April is here at Lake Fork and with it brings a lot of excitement! Not only for springtime big bass but for the big tournaments coming up. The Bassmaster Elite Series comes to town the week of April 22-25 for Toyota Texas Fest and this will be an absolute slugfest! Big thanks to Toyota, Texas Parks & Wildlife, for partnering with B.A.S.S. to bring this awesome event back to Lake Fork again in 2021. You could see some record breaking weights again as the spring spawn is in full swing and multiple patterns are in play from prespawn, spawn, and even postspawn action taking place. Last month the first Share A Lunker bass was brought in for the year and weighed 13.06 pounds. Tanner Spurgin also weighed in another giant that went 15.47 lbs at the Lake Fork Mega Bass tournament. I expect that this month could produce another one or two as the water continues to warm and another wave of spawners come in with the moons.
The water levels are up at Lake Fork with a reading of 403.13 which is just over the 403 full pool level. With the lake full after the recent rains, the water in the backs of a lot of the creeks is stained to muddy. As you get to the midlake portion and south it starts to clear up significantly. Water temperatures have been varying from 58-62 on the main lake to up over the 70 degree mark in the backs of the creeks. With the very cold winter that we had there is not an abundance of vegetation in the lake but there are a few places in the backs of the creeks that are starting to have new grass growth.
The main patterns for me lately have been shallow water areas in 2-6 feet of water. Obviously with the bass spawning heavily, there are a lot of big fish in the shallows. These fish are in various stages of the spawn as well so there’s a multitude of ways to catch them and on a variety of lures also. I’m targeting them several different ways depending on the weather conditions basically. My primary bait of choice for the big bass is a big swimbait right now. A big 3:16 Lure Company “Rising Son” or custom glide bait is hard to beat right now for some of the biggest bites on the lake! My clients and I have been putting together some big stringers lately with the big baits. Best colors for us lately have been Dirty Chartreuse, Clear Lake Hitch, Ayu, and my custom “JC Special” color. A big rod and reel are recommended for launching these big baits. I throw mine on a 7’9” Heavy Action rod with an Abu Garcia Toro Beast baitcaster and 20lb fluorocarbon line. With the lake up there is also a lot of cover in the water for the bass to spawn around. With that the flipping bite has been good as well. I like to keep it simple with my flipping stick and 20 lb fluorocarbon on an Abu Garcia Revo Rocket with a pegged 3/8 ounce Elite Tungsten, 4/0 hook and a new bait by Berkley called a Powerbait Chigger Bug. These fish around their beds can’t resist this offering when you flip it around the cover that they’re spawning in. It also doubles as a great combination for flipping on the beds as there will be a lot more sight fishing this month on the lake with the clearer water mid-lake and south. If the conditions are right, I have also been picking up the frog rod and having some fun. Who doesn’t like a good topwater bite, right?! The bass will blow up hard on the frog if you get it around their nest or fry that they’re guarding. Check out the new Berkley Beat’N Paddle or Power Pop frogs at Lake Fork Marina. They’re pretty cool and the fish like em! If the conditions get finnicky, I’m picking up the weightless worm rod with a Berkley Powerbait General on the business end. Just simply dead sticking this bait in the spawning areas will get you bit consistently. You can either rig it tx rigged or wacky weightless and catch fish just the same. The shad spawn will also begin as we get further into the month and you’ll see some really good action at the crack of dawn on wind blown points. Topwaters like the Berkley Bullet Pop and Cane Walker or J-Walker are great choices as well as a square billed crankbait like the Berkley Squarebull. Any shad patterns will work, and you’ll catch a lot of fish in the first hour or so of the morning if you’re in the right spot.
The deep bite for postspawn bass will start to show early signs of life as we get into the later part of the month as well. These bass are hungry after spawning and will move to offshore areas in 12-18 feet of water to begin feeding up and replenishing themselves from the spawn. I will use just a few baits to target these early postspawners. My favorite is a deep diving crankbait. I will toss a Berkley Dredger 20.5 at them and crank away... I also like to pick up a new bait from Santone Lures called a “Z Spin”. It’s an underspin type bait. I will use a 3/8- 1/2 oz size with a willow blade and pair it with a Berkley 3.8 Power Swimmer. If the fish start to get on the bottom any I will throw a football jig at them as well. A Santone Lures M-Series football jig in 5/8-3/4 oz sizes will work. Best colors are PB&J, Bass Candy, and my custom “JC’s Spicy Craw” color paired with a Berkley Chigger Bug or Pit Boss in green pumpkin or California color.
Well, I hope this helps anyone that’s coming out this month to start the year off chasing big bass. If you would like to fish with me this year, I still have a few dates available. My 2021 schedule is filling fast so start making your plans now and contact me to get on my schedule as soon as possible. I 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 email@example.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 just received my new boat for the 2021 season, a Bass Cat Cougar FTD. It’s 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 & God Bless, James Caldemeyer