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
February 9, 2016
February 9, 2016
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Hello, Anglers. When February comes around each year most serious bass anglers start thinking trophy bass and that is certainly true with this fisherman. However, this is also a transition time and weather has a huge impact on how many fish come shallow as well as how shallow they move up. We have just experienced a 5-6 day warming trend but we have a strong cold front waiting in the wings and by the time this report is read (Wednesday) the front will be in place in southwest Louisiana and southwest Texas.
Lows Wednesday and Thursday were in upper 20s to low 30s so this front will have a definite impact on bass movement to and from the shallows. This is always the challenge each year to stay on the fish because one week you can hammer them in 4 ft. and the next week you can’t get a bite there and have to back off and look for them on ledges. For tournament anglers it is common to whack them during practice days and a cold front hits the Friday before tournament Saturday and the patterns change completely.
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level midweek is 172.04’with one generator running 24/7 and no spillway (flood gates) open for the first time in several weeks. Water temps are running from 53-54 but should fall some later this week. North Toledo is stained, mid lake is slightly stained-to-clear and south Toledo is clear. The upper portions of main feeder creeks in south Toledo have some stained conditions.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: As we mentioned in the first part of the column, we are having to fish both shallow and deep patterns to stay on the fish. For the most part, early February is not a time for catching high numbers of bass. There are always exceptions like at the end of a long warming trend and just before the next cold front. This can be a very exciting time because not only are you catching lots of bass but you are catching quality bass as well. Bass want to feed during the pre spawn because their bodies need extra fat/weight to sustain them during the rigors of the spawning process. As anglers, we must help protect our fisheries so make sure we release those big females so they can spawn and reproduce.
We are using several tools and patterns to catch fish shallow and by shallow I mean less than 10 feet. I am slow-rolling over shallow grass a 3/8 oz.Stanley Vibrashaft with double willow blades and shad pattern skirts. Also, on ledges with scattered grass, I am working Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps in both ½ and ¾ oz. sizes with Rayburn Red, Cherry Bomb and Toledo Gold my favorite colors of Traps. On bright days, I also use a chrome/blue back or chrome/black back. We are also using Norman’s DLN(Deep Little N) on outside edge of grass and on ridges less than 12 feet. We are also using Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper on a Texas rig and working ledges that fall of from 16 to 35 feet as well as outside edge of grass in 8 to 12 feet.
In addition, we are working wacky rigged Bottom Hoppers, Trick Worms and Senkos on scattered grass in 6 to 12 feet. For deeper patterns we are working drop shot and spoons in 18 to 35 feet.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Crappie are slow according to my sources and The Chicken Coop is less than fair. We were catching a few nice ones deep with spoons but that has mostly stopped as the crappie are also thinking about spawning. I would fish under bridges at night vertical with live shiners. Yellows are scattered too but they can be caught if you find the shad.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, TPWD Licensed guide since 1998, 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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