outdoors.07.10.19.Joe Joslin Toledo

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts.

It looks like we have our first tropical system in the Gulf. By the time this is published we should know more about this system. For sure it will be a major rain maker. Looking back, I had two of my most productive days on Toledo when a tropical system stalled in the Gulf. This sounds like a fish story but we (myself and client) caught over 80 bass each day/ 2 days fishing in Housen Bay. Yes, we watched the weather.

Lake conditions

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The lake level is 170.81′, which is little over a foot below full pool (172′). One unit is running 24 hours. At the emergency spillway, all gates are closed. Water temps are 85-87. North Toledo is slightly stained, mid lake is mostly clear with some stained conditions in the back of major feeder creeks. South Toledo is clear.

Fishing report

BASS: We are in the middle of summer so patterns will not change until September. We continue to fish shallow early (5:30 – 8:30 a.m.) and late (5:30 – 8:15 p.m.) and fish deep 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. We also are fishing split schedules with clients starting at first light (5:30 – 9:30 a.m.) and get off the lake during the hottest part of the day and then go back at 4:15 p.m. and fish until 8:15. This does two things as we get off the lake during hottest part and we also get to fish the first hour and last hour of the day. Usually, both of those will produce fish but you can bet your best reel that at least one of them will.

Our patterns remain basically the same with early patterns of top water, Texas rigged creature baits (Powerbait Power Hawg) square bill crankbaits (Berkley’s Squarebull) and wacky rigged The General and Senkos. For top water, I like Berkley’s Choppo in black chrome and ghost blugill. The Choppo is Berkley’s answer to the Whopper Plopper. For top water, I also like Gunfish.

For deep patterns, we are using deep diving crankbaits like DD22 as well as drop shot and Carolina rigs. The DD22 runs about 16 feet on 12-pound test fluorocarbon and 18 feet on 10-pound. We continue to use Bottom Hoppers in morning dawn on our drop shot rigs. We nose hook it if we are fishing it vertically (#2 drop shot hook) and we move to a larger hook 3/0 offset and bury the hook like a Texas rig which allows us to cast the rig. We are using a drop shot sinker with both of these rigs.

On our Carolina rigs we are using a 17-pound fluorocarbon on both the leader and main line. For soft plastics on our Carolina rigs, we like the Powerbait’s Power Hawg. I start out with the five-inch version of the Power Hawg and if they don’t hit that I will go to the four-inch version. I’m Carolina rigging, drop shotting and throwing the DD22 in 20-30 feet as some of these bass are suspended.

My guide partner Jason Courville found some fish in the back of a major creek and caught bass on a drop shot and Carolina rig. For his drop shot, he used a Bottom Hopper in morning dawn and used creature baits in watermelon red on his Carolina rig. He was fishing in the creek around 14-16 feet.

CRAPPIE: Crappie guides George Jeane and Tater Reynolds continue to catch crappie. They bait their brush piles with cotton seed meal and fresh green tops, which is their ‘secret’ as they catch 40-50 each day. They like shiners and crappie jigs fishing 20-35 feet around their brush piles. The guides say some of the crappie/white perch are suspending at 22-25 feet.


Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. His column appears Wednesdays. Contact him at 463-3848 or

joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com or visit www.joejoslinoutdoors.com