Lake Fork, Texas    ETS Systems

Quick Menu

James Caldemeyer's
Lake Fork Monthly Fishing ReportLake Fork guide James Caldemeyer (center) and clients Shannon Spear (left

James Caldemeyer's
Lake Fork Trophy Bass
Monthly Fishing Report
July, 2017
Report Submitted 7-18-17

July is SMOKIN HOT on Lake Fork! The bass fishing couldn’t be better as we head into the summer. If you can stand the heat you’ll want to head this way for some trophy bass action. It’s also a great opportunity to spend a day at the lake with the kids while they are out of school for summer vacation. Here are some helpful tips and techniques that will help you catch big bass on Lake Fork this summer.

The water conditions at Lake Fork are very good right now. The lake is currently 402.80, which is close to full pool. The water temperature has been ranging from 82-88 degrees. Most of the lake is fairly clear with some stained areas around wind blown banks and in the backs of a few creeks. I attribute the improved water clarity to the new vegetation that is starting to grow again in the backs of the creeks.

The shallow water bite has remained reliable due to the unseasonably cooler weather that we have been having this year and all the freshly flooded cover on the banks for the bass to get in. June fished more like May normally does and I expect July to fish more like June which is will be good! The fish are feeding early and late up shallow in 2-6 feet on top water baits. The frog has been best for me around the shallow grass. Hollow frogs like the spro types are good. You will also find some areas back in the creeks where the bass are schooling on bait. My best bait for them has been a walking bait like a zara spook. Any shad pattern will do. When the fish are reluctant to bust a top water lure I am opting for a Santone Lures Swim Jig in the 5/16 oz size tipped with a Berkley Havoc Grass Pig. My favorite colors on the swim jig are Pake’s Perch, JC’s Spicy Craw, or River Bream. I am also catching a lot of fish with my clients in mid depths from 10-16 feet early on Texas rigged Berkley 10” Powerworms with a 3/8 Elite Tungsten weight and a 5/0 hook. Best colors have been blue fleck, plum, and watermelon red. The best areas to check out for these fish are along creek channel edges, shallow humps, points, and old pond dams. A Santone football head jig in the 1/2 or 5/8 oz size is also choice for catching these fish. It’s a perfect size and weight to imitate a crawfish or bream, which the bass are feeding heavily on this time of year. Best colors have been JC’s Spicy Craw, Mexican Heather, PB & J, and Bass Candy. You can check them out at or they are available at Lake Fork Marina.

The deep bite is really kicking off this month. We saw some deep action in June but those big groups were just starting to show up. It didn’t ever really get hot enough to get those large congregations of fish piled up out in deep water. Once we see the thermocline set in and the heat bears down for the summer we will start to see those big schools of fish congregated in one area. The best way to read all these water situations and understand how fish relate to conditions out deep is to have great electronics. I rely on my Garmin graphs to tell me exactly where and what the fish are doing out deep. If you are weak in this area of your fishing (most anglers are), now is the time of year to spend lots of time out on the lake learning. I offer some great instructional trips on deep-water fishing and electronics training also. The bass are starting to stack up on points, humps, and roadbeds right now in 18-28 ft consistently. But you can expect to see numbers of bass move even deeper as the month progresses. I have already started to see some fish showing up in 30+ water. Look for the big schools of bait in these areas as most all the fish are relating to large schools of shad. Once you’ve located a school of bass out in the depths of Lake Fork you can catch them on a variety of lures. If the bass are on or close to the bottom, I will use a Carolina rig with an Elite Tungsten 1 oz weight and a 4 ft leader with a 3/0 wide gap hook. The best baits for me have been the Berkley Havoc Jerk, Havoc Backslide, or any centipede/ring fry type bait. Best colors have been watermelon red, green pumpkin, and chartreuse pepper. I always like to throw a Santone football head jig on these deep bass too. Best sizes are the ¾-1 oz and you can’t go wrong with my personal custom JC’s Spicy Craw color. Mexican Heather and PB & J and Bass Candy colors have also produced well. The jig will often times catch the biggest fish in the school as its size and profile appeals to the larger fish. You will also find a lot of bass out deep that are very suspended this month. They can be challenging to catch for sure! I will cycle through a number of baits to determine which one they want best. The deep diving crank bait is a good one to start with. Any shad pattern will work right now. You can also catch them on the Alabama rig or a single weighted swim bait like the Berkley Powerbait Swim Shad. If the bass are suspended in depth ranges that are hard to reach with these baits you’ll want to give the Lake Fork flutter spoon a try. This thing will flat out catch em and can be fished anywhere in the water column. If you want to catch a giant, this is a strong favorite this month. I rig mine on the “new” Abu Garcia Ike Series rod 7’6” medium action with 17 lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

Well that about covers everything that’s going on at Lake Fork this month. I wish everyone traveling out for summer vacations and family time a safe and memorable trip. Please be safe on the water! There are more drownings during the summer months than anytime of the year. Be sure to operate your boat safely, wear a life vest, and a kill switch. It’s also important to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water and Gatorade to stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion is very prevalent in the summer months and will sneak up on you fast!

If you are headed to Lake Fork in pursuit of a trophy bass and are looking to book a guide, I would enjoy the opportunity to take you or your group fishing and show you a great time on Lake Fork. I still have a few dates available for summer and am taking fall reservations as well. Please be sure to start thinking about scheduling your 2018 dates soon as I fill up very fast for spring! I also have gift certificates available for those of you that are interested in purchasing a friend or loved one a guided trip on Lake Fork. You can contact me to make your reservation at 903-736-9888 or send me an email at You can also visit my website for more information about Lake Fork and my guide service at  You can find me on Facebook and follow my official Lake Fork Guide page at
I would also like to thank all of my 2017 sponsors for their support in my guiding and professional tournament fishing as well: Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Toyota, I Am Second, Interstate Batteries, Lowrance, Power Pole, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Santone Lures, Leer, Carhartt, Costa Del Mar, and Elite Tungsten.

Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart

Tight Lines & God Bless,

James Caldemeyer

Fishing Report by Lake Fork Guide James Caldemeyer
For trip information visit:


Google Ads