August is an exciting month at Lake Fork. This is a great time to get the kids out one last time before they head back to school for the year. The bass are often schooling up too so the fishing can be a lot of fun! Last month was one of the most consistently hot weather months that I have ever seen in a Texas summer. I’ve lost count of how many 100+ degree days we’ve had. It’s also been very dry and has kept the fish just as confused as anyone else with relatively inconsistent patterns prevalent from shallow to deep. I expect August to fish the same and hope that we get some milder temperatures with some rain soon.
The lake has been slowly falling without any summer rain. It is almost 7 feet low. The water temperatures are ranging from 84-90 degrees. Most of the lake is fair to moderately stained with some clearer areas to 3 feet found in places. There is a small amount of grass making a comeback on the lake at the backs of some of the northern to mid lake creeks and I have even seen some small sprigs of it growing down by the dam. That is great news and will make for some awesome fishing later when the lake comes back up.
The most consistent pattern lately has been targeting the most reliable fish to catch which have been holding in the 16-20 ft range. These fish are holding on points with timber or other structure early. The key has been deep water close by. So, if you find an area that has deep water near it like a channel and a point or hump with trees on it nearby, you will be in action. The bass are pulling up on these spots to feed and with the warmer weather the best time to find them there is in the morning or in the evening. My most productive bait when the fish are actively feeding has been a 3/4 oz Santone football jig in JC’s Spicy Craw, Mexican Heather, or Pake’s Perch colors. Cranking the trees where these fish are hiding tight to and banging the timber with deep diving crank baits will draw some big bites also. If the fish are not in a “chasing” mood, I opt for a Carolina rig. I am using a Berkley Havoc 6.25” Bottom Hopper worms or Berkley Jerk. I am rigging my 7’6” medium heavy Abu Garcia PLX rod and Revo ZATA reel up with 20 lb Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and a 1 oz Elite Tungsten weight on the main line and 17 lb four foot leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook. Slowing dragging this rig is important. The bites can be subtle this time of year so going slow and making sure you are feeling everything it is moving over and thru will help your catch rate. A lot of times when the bass are holding really tight to cover (trees) the strike zone shrinks and you need something that you can put right on their nose so a big Berkley 12” inch worm on a heavy shaky head like the Santone Titan head or Texas rig in June bug or plum color is the best choice.
During the middle of the day when the fish head out to even deeper water, you must change gears a little bit. The thermocline has begun to set up at about 24 foot and has the most productive spots where active schools of deep fish are at about the same depth and just above being the range you want to target for structure to top out at. That is not to say that you will not find or catch fish deeper than this but that the majority of the schools will be found in this range. When I am using my Garmin electronics and LiveScope to locate schools of these deep fish the first thing that I am looking for on a hump, ridge, roadbed, or under water point is the presence of baitfish. If I am not seeing shad on my graph, it is highly unlikely that I will see bass in concentrations. Once I locate a school of fish on my I am taking notice where exactly the fish are in the water column. If the fish are suspended, I am using deep diving crank baits, swim baits, or big flutter spoons. I like the standard sized flutter spoon as well as the big magnum Ben Parker spoons out deep. When I locate a group of deep fish that are on the bottom, or are relating closely to the bottom, I am back to the same Carolina rig combination that I described earlier as it works just as effectively out deep. The best colors lately have been watermelon candy, watermelon red and chartreuse pepper. I also like to throw a Santone ¾ ounce football head jig too. I will throw it out there and drag it or sometimes use a stroking technique of hopping it off the bottom to draw strikes from the biggest bass in the school. Be sure to also check for fish hanging around under the bridges. During hot calm days you will find congregations of fish chasing shad and schooling heavily around the bridge columns. Drop shots, weightless worms, under spins, spoons, and top waters are all very effective for catching these fish and can salvage an otherwise unproductive summer day on the lake.
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 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,