The last month of the year is here and another year down. It’s hard to believe sometimes how fast the time goes by. December is an exciting month on Lake Fork as the fish continue to feed up for winter. This year that bite has been extended due to the somewhat mild temperatures that we have had so far this fall. Expect plenty of opportunities to catch big bass this month while you are at Lake Fork as the big bass continue their feeding habits into early winter. The best part about it is you’ll have the lake almost all to yourself on most days. I know my clients and I have been enjoying it!
The lake conditions are considerably different going into winter this year than most that we have seen before. With the drought this year the lake is still about 6 feet low. The water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50’s as I write this, but you can expect water temperatures to dip into the lower 50’s and remain there for much of the month unless it stays unseasonably warm. With the low water, it is very important to navigate the lake with caution right now and do not run in any areas that you are not familiar with including even some of the marked boat lanes.
I am catching fish both shallow and out in deep water right now. It has kind of been a mixed bite for the most as fish in all ranges of the water column have been active. The shallow bite has been good from main lake points to the backs of the major creeks. I am finding most of the fish in 2-8 feet of water. Lipless crank baits like a Berkley Warpig and Square Bull square billed crank bait have been good in any shad pattern. I like red or chrome and sexy shad colors a lot in the winter. The new Berkley Slobberknocker has also been spot on in white or white/chartreuse. This is a great new bait with lots of thumping action. Also, a Berkley Hollow Belly swim bait has also been a great producer especially on windy days. Cloud cover is usually better for the shallow fishing, but I often find a lot of bass up shallow in the coldest part of the year on a sunny day. They like to sit up there in the sun as it warms the shallow water. As the water cools and winter sets in don’t forget to break out the jerk baits also. On days that the bite gets tougher you can break out one of these and save the day. I love the Berkley Stunna 112 and 112+. Getting on the trolling motor and watching the LiveScope while working this bait around stumps and grass with slow twitches will draw some big fish out to get it!
The deep bite has really turned on over the past couple of weeks. I am catching a lot of fish out deep 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 Echomap units to show me where they are at. The bass have been holding close to the schools of bait in 18-28 feet of water. Once I locate a school of bass around the bait with my sonar, I am positioning my boat to take aim with the LiveScope and start firing at them with several different baits. The best and most reliable lure has been a jigging spoon. I use a big flutter spoon in the silver or gold color. This spoon mimics dying shad from the cold setting in, 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 or a drop shot. I like the Berkley Jerk Shad 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 watermelon red magic and Houdini. I have also started to catch a few bass on a ¾ oz Santone Lures football head jig. JC’s Spicy Craw, Black/Blue or PB&J colors are good choices trailed by a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss or Chigger Craw. For the suspended bass out deep, I have been throwing the Berkley Powerbait Swim Shads in the 4” and 5” sizes. Bunker or Pearl white are best. Also, and umbrella rig tipped with Berkley Power Swimmers. These baits will catch some giants retrieved out in the depths!
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 still this year, I have just a few dates available. My 2023 schedule is also filling fast so contact me as soon as possible if you are beginning to plan your trip for next year. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 for 2022. I appreciate all their support as I fish the Bassmaster Open tournaments and serve all my great guide clients throughout the year on Lake Fork as well! Sponsors- Toyota, 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,