Lake Fork

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Go Deep, Stay Deep for Lake Fork Big Bass


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:

Whitt Smith, well known Lake Fork bass fishing guide, says early summer is his favorite time of the year to be on the hunt for Lake Fork Bass. “I will be catching fish all over the lake; checking grass, switching off to offshore locations, north and south end of the lake, just trying to find them grouped up on bait. A lot of people want to fish Fork in the spring, but the end of May through early August is some of the best fishing for big fish.

Smith is monitoring main and secondary lake points and humps. “The fish up in the bays in March and April come out in the summertime and hang out off the points. Some areas have shell beds, some have a drop, some a channel swing that comes close to a point.”

The bass are seeking out bait, looking for the water temperature they prefer, the best dissolved oxygen content. The hotter water surface temperatures cause the fish to push out into deeper water and group up on those deeper spots. Ideal water depths recently have been 15-22 feet.

Hydrilla was the keyword in looking for bass on Fork in the past, but the aquatic week isn’t as numerous as it used to be. “There is some hydrilla trying to come back,” acknowledged Smith. “We have some coon tail and other kinds of grasses but in maybe the last 10 years or so, shell beds have really come on, become a target. They are like a Luby’s or a Whataburger…just attract fish.”

You’ll find the shell beds in water 30 feet or shallower on humps, ridges.

The Shaky Head jig, Football Head, is his go-to choice for a bait. “I’m targeting big fish; I’ll throw a Magnum Shaky Head, ¾ ounce Football Head Jig head, 7/0 hook with a screw lock, 10 ½ worm on it, using 20 lb. fluorocarbon line. You can feel it going bumpity-bump if you are on the shell.”

The size of the bait allows an angler to throw it out there a long distance, lets it drop to the bottom quickly. “I want to make bottom contact. It’s a drag and stop retrieve, but I don’t stop it for a long time. Drag it slowly where you can feel the bang-bang-bang pace. It’s a big profile. We are not going after small fish.”

Photos: Coutresy Whitt Smith

Tell us what you think!

Bent Tree Motel - Emory TX

Lake Fork Email Updates


Visit our Lake Fork Sponsors!

Lake Fork Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Fork Weather Forecast



Hi: 99

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 76


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 96

Friday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 75


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 94

Saturday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 75


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 98

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 77

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 8/23: 401.84 (-1.16)

Lake Fork Fishing Report from TPWD (Aug. 21)

Water lightly stained; 88–92 degrees; 1.07’ low. Black bass are fair on flutter spoons, football jigs and deep diving crankbaits. White and yellow bass are fair on slabs. Crappie are slow on minnows. Catfish are good on trotlines and prepared bait.