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Toledo Bend Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Gillard Finally Lands First Lunker, Wins Big BassHonors


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:

With more than 55 years of fishing under his belt, and a few close calls along the way, a double-digit bass has always eluded John Gillard. Fishing with partner, Randy Pennington in the Toledo Bend Oilman's Classic, he finally caught his first lunker, 10.98 lbs., 25 1/2 inches long, and a grith of 19 3/4 inches on April 27.

His big fish was up on the nest, in the spawning mode. The water wasn’t really clear, and Gillard actually noticed the lateral lines of another big bass, not 10 feet from the boat. He thought the second fish was about a 5-pounder, and started throwing his blueberry Texas-rigged Zoom lizard its way.

He made one more cast to the spawning bass before he and his partner headed back for the weigh-in. In Gilard's words, “Podnah, when I set the hook, all hell broke loose.”

The big bass took off for the buck brush, which provided for some tense moments before getting it into the boat. Pennington netted the big bass, but Gillard didn’t realize then that his 55-year pursuit of a double-digit fish was about to come to an end.

Pennington told Gillard that he had a 10 lb. bass. At Toledo Town and Tackle’s certified scales, the big bass officially weighed 10.98 pounds.

“The way it all happened was so unbelievable. In a million years I’d have never thought anything like that would have ever happened,” Gillard said. “It was just meant to be.”

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Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 85

Sunday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 68


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 85

Monday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 67


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 89

Tuesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 69


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Hi: 91

Wednesday Night

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Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 5/31: 171.95 (-0.05)

Toledo Bend Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (May 27)

FAIR. Water slightly stained; 74 degrees; 0.01’ high. Boat traffic has increased with pent up demand, so please use caution in boat lanes. Largemouth bass are good in the spring pattern with Carolina rigs, topwater, and jigs. There are hot spots just off of texas island drops. Striped bass remain fair in deep water. White bass are fair on deep points fishing Alabama rigs when you can and spoons when you can’t. Crappie are good on minnows. Channel and blue catfish are fair on stinkbait.