Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. Recent data re-enforces what many of us have been observing which indicates anglers/boaters continue to find funds to spend time on the water. The Boat Owners Association of the U.S. (BoatU.S.) reported in a survey released this week that 96% of respondents said that the economic downturn would not lead them to stop using their boat this summer. While some boaters are seeing their boating activities diminish, most remain positive about their boating plans for summer 2009.

"Last summer, high fuel prices kept some boaters off the water," said BoatU.S. President Nancy Michelman. "But this year, despite the economy, our members are largely optimistic and are determined to make good use of their boats." The survey also found that 52% reported they are not changing the way they use their boat, compared to last summer.

"If this summer's gas prices are lower than last summer's, 39% said they expect to go boating more often" according to the survey.

Only 1% of respondents say they would not boat this year. To save money while still using their boats, some (24%) plan to reduce cruising distances or selecting boating destinations closer to home. Others(17%) will reduce the number of boating trips/days, while others plan on sharing costs (10%).

Boat U.S. also reported that 26% would sacrifice dining out and 25% would give up, reduce or postpone taking a vacation to afford boating this summer. Over two-thirds of respondents (69%) said spending time boating brings the family together. This kind of positive info has to make local boat dealers, tackle shops and marinas feel somewhat encouraged.

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is full a(172 feet) and still rising at midweek with both generators running 24 hrs. We had several inches of rain over the weekend which reversed the lake levels from a slow fall to a modest rise. Water temps fell from near 80 degrees last Saturday to mid 70s with north Toledo stained, mid lake slightly stained and south Toledo is clear. As normal, the back portions of all major feeder creeks have stained water conditions.

FISHING REPORT/BASS: We caught more bass last week (up to 40 a day) than we have in a week's period since mid-March but the cold front, rains, north winds, bright skies and high barometric pressure slowed bass fishing down a bit. With lake levels falling slightly last week, bass were starting to concentrate on primary and secondary points and were were beginning to find bass together in larger numbers. However, the cold front and rising water levels did scatter a lot of the bass. Providing we have no more fronts, conditions should stabalize by the time weekend warriors hit the lake Friday.

On the positive side, the cold front actually helps to slow the approach of summer and extends spring patterns another week or so. Some of our best producing patterns the past week have been points and ridges which fall off into deep water from 10-12 feet falling to 15 to 30 feet. We are fishing these drops with DD22s(deep diving crankbaits), Texas Rigs, Carolina rigs and drop shot. Our DD22 colors include shad patterns, fire tiger and bumble bee.

Our soft plastics on Texas and Carolina rigs include 7 inch Berkley Wacky Crawler, Berkley Shaky Worm, Power Craw, Trick Worm and Baby Brush hog in watermelon and green pumpkin colors. On drop shot we are using the shorter versions of the same worms Wacky Crawlers, Shaky Worms and Fineese all in 5 inch versions.

DROP SHOT RIG: I am often questioned about the specifics of my drop shot rig. I use 8-10 pound test (in mid summer I may go as light as 6 lb) Berkley XL or 100% Berkley Flourocarbon line and line choice is very important. My current d.s. rods are a 7 ft Fenwick Techna MF (medium action fast tip) and a medium action 7 ft Fenwick HMG. Both of these are great rods and the HMG is about $75 cheaper and Fenwick offers a lifetime warranty on their rods. Currently I am using Abu Garcia's Soron STX and Pflueger's Supreme XT spinning reels on my drop shot rigs. These described rigs are light, super sensitive and yet can handle quality fish.

CRAPPIE: The cold front slowed crappie fishing down and winds this past weekend prevented most crappie anglers from getting back on their holes as many baited holes are in exposed areas where winds make it tough to fish. Mid week saw the crappie bite slowly improve in brush piles from 15 to 30 feet with light line and live shiners.

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, The Floor Trader Alexandria and Lake Charles, Extermatrim Exterminating, Inc. and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE

Fish Species: l.m.bass
Bait Used: Berkley Power Worms, wacky Crawlers and Trick Worms
Tackle Used: Revo reels, Fenwick Rods, Berkley 100% Flourocarbon
Method Used: Fishing points with deep cranks and Tx rigs
Water Depth:
Water Temperature: 77
Wind Direction: n.e.
Wind Speed: 10-15
South Toledo's Ken and Brandy Patterson with 4 of their 40 or so crappie caught in Pirates Cove
South Toledo's Ken and Brandy Patterson with 4 of their 40 or so crappie caught in Pirates Cove

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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
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Joe Joslin