Lake Fork Fishing Report October 2023

I am excited for October to finally be here. It is one of my favorite months to fish on Lake Fork. You can catch so many quality fish and virtually have the lake to yourself on some days as hunting seasons have started and many anglers opt for the woods over their favorite fishing hole. 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. The 18th Annual Berkley Big Bass Tournament is October 21 & 22 at Lake Fork Marina. This event is an hourly big bass tournament with great opportunities to win lots of cash and boats given away. You can win either with a big bass over the slot (over 24 inches) or with small fish (under 16 inches). This event just gets better and better each year so you will not want to miss this. Whether you are coming out for the tournament, just for fun with the family, or in serious pursuit of a trophy bass, here are some tips and information that will help you catch lots of Lake Fork bass.

The shallow bite has been very good around shallow stumps and some of the little grass we have trying to come back. Most of the grass is growing on the northern creek arms of the lake. The better part of it is growing out to about 4 feet at the deepest point. The bait fish are gravitating to it as the water temperatures cool and the bass are following closely. I’m targeting secondary points and pockets with several presentations to catch lots of fish and some big ones too. The top water is my first tactic and has been best on cloudy days. I am fishing a Berkley Choppo, Bullet Pop, or J-Walker in white, shad color, or black over open water and also the new Berkley Swamp Lord frog over the matted grass beds and lily pads. This new hollow belly frog is amazing! Fishing it over the holes in the grass or along the edges is best but some of these fish are coming completely through the thickest part of the mat to eat these baits. Make sure you opt for a very stout rod and reel to take these fish on in heavy cover too. I am using the new Abu Garcia Revo Rocket which has a 10:1 gear ratio so it moves a lot of line quickly and a 7’3” heavy Abu Garcia Veritas PLX Tournament rod to get enough leverage on these bass so I can drag them outta there with 50 lb. Berkley X9 Braid. This has been a real fun bite so far and will be great all the way thru the month. If the bass are reluctant to hit top water baits because of the conditions, you can catch them down in the grass or along the edges using a weightless wacky worm. I am using the Berkley Bottom Hopper in the 6.25 size and rigging it on a 2/0 wacky hook then sticking a small nail in the head of the worm. Best colors are shady watermelon candy, green pumpkin, and black emerald. Lighter line has been key to getting more bites so I opt for 12 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. A plain old Texas rigged worm is about as deadly of a choice as you can get this time of year for shallow bass. The Berkley Powerworm will get em every time! The bass on Lake Fork love that Powerbait scent. Both 7 inch and 10 inch sizes are very effective this time of the year. I rig mine on a 1/4-5/16 oz weight and 4/0 hook. Best colors are blue fleck, black & blue, cherry seed, plum, and watermelon candy. If the skies are high and its sunny a lot of the bass start holding tight to timber. Especially if there is no grass in the area they live. I use a couple of other different flipping baits then like the Berkley Powerbait Pit Boss and Bunker Hawg. These are excellent flipping baits! If its cloudy and windy I’m breaking out the new Berkley Nessie or Cull Shad swimbait for the big ones. I tested these new baits all year and they have really produced well for big fish. I also like to mix it up during these conditions with the Berkley Slobberknocker paired up with a Powerbait Stinger trailer. Best colors have been white, chartreuse/white, and green pumpkin.

Although a lot of the shallow fishing is very productive this time of year, be sure to look at those deep spots as well. Humps, points, roadbeds, 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, Power Hawg, Jerk Shad, or a good ole 7” Power Worm on this rig. Best colors are shady watermelon candy, red bug, blue fleck, or plum. The jig bite out deep is decent too. A 1/2-3/4 oz football head is a great thing to have tied on too. Any shade of greens and browns or black & blue is good here now with a Berkley Powerbait Pit Boss or Chigger Craw on the back. 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 the Berkley tournament or just chase some big bass. If you would like to fish with me still this year, I still have just a few fall dates available. My 2024 schedule is filling fast already though so contact me as soon as possible if you are wanting to plan your spring or early summer trips. 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 Puma STS for the 2023 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 have continued to support me in 2023. I am looking forward to representing them again next 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.

Proverbs 16:3 - Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.

Tight Lines & God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

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