Archive for February, 2012

Guide Eric Wright Lake Fork Report 2-29-12 BED FISH

February 29, 2012

Guide Eric Wright found 64.2 degree water in an area today, fish were not there yesterday but pulled in around 10am this morning. Had a total of 15 fish for the day, lost that many more on short strikes.

He found fish pairing up in the shallows and caught 5 off beds on pacu craws, dropshots, and a few fluke fish.  No one else I have talked with has found this pattern.

Eric Wright 972-757-7947

March 1st and 2nd open this week.


ShareLunker FAQs

February 29, 2012

Saw this posted on the TFF and wanted to share here.

Toyota ShareLunker Program: Frequently Asked Questions


Lake Fork Alligator FAQ

February 29, 2012

One question that constantly comes up in phone calls and conversations are Alligators on Lake Fork.  Yes we have some.

Alligators haven’t eaten anyone…

I would be more worried about hydrilla, milfoil and abandoned trotlines while swimming vs. Alligators.

I have never seen an agressive alligator here, most of the time you are lucky to be able to get close enough for a photo.  They are skidish and usually dive and hide when they see a boat.

Here are a few photos:

Lake Fork Alligator

Steve Payne found this Lake Fork Alligator in Birch Creek 2009.

Steve Payne Birch Creek 2009

Steve Payne Birch Creek 2009

Lake Fork Water temp is ALMOST perfect

February 29, 2012

Oh my goodness, Lake Fork Water Temp is almost perfect.


Quick Report 2-28-12

February 28, 2012

On the phone with James Caldemeyer

* Catching a few fish in 2′ – 6′ of water

* Throwing a Shibui 1.5  crankbait with chartreuse

* Water temp 56-60

Tom Redington Lake Fork Report, Pics, and Video 2-23-12

February 23, 2012

A very warm and mild winter has made for pleasant fishing conditions but has the bass a bit more scattered out than when bitter cold snaps bunch them up in a few key places. The bite has been pretty typical for late winter/early prespawn, with long lulls interrupted by flurries of several bites in a small area. If you catch one fish be sure and work the area over thoroughly, as you can normally catch several nearby. Despite some warm weather, I’m still doing a lot better concentrating on points and creek channels than by covering a lot of water on the flats. As we head into March and get closer to the spawn, expect waves of bass to spread out across the flats and then spinnerbaits, shallow crankbaits and weightless soft plastics will excel. Until then, work over the staging spots for the prespawn females.

As a side note, new episodes of “Big Bass Battle” are airing on NBC Sports (formerly Versus, and now part of everyone’s basic cable) and WFN (World Fishing Network). I’m a frequent host and participant on the show and we have some good action for the coming season on lunker lakes like Fork and Falcon. It has been a lot of fun to film and I hope everyone enjoys watching it. Check your local listings for air times.

Lake Conditions: Regular rains are slowly bringing up Fork’s water levels and many boat ramps are in good shape now. The lake level is currently 397.37’ and rising (about 5’ 8” below full pool and up a couple feet from the fall). Water temps in the main lake was up to 57 and into the low 60s in creeks a couple weeks ago. After more seasonal weather you can expect to find water temps from 48 to 54 right now, pretty normal for this time of year. Water clarity is ranging from the classic Fork clear green water in some creeks to pretty muddy in others. In general, I like the clearer water on the cloudy and windy days, while I feel more comfortable in muddier water when it’s sunny and calm.

Location Pattern: There are still some big bass schooled up out in deep water right now if you want to get away from the shallow water crowds. 25’ to about 35’ is where you’ll find most of the schools right now. The schools are quite large and I’ll see tons of arches on my Lowrance from a hodgepodge of bass, white bass, crappie, and catfish on key spots.

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. While about any flat 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 points and flats near the mouths of these coves hold a lot of fish this time of year, as do 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: The lack of grass this year has narrowed my normally short list of prespawn lures even more Lipless cranks like the new Lucky Craft LV RTO in 150 (2.5”) and 250 (3”) sizes are normally one of my primary baits but I’m not fishing them nearly as much this season. ½ oz Redemption spinnerbaits with tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts have worked better when slow rolled, 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 chatterbait 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.

Suspending jerkbaits and pitching a jig or a Texas rig have been my mainstays this season. 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 on points and staging banks. 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. For jigs, I go with a ½ oz MPack jig from Lake Fork Trophy Lures and pair it with a matching Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer. Black and blue is my traditional favorite color, but with so many folks pitching jigs this year I’ve been doing better by sorting through a wide variety of color schemes this spring. Keep trying different colors until you hit on what is working that day. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Hyper Freak with a 1/4 oz Mega Weight, again experimenting with colors. Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels, steeper banks and staging points with short drags and small hops.

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 , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Good Fishing,


Regular customer and friend US Army Lt Col Patrick caught some nice bass before heading to Afghanistan for his 5th deployment. Wishing him a productive tour and a safe return.

6‘4“ former linebacker Bernie from MN didn’t get a double digit on this year’s trip but managed to form tackle some nice bass on his annual trip to Fork:


On the Water Report Eric Wright Lake Fork Report 2-23-12

February 23, 2012

Talked to Eric when he came in for lunch

Water temp 52-55 mainlake, 61.5 degree in extreme shallows

Bait: Dropshot Finesse Worm, Shakey Head Trick or finesse worm, Jig 1/4oz black/blue

Number: 11 at noon, (20-25 a day has been average for him the last few days)

Catching them in the back of creeks and secondary points and creek bends.

Eric Wright


Lake Fork Guide Terri Moon Lake Fork Report Feb 23, 2012

February 23, 2012

Terri Moon 903-383-7773

So hard to believe that while I’m writing this the temperature has hit the low 60’s!!! If that doesn’t get your fishing fever going, there is something wrong!

The fishing generally starts picking up mid-February.  But now is the time to keep checking the deep water humps, creek channels, and main lake points!  We are finding crappie at 23 to 38ft in 35 to 45ft of water.  With the fish holding deeper, we’ve gone to a heavier jig.  I’m double rigging them a foot apart with a 1/8oz jig on the bottom and 1/16thoz on the top.  If it is windier, I’ll even go to using two 1/8th oz jigs.

The vcolors working for us have been blue w/ pearl and chartreuse w/ pearl in the Lake Fork Tackle baits, and chartreuse w/ red and shad color in Gene Larew Bobby Garland baits.  If the color you are using isn’t working, don’t hesitate to change up the color you’re using.  Light conditions and water clarity will play a big factor in this.  It’s subject to change daily.

If you like yellow bass as much as I do, we’re catching some really nice ones on the main lake points in 30 to 38ft. of water just off the bottom.  They really will hit the same baits we’re using for the crappie.  The only difference I’ve found is the crappie want a slow motion or no motion presentation but the bar fish prefer a little more movement and tend to take the bait on the fall  If you ar ereally serious about atching yellow bass, you can even tie on a Tackle Facotry “flash-tail spoon” and just bounce it off the bottom- they just can’t resist it!
Please just remember our lake levels are still extremely low so take extra precautions out there.  Be sure to hook up your kill switch just incase you hit something.  There are a lot of stumps showing but just as many that still aren’t showing.

Don’t let the weather keep you off the lake.  If there is a day that the wind isn’t howling, get out there and enjoy a day on the water.  Don’t forget the 10 inch minimum doesn’t go back in effect until March 1st!

Lake Fork Guide John Tanner Mid Feb 2012 Report

February 23, 2012

February Bassin at the Fork

February is Hog time! The pre spawn period is here and the fish will
be moving towards the staging areas close to the spawning grounds this
month. This time of year alot of fish will move into the staging areas
and hang there to feed until they move up on the beds later on. The
spawning usually does’nt begin until march but trust me, the fish will
holding near by those early spawning areas and some big ones at that!
I am so ready to catch some of those big ole pre spawn female mamas!
This is when the females will be at their heaviest body weights of the
year. Some of the fish you catch will look like they are about to
explode! So with that said lets talk about how to catch em. Here are
the top three ways in my book for February pre spawners. Cranking,
spinnerbaiting and flipping. Big line, big baits and big fish. Sounds
good to me! On the cranking end of things lipless crank baits and
shallow to mid runners in red or crawfish patterns are a staple here
on Lake Fork and other east Texas lakes this time of year. We were
already catching fis on these type of baits last month as the fish are
starting to move up into shallower water.The lipless crankbait is one
of my favorites and this time of year the big ones will smash them.
Good ones to try are the Sebile Flatt Shad in Craw Perch or
MattOrange/Yellow Crawdad. On the spinnerbait I like to roll the Talon
Light in the 3/4 ounce in chartreuse and white with tandem blades. And
for the flipping stuff I like to flip the 1/2 ounce Talon Jig and
Berkley Chigger Craw for a trailer in black and blue or green pumpkin.
I also like to flip and pitch a texas rigged Berkley Havoc Pit Boss or
Craw Fatty in the same colors rigged on a 1/2 ounce Tungsten weight by
Affordable Tungsten and a 5/0 Mustad Mega Bit Extra Wide Gap Hook. And
by all means don’t forget about swim
baits. Keep a 6 inch Berkley Hollow Belly Swim bait rigged up for
those early morning and late afternoon times. The big ones like it!
Good areas to try are the bigger creeks that traditionally have the
earliest spawning activity. Glade creek, Birch Creek are two of the
best ones. With the water low this year you may not have to go to far
back to find them. Start on the main points and work a few pockets and
secondary points in the larger pockets.Also fish along the channels
the wind through the pockets. Pay close attention to the bends in the
channels as the fish tend to load up in the bends of the channels. The
fish will be holding tight on the wood as a result of the lower water
levels. Run your crank baits and spinner baits close to the bigger
stumps and lay downs and even make contact with the wood on the
retrieve to trigger
reaction strikes. Also pick up the flipping stick and flip the baits
mentioned tight to the wood and keep your bait at the base of the
stump as much as you can. make repeated cast to the good looking
trees. Sometimes it takes 5 or 6 flips to get the big ones to bite so
be presistant and have patience. I would suggest to flip with 25 pound
test Berkley Big Game or even Berkley Trilene 100% Flouro and I would
crank and spinner bait fish with 20 pound. It may seem heavy to some
but it is worth it when one of those Lake Fork beast attacks your
lure. My rod and reel choices are the ABU Garcia Revo reels and ABU
Garcia Vendetta and Villain Rods. I really like the New Revo MGX reels
and the Villain rod in the 7′-3″ heavy action. Talk about a sweet rig!
Get by you local dealer and check them out. Now I would like to tell
you about some awesome new baits that will be introduced this month at
the Bass Master Classic by Berkley. I am so excited about these new
baits. In the Berkley Power Bait Line there will be new soft plastics
as well as in the Berkley Havoc brand. In the Power Bait we will have
the all new “Power Claw” and the “Thief”. These will be awesome
flipping and pitching baits as well as awesome jig trailers. In the
Berkley Havoc line we will introduce the Havoc ” Hawk Hawg”, the
“Juice Worm” in 6 and 8 inch and the ” Smash Tube”. Be on the look out
for these new baits and load up on them when they hit the shelves so
you can ” Catch More Fish”. February is time to go
big. Big baits and big bass! Thank you for reading this article and
hopefully it will help you catch more and bigger bass this month.
While you are here stop by and visit our local Ranger Boat and Mercury
dealer Diamond Sports Marine over on hwy 154. They have another
location in Rockwall on hwy 276. They carry a full line of Ranger
Boats and have a full line parts and service dept.Tell em tanner sent
ya ! Or if you are interested in a factory demo, I have a 2011 Ranger
Z521 rigged with a Mercury 250 pro XS for sale at an awesome low
price. This boat has a power pole and other extras. If you are
interested in this boat or would like to inquire about a guided trip
here on Lake Fork call 903-569-7451 or drop me aline at For more booking info check us out
online at or our ministry website You can also find me on facebook under John
Tanner. I am thankful to God for allowing me to do what I do and for
where He lets me do it. Lake Fork is a treasure and it is such a
blessing to fish this awesome lake. Please pray for our country and
its leaders. also pray for the sick and the lost. Read Matthew 4:19

For a look at the products mentoned check them out on the web at,,,,,,, .

*John Tanner*
*Outdoors ministry*
*John Tanners Lake Fork Guide Service*
*FLW Angler
* *
*Phone 903 569 7451*
*Matthew 6:33*


Lake Fork Guide Andrew Grills 2-22-2012 update

February 23, 2012

The water temps are rising quickly, and the fishing is getting ready to explode on Fork! There are a lot of suspended fish right now with the spike in temps, but there are also some big fish still susceptible to a jig. If you stick with it all day, you will come up with a big one. Overall, the fishing is tough, but now is the time to go for that one big bite. Its there to be had, you just have to keep your confidence up and be alert, because you never know when its coming.