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Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report

Joe Joslin has been fishing Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn for 25+ years and has been a full time pro guide on Toledo Bend/Sam Rayburn since 1998.Joe Joslin Outdoors Fishing Guide Service Wholesome atmosphere * Safety minded * Latest equipment. Visit Joe's website at Joe Joslin Outdoors E-Mail Joe at joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com

Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
for
December 3, 2017

MEMO: We have Christmas gift certificates and they are very easy to obtain. We can email them to you, fax them or mail them. Half day certificates which are 4.5 hours on the water are $300 for up to two people. Full day trips/8 hours on the water for up to two people are $400. Call us at 409-565-1288(Toledo Lake House) or cell at 337-401-0264.

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. Wow the eagles have been active the past few days. On some days they have been more active than the bass. A couple of days late last week fishing was as tough as it’s been in a while. The bass are in transition right now with the lake “turnover” happening and that normally occurs in mid-to late October.

The turnover is associated with the thermocline which develops in the summer on Toledo and Rayburn.The thermocline is a line of demarcation (usually about 24-26 feet on Toledo/Rayburn)that separates water with ample oxygen from water that has little to no oxygen so in most cases you don’t need to fish much deeper than 25 feet in the summer because there is not enough oxygen to sustain life below that depth.

Concerning the turnover, the surface water is the first to cool in the early winter and cold water is heavier than warm so the heavy water sinks to the bottom creating the “turnover”. When this happens you can observe brownish bubbles on the surface which is the rotted material that has been on the bottom with no oxygen for several months. At times, you can smell it as it has a musty odor about it.

The main issue for my normal winter patterns is the water temperature is too warm. However, it is finally cooling as we had a couple nights last week as night time temps fell into the upper 30s.

LAKE CONDITIONS: Monday the lake level was 167.21 with no generating scheduled but they did generate some yesterday (Sunday)afternoon. However, there are minimal generating 2-3 week days with one generator usually running a couple hours daily to provide enough water for industry downstream. Water temperatures the past few days are 62-64 degrees.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS

With water temps remaining in the 60s we continue to have a shallow bite the first hour or so. I also fish banks and points that remain shady longer on a blue bird bright day. As water has cooled I am fishing a spinnerbait more usually a double willow Stanley Vibra Shaft Royal Shad (LSU) is my favorite color. I usually fish it slowly using a “yo-yo” retrieve lifting the bait and letting it fall on a “controlled” slack line. There is slack but not so much that I can’t feel when a bass takes it. At the slightest tap set the hook immediately.

We also continue to catch some nice fish on a wacky rig. I client recently caught a bass over 7 pounds in 4 feet of water on a secondary point in the Texas Island area so there remains some big bass in shallow water. Another technique we are using more recently is a Texas rigged stick bait rigged weightless with Berkley Power Bait’s new bait (The General) which is a five inch stick bait and is saturated with salt giving it an enticing fall when rigged weightless.

For the past several weeks our main shallow bait/pattern the first hour or so is a Texas rigged Bottom Hopper with 3/0 Fusion or Daiichi wide gap worm hook with 3/16 oz. black bullet sinker. We will fish this rig from 4 to 16 feet depths. In addition, we also fish a wacky rig the hour or so in the morning.

Our deep patterns are drop shot rigs (both traditional with light line plus heavier line where we bury the hook in the soft plastic) and we are using Bottom Hopper and Bottom Hopper Jrs. in June Bug, green pumpkin and red bug. We also are using a lot of Carolina rigs in deep water (12 to 32)using Baby Brush Hogs and Chigger Craws.

CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Toledo crappie guide, Jack Adams, reports that the fish are still on brush with numbers fair at 25-50 per day. He adds that “Size is really good with several over two pounds.” Adams and clients are catching everything on live shiners. A few yellows are being caught in the brush on shiners and we caught a few this week on spoons.

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. Wow the eagles have been active the past few days. On some days they have been more active than the bass. A couple of days late last week fishing was as tough as it’s been in a while. The bass are in transition right now with the lake “turnover” happening now and that usually happens in mid-to late October.

The turnover is associated with the thermocline which develops in the summer. The thermocline is a line of demarcation (usually about 24-26 feet on Toledo) that separates water with ample oxygen from water that has little to no oxygen so in most cases you don’t need to fish much deeper than 25 feet in the summer because there is not enough oxygen to sustain life below that depth.

Concerning the turnover, the surface water is the first to cool in the early winter and cold water is heavier than the warm so the heavy water sinks to the bottom creating the “turnover”. When this happens you can observe brownish bubbles on the surface which is the rotted material that has been on the bottom with no oxygen for several months. At times, you can smell it as it has a musty odor about it.

The main issue for my normal winter patterns is the water temperature is too warm. However, it is finally cooling as we had a couple nights last week as night time temps fell into the upper 30s.

LAKE CONDITIONS: Yesterday (Tuesday) the lake level was 167.35’ with no generating scheduled for Tuesday. However, there are minimal generating 2-3 week days with one generator running a couple hours daily to provide enough water for industry downstream. Water temperature midweek was 62-63.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS

With water temps remaining in the 60s we continue to have a shallow bite the first hour or so. I also fish banks and points that remain shady longer on a blue bird bright day. As water has cooled I am fishing a spinnerbait more usually a double willow Stanley Vibra Shaft Royal Shad (LSU) is my favorite color. I usually fish it slowly using a “yo-yo” retrieve lifting the bait and letting it fall on a “controlled” slack line. There is slack but not so much that I can’t feel when a bass takes it. At the slightest tap set the hook immediately.

We also continue to catch some nice fish on a wacky rig. I client recently caught a bass over 7 pounds in 4 feet of water on a secondary point in the Texas Island area so there remains some big bass in shallow water. Another technique we are using more recently is a weightless Texas rigged Berkley Power Bait’s new “The General” which is a five inch stick bait and is saturated with salt plus a very enticing fall when rigged weightless.

Our go to bait/pattern is a Texas rigged Bottom Hopper with 3/0 Fusion or Daiichi wide gap worm hook with 3/16 oz. black bullet sinker. We will fish this rig from 4 to 16 feet depths. Our deep patterns are drop shot rigs (both traditional with light line plus heavier line where we bury the hook in the soft plastic) and we are using Bottom Hopper and Bottom Hopper Jrs. in June Bug, green pumpkin and red bug. We also are using a lot of Carolina rigs in deep water (12 to 32)

CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Toledo crappie guide, Jack Adams, reports that the fish are still on brush with numbers fair at 25-50 per day. He adds that “Size is really good with several over two pounds.” Adams and clients are catching everything on live shiners. A few yellows are being caught in the brush on shiners and we caught a few this week on spoons.

Guide Joe Joslin

Joe Joslin Outdoors Fishing Guide Service
Visit Joe's Website at JoeJoslinOutdoors.com

God's Country Sportsmen's RV Park

Highway 87 South, Hemphill, TX
Phone: (409) 579-2621
E-Mail: grannybass50@yahoo.com