James Henderson Lake Fork Report November 14th

Lake Fork fishing is going strong right now, with lots of patterns working from shallow to deep. The following are just a few of the techniques/patterns that are working RIGHT NOW.

Lake Conditions:

Fall on Fork is in full swing and the leaves are beginning to turn. Water is slightly stained and the turn over is completed all over the lake. Current water temps are ranging from low to mid 60’s at main lake and lake levels are a little over 2 ½ foot low. Grass has started dying back in a lot of areas and the Lilly pads are beginning to yellow.

Locations:

The bass on Lake Fork are like a lot of east Texas lakes, they are chasing and feeding on what ever they can catch. Shad, crayfish, frogs, bream, yellow bass, and many other species. I caught one recently that spit out a half digested 4 inch catfish.

Fish are roaming in small wolf packs early, schooling up in shallows and along creek channels. Its an exciting time to work these areas keying on grass lines, creeks, and tree lines. You can’t work baits too shallow this time of year, I have seen fish chasing shad up into the dirt during the Fall, and have caught really big fish in water that would barely cover their back, especially early in the day. When working grass lines be sure and check inside grass edge as well as outside and holes across the mat. In creek channels look for bends or junctions that create points, these can be ambush areas for some real giants. Anywhere a ditch dumps into a creek, should be worked thoroughly from the creek to where the ditch begins and the surrounding flat. Best creeks to work this Fall are Wolf, Little Caney, Penson, Little Mustang, Big Mustang, Williams and Leafy Branch..
Moving out into deeper water look for secondary points going back into the flats and shallow creeks. Transition areas like these can hold the mother load and produce fish when all else fails.
The main lake fish are setting up on points, deep creek/river channel ledges, and humps from 20 to 40 ft. These deeper fish feed mainly on shad and yellow bass so baits that mimic this type of forage are producing best out deep and can make for some great action. Good electronics are essential for staying on these deep water dwellers. Points around Little Caney, Big Caney, Mustang, and many others are all excellent this time of year.

Patterns and Techniques:

I have to admit I’m a top water junkie, and this is an awesome time of year to get a trophy blow up on top waters early in the day. With cloud cover and rainy days hitting almost every week the top water bite can last all day. Buzz baits and big walking top waters can call up some vicious strikes from monster fish. I have had fish over 10 lbs this time of year on big Zara Spooks in surprisingly shallow water. Keep a follow up bait nearby incase the fish are not aggressive enough to break the surface for your offering. Weightless plastics like soft stick baits and flukes are excellent follow up baits to close the deal on apprehensive fish. If the fish are boiling behind your bait and not hooking up, a subsurface presentation may be needed. Good techniques for this are shallow cranks like a Mann’s One Minus, or the weightless plastics already mentioned. Circus rigs or twitch worming can usually coax these reluctant fish to commit also. Other good baits and techniques are spinner baits, swim baits, and swim jigs, fished just below the surface. Be sure and where polarized sunglasses when using these techniques, a lot of times you will see fish follow your bait or flash behind it. When that occurs get your follow up bait into the strike zone quickly.

Working creek channels is prime this time of year shallow and deep. Starting in the backs of the creeks, you can usually follow the channel and flip and pitch jigs, t-rigs, light c-rigs. Watch for tree lines that may indicate small feeders or ditches, these areas can be specially good after a good rain despite the murkier water. Moving deeper along the creek into the 10 to 18 ft range, crank baits banged off the trees can trigger bites. I like fishing these type of creek depths on bluebird days when the fish seem to be tight lipped. Jigs can also produce reaction bites in the creek timbers and a heavier bait falling fast usually is the ticket on the tough days. Moving out into the deepest creeks and river channel, it’s a great time to learn how to use a spoon. I like a big flutter spoon, to cut down on the nuisance bites from yellow bass, sand bass and crappie, that will wear you out on a small spoon. When I fish these areas I want the behemoths that are there to feed on the other species. A big flutter spoon or football jig at are ideal for this type of fishing. Points or secondary points are best worked with cranks, and Carolina rigs. Lots of fish are being caught on lip-less cranks worked around points and grass beds. The lipless rattle baits can also be very productive on flats adjacent to creeks.

I have also been on a big fish bite at night still, or during the pre-dawn hours, using the same tactics as during the summer but keying more on creeks.

Pictures:

Summary:

Now is the time to get on Fork for fast Fall action, either for numbers or big fish. The fish are putting on weight and I expect the fishing to be great for weeks to come. With deer season upon us, I have plenty of openings, and for Veterans Day I am offering ½ day prices on full day trips for veterans, or current members of the military the remainder of November. As always, if I can be of any help to anyone just give a holler.

Good Luck and Be Safe,

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