Joe Joslin Outdoors - Guide Service

Current Fishing Report for Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Sam Rayburn Reservoir Fishing Report
December 2, 2018

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Hello anglers. For the first time in my 20 years of guiding I am guiding more on Sam Rayburn that Toledo Bend. For me personally, Toledo has been tough since last May so I started to fish more and more on Rayburn. I have a lake house on the south Texas side of Toledo and it is only 35 minutes west on Highway 255 to the Army Corp landing at the Pavilion. It has been much easier for me to put my clients on fish at Rayburn. Most of it has to do with lack of hydrilla on Toledo and plenty of it on Rayburn.

There are positive signs that the grass is coming back on south Toledo since I have found a good bit of hydrilla in Mill Creek, Six Mile and Housen. Last spring (2018) was excellent on The Bend and I look for it to be excellent next spring (2019) as well as Toledo’s grass is slowly starting to come back.

As far as how we are catching bass on Big Sam currently we are fishing both shallow and deep.

On the shallow bite we are starting at dawn mostly with soft plastics but some Berkley square bill crankbaits called SquareBull (formally Pit Bull) in shad patterns. On soft plastics early morning we like Berkley’s Bottom Hopper. The Bottom Hopper was in the Havoc family but recently Berkley moved it to the Power Bait family. Personally, I think it made a good bait even greater as the Power Baits all have that Power Bait smell which fish definitely like.

Yesterday (December 1) the water temp at dawn was around 60 degrees and had some clouds for a couple of hours.

We used Texas rigged Bottom Hoppers in June Bug and caught bass from 2 to 10 ft. in grass the first two hours. We caught 5-6 bass in that time frame but most were small with one being a solid tournament fish. We also threw a wacky rigged ‘The General’ in green pumpkin and baby bass plus a Senko in watermelon blue flake and watermelon candy. I fish these baits completely weightless with a 2/0 or 3/0 Fusion Aberdeen hook. The best way to describe this hook is a crappie hook on steroids. I normally use 10 lb test Big Game mono with a Revo Rocket Spinning reel and a Veritas 7’ medium action spinning rod. This medium action rod allows me to set the hook without a fear of a break off.

We fished shallow until mid morning and then we went deep the rest of the fishing day which was around 3 p.m. so we fished deep for close to 5 hrs. On our deep patterns we fished drop shot, Carolina rigs, spoons and Texas rigs. We had a good day catching 40-50 bass with most of them coming deep from 18 to 32 feet. Over half came from the drop shot using Bottom Hoppers which we nose hooked the BH with a Fusion drop shot hook. This is an amazing little hook. Best colors included June bug, red bug and morning dawn. On our C rigs I used The General in green pumpkin. On any lake under any conditions you can’t go wrong with green pumpkin. Give us a shout if you want to catch some bass on deep structure.


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