Hello Anglers and outdoor fanatics. Toledo is on the rise again after two heavy rain and storm systems during the past week. The lake was close to 173’ msl. Monday afternoon as in 172.99 that required additional flood gates to be opened. Nine gates were opened to slow the lake level rise down somewhat as it rose 6 inches from Sunday until noon Monday. The good news is the weather from midweek on looks beautiful with no rain in sight which will be welcomed by all.
LAKE CONDITIONS: As was mentioned the lake is full and lots of water is being released and that release will continue this entire week. Water temps are running from 67-72 degrees which is warmer but could stabilize for a few days as night time temps are to fall into the 50s several nights this week. North Toledo is stained to muddy, mid lake is stained and south Toledo is clear with stained conditions in the main feeder creeks.
THREE MAJOR TOURNAMENTS ON TOLEDO
This coming weekend (May 7) Skeeter Bass Champs returns to Toledo with headquarters at Cypress Bend Resort. The event will feature in the neighborhood of 500 anglers as 250 teams will compete for thousands in cash with first place team winning $20,000. The following weekend (May 12-15) the Bass Master Elite Series will be in town again featuring some of the best bass anglers in the world.
This event is also using Cypress Bend Resort as headquarters. There is no cost for entrance so come out each day to see these talented bass anglers catch beautiful trophy largemouth. Weigh-ins will start at approximately 3 p,m. each day. This will be the third Elite Series event on Toledo in the past 6-7 years which is fantastic. The final event this month is The Toledo Big Bass Splash which is May 20-22 and will feature 2,000 to 3,000 anglers. Needless to say, things are humming on Toledo this month.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: There’s still a few bass on beds but not many as the spawn is basically over and post spawn patterns are becoming the norm. However, it has been a very interesting spring as the bass have had to adjust to multiple lake level changes in prime spawning season and anglers have had to adjust as well.
There are many ways to catch a bass currently with shallow patterns still successful and deep water patterns becoming more successful as each day passes. We caught some nice bass this week fishing 15-25 feet but shallow patterns continue to give up big bass. Top water loving anglers (and that includes most of us) are starting to have fun especially early morning and during cloudy conditions.
Some of my favorite top water baits includes Chug Bug, Yellow Magic, Gun Fish and Sebile’s new Flat Belly Walker which includes a 4 inch model and a 3 inch model. I alter the bait slightly by taking off back treble hook and add a feathered tail treble. I get 40-50% more strikes with the feathered tail and I do the same alteration with the Chug Bug. We also are using frogs with favorites being Stanley Ribbit and Top Toads. Favorite color Ribbit and Top Toad is watermelon red pearl and white. I fish the Ribbit pretty fast and the Top Toad slow with pauses. For frogs I use 50 lb Spider Braid, Revo STX and 7’2 Fenwick Elite medium heavy fast action.
Other fishing catching methods include Carolina rigged Berkley Power Lizards where we use light sinkers(3/16 and ¼) in water less than 10 feet and 3/8 and ½ oz in water 15-25. We continue to catch fish on Texas rigs, wacky rigs and drop shot. Drop shot and Texas rigs are used from 6 to 30 feet and wacky from 4 to 12 feet. We are starting to see schooling bass so always have something to throw a long distance like a jigging spoon. We are also using crankbaits including shallow, mid depths and deep diving crankbaits made by Berkley and Bill Norman.
CRAPPIE: Crappie guides Jack Adams and Noe Garcia report excellent catches of crappie over brush piles in 15 to 25 feet using live shiners and Crappie Ribbit Runts. If you want to catch some crappie the next two months are the months.