Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 11:56 AM
Winds have been a huge factor on area lakes the past few days and weather reports don’t show much relief until late this week. Even so there were several tournaments last weekend, including the FLW college event on Toledo Bend.
As we have been writing about for the past couple of years, the growth of organized bass fishing on the college level has been impressive to say the least. According to FLW reports, the LSU team of Richard Murdock and Beau Hadskey won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference tournament on Saturday with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 13 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Invitational tournament.
“Last weekend my partner and I had some really good pre-fishing action going,” said Hadskey, a petroleum engineering major. “We were fishing up north and catching them pretty good. But today there were waves out there that were 4-feet tall. We chose to stay down on the south end of the lake where it was calmer and ended up doing all of our fishing between Mill Creek and Six Mile.”
Hadskey said they caught all of their fish in 6 feet of water or less while swimming a jig and using a lipless crankbait.
McNeese State’s team of Ty Griffin and Andrew Gary had a top-five finish while finishing in fourth place with 14 pounds, 8 ounces ($500), while another LSU team of Brett Matherne and Logan Mount finished fifth with 12 pounds, 13 ounces ($500).
The lake level has fallen slightly and stands at 169.08 feet at midweek with one generator running 24 hours.
Water surface temperatures have been almost unchanged for about a week from 54-58 degrees with north Toledo stained, midlake slightly stained to clear and south Toledo clear to very clear.
BASS: Bunches of bass are in shallow water 8 feet or less. Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits have been two effective baits with specific Trap colors being Toledo Gold, Cherry Bomb and Rayburn Red in low-light conditions and chrome-and-black and chrome-and-blue on bright days.
The best spinnerbaits in clear water with grass have been Stanley’s double willowleaf blades with one of the blades gold-and-copper plus shad colored skirts with white-and-chartreuse.
Depending on how active the bass are on a given day, the retrieve or presentation can be from very fast to a slow yo-yo with frequent pauses.
There are also occasions when bass will not hit moving lures. Those times call for something slow in order to leave baits in the strike zone as long as possible. A weightless presentation with Gulp! Sinking Minnow, Kandi Stik or Senko can be very productive during such situations and these can all be rigged several ways, including Texas weightless, Wacky or split shot. All three can be super productive depending on the nature and characteristics of the cover (grass or brush) and how the fish are relating to that cover. Most of the time it takes a little experimentation to establish a pattern.
Another pattern where we are being successful is the outside edge of the grass line on the southern end of the lake. Pirates Cove (Toro), Six Mile/Sandy, Mill and Clear Creek. Housen and Hurricane creeks as well as Indian and Buck creeks all have excellent submerged grass. So do areas around Texas and Louisiana Islands so there is no shortage of grass down south.
As a matter of fact, I have some areas that I avoid that have too much grass and have been more successful in those areas with scattered grass where you can get your light-weighted bait down to the fish. Later in the year these thick grassy areas will be good cover to fish, but currently I look for scattered grass.
Remember what we talked about last week concerning the four areas bass are using — the shoreline, inside grass line, outside grass line and on top of the main grass line? Much of the success of this spring’s fishing on the southern end of the lake will be determined on how anglers approach those four areas and making adjustments while going from one to the other as conditions change.
There still are bass in deep water with Stanley Bugeye football jig and Carolina rigs catching fish in 18-30 feet on main lake points and ridges. We also continue to catch bass on drop-shot using Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr. in shady watermelon candy and green pumpkin. We continue to have a jigging spoon tied on and some days it remains productive but we are not using it as much as past weeks.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Crappie are moving to shallow water and anglers are catching up creeks and under bridges both day time as well as after dark with crappie lights and lanterns using live shiners.
Those who have docks with medium to deep water are also catching them. Yellows are getting ready to spawn and can be found on edge of creeks and the river using spoons and tailspinners such as Norman’s Knock Off and Little George (Mann’s).
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