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Toledo Bend Field Report by pro guide Joe Joslin

LAKE CONDITIONS At mid-week the lake level is 164.6 which shows minimal change in a week but up almost a foot from mid January. One generator has been running about 2-3 hours three mornings a week. Water temps are running from 47 to 51 degrees and this cold front will not allow any warming until the weekend.

FISHING REPORTS/BASS: With cold water temps there is still a deep water bite but the mid-to-shallow patterns have improved as the calender edges closer to spring even though water temps hang behind. Crankbaits, both lipless and divers, have produced this past week with anglers working Bill Lewis's Rat-l-Traps on shallow flats and in cuts/drains with those that contain vegetation giving better results. Diving crankbaits have also produced with anglers working creeks and ditches in 8 to 12 ft with good success as some of the bass are moving back into the creeks in preperation for the spawn.

Spinnerbaits, always, a good choice in Feburary produced in a big way this past week as Toledo angler, Jim Blake, landed a 11.32 pound largemouth that hit his home-made 3/8 oz spinnerbait. According to Blake, he was fishing in Buck Creek(south Toledo/TX side) in about 6 feet of water. The bait had a red head, white skirt and one #4 willow blade. The fish qualified for Toledo's Lunker Program so Blake will get a free fibraglass replicia and the bass was released back into the lake. Great job!

Patient anglers are also catching a few heavy bass working a jig along grasslines with most using half-ounce jig heads with a variety of trailers including Berkley's Chigger Craw, Power Craws and Brush Hogs.
Deep Diving crankbaits are also improving on deep ridges as big bass move up into places a little closer to spawning areas. DD22s in Firetiger, Sexy Shad and Blue/Chartreuse are top colors. I also like the new silent/no rattle version of Norman's DD22s. To get these baits down as deep as possible I am using 10 pound Stren and Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon on Abu Garcia's Revo Winch reel which is made for deep cranking. It takes so much work out of cranking.

Carolina rigs, worked very slowly, continue to produce on humps, points and ridges from 10 to 30 feet as are Stanley's Bugeye football jigs. It is big bass time on Toledo so make sure you have fresh line and often re-tied knot. As winter continues the jigging spoon remains on one of my rods and the drop shot has become hotter than ever.

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Contact him at 337-463-3848 or . and WEBSITE
Nice fish
Nice fish and great report on how and where the fish was caught. I'll be there in March. Hope to talk with you soon about getting together.
Are you fishing in the BFL tournament this weekend Joe?