Bassmaster Fishing 2022

The History of Toledo Bend

For our next Online Open Series event we're heading over to a reservoir that straddles the Texas and Louisiana borders at Toledo Bend. We take a look back at the origins of this body of water, why it is hailed as 'King of the Tournament Lakes' as well as what's occurred in recent Bassmaster® events.
As is the general theme with a number of man-made lakes and reservoirs, the story of Toledo Bend begins with the Toledo Bend Dam, started in 1964 and completed in 1969. Flooding the land and creating the reservoir was in aid of forming a freshwater supply for the local area as well as power in the form of the dam's hydroelectric plant and subsequently for recreation, including bass fishing! The states of Texas and Louisiana formed a partnership administratively to ensure completion of the project, seeing that the results would benefit communities in counties on both sides of the border.
Toledo Bend as seen from NASA STS-112. Public Domain / NASA
Over the decades, the waters have become renowned for being a recreational haven not just for anglers, but boaters, swimmers and sightseers. Boating can be a challenge however, with many of the old tree stumps from before the area was flooded still present beneath the shallow waters and though these might provide ideal spots for hunting out bass and other fish, boat operators are advised to stick to designated lanes. Fishing has become a huge part of the reservoir's draw though and on the Toledo Bend Lake Country website, a host of information on bait shops, boat launch locations, fishing guides and record catches is available.
2016 A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster® Elite at Toledo Bend. Photo by: Gary Tramontina
Of note is the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program which encourages anglers catching bass of 10 lbs+ to weigh them at official weigh stations so they can be monitored in the hope they'll breed bigger Lunkers in the future! It's a popular scheme with a novelty prize: A fibreglass bass replica! Lunker records at Toledo Bend go back to 1992, when Joe Arrington of Prentiss, MS brought in a 13 lbs bass. 18 Lunkers have been recorded so far in 2022, with the most recent in April.
Todd Faircloth, Toledo Bend. Photo by: B.A.S.S.® / Seigo Saito
But what about Bassmaster®? Toledo Bend has hosted the Elite Series™ three times in recent years - 2014, 2016 and 2017. John Murray took the top spot in 2017, our own Hank Cherry came 6th in 2016 and Kevin VanDam (KVD) has made his own mark on the venue, winning the Elite Series™ event here in the past. The venue has been ranked highly for bass fishing, including being recognised as the best fishery in America for bass in 2015 and 2016 by Bassmaster® Magazine and has ranked well within the top 10 in years since.
John Murray, winner at Toledo Bend in 2017. Photo by: B.A.S.S.® / Seigo Saito
With all that in mind, casting out into Toledo Bend for the online tournament could yield unrivaled success for anglers - how many Lunkers will you haul in?
The next Online Open Series event kicks off June 10! Click here for details, including dates and times for each round.
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Bassmaster Fishing 2022
8 Jun
The History of Toledo Bend