Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. Area reservoirs, lakes and rivers are slowly receding but Starks, LA, Bridge City, Port Arthur, Beaumont and Houston, Texas citizens will be weeks and even months before their lives get back to any degree of normalcy. Of course our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them.
LAKE CONDITIONS At midweek Toledo’s lake level was 171.7’ with one generator running 24 hours and all gates are closed at the emergency flood gates. Surface water temperatures are running from 81-83 degrees on the main lake and slightly higher in protected coves. North Toledo is stained, mid lake is slightly stained in the back of major feeder creeks but clearer as you get toward the main lake and south Toledo is clear.
BASS FISHING REPORTS: There continues to be several patterns working currently from shallow- to-deep with deep patterns working the best for me last week. However, with the moon on the decrease I look for the morning shallow bite to improve. That will include topwater (Gun Fish,Chug Bug,Yellow Magic), wacky rigs and Texas rigged Bottom Hoppers. I’m using 15 lb test mono (Big Game). In addition, small crankbaits are working and the one I am using is Berkley’s square bill called Square Bull. It runs 4-5 feet and I’m working it pretty fast (Revo STX reel with 7.1:1 ratio)with lots of pauses on 12 and 15 lb. test Trilene Fluorocarbon.
The first hour of daylight is normally crucial to a successful morning bite so if you are an hour late you could miss out, especially for the bigger bass. If I can’t get them to hit top water early I usually pick up my Texas rigged Bottom Hopper rig and look for main creek and main lake points using 3/0 hooks with a BH in green pumpkin, red bug or June bug. My sinker is a bullet type in 1/8, 3/16 or ¼ oz. sizes and I work the BH in 4 to 12 ft. and fish it slow with lots of pauses.
My best deep pattern has been a drop shot rig and we are fishing it from 18 to 30 feet using a fairly heavy sinker with constant northeast and eastern winds. I am using both a regular size Bottom Hopper (6.25 inches) and a Bottom Hopper Jr. (4.75 inches). Top colors have been green pumpkin, June bug and red bug. I always use a “Spike It” permanent chartreuse marker that I color about a 3/8 inch of the Bottom Hopper tail.
Remember, the BH tail floats so if you “dead stick” it (pause it) let it set 10-15 seconds and the tail will slowly rise looking very life like. I catch numerous bass doing this and the bigger bass seem to love it. Note: 10-15 seconds is longer than it seems so you made need to count it out….one one hundred…etc. You might be interrupted by a “Tap Tap”.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS
Crappie guide, Jack Adams, says the crappie will bite if he can get to his brush piles as the winds the past week have been from the north, north east and east. On Toledo most days they have been 15-20 mph. Live shiners are still the best bait fishing vertical on brush in 20-24 ft. on top of the brush. We are catching a few yellow bass on crankbaits, tailspinners and spoons mostly in schools with largemouth.
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 email@example.com, 337-463-3848/409-565-1288 and website www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.