Joe Joslin

Rayburn has more water today than in many months, maybe a year. The level today is 163.01 (full pool is 164.4') and one unit is running 5 hours per day with a release of water at the rate of 4181 cfs. About half of the lake is stained-to-very stained while the rest is mostly clear-to slightly stained. As would be expected, the upper river and upper creeks have the off colored water and the the clearer conditions are found in main lake areas in mid-lake and south Rayburn.

With this much water, good numbers of the bass population have repositioned and as Rayburn bass like to do, some have moved into shoreline brush/bushes so bring out your flipping and pitching rods. What a blast! Pepper grass is becoming more predominate giving bass in 4 to 8' depths more cover to reside. With rising water, anglers should not forget the inside grass line which is now about 3-4 feet below the water surface. Fish will be on top of that grassline in certain situations and holding tighter on inside edge at others.

A Texas Rig, Carolina Rig as well as a jig are good selections to work along this inside grassline. Power Lizards as well as Berkley's Chigger Craws and their new Chigger Craw Crazy Legs are super baits in these shallow grass situations. Chigger Craws also make super jig trailers. Rayburn is also a great lake for plastic frogs and Ribbits are already catching bass this spring.

and rising water conditions will do nothing but improve this pattern. I like green pumpkin/pearl as well as pumpkin/red pearl in Ribbits. However, there are times when a solid white or white/chartreuse legs will just be awesome. I love May on Rayburn!

Another favorite topwater bait of mine on which produces quality bass is Berkley's Frenzy Walker (no longer available). Fortunately, I have several and some tackle stores still have them in stock. Another close favorite is a Zara Spook which is very similar. It is easier for me to "walk the dog" with the Frenzy Walker because of the oval nose on the Frenzy compared with a rounded nose on the Spook. The Spook factory hooks are better but I change Frenzy's out and replace them with Daiichi's #2 high carbon Death Trap Trebles. Top water season is here!

DeRidder, Louisiana's Steve Rhea makes it two weeks in a row to win cash fishing on Rayburn as he recently won $1500 at McDonalds with a nine pound (plus) bass and this past Saturday he and his dad and frequent tournament partner, Eddie Rhea, won the East Texas Division of Fishers of Men fished out of Rayburn's Jackson Hill Resort near Highway 147 Bridge. The Rheas won $1800 for their five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds. They caught their fish under very tough fishing conditions as there were small craft advisories all day with 25 mph and higher wind gusts. The winners reported catching their fish, which included an 8 pounder, while fishing Carolina rigs on the main lake.

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 bait
Tackle Used:
Method Used:
Water Depth: 2 to 15
Water Temperature: 71
Wind Direction: s
Wind Speed: 25
Steve's Rhea's 9.3 lb Rayburn bass
Steve's Rhea's 9.3 lb Rayburn bass

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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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