Joe Joslin Outdoors - Guide Service

Current Fishing Report for Toledo Bend Lake




APRIL 21, 2019

Hello anglers and outdoor addicts.  Fishing on my favorite fishing hole continues to improve.  Everything has been later this year with the spawn but we have started to catch numerous post spawn bass.  The water temperature that I fished the end of the week was 59-60 degrees.  I did find some 61-62 degree water but it was way back in coves. Most of the main lake water was as mentioned…..59-60.  The cold night time temperatures over the weekend (mid-upper 40s/low 50s) are keeping the temps down from where they should be.  However, we usually have a cold front the week of Easter.   One thing about cold temps in April, it will make May even better.

LAKE CONDITIONS:  TOLEDO     Toledo’s lake level early this week is 169.4 msl/mean sea level.  Both generators are running 24/7 and no gates are open at emergency spillway.  I discussed the temperatures previously. North Toledo is stained, mid lake is slightly stained and south Toledo is mostly clear on main lake.  However, for some reason south Toledo is not as clear as it is normally.  Possibly it’s the rains and both generators running 24/7.  

Greg Crafts, longtime fishing guide on north Toledo has retired.  I don’t know how many years Craft has guided but I know he was guiding 20 years ago when I started guiding.  I used him often in my columns about white bass in January-March.  Another well known guide, Jack Adams retires. He guided both bass and crappie and guided the mid lake/1215/Lanana area. Locals call it Lanans.  Adams was a strong bass tournament angler and qualified for the LA Top Six numerous times.

According to Army Corp of Engineers data, Rayburn is close to being back to normal pool.  It had been up for over 10 feet several months ago.  Most all the ramps were all closed.  The only two open were above Highway 147 Bridge. They actually had to close that bridge for a few days.  I’ve been fishing Sam Rayburn over 35 years and I never remember that happening.
On Saturday April 13 the level was 164.89’ msl/mean sea level.  Normal full pool on Big Sam is 164.4’ or just 1/2 foot above full pool. In my opinion this will make the fishing better as the fish will not have the vast amount of area they have had to spread out. It will be interesting to see how the recent heavy rains will impact both lakes.

TOLEDO BASS REPORT   Wacky rigged ‘The General’ and senkos continue to catch bass but also Berkley’s square bill called Square Bull and Wild Thang are catching their share.  Also, Texas rigged creature baits are also catching bass.   I’ve found if I lighten my bullet sinker from 3/16 to 1/8 oz. the bass seem to get bigger.  That’s only 1/16 of an ounce but it seems to make a difference.  On very windy days of course you will need that little extra weight. .

One thing about fishing a cigar shaped weightless soft plastic is the fall rate. Berkley’s ‘The General’ fall rate has seemed to have found the answer according to Bass Master Classic winner, Hank Parker.  On weightless soft plastic such as Yum lures Yum Dinger, Yamamoto’s Senkos and Berkley’s The General the fall rate is vital. Some soft bait manufactures have spent 6 months to get the fall rate just right.  As many of you anglers know, I fish a lot of wacky rigs and the fall rate is the difference between catching bass and not catching fish.  Currently we are fishing Texas rigged Bottom Hoppers in June Bug and red bug, square billed crankbaits and wacky rigged The General and Senkos.  My favorite color of The General is Pumpkin Party and Senko is watermelon blue flake.

Crappie guides, George Jeane and Tater Renolds says the deep bite continues to be good and getting better. Renolds says “More and more fish are showing up in brush piles in 20-25 feet.”  He says all of the crappie are finished spawning and reports the average size has really improved and adds “The last 4 trips we have really caught some gaints and the more the water temperatures rises the better it will get.”  He reports that this cold front may slow some from pulling out to deep brush but its suppose to warm back up so he doesn’t think it will hurt them too much.        





Joslin is a pro guide on both Toledo and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact him at, 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

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Joe Joslin Outdoors
Licensed Guide on Toledo Bend & Sam Rayburn
Tournament Angler & Outdoor Media
Member: Louisiana Outdoor Writers Assoc.& Southeastern Outdoor Press Assoc
160 Country Lane, DeRidder, LA 70634

Phone: (337) 463-3848