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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
December 15, 2014
Hello, Anglers. I love fishing during the winter months for several reasons. We get to fish different patterns and structure than that we normally fish, the absence of hot, sultry days plus we experience a lot less boating/fishing pressure. Check out our fishing report in this column to see how we finally figured out how to catch some bass.
We had a good response from the Christmas gift selections listed last week so will list a couple more, as promised. Last week's rod and reel combo retailed about $300. The rod/reel combo we will mention today runs about $179 and will work on a variety of fishing situations. The rod comes from a new series by Berkley called E-Motion Series and has 15 rods in this family of rods including one for about any fresh water or inshore angling. These rods are getting excellent reviews and are proving to be both high in quality and affordable at $79. I personally own a 6'9" E-Motion medium-fast action rod and love it for spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps. If you wish to do a product search, Google Berkley E-Motion Rods and then enter the model number BCEMO691M-F.
The reel in today's combo is an Orra SX by Abu Garcia. It is a low profile baitcast and is in the same style as Abu's Revo Series but sells for less at $99 and also gets good ratings. I personally own four from the Orra family including an ORR SX, an Orra Winch and also two spinning reels. For the money they can hardly be beaten. I have used the Orra SX in numerous situations and it works in just about any method of fishing from Texas rigging to top water. It has a 6.4:1 ratio, holds 145 yards of 12 lb. test line, has 15 pounds of drag and only weighs 7.3 ounces. I personally would give the Orra SX a rating of between 4-5 stars which is what I have seen most other's rating it. Of course, the rod or the reel would make a great gift by itself.
In case you get really hard up for a gift idea, please consider one of our gifts certificates from Joe Joslin Outdoors Guide Service. For info on our gift certificates please send us an email email@example.com. or give us a call at 337-463-3848.
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level mid week was 168.23 feet with both generators shut down. Water temps are running from 56-58 degrees and water conditions are about normal for this time of the year. We find mostly stained conditions on the northern one-third of the lake, clearing as you come south with mid lake mostly clear with slightly stained conditions in some of the feeder creeks and clear on the main lake. South Toledo remains clear-to-very clear with some stained conditions up the creeks due to last week's 3-5 inch rain.
FISHING CONDITIONS/BASS: With colder weather the past few weeks I am noticing a decrease in the amount of deep, submerged hydrilla. That is not necessarily a bad thing because there is still plenty of grass and I actually look for areas where the grass is more scattered as apposed to being thick and matted. It is these areas that I have been targeting the past few weeks using both Texas rigs, wacky worms and a variation of drop shot rigs. Last week we had to work hard most days to put together a decent catch of largemouth. We did do much better last Thursday and Friday as the bass moved slightly more shallow and became more active ahead of the front.
Our single best tool was the reliable Texas rig worked on points and outside edges of humps and ridges in depths of 14 to 20 feet. This is slightly more shallow that a few weeks ago when we concentrated in 16 to 24 feet using the same patterns of Texas rigs. As the bass moved slightly more shallow, we did catch a few on wacky rigs as well as a variation of the drop shot where we used heavier line and buried the hook in the worm so it would come through the grass. However, we still boated 70% of our bass with the Texas rig using Berkley Havoc Bottom Hoppers and Trick Worms working them in scattered grass and on the and on the outside edge of the grass.
Best colors for us with Bottom Hoppers were Shady Watermelon Candy, watermelon and green pumpkin with Trick Worms in w.m. candy, w.m. candy red, w.m. magic, w.m.purple and candy bug. Our drop shot soft plastics are Bottom Hopper Jrs (4.75 inches) in watermelon and shady w.m. candy.
The crankbait bite has been minimal but has produced a few solid bass as we are working a DLN (Norman's Deep Little N) and their new NXS worked on the outside edge of the grass in 12 to 18 feet. Colors for the crankbaits are firetiger early and chartreuse/blue and sexy shad during the day. Work'em slow with pauses. Every bite I got was on the pause. We are still catching some bass on spoons but the bite last week was not as good as late November. When the weather warmed up the spoon bass scattered.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: The white perch were trending deeper but the warm up scattered them a bit. They would pile in the deep winter holes along the river if we had a week of cold weather. The water temps on the main lake needs to get down to 50 or less for that pattern to trigger. The water clarity at The Chicken Coop is good so we just need cold weather. Cold, clear water is what we need. We continue to catch a few crappie while using a jigging spoon but they are big. Yellow bass are only fair as they scattered too with the warm-up.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. 337-463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org and website at http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com/
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