Lake Fork Fishing Report October 2020

It’s October on Lake Fork and man I’m excited about that! This cooler weather feels great and the fish like it too! You can catch a lot of quality fish this month and often have a limited amount of boat traffic to compete with. Hunting seasons have started, and many anglers opt for the woods over their favorite fishing holes. It is also a great time to get the kids and family out on the water for some great fishing fun. For all of you tournament anglers, one of the best tournaments of the year is this month as well. The 15th Annual Berkley Big Bass Tournament is October 17 & 18, hosted by the fine folks at Bass Champs and headquartered out of Lake Fork Marina. This event is an hourly big bass tournament with great opportunities to win lots of cash and boats will be given away to the winners. This event keeps getting bigger and better each year so you will not want to miss it. Whether you are coming out this month for the tournament or some quality time with the family, here are some tips and information that will hopefully help you catch lots of Lake Fork bass!

The water conditions on Lake Fork are good. We have had some recent rains, so the lake has come up a bit. With the lake less than two feet low there are plenty of areas for bass to move into as the lake cools off. The water temperatures have been ranging in the low to mid 70’s but I expect it to cool off even more as the month progresses. Some of the backs of the creeks are stained from the rains right now but visibility on the main lake and especially on the south end are clear.

My mornings have been started off with some top water fishing. Berkley has an incredible line of baits for topwater fishing including the new topwater frogs… YES I SAID FROGS! Try out the all new Powerbait “Beat N Paddle Frog”, “Buzz N Speed Toad” and Power Pop. I’ve also been having great success with the J Walker 100 and 120, Bullet Pop, and the Choppo but there are a number of other new baits that are really good also. Best colors are bone, white, or any shad color. The action on these things are impressive and the fish eat them. They are high quality and have great hooks out of the package at an affordable price! The fish have really been feeding good on top early and on cloudy days. Main lake points and secondary points have been best but also look for some action in the back of the creeks and coves as the water cools down. Lake Fork Marina is one of the few places you can get these baits and they have a HUGE assortment as well as many other new Berkley soft baits that just came out. I am also fishing shallow running crank baits in these same areas and am concentrating on depths of 2-6 feet. I like to throw a lipless crank bait like the Berkley Warpig, Berkley Square Bull, and ever popular Frittside. These baits will catch a lot of fish during the month of October. My best areas have been where you find a combination of shallow grass and concentrations of bait fish. If you find the shad, you will find bass nearby. On real windy days the 5” Berkley Hollow Belly swim bait fished directly against the bank has really produced some quality fish. Best colors on swim baits have been gizzard shad, pearl, and Tennessee shad. For the bass that are not willing to chase or hit on top I have been throwing a vast assortment of soft plastics on a variety of different presentations to get them to bite. Texas rigged worms like the Berkley 7-10” Power worm are always a sure choice. The Berkley Powerbait Fatty Bottom Hopper, Bunker Hawg, Magnum Shaky Snake, and Max Scent D worm have been excellent soft plastics for a shakey head or Texas rig. Best colors have been blue fleck, June bug, plum, red shad green, and black/blue. There are days when the fish get finicky and it takes a subtle approach to coax them into biting. This is when I break out my Abu Garcia Veracity drop shot and shaky head rod. I will rig up some 10 lb. test Berkley Nanofil on my Premier spinning reel and add about 20 yards of Trilene 100% fluorocarbon 10 lb leader to the end. The light line itself will produce more bites from finicky bass but coupled with a great bait like the Berkley Powerbait 4.75” Bottom Hopper puts the icing on the cake. If you are a tournament fisherman this is definitely the best way to increase your odds of catching more under the slot fish and the big ones will often bite it too, especially when there is heavy fishing pressure on the lake from the tournaments. Be sure to fish all these shallow plastics around standing timber. As the sun gets up later in the day a lot of these bass will be holding very tight to any cover like trees, docks, laydowns, and brush piles.

Although a lot of the shallow fishing is very productive this time of year, be sure to take a look at those deep spots as well. Humps, points, road beds, pond dams, and ridges in 15-25 feet of water are great places to focus your efforts on. These big fish will be schooling up in these areas following shad, yellow bass, and crappie around looking for an easy meal. The Carolina rig is a very good weapon on these deep bass. I like to rig mine with a 1oz weight, 4 foot leader, and a 3/0 wide gap hook. The Berkley Powerbait 6.25” Bottom Hopper, The Jerk, or a good ole 7” Power Worm on this rig. Best colors are shady watermelon candy, red bug, blue fleck, or plum. Berkley also has a really cool new bait for the Carolina rig that I like a lot called the Lugworm. This bait will flat catch em! Best colors in it are chartreuse pepper, green pumpkin, and watermelon red. Don’t forget to try throwing a deep running swim bait on these schools of deep fish also. Berkley 4” Swim Shads are some great baits for swimming thru these deep bass. Especially if you find them suspended. I like chartreuse shad, silver shad, and bunker colors. Just count the bait down to the fish and start slow rolling it back to the boat. Keep a firm grip on your rod because when they hit, they hit it hard! Berkley has increased their line of baits considerably this year and cover a broad range of fishing. I will be excited to see them in action during this tournament and all the big fish that will be caught using them! Come out and join us for what should be the most exciting tournament of the year!

I hope this helps anyone that’s coming out this month to fish whether its recreationally or for the big tournaments. If you would like to fish with me this year, I still have a few limited dates available for fall. I’m also taking lots of bookings already for spring 2021 so start making your plans now and contact me 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.

Acts 17:26 –

And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.

Tight Lines & God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

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