Lake Fork Report by Guide John Tanner Feb 2010


Hello everyone from the great Lake Fork. Here is a report on how fishing has been as well as current water levels and surface temps from the last few days. The current water levels here on Lake Fork as of 2/22 at 9:15CST are at 403.01 according to the USGS website. Due to the below average air temps the water surface temps have been pretty chilly. We have had some warmer weather the last few days and have seen a bit of a warm up with surface temps ranging from 48 to 53 degrees over the weekend. That isn’t too bad considering the weather we have been having. We have another pretty solid front coming in so it will cool of a little but never the less the fish are still moving up. Fishing last week was tough but starting showing some improvement towards the end of the week as the water warmed up. It has all been about timing. The bite seemed to be best the first hour of the day and then kicked on again in the afternoon say from 2:30 till around 4:30( the warmest part of the day). This is typical for this time of year if we have had some cooler weather. We are still catching them in shallow water on red lipless crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits in shad patterns and I have noticed some good ones being caught on spinner baits the last few days. I haven’t been throwing them as much but when I do I use the Talon Spinner Bait. I like the double willows with a chartreuse skirt in dirty water. I have seen some good ones being caught on spinner baits from other boats that have been fishing around us. I also saw where someone weighed a fish over 11 pounds in at Lake Fork Marina that was caught on a spinner bait over the weekend. Looks like it time to keep that spinner bait in my hand a little longer.. The fish here at Lake Fork are feeding on shad over the grass beds. I have seen a lot of baitfish in some of the protected pockets. These areas have been the best producers. I have actually seen some fish chasing shad in the last few outings. Another key to catching fish in the last few days has been the speed of your retrieve, especially on the lipless crankbaits and spinner baits. We have been rolling them pretty slow and with a steady retrieve. Not so much jerking it out of the grass. When the bait hits the grass pulling it through the grass instead of ripping it free has produced much better for us. On the suspending jerkbait after jerking it down we have been letting it sit for a long time between twitches, say 10 to 12 seconds. This has been the best retrieve for that and we have had some really nice fish on them. As a matter of fact you can go to our new video section and see some of them from recent trips. These are fun to watch so check them out! On the lipless crankbait my rod and reel choices have been one of the new ABU Garcia Premier Reels along with a ABU Garcia Vendetta Rods in the 7′-3″ medium heavy and also the All Star ASR Series Crankin Stick. I have one spooled with 17 pound Berkley Trilene 100% Flouro one of the best mehcarbon line and another spooled with good ole Berkley Big Game. Both of these lines are outstanding and do a great job. On the new Premier reels I am here to tell you I do believe these are the best reels I have used. They have 2 sets of brakes and you can adjust them and make the reel do whatever you want. If you want to make a super long cast click all of the internal brakes in and hang on! This thing will cast a mile. I like making long cast while fishing grass. It makes a big difference as you can cover more water with each cast and find those pockets of fish. This time of year during the pre spawn they will be bunched up in small groups so covering tons of water is most productive. These patterns should hold until the water warms up later in the week as the forecast for then is looking pretty good. If the water warms and stays in the 50’s for a few days start fishing with some weightless soft plastics and use the dead sticking technique. Two of my favorites are the Berkley Power Slug in the Red Shad color and the other is the new Berkley Sink Worm. I rig the Power Slug weightless using a 5/0 Mustad Mega Wide Gap hook and on the Sink Worm I rig it wacky style. The cool thing about the Sink Worm is that you don’t need to insert a weight into the worm. The worm is weighted and is perfect for wacky worming and cast a mile because of the weight of the worm. Give them a try. Fish these two baits along the grass edges leading into the spawning pockets. I always fish these type of baits on Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. The flouro has less stretch and is very sensitive and is also less abrasive. For info on any ABU, All Star, or Berkley products go to They have it all ! Or if you are in the area go by Lake Fork Marina, they have a great selection of Berkley products. Yes the weather has been cooler than normal but the fish are still pulling up. They know it wont be long before the spawn get started in the early spawning areas of Lake Fork. It is time to get rolling! If you would like to book a guide trip with us here at Lake Fork call us toll free at 1-800-865-2282 or drop us a line at Don’t forget about the new video section and check out the photo page as well for a look at some happy folks holding their Lake Fork trophies. Also check us out on Facebook. Search word John Tanner.

While you are in the area be sure and go by and visit our local Ranger Boat dealer Diamond Sports Marine located on hwy 154. DSM carries a full line of Ranger Boats and has the new models for 2010 in the show room. I am running one of the new Ranger Z-521’s rigged with a Yamaha 250 series2 outboard and it is amazing. Go by and schedule and schedule a test ride when you can and be sure and tell them Tanner sent ya. If you are in the Dallas area go by and visit the new location in Rockwall TX on hwy 276 in behind Southern Junction. Ask for Ben Hogan tell him JT sent ya. At DSM Rockwall they have a hired one of the best outboard mechanics around so if you need some great service they have it. For more info on Ranger Boats go to For info on Yamaha outboards including the SHO four stroke go to

Please pray for our country. Also pray for our military personnel and their families as they put it on the line for us daily. The sick and the lost need our prayers as well. I am thankful to God for each and everyday. He is in control of every second of our lives, and if we trust in Him and put him first in all that we do our needs will be met according to Him. Read Matthew 6:25 – 33.

Good fishin and God Bless,
John and Robin Tanner

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Many thanks to my sponsors.


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