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toledo bend express realty
Water level on 03/20 at 07:15 AM CST
171.20 ft 0.80
Water level for the last 30 days

Weather Forecast

TodayMar 20, 2019
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

Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
March 11, 2019


Hello anglers and outdoor addicts.  This morning we woke up to one of the coldest mornings of the season.  I have clients this morning (Wednesday) but we agreed to start a couple of hours later.  Before I left my lake house the thermometer on my deck read 30.  When I woke up at sunrise it read 28.  Thank God for Gore-Tex.   If the meteorologists get it right, it’s supposed to warm up to the mid-50s today.   That would be awesome!



The Bass Master Classic is scheduled for March 15-17 on the Tennessee River, Knoxville, Tenn.  Most all the contenders you would know including, Kevin Van Dam, Skeet Reese, Todd Faircloth, Brent Chapman, Edwin Evers and Mike Iaconelli to name several.  However, this could change next year with Major League Fishing taking the bass fishing world by storm. To find out more about MLF……. Google it.   Most folks reading this fishing column are already familiar with the MLF format with a weigh master and camera person in each boat and the fish is caught, weighed and released immediately.  Also each weighmaster has a scale and computer that is linked to the other boats so everyone knows what is going on.  It’s perfect for television and is the highest rated fishing show on the air.         


LAKE CONDITIONS:  Early this week the surface temperature was 53-54 but it definitely will trend downward through today/ Wednesday.  North Toledo remains stained, mid lake is slightly stained but clearer towards the main lake. South Toledo is mostly clear but there’s some off colored water in the back of major feeder creeks.  According to the SRA the lake level at midweek was 171.2’ with both generators running 24 hours daily and at the spillway all gates are closed.



 We continue to catch bass both shallow and deep and that will not change with these strong cold fronts.  Our shallow water patterns include Stanley Vibra Wedge double willow spinnerbait, Texas rigs and wacky rigs.  Our deep patterns include drop shot, Carolina rigs and ½ oz. football jigs.  On our Texas rigs we use a 3/16 oz. black bullet sinker, a 3/0 offset hook and for line I like 17 lb. test trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.  As far as lures we are using Berkley Power Bait Bottom Hoppers in June Bug and red bug.  We are working the Bottom Hoppers very slowly with pauses in 4 to 8 feet hydrilla. 

On our wacky rigs we are using The General and Senkos in green pumpkin red and watermelon blue flake.  We are using spinning tackle and 10 lb. test Big Game monofilament.  We are working our wacky rigs in 4 to 8 ft. over grass and we are catching fish both on the inside and outside grass line. If it’s cloudy we will catch most on inside but if it’s bright we catch more on outside. On our Stanley spinnerbaits, we are either slow rolling them off the bottom or waking them on the surface. In addition, I like to have at least one copper/gold willow leaf blades on my spinnerbaits.  Far as color I like white/chartreuse or LSU.

On our deep patterns we are having good results on a drop shot.  My choice is spinning rod/reel, a Bottom Hopper Jr in morning dawn and a #2 Fusion drop shot hook. We nose hook the Bottom Hopper Jr and fish it vertical. I normally drop shot on a point or a ridge and I keep my eyes on my Humminbird electronics as I am looking for bait and fish.  I will not stay in one place but 10-15 minutes without a bite or catching or a bass. I will not move very far but I will move approximately 20 yards.  If we get a bite, I will “spot lock” my Ultrex trolling motor.  Of course of we are catching fish we will stay there until they stop but if they stop biting we will move another 20 yards.  Currently, after this front, there are several schools of bass on ridges but you have to keep moving around until you find them.  The wind is also as issue because most of my main lake ridges are very exposed to the wind.

A Carolina Rig works great in the wind and this time of the year I like a Power Bait Lizard on my C. Rig. I rig my Carolina rig the old fashion way using three Palomar knots, a bead and swivel. With the water as cold as it is I work my C rigged lizard very slowly with a 36 inch leader.  On my football jigs I like ½ oz. Stanley Bugeye in black and blue skirt with a trailer the same color.  In addition, I use 17 lb. test 100% fluorocarbon and a medium heavy 7’3” Veritas rod.



Crappie guide, George Jeane, said some of them are spawning as they fished a fished a good bite this week and caught a few. However they did see several white perch on beds. This cold front will push them back for a few days but with a great warm up this Friday, Saturday and Sunday they will be back on their beds and biting.    



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


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