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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
April 26, 2015

Hello, Anglers. Toledo has been red hot the past three weeks for bass over six pounds with a majority of those post spawn bass meaning they had already spawned and were exhausted and run down following 7-10 days of the spawning process. Spawning is very stressful on bass with large females often times losing as much as 1 to 2 pounds during the process. The lake level has been good all spring and should remain so this month as well. My end of the lake (south Toledo) is in beautiful shape with just one major concern. When the lake flooded early spring, the lake jumped up almost three feet in just a matter of days.

The rise in the lake level floated infestations of giant salvinia(dreaded tropical plant) located in several areas north of the bridge and loosened them. After floating freely, the strong current from the water release at the dam moved them south and the dreaded plant ended up in all the major feeder creeks south of Pendleton Bridge. Whether or not the plant will end up infesting areas down south remains to be seen. Hopefully, it did clear some of the infested areas north of the bridge...at least temporarily.

LAKE CONDITIONS: Early this week the water level was 172.3 feet with both generators running 24 hrs daily. Water temperatures are up to upper 60s with North Toledo stained, mid lake is stained to slightly stained and south Toledo is clear on the main lake with some stained areas in back parts of major feeder creeks.


There continues to be multiple patterns that are working from shallow topwater to drop shot to 25 feet. On topwater, I like Stanley's Top Toad and Ribbit frogs as I usually start with the Ribbit which is a buzz bait type frog that comes through/over floating grass and pads really well. I also love to work the Top Toad which is a floating frog that is super to slowly work over shoreline grass. These frogs will catch bass and I use Spider Braid 50 pound test on both of these frog applications.

Other topwater lures we are using are a Pro Pop by Bill Norman (has a teaser tail) and an awesome new walking bait by Sebile's called the Flatbelly Walker. I use 15 lb. test Trilene Big Game on both poppers and walkers with a 8.1 ratio Revo STX reel to walk the new Sebile with ease matched with a 7'3" Abu Veritas medium action rod to help with super long casts which is necessary for regular topwater as well as schooling bass.

Basically, 12 months out of the year I have a Texas rig on deck of my boat and rig it with bullet weights from 1/8 to 1/4 oz. using a 3/16 oz sinker over 50% of the time. Many of my readers ask specific questions of what tackle I normally use on a Texas rig. I use painted black sinkers, 3/0 Daiichi off-set high carbon worm hook, 17 lb test Trilene 100% Pro Grade Fluorocarbon, Revo STX reel and Fenwick Elite Tech Bass 7'3" medium heavy worm rod.

For Texas rigged soft plastics we like Berkley Havoc Bottom Hoppers (6.25 inches) and Trick Worms. Best colors in the clear water we fish include the watermelon family as well as green pumpkin family. Fish'em slow.

The post spawn is also great for crankbaits this month which always has a lot of suspending bass and a crankbait is super for those fish. I use a DLN (Deep Little N), a NXS and a DD22 depending on how deep I need to reach. I like shad patterns as far as colors but also will use fire tiger and blue/chartreuse. If I could only have one crankbait color on Toledo it would be blue/chartreuse.

I also have a 1/2 oz jigging spoon on a spinning rig with 10 lb test Big Game or Berkley XL which allows me to reach those schooling bass that seem to come up just out of reach of most casts. We are also beginning to rely a lot on drop shot rigs and will drop down to 8 lb test/spinning rig and my standard drop shot worm is Havoc's Bottom Hopper Jr (4.75 inches).

CRAPPIE/BREAM: You can still catch a mess of crappie strolling currently using a 1/16 oz. jig on the outside edge of the grassline in 8 to 16 feet depths. Also, some of the bigger white perch are being caught on a Blakemore Road Runner which is a small jig with a small spinner attached. Some are also showing up in brush piles but the brush piles will become even more productive in mid May through June. feet.

Those crappie anglers who have invested time and work and built brush piles will soon have a ball. In addition, bream will start to bed early May and they should be awesome this year due to the full lake levels. Bream will have a lot of area to bed. God Bless and Good Fishing!

Guide Joe Joslin

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