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Elizabeth Ward holds the first bass she caught on her own. It hit one of her father’s CW Custom Lures spinnerbaits.

Handmade small-profile spinnerbait moves smoothly through grass

A small profile makes a big difference in Southwest Louisiana, where Clint Ward of Lake Charles makes a spinnerbait from scratch to satisfy the needs of both anglers and bass.

October 13 at 5:00pm
Bassmaster Elite pro Kevin Van Dam knows that jerkbaits can play a big role in the fall feeding frenzy.

Transitional jerks - Jerkbait fishing tactics

Word association games show us our true perceptions by drawing forth gut responses.

Say the word “jerkbait,” and many anglers would likely say “cold” — and they would not be entirely wrong.

However, they’d also not be entirely right.

October 01 at 7:00am
The Southern gray squirrel is the most commonly found subspecies of gray squirrels in Louisiana’s forests. This prolific subspecies sports a grayish-brown body with a white underside. The central portion of its bushy tail matches the body coloration with

Bayou boogie — Best WMAs and squirrel-hunting tips

On opening day last year, conditions were favorable for squirrel hunting at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area and the adjacent Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge.

Winds were calm, temperatures were tolerable and the forest floor was moist as hunters made their way into the 44,000-acre wetlands complex.

Well before sunrise, Joe Speyrer and his three sons boated south along Big Alabama Bayou, making their way through the area locally called the “narrows” and traveling past the Bayou Des Glaises junction.

October 01 at 7:00am
Dwayne Hyatt, left, shows off the 10.37-pound bass he caught on Sept. 15 in the 6 Mile area. Jay Romero caught his 8.4-pounder on the same night-fishing trip.

Sulphur angler reels in Toledo Bend 10-pounder

With a full moon and dead calm conditions, the stage was set at for a good night-fishing trip on  Thursday, Sept. 15 — and Toledo Bend didn’t disappoint. 

September 27 at 3:21pm
Cable steering has always been the first choice where quick and positive maneuvering is required and the new Ultrex has power cable steering.

The next step in trolling motor evolution

My first real bass boat was a new 1973 Raycraft Pro built in St. Augustine, Texas, right between Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Tri-hulls designed with a larger center hull and two smaller side sponsons were cutting-edge for bass boat hulls back then, and every company had its own version.

September 23 at 2:58pm
Abbeville’s Caleb Brown, 12, hooked this 23½-inch monster bass that weighed 7 pounds, 13.5 ounces at Toledo Bend using a Strike King Rage Space Monkey.

Toledo Bend is in great shape for September

I’m sure fall isn’t in the air at all when you read this in late August or early September. But “prefall” is just around the corner, which means bass fishing is about to bust loose on Toledo Bend.

September 14 at 8:40am
According to the LSU AgCenter, one giant salvinia plant can cover 40 square miles in just three months. Eradicating the plant is almost impossible now, but the LDWF is using a three-pronged approach to at least try to control the plants' spread.

Weevils helping in LDWF's fight to control giant salvinia

Since 1998 — when giant salvinia was first discovered in Louisiana at Toledo Bend — the state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been fighting an uphill battle to keep the invasive South American plant under control.

September 11 at 11:07pm
The Bassmaster Elite Series in 2017 will once again return to Toledo Bend, where Kevin VanDam scored the first of his three victories on tour this year with a win in May. Next year, Elites will visit the Bend April 6-9.

Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Toledo Bend in 2017

Bassmaster released the Elite Series 2017 schedule today, which includes an April stop at Toledo Bend and a new stop on the circuit, the Bassmaster Texas Fest in May.

The Fest replaces the Texas Bass Classic, and is scheduled for May 17-21 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

August 31 at 1:54pm
Michael Garcie caught his personal best — this 8.33-pound beast — at Toledo Bend. He used a Zoom craw topped with a punch skirt made by his best friend, Aaron Pousson with Pousson’s Punch Skirts and Custom Tackle.

Toledo Bend tactics for the dog days of summer

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. 

August 26 at 5:33am
Mike McNerlin hangs a nice crappie after trolling over the edge of a creek channel.

Follow the bait

Cranking is productive on any lake that has a healthy crappie population. Cypress Bayou/Black Bayou Reservoirs, Toledo Bend, Caddo Lake, Lake D’Arbonne, Bayou D’Arbonne, Caney Lake, Poverty Point Reservoir, and Larto are just a few of the good spots.

And cranking veteran Clark LaBorde said there is no great secret to finding crappie on these lakes. 

August 15 at 7:00am
Mike McNerlin (left) and Greg Hammett with some of the 37 crappie they caught in one morning of cranking.

Crank it up — How to catch crappie trolling crankbaits

Trolling crankbaits has exploded onto the crappie fishing scene in the last few years. And, while there is bit of a learning curve, the tactic can be highly productive in terms of filling the freezer with fillets.

August 01 at 7:00am
A fat Toledo Bend bass taken deep by Kyle Guidry using a swim jig.

Heat advisory — How to catch Toledo Bend’s summer bass

Bass fishing in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees is not for the faint of heart.

But those willing to brave the sultry temperatures know August can deliver sizzling bass action — especially on America’s No. 1 bass fishery.

August 01 at 7:00am
Dylan Poche celebrates his 4th place finish — with a 22-pound, 8-ounce bag — in the Cowboy Division of an FLW event on Toledo Bend just weeks before he died in January.

Young angler’s memory lives on through ‘Fishing Around the World’ Program

Dylan Poche’s life may have tragically been cut short at the Sibley Lake boat launch in January, but his memory still lives on — thanks to the power of social media and a simple gesture started by his mom that’s literally now taking the name of a young man who aspired to be a bass pro around the world.

July 11 at 1:25pm
Big bass aren’t the only fish waiting to be caught at Toledo Bend. Crappie also are stacking up.

Heat is on at Toledo Bend

When the national spotlight turned to Toledo Bend in May, the lake really showed off.

And a week later, with even more pressure on this lake ranked No. 1 by Bassmasters Magazine, the reservoir flexed its muscles again in the Sealy Big Bass Splash.

July 06 at 9:36pm