Sorry for the long delay between reports. I took most of January off to take care of indoor stuff and get my boat ready for the spring season. We must have had a colder winter than I realized. After all these warm days, the water is still 49-50 degrees on the main lake.
I believe that most fish (of all species) basically "hibernate" when the water temp gets in the 40s. This year, most places that had active fish in December were desolate in January. I couldn't graph any fish on humps between 15 and 35 feet. Most every bass was either hiding in the shallows or inactively "hibernating" with all the other fish in water over 35 feet. It seems that there are only 2 options in this case: fish the deep water and try to get an inactive fish to bite (very boring) or fish shallow and look for a reaction bite (a lot of work).
Fortunately, we've had enough warm days to get some of the bass to come out of hibernation. Some of the humps that were desolate in January are showing signs of fish.
Fish are biting much better than they were a couple of weeks ago. I expect to see the bass back in hibernation when it gets in the 20s next week. But they will get moving around again when it warms back up. Every warm day the fishing will get a little better.
I'm spending most of my time learning areas that are relatively new to me. I normally fish water that is less than 7' deep this time of the year. Since the lake is 7' low, my normal spots are completely dry. So I'm learning new water.
This is both exciting and frustrating.
It's frustrating because we lost so much water that is protected from the wind. Also, we know that the lake will be a circus by the end of Feb - and we have a lot less water and usable ramps and we don't have as many running lanes. But it is exciting because I'm catching all my fish in places that I don't normally fish.
I did a search on www.basslogonline.com and showed the following for February on Lake Fork:
Top 5 lures Lake Fork February w/water temp 40s
1) lipless crankbait
2) skirted jig
3) Texas rig worm
5) wacky rig
Top 5 lures Lake Fork February w/water temp 50-55
1) lipless crankbait
3) C-rig worm
4) Texas rig worm
5) swim bait
My experience is similar to the stats in the Basslog. Almost all of my fish this year have come on lipless crankbaits. Jigs, squarebill crankbaits, chatterbaits, and spinnerbaits are my next best choices.
Book your trip online at http://www.fishingguidenow.com/bookonline.cfm?guideID=2
I keep that calendar current. So if it says I'm available, I'm available. From now through early March, I have enough open days that you can probably book on short notice and see the forecast before booking your trip.
As usual, from mid-March through April I am booked solid for sight fishing. I still have some open days in early May where we will definitely be able to sight fish if you want to learn my favorite pattern.
Be sure to check out my book on sight fishing for bass at http://www.bassfishing.org/spawnbook
I try to post a couple of pictures to my Facebook page every trip. So keeping up with that page is a much better report than what I can do in front of my computer at home. If you follow my Facebook page (actually, the Facebook term is "like"), you can get my posts without delay. I often post pictures as soon as we catch them - and almost always post the same day. So if you see several big fish in the same day, you can rest assured the fishing is good then. If you wait until I post a fishing report, you can be sure that it has slowed down enough for me to leave the lake. Go to www.Facebook.com/LakeForkFishingGuide and click the "like" option to get the posts.
Here are a few of the things that I put on the Facebook Page:
1) Pictures of clients holding fish (of course)
2) Pictures of landscapes around the lake.
3) Pictures and videos of wildlife around the lake
4) Fishing Reports
5) Updates about pages on my website
6) Updates when someone catches a giant bass on Fork
7) Basslog information
I plan to query the basslog at least once a month and post my results on Facebook. So, if you want to know the best baits to be using (for example) or you just like to see statistics, then you should "like" the Facebook page so you can get instant updates.
The link to remember for my Facebook page is www.Facebook.com/LakeForkFishingGuide. But now you don't have to remember that because you can just go to any page on www.bassfishing.org and you will find the feed.
Be sure to "like" the page so you can get the information as soon as it gets posted.
If you would like to receive my fishing report notifications by email, go to www.bassfishing.org/dbaccess/fishingreportrequests.cfm
All you need is your name and email address. If you are receiving reports by email and wish to discontinue receiving them, simply go to www.bassfishing.org/reports/unsubscribe.cfm
Good fishing and good luck. You can't catch them if you don't go.