Lake Fork Catfish

Lake Fork Catfish

Courtesy Travis Isaacs

Lake Fork may be the “Bass Fishing Capital Of The World” but in my book the catfish reign supreme at Lake Fork. It’s a pretty good haul for me to get to Lake Fork from Fort Worth and I would have to pass a lot of really good lakes to get there but for years I would make the trek to East Texas for the Lake Fork catfish. While the bass fisherman were idling out of the marinas in the fifty thousand dollar glittery bass boats prepping forty different colors of spinner baits and crank baits I was idling along in my aluminum boat loading up on the lake for catfish.

Rod and reel fishing, fishing with trotlines and jug fishing was always good to me on this lake, especially for channel catfish.

Lake Fork is loaded with shallow timber and is packed full of channel catfish. It has a blue catfish population but we always stayed so busy catching boat loads of channel catfish that the blue catfish on this body of water always seemed irrelevant.

Catching the channel catfish with rod and reel was always a pretty easy task, almost like shooting fish in a barrel. Pull up in flooded timber in shallow water, grain a few holes with soured wheat or soured milo, and fish with catfish punch bait over and around these baited holes in the flooded timber. In the fall and winter there were always roosting cormorants so we would typically spend our fishing time in the water cormorant catfishing.

Catching the Lake Fork catfish with trotlines and juglines was just as easy also. We would typically set the trotlines or catfish jugs in flooded timber from eight to twelve feet deep and bait them with Redneck’s Catfish Bait Soap. Within a few hours we would typically have more than limits of channel catfish and would be releasing catfish after that.

While there is nothing wrong with bass fishing, you won’t ever catch me doing it. Next time you find yourself in East Texas, drop some lines in the water and target some of the Lake Fork Catfish and you might just be surprised at what you end up catching.

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