If it’s November at Toledo Bend, you’ll see smiles on a lot of faces, including mine, as bass anglers enjoy one of the better months of bassing here.
We’ll be in “hoodie weather,” which we’ve been waiting for since the coolness of late March and April turned into the furnace that was the summer of 2019. And we expect to catch fish that are as active this time of year as they are late February through April. In a word, like TGIF, it’s TGSMAG (Thank God Summer Months Are Gone).
Chances are very good you’ll get your string stretched, but good. I believe there will be an uptick in the number of double-digit bass caught in November and plenty of 3s, 4s and 5s as the bigger bass move up out of the depths.
And this seasonal opportunity comes at a time when there is less bass-fishing pressure. Many outdoorsmen turn to the duck blinds or the deer stands as hunting season gets underway.
Bass will start filling their guts with forage fish in anticipation of the upcoming winter, what we have of it on this lake shared by Louisiana and Texas. The seasonal change isn’t much different than the prespring/prespawn bassing bonanza associated with similar water temperatures, this time from warmer to cooler. Hopefully, average water temperatures will be in the low 80s to the 70s, preferably, by the time November rolls around.
As for the lake’s pool stage, that depends on Mother Nature and how much rain the region receives. A spillway project on the other side of the dam held the water level at around 165.11 through mid-October. I’m sure we’ll get some measurable precipitation to bump up the lake level.
The low water may be just what the doctor ordered for this great lake. We have a tremendous amount of fresh grass, thick vegetation that has grown knee-high in many areas that once were covered with water. I’m expecting a tremendous amount of hay grass in the lake by the time we start targeting prespawn and spawning fish in 2020.
What to throw
Many of the bass we catch this month will be in 2- to 8-foot depths, which makes it even more like spring bassing. They’ll be on the move, which calls for search baits on secondary points and creeks and drains, especially the back of creeks and drains. It’s a time when they aren’t targeting soft plastics as much or as often as swim jigs, bladed jigs, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and plastic frogs, as well as other topwaters (chuggers and walkers).
It’s a chunk-and-wind time of the year.
I will spend a lot of time fishing with a bladed jig. The one I tie on is a Delta Lures Thunder Jig.
Topwaters are going to be at the top of my list, too. Even if I’m throwing something else, I’ll have one or two of my favorite chuggers or walkers on in the event a school of bass starts frothing the surface as they chase shad. Schooling bass action in creeks and drains close to deep water should be prime time.
As for color schemes for the artificials, shad-colored baits will be the priority in green water (3-foot visibility) with bream-colored baits a close second. When the water’s stained, like it might be in places if there are heavy rains, try green/pumpkin, green/orange or black.