BULLETIN/CANCELLATION: I received a call from one of my clients who is sick and had to cancel this Monday, October 24. In spite of 30 miles per hour winds this morning we caught 28 bass up to 4 pounds and stopped fishing at 12:30. We caught all of them deep. Call or email if you would like to catch fish on deep structure. Thanks to all of you who are regular readers of this column.
Hello Anglers and lovers of the outdoors. Looks like we are about to experience the coldest weather this fall as nighttime temps are expected to fall into the upper 40s this weekend. Bring it on as I am ready to put away my Bermuda shorts and I know area hunters are excited to finally see some more seasonal weather. Upper 80s and low 90s is too hot for mid-October.
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level midweek is 167.7’ with no generation scheduled, according to the Sabine River Authority. All gates at the spillway are closed. Water temperatures rose with warm nights and hot days with readings from 80-82 degrees. North Toledo is slightly stained, mid lake is mostly clear and south Toledo is very clear.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Submerged grass is hard to come by these days on Toledo but there are areas that have milfoil on south Toledo. Most of what I’m finding is growing out to about 6-8 feet. Since this grass is basically in shallow water the highest areas of concentration are those that are protected from strong winds/big waves as they have a tendency to tear it up. The best submerged grass I am finding is in protected coves in Indian/Buck Creeks, Mill Creek, Six Mile and Housen.
Our best producing patterns/lures the past several days includes topwater, spinnerbaits, Texas rigs, crankbaits and drop shot. The topwater bite has been both early and late with one of the biggest bass last week caught just before dark on a Pop R with added feathered tail/treble hook. Other topwater baits catching bass include Sebile’s Flat Belly Walker (small version) with added feathered tail/treble plus Gunfish.
The spinnerbait bite has been early and for a short time some morning only 15-20 minutes. I am finding them on shallow flats with stumps close to deep water. Mostly I am using Stanley’s Vibrashaft 3/8 oz. double willowleaf blades with white or shad colored skirt and the favorite chartreuse/white skirt works too. We are using a medium retrieve with pauses of a couple of seconds allowing the bait to drop.
Our Texas rig has not changed in a while as we are using 17 lb test Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon, 3/0 Daiichi Offset Worm hook with Abu Revo STX and Abu Veritas 7’3” Medium Heavy action. Our soft plastics have been Berkley Bottom Hopper (6.25 inches) anf trick worms. Best colors have been Bottom Hopper’s best seller… Shady Watermelon Candy plus green pumpkin, red bug and candy bug. I use this in shallow water (2-10’) as well as 18-22’.
I work it slow with pauses. The deeper I fish with soft plastics, the slower my presentation.
We are using Norman’s Deep Little N (DLN) which runs about 10-12 feet as well as their DD22 which runs about 18-20 with 10 and 12 lb test fluorocarbon. We are also using some of Berkley’s new hard baits including their Pit Bull (square bill) and Digger. Finally our drop shot patterns have been consistently working but it does take time locating the fish on a large hump or ridge. It takes good electronics (HB) and time to check out all areas on the hump/ridge as it is so easy to miss a school of fish. I also use a buoy to give me a reference out on open water.
I use two drop shot rigs with the first being conventional of 6-8 lb test fluorocarbon, #1 wide gap Daiichi hook and Revo Rocket spinning with new 7’ prototype medium light spinning (Pure Fishing) rod. The other is 12-17 fluorocarbon, 3/0 Daiichi off set hook, Revo STX reel, medium heavy 7’ Fenwick Elite rod.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: Crappie guide, Jack Adams, says numbers are dropping some but still catching 30-60 per day. Live shiners on baited brush piles in 18-22 feet is the pattern. Yellow bass are scattered but can be found on ledges of major creeks and with schools of largemouth. Tailspinners, small crankbaits and spoons are good for catching yellows.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, TPWD Licensed guide since 1998, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. 337-463-3848 or email@example.com and website at http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com