Fishing Report

Lake Fork Fishing Report September 2021

September on Lake Fork has arrived! With it brings the potential for some cooler weather and the early signs of fall. The bass fishing on Lake Fork this month is fun and with the big tournaments happening again it gets even better. Bob Sealy always puts on a great event in the Annual Big Bass Splash Tournament, and you can expect that lots of big bass will be caught and big prizes as well as lots of cash given away. The event is being held September 17, 18, & 19 out of Lake Fork Marina.

The lake is currently holding steady at just less than a foot low. With most of the real hot days behind us the evaporation rate has slowed down. Water temperatures have been ranging in the low to mid 80’s. These lower temperatures, especially at night, will cause the lake to start to go thru its initial phase of “turning over”. This is when the water on top of the water column cools and becomes heavier. It then falls to the bottom and pushes the warmer water below up to the surface. This process affects the fish and the fishing considerably as the water clarity diminishes as well as the oxygen levels. I expect the turnover to start this month and continue as September progresses unless we have more hot weather return.

Fishing shallow is going to be the most consistent bite this month as the lake starts to transition. I will target most areas with water depths of 15 feet or less. As lake cools, the shad move shallow the bass will follow. Top waters lures are an excellent choice on Lake Fork in September. I am throwing popping baits like a Berkley Bullet Pop or Yellow Magic. Walking baits like a Berkley J Walker or Cane Walker, and frog style top water baits around shallow grass beds or lily pads. There is some nice grass starting to show up on the lake right now in certain areas and the fish are moving up into it. You won’t find much of this vegetation on the main lake areas and but if you go all the way to the back of the creeks, you’ll find it. After I fish top water baits early, I am switching to wacky style worms like the Berkley Bottom Hopper 6.25 and fishing it slow around the same vegetation. Best colors have been June bug and watermelon candy. I have also been using just a plain ole Texas rigged 7” or 10” Berkley Power worm to probe the grass and any standing timber close by these areas. On my Texas rig I am using a ¼ - 5/16 oz Elite Tungsten weight. These weights are very compact, so they get through cover well. I tie a 4/0 Fusion round bend worm hook to 17 lb test Trilene 100% fluorocarbon. Match this with a 7’3” med hvy Abu Garcia Veracity rod and Revo reel and you will be in action! Best colors are June bug, watermelon candy, blue fleck, and plum. When the fish are active, and the wind is blowing I have been fishing a square billed crank bait a lot. The Berkley Squarebull or Frittside are great choices for targeting shallow shad chasing bass. I also keep a Berkley Warpig lipless crank bait close by too. Best sizes are 1/4 – 1/2 0unce sizes in chrome blue back or gilly colors. My favorite big bait for big bass is the 3:16 Rising Son swim bait or big glide bait in these same areas. If you come across a few roaming the bank looking for gizzard shad, you can really catch em… and big ones too!

I am spending some time out in deep water and rely on my Garmin electronics to lead the way. The new EchoMap Ultra units don’t miss anything! Between the high-definition sonar, Side Vu and Clear Vu the fish can’t hide. Not to mention Live Scope lol… These fish don’t have a chance against your Garmins! As with the shallow fishing, when you are looking for fish out deep, the key during this time of year is locating bait fish. Once you’ve located the bait, you will find bass nearby. The best places in early fall to start looking for bass out deep are humps, roadbeds, ridges, and points that slowly taper out into a channel or creek bend. The fish will be holding in 16-24 feet right now. I like to primarily target these deep bass with Carolina rigs in September. A 1 oz tungsten weight, four-foot leader, and a 3/0 hook will get the job done. Best baits have been the new Havoc Backslide in chartreuse pepper and Berkley Powerworm in blue fleck or watermelon red/purple color. After I’ve located a school of fish on my graph, I am taking notice where exactly the fish are in the water column. If the fish are suspended off the bottom, I am using deep diving crank baits like a Berkley Dredger, swim baits, or big flutter spoons are my favorite. I like the big spoon on the Lake Fork now all the way through the fall. I also throw a Santone Lures 5/8 or 3/4 oz football head jig on the deep bass. Best jig colors this month are JC’s Spicy Craw, Mexican Heather, Bass Candy, and black & blue. Check out the new Santone “Titan” shaky head also. It’s the sturdiest big shaky head I’ve found. You can throw a Berkley 10” powerworm or Fatty Bottom Hopper to entice a big bite! Also look for fish hanging around the bridges. They like to school there in the early fall and it’s a great place for them to suspend over deep water if the lake is turning over. Drop shots, weightless worms, under spins, spoons, and top waters are all very effective for catching these fish. It can often salvage a tough day on the lake or help you to catch that right sized fish you need for the tournament.

Well, I hope this helps anyone that’s coming out this month to chase some big bass. If you would like to fish with me this year, I still have a few dates for this fall available. My 2022 schedule is already filling as well so contact me as soon as possible if you are beginning to plan your trip for next year. 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 enjoyed my new Bass Cat boat for the 2021 fishing season. It’s been an amazing boat and I couldn’t be happier to be serving my customers on Lake Fork as one of the newest members of the Bass Cat Family! 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. Steven Stroman and his crew have amazing sales and service as well as a complete tackle shop. I would like to thank all my sponsors that support me. I am looking forward to representing them again this year on Major League Fishing Big 5 circuit as well as serving all my great guide clients on Lake Fork! Sponsors: Toyota, Carhartt, Bass Cat Boats, Mercury Marine, I Am Second, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Elite Tungsten, Johnson Communications, and Bass Boat Technologies.

Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer