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Water level on 03/31 at 01:00 PM CST
172.44 ft 0.44
Water level for the last 30 days

Weather Forecast

TodayMar 31, 2020
Toledo Bend
Partly Cloudy

Joe Joslin has been fishing Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn for 25+ years and has been a full time pro guide on Toledo Bend and 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

March 24, 2020 Toledo Bend Fishing Report

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. There’s still more good news as numerous bass from 3-6 pounds are in water depth of 4-6 feet. This makes them much easier to catch.  Also, this time of year when I get a bite I expect it to be from 5-11 pounder.

LAKE CONDITIONS:   The lake level is almost full at 171.88’ as 172msl (mean sea level) is full. The SRA (Sabine River Authority) says both generators are running 24/7 and at the Emergency Spillway all gates are closed.  Water temperatures are running from 61 on the main lake to 65 in coves.   North Toledo is stained, mid lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is clear with some stained conditions in back of major feeder creeks such as Six Mile.

It has been 2-3 weeks since I’ve fished any deeper than 10 feet and most of the time, as I mentioned earlier, I fish in 4-6 feet.  I love these four patterns. The first is a Berkley Powerbait 5” Jerk Shad in Pearl White or Pearl Watermelon Shad.  I fish these weightless (Texas rigged) with a 4/0 hook and 17 lb. Trilene 100% fluorocarbon.   The fluorocarbon helps the bait to sink and I’m fishing it behind the flooded hay grass.

The second pattern is a wacky rig and I am wacky rigging The General in green pumpkin and pumpkin party. In addition, a 5 inch Senko’s in watermelon blue flake, mad melon and green winnie.  Also, Berkley’s Bottom Hopper in morning dawn. On my wacky rigs I use 10 pound test Berkley’s Big Game which allows the line to stretch since it is monofilament.  I also like to use  2/0 and 3/0 Aberdeen  hooks which I describe as a crappie hook on steroids.  I’ve caught several double digit bass and this hook has not bent at all.       

My 3rd pattern is Berkley’s Square Bill crank the Square Bull (formally Pit Bull). I like the 5.5 size which dives 4-5 feet and I love the shad patterns.  Google’ Square Bill crankbaits’ and you will find plenty shad patterns. I rig 12 pound test 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon which gets the 5.5 about 4-5 feet which is perfect for the Square Bull crankbait.  I crank it down fairly fast and then slow it down with 2-3 pauses as I bring it back to the boat. 

My final pattern is a Texas rigged Bottom Hopper in June Bug or Red Bug.  If it is bright/blue bird I use red bug plus if it is early/cloudy I use June Bug. I rig it with 17 pound test 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon and use a Palomar knot which is one of the best knots out there. After I started using the Palomar my break-offs went to almost nothing.  I also use a 3/16 black sinker which I think gets me more bites.  It is also about confidence and I have more confidence in that little black sinker

CRAPPIE REPORT:  While talking to crappie guide George Jeane early this week he said most of the crappie have finished spawning and started back out to deeper water for the summer. They are catching them suspended in trees with 1/16 crappie jigs in 30 feet of water suspended from 14-16 feet from surface .   





Photo Info: Bass angler Dick King with a trophy bass that hit a wacky rig.
Photo by Joe Joslin Outdoors


Joslin is a pro guide on both Toledo and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact him at, landline 337-463-3848/Cell 337-401-0264. Joe Joslin is a syndicated writer and is published by numerous websites, newspapers and magazines. Check out his website at