Lake Fork Fishing Report January 2001 by: Guide – Sherry D. Ruslink Another year gone in the 21st century as we enter the year 2001. Wow, how time flies. We rang the new year in with snow, ice, and cold weather for this part of Texas. Lake Fork has also had its share of rain, and stands at a little over pool level of 403 feet, with the Sabine River Authority releasing water off and on for several weeks now. (You can monitor the levels and releases on their website.) The lake and fish are in good shape for entering spring and the spawn, which should yield a good year of fishing, hunting, eagle watching, and recreation. Now is the time to make plans to come to Lake Fork and enjoy the many recreational activities that abound. Boat and tackle shows are the mainstay of January all over the country. The shows give the recreational enthusiast a place to visit, dream about, and buy items on a wish list. Santas money will come in handy to purchase that special rod or reel, boat, fishing tackle, or life vest. Going to boat shows is much like a home coming, because you are able to visit old friends, meet pros, attend seminars, and get involved in all the gala that goes along with boat and tackle. Many of Lake Fork’s large bass have been caught in January and February, so if you are a trophy angler, now is the time to come and fish the famous trophy impoundment for the lunker of a lifetime. Crappie fishing has been great so far this winter, and I predict that January and February will continue to churn out the barn door Crappie that Fork is famous for. Catfishing did very well this past year, as was the duck hunting and wild boar hunting. Many of the duck hunting guides have their own private leases around Lake Fork offer combo packages of half day hunt/half day Crappie fish trips, which can put a lot of meat in your freezer. Techniques that are working for bass fishing is the Lockhart Chuck N Spin or jigging spoon fished on lighter line in deeper water. “S” bends in a creek channels are good places to look for bass. Deep drop offs such as ledges, submerged roadbeds, submerged bridges, points, and pond dams are very good fish holding structure during the winter. Other lures that are productive around these deeper areas is the jig/pig in dark colors, Gene Larew Hawg Craw using a large sinker and 5/0 Gamakatsu hook, and a Carolina rigged Gene Larew Salt Fry or the Bass Assassin Fry Assassin in watermelon, junebug, pumpkin, or red shad, using a 3 feet leader using the Kistler Carolina Rig Rod will be some good rigs to try. As far as areas to fish, . . . choose the large creeks that are close to the dam. Chaney, Ray Branch, Dale, Wolfe, Caney, Alligator, SRA, Bryant, Marina Cove, Hurley, Searcy, Bell Hump and Bell Cove. These areas offer good deep water, points, drops, ledges, creeks, and pond dams, which are all the structures that bass want during the winter slow down. 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. 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. 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.

Water Temp: 45