Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer's Trophy Bass Fishing Report March 4, 2013

March mayhem on Lake Fork has commenced and what a great month it is to catch the giant bass of your dreams. The season has already started off with a bang, as there have been several fish from 13-16 lbs caught and entered into the state's TPWD Share Lunker Program. I expect that the best is yet to come as the bass move to the shallows this month to begin their annual spawn and anglers head out to the lake in droves to pursue these trophy bass. I have a number of clients that are scheduled to come from as far as Canada and Germany to catch one of these big bass in the month of March. Here are some helpful tips and tricks that will help you catch fish if you are coming out to Lake Fork as well. The water levels on Lake Fork are still a little over 4 feet low. I expect that we will get some spring rain soon to fill the lake on up. The water conditions are stained in the northern creeks and clear to 3 ft on most of the main lake as well as the south end. Water temperatures have been fluctuating depending on the weather and in the spring it can be a roller coaster. Most of the water is in the mid to upper 50's and holding on the verge of reaching the consistent 58-60 degree mark necessary for the bass to commit to spawning. The temperatures should reach the 60 + mark by the end of the month and we will see a massive first wave of spawning bass around the full moon (March 27). There are two real solid patterns for targeting bass on Lake Fork in the month of March. They are pre-spawn and spawn patterns. For pre-spawn bass I am concentrating on areas that are leading into creeks that have major spawning areas. The northern most creeks are great places to start in March as the water warms quicker and are protected from northern cold fronts. I look for water temperatures in the 53-58 degree range to most productive for pre-spawn bass. You can find them staging on main lake and secondary points leading into the creeks and on the edges of the creeks. Some will be shallow in 2-8 feet of water and others in the 8-14 feet range or deeper. For the shallow bass I like to use a lipless crank bait like the 1/2 oz Sebile Flatt Shad or Rat L trap in red or orange and gold primarily to search and cover water. Another great search bait is a chatter bait in the same size. I like a chartreuse/white, black/blue, or green pumpkin color tipped with your favorite trailer. Berkley has the new Powerbait Chigger Quad and Havoc Grass Pig or Devil Spear make for an awesome trailer. Fishing these baits around trees, over grass, and laydowns can be extremely effective for a big pre-spawn bass in March. Keep moving until you find the fish. Also keep a close eye on your surface temperature reading. I rely on my new Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch screen 12 to give me an accurate water temperature reading. The bass are following the warmest water and are most active in that water so finding it this time of year is the key. Once you find some fish and catch a few I recommend that you stay in the area and work it over thoroughly. If there are a couple fish there chances are there will be more. You can also switch over to a jig and start flipping the stumps to catch the other pre-spawn bass in the area that will not bite a moving bait. I like a Talon 1/2 oz flipping jig in black/blue or camo colors right now with a black/blue or green pumpkin Berkley Chigger Craw or Havoc Pit Chunk trailer. Some of the biggest fish caught this time of year are on a jig so if you are after a giant bass you will want to spend some time flipping and pitching it around. If a cold fronts and the fishing slows you will have to slow down the presentation of these baits. Often times a suspending jerk bait or a shaky head fished very slowly in the place of these other baits can save the day. I like to use the old trusty Smithwick rogue and the RC jerk bait in clown or gold/orange this time of year. On the shaky head I am using a 4 in Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper. When the water temperatures reach the point where the fish have begun spawning I am changing over to a lot of weightless rigs and Texas rigged baits. I like to rig my Abu Garcia Villain rods and Revo MGX reels up with 15-20 lb Trilene 100% fluorocarbon. This kind of line is important to me when the bass are looking at your bait for a period of time as it intrudes into their nest and they either decide to pick it up or shy away from it. The fluorocarbon is invisible under the water and will catch more fish than mono or braid so give it a try. On the business end of my line I like to use a 4/0 wide gap hook and a senko or soft jerk bait like the new Berkley Havoc Jerk. Best colors are black/blue, green pumpkin, or watermelon. I will fish these baits over the flats or the backs that bass are spawning on very slowly. You have to use the "dead sticking" approach or you will not catch as many. I always tell my clients "If you think you are fishing it slow, slow down some more." If the wind will not allow you to fish these baits another great way to catch spawning bass is with the good ole Texas rig. I usually use an Elite Tungsten weight in the 1/4 to 1/2 oz sizes with a 4/0 or 5/0 hook. I like to use the Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty and Pit Boss or just a plain Berkley Powerbait lizard in black/blue, green pumpkin, Okeechobee, California or watermelon candy colors. The bass will be spawning tight to standing timber in a lot of areas of the lake and using the tree's root system to hold their eggs in. Flipping or pitching these baits on the stumps is very intrusive to the bass and the will strike it hard. You also will want to keep a drop shot rod handy. These bass that are holding tight to timber will attack a small worm on a drop shot rig hovering around them at the base of these trees. Be sure you have your drag set properly because you will have some big ones try to take you for a ride! 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 just picked up my new 2013 Ranger Z520c and man is this new boat model awesome! I will definitely have some excited customers when they get to ride in this thing. 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 the dealership at 903-383-7829 and we will get you out on the water 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 Sponors: 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)

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Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 12)

GOOD. Water Stained; 76 degrees; 0.36 feet above pool. Bass fishing has been slower this week than last week. Topwaters frogs, Yellow Magics, and spook type baits are fair in and around flooded grass or weeds. Texas rigs and shaky heads flipped at the edge of grass in 2-5 feet are good with creature type baits and beavers. Chatterbaits are good also in front of the shallow grass. Sunny days you can catch fish out to the first break line. Cloudy days fish are best to fish tight to the grass edges. Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Black bass are good morning and evening with top water frog patterns. Switching mid morning to noon streamers in shad and bream patterns. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. Lake Fork crappie fishing is getting red hot like the weather this week. Really seeing the black crappie load up in big numbers on lay downs, under docks and on other structures they like in the summer months. Look for those black crappie in 14-22 feet of water mostly. We also are seeing the white crappie loading up on brush piles and those summer time trees they like. Best depths for the white crappie have been 18-26 feet. We are still catching good numbers of crappie on small hand tied jigs and I’m sure small plastics will work as well. Did see some fish on brush piles the last few days that minnows may help with. The channel catfishing is excellent as it always is on Lake Fork. Bait you a hole near timber in 18-25 feet close to a creek channel. Use cattle cubes or sour grain to attract and hold those fish. Trees that have overnight roosting birds are a great place to make your hole. Use any prepared catfish bait of choice to load the boat once you get the fish loading up. You can still find some spawning catfish up shallow around all the new flooded grass, brush or rocks. Lake Fork catfishing continues to be superb on baited holes around roosting trees. Catfish are good in 13-25 feet with prepared bait. You can also bait holes w

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