Last Modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:26 AM
The weather has been beautiful, making it easy to stay outdoors. As a matter of fact, its hard to stay indoors these days and you look for an excuse to get back outside. Toledo is amazing with sunrises and sunsets seeming to be even more spectacular with the cool temperatures. With late sunrises these days, you don’t have to get up that early to experience one.
The lake level remains near 167.6 feet with one generator running a couple hours on selective weekdays during the afternoon.
Water temperatures during the early part of the week were running a little warmer in the mid-70s, but with the latest cold front will trend slightly cooler and be in lower 70s late this week. Water conditions are basically good all over with north Toledo slightly stained, midlake mostly clear and south Toledo very clear.
BASS: We are using multiple tools and patterns these days with Stanley’s spinnerbaits always in the top five of lure selections. There are three of Stanley’s spinnerbait models that are effective.
The first is the affordable Wedge-Plus Series, also the Vibrashaft series and the Compact series. The Wedge-Plus in 3/8 ounce with combination white-and-chartreuse skirt is always a safe choice. I really like the Vibrashaft series with custom-painted blades and longer skirts. As we have mentioned before, we love the royal purple (LSU) color.
The Compact version is a great bait on local rivers, but there are days when Toledo and Rayburn’s bass want a smaller profile bait. I always keep some of these on board when the fish short strike the other versions. On some days it can make a difference.
Another staple pattern is a light-weighted Texas rig worked along the outside edge of the grass (hydrilla). I look for scattered grass areas where the grass is not as matted or thick where I can slowly work the rig through the grass. We like Berkley Havoc’s Bottom Hopper and Trick Worms for this application with best colors in Bottom Hopper, including shady watermelon candy and smoke purple with green pumpkin, watermelon purple and candy bug on Trick Worms. We are using from 1/16 to ¼ ounce slip sinkers.
A mid-diving crankbait is also a good choice with DLN and NXS my choices for suspended bass on points as well as those holding on edge of grass. The DLN runs about 10-12 feet and the NXS runs about 12-16. I like a purple/shad color. On tough days with lots of sun we continue to fish deeper with DD22s, drop-shot and spoons. We target depths anywhere from 20-40 feet, depending on what our electronics show as well as how bass respond to our offerings.
Every day brings a new challenge as far as establishing a pattern as seldom two days are the same. That’s why an angler can be a serious fisherman for 30-40 years and still remained challenged. The “awe” moment comes on a tough day when you figure it out and dial in on what the fish want. The “ug” moment is when you have decent fishing conditions and yet cannot get fish to commit.
Yep, producing every trip can be challenging but it remains a great way to pay the bills.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: As last week, I’m seeing very little crappie info but man-made brush piles in 25 to 30 feet depths seems to be the only thing going. Live shiners are still the best, but as temps fall, jigs are improving.
We will keep you posted on The Chicken Coop. If the lake stays low and clear (no major rains), the Coop area could be fantastic again this season. Last year was fair at best for most anglers.
Water temps will need to fall in low 50s. Yellow bass are all along major creeks.
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