Considered by many to be the best fishing reservoir in the South, Toledo Bend has a great deal to offer sportsmen from both Texas and Louisiana. Snowbirds from the Midwest and anglers from all points flock to the warm waters of the largest man-made reservoir in the state of Texas spanning 185,000 acres. The lake offers 1,200 miles of shoreline both in Texas and Louisiana and is 15 miles wide at its widest point. Toledo Bend offers possibly the best fishing in the country with an extimated 300.63 pounds of game fish per acre, including black bass, white bass, stripers, Florida bass, crappie, bream and catfish. In addition to great fishing, Toledo Bend offers a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere that can only be found in the south. Texas’ celebrated friendliness coupled with Louisiana’s well-known hospitality guarantees the tourist a delightful vacation. Toledo Bend can become habit-foreming, so expect to visit often. The Toledo Bend Project was conducted by the Sabine River Authority of Texas and the Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana for the purposes of water supply, hydroelectric power generation and recreation. Both private and public recrestional facilities are available for swimming, boating, fishing, camping and hunting. The reservoir is located 45 minutes northeast of Jasper or one hour due east of Lufkin on Highway 21. From Shreveport, Louisiana, take Highway 171 South two hours to Many and Highway 6 West to the lake. Pendleton Bay Bridge crosses the reservoir at apprximately its midpoint. The Texas Highway that crosses this bridge is Highway 21. This becomes Louisiana Highway. 6 as it enters the state of Louisiana. The Sabine River Authority of Texas operates a day-use park at the intersection of R255 and FM 692 on the southern tip of the lake. Another day-use park is located in Hemphill just north of Hwy. 21 and still another of the Texas SRA parks is located in Shelby County on the northern tip of the lake in the North Toledo Bend Wildlife Management Area. The Sabine National Forest covers the entire western side of Toledo Bend. The U.S. Forest Service operates several recreation areas here. These include the Willow Oak Recreation Area, which is equipped with a boat ramp on Hwy. 87 near the south end, This park is open all year but, according to Dwayne Husband of the Sabine River Authority, provides no overnight camping facilities.. East Hamilton Recreation Area has a very nice boat ramp, according to Husband, and picnic tables for day use. It is located at the eastern tip of FM 2261 near Martinez Bayou. Campers can find plenty of overnight camping facilities at the Lakeview Recreation Area. This U.S. Forest Service park lies at the tip of Housen Bay and has a boat ramp. This facility is open between March 1 and October 15. Indian Mounds Recreation Area is located just south of Hwy. 83. There is a boat ramp here that is open year-round and overnight camping facilities are available here Ragtown Recreation Area, located just south of FM 3184 in Ragtown Bay, is the last of the U.S. Forest Service’s facilities that provides facilities for overnight camping. It also has a boat ramp and is open from approximately March to October. Approximately 34 private marinas are open for business on the Texas side of Toledo Bend. These marinas vary in price and facilities. Hemphill, which Hwy. 21 runs through on its way across the lake, is home to the majority of private marinas, including Harborlight Marina and Frontier Park. The Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana supports five public parks on the eastern shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir. These include, from the north, Oak Ridge SRA Park 2, Converse Bay Park 4, San Miguel Park 7-A, Twin Island SRA Park 11 and Pleasure Point SRA Park 15. San Miguel Park sits on San Miguel Creek just north of LA Hwy. 6. Turn north on LA Hwy. 191. The park provides a total of 60 campsites, including 40 with RV pads. Twenty of these have full RV hook-up. Twenty of the campsites are for tent campers with tent pads. The park has 19 A-frame cabins available that sleep four each and are fully equipped with a refrigerator, stove, AC/H, cookware and bedding. San Miguel Park is the only SRA park that offers these A-frame cabins. The park has two boat ramps and 28 boat stalls. North Toledo Bend State Park is the only state park on Toledo Bend Reservoir in either state. It sits across San Miguel Creek from San Miguel SRA Park 7-A on the Louisiana shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir. This park encompasses more than 900 acres of pine-filled lands available for camping, fishing, hiking and picnicking. A total of 63 campsites and 10 vacation cabins and a group camp area are available for overnight guests. The park has a boat ramp on San Miguel Creek, a swimming pool, a nature trail, a pavilion and a camp store. If you’re planning to visit the Toledo Bend area for some of the best fishing in the country or for any other reason, I hope this information proves useful. Wherever you fish this summer, good luck and keep those lines tight!
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide