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Toledo Shallow Patterns Return by guide/Joe Joslin

     Fishing » Freshwater Fishing
Author Message
Joe Joslin

Location: Toledo Bend

Posted: Feb 11, 2013 at 7:59 AM Quote this post.

Hello, Anglers. Wow, February already and fishing patterns are showing that as well. Check out the latest info in the "Fishing Reports" section of this column for hints to catch pre-spawn bass and crappie. We have been hearing from lots of anglers the past week from booking trips, tackle questions, boat issues and on-board electronics recommendations. With recent mild weather, there is no doubt that fishing is on the brain of numerous lake area residents and they have turned their thoughts from the woods to the water-ways.

I’m in touch with multiple business owners in the boating/tackle business and anglers may be spending slightly more dollars early 1013 than they did at the same time 2012. These are cautious but hopeful signs of improvement. A negative is the high costs of gas which greatly influences whether anglers can get on the lake several times each month.

Gas prices have rocketed upward the past two weeks. I just filled up my Skeeter 21 FX which has a fuel capacity of 50 gallons and my Toyota Tundra which hold about 30 gallons. Neither were empty but I paid $148 to fill them both. Gas price increases cut directly into my profit margin as it does with many business owners and fuel expenses have increased significantly for me the past two months.

LAKE CONDITIONS: Water conditions are good all over the lake with the lake level at 168.6 feet and surface water temps are running between between 53 and 58 degrees with some afternoon temps near 60 in sun-exposed coves. Both generators have been shut down at the dam for the past two weeks and north Toledo has stained conditions, mid lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is clear. All major feeder creeks have stained water conditions in the upper portions but clearing as you get closer to the main lake.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: We have had some really good days the past week with multiple patterns necessary to stay on the fish. Some days have been easier than others as one day the fish are easy to pattern while the next day it takes some effort. We have plenty of excellent submerged hydrilla on the south end of the lake and more and more bass are relating to the grass.

We have grass as deep as 20-24 feet but my best success has been in the scattered grassy areas as apposed to the heavy grass. One type structure that has almost been a sure bet is to find a ridge with scattered hydrilla close to a deep drop-off where the ridge is 8 to 15 feet and drops off to 20 or 30(plus) feet. Bass are using these to hold in pre-spawn staging and feeding areas.

For our last few trips we have been catching bass on Norman’s DLN(medium diving crankbait), 1/2 and 3/4 ounce Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps and Stanley’s 1/4 and 3/8 oz Vibra Wedge double willow spinnerbaits as far as hard baits. We haven’t been working any of these very fast with the exception of th Rat-L-Trap which we have been using several different presentations to get a bite including a stop-n-go.

We are working the DLN on ridges and points, the spinnerbaits over and along the edges of scattered shoreline grass as well as on grassy points. We are using the Traps in similar situations as spinnerbaits but also using the Traps to fan-cast the back portions of feeder creeks where bass are beginning to show-up.

In addition, we have had days where the trio of baits mentioned came up short and we had to go to soft plastics and slow down. On the soft plastics side we have been using a Texas rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper in Shady Watermelon Candy, green pumpkin and w.m. red working drains/ditches, points and grassy ridges.

Fish this rig slow and slower...yes..even stop it. We are also beginning to catch bass on wacky rigs using the Bottom Hopper, Bass Kandi’s Sweet Stik, Senkos and Trick Worms. We are working these on outside edge of grass as well as inside grass line. This pattern is only going to get better.

We continue to catch bass on deeper patterns, namely on football jigs(Stanley Bugeye in 3/4 oz), Carolina rig and drop shot. We are working these from 15 to 40 feet with 20-30’ getting the most attention plus we continue to use the jigging spoon on some of the deeper areas

CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Crappie Guides Ernie Cole and Noe Garcia have continued to catch crappie at The Chicken Coop as Cole caught a limit of quality crappie on Monday of this week fishing 32 to 37 feet with live shiners. However, they(crappie) are starting to scatter at The Coop as some anglers have struggled to catch decent numbers.

Part of the the reason is we are getting closer to the spawn plus the water temps at The Coop have risen to upper 50s which always results in the crappie migrating out of the main Sabine River channel towards feeder creeks to get ready to spawn. Yellow bass continue to be in deep water and can be caught on spoons and tailspinners.

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" for more info.
     Fishing » Freshwater Fishing

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