If you are planning on getting in some fall fishing, the next couple of months are about it good as it gets on my favorite fishin’ hole.
LAKE CONDITION: The level is 168.35 feet with one generator running from 3 to 5:30 p.m. currently. Water temps fell to 79 degrees last week behind the cold front but have inched back up to 83 degrees since daytime temperatures have been in upper 80s. Water conditions continue to be excellent all over the lake with slightly stained conditions on the north end, mostly clear at mid lake and very clear down south. I’m fishing a lot of really clear water on the south end with visibility from 6 to 8’. Deep, submerged grass is almost non-existent up north, mid-lake has a little and south Toledo has a lot in places. Shoreline grass is good almost everywhere on the lake with cooler water temps resulting in more fish using water depths of 2 to 8 feet.
One factor currently is to find a grassy point either on the main lake or a main feeder creek. When you find a point with grass, fish it either early/late afternoon or during cloudy conditions and you can almost be certain of some bass action. If there is water that is 20 ft. deep or more that is close to the point then the area should be even more productive. Patterns/lures that are working in these conditions include top water(Pro Pops and Yellow Magic), Stanley Vibra Wedge spinnerbaits(double willow blades), Texas rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom Hoppers, Trick Worms and shallow/mid-diving crankbaits such as DLNs/Little Ns/Baby Ns by Norman Lures.
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 email@example.com . and WEBSITE www.joejoslinoutdoors.com
Joe Joslin has fished Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn Reservoirs for over 30 years and has been a full-time licensed guide since 1998. He specializes in Largemouth bass and fishes most all of Rayburn and the southern one half of Toledo which many feel harbors more than its share of lunker bass.
One of the best known guides on Toledo Bend with nine bass over 10 lbs to his credit including the latest which was a 10 lb 13 oz south Toledo largemouth that was caught Dec 21, 2011 - and his largest bass to date is an 11 pound 8 ounce beauty that was caught in the Texas Island area of south Toledo.
In addition to guiding, Joe is a frequent tournament angler, outdoor writer for several newspapers/outdoor magazines and numerous websites. Joslin also frequently leads fishing seminars.
Joslin is based out of Indian Creek which is located on the southwest corner of Toledo Bend Lake on the Texas side which also is about 30 minutes from Rayburn.
Sam Rayburn has been pretty tough the past month or two. One of the main issues has been to find fish that are concentrated and another has been to find a significant amount of aquatic vegetation.....namely hydrilla. These issues are related. Currently the lake level is around 163 feet and it has been near that level basically for several months(late spring). When the lake rose so much during the spring, it rose very fast and covered the thick hydrilla that had been growing along the shoreline for nearly two years when the lake was low due to severe drought. This grass was basically in 1 to 8 feet depths so when the lake rose over 10 feet the hydrilla was then in depths of 12-18 feet. With Rayburn's slightly stained conditions, the deep hydrilla could not get enough sunlight to survive so most of it died. Hence, due to the lack of hydrilla, the fish are not finding enough structure to relate to so finding bass in significant numbers has been a challenge. The fish are scattered and with the lake basically at full pool there are a lot of acres to hang out.
Some drain/ditches/creeks have a minimal amount of hydrilla but you have to look for it. There are also some pepper grass and pads but this habitat is also limited. Some action is occurring at the break of dawn on floating grass on the points on main lake and main creeks. Stanley Ribbits, buzz baits, Yellow Magic and Pro Pop(Norman) are my suggestions for these grassy points. The first 30 minutes are crucial. The other pattern where we are catching a few fish is deep diving crankbaits(DD22) (15 to 25') and these also have been the best early.
We are catching some big spotted bass on Stanley's Bug Eye football jig on deep points as well as a few largemouth. Also, I have never seen so many 2-4 lb drum in my life. I was getting thump after thump on my Carolina rig and could also see lots of fish on my Hummingbird Down Image but I could not get one to hang on so I switched to a spoon and caught 5(drum) on 5 drops. That's enough of that so we left that area but we also caught them on crankbaits as well. We have caught bass on a drop shot but most are 13-15 inches using Berkley's Wacky Crawler (5 inches) which is a thin profile worm. We need a cold front. Water temps are running from 86-90.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Website http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com/. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org