Joslin: For outdoor lovers, time of year about as good as it gets

By By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello, anglers.

Late-fall fishing is in full swing, as is deer season, plus duck season is in the wings to move in Nov. 10. For most Louisiana

and Texas outdoor lovers, this time of the year is about as good as it gets.

Mother Nature was pretty tough over the weekend, especially if you had plans to be on the water. The Louisiana Department

of Wildlife and Fisheries had to rescue two fishermen who were fishing on Grand Lake Friday afternoon.

They were in a 14-foot aluminum flat-bottom boat and, when the front hit Friday, they tried to make it back to the boat launch

but capsized in high waves. They were able to make it to the bank where they stayed all night and were found by LDWF about

9 a.m. Saturday after searching for them 12 hours.

Friday night the temperatures were in the upper 40s with strong winds all night, so the anglers were fortunate to have survived

the ordeal.

The rescue unit personnel from our LDWF

were also exposed to great danger to be out on a large body of water in

darkness under

such conditions, but they continued the search. Fortunately for

these two fishermen and their families the ending was a happy


Many times these situations can be prevented by anglers staying on top of weather conditions and then making wise and thoughtful

decisions about seaworthiness of boat and lake conditions.

A special appreciation goes to our LDWF which, once again,

came to the aid of residents in distress as they are often called upon

to put their lives on the line in order to locate

and rescue folks in harm’s way. Many times they go about their

work with little or no public appreciation, but in this small

attempt we say, “Job well done.”

Lake Conditions

The lake level at midweek was about 168 feet with one unit running from 4-6:30 p.m. A lot of floating logs got moved around

last weekend with the strong winds for nearly 48 hours, so boaters use caution.

Water temperatures are running from 66-70 degrees, which is about perfect for fishing conditions.

Water conditions are excellent all over with slightly stained conditions on the north portions, mostly clear at midlake and clear on the south end. All major creeks have some stained water, especially in the back third of the


Fishing reports

BASS: The strongest cold front this season hit on Friday with the first part arriving early Friday and the Canadian portion hitting

Toledo about 3 p.m. Friday. We were able to get off the lake about 30 minutes before things went from bad to worse.

We fished all day Friday in drizzle and temps in the low 50s with winds about 20 mph, but when the second part of the front

hit, winds were more than 30 mph and temps quickly fell into upper 40s. The fish hit really well the two days before the front.

We continue to use a variety of

patterns and are fishing several depths depending on weather conditions.

As the weather moderates

later this week we will return to more basic grass patterns and

not as much deep-water focus.

We are working Texas rigs on outside edge of submerged grass in 12-25 feet as well as a wacky rig (when winds allow) along the edge of major ditches and drains.

On our Texas rigs we like Berkley Havoc’s Bottom Hopper (6.25 inches) in shady watermelon candy in low-light situations as

well as watermelon during sunny and bright conditions. We also are using Trick Worms with this pattern.

We are using a Carolina rig in some of

the deeper areas from 16-30 feet. Berkley Havoc Rocket Craw, Stanley

Wedge Hog (out

of production), 6-inch Power Lizard and Speed Craws are all

excellent soft plastics on our Carolina rigs. We are also using

a drop-shot in 25-40 feet with Berkley Havoc’s Bottom Hopper Jr.

(4.75 inch) in shady watermelon candy as well as green pumpkin.

Crankbaits are also working on

suspended bass with Norman’s DLN and DD22s my two go-to crankbaits using

bumble bee, sexy shad

and blue and chartreuse as top colors. Jigging spoons are also a

part of our late-fall patterns and we have been working them

along the edge of major feeder creeks when I can find large

schools of shad on my fish finder. Quality electronics are important

anytime of the year, but especially in the fall and winter fishing


CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Before the front, crappie guide Noe Garcia was catching some big white perch with live shiners in 20-24 feet over brush.

Numbers of crappie were not that

impressive but the crappie continue to run large in size. Yellow bass

have been in good numbers

along the main feeder creeks and can be caught on jigging spoons

and tailspinners such as Norman’s Knock Off and Little George.


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