Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. There is still a lot of talk about Donnie Gill's big bass caught during The Anacoco Lions Club bass tournament last week and well there should be. For over 40 years thousands of anglers have fished millions of hours on Toledo and Gill, just last Saturday, reeled in the second largest bass ever caught during all those relentless fishing efforts. Pretty impressive!

Now lets take a look at the, ever so slightly, bigger bass caught nine years ago by Texas angler, Eric Weems. Weems' bass, which is the current lake record, weighed 15.32 pounds and was caught July 3, 2000. There are several similarities in these two huge bass that I find extremely interesting with the first being that they were both caught during very hot weather. Weems' bass bit July 3 while Gill's bass was caught June 27. Both came from the south end of the lake as Weems' bass was caught in Six Mile Creek and Gill was not specific but told me last week that it was caught "on the Texas side south end".

If I were a betting man, I would wager my favorite rod n reel that Gill's big bass was caught either in Six Mile or with-in five miles north or south of there which, of course, would include Mill Creek, Housen Bay and Indian Mounds. According to both Weems and Gill, each of their bass came from 18 to 22 feet with Weems monster hitting a jig while Gill's lunker hit a Texas rigged worm. Unfortunately, these two heavy weights also had one other factor in common in spite of strong efforts to save them as both of these marvelous fish died.

Obviously, the best chance a big bass has to survive after being caught in the summer with surface water temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80s is to quickly get her weighed, measured, photographed and then back into the water. You can take this data to a taxidermist and have a fiberglass replica made and return the fish to the lake. Water temperatures are significantly cooler (at times over 10 degrees) at 20 feet in the summer than on the surface so the fish's body has to make a lot of adjustments dealing with the stress of being caught plus the external factors.

WHAT EVER IT TAKES When tournament fishing in hot weather, many tournament organizers suggest pumping water into live wells prior to fishing, let them run constantly on recirculate and add enough ice off/on during the day to keep livewell temperatures about 10 degrees cooler than surface temps. Most tournament bass boats like my Skeeter 21 i Class have 2 separate live wells with individual controls. A common practice for many is to put a trophy in a livewell all to itself.

LAKE CONDITIONS: At mid-week the lake level was 170.40 feet and slowly falling with both generators running from 2 to 8 p.m. weekdays. Surface water temperatures fell slightly with the rain and cooler temps and were running about 88 degrees early a.m. The lake is in great shape with sligghtly stained water north and very clear water down south.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Bass fishing continued to be decent this week with shallow, mid-depths and deep patterns all successful, depending on conditions. There is still a good shallow bite on the edge of grassy points at first and last light and it seems to me the afternoon bite has been better this week on the south end of the lake due to both generators running at the dam which seems to stack up the baitfish. Also, a growing moon phase also seems to improve the late afternoon feeding.

Ribbit frogs and buzz baits are excellent as well as a popping plug such as Top Dollar, Pop R, Yellow Magic and Chug Bug. Weightless worms also work great early when crawled over shallow grass such as Berkley Power Worms, Senkos and Magnam Trick Worms. In mid-depths (10 to 18 feet) a light weighted TX rig, quarter ounce jig n pig and mid-diving crankbait (DLN and DD14) are all catching bass. A deeper pattern is also working from 15 to 30 feet with a DD22 crankbait, a heavy weighted TX and Carolina rigged Power Bait as well as a drop shot rig.

SCHOOLING LARGEMOUTH, YELLOW AND WHITE BASS: There are lots of schooling bass (at times) holding over 15 to 40 feet depths with a jigging spoon and tailspinner (Knock Off by Norman) great tools for catching these. Watch your electronics as they are not always on the bottom and will suspend often from 15 to 25 feet down. A crankbait will also,at times, get these fish to hit.

CRAPPIE: Butch Perrodin, south Toledo crappie guide, says his trips have been inconsistent catching 60 in 3 hrs one day and 20 in 6 hours the next.

He is still fishing shiners over baited brush piles in 18 to 25 feet.

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 and WEBSITE

Fish Species: largemouth bass, yellow and white bass
Bait Used: Berkley Power Worms, Stanley Ribbit frogs, Trick Worms, Hawg Hustler Jigg'n Spoo
Tackle Used: Revo reels, Fenwick HMG rods, Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line (10,12,15 lb test)
Method Used: We TX rigged Power Worms and Trick Worms, vertical jigged spoons as well as cast/count down retrieve.
Water Depth: 8 to 35
Water Temperature: 88
Wind Direction: s.w.
Wind Speed: 5 to 15
Leesville, LA's Donnie Gill with 15.03 bass...missed lake record by less than .3 lbs.
Leesville, LA's Donnie Gill with 15.03 bass...missed lake record by less than .3 lbs.

Do you want to leave a comment? Login or register now to leave a comment.

No comments so far

Joe Joslin

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

337 463 3848
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Joe Joslin