Toledo Bend Reservoir straddles the Texas and Louisiana border stretching from Logansport, Louisiana, south approximately 100 miles to the dam. The lake offers a variety of fishing opportunities and is most well-known for producing trophy largemouth bass.
However, anglers interested in targeting other species of fish shouldn’t be dismayed. The tremendous forage in Toledo Bend creates an incredibly high-quality fishery here. In addition, heavy stocking promotes quality numbers of stripers, crappie, catfish, bream, white bass and yellow bass.
Vast areas of flooded timber remain as a result of minimal tree clearing prior to impoundment of the reservoir. While some wood has deteriorated, the remaining timber, stumpage and break-offs make for excellent fish habitat, but also create boating hazards. A few boat lanes were cut prior to the lake being filled and new ones are periodically added. Numerous individuals have placed private brush piles throughout the reservoir as well to provide for additional fish habitat.
Here are some tips for locating and catching crappie on Toledo Bend:
• During spring, crappie can be found scattered along grass lines close to deeper water in coves and creek inlets. Work a 1/32 ounce jigs parallel to grass lines. Creeks containing planted or natural brush will also hold crappie. These fish can be caught by working shiners or jigs vertically above the brush.
• Brush will continue to hold crappie during summer months. And brush located in creek channels and sloughs in 10 to 15-feet of water will tend to hold the most fish. Again, shiners and jigs worked vertically are your best bet for enticing these fish
• In fall, crappie can be found along the main river, from the dam upstream all the way to Logansport. Quality electronics are essential in locating brush piles and bait fish near the river channel. Crappie move into these areas to feed on the bait fish. 1/32 to 1/16 ounce jigs, in black/chartreuse, pink/white, white, silver and yellow are the best colors to use. Live shiners suspended 18 to 24 inches above a ¼ ounce weight can also produce.
• From fall to early winter, crappie will hold near bridge pilings, notably the Pendleton and LA 191 bridges. Crappie jigs and live shiners should be used to catch these fish.
• From October through January, crappie are attracted to the bends of the old river channel that runs from Webb Lake through Saltworks Lake to Chicken Coop. Quality electronics should be used to locate these fish.
For a more detailed lake map and real-time fishing reports follow the Toledo Bend waterway page on Fishidy.