Lake Fork Fishing Report July 2020

July is BLAZING on Lake Fork! The bass fishing couldn’t be better as we head deep into the summer. If you can stand the heat, you’ll want to head this way for some trophy bass action. It’s also a great opportunity to spend a day at the lake with the kids before the school year gets ready to crank back up. Here are some tips and techniques that will help you catch big bass on Lake Fork this month.

The water conditions at Lake Fork are very good right now for the middle of summer. The lake is currently 402.67, which is about 6 inches below full pool. The water temperature has been ranging from 80-86 degrees. Most of the lake is fairly clear with some stained areas around windblown banks and in the backs of a few creeks. I attribute the improved water clarity to the small amount of new vegetation that is starting to grow in the backs of some of the creeks.

For shallow bass the best fishing has been early in the morning and late evening. The top water bite is spotty but catching some on the Berkley Bullet Pop and J-Walker in shad patterns. Small finesse worms like the Berkley Bottom Hopper rigged wacky style or on a 1/4 oz shaky head jig have been good. Texas rigged 7” and 10” inch Berkley Power worms have been great too. Best colors have been watermelon candy, blue fleck, tequila sunrise, or plum. I rig mine on a 4/0 or 5/0 offset or straight shank hook and use a 5/16 - 3/8 Elite Tungsten weight. Fishing these baits near standing timber, sparse submerged grass, or brush in 8-15 feet has been best. Good places to look are on main lake points or creek channel edges.

The deep bite is off the chain right now! Using my new Garmin EchoMap Ultra electronics has been essential in locating these schools. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the new Garmins you’ll want to check them out and see why everyone is making the switch in electronics. From their incredible 2D sonar, Side/Clear Vu, and mapping to the state of the art Live Scope technology with Perspective view, you’ll quickly see why Garmin is becoming the most popular choice for serious anglers! When I’m searching the depths I am looking for bait in these areas and once I locate the schools of bait and sand bass, the bass are right with them. After I have located a school of fish with my electronics, I am targeting them several different ways depending on how the fish are arranged in the water column and relating to structure or cover. Most of these fish can be found in 18-30 feet of water on points, humps, roadbeds, ridges and old pond dams. If the fish are on the bottom, one of my best producers lately has been a Carolina rig. I like to use a long leader (4-5ft.) and a big heavy 1 oz weight to drag the bottom. Trilene 20 lb test Fluorocarbon is a must with a 3/0 or 4/0 wide gap hook. Best baits on the c-rig have been Berkley Powerbait 7” or 10” Power Worms, Power Lizards, Lug Worms, and in blue fleck, watermelon red, green pumpkin, plum, camo, and watermelon candy. Texas rigged or shakey head style 10” Power Worms have also been doing very well in the same colors rigged with a 3/8-1/2 oz weight and a 5/0 hook. If you want to catch the some of the biggest fish in the school, you will definitely want to have a Santone 5/8 -3/4 oz football head jig tied on. I like to throw Mexican Heather, Pake’s Perch, or my JC’s Spicy Craw color with a matching trailer like the Berkley Powerbait Pit Boss or Berkley Chigger Craw. Fishing these jigs on the bottom slowly with an occasional twitch or hop is very effective for triggering strikes. I use an Abu Garcia Veracity rod 7’3” medium heavy action for my jigs. Combining this rod with the all new Revo Zata spooled with 15-20 lb fluorocarbon is the perfect combination for your jig fishing.

You will find a lot of bass suspended over these deep spots this time of year and at times it can be frustrating as these fish move around a lot and are typically harder to catch. Using deep diving crank baits are great choices when the fish are suspended. Berkley Dredgers are great, and you can catch a lot fish digging it down on light line. Another hot bait for those suspended fish is a big flutter spoon like a Nichols Flutter spoon and Ben Parker magnum spoon. Tossing it out there and letting it fall on slack line will catch some toads from now through the summer and even into fall. You always want to keep one nearby to cast into schooling fish as well when they bust the top. The deep swim bait bite is one of my favorites for the suspended fish in the summer because it catches the big fish also.

I hope this helps if you are headed out here soon in pursuit of a trophy bass. Everyone be safe out there right now! If you’re looking to book a guide to get away this summer and get out to the lake, 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 dates still available so contact me to check availability. If you would like to fish anytime in late 2020 or early 2021 be sure to get on my schedule as soon as possible. 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! You can contact me to make your reservation at 903-736-9888 or send me an email at You can also visit my website for more information about Lake Fork and my guide service at You can find me on Facebook and follow my official Lake Fork Guide page at 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. 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 Commanche Series boats are better than ever. Give Fred a call at 903-383-7829 to set up your personal demo ride in a Ranger Boat.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tight Lines & God Bless,

James Caldemeyer



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