Lake Fork Fishing Report April 2001 by: Guide – Sherry D. Ruslink April is upon us, and so is great fishing on the Fork! When you think of spring fishing, giant bass, and having fun, I just can’t think of a better place to put your boat in the water than our famous northeast Texas impoundment – Lake Fork. Bass are spawning, in spite of a late spring this year. And, with all the rain to fill the lakes back up, bass have taken to grassy and brushy shallows in search of the ideal nesting grounds. So grab a fishing partner, and head on down for an exciting experience on Lake Fork. We have received above average rainfall since the first of the year, and March has already dealt us more than we needed. But, Lake Fork is full and in great shape for the yearly spawn ritual. Cold temperatures, thunderstorms, rain, and wind have been weekly occurrences which have contributed to erratic catching. Many bass are spawning later because of the unusually low water temperatures, but many are spawning in spite of the unwanted weather patterns. Water temps should be in the 60’s during April, with the bass being in full spawn all around the lake. Bass will be in different stages all over the lake. Fishing several techniques in a given day will be a mainstay for the next month. Key lures will be the Shad Assassin, 7″ Charm, Twitch Assassin, and the 7″ Assassin Lizard in pumpkin, watermelon, black/gold fleck, tequila sunrise, and shad color will work quite well while searching for the elusive bass. Lockhart spinnerbaits with 3/8 oz tandem blades in white or chart/white and buzzbaits in black, white, or chartreuse will work good all day. Texas rig a 7″ lizard and work it around tree and stump bases using a 3/0 Gamakatsu offset shank hook. The weightless shad assassin just tantalizes bass whether they are holding shallow or mid layered. Use a 4/0 or 5/0 and dead stick the lure. When you see your line moving off then set the hook hard! Another weightless technique, which is one of my favorite, is the Wacky Rig. I use a 7″ Charm in chartreuse, watermelon, pumpkin, or junebug with a 2/0 offset shank hook through the middle of it. Move your lures very slow, giving the bass time to check out the offering and appeal to its sight senses. Cast or pitch to each target several times before moving on. Small pockets and underwater structures, especially with cover on it offers extra protection for the bass spawning bass. Some good areas to check out are MaGee, White Oak Bay, Sticky Creek, Penson, Birch, Big and Little Mustang, No Name Creek, Running Creek, Coffee Creek, Pincher Cove, Morgan Branch, Glade, Marina Cove, Northwest Bay, Eugene, Wolfe, Pop-R Cove, Dale, and Ray Branch, Pond Creek, and Horner Branch. All of these coves hold a lot of good bass and seem to really attract the spawners in April. The Texas Parks and Wildlife enforces a slot limit on bass in Lake Fork bass which is 16″ – 24″. All bass which measure between 16 and 24 inches must be returned to the waters of Lake Fork immediately. There is a daily bag limit of 5 bass, which 5 under 16 inches, or 4 under 16 inches and one over 24 inches may be retained per day. Please practice “Catch and Release”, “Safe Handling” of all bass, and be courteous on the lake. Texas Parks & Wildlife info, call 1-800-792-1112. Computer generated license, 1-800-895-4248, Visa and MasterCard only. The Sabine River Authority has been releasing water off and on for over a month, with Lake Fork being at pool level of 403 feet. You can view the SRA website which lists 24 hours worth of data about the water storage at: Sherry Ruslink is a licensed guide on Lake Fork. She runs a full service Bass Fishing Guide Business. Sherry’s guide service offers individual, corporate/ group, instructional, and tournament prefish trips. Day trips, night trips, and ½ day bass fishing trips, Crappie trips, and gift certificates. Duck hunts, catfish trips, and full package fishing and / or hunting trips to Lake Guerro, Mexico can be arranged. Sherry can be reached at 903-383-7310, 1-877-523-9227, email:, URL: Sponsor’s include – Triton Boats/Mercury Motors, Kistler Rods, Shimano Reels, Lowrance, Motorguide, Lockhart Lures, Gene Larew Lures, Top Brass Tackle, and Bass Assassin. ******************************************************************************************************************* Martin’s Maps – A great fishing tool that is a must have is the new Martin’s Map or CD Rom which will enable the angler to find many structures that Lake Fork has to offer for bass habitat. With the aid of a computer, you are able to zoom in or out on contour lines, structure, see pictures before the lake was filled, receive fishing info from myself and Kerry Stafford, as well as print off the information that you want. Every angler that fishes Lake Fork ought to have this new CD Rom. Call me for details on retail or wholesale, and mail order purchases. I can help you locate guides and/or lodging for many lakes throughout the U.S. and Mexico, for individual or corporate bookings. Hunting expeditions are arranged with outfitters throughout the U.S. Sherry Ruslink’s Enterprises. 903-383-7310,

Water Temp: 58