Joe Joslin

Hello, Angler. Cold temperatures continue to be a part of the fishing scene this week with frequent morning readings in the Toledo area of mid-to-upper 20s. Anglers who have flexible schedules are able to get in some fishing between the strong winter fronts but weekend warriors frequently have a tougher time doing so. Another front is due this weekend but it may stall-out, according to weather reports.

LAKE AREA BOAT AND RV SHOW The 24th Annual Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport and RV Show is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Lake Charles Civic Center will over 100,000 sq. feet of boats RVs and outdoor sports equipment. Over 40 brands of boats and 70 brands of RVs will be on display. Also, eenter your child in the annual B.A.S.S. Casting Kids Competition! Your children ages 7-14 can compete locally and have the opportunity to advance for the State & National Levels. A total of $250,000 in prizes and scholarships are offered nationwide with the National Finals being held at the Bassmaster Classic. Rods are provided.

LAKE CONDITIONS Toledo's level has fallen slightly to 168.49 feet with minimal generating scheduled at the dam. At press time, both units were shut down. Water temperatures fell slightly from last week and at mid-week were running from 47 to 51 degrees. The hydrilla situation has greatly improved over last year with mid-lake areas having much better coverage than in past 3-4 years. Fishing has also improved in those areas.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: The bass population in shallow-to-mid depths are mostly scattered. If you catch a bass in 4 to 10 feet, slow down and fish the cover thoroughly as usually there are other fish in the area. There are also big bass (females)in the 'staging mode' and are holding on the first shallow cover near deep water which leads into spawning areas. I refer to these as 'ladies in waiting' as they are heavy females with roe (eggs) and will move into spawning/nesting areas as soon as water temperatures warm up.

The first to move up are the small male bass often referred to as buck bass. They usually move to the very back of coves and creeks and mostly run from 1 to 2 pounds. Females will wait until water temps gets in 60s. Stable water levels(168 and higher) should be a positive factor for this year's spawn. Fishing patterns currently have anglers working the 2 to 10 feet depths with lipless crankbaits (Frenzy Rattl'rs and Rat-L-Traps) as well as spinnerbaits and soft plastics.

Soft plastics include wacky worms, Carolina rigs, Shakee Head Jigs, TX rigs and jog n pigs. Lots of choices, huh? In the spring, when in doubt go with a lizard in the watermelon and green pumpkin family. I personally like watermelon candy, and with cloudy conditions it is hard to beat w.m. red. Medium and deep diving crankbaits are also catching bass on the edge of grass as well as suspended bass on points and creek channels.

In mid-divers you cannot go wrong with Berkley's Frenzy Mid-Diver or Norman's Deep Little N (DLN) and DD14. In Deep Divers, I like Norman's DD22. In crankbait colors, consider firetiger, blue/chartreuse and sexy shad patterns. There are also deep patterns in 15 to 25 feet as well as 30 to 45 feet. In 15-25, work football jigs (Berkley Powerbait Gripper Series and Stanley Bug-eye Series) as well as Carolina and TX rigged Power Lizards. In 35-45 feet, I am using a drop-shot with 5 inch Berkley Wacky Crawler and also vertical fishing a 3/4 ounce jigging spoon.


Last week several anglers fished 4-5 nights at The Chicken Coop and caught close to 1000 crappie. This is the best report so far of the season. They were using lanterns and floating crappie lights and dropping live shiners along the edge of the river in 30-38 feet. However, at night under lights, crappie will suspend and will move up closer to the surface under the lights because that is where the shad will be. A common depth at night is 15 to 25 feet below surface so if you are not getting bites on the bottom, move up.

WHITE BASS: The white bass season has begun on the upper end of the lake and the fish are biting. One of the best white bass guides on north Toledo is Greg Craft at 936-368-7151.

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, Extermatrim Exterminating, Inc. and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE

Fish Species: l.m. bass
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Water Temperature: 50
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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
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