Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:10 AM
Local waterways are slowly getting back to normal after a 10-14 days without meaningful rainfall.
However, the Sabine River remains slightly above flood stage earlier this week at Deweyville, Texas, where the river was 24.1 feet with flood stage at 24 feet. The Sabine has been at or above flood stage for a couple of weeks or so and is predicted to remain near flood stage the remainder of the week.
The Sabine River is Toledo’s main tributary and flows into Toledo Bend southwest of Shreveport near Logansport.
On Tuesday the lake level was at 168.6 feet with both generators running. Surface temperatures have warmed to 55-57 degrees and even warmer in late afternoons in sunny, protected coves.
The lake is in good shape with the north end clearing, midlake is slightly stained and clearing and south Toledo remains clear.
One of the best stringers of bass in a while was caught by local anglers Kraig Welborn and Jeremy Burge, who won the Bass n Bucks Toledo event last Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 30.07 pounds with a 7.92 big bass.
All their bass came on jigs in 15 feet of water in staging areas.
Jigs have been hot lately as Saturday before last at Skeeter Bass Champ’s Rayburn Tournament the big bass of the tournament, a 10.42-pounder, was caught on a 3/4-ounce Stanley Bug Eye Jig on similar structure.
Keep a jig tied on, I have had a 3/4-ounce Stanley Bug Eyed (black and blue) tied on for several weeks. I’ve been working depths of 12-30 feet on 17-pound test 100 percent Berkley Trilene fluorocarbon.
The best areas seem to be on the edge of a deep drop where it falls from 15- to 30-plus feet. The fish are starting to move up to these staging areas and most of them are good quality, and if you can find a concentration of them, it can be fun. And, as Welborn and Burge will tell you, profitable. These two anglers are seasoned fishermen and are usually near the top of the heap in competitive events on Toledo and Rayburn. Great job, guys.
Other fish-catching patterns this week include Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits worked over, around and through shallow submerged hydrilla in 2-16 feet.
I have been looking for scattered grass areas as I am catching more bass out of thinner grass than the heavy stuff. Weightless plastics are also catching fish when winds allow and they have been effective in 1-10 feet with both wacky rigs as well as weightless Texas.
We are using Senkos (5 inch) and Berkley Havoc Grass Pig on Texas weightless rigs and Senkos and Havoc Bottom Hoppers on wacky rigs. We are also using Texas rigs with weights from 3/16 to 1/4 ounce while using Bottom Hoppers (6.25 inches) and Trick Worms (7 inches).
The deep bite is still there too at times, so we have on our jigging spoons and drop-shot rigs and they usually get action every day, some days a lot.
Fishing continues to be good and this spring is going to be exciting. Only in the South do we think of late January as early spring. Don’t ya love it?
Even though the water is slightly stained at The Chicken Coop, it hasn’t gotten muddy and crappie are still being caught while most catches are not record-breaking. However, crappie guide Ernie Cole reported nearly 50 crappie on Monday but said they had to fish hard.
Other catches of 25-30 were also reported with anglers using live shiners in 32-37 feet on edge of the river. Yellow bass are still deep and being caught on jigging spoons and tailspinners in 25-40 feet.
Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. His column appears Thursdays. Contact him at 463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com