Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer's Trophy Bass Fishing Report April 5, 2013

Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer's Trophy Bass Fishing Report April 5, 2013 April is big bass month on Lake Fork! Last month was awesome but I look for this month to be even better. With the weather warming as spring blooms come in to full effect the big bass are on the move to the shallows to continue their annual spawning activity. If you are in pursuit of the fish in your dreams, now is the time to head out to Lake Fork! The lake is still in great shape despite low water levels. The lake is currently about 4 1/2 feet low. With less than average spring rainfall totals so far this year the lake is down quite a bit. There is a lot of great vegetation starting to emerge in parts of the lake and it will only get better if we get some more water in the lake with spring rains. Water clarity in areas is stained to 3 ft visibility on the south end of the lake. Water temperatures are ranging from 60-65 degrees in most areas of the lake. You can find the cooler temps down south and after the fronts come through and on the contrary find warmer temps on the north end of the lake and in the afternoons when the sun is warmest. These are perfect conditions for spring fishing as long as the weather is consistent. The more that it stays constant instead of up and down the better the bass will bite. You can look for most of the bass this month to be shallow spawning although you will also find that some of these fish are out deeper in pre-spawn and even post-spawn patterns already. My go shallow fishing consists of a fairly simple arsenal of baits and is dictated by the ever-changing weather patterns. You have to be versatile in the spring to be able to catch bass consistently because what works one day may not the next and you constantly have fish moving up into new areas to spawn then going back out. I have been concentrating on 2-6 feet of water as this is where you will find most of the bass bedding. My go to bait so far this year has been the new Berkley Powerbait "Rib Snake". I have been rigging this bait several different ways depending on the wind and depth that I am fishing it. When the lake is calm I am throwing it completely weightless on a 4/0 wide gap hook. The key to this bait is fishing it very slow as it takes time to fall and you want it to stay in or around the bass' bed. These bass are very territorial when they are spawning but they also have a thousand baits coming in and around them with all the spring fishing pressure. If you work it fast they will just watch it go by with the rest of the baits flying around them but if you slow down (way down) and just let it sit, you will catch a lot more bass. When the wind gets up a little I am keeping the same bait and presentation going but just adding a small #5 split shot about a foot up the line to give it some weight. This really helps you be able to keep the same general presentation while still being able to feel the bait in the wind. If I decide to move out deeper I am using the same bait but rigging it on a 1/8-1/4 oz shaky head. This combination has some deadly action as you can leave the bait in one spot while shaking it. The bass have a hard time resisting the action that this bait has. Texas rigged Berkley Power Hawgs and Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty has also been good. I rig mine with an Elite Tungsten 1/4-3/8 oz weight and a 4/0 hook. Flipping it to any standing timber in the shallows and around the spawning areas is very effective for a big bass. Best colors on my soft plastic baits right now have been black/blue, watermelon red, and green pumpkin. I am throwing some moving baits up shallow as well. Chatterbaits have been excellent on wind days as well as the Talon spinner baits. I have been catching fish on the 3/8-1/2 oz chartreuse/white or white Colorado-willow combo. Shallow swim baits like the Berkley Hollowbelly are always a great choice for a big bass this time of year as well. I am also fishing a "mid range" pattern as well for fish that are in transition from deep to shallow water to spawn. These fish are hanging around in the 8-15 foot range. Most of these bass are pre-spawners and are hungry! The shaky head like I spoke of earlier has been great on these bass as well as a drop shot that you can fish vertically against the trees. I use the new Berkley Nanofil line on my Abu Garcia spinning gear. It does real well around the timber if you get a big fish. I prefer to use the Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper 4.75" worm in plum or shady watermelon candy colors for the drop shot rig. If you are not much on doing the "fairy wand" thing and have good flipping skills, a 1/2 oz Talon jig flipped to these same trees in the same depths is hard to beat for the big ones. I like to use black/blue, green pumpkin, or camo colors. As more and more fish complete their spawning you will start to see large schools of fish start to show up out in deep water. They will be holding in 16-24 feet of water usually holding around points, roadbeds, humps, and ridges. These fish can be hard to locate and are often times moving around a lot but if you stick with it, it can really pay off. I rely on my new Lowrance HDS Gen2 12" touch screen to show me where the bass are. Once I determine where they are and what they are relating to I will select a presentation that best suits the situation. A lot of these post spawn bass will be suspended so deep diving crank baits are a great choice. I also like to throw a deep swim bait at them like the Berkley Swim Shad. This bait can be worked at any depth in the water column so you can reach the bass wherever they are. When the fish get on the bottom I will target them with a big Texas rig and a 1/2 oz weight with a 5/0 hook. I like to put a Berkley 10" or 12" Powerworm on and give them a big meal offering. Most of these bass are very hungry so a big bait is appealing to them. I also like to employ the Carolina rig into the arsenal of post spawn techniques. I like to use a long leader (5ft.) and a big heavy 1 oz weight to drag the bottom. Trilene 20 lb test Fluorocarbon is a must with a 2/0 or 3/0 wide gap hook. Best baits on the c-rig are Berkley Powerbait 7" or 10" Power Worms, Power Lizards, 4" Power Hawgs, and Wacky Crawlers in blue fleck, watermelon red, green pumpkin, and watermelon candy. I hope this information helps you in pursuit of a trophy bass on Lake Fork this month. I am excited about this year and the bass fishing on Lake Fork! If you are thinking of coming out and would like to book a trip this spring, feel free to contact me. I still have a few choice dates available and will work hard to put you on the fish of your dreams! You can contact me to book your trip by email at [email protected] or give me a call at 903-736-9888. Also, visit my website to find out more information about Lake Fork bass fishing and my guide service at You can also keep up with me by joining my new Facebook page at I am running the new 2013 Ranger Z520c and man is this new boat model awesome! All my clients love this thing to fish out of. Be sure to go by Diamond Sports Marine on Hwy 154 here at Lake Fork and see these new 2013 Ranger Boats. If you are in the market for a new boat this year and would like to take a test ride, feel free to contact me or call the dealership at 903-383-7829 and we will get you out on the water for a demo in one! I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for another year that He has blessed me with as well as all my 2013 Sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Berkley, I Am Second, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Interstate Batteries, Lowrance, Talon Lures, Elite Tungsten, Hamby's, Navionics, Simms, Hydrowave, and Power Pole. Acts 3:19 -Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord Tight Lines and God Bless, James Caldemeyer

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Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 12/2: 400.84 (-2.16)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Nov. 29)

GOOD. Water Stained; 50 degrees; 2.26 feet below pool. Bass fishing has slowed after the recent cold fronts and you need to be very slow in your approach. Squarebill crankbaits and rattletraps are fair in 3-5 feet of water along the edge of grass. Texas rigs and Carolina rigs are best along the edge of grass as well in 3-7 feet of water. Suspending jerkbaits is starting to work as the water temperatures decline. Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Fall weather has arrived so fish will start to prepare for cold weather. Black bass are moving deep for the winter. Cast clousers, ned rigs, and large worm patterns in flooded tree tops near creeks and deep water ledges. Crappie are moving out to the open water in 30 plus feet of water biting small jig patterns. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork continues to be as good as ever. Look for fish in big numbers moving as they head toward the deep water winter pattern. Look for timber along main lake creek channels in 28-40 feet right now for numbers of fish and some big fish mixed in. Minnows will work well but they are biting small hand tied jigs and larger plastic baits as well now that the surface water temps have dropped. We are still seeing some fish on brush and lay downs from time to time. Bridged have been up and down the last few weeks but they can be worth checking out for numbers of black crappie. Report by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins Guide Service.

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