Joslin: Time to use various tools, patterns

By By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello, anglers.

The weather has been beautiful, making

it easy to stay outdoors. As a matter of fact, its hard to stay indoors

these days

and you look for an excuse to get back outside. Toledo is amazing

with sunrises and sunsets seeming to be even more spectacular

with the cool temperatures. With late sunrises these days, you

don’t have to get up that early to experience one.

Lake Conditions

The lake level remains near 167.6 feet with one generator running a couple hours on selective weekdays during the afternoon.

Water temperatures during the early

part of the week were running a little warmer in the mid-70s, but with

the latest cold

front will trend slightly cooler and be in lower 70s late this

week. Water conditions are basically good all over with north

Toledo slightly stained, midlake mostly clear and south Toledo

very clear.

Fishing reports

BASS: We are using multiple tools and patterns these days with Stanley’s spinnerbaits always in the top five of lure selections.

There are three of Stanley’s spinnerbait models that are effective.

The first is the affordable Wedge-Plus

Series, also the Vibrashaft series and the Compact series. The

Wedge-Plus in 3/8 ounce

with combination white-and-chartreuse skirt is always a safe

choice. I really like the Vibrashaft series with custom-painted

blades and longer skirts. As we have mentioned before, we love the

royal purple (LSU) color.

The Compact version is a great bait on

local rivers, but there are days when Toledo and Rayburn’s bass want a

smaller profile

bait. I always keep some of these on board when the fish short

strike the other versions. On some days it can make a difference.

Another staple pattern is a

light-weighted Texas rig worked along the outside edge of the grass

(hydrilla). I look for scattered

grass areas where the grass is not as matted or thick where I can

slowly work the rig through the grass. We like Berkley Havoc’s

Bottom Hopper and Trick Worms for this application with best

colors in Bottom Hopper, including shady watermelon candy and

smoke purple with green pumpkin, watermelon purple and candy bug

on Trick Worms. We are using from 1/16 to ¼ ounce slip sinkers.

A mid-diving crankbait is also a good

choice with DLN and NXS my choices for suspended bass on points as well

as those holding

on edge of grass. The DLN runs about 10-12 feet and the NXS runs

about 12-16. I like a purple/shad color. On tough days with

lots of sun we continue to fish deeper with DD22s, drop-shot and

spoons. We target depths anywhere from 20-40 feet, depending

on what our electronics show as well as how bass respond to our


Every day brings a new challenge as far

as establishing a pattern as seldom two days are the same. That’s why

an angler can

be a serious fisherman for 30-40 years and still remained

challenged. The “awe” moment comes on a tough day when you figure

it out and dial in on what the fish want. The “ug” moment is when

you have decent fishing conditions and yet cannot get fish

to commit.

Yep, producing every trip can be challenging but it remains a great way to pay the bills.

CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: As last week, I’m seeing very little crappie info but man-made brush piles in 25 to 30 feet depths seems to be the only thing

going. Live shiners are still the best, but as temps fall, jigs are improving.

We will keep you posted on The Chicken Coop. If the lake stays low and clear (no major rains), the Coop area could be fantastic

again this season. Last year was fair at best for most anglers.

Water temps will need to fall in low 50s. Yellow bass are all along major creeks.

• • •

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 or visit