Archive for September, 2011

John Tanner October 2011 Lake Fork Fishing Report

September 30, 2011

Welcome to Lake Fork the big bass capital of Texas. I have been looking forward to this month and the fall fishing patterns that will come into play. Cool mornings and the sound of a big bass exploding on my topwater bait is like music to my ears. This time of year is the perfect time to do some early morning topwater fishing. I like to fish shallow points on the main lake as well as pockets just off of the main lake. You can catch some really big bass on topwater baits during the month of October. The big ones will hit a variety of baits such white Berkley Frenzy Poppers, Talon Lures Buzzbaits, spooks and even frogs. Find the shad up shallow early in the morning and get ready. Make long cast and be sure to cast your bait all the way to the bank. Some of the biggest fish will get extremely shallow early and late in the day so get it up there close. By doing this it will greatly increase your catch. You need a reel that will get you extra yardage on the cast. I love to use the ABU Garcia Revo Premier. It will cast a mile and check this out ABU is coming out with another awesome reel that will blow your mind. It is called the ABU Garcia Revo MGX. This reel is very light at 5.4 ounces and will cast a long , long way. I have had the pleasure of using one the last month or so and I really like it. They should be showing up in the stores soon. Go to and have a look. After the topwater bite back of and fish with carolina rigs, shaky heads and drop shots. Look for the fish you were catching shallow on the topwaters to move out on the points in the 12 to 15 ft range and to be hanging tight on the trees. On the carolina rig , shaky head and drop shot rigs I have been using the new Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper worms in assorted colors. These new worms are awesome and work great on any of these techniques. Go to and check them out. Another good way to catch some big ones this month is to flip the trees along the creek channels. Cedar trees are good to flip and also any stumps or laydown logs that are right on the edge of the channels. One of my new favorite flipping baits is also in the Berkley Havoc line of soft plastics and it is called the Pit Boss. This bait is awesome and has some incredible action. I like to rig it on 20 pound Berkley Trilene 100% Flouro carbon line and use a 5/16 or 3/8 ounce Tungsten weight by Affordable Tungsten along with a 4/0 or 5/0 Mustad Mega Bite Extra Wide Gap hook.For a look at the worlds best fish hooks go to . Flip it tight to the cover and hang on. the Pit Boss will catch the big ones and comes in some amazing colors. Lake Fork Marina has a big selection of all of the new Berkley Baits so go by and see for yourself. Tell em tanner sent ya! This is a good time of year to catch them out deep as well. It will probably get get good towards the end of the month as the lake starts clearing up after the fall turn over. Football jigs are a great choice for deep fishing this time of year as well as carolina rigs and big flutter spoons. The best day of guiding I ever had was a few years ago in October as our biggest 5 that day weighed over 45 pounds. And one of those 5 was a 6 1/2 pounder. It was amazing! God blessed us tremendously that day as we caught a ton of other fish in the 4 to 5 pound range to go along with the biggest 5. All of this happened on halloween that year. The lake had cleared up and the deep bite was really good. A few weeks before that it wasn’t so good out deep because the turn over was going on. The shallow bite was better during that time. its the same every year. When the lake is turning over stay shallow and once it clears up do some deep fishing as well. Look for deep fish on points at the mouths of the creeks. Yes October is a great time to fish Lake Fork and catch some trophy sized bass. If you would like to book a trip check us out on the web at or While you are in the area be sure and drop by and visit our local Ranger Boat dealer Diamond Sports Marine. They carry a full line of Ranger Boats along Mercury Outboards. For more info on Ranger Boats got to and for info on Mercury Outboards got to Thank you for reading this article and I hope it helps you catch catch more and bigger bass this fall. And dont forget the Berkley Big Bass Tourney coming up in the middle of the month to be held at Lake Fork Marina.

Please pray for our troops as they put it on the line for our freedom each day. Also pray for the sick and the lost. Got trouble? Give it to God – Read Hebrews 4:16.


John Tanner
Outdoors ministry
John Tanners Lake Fork Guide Service
FLW Tour Angler


Phone 903 569 7451


Mark Pack Lake Fork Conditions October November 2011

September 30, 2011

1. Lake condition: Right now the lake is in its fall turnover stage and has been for about two weeks, which means slower fishing. Since it takes about 3 weeks for the lake to recover, around the first week of October, the fishing should explode and get great again. At the moment, the bass are in transition and they and shad are moving up in the creeks where there is more oxygen
2. Pattern: A. Deep Water: Once the lake is through turning over, you want to start graphing in the mouths of the creeks looking for balls of shad close to tree lines, channel bends, and points as this is the type of structure the bass will use as ambush points to feed on the shad.
Baits I use in deep water Pattern A: topwater baits, swimbaits, 5” flutter spoons, tail spinners, depending on what zone the fish are in. I break down the zone in 3 different depth zones. Let’s say the water is 30’ …the top 10’ is the upper zone, the middle zone would be 10’ to 20’, and the bottom zone would be 20’ to 30’.
When the bass are in zone 1, I like to use topwaters and swimbaits because the bass are usually very active as this is usually early in the morning or late in the evening or under cloudy conditions.
Zone 2, 10 ’to 20’ This is the hardest zone for most people to fish because the fish are suspended . This is where I use the countdown method to keep my bait in the strike zone. I use the flutter spoon a lot in this zone and also a swimbait on a scrounger head or a fish head spin.
Zone 3, 20’ to 30’ This is when the bass are close or on the bottom. Flutter spoons and jigging spoons are very effective along with the tail spinners. I tend to use the tail spinners more around brush because you can manipulate the bait through the brush better without hanging up. I also use C-rigs and jigs a lot this time of year usually when the fish are less active.
Pattern: B. Shallow Water: I am usually way up in the backs of the creeks targeting any kind of visible cover, such as stumps, grass, docks, channel drops, any kind of cover a bass can use to ambush their prey.
Baits I use in Pattern B: chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwaters. Usually on cloudy low barometric pressure situations, the fish will be roaming more and their strike zone is much larger. On sunny and high barometric pressure situations, I like to use soft plastics and jigs, The bass will be tighter to cover and will have a smaller strike zone, so you will have to slow down.

Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer Report and Sealy Big Bass Splash tips

September 20, 2011

Alright everyone, the McDonald’s tournament week is finally here! I hope everyone is pumped up and ready to come out and catch some big fish. The fishing should be great with lots of cash and big prizes to be awarded. I have received numerous emails and phone calls the past couple weeks inquiring about the lake and the fishing. Here are some helpful tips and information about the lake that I hope will help you have a productive and safe fishing weekend.

The lake is currently about six and a half feet low despite heavy rains moving through the area last night. I think it basically just saturated our very dry ground and produced very little run off into the lake. I pray we get some more rain soon as it would produce good run off behind this last storm and start filling the lakes back up. You must be careful navigating the lake with the low water conditions and wear your life vest with kill switches! The boat lanes are very tight in a lot of places so travel with caution and take your time. The water temperatures are 78-80 degrees and the lake is in its fall turnover phase. As the water cools on top and drops to the bottom, the bottom rises and can make for some funky water clarity.

The top water bite has still remained consistent and I am catching fish early on Yellow Magics and Zara Spooks in shad patterns. Most mornings these fish are in 2-8 feet of water but have found some fish suspended out deep that will rise up on a top water lure too. Small spinner baits, chatter baits, lipless baits, and crank baits have also been good in the same areas. Pay attention to the water conditions in the area you are in and avoid the turbid turn over areas if you can. But most importantly make sure there is bait present in the area you are fishing. These fall fish are focused on following the schools of shad right now so if the bait is not present where you are fishing, move on. Main lake points, secondary points, and the backs of adjacent pockets are good areas to look for the concentrations of shallow fish. I am slowing down and fishing the areas thoroughly once I locate a group of active fish. Texas rigged Berkley 7” Power worms in blue fleck or watermelon colors have been very good pitched around the shallow timber. I am also rigging up a wacky style Berkley Bottom Hopper in june bug or watermelon candy and fishing it slowly around scattered grass. The bite from 8-15 feet has been good also on drop shots and shaky heads around the timber. I use the 4.25 finesse sized Berkley Bottom Hopper in the same colors for this technique. You will be surprised how many weighable fish you can catch on a spinning rod during one of these big tournaments and not just small fish. You can catch a big bass too!

The deep bite in 15-25 feet has been a lot less predictable with the lake turning over than the shallow fishing. I have been graphing smaller schools of fish grouped up on occasion with my Lowrance HDS unit. Once I locate a school I have been targeting them with Carolina rigs, Talon football head jigs, drop shots, deep swim baits, and jigging spoons. Each school of fish is different this time of year so you have to throw numerous things at them to get them to bite. The deep fishing will become more stable after the fall turnover is finished.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you are interested in booking a guided fishing trip here at Lake Fork. You can reach me by email at or on my cell at (903)736-9888. Visit my website for other great fishing information about Lake Fork as well I have very few dates available still this fall and am already taking a number of bookings for the spring of 2012. If you are around this week for the tournament be sure and stop by Diamond Sports Marine on Hwy 154 north of the lake bridge. They have some of the new 2012 model Ranger Boats starting to arrive and you will enjoy checking them out. They will also have an excellent service department and will help you with any equipment issues you may have while you are here. You can reach Ben or Robert at (903)383-7829.

Also, stop by and see me at the Lowrance booth during the tournament hours. I will be there all weekend and can answer any questions you may have about electronics. I can also update your unit to the current 4.0 software if you bring it to me. Another booth that I will be at and you will want to check out is the new Hydrowave! This thing is the neatest new toy on my boat and I will be glad to share my testimonials of how it has worked for me since introducing it to my fishing and guiding. Stop by and see me…Hope to see you bringing the winning fish to the scales!

1 Corinthians 16:13 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

Lake Fork Marina facelift

September 11, 2011

Lake Fork Water Level FACTS

September 10, 2011

Big thanks to Linda at Mustang Resort for putting this together.

CURRENTLAKELEVEL: 396.60  Full Pool 403.00 

 6.40 FEET LOW   9-10-11

 Sabine River Authority has not released water since May of 2010.  The gates have been CLOSED except for once a month testing and maintenance of gates.

 The lowest the lake has previously been since reaching full pool in 1985 was in 2005 at 5.38 foot.

 The Dallas Water Authority’s Pump Station is NOT working at this time due to engineering problems and has no drawn any water since January of 2011.

 The Sabine River Authority releases water downstream to customers at a rate of 45 million gallons per day. 

 The Dallas Water Authority can take 120 million gallons per day.

 Evaporation during the summer equals 280 million gallons per day.  Approximately ½ inch.


Open Boat Ramps for Sealy Big Bass Splash

September 10, 2011

Public 154

West 515

Vals Landing

Popes Landing

Oak Ridge

Minnow Bucket

Mustang Resort

Lake Fork Marina