Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. The drought seems to be working its way westward. We did receive a little rain this week but not enough to make a lot of difference. Area lakes are low and rivers are also. Actually, river fishing is awesome with the absence of run-off. Every river or major stream in the area has great fishing conditions with mostly clear water. In addition, some outdoor sportsmen (with wives permission, I'm sure) are combining a fishing trip with a squirrel hunt which makes for a great way to spend a day outside.

Usually, they will hunt the first couple of hours and fish later on in the day. I talked to some guys who made such a trip along the Sabine River between Merryville and Toledo Dam. The river is low and they actually walked the banks and killed squirrels and caught a lot of Kentucky bass which are also called spotted bass. That part of the Sabine River is full of spots (spotted bass). It is a beautiful time of the year in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. As far as table-fare, it is hard to beat a 11-12 inch Tony's-covered, corn meal coated, spotted bass fillet having just swam in 325 degrees peanut oil.

LAKE CONDITIONS: At midweek, Toledo is at 167.6 feet with both generators shut down and release is minimal at 174 CFS to maintain some river flow. Water temperatures are running from 68 to 72 degrees and all of the lake has good conditions with north Toledo being slightly stained, mid lake is clear and south Toledo is very clear. The lake is low enough that boaters should use caution.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Fishing is still good and at times, very good. This week should be an improvement if weather reports hold up. Last week's high winds, frontal passage and blue bird skies made this guides job pretty tough. Fishing did improve toward the end of the week and catches did improve. Even with tough conditions, we did manage to catch fish although the day after the front we had to wait until just before sundown to get on some quality bass. Numbers and quality were better Thursday-Saturday.

Top water patterns are producing, especially over scattered grass ridges and points. Work'em slow with lots of pauses and when the bass strikes, allow a couple of seconds before setting the hook. Excellent choices for top water includes Berkley's Frenzy Popper and Walker in Grey Ghost, Chug Bug in blue/silver/red belly and Yellow Magic in black/silver. Stanley's Ribbit Frog and Wedge spinnerbaits are also getting some big bites over the grass. I strongly suggest using Spiderwire Braid with Ribbits over grass.

Other bass-catching patterns include wacky rigging a Berkley Gulp! Sinking Minnow and Senko along the edge of grass from 6 to 12 feet. For this pattern, I love Daiichi's 3/0 Round Bend Hook. They are very light and extremely sharp and strong. Sinking Minnows and Senkos also work well rigged Texas with no weight and tossed into the thickest grass you can find. Crankbaits are also producing with mid-divers along the edge of points in 8-12 and DD22s back off on deep points in 14-20 feet.

Drop Shot and Carolina rigs are also producing on points in 15-25 feet.

CRAPPIE: Crappie fishing is slowly improving as fish are relating to the ends of points and creek bends in 16-30 feet. Slow-falling jigs (Stanley Wedgetails and Blakemore) are producing on 6-8 pound test Berkley Fluorocarbon or XL line on a Cardinal 700 series reel.

Not only will you catch crappie, but yellowbass, spotted bass as well as largemouth.


From all reports, opening weekend last Saturday and Sunday was exceptional with lots of ducks in numerous locations. Hackberry Rod and Gun had 17 blinds in three marshes and averaged 17 to 18 ducks per blind both Saturday and Sunday. One of their guides stated: "The blue wing Teal and gray ducks in our new marsh are as thick as white wing doves in Mexico". Now that's a pumped-up guide and we won't hold ask him to document but it is safe to say that ducks are plentiful. If you love to duck hunt and don't have access to a lease, you could check with HR&G for openings at 1-888-762-3391.

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, Daiichi, Jay's Carpet One and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE

Fish Species: Largemouth Bass
Bait Used: spinnerbait, carolina rig and wacky
Tackle Used: both baitcast and spinning
Method Used:
Water Depth: 8-12
Water Temperature: 68-70
Wind Direction: southeast
Wind Speed: 15-18
Big bass on Stanley's Wedge spinnerbait....3/8 ounce with white skirt
Big bass on Stanley's Wedge spinnerbait....3/8 ounce with white skirt

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