The Making of America's No. 1 Bass Fishery

How Toledo Bend Lake Became the Number One Bass Fishing Lake in the U.S. according to Bassmaster® Magazine.


Beginning as a concept for water conservation and economic development in 1949, feasibility studies would eventually warrant legislative support. Louisiana legislators in a small flotilla of boats wound its way down the Sabine River, across the Gulf of Mexico, up the Atchafalaya River and finally up the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge in 1960 with one goal in mind: convince newly elected Gov. Jimmie Davis to support the building of the Toledo Bend Reservoir.

A savvy Toledo Bend supporter handed the governor a jug of Sabine River water emblazoned with the words “Let’s build Toledo Bend” just as a newspaper photographer snapped a photo.

When that image appeared on the front page of the newspaper the next morning, Davis was unable to disown the project. And that was one of the early major steps toward the construction of the nation’s largest reservoir built without federal funding.

At the time, no one could have envisioned the impact the 186,000 acre Toledo Bend would have on the local communities in Louisiana and Texas, and the country. For nearly 50 years, it has produced environmentally friendly hydro-electricity while attracting untold numbers of anglers to its fish-filled waters.