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!