The month of February is here at Lake Fork! With springtime right around the corner, the activity on the lake will become very exciting. Many anglers will gear up and head out to chase the fish of a lifetime. The big bass will be lurking and ready to make dreams come true.
Here is what’s going on here at the lake if you’re headed out this month in pursuit of a lunker.
Water Conditions of Lake Fork in February
The lake is still extremely low from the winter drawdown that was done by the Sabine River Authority (SRA) to make repairs on the dam. At the publishing of this report, the lake is at 396.70 which is a little over 6 feet low with 403.00 being the full pool. Hopefully, we will get some good rains this month to bring levels back up. Meanwhile, it’s a great opportunity to get those boat docks, ramp, and retaining wall repairs done. The lake is very dangerous right now to navigate so be careful out there trying to get around the lake to your favorite spots.
The lake has been fishing well despite the recent cold snaps. Water temperatures are hovering around in the high 40s to low 50s in most areas of the lake. The water clarity is good in most of the main lake areas and somewhat stained back in the creeks. With the lake being down, a lot of the submerged vegetation that we had has now died off. Many of the boat docks are on dry land as well so the bass has very little shoreline cover except for stumps, laydowns, and brush.
Bass Fishing Patterns on Lake Fork in February
I have been targeting primarily mid-depth to shallow areas for the big bass as they begin to stage up in their pre-spawn patterns. I have been fishing as shallow as 2 feet and as deep as 14-18 feet. On the shallow stuff, I am cycling through several types of search baits and covering water.
Bass Fishing Tips for Shallow Waters
My go-to has been a shallow crankbait like a lipless or small lip crank. I like the Warpig lipless by Berkley a lot and it has some super sticky hooks so if the fish slap at it they’ll usually still get caught. I also like the Berkley Frittside. It’s a unique bait as it has a flat body like a lipless crankbait, yet it has a small bill on the front to crank it down and bounce off timber. The deflecting of this bait off of some of the wood cover we have right now is really effective up shallow. I also like to keep a big swimbait on the deck and will fish it in these same areas for giant females that are up shallow roaming and looking for gizzard shad to eat.
The 3:16 Lure Company glide baits are deadly for big bass this time of year as well as the line thru soft baits like the Rising Son. If a cold snap moves in I have been slowing down and even backing off the bank to a bit deeper water. I like to throw a jerk bait a lot this time of year and it can be really good under the right conditions. The Berkley “Stunna” has quickly become one of my favorite jerk baits for big bass. The best colors have been black gold, stealth shad, and hankie pankie.
Bass Fishing Tips for Mid-Depth Waters
When I move out to the mid-depth areas I am specifically targeting standing timber and my number one bait is a Santone Rattlin jig or football jig. The best colors have been black/blue, pb&j, and my custom color JC’s Spicy Craw with matching trailer. I like to use a Berkley Chigger Craw. Having good flipping and pitching skills is imperative as it's all about hitting your targets. These big bass are related closely to timber so you gotta put it right on 'em. A good heavy flipping stick is recommended as well spooled up with 20 lb fluorocarbon so you can yank them out of there.
Bass Fishing Tips for Deep Waters
The deep bite, like last month, is still there but I’m not catching the quality of fish that I am in shallow to mid-depths right now. The smaller males are deeper and even though you can catch more fish targeting them, it's hard to catch a big fish. My Garmin EchoMap Ultra units are the key to locating these schools. I’ve been finding them lately in 18-24 feet on humps, points, and roadbeds.
My main choice of baits has been a drop shot rig with a Berkley Bottom Hopper. I’m rigging it on an Abu Garcia spinning rod and reel with 10 lb Trilene fluorocarbon and 1/0 hook with a 1/4 ounce weight. I have also been catching some of these fish schooled up out of the deep on a small 1/2 jigging spoon.
Using the Garmin Livescope is a huge advantage over these schools of deep bass, and you can literally watch your bait drop down on their heads and see them eat it. It’s a lot of fun and the kids love it!
Book a Bass Fishing Trip on Lake Fork Today!
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 guided trip on Lake Fork for a friend or loved one. You can contact me to make your reservation or get more information about Lake Fork and my guide service. You can also follow my official Lake Fork Trophy Bass Guide page on Facebook.
Lake Fork Bass Fishing Updates
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 as well as the Major League Fishing Big 5 circuit. I appreciate all their support as I serve all my great guide clients throughout the year on Lake Fork as well!
Tight Lines and God Bless,
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.”