Joe Joslin

Rayburn's water level continues to slowly fall and at mid week stood at 161.4 feet with one unit operating 5 hours per day with excellent water conditions all over the lake. Full pool is considered to be 164.4 feet and I don't think we never completely made it there this spring though we did get close. The south end of the lake is basically clear with some stained water conditions on the north end and up the river and main feeder creeks.

Water temperatures are about the same as last! At daylight temps have been running from 86 to 89 degrees but rain and slightly cooler weather is in the forecast so we will look forward to that. Such weather will fire up the top water and shallow water bite. If you can find a day with light rain and no lightning the buzz bait and Ribbit frog bite could get crazy.

Another cloudy day pattern is to work the outside edge of the grass line with a Stanley three-eighth ounce double willowleaf spinnerbait and either fish it with a yo-yo retrieve or "wake it" just under the water. Top spinnerbait skirt colors on Rayburn are white, chartruese or both white/chartreuse. As far as willowleaf blades on the spinnerbait, I have had great results with the big blade being gold or copper with the small blade nickle or chrome.

On bright days, which has been the most common the past few weeks, we have been starting shallow on the grass at first light with a frog or a favorite top water such as Top Dollar or Chug Bug. I give this about 15 minutes and if no takers, I usually switch to a weightless Texas rig or wacky rig. My top soft plastics that I use on TX weightless rigs are Gulp! Sinking Minnow, Senko and Berkley's new Heavyweight Sinkworm which I use on 15 lb test 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon.

If I wacky rig, I use the same plastics with 10 and 12 lb test fluorocarbon and work slightly deeper water from 6 to 14 feet which continues to be a great pattern and presentation. On a Texas weightless rig I use a Revo baitcast but if wacky fishing, I use a top of the line spinning reel and my two favorites are Pflueger's Supreme XT and Abu Garcia's Soron STX20. In recent years, I have caught five bass over ten pounds and four of those came on wacky rigs with spinning tackle and 10 pound test line so this approach will catch big fish. On a wacky with exposed hook, I can also get by with a medium or medium-fast rod which gives some cushion and helps to prevent break-offs when playing a big fish.

There has been a deep pattern on Rayburn since mid-April and this pattern continues to produce quality bass. Most of the time those of us who make our living fishing don't give too much info as for as places on the lake where we spend a lot of time. I still will not get too specific but will mention two areas of the lake where I catch quality bass on deep patterns. The first is the area in front of Farmer's east to the mouth of Buck Bay where I work the numerous ridges and humps that range from 10 to 30 feet while I target a lot of 15 to 25 feet structure.

The second is the Black Forest area with its numerous ridges/brush and the part of that are that I work the most in the summer is the northern one-third that gets fairly close to the river. Again, I target 10 to 30 feet structure. My two favorite deep water baits are football jigs (Stanley Bugeye and Berkley Gripper) and a heavy Texas rig with Power Worms Power Hawgs and 4" Chigger Craw.

Fish Species: l.m. bass
Bait Used: Berkley Power Worms, Stanley Bugeyed Football Jigs, Stanley Ribbit frogs
Tackle Used: Revo Reels, Fenwick rods, 100%Berkley Fluorocarbon line, Spider Braid
Method Used: For early bite we worked grass with Ribbits, then back off to mid depths anfdd then deep holes for jigs and TX rigs.
Water Depth: 4 to 30
Water Temperature: 88
Wind Direction: s.w.
Wind Speed: 15

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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

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