Toledo bass offer anglers a chance to throw the bait of their choice

Arkansas bass angler Mark Ray holds a chunky bass he caught by dead stickin’ a Zoom Super Fluke when the water temperature dropped into the 70s after a cold front at Toledo Bend.

Are you ready for the next “fun time” for bass fishing on Toledo Bend?

That would be October, and I sure am anxious to get out on the lake in what I call the “game-changer” month for several reasons. It’s a time to catch on whatever moving baits you like to throw, including topwaters.

As of now, it’s setting up to be pretty good starting in late September and through this month. I’m fairly confident the pool level’s going to be higher than it has been because of torrential rains farther up the Sabine River from Lake Fork on down to Toledo Bend. Sabine River Authority has had two generators running twice daily for two hours each time anticipating the extra water on the way.

With the water up, there’s likely to be many acres of fresh grass under water where it once was dry land, providing more cover for bass. And there are reports of more hydrilla beds in the lake, more down south — including Housen — than up north.

The recent record-breaking rainfall follows record-breaking heat the past two months in this region. It was a very hot summer, but it’s been 70 degrees several mornings and we have been looking out at fog in creeks, coves on pockets.

I can’t wait

Cold fronts are on the way and they help bring water temperatures into the mid-60s and mid-70s. I can’t wait.

I’m going to be targeting bass, not deer, this fall and winter. No hunting for me as I have a goal to catch a lake record. I’m thinking I can find that “hawg” in the “dam bowl” area.

For sure, double-digit bass will be caught this month as bass move from their deep domains to shallower depths, following baitfish. Generally, that means if the pool level gets to 172. It is hard to predict, but if that happens, I’ll concentrate on 5- to 6-feet and less.

Whatever you like to do, whatever your strength, use it, keep moving and stay as close to drains as possible. Lipless crankbaits, bladed jigs, suspending jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and a myriad of topwaters, led by plastic frogs and buzz baits, that all will trigger the bites you want.

What colors to use

I’ll tie on shad and bream colored artificial lures unless the water’s off-colored, which it could be, particularly in the back areas of coves and creeks. If the water’s stained, oranges, reds, chartreuses and black/blue come into play.

My favorites? I like ½-ounce Rat-L-Traps, ½-ounce Delta Lures Thunder Jigs and Stanley Jigs Racket Blades, gold/orange suspending Rogues, Stanley Ribbits and Chug Bugs.

About the only soft plastic I’ll rely on in October is a Fluke-style bait. It isn’t prime time to flip soft plastics around docks and wood but it is time to flip jigs because the jig bite traditionally kicks in this time of year as the water chills. That bite gets better as it gets colder and it gives the angler a good chance to catch a big’un. I favor a ½-ounce black/blue, black/chartreuse or peanut butter-n-jelly Stanley Jig or Delta Rattling Jig.

I’ve been guiding on this lake most of my life and you’re welcome in my boat. Give me a call at (936) 404-2688.

About John Dean 80 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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