With the warmer weather, our water temperatures have been on the rise. This week, I found water as warm as 58.5 degrees, and most of the areas we fished were over 56 degrees. The warmer temps pulled a lot of big females onto the flats and secondary points where we were able to cover some water and catch them a little more easily. Water level as of this writing is 398.89 (4.11 ft below full pool), but it is slowly on the rise with the rain that we are receiving as I write.
Our best bait has been a red lipless crankbait, but you should also try a Santone spinnerbait, a Chatterbait with LFT Live Magic Shad, and a jerkbait in the same areas. Many times, we will go through an area a couple of times with the lipless crankbait, and go back through it with another bait and pick up another fish or two. You want to be very thorough when covering water as a bass’s strike zone is fairly small in this cool water. Almost all of our fish are coming from less than 3 feet of water, and if you can find some hydrilla or coontail, you will likely find some fish.
The weather forecast for the coming week shows highs in the mid-50s and lows in the low 30s. This will bring the water temps back down into the low 50s, and maybe even the upper 40s. When this happens, it’s time to pick up your Black/Blue, Camo, or Sloppy Joe colored Santone Jig, move out to the creek channels, and go to work. When the water temps fall, I normally have better success using a LFT Flipper for my jig trailer, but when water temps are on the rise, I tend to opt more for the bigger LFT Hyper Freak. The Flipper is a little more subtle in it’s action than the Hyper Freak, and sometimes, that makes all the difference when these fish are finicky. You want to split the tail on the Flipper as it is designed with “rudders” that force the tail to spread out when it’s moved, making it look a lot like a crawfish. I will work the standing timber along the banks of the creek channels in about 5-15 ft of water. When you catch one, pay attention to the fish’s depth. If you catch one in 8 ft of water, and another in 12 ft of water, but nothing shallower and nothing deeper, you can probably save yourself a lot of time by concentrating your efforts in that depth range when you move to the next creek.
I hope that helps you on your next trip to Lake Fork. If you have any questions, please let me know!