(Special to the American Press)
Lake Charles’ Johnny Watkins with a 10.6-pound bass that hit a Stanley jig on the north part of the Calcasieu River, making it one of the largest bass ever caught on the river. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:33 AM
I’m seeing a fair amount of boat traffic weekdays plus heavy traffic on weekends and overall my opinion is that boating and fishing traffic is showing an increase over the past couple of years.
There could be several factors, but the full lake level is definitely one as boaters feel more secure and lake property owners have water under their piers.
Things are looking up and most Toledo-area businesses also seem to be doing well.
The lake level at midweek was 170.35 feet with both generators running from 2-7 p.m.
Water temperatures are ranging from 82-86 degrees with north Toledo stained; midlake has both stained and clear water depending where you are with the areas closest to the main lake clearer than those in the back of feeder creeks. South Toledo remains clear to very clear, but there are some stained conditions in the upper portions of main feeder creeks.
BASS: Summer is here officially on Friday, plus it will also be the longest day of the year with lots of daylight. Long, hotter days and shorter, warmer nights have resulted in increasing both air and water temperatures and this has changed bass patterns the past few weeks.
While we are still catching some bass shallow, we are spending more time in deeper water. Shallow patterns include both poppers and walking type lures (stick baits) where we can use walking-the-dog presentations with main creek points and main lake points with grass are where we are focusing a lot of our topwater attention during low-light conditions.
Stanley’s football Jigs, Carolina and Texas rigs with large soft plastics are some of the patterns we are working in depths of 15-25 feet. The drop-shot has also been beneficial to us the past 2-3 weeks when working depths of 18-28 feet, and we are fishing it with both nose-hooking (hook exposed) the soft plastic as well as burying the hook in the soft plastic to make it weedless.
I always have a DD22 (Norman’s Deep Diver) on the deck of my boat from May till December and it is catching bass both spotted bass and largemouth as we are working it on points and on top of humps and ridges.
Schooling bass are also becoming more numerous and are hitting Rat-l-Traps, jigging spoons, Baby N, tailspinners as well as most topwater baits in shad and chrome patterns. The two best times for schoolies have been about 7:30-8:30 a.m. and then about noon with some of the best areas near the mouths of main creeks as well about halfway back in feeder creeks close to the old creek bed.
CRAPPIE/YELLOW BASS: The two best methods to catch crappie is at night off deep piers (at least 15-20 feet is better) as well as on man-made brush piles.
Guides Jack Adams and Noe Garcia have been catching them using live shiners and 1/16-ounce crappie jigs as well as Blakemore’s Road Runners in depths of 20-30 feet.
Yellow bass are a little more available and are hitting small spoons, medium crankbaits 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com