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Toledo Winter Looking Good, pro guide Joe Joslin

     Fishing » Freshwater Fishing
Author Message
Joe Joslin

Location: Toledo Bend

Posted: Dec 29, 2012 at 7:11 AM Quote this post.

Hello, anglers and outdoors fanatics.

I Hope you had a Merry Christmas and was able to spend some of it outdoors. The weather has been good for fishing most days this past week if you don’t mind cold weather. We started several days last week with daylight temps from 30 to 35 degrees but when the sun came up it warmed quickly with most afternoons seeing 60 degree temperatures. Almost perfect weather as far as I am concerned when you slip into some Gortex before you head up the lake to your first fishing hole and take it off at 9 a.m. Sure beats the hot sultry days of July and August.


One thing I really enjoy doing is trying out new tackle and I get to do that on a regular basis. Spinning tackle for serious bass anglers used to be almost non existent as many anglers opted for heavy duty rods and reels spooled with heavy line. However, while it has taken several years, the acceptance of lighter line and spinning tackle into the average tournament angler’s tackle inventory has made mega head-way with a majority of top tournament anglers now ’on board’ with spinning tackle.

This has increased the demand for quality spinning tackle and has resulted in a major increase in the manufacturing of these units. One of those reel manufacturers that has significantly increased its spinning tackle product line is Abu Garcia. Currently they have three series with multiple reels in each series with a total of over 50 different spinning reel models which meets the needs of almost all fresh water situations and many salt water. These reels range in price from $29.95 to $249.95. The Cardinal Series is the most affordable followed by the Orra series and then the Revo Series which is the flag ship models.

I have used some of the reels in each family but for years we used the Cardinal Series as those were the only ones offered. These reels(Cardinal) all work great, affordable and stand up to on the water challenges as have caught lots of fish on them and multiple bass over 10 pounds on them.

The Cardinal Series($29 to $49) has also been newly re-designed and up-graded. Then 3 years ago Abu offered the Orra Series ($69 to $119) and wow have we enjoyed those. Then last year Abu Garcia came out with the first Revo spinning reel (Revo Premier-four models) and now for 2013 they have added the Revo Inshore(2 models), Revo SX( 4 models) and Revo S (4 models).

For the first time this past week I used a Revo SX30 on a Fenwick HMG 7’ medium action while drop shotting. After catching numerous fish and using it several days, I feel it is the finest spinning combo I have ever fished with in my fishing career. The SX Series has 4 models including SX10,20,30 and 40 with the smaller the number the smaller the reel and the smaller the line capacity.

The Revo SX30 I am using weighs about 8 ozs and holds 175 yds of 8 lb test. Like all the top selling baitcasting Abu Garcia Revos, the Revo spinning reels show excellent workmanship and the latest design. The Revo SX Series all retail for $159.95.

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level is 167.6 feet with generating 2 or 3 days per week one unit from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The surface water temperature ranges from 58-60 degrees. North Toledo is stained but clearing, mid lake is mostly clear and south Toledo is very clear. All major creeks have stained conditions in the upper portions.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Last week with cold nights and very cold mornings most all patterns have involved a slow presentation. We caught a lot of bass last week but had to slow down, use electronics and thoroughly work the structure. Winter schools of bass often bunch up tight and it is easy to miss them when you are out on main lake and major feeder creeks structure. This is really true when working a creek channel on large ridge or hump.

There are few things that I enjoy more when it comes to bass fishing than to search, locate and catch bass off of deep structure. What makes it even more challenging is that bass currently are anywhere from 2 to 40(plus) feet depending the weather conditions. However, a huge majority of our efforts the past month have been targeting depths of 18 feet and deeper with 30 feet(plus) the norm.

When weather moderates(3-5 days of south winds) we have been using a large spinnerbait(Stanley 3/4 oz and Jeane Tackle 1 oz) fished slowly on outside edge of submerged grass. We also have been working TX rigged Havoc Bottom Hoppers and Trick Worms on outside edge of grass as well as slow-cranking a DD22 on ridges of 15 to 30 feet.

On tough, high pressure days we are working jigging spoons and drop shot rigs. On jigging spoons we are using both 1/2 and 3/4 oz spoons in depths of 25 to 40(plus) feet. On our drop shot patterns we are working 20 to 40 ft depths with Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr in watermelon, w.m. red and shady watermelon candy. For spoons we use 17 lb test Berkley Trilene Big Game (clear and lo-vis greens) and drop shot we use 8 lb test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line on a Revo SX spinning reel with Fenwick HMG Spinning medium action.

The crappie fishing is fair but hasn’t ’gone nuts’ like it was this time last year. The main factor is that we have not had enough cold weather to pile the bait (shad) and the crappie in the deep holes along the Sabine River channel especially The Chicken Coop.

I have heard reports of fair-to-decent catches along the river but nothing to warrant a long drive to The Coop. Crappie guide, Noe Garcia, has been catching 25-30 good crappie out of his brush piles. The yellow bass are in good numbers along main feeder creeks and river channel and can be caught on spoons and tailspinners such as Norman’s Knock Off and Mann’s Little George. Wishing you a Happy New Year and God’s Blessings.

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or e-mail at joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com or Google Joe Joslin Fishing.
     Fishing » Freshwater Fishing

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