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So Yall Want To Learn Toledo Bend?


Catt
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Long Mike,

Many anglers believe that structure fishing only applies to deep water but structure applies to all depths and bodies of water. Despite their beliefs even natural lakes have structure, it may be extremely subtle forms structure but it's there.

"It must be remembered that deep water is where bass spend the greater part of their time because it is a sanctuary from changing weather and water conditions. Thus, in order for a structure, break or break line to be consistently productive for mature bass, it must be very close to deep water, or at least, the deepest water in the area being fished. You cannot have schools of large bass if the structure, breaks and break lines are not connected in some manner to deep water." Elwood L. " Buck" Perry

MARSH MASTER,

I grew up in Southwest Louisiana and still own a house there now; the marshes in that area average 2-3' deep and I still fish structure.

Tidal fishing timing is extremely critical, tidal fish move a lot but can be very predictable. When you catch them pay attention to time and tidal level and get you a tidal chart. Some spots are good on high tide, some on low tide, and some spots are good in between. Your job is to determine when a spot is best and then to duplicate the timing in the future.

SPEEDBEAD this information applies to any body of water

I was blessed in that my Uncle Joseph Addison who was a master of structure fishing in the Gulf of Mexico tutored me back in the early 60s. That is the foundation on which I added Elwood L. " Buck" Perry & Bill Murphy.

That got a little of track but I needed to clarify those points ;)

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Jack, let's go!  October is completely out for me.  I already have two fishing trips (one with you) and my daughter's wedding planned for that month.

Catt, I've read Buck Perry's book also, but I (mistakenly?) came away with a different interpretation.  Since finishing the book, I've concentrated on fishing structure in ten to twelve feet of water; with very limited success. That's why I made the statement the other day that I need to move away from the banks.  From reading your posts, you seem to concentrate on waters in the range of twenty feet and deeper.  Is this due to the season?  Do you move shallower in the spring and fall?  Do you move deeper in winter?

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Since we are talking Toledo Bend I'll address deep water as it pertains to this lake, for your body of water you'll need to find its key depth. When on the lake I keep my boat in 15' of water plus or minus 3'. Even if I should move into a cove I'll still keep my boat in 15' with the exception of course during pre-spawn/spawn; you will never find me casting to the shore unless 15' is within casting distance of the bank. Situated in 12-18' I can cast and reach shallower or deeper water; I'll stay at this depth year round with the exception of during pre-spawn/spawn. Bass at this depth are not as adversely affected by boat traffic & weather changes.

Why? Because I don't think my depth finder is capable of reading any thing shallower  ;)

Seriously because this is the depth at which Hydrilla, Milfoil, and Coontail Moss stop growing on this lake thus keeping me on a break line.

Now to critique of fishfordollars plan for fishing Oil Well Cove/Jesse Lowe's Bay; his plan is typical of someone not familiar with fishing the big pond. This doesn't mean he would not catch but with my plan I would be in the upper percentile range for success at catching bigger bass. Quite simply put I would start deep and stay deep with Texas Rigs, Carolina Rigs, Jig-N-Craws, Deep Cranks or any combination there of.  

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Since we are talking Toledo Bend I'll address deep water as it pertains to this lake, for your body of water you'll need to find its key depth. When on the lake I keep my boat in 15' of water plus or minus 3'. Even if I should move into a cove I'll still keep my boat in 15' with the exception of course during pre-spawn/spawn; you will never find me casting to the shore unless 15' is within casting distance of the bank. Situated in 12-18' I can cast and reach shallower or deeper water; I'll stay at this depth year round with the exception of during pre-spawn/spawn. Bass at this depth are not as adversely affected by boat traffic & weather changes.

Why? Because I don't think my depth finder is capable of reading any thing shallower ;)

Seriously because this is the depth at which Hydrilla, Milfoil, and Coontail Moss stop growing on this lake thus keeping me on a break line.

Now to critique of fishfordollars plan for fishing Oil Well Cove/Jesse Lowe's Bay; his plan is typical of someone not familiar with fishing the big pond. This doesn't mean he would not catch but with my plan I would be in the upper percentile range for success at catching bigger bass. Quite simply put I would start deep and stay deep with Texas Rigs, Carolina Rigs, Jig-N-Craws, Deep Cranks or any combination there of.

This post just taught me more about fishing TB than anything I have ever read. I am not refering just to the deep water either. Thank you Catt.

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Ok y'all chew on the structure side for a while & I'll address tackle  ;)

Texas Rigged plastic is the most productive technique by far on this body of water. I can not give you a scientific explanation but the bass on this lake love plastic of any kind and if you want to catch bass in numbers or size you had better be throwing plastic. I also can not explain why but it has been my experience when fishing a Texas rig either a 3/16 oz or ¼ oz bullet will produce the most bites regardless of water depth. Texas rigged craw worms are largely overlooked by most anglers but it is highly productive on this body of water.

Due to the tremendous amounts of vegetation, brush, and timber on this lake the Jig-N-Craw is an easy choice. While it may not produce all the time I keep one tied on at all times and will not leave a piece of structure without throwing one.

Carolina Rig what can I say except it produces year round; I'm not a proficient it as I should be and am working on that.

Deep Diving Crank Baits, at certain times in the hands of an experienced angler the DD-14 is and has out produced the above in tournaments wins. I sadly am not one of those anglers.

That my friends are the top producing lures on this body of water year round but this is not to say all the other lures can not be productive. Spinner baits, Traps, Rogues, top water all produce but for a shorter period of time. If you want to put yourself in a higher percentile range for being consistent use one of the four mentioned.  

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Ok y'all chew on the structure side for a while & I'll address tackle ;)

Texas Rigged plastic is the most productive technique by far on this body of water. I can not give you a scientific explanation but the bass on this lake love plastic of any kind and if you want to catch bass in numbers or size you had better be throwing plastic. I also can not explain why but it has been my experience when fishing a Texas rig either a 3/16 oz or ¼ oz bullet will produce the most bites regardless of water depth. Texas rigged craw worms are largely overlooked by most anglers but it is highly productive on this body of water.

Due to the tremendous amounts of vegetation, brush, and timber on this lake the Jig-N-Craw is an easy choice. While it may not produce all the time I keep one tied on at all times and will not leave a piece of structure without throwing one.

Carolina Rig what can I say except it produces year round; I'm not a proficient it as I should be and am working on that.

Deep Diving Crank Baits, at certain times in the hands of an experienced angler the DD-14 is and has out produced the above in tournaments wins. I sadly am not one of those anglers.

That my friends are the top producing lures on this body of water year round but this is not to say all the other lures can not be productive. Spinner baits, Traps, Rogues, top water all produce but for a shorter period of time. If you want to put yourself in a higher percentile range for being consistent use one of the four mentioned.

That certainly makes sense to me. I have won two of our club tournaments this year on the lake fishing a senko, crawworm and a Lake Fork 7 1/4 ribbed worm in 12-18' water.

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Cableman, when we were on the phone the other day I asked you to draw in the 15' depth on the map. This is where I would begin my search and work from there. If you draw it in on the flat down toward the dam at Richland Chambers lake it will show the pond dams and other depth changes that we discussed. Barring any cool weather I think you will be fine working the 15-20' levels. Most people will be fishing a c-rig in the area.

Do not forget the two pockets above the bridge across from the launch that will be loaded with grass I showed you.

Good luck.

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Each body of water has a key depth at which bass spend a majority of their time; on Toledo Bend it's happens to correspond with where the Hydrilla stops growing. This is why I mentioned 15' plus or minus 3'; last month the lake level on the bend was up 2.5' feet from where it is now so the outside grass line is at 12.5'. If the lake level had risen 2.5' instead of fallen the outside grass line would be 17.5'. I position my boat just far enough away so I can reach 10 or 15' past the grass line with a decent cast and I can turn around and still reach deep water with a long cast.

Now while we are talking deep water structure some thing occurred to me Thursday night on the lake. I pulled up to one area which had 2 other boats fishing the area and my buddy Pat did not want to stay; I told him they are fishing it wrong and proceeded to explain why. Both boats were sitting in 45' of water casting on to a ridge that was 8' deep on top; I positioned my boat on the edge of the drop off in 15' and dropped anchor. I explained to Pat if they are in 45' while casting to 8' by the time their lure is less than half way back to the boat it is no longer in contact with the bottom correct; Pat agreed. Now I'm in 15' casting towards 45' my lure is in constant contact with the bottom all the way up the hill back to the boat correct; Pat again agrees. My question then is whose lure is in the strike zone the longest since the bass are relating to the bottom?  

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So how were y'all trip?

I fished Toledo Bend Thursday & Friday; we caught 21 bass with the top 5 weighting in around 18-19 pounds with a 6.8 kicker. Missed at least twice as many as we caught; it was a strange bite with no distinctive tap or bump, they simply inhaled the bait and swam off with it. Every thing was caught on Texas Rigged worms with Gene Larew's 7 ½ Salty Ring Worm Cinnamon Pepper Neon/June Bug Laminated (Camouflage) accounting for 90% of the bites; all fish caught and fish missed were in 12-18' of water on under water points.  

There were 3 of us and it broke down like this

Scotty Boy my youngest son accounted for 1 bass

Patrick C my #1 partner accounted for 8 bass

Tommy T (Catt) accounted for 12 bass + the 6.8 kicker  ;)

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Catt!!  How was your trip on T-Bend over the weekend??? The day time fishing was tough for me. I fished the long ridge just south of Millionaire Point both days. We caught upwards of 15 bass, but all but 2 were small throw backs. We also had a bunch more bites, but we were fishing with 10-11.5 worms and they were biting the worm in half and not getting the hook. I don't know if they were small bass, or bream. I learned allot about your structure fishing and will continue to print off your lessons on structure fishing 101.  Thanks   Dutch

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Dutch if the bass you were catching were biting your 10-11.5 worm in half they were telling you to throw smaller worms. Of the 21 bass we caught 4 in 10 were keepers which is typical for Toledo this time of the year and the reason we were upset for missing so many. Our 5 bass stringer went like this 6.8, 4.3, 3.0, and then nose dived to culling any thing over 14; we did have 4 bass on that would have weighted around 5 lbs but they shook off.

Fishfordollars how was Rayburn?  ;)

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I had a rough time on rayburn. Three hundred yards into my run from the ramp. I broke a blade off my Lazer 22P prop(No Spare) and was regulated to fishing the area around the ramp area on the TM. Partner failed to show so it was a long night for me. biggest was 5.50 and I only had four. Most caught on plastic and some on a black buzzbait. Lots of small fish. Not one of my better efforts. Most bites were on the grass lines out on the points with 12-15' drops.

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How in world does one break a prop?

If I would have known your partner wasn't going to show and the sky would have cleared I would have stayed, dude I should have given you my cell #.

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