MEMO: We just posted a new Sam Rayburn report on this website.
Hello, Anglers and fellow outdoor lovers. I hear often from non anglers who do not fish but read this column because they love the outdoors and also love Toledo Bend. They also enjoy keeping up with the latest news around the lake and we enjoy talking about wildlife and the interactions with wildlife that we are privileged to have each week. We spend a lot of time on the water and since water is necessary for sustaining life, it is obvious that sooner or later various creatures will come to the shoreline to get water and we get to observe them.
Some people see more wildlife than others as you need to train your eye to look for various critters because most are very stealthy in how they move about because most are on the food chain of some creature. They learn to ease down to the water's edge, get a drink and then get back into the cover of the woods. One hint to see more wildlife is to look beyond the obvious and to closely, slowly scan the shoreline instead of just glancing at an area. It is amazing at how much wildlife is there for our enjoyment and is a huge blessing and makes fishing even more enjoyable.
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level remains high and at midweek stood at 171.5' (msl) mean sea level with no generation on the SRA schedule. Water temps have fallen slightly with the rain and cool front and my Humminbird units registered 86 to 88 degrees. Water conditions changed slightly with the run-off and showed north Toledo as stained, mid lake slightly stained in places but clearer as you get closer to the main lake. South Toledo is clear. Many parts of the lake have wide coverage of submerged grass with the northern areas having a good bit of pepper grass and eel grass growing from 2 to 10 feet. The southern part of the lake also has pepper and eel grass plus lots of deep, submerged hydrilla from 10 to 24 feet.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Bass patterns remain close to the same as they have been the past few weeks with one change and that is the increase amount of schooling bass which, in my opinion, has to do with the decrease of the moon phase and bass are feeding more during the day time and not quite as much at night. I had my grandkids with me recently for 2-3 trips on the lake and we were able to locate several good schools of schoolies and we had a ball. On one trip we took four of them together ages from 3 to 9 and each had their own rods. I had the girls (ages 3 and 5) rigged with their short pink push-button Shakespeare rods/reels and the boys (ages 7 and 9) rigged with a Shakespeare combo as well with a few more features and really good star drag systems. As the girls get older, we will upgrade them as well. Some how three things happened: One we had a blast, two, we caught fish and three, no one got a hook in them. We caught most of the bass on topwater and small spoons.
In addition to schooling bass, working a top water on grassy points early morning and late afternoon is catching some fish as is a Stanley Frog (Buzz Ribbit and Top Toad) over shoreline grass and pads. Working a Texas rigged Berkley Power Worm on the outside edge of the deeper hydrilla is a productive method in 18 to 25 feet. I also am working a drop shot in that same area when the Power Worm does not produce. A Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper (4.57 and 6.25 inch versions) is my 'go to' bait on my drop shot. Line choice is 8 lb Berkley 100% Trilene Fouorocarbon line and a Daiichi #1 and 1/0 wide gap drop shot hook. We also are using a Carolina rig in some of our deeper holes (20 to 30') with Power Worms (7 and 10 inches) as well as Chigger Craws and Speed Craws.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: The only crappie reports that I am hearing are from anglers fishing baited crappie brush piles and dropping live shinners down just above them. If I did not have a brush pile, I would fish early and late under main bridges. The yellow bass continue to be close to major creeks in 20 to 35' and are often with largemouth bass. A small spoon or tail spinner will work to catch them.
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, email@example.com and website at Joe Joslin Outdoors - Guide Service - Toledo Bend Lake - Sam Rayburn Reservoir