Football fans are probably still discussing (and cussing) the recent College Football Playoffs, where a champion was crowned from the best of the best.

But now it’s time to discuss another type of Bayou State CFP: The Crappie Fishing Playoffs. Our committee considered credentials, strength of creel, results in head-to-head competition and overall performance.

The results are in, and we picked the Top 5 Louisiana crappie lakes in the state. So let the discussing (and cussing) and, of course, the fishing begin ....

• No. 1

For sheer numbers, Toledo Bend takes the title

How many anglers could look you in the eye and say, “I probably caught 10,000 crappie last year.” 

Probably not too many — but Ed Terry could.

Terry’s home is in New Orleans, but he “lives” on Toledo Bend pretty much from February through the end of October. While he’s only been a full-time guide on the big 190,000-acre reservoir on the Louisiana-Texas border for two years, he’s a veteran of crappie fishing the Bend for much of his life. 

In 2017, he made 230 guided trips — and he and his clients brought home an average of 40-plus fish each trip. They caught many, many more — so you do the math.

“That’s why I can say unequivocally that Toledo Bend is the best crappie fishing lake in the state, maybe anywhere,” Terry says. “It’s just the numbers of fish. I’m not the only one that does that. And when certain areas like the Chicken Coop line up, it’s