The March 16th release by the SRA was both inevitable and necessary
depending on how bullet proof you may feel you are in regards to the
spread of the coronavirus. In a nut shell, gatherings of fifty or more
are now prohibited and that pretty well eliminates any major tournaments
in the near future

As of today, boat launches are still open to recreational anglers, but
that could change as well depending on the spread of the virus.The
Louisiana Annual Oilman’s event was canceled last weekend, as was the
Texas Team Trail event. The Bass Champs event on Lake Fork has also been
postponed until July 19.

The SRA release read as follows:

“The Sabine River Authority, by recommendation of the Center for
Disease (CDC) to limit the exposure and spread of COVID-19, has
restricted the use of facilities for events consisting of 50 or more
people through May 11, 2020.

/The Toledo Bend Tourist Center is closed to the public and all Park
Offices are closed to the public, however Park Offices will remain
operational through their drive through windows, telephone, or email.The
Sabine River Authority office located at Pendleton Bridge will remain
open for business./

The Sabine River Authority will continue to monitor this situation and
provide updates accordingly.For information call 318.256.4112 or visit
our website at

The virus recently took on a more personal aspect when Kenny Pledger, a
Housen Bay resident, asked me why Ken Smith had not posted in a
while.Smith, a professional angler posts one of the most informational
reports from both Rayburn and Toledo Bend on a weekly basis. His blog
includes interviews and “how to” videos as well as accurate reports.He
is well read and has quite a following!

On the heels of a bad couple of weeks of coughing and fever, according
to his most recent blog he feels stronger and is hoping that he has
survived a bout with the virus.He plans on continuing his self-imposed
quarantine until he is certain.

“It’s not going to happen around here or up on the lake,” rings a little
hollow in this case.Smith is very popular and draws crowds just
launching his boat.Aside from eating at a marina, the most obvious
question is “Who did I shake hands with or help launch their boat?”

I intend to keep on fishing, but I will wipe down the gas nozzle and
take a pass on shaking hands at the lake.At least for a while, I will
fish alone rather than taking a chance on giving it to someone else or
bringing it home.I respect the imminent danger, but I will take my
chances with a speck or bass spreading the virus!

In the meantime, I feel somewhat guilty for posting the best catching
report I have had in a while.I don’t recommend lining up shoulder with
other anglers, but the trout bite on the revetment wall has been lights
out.A Vudu shrimp under a popping cork and a three inch Usual Suspect in
Bunker Shad (color) have really been hot choices.

At the same time, both wade fishermen and those that prefer to stay in
the boat, have been catching quick limits of trout on topwaters and five
inch tails rigged on 1/8th ounce heads.They are catching the fish in
three to five feet of water and they are swimming the plastics.

Eddie Hudson sent me a text last week saying they have really been
hammering the big catfish on the south end of Toledo Bend.He is now
working from his camp and it sounds as though his work schedule is
pretty flexible.

There were three 10’s weighed in on the Bend last week, but I don’t
think the lunker bite will last much longer.Having said that, the bite
in general has been very good on a wide choice of lures.The Wacky worm
usually gets first call, but square bills and jerk baits are also duping
bass guarding their beds and resting in the shade in water from two to
four feet deep.

Jason Mere says he may never throw anything else on Toledo Bend, but a
four inch paddle tail rigged on a jig head.“I put it on the hook
sideways when drop-shotting with it two months ago and now I am just
casting and cranking the shallows.”

He added that three colors have worked well for him, but one of them is
akin to magic when cranking shallow cover.He was not into sharing that
bit of information.

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