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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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(Special to the American Press)<br>

(Special to the American Press)

Joslin: Cool weather brings out Toledo wildlife

Last Modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:44 PM

By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello anglers and outdoor lovers.

Cool nights and mornings have been the norm for the past two weeks and daytime highs are to be only in the low 80s until the weekend when the mid-80s return to the area.

The cool air temps have slowed the water temperature from rising as there has been very little change in water temps for the past three weeks.

Last week was a better-than-average week of fishing, plus the wildlife around my favorite fishin’ hole have been having a party. One day we witnessed a dozen bald eagles and at least two golden eagles. In addition, we saw an osprey, which is an impressive bird of prey in its own right. Ospreys are slightly smaller than eagles.



Tournaments

One of the largest bass events of the year is scheduled for Toledo this week as McDonald’s Big Bass Splash is in town Friday, Saturday and Sunday with headquarters at beautiful Cypress Bend Resort. Between 2,000 to 3,000 anglers are expected for the event, which is a big-bass type format with more than $400,000 in cash and prizes. Numerous area anglers always compete in this event. Good luck, guys.



Lake Conditions

The lake level is 170.4 feet with both generators shut down. South Toledo is clear, midlake is mostly clear to slightly stained and the northern third of the lake is stained but not muddy in most places.

Water temps are running from 67-69 degrees, which is about the same as the past few weeks. However, look for that to ease upward by this weekend.

Other good news is that the Texas Sabine River Authority crews have been replacing buoys this past week.

Trash/litter

A reminder to all of us who use our lakes, roads and boat launches is to store trash in compartments and bags to be deposited in a trash can at the ramp or wait and carry it home to our garbage containers.

Refrain from tossing empties over in the back of our truck beds or on the bottom of our boats where they become airborne and scattered on the lake or roadside. Our kids imitate us. Let’s grow a generation of young people who will not trash the outdoors.


Fishing reports

BASS: We are catching fish on several patterns, but we are fishing deeper in some situations. However, we are also having success in the shallow-to-mid-depth areas from 2-15 feet, depending on the conditions.

We continue to get some good bites on topwater with various poppers getting my nod. Chug Bug, Pop R, Pro Pop (Norman) and Yellow Magic all good choices.

Weightless and light-weighted soft plastics were still the stars last week, but Carolina rigs and drop-shot patterns are making their mark.

We continue to rig soft plastics Texas weightless, Texas with weights as well as wacky rigs, both weightless and weighted. It really depends on what mood the bass are in as well as the light intensity and wind velocity as to how much weight, if any, to use.

Stanley’s spinnerbaits continue to occupy a place on my boat deck and I switch back and forth to those with larger and smaller willowleaf blades, depending on the amount of wind. I use the larger blades when the wind or wave action is higher and use the smaller, more subtle, blades when there is not as much wind.

Cloud cover also is a factor as to what kind of blades I choose.

Crankbaits are also catching bass with Deep Little N and DD22 from Bill Norman Lures, my go-to crankbaits are in blue and chartreuse, fire-tiger and sexy shad. I am using both the rattling as well as the silent models of DD22s.

CRAPPIE/BREAM: Anglers are still catching a few crappie working the outside edge of grass in 12-16 feet with Road Runners (Blakemore Lures) and Wedgetails (Stanley). In addition, crappie guides Jack Adams, Noe Garcia and Ernie Cole are catching them in their baited holes from 18-25 feet.

Bream are bedding in 2-6 feet. Go into coves and look for branches that grow out over the water. Use a good pair of sun shades and look for their beds. They look like small moon craters about a foot in diameter and the craters will be almost touching each other. You will also be able to see the bream. Don’t get too close, keep the boat back and cast into the beds with crickets and worms.

• • •

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 joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com

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