texasfishingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
Cash Fishin and Huntin, amigo guide service - Robert, CentTexFisherman, BigMikeW, Unclebubba73
111757 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
TexDawg 92,482
hopalong 82,870
Pilothawk 79,170
John175☮ 74,560
JDavis7873 67,397
Derek 🐝 63,467
Bigbob_FTW 61,346
Tritonman 58,815
Mark Perry 58,189
facebook
Forum Statistics
Forums60
Topics767,180
Posts9,657,059
Members111,757
Most Online36,273
Jan 23rd, 2013
Print Thread
Toledo Bend in January - Info Needed! #13385947 12/29/19 10:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 2
S
samscottfishing Offline OP
Green Horn
OP Offline
Green Horn
S
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 2
(Side Note: If you read all of this, thank you for your time in doing so. You do not have to read it all. Just some background information and my history with the lake. If you provide helpful information, I appreciate it.)

Hello Fellow Bass Anglers,

I'm new to TFF, but I am not new to bass fishing. I've been able to cast a bait caster since I was 8 years old, fished all through high school, placed well in 3 high school state championships, fished in bass champs for a season, fished working man tourneys, currently competitively fishing for my college all over the nation, qualified and competed in the 2019 Bass Master College National Championship on Chickamauga, TN, and chasing the dream of going pro. That being said, I know when I could use some help or tips.

I've fished shallow and deep on Toledo. I've caught fish shallow in the grass of Housen and Indian Mounds, flipped docks and cypress trees and caught them, and I've caught them out deep on main lake points, ledges, suspended off bluff walls, and brush piles. However, I can not fill a limit, nor can I catch anything of size regardless of the large schools and marks I read on my graphs.

So every tournament I've fished on it, I have come up with a game plan and idea of where I think they should be or are, based on the weather, water temp, and time of year. I also watch for birds and bait. I almost always locate a group of fish in a certain area and figure out a pattern that will catch them. However, these fish tend to be of smaller size and/or short of being a keeper, even though, I am catching a ton of them.

The last 3 years fishing Toledo in tourneys, I've yet to catch a fish over 2 POUNDS! I thought it was turning over, OR due to the pressure from prior years of FLW, BASS, and all other tournament trails that competed on Toledo, a lot of the big fish had died off. I don't believe in conspiracy theories about lakes or anything like that, but I do know that Toledo hasn't been fishing as good as it was back in 2015-2016.

The last college tournament I fished on Toledo Bend was November of 2018 for FLW Yeti College. It was a southern divisional tournament, so the majority of competitors were from Texas colleges and had passed experience on Toledo. The lake was fishing super tough. I had caught 3 fish in 4 days of practice. My partner had zeroed 4 days in a row. It was a 1 day tournament. So come tourney day, I put my head down, kept my focus, and remember to have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) as Gerald Swindle says and tried to make it happen. I figured out a pattern and caught 17 just short of a hair bass. My partner caught 6 and all his were close to keepers as well. Before we knew it, time ran out. We went to weigh with empty wells. It was the first time I zeroed in a tournament since 2014. But I stayed positive because the rest of the field struggled as well. 118 Teams fished that day. Only 66 of the 118 caught fish. Of the 66 teams only 15 teams had 5 fish limits. The total overall weight for the tournament was 389.1875lbs. If you divided that by the field # to get the average weight of sacks, if everyone caught fish, it's an average of 3.29lbs.

That being said I have questions for the local fisherman of Toledo Bend Reservoir. Toledo Bend is the fifth largest man made lake in the U.S. It's 185,000 acres and 65 miles long. I've fished the very south end down by Texas Island, and I've fished up north passed East Hamilton Calvin's Boat Ramp. I know a lake this large you'll never fully figure out unless you live on it and fish it everyday. So any help or information about what to do would be much appreciated.

Questions:
What area of the lake of Toledo Bend holds fish in the winter? Besides running north towards the river for that warmer water, where else should I key in on?
If deep, what should I target? Roadbeds, drains, ditches, points?
Should I cover water or fish super slow?
Will Toledo Bend be level? I know it was 10ft low at the beginning of November of this year.

Again any help or instruction would be greatly appreciated. I don't want way points. I would just like an education about how Toledo Bend Bass behave and what they do during this time of year.


Sam Scott
Re: Toledo Bend in January - Info Needed! [Re: samscottfishing] #13386078 12/29/19 02:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 16,119
Donald Harper Online Happy
TFF Guru
Online Happy
TFF Guru
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 16,119
Your struggles are nothing new for tournament fisherman that are fishing all over the country. Although you do understand the concept of what it takes to become the best there is on a body of water with your statement; "I know a lake this large you'll never fully figure out unless you live on it and fish it everyday". You are asking for something here on the TFF that you will not get very much help on through a public forum. There are not many short cuts that you can take to catch more fish and larger fish on these large bodies of water. You must put in lots of time researching the lake in many different ways.
- Take the information that you may gain here by the questions that you have ask and work with it to the best of your ability. At the worst you may eliminate some water.
- Work your time on the water for as many days in a row as you can; so patterns will hold true for weather, water conditions and time of year feeding and or spawning patterns.
- Research the sources around the lake that you can go to and talk to people that are in the know of who the best fisherman are that are locals. Do not forget to search for the oldest retired fisherman that may not even fish any more for a number one resource. The knowledge you gain will be off the charts! Spend days driving and talking to these resources about what you need to be doing. You may get lucky and one of the Old Timers may take you in and share the knowledge. Many of these Old Timers have been forgotten; so this will take some serious looking and communication work.

As you can already tell; I am not all about starting from scratch and investing one full year on each lake one at a time any more. This is the way I did it back in the day. This is all good and well if you can invest that time with some added knowledge from a couple of old timers. What you learn will be basically yours to draw on while fishing tournaments. I do feel that there are some short cuts that a young guy can take. Learning how to map out a lake using all the resources available has worked for me. This takes many hours of work; but I enjoy doing it and my system holds true for any lake that has contour lines. This takes about 30 hours of searching to come up with the best areas and another 30 hours of work to get it all on a Chip to Import into my depth finder for each lake that I am going to seriously fish. You must also Develop A System. This is one that works for you and is based around your Mapping Studies of that body of water.

If you will send me your Email Address; I will send you the articles on Baits, Techniques, Mapping Skills and Following a System. This will give you some more ideas of what it takes to find the fish that you are looking for.


Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Re: Toledo Bend in January - Info Needed! [Re: samscottfishing] #13387311 12/30/19 03:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 4,585
BMCD Offline
TFF Team Angler
Offline
TFF Team Angler
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 4,585
I mean this is always a good idea "Roadbeds, drains, ditches, points?"

Should I cover water or fish super slow? Depends on the day.

Toledo has a good groups of deep water fish, and shallow fish, pick your favorite.

Historical knowledge only goes so far, the lack of grass from previous years and low water has the lake fishing different I'm sure. Sometimes a fresh perspective is best.

Re: Toledo Bend in January - Info Needed! [Re: samscottfishing] #13393124 01/05/20 02:42 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 569
MurraynTx Offline
Pro Angler
Offline
Pro Angler
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 569
I've been fishing any 20=25 ft of water where it is close to the river. When you find the schools of fish if they don't bite keep going back to them at different times of the day. I fish offshore 100% of the time and have about 8 spots marked with fish now. It's timing right now. Having said that I've fished it since it filled up and I've never seen the lake this bad.

Re: Toledo Bend in January - Info Needed! [Re: MurraynTx] #13395342 01/07/20 05:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 2
S
samscottfishing Offline OP
Green Horn
OP Offline
Green Horn
S
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 2
I appreciate that man. Information about what the fish are doing and where they are staging is always helpful. This time of year I figured they'd be deeper. I also figured, like you said, it'd be a timing deal. Had couple of big schools marked last year around this time, and different times of the day I was hitting all the schools, fishing for 30 mins or more, and then cycling back around until I caught a school feeding. I hate that the great Toledo Bend isn't fishing how it used.


Sam Scott
Re: Toledo Bend in January - Info Needed! [Re: samscottfishing] #13396795 01/08/20 02:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,124
U
UTDmiller Offline
Extreme Angler
Offline
Extreme Angler
U
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,124
I have not been on toledo in several years, so take this with a grain of salt. What i like to do on bigger lakes is pick an area and focus on it prefishing, generally i look for an area that has the depths/types of cover and structure i think will be productive that time of year and try to learn that area the best i can. You have mentioned above some good areas where i have caught fish in the past, however there was grass last time i was on the lake and it was fishing much better than what i am hearing now.


John Miller
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread


© 1998-2019 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3