As of the next‐to‐last week of June, Toledo Bend still was a little over full pool stage, water was getting hotter and, as you might imagine, the daytime bite for bass was decreasing dramatically.
It was still a puzzle why authorities have kept the lake so high at this time of the year. Sure, it was great for spring and early summer bass fishing, but a level in the 167s or 168s would boost bass-fishing prospects because of the way the grass would respond.
So going into the dog days of summer (and it’s already hot, hot, hot) and looking ahead to August, the best times to fish for bass would be early, late and/or at night on this sprawling impoundment that for an unprecedented second year in a row has been named the No.1 bass fishing lake in the country by Bassmaster Magazine.
Yeah, that announcement is something to crow about, especially when people consider that 139 10‐pound plus bass were caught here from May 2015 to May 2016.
And just because the water temperature’s ultra‐high in late July and August, that doesn’t mean people can’t latch onto a double‐digit bass.
To get bit these days, I’ll rely on a Zoom Old Monster 10‐inch red bug plastic worm under a . It’s been a tried-and-true pattern for me for a long, long time.
I don’t know why, but these bass are partial to long plastic worms this time of year.
Also try plum apple and june bug/red Old Monsters.
If anglers can find deep milfoil or coontail grass and fish that plastic worm and stick to it, they should put bass in the boat.
At the time of this writing, however, the lake was so darned high that is hard to find.
I fished some of the prettiest haygrass in the lake down by the dam the other day and didn’t get a bite. Don’t know what’s up with that, but anglers should continue to try that pattern.
Otherwise, fish peppergrass early and late with topwaters such as shad‐colored Yellow Magics (90 Series) and, of course, Ribbits, Top Frogs and other plastic frogs.
Schooling bass have been busting pretty much all over the lake. I recently worked a school with some in the 3‐pound class along with another angler. We found out sometimes it’s hard to beat the live bait those bass are mauling.
But that schooling bass activity should get even better and better. Just try to match the hatch as best as possible and have fun.
There’s a ton of fish deep, probably in 29‐ to 35‐foot depths, but if they’re suspended and they aren’t on wood, grass or other structure, most of the time they won’t bite.
A jigging spoon is one of the most-effective artificial lures for those bass.
Another option on creek channels and break lines and such is a shad‐colored Strike King KVD 9 crankbait.
As much as the bass-fishing success has dropped, the crappie fishing has gotten better and better.
Anglers are pulling limits of fat, sassy white perch off structure in 20‐ to 25‐foot depths all over the lake.
It’ll be good in August, I’m sure, but probably nothing as hot as it was in early July.
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.
Ready to see how to probe the grass beds and depths for bass in the heat of summer? Experience techniques and patterns that are working this time of year on a fishing trip with me. I have been guiding for years on Toledo Bend. Call 936-404-2688.