Lake Fork

Because Life is Better at the Lake

How to catch crappie on Lake Fork

by Tom Behrens, Freelance Writer & Photographer

Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

Seventeen people attended the July Williams Creek Crappie Club meeting, a relatively new group dedicated to promoting the art of catching crappie on Lake Fork. John Bordas and George Durham signed on as new members. Gary Breedlove signed up at the July Swap meet. Pro crappie guide, Brad Williams shared some of his fishing secrets.

Williams Creek Crappie Club just formed this year and has 24 members.

"We are not pros or anything, just fishermen," says Danny Kemp, club president. "There are a lot of guys who like to crappie fish, but they don't know how to catch them all year. They think the only time you can catch crappie is in the spring."

Crappie can be caught right now in the heat of the summer if you know where to look and how to fish for them. Kemp says on Lake Fork the fish are in anywhere from 17 -25 ft. of water. "Action can be slow because of the heat," cautions Kemp. "The majority of the crappie anglers now are using minnows because of the swelter, but there are some anglers using jigs."

Is the size of the minnow important? Not really, according to Kemp. "Size of the minnows really plays to where we buy our minnows, what they have. Right now they have smaller minnows. Last Sunday we went out and caught 20 crappie, the biggest fish measuring 14 inches in length. The fish now are averaging anywhere from 10 to 14 inches."

You can fish the trees at this time of the year and get maybe one or two fish off each tree, but you can catch more fish if you can find a brush pile.

Next Williams Creek Crappie Club meeting is Aug. 10 at the Oak Ridge Restaurant. Guest speaker will be Mathew Carroll from Jigum Jigs.

"At some time we will have crappie tournaments, but the goal now is to educate anglers how to catch the fish. A Crappie Academy is on the calendar for November, a 3 day event including taking new anglers out on the water and teaching them how catch crappie in the winter.

For more information go to the Club's website,

Photo: The Williams Creek Crappie Club signed up two new members at the July meeting.

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Lake Fork Weather Forecast


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Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 12/21: 395.56 (-7.44)

Lake Fork Fishing Report from TPWD (Dec 17)

Water clear; 49–54 degrees; 7.38’ low. Black bass are fair on Megabass Wild Header bladed jigs with Megabass Spark Shad trailers. Black and blue flipping jigs along creek channel bends with timber in 6–10’ working as well. White and yellow bass are slow on slabs and minnows. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Catfish are slow on prepared bait and stink bait.

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