Archive for April, 2012

Guide John Morris Lake Fork Report 4-27-12

April 27, 2012


J & M Guide Service

16 – 22 April 2012

This week we saw water temperatures continuing to rise to the middle 70’s and the wind continuing to blow 10 to 20 miles an hour, keeping the water heavily stained.   The spawn is over for the Largemouth Bass and is just about over for the Crappie and Sand Bass.

It is time to get out your little crank baits and jigs.  Let’s cover crank baits first.  I have been using a KVD 1.5 in the normal shad color pattern.   A small Bandit 100 crank bait in the shad color will also work great.

Now it is time to get serious about pitching and swimming a jig.  We used 3/8 oz and ½ oz J & M jigs.  The recommended color is black and blue with a black with blue claw trailer.  The way we have had the best success is just pitching the jig past the structure or stump and letting it fall to the shady side.   Let it set for a moment and then jig it up and down a couple of times and let it set.   If the fish doesn’t take it, pull the jig out and move it to the next stump or structure.

The trick worm is another way to catch Largemouth Bass this time of year.   We have been fishing the full size Zoom chartreuse/pumpkin trick worm around docks and patches of grass.  Again, the bite was very light.

The Sand Bass are moving back out of the creeks on to main lake humps and deep creek bends.  They can be caught by using The Tackle Factory ½ oz flutter spoon.  We found that the yellow bass pattern worked the best.   The technique we used was just vertical jigging the flutter spoon up and down over the school of Sand Bass.  The bite has been very light so you need to pay attention to your line.

The crappies are back at the bridges and can be caught using chartreuse and pink small crappie jigs and medium size minnows.  You will find the yellow bass mixed in with the crappie at this time of year.

While you are Lake Fork, be sure you stop into lake Fork Marina to get the latest in tackle and get a few snacks while you are there.  They have a great selection of the Tackle Factory spoons.  On a safety note; while running your big motor, make sure you wear your life vest.  The life you save might be your own.

J & M guide Service

(John Morris)


Toll free:  1-888-454-3073


Lake Fork Crappie Guide Terri Moon April 2012 Report

April 14, 2012

I receieve a lot of emails and comments from people trying to book trips through our website for Terri Moon.  Please call her at 903-383-7773 or

This has been an exciting month for crappie.  We’ve found them in many depths through their transition.  The bridges are producing crappie 8-16ft, while the staging crappie are found in timber 5-10ft and spawners 1-5ft.  There are a lot of options if the weather or wind is a factor.  With the crazy weather this year our water temps jumped up unusually fast and sent all the species on the fast track to the shallows.  Generally the spawn drags out for a couple of months or so due to major fronts dropping water temps, but that has not been the case this year.  Right now water temps are optimum and hopefully won’t affect the spawn.  I am not ready for these 90+ degree days! (And I don’t think the fish are either)

As far as catching the crappie, we are using different approaches for the different depths.  At the bridges we are using double rigged jigs about a foot apart.  The colors producing have been cinnamon with chartreuse tails and grey with blue tail.  Some days they want it straight down and some days they want it moving on the fall.  For the prespawn depths we are using single jigs 1/8th oz with a Lake Fork Tackle Live Baby Shad in blue and pearl or a shad color around the timber.   Then for the shallow fish we are using 1/16th oz roadrunners with chartreuse or white or a minnow on a slip bobber.  So pick your favorite way of fishing and hav esome fun!  Right now you never what you’re going to catch at any depth- they are all on the move.

It’s also exciting that our lake level has finally returned to only about two foot below full pool after the last set of storms that moved through.  Just be extra careful out there because many stumps are just below the surface.  Also keep a close eye out for floating logs while traveling around the lake.  It’s just a beautiful site to see water levels finally on the rise.  Also I want you to know both boat ramps are back open at Lake Fork Marina!  YA-HOOO!  The boat slips are also back in service!!  Be sure to stop by their tackle store and check out their latest baits and tackle.

Lake Fork Andrew Grills Mid April 2012 update

April 14, 2012

I looked for big fish today with a big swimbait, jig, and crankbait. I didn’t load the boat but I’m happy with a few things I figured out. I had a big fish on a Santone jig today that will haunt me for a while… she won laugh But, it is refreshing to get a jig bite again. Seeing a lot of bass fry in the shoreline grass that was flooded. Looks like the spawn has went well so far this spring.

Guide Tom Redington Lake Fork Report and Pics April 13, 2012

April 14, 2012

Although some bass are still up spawning, we’ve been catching mostly postspawn fish over the past couple of weeks on Lake Fork. A few prespawn fish are showing up every day though, so I suspect we’ll still have some fish on beds for a couple of more weeks. A quick look in the newly flooded grass around the lake reveals a ton of bass fry this year. All of the shallow cover, fry, plus the bluegill and shad spawns will have many fish staying shallow and biting aggressively for a couple months. Case in point, the first couple of hours each morning has been by far our best bite, with bass schooling up and busting shad on very shallow points. The best location changes daily, but once you find them, it’s fast action until the sun gets up. On overcast and windy days, bass will continue to aggressively chase in the shallows all day. If it turns sunny and slick, you can either slow down with soft plastics in the shallows or head to deep water, as more and more bass are showing up daily on deep structure.
As the bass feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a double digit. So if your plans didn’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July. In addition to catching a lot of big fish, it is also the premier time to learn how to read your electronics to graph big schools of bass on deep structure.
Many bass like to suspend in postspawn and my April article talks about how to catch them in more detail.
Lake Conditions: The spring rains have the lake up 6’ from last fall and there is newly flooded cover all over the lake. The lake level is currently 401.09’ and holding steady (about 1’ 11” below full pool). Water temps in the main lake are in the low to mid 70s, with creeks running warmer. The rising water and wind has Fork more stained than normal, especially on the northern half of the lake and in the backs of major creeks. 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: For the last of the spawners, check out the main lake flats and short pockets on the southern half of the lake. The slightly deeper structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 1’ to 8’, adjacent to areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass is where we’ve found most of the bigger females, staging on their way back to deep water. On the northern half of the lake, timber or flooded grass flats and clay points will continue to hold numbers of fish until the bluegill and shad finish their spawns and temps turn hot. Some of the early spawners are showing up on offshore structure in 12’ to 25’ as well.
Presentation Pattern: Just about every category of lure in the tackle box will work at times during the coming month, it’s just a matter of finding the best bait for the conditions. Topwaters are not only fun to fish, but also producing some really big fish so try your Lucky Craft G Splashes, Kelly J’s, and Gunfish. Best of all, you can work these baits all day long in the postspawn and catch good fish, especially if you are in areas with lots of bass fry. I’ve started throwing my topwaters on the fiberglass Dobyns Champion 704CB GLASS model rod. It weighs no more than a graphite stick and has a very soft tip. Little poppers like Yellow Magics, Pop-R’s and G-Splashes are small and often hard to cast, and then you miss a lot that bite them or jump off many that do. The soft tip of the Dobyns fiberglass rod will fling those little baits way out there and the slower action of fiberglass allows the bass to better take your bait, plus it keeps them on the treble hooks even when lightly hooked. I know that sounds like an infomercial, but since I switched to this rod, I can’t stop talking about how much I like it. Seeing monster bass explode on a topwater is pretty awesome, but it is way better if you actually get to hook and land them too.
While in the shallows, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and vibrating jigs work well in shad or bluegill color schemes. ½ oz spinnerbaits, Lucky Craft LC 1.5 or BDS 3 square billed cranks, and bladed jigs with 3.5” Live Magic Shads will all catch good bass, especially on the windy and cloudy days. If the action slows, try a Hyper Stick or Ring Fry on a 12” leader and a ¼ oz weight on a Carolina rig and drag it around the same areas. With all of the flooded shoreline grass, it is hard to get a crankbait or spinnerbait through a lot of the weeds without fouling. A weightless TX rigged soft plastic jerkbait has been best in this situation, like a Hyper Stick or Magic Shad. Bass often hit them on the slow dying fall, but it seems like working them fast with short twitches triggers strikes better on most days.
On offshore structure like humps and points, deep diving cranks and Fork Flutter Spoons will catch suspended fish while Carolina and TX rigs will get the bottom dwellers. The key is to first locate fish on your graph, then let their position dictate your lure selection. With the new DownScan sonar from Lowrance and detailed maps from Navionics, finding those once secret deep holes is now a lot easier. Lots of bass suspend early in the season and super deep cranks like Lucky Craft’s Flat CB D20 are very effective. Fork Flutter Spoons will trigger a lot of these same fish too as they slowly wobble down through the schools like a dying shad. When bass group up on the bottom they are easier to catch. Simply keep a Carolina rigged Baby Fork Creature or a TX rigged 10” Fork Worm in front of them long enough and they’ll eat sooner or later.
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. If you’re in the Lake Fork area and need any boat service or want to check out the new line of Ranger boats, stop by on Hwy 154 on the East side of Fork, Ranger Boat’s #1 dealer for 2011.
Good Fishing,


Lake Fork Guide Andrew Grills April 9, 2012 Update

April 10, 2012

Right now there are fish in pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. The sight fish are pretty skittish after all the pressure, but there are a few that are fresh that just came up with the full moon. There are also some fish moving back out to the main lake points, and some on secondary points,inside the creeks. On the north end of the lake fish are getting ready to put the feed-bag on, mid lake fish are in the post-spawn funk, and fish on the south end of the lake have been spawning or are about to.
Today we did well with topwaters early and deep running crankbaits later. It was a great day to be on the water.

Lake Fork Guide John Tanner April 2012 Monthly Report

April 1, 2012

Greetings anglers from Lake Fork the Big Bass Factory! Spring has sprung as they say, and the bass are in the shallows. It is an exciting time of year to fish Lake Fork as the fish use the shallow water to spawn and to feed up. This year as the warm weather has prevailed most of the spring so far, the fish have been running a bit ahead of schedule. The water temps held and with all of the rain we had last month the lake come up a bunch and now have some new water to fish. I love it when the lake rises and floods the grass and other shore line cover. The fish run to it and like to use this newly flooded vegation for spawning and to ambush their pray. Soft plastics will come heavy into to play this month as alot of the bass will be hanging out in the shallows in more numbers.

The Berkley “Jerk Shad” in pearl white color will be a fine choice early in the mornings. Fish it like a jerkbait on points and in the pockets. Light texas rigs and weighless baits will be good ones as well. On the texas rig I like to fish tubes, lizards, and  other flipping and pitching baits. On the texas rigged tube I like to use the New Berkley Havoc ” Smash Tube ” and on the others I like “Power Lizards” and other baits like the Havoc “Pit Boss” and “Craw Fatty”. On the weightless baits I like to use the Berkley “Heavy Weight Sinkworm” for wacky worming and the Berkley “Jerk Shad” for working the shallows. Lake Fork Marina has a huge selection of all of the Berkley baits.

While fishing plastics either weightless or texas rigged I like to Berkley 100% flourocarbon line. It is very sensative and has a much better feel than mono. Hook selection is very important as well. On the soft plastics I use Mustad Mega Bite Extra Wide Gap Hooks. They have the perfect off set and bend. And as with all Mustad Hooks, they have the sharpest and toughest points. Tungsten weights are a plus because of the feel and smaller size like the ones from Affordable Tungsten. A good rig for fishing soft plastics is a ABU Garcia Veritas Rod or even one of the new ABU Garcia Villan rods in the 7ft medium heavy. Both of these rods are super light and very sensative. The price is a no brainer too!

My reel choice is a ABU Garcia Revo Premier or one of the new ABU Garcia Revo MGX. Nothing cast like a Revo. Look for fish in the shallows around flooded grass and shallow stumps. If you find some aff colored water due to all the rain last month dont be afraid to throw a Talon brand spinner bait or chatter bait. Last month there were a good number of fish bedding just about all over the lake especially towards the end of the month. With all of this new water this month should be a killer as even more fish hit the bank!

Lake Fork is a blast this time of year so come on down and join in on the fun. If you would like to book a guided trip with us this year call 903-569-7451 or drop us an email at Or for more booking info check us out on the web at or our new website at You can also find me on facebook. I have a 2011 Ranger Z521 rigged with a Mercury 250 Pro XS for sale at an awesome price. If you are interested give me a ring at 903-569-7451.


If you are in the area be sure and go by and visit Diamond Sports Marine our local Ranger Boat dealer located on hwy 154.DSM has a full line of Ranger Boats rigged with Mercury Outboards as well as a full line parts and service dept. Tell em Tanner sent ya! Thank you for reading this article and I hope it helps you catch more and bigger bass this spring. Please pray our country and for those who are sick. Got Jesus? Read John 3:16..

82lb Flathead Caught on Lake Fork

April 1, 2012

What a monster!

82 pound catfish caught this morning by Cliff Goree of Jacksonville, TX and Adam Stanford of Longview, TX.  This fish was a personal record for each of the anglers.  Congratulations!