Take advantage of less pressure at Toledo Bend

Cooler water brings big bass shallow

October bass fishing can’t come soon enough for me — and I’m sure the same can be said for hundreds of other anglers who fish Toledo Bend.

The sooner this hot, wet stormy summer is over the better for improved bass fishing on this border lake shared by the Sportsman’s Paradise and the Lone Star State. Hurricane Harvey dumped tremendous amounts of water into Toledo Bend, so we’ll probably be dealing with unseasonably high water for the rest of the year. And the water is hot — like the scorching days with heat indexes higher than 100 degrees we’ve experienced the past 2 ½ months.

But after a couple of fronts, the seasonal pattern will finally change when the water cools. I tell you, when the water temperature gets into the middle 70s, bass will turn on like a light switch. And more often than not, there is less pressure on the lake as many outdoorsmen turn to the woods and bowhunting for deer.

The fall season is one of the best times of the year to fish besides springtime. I enjoy it because there are fewer anglers on the lake. Heck, it’s a magical time of year because many bass leave the deep domain and go to shallower water (10 foot depths and less), particularly grassy areas and, believe me, there is new growth over much of the lake, including 1215, which should please a bunch of bassers. And Housen Creek has the deepest, healthiest, widespread hydrilla that I’ve ever seen.

Bass aren’t the only fish that’ll move up. Shad and other baitfish also will migrate skinnier and get in the grass. Bass will be there with them with one thing on their mind — eating. They’re putting on the feedbag to fatten up for whatever winter we might have.

I’m looking forward to October, even into November and, maybe into December. It’s going to be good. Those big girls — 10 pounds and up — will start wandering up to the shallower depths.

The factor that appeals most to me is that the artificial lure options grow and grow and grow.  It’ll be an open window on a vast assortment of baits.

I approach it like the spring months with an emphasis on topwaters,  plastic frogs, Super Spooks, Chug Bugs — you name it.

One of the most productive baits will be a Chatterbait, either ½- or 3/8-ounce with the color depending on water clarity. Golden bream is tops on my list, followed by green pumpkin and black/blue. Ditto on the colors and weights for your favorite spinnerbaits.

Other proven artificial lures for this month include ½-ounce shad- or bream-colored Rat-L-Traps, jerkbaits and soft plastics like june bug/red Flukes, wacky worms, trick worms and Senkos.

When the water cools off a little more later in October, it’s also prime time to flip the matted grass with a camo, black/blue or peanut butter/n/jelly jig.

Crappie fishing on the lake, however, has slowed and the numbers dropped off considerably.

But if you want to catch bass in October — one of my favorite times of the year to fish — I’ve been guiding on this lake most of my life and you’re always welcome in my boat. Give me a call at (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.