GIFT CERTIFICATES: We have guided Joe Joslin Outdoors gift certificates for Christmas and all occasions available and we can mail, fax or email them to you. For questions email us using our email at email@example.com. There's info also on our website at www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.
Hello, Anglers and outdoor lovers. We had our coldest night of fall/winter 2015 Monday as temps dipped into low 30s. I want to remind fellow boaters to make sure you lower your outboard motor lower unit so gravity can drain all of the water out to prevent freezing and a very expensive repair. Each year I hear about anglers forgetting to do this and having to put out big bucks to replace lower unit as water expands when it freezes and can crack the lower housing.
Depending on what size engine you have, your repairs can run from $700-800 to $3,000-$4,000. Also, since it is neglect, most insurance policies will not pay on this type claim so make sure your unit is properly drained each time you use it this winter.
LAKE CONDITIONS: At mid-week the lake level was 170.91 ft. with one generator running 24 hours. Surface water temps are from 63-66 degrees which is down about 4 degrees from last week. North Toledo is stained, mid-lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is clear with stained conditions in the back half of major feeder creeks. A fall season without hydrilla is not as much fun but I am thankful for the abundance of milfoil and coon-tail grasses.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Multiple patterns still is the deal as we transition from fall into winter patterns. In this part of the country there are always some bass in shallow water which I think of being less than 10 feet. I fish with numerous clients who view 10 feet as deep water but since I fish sometimes as deep as 40 feet I view 10 feet and less as shallow, at least for this report. This past week the spinnerbait did well for us as well as other anglers. Toledo regulars David Brown and Steve Thomas had a good spinnerbait trip last Friday morning fishing shallow grass with double willow bladed Stanley Vibrashaft spinnerbaits.
Jerk baits on the outside edge of grass are catching bass as are wacky worms in 8 to 12 feet. In addition, Texas rigged weightless soft plastics fished slowly over flooded grass are producing with Havoc’s Flat Dawg, Power Bait’s Jerk Shad, Senkos and Flukes top weightless soft plastics. The presentation is basically slow with long pauses. As I frequently tell my clients, “You cannot fish them too slowly.”
My observation is that 75% of anglers fish them too fast plus what some anglers feel is a slow presentation I would describe as fast. Anyway, hopefully you get the message….slow down and smell the roses and get bit along the way. I think the bass get accustomed to seeing a bait hopping along but they don’t often see a soft plastic easing along and stopping.
Also, I catch lots of bass “dead-sticking” a worm where you throw it out and don’t move it. I make sure I have enough slack out of my line so I can feel the bite.
For this I love Havoc’s Bottom Hopper which has a floating tail so you can throw it and let it set still while the tail is slowly rising. This looks so natural to the bass plus in south Toledo’s very clear water you have got to make it look real. Our deep patterns continue to be Stanley Bug Eye Football jigs, Carolina rigged Chigger Craws, jigging spoons and drop shot.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Crappie guide Jack Adams is still catching nice crappie but his numbers are down but the quality is excellent. 25 feet is about the best depth with live shiners. I have neighbors on south Toledo with deep docks that are catching nice crappie at night. Yellow and white bass are decent in deep schools with tail spinners(Norman’s Knock Off and Little George) and jigging spoons.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor writer, Texas TPWD Licensed pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and website www.joejoslinoutdoors.com. 337-463-3848 or 409-565-1288.