May is frog time at Toledo Bend

Chase Guidry of Dallas grips a nice-sized bass caught on a Neko-rigged Senko during a recent change in the weather while fishing with John Dean at Toledo Bend.

There is grass growing in more places as spring arrives, mostly in the drains, which, by itself, would be the biggest and best news in years for Toledo Bend.

Plans in Texas

There is even greater news about the grass situation on this great lake bordering Louisiana and Texas. One of my good friends, George Herr, and another veteran local bass angler, Greg Procell, attended a meeting with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department earlier this month, then gave me an ultra-encouraging report from the department’s new aquatic vegetation leader.

It’s been reported that there will be a halt to spraying this spring anywhere south of Tenaha Creek. Word is, TPWD also plans to determine exactly what happened so many years ago to cause the loss of grass that significantly knocked down bass-fishing success up and down the lake. There has been talk that, in addition to spraying of grass by the department, fertilizer applied after clear-cutting practices in the woods may have mixed with runoff into the lake and downstream from there.

Reports indicate TPWD also plans to plant aquatic vegetation plots in some strategic areas of the lake, and from what I understand, fence them in as tests. That shows how serious they are about getting the lake on the road to recovery. I and so many others are so ready to get this lake straightened out.

Mother Nature seems to be doing her part. Grass is coming back and growing, and that’s very, very promising. Wherever I’m fishing in and around drains, I’m seeing it: a mix of hydrilla and coontail growing tall and near the surface, even on it. It’s great seeing the grass get a grip, a stronghold. And it’s only going to get taller with warmer water temperatures due to increased hours of sunlight in late spring.


Warmer water in May will be the key to grass growing and the bass bite. Sure, many bass will be in post-spawn and have left the shallows, but those post-spawners will return in a hurry because bream and shad will spawn in the shallows — particularly in and around any peppergrass you find — starting late April and May.

To me, that’s frog time. Bass can’t resist a plastic frog, especially the Ribbit and Stanley Top Toad. I can throw them all-day long.

It’ll be a fun time; it’ll be frog time, topwater time in 3- to 5-foot depths as water temperatures climb out of the 70s and into the 80s. Chartreuse/blue and watermelon/red are two of my favorite colors. Any color that imitates bream or shad should trigger bites.

Of course, since bass don’t all spawn at the same time, traditional spawning tactics will pick off a lot of bass. Keep the Flukes, Senkos and Neko rigs handy, as well as buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits and bladed jigs like Delta’s Thunder Jig. Those will all be in play, believe me. Keep in mind, Carolina- and Neko-rigged Flukes and Senkos can be hard to beat.

The morning bite should get better and better. The early morning hours that were slow earlier in spring will pick up and be consistent from sunrise to sunset this month.

For information about guided fishing trips on Toledo Bend with John Dean, call 936-404-7688.

About John Dean 82 Articles
John Dean has been guiding on Toledo Bend most of his life. If you’d like to join him on a trip, give him a call at (936) 404-2688.

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