Hello anglers and outdoor fanatics. The weather continues to impact fishing as it always does but this winter/early spring has been hard to figure out. We had a warm winter and now it has decided to have frequent cold fronts. The winds have been almost constant for the past three weeks with often strong east winds. We always have some east winds in winter/early spring but winds from the east/east northeast have been the dominant winds of late.
Strong winds from east/east northeast severely limits the areas that are fishable. Due to recent cold fronts we have had night time lows in the upper 30s and lower 40s which is impacting fishing. However, with a couple of warm days/nights water temperatures will rebound. However, we continue to catch fish in spite of tough conditions but our numbers were down Monday but that will change the next few days.
LAKE CONDITIONS: At mid- week the lake level is 169.5 with no generating scheduled at the dam and all spillway gates are closed. However, there has been some generating over the past week usually one generator running 4 hours per day. Water temps Tuesday were 59 on main lake and 61 in coves showing a drop in temps due to cold front. . Some coves registered as high as 62. These temps were taken on south end of the lake whereas coves on the northern portion of the lake had temps as high as 64. North Toledo is stained; mid-lake is mostly clear on the main lake and stained in feeder creeks and south Toledo is clear.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Over the past week we have caught lots of bass but cold fronts Sunday/Monday did impact fishing activity and also moved bass slightly deeper. Our best day last week was Thursday catching 31 with a 6 pounder, a 5, couple 4s and numerous other quality bass.
We had been catching most of our fish in 2 to 6 feet but Monday the sweet spot was from 4 to 8 and even caught some in 12 to 18’ as the bass went deeper due to cold front. We also had to slow down the presentation and caught most of the deep fish on Carolina rigs and football jigs.
A warm-up is happening the remainder of this week will have bass back on shallow patterns and the “week-end warriors” will finally have a decent weekend to catch bass instead of fighting a cold front. When I fish behind a cold front in the early spring I do at least three things differently. One is to target points, two is to fish even slower than I usually fish which is already slow and last I fish slightly deeper. Fishing Monday behind a strong cold front we caught 90% of our fish on points. Some were not major, obvious points but where shallow grass extended several feet out in the lake.
I have found that some active bass following a front will be holding on a point. If they are not at the same depth you have been catching them (say 4-8’) don’t hesitate to work the deeper areas of the point. Oftentimes, following a front, bass will simply move from the 4 to 8 foot depths they have been using to 10 to 20’. There are several baits during these circumstances including crankbaits, Carolina Rigs and jigs to name a few. I also will use a drop shot.
The rest of this week fish will tend to move back to depths less than 10’ until the next front. For the next few days we will target bass using Texas rigged Havoc Bottom Hoppers, Wacky rigs, jigs, Carolina rigs and square bill crankbaits. We also use swim jigs and Texas rigged weightless Flat Dawgs and Senkos.
CRAPPIE: Crappie guide, Jack Adams, says docks & brush piles are still producing. However, he adds “Cold fronts are keeping them from committing to the shallows to spawn as water temps need to come up and stay.” Adams reported that the ones they are catching are big.
Joe Joslin is a syndicated writer and is published by numerous websites, newspapers and magazines plus is a pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org, 337-463-3848/409-565-1288 and website www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.