Lakecaster Online

By Jim Alphin


This just in from Jim Alphin at our Toledo Bend Store:

Hey, we are open again!

As all of you may know, Hurricane Rita has made a mess of things here in East Texas. The city of Jasper, Texas took a hit that will take some time for it to get over. Most of the infrastructure is all in bad shape and they are still keeping most of the people out of town even now almost two weeks later. From what I have heard it will be at least another two or three weeks just to start to get things back to where they were about a month ago around here. However, if you have plans to go to Sam Rayburn Reservoir to fish, I have been told that most everything north of the bridge is open and going well.

As for us here at Gary Yamamoto's Toledo Bend store, I just got the electricity and lights back on Sunday (October 9th) and we'll have the store back open Monday morning (October 10th).

We have some minor roof damage and lots of trees down - but not much more. Considering the winds were up over 100 miles an hour here, I think we came out of this very well. I want to take a minute here and thank all of our customer and friends that came by and checked on us. We received invitations to dinner and places or two stay were offered to us. One customer got his lights back on earlier than most and he went out of his was to bring us the loan of his generator and some gas to run it. To all of you, Ben Matsubu, Donna Wilkerson and myself at the Toledo Bend store wish to say, "Thank you, neighbor." Though we were in pretty good shape ourselves, it did make us feel like we were home. Good friends are hard to find.

Let me tell you about the lake now. Believe it or not, the water level is low on Toledo Bend, but we got enough rain up north of us that we can use a few of the launch ramps now. Indian Mound and White Oak ramps are useable and the one right here at the store is okay too. You just have to be careful getting out. On the other hand. the Six Mile ramp is not one that you want to try just yet. There are others as well that with a little caution you can use. Now do not misunderstand me the lake is low, almost eight feet down, and the boat lanes can be very shallow. So use caution.

With all the bad stuff out of the way, let me tell you a good story about fishing Toledo Bend this week. The fishing here on Toledo Bend is always good this time of year but with the ramps having been out of the water, the hurricanes and all that, there has been no fishing pressure for over a month, and with this little cold front that came in here two days ago the fish have gone just about crazy!

I was out Wednesday from 9 am until about 2 pm and caught fish until I just had no more time left. Oh, I was out around Bug Island and the pipeline near the Pendleton Bridge. The smaller fish were up shallow in two feet of water. These were one to two pounders. The bigger fish from three to six pounds were holding out in 18 to 22 feet of water off the same ridge I was catching the small fish on - just deeper. I caught over forty fish and never moved the boat more than about fifty feet from where I started. I know this sounds like a fishing story, and I could hardly believe it myself. So I just had to go out again the next day to make sure I wasn't fibbing about it. I took a customer of ours out with me that day. I figured somebody has got to keep me honest!

So we went toward the dam and around the islands on both sides of the lake and to my surprise there was hydrilla growing out to 12 and 15 feet deep. The bass were schooling and busting water just about everywhere we went. Some of these schoolers, I am sure were four and five pound fish. Now I am not going to tell you that I caught as many BIG fish down south as we did at mid-lake - but we did catch just as many small fish down south. My guest had lived here some twenty-five years and his words were that he had not seen the fish this active in many a year. So for whatever it is worth to you, it was a great two days of fishing for me,
that is for sure. I don't think color made much difference as long as it was a watermelon with blue flake (color #328) Senko. I fished the Senkos both weightless and Texas rigged with a 3/8 oz. pegged bullet weight.

Here's a photo of one of the big bass I caught on a 328 Senko:

Again thanks to all of you and hope to see you in the store and on the lake soon. Remember to... Keep a Good Eye on a Tight Line!

- Jim Alphin
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits / Legend Boats
Visit Jim Alphin at:
Gary Yamamoto's Toledo Bend Pro Shop
Route 1, Box 1504
Hemphill, Texas

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