Last Modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:42 PM
We had another good week on the lake and fishing continues to improve as water and daytime temperatures edge slowly downward.
Mother Nature showed her stuff this week as we saw a 10- or 11-foot alligator in the Mill Creek area, witnessed some of the biggest flocks of teal I have ever seen on Toledo, saw bald eagles every day and had to slip on a long sleeve a couple of mornings. It is just a beautiful time of the year to be outside. The love bugs were even on the decline, and it’s a good thing as I am about out of bug cleaner.
If you are planning on getting in some fall fishing, the next couple of months are about it good as it gets on my favorite fishin’ hole.
The level is 168.35 feet with one generator running from 3-5:30 p.m.
Water temps fell to 79 degrees last week behind the cold front but have inched back up to 83 degrees since daytime temperatures have been in upper 80s.
Water conditions continue to be excellent all over the lake with slightly stained conditions on the north end, mostly clear at midlake and very clear down south. I’m fishing a lot of really clear water on the south end with visibility from 6- 8 feet.
Deep, submerged grass is almost nonexistent up north, midlake has a little and south Toledo has a lot in places. Shoreline
grass is good almost everywhere on the lake with cooler water temps resulting in more fish using water depths of 2-8 feet.
If you have a favorite bait in your tackle box you can, more than likely, catch a fish on it as most any bait stands a good chance of catching a fish when fished properly.
Know for sure that some baits are much more productive than others, but there are numerous patterns and lures catching bass right now on Toledo. Some of that has to do with the fact that there are bass in 2 feet of water as well as in 30 feet and some even suspended over 50-foot depths.
It sure makes things interesting when choosing a starting pattern or starting place. I suggest starting by using proven autumn methods and techniques such as to target points on the main lake as well as points and creek bends on major feeder creeks all over the lake as these are full of baitfish and bass.
One factor is to find a grassy point either on the main lake or a main feeder creek. When you find a point with grass, fish it either early or late afternoon or during cloudy conditions and you can almost be certain of some bass action.
If there is water that is 20 feet deep or more that is close to the point then the area should be even more productive.
Patterns and lures that are working in these conditions include topwater (Pro Pops and Yellow Magic), Stanley Vibra Wedge spinnerbaits (double willow blades), Texas-rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom Hoppers, Trick Worms and shallow and mid-diving crankbaits such as DLNs, Little Ns and Baby Ns by Norman Lures.
There have also been bass on deep structure that we have targeted mostly during days with high barometric pressure with bright blue bird skies just behind cold fronts. On these days, we are cranking DD22s, slow-dragging a Carolina rig as well as drop-shot.
I have found a new favorite drop-shot
worm called Bottom Hopper Jr., which is in the Berkley Havoc Series. BH
Jrs. are 4.75
inches long and come in numerous colors with watermelon and
watermelon candy being two colors that have worked for us. This
worms floats so the tail is always pointing up on your drop-shot
Crappie continue to be caught on brush piles in 15-25 feet with a few showing up on deep grassy points and creek bends.
Live shiners, Beetle Spins and Road Runners are the most common baits for fall crappie. Also, with Beetle Spins and Road Runners, just be aware that almost anything that swims will hit those baits so make sure you have on fresh line, especially if you are using light line, and make sure the drag on your reel is set to accommodate a big fish.
The lake record bass on Texas’ Lake Fork (18.18 pounds) was caught by a crappie angler.
Yellow and white bass are also moving to the back of creeks and are holding along the edge of major creeks. They can be caught on topwater, small crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps (Bill Lewis Lures), tailspinners and spoons.
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