Watching The Weather Channel has given me hope for bassin’ the rest of the spring and early summer at Toledo Bend.
The repetitive frontal systems that gave us such a hard time during the height of the spawn may be a godsend down the stretch of spring and into the start of summer. Jim Cantore, veteran meteorologist, predicted that we would continue to have cold fronts roll in through May and possibly into June. That may sound counterproductive to fishing, but in the long run, it’s important.
Those systems should do two things. First, they drop badly needed rain in the region and everybody knows we need that in Toledo Bend. And second, with cool nights, it helps keep the water temperature in the 70s, at least for a while.
I like that.
What we’ve needed
That’s what we need in what is considered the post-spawn era.
Toledo Bend’s pool stage was 171.21 toward the end of spring. We’re finally getting the water we wanted. It’s been staying up thanks to rainfall associated with frontal systems for the past month or so. That level sure gives us more cover to target plus make this sprawling border lake look so beautiful at less than a foot below full pool.
It’s going to be fun. It’s a good time in late May and June. The shallow-water thing is the status quo until late June and July, when we’ll see summertime patterns start to dominate.
Target the shallows, as shallow as 1½ -2 feet deep on out to 3-5 feet deep because the bream are spawning in those depths. It still pays off in June. The water color is fair to good pretty much anywhere as of now and should stay that way, even improving barring torrential rainfalls.
I’m not going to change my game plan one bit. In fact, I’ll double up my activity with plastic frogs. It’s a perfect setup for those and other topwaters, Senkos, Neko-rigged Senkos, suspending jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and bladed jigs. They should all trigger their share of bites.
It sure would be nice to see peppergrass emerge like it did two years ago. That’d be sweet.
Lily pads reappear
I am seeing lily pad growth, which we didn’t see last year. That’s cover. Lily pads are starting to get a grip in scattered areas, including Housen Bay.
For sure, it’s bluegill time. That’s T-bone steak for bass. Bream factor into May and early June, as long as the conditions remain. That’s why bream-colored baits are king this time of year.
Stanley Ribbits and Stanley Top Toads in bream hues have been a staple in late spring and early summer for many years.
My No.1 color for spinnerbaits and bladed jigs is golden bream (#305 and #205 in Stanley colors). As for Senkos and other soft plastics, you can’t beat watermelon, watermelon/red, green pumpkin/purple or green pumpkin/red.
Suspending jerkbaits such as the Rick Clunn STX gold/orange model also show out in late May and June. I’ve been catching on it consistently through the spring and expect to get bit on it through June.
Catching bass on jerkbaits tells me there are migratory fish still moving up late spring.
Crappie have moved out to the brushtops in 20-foot or more depths and are being caught on shiners and artificial jigs.
I’ve been guiding on this lake most of my life. June should be a prime time to catch bass on topwaters. Give me a call at (936) 404-2688.
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