There’s no doubt November’s going to be a fish-catching month for bass at Toledo Bend.
As the water cools, starting at the end of September through October and even more through November, it is becoming prime time for moving baits like spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, bladed jigs and topwaters.
Hopefully, water temperatures will be in the 60s by November. It’ll require consistent nighttime temps in the 40s-50s and 60-degree temps daytime.
It’ll help if cold fronts between now and then bring some rain to the region, too.
Toledo Bend’s pool stage has been around 168, about four feet below full pool. The water temperature was still in the 80’s going into October, but has been dropping. A 2- to 3-foot rise would be perfect because, for one thing, it would cover the grass that’s grown on the shoreline. And then the bass would be in there.
Speaking of grass, it seems more and more vegetation is trying to gain a foothold and that’s a sight for sore eyes. Mostly, the green stuff is hydrilla and milfoil, but unfortunately, there still are no signs of peppergrass. Grass is important because bass will get around grass if they can find it, so if you find grass, fish it and you should run into bass.
Much of the bassin’ action will happen in and along the drains leading to flats and the flats themselves. Stay close to the drains and target 5- to 7-foot depths, sometimes even shallower. As a general rule of thumb, the back end of creeks and coves usually cool first.
It’s a time for bass to fatten up as they gorge on baitfish, chiefly shad. They’re going to be in a feeding mode for sure, any time of the day, and they won’t have to go far to get something to eat. By the end of November, many of them will resemble butterballs and weigh accordingly.
Bass are going to be aggressive in November, so it’s a fun time to throw whatever you like best. The more water you cover, the more bass you catch.
However, this generally is the time to store away the drop-shotted soft plastics, Carolina-rigged soft plastics and deep-diving crankbaits, to basically forget about fishing deep until any Arctic cold front freezes the region.
Some of my favorites for this time of year over the years include ½-ounce Golden Bream, chartreuse/white or chartreuse/blue/white Stanley Wedge spinnerbaits with gold blades, ½-ounce chrome/blue or gold Rat-L-Traps, ½-ounce Golden Bream or black/blue, gold blade Delta Lures Thunder Jigs, and your favorite topwaters. That would include watermelon/red/pearl Stanley Ribbits and Stanley Top Toads, black and bone Whopper Ploppers and Zara Spooks.
The latter is known for enticing the lake’s bigger bass to bite.
You might want to try my old technique of putting a Stanley Ribbit on the business end of a C-rig. I’ve got great memories of getting consistently bigger bass (4-plus pounds) to bite for many years on the C-rigged Stanley Ribbit.
Some of the best topwater action, unlike the summer months, often is during midday hours during November.
My priority for the rest of the year is to get my hands on a double-digit bass. My personal goal is to catch a lake record bass.
If you want to catch bass in November at Toledo Bend, give me a call at (936) 404-2688.