Wow! Is it December already!? It seems like the year flew by. I know that’s kind of a good thing in some regards as 2020 has been a bummer in a lot of ways for some people. I’m sure everyone is ready for the new year like myself and what 2021 has in store. Everything has been great here at Lake Fork though this year. It’s business as usual my clients and I. Lots of big fish caught and many new people out on the lake just getting out to distance from others. That’s really a good thing! If you are headed out to the lake this month for some end of the year fishing, here are some tips that I hope will help you.
The lake is in great shape despite being about 2 ½ feet low which is lower than it has been at this time of year for a number of years. I suspect we will get some rain this month or early in 2021 to put it right back up there to full capacity for the spring. It doesn’t take much. Water clarity is real good in most areas with a few creeks fairly stained but clear to 2 ½ feet out on the main lake. Water temperatures have been in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s lately but we could see some significant change this month depending on whether December is a mild or frigid one this year.
December invites a number of shallow water patterns but one of my favorites is targeting fish around any shallow vegetation or stumps near 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. Best sizes are a 1/4 or 1/2 oz but will also keep a 3/4 oz bait handy as well. I like to use shades or red, orange, or a combination of these two colors as well as chrome or gold. I like to use a 7’ 3” medium heavy Abu Garcia Veracity rod with 17 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon on a high-speed reel like the New Revo Zata. This reel is 7:1 ratio so you can burn the bait 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 with a jig and I will flip or pitch a 3/8 or 1/2 oz Santone Lures 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 a bit low like it is you can follow the trees that line the channel edge very easily. Best colors for me are black & blue, black/blue/purple, PB&J, or my custom JC’s Spicy Craw color. On the business end of my jigs I will pair 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.
The deep bite has picked up over the past couple of weeks. With it just now finally cooling off real good, I am catching a lot of fish using a multitude of different techniques. Locating big schools of fish can be challenging out in the depths. That is why I really on my Garmin electronics with LIveScope to show me where they are hiding. The bass have been holding close to the schools of bait and barfish in 18-28 feet of water. Once I locate a school of bass with my sonar, I am positioning my boat to take aim and start firing at them with several different baits. The best and most reliable lure has been a jigging spoon. I use a flutter spoon in the most because this spoon mimics dying shad and big bass cannot resist it as an easy meal. It takes some practice to get used to it if you have never thrown one but once you get into the rhythm of it you will have a blast catching fish on it! I have also been targeting the feeding schools of bass with a Carolina rig. I have had great success with the Berkley Havoc Lug Worm on my rig right now. It is just the right size and has lots of action as you pull it along. Best colors for me have been chartreuse pepper and green pumpkin. The deep football head jig bite never really got going this fall like it normally does but every once in a while you can catch a couple if you toss it out there. For the suspended bass out deep I have been throwing the Powerbait Swim Shad. Bunker or Pearl white are best. These baits will catch some giants too reeled along slowly in the depths!
I hope this helps anyone that’s coming out this month chasing these big ole wintertime bass. If you would like to fish with me this year, I still have a few limited dates available. I’m also taking lots of bookings already for 2021 so start making your plans now and contact me to get on my schedule as soon as possible. I fill up very fast! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and 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 Guide page at https://www.facebook.com/lakeforktrophybassguide I would like to thank all my sponsors that support me. I am looking forward to representing them this year on the Bassmaster Opens circuit as well as serving all my great guide clients on Lake Fork! Sponsors: Toyota, Carhartt, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Royal Tire, Elite Tungsten, and Bass Boat Technologies.
Matthew 1:21 - And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Tight Lines & God Bless,