Joe Joslin


Due to the large number of Lake Area anglers fishing the McDonald's Big Splash this week on Rayburn, I am giving more info than normal for this report. Rayburn's water level rose slightly since last week and stands at 161.38 feet with one turbine running 5 hrs per day with a discharge rate of 4267 cubic feet per second (cfs). This level is the highest it has been in months but is still basically 3 feet below full pool which is considered to be 164.4 feet msl(mean sea level). Water temps should be back up to mid-upper 60s by tournament time. At mid week it is 61 to 64 degrees.

The new water has given the bass more options and they have scattered somewhat. While there are some post spawn bass out on ridges and humps, most of the bass population remains in water depth less than 8 feet as they have been for months. Last October I was catching bass on the outside grass line in 5 to 8 feet and I still am currently. Rayburn's bass have a lot of the Florida bass genes and Florida bass love water less than 6 feet.

My advice to McDonald's Splash anglers this week is to slow down with a Wacky rig, Jig-n-pig, Texas rig or Carolina rig and fish areas completely. With several thousand anglers expected to be casting for the quarter million dollar bass, one possibility would be to find an area/ridge on a main creek/main lake or major bay which you can cast to both shallow and deep water and either tie up or anchor and work the area with hundreds of cast and with a variety of presentations. You just need one bite. I also would be as quiet as possible and once you learn where the deep/shallow water is located, I suggest turning off electronics.

POSSIBLE $250K BAITS: The first 15 minutes in the morning I would suggest one angler throw a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap (red/craw) and the other throw a three-eighth ounce Stanley Icon Spinnerbait/double willowleaf with white skirt. Also, if water temps climb, a Stanley Ribbit Frog (watermelon pearl). Work these three baits fast as well as slow and retrieve them with pauses as well as with a steady retrieve to see how the fish want it.

When you have done that a while, in the same area work a Texas rigged 10 inch Berkley Power Worm in green pumpkin or watermelon candy with quarter ounce sinker. Also, one angler consider working a Carolina rigged 8 inch magnum lizard on a light sinker. In shallow water, I also suggest a weightless Texas rigged Senko or Berkley Gulp! Sinking Minnow worked slowly over grass from the shoreline all the way out to 6-8 feet. I would also throw a three-eighths ounce Stanley or Berkley Gripper jig in the grass line from 4 to 8 feet.

For jig trailer, I strongly suggest Berkley's new 4" Crazy Legs Chigger Craw if you can find them. They are a hot item since Skeet Reese used them to win the B.M. Classic on Red River. If you cannot find the Crazy Legs version, the regular Berkley Chigger Craw also works great. Choices of colors would be green pumpkin, black/blue and black/red fleck. Good luck! Some angler is going to win that money and it just might be you. Be safe! The lake will be crowded with pumped-up, excited anglers. Make sure you know ALL the rules and follow them to a Tee.

All major winners will be subject to a polygraph and if you fail it, your fish is disqualified. Make sure you and your partner's life jacket are on and zipped and kill switch is attached each and every time your gas engine is started. Finally, make sure you and partner have valid Texas fishing licenses. It is so easy to forget and not renew license. To wrap it up I will give a prime example to prove the importance of a proper fishing license.

While fishing a Bass Champs tournament on Rayburn about 4 years ago, the winner of the event went in to the tournament trailer to show boat registration/paper work when shortly thereafter the tournament director came out an announced that the winner had an expired fishing license and had to be disqualified. He had just missed winning a 20 foot Skeeter with 200 Yamaha because of invalid license. Not a good day! Again, be safe and good luck!

Joe Joslin Outdoors

Licensed Guide Toledo and Sam Rayburn

Tournament Angler and Outdoor Media

Member Louisiana Outdoor Writers Assoc

and Southeastern Outdoor Press Assoc.

337-463-3848 or

Fish Species: l.m.bass
Bait Used:
Tackle Used: Abu Garcia Revo reels/Fenwick Rods/Berkley Flourocarbon
Method Used: working shallow grass with multiple presentations
Water Depth: 1 to 8
Water Temperature: 63
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
Here is another big Rayburn bass.  This one hit Berkley's Frenzy lipless crankbait
Here is another big Rayburn bass. This one hit Berkley's Frenzy lipless crankbait

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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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