Lake Fork Fishing Report September 2023

September is here folks! I’m always excited for this month to arrive. Hopefully summer finally leaves us, and the fall season ushers in some cooler temperatures as well as some fantastic bass fishing. There are many anglers getting ready for the Sealy Big Bass Splash this month and the lake is shaping up for some big catches to be brought to the scales. Here are some tips that may help you land that winning tournament fish or your new personal best while you are at Lake Fork this September!

The lake is still in great shape. Only about a foot and a half low after coming off of one of the hottest summers on record. There are some of areas of the lake to find grass especially with the lake being higher for this year and the water clarity in most spots is clear. There are some areas that have been getting stained by wind, but I always try to move to the clearest water I can find from this time of the year through fall. Pay close attention to the water clarity as September progresses. The lake will be turning over before long depending on how quickly the air temperatures start cooling the water. Staying away from that nasty water and keying on the clearer stuff produces better for me. Right now, water temperatures are maintaining mid to upper 80’s on most days and reaching 90’s in some areas on the real hot days.

The top water bite is starting to show some signs of life but it’s a day-to-day thing. Cloudy cooler mornings have been most productive with a longer window of opportunity. On the warmer nights and the sun shining bright at the crack of dawn the bite has been brief. I always keep a top water frog like the new Berkley Swamp Lord tied on and give it a toss over matted grass, lily pads, and submerged grass beds in 2-6 feet of water. On the mornings that they haven’t wanted the frog offering, the buzz bait, or Berkley J-Walker and Bullet Pop have been good in shad patterns. Fishing a wacky or Texas rigged Berkley General or 7”-10” Power Worm in these same areas has produced well also when the top water bite quits. Best colors have been blue fleck, plum, watermelon red, and green pumpkin. Most of the areas that I have been fishing are main lake and secondary points at the mouths of the major creeks although there are areas further back that the fish will start stacking up in the creek bends in. Medium running cranks like a Berkley Dredger or the new Dime, or even a lipless bait like a Berkley Warpig in chrome or shad patterns are good for targeting these bass when you find them schooling in the creeks. This pattern will continually improve as shad start migrating to the backs of the creeks.

Deep structure fishing this time of year can be great also. Lately, the deep fish have been very inconsistent. One day they are on the bottom good and you can catch them all day long, then the next they are scattered and suspended all over the lake. Understanding your electronics is crucial. I run the Garmin EchoMap units on my Bass Cat. You can determine what the fish are doing on any given day with these units and make a decision on how to fish for them, whether it be on the bottom or employing suspended techniques. Some days you may have to wave the white flag and go shallow if it’s just not happening out deep, especially if we have a hard turnover of the lake. When I locate fish on the bottom and feeding out deep, I have been using several baits to catch them. Carolina rigged worms like the Berkley Jerk and Bottom Hopper. Best colors are green pumpkin, watermelon red magic, and plum. Also a Santone 5/8-3/4 oz football head jig with a Berkley Pit Boss or Chigger Craw in a matching color as a trailer. The best jig colors right now are Mexican Heather, Pake’s Perch, and my signature color JC’s Spicy Craw. Drag either of these rigs slowly through these schools of deep fish and hold on! For the bass that have been suspended (and there are a lot of them right now), a big flutter spoon or a deep diving Berkley Dredger 20.5 and 25.5 have been best. I work the spoon on an Abu Garcia Fantsista X 7’3” medium heavy rod and work it vertically through these fish. If you are not used to throwing one of these big spoons, it takes some getting used to. The bite will come as the spoon falls so keep in tune with the bait as it descends. Another great bait for catching bass right now is the Berkley Swim shad. These swim baits have truly life like action and can be fished at a variety of depths. Just cast them out and count them down to the desired depth and use a slow rolling retrieve.

I hope this helps anyone that’s coming out this month to fish the tournaments 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 2023 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 really enjoyed my Bass Cat boat in 2022 and have jumped in my 2023 boat for the 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 are continuing to support me in 2023. I am looking forward to representing them again this 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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