Ask Toledo Bend information Darold Gleason to inform you about his favourite winter spots and he’ll make clear: Do you imply his favourite places, as in honey holes he’s labored exhausting to seek out? Or do you imply the noticed bass that loads of of us don’t notice inhabit this lake?

When you’re asking the previous, Gleason gives you the 1,000-yard stare that urges “Subsequent query.” If the latter, then he’s more than pleased to sing the praises of his residence lake’s respectable inhabitants of spry spots providing a enjoyable stability to Toledo Bend’s extra celebrated largemouths.

“Proper now, the inhabitants of noticed bass is fairly robust,” Gleason mentioned of this Sabine River reservoir straddling the Texas/Louisiana border. “If I needed to decide two months to focus on noticed bass right here, it will be December and January.

There’s one thing particular about noticed bass to make them legit quarry, even once they share waters with their bigger counsins of each brown and inexperienced varieties.

“You may catch them year-round, however they only appear to group up very well on offshore locations this time of yr.”

(Notably, Gleason mentioned the identical applies to close by East Texas powerhouse Sam Rayburn Reservoir.)

Know Your Fish

At fast look, a noticed bass and a largemouth of equal proportions possess sufficient similarities to warrant a better look. Beginning on the enterprise finish, a spot’s tongue has a tough tooth patch that really feel like sandpaper. Additionally, the again fringe of the jaw doesn’t prolong previous the attention; a transparent distinction from the largemouth’s longer jaw line.

Have a look at the spot’s again and also you’ll see the first and secondary dorsal fins are linked, whereas largemouths have separated dorsals. Lastly, a noticed bass has a definite horizontal row of darkish spots on every of its sides, with little or no coloration under.

The Toledo Bend noticed bass lake report is 3.4 kilos, however Gleason’s impressed with something hitting the 2-pound mark. That’s a far cry from the double-digit largemouth that earn reproduction mounts from the Toledo Bend Lake Affiliation’s Lunker Bass Program, however think about what spots have going for them:

Extra Adaptive: Native largemouth can get fairly squirrelly throughout climate adjustments and don’t even hassle with the stocked Florida-strain bass. Even after generations of reproducing in native waters, post-frontal bluebird circumstances make these large inexperienced sissies glue their mouths shut.

Not so with spots. Opposed circumstances will bug any fish, however given their affinity for deeper, open water—typically suspending—their appetites see fewer downturns.


Usually Cooperative: Whether or not he’s internet hosting novices or skilled anglers who need to dial of their expertise with sure displays—he is aware of he can all the time depend on noticed bass.

“I believe they’re nice for anglers who’re making an attempt to work on their offshore recreation and work on methods,” he mentioned. “Noticed bass may be very aggressive, in order that they’re an excellent studying fish.”

Much less Pressured: Understandably, largemouth get many of the Toledo Bend consideration. This lake won’t disappoint such efforts, however the belle of the ball can, at occasions, get fairly an perspective. An actual diva, ya know?

Noticed bass typically eat what they see.

Noticed bass are recognized to be very opportunisitic feeders, and spoons may be a pretty presentation to the indignant inexperienced fish.

“When you’re making an attempt to get children into fishing otherwise you’re making an attempt to get a member of the family , noticed bass are nice as a result of the methods you employ to catch them are pretty straightforward to be taught and if you get round them, they chunk fairly properly,” he mentioned. “They’re not likely focused a lot by event fishermen, however for the leisure anglers, they’re actually enjoyable.”

No Dimension Restrict: In contrast to Toledo Bend’s different black bass species, there’s no minimal size for spots. Most anglers launch largemouth and smallmouth, however if you wish to take a number of spots residence for dinner, simply preserve those value cleansing. (Each day bag restrict is eight black bass, any mixture of species.)

How To Get ‘Em

Gleason is aware of he can predictably discover spots on offshore humps, channel swings, deep brush and predominant lake factors. The latter excel in windy circumstances, as spots pin their disoriented prey in opposition to a tough sideline and ravage the hapless forage.

One factor to recollect, spots are extra current-oriented than largemouth. So, whereas the inexperienced meanies sometimes want the slack aspect of a present break, spots like to take a seat on the up-current aspect and meet their meals head-on.

“It’s all deep water; I’ve by no means caught noticed bass shallow,” he mentioned. “And I’ve by no means caught a noticed bass off a (seen) mattress. I assume they spawn out of sight.”

Jigging spoons are one of many easiest noticed bass methods and so they’re significantly good when you’ve got children or somebody who’s inexperienced in additional finessey ways. Past this, Gleason likes a dropshot with a V&M Pork Pin worm, a foot-long chief and sufficient weight for a focused presentation.


He’ll additionally use a soccer head jig with a craw trailer and a Carolina-rigged V&M Child Swamp Hog on a 2-foot chief. A finesse jig along with your selection of dual tails will get loads of consideration and if you’d like tremendous easy, a 1/4-ounce shaky head with a inexperienced pumpkin finesse worm is an on a regular basis spot getter.

Noticed bass are typically much less choosy than their largemouth kin, however Gleason finds that hitting his baits with a liberal shot of chartreuse generally is a actual deal nearer. No matter you throw, know that spots pack a load of perspective into these modest our bodies. Up to now, he recommends packing a bunch of baits.

“Once you’re catching noticed bass you undergo loads of plastics as a result of they’re feisty little issues that tear up your baits loads,” he mentioned.

A good tradeoff for a day of predictable fishing enjoyable.

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