Toledo Bend

About The Lake

Location: On the Sabine River in Shelby, Sabine and Newton counties, straddling the Texas-Louisiana state line. The dam is in Newton County approximately 24 miles northeast of Jasper.
Surface area: 181,600 acres
Maximum depth: 110 feet
Impounded: 1967

Water Conditions
Conservation Pool Elevation: 172 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 1-5 feet
Normal Clarity: Clear in middle and lower lake to slightly turbid in upper region

Predominant Fish Species
  • Largemouth bass
  • Crappie
  • Catfish
  • White & striped bass
Fishing Regulations

Residents of Texas or Louisiana who are properly licensed in their state (or are exempt because of age), or persons who hold valid non-resident fishing licenses issued by either state may fish in any portion of the lakes and rivers forming a common boundary between Louisiana and Texas inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point.

On the Texas side of the reservoir, most fishes are regulated under existing statewide regulations. However, a few special regulations apply:

  • The daily bag limit for all species of black bass is 8 fish in the aggregate. Possession limit is 10.
  • For black and white crappie, the daily bag and possession limit is 50 fish in combination. The statewide minimum length of 10 inches is in effect March through November, but in December, January and February there is no minimum length and all crappie caught must be retained.
  • No minimum length limit for striped bass, but there is a 5-fish bag limit of which only 2 may be 30 inches or greater
  • No minimum length limit for white bass, 25-fish daily bag limit.

Louisiana regulations for crappie and catfish differ from Texas regulations. Fish that are in an angler’s possession on the Texas side of the line must conform to Texas regulations, regardless of the state in which they were caught.

Opportunities
The most popular game fish at Toledo Bend Reservoir is the largemouth bass; an excellent year-round fishery exists. Good year-round crappie and catfish fisheries are also present. Striped bass are maintained by annual stockings because conditions at Toledo Bend usually do not allow a successful natural spawn. Stripers are popular due to their large growth potential and reputation as strong fighters. Bluegill and redear sunfish are present in high numbers and provide excellent fishing, especially for youth or inexperienced anglers.
Fishing Structure

Habitat in Toledo Bend Reservoir consists of aquatic vegetation, standing timber, and flooded terrestrial vegetation. Hydrilla is the predominant plant species, although many native plants (coontail, eelgrass, pondweed, lily pads) are also present. In the lower part of the reservoir the water is typically clear; gamefish are usually found around vegetation edges, flats, humps, and creek channels. In the upper third of the reservoir, the abundance of vegetation typically declines. Timber, brush, laydowns, and creek channels provide upper-lake gamefish habitat. At periods of high water, terrestrial bushes and trees provide excellent habitat reservoir-wide.

Fishing Tips

Anglers are most successful at catching largemouth bass during the fall, winter, and spring months. Due to cooler water temperatures, fish are active for longer periods of the day and are typically found in shallow water. A variety of baits and techniques will work during these times. When fish are active, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are usually the preferred choice. During the hot summer, the bite slows and fish activity is usually concentrated during early morning, late evening, and at night. Poppers, propeller baits, stickbaits, buzzbaits, and flukes are good topwater choices during low light conditions. As the sun rises, most bass concentrate in or around vegetation edges, or seek refuge on deep ledges and creek channels. During this time, plastic worms and jigs are the preferred baits.

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