As someone who used to bank fish Fork and others, I feel your pain!
Couple things...first if you have been fishing recently, the water is really cold and it is hard to get bit period. Give it a month or so and throw a weightless fluke in watermelon with the tail dyed chartreuse in the back of a cove or creek in shallow water and you should get bit on any of those lakes, well maybe not Lewisville(I hate that place).
Next, my first boat was a bass buster type boat I bought from BPS for about $500 with a small TM and battery, I am sure they are more now but not much. This style boat is good and stable just takes a while to get where you are going. Fish catching little boats though! Another option is an inexpensive kayak(I bought my first off craigslist with a paddle and jacket for $100)which is a great option because they do not have to be registered and can easily be carried on top of a car. I have fished Fork, Ray Roberts, Toledo Bend, Grapevine, Devils river, etc... as well as many community ponds all from small boats and did very well. You end up picking apart small sections of a lake and catching plenty of fish while the big boats fly by. Just wanted to point out options. A guide, which I highly recommend btw when trying to learn a lake, is about $450 a day and for that you could have your own boat!
See you on the lake and have a great day!