(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 10:40 AM
My favorite fishing hole has been a busy place this past week with lots of people enjoying fishing, skiing, boating and jet-skiing.
I left the lake last Thursday with the lake and boat ramps wall to wall with boats and trailers and returned early this week with almost no one on the lake and only three trucks and trailers parked at the public launch west of the dam. Also, the fish were biting pretty well. We were delighted to get back on the water.
The lake level is 169.6 feet with both generators running from 2-7 p.m. weekdays.
Water temperatures are 84-87 degrees with north Toledo stained but fishable, midlake is slightly stained to clear with south Toledo remaining clear to very clear.
Submerged grasses are really growing as it is easy to see how the grass is increasing, especially in 8-15 feet areas. Also, more and more grass is coming to the top, both hydrilla as well as pepper grass. This is giving the bass more shallow habitat.
BASS: It is summertime for sure and we have several patterns going on at the same time, which is common this time of the year.
The past several trips we continued to catch our larger bass on soft plastics, which have included Texas rigs, Carolina rigs and drop-shot. However, topwater and crankbaits have also produced. We are using Texas rigs to fish both big plastics (10-inch Berkley Power Worms) as well as smaller profile worms such as Bottom Hopper and Trick Worms.
With the Power Worms we are using 3/-8 and 1/2-ounce sinkers and 4/0 and 5/0 XPoint and Daiichi offset worm hooks fished on 17-pound Trilene 100 percent professional grade fluorocarbon with Revo STX baitcast reel and 7-foot-6 Veritas medium-heavy rod. Not only is this a comfortable rig to fish but it is also so efficient in getting a great hook set and fighting big fish.
When fishing the smaller plastic worms, I use 3/16- and 1/4-ounce sinkers and Havoc Bottom Hoppers and Trick worms, which are both a straight-tail worm and 6.25 and 7 inches in length. I use the same rod, reel and line as the larger worms but will also on occasion use a shorter 7-foot or 7-3-inch version of the Veritas (Abu Garcia) rod. I have a lot of confidence in these two tackle setups.
We also are catching fish on Carolina rigs, which I use the same rod, reel and line with 1/4- to 1/2-ounce sinkers and are working Havoc Rocket Craws, Speed Craws and Y-Nots (Stanley 3.5-inch versions). Generally speaking we like to work the smaller, lighter rigs in 10-20 feet and the bigger, heavier setups in 15-30 feet.
The drop-shot remains a vital part of our patterns targeting summer bass with the use of 8- and 10-pound test fluorocarbon and using both spinning and baitcast rigs. I always use a medium-action rod when using any line under 12-pound test so we are using medium-action rods on all of our drop-shot rigs. This enables me to get a solid hook set without breaking the line on the hook set as the medium action has enough flex to absorb the shock of the hook set.
I like a 7- to 7-3 rod when drop-shottting. My soft plastics are Havoc Bottom Hopper and Bottom Hopper Jr., which are 6.25 inches and 4.75 inches, respectively.
Since we spent so much time on drop-shot I will briefly mention two other patterns we are using, and those are topwater and deep-diving crankbaits. We are working topwater on grassy points and are using Pop Rs, Pro Pops, Chug Bug and Yellow Magic. Work’em slow. Our deep divers are DD22s by Norman Lures with best colors including blue-and-chartreuse, fire-tiger and sexy shad.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: The crappie have moved deeper and man-made brush piles in 20-28 feet depths are producing a lot of fish, local crappie guides said. Both live shiners and tube jigs in 1/16-ounce size have been very successful baits.
They are also catching some catfish, yellow bass and spotted bass on the baited holes. Yellow bass are also in decent numbers in the mouths of creeks near the creek channels and will hit spoons and tail-spinners.
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