Lake Fork

Lake Fork Texas – Lake Fork Fishing

About The Lake

Location: On the Sabine River in Hopkins, Rains and Wood Counties, 5 miles northwest of Quitman
Surface area: 27,264 acres
Maximum depth: 70 feet
Impounded: 1980

Water Conditions
Conservation Pool Elevation: 403 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Moderate, 2-4 ft.
Normal Clarity: Moderately clear
AquaticVegetation: Hydrilla, Eurasian milfoil, coontail, American lotus, water primrose, water hyacinth and pennywort

Predominant Fish Species
  • Largemouth bass
  • White & black crappie
  • Channel catfish
  • Sunfish
Fishing Regulations

Largemouth bass and crappie at Lake Fork are subject to special regulations:

  • Largemouth bass are subject to a 16- to 24-inch slot limit. Bass 16 inches and shorter and 24 inches and longer can be harvested with a daily bag limit of 5 fish, of which only 1 fish can be 24 inches or greater.
  • During the months of December, January and February, there is no minimum length limit on crappie. Daily bag is 25 in any combination of black and white crappie, and all crappie caught must be retained (culling is not permitted.). In other months, crappie are subject to a 10-inch minimum length limit and a daily bag of 25.

Statewide regulations apply to all other fishes.

Opportunities
Largemouth bass are the most popular sportfish in this reservoir. A combination of restrictive harvest regulations, stocking of Florida strain largemouth bass, and good habitat has contributed to Lake Fork’s development as one of the country’s premier trophy bass lakes. More than 65% of the Texas Top 50 largest bass (including the current state record) and more than half of those entered in the Budweiser ShareLunker Program, were caught from Lake Fork. Crappie fishing is generally good, especially in standing timber and under the lake’s numerous bridges. Channel catfish provide an excellent sport fishery, though this remains a well-kept secret. Sunfish, primarily bluegill, offer additional angling opportunities during spring and summer.

Fishing Structure

Flooded timber is found throughout Lake Fork and provides excellent fish habitat. Although access through the reservoir is provided by numerous buoyed boat lanes, submerged timber represents a substantial hazard, so care should be exercised while boating in all areas. Areas containing hydrilla, boat houses and docks, and lake points have historically provided some of the best fishing for largemouth bass.

Fishing Tips
Largemouth bass anglers are most successful on this reservoir during the spring, fall, and winter months. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and lizards, jigs and jerk baits are all popular baits during peak fishing in the spring (mid-February to April) when fishing is concentrated along the shoreline for spawning fish. Nightime fishing during the hot summer months can be very productive and a good way to beat the Texas heat. At this time, plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters are often used. During late summer and early fall, when fish are schooling, crankbaits and topwater lures can be very effective. In winter jigging spoons, jigs and crankbaits are most productive.Crappie anglers concentrate their efforts in deep water near the dam during the winter months. In late spring and early fall, most angler fish for crappie under the bridges . Live minnows and crappie jigs are among the most popular baits used. The catfish population is dominated by channel catfish, but also includes flathead cats. Stinkbait and cutbait work well for channel cats, while live bait is preferred for flatheads. Anglers occasionally catch large blue catfish.Sunfish such as bluegill and redear can be caught in early summer, in shallow water, using crickets, earthworms and small spinners. During the remainder of the year they can be caught using the same baits around piers, boathouses and submerged humps.

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