Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. I have had several e-mails over the past year or so about part of a column I did on honest fishermen and political correctness so I looked it up and will use it as part of today's column.


First of all, what is the difference between a fisherman and an angler? In my opinion, there is none, zero, zilch! Same as human-kind and mankind...all the same. Part of mankind is smarter, nicer looking and smells better than other parts. I have found those to be

called women. Don't ya love this politically correct world of ours? Another term that is being tried or floated out there....Fishers?? I'm sorry, I just can't go there. Now, back to the question, can you trust a fisherman? While it is true that fishermen have been known to over estimate their catch, I have found them to be completely trustworthy. Case in point: In 12 years of operating a fishing guide business, I have accepted numerous personal and

business checks from fishermen all across this country from Louisiana to Minnesota and from New York to California. All of those checks, 100% have been good and cleared the bank. LET'S HEAR IT FOR FISHERMEN!!!!!

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is the lowest in nearly a year and stands at 168.15 with both generators running weekdays from 2 to 9 p.m. Levels normally fall the later part of the summer if we have low rainfall which is usually the case unless we get a tropical system through the area. However, south Toledo received over 6 inches of rain last Saturday through Monday which should slow or stop, at least for the short term, receding lake levels.

When the levels get in the 168 range in the summer we usually get e-mails from lake property owners about plans to "pull" the lake. I spend a lot of time around the south end where both TX and LA SRA (Sabine River Authority)offices are located and have heard nothing about plans to pull the lake.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Recent rains cooled the water temps a few degrees from season highs of 88 to 90 to present 84 to 86 degrees. Finally we are over the hump.....past July 15th which I consider mid summer. In addition the nights are getting slightly longer and the days are becoming slightly shorter. What difference does this make? For me it means another few minutes of sleep in the morning before answering the alarm. I have already switched my beginning time with customers from 5:30 a.m. to 5:45 and in another couple fo weeks that will go to 6 a.m. as sunrise gets later and later.

These slightly longer nights also help to cool the air and mornings will grow a little more comfortable, as least for a couple of hours. While August is hot in this neck of the woods, most Augusts mornings there is a distinct coolness in the air at dawn during that first boat run up the lake. Its like a promise from Mother Nature that fall is on the way. Also, we often get our first cool front the last week of August or Labor Day week.

How have we been catching fish during the heat of July? To be honest, most days it has taken effort plus a variety of patterns and a willingness to catch what's biting. We have had a few days, mostly cloudy, rainy days when we have caught a good many fish but most days it has been a slow, discliplined approach either in thick grass are on deep ridges and points.

Basically, night fishing patterns are the most consistent since both Toledo and rayburn are deep, clear lakes and with current water temps many of the bass feed after dark.

Some of the best stringers this summer have come from night fishing. In my opinion, I would fish a slow falling spinnerbait on windy nights and a slow-moving Texas rig on calm nights and would target points and ridges in 15 to 22 feet. On the spinnerbait, I would look for deep-growing hydrilla to yo-yo a spinnerbait along the outside edge of the grass. Because of its sensitivity, strength and resistence to abrasion I would fish both the spinnerbait and Texas rig on 17 or 20 pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line. On skirt colors for night fishing a spinnerbait, I like either purple or black with a single-bladed gold spinner. On colors and soft plastics for TX rigs consider 7 and 10 inch Berkley Power Worms in plum, black/blue tail, redbug and green pumpkin.

On daytime patterns, we are starting at first light and working shallow/grassy humps, points and ridges and work topwater (Pro Pop by Norman, Chug Bug and Pop R) on one rod, while another is running a spinnerbait and another is using a floating soft plastic TX rig or one with 1/8 or 3/16 ounce sinker. I like shallow water(5 to 15') with grass the first 30 minutes and then back off the the edge of the grass and used soft plastics and crankbaits. As sun gets high we move to 16 to 25 feet with deep diving Norman's DD22 or Fat free Shad crankbaits as well as TX, Carolina rig or drop shot working 18 to 26 feet. We are getting into some schooling bass about an hr after daylight as well as hign noon.

CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: According to most crappie guides I know the crappie are for the most part on deep brush. Most are doing their best from dawn till 9 a.m. on live shiners in 20 to 35 feet with 28-30 feet being the 'sweet spot'. Crappie guide Butch Covington says he is also catching crappie during the bright hours of the day on small jigs as the fish are pulling tighter to the cover during these times. The yellow bass were a little hard to find lst week but improved in recent days as they are along main creek channels in the back 1/3 of the creeks in depths of 20 to 30 feet and have been hitting 1/4 and 1/2 oz jigging spoons and tail spinners like Norman's Knock off or Rinky Dink. I use the tailspinners when the yellow's are suspended.

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE

Fish Species: l.m. bass
Bait Used: Berkley power worms, Shaky Worms, wacky crawlers, Top Dog Top water by Normon
Tackle Used: Revo Reels(Abu Garcia) and Vendetta rods/Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line
Method Used: Texas and carolina rigging points and humps as well as shaky head and drop shot
Water Depth: 10-25
Water Temperature: 86
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
this striper was mixed with largemouth and crushed a DD22
this striper was mixed with largemouth and crushed a DD22

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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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