Spring-March through May
The bass are in pre-spawn and spawning conditions. Main lake ridges and humps, shoreline buck brush and coves will be producing best. Northwest pockets will warm quicker and fish will move into these warmer pockets first. Spinner baits, stick baits, jigs & pig, soft plastics and jerk baits will all be productive. On cloudy days and stained muddy water use darker colors, on clear days use brighter colors. If you locate one fish, there will probably be more around. The males, will move into the shallows first making the beds and the females will come in later. Once the female drops her eggs the male will move back onto the bed and guard the nest.
The Whites will be moving back to the main lake out of the river proper from their annual spawning grounds. For Whites still remaining in the river above Circle Drive, concentrate on the bends and points of the river sandbars. Live crawfish usually work best but Road Runners in white or chartreuse are also productive. Tail spinners in the same colors work well. Once the Whites move back into the main lake, start on the north end and concentrate on the points and bends of the old river channel with slab spoons, tail spinners, small crank baits and silver traps. Use your electronics to locate the bait- fish and the Whites will be close by. The Whites will continue to migrate south following the old river channel.
The Crappie will be scattered along the grass lines close to deep water in the coves and creeks. They will also gang up on the edges of the creeks over brush tops either planted or natural. Follow the grass line and throw 1/32 oz jigs parallel to the line. Vertically fish the brush tops in the creeks with shiners or jigs. Follow the creeks using your electronics to spot brush tops and bait fish.
Late April and early May the Bream will start moving on their spawning beds in 3 to 8 ft of water. Depending on the lake level will determine our fishing pattern. If the lake is mid range (168 ft) we'll concentrate on the main lake ridges and humps in 6 to 8 ft of water. Crickets and worms usually work best fished with ultra lights or cane poles with corks or straight lined. If lake is below 168 ft we'll concentrate in the coves and pockets protected from the wind. Look for honey combed holes along the bottom of the shallow water to find the beds, not unusual to catch 700 to 1000 per day.
Concentrate in 12 to 15 ft of water in the creek channels, sloughs and old river channel. Stink bait, worms, cheese and commercial catfish bait products all work well. If we have a lot of water coming into the lake, concentrate at the mud line in the back of the creeks and where a strong current is present. Trot-lines and set hooks baited in the same areas will produce well. For Flat Heads always use live bait, either large shad or bream work best.
Summer-June through August
The first part of this quarter, the bass will be in a post spawn pattern and will be coming off the beds. The bite will be slow and the bass will be lethargic from the spawn. Start in 5 to 10 ft of water along the creek points closets to the spawning areas. The bass will hold in these areas to regain their strength before they move into deeper water and their summer patterns. Crank baits and soft plastics worked slow will produce best. As water continues to warm the bass will move into their deeper holes along the river channel, sloughs, creeks and grass beds. Deep diving crank baits in shad or bream colors, Carolina or Texas rigged soft plastics in green and reds will be producing best. When the grass starts showing up, jigs and large worms will work best. Early morning and late evening throw buzz baits and top water plugs over and next to the grass close to deep water.
The Whites will continue to work along the old river channel points and bends but they will start to move over main lake humps close to the river channel in 15 to 20 ft of water. Shallow diving crank baits, spoons, top water plugs and tail spinners will all be productive. Look for the bait- fish on your electronics to locate the Whites. Also watch for schooling activity along the river channel and road- beds.
Concentrate in the creek channels and sloughs in 10 to 15 ft of water. Natural and planted brush in these areas will hold the Crappie. Shiners and jigs fished vertically over the brush tops works best.
Concentrate on the points and bends in the creek channels with crickets or worms in 6 to 10 ft of water. Isolated patches of grass dropping off into deep water will also hold some bream.
Concentrate on main lake sandy points, ridges and flats in 8 to 10 ft of water. Worms, shiners, marshmallows, cheese and commercial catfish baits all work well. Sometimes the Catfish are feeding on clams and the marshmallows will be more productive. Trick is to spray some Catfish attractant on the bait. Use heavy weights to keep your bait on the bottom.
Fall-September through November
As the water temperature starts to drop and the days become shorter the shad will start moving into the coves and pockets. The bass will start moving from their summer haunts following the shad, feeding heavy in anticipation of winter. Work the points and bends in the creek channels with crank baits and soft plastics. Any brush along these areas will usually hold some fish. Look for schooling bass. Traps, shallow diving crank baits, top water plugs and Texas rigged plastics will all be productive. Also fish the edges of grass that drop off into deep water with jigs and large plastics.
Concentrate along the main lake river points and bends in 16 to 20 ft of water. Also look for schooling whites in the same areas. The Whites when located will usually be in a feeding frenzy. Spoons, tail spinners, traps and shallow diving cranks baits are all productive. When schooling, top water plugs, and shallow diving crank baits work best.
The Crappie will start moving from the deep water creeks to the main river channel and normally will be more productive on the very north end of the lake early in the season. As the water temperature continues to fall the Crappie will move south down the lake along the river channel. Concentrate in 12 to 20 ft of water with shiners or 1/32 jigs fished over brush tops on the ledges of the river channel. Early in the season the Crappie seem to hit shiners best and as the water gets colder and the fish get deeper the jigs become more productive.
As the water temperature starts to drop, the bream will start following the creeks out to the main lake into deeper water and become scattered. Follow the creeks and the grass edges dropping off into deep water, crickets, and worms are most productive.
Concentrate in 10 to 15 ft flats close to the river channel with shiners, worms and commercial attractants. Trot-lines and set hooks in the same areas with cut bait or live bait works best.
Winter-December through February
Early winter the bass will be holding along the river channel and along the points and bends in deep- water creeks. 3/4 to 1 oz. Pig and jig or 3/4 to 1 oz spinner baits slow rolled will be most productive. You need to fish very slow. The bass will be holding close to cover. Towards the end of January and into February, the larger bass will start going into a pre-spawn pattern. They will start staging off the points of the creeks leading into the spawning flats or start moving into the buck brush. Spinner baits, traps, cranks and soft plastics worked in the creek points will be most productive. Darker colors and colors imitating crawfish seem to work best. Jigs, tubes, brush hogs and plastics flipped and pitched into the buck brush will produce your better fish. This is the time of the year to catch a double- digit bass.
The White Bass will start migrating up the lake into the river proper. Concentrate on the lower end of the river in the first part of the season and work north as the fish move north. Work the sandbar points and bends along the river. Live Crawfish, Road Runners, spoons and tail spinners are all productive. As the Whites work their way back to the main lake, you can work the same points and bends. It's not unusual to have your limit of Whites in a couple of hours.
Concentrate in 15 to 25 ft of water along the ledges over brush tops in the old river channel. The Crappie will move further south along the river and move into deeper water as the temperature drops. 1/32 oz jigs seem to produce better than Shiners as they move deeper.
The Bream are scattered in deep water along the creeks and river channel. Bite is normally very slow this time of year.
Concentrate along the main river channel and deep creeks. Shiners, worms and commercial attractants work best. Trotlines and set hooks strung along the river channel, deep water sloughs and deep water creeks with cut bait and live bait works best.
Any questions? Toledo Bend Guide Service can answer your questions or take you fishing on our great lake. Phone: (409) 368-7151 or check our web page at http://www.toledo-bend.net/toledobend
FISH ATTRACTANTS: GIMMICK OR NECESSITY
Provided by Darrell Lyons - Fishing Guide
In the fishing world everybody is looking for that secret bait. While most anglers have just what they are looking for right beside them,It is all to often over looked or walked right by. It is fish attractants!
There are as many brands as there are scents on the market today. The biggest question you hear is why use scents? There are several reasons if you think about it.
Lets look at what we do before getting to the lake. Gassing the boat,adding oil,the soap we use, not to mention road grime. All these things leave residue which transfer on to our lures. Attractants aren't just for plastics either. The fact is if you can get a fish to hold a bait just a second longer you have a better chance at catching that lunker fish.
There are three basic scent applicators;aerosol,pump sprayer, and the squeeze bottle. The pump sprayer is the most practice out of the three because it will not loose pressure like an aerosol and still gives a fine mist unlike the squeeze bottle.
Now unlike the applicators the list of actual scents is as long as Zooms color chart! This creates a great debate which one to use; garlic shad, crawfish,how do we choose? Some say it depends on your bait choice. This I would have to debate with because what you are doing is covering up foreign scents. Because if you think about it how many garlic scented natural crawfish have heard of? But garlic scent is one of the best!
What I recommend is find an attractant you like and go with it. This creates a confidence level in you and you will use the scent and catch more fish. Out of all the attractants I have used I prefer Kick'n Bass original. If your tackle store doesn't carry it give them a call at 1-800-605-BASS.
The other issue we have is scent impregnated worms. These are great fresh out of the pack if your hands don't have some other residue on them like we discussed earlier. But one we forgot to mention is sunblock,which is usually applied later in the day. So give your bait of choice a squirt of scent and watch your catch numbers increase! And remember...if it tugs on your line SET THE HOOK!!!!