Daily Limit: Big Fork in the road

It’s an understatement that Lee Livesay is amped up for the next stop on the Bassmaster Elite Series calendar.

“I put a circle and a box, a rectangle, and a parallelogram and a rhombus, five or six stars … everything around that sucker,” the Elite rookie said.

And just where is that derby, Lee?

“Lake Fork, Texas, big bass capital of the world,” he said.

The high anticipation is because Livesay has worked as a guide there the past five years, making about 300 bass fishing trips annually. The largest bass one of his client’s landed was 13.88 pounds, and he has caught a best of 12.89. It stands to reason he’s licking his chops for the May 2-6 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

“I’m not mad about being on there, for sure,” he said.

While Livesay forecasts plenty of big fish catches, he said the event might be outside the optimal windows to eclipse B.A.S.S. records.

“We’re going to miss the good stuff — a couple weeks early, a couple weeks late — but it’s still going to be good,” he said. “There’s so many big fish in it, we’re going to smash them. It’s not going to be great, great fishing, but there’s so many 4- to 9-pound fish we’re going to have crazy weights.”

Livesay doesn’t think the four-day weight record will be broken, although he’s pretty sure B.A.S.S. will be awarding its first Century Club belts since Lake Falcon in 2013. The overall weight record was set on Falcon in 2008, when six anglers topped 125 pounds, including Paul Elias’ top weight of 132-8.  

“Wrong timing,” Livesay said. “Right now, two weeks ago, I’d catch 40 pounds every day. When we’re there, nope.”

Lake Fork produced the top weight for a three-day event in the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic, the predecessor of Texas Fest. Behind his 10-14 big bass in his 42-pound bag, Keith Combs totaled 110 pounds to shatter the previous three-day tournament mark by 26-11. Livesay doesn’t think Fork will fish that well this time.

“It’s not like when Combs won TTBC. It’s two weeks later in the month when they were out deep, and it was 7 foot low,” he said. “It was a perfect storm. They had just got out there. Not many of them are going to be deep when we’re there.

“The lake’s high. They had a lot of rain. It’s kinda muddy. It’s going to kinda be off for us, for what it could be, but it will still take 30 pounds a day to win.”

Wait, it’s off a bit but it’s going to take an average of 30 pounds a day? Four times 30 is 120 pounds. Is that right?

“It’s going to take 120 pounds to win,” Livesay said.

Oh my.