Looks like Dolly may bring some much needed rain to the Toledo area, which for the most part has been very dry for several weeks. Lack of rain, plus upper 90s to near 100-degree daytime temperatures have started to stress plants and wildlife.
Tropical weather systems, which pass several hundred miles away and cause no threat, can often times bring clouds, rain and barometric changes, all of which may mean a few days of outstanding fishing.
That being said, Dolly may be a great fishing partner this week, providing she doesn't want to go sight seeing in southwest Louisiana or southeast Texas.
LAKE CONDITIONS: The lake level continues to fall and stands at 170 feet, with
both generators running from noon until 9 p.m. Monday-Friday.
All of the lake has good water quality, with the north end having slightly stained conditions with the remainder of Toledo being clear to very clear.
Water temperatures have spiked and are running from 86-90 degrees.
BASS: The full moon last week, combined with very hot daytime temperatures, brought out a lot of night fishermen on Toledo. The boat launch parking lot I use most of the time, SRA #7, located on the southwest side of the dam, had several rigs each evening as anglers opted to escape the daytime heat, as well as catch some nice bass.
The full moon weeks of July, August and September are three of the heaviest weeks for night fishing and are usually some of the most productive.
Water temperatures are the highest during these months and more fish feed at
night when water temperatures increase. Also, The Bend becomes very clear
during the summer months due to little rainfall and lighter winds, thus clearer water increases light penetration, which also drives fish deeper and causes more feeding after dark.
On Toledo there is no doubt that night fishing is a very successful method to catch bass in the summer months, especially bass over three pounds.
Some tried and true night fishing methods include a buzzbait worked over
grassy points and banks close to creeks and deep ditches.
Some anglers use a variety of buzzbaits to trigger strikes, trying a variety of colors, sizes and noise levels. Some come with clackers, which make a lot of noise and there are nights when they will savagely attack a clacker type, while other nights they will not touch it.
Some nights, they will hit a big buzzbait, and other nights, they want a small, subtle one. There are nights when they will not hit anything on top and other patterns need to be tried.
If there is a breeze, one of my favorite night time patterns is to take a three-eights or one half ounce Stanley Wedge single spin spinnerbait with
black or purple skirt and use a yo-yo retrieve off grassy points. Some nights, I put the boat in shallow water and cast to the deep area and slowly work it up the ledge.
Other nights, I do the opposite. If after an hour or so with buzzbaits and
spinnerbaits I do not connect with fish, I settle in with a plastic rig, usually a Texas-rigged lizard or Berkley Power Worm.
There are two groups of bass right now on the deeper, night time patterns. One is on the outside grassline, which is anywhere from 10-18 feet, depending on the location of the lake. The other is from 18-25 feet on brush and fallen trees.
As far as daytime patterns, nothing much has changed with the exception of more schooling bass and a few good ones in the mix. Also, slow down in the schools and work a light Texas rig underneath the schools. We caught some bass up to 5-6 pounds last week using that approach.
A Texas or Carolina rig in 18-25 feet is still catching bass as well as working a DD22 (Norman Lures) on the edge of deep grass as well as over points.
CRAPPIE: Baited holes are the best bet right now with brush in 20-30 feet on small shiners and one-sixteenth ounce blue or white crappie jigs (Stanley Crappie Wedge).
Concrete bridge pilings always hold some suspended crappie in the summer months. Pendleton and Lanana Bridges are two that hold summer crappie.
STRIPER: Schools are coming up feeding on the surface occasionally in several locations, including Indian and Buck Creek, Louisiana Islands, Texas Islands as well as along the dam.
However, it is hard to pinpoint where these schools may appear. The tropical weather could increase this activity. Frenzy Walker, large spoons, Pencil Poppers, Super Spooks are some of the local favorites for schooling stripers.
Joe Joslin is a syndicated columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. His sponsors include Skeeter Performance Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lake Charles Toyota, Red River Marine, Berkley, Fenwick, Abu Garcia, Bill Norman, Daiichi, Jay's Carpet One, The Floor Trader and Stanley Jigs Inc. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org and www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.