We are planning a trip to Toledo Bend this fall. We have a 20' sailboat and wondered if there is any sailing on the reservoir. I don't see anything here about this lake. Does anyone have any experience? Thanks
We are planning a 5 day trip to the Louisiana South Toledo Bend State Park in the first part of August 2009. The park is not far from the dam and looking at a fishing map of the lake it appears to be very deep and clean of tree tops around the southern part of the lake. My wife and I will be sailing our American 18. We have been sailing in small lakes since we got the boat a couple of years ago and I am looking forward to sailing out in a big lake. We went on a scouting trip to check out lodging three weeks ago and saw a sloop that was 20 to 25 feet tied up at Bass Haven Marina if that helps you out any. I will let you know how our trip works out. Tommy
I live on Toledo Bend near middle of the lake. There is a large area near the dam that is clear of trees. I have not sailed that area but I have fished there. Elsewhere in the lake you should stay in the boatlanes even if it looks clear. When the lake is at full level 99% of the trees are just below the surface. Stay in the southern portion of the lake and you will be fine. Nearby is Sam Raburn lake and it is much better for sailing.
We just got back from South Toledo Bend a couple of days ago. We spent 5 days at the Louisiana South Toledo Bend State Park which is by the dam. The lake is clear of trees down on that end as beeranch said in an earlier post. I talked to a few of my friends before we went that are familiar with the Toledo bend. They all said the best winds are down by the dam. When we went here (August 2009) , the breeze was not too good (from no wind to a max of about 10mph) with an afternoon temp in the upper 90's with a wind chill of about 105 degrees. When there was no breeze we cranked up the 3.5 outboard and went sightseeing going north. It would be a good idea as beeranch stated to stay in the boat lanes going north. On the south end by the dam, there are no boat lanes, just deep water. I have not sailed in a big lake before and it was nice to just hold a course for an hour at a time. We are planning on going back in the fall. Tommy
I have not sailed Toledo Bend, however my wife and I have sailed considerable on Sam Rayburn on an 18' beachcat in the upper and mid area of the lake. I would imagine Toledo Bend is similar. The dam end would be your better bet with a larger boat. The upper end is loaded with "stickups" (trees) so you have to stay in the boat lanes if you have much draft. Presently the lake is near pool level. We have found that the better times to sail are in the spring and fall when it's not too hot and there are better winds. In the hot summer months most of the time the winds are very light to almost non-existant and the heat is, well, HOT ! On the plus side, the lake is beautiful ! but watch out for the bass boats. Many don't seem to know (or care) that a sailboat under sail has the right-of-way and can be downright rude. They seem to think we sailboats don't belong on "their" lake. I don't want to discourage you. It is definitely worth sailing and I would love to see the lake with more sailboats!