Archive for July, 2010

Tom Redington Lake Fork Report

July 20, 2010

Lake Fork Report & Pics—July 18, 2010

 

The bass on Lake Fork are well into their normal summertime patterns now.  As is the norm, the thermocline is setting up around 25 to 28’ deep and some bass are suspending over open water or in the tops of trees.  While suspended fish are harder to keep your lure in front of long enough to make them bite, they will still eat.  If possible, find schools on the bottom and you’ll likely do better.  Overall, not much has changed in the past few weeks with the patterns.  The bite seems to have slowed down a bit, with some better and slower days now, whereas the deep fish seemed to bite very well just about every day up until recently. 

 

Deep structure fishing is really a matter of being on the right school when they are biting, so timing determines whether you are catching them or just practicing your casting.  New breakthroughs in sonar technology have made finding these schools of fish buried in timber much easier, so now is a great time to work on your deep structure fishing skills by catching a few hogs.  The hot, sunny afternoons of summer are prime time to catch these big schools of big fish, and thankfully we have a nice breeze most days to keep us cool.  If you’re looking to learn deep structure fishing skills—reading topo maps, setting up your graph correctly & decoding the images on your sonar to find schools, and learning deep water techniques like big spoons, football jigs, drop shots, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and deep crankbaits—now through early September is the time to head to Lake Fork.  And not only is it a great time to learn, but you’ll probably catch some big fish as well.  

 

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 of 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:  Fork is in good shape for the middle of the summer.  The lake level is currently 402.58’ (about 5” below full pool) and slowly dropping.  Water temps are on the rise, reading 86 to 90 in the main lake and water clarity is the normal Fork clear green to light stain.  The hydrilla and milfoil are starting to mat up a little in the shallows as the water drops. 

 

Location Pattern:  Early and late and when it is cloudy/windy/rainy, I’m finding bass feeding on points and flats near or in the main lake.  These fish are mostly in 6’ to 12’, often around the deep edge of the hydrilla or milfoil.  Deep structure like points, humps, and roadbeds in 12’ to 28’ are best on the sunny days, both for numbers and size.  While bass are suspended over many deep structure spots, finding places where they are one the bottom has been the key.  Most of these schools are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth finder closely or you’ll bypass the mother lode. 

 

Presentation Pattern:  Topwaters have been good some mornings but the bite only lasts until the sun cracks over the horizon.  Poppers like the Lucky Craft G Splash work best some days, while walkers like Sammys and Gunfish are better on others.  Around heavier grass or pads, throw Fork Frogs and buzzbaits too.  Once the topwater action slows, Texas rigged worms and wacky worms have been the best producers on the edge of the grass.  We’ve had good luck on blue fleck, junebug, and green pumpkin 8” and 10” Fork Worms (TX rigs) and Hyper Finesse Worms (wacky rigs). Finally, I’ll pitch a 3/8 oz green pumpkin MPack jig with a matching Fork Craw with a 7’3” Dobyns 736C Champion rod and 25 lb FluoroHybrid Pro to shallow cover like stumps, laydowns, and clumps of grass, plus pitch to the deep weed edge.  The jig will produce fewer bites but a good shot at a lunker.   

 

On offshore structure like humps and points, deep diving cranks and spoons will catch suspended fish while Carolina rigs, drop shots, and TX rigs will get the bottom dwellers.  The key is to first locate fish on your graph, then let their position dictate your lure selection.  Lots of bass are suspend this summer, often schooling on the surface. Deep diving cranks like Lucky Craft’s Flat CB D20 and RC3.5XD are very effective, with Sexy Chartreuse Shad and Chartreuse Light Blue being my favorite colors.  When bass are high in the water column and schooling, I’ll throw them on 20 lb PowerSilk line and use a stop-and-go retrieve to keep my lure running shallower.  When they are closer to the bottom, use a small diameter sinking line like 12 lb FluoroHybrid Pro and launch them as far as you can.  The hands down best deep cranking rod these days is the 8’ Dobyns 805CB RM—it’s a unique blend of a rod that can cast a country mile, yet has the power to handle a leaping lunker at great distance.  Deep cranks are notorious for losing fish and this rod will help you keep them on-line. 

 

When bass group up on the bottom, they are easier to catch.  Carolina and Texas rigs are my first choice.  I’ll try a variety of baits on both rigs and let the bass tell me how much or how little action they want.  Hyper Worms, Fork Worms, Fork Creatures, Hyper Lizards, & Hyper Freaks have a lot of action and trigger big aggressive fish.  If the bass are more finicky, straight tail baits like Hyper Finesse Worms, Hyper Sticks, and Twitch Worms are normally more productive.  The most productive bait seems to change daily, so experiment until you find what they want.  If the bass won’t respond to those offerings, switch to a Hyper Finesse Worm on a drop shot with 12 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line and a Dobyns DX743 spinning rod and you can still catch them, although the average bass size will run a bit smaller.  On darker days, junebug, green pumpkin, and Bama bug have been good, while the various shades of watermelon have worked on the bright days.   

 

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  

 

 

 

James Henderson Lake Fork Report July 6th 2010

July 9, 2010

Lake Fork Report
07/06/2010

Lake Fork fishing is in full swing summer patterns now with plenty of big fish being caught deep and shallow. Constant cloudy weather with pop up showers have kept fish biting well most of the day, and you can catch fish on a lot of different techniques right now.

Lake Conditions:

The lake is currently only 6 inches low but with the rain in the forecast, due to bands of clouds coming from the south , it could be full pool again soon. Water surface temps are in the mid 80’s. There is hydrilla , coontail, milfoil, and lillypads in abundance all around the lake so you can fish whatever type of vegetation you like. Water clarity is excellent to lightly stained. The thermocline has set in hard on the lake from 21 to 25 ft in most areas.
There has been some spraying to control noxious vegetation taking place in some areas of the lake. These sprayings can cause fish to relocate, and currently there is no official notifications of what areas or where the sprayings are being done. Most are confined to extreme backs of creeks because of the type of weeds they are targeting so they are not effecting most summer patterns.

Locations:

The early top water bite shallow has been very good, but due to rain the fish have been moving a lot. Main lake pockets and points are areas to key on for top water bites early. Pockets with feeder creeks could have fish all the way to the back, if there a little run off to pull the bait fish in. Cool rains can drop the water in these creeks by 10 degrees and wash a lot of nutrients into these areas, stimulating bait and fish to feed.

The deep bite has been the most predictable with fish moving on to points, ridges, and humps above the thermocline to feed. The schools of fish will generally suspend over deeper water when not feeding but can sometimes turn on and feed while suspended. These can be seen surface schooling sometimes over creek channels and near deep structure. They are usually triggered to feed when a school of shad gets to close and can make for fast action. Some structures can also hold fish even though fish are suspending nearby. This is where finding the key spots on a hump or point come into play. There could be a ditch on a point or cover such as rocks and brush that hold fish all the time on a specific piece of structure.

Nighttime fishing has been great all year, but right now it is the best way to beat the heat, if you are wanting to get out and catch big fish without cooking in your own juices! Best areas are outside weed edges near structure such as creeks or points. Large fish will cruise the edges of the cover searching for an easy meal of crawfish, bream or anything else unlucky enough to cross its path in the darkness. Fish the darker water, or shadows near lighter areas. Just like during the day the large bass will hide in the shadows to ambush prey. Lighted docks can bring in a lot of baitfish and deserve a lot of attention at night. Look for docks that have lights on regularly, not just on the weekends. Lighted docks near creeks or deep water are also prime for really big fish.

Presentation/techniques:

Shallow morning bite for me means a big walking bait over points and near drops. Zara Spooks, Sammys or other similar baits, have all been working well from 6 inches deep out to 10 feet. Popper baits are also putting fish in the boat at times and can produce a lot of numbers at times.In areas where you can see a lot of small bait fish flicking the surface, call for the poppers in shad or clear colors. Another good option in this situation is also a prop bait. Prop baits are not seen by fish on Fork very much anymore and can be real productive. A torpedo in clear or a devils horse still works to catch big fish. If fish are slapping at your baits and not hooking up, try changing the size or color of the bait. You can also try a weightless plastic just below the surface like a wacky worm or circus rig. If you find fish at the backs of feeder creeks, as I mentioned earlier, frogs worked in and around the shoreline cover can produce some heart attack strikes.

Deep structure fishing and crankbaits go hand in hand. The two best ways to cover a piece of structure deep is with a crank or carolina rig. I try to avoid graphing structure when I first pull up, so as not to spook the fish, especially if I know they have been hanging out there already. Boat position is critical when casting a big crank because you are only in the strike zone for a short time due to the pendulum effect. You want to make contact with the structure or the cover. As I have mentioned in previous reports, I don’t like to use buoy’s because they tend to draw unwanted attention , but be ready to mark any location where you get bit, by lining up objects on shore or by kicking a buoy in the water as a reference point.
Another technique that works well especially for fishing road beds, bridges and ridges is strolling, or trolling. This involves first casting your crank bait and either using your trolling motor or big engine to let all or most of the line out of your reel. You can then either start cranking or trolling, this along with using a thin diameter gets your bait down quick and keeps it in contact with the strike zone for hundreds of feet of the retrieve. The only problem is with other anglers pulling up on to your structure as you troll out of it, and it can be very problematic on Fork. For really deep cranking try DD-22s, Hot Lips, or Fat Free shads. Most of the time crank colors are simple with shad colors working best, during low light situations or heavily overcast skies a darker shade or chartreuse is preferred.
Jigs , spoon, and heavy swim baits are also working around structure when the fish are suspended. Stroking a jig or ripping a swim bait through a school of fish can get your rod yanked out of your hand and trigger a school of fish to feed.
Other deep water presentations working well right now are carolina rigs with various soft plastics in shades of green such as watermelon, pumpkin or chartreuse. Texas rigs, and shaky heads are also pulling fish worked in the same areas and along the outside weed edges.

At night I have been using big worms on Texas rigs in black/blue fleck, as well as a drop shot, especially around lighted dock areas. Try big Colorado bladed spinner baits, and black buzz baits over grass beds to really get you woke up when a monster fish blasts it in the dark.

Pics:


Summary:

The weather is hot and so is the summertime fishing. If you can take the heat, NOW is the time to enjoy some of the best summer fishing around. I have plenty of dates available, so give a holler if you want to get out on the water. I am available for full, half, or split days. If you can’t take the heat at all I am available for night trips as well. If I can be of any help to anyone just give me a call or I will respond to your e-mails ASAP.

Good Luck and Be Safe,

James Caldemeyer July Fishing Report

July 6, 2010

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July is a HOT time for some great summer bass fishing on world famous Lake Fork! This time of year offers so much in the way of great fishing. Whether you like to catch big bass from deep structure on a variety of techniques during the heat of the day or you are prefer to beat the heat and take advantage of the fabulous night fishing Lake Fork has to offer, now is the time to do it. Here are some tips and techniques that will help you in pursuit of a trophy bass. Water conditions on the lake a good right now with the lake level at 402.68 which is about 5 inches below full pool. We have had some rain to keep the lake close to full which is a blessing. As much as we loose to evaporation this time of year, every little shower we get helps. The water temperatures have remained steady in the high 80’s to low 90 degree range. Visibility in most areas is clear to 3 feet. Fishing has been excellent still with most trips producing 30-60 fish a day with the exception of a few off days here and there. There are a number of fish shallow both early & late in the day and at night or out deep where you will find some very large schools of bass concentrating on shad and bar fish. The shallow bite is best around grass in 4-10 foot. Fishing these grass beds with top waters, wacky worms, and light Texas rigs has been very good early in the morning, late evening, and at night. For the top water, I go for the yellow magic or zara spook in shad patterns. On the wacky worm, best baits have been trick worms or Berkley Shaky Worms in watermelon red, blue fleck, or pumpkin chartreuse. On the t-rig the 7” and 10” Berkley Power Worm are hard to beat in the summer out here. I usually opt for the 7” size during the day when the fish are more finicky and the 10” when they are biting real good or at night. I try to rig my Texas rig with as light of a weight as I can get away with in the wind. Usually a 1/8-5/16 will work best in the shallow grass and a 3/8-1/2 is best out deep. Working these worms along the edge of the grass around main lake points and creeks can be amazing. Best colors are watermelon red, blue fleck, tequila sunrise, red shad, and “The General”. After the sun gets up in the morning, I am concentrating on deep structure all day. Humps, roadbeds, points, ridges, and pond dams in depths of 18-28 feet are all great areas to look for these deep bass. My Lowrance HDS 8 is an instrumental part of my deep water agenda and it will tell me exactly where the fish are. Look for on your electronics for bait fish in these areas and the bass will not be far away. If you graph a spot and see bait but no fish, try it again later. You can leave and come back in 30 minutes to find that the fish have just shown up to feed. It’s all about timing! Once I have located a school of fish with my electronics, I am targeting them several different ways depending on how the fish are arranged in the water column and relating to structure or cover. If the fish are on the bottom the number one producer has been a Carolina rig. I like to use a long leader (5ft.) and a big heavy 1 oz weight to drag the bottom. Trilene 20 lb test Fluorocarbon is a must with a 2/0 or 3/0 wide gap hook. Best baits on the c-rig have been Berkley Powerbait 7” or 10” Power Worms, Power Lizards, 4” Power Hawgs, and Wacky Crawlers in blue fleck, watermelon red, green pumpkin, and watermelon candy. http://www.berkley-fishing.com Drag these baits slowly over the areas you are fishing and hang on! Texas rigged 10” Power Worms have also been doing very well in the same colors rigged with a 3/8-1/2 oz weight and a 5/0 hook. If you want to catch the biggest fish out of the school, you will definitely want to have a Talon Lures 3/4 oz football head jig tied on. http://www.talonlures.com I like to throw watermelon candy, watermelon red, California 420, Willies Weed, or Texas Craw with a twin tail grub trailer or Berkley Chigger Craw. If throwing a jig intimidates you, now is the time to gain some confidence with it. Just throw it out there in the same areas you would fish anything else and drag it until you feel one thump it then set the hook hard and hold on! For those suspended fish that are so hard to catch you’ll want to have a DD 22 or a spoon like the Talon “Big Dandy” or Joe Spaits Spoon from Weedless Lures here on the lake. These baits have been responsible for catching a lot of big bass lately and will continue to do well thru the summer. The technique of working these big spoons over deep structure is intimidating to most that have never done it but once you get acquainted with it, you’ll be wanting to do a lot more of it. If you are thinking about heading out to Lake Fork this summer and would like to book a guided trip, feel free to email me at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or you can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888. I have several mid summer dates still available for both day and night trip packages. Gift certificates are also available upon request. You can also get more information about Lake Fork by visiting my website http://www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com Again, a big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I AM SECOND, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star Rods, Oakley Sunglasses, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure Conditioner, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Sure Life, DFW MRI and Lowrance Electronics. Psalms 27:1- The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Tight Lines and God Bless, James Caldemeyer