Extended periods of low water on the sprawling Sabine River reservoir have usually been followed by tremendous fishing for lunker bass. Will anglers’ focus on those huge fish during the 2020 prespawn and spawn be rewarded?
February is here, and that usually means it’s prespawn time for bass on Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Louisiana-Texas border.
The prespawn is chiefly defined as the beginning of the migration when bass move shallow, slowly, by first staging in deeper areas where submerged creek channels, ditches and sloughs meet the runways leading to the many coves and small lakes on both sides of the 185,000-acre reservoir on the Sabine River.
Darold Gleason of Many knows how to catch Toledo Bend’s big prespawn largemouths. Last Feb. 22-23, Gleason, a 37-year-old guide on Toledo Bend, won a BASS Central Open there with a two-day total of 10 bass that weighed 40 pounds, 2 ounces.
“Without a doubt, the final day was the best day of tournament fishing I experienced out there at the time,” Gleason said. “On that day alone, I brought 25 pounds, 3 ounces to … the weigh-in.”
Gleason’s win was worth $42,800 in winnings and earned him a berth in the 2020 Bassmaster Classic next month on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville.
Gleason said that water temperatures at the lake weren’t terribly cold early in 2020, with 55 degrees in early January being the coldest water he found.
“We all know bass begin spawning in the low 50s … therefore, anglers may wish to schedule fishing around the full moon in February and even look to the shallows, especially if these warm water temperatures continue. We could experience an early spawn this year.”
Despite the continued woes expressed online by bass anglers about finding and catching Toledo Bend bass, Gleason’s 40 pounds over two days is nothing to snub your nose at. Neither was the five-fish limit weighing 25.21 pounds caught during the Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle’s Battle on the Border fishing tournament last February.