The perfect time to fish Toledo Bend


Andrew Canulette

MANY, LOUISIANA -- March might be the perfect time to fish Toledo Bend Reservoir.

But seriously, if the guys at Bassmaster Magazine think enough of the place to name it the only fishery in America to be the Number 1 bass hole in successive years, is there really EVER a bad time to fish here?


Toledo Bend Reservoir has numerous elements that make it such a top-flight fishery. First, and likely foremost, is that at 185,000 acres, it’s the fifth largest manmade body of water in the U.S.

That’s enormous and with that kind of reach, not only do the get to spread out, but so do the bass. That creates mini-fisheries within the greater fishery, meaning that bass have plenty space to feed (and get fat) without constant pressure from other bass or anglers. And that’s despite the number of boats that frequent this slice of paradise forming the border between Louisiana and Texas in the northern stretches of both states.

Another strength Toledo has is that fishing conditions can be strikingly different in different places on the reservoir. And according to one local I talked with this morning (who’s not fishing in Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional presented by Magellan Outdoors,) bass are in all three phases of the spawn, though the majority seem to be squarely in spawn currently.

 “The place is so big, you can find bass spawning from January through May,” he said. “Someplace out there, something’s biting.”

That means the bigger bass may be caught in the shallows. But then again, the best fish could be caught offshore.

Or on points.

Or in current.

Or in backwater eddies.

The honey holes here are myriad and so are an angler’s options. And with only 3 ½ hours elapsed in this tournament, it’s too early to tell what pattern will work best.

But if history is any indication, Toledo Bend will produce.