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Lake Fork Report�December 3, 2007


Tom_Redington

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With cooler nights and shorter days, the bass at Lake Fork are settling into late fall and winter patterns.  With a week of 60s and 70s forecasted, now's a good time to avoid the crowds at Fork and enjoy some good fall fishing.  As the water cools, numbers start to run lower on average, although you can catch a boatload of fish on the right days.  While numbers start to decline, big fish become more common and will only continue to increase as we move towards the spawn in March and April.  Go fishing after several days of stable weather, especially right before a front, and you'll be able to catch big bass in deep or shallow water this month.

With the holidays just around the corner, I do have gift certificates available for those looking for a present for their angling buddies.  2007 has been a fantastic year on Fork, benefiting from ample rains and a full lake.  With prespawn starting in late-December, it won't be long until my favorite lunker time of the year is here, January through March.  And with the lake in such good shape, Fork should be awesome in '08.

Lake Conditions:  Fork is 5 below full pool right now, currently reading 402.58' and dropping very slowly.  The lake is full of aquatic vegetation, with a deep weedline anywhere from 8' to about 15'.  The main lake is clear, while the creeks are ranging from clear to stained.  Water temps are general holding in the mid-50s, good wintertime water temps for Fork.

Location Pattern: Depending on the conditions, the bite may be best in shallow grass or on deep structure.  Early and late and all day on cloudy and windy days are typically the best times for the shallow grass bite.  When the sun gets up, concentrate on the deep weed edge in 8' to 15' and creek channels running through grass flats in large coves.  You'll find fish over the flats more after warming trends, while fronts typically drive them more towards the creek channels or into thick deep grass.  Most fish are in groups, so you'll fish for a while without getting a bite, and then catch several in a small area.  When the shallow bite is off, concentrate on main lake structure in 14' to 40'.  Find the schools of yellow bass and the big largemouth will be with them.  Normally, you'll find the fish schooling shallower on windy and cloudy days, while it's not uncommon to catch fish on Fork in the wintertime in 38' or deeper on sunny days after a front.    

Presentation Pattern: As the water cools, I start to limit the variety of baits that I throw, sticking with key lures and working areas thoroughly.  In the shallows, ½ oz chrome, red or crawfish colored lipless crankbaits and ½ oz white spinnerbaits are my top choice for finding fish.  When they won't chase, slow down with a suspending jerkbait and you'll trigger inactive bass.  Once I've found a school, weightless rigged Magic Shads and Live Magic Shads or wacky rigged Twitch worms in shades of watermelon are catching fish best.  For bigger fish, a 1/2 oz blue bruiser Mega Weight jig with a matching Fork Craw trailer is your best bet when pitched to the deep weed edge or stumps along the creek channel.  Out deep, Twitch Worms in watermelon or green pumpkin work well on drop shots, as do Carolina rigged Baby Ring Frys, when bass are located on the bottom.  Both of these techniques will produce numbers of bass as well as the occasional big fish.  For the suspended bass, I start with Lake Fork Tackle's new big Fork Flutter Spoon in the Yellow Bass or Magic Shad colors.  These catch fewer yellow bass and are great for catching really big bass.  If the bass are finicky and won't hit the big spoons, switch to ½ oz spoons and 1 oz tail spinners and you'll catch some largemouth and lots of yellow bass with these.

Boat for Sale: My 2007 Ranger Z21 boat is now for sale and I've reduced the price. I picked it up in late October of last year and it is fully loaded, rigged with a 250 HP Yamaha with a 5 year warranty.  It's value priced and will save you over $10,000 off the cost of a new boat.  For more details and pics of the boat, please drop me a note.

Mexico Update:  Fishing is off to a very fast start for the 2007-2008 season at Lake Baccarac, with lots of fish over 10 lbs being caught.  All Mexico lakes go through boom and bust cycles and Baccarac is certainly peaking right now.  I'm also working with a new lodge at Lake Guerrero.  The new owners are very friendly and put customer service first, while offering very low rates for such a clean resort.  If you're headed to Guerrero or Baccarac this year, let me know and I can put you in touch with them.  

Here's hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams.  If I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Good Fishing,

Tom  

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