Joslin: Magazine ranks Toledo Bend No. 10

By By Joe Joslin / American Press

Hello, anglers.

Basically the news is all good on my favorite fishing hole. In the May issue of Bassmaster Magazine there is an article that

featured the top 100 lakes in the country and Toledo Bend was rated an impressive No. 10.

The article went on the say that the

lake is experiencing a “new Lake” effect because of recent rains the

past months that

flooded hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation as the lake had been

at record low levels due to an 18- to 24-month-old drought.

Catch rates are moving upward and giant

fish are more numerous, more so than in my 38 years of fishing this

awesome lake.

Two Texas Share Lunkers (bass that weigh more than 13 pounds) were

caught here since 2012, plus Louisiana registered a 14-pounder

last year.

There have been more bass weighing more

than 7 pounds, plus double-digit fish have been caught almost every

week on the lake

for the past three months. That does not mean you catch a huge

bass every time you go to the lake, but it does mean that you

need to have your tackle in top shape in order to land a big,

strong-fighting largemouth bass.

The basics I teach in my seminars and

guide trips include proper knots, fresh fishing line (line more than a

month old needs

changing), high-quality hooks and proper drag settings on your

reels. Also, a positive attitude is vital so expect to get

a strike from a huge fish. When, not if, it happens, having your

tackle in top shape will greatly increase your percentages

of getting into the same picture as your dream bass.

Lake Conditions

The water level is 170.4 feet and both generators are shut down.

Water temperatures are rising again and are running from 65-66 on main lake and 66-68 in creeks. North Toledo is stained,

midlake is mostly clear and south Toledo is clear to very clear.

I have been noticing the Texas Sabine River Authority working on the boat lane buoys last week so maybe they will be able

to replace some of the missing markers. Being familiar with the lake, it is not too much of a problem for us personally, but for those who are new to the lake it is a scary situation.

I have seen several boaters who have missed boat lanes and ended up out in the timber.

Fishing Reports

Bass: “Multiple” would be one description of the fish-catching patterns on Toledo. That doesn’t mean that you can throw any bait

anywhere and expect to get your rod bent multiple times, but I am saying that there is more than one way to catch bass on

my favorite fishin’ hole.

Our most frequently used pattern continues to be fishing soft plastics on light-weighted and weightless presentations in 4-

to 12-foot depths. Other fun and effective patterns include running a Stanley Vibra-Wedge double willow spinnerbait along shorelines and over grassy points. In addition, topwater patterns are increasing during the post-spawn with Pro Pop (Norman),

Chug Bug and Yellow Magic all getting hit.

Small-to-medium crankbaits are also

catching bass on points with scattered grass as well as on shallow

ridges. I like the

Flat Broke (Norman) as well as a Baby N and Little N. On soft

plastic patterns we mention earlier my choice of plastics include

Havoc’s Bottom Hopper, Havoc’s Rocket Craw, Speed Craw and Trick


My drop-shot rod is beginning to see more action with Havoc’s Bottom Hopper Jr. (4.75 inch) still my top choice. With more

and more bass moving deeper, we will also work slightly heavier Carolina rigs in depths of 18-28 feet.

Crappie/Bream/White Bass: Crappie

guide Ernie Cole reported activity has picked up both on deep brush

with live shiners as well as on the outside grasslines

with light jigs.

Yellow bass are still on the edge of creeks and edge of the river.

Spoons and tailspinners will work when jigged vertically as well as

pumping them close to the bottom as well as underneath

schooling largemouth bass. White bass are being caught on jigs by

crappie anglers especially on Blakemore’s Road Runner. Bass

anglers are also catching them on spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

• • •

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