“Springtime bassin’ bonanza” in the fall is the best way to describe what’s about to happen on Toledo Bend.
Late September, October and early November days on the water will be rewarded more often than not with plenty of action during the upcoming season.
Oh, man, I love this time of year. I cannot wait.
This is just like spring with one difference: Bass won’t be making babies and eating — they will be eating, just gorging themselves for the winter months ahead, getting fatter and sassier every day.
Bass anglers know that when this great lake’s water temperature drops into the 70s shad and bream move from the depths to the shallows, and the bass follow.
Yeah, it’s an awesome time of the year that everybody looks forward to. Only thing is it’s hunting season and some priorities change — but the bass will be there.
I’m a deer hunter, and I’ll be out in the woods, but I’ll also be keeping up with the bass when I’m out of the deer stand.
I hope to get my deer meat early, cut my deer hunting season in half be out on the water even more from now through early November.
As of late August, Toledo Bend’s pool level was 170.29 feet. Those torrential rains Aug. 12-15 that caused so much misery in and around Baton Rouge and into Acadiana brought the lake up after it had fallen as low as 170.04.
Hopefully, by the time the fall bass fishing frenzy begins it’ll be around 168 or 169, which will add to the fuel.
Already the average water temperature is down from a high of in the low 90s in July and early August. Air temperatures for early September were forecasted to get as low as the mid-60s.
And, as water temperatures fall, you can expect more and more double-digit bass to hit the scale on the lake named America’s No. 1 bass fishery by Bassmaster Magazine — for the second year in a row.
The trend toward cooler temperatures will make for more comfortable bassin’ as we head for the beautiful hydrilla that has grown up, especially in Six Mile and Housen.
The biggest news on this pond since late July has been the schooling bass blitz, something I haven’t seen in years and years. I haven’t been the only one tapping bass after bass averaging 2 to 4 pounds in myriad schools over drains in 20- to 30-foot depths.
Those bass were ganging up and smashing shad just like they did in the old days. I tell you, they’re like piranhas. Their hits will make your heart flutter and go up to your throat, I promise you.
I’ve been using a Zombie Ghostwalker made by Egret Baits in a “foil” color with a black top. It’s a shad pattern, and it’s a killer.
Clear/black models also have been accounting for the schooling bass.
Those bass should continue to school until the water temperature drops about 10 degrees into the 70s.
Then they’ll hightail it to the shallows.
In October, you can’t go wrong fishing in and around hydrilla on top of ridges in 5- to 7-foot depths. It’s going to be spectacular.
The No. 1 fall lure, in my opinion, is a watermelon/pearl Ribbit or Top Toad. Also try black or white models.
As long as they’re eating a plastic frog, why throw anything else?
Bass anglers also might want to try out the new Pop Toad, a popper model. For years some of us have snipped off the nose of the Top Toad and worked them like poppers: No need to alter them now, with the introduction of the Pop Toad.
Of course other artificial lures will take bass from late September to early October. ChatterBaits, jerkbaits like Rogues and Long A’s, and other topwaters like Yellow Magics and other chugging-style artificials will put bass in the boat.
Remember what I said about more 10-pound-plus bass being caught in the coming weeks? The double-digit bass numbers dropped off in the extreme heat of the summer, but they should pick up any time now.
An angler who wants to forfeit a deer day to go bass fishing has a very good chance of catching a 10-pound-plus fish, as those hawgs will be gorging themselves with shad and crawfish.
Crappie fishing has been fair to good over brush piles in 22- to 26-foot depths. The numbers are respectable — 40 to 60 fish a day — but the days of 100 counts are over and the catch might decline by the end of September.
Wait for the cooler climes of fall and it might pick up, and then we’ll see if the winter brings a crappie fishing bonanza along the river channel, starting in Huxley Bay. Hopefully, in a few months it’ll be lights out all along there, including the notorious Chicken Coop.
For up-to-the-minute information on bass fishing Toledo Bend, I have a website up and running. Go to johndeanjrfishing.com.
Ready to experience some of the great fall bass fishing on Toledo Bend? Come fishing with me this time of year and get bit, maybe by a trophy. Call 936-404-2688.