Fishing Report

Lake Fork Fishing Report July 2022

Lake Fork is HOT in July and I’m not just talking weather. The summer bass fishing on Lake Fork is outstanding and this year has been no exception. If you can stand the heat, you will be surprised at how great the fishing can be in the middle of summer. The fish are still hungry, and you can catch a lot of big fish using some of these tips and techniques.

The lake is still over 6 feet low so be careful as you navigate around the lake. With the evaporation this summer bringing the lake down even further it becomes very dangerous to navigate through stumps. Even in some of the boat lanes that we left uncut when the lake was built. The water temperatures have been steady in the mid to upper 80’s. Water clarity is clear to 3 feet in most areas with only some of the backs of creeks being a bit stained.

Shallow fishing hasn’t been very good for me lately as the water has heated up considerably over the last 30 days. The lack of shallow vegetation in the lake due to low water levels has also made it tougher in the skinny water. Although, I have been able to find a few areas where the topwater bite has been real good early in the mornings. I’m cycling through several baits depending on the wind. If its calm, the Berkley Bullet Pop, and Cane Walker have been good. When there’s some wind moving, I have opted for the Berkley Choppo and J-Walker to get some awesome blow ups on.

I have also been finding a lot of big fish in mid depths this year. The bass have been feeding early and late on shad around 12-16 feet of water. My go to bait for these bass have been a 10” Texas rigged Berkley Powerworm in blue fleck, June bug, and plum. There’s nothing like the scent of a Powerworm to attract the bite of a monster bass. I am using a 3/8 oz Elite Tungsten weight and a 5/0 hook for these worms and fishing it slowly around the trees and brush on points, humps, roadbeds, and creek bends. You can also catch some fish in the same areas on deep diving crank bait like a Berkley Dredger. Any shad pattern will work fine. I prefer a little bit of chartreuse color on the bait.

The deep bite has been the ticket for the past month or so and I expect it to remain good through the next couple of months. I am targeting the big ones from 16-24 feet deep right now. Pond dams, ridges, roadbeds, and points are all great places to get started. I use my electronics religiously to locate bass out deep. Once I have located them with my graph, I will choose the best presentation to fish for them depending how they are positioned in the water column. One of my best set ups for numbers of fish right now is a Carolina rig on a 7’6” medium heavy Abu Garcia PLX Tournament Series rod with a Revo reel spooled up with some 20 lb. Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line and a 15-17 lb. leader. I like to use a 1 oz Elite Tungsten weight and a 3/0 hook. I have been catching fish with the new Berkley Lug Worm as well as the Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper. The best colors have been red bug, chartreuse pepper, and green pumpkin. If you want to catch a big one out deep, then you will want to break out the football jig too! A Santone Lures 5/8- 3/4 oz football head jig with a Berkley Chigger Bug or Chigger Craw trailer is a hard combination to beat. I am throwing this in the same areas as the Carolina rig and dragging it or hopping it through these deep schools of bass. Best colors right now are Mexican Heather, Pake’s Perch, and of course my custom JC’s Spicy Craw. A lot of the fish are suspended and even schooling on shad in some areas. These fish are a little trickier to catch. You need something that you can work in the middle to upper part of the water column. The deep diving crank bait, swim bait, or a big flutter spoon are all great choices. Let the bass out deep tell you what they want right now because they are all over the place and they move around in the water column. Mixing it up and trying a variety of things on a school of fish will pay off. Having good electronics is a big advantage too! Knowing how to read them and apply it to your fishing is the most important thing right now. If you are weak in this area, now is the time to get out on the water and log some time in getting dialed in.

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 just a few dates available. My 2022 schedule filled 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 really enjoyed my first Bass Cat boat in 2021 and am now running my new 2022 Bass Cat Puma STS for 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 even just got in the all-new Puma 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 2022. I am looking forward to representing them again this year on the Bassmaster Opens Schedule. I appreciate all their support as I serve all my great guide clients on throughout the year on Lake Fork as well! Sponsors: Toyota, Carhartt, Bass Cat Boats, Mercury, 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.

James 1:17 - “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer