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Lake Information for Toledo Bend Reservoir


Toledo Bend Reservoir is a large artificial lake on the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana. Construction on the Toledo Bend Dam began on May 11, 1964, and water impoundment began on October 3, 1966. The lake has an area of 185,000 acres (749 kmĀ²), the largest man-made body of water in (or partially in) Texas, the largest in the South, and the fifth largest in the United States.[1] The dam is capable of generating 92 megawatts of electrical power.

The reservoir is a popular location for freshwater fishing.

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
Consumption Advisory in effect

Aquatic Vegetation

Primarily non-native submersed plants such as hydrilla; a variety of native aquatic plants are also established

Facilities and Parks: 

Approximately 33 public access areas (parks, commercial facilities and marinas) are located on the Texas side of the reservoir. Boat launching facilities are provided at most access areas. The Sabine River Authority of Texas operates 11 access areas; the rest are private concessions. Many areas offer camping; check with the operating agency for each site for information about electrical hookups, drinking water, sanitary and shower facilities.

Fishing Description: 

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.

Angling 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 Cover/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, Tactics, How-To info: 

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.

Crappie fishing is good year-round with jigs and minnows. However, fishing usually peaks during the spring spawn, when anglers target shallow areas around vegetation. During other times of the year, fish are typically concentrated in deeper water around brushpiles and creek channels. Anglers catch channel, blue, and flathead catfish throughout the reservoir. Channel catfish can be caught with stinkbait in areas baited with soured grain. Trotliners catch both blues and channels on cut bait, while flathead catfish prefer live bait.

The white bass fishery is essentially limited to the early spring during the spawning run above the reservoir. Anglers have good success with small spinners, jigs, jigging spoons, and small crankbaits. During the summer and fall, watch for schooling striped bass on main lake points, humps, and flats adjoining river channels. Schooling stripers can be caught on topwaters, rattle traps, and spoons. Toledo Bend has a reputation for producing lots of huge sunfish. Most of the bigger sunfish, especially bluegill and redear sunfish, are caught during the late spring or summer when fish are on spawning beds. Small jigs, spinners, and crickets are good choices.

Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Toledo Bend Reservoir
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Mid Lake Marine
  • 13126 Texas Hwy - Many, LA
  • (318) 256-5573
    Whitstine's Guide Service
  • 23 W Bayshore Dr - Many, LA
  • (318) 256-1051

Vacation Rental

    Newell's Fishing World
  • 140 Newell Loop - Milam, TX
  • (409) 625-4928

Bar and Restaurant

  • 302 N Clark St - San Augustine, TX
  • (936) 275-5002
    The Library Restaurant and Bar
  • 5412 University Pky - Natchitoches, LA
  • (318) 352-1880
    Fin & Feather Restaurant
  • 420 Fin N Feather Dr - Hemphill, TX
  • (409) 579-3663

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