April is big bass month on Lake Fork! With all cold winter weather that we’ve had this year the spawn is a lot slower in progression than normal. We barely saw a movement of bass heading to the shallows to spawn last month so you can expect that this month with be spectacular as the biggest wave of bass surge to the bank to spawn.
The lake is doing fine despite being about 6 ½ feet low from the draw down to make repairs to the dam. We could sure use some of those April showers this month to get the lake filled up. Water clarity is fair even without much grass up north. Most of the other areas are stained or slightly off color. Water temperatures are ranging 60-65 degrees as the month begins but the lake will warm up significantly as the month progresses.
Shallow patterns have dominated, and I am targeting areas in 2-6 feet for spawning bass. Weightless soft plastic worms and jerk baits like the Berkley General and Jerk have been very productive “dead sticking” them in areas that the bass are spawning. Best colors are watermelon red, black/blue, and green pumpkin magic. It’s very important to fish slowly right now and allow the bait to settle for a period before you move or twitch it. Fast retrieves with soft plastics will produce few bites from territorial spawning bass. On windy days that I am unable to fish the baits weightless I am adding a split shot about 14-18 inches above the hook to pull the bait down in the wind. I have also been using a Texas rigged Berkley Powerbait 4” Chigger Craw or Power Lizard with a 5/16 oz Elite Tungsten weight and a 4/0 wide gap hook. Most anglers beat the banks this time of year, which is where you want to be, but it is very important during the spawn to understand what kind of bottom you are fishing. All banks are not created equal. Look for a hard bottom, as bass prefer to fan their nest on sandy hard surfaces. Most all of the fish have been relating heavily to the timber which makes for a great flipping bite too. I have been flipping a 3/8-1/2 oz Santone Rattlin jig in JC’s Spicy Craw color with a Berkley Chigger Craw trailer in green pumpkin to these trees that the bass are spawning on. If the wind picks up I am also throwing a Berkley Square Bull crankbait and bouncing it off the timber. Best colors have been chartreuse/ black back and gilly.
There are also a lot of bass that are still in pre-spawn mode and even some fish that have spawned early and are moving into post spawn patterns by the end of April. These fish can be caught on a variety of patterns, which is what makes this month so fun. I like to use a lot of big swim baits for trophy bass in April. It’s hard to beat a big 3:16 Lure Company swimbait for big bass during this time of year. The line thru Rising Son is great in JC’s Custom, Dirty Chartreuse, and Light Hitch colors. The big glide baits are very effective for big bass too if you have any of the workhorse or gizzard glides. As the month rolls along look for some fish to start on top waters. If the water temperatures reach 70 degrees there will be a bite on top. Yellow magic’s or Berkley Bullet Pops are great this time of year. Everybody has his or her favorite color, but I really do not think it matters. The bass just can’t stand the action of that bait moving through an area that they are guarding fry. Walking baits are better when its windy while the shad are still spawning like a Zara Spook or Berkley J Walker. Also, don’t be afraid to fish them in the middle of the day even when it’s bright and sunny. They will bite it all day when they get going on it and it’s a blast!
The deep bite will start to produce some as we near the end of the month and start to see some of the early spawners move offshore. Knowing and reading your electronics is critical as the deep-water bite gets going. I depend on my Garmin units with Live Scope to show me the bass. I try to target points and roadbeds at the mouth of major spawning creeks in 12-20 feet of water. Most of the fish that move deep this month with be suspended. Deep diving crank baits like a Berkley Dredger are your best bet. I like to use any shad color. I will rig up my Abu Garcia 7’6” Winch series cranking rod and my Revo Winch reel spooled with 15 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line. This is the perfect cranking combination for deep water. The A-rig will also produce out deep as well as the Carolina rig and a Santone football head jig if the fish are on the bottom.
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 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 really enjoyed my Bass Cat boat in 2021 and just rigged my new 2022 boat for the 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,