Lake Fork Report & Pics: July 21, 2009
Jim and Debbie with a couple typical deep water fish.
And a nice double too.
A nice one for me.
Bass are settled in their summer offshore structure patterns at Lake Fork and the fishing has been good to great almost every day for the past week. Although we haven't caught any monster fish lately, we've caught at least 20 fish every day and many more on the good days. The average size has been very good, with most of the fish running from 3 to 7.5 lbs and only a couple of dinks each trip. The hotter and sunnier the day, the better the fishing for the most part, with the heat of the afternoon emerging as clearly the best time lately. Although the fishing is great once a good school is located, it hasn't been quite as easy as it might seem. On the slower days, I've had to burn a lot of gas and graph many spots multiple times before finding a concentration of fish. Once you've found a good school and triggered them though, I've normally sat on those fish and caught them consistently until quitting time.
If you're looking to learn deep structure fishing skills—reading topo maps, setting up your graph correctly & decoding the images on your sonar to find schools, and learning deep water techniques like big spoons, football jigs, drop shots, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and deep crankbaits—now through early September is the time to head to Lake Fork. Not only is it a great time to learn, but you'll probably catch a lot of big fish as well.
Boat for Sale: My 2009 Ranger Z520 boat is for sale. It is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Mercury Pro XS motor with a 5 year warranty (good until 2014). It's value priced and will save you about $10,000 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.
Lake Conditions: After a few rains and cooler days, Fork remains almost full and the water temps are down slightly. The lake level is currently at 402.82' (about 2" above full pool) and slowly dropping. The water clarity is running about normal, with stained water up north and clear greenish water on the south end. Milfoil and hydrilla are both growing rapidly and starting to mat out in places, which should make for great grass fishing in the fall. Water temps cooled a bit, reading 85 to 88 degrees in most areas of the main lake. I'm showing the thermocline around 28', which is about where it normally develops on Fork.
Location Pattern: Although lots of fish are still shallow relating to the grass, I'm concentrating on schools of fish on offshore structure. Structure like points, humps, channel bends, and roadbeds in 18' to 30' continue as my main pattern, producing both good numbers and size. Some days these bass are suspended and other days they're on the bottom. Many of these schools are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth finder closely for them and make precise casts or you'll miss these fish.
Presentation Pattern: For fishing deep structure, I have a pretty basic arsenal. Carolina rigs, drop shots, and Texas rigs are catching bass from schools located near the bottom on deep structure. I'm using green pumpkin or red bug 10" Fork Worms or the new 6" Hyper Worm for Texas rigs. Meanwhile, junebug , watermelon candy, or green pumpkin Fork Creatures, Baby Ring Frys, and the new 6" Hyper Lizard with its thumping tail are on the business end of my Carolina rigs. Try these with the new Dobyns Champion Extreme DX744 rod and you'll feel every little bump, while having plenty of fish fighting power. The DX744 is a lightweight 7'4" rod that is so well balanced it feels like nothing in your hand, yet somehow it delivers enough power to tear big bass away from standing timber down 25'. When the bass are more finicky, drop shots will catch good numbers of slot fish and the occasional big bass, rigged with a junebug, watermelon, or green pumpkin Hyper Finesse Worm or Twitch Worm.
I'm trying to keep my baits near the bottom, sometimes a trick on windy days in rough open water. Therefore, I use a big ½ oz sinker on both my Texas rigs and drop shots, while 1 oz is what I use to Carolina rig with. For line, I've been using the brand new FluoroHybrid Pro (FHP) line, now available at the Lake Fork Trophy Lures pro shop in Emory. I'm using 12 lb test on a spinning reel for my drop shots and the 20 lb test on bait casters for my TX and Carolina rigs. While their PowerSilk and regular Fluorohybrid lines are perfect for moving baits like cranks and spinnerbaits, the FHP is truly revolutionary. Stronger and lower in stretch than regular FluoroHybrid line, FHP is the first and only line that combines the sensitivity, abrasion resistance, and invisibility of fluorocarbon line with the strength and ease of handling of mono. This innovative line is made with an exclusive co-extruded process instead of a fluorocarbon coating over mono like all of the other hybrids on the market, resulting in its unique characteristics.
When the bass are suspended, Fork Flutter spoons, swimbaits or deep diving crankbaits in shad or yellow bass patterns are working better than the bottom presentations, and catching some lunkers too. The trick with crankbaits is to get them deep, and light line and long casts help you do this. Therefore, I use the 805CB cranking rod from Dobyns, paired with low stretch 12 lb PowerSilk line. With this 8' rod and the zero memory line, you can whip crankbaits a country mile. For the Flutter Spoons and swimbaits, count them down to the depth of the fish and try to swim your bait slightly above the bass.
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.