The lake is in great shape at the time of this report running a little approximately four feet below high pool. Some of the main lake ramps are un-launchable but Huxely Bay Marina has plenty of deep water. A lot of timber is showing making it easy to find and fish your favorite spots.
Winter weather came roaring in over the Holidays and dropped the water temps down, pushing the fish into a typical winter pattern. The Crappie have really turned on bunching up. Future forecasts indicate we might be on a roller coaster with some extreme fronts coming in and then warming back up with little expected heavy rains in the short term. Looks like a typical southern winter pattern.
In February the fishing just gets better and better every day. February is a great month to catch a double-digit fish. If you do, remember the Toledo Bend Lake Association Lunker Program will provide you with a free replica of your fish. There are certain requirements you must follow so make sure you visit their website at toledobendlakeassociation.com and take advantage of this great program if you are lucky to catch the “Big One”.
In February, depending on the water temperature, the Bass and Crappie will start moving from deep water using the creeks and ditches as their highways heading to the shallow spawning flats. Shallow water warms faster and the bass will move into the shallows when the water temp approaches the upper 50s. If the water stays in the low 50s they will be in deeper water. This is what we refer to as “staging” before they move on the beds. The bass will go on a feeding frenzy bulking up for the spawn. If you catch one, slow down, there should be more fish in the same area. If the water temperature drops the bass will drop back into deeper water. All sorts of baits can be productive at this time, jigs, spinner baits, Rat-L-Traps, soft plastics, finesse baits, cranks and jerk baits.
The Crappie will also start moving into the deep creek channels in anticipation to their spawn. Work the bends and points of the channel with jigs and shiners especially areas that have brush or cover. When the Crappie move into the shallows to spawn work the flats with a shiner or jig on a slip cork with an eighteen to twenty-four inch leader around grass lines, stumps and Cypress trees. A Beatle spin or similar lure on an ultra- lite spinning rig can be used to cover a lot of water until you locate the fish. Otherwise, if they haven’t started moving towards the shallow flats, work the deep shelfs and ledges along the river channel and creeks.
The White bass will be moving into the river proper while some may still be holding on the north end main lake river channel sand-bars and will be feeding heavy. The key to locating and catching the Whites is the level and current of the river. If the river is high and has a lot of current, work the sloughs and eddies down stream of the sand bars. If the river level is low, work the sand bars, if they are not on the sand-bars, try trolling a suspend bait that runs seven to ten feet in the middle of the river. Rat-L-Traps, Road Runners and shallow diving crank baits work great.
With boat traffic increasing on the lake this time of year, please remember to be courteous to your fellow fisherman, don’t block the boat ramp, don’t trash our lake, follow the rules and regulations, and wear your life jacket.