Throwing The Tackle Box
<p>Hello, anglers. It remains too hot to spend very many daylight hours on the water but fishing is still good and we caught a lot of bass the past week. Most days, we are getting on the lake at first light (5:30 a.m.) and fishing until 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. and then coming off the lake during mid-day heat. We then get back on the lake around 4 p.m. and fish until dark which is around 8:15. This gives us both the morning and late afternoon to find the fish.
Which times do I think are best? In the summer as the water temperatures get in the upper 80s, bass will feed heavily at night on Toledo which is a very clear, deep lake. It seems to me that they feed even stronger at night on the bright moon phase of the month. During the 4-5 days before and after the full moon, the morning action seems to slow down and it is often mid morning before the bass will start to bite. The reason is that they, more than likely, have been feeding all night.
On the dark phase of the moon, it seems that bass are more eager to feed early in the morning since they have not fed as much the night before. In fishing, there are always exceptions but those trends just mentioned have been based on 30 years of fishing Toledo Bend. Fishing also is a lot about confidence and through the years I have developed more confidence fishing in the morning on dark moon phases and fishing mid-day and afternoons when moon is bright at night. I still fish both times but have developed the preferences mentioned.
LAKE LEVEL INFORMATION ISSUES
You may have been one of many anglers that tried this week but failed to access lake level information from some of our regular sources. Many of us use www.toledo-bend.com which has been getting its Sabine River Authority info from an automated posting source. On July 6 this information stopped updating so current lake levels and generating schedules were hard to find without calling a long distant number. However, SRA officials are taking steps to solve most, hopefully all, of these issues.
Jim Pratt, Executive Director of SRA Louisiana, stated Tuesday that the problem was the changing of their website so it will be hosted by a State of Louisiana server in order provide on-line reservations for SRA parksite guests and money related transactions. It may take a few days but hopefully an automated system will soon be in place giving private websites access to public data of Toledo's lake levels and generating schedules. These lake levels and generating schedules can be vital during flood situations downstream. Currently, I am going to SRA LA's site for the info at http://www.srala-toledo.com/.
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is now below 170 for the first time since March and currently stands at 169.9 feet with two generators running from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Surface water temperatures are running from 87 to 89 degrees when taken at daylight each morning and rising to 90 and above late in the day. North Toledo is slightly stained with the rest of the lake clear and south Toledo very clear.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Several patterns remain available currently from shallow to deep and from daylight until after dark. The best catches
comes from the night tournament we listed last week hosted by DeRidder's Sportsman Bass Club at Toledo's Cypress Bend Park Saturday night. A strong showing of 85 teams fished with several five fish stringers over 20 pounds with the winning team of James Taylor and Gaylon Toney from Leesville/Anacoco weighing in a huge stringer of 27.64 lbs.
The runner-up team was Keith Shell and Thomas Jordan of Evans/ Leesville with 26.82 pounds and third was team Jeff Musgrove and Monty Cooley both of Dequincy with 23.56 pounds. Big bass award went to Sidney Mathews of Florien with a huge 10.85 pounder. A very impressive tournament and shows that Toledo is full of quality bass and the area has some awesome anglers. How do you catch over 26 pounds and finish second?
Daytime patterns have bass feeding early on points with submerged and visible grass with top water baits including Ribbit Frogs, Top Dollar, Pop Rs, Frenzy Poppers, Chug Bug and Yellow Magic. On windy points spinnerbaits are also picking up some bass early morning and late afternoon. If you are a crankbait angler start early on grassy points in 8 to 10 feet with a DLN (Deep Little N) and work slightly deeper (12 to 18 feet) with DD14 and then even deeper with a DD22 in 15 to 25 feet.
Best cranking colors have been Sexy Shad, blue/chartreuse and fire tiger with most anglers working them on 12 to 17 pound test line. Personally, I am using 12 lb test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon. Finally, we are still catching bass on drop shot, Knock Off (tail spinner) and Hawg Hustler jigging spoons.
South Toledo Crappie guide, Butch Perrodin, says he's not catching them on every hole but is catching some nice crappie up to 2 pounds. He states he is catching 25-30 white perch in 3-5 hrs while fishing baited brush piles in 20 to 30 feet with fish holding very close to brush The yellow bass are also plentiful but you have to keep moving to find them, too. Look for balls of bait fish on your depth finder as well as schooling largemouth. If you find both of those elements, yellow bass will be close.
We are using spoons and Norman's Knock Off (tailspinner) on yellows and fishing from 18 to 35 feet. At times they will suspend over even deeper water. While fishing for yellows, we also catch largemouth bass, spotted bass, catfish, drum and a few striper. Mostly, the striper are being caught early and late by trolling DD22s and Fat Free Shad deep diver as well as strolling a striper jig over 30-50 foot depths close to main river bed.
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, The Floor Trader Lake Charles and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org. and WEBSITE www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.
Grand kids on their first fishing trip spooning up some of Toledo's yellow bass
This big bass came off of a deep summer ledge and hit a Tx rigged 7 inch plastic.
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