August bass fishing on Lake Fork can be HOT! Although the weather can be hot we have not had the extreme heat that we sometimes experience in the summer so the fishing can be hot too. It has kept the lake levels in good shape and also provided for the cooler water for the bass to stay active in. If you are going to be fishing this month or are planning a trip to the lake for a summer fishing outing, here are some tips and techniques that will help make your trip productive.
Lake Fork Water Levels
The water levels on the lake are currently at 402.24 with full pool being 403. This puts us at just under a foot low. The water clarity is good in most areas of the lake. We have lots of new grass growing in areas due to the higher water levels. Water temperatures are ranging from 88-92 degrees.
Bass Fishing on Lake Fork
The most consistent pattern lately has been targeting the most reliable fish to catch which have been holding in the 16-20 ft range. These fish are holding on points with timber or other structure early. The key has been deep water close by. So if you find an area that has deep water near it like a channel and a point or hump with trees on it nearby, you will be in action. The bass are pulling up on these spots to feed and with the warmer weather, the best time to find them there is in the morning or in the evening. My most productive bait when the fish are actively feeding has been a 5/8-3/4 oz Santone football jig in JC’s Spicy Craw, Mexican Heather, or Pake’s Perch colors. Cranking the trees where these fish are hiding tight to and banging the timber with deep-diving crankbaits will draw some big bites also. If the fish are not in a “chasing” mood, I opt for a Carolina rig. I am using a Berkley Havoc 6.25” Bottom Hopper worms or Berkley Rib Snake. I am rigging my 7’6” med heavy Abu Garcia Villain rod and MGX Revo reel up with 20 lb Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and a 1 oz Elite Tungsten weight on the mainline and 17 lb four-foot leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook. Slowing dragging this rig is important. The bites can be subtle this time of year so going slow and making sure you are feeling everything it is moving over and thru will help your catch rate. A lot of times when the bass are holding real tight to cover (trees) the strike zone shrinks and you need something that you can put right on their nose so a big Berkley 12” inchworm on a heavy shaky head or Texas rig in blue fleck or plum color is the best choice.
During the day when the fish head out to deeper water, you have to change gears a little bit. The thermocline has begun to set up at about 24 foot and has the most productive spots where active schools of deep fish are at about the same depth and just above is the range you want to target for structure to top out at. That is not to say that you will not find or catch fish deeper than this but that the majority of the schools will be found in this range. When I am using my Garmin electronics to locate schools of these deep fish the first thing that I am looking for on a hump, ridge, roadbed, or underwater point is the presence of baitfish. If I am not seeing shad on my graph it is highly unlikely that I will see bass in concentrations. 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 crankbaits, swimbaits, or big flutter spoons are my favorite this month. I like the standard sized flutter spoon as well as the big magnum Ben Parker spoons out deep. When I locate a group of deep fish that are on the bottom or are relating closely to the bottom, I am back to the same Carolina rig combination that I described earlier as it works just as effectively out deep. The best colors lately have been watermelon candy, watermelon red, and chartreuse pepper. I also like to throw a Santone ¾ or 1 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. Be sure to also check for fish hanging around the bridges. During hot calm days, you will find congregations of fish chasing shad and schooling heavily around the bridge columns. 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 summer day on the lake.
I hope this report helps you on your next trip here to the lake. Good luck to all of you anglers coming out and be safe out on the water. If you are headed to Lake Fork in pursuit of trophy bass and are looking to book a guide, I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and show you a great time on the lake. Also, if you are interested in learning deep structure fishing and how to read electronics, now through the end of the year is the time to book with me. My fall schedule is already about full so act fast to get your reservations in now. I’m also filling up very fast for spring already. If you are able to plan that far ahead, you’ll want to get on my schedule soon or I will be booked solid if you wait until after the first of the 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 call me to make your reservation or send me an email. You can also find me on Facebook.
Good luck to all the tournament anglers headed to the lake this month! Also, while you are here, be sure to stop by Diamond Sports Marine located on highway 154 just north of the bridge in Yantis, Texas. Look for the all-new 2018 Ranger boats to be arriving soon. You will not want to miss the opportunity to check out the new L series bass boats as well as the all-new Ranger aluminum series. These boats have some amazing features are definitely eye-catchers! Give Fred a call to set up your personal demo ride in a Ranger Boat.
I would like to thank all of my current 2017 sponsors for supporting my FLW Series tournament fishing and my guide service on Lake Fork: Toyota, Carhartt, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Leer, Garmin, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, Rigid Industries, Road Armor, Fabtech Motorsports and Elite Tungsten.
Isaiah 25:1 - O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.
Tight Lines and God Bless,