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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 joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com

Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
September 29, 2014

Hello, Anglers. Awesome weather we are having in southwest Louisiana/southeast Texas. This cool front is welcomed by basically all area outdoor lovers whether you duck hunt, preparing your deer plots/blinds or enjoying the super fishing we have in the fall. In this part of the country, hunting and fishing generates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars into our economy. Whether you are looking for a new deer rifle, new boat or a fishing reel there are plenty of choices out there. As Americans we are fortunate to have so many products to choose from as we pursue our favorite outdoor sport.

Since fishing is one of my passions as well as one of the ways I make my living, I stay informed on the fishing tackle industry and actually enjoy keeping up with the latest in fishing products and trends.

A company whose products I have used for over 40 years is Abu Garcia. Like so many bass anglers who have been around awhile, I learned how to throw a baitcast on a red Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 5000. Many years and products later, Abu Garcia now has the awesome Revo Series. Most serious bass anglers are familiar with Revos but might not be as familiar with a lesser known, lesser priced but still a quality reel called the Orra Series by Abu Garcia. These reels run from $50 to $100 less than Revos but are excellent reels for the money. Abu Garcia manufactures both a spinning series as well as a baitcast series in the Orra family.

I have used several Orra spinning reels for 2-3 years and have been extremely pleased. However, it has only been during the past 6-8 months that I have used Orra baitcasters. I now own an Orra Winch with 5.4:1 ratio (for crankbaits) and also an Orra SX which is an all-around reel with a 6.4:1 ratio. Both of these reels have performed flawlessly, they look great being low profile and have many of the Revo features. If you are looking for a new reel and have a limited budget, you might want to consider an Orra.

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level at midweek was 170.25 feet with one generator running over 12 hours per day. Water temps are falling from low 80s into upper 70s. Without heavy rain the lake will slowly fall for the next 4-6 weeks. North Toledo is slightly stained, mid-lake is mostly clear and south Toledo is clear-to-very clear.

BASS REPORTS: Cooler water temps have moved more bass to mid-to-shallow depths and have also made the fish more active and aggressive especially at dawn and dusk. Conditions on the lake are really pleasant and very enjoyable. We have been catching bass along the outside edge of the grass line for several weeks now and recent cooler weather has moved even more fish into depths from 2 to 12 feet. There are currently bass actually on the bank, especially early/late on wind-blown banks.

When conditions get this way, I am going to fish a Stanley double willow blade spinnerbait at least part of the day as well as a Bill Norman Triple Wing buzzbait. I usually start with the buzzbait to see how aggressive the bass are and then if they are not attacking the buzzbait, I move to the double willow spinnerbait. I'm going to give these two baits 10 to 15 minutes each before switching to soft plastics. I may fish a bank with no wind for the first 30-45 minutes or even longer if there is shade or cloud cover. If I catch some fish with these baits at sun up when it is still (no wind) and they stop biting after sun gets up I will try to find a bank with wind/wave action on the surface.

A bank with wind blowing in will almost always have more active fish than a calm bank with no ripple/wave action. The wind breaks-up the surface glare and gives the bass more security than a bank with no wind and a slick surface. It (wind/wave action) also puts additional oxygen in the water which also helps the fish to be more active. Don't be lazy and fish the calm side unless there is ample cloud cover and even then I prefer a bank with a ripple.

If I cannot get anything going on the buzzbait/spinnerbait I have been changing to a wacky-rigged Havoc Flat Dawg and Senko and work them on outside edge of both visible and submerged grass in 6 to 18 ft. In addition, since the water has cooled off, we are using more weightless Texas rigged Flat Dawgs and Senkos and are working them in depths of 2 to 12 feet. On tough days we are going to a TX rigged Havoc Bottom Hopper in shady watermelon candy and watermelon and work these slowly in 14 to 24 feet. We also are drop shotting Bottom Hoppers in 20-30 feet.

CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Anglers with brush piles say they are getting good crappie into their holes in 18 to 28 feet and are catching them both on jigs and live shinners. Yellow bass are all along edge of major creeks. Check out your electronics for schools of shad and work spoons and tailspinnners near them.

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848, joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com and website at Joe Joslin Outdoors - Guide Service - Toledo Bend Lake - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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