September is here! This month is the time for some great fishing at Lake Fork and the beginning of some relief from the hot summer weather. It is also the time for the annual McDonald’s Big Bass Splash September 14, 15 and 16, Lake Fork’s biggest tournament of the year!! For those of you that may be heading out for this exciting event, here is a report that may help you catch that winning fish.
Water levels at Lake Fork are currently sitting at 403.27, which is still about 3 inches above pool.
Surface temperatures have been in the upper 80’s to low 90’s on most days with the water clarity being fairly clear to about 3 foot in most areas.
The fishing has been fair to good on most days.
Numbers have varied from day to day but the overall quality of fish we are catching is good. Shallow water fishing has been good early with wacky worms and Texas rigged 7 inch worms in June bug, pumpkinseed or watermelon colors fished over and in submerged grass beds. Main lake points with grass have been the most productive places to find these shallow feeding fish early and late. Although there are some fish in extremely shallow water, the heavier concentrations of fish have been holding in 10 to 16 feet of water. The top water bite has been inconsistent lately but when they do want it, yellow magics and zara spooks in shad patterns have been good.
The deeper bite has been a little less consistent than would be expected this time of year. With the water temperatures being moderate and an abundance of shallow cover, the fish have been relating to shallow to mid depths more consistently than out deep. This is not to say that there aren’t a number of spots to catch them deep. When the weather has been hot, there are plenty of fish that are grouping up on deep structure. Points, roadbeds, humps, pond dams and ridges that are in 22 to 32 ft have produced well.
Finding these fish out deep can be a chore at times but if you run your electronics over enough areas, you may find a load of them. Carolina rigs have been the most productive for me after I have marked some fish with my electronics. I use a 7’6” heavy action Shimano Crucial rod and reel spooled with 20lb. Gamma Edge fluorocarbon, a 1 oz. weight and a 4-5 foot leader.
Best baits have been the Grande Bass Mutant, Rattlesnake or Baby Rattlesnake in watermelon red, watermelon seed, chartreuse pepper or their “NEW” green pumpkin/watermelon laminate color rigged on a 3/0 wide gap hook. On some days the fish prefer the rig worked through them on a steady pull and on other days you’ll want to hop it some so vary your retrieve some until you figure out how they want it. A Texas rigged worm has also produced well on these deep spots the same as it has the shallow to mid depth areas. Watermelon red, watermelon seed and June bug colors have been best.
At times the fish have been a little less active and somewhat suspended off the bottom in these deep areas. Catching them on a Carolina rig or Texas rig will not be as productive when this occurs. That is when I grab my Crucial spinning rod and start working on them with a drop shot rig. I keep my rod spooled up with 10 lb. Gamma fluorocarbon, a 2/0 drop shot hook and a 3/8 to 1/2 oz. weight attached about 18 to 24 inches below the bait. Best baits have been the Baby Rattlesnake in watermelon red and chartreuse pepper or a 4” finesse worm in shades of watermelon or pumpkinseed.
Some more effective ways to catch these suspended Lake Fork bass is with deep diving crank bait (DD 22), chrome lipless crank bait, jigging spoon, or swim bait worked at or just above the depth that these bass are suspending. At times you will find these fish schooling on bait fish and will want to have your rod ready to cast into the school of fish before they move off or quit chasing shad. The schooling action is awesome but short and sweet sometimes so you’ll want to be ready!
If you are planning a trip to Lake Fork to come catch some of these trophy bass or you would like to book a trip to pre-fish for an upcoming tournament, feel free to give me a call at (903)736-9888 or you can send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
This fall at Lake Fork is going to be awesome as well so make your reservations now.
Good luck to everyone that will be coming out to fish the McDonald’s Tournament. If you get a chance, stop by the Shimano booth and check out some of their great new products for 2008. I will be there during the tournament so come by and say hello. I hope to see you carrying a BIG MAMA to the scales!
Read 1 John 2:17
Tight Lines and God Bless,