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Joslin: Thanksgiving isn’t just for eating turkey

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:22 PM

By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello, anglers.

We are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday with lots of out-of-town family coming for a visit. Some are grandkids who are expecting to get in some fishing time. I already have their rods ready to go as this is a very special time in their lives as well as mine. It really is not so much about fishing as it is just being together. However, I have never been on a family fishing outing when catching fish did not make a good trip even better.

You can be sure that I have a secret spot or two for the kids and, if the weather will be kind, we should get them in some fish.

Lake Conditions

The lake level is 167.7 feet with minimal generating at the dam several times each week with one unit running from 4-6:30 p.m.

Water temperatures are falling and are running from 59-63 degrees with the lake in great shape as north Toledo is lightly stained, midlake is mostly clear and south Toledo is very clear.

As normal, there is some stained water in the back half of major feeder creeks with major creeks on the upper end of the lake the most stained.

Bass Fishing

Last week, with a strong cold front rolling in, we had lots of north wind, bright sunny skies and high barometric readings most of last week so we had to make some adjustments as to how we fished.

Basically, we went from slow to slower with presentations. As a matter of fact, several of our better bass picked up the worm while it was sitting on the bottom completely still, which is a presentation sometimes called “dead-sticking.”

If there was a common thing that I said to clients last week it was “Slow down a little more” realizing that “slow” is a relative term and depends on several factors, but I think you get the message. It was not a worm-hopping week.

On the south end of Toledo (from Housen Bay to the dam) we have hydrilla (submerged grass) sometimes growing out to 18-22 feet and many of our solid bass last week came from the outside edge of the hydrilla on a Texas-rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper as well as Trick Worm. We also have pepper grass and it does hold bass, but it almost never grows in water deeper than 8-10 feet.

The best Bottom Hopper color was shady watermelon candy while other good soft plastic colors have been watermelon candy red, watermelon candy, watermelon purple flake and candy bug. Both the bottom Hopper and Trick Worms are 6.25 to 7-inch straight-tail soft plastics that come through grass really well.

We did catch a few good bass on slow-moving Stanley Vibrashaft (Double Willow half-ounce with white skirt) as well as Jeane Lure’s 3/4-ounce Double Willow in white and black. Both spinnerbaits had at least one of the two blades that was gold and copper and these were worked slowly over shattered grass as well as worked on outside edge of grass line with best results in low-light conditions with a ripple on the surface.

With more moderate weather this week the spinnerbait bite will improve.

Norton’s DLN crankbait is also working it on the outside edge of grass with best colors firetiger, blue and chartreuse and sexy shad.

We continue to also use jigging spoons (1/2 and 3/4 ounce) as well as drop-shot rigs in 25-45 feet. My favorite drop-shot worm currently is Bottom Hopper Jr., which is 4.75 inches with best colors watermelon and shady watermelon candy. These worms are in the Berkley Havoc series and are currently hard to find but distribution is increasing.

Crappie Reports

The crappie fishing was good last week before the front with several good reports, including a report from avid perch jerker Sherry Perkins from DeQuincy, who fishes in the Six Mile/Sandy Creek area of south Toledo.

Perkins said in one recent trip they caught close to 50 crappie plus a few bass and catfish all on live shiners. Most of the crappie were quality fish with two weighing just under 3 pounds.

Readers might remember a photo of Perkins and some of her crappie catch we ran a few weeks ago. She and her husband catch a lot of big crappie. They were fishing brush piles between 20-25 feet of water. Yellow bass have been in good supply in depths of 30-50 feet on spoons and tailspinners.

• • •

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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