I had never been to Toledo Bend before this event. I knew it is a HUGE lake. It is also about 7 feet low. It has a lot of standing timber and can be dangerous to navigate. It ended up that most of the timbered areas were showing and this allowed you to be a little more informed about what was under the water.
Practice: I decided to put in at the take off ramp so I wouldn’t get lost! I caught some fish on topwater and a crankbait. I moved a little further down the lake where the water cleared up. I saw quite a few spawning, but only in one area. The next day I went a little further down the lake. I found some more areas that had some milfoil and some more fish spawning. I spent the last half day just looking. I found another area that had several good fish in it.
Day 1: I started in an area that had a few pockets that I had gotten some bites on top in. I caught a couple of decent keepers. Then I was working out of the last pocket and threw my Spook over a bream bed. A small fish missed it and a 4 pound fish got it. I left here with 4 fish but only one good one. I caught my fifth fish pretty quick in the next area. The next fish I caught was another 4 pounder. I culled again, the on the way out good things happened! I threw my Spook up on a real shallow point. A couple of twitches and WAM! After a tough fight, I belly landed a 6-4. This was around 10:30. I was able to cull a few more times but not with anything big. I went to the bed fish I had found and the only one left was caught by Steve Kennedy. I ended the day with 19-11 and was in 6th.
Day 2: I went straight to the area that was the most productive. I caught a limit here again but not any of those big bites like the day before. The Spook was not as good today. It was cloudy yesterday and not today. I threw a Berkley Hollow Belly swimbait, just o try something different. I caught most of better fish today on the swimbait. I did catch a fish on a texas rig that was probably spawning. It was a tougher day for me; I had 12-7 and fell to 12th.
Day 3: I went to the same area and it was even tougher than the day before. I finally left here after 10 with one small keeper. I went to an area that I had seen some beds in. I found one right away on a bed. It took me about an hour but I caught it. I moved just around the corner and caught another keeper. It was a long time again before the next fish came aboard. I finished my limit around 2 on the swimbait. I only had 9 pounds and fell to 32nd.
Added edge: The Berkley Hollow Belly really saved the tournament for me on the 2nd day. I caught 3 fish around 3 pounds on it that day. I was using the weighted hook that comes with the bait. The fish I caught on it were in scattered milfoil. It was very difficult to get these fish to bite anything else in these windy conditions.