(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:30 AM
It is hard to believe July is almost gone and while we have had some warm days, the Lake Area has escaped the triple digit temps we often get in mid-summer so far. This next week seems to continue that trend if weather forecasts are on target. Of course, we still have August to endure but days continue to get shorter and nights get longer and to date this summer we have had more days with highs in 80s and low-90s than upper-90s. Hopefully, that trend will continue. I have a son in Louisville and several days this summer it has been hotter there in Kentucky than here in Southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. Since my job keeps me outside a lot of the time, weather trends are very significant to me.
Water temperatures are running from 87-89 degrees with north Toledo slightly stained, mid-lake is mostly clear and south Toledo very clear. The generating schedule for the past few weeks has been from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays with units shut down on weekends. The lake is beautiful and afternoon showers have produced some awesome rainbows.
BASS: Actually, there has been little change in patterns the past couple of weeks with the only noticeable addition for me is an increase in the amount of schooling bass. We did encounter several schools of bass but most were 10 to 13 inches with an occasional 15- to 16-incher.
They have been fun and actually were fairly aggressive and if you got your lure in close they would usually hit it. We had good success on Bill Norman’s Pro Pop, Chug Bug and Yellow Magic.
By the way, Yellow Magic baits are not yellow ... at least those that I own. How did they get that name? I don’t know. Maybe some of our readers will know that one. I have been throwing more Pro Pops than anything in pearl and clear. All baits mentioned have the teaser tail on them.
Our best schooling action is happening by throwing our lures in the middle of the feeding frenzy and just let it sit for several seconds. If they do not hit it soon then pop it one time and let it sit another 10 seconds or so. Yep, I know some of you like to really work those top-water lures but if they aren’t hitting it very much with lots of action then slow down and try my suggestion. The lady anglers reading this will likely give the slow approach a try while the guys more than likely won’t. That’s the way we are wired, huh guys? It may take her catching a few before we decide to slow things down. We are slow learners ... comes with being a male I guess.
We continue to catch bass on top-water lures at sunrise, sunset and during cloudy/rainy conditions. The presentation is similar to that in schools so work it slow. Other patterns catching bass are Texas and Carolina rigs. I am fishing my Texas rigs on the outside of the deep grass in 15 to 25 feet and Carolina rigs in 20 to 30 feet mostly without grass. We are also using Texas rigs an hour or two after sunrise until mid-morning and Carolina rigs from late morning till mid-afternoon.
The drop shot continues to be in our package of tools to stay on mid-summer Toledo Bend largemouth. We are using two methods:
• Exposed nose-hooked worm and fishing it vertical.
• Inserting a hook into worm via Texas-style and making short casts on outside edge of submerged grass.
Both methods are working with the common part of the equation is to fish these rigs slow. We are using a variety of soft plastics on our drop shots that includes Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr. (4.75-inches), Bottom Hoppers (6.25-inches) and Trick Worms.
As far as colors with the Bottom Hoppers we like watermelon, watermelon red, shady watermelon candy, cherry seed and smoke purple. Our Trick Worm color choices include watermelon candy red, watermelon red, watermelon purple glitter, watermelon seed and candy bug. We like 1 and 2/0 Daiichi offset high carbon hooks, 1/8- to 1/2-ounce drop shot sinkers, eight- and 10-lb test Berkley Pro Grade 100 percent Fluorocarbon line with a seven-inch Abu Veritas medium-action spinning rod with Revo SX Spinning Reel. We do continue to use crankbaits by using Norman’s Baby N in schooling bass, DLN (Deep Little Ns) on medium-depth grassy points (eight to 15 feet) and the DD22s on deep points and submerged ridges.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Last week we found several bunches of yellow bass usually under schooling largemouth but also in the bottom of deep troughs, which is where deep water comes near the bank. We used medium-sized jigging spoons and tail-spinners to catch them as well as largemouth on same structure. The most consistent white perch/crappie reports continue to be on man-made-baited brush piles in 18 to 28 feet with live shiners. I did hear of a few decent catches at night under bridges in Six Mile, Lananna (pronounced by locals as Lanans) and Pendleton. Some reported problems with bugs swarming around lights but that is common in summer night fishing.
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