It’s MAY-hem at Lake Fork this month as the big boys roll into town for what could be one of the best showdowns for big bass amongst some of the best bass anglers in the country. Toyota and B.A.S.S., along with their partners at Texas Parks and Wildlife, are proud to present the 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Basssmater Elite Series anglers will be throwing down on these monster Lake Fork bass May 2-6 so be sure not to miss getting out here for this one! There will be plenty of activities for all ages from kid’s fishing to live concerts at the Sabine River Authority grounds at the southeast corner of the lake near the dam. I look forward to seeing everyone out there so if you get the chance to make it out, come by the Toyota and Carhartt booth to visit! Meanwhile, if you’re just coming out to the lake to fish, here are some tips that will help you get in on some of the big bass fun this month…
The water temperatures on the lake have been ranging from 65-70 degrees in most areas but with a recent warm up we are starting to see steadily warming temps. This is great because it has hovered in the low 60’s for a month due to cold fronts but mainly because of the continual amount of rains. The lake is fairly turbid in a lot of areas due to the rains and has made water clarity an issue. The bass are still active though and can be found in all stages of spring spawning which makes for a multitude of patterns for productive fishing. There are still some prespawn fish to target as well as fish on beds and some even that have already moved out postspawn. The shad spawn is also in full effect so that makes for a fun bite early in the mornings as well!
In the early mornings I have been starting off the day with topwaters like the Berkley Choppo, Bullet Pop, or the J-Walker. Any shad color will do as these bass are not picky and are up there shallow gorging on shad. I’m also throwing a Berkley Square Bull crankbait in shad colors or chartreuse for those fish that don’t want to eat on top. My most consistent producer for the big pre and post spawn females has been a 3:16 Lure Company Rising Son in the 5” and 6.75” sizes. These big ones will inhale it! Best colors have been Dirty Chartreuse, Hitch, and of course my signature “JC Custom” color. The Swimbait Store on highway 515 is open Friday and Saturday as well as a full stock of 3:16 baits at Lake Fork Marina & Motel.
There are also a lot of fish on beds still and I expect we will have another wave of fresh fish moving in soon as the moons of May come around. I have been fishing the Berkley Powerbait General wacky style for a lot of these fish. Best colors have been black/blue and green pumpkin. I am also using a Powerbait Jerk Shad weightless or spilt shot rigged. Fishing these baits slowly has been the key. When you get them around these bass that are on beds spawning, they’ll eat them. The reason I really like Powerbait the most this time of year is because these fish are usually quick to pick up a bait, move it off their bed, and drop it. Sometimes even before you know you had a bite. But with the Powerbait scent in these baits, the fish will hold on to it longer and a lot of them will actually even swallow it. It definitely helps put more fish IN the boat! Sight fishing is also a great way to boat some big ones right now when you can’t get bit as well just “fishing”. I opt for just a plain ole Texas rig for these fish and a Berkley Chigger Craw on the business end will get it done. There’s also a decent frog bite developing right now in the backs of some of these creeks where the fish are spawning or have finished spawning and are guarding fry.
The deep bite is also starting to show signs of life but most of these big post-spawners are hard to catch. They’re suspended over 16-24 foot of water and just chilling but they will eat something if you can get it in front of them. A Berkley Dredger deep diving crankbait is a great for these fish! Long lining them and strolling them over these areas is a productive deal. I also like to throw a swimbait like a Berkley Hollowbelly on a jig head and count it down to them. Stroking it through these suspended fish can pay off big as well as an underspin like the 3/8- 1/2 ounce Santone Lures Z-Spin with a Berkley Power Swimmer. This bite will get better as the month goes along and you’ll even be able to employ some big baits like the Berkley 10” Powerworm and Santone Football jigs for these hungry post-spawn bass which is a ton of fun!
Good luck to the Elite guys fishing! I know several of them very well and have close friends competing. I am excited to see them battle it out on one of the best trophy fisheries in the world. I know they won’t disappoint!! For everyone else, I hope this information helps you in pursuit of a trophy bass this month on Lake Fork. If you are thinking of coming out this summer and would like to book a fishing trip with me this year, feel free to contact me anytime. I still have a few dates available, but you’ll need to contact me soon. I book up fast! If I’m not available, I will recommend another great guide that can help you. You can ALWAYS count on talking to me “personally” when you call to book your Lake Fork trip because I care about my clients! I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and help you catch the fish of your dreams! You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call or text message me at 903-736-9888 Also, please visit my website to find out more information about Lake Fork bass fishing and my guide service at www.officiallakeforktrophybass.com If you are in the market for a new boat this year, it’s a great time to look into the new 2019 Ranger 520L and 521L as its Ranger’s flagship model and is very impressively laid out with features. If you haven’t seen it yet you can stop by Diamond Sports Marine and Fred will be glad to show you around. He even has a few rigged out with the all new Mercury Pro XS four stroke. My new 2019 boat has arrived and is ready for clients to experience this coming year also! Test rides are also available so feel free to contact me or call the dealership at 903-383-7829 and we will get you out on the water for a ride in one. I would like to thank all my sponsors that support me fishing the FLW Series and guide service on Lake Fork: Toyota, Carhartt, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Leer, Berkey, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Rigid Industries, Bass Forecast, Elite Tungsten, Bass Boat Technologies, and Fabtech Motorsports. I already enjoying a successful start to the 2019 fishing season and God’s blessings. I pray that each of you are blessed as well!
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Tight Lines and God Bless,