I contacted several Big Lake sources and they all sung the same song, which was the weather has made it impossible to fish most days the past couple of weeks.
Water temperatures were very cold (upper 40s/low 50s) and high winds were the norm. Hopefully we will have better news next week. However, it might take a few days.
Ted Dove of the Toledo Bend Lake Association and Ricky Yeldell, biologist for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, provided the following information regarding giant salvinia for the 2013 calendar year.
On Toledo Bend, 9,398 acres of giant salvinia was treated, according to Yeldell, plus another 400 acres or so of other noxious weeds and plants.
The report went on to say that most of the giant salvinia recently observed has been damaged either by herbicide treatments or cold weather. These plants are discolored (brown) and floating very low in the water. It is likely that most of these plants will not survive. However, cold water greatly decreases the activity of the bacteria required to decompose this material; and during this time of the year, the decaying process takes several weeks to occur.
The report also so added that it seems that Toledo Bend will enter the 2014 growing season in as good of a condition, as has been noted in recent years with regard to giant salvinia coverage.
Yeldell also added, “Regardless of the amount of giant salvinia present in the coming weeks, it is our intent to continue maximal herbicide treatment efforts from this point forward. We will also continue to release giant salvinia weevils into remote locations that are inaccessible to spray crews.”
Local tournament angler Doug Guins was able to get back out on the Calcasieu River last week just prior to the strong cold front that brought freezing rain and snow to the area. They were rewarded with some really nice fish.
Guins reported most of their fish were caught around the cuts and drains on jigs and Texas- rigged Craws and Berkley Havoc’s Bottom Hoppers. The Bottom Hopper is also one of my favorite soft plastics on Toledo. It is a 6 1/4 inches long straight tail worm and the tail floats when you let it sit still. I catch a lot of bass just casting it and letting it sit still to allow the tail to slowly rise. Some anglers refer this as “dead-sticking.” Cold-water bass love this presentation.
Guins seemed encouraged concerning the Sabine River as it is improving with reports of fish being caught on spinnerbaits and small crankbaits in cuts and around current breaks on the south end of the river.
The water is stained with water temps near 50 degrees before the last cold front. Most of the fish are reported to be under the 14-inch size limit, but fishing conditions should improve greatly as we get into February with a warm front or two.