MEMO: We just ordered our 2014 Skeeter 21 FX so our current boat (2013 Skeeter 21 FX)is for sale. The boat is in perfect condition as it is fished on South Toledo which has very little timber to scar lower unit and hull. It is powered by a 250 SHO 4-stroke Yamaha, factory warranty on everything until September 2015. The boat is loaded with tons of upgrades, 3-Humminbird electronics including side and down-imaging. Fortrex 36 volt Minn Kota with 4 bank charger, DMS Security System with alarms plus many other extras. For photos and questions call 337-401-0264 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Price is $52,250(neg). Retailed at $84,500...present bank loan value near $65K.
Hello Angler. The cool fronts are still impacting our weather but are milder and shorter in duration. The area has had plenty of rain and this has also impacted fishing. Boat traffic is heavy on days with good weather but is not bad on days with "less than decent weather." Some of that has to do with locals who can afford to wait it out for a day with near perfect weather and fishing conditions. When winds pick up and temperatures plummet many will go back in and wait till weather moderates. Ya can't blame them as that is one of the joys and benefits of living on the lake.
Fishing has really picked up the past several days and should be productive for the next 2-3 months. Because of a long, cold winter and colder than normal spring, water temps and fishing patterns continue to remain behind the norm by 2-3 weeks. On the south end of Toledo, there will be more bass spawn on the full moon week of April than we had spawn the full moon in March. This will make April, already a great month to fish, even stronger. I feel May will also be a very strong month. April's full moon is on the 15th so 3 days each side of the 15th should produce the most spawning
activity. Personally, I do not sight-fish for spawning bass. If you are interested in my views of sight fishing go to my website http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com/ and click on "News and Views." You will find one article entitled "Not By Sight."
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level early this week stood at 170.7 but one unit was activated Monday afternoon until further notice. Since I spend a lot of time on south Toledo it is very evident that winds can have an impact on lake levels. Behind a strong cold front where you can have north winds 20 to 30 mph it is common to see the lake levels on the south end rise by 3-4 inches. The opposite happens when we have strong southern winds as the lake will fall a few inches, depending on the wind velocity. Water temps are running from 58 to mid 60s depending on whether you are on the main lake or in protected coves. North Toledo is stained to muddy, Mid lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is mostly clear with some stained in back part of creeks and drains.
FISHING REPORTS/BASS: Last week was a fun week but we did have to cancel a day due to weather. We averaged at least 30 bass a day plus we caught larger bass last week than the previous week with fish up to 7.5. We used a lot of weightless and light-weighted soft plastics plus we are starting to catch more on spinnerbaits and topwater. We also had good success using Texas-rigged and wacky rigged Berklety Havoc Bottom Hoppers in Shady Watermelon Candy. The 7.5 came on a Bottom Hopper with 8 lb test Trilene Fluorocarbon. We had extremely high winds several days last week and had to go from our weightless Texas rigs to those with weights. The bass still hit them as long as you slowed them down and fished them in the correct depth. On some days I would go to as light as 1/8 but used a lot of 3/16 and occasionally 1/4 oz. I don't think we fished much deeper than 12 ft.
There's a lot of fish shallow and plenty of grass. As a matter of fact, I have not caught over a half dozen bass in areas without grass (hydrilla and pepper grass). We are mainly fishing points and drains. The point does not have to be anything special but just a little subtle difference in structure. I can't stress enough to have fresh/high quality line(Berkley or Stren), a good knot(Palomar), proper drag setting plus premium, sharp hooks. I mostly (95%) use Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon anytime I worm fish. Fishing in clear water, nothing has revolutionized soft plastic fishing like fluorocarbon.
If you have those basics covered your chances of catching a life-time bass will be greatly enhanced. Also, as I have said on numerous occasions in this column.....fish with high expectations. When you make a cast, expect a big bite. If you do you so you will work your bait in a more enticing manner. Big bass do not grow big by hitting anything that moves. Presentation is crucial, especially on south Toledo where visibility is 6 to 10 feet. Wishing you good fishing! I hope you catch the lake record.
CRAPPIE: There are lots of crappie in the shallows and are hitting jigs, live shiners under corks as well as Blakemore's Road Runners fished on 6 or 8 pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. If you don't want to bother with live bait, fish a 1/16 oz Wedgetail Crappie Minnow or a Road Runner.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at email@example.com and website at http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com/