James Caldemeyer Lake Fork Report August 2009

Lake Fork Trophy Bass Report

Submitted August 27, 2009

By Guide James Caldemeyer

August has been an up and down month for bass fishing on Lake Fork this year. This is fairly common for this time of year but combined with the lake levels being higher than usual it has kept anglers, including myself, in suspense from day to day as to how well the fish will bite. On my recent trips over the past 2-3 weeks we have managed to catch 10-12 a day and on others 25-30. The quality of the fish we have been catching has been just as unpredictable as well. You can just as easily catch a big bass in the same areas we are catching small to medium slot fish. Not to be discouraged though! Better quality bass and more predictable fish activity is fast approaching. As we head into September and the fish start moving into their early fall patterns, the fishing and the lake will change dramatically.

Lake Fork is still in great shape and sitting at 402.71 about 3” low. There are plenty of areas to find great grass especially with the lake being higher for this year and the water clarity in most spots is pretty clear. There are some areas that have been getting stained by wind but I always try to move to the clearest water I can find from this time of the year through fall. Pay close attention to the water clarity as September progresses. The lake will be turning over before long depending on how quickly the air temperatures start cooling the water. Staying away from that nasty “sludge” water and keying on the clearer stuff will improve the likelihood of getting bit. Right now water temperatures are maintaining mid to upper 80’s on most days and reaching low 90’s in some areas on the real HOT days.

The top water bite is starting to show some signs of life but it’s a day to day thing. Cloudy cooler mornings have been most productive with a longer window of opportunity. On the warmer nights and the sun shining bright at the crack of dawn the bite has been brief. I always keep a top water frog like a Berkley 4” Kicker Frog or SPRO Frog tied on and give it a toss over matted grass, lily pads, and submerged grass beds in 2-6 feet of water. On the mornings they haven’t wanted the frog offering, the buzz bait, yellow magic or chug bugs in shad patterns have done well in its place. Fishing a wacky or Texas rigged 7” Shaky and 7” or 10” Power Worm in these same areas has produced well also when the top water bite quits. Best colors have been blue fleck, watermelon red and green pumpkin. Most of the areas that I have been fishing are main lake and secondary points at the mouths of the major creeks although there are areas further back that the fish will start stacking up in the creek bends in 10-14 ft. Middle running cranks and rattle traps in chrome or shad patterns are good for targeting these bass when you find them schooling in the creeks. This pattern will continually improve as shad start migrating to the backs of the creeks.

Deep structure fishing has been hit and miss right now also. The bass are in smaller groups in most places and moving around with suspended schools of shad a lot but there again expect things to get better in the near future and become more predictable as September gets rolling. Deep humps, points, roadbeds, pond dams, and ridges in 18-28 are good deep water areas to focus your attention. Using your graph to locate these groups of fish and paying attention to how they are relating in the water column is critical in determining bait selection. I have been using a several different baits to target these deep schools of bass once I’ve found them. The Carolina rig is my first choice. A good sensitive 7’-7’6” med. Heavy to heavy rod like an All Star ASR Series is great along with a Revo reel spooled up with 20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. Tie on a 1 oz tungsten weight, bead, and swivel to the main line then cut a piece of leader line ( I like to use 15-17 lb Trilene 100%) and tie on a 2/0 or 3/0 wide gap hook. The leader length can vary but generally I use one that is 4-5 foot long for deep fishing. Best baits for me have been Berkley 5” Wacky Crawler, Slim Shaky worm, 4” Power Hawg, or 7” Power worm. Good colors in these baits are watermelon red, green pumpkin, blue fleck, and red shad. The jig is catching its share of fish right now too. I use a 3/4 oz Talon football head jig the majority of the time out in deep water but have implemented their “new” 5/8 oz size into the mix as it targets the mid depth areas of 10-16 ft. better without hanging up as much around the brush and timber. My favorite colors are Willies Weed, California 420, Texas Craw, Bama Bug, and Watermelon Candy. For the suspended schooling fish that are concentrated and moving with schools of shad, I have been catching them on a number of different baits. Deep crank baits, zara spooks, weighted flukes, big spoons, rattle traps, and swim baits have all done well. Look for fish to periodically start schooling on any deep areas that you are fishing and keep one of these baits close by to toss at them. You can also look for large numbers of fish to get active schooling around any of the major bridges on the lake. Don’t count this out as a big fish pattern either because as we get into fall there will be some quite a few big mamas hanging around the bridge pilings.

If you are headed out to Lake Fork for the Mc Donald’s Big Bass Splash, some late summer fishing, or would like to book a fall trip, I still have a few dates available. Feel free to contact me by email at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or you can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888. You can also visit my website at http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com to find more information about fishing Lake Fork. While you are in the Lake Fork area, be sure to go by Diamond Sports Marine on Hwy 154 and check out the new 2010 model Ranger Boats and ask Ben Hogan about the others that will be arriving soon. These new boats are getting better every year and for 2010 Ranger has added the new Z521 Comanche to their line of fishing machines! I would also like to thank all my sponsors for their support: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, “I AM SECOND”, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star, Interstate Batteries, Oakley Sunglasses, KVD Line &Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Talon Lures, Sure Life and to my Lord and Savior for His forgiveness through His blood on the cross!

Read James 1:12

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

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2 Responses to “James Caldemeyer Lake Fork Report August 2009”

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