New Year, New Fishing Opportunities
<p>Hello Anglers. The warm weather this week is better, huh? It looks like we are looking at highs in the 60s and 70s all week and even into the weekend. This should slowly bring up water temperatures. Unusually cold water temperatures have really slowed the bass fishing down as surface temperatures have been as low as the upper 30s in shallow coves with main lake temperatures last week running from 45 to 47.
CURRENT CONDITIONS: The lake level is 169.5' showing a substantial drop from last week (170.2') with one generator running 24 hours. Surface temperatures are recovering slightly and are running 49 to 51 on the main lake and are trending upward. North Toledo is stained, mid-lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is clear.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Even though many bass have been and remain in deep water, the females are full of eggs and recent slightly warmer water temperatures will start the annual migration to shallower water. Fish will respond to frequent cold fronts and will move back and forth on points and ridges near spawning areas and hold on staging areas waiting for water temperatures to warm and conditions to improve to the point where they will move into spawning areas. Such times can offer some of the best fishing of the year if you can locate these and happen to hit them at the right windows of opportunities.
They will often be aggressive and are usually quality bass. Pre-spawn season (the season we are now entering) is a very exciting time to fish and offers anglers a chance to catch a really big bass. Some of my favorite pre-spawn patterns and lures are spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, Carolina rigs, jigs, weightless Texas rigs, wacky and drop-shot. On spinnerbait choices I go with Stanley VibraSpin series in a 3/8 oz. most of the time but in cold conditions chunk a 3/4 oz. and 1 oz (Stanley Big Shot) plus Bill Norman's Bull Dog spinnerbait series. My top spinnerbait models are those with double willowleaf blades (at least one blade gold/copper) and a white/chartreuse skirt.
On Bill Lewis's Rat-L-Traps I go with 1/2 oz when fishing grass and Toledo Gold, Rayburn Red, White Crawfish and Blue/Chrome top color selections. When Carolina rigging I like Berkley's Chigger Craw, Stanley's new Sidewinder and baby brush hog. Jigs n pigs are awesome in early spring with Swim Max (grass) and Bug Eye (football style/Stanley) with green pumpkin and black/blue top color choices. Texas rigs are basic but almost unbeatable with baits like Berkley 7 and 10 inch Power Worms and Stanley SideWinder....don't rush these! Let'em soak.
As more bass come shallow I increase fishing time with wacky rigs. I use 10 and 12 lb Berkley Fluorocarbon on most of these and a wide variety of plastics including Gulp! Sinking Minnow, 7" Wacky Crawler(Berkley) and Senko. A drop-shot is still very important, especially behind a cold front as I go to a lighter rig with 8 lb fluorocarbon, #1 XPoint Widegap, Abu Soron spinning reel and 5" Wacky Crawler. If you are looking for a big bass, this is the season!
CRAPPIE: The best report on crappie this week comes from Holly Park Marina located north of Pendleton Bridge near Patroon Creek. A group of Louisiana anglers landed 72 crappie in Patroon creek and not at the Chicken Coop as it remains quiet. Several other crappie anglers had catches of 25 to 30 up the creek. Most are using live shiners but a few are coming off jigs and Blakemore Road Runners which is a super little crappie lure when uses on 6 to 8 lb test fluorocarbon line.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or email@example.com. and WEBSITE 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 firstname.lastname@example.org