Going into May the lake is about 8ft below high pool and it looks like unless we have a real gully washer it will continue to drop. In the summer we can lose a half- inch or more a day through evaporation plus the amount of water that is released at the dam. No telling how low the lake may get.
The black bass will be in transition, heading back to deep water.
Early morning and late evening we’ll work the shallow flats close to deep water and main and secondary points with buzz baits, stick baits, swimming frogs, spinner baits, top water plugs, shallow diving cranks, finesse and soft plastics until the sun gets over head. Once the sun gets overhead and the shallow bite slows down, we’ll back out to deeper water and concentrate in the bends of the creeks with crank baits and Texas or Carolina rigged soft plastics. Later in the month as the water continues warming and the lake is usually falling, the main lake points, river channel ledges, ridges and humps will become more productive. If you can find the structure and cover holding bait -fish you will usually find the bass. Schooling activity will start increasing as the water continues warming so keep a shallow diving crank bait, lipless crank bait and top water plug handy for schooling bass.
It’s time for the bream to be moving into shallows to spawn. An ultra lite spinning rig, jigging pole, fly rod or just a bamboo pole you can cut off the side of the road can be used to catch these feisty fish. You can use a clip on cork, slip cork, or straight line casting a small insect type lure (beetle spin, in- line spinner or small jigs) but the most popular baits are live baits – crickets, or worms (red wigglers, catalpa, or meal).
The simplest way to locate the beds is to look for honey cone circles along the bank. The beds will extend out from the shore- line in a semi circle. Some say they can locate a bed by the strong “fishy” odor emitted from the bed. Usually, if you find one bed there will be more beds relatively close. However, some bream will bed up in deeper water as much as 10ft. Dragging a small beetle spin on the bottom will help you locate the deeper beds.
When you start fishing the bed, target the outside edges of the bed first and work inward. If you pick off the shallow fish first the hooked bream will run through the bed scattering the other fish. If your catch starts slowing up, move onto another bed and let that one rest. The bream will move back onto the bed if not disturbed. Bream fishing will definitely get a kid “Hooked on Fishing”- plenty of action, a lot of fun and “Good Eats”!
This year with the low lake level a lot of the White Bass didn’t migrate to the river proper and spawned on the main lake sand bars. Usually this time of year the Whites are migrating from the river back to the main lake. Since they spawned in the main lake this year, they are starting move further south earlier than normal and are moving into a summer pattern. The Whites will be following the shad and the schooling activity will be picking up.
The Crappie have moved back into deeper water. Early in the month, work the deep creeks focusing on the points and the bends. Also work shiners and jigs over cover in 15 to 25ft of water at the mouth of the creeks and pockets leading to the main lake.
Toledo Bend Guide Service-Greg Crafts