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 Weather Forecast


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 103

Sunday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 73


Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 92

Monday Night

Partly Cloudy

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Water Level on 6/26: 396.89 (-6.11)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 22)

GOOD. Water Stained; 75 degrees; 5.99 feet low. The crappie bite on Lake Fork has been just a little bit finicky this past week. Best depths have been 13-23 feet with fish in brush and suspended on laydowns and trees, or holding on the bottom of underwater bridges and road beds. Minnows are still the go to bait and the smaller the minnows the better for finicky fish. Same goes for your hand ties and soft plastics. Downsizing can make the difference between a slow day and a stellar day in the heat of the summer. Report provided by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins Guide Service. Bass are good with 3/4 ounce shaky heads or football jigs in green pumpkin and orange or June bug in 14-25 feet of water off drop-offs or channel swings. Carolina rigs are good in the same areas with a 10 inch blue fleck or LFT ring fry in bluegill color good in 15-25 feet of water. Deep crankbaits are decent over long points and channel swings. DD -22 in chartreuse and blue, TW Ghost chartreuse and blue good over 18-23 feet. Report by Lake Fork fishing guide Marc Mitchell and Jason Hoffman, Lake Fork Pro.

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