Let me give you another perspective on Fork, Cooper. Most of the guys who target this amazing water are boat anglers. Being an ex-Rocky Mountain fisherman, I learned to love walking a bank. Moved here two years ago, and find myself returning to Fork over all the other places I've fished since then.
Reason? 95%+ of the anglers who fish Fork are targeting largemouth bass, and for good reason. However, I love fishing for just about every species available. With all the pressure on bucketmouths, the other species rarely see bait(s) focused on catching them.
Last weekend at Fork I had fun with largemouth bass averaging 18", but also found nice cats, and a bowfin that dam near wore me out! Oh yeah... and a snapping turtle the size of a spare tire. When things warm up, large sunfish of several different species will begin cruising near shore, and quality crappie can be found in certain areas. You never know what might be the next thing on your line at Fork.
Not uncommon to catch 6+ species in a day at Fork once things get rockin'!
Reply by: Dave Mauldin Posted: 3/11/2011 7:32:00 AM Points: 155
I started bass fishing just before Lake Fork opened. I won the very first (bass club) tournament I fished, and it was on Lake Fork. Fork was the best place to learn to bass fish, because you could get bit so much, and catch so many fish, thus improving your skills. You get much better on a given technique when you can catch 40 a day on it. I have very fond memories of Fork, as I fished it many weekends for the first 15 years it was open. I was one of the first to fish a lot a night there. My partner and I would fish exclusively at night during June-August...and we caught some giants, and lost some bigger ones (before we had braided line). During it's peak, Fork was one of the greatest lakes. However, due to the pressure, etc. there are many lakes you would want to consider also....For example, during it's peak, Richland Chambers was one of the best...but not so now. Many lakes reach their peak, and really never recover to that level for various reasons. Amistad was one of the best, until it got "noticed". It is still one of the best, just not quite as good as it was in 2006...but it is the kind of lake (remote, long growing season, food supply, little pressure, etc) that can well revive to it's previous fantastic levels. I'd defer to JC who lives there to expand on that unique lake. At this moment, Falcon is one of the best, but many people are concerned to go to a border lake.....and that is one of the primary reasons why Falcon is at a peak: less pressure.... Just one person's opinion...and yes, a loaded question. Most importantly, go where you can have a good time! Enjoy, preserve, and protect the environment.
Reply by: The Amistad Man Posted: 3/13/2011 7:25:47 PM Points: 424
That definilty is a loaded question but only because it is to broad to answer. Texas is full of some great lakes for diffrent reasons. Fork is great because it can give you a chance at a huge bass and who doesent love that. Squaw creek is the best winter lake in texas. you will not find a better lake to kill the winter blues than that power plant lake. it consistantly will produce 40-50 fish days and has a crazy amount of 4-6lb fish. Lake Amistad is a lake that is great because of the mixture of opportunities. I like the the fact that since it is a crystal clear lake with deep water very close to most of the banks and a large amount of cover, it allows everyday anglers to catch good numbers while still having the chance at a fish of a lifetime. Falcon is the same way in that it has stained water a crazy amount of cover and offers the highest chance at large fish in numbers. you can go down there and catch sometimes 5-10 fish over 6lbs.
So it all depends on what your criteria is for a great bass lake!
Ư for what Amistad Man said. "Best" is hard to define. In addition to Fork, Amistad, Falcon, Rayburn, Toleo Bend, etc. Texas is blessed with a multitude of lesser known lakes like O.H. Ivie, Alan Henry, Welsh, Austin, Choke Canyon, Bob Sandlin and Fayette County that would easily be the numero uno bass lake in most other states.
Historically, there is no doubt Lake Fork has produced more bass in the top 50 largest bass in Texas than any other lake in the state. However, if you are like me, what matters is where you can go catch big fish right now. I have been fishing Lake Fork, Amistad, Buchanan, Sam R. and Falcon for the last 3 months according to each lake's water temp (Spawn/Post Spawn) and the best lake hands down, has been Falcon for consistent big fish. One thing I always check is the Texas Lunker Program Website. You can see where and when the majority of the big fish are being caught right now. Lake Fork has slowed down considerebly since its peak in the 90's. Look at the latest top 20 lunker bass over 13 lbs on the tpwd website, the results will amaze you. Who would of thought town lake in Austin Texas??? I hope this helps.