Largemouth bass fishing in Louisiana, especially South Louisiana, is a shallow-water affair. Most fish are caught in waters 6 feet deep or less.

But 34-year-old fishing guide Darold Gleason (South Toledo Bend Guide Service, 337-397-8860) makes hunting for deep water bass with electronics his specialty in a lake big enough to be a small sea. 

“Deepwater fishing takes the seasonality out of bass fishing” Gleason told me over the phone. “In the colder months, fish that don’t have access to deep water become moody in their feeding. South Louisiana doesn’t have deep water—15- to 20-plus-foot water like Toledo Bend does.”

I stayed at Cypress Bend Resort, pretty fancy digs for a crusty old outdoors writer, the night before I met Gleason. It was cold. Of course, it was late December, and December is supposed to be cold. 

After meeting him at Curtis Grocery for coffee and biscuits before daylight, the full-time guide and tournament pro launched his boat in the dam area and headed to the Six Mile Creek arm on the Texas side of the big lake. 

He grabbed a rod rigged with a football jig to work the deep side of a submerged ridge. On his first cast, he felt a light tap — and set the hook into a stump. He trolled over the snag to shake the lure free and a fish grabbed the jig off the stump.

“That’s a good tournament fish,” he chuckled in tournament lingo as he unhooked a 2-pounder. Anything more than 14 inches long is a “keeper” to a pro fisherman, even though Gleason never keeps bass to