The key word to putting Toledo Bend bass in the boat this month is transition.
Summer to fall. For bass, deep to shallow. For me, who fishes so much on the south end of the lake, it’s spending more time on the upper half of the lake in November.
I can’t wait.
Keep those things in mind, particularly the last two, throw moving baits most of the time, and you should have a lot of fun on Toledo Bend. Bladed jigs such as golden bream, black/blue or black Thunder Jigs will be my first choice, followed closely by shad-colored spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps, jerkbaits, swim jigs and topwaters such as buzzbaits and plastic frogs. I’m so ready for that after dunking drop-shot rigs and throwing Carolina-rigged soft plastics and deep-diving crankbaits throughout the summer.
This is a seasonal transition period for bass, one that more than likely begins in October. Many, many bass leave the 18- to 22-foot depths and follow the bream and shad to shallower water. I will focus on water 7 feet deep or less this month for a few reasons: that’s where the food is, and that should be the cooler water — just the opposite of spring.
I won’t forget the south end, but I plan to fish a lot on the north end — basically above Pendleton Bridge — based on my success up there this past spring. There still is some vegetation to the north and plenty of lily pads in many areas. Some potential hotspots are around Blue Lake, 1215, San Patricio, Rogers and even San Miguel. I really believe that’s where most of the action will take place first. Like I said, I had plenty of good times up there this spring and expect to enjoy a repeat until the fish tell me something different.
On the lower end, the best bet is to move to the back end of Housen, Hurricane, Six Mile and Mill creeks to fish into 5- and 6-foot depths. Shallow ridges, flats and ditches in those areas should give up bass.
Fall is a lot like the spring, with the exception that bass aren’t moving up to eat and make babies. They are there to feed. Whatever your favorite moving bait is, tie it on and use it.
If for some reason the bass bite slows and fish aren’t chasing, go to a Texas- or Carolina-rigged Zoom Super Fluke or a Neko Rig (wacky worm). The top two colors as far as I’m concerned are watermelon/red and green pumpkin/red. It doesn’t get any better than that this time of year. Also try black and junebug.
One of the most-appealing aspects for bass fishing this month is often, it will seem like you have the lake to yourself and sometimes, you just might be alone wherever you stop your boat. Many outdoorsmen turn to hunting deer and ducks and forget about fishing for a few months.
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