Lake Fork Reservoir is a 27,690 acre impoundment located approximately 90 miles east of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It was built as an industrial and municipal water supply by the Sabine River Authority (SRA). Impoundment of water began in February, 1980 and the reservoir was opened to the public in September of the same year. Boat access is provided by four public boat ramps and numerous private marinas. Bank access is limited at the reservoir; however, a public day-use area and fishing pier built by the SRA provides limited bank access. Mild year-round temperatures and beautiful scenery provide for a memorable angling experience for a variety of species.
Since its inception, Lake Fork Reservoir has had restrictive harvest regulations in effect for largemouth bass. This has contributed to the lake becoming the premier trophy largemouth bass lake in Texas. It has produced numerous fish over 13 pounds, dominates theTexas Top 50 Largemouth Bass list, and has produced state record fish. Peak fishing for largemouth bass occurs during spring (mid-February to April) when
anglers concentrate their efforts along the shoreline for spawning fish. Popular baits used at this time include spinnerbaits, plastic worms and
lizards, jigs and jerk baits. Another prime fishing period occurs in late summer and early fall when schooling fish are abundant.
Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater lures can be very productive on schooling fish. Nighttime fishing with plastic worms, crankbaits and topwaters also account for numerous fish caught during the summer. During winter months, lures, such as jigging spoons, jig and trailers, and crankbaits fished slowly can be productive.onths, lures, such as jigging spoons, jig and trailers, and crankbaits fished slowly can be productive.
Lake Fork Reservoir contains both white and black crappie, with black crappie dominating the population. Large numbers of crappie can be caught from around bridge pilings, submerged trees, brush piles, and from deep water near the dam, depending upon the time of the year. Concentrations of boats are often an indication that anglers have located crappie-especially under bridges in late spring/early summer and again in the fall. During winter months, most crappie anglers concentrate their efforts in deeper water near the dam. Popular baits throughout the year are live minnows and crappie jigs.
Channel and blue catfish are present in Lake Fork Reservoir. Trotlines account for most catfish harvest. Rod and reel angling for catfish has been limited, but is gaining in popularity as catfish populations expand. The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association has great success with its annual “Yantis Catfish Classic” held in July of each year.
Lake Fork Reservoir contains an excellent “bream” fishery-with bluegill and red ear sunfish the dominant species harvested. Most harvest occurs during the spawning season in the early summer when they are on beds in shallow water near the shoreline. At this time of year, anglers using crickets, earthworms, or small spinners catch large numbers of these good-eating panfishes. During the remainder of the year, sunfish can be harvested using the same baits around structure such as piers, boathouses and submerged stumps.
Lake Fork Reservoir is an extremely popular fishing spot but there are a number of other popular water sports to enjoy. The lake has a few areas in which to enjoy these water sports, but it is important to be extremely cautious of the many treacherous underwater hazards. Jet skiing, waterskiing and wakeboarding can be enjoyed in only in areas known to be safe.
Lake Fork Reservoir is an extremely popular fishing spot and anglers are urged to make reservations for lodging, guide services, etc. well in advance. This is especially true during the spring. There is no hard and fast rule as to which baits will produce fish on any given day. Anglers are encouraged to contact local marinas for current fishing conditions. Serious anglers should consider hiring a guide.
Since the majority of the standing timber was left in the reservoir, numerous underwater hazards exist. Caution should be exercised when boating in all areas.
Finally, Lake Fork Reservoir has special harvest regulations which anglers should make themselves aware of prior to any fishing trip. Regulation booklets are available through local marinas, sporting goods stores, or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Barry W. Lyons and Steve Poarch, Fisheries Biologists and Kirk Pratas, Fish & Wildlife Technician.
For more information on Lake Fork Reservoir contact:
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
2122 Old Henderson Hwy.
Tyler, TX 75702
Sabine River Authority
P.O. Box 487
Quitman, TX 75783
FISHING & HUNTING LINKS
Toyota ShareLunker Program
Lake Fork Fishing Report
Lake Fork Sportsmans Association
Lake Fork Visitors Guide
Lonestar Outdoor News
Sabine River Authority
Take A Soldier Fishing
Take Me Fishing
Texas Bass Fishing Magazine
Texas Fishing Report
Texas Fishing Forum
Texas Parks & Wildlife
The Bass Fishing Forum
The Fisherman’s Guide