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Soft Stick Baits

Throughout the spring the most effective technique is a soft stick bait rigged weightless. 
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Lake Fork Reports:

Seasonal Lake Fork Reports

 

MARCH/APRIL LAKE FORK REPORT
by Chris Sinkey

You have got to love this Texas weather! One day you're in shorts sight fishing, the next you're bundled up trying to find where they moved off too.
My report is going to be about the same for both March and April. Mainly concentrating on bed fish, and fish cruising the flats and shallows. The main thing still is "Warm Water" like around 63 degrees. I have noticed in the past couple of weeks, that when the water drops under 59, the bite gets a little tougher. You can pretty much find a consistency all over the lake right now. I fished 3 different parts of the lake just last week alone, and was able to do about the same thing every where I went. Here's what we are doing:

Baits:
I am basically throwing 3 baits right now.
First, is a sight fishing bait. I have been sticking to more natural colors in craws and lizards. I see many boats on the lake flipping white baits on beds, and that's fine. You will get bit on them. But your natural colors will get you bit twice as fast, normally on the first 2 or 3 flips.
It's been pretty simple. When I see a bed, the first thing I do is see what the fish does. If she moves off fast, and doesn't return quick, she will be hard to catch, and you will most likely spend allot of time there. I look for the fish that either just barely move off and come right back, or simply make a quick 360 degree turn. These are fish you can catch pretty fast, and not waste most of your day. Flip or cast your bait PAST the bed and let the bait fall on the top edge of the bed. The reason I say this is because many angler will try to put the bait in the middle of the bed, but then you only have half the bed to work with. Use the whole bed. I am using a little bit heavier rod this year so I can get them away from the grass and stumps quickly. The new 7'1" Argon by Kistler in a Heavy action has been the ticket. www.kistlerrods.com This rod will absolutely get them out and to the boat immediately!
Second, is a whacky worm set up on a 6'9" MH Kistler Argon rod. On these, I'm using a Gamakatsu circular whacky hook 2/0 with the weed guard and 15 lbs. fluorocarbon line. www.gamakatsu.com The bait of choice has been a GrandeBass Rattlesnake in Watermelon Candy in clearer water, and Trophy Hunter in dingier water. www.grandebass.com I am usually throwing this on the colder days or if I'm looking for beds. It's always good to have some kind of bait in the water, even if your just looking around. Make long cast and SLOWLY work this bait back with a twitch, twitch and let it fall.
Third is a drop-shot rig. I am also casting this around the same areas as the whacky worm and using the same presentation with it. On these, I have gone down to a smaller bait, a 4 in. GrandeBass Finesse Worm in Black. I know what many people think, "Why fish Fork with a finesse rig?" Well, in our last tournament, I was fortunate enough to hook into a fish somewhere in the 10 to 14 lbs. range on this rig. I ended up losing the fish right at the boat, on a mistake I made. You can catch some really big fish on lighter rigs on the lake. Not only drop shots, but shaky heads as well.

Location:
The location is pretty simple right now. The backs of creeks is the best place to start looking, then just make your way out. There are fish all over the lake right now on beds. For those that don't believe in sight fishing, you can still catch these fish in the same locations with other presentations.

I would like to take a minute and thank two of my newest sponsors for 2009. Gamakatsu hooks and Black Angel Jigs. Alexander and Townsend brought me on board with Gamakatsu after the Bass Pro Shop Spring Classic, and I'm more than excited to be representing them. I have been using their hooks since I can remember, and now have a chance to have feedback in products in the field and design process's.
The second is Black Angel Jigs. Gabe makes one of the best jigs I have thrown and flipped. Strong hooks and materials which means no bending hooks, and no skirts falling apart. I used these jigs a bunch last month, and absolutely love them. If you get time, check out Gabe's selection of jigs at www.blackangeljigs.com.

Also remember to those of you coming in from out of town to fish the spawn on Lake Fork, I highly recommend staying at Lake Fork Marina. They will take care of you and make you feel right at home. Give them a call or check out their website at www.lakeforkmarina.com for available dates.

If you are interested in the Boat Lanes chip for your graph, showing most of the running lanes on the lake, check out www.boatlanes.com and buy one today!

 

February Lake Fork Report
by Chris Sinkey

Well, here we are. The time of year when any cast can produce a fish of a lifetime for any angler. The weather on Lake Fork has still been a roller coaster like normal this time of year. A few days in the 70's, then down to a few days in the 50's. The main thing for right now is to keep an eye on your water temps. The warmer the water, the more bites you will get. We were even lucky enough to find a few fish on beds this last week. So I'm expecting the next few weeks on Fork to just be on fire!
Baits:
-Crawfish colored Rattle Traps in 1/2 oz. and 3/4 oz.
-Weightless Grandebass Rattlesnakes in Green Pumpkin and Watermelon Red. www.grandebass.com
-Whacky Rigged Grandebass Trickster worms in Watermelon/Green Pumpkin and Black and Blue. www.grandebass.com
-Carolina rigged Grandebass Diamondback Rattlesnake in Green Pumpkin with blue fleck with a 1/2 oz. weight and shorter (2 ft. leader).
-Jig- 1/2 oz. Black, Brown, Amber by V&M Jigs. www.bayououtdoors.com
Pattern:
This time of year is trap, trap, trap, time. Throwing the red traps will get you bit in shallow grass from 2 to 8 ft. right now. I have not been throwing the trap as much, but staying mainly with soft plastics.
I have mainly been switching between 2 in the shallow grass. I'm throwing a weightless Grandebass Rattlesnake and slowly working the bait back and letting it fall and sit over the tops of the grass beds. Also, Whacky rigging a 6in. Grandebass Trickster worm and working it the same way. Most of these bites are very stout and leave no doubt if you have a fish or not.
The Jig and the Carolina Rig have been my big fish baits in creek channels. I am mainly flipping timber on the edges of the creek and throwing the C-rig in any direction possible just trying to get the "1" bite that can change everything!
I had the opportunity to show a few guys Friday on the water, the Diamondback Rattlesnake is action. During which, was able to land some good solid 5 and 3 lbs. fish. This is going to be a bait to change things in fishing!
Location:
I'm still staying in the Northern creeks and finding the warmest water I can find. Before the front last week, the main lake was reading around 53 on average, but I was able to find 59 and 60 degree water in the backs of creeks, and the fish were stacked! LOOK FOR THE WARMEST WATER! That's the key right now!
I hope this helps anybody looking to go catch a few fish here in the next week or so. As many of you know, I'm not a guide on the lake but have fished it heavily since 1989. So my reports are done just to help anyone I can catch fish. And that's what fishing is about to me. Helping the person next to you. It will always come back to you in the long run.

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January Lake Fork Report
by Chris Sinkey

After a couple months off sitting in a deer stand, it feels good to be back on the water again. This has been a weird few weeks. Highs in the 80's and lows in the 30's and even 20's. For the most part, fishing on Fork has been good. Especially on the warmer days.
I am basically staying with 4 baits and patterns for this time of year.

Location:
I am basically fishing grass beds in 3 to 15 ft. of water in the Northern Creeks and trying to stay on Northern most banks of these creeks. Some days the fish seem to be locked in the grass, some days they are on the outer edges, and some days they are locked on to timber in the same depths. The last 2 trips I've had out, the fish have seemed to be locked on the timber.
Baits:
1. 1/2 and 3/4 oz. Rattle Traps in Red with light green flake.
2. Jerk baits (Black and Gold with Orange bellies)
3. 3/8 oz. Nichols Jigs in Green Pumpkin or Black and Blue.
4. 1/2 oz. Carolina rigged Green Pumpkin Grandebass Rattlesnake
Presentation:
I have been mixing things up a bit due to the weather. For the most part, I'm keeping my boat in about 8 to 10 ft. of water working both the shallow grass and the deeper grass. I have been using the 1/2 oz. trap shallower bringing it back with a steady retrieve, ripping it thru the grass when it comes in contact. Some days its good to let the bait tick the grass and even get caught up, then rip it free. This is when most of the bites have occurred.
I am also fishing the Carolina Rig in the same ares and around timber in 8 ft. and shallower. (This set up has actually put most of the fish in the boat the last several trips) I am throwing a Green Pumpkin, Grandebass Rattlesnake (www.grandebass.com) on the end of my C-rigs with a 1/2 oz. weight. I also shorten my leader down to about 2 to 3 ft.. Throw this bait up to about 3 ft. and slowly bring in back to the boat. Thru the grass, in the creeks, by timer, anywhere you want to throw it, we have been getting bit. Most bites on this have been very aggressive, so HANG ON! I am throwing this set up on a 7 ft. Heavy
Kistler Helium II rod (www.kistlerrods.com)with 17 lbs. World Wide Sportsman line and a 12 lbs. Seagar fluorocarbon leader.
Usually when I get to the back of the creeks, I'll come back out flipping all the timber in and around the creek channel with the Nichols Jig. I'm not getting as many bites on this bait, but they are definitely quality bites when you get them.
For the Jerk baits, fish these over the deeper grass in 5 to 15 ft. in depth and work them back with a jerk, jerk, pause technique. Play with it. Some days the fish want a longer pause, some days they want a short pause.
Using these techniques above will definitely help you put some fish in the boat on your trips to Fork in the next few weeks. Most days have been averaging between 8 and 20 fish a day up to 7 lbs..
I would like to take a minute and thank one of my sponsors, Skeeter Boats. They brought me aboard this last year, and I have been more happy running this boat than any other boat I've been in. I'm running a 2008 20i with a 250 Yamaha Series 2 motor. The ride these boats give you are unbelievable. If you are interested in a Skeeter Boat or even riding in one, feel free to shoot me an email at www.chrissinkey.com (contact)or check out a dealership nearest to you at www.skeeterboats.com.
Hope this report help you on your next fishing trip, and I look forward to seeing you on the water.

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