Wow, what a wild winter we’ve had when it’s come to the weather. It’s run from one extreme to the other. However, going into February, you can bet the fishing is going to be great. The fish are going to be on the move and feeding like crazy. February is prime fishing on Toledo Bend.
The Whites are moving into the river proper. The Blacks are moving into the creeks heading to the spawning flats and the Crappie will be bunched up.
In February the Bass and Crappie will start moving from deep water using the creeks and ditches as their highways heading to the shallow spawning flats. Shallow water warms faster and the bass will move into the shallows when the water temp approaches 55 degrees. This is what we refer to as “staging” before they move on the beds. The bass will go on a feeding frenzy bulking up for the spawn. If you catch one, slow down, there should be more fish is the area. If the water temperature drops the bass will drop back into deeper water. All sorts of baits can be productive at this time, jigs, spinner baits, Rat-L-Traps, soft plastics, finesse baits, cranks and jerk baits.
The Crappie will also start moving into the deep creek channels in anticipation to their spawn. Work the bends and points of the channel with jigs and shiners especially areas that have brush or cover. When the Crappie move into the shallows to spawn work the flats with a shiner or jig on a slip cork with an eighteen to twenty-four inch leader around grass lines, stumps and Cypress trees. A Beatle spin or similar lure on an ultra- lite spinning rig can be used to cover a lot of water until you locate the fish.
The White bass will be in the river proper and will also be feeding heavy. The key to locating and catching the Whites is the level and current of the river. If the river is high and has a lot of current, work the sloughs and eddies down stream of the sand bars. If the river level is low, work the sand bars, or try trolling a suspend bait that runs seven to ten feet in the middle of the river. Rat-L-Traps, Road Runners and shallow diving crank baits work great.
Be safe on the water, wear your life jacket, and be courteous to your fellow fisherman.