Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. As fishermen, we need to stay the fish that is. When it comes to fishing tools, it doesn't get much more basic than choice of fishing line. Of all the recent questions from readers and customers concerning line, those inquiries concerning fluorocarbon have generated the most interest. One reason is that fluorocarbon technology is basically new and many anglers have yet to try it. However, because of the success of anglers using these lines, word has gotten around that in certain conditions, this family of lines can help anglers put more fish in the boat.

THE SKINNY ON FLUOROCARBON: No company spends more time, money and effort on fishing lines than Pure Fishing, which is one of the largest fishing tackle companies in the world. Under the umbrella of Pure Fishing is Berkley, Stren and Spiderwire with each being giants themselves within the fishing line industry. Pure Fishing companies make up a majority of the fishing line market worldwide. Berkley's first fluorocarbon was called Vanish which has been around 2-3 years. However, in the past few months they have introduced a new product simply called Berkley Fluorocarbon. There is a lot of excitement concerning this new product. I don't think I can remember this much excitement over a fishing line other than maybe Spiderwire Braid several years ago.

Fluorocarbon fishing lines have unique properties, different from common nylon monofilament. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible to fish due to the refractive index being nearly equal to water-giving the angler the best advantage in clear water situations. Also, fluorocarbon does not obsorb water, resulting in no loss of strength when wet. In addition to being almost invisible, Berkley Fluorocarbon is said to have ultimate impact strength which is vital when anglers set the hook hard on a large fish. The line is also easily managed on the reel with low memory and minimal twist and tangles which is not the case with all fluorocarbons.

Personally, I have been a fan of fluorocarbon line for a couple of years, even before Berkley solved many of the earlier problems. I liked it because I fish much of the time on south Toledo as well as Sam Rayburn and both have very clear water. Fluorocarbon allows me to use somewhat heavier lines and still get a high number of bites in clear water. This line also is very sensitive, especially the new Berkley Fluorocarbon which allows the angler to feel the lightest bite. It also has awesome knot strength, very durable and is not easily damaged or nicked.

Finally, there is little stretch which also is very helpful when setting the hook, especially when the angler is fishing deep structure and has a lot of line between the hook and the tip of the rod. This line is not cheap but the angler will not have to change it as often. A spool of 110 yards of 12 pound test Berkley Fluorocarbon sells for about $11.00. Lets go fishing!

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is 172 feet (official full pool) and generating at the dam has been decreased to 9 hours a day from 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. Also, all of the gates at the spillway have been closed. The water temperatures are headed skyward and range from 87 to 90 degrees. North Toledo has cleared somewhat, mid lake is clear and south Toledo is very clear.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: The single best tip is to be on the lake at first light which is just before 6 a.m. A good place to start would be a point with submerged grass with a ditch or creek nearby. If there are a couple of you in the boat, one use a topwater bait (Frenzy Popper or Pop R) while the other uses a wacky rigged Gulp! Sinking Minnow, Senko or Berkley Wacky Crawler and then both go to the one with the most action.

If those stop working, pull out to about 12-18 feet and try crankbaits, Texas Rigs and Carolina rigs. Also, don't be afraid to move back out into 20-25 feet and work heavy plastics or large jig n pigs. In addition, slowly work a drop shot rig in depths of 20-26 feet. For drop shot, I use 5 inch Berkley Powerbait Wacky Crawlers, Powerbait Fat Dovers and 5 inch Fineese with Daiichi's #1 and 1/0 round bend hooks and 8 pound test Berkley Fluorocarbon.

Striper: Striper action has slowed somewhat as generating at the dam has been decreased from 24 to 9 hours per day. Bank anglers are catching some fish right at dark below and above the dam. Also, a few schools of striper are surfacing from the dam north to Six Mile Creek usually along the main river bed. Big top water poppers and striper jigs with 6 inch trailers are working if anglers can get on a school.

CRAPPIE: Perch jerkers are catching crappie under bridges at night all over the lake using live shiners. One decent area is the bridge in Patroon Creek/Bayou, according to a report from Holly Park Marina. Other Creek Bridges to try are Lanana, Six Mile, Carrice Creek, Palo Gaucho and of course, Pendleton Bridge.

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, Red River Marine, Alexandria, LA, Berkley, Fenwick, Abu Garcia, Daiichi, Jay's Carpet One and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or

Fish Species: Bass
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Pro guide Joe Joslin with 8 pound largemouth that hit a jig n pig in 15 ft on a recent rainy day on The Bend.  The fish was immediately released.
Pro guide Joe Joslin with 8 pound largemouth that hit a jig n pig in 15 ft on a recent rainy day on The Bend. The fish was immediately released.

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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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