Lake Fork

Because Life is Better at the Lake

James Caldemeyer's Lake Fork Trophy Bass Fishing Report April 4, 2020

Lake Fork Trophy Bass Guide Service
Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer is a full-time bass fishing guide on World Famous Lake Fork in east Texas. James began fishing Lake Fork in 1994. He knows where the big bass live and is devoted to helping his clients catch these trophy bass. James also competes as a professional in the Bassmasters and FLW Tournament Series.

April is upon us and the bass fishing on Lake Fork is in full swing right now! The big ones are up shallow, and the lake has been crawling with anglers seeking to get out of the house and get in on some great springtime bass fishing. Being out on a boat in the middle of the lake fishing is probably one of the safest places to be right now. I’ve had trips every day and anglers are eager to get in on the big bass we’ve been catching. If you’re thinking of making a trip to the lake to get some fresh air, relax, and do a little fishing, here is some inside info and tips that will help make your trip a productive one on the water.

The water levels on the lake are right at full pool. The steady amount of rain this spring has kept the lake at capacity or slightly above for the last month or so. With that, the water clarity has been stained for the most part with a few areas down the lake that are clearer than the northern reaches of the lake. Water temperatures have remained above 60 degrees lately which is contributing to the heavy amount of spawning taking place. Low to mid 60’s in most areas with some pockets reaching 70 degree water temps. The warmer water has not only helped with the amount of spawning activity but also the growth of new vegetation in these areas. I’ve seen in several areas where the hydrilla and coontail have begun to grow in thicker again after receding from the winter.

The shallow water bite is on right now as the big bass nest up and do their thing. I’m using a multitude of baits to target these fish. That’s the best thing about the month of April is that it’s wide open and you can catch fish doing so many different things. There are fish in all three phases of the spawn right now… prespawn, spawn, and even some postspawn already. For the prespawners I am targeting them heavily with moving baits. These fish are hungry and looking for a big meal. They’ll chase shad and eat lots of crawfish so anything that imitates this will do the trick. My favorite, as most people know, is the big swimbaits. I use a variety of 3:16 Swimbaits for these big bass. From big glide baits to the soft plastic Rising Son version. Fishing these baits in the right areas will draw some bigtime bites from some huge Lake Fork bass! Be sure to stop by the 3:16 Swimbait Store (open Fridays and Saturdays only) on Hwy 515 west for the best selection of sizes and colors. If you can’t make it by there, Lake Fork Marina has a great selection on hand as well. I’m also catching some fish on some smaller moving baits like a chatterbait and the Berkley Square Bull 5.5 crank bait. The topwater bite has been fun as well. Who doesn’t like to catch big bass on a frog!? With all the flooded bushes and grass, the bass are tucked up in it and ready to pounce when you bring your favorite frog thru there. My go to for the spawning bass the past few weeks has been the Berkley Powerbait General. I’m rigging the 5” version weightless or wacky style and fishing this soft plastic stick bait along the banks or on the spawning flats in the backs of the coves and creeks. Best colors for me have been green pumpkin, June bug, and watermelon red. For the fish that are holding tight to the flooded bushes and cover I’ve found a new favorite in the Berkley Powerbait Bunker Hawg. This is a great flipping bait! Paired with an Abu Garcia flipping rod and Revo reel I’m hauling some big ones out of this flooded cover with my clients. Best colors and been black/blue and green pumpkin. Sight fishing is also a big deal right now even with off colored water. You’ll want to be sure you have a great pair of Costa polarized shades to see the big ones!

There are already some fish starting to move into postspawn patterns as well. You can start looking for these fish offshore as they start to gang up in deeper water. This is when I count on my new Garmin Echo Map Ultras to show me where the fish are. I’m running these on my new 2020 Ranger z521L paired with the Live Scope on the trolling motor and I can’t say enough about how effective they are. If you’re not using Garmin electronics, you’re at a disadvantage in finding fish. Not to mention how fun it is to watch the bass come up and eat your bait on the Live Scope screen! Most of these fish will be showing up in 12-18 ft. I will use several key baits to target these bass. First is a good deep diving crankbait like the Berkley Dredger. I’m taking this thing and making long casts and cranking it down on 12-15 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and waiting for it to load up. These big postspawn bass will tackle the Dredger! One thing I love about this bait is it comes factory out of the package with super sharp Fusion hooks. I very seldom lose any fish on them. Best colors are blue chartreuse, sexy back, and honey shad. Another great choice for these schools of fish as they get on the bottom good is a Santone Lures football jig. I will drag the 5/8 – 3/4 ounce models out deep paired with a matching craw trailer like a Berkley Chigger Craw or Pit Boss. Best colors are PB&J, Pake’s Perch, and my signature color JC’s Spicy Craw.

I hope this helps if you are headed out here soon in pursuit of a trophy bass. Everyone be safe out there right now! If you’re looking to book a guide to get away and get out to the lake, I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and show you a great time on the lake. I still have a few dates still available so contact me to check availability. If you would like to fish anytime in 2020 be sure to get on my schedule as soon as possible. I fill up very fast! I also have gift certificates available for those of you that are interested in purchasing a friend or loved one a guided trip on Lake Fork! You can contact me to make your reservation at 903-736-9888 or send me an email at You can also visit my website for more information about Lake Fork and my guide service at You can find me on Facebook and follow my official Lake Fork Guide page at
I would like to thank all my sponsors that support me. I am looking forward to representing them this year on the Bassmaster Opens circuit as well as serving all my great clients on Lake Fork! Sponsors: Toyota, Carhartt, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, I Am Second, Leer, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Garmin, Santone Lures, Costa Sunglasses, Power Pole, 3:16 Lure Company, Elite Tungsten, and Bass Boat Technologies. While you are at the lake be sure to stop by Diamond Sports Marine located on highway 154 just north of the bridge. They are receiving the new 2020 Ranger Boats daily and the Z Commanche Series boats are better than ever. Give Fred a call at 903-383-7829 to set up your personal demo ride in a Ranger Boat.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tight Lines & God Bless,
James Caldemeyer


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Lake Fork Current Weather Alerts

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Lake Fork Weather Forecast


Partly Sunny

Hi: 92

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 73


Partly Sunny

Hi: 93

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 73


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 95

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 73


Partly Sunny

Hi: 94

Sunday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 74

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/5: 403.11 (+0.11)

Lake Fork Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 3)

EXCELLENT. Water lightly stained; 81-85 degrees; 0.17’ high. Largemouth bass are fair on plastic worms, topwater and crankbaits near roadbeds, submerged structure, and points in 8-12’ and with some action with plastic frogs in shallow grass and lily pads. White and yellow bass are excellent in the deeper water of main lake points, flats, and humps. Crappie are excellent on jigs and minnows in 12-20’ in brush piles. Catfish are good on cut bait and punch bait in 8-20’.