Tis the Season: Catching Bass in the Spring-Winter Transition

There is a transition period on every body of water from season to season. Winter to spring, Spring to summer, summer to fall, and fall to winter. Each transitional period creates the need for the fishermen to alter their techniques and re-think what’s been working for them in the previous weeks season. What are causes and effects of the changes?

Winter to spring is hard on the fishermen because, well, we’re ready to get out of the house and catch some fish! The transition from winter to spring can be very frustrating as the weather often doesn’t co-operate and the fish can begin their move to spawning only to be rebuffed by sudden cold. This is the most exciting time of year because it’s truly a time when the bass of a lifetime can be caught. Keep track of the water temp and try to find the warmest water. When the average water temp is  - 60*-65* the bite should begin to pick up. Often the fish are in several different stages of pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn, each stage requires a unique approach by the fisherman.  A bonus is that all fish are becoming far more active and catchable.

A few tips that may help you:

  1. Know the stage the fish will be in by understanding the water temperature and their migrating habits. A water temp in to 50*-55* range will bring the females to Pre-Spawn when they suspend around standing timber or other features waiting on the males to form a nest and push her to it. The males are often the first fish we see as they cruise the shallow water.
  2. The fish will begin to tend their nests when the water is in the 65* range.  Look for nesting fish around brush, rocks, and other objects in the water. Bass tend to like something near their nest that can provide cover. If the lake is deep and no sufficient shallow water is available look in the tops of flooded trees and anywhere a nest could be built in 3’ or less of water.
  3. The post spawn is the most exciting time to fish for bass because the fish go on a feeding pattern to rebuild their energy from the spawn. This is prime top water time and a great opportunity to get a huge fish before they go deep for the summer. Use these methods to locate and understand the bass for a better chance of success.

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Lake Fork Current Weather Alerts

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Lake Fork Weather Forecast



Hi: 79

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 50


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 75

Monday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 53


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 68

Tuesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 47


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 70

Wednesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 55

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 3/27: 401.49 (-1.51)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 22)

GOOD. Water Stained; 55-62 degrees; 1.64 feet below pool. The cold front dropped the water temperature down 10 degrees in some areas slowing the bass bite. Use a slow bait presentation with Texas rigs, baby brush hogs or beaver type baits on the outside edge of the grass. Darker colored baits like V & M chopsticks in Texas smoke have been fair in 3-6 feet. Look for the bite to improve by the weekend as the water temperature warms and bass return to beds. Frogs and baits worked on top of the grass and in the pockets of grass should be great by the weekend. Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. Cooler weather is affecting the movement of the black bass, as the water cools the females are not committing to the beds, but as the water warms activity will increase. Search warmer clearer water in the backs of coves and creeks for active fish. Crappie are beginning to move towards the banks, try small bead heads fished slowly 3-4 feet. Carp and gar are spawning in shallow water. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork is getting really hot. Seeing great numbers and lots of big fish each day. The fish are making huge moves shallow this week and will for the next month. Areas in 2-13 feet are finally beginning to see more fish that are spawning. The 14-32 feet staging areas are also still loaded with fish and reloading daily now. Seeing lots of fish roaming in open water but the best luck is still coming on fish on timber or brush. Small hand tied jigs in chartreuse or orange are getting crushed right now, and you can still catch fish well on soft plastics and minnows. Report by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins’ Guide Service. The crappie are biting in the main creek channels about halfway back in the creek. With the cooler weather most of the crappie are laying on the bottom. Once the sun comes out fish suspend up in the water column around 15 feet. Success with Snacky lures FS200 matched with the eye hole jig or crappie

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