UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Chill out

Chill out
A cloudy, cooler morning greeted Stren anglers for day two on Toledo Bend.

MANY, La. - As if heavy rains and high water had not already jostled the Toledo Bend fishery, a cold front pushing through the region will bring more changes for day two of the Stren Series Texas Division event.

Anglers launched under cloudy skies with morning temperatures about 10 degrees lower than yesterday's. Rain is unlikely and the afternoon may see more sunshine, as high pressure builds.

Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas came up short on day one with just three fish and 5 pounds, 11 ounces. He's hoping that the frontal conditions may actually benefit anglers.

"The fishing's really messed up with the high water spreading the fish out," Johnston said. "What thisTexas pro Stephen Johnston said he (weather) might do is really group up the fish. I'm hoping that this will shock them just enough to make them get together more than they are now. The bite might get better today with that high pressure moving in and tightening everything up."

Conversely, Johnston noted that one of the main products of a passing cold front will limit many game plans.

"We'll have some (strong) winds after lunch and that will affect some guys in areas that they fish," he said. "I know some of the guys went 20 miles south yesterday and then turned around and went 40 miles north. You won't be able to do a lot of that today.

"The wind is coming out of the northeast, so the Louisiana side will be more protected than the Texas side. There's a big bunch of guys fishing the Texas side and this wind is going to affect them."

Dragging Carolina rigs through the grass will be one of the dayJohnston said he'll stay on the north end of the lake and fish in 18 to 24 feet. He'll fish a mix of crankbaits, football jigs and Carolina rigs.

Pro leader Jamie Fralick brings a 17-pound, 6-ounce weight into day two. The South Dakota angler holds just a 9-ounce lead over second-place pro Time Reneau, but Fralick took the top spot with just three fish, including two in the 8-pound range. Fralick, who caught his fish on crankbaits in the lake's north end, said he regrets abandoning that tactic and running south to flip grass on day one.

"I'll probably keep that crankbait in my hand all day long," he said.

Reneau's day one effort exemplified diligence. He worked quickly and covered lots of water, finally scoring big on one particular area that delivered most of his weight fish in less than half an hour. Reneau will likely resume his tactic of flipping a 1-ounce jig with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer today and strive to expand his productive areas.

"It will be hard not to start in that hot area (from day one), but I have other spots where I got as many bites in practice so I want to try them early today," he said.

In third place, Alabama pro Robert Robinson caught his 15-pound limit by flipping jigs over grass inAlabama pro Robert Robinson will flip jigs in the grass unless he feels he needs to move farther offshore. about 14 feet. He said he'll work his day-one spot today, but keep his options open.

"I marked a lot of fish offshore outside the grass that I did not fish for, but I will fish for them today," Robinson said. "They might just be a bunch of (spotted bass), but I have to go check that out - if the wind doesn't blow me off my spot. This north wind has me concerned a little bit."

Even if all goes well, Robinson is holding a conservative outlook for day two: "I think from the (day one) weights and the way things are fishing with this cold front, I figure if I catch 6-7 pounds, I'll probably make the (top-10) cut.

Logistics

Day one leader Jamie Fralick is hoping to bag more than three keepers today.Anglers will take off from Cypress Bend Park, located at 3462 Cypress Bend Drive, Many La., at 7:15 each morning. Friday's weigh-ins will be held at Cypress Bend Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 155 San Antonio Drive, Many, La., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The Toledo Bend Stren Series tournament is hosted by the Sabine Parish Tourism Commission and the Sabine River Authority.

Pros will fish for a top award of $25,000 plus a 198VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard and equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. If the winner is not a Ranger Cup participant, Ranger will award $7,500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant in the contingency program.

Co-anglers will cast for a top award of a 177TR Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboardCompetitors bundled up for a chilly morning ride. and trailer. If the co-angler meets the Ranger Cup guidelines, they will earn an additional $5,000. If the winner is not a Ranger Cup participant, Ranger will award $2,500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant in the contingency program.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:18 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 56 degrees
Expected high temperature: 69 degrees
Water temperature: 70-71 degrees
Wind: NE at 10-20 mph
Max Humidity: 83 percent
Day's outlook: Partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2009-10-15-toledo-bend 

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