Summertime at Lake Fork! How much fun is that? I can tell you that the month of June is absolutely, 100 percent, hands down, my favorite month of the year here. This month alone yields more big fish and numbers than any other time. We also just had another fish weighed in over 13 lbs in a May big bass event so the real big ones just keep showing up. With school out for the summer, it’s a great time to grab the kiddos and head to the lake for some big bass fishing!
Lake Fork Water Conditions
The water conditions on Lake Fork are great right now. It's clearing up nicely as the water continues to warm up and lots of grass is developing well in the creeks to filter out the water and keep areas clear. Water temperatures are ranging from 80-85 degrees and may get warmer as we’ve experienced some early summer heat already with air temperatures in the triple digits.
Bass Fishing Tips & Techniques
There are some fish shallow still that have finished up spawning and others that are remaining close to the massive bluegill spawn. Most of these bass that are shallow are gorging on bream so you can catch some real nice fish on topwater baits like a yellow magic, zara spook, or frogs, especially on cloudy days. For the bass that are reluctant to strike on top, I have been targeting 2-6 feet of water with a 3:16 Lure Company 5” Rising Son swimbait. The best colors have been bluegill, bone, and my Caldemeyer Custom color. I have also been having some real good success with clients throwing a Santone Lures Swim Jig in 5/16 oz size with a 4” swimbait trailer. The best colors have been Pakes Perch, Mean Green, and Blue Herring. I am swimming and ripping these through the grass back in the creeks and the bass feeding on the bluegill and shad are having a field day on the jig!
Although the shallow bite can be good this month, I usually spend the majority of the time out deep fishing offshore structures. This is how I cut my teeth on Lake Fork 25 years ago and the pattern still holds true to this day for consistently targeting some of the biggest bass in the lake year-round! I’ve learned and know a bunch of tricks for maximizing success out deep for catching trophy bass but my biggest attribute to remaining consistently on the fish day in and day out is having the best electronics on my boat that are available. I run a pair of Garmin 7612’s at the console and a 7612 and 7610 on the bow. These units are fine-tuned machines. Knowing and understanding how to read your graphs is instrumental to locating bass out deep. I do a number of instructional trips in the summer to show anglers how to tune their graphs up and understand or help them interpret what they’re seeing down there. Most of these deep fish right now are starting to show up in 18-28 feet of water but don’t count out seeing some start to group up in 30 feet or more as the month rolls along and summer heat sets in. Roadbeds, points, humps, and ridges are great places to start searching. Once I locate a school out deep I am targeting them with several different presentations depending on how the bass are relating to the bottom or their position in the water column. For suspended fish, I am throwing a lot of deep diving crankbaits. If you haven’t checked out a Berkley Dredger 20.5 or 25.5 you might want to. These big bass will eat that thing! The best colors for me have been Blue Chartreuse, Honey Shad, Big Money, and Lavender Shad. I’m cranking these baits on an Abu Garcia Winch 7’6”- 7’10” cranking rod with an Abu Garcia Revo Winch reel and 15 lb fluorocarbon line. I am also catching a few on a Hog Farmer Bait Company umbrella rig as well. When the fish are on the bottom my go-to bait for the big ones has been a big Santone Lures football head jig. I am opting for the 5/8- 3/4 oz size mostly. The best colors right now have been Mexican Heather, PB&J, and my custom color JC’s Spicy Craw. I am pairing them with a matching colored craw trailer like a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss or Powerbait Chigger Craw. Dragging this combination out deep will definitely garner some attention from the big bass. Another great big bass bait is the 10” Berkley Powerworm on a Texas rig with 3/8- 1/2 oz Elite Tungsten weight and a 5/0 hook. The best colors are Blue Fleck, Plum, and Watermelon Candy. The Carolina rig is also definitely a staple out deep and I throw it a lot as well. Dragging around a 1 oz weight with a 4-5 foot leader and your favorite soft plastic will catch a lot of fish out here right now. If the bite gets tough due to the weather or heavy fishing pressure I will keep a spinning rod handy rigged up with a drop shot. It will keep you getting bit when all else fails. I use a medium-light Abu Garcia rod and reel with 10 lb fluorocarbon paired with a 1/0 drop shot hook and 1/4 oz weight with a 4” finesse worm. Everyone assumes this combo is only for smaller fish but I can assure you it catches giants on Lake Fork as well! Just make sure your drag is set properly and you have the proper set up to hold that big one when she bites.
In Pursuit of a Trophy Bass?
I hope this information helps you in pursuit of a trophy bass this year on Lake Fork. If you are thinking of coming out this summer 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 want to contact me fast to ensure the best available dates. I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and help you catch the fish of your dreams! You can contact me by email or you can call or text message me at 903-736-9888.
Need a New Fishing Boat?
If you are in the market for a new boat this year, it’s a great time to look into the all-new Ranger 521L as its Ranger Boat’s 50th anniversary and they are celebrating with the introduction of this new boat model. If you haven’t seen it yet you can stop by Diamond Sports Marine and Fred will be glad to show you around. 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.
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. I look forward to the 2018 season and the blessings in store for the year. I pray that each of you are blessed as well!
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,