March 13, 2010 Tom Redington Lake Fork Report

An extended period of warm and sunny days has a lot of bass actively roaming up shallow at Lake Fork. Male bass are showing up en masse in the back of creeks, a sure sign that the females aren’t far behind. With the new moon on Monday and more nice days in the forecast, I expect our first major wave of spawning next week and a lot of big fish will be caught. (Duran Duran fans might even point out that with a “New Moon on Monday” the bass will be “Hungry Like the Wolf”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Until the bass start bedding, prespawn moving bait patterns still dominate. As the bass in the backs of creeks start to spawn, anglers will still have the choice of fishing for spawning bass in the shallows or chasing the bigger prespawn fish nearer the mouths of creeks and on the south end of the lake. With such a late start to the spawn, the spring bite should carry well into May this year.

Speaking of prespawn action, watch me catch big bass with lipless crankbaits on the “Scott Martin Challenge” fishing show on Versus. The show airs in 2-parts during the weeks of March 22nd and 29th. Check your local listings for the show times, as it’ll air several times each week.

Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale. It is a demo boat through my dealer with low hours and you’d be titled as the first owner. She’s value priced to save you big bucks off the cost a new boat. For more details and pics of the boat, please check my website (www.lakeforkguidetrips.com) or drop me a note. Here’s a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OatBx6KpyJk

Lake Conditions: Lake Fork is full and more stained than normal, but warming. The lake level is currently 403.11’ and dropping, still 1” above full pool. Because of big rains last week, the water clarity is clearer on the south end, getting more stained as you head up the lake and quite muddy in some creeks up north. Water temps are reading 51 to 56 in the main lake, while 61 was the warmest we found in the creeks yesterday.

Location Pattern: For prespawn and staging fish, key on points and along edges of flats or creek channels. Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most fish. Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding some fish, as are main and secondary points inside the coves. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels. After the fronts, drop back to deeper water adjacent to where the fish were before the front and you’ll quickly relocate them. For spawning fish, look for protected bays in the north end of the lake or at the very backs of major creeks. As the water continues to warm and we move towards April, bass will start spawning nearer the mouths of creeks and in deeper creeks. The main lake flats are typically the last areas to spawn, often as late as early-May.

Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, and lipless crankbaits are catching numbers of good fish, especially on overcast and windy days. First and foremost are lipless crankbaits in ½ or ¾ oz, like the Lucky Craft LV500 and LVR D-7. Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day. ½ oz Redemption spinnerbaits with tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts will produce some nice bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, as will shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft RC 2.0 or BDS4 square bills. For big bass, try swimming a 4.5” Live Magic Shad on the back of a ½ oz Phenix Vibrator Jig and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait. White or white/chartreuse vibrator jigs with Fire Perch or Albino Shad Live Magic Shads work well. And for a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go. I go with a 3/8 oz MPack Jig in black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak in black neon, Bama Bug or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover. Or try the new 6” Hyper Lizard from Lake Fork Trophy Lures. It features a huge thumper on a segmented tail and produces a wild thumping action when it swims and hops along cover. I like pitching all of these baits with the Dobyns Champion series 736C pitching rod. At 7’3”, it is light and easy to fish all day with a soft enough tip to pitch well, yet it has plenty of power to pull even the biggest fish out of heavy cover with big braided line.

For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Zig Zags, and the all new Hyper Stick become your best option. The Hyper Stick combines the shape of Senko-style stick worm baits with the segmented body action of the Live Magic Shad. The result is a worm with unique action from even the slightest rod movement. This year, I’m using Lake Fork Trophy Lures’ new weedless weighted wacky rigging system primarily. The small weighted disc gives it just enough weight to cast well and fall just right, while also keeping your wacky worm from flying off the hook on casts. The large size ring fits the Zig Zags and Hyper Sticks perfectly, while the smaller size works wonders with Hyper Finesse Worms, Twitch Worms, and Hyper Whack’n Worms. Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, but don’t forget Blue Bruiser with the muddy water this year. These fish are often spooky, so long casts are key. For weightless soft plastic jerkbaits, I’m using Dobyns’ 733C with 14 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line. The 7’3” rod whips the baits out there, while it still has enough backbone to drive the hook through thick worms on long casts. The new FluoroHybrid Pro line has the feel and invisibility of fluorocarbon, yet it casts well and ties strong knots like mono—it’s truly the best of both worlds.

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 http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,

Tom

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