Fall slowly arriving on The Bend
<p>Hello, Anglers. Slightly cooler weather with several cloudy, rainy days have dropped water temperatures a few degrees as well as improved fishing conditions, especially shallow patterns. Also, as to be expected, boat traffic was down significantly over the week following Labor Day. I would estimate there was a decrease of over 75%. Even on Saturday, which is normally crowded, we encountered less than 20 boats all day long and could pick and choose where we wanted to fish. I love September!
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is 168.17 feet and both generators are shut down. The rumor is still floating 'out there' that there are plans by the SRA to drop the lake down to 163. I really don't think this is the case for a number of reasons one being that both generators are currently off. When the lake gets down to near 168 feet, as it does basically every September, these rumors begin. I promise to report such plans if these are legit.
Water surface temperatures are 82-83 degrees when taken mid-week at dawn. The lake has great water conditions with north Toledo slightly stained, mid lake mostly clear and south Toledo is very clear. The back end of most feeder creeks have some stained water due to recent rain run-off.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: We had one of the best shallow water fishing trips last Saturday that I have had in several months (as far as numbers) as we fished water from 4 to 20 feet with submerged grass. It was a rainy, windy (very windy) day with most all the day fished in a rain suit. The weather did settle about 1 p.m and we did take our rain suits of the last hour or so. We fished several areas including Louisiana Islands and the area close to South Toledo State Park.
We also fished the Texas Islands, mouth of Mill Creek plus Six Mile and Sandy Creek. The weather forecasts called for winds 5 to 10 mph but that only happened about the time we left the lake mid-afternoon.
15 to 20 mph winds were what we encountered a majority of the day which made it hard to keep the boat in fishing position but the wave action and cloud cover helped the bass to stay active and shallow. We caught between 30 and 35 bass and had another 30-40 strikes. We also had some break-offs and other misses.
It was one of those days where you expect to get a hit on every cast. We caught the majority of our bass working spinnerbaits over submerged grass with most fish holding in about 8 to 10 feet although we caught fish from 4 to 20 feet. When the winds slowed a bit, we did come back down the lake from Six Mile and worked TX rigs around TX Islands and the dam area and caught a few more quality bass. Top water lures and frogs are still catching bass along the edge of the grass and schooling bass are getting fired up as well.
Always keep a spoon or a Rat-L-Trap on the deck of the boat this season of the year to get a 'gift fish' or two when a school comes up within casting distance. That is one reason why I keep a Trap or jigging spoon handy as I can cast these two-thirds distance of a football field with 12 lb test and a Abu Revo and schooling bass usually surface just out of casting distance. Crank baits are improving with both mid-depth (DLN) working along the edge of the grass and deep divers (DD22) out on the points as well as deep ledges.
Also, more and more bass are suspending as water temperatures fall which makes crankbaits an even better fishing tool.
Football jigs are also improving in depths of 15 to 25 feet with one-half ounce Stanley Bug-eye series as well as Berkley's Gripper Series Football two excellent jigs for working open water with scattered brush. I like to use 100% 17 pound Fluorocarbon (Berkley) with this pattern. Jigging spoons and drop-shot patterns continue to really work well in depths of 18 to 35 feet.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW AND WHITE BASS
Crappie guides Noe Garcia in the mid-lake area and Butch Perrodin in south Toledo are catching a few crappie when weather allows. Both are fishing live shiners in 20 to 25 feet and at times find the crappie holding above the brush in about 15 feet suspended. South Toledo angler Ronnie Guillory is catching some really big crappie from his deep-water pier using live shiners and said that 5 to 7 p.m. has been the recent feeding time. He has 20 to 25 feet depth at the end of his dock. Yellow bass are still plentiful near main feeder creeks in 18 to 30 feet depths on jigging spoons and tailspinners. On north Toledo, the white bass are just starting to school a little.
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.
Big crappie are moving
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