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 email@example.com
Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
April 15, 2014
MEMO: We just ordered our 2014 Skeeter 21 FX so our current boat (2013 Skeeter 21 FX)is for sale. The 250 SHO motor has had "non ethanol" gas run in it from the beginning. The boat is in perfect condition as it is fished mostly on South Toledo which has very little timber to scar lower unit and hull. No one takes better care of their boats than I do. It is powered by a 250 SHO 4-stroke Yamaha, factory warranty on everything until September 2015.
The boat is loaded with tons of upgrades, 3-Humminbird electronics including side and down-imaging. Fortrex 36 volt Minn Kota with 4 bank charger, DMS Security System with alarms plus many other extras. For photos and questions call 337-401-0264 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Price is $52,250(neg). Retailed at $84,500...present bank loan value near $65K.
Hello, Anglers. Wow! Spring 2014 has been challenging and continues to be such. We have canceled more days due to weather this year than any I can recall. To look at the positive side, the slower spring takes to develop the better May and June will be. I have been off the lake the past two days due to small craft advisory using the good judgement God gave me. By the time most of you are reading this, hopefully I will have been back on the lake trying to figure out how much the cold front impacted fishing patterns. Such challenges make bass fishing a lifetime sport as even though you may have chased this beautiful freshwater creatures for 40 years, you still cannot connect all the dots when it comes to the spawn, the cold fronts, changing water temps, water clarity and lake levels just to name a few.
LAKE CONDITIONS: Toledo's Water level is 170.5 (at press-time late Tuesday) with both generators running but were to shut down Tuesday afternoon. Whether or not they are re-activated Wednesday remains to be seen. With the levels at 170(plus) and the area receiving several inches of rain, I suspect they will resume generating sometime this week. I would guess they shut them down Tuesday to give the river below the dam a little relief to minimize flooding downstream.
Water temps fell to upper 50s but will rebound to 60s by Good Friday. The lake will be crowded this weekend. Boaters use caution, wear lifejackets plus refrain from operating boat while using alcohol.
BASS FISHING REPORTS: By the time most of you get to the lake this weekend, many of the effects of the front will be minimized and bass should return to more normal patterns for mid April. Wednesday and Thursday could be somewhat more challenging with some of the high barometric pressure still around. Thursday should be better than Wednesday as far as catching bass. I fish mostly the southern one-third of Toledo which has a lot of clear water. The sun Wednesday should warm things up some as south Toledo is supposed to reach the upper 60s. Thursday is calling for some cloud cover so it could be good fishing Thursday.
Behind cold fronts I usually fish somewhat deeper and definitely slower. I also may go to lighted line and use 12 lb test on worm rod instead of 15 or 17 and also may use 8 to 10 lb test on wacky rigs. I also will chose banks that are deeper where the bass will not have as far to go to reach bait in shallow water. In addition, when fishing is tough I fish a lot of points. Normally, if there is an active bass anywhere it will be on a point. I also like points that have deep, scattered grass where I can find patches of grass in 10 to 14 feet depths.
As far as baits/tools to use behind cold fronts, I like weightless and light-weighted baits. I like to use a Berkley Sinking Minnow as well as a Senko. Both of these are 5 inches in length and I will rig them both wacky as well as Texas weightless. The wacky rig I use in slightly deeper water whereas I use the Texas weightless in shallow water with shoreline cover. I like to throw the TX weightless rig on the bank and slowly work it back to the boat. I use fluorocarbon (Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon) when I want the TX weightless rig to sink and braid or mono when I want it to float or stay close to the surface.
Another tool I use behind a cold front is a light weighted Texas rigged Berkley Bottom Hopper or Trick Worm. I like a 1/8 or 3/16 oz. weight and work this on the outside edge of the main submerged grass line which on south Toledo is from 10 to 16 feet. Again, I work it slow and use 15 or 17 lb. tests Berkley Fluorocarbon. By slow, I mean very slow with frequent pauses.
CRAPPIE: Before the last front there were lots of crappie in shallow water and was seeing a few anglers strolling crappie jigs and Road Runners on the outside edge of the grass line in 10 to 18 feet.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at email@example.com and website at http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.
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