An Angler’s Paradise: Big Bass Down South

Dustin Knight casts his line near his campsite at North Toledo Bend State Park.

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Looking to try your hand at fishing while traveling around Louisiana? You’re in luck! With local fisheries topping Bassmaster’s “Best Bass Lakes” list, you’ve got a chance to step up your angler game in just one trip. We’re going to guide you to a few hotspots to help you land the big one! So grab your fishing pole and dive into three of Louisiana’s best fishing holes.

Toledo Bend
Toledo Bend, which has been rated no. 1 on the Bassmaster “Best Bass Lakes List” for two years running, is a man-made body of water that covers 185,000 acres. Home to many fishing tournaments year-round, anglers come from throughout the country to cast a line and test the waters. This area boasts multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation with 1,200 miles of shoreline. Swimming, hiking and camping are additional adventures you can enjoy in the area. If you’re looking for the best bass in the state, make sure you swing by Toledo Bend.

Paul Elias steps to his bass boat at Cypress Bend Park on Toledo Bend Lake. The park is the site of the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series “Toledo Bend Battle” fishing tournament sponsored by the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission.

Lake Bistineau
Also ranking in the top 30 of Bassmaster’s “Best Lakes List,” Lake Bistineau offers a different ambience with mixed hardwood forests, tupelo trees and cypress groves. Locals flock for catfish and crappie fishing in this area and you’ll enjoy classic Louisiana marshland as you troll through the waters. We recommend getting a guided trip for your first time if you’re seeking the less crowded fishing holes and the lakes hidden coves. If you’re looking for recreation outside of fishing, try out some of the park’s beautiful mountain biking tails.

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Caney Lake
Although relatively small in size, this lake packs a punch with its bigmouth bass records. Six out of the ten largest bass caught in Louisiana were fished out of this lake, with the largest weighing in at 15.97 pounds! At one point this lake suffered from Hydrilla, an invasive water plant, that was harming the fish population. The problem was resolved and the lake has made an impressive comeback.

Professional angler Randy Howell fishes Toledo Bend Lake. Cypress Bend is the site of the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series.

Fishing is a staple in Louisiana, so you’ll find yourself in good company as you scour the waters for a fish frenzy. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned angler, you’re likely to get a few bites with these fisheries packing plenty of opportunity. If you’re new to the sport, these well-known areas will have plenty of guided trips to get you acquainted with the gear, area and techniques needed to fish these waters.

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