Joe Joslin

LAKE CONDITIONS: At mid-week the lake level was 163.59 feet which is the lowest since 2006 when it went down to 162. The main issue now is no rainfall over the area for months and we are almost to January. The generating amounts are minimal with only one unit running 2 hrs Mon/Wed/Fri from 6 to 8 a.m. in order to maintain the integrity of the Sabine River below the dam. Rain is in the weather forecast for late this week so maybe the drought is in the last stage. Water temperatures have fallen and ran from 50 to 52 degrees. The water conditions are excellent all over the lake but the main word continues to be 'Caution" when navigating the lake as the lake is 8.4 feet below full pool.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: We had some of our best fishing in months this week as the end of another year is upon us. This fall and early winter have been different in some respects with the main factor being extremely low water levels for an extended period of time. This has changed the shoreline concerning how grass has grown both onshore as well as off the bank/submerged grasses. Some of these factors are impacting bass currently but when lake levels return to more normal conditions the new shoreline grass will provide additional bass habitat. There continues to be two major patterns for us to catch bass the first few days of official winter. The first has to do with fishing the 2 to 14' levels which we are doing with several tools.

The first is a Stanley Vibrashaft with double willowleaf blades and #201 and #203 colored skirts which we fish both the 3/8 as well as the 1/2 oz. versions depending on weather conditions. We use the lighter when bass are active running it over the submerged grass and the heavier (1/2 oz) when the bass are down in the grass or on the deeper/outside edge of the grass. I like to use Berkley's 100% Fluorocarbon line (17 lb test) when working heavierier spinnerbait where I want it to stay deep because this line sinks. We are also catching fish on Bill Lewis's Rat-l-Trap both in 1/2 and 3/4 oz versions with best colors including Toledo Gold, Rayburn Red and silver/blue. Texas and wacky rigs in 2 to 14' depths continue to produce fish and we are using Berkley 7" Power Worms, Stanley's Sidewinder (has a floating tail/fish it slowly, also Senkos and Trick Worms. On our Texas rigs we are using 1/8 to 1/4 oz sinkers and on our wacky rigs we are using a nefinessese weight called a Hook Angel.

Our second area that we are catching lots of bass is on patterns in the 25 to 45 feet depths. On Tuesday of this week a customer and I caught 50 yellow and white bass (could have caught many more) plus three limits of legal size largemouth bass up to five pounds and released all but 8 of the largemouth. We caught all of these on a jigging spoon and drop shot rigs. I am receiving several questions about my spoon rig: Currently, my top spoon is a hammered spoon (Klassic Lure's/made in Louisiana/318-776-0649) that we are fishing on 15 and 17 pound test Berkley Big Game and a medium action Abu Garcia 7' medium action rod with Revo's STX reel. The heavier line helps to keep from loosing as many spoons plus makes the spoon fall slower.

On our drop shot rig we are using 8-10 lb test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon with a Abu Cardinal 802 spinning reel and Fenwick's 7' HMG medium action spinning rod. Our top d.shot soft plastics have been Berkley 5" Wacky Crawler Power Worm and a 5" Fineese Worm with watermelon candy and green pumpkin being top colors. Fish the drop shot very slowly.

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: Stanley VibraWedge spinnerbait, Klassic Lures Jigging spoon, Bill Norman's DD22
Tackle Used: Revo STX reels, Fenwick rods, Daiichi Hooks, Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line/17 l
Method Used: worked grass early with spinnerbaits then moved to deep humps/ridges with spoon and drop shot
Water Depth: 4 to 45'
Water Temperature: 55
Wind Direction: s
Wind Speed: 5 to 15
Central La angler, Danny Ortholow wiith one of several big fish we landed on jigging spoon
Central La angler, Danny Ortholow wiith one of several big fish we landed on jigging spoon

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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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