This is the month anyone who has bass-fishing experience on Toledo Bend has been waiting for through several months of a so-so fall and winter.
At least the latter part of February should get the pulse rate up, with more and more bassin’ action cranking up using one of three artificial lures: in order of preference): A-Rigs, Rat-L-Traps and medium-diving crankbaits.
Until the water temperature gets out of the 50s, though, it’ll still be time to tap the bass population with a jig, drop shot or spoon, mostly targeting 20- to 25-foot depths — especially around all those new boat docks being built along the shoreline.
This could be a fair to good month or very iffy, depending on Mother Nature. Sometimes putting bass in the boat won’t be easy, which is more than likely the case during the first part of the month.
Basically, when the migration from deep water toward the shallows begins, that’s when the fun begins. I cannot wait. I’ve got the fishing bug now, and I’ll just deal with the elements until it busts loose on this great lake.
Bass and white perch have the same biological clock. That means when they make their move, their migratory paths will involve drains and deep ditches, and when they do make a move they’re likely to hang around drop-offs to find food.
February also should be the month more and more double-digit bass start being caught. Yep, more size and more numbers will be the norm once the weather patterns are favorable — once the grip of winter is relaxed from a freezing period to two or three days of warm weather and repeated.
The water clarity was good up and down the lake as of the third week of December. Barring some torrential, prolonged rainfalls between now and then, it will be that way this month.
The No. 1 “bullet” for bass when the move starts is an A-Rig. Many, many bass will be caught on Yum’s Flash Mob Jr., which is the perfect weight for Toledo Bend.
There’s no telling how many they sell at Toledo Town and Tackle — that and Storm Swimbaits.
If bass aren’t inhaling the A-Rig or you want to try something else, my second preference is a ½-ounce Rat-L-Trap in chrome/blue or gold.
Gold has been a killer here. Red color combinations will come into play in the next month or two.
The third preference is a medium-diving sexy shad-colored crankbait. There are times it can’t be beat.
With the A-Rig, much of the time I’ll keep my boat as tight to a drop-off as possible, say in 18- to 20-foot depths while targeting 6- to 8-foot depths.
There are times, however, when I have to stay in the ditch and fish deep with this outfit, counting down and then slow-rolling it in 10- to 15-foot depths. Parallel the breaks that way, and more often than not you can’t go wrong.
The fish will tell you what to do. For sure, it’s a time to rely on marine electronics.
It won’t be necessary to fish in and around grass, of which there is less — a major disappointment. Instead, target secondary points and hard-line breaks off ridges and you should run into the bass.
As for crappie, until they make the move shallower, they’ll be caught like they are being caught now: on shiners around bridge pilings and brush piles in 20- to 22-foot depths.
For up-to-the-minute information on bass fishing Toledo Bend, I have a new website up and running. Go to johndeanjrfishing.com. Hope you enjoy it.
If you want to learn more about fishing for bass in late winter or early spring, come fishing with me. I have been guiding for years on Toledo Bend. Call 936-404-2688.