It’s December already!? Where did the year go? It’s been a great year of fishing here at Lake Fork. As the year winds down and people split their time between hunting, fishing, and the holidays, there are still some really good opportunities to catch big bass. There will be a number of trophy fish caught through this winter and into early spring as the big bass in the lake reach their peak weight. If you are after one of these giant Lake Fork bass, I suggest you spend as much time on the lake as you can over the next few months.
The water levels have remained consistently low this fall with only a handful of rain showers in the area. The current level is 400.86 which is just over 2 feet below full pool. The lack of rains has provided fairly good clarity in a lot of areas with only stained water in some of the far north reaches of the lake as well as windblown areas. There is still some good grass in the creeks and even some scattered on the main lake.
December provides a number of shallow water patterns but one of my favorites is targeting fish around any shallow vegetation or stumps near the main lake or secondary points. Most of these winter fish will move into these shallow grass beds or hug stumps for cover and security as they look to feed on unsuspecting prey. During the sunny warmest part of the day can be best as water temperatures in these shallow areas is at its peak and the fish are most active. My favorite December lure is a lipless crank bait like a Berkley Warpig. The best sizes are a 1/2 oz or 5/8 oz but will also keep a 3/4 oz bait handy as well. I like to use shades of red, orange, or a combination of these two colors as well as chrome or gold. I like to use the new 7’ 3” medium heavy Abu Garcia Veracity rod with 17-20 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon on a high-speed reel like the Abu Garcia Revo Premier. The high speed reel is a 7:1 ratio so you can really burn a bait with this set up or use it to take some of the work off of your arms while you fish these baits all day making numerous casts. I like to use the lipless bait as a “search bait “and once I get bit I will slow down and work the area over thoroughly. A lot of times you will find the fish in small groups this time of year but may not be able to catch all of them on the same bait or presentation. If you double back and fish something like a suspending jerk bait or jig you may catch a few more fish or that BIG one you’ve been looking for! On the jerk bait I will throw a suspending model in a gold/black, clown, or ayu color. Fishing this bait slowly with twitch and long pause technique is great for a real big fish especially during the sunny calm days. On cloudy days I do better fishing slowly through the area. I will flip or pitch a Santone Rattlin jig 3/8 or 1/2 oz jig tight to every piece of cover available. A jig can be very effective on deeper points at the mouth of creeks and the creek edges inside the creek. With the lake low like it is you can follow the trees that line the channel edge very easily. The best colors for me are black & blue, black/blue/purple, JC’s Spicy Craw, or PB&J. I like to tip my jigs with a 4” Berkley Chigger Craw or Chigger Chunk in matching colors. The action on the Chigger Craw is very attractive to a big fish and they hold onto the jig longer with the Powerbait scent. This is an important advantage as most bites are light and normally fish will not hold onto the jig long during the winter months. If you are after just a few bites but an absolute giant bass, keep a 3:16 Lure company swimbait tied on and on your front deck. As the water warms, these big bass will tackle these big baits!
The deep water bite is an option at Lake Fork also during the winter and man is it fun! This is how you can really sack them up this time of year and catch some giants too. The fish have begun to concentrate around huge schools of shad and bar fish or yellow bass in 18-28 feet of water. Having great electronics like my new Garmin 8612’s are essential in locating these schools of baitfish and bass. I have been targeting points, roadbeds, humps, and pond dams with great success. The key is identifying the presence of bait, how the fish are relating to them, and then what baits to select in relation to their position. If the fish are on the bottom my go to has been the Carolina rig with a heavy 1 oz weight, 4 foot leader, and a Berkley 7 inch Power Worm or fry type bait in blue fleck, chartreuse pepper, watermelon red, or green pumpkin colors. For the finicky bass I am switching to a drop shot rig with a 1/4-3/8 oz weight and a Berkley 4.75 Bottom Hopper in watermelon candy or plum colors. I am also catching a number of bass on the flutter spoons and tail kickers. As the cold fronts hit and the bass gorge on weak and dying shad this technique is stellar! You can also work the suspending depths for bass with deep diving crank baits, a-rigs, or the awesome Berkley 5” Swim Shad for some big bites.
In Pursuit of a Lake Fork Trophy Bass?
If you are headed to Lake Fork this month in pursuit of a trophy bass and are looking to book a guide, I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and show you a great time on the lake. I have a few winter dates still available and am taking a lot of spring reservations. Be sure to schedule with me soon if you would like to fish in 2020. I fill up very fast! 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 for the holidays! You can contact me by sending me an email, giving me a call, or visiting me online or on Facebook.
I would like to thank all my sponsors that support me fishing the FLW Series and guide service on Lake Fork: Toyota, Carhartt, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Leer, Berkey, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Rigid Industries, Bass Forecast, Elite Tungsten, Bass Boat Technologies, and Fabtech Motorsports.
In the Market for a New Boat?
While you are at the lake be sure to stop by Diamond Sports Marine located on highway 154 just north of the bridge. They are receiving the new 2020 Ranger Boats daily and the Z Commance Series boats are better than ever. Give Fred a call to set up your personal demo ride in a Ranger Boat. Have a very Merry Christmas everyone! Remember that JESUS is the reason for the season. Hope to see you on the water this coming year!
Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Tight Lines and God Bless,