the meantime, I’m running a lot of water looking for a few good schools of fish, then working them over for a long time to get the fish to bite. The key is covering water with the graph until you find a good school, and then having the confidence to stay there and the patience to get those fish to bite.

Looking forward, September & October are always popular months on Fork as the fall tournament season really cranks up. It’s perfect timing for the tournaments too, because the cooling water turns on the fishing in both the shallows and out deep. September-November normally produces our fastest action on Fork for numbers, with lots of keeper sized fish chasing bait in the shallows, while big groups of bass school up out deep. Whether you like topwaters, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits up shallow or fishing with soft plastics and spoons out deeper, fall is a fun time to fish Lake Fork.

For those of you looking for more frequent updates on Lake Fork fishing and my adventures as a Pro on the FLW Tour, check out my Facebook and Twitter sites: http://www.facebook.com/tom.redington http://twitter.com/Tom_Redington


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 (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note.

Lake Conditions: After 10” of rain in a week and quick rise, the lake is back down around full pool again now. The lake level is currently at 402.89’ (about 1” below full pool) and slowly dropping. The water clarity is running about normal, with stained water up north and clear greenish water on the south end. Water temps are on the rise again, reading 86 to 90 degrees in most areas of the main lake. I’m showing the thermocline around 28’, which is about where it normally develops on Fork.

Location Pattern: Although some fish are still shallow relating to the grass, I’m concentrating on schools of fish on offshore structure. Structure like points, humps, channel bends, and roadbeds in 20’ to 33’ continue as my main pattern. Some days these bass are suspended and other days they’re on the bottom. Many of these schools are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth finder closely for them and make precise casts or you’ll miss these fish.

Presentation Pattern: I’m still using pretty much the same baits I’ve used all summer, but the best technique and lure color changes from day to day, so keep experimenting until you find what they want.. Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure. I’m using Bama bug or red bug 10” Fork Worms or the new 6” Hyper Worm for Texas rigs. Meanwhile, junebug , watermelon candy, or green pumpkin Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and the new 6” Hyper Lizard with its thumping tail are on the business end of my Carolina rigs. Try these with the new Dobyns Champion Extreme DX744 rod and you’ll feel every little bump, while having plenty of fish fighting power. The DX744 is a lightweight 7’4” rod that is so well balanced it feels like nothing in your hand, yet somehow it delivers enough power to tear big bass away from standing timber down 25’. When the bass are more finicky, drop shots will catch good numbers of slot fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a junebug, watermelon/red, or red bug Hyper Finesse Worm or Twitch Worm.

I’m trying to keep my baits near the bottom, sometimes a trick on windy days in rough open water. Therefore, I use a big ½ oz sinker on both my Texas rigs and drop shots, while 1 oz is what I use to Carolina rig with. For line, I’ve been using the brand new FluoroHybrid Pro (FHP) line, now available at the Lake Fork Trophy Lures pro shop in Emory. I’m using 12 lb test on a spinning reel for my drop shots and the 20 lb test on bait casters for my TX and Carolina rigs. While their PowerSilk and regular Fluorohybrid lines are perfect for moving baits like cranks and spinnerbaits, the FHP is truly revolutionary. Stronger and lower in stretch than regular FluoroHybrid line, FHP is the first and only line that combines the sensitivity, abrasion resistance, and invisibility of fluorocarbon line with the strength and ease of handling of mono. This innovative line is made with an exclusive co-extruded process instead of a fluorocarbon coating over mono like all of the other hybrids on the market, resulting in its unique characteristics.

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 12 lb PowerSilk line. With this 8’ rod and the zero memory line, you can whip crankbaits a country mile. For the Flutter Spoons and swimbaits, count them down to the depth of the fish and try to swim your bait slightly above the 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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