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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
October 16, 2018

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. We finally have a legitimate cold front and it’s already brought the water temperatures down 4-5 degrees and with lows around Toledo last night and tonight in the low to mid 50s it will continue to fall. Especially with cold rain which brings water temperatures down rapidly. In addition, this front will speed up the normal fall migration of baitfish (shad) to the backs of major feeder creeks. Where baitfish goes bass will follow as bass follow the bait.

LAKE CONDITIONS: With current rains the lake rose a few inches to 168.24’ msl. One generator is running three hours from 4-7 p.m. All gates are closed at the emergency spillway. Water temperatures have fallen to 77-78 degrees. North Toledo is stained, mid-lake is mostly clear with some stained conditions in the back of major feeder creeks. On south Toledo it is clear to very clear. However, with heavy rains we received earlier this week the back portions of large feeder creeks such as Housen, Six Mile, Mill Creek and Indian Creek will become stained.

FISHING REPORT: With water temps finally coming down and more bass are moving into large coves and shallow water. We are having some success fishing secondary points with grass in these large coves. Our most successful tools have been wacky rigs, Jerkbait (Skinny Cutter 110), Berkley square bill crankbait and Texas rigged Bottom Hopper in June Bug and Red Bug. We are also fishing deep ridges and humps with Carolina rigs and drop shot. On the wacky rig we are using Bottom Hoppers in June Bug and attaching a Hook Angel for just a little weight. When we wacky The General and Senkos I do not add any weight but fish them weightless.

On the jerkbait (Berkley’s Skinny Cutter) I fish it with 12 lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and a 7’3” Veritas medium action rod. This set-up allows one to make long cast which I like to do when fishing a j erkbait, This Skinny Cutter runs awesome and with 12 lb fluorocarbon it will run down 5 ft. I’m currently using shad patterns on my jerkbaits. On our Texas rigged Bottom Hopper I’m using a 3/0 off set Fusion worm hook, 1/8, 3/16 or ¼ oz sinker, 17 lb Trilene fluorocarbon line, 7’ Fenwick Techna Medium Heavy rod and Revo STX baitcast. This is a sweet rig and I can fish it many hours without putting it down. As far as Bottom Hopper colors, I like June Bug, shady watermelon candy, green pumpkin and red bug.

I probably fish June Bug and red bug mostly.

On our deep patterns we are using Carolina rigs and drop shot from 12 to 28 feet and finding them mostly on the drops where it goes from 12 to 20’ (plus). I had a client (see photo) that was Carolina rigging a June Bug Bottom Hopper and caught a beautiful bass in about 20-22’ while fishing a main lake ridge. On our drop shot we use Bottom Hopper Jrs, zoom finesse and Robo worms. As far as successful colors, Bottom Hopper Jrs has been June Bug, zoom finesse has been watermelon pearl and Robo has been morning dawn. We are fishing the drop shot two ways;

If we use light line (8-10 lb test) we nose hook the worm but if we use heavy line we bury the hook in the worm like a Texas rig which allows you to cast it. The nose hook version must be fished vertically without casting since you have an exposed hook.

CRAPPIE REPORT: Crappie guide, George Jeane, reports that the crappie are still in 20 - 25 ft. but with cooling water temperatures they're starting to shallower brush in 12 to 18 ft. Live shiners have been the best but jigs are starting to work well in shallow water.

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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