The fishing is getting hot at Lake Fork right now with warmer temperatures finally arriving and water temperatures increasing to a range adequate for the annual spawn to take off. This is a relief after all the dismal cold days that we have had this winter. I can’t remember a year that I wore thermal underwear for as many consecutive fishing days as I have this year. I am not going to put them up just yet though as it is spring and you just never know when the next cold blast will strike.

 Water conditions right now are real good still and getting better as the days go by. We have plenty of water with levels above full pool at 403.40 which is about 5 inches high. The water temperatures have been starting off in the high 40’s and moving as high as 57 degrees at the peak of the day the past couple days. I expect with these next few days of almost 70 for highs and 40-50 for lows to see water temps hold consistently in the 50’s with some areas reaching 60. This will kick things off big time!


 Best baits right now have been a 1/2–5/8 oz red/orange lipless crank bait. Shad patterns have done well lately also. Ripping these baits off the shallow grass beds in 2-8 ft of water is the key to attracting a reaction strike from these big females that are staging in preparation to spawn. The chatter bait has been my second best producer right now with the water temperatures in transition. I like the 3/8-1/2 oz white, white/chartreuse, and even red has been really good. Fishing these over the grass in the same manner as the lipless crank bait is the ticket, especially in the thicker grass or areas that the coots have routed through. Talon 3/8-1/2 oz spinner baits in the same colors as the chatter bait have been catching a few fish also.  I have yet to get a jig bite going but am still keeping it close by as we see these water terms rising. The big bass should really start eating it good any day and man is that some fun fishing! Talon also a great flipping jig and are awesome for flipping stumps and lay downs adjacent to spawning areas for a real trophy bass. I will opt for the 1/2 oz size the majority of the time in black/blue, black/blue/purple, bama bug, or Texas craw with a black/blue or green pumpkin Berkley Chigger Craw as a trailer.
 As these fish start to get active on beds plastics fished in these same areas will dominate all other baits on most days. I rig up all my Abu Garcia Vendetta worm rods and Revos reels up with 15-17 lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon for two reasons. 1) This line is very strong and sensitive. When fishing for big bass where the bites are very subtle most of the time, you need it to detect even the slightest “tick” and it’s also strong enough to get a big fish out of heavy cover. 2) Its invisible in the water. To properly fish these baits you MUST fish them slow and that means the bass get a chance to look at your bait for a while before they decide to eat it. You will get a lot more bites with fluoro than mono especially with the spring fishing pressure.


 I am using several different types of plastic baits and presentations when fishing the spawning areas. A wacky rigged Berkley Powerbait  Heavyweight Sink Worm and Fat Sink Worm are very good.  Best colors are green pumpkin, black/blue, breen, and watermelon. On the weightless or slightly weighted t-rig I am using senkos, Berkley Sinking Minnows, flukes, and Berkley Jerk Shads in a variety of colors like watermelon red, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, June bug, pearl, and others.  Texas rigging some of these same baits as well as a Berkley Chigger Craw is best when the wind gets up enough where fishing weightless is not an option. Don’t forget about a swim bait either in the wind. A 5” or  6” Berkley Hollow Body is excellent for catching a monster bass in the spring!


 If you are headed out to Lake Fork this year and would like to book a guided trip, feel free to email me at or you can reach me by phone at (903)736-9888. You can also get more information about Lake Fork by visiting my website or join my Facebook page to see up to date information about what is going on at Lake Fork. Big thanks to all my sponsors: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, “I Am Second”, Berkley, Abu Garcia, All Star, Oakley, Talon Lures, Interstate Batteries, Line & Lure, BTS Protectant, Navionics, Sure Life, and newest addition DFW MRI.


Read 1 John 3:1


Tight Lines and God Bless,
James Caldemeyer