We had 4 over 8 lbs on Wednesday, including 3 by Gary from IL.
DeMarcus with a good TX rig fish
A few more from last week, including a couple nice ones for Randy:
The weather has been hot and dry for the past few weeks at Lake Fork and the bass have settled into their normal summertime routines. The predictable weather, as opposed to the constant frontal passages in the spring, makes for consistent fishing and guys have really been catching the bass well. With lighter winds and hot days, the lake may be starting to stratify already, with the formation of a thermocline starting to keep the fish a bit shallower. Last week a lot of fish were being caught very deep on spoons, as deep as 37’. This week the offshore fish were holding about 10’ shallower and many were suspended. When that happens, shallower structure like the 8’ to 20’ range often is your best bet. Just keep looking on your graph until you find where the fish are located and you will likely put a lot of big ones in the boat once you do.
Deep structure fishing is really a matter of being on the right school when they are biting, so timing determines whether you are catching them or just practicing your casting. New breakthroughs in sonar technology have made finding these schools of fish buried in timber much easier, so now is a great time to work on your deep structure fishing skills by catching a few hogs. The hot, sunny afternoons of summer are prime time to catch these big schools of big fish, and thankfully we have a nice breeze most days to keep us relatively cool. If you’re looking to learn deep structure fishing skills—reading topo maps, setting up your graph correctly & decoding the images on your sonar to find schools, and learning deep water techniques like big spoons, football jigs, drop shots, Carolina rigs, swimbaits and deep crankbaits—now through the fall is a good time to head to Lake Fork. And not only is it a great time to learn, but you’ll probably catch some big fish as well.
If you want to learn more about a few simple rules for choosing between the TX rig and Carolina rig, you can check out my June article called “Rules of Thumb for Texas and Carolina Rigs” here: http://www.lakeforkguidetrips.com/fi...s/june2011.htm
Lake Conditions: With most of our spring rainy season past us, look for the lake to be low for a long time unless we get hit by a tropical storm this summer. Currently it sits at 399.28 (about 3’ 9” below full pool) and a ton of stumps are visible. The boat lanes are still safe to run in general, but definitely exercise caution when heading out of the clear-cut areas. Water temps were showing 83-86 in most areas of the main lake, warmer in creeks. The lower main lake has a greenish tint but is pretty clear, with about 6’ visibility when the water is calm. Meanwhile, the backs of many of the creeks are still stained, as is the upper end of the lake. A decent amount of milfoil and hydrilla are showing up around the lake now, but the coverage is still significantly less than in past years.
Location Pattern: Early and late and when it is cloudy/windy/rainy, I’m finding bass feeding on points and flats near or in the main lake. Look for birds feeding on shad and schooling fish for the best locations. Deep structure like points, humps, creek bends, and roadbeds in 8’ to 37’ are best on the sunny days, both for numbers and size. While bass are suspended over many deep structure spots, finding places where they are on the bottom has been the key. Most of these schools are relating to a few pieces of isolated cover, so watch your depth finder closely or you’ll bypass the mother lode.
Presentation Pattern: Topwaters like Lucky Craft G Splashes, Sammys, and Gunfish are still getting some active fish early and late, as well as schooling fish when they come up during the day. Shad or chrome colors work best. When the fish go down, you can often catch a few more on a TX rigged 8 or 10” Fork worm in the same areas until they start schooling again.
On offshore structure like humps and points, deep diving cranks and Fork Flutter Spoons will catch suspended fish while Carolina and TX rigs will get the bottom dwellers. The key is to first locate fish on your graph, then let their position dictate your lure selection. Lots of bass suspend during the summer and super deep cranks like Lucky Craft’s Flat CB D20 and RC3.5XD are very effective, with Sexy Chartreuse Shad and Chartreuse Light Blue being my favorite colors. Fork Flutter Spoons will trigger a lot of these same fish too as they slowly wobble down through the schools like a dying shad. Try both aggressive rips and small hops with the spoon to determine the mood of the bass. A 7’8” Dobyns Extreme DX784C rod with 20 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line handles the heavy spoons very well and keeps those leaping lunkers hooked up.
When bass group up on the bottom, they are easier to catch. Carolina and Texas rigs are my first choice. I’ll try a variety of baits on both rigs and let the bass tell me how much or how little action they want. Hyper Worms, Fork Worms, Fork Creatures, Hyper Lizards, & Hyper Freaks have a lot of action and trigger big aggressive fish. If the bass are more finicky, straight tail baits like Hyper Finesse Worms, Hyper Sticks, and Twitch Worms are normally more productive. The most productive bait seems to change daily, so experiment until you find what they want. Many of the bites are light, so a super sensitive Dobyns Extreme DX744C handles the regular rigs, while the 7’4” Mag Heavy DX745C handles big worms and football jigs better. If the bass won’t respond to those offerings, switch to a Hyper Finesse Worm on a drop shot with 12 lb FluoroHybrid Pro line and a Dobyns Extreme DX743 spinning rod and you can still catch them, although the average bass size will run a bit smaller. In the darker water, June bug, plum and blue fleck have been good, while the various shades of watermelon and green pumpkin have worked best in the clearer water.
Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com
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