Archive for December, 2010

Lake Fork and Monticello Report by Lake Fork Guide Ronnie Kelley

December 24, 2010

First off I’d like to wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 2010 was an incredible year. Fishing was great and Lake Fork is healthy. Lake Fork is an incredible lake and I thank God every day for the opportunity to fish it on a daily basis. As winter set in, Lake Monticello got hot and it has been great as well. I want everyone who fished with me this year to know that I really appreciate you, and I can honestly say I had a great time with everyone. Thanks to all the other guides on Lake Fork who I worked with this year. You guys are great. I am so honored to work with some of the best fisherman in the business. My sponsors have been amazing, without your support I couldn’t do this, so thank you very much. I am excited about 2011. I think it will be incredible. Lake Fork is in great shape and has an abundant amount of grass and forage and that makes for world class fishing. If you didn’t get a chance to come fish Lake Fork in the spring this past year don’t miss out in 2011. I have trips available for spring, and if I’m not available I’ll get you setup with a first-class guide! If you are planning on coming this spring call me soon, as the dates will book fast. Remember that one call is all you have to make and I can arrange for your full accommodations. Lake Fork Marina is where I launch and recommend for lodging. Along with Tiffany’s Restaurant, Lake Fork Marina has everything you need, including Lodging, fuel, tackle and incredible food….My, oh my, the pie!

Right now Lake Fork is about 4ft low and that is making a lot of areas tough to run, if your headed this way please be careful. Remember the fish live here, they are not going anywhere so take your time! The water temp is in the low 50’s and high 40’s some days. I have been fishing mostly shallow. I’ll start the day with rattle traps, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and swimjigs over grass and around creek channels. I am throwing a lot of red traps right now. It gives you a good chance at a big one, if they won’t touch the red I’ll go to chrome/blue back. The red really gets the big girls fired up. I’m using a heavy rod to make sure I get it out of the grass and it is clean. These fish here aren’t vegetarians! I’m throwing my traps on a Falcon Cara Mike McClelland 7’4” Heavy. Now this rod is heavy, but it has a lot of tip and I can throw it a mile matched with 15lb Seaguar Invizx. On my swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and swimjigs I’m using white and shad colors. I’ll throw all of these on a 6’6”-7’ Med/Heavy Falcon Cara. 20lb fluorocarbon is the only way to go. Bumper Stumpers Pro Series Spinnerbaits have been deadly in Chart/White and White. I’m throwing a Black Angel Swimjig and Pheonix Chatterjig and using a Live Magic Shad for a trailer on the Chatterjig and a Skinney dipper on the jig.
Into the day there are a few different patterns working well. The deep bite is good. Roadbeds and main lake points are holding schools of fish. Electronics is the key in this. If you’re fishing an area you know well, stop and make a few casts before graphing it. If you’re not very familiar with the spot run over it and locate the fish, this will make your offshore fishing a lot more successful. Once you locate the fish a few different baits will work. If they are suspended a Lake Fork flutter spoon and a white 1oz Bumper Stumper spinnerbait with a pearl live magic shad and the skirt trimmed way back will do it. Fish the flutter spoon with small strokes, and let the spinnerbait fall to the bottom and slowly reel it back. If you are seeing them on your graph suspended below the boat drop a Hyper Finesse worm in green pumpkin down on a drop-shot and put it in front of them. They can’t resist it! Try using light line with this technique; 8-12lb test. I wouldn’t go below 8lb test, that’s just asking for heart break. If the fish you locate are relating to the bottom a Carolina Rig with a Hyper Stick of ring fry, use green pumpkin and junebug. A football jig will catch some big ones. I am throwing a 3/4oz Black Angel jig in Black/blue and garden pumpkin with a Lake Fork flipper in black/blue and green pumpkin.
I also fish the main-lake grass and creek channels with a jig. I’ll use a Black Angel Flipping jig in garden pumpkin with a LFT Flipper around the grass with 25 Seaguar Abrazx. Fish the very edge and parallel the grass making short cast in front of the boat. Fishing the creek channels you’ll want to use braid depending on the timber. This time of year the big girls are out and about and you don’t want to risk losing a big one on a huge stump. Use Lake Fork Special and black/blue flipping jigs with a Hyper Freak as a trailer. Keep a rattle trap handy as they will come up and chase shad some days and you can really catch some quality fish when they come up. Focus on creeks in 8-15ft of water and the swings and sharp turns will be key areas.

If you’re not much of a winter fisherman head to Monticello. The lake is great right now. We are catching good numbers and great quality. I’m starting each morning throwing a medium diving crankbait in shad or red around the corners of the bridges. This is a great opportunity to catch a big fish. After I fish the bridges I move to the pads and timer. Put the trolling motor down and throw a spinnerbait or swimbait. A Bumper Stumper Pro Series spinnerbait in white or white/chartreuse will kill them. Into the day fish the pads and timer with a LFT Magic Shad or Hyper Stick in green pumpkin or watermelon red. The fish are really shallow, I’m concentrating on 2-5ft of water and patience has been the key. Let the bait soak, there are pre-spawn and spawning fish in the pads. The topwater bite should start real soon. That’s right, topwater in January!
Monticello is fishing great and I am still doing the 2 for 1 lake trips. I’ll fish this trip until February. We fish Monticello in the morning and Lake Fork in the afternoon. These trips are the same price as one lake. Monticello will only get BETTER, so if you want some spring fishing in January give me a call!
Good Fishing and God Bless,
Ronnie Kelley

Tom Redington Lake Fork Report December 18th, 2010

December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays to everyone. Thanks to all of my friends, family, sponsors, and customers for a very rewarding 2010 season and I hope everyone has a year of great catches in the coming year. In 2011, I’ll be fishing as a pro in the FLW Tour for my 3rd season as well as guiding for my 7th year on Fork. I learned a lot by competing at the top level of bass fishing this season, and I look forward to making good use of that information on the tourney trail and guiding this year.

Heading into the New Year, the early stages of prespawn are ready to get underway in some areas of Lake Fork. Considering I’ve seen some bass on beds as early as Feb 10th in years past, spring on Lake Fork is truly just around the corner. With a warmer and drier forecast for this winter, it should be a lot more consistent season than the bitterly cold and extremely wet winter we had last year. Meanwhile, lunker bass continue to be caught from deep water as well, including two fish that were just shy of 13 lbs in the past couple of weeks. With big prespawn bass smoking jigs, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits now through March, this is my favorite time of the year on Fork. Numbers run lower this time of year; however, the average size of your catch is at its highest for the year, usually in the 3.5 to 5 lb range, with a good shot at bass 7 lbs or greater. It’s also the time of year that more 10s, 11s, 12s, 13s, and bigger are caught. Best of all, you’ll have the lake mostly to yourself, especially on the cold and nasty days when the lunkers bite the best!

Starting in January, I’ll be a frequent participant and host of “The Big Bass Batttle” on Versus. The show will also run on WFN (World Fishing Network), as well as on Time Warner cable in the Dallas area. The show features 4 anglers on the same lake fishing at the same time, all trying to catch the one largest bass that day. With bragging rights on the line, guys use their very best tactics to catch them and there should be a lot of good instructional material in the show in additions to big fish catches. I’ve recently filmed shows at Fork along with some other lakes in TX, MS, and LA. It has been a lot of fun to film and I hope everyone enjoys watching it.

Boat for Sale: My 2010 Ranger Z521 boat is for sale. It is a demo boat through my dealer 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’s water level continues to slowly drop, as it has all fall. The lake level is currently 399.62’ (about 3’ 5” below full pool) and a ton of stumps are now visible. The boat lanes are still safe to run in general, but definitely exercise caution when heading out of the clear-cut areas. Regular passages of cold fronts finally cooled the water after it was running pretty warm earlier in the fall, and you’ll find temps from the upper 40s to lower 50s, depending on your location and the day. The main lake is the normal greenish clear color, except on the north ends where it is more stained. Some of the creeks are stained, but those with grass are pretty clear.

Location Pattern: Many big bass are schooled up in deep water right now and it’s a great time for spoon fishermen. With the colder temps, offshore structure in 23’ to 36’ have some very large schools this time of year, so keep searching with your graph until you find them. You can find these deep fish into early Feb each year.

If you’re like me though, from late-December through much of March, I concentrate on the early prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels. Areas with submerged vegetation for cover will typically have the most active fish. While about any grassy area will hold a few fish, start your search in areas that have lots of spawning fish in late February through March. It stands to reason that the coves that hold the most spawning fish in early spring will have the most prespawn fish in the winter. Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves hold a lot of fish this time of year, as do main and secondary points inside the coves—provided there is deep water nearby. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and onto the flats. After cold fronts, they’ll typically drop back just a little bit to adjacent points and creek channels. .

As I say each spring, bear in mind that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend. For instance, water temps that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temps were 58 a couple days ago. In contrast, fishing can be great if the temps warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before. Finally, the day of and the day after cold fronts can be absolutely miserable to fish, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times to fish.

Presentation Pattern: A few simple lures produce big bass each winter from grasslines and creek channels. 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. Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve is normally best, but after cold fronts, letting the bait fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites. ½ oz Redemption spinnerbaits with tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days. For a true giant, 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. I’ll rig both the spinnerbait and vibrating jig on a 7’ 3” Dobyns 734C rod so I can cast them a mile to cover water, yet still have enough power to bring big fish under control. With the spinnerbait, mono like 28 lb PowerSilk line works best, while 30 to 50 lb braided line works better with the vibrating jig to help get it through the grass.

When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I’ll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig. Lucky Craft’s model 100SP Pointers in gold or chrome patterns are my traditional choices, although Gunmetal Shad & Phantom Chartreuse Shad are my new favorites. Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges. A long rod with a forgiving tip helps land big fish that just slap at these baits, so I throw them on a Dobyns 704CB cranking rod. Match it with 12 to 17 lb Fluorohybrid Pro, a new line that is as clear and sensitive as fluorocarbon, yet as smooth and easy handling as mono. On cold winter days, the reduced memory of FHP really makes jerkbait fishing a lot easier. For jigs, I go with the new ½ oz black and blue MPack jig from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and pair it with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer in the blue bruiser color. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak in black neon or blue bruiser with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight. Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for a great shot at a lunker.

Cover lots of water until you get bit. Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits. Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the winter and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish during the prespawn as more and more big bass move shallow. Find some good staging spots and you’ll have a milk run of honey holes now through March.

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

Lake Fork Guide List 2011

December 14, 2010

Larry Barnes 903-765-3858
James Brumfield 903-765-2548
Marcel Bryson 903-765-3629
James Caldemeyer 903-736-9888
Rick Carter 903-765-3474/ 903-850-4007 cell
Tony Clark 903-473-3956
Warren Cody 903-454-4502
Rick Collis 903-473-2047
Brian Duplechain 903-765-3131
Tom Evans 903-383-3059
Skeeter Fowler 903-292-9659
Johnny Glass 903-765-2731
Johnny Guice 817-917-2150
Heath Hardwick 903-440-2358
James Henderson 214-864-2469
Randy Hutto 903-975-0037
Jeff Gun 903-765-2155
Jason Hoffman 903-456-3691
Kenneth Jones 903-850-5555 -Catfish
Ronnie Kelly 903-574-5796
Jeff Kirkwood 800-965-0350
Larry Large 903-765-2548
Robert Littlejohn 903-292-9929
Larry Lovell 903-473-1555
Rick Loomis 903-383-3050
Cody Malone 254-722-9031
Richard McCarty 903-383-2864
Marc Mitchell 903-438-0266
Terri Moon 903-383-7773 -Crappie
John Morris 903-454-6910
Randy Oldsfield 903-962-3056
Gary Paris 903-763-2801
J.W. Peterson 214-236-3320
Chuck Pratt 903-882-9038
Jim Purdy 972-495-6073
Tom Redington 214-683-9572
Brooks Rogers 903-763-0595
Dough Shampine 903-474-0508
Dennis Sheley 903-629-3826
Dan Silcox 903-765-3611
Gene Snider 903-383-7668 cell 903-638-1215
Barbara Stevenson 903-765-3120
Mark Stevenson 903-765-3120
Dean Stroman 903-383-7214
John Tanner 903-763-0338
Tommy Tatom 903-497-6994
Jim Taylor 903-355-4176- catfish
David Vance 903-629-7699
Ricky Vandergriff 903-530-2201
Ray Vereen 903-473-9528
Lance Vick 903-312-0609
Andrew Vineyard 214-684-3985
Tim Walker 903-765-3613
Bill Welborn 903-768-2251
Lee White 903-383-2725
Richie White 903-439-2266
Mark Woodruff 903-765-9033

Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer Lake Fork Report December 9th, 2010

December 10, 2010

James Caldemeyer’s
Lake Fork Trophy Bass
Fishing Report
December 9, 2010

Fishing has been good at both Lake Fork and Lake Monticello the past couple of weeks. With the weather and water cooling off, I have been splitting trips between the two lakes. The action on Monticello has been best early on most days with Fork being the afternoon option of choice. Fish can still be caught early on Fork but the bite has been best for me when water temperatures are at their peak later in the day.

Monticello is in great shape. It’s a very fun lake to fish and can produce some really good numbers of quality fish this time of year. The water levels there are good and slightly stained to clear in most areas. All the fish we are catching are still pre-spawn but it will not be long before you see a number of them move to spawn. I have had good success lately on Texas rigged 10” Black Power Worms and Berkley Chigger Craws in green pumpkin or black/blue. Flipping the timber along the old channel edges of the creeks has been best for the bigger fish. Shallow to mid diving cranks, lipless cranks, and spinner bait are also good choices for the pre-spawn bass. If you get a cloudy day, the top water bite has been good on buzz baits and frogs. You can also move out to the discharge areas and the highway bridge for some great Carolina rig and drop shot action. Best baits have been a 4” Power Worm and 5” Wacky Crawler green pumpkin, watermelon, and motor oil red.

The colder water temperatures on Lake Fork have the bass finishing up their fall feeding agenda right now with a number of fish still being caught both shallow and deep. You can find a lot of fish holding in the grass in 2-6 feet. Best baits have been red/orange lipless crank baits, white or white/chartreuse chatter baits, or a big square bill crank bait in any shad pattern. The bite around the creek channel edges and shallow timber has been decent on jigs. I like to pitch a 1/2 ounce Talon flippin jig in green pumpkin, black & blue, or bama bug colors tipped with a matching Berkley Chigger Craw.

The deep bite is pretty strong still despite the cold weather. The bass are ganged up on deep structure gorging on shad, bar fish, and white bass. Best depths have been 24-32 feet with structure change. Right now it can be channel drops, humps, ridges, points and road beds located in that depth. Jigging spoons like the Talon T-spoon or Big Dandy flutter spoon have been great as well as a 1/2 oz tail kicker or jig & grub. Carolina rigs and heavy Talon football head jigs have also been doing very well. The water temperatures are in the 50’s the key right now is to slow your retrieves down to get bites.

If you are interested in booking a guided trip on world famous Lake Fork or would like to fish one of the great power plant lakes nearby this winter, feel free to contact me anytime by email: lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com or by phone at (903)736-9888. Also, if you are considering a trip in 2011, you will want to make your plans soon. I only have a few openings left in my schedule for spring and early summer so don’t wait until its too late. If you make it out to the lake and have not seen the new 2011 Ranger Boats, go by Diamond Sports Marine and check these beautiful boats out. Ben Hogan and Robert Gilliland at Diamond Sports Marine will be happy to show you the new 2011 models and man they are impressive. If you would like to go for a ride in one, demos are available upon request. A special thanks to all my sponsors, and to my family, friends, and clients for their support!

Have a Merry Christmas and remember the reason for the season is CHRIST who was born for each one of us!

James 4:7

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer

12.72 Guide John Tanner, caught by client Bob Hartfield

December 3, 2010

Little late on getting the picture up of this hog! 12.72! Grats Bob!

John Morris Lake Fork Report December 2010

December 3, 2010

The fish are moving out of the creeks onto humps and long points. The reason for this is the pumping of water out of the Lake Fork to Lake Hubbard in Dallas. As of today we are down just 3 feet 1 inch. The middle of the week the wind switched from the Northwest to the South and the fishing really picked up. For the Largemouth Bass our choice of baits have been the ¼ ounce Cyclone white spinner bait and the Tackle Factory, jigging spoon in the Barr fish pattern. The Cyclone spinner bait needs to fished very slow around grass off of long points. The jigging spoon needs to be fished on old road beds and humps vertically using a slow jigging motion. A few good Bass are being caught with the Tackle Factory’s flutter spoon in the chrome with chartreuse tape, my favorite.

The White Bass are being caught in great numbers. Fish the Tackle Factory’s jigging spoon in either chrome/chartreuse or Barr fish pattern. They are in huge schools all over the lake. You will catch some pretty good Yellow Bass mixed in with the White Bass.

The Crappie are being caught by using minnows or small root beer with blue tailed jigs.

They are being caught around all of the bridges on the lake at this time.

On a safety note; Lake Fork is down over 3 feet. There are several stumps starting to show where you normally don’t seem them. With that being said, if you haven’t run a route for a while on the lake and you cut a corner short or your not sure where the stumps are, please slow down and idle through the area. Plus, when the big motor is running please wear your life jacket. Lake Fork Marina has all your fishing needs here Lake Fork and don’t forget to pick up a good supply of Tackle Factory jigging spoons.

Here at J & M Guide Service we are now booking trips for the 2011 season, look forward to fishing with you.

J & M Guide Service

(John Morris)

1-888-454-7037 E-mail: bassmr@geusnet.com

John Tanner December 2010 Lake Fork Report

December 3, 2010

Hello all you Big Bass fans out there. Welcome to Lake Fork TX the big bass capital. December has rushed in here and what a fast year it has been. Just seems like yesterday we were talking about spring fishing and now here we are talking about fishing in December. I guess time flies when you are having fun and fun we have had this year on Lake Fork. Fishing this time of year on Lake Fork gives you an oppurtunity to catch some really big bass. Some call them big mamas, hawgs, pigs, toads or as a good friend of mine calls them mop squeezers. No matter your choice of words describing the large bug eyed version of trophy sized monster bass, this time of year can produce a fish of a lifetime for you. Just ask Mr. Bob Hartfield from Trenton TN who fished with me on 11/24 the day before Thanksgiving. We had an awesome morning of fishing and God blessed Bob with an amazing bass weighing 12.72lbs. We thought he had caught a share a lunker but it was just short. Anyway it was a blessing and truly a fish of a lifetime for Bob.Congratulations!!!! I really like fishing the winter months and the techniques used to catch them. You can go at them shallow or deep. In the deep water swim baits like the Berkley Power Mullet, Talon Big Dandy Spoon, and football jig are great choices for catching deep water hogs. Look for the big ones at the mouths of the creeks on channel bends, deep main lake points and humps and road beds. Look for big schools of yellow and white bass with big large mouths mixed in.On the new Lowrance HDS units you can see them clearly. Those big monster bass will be in there devouring those yellow and white bass along with the shad. Slow roll the baits mentioned through the school along the bottom and hang on to your stuff! You can catch some big ones in shallower water this time of year as well which is great on those days when it is to windy to fish the deep spots on the main lake. Hit the hydrilla beds with spinner baits, chatterbaits tipped with a Berkley Jerk Shad, jigs and if the water temps drop into the 50’s or below go with the red lipless crankbaits and suspending jerkbaits. Fish the points and deeper edges of the weed lines and any stumps on or just off of the edge of the grass line.Look for green hydrilla to fish and if you are not sure look for big flocks of coots on the shoreline or out in the flats in the backs of some of the big bays up the lake. They are always feeding over these grass beds. Also hit the creek channels and flip the stumps and lay downs with texas rigged Berkley Chigger Craws using a 1/4 to 5/16 ounce Tru Tungsten bullet weight and also jigs in green pumpkin or texas craw color tipped with a Berkley Chigger Chunk. The Chigger Chunk and Chigger Craw have some awesome swimming action and will make that jig or texas rig come alive! They will hammer on it! Yes december is a good time to catch a big ole Lake Fork Hawg. With the season winding down to a close I cant think of a better way to end the year. If you would like to book a guided trip here on Lake Fork call us toll free at 1-800-865-2282 or drop us a line at tanner@lakeforkbassguide.com. From the beginner to the expert we will make your trip to Lake Fork one to remember. For more booking info check us out on the world wide web at http://www.lakeforkbassguide.com. Click on the trip info page for info and for a look at a ton of happy anglers holding their Lake Fork trophies be sure and click on the photo section. Cooprate trips are welcome with lodging and catering available.If you are in the market for a Ranger Boat my 2011 model Ranger Z521 rigged with one of the new Yamaha 250 hp SHO Four Strokes (factory demo with full warranties) will be available soon at an awesome price. Drop me a line or give me a call if you are interested in saving some big bucks on this awesome boat. I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and here is wishing you a Merry CHRISTmas. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season. John 3:16..