Christmas bass and Rayburn
The conditions on Big Sam have the water temperatures falling and the lake level rising. Surface temperatures are near 50 or a few degrees higher on bright days and the water level is now up to 163.2 feet which is basically a foot higher than the same time last week. One turbine is running 24/7 at the dam with water release just over 4000 cfs(cubic feet per second).
The rains have muddied some additional areas near the rivers and main creeks. However, there is still a lot of water which has good fishing conditions. We are having to work hard for bites and for the most part a slow presentation is more productive. A few reaction bites are happening on the Rat-L-Trap (Bill Lewis) pattern but you have to almost hit them with the bait.
A few good fish are also being caught on a slow-falling spinnerbait with the one ounce Stanley Big Shot double willowleaf in chartreuse and white skirt my current choice for slow-as-you-go spinnerbait fishing. For the most part, the outside edge of the main grassline is the most productive place to work a big spinnerbait. While I am using braid on my Traps, I am using Berkley's 100 Fluorocarbon on my slow-rolling spinnerbaits and use 15 and 17 pound test for this method.
This line takes a lot of abuse from contact with hydrilla plus it sinks and is also very sensitive to detect those light, cold water strikes (ticks). There is little-to-no stretch either which helps to get a good hook set where these is slack in the line which is common for this presentation. I could fish this pattern all day because I know that it produces quality bass.
The extra foot of water has moved a few bass into the inside grassline and that is different than last week. Also, a Carolina rig worked from the 2 to 4 feet back, especially in the middle of the day, is getting a few bites. Work it slow with pauses. Don't use too heavy of a weight on this pattern as, in my opinion, the big bell type sinker is not helpful here. I opt for a slender bullet-type weight no larger than a 3/8 ounce.
Have you seen the new Stanley 5.5 inch Sidewinder? This is a super new soft plastic and works great on a Carolina or Texas rig. It also is one of my favorite jig trailers (after biting off the front inch or so). On Rayburn in slightly stained water I like the GRN PUNKIN RED color. If you are using it for a jig trailer you can insert a rattler in the tail or if you are using it on a Texas rig you may want to leave the rattle out so the tail will float up. This little worm has a lot of action.
a shallow, big, cold water Rayburn bass
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