Although there might be a smaller, secondary spawn on the horizon with this Friday’s full moon, for the most part the spring spawn is over and bass are starting to head back to deeper water at Toledo Bend, according to a local fishing guide.
Moving forward to target largemouth bass — at least for about the next month — Jerry Thompson with Living the Dream Guide Service suggested fishing the shad spawn, which has begun in earnest.
“Most all of the fish have finished spawning and have gone back deep,” Thompson said. “They’re starting to set up on the summertime places, or in-between places now. The number one thing will be chasing those shad, because they’re going to come in and they’re going to come out, so a lot of fish will be moving around.
“If you can catch that early in the mornings, those shad are going to be on the hay grass. Even around my dock, I’ve got a bunch of them there each morning. And the birds will show them to you also, because they’re after them, too.”
Thompson said you could fish the shad spawn any number of ways.
“You can use a frog, a swimbait, a spinnerbait or even a buzzbait,” he said. “April is a good time on Toledo Bend to use a buzzbait.
“You should be able to find some fish if you can find the shad.”
He recommended using Carolina-rigged worms, crankbaits, spoons or jigs to target fish in deeper water.
“Look for points mostly, and some ridges,” he said. “Some of the fish are going to be out in the middle of the lake now, too. It’s kind of interesting — they’ll show up in some places out in the lake that are deeper than you would actually think of fishing right now, but that’s where they’ll be at.”
That same dual pattern — fishing deep and working what will remain of the shad spawn — will likely determine who wins the Bassmaster Elite Series stop at Toledo Bend May 12-15, he said.
“It’s going to be mostly a deepwater deal for them. There’ll be some early-morning shad spawning taking place that some of the guys will find in different areas, and there’s always some fish up shallow — especially if the water is still high,” Thompson said. “The guys will work on those pretty good, but there will be some guys who are going to find some deep fish who’ll do really well.”