Slabs down deep - How to catch Toledo Bend crappie in the heat of summer

Want to catch crappie every day, even when temperatures sizzle the waters of Toledo Bend? Just follow the advice of this proven perch jerker.

Article by:  Chris Berzas for Louisiana Sportsman

Toledo Bend has been on an amazing run lately, producing numbers of double-digit bass.

But that’s not the only fish swimming in this huge reservoir. No, crappie literally swarm in the Bend, and they grow to whopper sizes.

In fact, it’s not unheard of for crappie to average 1 1/4 pounds. Put together a limit of those, and ice chests fill quickly.

So, then, do you want to eat hefty slabs of the tastiest flesh ever to lay upon the sides of any freshwater fish in Louisiana?

Then load the boat, the family and/or friends to spend some time at Toledo Bend Reservoir this summer.

The wisdom of launching in the lake was illustrated this last summer when I headed out with longtime guide Maurice Jackson of Zwolle.

Jackson, Mister Twister’s Chuck Byrd and I set out into the 1215 area to fish some brush piles the guide had strategically set and arranged in the area.

“I found some here a couple of days ago,” the 68-year-old Jackson said while looking at his Lowrance.

The guide threw out a marker buoy, while we baited up with medium-sized shiners and a few tiny plastics.

It didn’t take long until Jackson and Byrd started hauling in fish — and some good ones.

There were many doubles.

“The fish are suspended in this brush pile at 18 feet,” Jackson said. “And there is a large group here.”

After placing a dozen fish over 10 inches in the cooler, the bite slowed and it was off to another tangle of structure farther...