UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Castledine captures lead

Castledine captures lead
Using a total catch of 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas, grabbed the overall lead after the first day of EverStart Series action on Toledo Bend Reservoir.

HEMPHILL, Texas - Using a total catch of 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas, grabbed the overall lead after the first day of EverStart Series action on Toledo Bend Reservoir. While grabbing first place was nice in and of itself, Castledine also finished the day with a catch nearly 2 1/2 pounds heavier than his next closest competitor, a nice margin that could provide a real boost heading into the next two days of tournament action.

"It actually feels pretty good to be in the lead," said Castledine. "But honestly, there was absolutely no way earlier in the day that you could have convinced me that I'd be leading the tournament with 27 pounds. I really thought we're going to see quite a few 30-pound sacks. So when I came back to weigh-in today, I was just hoping to be in the top 10."

While none of the mammoth stringers ultimately materialized during Thursday's competition, it still took more than 19 pounds just to qualify for the top 10. But that was just fine for Castledine.

"I had about 22 pounds after the first hour, but it did get tougher for me after that. I only wound up culling one more time," he said. "I was basically sight-fishing all day with a combination of soft plastics. It was pretty basic stuff. I found all but one of my fish during practice, and I didn't lose any big fish today, so I was happy about that."

As far as tomorrow is concerned, Castledine doesn't plan on changing up things too much.

"I'm going with the same game plan tomorrow - same everything," said Castledine. "I've been making about a 20-minute one-way run, and I have about five or six spots in between. I also have quite a few (beds) marked, although the fish aren't quite as big as the ones I caught today. So we'll just have to see what happens."

Wilkerson claims second place

EverStart Series pro Chris Wilkerson of Conroe, Texas, netted a total catch of 24 pounds, 15 ounces to land in second place overall after the first day of tourney action on Toledo Bend.Chris Wilkerson of Conroe, Texas, netted a total catch of 24 pounds, 15 ounces to land in second place overall after the first day of tourney action. And like most of the anglers atop the standings, Wilkerson relied predominantly on bed-fish for the majority of his catch.

"It feels good to be where I'm at in the standings, but it was definitely tough out there today," said Wilkerson. "It's right before the spawn, so the fish are in a transitional stage right now and they're not biting really well. But, overall, I feel pretty good. I was hoping to catch between 22 and 23 pounds today, and I did that. And I didn't leave any big ones out there."

Wilkerson said that he targeted most of his quarry with a new creature bait prototype from Double Z Lures.

"It's designed for bed-fishing, and the fish really seemed to like it," said Wilkerson. "I didn't have any problem getting my big fish to bite this bait at all today."

Garza snares third

EverStart pro Art Garza of Buna, Texas, used a total catch of 23 pounds, 3 ounces to take over third place heading into Friday's second round of tournament action.Unlike most of the leaders after today's competition, Art Garza of Buna, Texas, eschewed sight-fishing for fish staging in deeper water. And as it turned out, it appeared to be a wise move. Using a total catch of 23 pounds, 3 ounces, Garza took over third place heading into Friday's second round of tournament action.

"I caught 23 pounds today, and I didn't catch any big fish," said Garza. "If I had a big bite or two, I could have come back with 25 to 29 pounds today. I'm on some good fish. Everywhere I go there are big fish. And heading into tomorrow I have a lot of fresh water to fish as well. So, overall, I feel pretty good."

According to Garza, he targeted most of his fish in about 6 to 10 feet of water.

"I threw a jig near spawning areas," he said. "There are a lot of fish in that grass staging, waiting to come up onto the beds."

Best of the rest

Lendell Martin Jr. of Nacogdoches, Texas, took fourth place overall with a total catch of 22 pounds, 10 ounces.

Christopher Brasher of Spring, Texas, won the Snickers Big Bass award after landing a whopping 9-pound, 4-ounce largemouth. Brasher, who finished the day in 21st place, won $214 for his catch.Meanwhile, Eric Wright of Scurry, Texas, finished the day in fifth place with a catch of 22 pounds, 4 ounces.

"This is only my third FLW Outdoors tournament, so I'm pretty happy right now," said
Wright, who targeted bed-fish with a combination of soft plastics. "I was sight-fishing today and only caught seven fish, but I pretty much used everything I had to catch them. Hopefully I can do it again tomorrow."

Christopher Brasher of Spring, Texas, won the Big Bass award after landing a whopping 9-pound, 4-ounce largemouth. Brasher, who finished the day in 21st place, won $214 for his catch.

Honeycutt rocks co-angler field

In the Co-angler Division, Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, was determined to finish the day atop the leaderboard. And, after landing a tremendous catch of 24 pounds, 4 ounces, he did just that. When all was said and done, Honeycutt put nearly 5 pounds between himself and his next closest competitor and is now clearly the frontrunner for the tournament title on Toledo Bend.

"It was a good day of fishing. I probably caught three limits today," said Honeycutt. "I caught my three big fish in like a 45-minute span. I'm extremely happy right now. I just need to stand up straight tomorrow and not fall down on my face."

Like Garza, Honeycutt said he was targeting fish in staging areas.

Co-angler Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, used a catch of 24 pounds, 4 ounces to grab the top spot in the standings after the first day of EverStart action on Toledo Bend."I was fishing in probably 8 to 10 feet of water," he said. "With the lake being low, the fish are staging out on the points around stumps. I was using a Berkley Power Hawg and 15-pound fluorocarbon line, fishing mostly in clear water."

In the end, Honeycutt said he couldn't have been more pleased with the way things turned out.

"It was just a really, really good day of fishing," said Honeycutt. "Coming into the tournament, I was in sixth place overall in the (Co-)angler of the Year points, so this should help keep me up there."

Honeycutt also walked away with a check for $142 for winning the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division. Honeycutt netted the award after landing a 6-pound, 13-ounce largemouth.

Best of the rest

Rich Parker of Kaufman, Texas, finished the day in second place with a total catch of 19 pounds, 10 ounces. Robert Moffett of Silsbee, Texas, grabbed the third spot with a catch of 19 pounds, 9 ounces.

Kevin Carter of Spring, Texas, landed in fourth place with a total catch of 19 pounds, 5 ounces.

Meanwhile, Lat Nichols of Deport, Texas, rounded out the top five co-anglers with a catch of 18 pounds.

EverStart Series action continues during Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:15 a.m. at the Fin & Feather Resort, located at 245 Fin & Feather Drive in Hemphill, Texas.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2011-03-17-toledo-bend 

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