Had the pleasure of taking 3-time All Star second baseman Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers fishing earlier this week. You never know what to expect when taking someone fishing for the first time, famous or otherwise, but Ian was very courteous and was really into fishing, wanting to learn every little detail he could. He graduated from spinning gear up to baitcasters during the trip and even caught fish on a jig, not exactly a beginner bait, so he’s a quick study. He and his friend watched in awe during the day as an osprey snatched a white bass off the surface, an enormous eagle perched right next to our boat, and a monster bass erupted completely out of the water—throwing hydrilla and the lure back at us—proving that our lakes are routinely as spectacular as any ballpark.
As for the fishing, Lake Fork is still turning over and until it wraps up (should be soon), you can mostly write off the deep fish. You can still catch some fish deep that are suspended, but that’s a tough proposition and the best play right now is the shallows. Fork has nearly as much grass as a Grateful Dead concert these days, with good green mats of hydrilla on the upper ends of both main arms. The lower half of the lake has a stringier type of weed growing out to about 3’-6’ in many areas. I’m not exactly sure of the name of this grass, but it turns black and rots over the winter instead of going dormant like hydrilla. While it remains alive though, the bass and bait hang around it.
With the water still in the mid-70s, we’re not really into a full blown fall pattern yet. You’ll find shad and bass equally distributed between main lake flats and points as well as back in the creeks. In general, it seems that areas with green grass nearyby have been the key. We’ve caught some as deep as 12’-16’, but even most of those areas had grass up on the shallow parts of the points.
For baits, I’ve done better on light worms and jigs. Wacky rigs, light Texas rigs, weightless Texas rigs, and small jigs have been best. When it really gets slow, I try to make super long casts with a 7’3” Dobyns 734C rod and go with a wacky or weightless rigged Hyper Stick and fish it as slowly as I can stand. Painful, yet effective. With the cooler temps coming, lipless and square bill cranks, chatterbaits, and topwaters should really take off. The fish seem to all be mixed together, so if you’re catching unders and smaller slot fish, all of a sudden you’ll pop a big one, and then go back to dinks.
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