Autumn, Toledo's Season of Bass
<p>Hello, Anglers. If you are a hunter or an angler or both, these next few months are about as good as it gets in this part of the country. Duck, squirrel and deer season are all fast approaching and fishing is good and getting better each week. Local lakes are still fairly crowded on weekends but mostly deserted during the week. As soon as hunting season gets fully kicked off, even the weekend boat traffic will wane. This past weekend there were still several jet skis, water skiers and pleasure boaters enjoying the last few weekends of warm weather. Night temperatures are expected to fall into the 60s late this week which is a much welcomed weather report.
LAKE CONDITIONS: Toledo's water level is actually up slightly to 168.37' with recent rains and minimal generating at the dam. Currently, there is one unit running from 4 to 6 p.m. each weekday and surface water temps are 80 to 82 degrees. I actually found some 79 degree water last Friday which was the first 70 degree water I had registered since early June. Love it! Most of the lake has good-to-excellent water conditions with some of the major creeks having stained water in the upper sections. North Toledo is slightly stained with mid lake mostly clear and south Toledo very clear.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Top water is on! If you like to catch bass on shallow structure with topwater and spinnerbaits, your season is here. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the weigh-in of the Championship event of the Wednesday Afternoon Dogfight Bass Tournaments held on the Calcasieu River. Tournament organizer is Ron Castille and they were wrapping up their 20th tournament year. It's a working man's tournament schedule which runs in the late spring/summer for 20 straight Wednesday afternoons where they fish from approximately 5 p.m. till dark. These guys can fish and they certainly know how to fish The Calcasieu.
Most all of the limits last Wednesday were caught on top water and by far the top bait was a Chug Bug. This bait also works on Toledo and Rayburn. I just finished fishing the Bass n Bucks Championship on Rayburn and a majority of the anglers had at least one top water bait tied on. During the first day of competition, my tournament partner, Tom Barrett from Sulphur, caught one of our best fish that morning on a top water lure.
Top water baits will produce lots of fish as well as quality bass. Don't hesitate to use topwater. Well-known pros such as Zell Rowland and Dean Rojas have made a living fishing top water patterns. Some tournament anglers act almost embarrassed to admit they use top water. However, if we don't become proficient at top water patterns, we could get embarrassed by those who are. Besides, they are fun!
Yet another top water pattern working well is plastic frogs. I am a Stanley Ribbit fan and have been using them over matted grass on the surface as well as working it along the outside edge of the grass. I like to throw a Ribbit on 50 pound braided Spider Wire and a large 4 or 5/0 frog hook with a keeper/screw to hold frog in place while casting.
The frog pattern has been hot and cold and it is hard to say when they decide to hit it. I have had some days with moderate sunshine where they hammered it and some beautiful overcast conditions where they would hardly touch it. My years of fishing experience would say just the opposite but that is why fishing is still a challenge after being a very serious student of the sport for 40 years. The best Ribbit color for me is still green pumpkin and I have also caught some bass on solid white. Come to think of it...those are the only colors I threw this week.
The other pattern for us has been a Texas rig with 10 inch Power Worms, Berkley's Shaky Power Worms and a 7 inch Trick Worm both in watermelon, w.m. candy, plum and green pumpkin. We are fishing this in several different situations including light weights (1/8 and 3/16), medium (1/4 and 3/8) and heavy(1/2 and 5/8) ounce sizes. We are fishing them over shallow grass, on outside edge of grass, shallow ridges of 10 to 15 feet as well as deep points and creeks ledges in 15 to 25 feet. Finally, the drop-shot pattern is improving each day in depths of 15 to 30 feet as well as jigging spoons. I get more e-mails about the drop-shot pattern than any other fishing technique.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. His sponsors include Skeeter Performance Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lake Charles Toyota, Red River Marine/Alexandria, LA, Berkley, Fenwick, Abu Garcia, Bill Norman , Daiichi, Jay's Carpet One DeRidder, The Floor Trader Lake Charles and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org. or www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.
About The Author: Captain Joe Joslin
Company: joe joslin outdoors
Area Reporting: South Toledo Bend
Bio: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor writer and writes for several Louisiana newspapers and numerous magazines including Texas Game and Fish, Louisiana Game and Fish, CenLa Sportsman, Louisiana Sportsman and LakeCaster. Joe has been fishing Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn for 25+ years and is a frequent tournament angler. Joe has been a full time pro guide on Toledo Bend/Sam Rayburn since 1998.Joe Joslin Outdoors Fishing Guide Service Wholesome atmosphere * Safety minded * Latest equipment, featuring 21i Class Skeeter with 300 hp Yamaha HPDI * Tackle supplied upon request * References available upon request * Available Year-Round. E-Mail Joe at email@example.com