Joe Joslin

Hello, Anglers. Happy New Year! 2008 is here and my calender is already getting marked up. I am excited and really look forward to the months ahead. In just a few weeks, numerous hunters will hang up their camo, dig out their fishing tackle and drop their boat off at the marine dealership to be checked out.

Our winters, if we can call them that, are usually short-lived where as by February water temperatures usually begin to climb. With the right conditions, by mid-February largemouth bass will begin to move into spawning areas and become very aggressive prior to the spawn. This season is called pre-spawn and it is many anglers favorite season to fish.

READERS RESPOND: In an earlier column, I asked readers to respond as to how the high price of fuel is impacting their fishing. We heard from several of you with one being Louisiana fishermen, Randy Pennington, who shares that he is greatly affected by the elevated fuel costs but is not sure any of us can change the situation. Pennington further comments, "As for me, I've never really cared for long runs up the lake and always tend to look for spots with close access to the ramp."

He continues, "Of course,when the fish aren't biting it's tough to hang there. I always struggle with the decision to wait for the bite or waste time and gas running to another spot." He concludes by saying "Being retired and on a budget, I do make less trips on the water now. "

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is 168.5 feet which is up since the last rain. North Toledo is slightly stained, mid lake is mostly clear and south Toledo is very clear. Main feeder creeks do have a good bit of stained and even some muddy conditions. Water temperatures continue to fall and range from 52 to 54 degrees. According to SRA reports, both generators are currently shut down at the dam. However, this can change without notice.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Last week saw fishing on The Bend change somewhat as water temperatures fell. Deep structure was a key to catching bass with Carolina rigs, deep diving crankbaits and jigging spoons. Lake afternoons it was also possible to catch some good bass with slow falling plastics using Berkley Sinking Minnows and Yamamoto Senkos. I like the 5 inch versions rigged wacky with 10 and 12 pound test line. Late afternoon bite has been coming on a Stanley 3/8 ounce spinnerbait over 3-8 feet scattered grass.

Cold weather has bass relating more to deep brush and timber in 20 to 30 feet. You need a one half and three quarter ounce sinker on the Carolina rig and work it slow covering all angles of the cover. Jigging spoons are also getting a bit more productive in 30 to 40 feet near creeks and old river. It is work but if you stay with it, a DD22 and Fat Free Shad will get a few quality bites in the 3 to 6 pound class. Target points, creeks and areas where deep ditches come close to the bank.

CRAPPIE: Everyone is ready but the crappie. The strong cold front this week will hopefully be the needed ingredient to get the white perch back in their winter homes on the edge of the old river. We should know this time next week as its time for the chickens to come home to roost and the crappie to come back to The Chicken Coop.

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, Daiichi, Jay's Carpet One DeRidder, The Floor Trader Lake Charles and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or and WEBSITE

Fish Species: Bass
Bait Used: Stanley Wedge Spinnerbaits, Frenzy Mid diving crankbaits, Freenzy Rattl'r 1/2 ou
Tackle Used: Revo and Cardinal 802 feels and Fenwick 7' casting and spinning Techna series.
Method Used: waking spinnerbaits over shallow grass, stop n go crankbaits and wacky deadsticking Sinking Minnows and Senkos.
Water Depth: 4 to 35
Water Temperature: 55
Wind Direction: southwest
Wind Speed: 10
Tournament partner George Jeane Sr with a Toledo 9 pounder that hit a Frenzy Rattl'r in 4 feet scattered grass
Tournament partner George Jeane Sr with a Toledo 9 pounder that hit a Frenzy Rattl'r in 4 feet scattered grass

Guide surprise!   A 14 pound striper crashed a Stanley spinnerbait over 6 feet of water with scattered grass.
Guide surprise! A 14 pound striper crashed a Stanley spinnerbait over 6 feet of water 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
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Joe Joslin