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dryheatAZ

Lake Fork Questions

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Hey All,

I have a few questions for the Texans.  I am going to try to meet my dad at Fork for a day or two in January or Feb. I will be flying in from Phoenix (home) for one or two days.  I have never been on Fork.  I will only be carrying two rods and a small tackle selection for such a short trip.  I understand that it will be jig and spoon season.  We will be in my dads boat (50 HP) so running all over will not be an option.  I have a map and would like some general info for put in areas.  The just starting to originate plan is to key in on one or two feeder creeks for the day.  So if you had two rods and a small box of tricks what would it be.  Thanks in advance.  I know this is going to be a slow refining process.

Tight Lines,

Shane

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Shane,

Too bad you can't delay the trip another month or so. Lots of BR folks will be down there then.

However, February is an outstanding time to catch good bass. But spoons? They are used heavily in January out over deep humps. February the weather has started to warm up and the fish are beginning to stack up on points and creeks and in mouths of creeks waiting for their annual dance to begin.

My favorite cove over there is White Oak. Birch is a close second. Luckily they are right next to each other :) When you head into White Oak there is actually 3 fingers to it. So it makes 3 nice points not counting the one on the north side of the cove on the main lake. As you are looking into the back of the creek the point between the middle longest arm and the arm on the right is real good. Fish this point with a white double willow bladed spinnerbait. Work this bank down about 100 yards then turn around and work it back out and around into the arm on the right. Work that bank on the left. It is a deeper bank on that side. Work it all the way to the back. Man there are so many things to key in on over there. This arm has tons of cedar trees that hold fish. They are predominantly on the opposite side of the arm. Hit those too.

That first arm on the left and that big point is a good point to work. Use your jig in the middle of this arm on the left in about 6-7 feet of water hitting the tree stumps in the middle. Bass sometimes are on those stumps.

The main creek in the middle runs all the way through this middle arm and has trees lining the edge in 20' of water. Those trees can hold some fish at this time too. When the creek gets close to cedar trees make sure you throw at those. Cedar trees hold allot of bass over there.

That 1 creek can have you fishing in there all day. The last time I fished there in February was 2004 before I moved to Florida. I caught a 7lber on a spinnerbait on that first point I told you about and a 6lber on a jig on the stumps on the left arm as you are heading in.

Red Rattle traps are also awesome then and they work best around hydrilla edges and you can find plenty of that on the main lake point to the north there and the secondary point dividing the left arm from the middle arm of White Oak. Basically fish the far left or north point as you head into the creek with a rattle trap. It is more open here with less stumps and more grass. Fish that all the way till the first big arm on the left. You will come to a smaller little cove that usually has some good fish around it too.

Anyway, I hope that gives you an idea on one of the many arms on this lake. I will leave you with this. Points in February will hold more fish then anything else overthere. So hit as many points as you can find. The point on the right side of Glade past the E 515 bridge is an excellent point too. I had my best day ever on that point in FEBRUARY. 3 over 7lbs.

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How about just general structure/ cover and lures? Are there any colors that "seem" to be lake specific. Jigs? Soft plastics? Are there colors that you think are important? Is there deep structure or rocky shoals? How about current on the upper part of the lake? Is the dam worth working? Is the water significantly deeper or clearer towards the dam or is that less productive?

Since many of us are not tournament fishing, how about trolling just outside the wood, along channels or near deeper water? Is there any structure near the main channel in the deepest part of the lake? Maybe something special that not everyone is fishing?

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RW...

Keithscratch just wrote seven paragraphs of what I would consider quite helpful information on how to thoroughly catch bass in several specific places on Lake Fork.  Delete my post if you like, but in my opinion, seven paragraphs of helpful information on fishing a particular lake and sections thereof outweighs lure and color selection.

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Kent,

First of all, I am not giving you this info. If you want other info I will be happy to help YOU. However this info was for Dry Heat. Maybe he can utilize this info somehow?

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Keith, GREAT Post thank you for providing such detailed info.. good job in helping a brother out.

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Guest avid

What I would like to know, is if the lake is dominated by stumps and woody cover, what depth, color and size of lipped crankers have a history of success.

Nothing too specific mind you, brand name, model #, color, size, and most effective water depth to fish, most effective diving depth of the lure and retrieve technique should be good for starters  ;D

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Thanks for the info Keith.  Play nice boys and girls.  Keith helped me out.  Some folks talk a lot but have nothing to say.  I see enough flaming on my home board.  Life's to short to be negative over petty matters.

Tight Lines

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Is RW not allowed to also ask for info too?? I don't get it. ( troutfisher, you never ask for "more" info?? I don't understand the point you are trying to make with your .02. )

I think what Keith meant was that he would probably give RW different info knowing his level and style better than he knows dryheats.

The lake is huge, like a city. The entire thing isn't covered with wood but it's pretty close. There are plenty of places to fish that aren't wood related. There are brideges, holes, old holding tanks, creek channels, etc. The place really has it all from areas with thick mat to open water. As for working the outside of the wood, if there is a distinct line of trees that make a "border", chances are those trees are hardwoods and on the edge of a creek channel. Just an example.

- Seemed everyone there threw somthing red or watermelon w red flake.

Also, the dam can be productive according to Matt and Willy. It's Willies "go to" when nothing else is working. Big sanbar type of point in front of it and very deep water nearby. We fished it for about 1/2 hr but no luck.

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I love White Oak Creek also, I love where the three creeks meet at for staging. Huge trees line the creek where the three meet.

Great info Keith, dead on. Standard Black/Blue jigs with purple pork trailer has been super combination over the years.

Yozuri vibes when the days warm up over the grass in Mad Craw, or Rattle traps in Red Milo are all good producing baits.

Finding pockets where the water is a few degrees more in one cove or creek is normally the ticket.

The public ramp by the 515 bridge on the west arm puts you a mile and half from White oak. Also further up in the west arm is White oak Bay, so don't get confussed.

Jan and Feb are owned by 16 lb or better bass. Records show 16 of Texas top bass over 16 pounds comes in these two months.

Last year a 15+ was caught on dead sticking a black and blue fleck senko, so lots of baits work.

If you Google sharelunker, and top Tx 50 bass, most will give you bait and month so you can see a wide variety baits work. Big baits catch big bass during this time of the year, one easy meal is what guides will bestow on most.

I'm a fan of slow rolling a big bladed Hart spinner bait in white/chart or firetiger.

I have tons of productive areas, but once you see Fork, it baffles most because everything looks fishy.

Kieth has given you a very good spot to catch a share lunker in. A few have come from that area many times. Plus that area will knock some wind down out of the north.

Hookem

Matt.

Thanks for the reminder LBH,  Last year in November, my partner Willie hooked a monsster, Wille weighs over 200, this fish dove deep under the boat and bent his rod into the water, Took Big Willie out of the boat.

After I got him into the boat and stripped down with My extra clothes, I asked him why his drag didn't work?  His reply was, I showed him the Cali Swimbait fishing videos posted last year around that time and they said to always lock your drag down.     Thus Willie got handcuffed at the boat and the fish had his way.

Remember the dangers of Navigating this lake.     We were at the dam and no trees in the area, but stuff happens.

Never fish cold waters alone, and keep extra clothes and maybe a sleeping bag for the emergency.    Willie managed to get warm, but that morning, I never fired the big motor off again as to not get him chilled down again.     Keep cell phone dry, you never know when a stump can take the boat down, I've seen it happen to the best of the best on Fork.

Be safe on Fork, she can be very rewarding, but can humble the best real fast.

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Be safe on Fork, she can be very rewarding, but can humble the best real fast.

Someone say my name? lol

1 week of results summed up in 1 picture! lol  I suk :)

Picture057.jpg

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Shane,

      Don't let that 50 horse worry you.    There are public ramps at every bridge except in Birch Creek.

It only takes a second to load the boat and drive 5 minutes and be on the other arm of the lake.

Most Marina ramp fees are currently 3.00 also, so moving around the lake is no big deal because their are so many ramps and possiblities.

Feel free to ask any questions, there are a ton of resources to point you in the right direction.

Hookem

Matt.

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troutfisher, you never ask for "more" info?? I don't understand the point you are trying to make with your .02.

I was only clarifying the significance of Keithscatch's response, not saying that I never ask for more info.  ;)

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Thanks Ya'll we're off to a good start. :)  Here are some follow up questions

1.  What weight spinnerbaits.  I'm assumming fairly heavy fished just off the bottom and vvveeerrryyy sssllloowwllyy.  

2.  colored blades or the standard silver w/clear skys gold w/overcast?

3.  How is the water visibility.  I'm assuming it can get pretty muddy with just a little rain.

4. Is cedar the most common timber or is Fork SE enough that there are a few old pines and oaks.  I spent a couple of years as a kid fishing Livingston and family farm ponds around Abilene.

5.What is the average water temp in Jan?  

6. Last for now.  What style jig heads and weights do you guys prefer.  Most of my box are football heads for here in the west but they tend to hang quite a bit in the wood.  

THANKS AGAIN FOR THE HELP

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Be safe on Fork, she can be very rewarding, but can humble the best real fast.

Someone say my name? lol

1 week of results summed up in 1 picture! lol I suk :)

Picture057.jpg

That's it?  That is all you got in one week?  Sheesh LBH, what went wrong?  What do you attribute your lack of bass to?  What did you do wrong?

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Thanks Ya'll we're off to a good start. :)  Here are some follow up questions

1.  What weight spinnerbaits.  I'm assumming fairly heavy fished just off the bottom and vvveeerrryyy sssllloowwllyy.   I like a 1/4 ounce in January as it is smaller and a 1/2 ounce in February. Johnson spinnerbaits are very effective out there too. So are Terminators

2.  colored blades or the standard silver w/clear skys gold w/overcast?White is the best color I have used out there. Solid white. I fish shallow in the grass year round. Lots of fish hang out in shallow grass there.

3.  How is the water visibility.  I'm assuming it can get pretty muddy with just a little rain.Water color is usually pretty decent. When it rains hard the backs of the creeks will get real muddy. However, if there is allot of hydrilla back there it will help. I know one cove that is always nice and clear that time of year.

4. Is cedar the most common timber or is Fork SE enough that there are a few old pines and oaks.  I spent a couple of years as a kid fishing Livingston and family farm ponds around Abilene.I am not sure what is the most common. But Cedar is not. WhiteOak and that area of the lake has allot of Cedar Trees but other parts of the lake have no cedar trees. I would guess Oaks would be the most numerous though I am not sure

5.What is the average water temp in Jan?Typically in January it will be in the mid 40's. Once it hits high 40's ie late January early February I will start throwing red rattle traps. That is a hard technique to beat at Fork then.

6. Last for now.  What style jig heads and weights do you guys prefer.  Most of my box are football heads for here in the west but they tend to hang quite a bit in the wood.  I use very little jigs. But I have used Strike King Denny Breuer editions in 1/2 ounce. I always use half ounce. These are not grass head jigs just regular head jigs. Not sure what the official term is for them. The hard and fast rule for Fork is Black and Blue. That is a color scheme that you can't go wrong with. Another good color on the lake is Watermelon Red.

Shane, sounds like you are going in January. January is a tough month to fish there. You won't get many bites. But you might get the one bite of your life. January was always my least favorite time to go there. Weather can be harsh then or sometimes nice. But spoons and slabs work good in January over road beds. Lots of people use slabs over deep structure like old road beds. such as the old hwy 515 for example. Also some people dead stick slabs real slow. They use 1/4 ounce size ones too. Just barely lifting it off the bottom. Or sometimes jerking it up a couple inches or feet. Depending on how the bite is. Since that is not my favorite way to catch fish I would usually scratch out a few fish hitting points and grass beds on spinnerbaits or rattle traps. Maybe a t-rig worm. If you can go in February you will do better though.

Andy, man, I wouldn't get too cocky just yet. Fork has a way of making you rethink yourself. Like any lake it takes a while to get into the flow of what is going on out there. Just showing up even with advise doesn't always guarantee you fish.

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Guest avid

This thread is why BassResource.com is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It got off to an unfortunate start, but everybody is putting the best interest of the forum first and it has every indication of being an outstanding thread.

For those of us lucky enough to be going in March, Shane's question was on the money and the relevant replies are OUTSTANDING.

Keep em comming all you forkers out there...HMMM... Dern bum arm, I said FORKERS not PORKERS. ;)

For those "on the fence" about coming maybe this will give you that little "nudge".

For those who can't make it to the fork, It was pointed out that the Fork may be "dominated" by wood but has virtually every other type of cover as well (somthing I didn't realize. I thought it was a texas size version of the stick marsh )

As the replies keep coming I'm certain there will be something of value for everyone.

I only have one other question...................................................

That's it? That is all you got in one week? Sheesh LBH, what went wrong? What do you attribute your lack of bass to? What did you do wrong?

Sorry LBH, Sorry Bass Fisher but this was just toooooooooooo

funny. (And you can't be mad because my judgement is impaired from the surgery) :-* :-* :-*

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LBH, if you took what I said how avid did, that isn't how I meant it.  If I go fishing, and don't catch many bass, or any at all, I figure out why.  That is what I meant.  Why didn't you catch more fish?

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3 inches of rain and a major cold front moved in the day before we got there.

Very few fish caught all week, Guides also according to T. Redington.

That's fishin'.

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The energizer Bunny ain't got nothing on LBH.    It wasn't for lack of effort on his part.

For those of you that are gonna try to keep up with Russ, bring your expresso maching, your gonna need it.

Matt.

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Guest avid

my most sincere and public apologies to andy and russ

i like to kid around but jokes made at anothers expense are hurtful not funny

please see my pm,s to you

went to pt this afternoon.  doc says typing with rt. hand is forbidden so please excuse primitive postings for awhile

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