Christmas Comes Early on South Toledo
Hello, Anglers. It has been a good week on The Bend with temperatures about normal for this time of the year. The rain on Saturday did hamper weekend hunters and fishermen who had been waiting all week to get outside. Beautiful weather returned on Sunday and Monday (when most had to go back to work) was just about perfect. Boat traffic on Toledo is slightly increased this week with Thanksgiving Holidays giving some fortunate families an extended time off work plus kids are out of school. There were also some duck hunters in the mix of boat traffic.
LAKE CONDITIONS: Toledo's lake level is falling slowly and at mid-week is 172.2 feet with both generators running 24 hrs until further notice. No flood gates are open at this time. Water temperatures are about 65 degrees with north Toledo heavily stained, mid lake stained but clearing and south Toledo remains clear on main lake. Major bays on south end (Housen, Six Mile, Toro, Mill Creek, Indian Creek) are all clear but backs of feeder creeks do have stained water conditions.
There is still much interest in the salvinia situation and I see it every where I go but mostly floating in the open lake but there are areas where it has pushed into coves and shoreline. Basically, it will be next April or May before we will know what impact it will have on the entire lake as warm temperatures are needed for the plant to multiply rapidly. A cold winter and low water conditions might help but those two factors may not happen this year. Boaters who leave Toledo make sure your boat/trailer are free of salvinia before launching in another lake. Many of us go back and forth to Toledo/Rayburn so make every effort to keep from spreading this menacing sub-tropical plant.
TOLEDO FISH STORY
If I needed yet another reason why Toledo is such a special place for me, I now have it as she just gave me my Christmas present early. Normally I am not one who enjoys opening Christmas presents until Christmas Day but in this case I was not upset in the least. While fishing near the South Toledo Bend State Park area early this week I was able to hook and land one of Toledo's beautiful trophy fish in the form of a 10.1 pound, hard pulling, heart-stopping largemouth bass. This is my largest fish of 2009 having caught a 9.4 pounder on Sam Rayburn last March.
The bass hit about 8 a.m. and there was a slight wind out of the southeast with a light fog present. I had a father/son guest party with me from New Orleans area and we had been catching some fish on Stanley spinnerbaits so I let them stay on spinnerbaits and switched to a Texas rig to work a little different area at the edge of the grass as they were working spinnerbaits over the grass. I had been fishing the TX rig about five minutes when I pitched it on the outside of the main grassline which was in about 12 to 14 feet and let it settle to the bottom.
When I engaged my reel and took up slack I felt a slight tug so I lowered my rod and set the hook pretty hard and the fight was on. Fortunately, the fish headed toward deep water and at this time I was not sure if it was a bass or how big it was but I knew it was a large fish. Since the fish never jumped, as most large bass do, I was not sure until the fish got close to the boat that it was, indeed, a trophy largemouth. This was my 6th bass over 10 pounds and it fought harder that all the rest taking drag on two occasions. The fish was simply beautiful with perfect body characteristics with large mouth and wide girth. My clients had never seen a bass that big as they had spent most of their lives in the northern part of the country where bass over six pounds are rare. After making several photos, I allowed the 14 year old boy with us to hold and release the fish. He liked that!
Tool Time! I can't say enough about Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line as I had 17 pound test on the rig and was never worried about the fish breaking my line. My reel was an Abu Garcia Revo STX with 7' Fenwick med-heavy HMG rod and I was using a watermelon candy Trick worm (7-inch), 3/0 Daiichi Off-Set Worm Hook and 1/8 ounce sinker.
FISHING REPORT/BASS: In addition to the spinnerbait pattern (Stanley 3/8 ounce WedgePlus and VibraShaft) and Texas rig described previously, we also are fishing the Tx rig in deep water from 15 to 30 feet with 10 inch Berkley Power Worms using 3/8 and 1/2 ounce sinkers with plum, green pumpkin and w.m. candy some of the top colors. On windy days we also rely on the Carolina Rig working the same areas. Top water patterns are still producing in stable weather conditions with late afternoon being the most productive. Other fish-catching patterns include all depths of crankbaits from shallow to DD22 deep divers with shad patterns, blue chartreuse and fire tiger. We continue to also catch bass on jigging spoons and drop-shot patterns targeting depths to 25 to 45 feet.
CRAPPIE/WHITE/YELLOW BASS: South Toledo crappie guide, Butch Perrodin, is catching crappie the past week fishing 18-26' but fishing over brush in 31-32' of water. He also has spent a good bit of time/effort recently putting out brush which is hard but necessary work for a crappie guide. The yellow bass (some call them bar fish) bite continues to be good. We also caught several white bass, largemouth bass and a few crappie while spooning. We caught them from 25 to 50 feet depending on weather conditions as well as time of day. They seem to be deeper in the middle of the day with a high barometric reading.
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 email@example.com. or www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.
Author/guide Joe Joslin and a big Toledo largemouth weighing 10.1 pounds.
Toledo crappie by the wall full
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 firstname.lastname@example.org