Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bassmaster Elite TroKar Battle on the Bayou: Toledo Bend getting Wild

Toldeo Bend: A Wild Finish
By Luigi De Rose

Wind was whipping before Day 3 started.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
Toledo Ben Lake is a famed east Texas fishery. Part of the Sabine river that straddles Texas and Louisiana, it is an immense impoundment. Its encompasses an area of 185,000 acres and is the largest man-made body of water in Texas and the fifth largest (surface acre) in the United States. Anglers have always flocked to the great fishing here but it can be difficult to fish. This place is a maze of flooded stump fields and timber. Much of the old timber has decayed  but remnants of the trees make driving this lake a bit of a nail biter. Making matter worse, this spring the lake is very low.

What's Happening
The lake is low but there is plenty of cover to keep the fish positioned around targets. Elite pro are in two schools of though: spawning or post spawn fishing. Many anglers felt that the shallow bass would be too spooky and unreliable due to the low water levels. They might be right.

Targeting the many off shore ditches, creek channels and  lanes in the stumps fields with cranks, Carolina rigs and jigs is a strong pattern. Success should be good but post spawn bass can be fickle. One problem is navigation. Anglers simply cannot jump from spot to spot  which is so common to off shore fishing. Countless minutes are eaten up idling around dangerous stumps. Many complain that they cannot fish enough spots to make their milk runs truly successful.

Tournament WeekToledo Bend is wide and long. Wind can whip up from any direction making fishing and running difficult. Ish Monroe on day 2 speared a wave racing back to the weigh-in  and wash away all his rods off the deck. Heart broken of his $10 000 loss, he make it back with not time to spare to capture big bass honours with a 10-15.
Wind will hurt almost everyone fishing. Luckily, this lake has thousands of nooks to hide a bass boat. With strong winds predicted for all of Saturday and maybe Sunday, anglers will have to account for the wind.  Takahiro Omori, in 7th, stated that the wind will only make him change his fishing style. The stronger the wind will mean more of a reaction bait and the calmer means more flipping. As long as the angler can adjust, fishing should be good.
Mid April is still spawning time. Dean Rojas, the tournament leader both days stated in an interview with that, “we are in a full moon so they (bass) know its time to get it done.” Dean also alluded to the quality of the fish that are being caught on beds. “there’s not a whole bunch up there (spawning bass) but there are a few big ones.” If Rojas is correct and he can find the beds  he might be able to lead this event  wire to wire.
The weather will play a huge role this weekend and whom ever can adjust will win. Toledo Bend bass can be caught almost anyway you wish as long as the wind doesn’t get to wild.

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