New aquatic growth at Toledo Bend

The water temp was 53 on a cold and nasty day at Toledo Bend but that didn’t bother Jake Cudihy of Lafayette, who fished with his brother and dad and caught more than 20 bass by dead-sticking a gold/orange Smithwick Suspending Rogue.

For the first time in a couple years, I’m really looking forward to bassin’ in December at Toledo Bend.

Yep, I’ve had a smile on my face ever since I saw the acres upon acres of hydrilla in late summer inside Housen Creek. What a sight for sore eyes.

The green stuff there and in other areas, including Six Mile and some showing at Indian Mounds and up north, certainly will help with the low-water conditions facing us into November, when the pool level has been around 167 feet.

I believe everything grass-wise is starting to catch up after a few years with little or no hydrilla. It could become widespread again. I hope that’s the case. More grass means more bass.

Again, I’m optimistic we’ll regain the old-style bass fishing like we did in the past. I’m talkin’ consistently catching on suspending Rogues, Rat-L-Traps, Thunder Jigs and Stanley Swim Jigs.

With pre-spawn a month or two away, bass could be caught like before on the inside grass line if the water rises. Every year in the past, that was the deal.

Heavy rains

Low water (in this case possibly five feet below full pool) can be beneficial as it exposes the bottom. Shore grass is taking hold in many of those exposed grounds.

All we need are some heavy rains to bring the lake up about 4 feet. Those type weather events are common this time of year as systems head our way from the West and North.

Realistically, though, the region will need a three to four-day soaker to bring the lake up significantly.

The latter part of December, we’ll see how much water we have. If it is low, chances are great we’ll see more grass grow. If it goes up, we can fish the inside grasslines until the water temp drops below 55, if it does get that low this winter. Our winters aren’t what they used to be.

Grab a Rogue

I’m so pumped this grass showed up. We can play like we used to play before.

That means picking up a gold/orange suspending Smithwick Rogue and staying with it. The technique that works best is almost deadsticking it — you don’t want it on top. Put it down there where they’re at. They’re going to be kind of lethargic.

My favorite memory using that Rogue was a recent December or January while guiding a man and his two sons, ages 15 and 7. It was cold. Bass hammered the Rogue all day long as we fished ridges, ditches and main lake points outside Indian Mounds, where I was trying to stay out of the wind. We had to work it right. We had to park it and work it slow. It’s the hardest thing to teach somebody to work it slow. The technique works better the closer you get to pre-spawn.

This month you can’t go wrong with ½-ounce Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap. Best colors are gold or, for sure, anything red.

With grass back in play, I’ll rely more on a tried and true bass catcher, a 3/8-ounce Stanley Swim Max Swim Jig 38180. That’ll definitely be part of the equation. That 180 is a silver belly bluegill color. I thread a watermelon candy/red Zoom Speed Craw on as a soft plastic trailer. The combination’s dynamite.

Also try a 3/8- or 1/4-ounce Delta Lures Thunder Jig in Golden Bream, chartreuse white or white.

Good luck. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

If you want to catch bass in December, I’ve been guiding on this lake most of my life and you’re welcome in my boat. Give me a call at (936) 404-2688.

About John Dean 98 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.