Last updated 1/14/2020 at Noon

If you canceled an early week fishing trip due to the educated guesses passed along via the local weather man….you made a bad mistake.I am no longer as hell bent on fooling a fish as I once was, but rain, unlike the cold, does not keep my boat parked on the driveway.

That is especially true, when you find your raingear to be uncomfortably warm in January or February.You cannot order better conditions than a falling barometer, overcast skies and surface temperatures in the high fifties.Even a little more wind than you would care to deal with, is often an ally as well as it will usually be a warmer wind out of the south or southeast.

Cal Leger rushed up to the lake to tie everything down per his wife’s orders Friday night, but stuck around following the storm that raced across Toledo Bend.“When Mother Nature quit throwing her fit I hired two youngsters to rake and pick up and I launched my boat,” said Leger.

He came back to the camp only one time around noon to eat a bologna sandwich, pay the boys and dodge another round of rain.“It was perfect,” bragged Leger.“I stayed a little wet, but saw one other boat all day long and easily caught thirty bass up to seven pounds.Because the bass were so active I never slowed down and tried to target one big bass.” “I caught every fish in less than ten feet of water on a Sexy Shad crankbait or a 3/8ths ounce Strike King spinnerbait.A little standing timber helped, but you didn’t need grass to catch fish.I seemed to do a little better on small secondary points in dingier water.” It will be interesting to see how the remainder of the week goes for Leger as he had already invited his brother-in-law to fish the remainder of the week when we last talked! Not surprisingly, I received a number of texts and e-mails last week in regards to what to do should you choose to release a big bass, but would like a mount for the den.If you catch that coveted bass on Toledo Bend and it weighs over ten pounds you can earn a free mount by turning your fish in (alive) at one of the designated Toledo Bend Lake Association weigh stations.

Cut the following numbers out and stick them in your wallet with your license as you never know when you or a friend will make the right cast.The weigh stations on the Louisiana side are Toledo Town and Tackle located at Hwy.191 and LA 6, ph.

(318) 256-5613 and Buckeye Landing located on the lake just outside of Many, ph.

(318) 586-4757.

Texas locations are as follows: Fin and Feather Resort (409) 579-2056, Fairmont General Store (409) 579-9080, Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle (409) 625-0181, Holly Park Mid-lake (409) 625-4424 and Huxley Bay Marina (409) 733-8193.

Be advised that keeping your prize catch alive and in good health is a prerequisite for getting the free mount and that can be a challenge.I would forget about pictures altogether, handle her as little as possible with wet hands before getting her into a well oxygenated livewell and get her to the weigh station as quickly and safely as possible.Do not hold her up by her bottom lip when handling her! I hope you will need that information in the near future.Even if you plan on simply releasing the fish, handle her as little as possible.

The inclement weather and accompanying warmer days also benefitted area saltwater fishermen.The lake gave up some clarity to both the wind and runoff, but it didn’t seem to effect what has been a very consistent bite.

Trout up to four pounds were caught on Skitterwalks and a chicken on a chain Assassin Monday morning.The three fishermen that gave me that report kept fourteen keeper trout wading on the north end within a cast of the Intracoastal.

At least two other groups did very well on a combination of bass and redfish on shallow running crankbaits.Darrell Sorrels said he and his brother easily caught limits of slot reds and caught and released good numbers of bass at every stop.“We don’t keep bass,” said Darrell, “but Chad released two fish easily over three pounds!” It came as no surprise that Sexy Shad was their most productive color as well.If you don’t have a clue as to what colors are hot, just read the tag on any empty pegs in Rambo’s Tackle!


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