Lake Fork Report & Pics: March 1, 2008
Dave with a 7 lb 9 oz spinnerbait fish:
A couple prespawn chunks for me, including an 8 lb 10 oz beauty:
Heading into March, the bass are still prespawn on Lake Fork and more big fish are showing up all the time. I'm back fishing daily on Fork again now after fishing the FLW Stren Series on Sam Rayburn in mid-February. I was able to put together a good limit each day using my Fork prespawn pattern and finished with a check in 27th place, good enough to boost me to 8th place for the season standings. Back at Fork, numbers have been inconsistent this past week but the size has usually been pretty good. Even though we've had a number of warm days, cold nights as low as 23 degrees have negated the daytime heating and kept water temps from getting warm enough to trigger a big wave of spawners. I expect the next warming trend we get with a few warm nights should have a flood of bass heading for the flats.
My fishing patterns remain mostly unchanged from my last report and will remain that way for another week or two, when the spawning patterns start to dominate.
As a side note, I've added my March article to my website. It answers one of the most common questions I get, 'How do you rig and fish the new Lake Fork Trophy Lure's Live Magic Shad?' It was killer last spring and it's a great producer during the spawn and post spawn. http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingarticles.htm For more info on bass fishing and Lake Fork, join the discussion on my new Lake Fork fishing forum, http://www.lakefork.proboards91.com/index.cgi .
Lake Conditions: Fork is holding steady at less than an inch below full pool, currently reading 402.93'. Because of a big rain a couple weeks ago and some very windy days, many creeks and the north ends of the lake are pretty muddy. Meanwhile, the south end and some protected creeks are quite clear. Water temps were reading from 52 to 57 degrees on Friday and have remained in the 50s for the past couple of weeks.
Location Pattern: Until the spawn starts, I concentrate on prespawn and staging fish on points and along edges of flats or creek channels. Areas with submerged vegetation (primarily hydrilla, milfoil or coontail) for cover will typically have the most active fish. Main lake grass beds near the mouths of these coves are holding a lot of fish now, as are main and secondary points inside the coves, provided there is deep water nearby. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of grass flats and creek channels.
Keep in mind, too, 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. In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake grassbeds after cold fronts. 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: My prespawn arsenal is pretty simple for fishing along grasslines and creek channels. First and foremost are red, crawfish, or shad pattern lipless crankbaits in ' to ' oz. Buzzing these over the top of the grass on a quick retrieve works best some days, but after cold fronts, letting the trap fall and ripping these out of the grass will trigger most of the bites. 3/8 to 1 oz spinnerbaits with double willow blades or a single Colorado blade in white, red, black, or chartreuse and white will produce some really large bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, especially on windy and cloudy days. For a true giant, try swimming the new 5.5' Live Magic Shad in the same areas you'd throw a spinnerbait during warming trends. Rig it on the new Lake Fork Trophy Lures 7/0 wide gap hook and swim it slowly back to the boat with a few pauses. When the bite slows or the conditions are sunny and calm, I'll switch to a suspending jerkbait or pitch a jig and a Texas rig. Jerkbaits in gold or silver patterns are my primary colors. Work these with long pauses over the grass and along the edges. For jigs, I go with ' oz black and blue jigs with a Fork Craw trailer in the blue bruiser or watermelon candy color. For the Texas rig, I'll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper in black neon or blue bruiser with a ' to 3/8 oz bullet weight. Work your jig or Texas rig very slowly along creek channels or through deep grass for your best shot at a lunker. When the bite is really slow, weightless soft plastics are starting to produce some buck bass and an occasional good fish. A watermelon or green pumpkin colored soft plastic like the Magic Shad, Ring Fry, Zig Zag, or Live Magic Shad fished slowly on a lightly weighted Lake Fork Ultimate Swimbait Hook has put a few extra fish in our boat several days this week.
Cover lots of water until you get bit. Once you catch one, work the area over thoroughly with multiple passes, employing several different baits. Fish tend to stack up in key staging areas during the prespawn and these spots will replenish themselves with more fish as big bass move shallow.
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.