Lake Fork Fishing Report March 2024

March madness on Lake Fork has commenced and what a great month it is to catch the giant bass of your dreams. The season has already started off well, as there have been several fish from 10-12 lbs caught. It shouldn’t be long before we see the first one over 13 lbs entered into the state’s TPWD Share Lunker Program. The best is yet to come as the bass move to the shallows this month to begin their annual spawn and anglers head out to the lake in droves to pursue these trophy bass. If you are coming out to Lake Fork this spring also, here are some helpful tips and tricks that will help you catch fish when you get here.

The lake is in great shape and holding at just under full pool at about 4 inches low. We could use just a little more rain this month to get the lake filled up. Water clarity is good in the creeks with some grass up north and a little bit in areas mid-lake or south. Most of the other areas are stained or slightly off color. Water temperatures are ranging 58-65 degrees as the month begins but you could see some areas warm up even more as the month progresses.

Most of my fishing is centered on pre-spawn patterns until the bass become committed to the spawn. I like to strategically target big female bass that are staging and feeding up before they actually move to the nests. I feel that these big bass are more vulnerable to being caught this way than they are when they get on the beds and every fisherman going down the bank is tossing at them. This pattern pays off big especially when you find the right area and a congregation of bass. The areas that I am targeting these pre-spawn bass in are creek channels, drains or ditches, points, and shallow structure. Most of these fish will be relating to some sort of cover whether it is grass, stumps, boat docks etc. The key to finding these big bass in these areas is the presence of bait within the area. It stands to reason that big pre-spawn female bass that are eating heavily to prepare to spawn are not going to be in an area where there isn’t anything to eat. Watch the activity on the water as you fish and keep a close eye on your electronics so that you are staying in areas that are holding good concentrations of shad. I’ve been able to use my new Garmin LiveScope very effectively to look around as I fish and it vividly shows every detail under the water as I fish these target areas so I see the bait and the fish in the area before I even start catching them.

Once I find the area that I am looking for, I begin targeting the bass with several different techniques depending on the conditions. Around grass in 2-6 feet of water I am throwing a lot of reaction type baits like lipless crank baits in red or shad colors, suspending jerk baits in gold, silver, or shad colors. If you want to catch giants, you’ll want to throw big swim baits like the 3:16 Lures Rising Son, Berkley Nessie, and Cull Shad. These are incredible big bass baits. You can find them in stock at Lake Fork Marina & Motel. As the water warms and the surface temperatures reach the 58-60 degree mark the bass will begin spawning. You will find most of these bass on beds in 2-6 feet of water and very active! Another one of my favorite baits for targeting these bass as they spawn is a weightless Berkley Powerbait “Jerk” or the “General”. Dead sticking these baits in the flats and spawning areas is very effective. You must remember that the bass have moved from a feeding bite and to a territorial bite. You are presenting your bait in a manner that invades their space and they strike it. Moving the bait a lot will defeat the purpose so be sure to really slow down! When you think you are fishing slowly, slow down some more! Another big favorite of mine for spawning bass is the Santone Lures “Piglet” shaky head with a Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw. Best colors are black/blue, blue fleck and green pumpkin. You also can’t go wrong on a windy day with a Santone Lures spinner bait. I will usually opt for the 3/8 – 1/2 ounce M-Series in white or white/chartreuse. Also Berkley SlobberKnocker will flat out catch em too! If the wind will not allow you to fish these baits another great way to catch spawning bass is with the good ole Texas rig. I usually use an Elite Tungsten weight in the 1/4 to 1/2 oz sizes with a 4/0 or 5/0 hook. I like to use the Berkley Pit Boss or just a plain Berkley Powerbait lizard in black/blue, green pumpkin, Okeechobee, California or watermelon candy colors. The bass will be spawning tight to standing timber in a lot of areas of the lake and using the tree’s root system to hold their eggs in. Flipping or pitching these baits on the stumps is very intrusive to the bass and the will strike it hard. You also will want to keep a drop shot rod handy. These bass that are holding tight to timber will attack a small worm on a drop shot rig hovering around them at the base of these trees. Be sure you have your drag set properly because you will have some big ones try to take you for a ride!

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 2024 schedule is filling 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 have really enjoyed my Bass Cat boats the past few years and am about to rig my new 2024 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 and Caracal 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 2024. I am looking forward to representing them again this year on the major tournament trails. I appreciate all their support as I serve all my great guide clients 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, Elite Tungsten, Johnson Communications, EVOLV and Bass Boat Technologies.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Tight Lines & God Bless,
James Caldemeyer

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