Lake Fork

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Big Bass Taking The Spotlight At Toyota Bass Fest


Clunn amassed 29-04 on opening day of the season-ending Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest at Lake Fork – well over 4 pounds more than anybody else in the 85-angler field could muster. The 16-time B.A.S.S. winner (and four-time Classic champion) anticipated having a good day, but not to the level that he performed.

His massive haul was highlighted by an 8 1/2-pounder.

"I didn't expect to catch 29, but I expected over 20 – I'd been getting that every day (during practice)," he said. "The thing is it was all from two spots and all but the big one came from one dock.

"I went looking around and caught another limit or two, but they weren't the same size. I got the big one moving from one place to another, just fishing; some days it goes like that and other days it doesn't.

Patrick Walters is Clunn's closest pursuer with 24-14. Seth Feider, who caught a 9-09 bruiser that could garner him the new Tundra that goes to the angler who catches the heaviest fish of the tournament, is 3rd with 23-04, followed by Greg DiPalma with 22-09 and Ed Loughran with 21-13.

John Cox paces the lower half of the Top 10 with 20-14. He's trailed by Koby Kreiger (20-03), Chad Morgenthaler (20-01), Skylar Hamilton (19-13) and Brock Mosley (19-08).

Angler of the Year points leader David Mullins and 2nd-place Austin Felix are currently just outside that mark after weighing stringers in the 10 1/2-pound range (Mullins had only three keepers). That's opened the door for 3rd-place Clark Wendlandt, who led the race for much of the year prior to an 81st-place bomb at Lake Chickamauga last month. Local Lake Fork pro, Lee Livesay captured first place at Chickamauga; Livesay is currently in 32 place  with with 23-8 and 28-7 lbs.

Clunn caught his fish on the Ichikawa RC King Kong Shad 10, an oversized square-bill of his own design. In addition to the 8 1/2-pounder, he also had a 6-06 and a 5-09.

"It's a big-fish bait and this is a big-fish lake," he said. "The biggest keys are how you're working it and finding the right water to fish it in."

He went through 15 keepers and didn't lose anything that he had hooked up. I think I can catch 17 to 20 pounds from those other areas if I get one or two big bites."

Walters said he caught some suspended fish offshore and some from shallower water, all relating to timber. He handled at least 20 keepers (maybe 30) and his biggest weighed 6-06.

"I'm pretty happy with 25 pounds," he said. "I felt pretty good after practice and I was pretty sure I could catch some fish, but I didn't know what the quality was. They definitely bit better today than what I expected them to."

Feider started the day hoping to catch just a single keeper to secure his slot in next year's Classic. He achieved that goal about 20 minutes after take-off when he boated his monster. He added a 5-pounder just 10 minutes later, both enticed by a Rapala OG flat-sided crankbait

"I was pretty much on cruise-control after that," he said. "I think it was a pretty situational deal – it hadn't been windy and cloudy all week until this morning and I think those fish just slid up on that point and bit. I don't think it's something that's happening most of the time."

DiPalma worked a creek channel with a crankbait and a football jig, pulling his fish from 9 to 12 feet of water. His best specimen was a 5 1/2-pounder.

"Some guys came through, but I basically had the place to myself," he said. "I'd like to say that I can go back and catch them again but the fish in these bodies of water move so much.

"I saw another 40 on my Humminbird 360 that I didn't fish for. As the day went on they kind of dissipated, but when I was about to leave 12 more pulled up and were sitting there."

Toyota Bass Fest continues this weekend. Weigh-in is at the Sabine River Authority Headquarters on the shoreline of Lake Fork.

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:

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Partly Sunny

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Lake Fork Fishing Report from TPWD (Jan. 13)

FAIR. Water stained; 53 degrees; 0.81 low. Largemouth bass are slow on finesse worms, crankbaits, and football jigs near creeks with timber, roadbeds, brush piles, creeks, and rocky shorelines. White and yellow bass are slow in deeper water with white or chartreuse swim baits, slabs, and jigging spoons. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 14-28’ in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs. Catfish are fair on punch bait and cut bait in 12-24’.