Stick to vegetation, docks and offshore for Toledo bass

Randy O’banion of Zwolle, a buoy tender for the Sabine River Authority, holds a 5-plus pound bass he caught at night on Toledo Bend. O’banion was beating the heat to catch 13 bass, including two over 5 pounds, while fishing a plum apple Ol’ Monster Worm around ledges in 7- to 15-foot depths.

Barring a change in water temperature, Toledo Bend probably will give up bass in September much like it did in late July through August.

Average water temp has been in the lower 90s here recently. That’s why daytime fishing success centers in and around vegetation, around docks and offshore.

I’ll be plunkin’ and dunkin’ soft plastics through the grass, also tossin’ a plastic frog at times, along openings in the grass, trails (drains) in 15- to 18-foot depths. The key to getting bit more than likely will be fishing grassy points and secondary points because with the pool level 2.07 feet below full pool the majority of bass, naturally, have moved off banks and into drains… And into the shade and cooler waters of thick and luscious hydrilla, most of it on the Texas side starting at 944 and going north along the western side of Toledo Bend.

Grass is making even more of a presence than last fall when it returned en masse. It’s solid and, after so many years without it, very welcome. There is so much of it right now you have to stay in no less than 12- to 13-foot depths to navigate.

Watch the weather

September will not be that much different unless there is a tropical weather system that brings wind and rain, something that could change our conditions at the lake. Hurricane season’s peak time usually is around Sept. 10. Or unless there is a natural cooldown in the last week or two, which happens. If we get lucky enough and water temps fall for any reason into the 70s, bass could get shallow again and, yep, more double-digit bass start roaming around and making appearances at a certified digital scale.

I won’t be counting on cooler water, though, until at least October. That means successful bass anglers will be dropping June bug/red, red bug, plum or plum/apple creature baits and other soft plastics under 3/8- to 5/8-ounce worm weights, or flippin’ 5/8- or ½-ounce jigs in black/blue and or crawfish- or bream-colored jigs with matching trailers.

I’ll dunk and plunk with 40-pound test Power Pro green braided line to get the bass out of the thickest stuff. Much of the time they will be suspended so it’s important to be a line watcher and rely on feel. If the water is, say, 12 feet deep, and your bait goes 5 feet down and stops, snug up on it for a moment to feel if it’s a fish or hung on the grass.

Trending now is a red-hot Ribbit plastic frog bite in the first and last 1 ½ hours of the day. Should the heat wave continue, that should be viable through late August and September.

Also, more and more bass (and crappie) are being caught at night by folks who want to beat the heat. Those bass are in the grass and the night time is the prime time to catch them around vegetation as well as the plethora of boat docks lining the lake. Buzz baits, Whopper Ploppers and plastic frogs, in that order, have been accounting for those nocturnal catches. September’s full moon is the 29th.

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

About John Dean 90 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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