MOORE OUTDOORS: Southeast Texas: Talk of bass world

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

If you draw a line from the Toledo Bend reservoir west to Interstate 45 and come down to Galveston, you get what we call Southeast Texas. Those of us in the Golden Triangle refer to Port Arthur, Orange and Beaumont as Southeast Texas, but the media and state considers the aforementioned zone the owner of that label.

Right now the entire bass fishing world is focused on Southeast Texas.

For starters for the second year in a row, Toledo Bend has been voted as the top bass fishing destination in America. It is the first time a lake has been voted first two years on a row and that is no small feat considering all of the other water bodies in contention.

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Since the drought we experienced half a decade ago, Toledo Bend has come back more than strong. It is downright phenomenal and the number of big fish caught by anglers is stunning.

“I can’t say the fishing for numbers is better than the glory days of when the lake was first impounded but Toledo Bend is absolute excellent right now and the number of big fish caught by anglers is impressive,” said guide and bass fishing legend Tommy Martin.

Martin said the number of fish caught by the Toledo Bend Lake Association Lunker Bass Program shows a very healthy fishery. Last year’s tally was 139 bass weighing 10 pounds or more. And this year the program has already accepted numerous fish including a 12.20-pound monster weighed at Fin & Feather.

Over the last four years anglers like Kevin VanDam, Brent Chapman and others have also listed Toledo Bend as their top lake pick and there is no question the lake is producing its best action in at least 20 years.

This year Bassmaster additionally broke down the list to regions and in the Central Division which goes all the way tup to Minnesota, Sam Rayburn took fourth place.

Big Sam is being outshined by its eastern neighbor, but it is still a world class fishery by any stretch of the imagination.

The biggest news for bass fishermen in the region is that the Bassmaster Classic (world championship of bass fishing) will be held March 24-26 on Lake Conroe.

Local anglers are excited since this is the first time there has been a Classic they can attend within a relatively short drive, but some are puzzled as to why Lake Conroe.

Well for starters, the business side of the equation is there must be a city that has a venue big enough for the event and Houston definitely qualifies.

On the fishing side, Lake Conroe is as I have written numerous times on these pages, one of the most underrated fisheries in the state.

Conroe has produced 17 Sharelunker bass (those weighing 13 pounds or more) putting it in the top tier of the more than 60 lakes that have given up such monster fish in Texas.

Conroe was also the site of numerous Toyota Texas Bass Classic which saw the top anglers from B.A.S.S, FLW and the PAA tournament trails compete so it is proven for a top level event and gave us some truly impressive bags.

The added media attention will no doubt put some more pressure on our fisheries, but it will also give the local angling community a chance to showcase the fisheries for added conservation efforts to ensure they stay healthy for decades to come.

It’s an exciting time to be a bass fishermen and competitive bass fishing fan in Southeast Texas. Keep checking our outdoors updates for the latest developments as we pledge to keep you posted.

To contact Chester Moore, email him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at