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Joslin: Toldeo Bend looking great as season changes

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 9:34 PM

By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello, anglers.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful has been one of the best ways of describe November. Sure, we have had some rain, a few cold nights and cool days, but that makes it even more pleasant as far as I am concerned.

Drought conditions in our area are no longer an issue and as we approach the Thanksgiving season that is yet another reason to be thankful. Toledo and the vast forest surrounding it are multi-colored with lots of evergreens plus numerous colors of hardwood foliage. All of nature seems to be super active anticipating the arrival of our short winter.

Salvinia update

As we feared last week concerning the strong cold front impacting spraying operations, there was a disruption of treating the large floating masses of salvinia for a couple of days.

However, during the high wind conditions, the contractor reportedly moved off the main lake and up into Lananna Creek, which was more protected and continued spraying.

We received additional info from Ted Dove of The Toledo Bend Lake Association, who reported, “The contractor retained by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for Giant Salvinia control will be on Toledo Bend for a total of 120 Crew Days before departing.”

A “crew day,” Dove said, is the equivalent of one airboat with two crew members on the lake for eight hours, and the contractor will have 5-6 boats working so they should be on the lake spraying approximately 20-30 work days, depending on how many boats are working on a particular day.

That’s a lot of coverage and we hope these efforts will be very helpful.

Lake conditions

The lake level was at 167.8 feet mean sea level with both generators shut down.

Water temperatures were running from 66-69 degrees but will trend slightly lower by midweek.

North Toledo is slightly stained to slightly stained, midlake is slightly stained to clear while south Toledo remains clear in most areas. On the south end you can find stained conditions in the back of Indian Creek, Mill Creek, Six Mile and Housen Creek, but you have to go a good ways back into the creeks to find stained water.

On bright days it can pay off to move back into these areas.

Fishing report

BASS: Anglers are using a variety of baits and patterns to catch bass in shallow to mid-depths the past 7-10 days.

Stanley Vibrashaft spinnerbaits and Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps have been very effective when worked over and through shallow grass and points with shallow grass.

In addition, the wacky worm also has been a go-to pattern on the outside edge of the grass, said DeRidder angler Jeff Mullican, who reported that he and his daughter caught a great bunch of fish last week on wacky worms.

If you read this column at all you know that I feel that wacky worming is one of the best methods out there for the fall and spring. It is especially good in clear water conditions and heavily fished lakes and Toledo and Rayburn definitely fit that criteria.

It not only is a great pattern to catch high numbers of bass, but big fish as well. I have been fortunate enough to catch 11 bass weighing more than 10 pounds, and six of them came on a wacky worm, including my last double-digit fish (10.2 pounds) in April.

If you are not familiar with wacky worming go to my website and click on “Fishing Articles” for a complete article called “The Rewards of Wacky Worming.”

In addition to these mid-to-shallow depth patterns, the Texas and Carolina rigs are working in depths of 18-30 feet. Drop-shot and spoons are working even deeper in depths of 25-40 feet.

It depends on what weather conditions are present for anglers to decide what patterns to use as we have had weather the past 7-10 days as warm as the low 80s and as cold as upper 30s.

Basically, my rule of thumb is to fish more aggressive and somewhat more shallow in warm, stable weather conditions and fish deeper and more methodical during cold fronts.

CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Strong winds first from the north then the southeast have made it hard for crappie anglers to get on their holes.

The crappie have yet to make it to the edge of the river at The Chicken Coop and it will take some very cold weather for a few weeks for that to happen. It could happen by mid-December, but two crucial factors are the water in the river must be cold (upper 40s to low 50s), plus it needs to remain clear.

Muddy water kills The Coop. The yellow bass have scattered a bit with weather conditions all over the place. The best way to stay on them is to fish the main feeder creeks in clear water areas.

• • •

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 or visit

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