Lake Fork Fishing Report March 2023

March is big bass month on Lake Fork! Last month was good but I look for this month to be even better. With the weather continuing to warm as spring blooms come into full swing the big bass are on the move to the shallows to continue their next round of annual spawning activity. If you are in pursuit of the big bass of your dreams, now is the time to head come to Lake Fork!

The lake is in great shape and currently just over 2 feet low. We have had some good winter and early spring rains to fill the lake back up. I expect we will see more this month and next to put us at full pool again. There’s a lot of newly flooded overgrowth and great vegetation starting to emerge in parts of the lake. Water clarity in areas is stained to 3 ft visibility on the south end of the lake. Water temperatures are ranging from 53-58 degrees in most areas of the lake. You can find the cooler temps down south and after the fronts come through and find warmer temps on the north end of the lake and in the afternoons when the sun is warmest. These are perfect conditions for spring fishing if the weather is consistent. The more that it stays constant instead of up and down the better the bite will be.

Shallow patterns have dominated, and I am targeting areas in 2-6 feet for prespawn and spawning bass. Weightless soft plastic stick baits and jerk baits like the Berkley Havoc Jerk have been very productive dead sticking them in areas that the bass are spawning. Best colors are watermelon red, black/blue, and green pumpkin. It’s very important to fish slowly right now and allow the bait to settle for a bit before you move or twitch it. Fast retrieves with soft plastics will produce few bites from territorial spawning bass. On windy days that I am unable to fish the baits weightless I am adding a split shot about 14-18 inches above the hook to pull the bait down in the wind. I have also been using a Texas rigged Berkley Havoc Pit Boss, Powerbait 4” Chigger Craw or Power Lizard with a 5/16 oz Elite Tungsten weight and a 4/0 wide gap hook. Most anglers beat the banks this time of year, which is where you want to be, but it is very important during the spawn to understand what kind of bottom you are fishing. All banks are not created equal. Look for a hard bottom, as bass prefer to fan their nest on sandy hard surfaces. You can often tell the type of bottom by observing the bank. The presences of lily pads or vegetation are signs of a firmer bottom. Mud muck and stagnant dead vegetation or decay is usually not areas you will find spawning beds. Sight fishing is also a great way to catch some monster female bass while they are spawning. Having a great pair of polarized glasses is golden. I love my new Costa Reefton Pros. If you haven’t seen them, you’ll want to check them out. I rely on them more than any other piece of fishing equipment that I have in the spring. When you spot a big bass on a nest it’s also very helpful to be able to establish position and not be moving much or running the trolling motor. That’s when my Power Pole down and go to work! I like to use natural color soft plastics or a Santone Lures jig for flipping and pitching at bedding bass. Others prefer bright colored bait that they can see while working it around the fish and are able to see the bait be inhaled by the bass. There are also a lot of bass that are still in pre-spawn mode. These fish can be caught on a variety of patterns, which is what makes this month so fun. I like to use a lot of big swim baits for trophy bass in March. The 3:16 Lure Company Rising Son and big glide baits have been my top producing swimbaits the past several years now. My favorite colors are white, hitch, chartreuse shad, and of course my signature colors JC’s Dirty Shad, Dirty Chartreuse, and JC’s Custom. Slow rolling this bait on windy banks in spawning areas will get your arms jerked! Another great moving bait for me is the new Berkley SlobberKnocker in white or chartreuse/white for stained water. Pair it with the new Berkley Power Stinger for the best combination in a vibrating jig. As the month rolls along look for some fish to start on top waters. If the water temperatures reach 70 degrees, there will be a bite on top. Yellow magic’s rule my arsenal this time of year. Everybody has his or her favorite color, but I really do not think it matters. The bass just can’t stand the action of that bait moving through an area that they are starting to guard fry. If I were to choose colors for you my choice would be baby bass, bone, or Japanese shad. You can also get some great top water action on a frog around shallow vegetation and lily pads so throw it around also. Also, don’t be afraid to fish them in the middle of the day even when it’s bright and sunny. They will bite it all day when they get going on it and it’s a blast!

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 for later in the year. My 2023 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 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 Trophy Bass Guide page at
I really enjoyed my Bass Cat boat in 2022 and have jumped in my 2023 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 have 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 2023. I am looking forward to representing them again this year and appreciate all their support as I serve all my great guide clients on throughout the year on Lake Fork as well! Sponsors: Toyota, AFTCO, Bass Cat Boats, Mercury, I Am Second, Omnia Fishing, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Elite Tungsten, Johnson Communications, and Bass Boat Technologies.

Tight Lines & God Bless,
James Caldemeyer

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