Lake Fork Report & Pics—May 4, 2013

Please post your fishing reports (freshwater or saltwater, conventional or fly fishing). You don't have to give away your secret spots but you do have to share what tackle you were using!
Tom Redington
Senior Angler
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:42 pm
Location: Lake Fork
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Lake Fork Report & Pics—May 4, 2013

Postby Tom Redington » Sat May 04, 2013 3:34 am

Monday—Randy got the better of a double with an 8-12 but Pat rallied with a 7-12 later:
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Tuesday—The brothers combined for a 34.63 lb limit the next day:
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Thursday—fish bit all day in the front, with Zac’s best five around 32 lbs:
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Friday—slower after the front but another good sack in the 30s anchored by an 8-5 and 7-11:
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Cover shot from “Scouting Magazine” May/June issue. Read the article here:
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http://lakeforkguidetrips.com/pdf_files ... _cover.pdf

Worm fishing article featuring me in “BassWestUSA” Spring ’13 issue:
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http://lakeforkguidetrips.com/pdf_files ... 20worm.pdf


A much cooler spring has Lake Fork running about 3-4 weeks behind what it was last year. Although some bass are still up spawning, I’ve been concentrating mostly on actively feeding postspawn fish over the past couple of weeks on Lake Fork. A few prespawn fish are showing up every day though, so I suspect we’ll still have some fish on beds for a while. A lot of shad are spawning now, plus I’m seeing some bluegill spawning too. As a result, you can catch bass shallow all day as they take advantage of their reproductively distracted prey. On overcast and windy days, bass will continue to aggressively chase in the shallows all day. If it turns sunny and slick, you can either slow down with soft plastics in the shallows or head to deep water, as more and more bass are showing up daily on deep structure.

As the bass feed up after the spawn, the result is our most consistent fishing of the year for numbers of quality fish in the 3 to 7 lb range, with a shot at a double digit. So if your plans didn’t allow you to take advantage of the spawn this year on Fork, don’t despair, you can still enjoy what most locals consider the best fishing of the year on Fork—May through July. In addition to catching a lot of big fish, it is also the premier time to learn how to read your electronics to graph big schools of bass on deep structure.

For fish pics and regular updates from Fork and the trail, follow along at www.facebook.com/tomredingtonfishing and http://twitter.com/Tom_Redington . For more fishing info on shallow spring fishing, you can check out my new article on hybrid soft plastic jerkbaits for spawning and post spawn fish: http://lakeforkguidetrips.com/fishingar ... il2013.htm

Lake Conditions: The strong cold fronts this spring have brought a lot of cold and wind, but not enough rain to raise the lake. The lake level is currently 398.45’ (about 4’ 6” below full pool). Water temps cooled with the front on Thursday, reading 65-68 in the main lake on Friday. There is a bit of grass on the lake, mostly on the northern ends, and most of it is in extremely shallow water. The backs of a few creeks are muddy, but most of the lake is about normal, becoming more stained as you head up the lake.

Location Pattern: For the last of the spawners, check out the main lake flats and short pockets on the southern half of the lake. The slightly deeper structure like points, creek channels, and ledges in 1’ to 8’, adjacent to areas with numbers of shallow spawning bass is where we’ve found most of the bigger females, staging on their way back to deep water. On the northern half of the lake, points, creek bends, and flats will continue to hold numbers of fish until the bluegill and shad finish their spawns and temps turn hot. Some of the early spawners are showing up on offshore structure in 12’ to 25’ as well.

Presentation Pattern: Just about every category of lure in the tackle box will work at times during the coming month, it’s just a matter of finding the best bait for the conditions. Topwaters are not only fun to fish, but also producing some really big fish so try your Lucky Craft G Splashes, Kelly J’s, and Gunfish. Best of all, you can work these baits all day long in the postspawn and catch good fish, especially if you are in areas with lots of bass fry. I throw my topwaters on the fiberglass Dobyns Champion 704CB GLASS model rod. It weighs no more than a graphite stick and has a very soft tip. Little poppers are small and often hard to cast, and then you miss a lot that bite them or jump off many that do. The soft tip of the Dobyns fiberglass rod will fling those little baits way out there and the slower action of fiberglass allows the bass to better take your bait, plus it keeps them on the treble hooks even when lightly hooked. I know that sounds like an infomercial, but since I switched to this rod last spring, I can’t stop talking about how much I like it. Seeing monster bass explode on a topwater is pretty awesome, but it is way better if you actually get to hook and land them too.

While in the shallows, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and vibrating jigs work well in shad or bluegill color schemes. ½ oz spinnerbaits, Lucky Craft LC 1.5 or BDS 3 square billed cranks, and bladed jigs with 3.5” Live Magic Shads will all catch good bass, especially on the windy and cloudy days. If the action slows, try a Hyper Stick or Ring Fry on a 12” leader and a ¼ oz weight on a Carolina rig and drag it around the same areas. With the bass chasing so much shad, a 4.5” boot tail Live Magic Shad on a swimbait hook will work great as well in the same areas.

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. With the new DownScan sonar from Lowrance and detailed maps from Navionics, finding those once secret deep holes is now a lot easier. Lots of bass suspend early in the season and super deep cranks like Lucky Craft’s Flat CB D20 are very effective. Fork Flutter Spoons will trigger a lot of these same fish too as they slowly wobble down through the schools like a dying shad. When bass group up on the bottom they are easier to catch. Simply keep a Carolina rigged Baby Fork Creature or a TX rigged 10” Fork Worm in front of them long enough and they’ll eat sooner or later.

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at tom@lakeforkguidetrips.com or get more info on my website http://www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com. Trying to get your son started in fishing and the outdoors? Love fishing and want to help others get involved? Check out www.BeAScout.org and help the next generation get active outside.

Good Fishing,

Tom

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