Lake Fork

Wood County, Texas

August 5-6, 2008

Webpage by Paul Ridenour

TUESDAY August 5

Co-worker Doug Mattingly has a place out at Lake Fork and he invited me down for a couple of days.  Lake Fork is east of Lake Tawakoni near Emory, Alba, Yantis, and Quitman.

Doug is a avid fisher and we will spend most of the time fishing, eating, and relaxing.

I drove my Corvette a little over an hour and a half before I got to Doug's place.  I took I-30 through Rockwall, then 276 to Quinlan [Hunt County], where my 2nd great grandparents are buried.  Still on 276, I went through Mexico, TX, where one of my 3rd great grandfathers is buried, through Emory and then Alba.  From Alba one takes SH 182 to FM 17.

Doug was working on his rain gutters when I got there.  His place is nice with a wooden deck, car port, and 15 Burr Oak trees.  He lives in a gated area called Mustang Ranch.  If I told you the gate combination and where Doug's place is, I'd have to kill you.

I brought all of my camera gear and some ingredients and a blender for frozen margaritas.

We drove around the lake looking for a place to eat.  Doug said there is a good steak house, hamburger joint, and several other good places to eat.  However, most of the restaurants were closed and are only open Wednesday through Sunday.  We stopped at a new place and had steak and catfish.  The place was called Ranch House Steak and Seafood and they are open all of the time.  The next day we will have hamburgers for lunch.

The hamburger place also has excellent pies and they are called Bossiers and are located at the Lake Fork Marina.  A couple of other restaurants, open only Wed-Thurs, 4 to 9, Fri - Sat 4 -10, and Sundays for lunch, are Texas Grill and A. J.'s Fish House Restaurant.  Texas Grill is supposed to have some pretty good steaks.

After dinner, we drove around the lake looking at some nice homes and property.  The Minnow Bucket Marina is a well-known place as many bass tournaments meet there.

It was a very windy day as a hurricane had gone through Galveston and we were starting to get the wind and some rain.  It was too windy to take the boat out.  Before dark, we saw an incredible rainbow.  Doug had never seen a full rainbow.  It looked like a rainbow with double the colors.

After dark, we watched the movie "Mr. Brooks."


I expected to get up early and be on the lake around 3 AM to 5 AM.  We both slept late and didn't make it to the lake until 8 AM. 

Doug has a Triton 19 with a Mercury 150.  Going 60 miles an hour definitely opens your nostrils.

Lake Fork is shaped like a V and Doug's place is on the left side off FM 17 and CR 1550, or the Sabine River side.

Lake Fork, Texas

Lake Fork is the top bass fishing lake in Texas.  The lake claims 70% of the Top 50 bass caught in Texas and the Top 6 ranging from 17.08 pounds to the state record of 18.18 pounds.

Doug has several very expensive rod and reels and I used a new one, albeit an inexpensive one.  He showed me how to cast it yesterday.

We were fishing near some Lily Pads and I had a fish that either followed my lure to the boat or I did not set the hook.  We both had a few bites but did not catch anything.  We fished until around 11 AM and then had breakfast at The Lake Fork Lighthouse Resort Restaurant.  The scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon were delicious.

We fished until 1:30 or so.  It would have normally been a very hot day but it was overcast much of the time.  Some people think fishing is easy.  Standing there all day can do a number on your back.

Near the bridge at SH 154, there is an island that used to have trees but now nothing is left, as birds killed everything off with their waste.  The island is covered with Egrets and Blue Heron.

We were still full from our late breakfast that I decided to skip eating a hamburger and I drove back home.  On the way home, I saw a wild turkey near East Tawakoni.


I took my wife out there again on Saturday August 9th to see Doug's place, the lake, Sabine River, and we ate lunch at the Ranch House Steak and Seafood.


My wife and I went back out to Doug's place on May 2-3, 2009.  It was pouring down rain and lightening and thundering.  It was fantastic.  Got some good pics of a Blue Heron.

Doug sitting on his porch

Front porch view

Front porch frog

Lots of rabbits

Minnow Bucket Marina

Fake Mud Dog

Full rainbow

Rainbow enhanced through PhotoShop

"It's an orangy sky" - The Cars

Doug after dark

Purple sunset

Lake Fork and Lily Pads

Water on a pad

Lily's in bloom

Almost got it



This is not my photo.  Doug sent this to me.  A friend of his took this in 2008 at Little Caney.


Pics from Saturday

Bird destroyed island

More Lily Pads

New pics [all but one from May 3, 2009]

Lake Fork Sunset in November 2009

Pitch black outside during a major rainstorm and the only light is the lightening [Doug's front porch]


Sometimes Doug actually catches a fish

Here is a bass about 5.5 lbs. in 2010

Here is a 9.9 lb. bass he caught on 4-27-2007


Photos from April 22-23, 2011



Bald Eagle

Red Winged Blackbird


Photos from May 7-8, 2011

Red Headed Woodpecker

Half inch Praying Mantis

Photos from June 4-6, 2011

July 4th Weekend, 2011

Wooden bridge with no road

Saw my first deer

Red Headed Woodpecker