Toledo Bend bass get ready to make November a memorable fishing month

Mark Ray of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, has a firm grip on the lip of a 4-pound bass caught while fishing with John Dean at Toledo Bend. Ray was “dead sticking” a Zoom Super Fluke in 5 feet of water on a cool day, a technique that should put plenty of bass in the boat in November.

More bites, more bass and more big bass.

That’s three “more” reasons to fish Toledo Bend during November. And, I’ll add, there are more windows open to successful bassing this month than the dog days of summer, which typically give up bass early and late in the day.

I feel very strongly we’re going to see a consistent bite, quantities of bass as in the spring and a number of good fish — 3s, 4s, 5s, even double-digit bass — as the air cools and the water temperature drops into the low 70s and upper 60s. The lake’s bass get energetic and aggressive. They put on the feed bag and try to fill up for whatever winter we do have in this region.

That much is pretty much a given about the water. What’s up in the air is how high or how low the pool level will be when November rolls around? On the last day of September, the lake was 4 feet below full pool, but expected rainfall and rain that accompanies future cold fronts will put water closer to the bushes and more water over the wood in November. For sure, it’s cut and dried; it’ll be a time to get in 10 feet of water or less and go to work with moving baits.

How to fish there

Bass migrate from their deep domains and head for shallower water in a transition period that starts in October. It will be time to store away the drop-shots, Carolina-rigged soft plastics and deep-diving crankbaits and basically forget about fishing deep until the deep freeze comes to town.

Concentrate on 5- to 7-foot depths and fish with ½-ounce lipless crankbaits, ½-ounce bladed jigs, ½-ounce swim jigs and jerkbaits, like the gold/orange Rogue. Top color patterns for this time of year are chrome/blue and shad.

Soft-plastic jerkbaits also are effective in November. My favorite is a dark-colored Zoom Super Fluke. Other colors that kick in big time for plastics are watermelon/red and green pumpkin/red.

Fishing in and around vegetation should be productive, but grass isn’t all over. There’s some up north and some down south, particularly in Housen Creek. If you find it, target it.

Keep in mind, the water cools first in the back end of the creeks, a reversal of spring when the water warms first in those areas. That’s where much of the bass catching should be enjoyed until water temperatures fall elsewhere in the lake, a development that makes both the creeks and the main lake fair game.

Fish main-lake flats near deep drains — highways for transitioning bass — but mainly focus on pockets and coves.

It’s a great time to fish, because generally there is a lot less fishing traffic. Hunting seasons are in full swing, and outdoorsmens’ attention is diverted to the woods.

The bass will be there, so enjoy every minute on this great border lake in November.

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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About John Dean 68 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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