Last Modified: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:20 PM
Many of you will be reading this report from the lake during the July 4th celebration.
There have been more boats on the lake the past week than there have been in several years, if my observation is correct. Not all are fishing, by any means, but a lot of them are fishing after dark because we have a full moon.
The nights have been beautiful. It’s like a change of shift when it starts to get dark as the daytime anglers, ski boats and Jet Ski folks take their boats out while the night-fishing anglers are just arriving.
Be considerate of fellow lake users. It is always helpful and always makes for a more pleasant atmosphere at the boat launch area. Here are a few basic but often abused boat launch procedures:
• Refrain from backing the rig down the ramp and then stop and transfer coolers, tackle boxes, remove motor toter, tie-downs and such. All of this can be done prior, while your rig is off to the side and out of the way and not blocking traffic flow. There is no reason for a boater to be on the launch longer than one minute when launch preparations have been followed.
helpful act of consideration is when launching or loading early
mornings and late evenings to use either parking lights
or no lights as they blind the trailer-driver in the next lane who
is trying to back down to the ramp. When loaded and pulling
away from the ramp the lights can be turned back on.
The lake level at midweek stands at 169.11 feet with one generator running from 2:30-5 p.m. weekdays.
Water temperatures have soared and stand at 87-88 degrees. I check water temps early mornings as they are more stable then, but by mid-afternoon one can find water temps as high as 92 degrees.
Basically all the lake has good water conditions with some slightly stained areas on the northern end and very clear down south.
The best submerged grass (hydrilla and milfoil) is from Housen Bay and Indian Mounds south to the dam. Pepper grass is exploding, and in some areas lily pads are too, as Housen Bay has a good many pads along the southwestern portions.
BASS: The top bass-catching methods this week are after dark since we are in a full-moon week with the full moon having just passed on Tuesday. We will have a big moon for several more nights.
With very high daytime air temps and super high water temps, nighttime bassin’ is definitely a good option. In the heart of summer on many deep southern lakes with clear water conditions, a lot of the bass will become nocturnal and feed at night when there is less people activity, and it is more comfortable for them to escape the bright, hot conditions.
This is especially true for larger bass as it is much easier to catch a 20-pound stringer at night than during the day.
One of the night patterns is a 1/2- or 3/4-ounce spinnerbait (single Colorado blade in black or purple skirt) worked along grass points close to deep water. I usually rely more on a spinnerbait when the wind is blowing at night, and I fish it slow and also a yo-yo retrieve allowing it to fall on a semi-slack line.
On still nights I suggest working a Texas-rigged Berkley 7- and 10-inch Power Worm-rigged with 3/8- or 1/2-ounce sinker.
My top colors are plum and redbug on bright nights and black and blue on cloudy nights or dark times of the night.
I usually crawl my worms at night instead of hopping it and let it sit still for several seconds.
I like Berkley 100 percent fluorocarbon in 17-pound test for nighttime worming. There are some nights when I rig with light lead (1/8 ounce) and work the shallow areas in 2-12 feet, but most of the time I suggest 15-25 feet and a heavier sinker such as 3/8 and half-ounce.
Daytime patterns include a decent topwater bite at first light (5:45-7 a.m.) and late afternoon from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The afternoon bite has generally been the best, but the morning bite will improve as we move away from the full moon when bass will resume feeding more during daylight hours.
Our largest two bass this past week included one just under 6 pounds and another just under 7, and both were caught on a Texas rig in 16-20 feet in scattered hydrilla.
We continue to catch bass on deep-diving crankbaits as well as drop-shot patterns. We are also catching bass on Carolina rigs and Stanley Bugeye jigs, which is a football jig.
CRAPPIE/WHITE/YELLOW BASS: The best way to catch crappie is on man-made brush piles in 18-28 feet with live shiners and jigs.
White and yellow bass are mostly suspended off points on major creeks as well as on bends and sloughs off the Sabine River bed. They are from 15-30 feet and will hit a jigging spoon in 1/2 to 3/4 ounce.
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 email@example.com or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com