BULLETIN: We sold our 2016 FX 21 today. Time to decide on new boat. I'll go back with another 21 FX but deciding options is not easy when you are trying to get the most bang for your buck.
Hello, Anglers. Summer is on its way out as far as the calendar goes but we still have several more weeks of hot weather. We usually get our first weak cool front around Labor Day so that’s not so far away. There is something special about that first cool north air and the first flock of blue winged teal circling overhead. I’m ready for all of that and more. Following Labor Day weekend we always see a dramatic drop in boat activity as numerous outdoor lovers winterize their bass and bay boats and fire-up the ATVs and begin to get the hunting camp ready for dove, duck, squirrel and deer hunting.
This is a super time to be alive in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. Hunters are happy to be in the woods and anglers are excited to arrive at their favorite fishing spot and find no one else there.
LAKE CONDITIONS: At midweek the lake level was 171.6’ msl (mean sea level) and with both generators running 12 hours from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and all gates are closed at the emergency spillway. Water temps are 83-85 on main lake and higher in protected coves. North Toledo is slightly stained,mid lake is mostly clear and south Toledo is clear to very clear.
FISHING REPORT BASS: There’s lots of cloud cover this week and will continue into the weekend according to weather reports. This will make for some good top water action and possible schooling action too. With the moon in a full phase yesterday, the moon will be bright every night this week and should be good night fishing as well unless nocturnal storms keep night fishermen off the lake.
With the moon basically in a full phase all week the best schooling activity could be in the middle of the day say from 10:00 a.m. until 3 p.m. Of course daytime storms could alter the plans of anglers wanting to get into some schooling activity. However, cloudy conditions with no storms could set up ideal conditions for schooling bass.
To find schools of bass look for creek channels and bass should be on flats in 15-25 ft. close to a major creek. Most good electronic units have built in maps that clearly show the creek channels. I often slowly follow these creeks/bayous keeping my eyes on my console unit running a split screen with half on sonar and half on Down Imaging (D I). I have found many schools this way. If they are suspended in 15 feet or less they should come up and school (chase shad). If I find a large school of bait and fish on the bottom in less than 30 feet I will drop a spoon, drop shot or ½ oz. jig on them.
One thing bass like to do in midsummer is to suspend in the trees along major creeks and wait for schools of shad to pass over them. They will gang up with other bass and circle the bait fish (shad) making circle smaller and smaller and closer to the surface until they drive them to the surface where they attack them like a pack of hungry wolves. Once they are on the surface they have no other place to go but to jump making them easy prey for the hungry largemouth.
In a school there are several baits that work on schooling largemouth including popping and walking topwater lures. Also, small lipless baits like Rat-L-Traps (Bill Lewis) in shad patterns works great on schooling largemouth. I often use a ¼ oz Trap on a baitcast with 12 lb. Big Game mono which the light line makes it easier to cast for long distances.
If it’s windy I move to ½ oz. I also like a small, square bill shallow running crankbait in shad patterns as well as a spoon and tail spinner. All of these baits are good on schoolies so have them ready to try in order to see what the bass want the most. Of course, we are spending most of our time fishing deep soft plastics in 20-30 feet. However, bass are starting to school more so have several schooling rigs on the deck ready to fish when that school erupts.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Crappie guide Jack Adams says crappie continue to be corporative and they are catching limits most days. They are hitting on brush piles that have been freshened with green leaves/branches in 20-26 feet. They are also biting on home owners with deep docks as well as under major creek bridges like Pendleton and Lanana. Yellow bass are schooling with largemouth. I have seen enough schools of yellows on my HB electronics that I can recognize them. They look different than largemouth
Guide Joe Joslin
Joe Joslin Outdoors Fishing Guide Service
Visit Joe's Website at JoeJoslinOutdoors.com