Bass Fishing in Lake Fork Texas
Author: Carol Fall

Author: Carol Fall

I own Fall Farm Country Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast in East Texas. I love sharing my recommendations to exploring this wonderful area!

The ULTIMATE Guide to Fishing Lake Fork Texas

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    If you’re a fisherman and you’ve ever dreamed about hooking into large, trophy-caliber largemouth bass, Lake Fork fishing in Texas has some of the best fishing the Lonestar State has to offer.

    Every fisherman has dreams of catching wall-hangers, but in Lake Fork Texas, you can turn those dreams into reality. Everything is bigger in Texas and it’s certainly true of the bass in Lake Fork, where dozens of record fish have been caught.

    In fact, the bass fishing in the lake is so good that it’s been named one of the top lakes in the nation.

    For anglers fishing in Lake Fork, catching a once-in-a-lifetime fish isn’t a matter of if, but when. Swimming amongst the docks, lily pads, and other cover are some of the biggest fish you’ll find anywhere.

    These fish are big and plentiful and you may just hook into a few big ones on your trip. It’s the perfect place to spend a day and offers plenty of chances for new fishing stories to tell.

    Lake Fork Texas
    Lake Fork

    Getting to Know Lake Fork

    Located about 60 miles east of Dallas, the Lake Fork Reservoir runs through Wood, Hopkins, and Rains counties in Texas, between the towns of Yantis, Emory, Alba, and Quitman. It stretches over 27,000 acres and has more than 300 miles of shoreline.

    Created as a premier bass fishing lake from scratch by the Sabine River Authority state agency in 1980, this lake has become a fabled fishing destination for anglers out for big catches.

    It was stocked with more than 700,000 Florida largemouth bass from 1979-1987. Those initial stockings by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department soon paid big dividends.

    Lake Fork holds dozens of the top Texas state record largemouth bass and has become well known to fishermen as a premier lake for trophy fish.

    While fishermen flock to Lake Fork Texas for trophy bass, Lake Fork is also stocked with catfish, black and white crappie, bowfin, bluegill, and many other fish species.

    To keep fishing prosperous for all fishermen, Texas Parks and Wildlife requires fishermen to return bass between 16-24 inches. There is also a five-bass per day limit where fishermen can keep five bass under 16 inches or one bass over 24 inches and four under 16 inches.

    Bass Fishing

    FAQs About Lake Fork Fishing

    Q: What is the best month to fish Lake Fork?

    A: Year-round fishing is available on Lake Fork, but some of the best times are between January and March and between October and November. Morning and late afternoon are the best times to try and land a trophy catch.

    Q: Why are bass so big in Lake Fork?

    A: Bass have the perfect environment to grow big in Lake Fork. There’s plenty of baitfish, clean water, and great habitat for the fish to thrive in.

    Q: What’s the average size bass caught in Lake Fork?

    A: Anglers usually encounter Lake Fork bass that average between 1 and 1.5 pounds, but the trophy catches people seek are up to five pounds and sometimes between 7-10 pounds.

    Q: What is the biggest bass ever caught in Lake Fork?

    A: Currently, the largest bass ever caught in Lake Fork is 18.18 pounds.

    Q: What all fish are in Lake Fork?

    A: Anglers can find white bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bowfin, gar, and several others species in the waters of Lake Fork.


    Essential Lake Fork Fishing Tips

    Fishing on Lake Fork is a great way to spend a day or an entire afternoon. But if you’re after some trophy bass, you need to know where to go, what to use, and be aware of your surroundings.

    Local fishing guides recommend some of these helpful tips for fishing Lake Fork.

    1. Pick the right spot: Lake Fork largemouth love swimming in areas with lots of protection; think near rocks, under docks, near boat ramps, and in weed beds. This gives them cover and places to feed and spawn. If you can find the right spot, chances are good you’ll find big fish.
    2. Fish at the right time: Lake Fork largemouth love cool water, so you’re likely to find them in shallow water areas along the shoreline in the morning. As the sun comes up and the day gets hotter, the bass will move to deeper water where they can find protection. That means you might need to change your location as well as your lures.
    3. Use the right lure: Fishing on Lake Fork can be an absolute blast, but you can’t just tie a lure on the end of your line, throw it out there and automatically expect the fish to start biting. Different lures work in different areas. Floating lures are best used for shallow areas. Lures that sink can help in covered areas like weed beds, but must be used carefully. Be mindful of what you use, how it works, and what techniques you use as you try to find the right lure to lure the big ones.
    4. Be mindful of seasons: As you’ve read, the time of day can affect water temperatures and where fish like to hang out. The same is true of seasons, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you prepare for Lake Fork fishing. In spring, the water tends to be murky, so bright lures can be used to attract fish. In the winter months, a frozen lake (and yes, Lake Fork does freeze!) can be lighter in color, so darker lures are important for attracting fish.
    Lake Fork - Texas
    Lake Fork | photo via @lakeforkguide_whitt_smith

    Fishing For Different Fish Species in Lake Fork

    Largemouth Bass

    Trophy fish like largemouth are most often found during spring, summer, and fall. If you’re fishing in the spring, plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and lipless crankbaits are all popular choices for casting along the shore.

    In the summer, night fishing can be fruitful, not to mention a great way to get out of the Texas heat. Try your luck with topwater baits, crankbaits, plastic worms, and spinners.

    During schooling season in the fall, you’ll find that popular baits like topwaters and crankbaits are effective. In the winter, use jigging spoons, crankbaits, and jigs to lure the bass to your line.

    White Bass

    White Bass get very big in Lake Fork, so if you hook into one, you could be in for a battle. If you’re on the hunt for white bass and yellow bass, use jigging spoons. Topwater baits and crankbaits also work well when the bass are schooling.


    Species like bluegill and redear are most often caught in shallow water during the summer months with a mix of live bait and lures. Try using crickets, earthworms, and small spinnerbaits. If you’re fishing during another season, look around piers, boathouses, and other structures.


    Many crappie anglers fish deep water near the lake’s dam in the winter months, but crappie can also be found in the spring and fall under nearby bridges. If you’re trying to catch crappie, make sure to use minnows or crappie jigs.


    Channel catfish are the most abundant catfish species in the lake, but there are also blue catfish, and some flathead cats swimming in the lake. Use live bait if you’re on the hunt for flatheads and cut bait or stinkbait for channel cats.


    Hiring a Lake Fork Fishing Guide

    As a premier bass fishing lake, fishermen flock to Lake Fork in hopes of hooking into one (or several) trophy bass. But catching these beauties can prove difficult and when it does, it’s best to have an experienced Lake Fork fishing guide at your side.

    These pros can take you to the best spots on the lake, giving you multiple chances to hook into fish. 

    Some of the best Lake Fork fishing guides include:

    Jason Hoffman’s Lake Fork Guide Service — Jason Hoffman has been a Lake Fork guide for more than 20 years and is eager to help fishermen, whether they want to learn new techniques, catch a trophy bass, or just spend a fun day fishing.

    James Caldemeyer’s Lake Fork Trophy Bass Guide Service: James Caldemeyer offers a variety of fishing opportunities for anglers itching for a thrill. Anglers will get personalized attention, plenty of instruction, and all the equipment they need for a fun trip.

    Lake Fork Guide Andrew Grills: Lake Fork’s fishing is truly phenomenal and Andrew Grills welcomes fishermen of all skill levels. Anglers can learn all about seasonal fishing techniques, how to read sonar, and what it’s really like to hook into a monster trophy bass.

    Lake Fork Fishing Adventures LLC: Jim Range is a fully-licensed guide on Lake Fork and has more than 10 years of experience fishing this famed lake. Jim offers personalized attention and everything you need for a memorable, fun, and relaxing fishing experience.

    Other Lake Fork fishing guides include:

    Bass Fishing

    Lodging Near Lake Fork

    If you’re looking for a great getaway during your Lake Fork fishing adventures, don’t miss out on staying at Fall Farm Country Inn – just a short scenic drive away from Lake Fork.

    Our inn has four rooms and suites in the main house and many common areas, and we have a four-bedroom cottage to accommodate up to eight people.

    While you’re here, you’ll enjoy access to a variety of amenities, such as a swimming pool with spa, a covered pavilion with swings, a country gourmet breakfast, and space to store your boat between trips to the lake!

    So when you’re ready to book your Lake Fork fishing adventure, check our availability.

    Bass Fishing

    Plan Your Lake Fork Fishing Trip Today

    A day of Lake Fork fishing is a day well spent and there’s never been a better time to start planning your bass fishing trip to this fishing paradise.

    Whether you’re fishing with friends or you want to hire one of the experienced Lake Fork fishing guides to lead you on a guided trip, you won’t leave the water disappointed. You’ll have many chances to hook into a variety of fish and, if you’re lucky, you just might hook and land a new personal record bass.

    There’s a reason why Lake Fork has a reputation as one of the premier bass fishing spots in the nation, and the best way to get in on a piece of the action is to book a trip to Lake Fork Texas today.

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