September fun on Lake Fork has begun! The bass fishing on Lake Fork this month is good and with the big tournaments happening it will be a great place to be. The Mad Dog Moore tournament will be held September 7th followed by the biggest angler turnout of the year at the annual Sealy Big Bass Splash September 20-22. This event will pay out over $500,000 to all the lucky anglers so I hope whether you’re headed out for the tournaments or just pleasure fishing that these tips will help you catch more fish.
The lake is currently holding fairly steady at about 1 ½ feet low. With most of the really hot days behind us, the evaporation rate has slowed down. Water temperatures have been ranging in the low to mid 80’s. We had some cooler days in early August that had the lake beginning to “turning over”. This is when the water on top of the water column cools and becomes heavier. It then falls to the bottom and pushes the warmer water below up to the surface. This process affects the fish and the fishing considerably as the water clarity diminishes as well as the oxygen levels. After the brief cooler spell in August it warmed back up, but I expect the turnover to continue as September progresses unless we have more hot weather return.
With Lake Fork in somewhat of a transition you can also expect to find the fish in the same state of transition. You will find that some of the bass have already started to migrate into the shallows to escape the instability of the deeper water. Main lake points, pockets, and coves at the mouth to mid-way back in the creeks are good places to start. I like to target several different shallow patterns during this time of year. A square billed crank bait, lipless crank bait, spinner bait, or chatter bait are all great choices when trying to target these shallow fish that are feeding on the shad up shallow. Lots of shad will be on the bank as the water temperatures cool. Covering water is always good and these baits will get it done. I like to use any shad pattern or white and white/chartreuse combinations when selecting a color. Once I establish an area that is holding fish with the moving baits I will slow down and fish the area thoroughly. A Texas rigged worm is my go to in the fall. I like to use an Elite Tungsten 1/4 to 5/16 oz weight on 4/0 hook. I will rig up with a Berkley Powerbait power worm. The best colors are blue fleck, cherry seed, plum, motor oil, or black and blue in the 7” size. Another great choice of baits for me has been the Berkley Havoc Juice Worm. Fishing any of these through the shallow grass or shallow stumps catches lots of shallow bass on Lake Fork in the fall. My other “slow down” technique for catching them is a shaky head worm. I will use a 3/16 oz head with a Berkley Magnum Bottom Hopper or Rib Snake. My favorite colors are shady watermelon candy, plum, and blue fleck.
I am also spending some time out in deep water and rely on my Garmin graphs to point the way! As with the shallow fishing, when you are looking for fish out deep, the key during this time of year is locating bait fish. Once you locate the bait, you will find bass. The best places in early fall to start looking for bass out deep are humps, roadbeds, ridges, and points that slowly taper out into a channel or creek bend. The fish will be holding in 18-24 feet right now. I like to primarily target these deep bass with Carolina rigs. A 1 oz tungsten weight, four foot leader, and a 3/0 hook will get the job done. Best baits have been the new Berkley Powerbait Lug Worm in chartreuse pepper and the Jerk in watermelon. Once I locate a school of fish on my graph, I am taking notice where exactly the fish are located in the water column. If the fish are suspended off the bottom, I am using deep diving crank baits, swim baits, or big flutter spoons are my favorite. I like the big spoon on the Lake Fork now all the way through the fall. I also throw a Santone Lures 5/8 or 3/4 oz football head jig on the deep bass. I will throw it out there and drag it or sometimes use a stroking technique of hopping it a ways off the bottom to draw strikes from the biggest bass in the school. The best jig colors this month are JC’s Spicy Craw, Mexican Heather, Bass Candy, and black & blue. Be sure to also check for fish hanging around the bridges. They like to school there and it’s a great place for them to suspend over deep water if the lake is turning over. Drop shots, weightless worms, under spins, spoons, and top waters are all very effective for catching these fish and can oftentimes salvage an otherwise unproductive late summer day on the lake or help you to catch that fish you need for the tournament.
Lake Fork this Month
Well, that about covers everything that’s going on at Lake Fork this month. I wish everyone that’s fishing the tournaments the best of luck on the water. Be safe out there! If you are thinking of coming out this fall 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 and am already booking for much of spring 2020! 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 reach me by email or you can call or text message me at 903-736-9888.
In the Market for a New Boat?
If you are in the market for a new boat this year, it’s a great time to look into the new 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 521L has been great this year with the new Mercury motor! Test rides are also available so feel free to contact me or call the dealership and we will get you out on the water for a ride in one.
Thankful for My Sponsors
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.
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,