Falling water temperatures in October bring out the best in feeding largemouths
I’ve decided against dividing my time after September between the bass fishing on Toledo Bend and the deer hunting around Toledo Bend.
Starting this month, I’m going to devote at least 90% of my outdoors endeavors to the bass I love to catch on this border lake shared by Louisiana and Texas.
Why? It’s one of my favorite times of the year, a fun time for any bass angler. The fish are moving out of deep water, are aggressive and, most important, eating whenever the water finally starts to cool.
I’m really looking forward to it. I feel strongly about October. I’ll be out there chasing bass, not deer. Quality and quantity should be the order of the day, any time of the day.
It’s past time to say good-bye to the 105- to 108-degree heat-index readings we’ve experienced. But they usually end in late September. October is a prime time, when the season changes from summer to fall and with each passing cold front, the water temperature starts to drop. When the water temperature gets into the 70s, hang on. Take advantage of that, because there will be spring-like water conditions, minus the spawn, of course. The bass come alive, going after food sources such as shad, bream and crawfish to feed up for whatever winter brings.
Both bass and baitfish head to shallower waters, so it’s time to target 10 feet of water or less, usually 5- to 7-foot depths.
What to use
What to fish with? Chunk and wind, and you can’t go wrong. A Delta Lures Thunder Jig or a Stanley Racket Blade, two fine bladed jigs, will work. Those companies’ respective swim jigs are my first two choices. I like ½-ounce models. There are times for 3/8-ounce models — in colors based on water clarity. Those range from black and black/blue in stained water to golden bream in clearer water. I prefer a gold blade on any bladed jigs.
I tell you what, getting bit on those bladed jigs, that’s the hardest bite I’ve ever experienced, those and swim jigs. Throw them on 40-pound Power Pro green braid around structure and in underwater vegetation.
Don’t put away the plastic frog, for goodness sake, or your favorite topwater. Bass will crush a plastic frog this time of year, as well as a topwater. I can’t wait.
There are plenty of other artificial lures that will coax ol’ bucketmouth to bite as water temperatures settle into the 70s. Zoom Super Flukes and Yamamoto Senkos are two of my go-to baits, Neko- or Carolina-rigged in black, black/blue, green pumpkin and watermelon/red.
Other moving baits can be just as efficient as the bladed jigs and swim jigs. A Rat-L-Trap or square-billed crankbait will do the job, as will a jerkbait like a Rogue. Shad or chrome/blue are colors that nail many a bass through October and November.
For more information or to book a fishing trip on Toledo Bend with John Dean, call 936-404-2688.