Fishing & Boating News

Duck Tales

Lake Sam Rayburn & Toledo Bend

by: Duck Wright,

(Sunday, November 01,1998 - Zavalla, TX) Boy, what a year this has been! Let's try to recap the high points in the world of fishing in East Texas in 1998.

First of all, this Spring, we had an abundance of rain, and Rayburn and Toledo Bend, were both at a very high water level when the Black Bass went into spawn. On both lakes, the anglers were fishing in water, that normally was non-existent. This proved to be good for both lakes, because I think we had one of the best spawns that either lakes had seen in a long time. Evidence of that spawn is being seen right now, in that there are a tremendous amount of small bass being caught on both ponds.

Next, East Texas, experienced one of the driest summers in history. Through extreme drought and with both lakes, being generation lakes, the drop in the water levels, came close to also setting an all time record in low conditions. As of this article, both lakes are several feet below normal pool levels. This, and the fact that both lakes have experienced a condition, during the hottest summer in history, concerning an unexplained fish-kill, of very large sized black bass. The reasons given for the loss of such quality fish, is still not clear. Texas biologists have given several possibilities. One of these which I feel may be the real reason, is that the deeper water, especially on Rayburn, lost oxygen, thus causing the loss of these fish. Regardless of the real reason, the fishing pressure on both lakes, was probably as intense as ever. Both lakes gave up huge stringers, all summer long.

The low water levels on both lakes this summer also had another effect on fishing. For the anglers that generally fish on the South ends of both lakes, the changes would not have been as evident as the anglers that fish North on either lake. The amount of hydrilla on both lakes, on the upper ends was less than I have seen in my 15 years of guiding on these lakes. Sam Rayburn did not have hardly any vegetation north of Veach Basin this year. The Black Forest area had almost no hydrilla, which is very unusal for Rayburn. I don't know the reason for this, but needless to say, those anglers that fish in the northern regions of the lake, ran into a different fishing pattern than usual.

With the extended warm water conditions, both lakes are just now going into a fall pattern, which everyone knows that fish these ponds, Top Water is starting. Well that is a brief recap of 1998, and I'm looking forward to the Fall-Winter pattern on both lakes.

Until next time Good Fishing and Smile, Someone Loves You.