Joe Joslin Outdoors - Guide Service

Current Fishing Report for Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Sam Rayburn Reservoir Fishing Report
January 9, 2017


At midweek Rayburn’s water level was at 161.4 which is 3 feet under full pool which is 164.4’. We fished it last week for a few days and found the lake in good shape with lots of shallow grass. We caught a few fish deep but most were less than 10 feet. With warm weather in the forecast for the rest of the week the bass will continue to move shallow. Tournament season is here and Skeeter Performance Bass Boats Bass Champs is scheduled for Rayburn on Saturday. Tournament headquarters will be Humphrey’s Pavilion which is located on the east side of the dam.

My prediction is there will be lots of fish caught and I’m betting it will take close to 25 pounds (five fish limit) to win. Skeeter Bass Champs is fished by numerous lake area anglers and is one of the best run tournaments in the country. First place prize is $20,000 and will be awarded no matter the number of teams that will sign up. Normally the January Bass Champs has close to 300 teams (2 person teams) with 600 anglers.

Several patterns have been working with most shallow including Bill Lewis lipless crankbaits (Rat-L-Traps) in Rayburn red, white crawfish, Toledo gold and blue/silver worked over grassy flats close to spawning grounds. Texas rigs(6.25 inch Bottom Hoppers), Carolina rigs, spinnerbaits(Stanley’s Vibrashaft) and wacky rigs are all catching fish. Also Berkley’s new jerk bait, the Cutter 90 and 110, have worked for me over grass working it slowly with pauses. I use 12 lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon with the Cutters. The bass are definitely holding in the grass with grassy points being a targeted area to work.

The deep bite has been good but the warm weather could move some but not all the deep fish. We have been using Carolina rigged lizards(Berkley Boss Dog) and 10 inch Power Worms. We also are using a drop shot with Bottom Hopper. In addition we are using Stanleys football jig (Bugeye) in ½ oz. in green pumpkin and black/blue. For all of our deep patterns we are fishing from 12 to 25 on ridges, flats and break lines.

CRAPPIE: The 147 Bridge has been the best area for a few weeks with anglers fishing tight to the pilings using live shiners, Road Runners and Stanley’s Ribbit Runts. If you haven’t tried the Ribbit Runts you are missing out on a super crappie bait. I use it on 6 lb. test Trilene Fluorocarbon and a Revo 30S spinning reel with a 6’6” Abu prototype medium light spinning rod. The Ribbit Runt is fairly well distributed but if you have a problem finding them go online to

Joe Joslin is a syndicated writer and is published by numerous websites, newspapers and magazines plus is a pro guide on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn and a TPWD licensed guide since 1998. Contact at, 337-463-3848/409-565-1288 and website

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