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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

Sam Rayburn Reservoir Fishing Report
January 3, 2018


The lake level on Rayburn is 161.60 which is 2.80’ below full pool which is 164.4. Water temp last Thursday/Friday was 50-52 but I’m sure its 46-47 today. We had a good day late last week but surprisingly caught everything shallow. It was cloudy and cold being 35 when we started and 39 when we made the last cast making the wind pretty tough bring down the chill factor to near 30. Thank God for good clothes and fishing gloves.

We caught everything in the hydrilla from 4 to 12 feet and used wacky rigs and Texas rigged Bottom Hoppers. A Bottom Hopper is a part of the Havoc Series by Berkley and it has served us well the past couple of years. It is 6.25 inches long and is a straight tailed worm that comes through the grass extremely well without causing a lot of commotion. I fish it on a 3/0 offset worm hook with 17 lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, Revo STX low profile reel and a 7’2” Fenwick Elite medium heavy fast action.

We fished mainly fairly close to the main lake because as we mentioned earlier the warmer water was on the main lake as the cold nights cooled down the shallow water.

I had done better on a wacky earlier but they just seemed to not want the wacky. I only got one bite (that I know of) on the wacky but it was a good 4-5 pounder. Our best five would have gone 18 lbs. or so and of course there’s always the one that got away. A client missed a double digit and he had her coming to the boat but she just came unbuttoned. I’m not sure who was the most disappointed……him or me. The big fish was in about 8 feet with scattered hydrilla and hit a June Bug Bottom Hopper.

Good friend Lonnie Stanley, who recently was voted into The Texas Freshwater Hall of Fame, told me 15 years ago that no matter how cold the water gets there will always be fish in 10 feet or less on Sam Rayburn. I have found that to be a true statement and it has proven itself numerous times. Probably because there are so many Florida bass in the lake.

Guide Joe Joslin

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