Joe Joslin


Hello, Anglers. The four letter word for the past two weeks has been 'wind'. Thank God for a strong trolling motor and a big Skeeter FX. Winds over 25 mph are forecast for the first past of this week as well with the last of the week looking slightly better. We'll see how that works out. That's the bad side of the fishing scene but on a more positive twist is that the fish are biting and no matter how bad the conditions, we continue to catch fish. However, it does take much effort and adjustments to find fish in a fish-able area while also figuring out what they will hit between all the weather changes.

If you wanna sleep good at night, fish with me three days straight on a wind-blown monster-sized lake. It is a challenge that we enjoy (most of the time) and don't expect to get much sympathy from you guys when we get to fish all week. On a side note, I have seen some very interesting things happening in God's creation such as a red fox bedded down in a small, exposed grass patch on the lake side of the dam.

I'm not sure if the fox was trying to ambush some nearby geese or what. Plus we also witnessed a bass on a bed in 55 degree water when normally the water temp gets to 60 before bass move to beds. Ideal spawning temps are said to be from 65 to 68 for largemouth bass in this part of the country. It is a blast and a huge blessing to be outside during the changing of the seasons.

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake was up slightly the early portion of the week but some of that was due to strong north winds for several days which will pile the water up on the extreme southern portions of the lake (dam area) which is where the published levels are taken. The level Monday was 168.89 ft. but strong southern winds will push some of that back north.

Water temps are running 55 to 59 degrees with stained conditions on north Toledo, slightly stained at mid lake and clear down south. There's plenty of stained conditions in the major feeder creeks and a strong migration of fish are now heading up the creeks/ditches all over the lake.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Our biggest bass last week, 8.2 pounds, came on a Stanley Vibrashaft hand-painted series spinnerbait with sexy shad colored skirt. The bass hit last Friday about 8 a.m. in 6 feet of water but close to a very deep drop off. We have had three or four patterns that we are using depending on the weather/water conditions and time of day.

When the winds allowed, we caught bass on weightless or light-weighted soft plastics, Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps, Stanley spinnerbaits (as mentioned) and suspending jerk baits. For the most part, we have been fishing less than 12 feet for the past week but oftentimes our boat has been in much deeper water.

Behind the many cold fronts we still have been fishing shallow water but have been targeting shallow areas that are close to deeper ledges. Also, the more intense the cold front, the slower we have fished. We have used the jerkbait more preferring a Smithwick Rouge (suspending model) as well as Rick Clunn's series. My jerkbait rig included 10 and 12 lb test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, a medium action 7' Veritas (Abu Garcia) rod and Revo SX baitcast reel.

This set up allows the jerkbait to dive to 3-5' plus permits long casts and the medium action rod allows for plenty of lure action. Finally, this set-up gives plenty of back-bone to fight a big bass and enough flex to give slightly when a big bass makes a final run close to the boat which is where a lot of bass are lost on a jerkbait as we witnessed while watching the recent Bass Master's Classic. Another advantage of jerkbaits is that they can be fished in windy conditions. Fish the jerkbait slowly.

As mentioned earlier we are also using Traps and spinnerbaits in low-light conditions as well as windy conditions. We are using shad colored skirts on the spinnerbaits and our favorite Trap colors are Cherry Bomb and Toledo Gold in the mornings and chrome/blue in bright conditions. We are using 17 lb test Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon on spinnerbaits and Traps.

On our weightless soft plastics we ae using Gulp! Sinking Minnow, Kandi Stik and Senkos and are rigging these three ways: Texas Weightless, wacky and split-shot. If you want to use a little bit of weight with the TX weightless or wacky simply insert a small paneling nail or use a Hook Angel. Google for that info. We continue to use a drop shot, football jig (Stanley Bug Eye) and Carolina rig on the deeper ridges as there are still bass in water 18 to 30 feet.

CRAPPIE/WHITE AND YELLOW BASS: The winds have prevented crappie guides from getting on the water with any regularity but the white perch are moving shallow and if weather forecasts are on track then late this week will become productive again. Road Runners, 1/16 oz jigs and live shiners under a cork is the pattern fished in 3 to 6 feet. Target the mouths of ditches in drains the the back part of creeks for the early crappie that are moving up.

There is another very productive pattern on the south end of the lake with deep clear water where anglers are fishing off deep water docks and deep points with shiners after dark with crappie lights. Look for water from 20 to 35 feet and fish suspended about 14 feet. White bass are running on the north end of the lake and yellow bass are still being caught in 25 to 40 feet near creek and river channels.

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 e-mail at To find website Google 'Joe Joslin Fishing"

Fish Species: Bass
Bait Used: Berkley Havoc Bottom Hoppers, Stanley Spinnerbaits, Bill Lewis Traps
Tackle Used: Revo MGX and Revo SX Spinning reels/Veritas Rods by Aby Garcia.
Method Used: Working hydrilla(grass) by slow presentations with soft plastics as well as running Traps and spinnerbaits over the grass.
Water Depth: 2 to 18
Water Temperature: 58-62
Wind Direction: northeast
Wind Speed: 5 to 20
Client Terry Johnson with a 9.1 largemouth caught last Friday using a Carolina Rig in 10 ft with scattered grass.
Client Terry Johnson with a 9.1 largemouth caught last Friday using a Carolina Rig in 10 ft with scattered grass.

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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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