May 26, 2010 Lake Fork Report Guide James Henderson

LAKE FORK REPORT 05/25/2010

LAKE CONDITIONS:

The lake is currently slightly above full pool with water temps in the mid 70’s to 80’s. Water is slightly stained to clear. Vegetation is growing fast with large areas of milfoil and coontail being the dominate sub-surface grasses although there are still some large areas of hydrilla available. The water hyacinth has made a strong comeback since the winter, and is fast gaining ground on the gator grass.

Fishing patterns are stable with the majority of the spawn done and fish roaming feeding heavily. Fish can be caught currently at most depths from 1-25 ft on any number of presentations depending on the fish you target.

LOCATIONS:

Most fish are holding in areas where they where during pre-spawn. Look for them to gang up on primary and secondary points near deep water. Also creek bends, humps, and road beds are areas where they can begin to school up.. Plenty of fish can also be found shallow following the spawn migration of bream and shad. Areas near bedding bream can have some really large fish at this time of year.

LURES/BAITS:

Primary baits for me at this time have been first and foremost top waters, with the walking type baits being the best bet for big fish (Zara Spooks, Sammies, etc.). Popper type baits seam to be producing better numbers (Yellow Magics, Zell pops, Chug Bugs, etc). Frogs of all kinds are also working and pull some really big fish in the right areas. Weightless soft plastics or lightly weighted are also working well worked in the shallows (Senko type baits, trick worms etc.) rigged wacky style. The same plastics worked shallow are used deeper on Texas and Carolina rigs. I like natural shades of green and brown in most cases going to dark shades during low light conditions. The crank bait bite has started to come on strong using DD22’s and Fat Free Shads in natural shad colors.

PATTERNS AND PRESENTATIONS:

Currently the most consistent patterns have been top waters worked in and around some of the old bedding areas. Bass shallow have been feeding on fry and bream , so pick colors to mimic the current prey. Keep in mind the shad are also coming in to spawn so pay close attention to the area your in and what the fish are keying in on. Besides the walking type baits and poppers, prop style baits can be explosive, especially on heavily pressured waters where this type of lure is not seen as much. Torpedoes and Devils Horses in flashy shad or clear colors, will fool a lot of fish that have seen most of the other presentations. If you find fish are not aggressive enough to blast a top water, a sub surface presentation will often get the bite. Shallow cranks like the Mann’s 1 minus or other similar shallow crank. Also try a spinner bait waking across the surface fast enough to bulge the water or a hollow bodied swim bait with a belly weighted hook.

Primary and secondary points are producing extremely well right now using a lot of presentations already mentioned. As the day progresses you can back out and fish the weed line edges with Texas or light weighted Carolina rigs and crankbaits. This can be depths from 6 to 12 feet, and when you get bit pay close attention, watch for drop offs or other specific pieces of structure that can concentrate the fish. In other words look for the sweet spot on the spot. Tournament fish (unders), can be caught in these areas using dropshot rigs with finesse worms.

These same rules apply when pushing out to deeper structure, out to about 25 ft on points, humps, submerged road beds, etc. Pay close attention to your electronics and watch where your bites come from. When working deeper water its important to know where your bait is and what its doing at all times. When you get bit mark the area, not with a buoy, but by lining up with other visible stationary objects. I seldom use buoys on Fork unless you want company fishing with you on your spot. A lot of times when fishing deep structure you have to be able to accurately put your lure back in the same spot or you might miss the school completely. When fishing these areas be alert, there has been some schooling activity on the surface some days, so have a topwater or your favorite schoolie bait close at hand.

SUMMARY:

Fork is fishing awesome right now with some of the best fishing I have seen in years. Tournaments have had the most numbers of fish over the 24 inch limit than they have had in years. The temps are heating up and the fishing is to, so now is the time to get out on the water and get your fish of a life time. I am currently booking trips for day or night and am doing split days for those who can’t take the heat. I can design trips for beginners as well as the advanced angler.

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