Last Modified: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 10:32 AM
Many of you reading this will are making plans for several days on the water as numerous folks gets both Thursday and Friday off this week.
One reminder to Louisiana anglers is to make sure you renew your fishing license as they expired on Sunday. You can get them at local outlets, online or you can do what I do often for family and customers, which is to have them call 1-888-765-2602 and order over the phone. You will be assigned a number you can use immediately as long as you have a valid driver’s license. Also, when you call you will need a credit card. A processing fee of $3.50 for each license will be charged to your card.
The lake stands at 169.8 feet at midweek with both generators running from 2-7 p.m. weekdays.
Water temperatures have held steady with the awesome cool front and are running from 82-85 degrees. I normally check water temps early morning as conditions are more stable and constant then and you can get a more realistic idea about water temp trends. If you check them in midafternoon, one afternoon could be cloudy while next day is sunny, which makes a big difference, especially in sun-drenched coves where surface temps can reach 90.
The entire lake is in good shape with stained conditions on north Toledo, midlake is slightly stained in some areas, but mostly clear while south Toledo is very clear.
BASS: Summer patterns are here as we are spending more of our time in depths greater than 18 feet. Bass are also in groups we are finding out so if you catch a fish on deep structure slow down and fish it thoroughly. It is not uncommon to catch 3-6 fish in one area.
However, we continue to fish shallow the first 30 minutes to an hour each morning and the same late afternoons. With the weather so hot we have been doing several split schedules when we fish from dawn till about 10 a.m. and then get off the lake until 4:30 p.m. and fish until dark. This gives you the early and late bite and you don’t have to cook in the midday sun.
We are catching a few fish on topwater early as well as with small crankbaits. If we don’t get action the first 10-15 minutes we go to a Texas rig and work points with grass. We start shallow with the Texas rigs (6-12 feet) and then move out deeper as the sun gets high working the Texas rigs as deep as 20-25 feet. If the Texas rig slows we move to the drop-shot rig and work 18-28 feet.
The drop-shot has been good for us the past 2-3 weeks.
We are rigging it with 8- to 10-pound test Berkley 100 percent Trilene Pro Grade Fluorocarbon on both spinning and baitcast rigs. With that light of line, I choose a medium-action 7-foot, 3-inch Veritas rod (Abu Garcia) where I can set the hook hard and the line will not break as the medium action has enough cushion to absorb the strong hook-set.
The drop-shot setup I am describing is when I bury the hook in the worm. If you choose to nose-hook the worm, leaving the hook exposed, then a strong hook-set is not needed. Because I am using the drop-shot in mostly bright conditions, my worm choices are those that are translucent which allows light to penetrate the worm such as watermelon, cherry seed and smoke purple.
We are also using large worms with Texas rigs as well as Carolina rigs in deep water. In addition, we are also catching bass on deep-diving crankbaits. We’ll go more into those next week since we spent a lot of time this week with the drop-shot. I get a lot of questions about drop-shot rigs plus many of my clients want to learn this technique.
CRAPPIE AND YELLOW BASS: Noe Garcia and Ernie Cole, both crappie guides, continue to catch good crappie in baited brush piles in 18-28 feet. Live shiners and 1/16-ounce crappie jigs are the baits of choice with shiners being first choice in most cases.
Yellow bass are more numerous under schools of bass with spoons, medium crankbaits and tailspinners all good choices with yellows.
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