Bass pro George Jeane Jr. of Evans holds a 13-pound, 4-ounce largemouth caught last week in the Everstart tournament on Toledo Bend. Jeane finished eighth. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 5:52 PM
There have been several major tournaments on the Bend the past 2-3 weeks and more scheduled for the next couple of weeks with the top of the heap, B.A.S.S. Elite Series, slated to start Thursday and finishing Sunday afternoon.
The entire field of 100 top pros will fish Thursday and Friday with the top 50 fishing on Saturday and then only the top 12 fishing on Sunday.
Cypress Bend Resort will again serve as headquarters and the weigh-in each day will start about 3 p.m. There is no charge to attend the weigh-ins and plenty of parking, so come on out and support your favorite B.A.S.S. pro.
I will be there each day with a demo boat team and we will be giving free rides beginning at 8 a.m. Come by and say hello and I’ll take you for a fast ride in a sleek, modern-day tournament rig or, if you prefer, a not-so-fast ride.
Top prize is $100,000 plus lucrative sponsor incentives.
As the Elite field hits the lake Thursday morning at daylight the lake level will be approximately 169.5 feet with water temperatures running from 79-83 degrees.
The entire lake is in great shape with the north section slightly stained, midlake mostly clear and south Toledo is very clear with some stained conditions in the back of main feeder creeks.
I have talked to some tournament anglers who have said they sure would like for the generators to come on earlier to help the situation in the southern creeks and around the Texas and Louisiana islands.
However, for the past several weeks both generators have been running from 2-8 p.m. This would give a very short window of fishing before the pro would have to haul it up the lake for a 25-minute boat ride to Cypress Bend for the 3 o’clock weigh-in. If he had a late draw (flight) it could give another 15 minutes.
Current can make a big difference and at times triggers a bass-feeding situation. We had a huge school of bass come up (schooling) last week after the generators had been on a few minutes.
Toledo should be so much easier to navigate this year than last year when the pros fished the lake last April at 164 feet.
It will be a fun week so come on out and join us.
I have been asked several times this week what three-day weight total a pro angler will need to get to the final 12 fish-off on Sunday?
Forty to 50 pounds should do it (16-17 pounds a day) with a guess of 70-75 pounds to win it all.
However, if winds are moderate, it could take close to 80 to win as 20-pound sacks are becoming more prevalent as summer patterns lock in and fewer bass are suspending and are holding closer to cover in both grass as well as deep brush.
There is more and more grass coming to the surface which will improve the flip-and-pitching bite as well as the topwater patterns
In my opinion, three baits that could play a key role in the event are deep-diving crankbaits (Norman’s DD22 and Strike King’s 6XD), football jigs (3/4- and 1-ounce Stanley Bugeye and Odom) plus frogs on top with Stanley Ribbit and Spro Poppers.
There are other patterns catching bass, including a topwater bite on Zara Spook, Pro Pop (Norman) and Yellow Magic also a light Texas rig over the 8-16 feet hydrilla, mid-diving crankbait (DLN and 5XD) on grassy points and ridges from 8-14 feet with these patterns being more productive early and late.
The outside grass line is from 16-24 feet on the south end of the lake where the super clear water has hydrilla growing deeper than I have ever seen it in 35-plus years of fishing Toledo.
On the outside edge of the grass, anywhere from 17-25 feet, a deep-diving crankbait, Carolina rig, football jig and drop-shot are all catching bass with the best numbers coming on Carolina rig and drop-shot with larger bass coming on crankbaits and football jigs.
We are fishing our Carolina rig, drop-shot and football jigs very slowly with frequent pauses.
Crappie are being caught off deep piers (12-25 feet) as well as over baited brush piles in 20-28 feet with live shiners the best bait.
Bream are moving deeper and are on the outside edge of grass as well as on edge of major creeks and drains in 15-25 feet with earthworms, live crickets and Berkley Power Bait Maggots.
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