Bass Heading Towards First Wave Of Spawning On Lake Fork
<p>Jeff from Chicago set his personal best bass mark on each of his two trips to Lake Fork with me. His new personal world record, 8 lb 8 oz, caught yesterday on a Texas rigged black neon Lake Fork Flipper:
David with a good lipless crankbait bass on a tough day:
This 8 lb 12 oz bass fell to a chatterbait/Live Magic Shad combo:
A major warming trend has Lake Fork bass rapidly heading towards the first wave of spawning. After recent days of sun burnt customers wearing shorts, it’s hard to believe that we fished all morning in a major snowstorm on March 7th with water temps dipping into the upper 40s. While the bass had been biting very strong in the backs of creeks before the cold front, I’ve caught most of my fish on an “outside” pattern since then--around grass and timber on points and creek channels leading into spawning areas. As the water warmed back up, the bite was slow for numbers most days with a lot of 6 to 10 fish days, although we did manage to catch some big bass. In addition, Fork anglers donated two fish over 13 lbs this week to TX’s ShareLunker program. With a few more warm days and the full moon next week, I expect a major wave of spawners to hit the shallows any day now in warmer areas of the lake. As usual, we’ll have waves of spawners move up through April, with a few stragglers on beds into mid-May.
Lake Conditions: Since a few heavy rains brought Lake Fork up well over full pool, the water level dropped steadily, currently reading 402.84’, about 2 inches below full pool. The current created by drawing water from the lake pulled a lot of muddy water from the very backs of creeks and much of the lake is stained to muddy. Meanwhile, the south end and some protected creeks remain clear. Water temps were reading from 56 to 67 degrees on Saturday, up considerably from last week.
Location Pattern: For prespawn bass, concentrate on points, creek channels, treelines, and inside or outside grass lines near shallow spawning flats. With the water being cold this week, we did better around grass and wood cover in 4’ to 10’ in the backs of creeks or on cover on or near the main lake. In many cases, we’ve caught multiple fish from very small areas, so really work an area over once you’ve caught a fish there. A few spawning bass are currently located in protected bays and typically in the very back ends of creeks. As the water continues to warm, flats and bays nearer the mouths of coves will start holding spawners, too.
Presentation Pattern: For prespawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and lipless crankbaits are still catching a lot of fish, especially on overcast and windy days. For a big bass, go with a ½ oz chatterbait with a shad colored 4.5 Live Magic Shad trailer and swim it in the same areas you throw a trap or spinnerbait. On calm days, you’ll typically do better by switching to a suspending jerkbait or pitching a jig and a Texas rig. Go with gold jerkbaits on cloudy days, while silver color schemes work better on sunny days. Work these baits with a few twitches and long pauses. For a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels is the way to go. I go with a 3/8 oz Mega Weight black and blue or green pumpkin jig with a Lake Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy colors. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Top Dog Lizard in black neon or watermelon/chartreuse with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover. For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, Twitch Worms, and Ring Frys become your best option. Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, with green pumpkin baits with the tail dipped in chartreuse being the top producer lately.
For spawning bass, white or watermelon Top Dog lizards, Flippers and Craw Tubes work great. White baits allow you to clearly see your bait on the bed, while more natural shades of green are often needed to catch the more finicky bass. Most spawning areas have water that is too muddy to see bedding fish, so pitching Texas rigs and weightless soft plastics to any wood cover and holes in the grass will catch the spawners that you can’t see. Work your bait very slowly and keep it in place on the bottom for a long time or you’ll pass up all but the most aggressive fish.
Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 (days) or 972-635-6027 (evenings) or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.
About The Author: Captain Tom Redington
Company: Lake Fork Bass Guide Service
Area Reporting: Lake Fork Texas
Bio: My mission is to help you learn the skills to catch lots of big fish on Lake Fork—skills that will also help you catch more and bigger fish on your home lake and any other lakes you fish. In addition, I will focus my efforts on your goals for our trip—whether you want to learn a new technique, find fish for an upcoming tournament, learn the current patterns for a week’s visit to Fork, or just have an enjoyable day with friends, family or a client.