Fishing the Toledo Bend spawn means different things to different folks; and not only because of bait and spot preferences. Those factors certainly matter, but so does the calendar. Fact is, this massive Sabine River reservoir holds a load of bass and they have different baby-making schedules, depending on their geographic location.

With 185,000 surface acres, Toledo Bend ranks as the nation’s fifth-largest manmade lake and in the south, she’s numero uno. Shallow and increasingly woody in its north end, deep and grassy in the south; the gem of Northwest Louisiana sprouts several main creek arms with lots of secondary arteries offering dandy bedding areas with abundant prespawn staging stuff in close proximity.

“As a rule, they spawn earlier the farther north you go; then it follows suit to mid-lake and then they spawn a little bit later the farther south you go,” said Toledo Bend guide Glen Freeman. “We have stained, muddier water in the north end and that warms up quicker. This seems to trigger them a little better. There are different factors in there, but there is definitely a wave going from the north to the south.”

With normal weather patterns, February sees the beginning of that upper-lake spawning activity. Mild years can certainly find fish moving onto beds in the second month, but the ones on their way offer a pretty incredible opportunity.

“I like to concentrate on prespawn fish and they’re going to be moving toward the mouths and mid areas of the creeks going into the spawning bays,” Freeman said. “They’re going to be on points and any kind of structure leading up to the shallow spawning areas.”

Important to note, Freeman’s not talking about main lake points; rather, he’s