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#11019533 - 08/04/15 01:25 PM Lake Fork schooling observation
tin man 55 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 153
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
let me start out by saying I'm a very average fisherman; been doing it all my life, and most of the last 30+ years on Lake Fork.

my observation is about the lack of largemouth schooling that I am seeing on the lake, both last year and this year. I have a couple of "spots" where I can usually catch bass during the summer months, and up until the last couple of years, there would always be largemouth sporadically schooling all during the day at these spots. but last year, and this year so far, other than an occasional single fish, I've seen no largemouths doing it, just small sand bass.

also, last year, I never saw any large schools of shad, just a lot of very small groups. in years past in these areas, I would see shad schools that would almost cover my whole screen. this year so far, I'm back seeing large schools of shad, but still no schooling from the largemouths.

I hatched a theory about this last sunday while I was sweating and not getting bit. could the lack of schooling be attributed to the largemouth bass feeding on all the small sand bass? before the sand bass went crazy in lake fork, the largemouth had to chase and eat a large quantity of little shad on a daily basis. now, they can just wait for a 4 or 5 inch sand bass to swim by, and they are full for a while. that would explain why I'm seeing fish in these "spots", but other than a couple of bites, they just are not biting. could they just be hanging out down where it's cooler and digesting that last sand bass they just ate? you know how you are after wolfing down a double Whataburger with cheese!!

anyway, I would like to hear what other folks are seeing on lake fork. maybe I'm just not fishing in the right spot....

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#11019541 - 08/04/15 01:30 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
RangerBass21 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/09/15
Posts: 2210
Loc: Plano
I've caught a schooling bass this year with a sandbass tail in its throat and it ate every bit of my 8" swimbait, I don't think they are full, I think they are scattered everywhere in the flooded grass and Willows, there's a lot of schools running around, one thing I've noticed I haven't seen them school on the surface yet, they mostly do that start of fall though.
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#11019545 - 08/04/15 01:32 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
RangerBass21 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/09/15
Posts: 2210
Loc: Plano
also nearly every schooling bass I see their is sandbass and yellow bass "bar fish" mixed with them.
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#11019666 - 08/04/15 02:13 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
coachallentca Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 3920
Loc: crowley
I saw some school last but they don't stay up long enough.


Edited by coachallentca (08/04/15 03:37 PM)
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#11019674 - 08/04/15 02:14 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: RangerBass21]
BankBassin Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/14/11
Posts: 1177
Loc: Allen, Texas 75002
Originally Posted By: RangerBass21
I think they are scattered everywhere in the flooded grass and Willows


This is exactly what was happening at Lake Lavon. Water levels were low for a while, then came rushing up. The fishing had not been good since the spring when it started to rain. Now that the lake has stabilized and water levels are returning to normal, so has the fishing. Give it a little more time and see if your bass don't come back.
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#11020207 - 08/04/15 05:43 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
Billy_Lawson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/11/12
Posts: 2638
Loc: Van, Tx
here is another thought to digest. uaually the summer schooling bass are the 2 lb give or take variety in my experience, (speaking strictly of surface schoolers). the last several fry classes have been decimated by the combination of sand bass population explosion and low water providing little to no cover to hide in for fry. now this years young had plenty of cover but they are not big enough to school on these big open water shad schools yet. that being said i just dont think there is much of a 1-2 yr old class bass in fork right now, therefore greatly reducing the numbers of surface shooling bass in the summer time.

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#11020513 - 08/04/15 07:56 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
Bass-N-Buck Master Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/16/13
Posts: 2291
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Them small lmb are scared to school as the bigger sandbass are feasting on them, therefore, there is less lmb schooling and the bigger lmb are feasting on the sandbass. juggle

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#11021314 - 08/05/15 07:54 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
RedSkeeter Offline
Bedazzled

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 13993
Loc: TEXAS
TawokaFork....................... eeks
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#11021404 - 08/05/15 08:32 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
TBassYates Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 6346
Loc: Scurry, Tx - S/E of Dallas
I miss the good ol days about 20 years ago or so when you could sit in Dale Creek on a late summer afternoon and just wait for the huge school of 5 and 6 lbers to start chasing shad up the creek or through all of the bushes in the shallows. At least when you have experienced it you can always revisit those times again in your memories.
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#11021507 - 08/05/15 09:10 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
Razorback Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/31/01
Posts: 3542
Loc: Tyler, TX, USA
I don't see near as many schooling bass on the surface as I used to on any lake.

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#11021549 - 08/05/15 09:24 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
rxkid2001 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 3923
Loc: Wishing I was in TX
Modern electronics probably play a part in this. They used to be harder to find but now anyone can take a graph and find them fairly easily so possibly the added pressure is making them travel in smaller groups.

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#11021557 - 08/05/15 09:27 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
snickers Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 3998
They will be back in school in a couple weeks

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#11021764 - 08/05/15 10:42 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
ogles824 (aka Lakewaydr50) Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 2409
Loc: NETX
This time of year fishing for schoolers can be pretty productive on Fork. I noticed over the years not just on Fork but other lakes as well on these dog days of summer @ or about 6:00pm on until about 30 minutes before dark the lakes seem to come alive with fish chasing shad on the surface. When I'd go to Fork this time of year I started waiting until about 5:00 pm or so to leave the house; it is about a 30 minute drive, I'd put in at Rainswood and go over to the Birch Creek area and just shut off my big motor and listen for them to break. I'd go to them and throw a chrome blue 1/4 oz. Ratl-Trap and catch a few on back to back cast. Once they died down I'd pitch some soft plastics into the general area I was catching them and pick up one to two more. I'd sit at that spot and listen for them breaking some where else and repeat the process. I'd usually have the opportunity to hit 3 to 4 schools and maybe get a repeat on a school I'd already hit. It was 99% slot fish I was catching but it was a lot of fun.........
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#11021895 - 08/05/15 11:45 AM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: tin man 55]
BMCD Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 3789
Loc: Katy, Texas US
Probably low bait fish population or very scattered bait fish will prevent traditional schooling activity. Depends on the body of water and its recent history.


Edited by BMCD (08/05/15 11:46 AM)

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#11022154 - 08/05/15 01:16 PM Re: Lake Fork schooling observation [Re: TBassYates]
Big 10 Inch Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 338
Originally Posted By: TBassYates
I miss the good ol days about 20 years ago or so when you could sit in Dale Creek on a late summer afternoon and just wait for the huge school of 5 and 6 lbers to start chasing shad up the creek or through all of the bushes in the shallows. At least when you have experienced it you can always revisit those times again in your memories.


You knowing this, then you can confirm that Fork is no where near the lake that it once was. The South end of the lake would come alive with schooling bass in the fall. Not little fish either acres of 5 & 6 pound schooling bass that would stay up all day long. That has not happened in years. I don't think you can point your finger at one specific cause but it is a combination of things. Fishing pressure, lack of cover, fish mortality and numbers of fish are all factors that contribute to the decline of the lake.

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