Tossing topwaters at Toledo Bend

John Dean took John Robicheaux and his son into Housen Bay where they caught 14 bass up to 2 3/4 pounds on Stanley Top Toads.

Bass grabbing a seat at the shallow dinner table

I’m looking forward to having a great time throwing topwaters at the bass in May at Toledo Bend.

Who doesn’t like to see a 5-pound bass blow up on, for example, a plastic frog? It’s that time of year when the bream spawn keeps many bass in the shallows, 2- to 5-foot depths for the most part.

I tell you what, May in my opinion is in the post-spawn category. But that’s bluegill time, the first part of May and the latter part of April. It’s another reason for the bass to go shallow, even if they have spawned already, they’ll go to the dinner table. They follow the food chain.

Quality and quantity

It’ll be topwater time. That’s what I like about it and why it’s my favorite time to take clients out to catch quality and quantity. I get just as excited as they do at each blowup. It’s just a fun time of year to chase bass that are chasing the bream.

It’s pretty easy to spot bream beds, the moon crater-looking shiny dirt spots in the grass and, yes, there’s plenty of grass these days on this great border lake. Isn’t that a blessing? Thank God the grass came back from almost nothing to green, green, green grass, healthy and vibrant with more of it on the Texas side than the Louisiana side.

I just prefer — based on countless experiences — to work a plastic frog this time of year, particularly a plastic frog I created so many years ago, the Ribbit Top Toad.

The hollowed-body, floating plastic frog triggers strikes and at the same time stays fairly weedless as it goes over matted grass or any floating grass that has been cut up. My favorite color is watermelon red/pearl.

What’s more, the bass bite in the bream bedding areas is an all-day deal. It isn’t just for the first hour or two. Work the Top Toad or your favorite floating plastic frog across the grass and park it in the potholes, perhaps give it a little twitch if you must, then continue the retrieve.

Smashing the Toads

I did that two weekends ago after giving up on the outside stuff that has been so good to me over the years. My clients, a father and his son, caught 14 bass up to 2 ¾ pounds and had a ball. They had more bites and some of those hit and misses were good-sized bass, all in 5-foot depths in and around grass beds. The bass were trying to kill the Top Toads. So it started early this year, the shallow bite.

I’ll have a rod rigged for a comeback bait if a bass or I miss connections with the plastic frog. I’ll throw in a Zoom Super Fluke or a Senko, either watermelon/red, black or green pumpkin/red with a light 1/32 or 1/64-ounce weight, and dead stick it to coax another bite.

Also try ridges and humps on the main lake with Carolina-rigged soft plastics. And Rat-L-Traps and bladed jigs such as Delta Lures Thunder Jigs will trigger their share of bass bites in May. The ‘Traps aren’t done by any means.

Toledo Bend has been right around 170 feet going this spring. With more weather systems bringing rain, the pool level should be around that number at the end of April and into May. Cricket sales are about to go through the roof as bream get into the heart of the spawning season. What a great way to spend a day fishing.

It’s going to be a great late spring on Toledo Bend. Hope y’all enjoy every minute of it whether you’re chasing bass or bream, or both.

I’ve been guiding on this lake most of my life and you’re welcome in my boat. May should offer good bass fishing. Give me a call 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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