Last Thursday week I met Randy Oldfield, a professional bass fisherman on Lake Fork, who has really been crushing the big bass on Lake Fork this year.
He showed up at Oak Ridge Marina towing a 22-foot Bullet boat equipped with a 250 XS Mercury, Motor Guide trolling motor and electronics. He fishes Shimano rods and reels. Lately he has been using a G-Loomis, Power Pro, medium action, seven-foot one-inch GLX842 rod and 15-pound fluorocarbon line. Normally, Oldfield fishes a much heavier rod. Oldfield said, “When using light line (15-pound) the lighter action rod absorbs the shock and you don’t break your line near as much.”
Oldfield fishes a Shimano Core Baitcast reel and a Shimano Caenan reel. Both are smooth casting reels. The Core is Shimano’s top of the line reel, while the Caenan is affordably priced and will handle all fishing lines including braid. My personal favorite for the last seven years is a Shimano Chronarch. I keep it clean and it keeps on running flawlessly
We headed north up Big Caney. We moved way up this arm to a shallow road bed to begin our fishing. Oldfield lowers his trolling motor and makes a cast on top of the shallow road bed that is about 2-1/2 feet deep. “The bass have been schooling real heavy at times in this area,” he exclaims.
The first 45 minutes Oldfield lands four bass up to five pounds using a 1/8 oz. Shakey Head tipped with a Hag’s Tornado in a black color. This is one bait I wasn’t familiar with, but before the night was over, I got an education. Almost all of our fish were caught on this bait. I did catch a solid 5-1/2 pound bass on a Nichols 12-inch blue fleck Super floating worm.
Tommy Hagler makes the Hag’s Tornado, and it comes in a 4 to 8 inch size with a variety of colors. The bait’s shape is that like a tornado. Oldfield said, “The rings displace water and forms bubbles and the tail stands up because it’s made of synthetic plastic that floats real well. It has a very subtle presentation that bass haven’t seen a lot of.”
For Randy to lay down his beloved jig bait, which he normally fishes 95 percent of the time, and fish the Hag’s Tornado worm on a Shakey Head says a lot about the bait’s capability. Randy said, “I almost never lose a fish with this setup. The Hag’s Tornado rigged on a Shakey Head is a dynamite bait.”
As night set in, we had landed 8 bass and I lost one very big fish. At 10:00 o’clock p.m. we moved back up the lake to fish three very shallow lighted piers.
While moving around at night Randy uses a very compact spotlight called a Stream Lite, Waypoint. It uses four C-cell batteries. The Stream Lite was one of the smallest but brightest I had ever seen. This light has replaced his million power candle light. I was impressed.
We caught one or two bass under each light. As we approached the third light Randy exclaimed, “Goodness, look at the fish under that light!” As we got closer we could see all kinds of fish swimming under the light – bass, crappie, gar, catfish and bream. I tossed the Hag’s Tornado into the light and landed a four-pound bass. After catching one or two bass under each light the fish would disappear. We kept working and re-working the lights and managed to catch 5 bass up to 5 pounds.
That night we landed 16 or 17 bass up to 5-1/2 pounds. Four of our bass were over five pounds. The night fishing was slower than usual. After dark bites were hard to come by except under the lights. The last three hours we managed to catch only one four-pound bass. The big bass had simply shut down.
The last area we fished was around two islands near the marina. Randy said, “Last night me and my client caught an eight, two sevens and one six-pound bass in this area.” We only got one bite and landed a four pounder under a lighted pier.
Randy said, “Where else could you go fish and night after night consistently catch bass over five pounds?”
“In the last 15 years this has been the best year I have had! We’ve had lots of days where we boated forty bass over five pounds.”
Back at the boat ramp, Oldfield produced his cell phone and proceeded to show me pictures of bass after bass that he and his clients had caught this year that were over 10 pounds. I was impressed! His largest bass this year weighed 13-1/2 pounds.
Jerry Miller can be contacted at: email@example.com