Hello anglers and outdoor addicts. Sam Rayburn is about a foot lower than this time last week and should continue to fall about the same pace if long term weather forecasts prove correct.

More good news……I also found hydrilla in Indian Creek and Buck Creek which are the most southern feeder creeks on the Texas side of Toledo.  Check out my bass report later in this column about fishing hydrilla.

LAKE CONDITIONS

The lake level mid-week was 171.19’ with both generators running 24/7 and at the emergency spillway all gates were closed.  

Surface water temperatures were 51-53.  Saturday morning they got down to 49-50 degrees.  North Toledo is stained, mid-lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is slightly stained in some areas but clearer around Texas and Louisiana Islands.

BASS REPORT

There’s no doubt that hydrilla made it possible for us to catch bass Friday afternoon. The winds were howling 25-30 mph out of the north so we had to find shelter on a north bank in Indian Creek.  

I had fished that bank earlier (several weeks ago) and it had a little hydrilla but when returned last Friday it had doubled in the amount of hydrilla.   We caught several bass on about a 100 yards stretch with hydrilla in 6 to 12 feet.

We caught most bass on a Texas rigged Bottom Hopper in June Bug. Since we were right behind a front bass were not aggressive but they all came out of hydrilla from 6-12 ft.  

I slowly dragged the Bottom Hopper on the bottom and outside edges of the grass (hydrilla) with a 3/16 oz. black bullet sinker and a 3/0 off set Fusion worm hook.  

The light bullet sinker and the straight tailed Bottom Hopper allowed the rig to ease through the grass without spooking the bass.     

I kept the boat in about 14-15 ft. and made casts about 45 degrees to keep my Texas rig in the sweet spot longer where the hydrilla was located.  

We caught one nice bass on a wacky rigged watermelon red Senko but the rest of the fish came on the Bottom Hopper.  All of our fish came off of that one hydrilla filled bank.

In my opinion, if the hydrilla had not been there neither would’ve the bass.

When winds kept us off the main lake most of the time but when winds backed off this allowed us to continue to catch bass on drop shots and Carolina rigs on main lake ridges with drops. Bass are starting to stage on the first major drop from 12 to 20 feet close to a spawning flat.  

In a weather warm up, bass are moving up on flats of 6-8 ft. and will hit a Bill Lewis Rat L Trap or Berkley “Squarebull” square bill crankbait.

Then when there’s a cold front they will move to the first major drop off and when weather moderates they will move back on the shallow flat. When water temps reach 62-66 degrees they will move in to spawn.

CRAPPIE

Crappie guide, George Jeane, said the crappie bite continues tough but more crappie are moving up in shallow hydrilla and can be caught on crappie jigs, Road Runners, Beatle Spins and live shiners under a cork in 3-4 feet.  

The jigs, Road Runners and Beatle spins can be worked over slightly deeper (4-8 ft.) as long as there is hydrilla present. My favorite jig is pink with white tail worked on 6-8 lb. test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon.  

For this I like a Fenwick Elite spinning rod and reel I like a Abu Garcia SX20S.             

Joslin is a pro guide on both Toledo and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact him at joejoslinoutdoors@yahoo.com, landline 337-463-3848/Cell 337-401-0264. Joe Joslin is a syndicated writer and is published by numerous websites, newspapers and magazines. Check out his website at www.joejoslinoutdoors.com.