Where: Toledo Bend
What: Bass, sac-a-lait
How: Even though it is hot, the fishing on Toledo Bend has been good. Early mornings and late evenings are the most productive — and the most comfortable. Bass are hitting topwater baits fishing shallow early morning and evenings, but as the day wears on, they are heading deep. Throw drop-shot rigs, Texas-rigged plastics and deep-diving crankbaits. Fish shady coves when looking for shallow bass, and move off of points and creek channels for bass holding in deeper waters. Toledo Bend is big water, and having a fish finder is crucial to locate depths and structures to key in on areas where the fish are congregating. The sac-a-lait bite has been consistent, with live shiners the ticket for putting together a hefty box. Use an aerated livewell if possible, and don’t overcrowd the container to help keep the baits frisky in the 90-plus degree temperatures. It’s unlikely that kayakers have personal brush piles, but that is where the sac-a-lait have been holding. Keep an eye on your electronics and watch for piles sitting in 15 to 20 feet of water. Many confrontations have occurred over fishing brush piles constructed by others, so if you didn’t build it, it’s best to move on if asked to do so. Yes, you have the right to fish them — but it’s not worth the hassle — especially since you’ll likely be the smallest vessel on the lake.
Launch: There are numerous launches and facilities all along the Louisiana side of Toledo Bend. From dirt roads to full-service marinas, the launch options are nearly endless. Several locations offer cabins and camping areas. Louisiana has north and south state parks on Toledo Bend that offer cabins, camping and boat launches. Check out www.crt.state.la.us/louisiana-state-parks Jolly Rodger Marina- Facebook
What: Redfish, speckled trout
How: The summer temperatures are here and the grass beds are getting thicker by the day. Good fishing for reds can be found within site of the marinas. Much of the surrounding marsh is shallow and filled with thick grass. Reds will be in and near the grass. Start off with topwater plugs in the early morning hours, then switch to weedless spoons, inline spinnerbaits, and weedless plastics as the day wears on. Don’t overlook dead shrimp under a popping cork as a time-tested method for hauling in reds from the marsh. Find cuts and points with moving water and let your shrimp sit for a while. With the use of dead bait, you may also find sheepshead, black drum and perhaps even an elusive flounder or two. The only downside is that you will probably entice a few hardhead catfish. The trout fishing can be hit or miss, but you can increase the odds if you offer them a live shrimp. Look around for deeper, clean water at the intersection of pipelines and canals.
Launch: Launch at PAC Kayak Rentals — $5 for a specially designed kayak launch that is simple to use. Ice, bait and tackle available on-site. Overnight accommodations also available. 179 Paw Paw Ct., Montegut, La.
Insider tip: Talk to Eddie Mullen at PAC and he will give you the best current intel on where to go and what to use.
*Note: The July 4th holiday and that following weekend is extremely popular for recreational boating and fishing: Lots of skiing, drinking and not paying attention. Be careful no matter where you kayak fish during this time, and keep your head on a swivel.