Learn why you should fish Toledo Bend after lunkers leave the shallows
Toledo Bend’s big girls don’t disappear after the spawn. In fact, these two proven anglers know these big bass might be even more inclined to bite during the post-spawn. Here are some tips.
DAVID A. BROWN
However, his fondness takes a noticeable upturn during the post-spawn.
Put it this way: When Bassmaster Magazine ranked this Louisiana powerhouse reservoir tops in the nation, many likely envisioned scores of giant mossbacks flooding the shallow spawning pockets.
A fun time, for sure, but Mansue pointed out the attraction of targeting bass in their late-spring transition.
“The lake has a lot of fish, and it has a lot of big fish — so anytime you fish on a lake where any cast can be rewarded with a big fish, that’s exciting,” he said. “These fish store up energy all winter to get ready for the spawn, and when they finally spawn, they’re hungry.
“They’ll eat all through the day, from early morning to late in the day. It’s just a fun time to be on the lake because you know you’re going to catch a lot of fish. You can catch them a bunch of different ways.”
And consider the natural funneling effect of post-spawn movements.
Compared to the main lake’s vastness, spawning pockets and shallow flats are relatively narrow, confined areas. Therefore, when each wave of the spawn concludes, the post-spawn fallback spots get pretty crowded.
“Quite often you can catch them bunched up, and usually they’ll be bunched up by size,” Mansue said. “If you catch a good fish, you can expect that other fish are there, as well.”
Nick LeBrun, a tournament pro from Bossier City, said many of the lake’s lunkers are more likely to get caught during this time.
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“Toledo (Bend) is known for having a lot of big fish — a lot of big females,” LeBrun said. “And many of the big females don’t get caught while they’re on the bed.
“So when they move out, they might be more vulnerable, whereas they might not bite a lure while they were on the bed. Sometimes, the post-spawn bite can be just as good as the pre- or spawning bite.”
And there’s plenty of opportunities for every angler hitting the lake.
“It’s really a numbers game,” LeBrun said. “You have a lake that’s big enough so everybody can spread out. There are so many creeks (that) everybody’s not focused on one area of the lake.
“There are phenomenal opportunities to catch several big fish, not just one.”
Of course, you can’t expect to simply stumble across such aggregations of hunger-driven post-spawners, so we asked Mansue and LeBrun to share some of their seasonal strategies for dialing in this abundant bite.
Following is a roundup of their suggestions.