Coming to Lake Fork this Spring


In your youtube videos i see you throwing hard lures a lot. I am coming down to lake fork for the second year in a row now. Last time we were there we didn’t have much luck throwing soft plastic and spinner baits. We are coming again this year the 19th though the 22nd . If you could give us any advice we could use it we want to catch a good lake fork bass!

18 thoughts on “Coming to Lake Fork this Spring

  1. Hey,

    I like Flukes and Rattle Traps in the Spring. The topwater is also fun when the water warms up enough. Try a Super Fluke in the Watermelon seed color. Drag that through the grass and you are sure to get a bite. You can Carolina rig it or you can throw it weightless.

    Good luck. Let us know how your trip went.


  2. danhuis, I live 2 hours from Fork and fish it all seasons. This is my 20th year to fish this unmatched body of water. From your lure choice last year I assume you prefer fishing shallow. Last year in late march I caught numbers of slot fish ranging from 3 to 7 pounds on alewife(pearl colored)5" Bass Assassins on 4/0 Gamakatsu hooks w/offset shank. Fish it weightless on low-vis braided line. I only fish braid when fishing these baits because you stay in direct contact from rod tip to hook and every twitch results in lively action. Mono tends to "drag" the bait due to it's memory properties. It is worse in the cool waters of march. I like 40 lb. moss green Spider Wire.(These are not sales pitches…just preferences.) Braid also allows point penetration with a simple hip turn. Refrain from hunkerin' down on your hooksets. My experience with soft jerk baits is that small details can make a big difference. Rig it with the point in the pocket, the hook eye pulled into the nose, and (after rigging) hold the exposed hook shank firmly with the point up while pulling down on the line. This will angle your knot and the nose of the bait slightly downward. You want the bait to dig a bit and not porpoise.

    Retreive: Twitch,twitch,pause. Experiment with the number of twitches, speed of retreive, and length of pause. Ol' Bucketmouth will let you know.

    Location: This is a lightly stained to clear water tactic, so if there have been recent rains avoid the stained to muddy upper reaches of the creeks. My faves: secondary creeks and pockets (preferably running east and west) possessing shallow flats with vegetation and/or horizontal structure being no more than 10-15 feet away from at least 6-8 feet of water.

    Boat position: parallel to the flat making fairly long casts. The clearer the water, the longer the cast. Concentrate on lay-downs and vegetation edges. Work the cast all the way to the boat…you will get followers and fish holding deeper will come up for this bait.

    If you sight fish, have another Assassin on a seperate rod rigged Texas style. Use as small a weight as the wind will permit (1/8 oz. if you can). Experiment with dip dyes on the tail. Pitch well past the bed. If the fish swims away, hold fast until it returns. Sweep the rod tip high allowing the bait to fall vertically on the back edge of the bed. Then work it back with small hops or twitches. Long pauses tend to turn them off. Also try this with watermelon/red lizards. I use white dye on the tail so I can keep an eye on the bait. On april 2nd of 2006, between noon and 1:30p.m., I caught 3 double digit bass using the lizard on this technique. The bigger fish almost always bed a little deeper.

    Also try carolina rigging lizards on points and tank dams with grass and/or timber. A good run and gun bait is a gold/orange belly Rattlin' Rogue. I like the floater… make long sweeps with the rod then allowing the bait to float up and just touch the surface before sweeping again.

    Sorry this message was so lengthy but I love for people to have a good and productive fishing trip. This is my first time on this site…please let me know how you do. Relax, have fun, and don't be skeered of what might be looking at your bait. P.S. I will be there march 3-5. Later!

  3. Howdy Scott,

    You're welcome…always happy to share fishing info. I grew up on water and have been fishing since I have had a grip. If you fish Fork again I hope these tidbits produce at least one more strike for you. Good Luck and may your net man never rest.


  4. Wayne mentioned a Rougue. What a great lure! I have been fishing Rogues for years and they are really a great springtime bait anywhere.I like to work them over grass flats with timber and the edge of the grasslines.
    Wayne, how deep are you catching those bedding fish with a lizard? I have heard people talk about deep beds but I have not fished that way before.

  5. hey guys,

    Thanks for all the great advise I am sure it will come in handy for our trip. I am really looking forward to getting down there and getting out of this cold weather. I am not familiar with the rogue lure but it looks similar to a Rapala classic or countdown lure correct me if i am wrong? I am wondering if you could post some of your guy's favorite spots, you dont have to reveal your favorite spot if you dont feel like it, but i have heard that birch creek and caney creek are great spots for bass. I am trying to order the topo map that you have on your site but i am having trouble with paypal i am sure it will work out with time.

    Good fishing,


  6. Amen on the Rogue Benjamin. I always have one handy on Fork in the spring. It is a great bait to throw when on the troll moving from one spot to another. If I have fished shallow, slow and thorough in a pocket with another bait, I will use the Rogue to work the deeper vertical timber on my way out to the next pocket. If the target depth between the two pockets is wind-blown and has a tall ripple, I will stay with the Rogue. You can cover more water and structure faster, and pick up the active fish. Do you use different colors and/or sizes depending on conditons? if so, please explain.

    On to the bedding fish. You may know this, but just in case. Polarized sunglasses are a must. Ideally, sunny = grey lense, cloudy = amber, heavy overcast = yellow. I have a good pair of ambers (glasses not gals) that I wear most of the time. If the sun is hitting the backside of your lense, you won't be able to see the deeper fish. Turn your cap bill or use a hand towel over your head. Oh yeah, straighten your cap for the camera. I use my topo map to find coves and small creeks, running east and west, with quick depth changes near the shoreline. Water clarity is of course a factor. The north shore will usually be a little warmer because the sun shines on it all day and trees or hills on that side will prevent a north wind associated with a cold front from speeding the cool down process. I pick the side with the least ripple. Fish into the wind to control speed of drift and boat positioning. If you see shallow beds, there are sure to be some deeper. Put your trolling motor on super slow and then set-up. Watch the shallow beds and look in front of your bow for deeper beds. Be patient and look for movement. If you see a deep bed, keep an eye on it for several minutes. You may have spooked a fish on approach, it will come back. This is where the white dye on the tail works. I have pitched into deeper beds without seeing a fish, then watched that tail disappear. If there are beds present, I only move the length of the boat at a time,then set-up again. This requires patience but I assure you it will pay off. As a friend of mine once said, "I never caught a bass while I was doing over 40."

    The smaller the weight the better. A slow fall presentation can be deadly.

    In 2006, I saw a bed in 6' of water and there was a fallen tree on the surface above it. I pitched the lizard with a 1/8 oz. weight over a limb and drug it back over. When it started downward, a sow met it half way to the bed. She was just under 12 pounds. I caught 2 more in the same cove over 10 about the same depth. The wind was high from the south and I was fishing the south shore. I caught smaller fish on the north shore of the same cove in 3' or less. The ripple kept me from seeing deeper.

    Another method is to simply set-up deeper and randomly fan cast shallow and work it back under the boat (not as fun). If you find secondary points that arc, split-shot or carolina rig the inside in the same manner. Again, no more weight than you need. Check your local tackle store for Carolina Keepers. With these, You can adjust the length of your leader on the fly, handy when you are fishing around grass. Oh, and always use at least 2 GLASS beads. Crawfish find each other by snapping their pinchers together. Feeding bass will come to the chatter.

    Experiment with bed fish: a piece of Alka-seltzer in a hollow bodied bait will bubble and dance. A 1 oz. egg sinker with a Tiny Torpedo…pitch it on the nest, give slack allowing the bait to float up a bit, slowly sweep the rod tip back and forth. Looks like it's picking eggs from the nest. Bass hate it.

    I have booked at Fork march 3-5 and march 31-april 2 and looking forward to learning more. Take care and good fishing!

  7. The Fishinfoo is back. It's been a long dry spell between comments, but I really want to thank danhuis for getting things going with his inquiry about springtime fishing at Fork. The above commentary from Wayne is some of the best stuff I've read in a while, and I can't wait to hit Lake Fork– me and a few thousand others who soon will be out on the lake. Save me a spot! Another thing–also not a sales pitch–I prefer Zoom Super Flukes to the Bass Assassin. I really do think that the bass sometimes prefer the split tail on the Fluke. I really like watermelon red on Fork, but will be checking to see if alewife is available in the Fluke. I did not even know "alewife" was a color. I will confess that I have not fished braided line and will try to do so this spring. It sounds like it would be an adjustment for me, as I really enjoy hunkerin' down on my hooksets on good Lake Fork bass. I have heard that some fishermen use a fluorocarbon leader with braid. If this is true, could someone give me some tips on how to tie such a leader onto braid. I also heard some talk the other day about using a "bungee" rig on a drop shot with a lizard when sight fishing for bass. I understood this to mean that you use some kind of stretch material to tie on your hook or weight, but really did not get a good picture of the rig. Any tips will be appreciated. I also agree with Benjamin that the Rogue is a great lure. Gotta go–I think I'll go change the line on my reels. foo out!

  8. Good stuff here guys.
    Yeah Foo, I prefer the Fluke over the Bass Asassin too.
    If any of you guys want priveledges to start your own conversations here, post photos etc, just go here and create and account and fire away. You will have permissions to start topics and such right away.

    I'm learning a lot here. I was on the water last weekend. Surface temps were 47-48 around the 515 bridge area. I went as far north as the mouth of Birch and didn't go south at all. We should be close to 60 degree surface temps in a few weeks and that's when I start fishing a lot.

  9. Hey Foo, I like the screen name. Fluke or Assassin? I think it was Mr. Dance who once said that the best lure in your box is the one you have confidence in. Alewife is just a pearl white color. If you try braid, be sure and back-bed first with at least 3' of mono or the braid will spin on the reel. I only use braid on the weightless Assassin rig. Trilene Big Game when pitching jigs or Texas rigs…because I too like to hunker. Braid on short string fishing can jack your gear. When tying braid, leave at least a 2" tab. Then tie an insurance knot as close to the main knot as possible and clip the excess. I use a palimar backed by a double granny. Braid is bad about slipping. I have heard of a bungee rig but do not know what it is. There is another rig I have used sight fishing that may be similar. This works well on stubborn fish. I use a 1 oz. bell weight tied at the bottom of the main line. Then make a small hoop about 3' up the line and push it through your hook eye and tie a palimar knot. Rig on your favorite beddin' bait and pitch it past the nest. Drag the bait to the bed which leaves the weight behind and off the nest. You can now subtly bounce the bait without taking it out of danger. Good Luck. Later Foo.

  10. TR, first get a topo map. Go north in any of the major creek arms, The boat lanes are fairly well marked with bouys. The shallower stained waters will warm faster than the deep clear waters on the south end of the lake. As I mentioned above, I like areas protected from the north winds. Scott said the water temps at mid-lake (515 bridge) are in the upper 40's. I would go north from there. For a 2 day trip, use your map and temp guage to make the lake small. If you find 55 degree temps or up, find a point and fish it. I prefer Carolina rigs, but tail-spinners, vertical jigging, and deep diving cranks will produce also. With your map, look for secondary creeks with a good depth change. I would target the point closest to the channel. Bass should be mostly in a pre-spawn pattern at the time you are going and will bunch up on the points. They will use the channel as a highway into the creek flats as the water warms. Where are you launching? Later.

  11. This is my 3rd year coming to lake fork, 1st year we used a guide to get familiar with the lake, last year we used out top map and had a great plan and we did great. We like to fish the prespawn. We arecoming down march 5,6 and 7. Does anyone have a lure or type of fishing they like in the prespawn?

    Thanks for the info


  12. What's up Scohaz ?

    I would like to say to your readers that they can come to lake fork and do

    well fishing for bass if they fish lake fork like they were on thier own

    local lake . Remember, at most man made lakes the north end of the

    lake will generally warm up sooner than the centrall or southern end, hence

    fish northern areas of the lake if possible during pre spawn water temps.

    Try to lauch your boat as close to the area you are going to fish so that

    you can fish the most productive times of the day {dawn and dusk} not

    boat riding. When you see small male fish on beds they tend to be looking

    in one direction unless they are chasing off preditors, oh that direction

    in which they seem to looking most of the time is where the large females

    are. Thats right, if you fish out in front of where the males seem to be

    looking, theres a good chance to find a trophy. Well remember don't cutt

    off any anglers and practice lake rules and a good time can be had by all.

  13. Yeah this time of year is when I've had the best luck with size. I was out March 1 and had a great day. Cought all of our fish on stick baits, the soft bait just wasn't on. Northern shores were in the mid to upper 50's but I'm sure the winter blast this week changed that. For you guys coming out for the first time, stick to the boat lanes and definitely get a map. I've seen too many busted boats who thought the area was clear of trees.

    Back to baits, I've been throwing weightless plastics for years out here and always seem to do well. If that's doesnt' work then I pick up a rogue or other stick bait. After that a rat'l trap then finally a jig. Colors vary depending on the weather, but watermelon anything for soft baits and black and gold on rogues then finally the red rat'l trap and black jig round out the tackle box. The weather this week should be warming things back up, so get out there.

    One final thought: boating courtesy. I've been both the vitcim and accidental perp that has cut off a boat working a shore line. Sometimes it happens, but its best to just work into the flow with the other boats as they tend to bunch up in the same coves. Good luck to you all.

    Is there a way to post pictures on this site? It might be neat to post fish pictures like you see hanging at the marinas. Just a thought.

  14. Skeeter,

    When you make a post you can insert pictures. Log in to the site and when you are on the page where you make a post, before you click Save and Publish, scroll down and browse for your photo and upload it. It's very easy.

    Yep, this cold snap has set us back a bit no doubt.

    I'm heading to Florida to fish for trout and reds with some friends next week. I'll probably post some videos.

    Hopefully we'll get some warm weather next week.

  15. Hi im going to lake fork the 9th through the 12th or 13th just wondering a good place to rent cabins an wheres the best place on lake to catch me a wall hanger this will be my first time on fork

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