UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

Last tango on Toledo

Last tango on Toledo
The top-10 finalists launched into cool, clear conditions on Toledo Bend.

MANY, La. - Bright skies and high hopes defined the final round of Stren Series Texas Division action as 10 boats headed into a cool, cloudless morning on Toledo Bend Lake.

Leading the pack is South Dakota pro Jamie Fralick, who grabbed the top spot on day one and held off all challengers the second day. He weighed the event's heaviest bag on day one (17 pounds, 6 ounces) and held a 9-ounce lead. A day later, his 11-14 was enough to retain his position and expand his margin to a pound and 7 ounces.

Fralick has caught most of his fish by cranking a Fat Free Shad on a roadbed with relief of 14 to 11 feet in the lake's north end. Strong winds on day two made boat positioning a tough chore and Fralick kept his foot glued to the trolling motor pedal just to maintain a reasonable presentation. Today's winds will be lighter, but the northeast origin will remain a concern. Nevertheless, Fralick will pin his hopes on thePro leader Jamie Fralick will rely on the crankbait that got him to the final round. spot that has delivered for two days.

"As long as the wind doesn't come up and I can hold on my spot, that's my best chance of catching 14-18 pounds," he said. "I'll spend as much time out there as I can, but I have a few spots I haven't gotten to yet just because of the wind. When it's rough, you hate to go another eight miles farther up the lake."

On day two, Fralick started catching good numbers once the skies cleared and the sun emerged around late morning. He's hoping that today's sunny conditions will also deliver plenty of opportunities. His backup plan involves flipping Texas-rigged creature baits and skipping jigs under docks.

"If the cranking deal isn't working, I'm going to go hit as many docks as I can," he said. "Yesterday, I caught two keepers on docks and my co-angler caught a 4-pounder."

Other pro tactics

Second place pro Tim Reneau is using a heavier jig today to fish deeper grass.- Second place: Tim Reneau of Del Rio, Texas has been flipping a cammo jig with a green pumpkin trailer through grass in 12-14 feet. He'll continue that pattern today but he'll upsize from an ounce to an ounce and a half jig to fish deeper.

"Because of the wind yesterday, I have a few areas I haven't fished yet where I caught some better fish (during practice) in deeper grass," Reneau said. "Some of it is out of the wind, but it was just a little too rough to cross the lake yesterday.

"I figure that one of these guys is going to catch `em pretty good so I have to swing for the fences and go to every area where I caught good fish in practice and try to get five good ones."

- Third place: George Jeane Jr. of Evans, La. plans on alternating between a Texas-rigged 10-inchA 10-inch Berkley Power Worm will be one of the main baits for George Jeane Jr. Berkley Power Worm, a crankbait and a football head jig with a Berkley chigger craw. Fishing the mid-lake region, he's targeting brush piles in 18-25 feet. Fishing slowly will be his focus.

- Fourth place: Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas said he's committed to flipping a 1-ounce black/blue/purple jig with a Zoom Speed Craw trailer of the same colors. He'll target outside grass lines in 10-12 feet on points close to deep water. His backup plan involves fishing a Spro frog over lily pads.

- Fifth place: Bert Thompson of Benton, La. will run north and fish points in 14 feet with brush and wood on the bottom. He'll start with a Carolina-rigged green pumpkin lizard to find the fish and then work his spots with a crankbait.

Logistics

Flipping a black/blue/purple jig around outside grass lines is the plan for fourth place pro Tommy Dickerson.Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 155 San Antonio Drive, Many La., beginning at 4 p.m. 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 outboardStarting the day in fifth place, Bert Thompson will use a Carolina-rigged lizard to locate fish and then work his spot with a crankbait. 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.


Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:19 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 50 degrees
Expected high temperature: 65 degrees
Water temperature: 70-71 degrees
Wind: NE at 7-12 mph
Max Humidity: 76 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny


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

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