Joe Joslin Outdoors - Guide Service

Current Fishing Report for Toledo Bend Lake

Toledo Bend Reservoir Fishing Report
January 4, 2017

Happy New Year to all of you anglers and outdoor addicts and I wish you good health so you can spend lots of time on the lake and in the woods. With our mild winters in this part of the country we can fish 12 months out of the year. I often hear from clients in northern states who read our reports on our website and they can’t believe we can catch fish in the heart of winter. Sure we have some cold days but the cold fronts usually are brief and then it warms up like last weekend when it was in the 70s and we actually caught bass in 4 feet of water.

LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level at midweek was 168.1’ with no generation scheduled and all gates at the spillway are closed. Last week they generated one unit a couple of hours each weekday normally from 4 to 6 p.m. The water temperature has climbed slightly and is running from 56 to 58 degrees but with another cold front moving in they will recede to mid and possibly lower 50s.

BASS FISHING REPORT: With weather changes occurring often and one day being in 70s and the next being in the 40s it is challenging to stay on a consistent pattern. Some days we are loading the boat while the next day it is challenging to catch’em. Our best catches continue to come on deep structure but the shallow bite is improving and will continue to as we move into the pre spawn.

We have some staging areas that bass use each year just prior to moving into spawning flats and we have already caught a few fish there. Most are about 10-15 ft. and close to spawning areas. Some are humps while others are long points and ridges. Our best staging patterns/baits are football jigs, crankbaits, Texas rigs and Carolina rigs.

Our shallow patterns include squarebill crankbaits and I have rapid become a fan of Berkley’s new Pit Bull 5.5 which runs deeper than most squarebills. I usually rig it on 12 lb. test Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and a medium action 7’ rod with 6.4:1 ratio Revo baitcast. I fish it with a medium retrieve with frequent pauses. You can run it on heavier line but you will lose depth plus it will not have the same action. Other shallow water patterns include spinnerbaits which I use at first light and stay with it till they stop hitting it. Also, I have tied a Bill Lewis on a rod and won’t take it off for several months.

I also have been using wacky rigs, light Texas rigs(Bottom Hoppers) and weightless soft plastics rigged Texas style. These will improve as water gets warmer. However, we continue to use deep patterns about 60% of the time using football jig in 15-30 feet, Carolina Rig with Havoc’s new lizard (Boss Dog), Texas rigged 10” Power Worm, drop shot with Bottom Hopper in 20-35 feet and spoons from ½ oz. to 1 oz.

CRAPPIE/YELLOW AND WHITE BASS: Crappie guide Jack Adams tried the Chicken Coop last week and caught nada. He then went to some of his brush piles and caught several nice crappie. Adams said the water needs to be in low 50s and upper 40s before the crappie move into the Coop. That might not happen this year. Yellow and white bass are being caught along creeks and just off the river using tail-spinners and spoons. A few crappie and catfish are also being caught with them as well as largemouth and spotted bass. They are all following the huge schools of shad that are so prevalent in The Bend. All species on Toledo are fat.

Joe Joslin is a syndicated writer and is published by numerous websites, newspapers and magazines plus is a pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact at, 337-463-3848/409-565-1288 and website


Joe Joslin Outdoors
Licensed Guide on Toledo Bend & Sam Rayburn
Tournament Angler & Outdoor Media
Member: Louisiana Outdoor Writers Assoc.& Southeastern Outdoor Press Assoc
160 Country Lane, DeRidder, LA 70634

Phone: (337) 463-3848