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Toledo Bend Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Dog Days of Summer


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

What’s the secret of catching bass in the summer when it’s so hot, even the dog doesn’t want to go out?

Slow down the presentation: Texas angler Brad Reid recently shared a couple of secrets for fishing a soft jerk bait and a spinner bait. “With a jerk bait, instead of casting it, then jerking it back on a well-paced retrieve, try casting or pitching it. Let it sink like a dying minnow, let it sit on the bottom. Retrieve it like you would fish a Texas Rig, bouncing it back in.”

Cast it on top of surface vegetation…lily pads, for example. Let it sit on the top, then nudge it slowly off the pad to drop in the water. Let it drop a few feet. Pull it back up to the next pad and repeat.

Spinner baits: let it sink to the bottom and let it sit there for a few seconds. Then retrieve it in small hops, hard enough to spin the blades…kind of like fishing a jig.

Fish at night: Before I tried my luck at night, I always wondered if there was some special way you had rig or fish different locations to catch bass in the dark. A noted guide on Toledo Bend, who has since gone home to be with +the Lord, said there is nothing much different than fishing during daylight hours. Fish the same places you would fish during the day. We caught, or I should say, he caught lots of bass on one of his spots he fishes regularly.

Some quality fish can be caught at night. Check with the guides and they will tell you to go with a black color worm, topwater or crankbait. The fish can see the lure easier, although you would think it would be the opposite. Black helps to paint a silhouette in the water.

My biggest catch during a night of fishing came just as the sun was poking its head above the horizon. Start your fishing at sunset, letting your eyes adjust to the slow darkening and you will be surprised at how well you can see in the dark.

The biggest thing about night fishing is safety. If your fishing from a boat, leave your running lights on at all times so other boats can see you. Lights inside the boat will help prevent falling or tripping over something, or much worse falling into the water.

02 Levels: weeds, grass provide oxygen in the water that can be depleted in hot water temps. The bass need oxygen just we like do. Bass will get under the thick cover because it blocks the sunlight and provide ambush points. The bait fish will also migrate to the shaded cover. An isolated clump of hydrilla or other green stuff on an open flat is a magnet for the surrounding flat.

To sum it up, seasoned night bass anglers say it’s not about numbers, but more about quality. Two to five pound bass are not uncommon. If you prefer the daylight hours, fish really early and late. Slow down your presentation in whatever you are using.

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Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 83

Monday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 70


Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 81

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 62


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 87

Wednesday Night


Lo: 60


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 89

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 63

Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 7/22: 169.59 (-2.41)

Toledo Bend Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 17)

Water murky; 84–88 degrees; 1.52’ low. Black bass are good on chartreuse soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Striped bass are fair on chartreuse striper jigs. White bass are fair on minnows and Li’l Fishies. Crappie are good on minnows and white tube jigs over baited holes. Bream are good on crickets. Channel and blue catfish are good on trotlines baited with shrimp and stinkbait in 20–30 feet. Yellow catfish are slow.