Last Modified: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 9:56 PM
Late-fall fishing is in full swing, as is deer season, plus duck season is in the wings to move in Nov. 10. For most Louisiana and Texas outdoor lovers, this time of the year is about as good as it gets.
Mother Nature was pretty tough over the weekend, especially if you had plans to be on the water. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had to rescue two fishermen who were fishing on Grand Lake Friday afternoon.
They were in a 14-foot aluminum flat-bottom boat and, when the front hit Friday, they tried to make it back to the boat launch but capsized in high waves. They were able to make it to the bank where they stayed all night and were found by LDWF about 9 a.m. Saturday after searching for them 12 hours.
Friday night the temperatures were in the upper 40s with strong winds all night, so the anglers were fortunate to have survived the ordeal.
The rescue unit personnel from our LDWF were also exposed to great danger to be out on a large body of water in darkness under such conditions, but they continued the search. Fortunately for these two fishermen and their families the ending was a happy one.
Many times these situations can be prevented by anglers staying on top of weather conditions and then making wise and thoughtful decisions about seaworthiness of boat and lake conditions.
A special appreciation goes to our LDWF which, once again,
came to the aid of residents in distress as they are often called upon
to put their lives on the line in order to locate
and rescue folks in harm’s way. Many times they go about their
work with little or no public appreciation, but in this small
attempt we say, “Job well done.”
The lake level at midweek was about 168 feet with one unit running from 4-6:30 p.m. A lot of floating logs got moved around last weekend with the strong winds for nearly 48 hours, so boaters use caution.
Water temperatures are running from 66-70 degrees, which is about perfect for fishing conditions.
Water conditions are excellent all over with slightly stained conditions on the north portions, mostly clear at midlake and clear on the south end. All major creeks have some stained water, especially in the back third of the
BASS: The strongest cold front this season hit on Friday with the first part arriving early Friday and the Canadian portion hitting Toledo about 3 p.m. Friday. We were able to get off the lake about 30 minutes before things went from bad to worse.
We fished all day Friday in drizzle and temps in the low 50s with winds about 20 mph, but when the second part of the front hit, winds were more than 30 mph and temps quickly fell into upper 40s. The fish hit really well the two days before the front.
We continue to use a variety of patterns and are fishing several depths depending on weather conditions. As the weather moderates later this week we will return to more basic grass patterns and not as much deep-water focus.
We are working Texas rigs on outside edge of submerged grass in 12-25 feet as well as a wacky rig (when winds allow) along the edge of major ditches and drains.
On our Texas rigs we like Berkley Havoc’s Bottom Hopper (6.25 inches) in shady watermelon candy in low-light situations as well as watermelon during sunny and bright conditions. We also are using Trick Worms with this pattern.
We are using a Carolina rig in some of the deeper areas from 16-30 feet. Berkley Havoc Rocket Craw, Stanley Wedge Hog (out of production), 6-inch Power Lizard and Speed Craws are all excellent soft plastics on our Carolina rigs. We are also using a drop-shot in 25-40 feet with Berkley Havoc’s Bottom Hopper Jr. (4.75 inch) in shady watermelon candy as well as green pumpkin.
Crankbaits are also working on suspended bass with Norman’s DLN and DD22s my two go-to crankbaits using bumble bee, sexy shad and blue and chartreuse as top colors. Jigging spoons are also a part of our late-fall patterns and we have been working them along the edge of major feeder creeks when I can find large schools of shad on my fish finder. Quality electronics are important anytime of the year, but especially in the fall and winter fishing seasons.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Before the front, crappie guide Noe Garcia was catching some big white perch with live shiners in 20-24 feet over brush.
Numbers of crappie were not that impressive but the crappie continue to run large in size. Yellow bass have been in good numbers along the main feeder creeks and can be caught on jigging spoons and tailspinners such as Norman’s Knock Off and Little George.
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