Trophy Bass

Lake Fork

Located southwest of Dallas, Lake Fork is well known for its trophy largemouths, and February may be the best time to catch double-digit fish. Thirteen of Texas' 50 biggest bass were taken in that month, and nine of them from this reservoir. Statistically, this is your best month for a trophy.

The weather in mid-February is cool-daytime highs average about 60 degrees-but at least you won't be shoveling snow. The big bass are trying to get warm, too, and are in prespawn mode, staging along the edges of warmer flats. The north and west ends of the reservoir are shallower and warm up earlier and can thus be more productive. Channel edges, secondary points, and structure near spawning flats are keys to finding fish. Local anglers favor jigs, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft-plastic lizards fished on heavy baitcasting gear with 20- to 25-pound-test line. Getting to Lake Fork is easy and fairly inexpensive with lots of flights to Dallas¿¿¿Fort Worth from just about anywhere. The area abounds with marinas and motels. Local bass fishing guides, essential for first-timers, charge around $300 for a full day of fishing. You'll find extensive information at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website at www.tpwd.state.tx.us. For a listing of area motels and guides, check out www.ets-systems.com/index.htm.