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February at Lake Fork is HOG TIME

lake fork guide John TannerArticle: February, 2002

The Pre - Spawn will be in full swing and the big females will be at their heaviest weight of the year. It is an exciting time of the year that all of us here look forward to every season. Now, lets talk about where to look for these big mamas and some ways to catch them. In the far northern reaches of the lake the bass will be a couple weeks ahead of schedule compared to the fish down on the main lake say towards the dam. The water in the shallower more protected bays and coves will be warmer and more active than the areas towards the dam. I am not saying that you can't catch fish down on the south end in February, I am just saying the big females will be in shallower more catchable positions in the north and west arms of the lake such as Birch Creek, Garrett Creek, Glade Creek, and Coffee Creek. These creeks have areas that will certainly hold Big Fish in shallow water this time of year. To start off look for the secondary points towards the back of the creek with a channel swing nearby. These type of places can be awesome in February and even into March. If the area you choose to fish has a giant flat in the back of it look for any structure within the flat such as a ditch, a small hump or shallow ridge or the largest point in the flat. If there is an isolated log or two don't pass them up either. Other good places to fish in February are secondary points and at the mouths of spawning coves with hydrilla beds present. The grass beds in these areas will hold their share of fish as well. Here are some of the basic tools for catching bass at Lake Fork in February. In my Ranger boat I carry five Falcon Rods and Shimano reels rigged with the following. I will have a Jig Rod with 25 lb. test line and a 1/2 ounce Blk/Blue Mega Weight Jig by Lake Fork Tackle with a matching Pig Claw for a trailer. A spinner bait rod will be rigged with 20 lb. line and a Chart./White 1/2 ounce Strike King Premier Elite with double willow leaf blades and the third will be rigged with a small version (1/2 ounce and a 18" leader) of the Carolina rig and for the bait I will use the Ring Fry or the Top Dog Lizard in Sour Grape or Pumpkin/Chart. The fourth rod will be equipped with a Texas Rig say a 3/8 ounce " Mega Weight" a 5/0 Hook and rigged with a " Creature " or a " Craw Tube " in sour grape or green pumpkin. Now the fifth rod will a combination rod that will be used for both the Lipless crank bait and the weightless soft plastic such as a "Ring Fry" or a " Magic Shad " by Lake Fork Tackle. For the lipless crank bait try the Diamond Shad or the trap in red or craw fish, chrome can be good as well. Fish the lipless crank bait along the grass edges and over the grass on the points using the ripping technique. As for the C-Rig you can use it in the same areas. The spinner bait, the jig and the Texas rig I will use around the stumps, laydowns along the creek channels and flooded shoreline cover. The weightless rig can be used in any of the areas mentioned using the dead sticking technique (one of my favorites ). It will catch a lot of fish on days when the other baits are off a bit. Water temp is important this time of year. Sometimes the warmest water you can find within an area can hold the most fish simply because it may have more bait fish activity than the rest of the area. If you do not have a depth finder with a temp gauge built in you should try one of the Lowrance units, they are the greatest. As the month rolls along more and more fish will head towards their staging areas. This time of year produces some real trophies so come on over to Lake Fork and catch yours.
Good Fishin and God Bless,
John Tanner

Fishing Tip by  Lake Fork Guide John Tanner


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