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Fishing on Toledo Bend Lake

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

Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
June 13, 2018

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. Louisiana native, Greg Hackney, won the BASS Elite Tournament that was held on the Sabine River out of Orange, Texas. Hackney had a four day total of 48 lbs. 5 oz. and took home a check of $100,000. The top three included second place finisher, Gerald Swindle, who was awarded $25,000 with his 43 lbs. 11 oz. In third was Keith Poche who caught 43 lbs. and received a check for $20,000. The crowds were large each day for the weigh in but they would have been larger except for the rain and mud in the weigh in area.

Top water, buzz baits, Texas rigs and jigs were part of the techniques used by these very talented anglers in this tournament. The Sabine River is the main tributary into Toledo Bend and the water released from the dam on Toledo goes directly into the Sabine River.

LAKE CONDITIONS The lake level at midweek is 169.7’ with both generators running three hours weekdays. The surface water temps are ranging from 84 to 88 degrees. North Toledo is slightly stained, mid lake is mostly clear with some stained conditions in the back portions of major feeder creeks. South Toledo is clear to very clear.

BASS REPORT: The morning bite has been decent with top water and Texas rigs. On top water the Whopper Plopper has been a bait that many anglers are using. I fish the WP on 15 and 20 lb. Big Game mono with medium action 7’ Fenwick Elite Rod Series, low profile Revo reel. They do catch fish but they are pricy from $13 to $20 plus tax. There are several sizes 3 ½ to a 5 inch (130) version with this being most popular for bass. It’s been said the WP is a hybrid between traditional prop bait and a buzzbait.

Another method to catch bass early on my favorite fishin’ hole is a Texas rigged Bottom Hopper in June Bug. I look for a grassy primary point and start as shallow as 4 ft. at first light and then gradually move deeper as the sun rises. On my early rig I use a 3/0 Fusion worm hook and 3/16 black sinker. By 8:00 a.m. I will move to a 3/8 oz. sinker, 4/0 hook and a 10 inch Power Worm in Plum or plum apple. I will also move deeper from 12 to 25 ft. On both of these worm rigs I use 17 lb. test Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

We also continue to use a drop shot rig with a conventional d.s. rig I use 8 lb. test fluorocarbon or Trilene XL clear mono and with both of these I use spinning tackle. The XL has a 4.5 star rating. I also use a 3/16 oz. drop shot sinker. On a non-traditional drop shot rig I use 17 lb. test fluorocarbon, 3/0 hook with a 3/16 oz. sinker. On both of these rigs I use Bottom Hoppers in red bug or June Bug. On the conventional rig I ‘nose hook’ the worm and fish it vertical. On the non-conventional rig I bury the hook into the worm which makes it weedless and allows you to cast it.

Our normal depth to drop shot is from 15 to 30’. With the drop shot I like to fish the deep portions of a primary point plus humps and ridges that are 12 to 15 feet on top and drop to 20 – 30’ and deeper.

CRAPPIE Crappie guide, Jack Adams, says the bite is excellent and in jest said they are so big that there only 6 to a dozen. His best methods are live shiners fished vertically plus 1/16 oz. crappie jigs in 18’ to 26’.

Joslin is a pro guide on both Toledo and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact him at, 337-463-3848/409-565-1288. Joe Joslin is a syndicated writer and is published by numerous websites, newspapers and magazines. Check out his website at

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