Archive for January, 2011

Tom Redington Lake Fork Report Jan. 27, 2011

January 28, 2011

I’ve been fishing most days for the past week and a half on Fork and the bite has been quite good for numbers and average size. Outside of a very slow day on Saturday, we’ve had consistent success with jigs, suspending jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits. Because of the cold couple of weeks in the middle of January, concentrations of bass have fallen back a little deeper to creek channels, ledges, and points. It takes a while to find these groups but the fishing is very good once you do. Case in point, my customer and I had 8 fish in one spot yesterday plus 6 more in another. Neither area was longer than 15 yards, nor could be get bit anywhere else in those areas. We didn’t catch that many at all the spots we fished and not everywhere produced, but almost everywhere that we caught a fish, we caught at least one or two more. That’s the mixed blessing of cold fronts in the spring—the fish aren’t nearly as active but they are grouped up. We fished both areas for over an hour so it’s not like you catch them on every cast, but once you get bit in the spring you really need to work the area over thoroughly. With temps in the 60s for the next few days, I suspect the bass will be roaming the flats a lot more again like they were earlier in the month and we’ll start doing better covering water.

The only disappointing part of the fishing lately has been the absence of a great big fish. While almost all of the fish we’ve caught have been nice slot fish from 3 to 7 pounds, we’re overdue to start catching a few big ones. I’ve been concentrating on patterns for prespawn staging females, so a big bass is only a cast away on Fork. The best part about the fishing has been the complete lack of fishing pressure. The most trailers we have seen at Lake Fork Marina on a weekday were 3 (counting mine) and I’ve only seen a couple other guides out all week. If you want to beat the spring crowds at Fork and have a shot at a true lunker bass, now is a great time to come.

If you haven’t caught it yet, I’ll be a frequent participant and host of “The Big Bass Battle” 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 addition 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 is clearing and warming after some cold rain and snow earlier this month. The lake level is currently 399.56’ (about 3’ 6” 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. Water temps are slowly climbing back up with temps reading 47 to 49 yesterday in the main lake and in the upper 40s to just over 50 in the creeks. 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. Speaking of the grass, it is very spotty on the northern half of the lake but the south end still has a lot of green grass and subsequently clearer water.

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.

After cooling trends like we’ve had recently, the bite slows and 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. For jigs, I go with the 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. I’m using Dobyns brand new 7’4” Extreme model DX745C for pitching my jigs and Texas rigs. It is well balanced making it easy to pitch all day and it is ultra sensitive which is important because the jig bites in this cold water are ultra faint. Occasionally you’ll feel a slight thump but most of the time the fish just pick up the jig and hold it. If you put a little pressure on them they’ll drop it immediately, so you need a rod that detects even the slightest bit of pressure. The heavy power rod has plenty of muscle to horse fish out of cover when paired with Lake Fork’s new fluorocarbon coated FluoroBraid. 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

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John Morris Lake Fork Report Jan 23, 2011

January 25, 2011

WEEKLY FISHING REPORT

J & M Guide Service

Lake Fork, TX

16 – 23 January 2011

 

This week we’ve seen water temperatures still at 43 to 45 degrees. The water clarity was just a little stained in the main lake and stained in the back of the creeks. The lake water level has also stabilized at 399.60. The fished have gotten use the 40 degree plus water temperature and are starting to feed again. The baits of choice this week have been a Tackle Factory Flashtail Spoon (1/2 oz), red Rattle Trap and a green and brown 3/8 oz Cyclone jig. The Flashtail Spoon was in the Barrfish pattern and was the most effective around bridge pylons and deep brush piles. The deep brush pile fish were in 20 to 24 feet of water. We caught several small fish with the red Rattletrap. You might want to slow your Rattletrap down. The water is cold and the fish don’t want to chase a bait very far. Our best fish came off of a green and brown jig with a watermelon/red trailer. What I did was take a 6 inch V & M watermelon/red lizard and cut in half and use it as a trailer.

 

Tip of the week: Boat Ramp Courtesy. As we approach the Bass Spawn months March/April or what we call it here at Lake Fork, Spring Madness, here are some tips you keep you out of trouble at the local boat launch ramp.

1. Make sure your tie downs are off.

2. Make sure that your drain plug is in.

3. Make sure you motor totter is removed.

If you do all of this before you get to the ramp it will make the flow of boat launch’s go smoother and no one will get upset at you for holding up the launch process.

 

As always Lake Fork Marina has a great selection of tackle and goodies to make your fishing experience very pleasurable. Don’t forget to pick up a good selection of V & M Lizards while you are there.

 

J & M Guide Service still has openings in March and April for guided fishing trips. You can give us a call at 1-888-454-7037.

 

J & M Guide Service

(John Morris)

1-888-454-7037

John Tanner Lake Fork Report January 2011

January 21, 2011

 With the lake levels being low the grass lines will hold a ton of fish and if it stays dry and the lake gets lower more and more fish will set up on the outer grass edges. There are a lot of baits you can crank the grass with. Top choices in my Ranger Boat are lipless crank baits, chatter baits, shallow crank baits and also Talon Spin-ner baits. On the lip-less crank baits and shallow runners good colors are red, orange and sexy shad colors. You might even throw a firetiger in the mix. On the chatter baits and spinner baits white and chartreuse are great color choices. The jig bite can be good as well so have some half ounce Talon Football Head jigs on hand. These jigs work good on the edge of the hydrilla. Tip them with a Berkley 3″ or 4″ Chigger Craw and you will be in business. Now this time of year some really big fish pull up and winter in the grass beds so be ready with some big line. I like to use 20 pound test Berkley Trilene 100% fluoro-carbon line on my ABU Garcia Revo reels and ABU Garcia Vendetta rods. This stuff is awesome and will handle the big mamas. While cranking the grass roll your baits over the top and also down the edges of the weeds making contact with the grass and pulling it free as you make a steady retrieve with your lure. This technique will make for some big time strikes and some times they will stop it like a freight train! On the football jig pitch it on the edges of the grass hopping it a few times as soon as it hits the bottom. The bass will bust it on the fall. This bite is fun and will produce some big uns! It can be chilly while fishing in January but those fish will be laying up in the grass getting some sun and eating well. You probably won’t catch the numbers of fish you would say in the summer but the average size you catch this time of year will be impressive. So that being said… hook up and come down to Lake Fork and get in on the ac-tion. There are a lot of really big bass caught in January every year. While you are here be sure and sign up for the Lake Fork Bounty Bonanza. Go by Lake Fork Marina for de-tails. 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. Or for more booking info including fishing reports, awesome big bass photos and even some amazing big bass videos, check us out on the web at http://www.lakeforkbassguide.com. Also check us out on Facebook under John Tanner. Hopefully these tips will help you catch some big New Years Bass. Please pray for our troops and their families as they serve our great country. Also pray for the sick and the lost. Got Jesus? Read John 3:16. Good fishin and God Bless, John and Robin Tanner Many thanks to my sponsors.

James Caldemeyer Lake Fork Report

January 15, 2011

    The weather has been frigid these past few days as Texas experienced a cold blast of snow, sleet, and ice in most areas of the state. I was able to escape the brunt of the storm as I headed south to begin pre-fishing for the FLW Ever-Start tournament at Choke Canyon. The weather here is not much warmer but definitely a bit more comfortable than at home. Right before I left we were catching some real nice bass on a variety of winter time baits and patterns on both Lake Fork and Monticello (power plant lake). Here are some tips that may help you if you are headed out to the lake to tackle a big winter time bass.

 

          Lake Fork is still about 3 and a half foot low. Water temps dipping into the high 40’s some and low-mid 50’s during the warmer days. Water clarity is good in most areas. Right now the best pattern to follow is fishing shallow grass beds in 2-8 feet of water. Main lake points and secondary points at the mouth of the major creeks has been best. Lipless crank baits are the top dog on Fork this time of year through the first part of March. Red, orange, or a combination of as well as shad colors are good choices. I like to use a ½ oz most of the time but will often break out the ¾ oz around the deeper grass and cold fronts. Jerk baits are an awesome choice for a big pre-spawn bass also. Suspending models are best in gold and clown colors. Chatter baits in chartreuse/white are catching some and will become better when the temperatures rise. If your New Years resolution was to catch a new personal best bass this year, I would highly recommend fishing a jig a lot right now. I like to use a Talon flipping jig in 3/8 or 1/2 oz sizes. Best colors are Black/Blue, Bama Bug, or Texas Craw. Hang a matching trailer on the back like a Berkley Chigger Chunk and you are ready to flip up a pig. Target stumps, lay downs, and docks in creeks adjacent to spawning areas. I have not fished deep lately but I am sure you can catch them on spoons and drop shots around bridges and roadbeds right now.

 

          Lake Monticello bass are full swing into the spawn. I have had a number of trips that we have fished Monticello in the morning and Fork in the afternoon that have been VERY productive. Best baits on Monticello have been weightless soft plastics like flukes and senko type baits in green pumpkin or watermelon colors, Texas rigged Berkley Chigger Craws, shallow running crank baits, and chatter baits. Fish any of these around timber lined spawning flats in 2-8 feet of water and you will do well. You can also fish the bridges or discharge area and do well with Carolina rigs, drop shots, and deep diving crank baits.

 

          I would like to encourage anyone who is considering a new boat this year to come by the Diamond Sports Marine/Ranger Boats booth at the Dallas Boat Show. I will be there the weekend of February 4-6 and the show continues through the following week. The new 2011 Rangers are in so come by and check them out. If you are interested in booking a guided trip on Lake Fork this year, feel free to contact me anytime at (903)736-9888 or by email lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com You can also visit my website for more information about Lake Fork www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com A special thanks to all my sponsors for their continued support in 2011: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Diamond Sports Marine, I Am Second, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance, Navionics, Talon Lures, Power Pole, BTS Protectant, Line & Lure Conditioner, and Interstate Batteries.

 

Matthew- Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

Comprehensive 2011 Lake Fork Tournament List

January 7, 2011

Tournaments in bold are $100,000+ big bass opens.  If you have an open tournament you would like to add to the list, please email me at: lakeforkbass@hotmail.com

 

January 2011
JC Outdoors Team Trail,Saturday, January 15, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, January 16, 2011 
Lake Fork Resort
JC Outdoors Individual, Sunday, January 16, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, January 30, 2011 Lake Fork Resort

February 2011
JC Outdoors Team Trail, Saturday, February 12, 2011 Minnow Bucket
JC Outdoors Individual Trail, Sunday, February 13, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Media Bass Teams, Saturday, February 19, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, February 20, 2011 Lake Fork Resort

March 2011
Bass Champs Tournament Trail, Saturday March 5, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, March 6, 2011 Lake Fork Resort
Media Bass Teams, Saturday, March 12, 2011 Minnow Bucket
JC Outdoors Individual Trail, Sunday, March 13, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Media Bass Individual, Saturday, March 26, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Ram Mega Bass Tournament, Sunday, March 27, 2011 Lake Fork Marina

 
April 2011
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, April 3, 2011 Lake Fork Resort
Texas Trails Bassmasters, Saturday, April 9, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
Media Bass Teams, Saturday, April 16, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Irving Bass Club Open Tournament, Saturday, April 16, 2011 Lake Fork Resort
JC Outdoors Individual Trail, Sunday, April 17, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Media Super Teams, Saturday, April 23, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Crappie USA Tournament Trail, Saturday, April 30, 2011 Lake Fork Marina

May 2011
Media Bass Teams, Saturday, May 7, 2011 Minnow Bucket     
Legend of Lake Fork Big Bass Tournament, Friday-Sunday, May 13-15, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
JC Outdoors Individual Trail, Sunday, May 15, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Bass On The Fly Fishing Tournament, Saturday, May 21, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
Bullet Boats Open Tournament, Saturday, May 28, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
Take A Soldier Fishing, TBA Lake Fork Marina
Media Bass Individual, Saturday, May 28, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, May 29, 2011 Lake Fork Resort

June 2011
Skeeter Owners Tournament, Saturday-Sunday, June 4-5, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
Media Bass Teams, Saturday, June 18, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Bassin’ For Babies, TBA Oakridge Marina

July 2011
Yantis Catfish Classic, Saturday-Sunday, July 3-4, 2011 Minnow Bucket Marina

August 2011
TFF-Revo Lake Fork Summer Slam, TBA Lake Fork Marina
Media Bass Teams, Saturday, August 6, 2011 Minnow Bucket
Winnsboro Bass Club All Night Open Tournament, TBA Minnow Bucket Marina
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, August 28, 2011 Lake Fork Resort

September 2011
Mad Dog Moore Memorial Tournament, Saturday, September 17, 2011 Rainswood Marina
Lake Fork Outdoor Expo Fishing Tournament, TBA Lake Fork Baptist Church
McDonald’s Big Bass Splash, Friday-Sunday, September 23-25, 2011 Lake Fork Marina

October 2011
LFSA Crappie Tournament, Saturday-Sunday, October 1-2, 2011 Minnow Bucket Marina
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, October 9, 2011 Lake Fork Resort
Irving Bass Club Open Tournament, Saturday-Sunday, October 8-9, 2011 Lake Fork Marina
Berkley Tournament, Saturday-Sunday, October 15-16, 2011 Lake Fork Marina

November 2011
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, November 6, 2011 Lake Fork Resort
Super Slab Series Crappie Challenge, Saturday, November 19,2011 Lake Fork Marina

December 2011
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, December 4, 2011 Lake Fork Resort

January 2012
Bud Light Trail, Sunday, January 22, 2012 Lake Fork Resort