Trophy bass fishing on world famous Lake Fork

“Summer School Bass” August Article

“Summer School Bass”

August can be one of the most difficult months to consistently catch quality bass here on Lake Fork. The deep fish have been pressured for a couple months and can be tough to catch. The shoreline usually holds some fish, but chances for good sized bass are slim. A great alternative is keeping an eye out for surface activity.

While it can be difficult to abandon the typical areas and techniques that worked so well all summer, I find I have some of my most productive days targeting “schooling bass”. Because fish are on the move, I try to be as well, watching for surface activity or birds. When we see a bird dive or a bass break the surface, it is often just the tip of the iceberg and a big time feeding frenzy is taking place below. Its also important to check areas where you’ve seen schooling activity in years past. It isn’t unusual to find bass using the same areas year after year, even though there may not be any noticeable structure nearby to attract them.

In order to catch these schooling fish, I put my slow moving, bottom crawling techniques aside. This is the time to reach for moving baits that will appeal to bass from the surface, or even those suspended in the water column. There are quite a few presentations that will work. However, my favorites are a walking topwater bait, a soft plastic jerk bait, and a big spoon.

A Spook is a great choice for a walking topwater bait. There are many other brands that work as well, and some work better on certain days. I like to have a couple sizes on hand in order to see which gets bit best, and to find out if there is potential to draw a bigger fish with the larger bait (even though it might not get as many bites). Many of us are tempted to fish these baits too slow, in order to entice a bass to bite, but I prefer a fast, erratic retrieve to get the fish to react out of impulse. I use 15lb monofilament line for this application.

Zoom’s Super Fluke is probably the most popular soft jerk bait, and I use both the standard and magnum sizes. I will rig these weightless on an EWG hook with 15lb fluorocarbon line. A moderate retrieve with a twitch and pause cadence can be effective, keeping the bait on or just below the surface. I also like to deadstick them, and count them down to the suspended fish I see on my sonar. This is a great way to get down to the bigger fish.

Finally, a spoon is one of my favorite lures any time. It will work great for catching the better quality fish in the midst of schooling activity. I let the spoon go to the bottom, then crank 3-5 times and allow it to fall back down. M-Pack Lures’ Structure Spoon is one of my favorites. I like it because the unique weedguard gives us the liberty to fish it wherever the fish are without worrying about snagging. This just hit the market and is available at some of the marinas around the lake or at

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of ways to catch schooling bass, these are just my favorites. Hopefully these tips will help you put a few more fish in your boat and give you an extra perspective during what can be a tough month to catch them. If you would like to book a trip with me, you can reach me at (903) 638-1170 or email me or visit my website:

Andrew is a professional guide on Lake Fork and is sponsored by Skeeter Boats, Nautical Mile Marine in Tyler, Costa Sunglasses, Under Armour, and M-Pack Lures.