Archive for November, 2009

Lake Fork Guide David Meeks 11.83 and 11.12

November 29, 2009

Lake Fork Guide David Meeks with 2 overs 11.83 and a 11.12.  Swimbait bite is ON….


James Caldemeyer 11-27-2009 Lake Fork Report

November 29, 2009
Calvin Fease, his dad Kevin, and myself with Calvin’s 11.04 lb lunker


These moments are what makes worth it as a guide!

Father (Kevin) caught his personal best bass too but Calvin has a big head start on dad…

Kelvin Brown from Lindale,TX with a 8+ lber

Jim with a nice fat fall fish

Joe Marciante from Ariat Boot Company with a chunk!

Right now is a great time to catch big bass here on Lake Fork. While most anglers have put their boats up for the year, there is still a tremendous amount of excellent fishing to experience with little or no fisherman on the water to compete with getting to your favorite honey holes. Wintertime bass fishing on Lake Fork is an often overlooked season to catch a fish of a lifetime and I expect this December to be better than usual due to the lack of cold temperatures in November that normally drive the fish into their fall feeding frenzy. That means there are still a lot of hungry fish out there to be caught this month. A fish nearly 16 lbs was caught by a crappie fisherman recently as well as several other big bass like 11 yr old Calvin Fease’s 11.04 lb Lake Fork HAWG!
With all the warmer than normal weather this fall, the water temperatures have hung in the 60’s the whole month of November. As the temperatures continue to fall this month and the lake levels maintain themselves at full pool levels, you can expect to find fish that are susceptible to being caught on a number of different patterns both shallow and deep.
In the mornings look for fish on main lake points, secondary points and in the back of the major creeks to be feeding on shad. The presence of baitfish is key during this time of year. These big Lake Fork bass will be congregating around shad for an easy meal. If you find the bait you will find bass! Spinner baits, chatter baits, lipless crank baits and swim baits fished over the shallow grass beds in 2-8 feet are best. With a spinner bait or chatter bait white is best. I like to use a small 1/4 oz. in white or white/chartreuse over the shallowest grass and a 1/2 – 3/4 oz. on the deep outside edges of the grass. As for the lipless crank baits, the same sizes apply but I am varying the colors. Red or any shade of red/orange is excellent from now through pre-spawn but I will occasionally throw a chrome/blue or gold in there on certain days. You would think that with these reaction type baits color would not be of such importance but it is and can change from day to day. More importantly, how you fish the bait over the grass will determine whether you get many bites or not. There is a fine line between working the baits to fast which will not allow it to come in contact with the grass and working them to slow where the bait is continually fouling up with grass. If you can perfect your retrieve where you are able to contact the grass then rip the bait free, this is when you will get most of the bites. Another great way to catch a huge bass this time of year is with a shallow running swim bait fished in these same areas. The 5” or 6” Berkley Hollow Body is an excellent choice in gizzard shad, ayu, or Tennessee shad colors. Simply cast these baits out there and slow roll them back. Coming into contact with the grass is not as important but reeling it in with a SLOW steady retrieve is and when they eat these baits there is no mistaking the bite. It will feel like a truck just ran over your bait!
The wacky worm is still catching numbers of fish up shallow too but I prefer a jig this time of year for the big ones. A black/blue, Bama bug, or Texas craw Talon 3/8 or 1/2 oz. jig with a matching trailer is hard to beat. I grab my Abu Garcia Vendetta flipping rod with a Revo Premier spooled up with Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and start picking every piece of timber apart in an area with the jig. A lot of times I can locate fish by covering water with moving baits then slow down and start flipping to catch those bigger fish that are slow and lazy. You won’t get many bites using this technique during the winter but the bites you do get will be good ones!
The deep bite is excellent this time of year as well. These big ole bass will be found feeding on big schools of shad and bar fish this time of year. I have been running the new Lowrance HDS8 over points, humps, road beds, and pond dams in 18-32 feet of water to locate these schools of fish. There are also a number of fish to be found in flats at the mouth of the major creeks in 28-32 feet. Once I have located a school of fish I have been targeting them with Carolina rigged soft plastics, jigging spoons, drop shots, or heavy swim baits. On the Carolina rig, I like to use a heavy 1 oz. weight and 4-5 foot leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook tied to 20 lb. main line and a 17lb. Trilene 100% fluorocarbon leader. Best baits have been a 5” Berkley Wacky Crawler, 4” Power Hawg, Centipede or French fry in watermelon red, green pumpkin, or chartreuse pepper. The jigging spoon is deadly this time of year on deep fish and is a great thing to have tied on if you are bringing the family out to catch some fish. I use a Talon Big Dandy in the Lake Fork Maniac color or “t-spoon” in the 3/8-1/2 oz size. Drop these spoons down to the bottom in an area that is holding fish and pick the rod tip up and let it back down. It is some easy fishing and great for the family. Most bites will come on the fall and you can catch many different species of fish with them including a real big bass! The new Berkley 5” or 6” Powerbait Saltwater Mullet in Silver Mullet or Sand Perch colors is a good choice for catching big bass out deep as well as a drop shot rig when the fish are finicky.
I hope this helps all you anglers that are headed to Lake Fork this month in pursuit of a trophy bass! If you would like to book a guided trip on Lake Fork or would like to go fishing on one of the two best winter power plant lakes, Monticello or Welsh, feel free to contact me at (903)736-9888 or email me at . I just picked up my new 2010 Ranger Z521 Comanche paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XS . This new ride is an amazing machine! If you have not checked one of these boats out yet, you can go by and see one at Diamond Sports Marine on Hwy 154 while you are in the area. Test rides are available upon request. Just give Ben Hogan a call at (903)383-7829 and he’ll be glad to help you find the Ranger boat that is right for you!
Thanks to all my sponsors for their support: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, “I AM SECOND”, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star Rods, 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!

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer

Lake Fork 15.69lb bass caught and released

November 27, 2009


The fish was INELIGIBLE for the sharelunker program due to the fact it was caught on a gamefish accidently while crappie fishing.

It is the largest fish captured on Lake Fork since March 22, 2002. Jim Harrell’s 16.12

Photo courtesy of Lake Fork Fisherman’s Guide News

Calvin Fease 11.04 with guide James Caldemeyer

November 27, 2009

Lake Fork November 2009

November 27, 2009

I’m a little confused on largemouth bass with water temps still looming around 60 degrees, I put new line on my two trap setups sometime in mid October and have yet to wipe the dust off. Last year water temps were about 10 degrees cooler (water temp was 54 degrees November 7th last year) and the trap bite had been heavy for over a month. The lake is frustrating a lot of anglers, but most agree it is just a waiting game until the water cools off…hopefully we will have an exceptional December like we had 4 years ago.

Instead of playing around trying to figure out the bass I have been crappie fishing. Guide Ray Vereen let me tag along a few days back and had an incredible morning. 4 nice slabs (15″+) and a total of 28 keepers and 2 yellow bass.

Flip Clips save big fish….

November 20, 2009

Guys, we are having more and more bad bladdered fish show up as the fishing picks up and weather cools off. PLEASE drop by the marina and pick up a pack of these. I will sell them to you at cost, I’m not out to make a dime on this…I’m having a pretty hard time with these big fish when they have been on a 20 minute boat ride in 3 foot swells with half of there gills exposed.

The 12.04 Guide Johnny Glass caught a week or so ago recovered so quickly due to the flip clips….took her almost FOUR days as she came from 34 foot of water, but I have no doubt she survived on her return back into Fork.

What normally takes single day to stabilize and return to normal/ready to release is taking several days and I’m afraid we may be losing some of PRIME we are ALL after in delayed mortality sense.

This is not a sales pitch or some ill attempt to push a product. They take no effort or training…I have placed as many as 3 clip on an 11lber caught in 25 foot before that did NOT have to be fizzed. If you are tournament fishing and are unsure how to fizz or simply have one that is borderline on turning up toss a clip on and save yourself the paranoid 5 minute livewell checks.

Tom Redington Lake Fork Report

November 15, 2009

Lake Fork has finally settled down after repeated flooding rains. Despite the water clearing and the lake level being back at normal pool, the fish seem to be stuck in a late summer malaise with all of the warm days lately. The result has been a pretty slow bite overall this fall. As cold fronts make their way through Texas with more regularity in the coming weeks, look for the shad to show up in their regular cooler water spots and both the shallow and deep bites will become consistent. The good news is that the fall fishing should stay good into December this year instead of slowing down quickly in some years when things turn bitterly cold early.

With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies. 2009 has been another super year on Fork, with the lake being full and in great shape for the coming season. Prespawn starts in late-December, so it won’t be long until my favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through March. If you’re looking for a fish of a lifetime, prespawn is the time to head to Fork.

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: Finally, Fork has returned to normal water levels and clarity. The lake level is currently at 403.31’ (4” above full pool). The water clarity is clear on the south end, getting more stained as you head up the lake. Water temps are reading from 65 to 70 in most areas. I normally have my best fall fishing with the water temps from 55 to 65 degrees, so we’re getting close to the magic range.

Location Pattern: Shallow has been more consistent than deep most days lately, with a lot of the deep fish remaining suspended and hard to catch. Fishing shallow grassbeds on the main lake all the way to the backs of major creeks has produced best. Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days, I’m focusing on shoreline grass, openings in clumps of grass, and the inside weedline. When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8’ to 12’. Key on points, inside turns, and along ledges and you’re likely to find more fish. Most of the shallow fish have been in groups, so you’ll fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch several in a small area. I’m also catching bass back in the coves along creek channel bends, and this bite will only improve as the water temps drop. For the deep anglers, concentrate on main lake structure in 18’ to 33’. The best areas and depths change daily, so you’ll need to do some scouting to find the schools each day. Watch your graph closely and key on schools located tight to the bottom if you can find them, because they are normally easier to catch than the suspended schools.

Presentation Pattern: In the fall, bass key on shad and most of my lure choices and colors will reflect that preference. Shades of white or chrome are always good choices in the fall on Fork. In the shallows, topwaters are catching fish early and late. Smaller topwaters closely imitate the size of the shad and catch lots of keeper fish, so go with smaller sizes of poppers like Lucky Craft G-Splashes or Gun Fish when it is calm, or switch to the walking baits like Sammys if there is more chop on the water. I throw these topwaters on floating mono line like PowerSilk for the best action with my lures. After the sun gets up a bit, the bass often stop coming to the top, so I switch to shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft RC 0.5, RC 1.5, or BDS 0 square bills, ¼ oz spinnerbaits, and 3/8 oz chatterbaits with 3.5” Live Magic shads. To keep those money fish hooked up on crankbaits with treble hooks, I like fiberglass rods like the Dobyns 705CB Glass. The slower action of fiberglass allows bass to deeply take the lures and also keeps them hooked up well when fighting them in. Match it with sensitive line like FluoroHybrid Pro and you’ll still have great feel, even with a fiberglass rod.

If the bass aren’t in a chasing mood, switch to a Texas rigged watermelon/red or watermelon candy 8” Fork Worm or wacky rig a Hyper Finesse Worm, Zig Zag, or Hyper Whack’n worm and work it over the tops of grass and along the edges. For these soft plastics, green pumpkin and junebug colors are working best on cloudy days, while watermelon/red and watermelon are better on sunny days. These techniques will also catch additional fish in areas where I’ve already caught some fish on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwaters. For bigger fish, a 3/8 oz green pumpkin Mega Weight Jig with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer or a 10” Fork Worm Texas rigged will produce big bass when pitched on 15 to 25 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line to the deep weed edge, especially on points and around creek channels.

If you’re fishing deep, these basic patterns generally work best in the fall. For the suspended bass, Fork Flutter Spoons and Lucky Craft Flat CB D-20 crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns work best and will catch some lunkers too. The key is getting your bait down to the level of the bass and keeping it in front of them for as much of the retrieve as possible. For deep bass on the bottom, Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys and Twitch Worms and drop shotting Hyper Finesse worms are my favorites. I use watermelon shades on sunny days, while green pumpkin hues & Junebug works better on cloudy days. I’ve been using the 7’8” Dobyns Champion Extreme model DX784ML lately and the extra length allows me take up extra line and get control of big fish at the end of long casts. If you haven’t tried worm and jig fishing with a longer rod, give it a try and you’ll land more fish.

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,


Crappie fishing

November 11, 2009

Morning was cooler today, wind swapped directions at around 11am this morning. The crappie bite on Fork is still very good. Seems like the bite keeps moving earlier and earlier (of course I can’t get out until 8:30-9am) but slacks during midday. We didn’t have but 10 or so keepers this morning (9:15-11:30) and 5 throw backs…we talked to a few people that got out at daybreak that had a full livewell. Very light bite

Catching them on a mix of 1/16th oz crappie busters and minnows under bridges. You almost have to have reservations after 10am because the traffic gets heavy and the game of leap frog / musical chairs starts. One person moves out, someone takes there pillar and so and down the line.

Going to get away from the bridge and move to the trees tomorrow morning and do some scouting.

Lake Fork 11.36 Guide David Meeks

November 8, 2009

What a pig! I lost one with him this morning that was a 10lb+ at the boat…he had some more big fish takes swipes at swimbaits…one was a monster (seriously 13-14lb realm) Not long after they started he had dropped me off because I was late for work…not 20 minutes later he totes this toad in! Grats David! Once in a lifetime seeing big fish feed in a group like that… Thanks for letting me tag along-

VIDEO Lake Fork Toad 12.04 Guide Johnny Glass

November 7, 2009

Guide Johnny Glass (903-765-2731) caught this fish in 32 foot of water on a 12″ power worm.

12.04, 25″ long