NEWS ON AND ABOUT LAKE FORK * LINES TO GET HOOKED ON.... Practice C.P.R. (Catch * Photo * Release)
Bubba's New Year Resolution Includes His
Nice or Naughty List For Christmas 2013
By: Don J. Hampton

Twas the season, and as far as Bubba is concerned it’s “Tis the season,” still. While everyone else is making a list of New Year’s resolutions, Bubba is making out his Christmas shopping list for December, 2013. While a resolution for the New Year is made to improve one’s character or habits, Bubba’s list is going to make better shoppers next year out of his family and friends.

Just like Santa, he has a list and he is checking it twice to see exactly who shopped naughty or nice for him. For those that bought Bubba “Fishing Stuff” their names are going on the nice list. This will be very beneficial for these individuals because he’ll shop for them very meticulously and with much thought and care. I would believe his motives for this are truly self-serving.

His two favorites and on the top of his 2012 nice list were Bubbette and Bubba, Jr. They know him real well and know about the list he makes after Christmas each year. They always know just the right items to buy him. It also makes shopping for him real easy. Each year they buy him gift certificates so he can go buy his own “Fishing Stuff”. Bubba keeps their names on the top of his list.

For those individuals that gave Bubba a present that didn’t include “Fishing Stuff” and bought him items that just cannot or will not fit into his way of life or thinking, well, they will find their name on his naughty list.

I quoted the old cliché to Bubba, “It’s not the gift that counts but the thought!” Of course he quoted me back one of his own, “Well, they should have put a little more thought into these,” he said holding up a paisley tie and a potted plant. On those two presents I had to agree with him.

I’ve known him longer than anyone and I haven’t seen him in a tie for at least 30 years. I’ve gone to weddings, graduations, funerals, baptisms, and even a couple of bar mitzvahs with him and he has never worn a tie. He cleans up pretty nicely but you can’t force him to wear a tie. He has even informed me that when the good Lord takes him he will not be wearing a tie. I’d say he feels pretty strongly about a tie.

Bubba is the type that wouldn’t say anything to the person that gave a present to him and he wouldn’t even try to take something back to a store but he always seems to find a good use for everything. So don’t be surprised or laugh when you see his boat tied up to a stump on Lake Fork with a paisley tie, unless you’re the one on his naughty list.

When it came to the potted plant, this really spurred my curiosity. Whoever gave Bubba this surely didn’t know about his naughty list. I even had the pleasure of watching him open this one. What really surprised me at first was how many times he checked the name card. I asked him later why he kept checking the name card and he explained, “The first three times I was just making sure it wasn’t meant for Bubbette and the fourth time I wanted to make sure I remembered who sent that to me!” I’m going shopping with Bubba next year just to see what that individual is going to get. Knowing Bubba the way I do it will probably be purchased at a gas station.

I did ask Bubba what his plans were for the potted plant just because I have one of those inquiring minds and you know how that goes. He had two options he was going to go with. First he was going to see if Bubbette wanted it, but since she doesn’t really have a green thumb either I expect it will go to Bubba’s second option. He’s going to put some earthworms in it, keep the soil moist, put some coffee grounds in it occasionally so the worms will reproduce. That way he’ll have plenty of bait for bream fishing in the summer.

If he does do the latter though, wouldn’t that mean that person should be transferred to the nice list because technically it is now “Fishing Stuff”. If that is the case and he uses the tie the way he plans to, shouldn’t that person’s name be transferred to the nice list. Oh well, I guess it really is the thought that counts.

The Loss Of One Of Lake Fork's Own
By: Don J. Hampton

On December 17, 2012 with the passing of Jerry Moon, the fishing industry lost not only an icon but also a pioneer in the live release of bass in competitive tournaments, conservation and restocking.

Jerry was instrumental in the first designs of ‘Live Release Boats’ partnered with Toyo Shimano, Tom Brooke and Prince-craft boats in Canada . Before becoming fully dedicated to the healthy release of bass in competitive tournaments he was a Canadian pro circuit angler partnered with Mack Teegarten from Pennsylvania and occasionally with Tom Brooke from Shimano , Canada . With the stepping in of PETA and the short growing season for smallmouth bass in Canada , an answer had to be found and Jerry was a key factor in the resolution of both problems.

The first ‘Live Release’ boats were designed on Princecraft V-hull boats. It was then discovered a larger boat was required for this and a pontoon boat was required for the excess weight of the tanks, water, aeration and equipment that was required.

Jerry drove and worked the ‘Live Release Boats’ from coast to coast. Not only returning healthy bass caught in tournaments back into their native waters to be caught again another day but also participating and assisting in re-stocking programs from Lake Mead, Lake Havasu plus other lakes and reservoirs across the nation. One of the ‘Live Release Boats’ was donated to BASS and several other boats were built and sent to the United States to help in the preservation of bass.

In 1988 Jerry was a key factor in translating competitive fishing into a marketing value when he became the Shimano Representative for Texas , Oklahoma , Arkansas , and Louisiana along with his other responsibilities as a rep for Lowrance and return sales with Skeeter. “To think, Jerry did all of this without a computer, just a big cheap tablet,” said his wife Terri Moon.

Tom Brooke, now retired from Shimano but head of Canadian Fish & Game said, “Shimano is still reaping the benefits of all the hard work Jerry did in his field!”

In 2001 Jerry donated the tanks that are now on the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association Live Release Boat. His only request to me when he donated the tanks was that his name would not be associated with it but the Shimano logo should always be on the lids, because they made it possible. With every bass saved on Lake Fork Jerry will be remembered.

Some men are not so much remembered by their names but more so by their deeds and accomplishments. Jerry Moon did this. I’m so proud to say I was his friend and myself and many others will miss him dearly. My condolences and prayers go out to his wife Terri and to all of the family and friends.


Jerry passed away on December 17th. On December 18th a disreputable individual broke into Terri Moon’s boat and stole everything in it. The list consisted of Shimano Sahara 500 and Sedona 500 reels on 5’ and 5.5’ Compre rods, a Lowrance HDS-10 and a Lowrance HDS-7, plus all of her tackle. If someone tries to sell you any of these items at please contact me at: 903-360-6994, a reward is posted. Terri is most concerned about her electronics. The information in the machines is vital towards her way of making a living. If you bought these units your money will be reimbursed with no questions asked. Anyone wishing to make donations you can contact Ken or Dana at Lake Fork Marina or at Wood County National Bank in Hogansville under “Terri Moon Benefit Account”.

Toyota ShareLunker 538 Comes from Lake Fork

Gary Sims of Gunter, Texas, caught Toyota ShareLunker 538 from Lake Fork December 12. The fish weighed 15.02 pounds and was held for pickup at Oak Ridge Marina, an official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding station.

Examination revealed the fish was caught previously on March 13, 2011, by Ed Carter of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. At that time the fish weighed 14.25 pounds and was 22.25 inches in girth and 25 inches long and was Toyota ShareLunker 518. The fish is now 22 inches in girth and 25.25 inches long.

Sims was fishing for crappie with a double jig in 30 feet of water near the dam when the big bass bit. "She made several long runs, and at first I thought it was a catfish, because we had already caught several," Sims said. "Finally she came up and I lipped her."

Lake Fork has now produced 250 of the 538 entries into the ShareLunker program.

Genetic information on file shows the fish is an intergrade, or a cross between pure Florida largemouth and northern largemouth bass. Pure Floridas are held for spawning, while intergrades are returned to the lake as soon as possible. Fish caught on or after April 15 will be recorded and entered into the program but will not be transported to Athens for spawning. Experience shows that fish caught late in the season typically do not spawn in time for the offspring to be stocked before water temperatures rise beyond the optimum level for survival of the fingerlings.

Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between October 1 and April 30 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program by calling the ShareLunker hotline at (903) 681-0550 or paging (888) 784-0600 and leaving a phone number including area code. Fish will be picked up by TPWD personnel within 12 hours.

ShareLunker entries are used in a selective breeding program at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens. Some of the offspring from these fish are stocked back into the water body from which they were caught. Other ShareLunker offspring are stocked in public waters around the state in an attempt to increase the overall size and growth rate of largemouth bass in Texas.

Anglers entering fish into the Toyota ShareLunker program receive a free replica of their fish, a certificate and ShareLunker clothing and are recognized at a banquet at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. All fish accepted into the program become official entries whether spawned or not, and anglers still receive all program prizes.

The person who catches the season’s largest entry will be named Angler of the Year and will receive a prize package from G. Loomis. If a Texas angler catches the largest entry of the season, that person also receives a lifetime fishing license.

For complete information and rules of the ShareLunker program, tips on caring for big bass, a list of official Toyota ShareLunker weigh and holding stations and a recap of last year’s season, see The site also includes a searchable database of all fish entered into the program along with pictures where available.

Information on current catches, including short videos of interviews with anglers when available, is posted on

"Pack of Knowledge" Resolutions for a Lucky ‘13
By Tom Redington

Just like doctors & engineers stay abreast of the latest technology and innovations or get left behind, anglers who ignore the latest fishing trends & info are likely to get outfished by their partners. Although fishing is not a vocation for most, who wouldn’t have more fun by catching more and bigger fish next year? With the goal of more big fish and a good time on the water, here are a few ideas for the coming year.

  • Go fishing with someone new, like a friend, guide, tournament partner, or family member:
    Face it. We all get set in our ways and pretty much fish the same way most of the time. Fishing with someone else (especially in their boat on their lake) will likely open your eyes to a number of things you’ve been missing. Not only will you learn a few new tricks or patterns; in addition, spending a day on the water is a great way to make new friendships or renew friendships with old pals. Other great ways to learn are booking a guide trip or by signing up as a non-boater in a fishing tournament. Nothing helps me learn a new lure or pattern quicker than watching a fishing partner use it to catch a lot of big bass.

  • Take a young person fishing:
    While you might not agree on hairstyles, clothing, or music; you’ll both enjoy reeling in fish. And what young folks lack in fishing experience, they make up for in exuberance and curiosity. Watching a kid catch a big fish is exciting for all parties involved and reminds me of when I fell in love with the sport. Plus, a young person’s lack of knowledge of the bass fishing “rules” often leads to the discovery of hidden patterns on a fishing trip. Leave it to a newbie to rescue a slow trip with acts of fishing heresy such as topwaters on a sunny day, casting out to the middle of the lake, or pink spinnerbaits. Taking a relative or neighbor kid is great. Furthermore, youth organizations like the Boy Scouts are always in need of volunteers and fishing from a bass boat with a seasoned angler like you might be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to get hooked on fishing.

  • Try new places:
    We want to catch bass during our trips, so most of our time is spent fishing our favorite spots on our favorite lakes. While that often fills our livewells, it does little to increase our understanding as anglers and gives us limited options if bass won’t bite in the same old honey holes. If you have access to a variety of lakes in your area, go try a new one. You’ll be forced to read the conditions and react to the fish on that given day. Although the fishing may be tough at first, nothing is more rewarding than figuring out a pattern and solving the fishing puzzle for that given day. Or if you are on a familiar lake, force yourself to fish new areas. Not only will you learn from figuring out the pattern in the new places, but you’ll also have extra honey holes for future fishing trips.

  • Experiment with new lures & techniques:
    Fish become conditioned to lures, especially when you cast the same baits in the same colors and the same sizes to the same spots all the time. Fishing on a daily basis, I see firsthand how quickly fish stop responding to familiar lures and I am constantly searching for that little edge. Often by simply changing your bait slightly or by changing colors, a seemingly dead area will start producing more fish again. Whether I try new colors like Striped Shad or Disco in my favorite Lucky Craft baits; or try innovative new lures like Lake Fork Trophy Lures’ boot tail Live Magic Shads on umbrella rigs and bladed jigs; I’m often amazed how a small change can make the difference between a big limit and no bites. Finally, experiment with your setups with your lures and you might feel more bites and land more fish. Every year, I experiment with fluorocarbon, mono, and braided lines for a lot of rigs, as well as trying them on a variety of different action Dobyns rods to find the elusive perfect match.

  • Do some research in the off season:
    Pro athletes work out all off season to prepare to win. When conditions are too nasty to fish or if you don’t have enough time for a day on the lake, take a few minutes to increase your knowledge of the sport. The tools available now are almost infinite—TV shows, books, magazines, videos, fishing forums, and websites. At no time in the history of fishing has it been easier to learn.

I wish you and your families the very best in 2013. With a little bit of work and good fortune, it’ll be your best fishing year ever. Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through my website,

Tom Redington is a FLW Tour pro, host of TV’s “Big Bass Battle” & a bass guide on Lake Fork . To make the most of your experience in the outdoors, he recommends the Boy Scouts of America, Lake Fork Trophy Lures, Dobyns Rods, Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Diamond Sports Marine, Lucky Craft, Costa Sunglasses, Lowrance, Navionics, & Power Pole.

"The Moon Report"
January Crappie on the Fork
By Terri Moon

Once again I say it’s hard to believe the year is over. Another awesome year of fishing we’ve had here on Lake Fork . We really lucked out weather wise in December for the most part with a few 60-70 degree days and then on Christmas day look what happened… we were hit with all that snow!

I know January will bring cooler weather with not as many fishable days. So, it’s time to check out all the boat and tackle shows in your area.

The growth of the crappie fishing industry over the past few years is just amazing! The tackle, the electronics and even the boats are finally putting the crappie fishermen in mind.

Just a few years ago almost all of us were in 14 to 16 feet boats. Most without any type of electronics, some didn’t even have trolling motors. Now we are in longer, wider, deeper, safer, made for rough water boats. Even the saltwater center console boats are making their way into the crappie market. In these boats, the larger live wells and the open floor plans, the latest in electronics and trolling motors, are all becoming a part of the crappie fishing world.

Probably the fastest growing change I’ve seen is the amount of “Four Stroke” motors showing up among us crappie fishermen. Aren’t they awesome? My Yamaha 115 “Four Stroke” has made a huge difference in my fishing (because of all the money I save in gas, it practically pays for itself), and they are so quiet. If you’re thinking about a change, be sure and check out the Yamaha “Four Strokes” at your local boat and tackle show. Also while you’re there, look at the boats that are available and give the dealers suggestions that would make their boat a “better” crappie fishing rig.

Next while you’re there, when it comes to electronics there’s only one word “Lowrance.” Be sure and check them out.

With the way the temperatures have been on Fork recently, the crappie are starting to bunch up. We have been catching them in 15 to 35 feet of water down on the main lake points and humps.

Bright colors have been working this month…chartreuse w/blue tail, red w/blue tail, and powder blue w/red tail.

It’s been a year of great memories. I’m sure that most of you know that I lost my dear husband, Jerry, on Dec. 17th. Thank you so much for all the kindness and generosity shown to me at this difficult time from not only family and friends but complete strangers. It has been overwhelming.

If anyone runs across someone out there wanting to sell you some Lowrance Depth Finders, my boat was broken into on Dec. 18th and everything was stolen. If I could just get the stored information back from my depth finders, my life would be so much easier. Any information you may have would be very much appreciated.

All the best to you and your families! God Bless You!

"Strollin' With Stroman"
By Dean Stroman

Man it is cold outside. Old man winter has finally come down to East Texas . We had one of the mildest Decembers in memory with most of Fork’s water temperature well above fifty degrees during which time bass fishing was great. The shallow and deep bite lasted the whole month. Now with cold water temperatures in the mid to high forties most Fork bass will be hanging around timber and grass right on the creek channel’s breaklines. The closer grass or timber is to the breakline, the better.

The key to shallow water fishing is these breaklines. Look for areas where channels run seven to fifteen foot depths with the surrounding water area in the two to six foot depth range. Bass will group up in channels and creeks during cold water conditions. In most of Fork’s creeks this water depth will occur around middle creek areas.

Around deeper creeks on Fork, the twenty foot feeding flats, points and roadbeds, look for thirty foot breaklines. Some of the top winter locations on Lake Fork is when you can find deep ledges of creeks that run close to points or plats with the deep side dropping from twenty to thirty plus feet with timber in these breaklines. Bridges and roadbeds are also top locations for Fork’s big’uns.

When you find balls of baitfish on or near these breaklines, fish the area thoroughly. Sometime during the day bass will move in to feed. Usually this will be during the warmest part of the day.

During the first couple of weeks in January, deep and shallow bite both can produce, but during the end of the month shallow bite, fifteen feet or less, will start producing the best bite. Hard suspending jerk bits, red lipless cranks, jig/craw are top lure choices for Fork’s cold water shallow bass, fifteen feet or less.

For deep water, jigging spoons sidewinder spoons, tail kickers, football jigs in black/blue and solid white jig/trailer are hard to beat for Fork’s deep bass. If you are after that dream bass and want to put the odds in your favor, pitching black/blue jig with Biffle Bug trailer around breaklines that have heavy timber in and around the breakline will get you that quality bite.

For tournament anglers who target sixteen inch under bass, tomato red trick worms on dropshot rig or wacky style will get you your five fish limit in the same areas.

Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. You can call if you need current fishing information. Or if you would like to book a trip, either email me at , call my cell 903-850-5083, or landline 903-383-7214.

Dean is sponsored by Gene Larew, Legend Boats, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Century 21 Lake Country, Easy-Step System, Sebile Innovative, Moby Rods, Castaway and Brass & Blades.

Your comments are welcome.

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