Last Modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:45 AM
Hello, anglers and outdoor lovers.
This past week was pleasant but windy at times, but did not force us to have any weather-related cancellations.
The McDonald’s Big Splash Tournament did crowd the lake big time on us Friday, but we left the lake last Friday afternoon and resumed early this week after the lake calmed down and got back to normal.
A lot of boats fished the south end this year for the event and I don’t blame them as it’s a great area of Toledo to wet a hook and get your line stretched.
Toledo’s Cypress Bend Resort was host again for the Big Bass Splash where more than $400,000 in cash and prizes were given away.
Wesley Thomas of Converse was the overall winner with a 9.62-pound largemouth. He won a new Triton/Mercury powered bass boat, a Dodge Ram truck plus $2,500 in cash. Cole Moore of Anacoco placed fifth with an 8.36-pounder to take home $6,000 in cash.
The lake level is 170.3 feet, which is very close to what it has been for the past 3-4 weeks.
Water temperatures rose a few degrees and were running from 69-72 degrees with all of the lake having good-to-excellent water conditions with the southern part of the lake being very clear while midlake is mostly clear and north Toledo slightly stained.
Last week the fishing pressure was much higher than normal (due to McDonald’s) and we had clients Friday while the first day of the tournament was going on, but we were still able to find areas to catch some fish without any major issues. For the most part, everyone was polite and courteous both on the lake as well as at the boat ramp.
Numerous area anglers also won significant cash by hourly cash giveaways for large bass.
The following is a list of area anglers who were fortunate to land some big bass. I only listed the top three hourly local winners, but a complete list is on the Sealy Outdoors website (www.sealyoutdoors.com):
Todd Fontnot, Lake Charles, 6.32 pounds, $900; Cole Moore, Anacoco 8.36 $1,000; Hutch Verret, DeRidder, 7.51, $1,000; Karlie Robinson, Anacoco, 7.03, $2,000; Eddie Rhea, DeRidder, 6.03, $800; Chester Cobb, Leesville, 6.35, $900; Greg Snell, Lake Charles, 6.14, $800; Byron Johnson, Lake Arthur, 6.62, $1,000; Rebel Sonnier, Sulphur, 6.5, $900; Reginald Haymond, Hornbeck, 6.03, $800; Steven Rose, DeRidder, 7.06, $900; Aaron Bertrand, Lake Charles, 6.52, $800; Leonard Vidrine, Eunice, 6.13, $900; and Michael Crawfords, Calcasieu, $900.
In addition, another very happy local angler this weekend was Victor Jones of Lake Charles who weighed in an exact weight 4.00 largemouth and was awarded a smooth $5,000.
BASS: Things continued about the same this past week with multiple patterns still catching bass. We did fish a little more topwater plus fished slightly deeper with soft plastics as well. In addition, we put some bass in the boat using Stanley’s Vibra Shaft and Painted Series double willow leaf spinnerbaits as this pattern worked great during windy and cloudy conditions, and we had a good deal of that last week.
I like LSU (royal purple) color skirts as well as sexy shad patterns. Weightless and light-weighted soft plastics continue to bring bass onboard using wacky rigs and Texas rigs. We are also using more Carolina rigs to fish the deeper points and ridges as part of the bass population is beginning to move deeper as water temps climb.
Mid- and deep-diving crankbaits were a help to us last week with several days of high winds that made fishing a worm a bit difficult. We used both Deep Little Ns and Deep Diver 22s to work windy points and ridges using a variable retrieve with pauses and working 10- to 25-foot depths.
We also used drop-shot rigs, and I have had questions on my drop-shot set up. I use a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce drop-shot sinkers, No. 1 and 1/0 Daiichi wide gap hooks, 8-pound test Berkley Trilene 100 percent fluorocarbon line, Revo SX Spinning reel and 7-foot medium action Veritas spinning rod (Abu Garcia).
As I have mentioned before, my soft plastic for 90 percent of my drop-shotting is a Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr (4.75 inch) in shady watermelon candy, green pumpkin and water melon.
CRAPPIE: The crappie are moving deeper and stacking up on deep brush piles. Crappie guides Jack Adams, Ernie Cole and Noe Garcia all reported good results on baited holes. The bait of choice is a live shiner.
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