Lake Fork (Dallas, TX) Fishing Guide
Lake Fork is a reservoir on the Sabine River with over 27,000 water acres, about an hour and a half from downtown Dallas, Texas. As you might guess, this close proximity to the city makes it a popular destination for anglers. But setting location aside, it’s a prime place to go because it’s one of the nation’s top lakes for largemouth bass fishing.
The Texas state record largemouth and almost two-thirds of the state’s top 50 bass have all come from Lake Fork, so fishing in Dallas itself can’t match up to making the run to Lake Fork. There are also plenty of Lake Fork fishing guides who can be hired by inexperienced anglers. So, when the Lake Fork fishing reports are buzzing about topwater blow-ups and bedded bass, it’s time to pay this place a visit.
Where to Fish: Best Lake Fork Fishing Spots
Lake Fork is large enough that the hotspots are countless, and surely every angler who has spent some time there has their favorites. But the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association didn’t leave it to nature to make the lake as good for fishing as it could possibly be. The two teamed up to build a number of fish attractors, including brush reefs, “crappie condos” made with bamboo stalks and concrete, PVC cube reefs, and other types of havens.
- You can find a map to these plus GPS coordinates for the reefs at the TPWD Lake Fork Fish Attractor Project webpage, and they provide a long list of Lake Fork fishing spots to start out with.
Aside from those manmade structures, anglers will generally be on the lookout for the features that commonly attract bass, like:
- Stream-bed channels coming into cover or creeks
- Underwater points
- Shoreline structure
- Lake Fork also offers more manmade structure in the form of docks and riprap, both of which can draw in the fish.
What to Fish for in Lake Fork: Top Species List
Largemouth bass are without question the number-one draw in Lake Fork. In fact, the draw goes well beyond people interested in fishing in Dallas — anglers travel here from literally all over the nation. But bass aren’t the only fish swimming in these waters. In addition to the largemouth in Lake Fork you’ll find:
- Catfish (channel and blue)
- Crappie (black and white)
- Sunfish (of several species)
- White bass
- Yellow bass
When is the best time to go fishing on Lake Fork, TX?
As a general rule of thumb, spring and fall are the hottest fishing seasons in Lake Fork.
Winter can be very good, too, and although the bites may come at a slower pace, the colder months of the year are often when the biggest fish get caught. If you want to hunt for trophy-sized bass, period, bundle up and hit the lake very late in the deep of winter when most other anglers stay at home.
For most species, the heat of summer is usually the slowest time of year for fishing at Lake Fork. The fish usually head for deep water where it’s cooler, and most anglers will only get bites at dawn or dusk.
There is a “but,” however, and it’s a big one: night fishing during the summer can lead to fantastic action. Also note that catfish can be an exception, as they tend to bite just about any time.
Ready to go fishing in Lake Fork?
How you’ll want to fish at Lake Fork depends a great deal on which species you want to target.
- Catfish anglers will sink baits to the bottom and let them soak.
- Fishermen hunting for crappie may cast small jigs or spinners, or sometimes fish live minnow.
- Bass aficionados, however, will generally stick to casting and retrieving lures.
Which type of lure to choose for bass fishing at Lake Fork has a lot to do with seasonality, time of day, and the depth the fish are holding at. When they’re in the shallows, many anglers prefer to toss topwater. Slightly deeper fish are often targeted with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and swimbaits. And when the bass go deep, jigging spoons and heavy jigs often work well.
Okay: you just checked the Lake Fork fishing reports, and all indicators point to a hot bite? You know what to do — drop everything else, grab your fishing rods, and head for Lake Fork post-haste!