Fishing Report

Lake Fork Fishing Report July 2024

July is incredible for HOT big bass action on Lake Fork! Don’t let the heat of summer hold you back from getting outdoors and out on the water. You would be surprised at some of the fish you can catch during the hot summer days. Some of my client’s biggest catches have come during this month of the year. I expect this summer to be no different so come on out and have some fun!

The lake is in great shape going into summer right now and the lake is still right at full pool levels. Water clarity is decent to about 1-3 feet in most areas. Water temperatures are fluctuating from 84-90 degrees on most of the lake right now with the very hot days sending some surface temps well into the 90’s. With more mild weather this summer than we experienced last year, it has provided a lot of opportunity for catching bass on various patterns and techniques both shallow and deep. Temperatures will rise as we get through the month for some real hot conditions.

The shallow water bite has remained reliable due to the unseasonably cool weather that we have been having this year. June fished more like May normally does and I expect July to fish more like June which is excellent! The fish are feeding early and late up shallow in 2-6 feet on top water baits. The frog has been best for me around the shallow grass. Hollow frogs like the Berkley Swamp Lord are good. You will also find some areas back in the creeks where the bass are schooling on bait. My best bait for them has been a walking bait like a Berkley J Walker. Any shad pattern will do. I am also catching a lot of fish with my clients in mid depths from 8-14 feet early on Texas rigged Berkley 10” Powerworms with a 3/8 Elite Tungsten weight and a 5/0 hook. The best areas to check out for these fish are along creek channel edges, shallow humps, points, and old pond dams. A Santone jig in the 5/8 oz size is also choice for catching these fish. It’s a perfect size and weight to imitate a crawfish or bream, which the bass are feeding heavily on this time of year.

The deep bite is really kicking off this month. We saw some deep action in June but those big groups were hard to find. It didn’t ever really get hot enough to get those large congregations of fish piled up out in deep water. Once we see the thermocline set in and the heat bears down for the summer we will start to see those big schools of fish congregated in one area. The best way to read all these water situations and understand how fish relate to conditions out deep is to have great electronics. I rely on my Garmin graphs to tell me exactly where and what the fish are doing out deep. If you are weak in this area of your fishing (most anglers are), now is the time of year to spend lots of time out on the lake learning. The bass are starting to stack up on points, humps, and roadbeds right now in 18-24 ft consistently. But you can expect to see numbers of bass move even deeper as the month progresses. Look for the big schools of bait in these areas as most all the fish are relating to large schools of shad. Once you’ve located a school of bass out in the depths of Lake Fork you can catch them on a variety of lures. If the bass are on or close to the bottom, I will use a Carolina rig with an Elite Tungsten 1 oz weight and a 4 ft leader with a 3/0 Berkley Fusion wide gap hook. The best baits for me have been the Berkley Powerbait Jerk, Bottom Hopper, or any centipede/ring fry type bait. Best colors have been watermelon red, green pumpkin, and chartreuse pepper. I always like to throw a Santone football head jig on these deep bass. I opt for the 5/8- 3/4 oz size in these depths. The jig will often times catch the biggest fish in the school as its size and profile appeals to the larger fish. Best colors are Pinto Beans and carrots, JC’s Spicy craw, and Mexican heather. You will also find a lot of bass out deep that are very suspended this month. They can be challenging to catch for sure! I will cycle through a number of baits to determine which one they want best. The deep diving crank bait is a good one to start with. Any shad pattern will work right now. You can also catch them on the Alabama rig or a single weighted swim bait like the Berkley Powerbait Swim Shad. If the bass are suspended in depth ranges that are hard to reach with these baits you’ll want to give the magnum flutter spoon a try. This thing will flat out catch em and can be fished anywhere in the water column. If you want to catch a giant, this is a strong favorite this month. I rig mine on an Abu Garcia Veritas rod 7’3” medium heavy action with 17 lb Trilene Fluorocarbon.

Well, I hope this helps anyone that’s coming out this month to chase some big bass or fish a tournament. If you would like to fish with me this year, I still have just a few dates available. My 2024 schedule is filling fast though so contact me as soon as possible if you are just now beginning to plan your trip. I also have gift certificates available for those of you that are interested in purchasing a friend or loved one a guided trip on Lake Fork. You can contact me to make your reservation at 903-736-9888 or send me an email at lakeforktrophybass@yahoo.com You can also visit my website for more information about Lake Fork and my guide service at www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com You can find me on Facebook and follow my official Lake Fork Trophy Bass Guide page at https://www.facebook.com/lakeforktrophybassguide
I have really enjoyed my Bass Cat boats the past few years and am enjoying my new 2024 Puma STS for the this season. I couldn’t be happier to be serving my customers on Lake Fork as part of the Bass Cat Team and am looking forward to providing more great trips this year out of my new boat! If you’re interested in checking out any of the Bass Cat models, be sure to reach out to R & R Marine in Pittsburg, Texas. They have the all-new Puma and Caracal STS that everyone is raving about so go by and check it out! Steven Stroman and his crew have amazing sales and service as well as a complete tackle shop with just about anything you need. I would like to thank all my sponsors that are continuing to support me in 2024. I am looking forward to representing them again this year on the major tournament trails. I appreciate all their support as I serve all my great guide clients throughout the year on Lake Fork as well! Sponsors: Toyota, AFTCO, Bass Cat Boats, Mercury, I Am Second, Omnia Fishing, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, Elite Tungsten, Johnson Communications, EVOLV and Bass Boat Technologies.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Tight Lines & God Bless,
James Caldemeyer