Put your money on plastic frogs

Bass will be in peppergrass at Toledo Bend in May

When I go bass fishing in May on Toledo Bend, my go-to lure will be — without a doubt — a soft-plastic that should wreak havoc on bass up and down the lake wherever peppergrass, milfoil and coontail is prevalent.

And, of course, I’ll take every opoportunity to throw a plastic frog.

Naturally, I’m partial to Stanley’s Ribbit and Top Toad, both soft-plastic frogs I designed.

They will trigger strikes this month in and around the peppergrass for a couple of reasons, mostly because of the pool level and the average water temperatures, which should be in the 70s.

I mean, who doesn’t like catching bass that blow up on a topwater as it skips or floats or paddles through underwater vegetation?

May should be a good to great plastic-frog time because the key ingredients will be there.

I absolutely love to see these fish blast a plastic frog. However, as of the last week of March, those instances had been few and far between, as only a couple bites being averaged on recent outings.

I know that will change in late April and May.

This has been some kind of spring. I tell you, I don’t know how to describe it other than it’s been an unusual spring to this point.

Neither I nor anyone I know has seen balls of bass fry yet, which is a mystery. We also haven’t seen shad move to the shallows (i.e., into the peppergrass) to spawn, a move that brings the bass hard into the vegetation.

What is worth bragging about is the number of 10-pound-plus bass that keep getting caught in this lake voted by Bassmaster as No. 1 in the 2015 100 Best Lakes.

As of mid-April, more than 130 double-digit bass had hit the certified scales since last May, a record-breaking number.

Heck, the program could even approach 150 lunkers before the campaign ends this month with the McDonald’s Big Bass Tournament.

Who’d have ever thought we’d have more than 100 in less than a year? That’s incredible.

At the moment, there’s plenty of water in the pond: 172.42 feet to be exact, with water still coming downstream.

I anticipate the high-water event to maintain like last year and the year before all the way through May, which is why bass will be in the peppergrass and other vegetation eating plastic frogs.

May bass anglers need to fish with weedless soft plastics such as Top Toads, Ribbits, Senkos, Wacky Worms and Trick Worms.

Popular colors include watermelon red/pearl (my favorite) white or black plastic frogs.

As for Senkos and such, use june bug red and cotton candy.

Sure, there are other ways to put bass in the boat in late April and May. And some of the best anglers in the world will prove that during the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament here May 12-15.

I tell ya, I cannot wait for that week in May. I won’t be surprised to see at least one 30-pound limit each day.

Other ways to put bass in the boat this month include tying on shad-colored crankbaits and Carolina-rigged creature baits, trick worms and Senkos. Also try ½-ounce black/blue, peanut butter-and-jelly or camo football jigs.

Fish 12- to 15-foot depths. Oh, and Alabama rigs (Flash Mob Jr. is my favorite) and Rat-L-Traps will produce out there, too.

Disappointingly, crappie fishing has been way off this spring, according to my buddies who are out there almost every day.

Anglers have struggled, with the best bets being to fish bridge pilings.

By now, the transition from shallows to deeper water should be underway, which means more and more slabs will be picked off of brush piles in 22- to 25-foot depths with shiners.

If you’d like to go out in my boat, call 936-404-2688.

About John Dean 96 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.