November is an awesome month here at Lake Fork for catching trophy bass! As the water cools off and the bass begin their annual feeding frenzy there is a huge window of opportunity for many anglers to catch numbers of quality fish, not to mention the bass of a lifetime. The fish are gorging themselves on everything that crosses their path both in shallow and deep water. This leaves them vulnerable to the fisherman who fore go the duck blind and deer stand in pursuit of these big bass.
The water conditions at Lake Fork have been the biggest factor for some time here lately. With every week bringing some degree of precipitation over the past month, the lake conditions have been less than ideal. The continuous inflow of water has kept a lot of areas on the lake stained and the gates open at the dam periodically. If you are familiar with these conditions then you know that catching fish on Lake Fork in stained or fluctuating water levels can be a challenge. Do not let this deter you from your favorite fall honey hole though. The fish are still going to continue their annual activity regardless of the water conditions. Here are a few patterns that will hopefully help you catch the fish of your dreams right now!
Most everyday we have been starting our day off shallow with some top water action. Great baits to throw right now are a Berkley Frenzy Popper, yellow magic, walking baits like the Sammy or Zara Spook, or a frog. Fishing these baits over the grass on main lake or secondary points in 2-8 ft of water will draw some BIG blow ups and most of these fish will inhale the bait. Overcast or rainy conditions have been best for these types of baits although we have caught some fish during the sunny days as well. Another great tactic in the fall is a wacky style worm fished over the grass beds in the same areas as the top water baits. I have been using a 5” Berkley Heavyweight Sink Worm or Fat Sink Worm with a 2/0 hook and 12 lb. test Trilene 100% fluorocarbon. The best thing about these worms is that they are already weighted so you don’t have to do anything but slide them on a hook and start catching fish. Fish these baits over the grass slowly with short twitches of the rod tip in between long pauses. Best colors have been green pumpkin, breen, green pumpkin party, and watermelon big red. If the sun is bright you can switch to a Texas rig or shaky head. I am using a 5/16 oz. weight on the t-rig with a 3/0 hook and a Berkley 7” Power Worm or 4” Crazy Legs Chigger Craw. Best colors in the Chigger Craw are watermelon red, blue fleck, green pumpkin or green pumpkin party. A 1/8-3/16 oz. shaky head jig with a 5” Berkley Shaky Worm or 4½” Slim Shaky attached has also been great for finessing those fish out of the holes in the grass. Best colors are blue fleck, green pumpkin, and watermelon red. The fish have also been biting a number of different moving baits fished over the grass as well. Lipless crank baits or Chatter baits in shad patterns, chrome/blue back and white or white/chartreuse, respectively, have been catching a lot of those shallow bass that are in the chasing mood. I am rigging these type baits on the “new” Abu Garcia Vendetta Rods matched up with the new and improved Revo Reels and man what a great combination they are! They are very light, sensitive, factory balanced rods that perform very well in a variety of conditions and are VERY affordably priced. For those of you that have not seen one of these bad boys, you need to check them out! www.abugarcia.com
The deep bite is really turning on as well. These big ole bass will be found feeding on big schools of shad and bar fish this time of year. I have been running the new Lowrance HDS8 over points, humps, road beds, and pond dams in 18-32 feet of water to locate these schools of fish. There are also a number of fish to be found in flats at the mouth of the major creeks in 28-32 feet. Once I have located a school of fish I have been targeting them with Carolina rigged soft plastics, jigging spoons, drop shots, or heavy swim baits. On the Carolina rig, I like to use a heavy 1 oz. weight and 4-5 foot leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook tied to 20 lb. main line and a 17lb. Trilene 100% fluoro leader. Best baits have been a 5” Berkley Wacky Crawler, 4” Power Hawg, Centipede or French fry in watermelon red, green pumpkin, or chart pepper. The jigging spoon is deadly this time of year on deep fish and is a great thing to have tied on if you are bringing the family out to catch some fish. I use a Talon Big Dandy in the Lake Fork Maniac color or “t-spoon” in the 3/8-1/2 oz size. www.talonlures.com Drop these spoons down to the bottom in an area that is holding fish and pick the rod tip up and let it back down. It is some easy fishing and great for the family. Most all bites will come on the fall and you can catch many different species of fish with them including a real big bass! The 5” swim baits like the Storm Wild Eye Shad is a good choice for catching big bass out deep as well as a drop shot rig when the fish are finicky.
I hope this helps all you anglers that are headed to Lake Fork this month in pursuit of a trophy bass! If you would like to book a guided trip on Lake Fork, feel free to contact me at (903)736-9888 or email me at email@example.com . I just picked up my new 2010 Ranger Z521 Comanche www.rangerboats.com paired with a Mercury Optimax 250 Pro XS www.mercurymarine.com . This new ride is an amazing machine! If you have not checked one of these boats out yet, you can go by and see one at Diamond Sports Marine www.diamondsportsmarine.com on Hwy 154 while you are in the area. Test rides are available upon request. Just give Ben Hogan a call at (903)383-7829 and he’ll be glad to help you find the Ranger boat that is right for you! Big thanks to all my sponsors and to the Lord for His provisions.