Location: On the Sabine River in Hopkins,
Rains and Wood Counties, 5 miles northwest of Quitman
Surface area: 27,264 acres
Maximum depth: 70 feet
Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 403 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Moderate, 2-4 ft.
Normal Clarity: Moderately clear
Reservoir Controlling Authority
Authority of Texas
Quitman, TX 75783
Hydrilla, Eurasian milfoil, coontail, American lotus, water primrose, water hyacinth, alligatorweed and pennywort are all present.
Predominant Fish Species
A small map is available free of charge from the Sabine River Authority. A number of good topographic maps are sold by local businesses. Online topographic maps are also available.
This reservoir has special regulations on some fishes. See bag and size limits for this lake.
Largemouth bass is the most popular sportfish in this reservoir. A combination of restrictive harvest regulations, stocking of Florida strain largemouth, and abundant habitat has contributed to Lake Fork's development as one of the country's premier trophy bass lakes. More than 65% of the Texas Top 50 largest bass (including the current state record) and more than half of those entered in the Toyota ShareLunker Program, were caught from Lake Fork. Crappie fishing is generally good, especially in standing timber and under the lake's numerous bridges. Channel catfish provide an excellent sport fishery, which has increased in popularity and notoriety in recent years. White bass have been slowly increasing in abundance and provide an additional sportfish species in the reservoir. Yellow bass or “barfish” are often caught during the winter months, often associated with largemouth bass. These fish tend to be relatively small but they are great table fare and they are as tasty as crappie. Sunfish, primarily bluegill, offer additional opportunities for anglers during spring and summer.
Although access through the reservoir is provided by numerous buoyed boat lanes, submerged timber represents a substantial hazard, so care should be exercised while boating in all areas. Areas containing hydrilla, boat houses and docks, and lake points have historically provided some of the best fishing for largemouth bass. Fish will also congregate around bridge pilings and artificial brush piles. TPWD has worked with the Lake Fork Sportsman's Association to install man-made fish attractors at strategic points. See online fish attractor map | Get GPS coordinates
Largemouth bass anglers are most successful on this reservoir during the spring, fall, and winter months. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and lizards, jigs and lipless crankbaits are all popular lures during peak fishing in the spring (mid-February to April) when fishing is concentrated along the shoreline for spawning fish. Night fishing during the hot summer months can be very productive and a good way to beat the Texas heat. At this time, plastic worms, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters are often used. During late summer and early fall, when fish are schooling, crankbaits and topwater lures can be very effective. In winter jigging spoons, jigs and crankbaits are most productive.
Crappie anglers concentrate their efforts in deep water near the dam during the winter months. In late spring and early fall, most anglers fish for crappie under the bridges (Highway 154, Highway 515, CR 2946 and CR 514). Live minnows and crappie jigs are among the most popular baits used. The catfish population is dominated by channel catfish, but also includes flathead and a few large blue cats. Stinkbait and cutbait work well for channel cats, while live bait is preferred for flatheads. Anglers occasionally catch large blue catfish. Sunfish such as bluegill and redear can be caught in early summer, in shallow water, using crickets, earthworms and small spinners. During the remainder of the year they can be caught using the same baits around piers, boathouses and submerged humps.
White bass can grow exceptionally large in Lake Fork due to abundant prey species. Jigging spoons and live baitfish work well for yellow and white bass. When white bass are schooling, topwater baits and small crankbaits can be especially effective.