Lake Fork Fishing Report October 2021

Wow! It’s October already!? What a great month to be here at Lake Fork fishing though. The weather is cooling off and you can catch a lot of quality fish. With hunting seasons beginning you’ll often have the lake mostly to yourself as many anglers opt for the stands and blinds over their favorite fishing spot. It’s 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. It’s the 16th Annual Berkley Big Bass Tournament is October 16th and 17th hosted by Bass Champs at Lake Fork Marina. This event has become one of the biggest hourly big bass tournaments with great opportunities to win lots of cash and two boats will be given away. This event just keeps getting better and better each year so you will not want to miss it. Whether you are coming out for the tournament, fun fishing with the family, or in serious pursuit of a trophy bass of a lifetime, here are some tips and information that will help you catch lots of Lake Fork bass!

The lake is in great shape despite being about 2 feet low. I actually prefer the lake low during this time of year. It makes the fishing better as it condenses the bait and bass into smaller areas instead of scattering them out. It also helps expedite the fall turnover of the lake. When we get hurricane season rainfall while the lake is turning it slows the turnover process and keeps the water clarity in the lake stained longer. The lake started turning over last month but has pretty much finished up on most areas of the lake which is great! You’ll find visibility to about 2 ½ feet on the south end and stained to off colored water up north. Water temperatures have been ranging from low to mid 70’s and we have some great fall vegetation growing in the backs of a lot of the creeks.

I have been starting off the day with some top water fishing of some kind. Berkley Baits has really made this exciting this year! They have an incredible line of hard baits for topwater fishing and have expanded the selection of sizes and colors for 2021. I’ve been having great success lately with the J Walker, Bullet Pop, and Choppo but there are several other baits that are really good also. Best colors are bone, white, or any shad color. The action on these things is impressive and the fish eat them. They are high quality and have great hooks out of the package at an affordable price. Main lake points and secondary points have been best for topwater 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 of other new Berkley baits. 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 or Berkley Square Bull. 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. If you like swimbaits, you’ll also want to check out the NEW Berkley “Gilly”! It was awarded the prestigious “Best of Show” at ICAST this year. That’s saying something!

Also, Texas rigged worms like the Berkley 7-10” Power worm are always a sure choice if you can’t get the bass to chase anything. I have also been having great success on a number of new baits. Best colors have been blue fleck, June bug, plum, 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 Veritas PLX drop shot and shaky head rod. I will rig up some 10 lb. test Berkley Nanofil on my Abu Garcia SX spinning reel and add about 20 yards of Trilene 100% fluorocarbon leader to it at 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 the best way to increase your odds of catching more fish under the slot, especially when there is heavy fishing pressure on the lake from the tournaments.

Although a lot of the shallow fishing is very productive this time of year, be sure to look at some deep spots as well. Humps, points, roadbeds, pond dams, and ridges in 15-25 feet of water are great places. 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 very good 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, Lug Worm, Jerk Shad, or a good ole 7” Power Worm on this rig. Best colors are chartreuse pepper, shady watermelon candy, blue fleck, and watermelon red. The jig bite is good too. A 1/2-3/4 oz football head is a great thing to have tied on. Any shade of greens and browns or black & blue is best with a Berkley Powerbait Pit Boss or Chigger Craw on the back. Berkley 4” Swim Shads are also 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! With Berkley increasing their selection of baits this year, I will be excited to see them in action during the tournament. There will definitely be some giant bass caught on them, so come out and join us for what should be the most exciting tournament of the year!

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 a few dates for this fall available. My 2022 schedule is already filling as well so contact me as soon as possible if you are beginning to plan your trip for next year. 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 enjoyed my new Bass Cat boat for the 2021 fishing season. It’s been an amazing boat and I couldn’t be happier to be serving my customers on Lake Fork as one of the newest members of the Bass Cat Family! 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. Steven Stroman and his crew have amazing sales and service as well as a complete tackle shop. I would like to thank all my sponsors that support me. I am looking forward to representing them again this year on Major League Fishing Big 5 circuit as well as serving all my great guide clients on Lake Fork! Sponsors: Toyota, Carhartt, Bass Cat Boats, Mercury Marine, I Am Second, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Elite Tungsten, Johnson Communications, and Bass Boat Technologies.

Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tight Lines and God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

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