Place your bets on Toledo Bend

The odds of catching a lunker bass are never higher than they are now

I can’t wait to wet a line fishing for bass in April on Toledo Bend. Me and hundreds of other anglers have been biding our time waiting for this month to get here.

Bass fishing is going to be stupid in April. If you don’t come to Toledo Bend to fish for bass here in April, you’re crazy. The numbers and percentage of catching trophy-sized bass are astronomical this month.

Will the bite be great all over the lake? Who knows? After all, this lake has 1,500 miles of shoreline and it’s 3 to 4 miles wide in places. Fish can be ”on” just about anywhere because of its nature and size. It typically fires on the north end, where the oft-stained water generates more heat, and ignites farther south as spring unfolds.

April, though, will be about the closest to some very successful bass fishing lakewide, across the board, than any other month — north to south, east to west. Things are just going to get better and better. It’s not going to get colder. It’s going to get warmer.

I can’t say enough positive things about what April will bring. I think of it as the most prolific month of the year for bass fishing, both for quantity and quality. Any cast. Any moment. Any time of the day.

Boating double-digit bass will happen with exciting frequency. Will it be as frequent as it was a week ago when Norman Land of Cleveland, Texas, cast out, set the hook and got his hands on a 10.45-pound bass and a while later caught a 10.24-pound bass? You never know. Back-to-back beauties. Who says lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice?

As of mid-February, there are 42 double-digit bass registered in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. The running total is off the pace of last year but you can bet more and more 10-pound bass will hit the scale in April. The odds are in your favor. Heck, I cannot wait to get a lunker bass in the boat!

And, as for showing what this lake’s got, guess what? The Bassmaster Elite Series stops at Toledo Bend April 6-9. Can you imagine what those guys are going to find when they get here for the tournament? This might be the tournament the 100-pound mark is broken by one of those Elite pros. They’ll find much of the lake with bass in a full-blown spawn when they drop their trolling motors.

Granted, as I said earlier, spawning bass won’t be found in every nook and cranny of this sprawling manmade reservoir shared by Louisiana and Texas. But the pros will find so many mamas on their beds they’ll be dreaming of sight fishing for hawgs.

Toledo Bend’s pool level today is 169.21, a 3-foot difference versus what it was at this time last year. While there will be substantially fewer bass caught in the bushes, since so many are out of the water, spawning bass are in a more vulnerable position this spring on ridges and inside grass lines. They can’t run and hide in skinny water behind the bushes and trees, where we can’t get to them.

I usually don’t single out baits to tie on but, for me, one of the most effective artificial lures for the lake’s bass this time of year is a Stanley Hale Raiser by Stanley Jigs and my friend Lonnie Stanley. It’s an excellent Chatterbait-style artificial lure. The color golden bream works extremely well and the vibrating artificial lure can handle the matted stuff really well.

All-time spring favorites for bass and bass anglers continue to be Carolina-rigged soft plastics, Flukes, U99s, Senkos and, as the water gets warmer, plastic frogs. Watermelon/red, watermelon/candy and green pumpkin are the top colors for April. Tipping the tail of the soft plastic with chartreuse dye enhances its appeal.

As for white perch fishing, which has been sporadic to this point, April’s going to be a very good month. Pink/white and black chartreuse Wedgetail Minnows and Roadrunners are going to be the main meal tickets for the white perch, which will be up shallow with the bass.

For up-to-the minute information on bass fishing at Toledo Bend, go to my website

If you’d like to learn more about fishing for bass here in spring and early summer, come fishing with me. I have been guiding for years on Toledo Bend. Call 936-404-2688.

About John Dean 99 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.