UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Hartwell

Johnston In Front at Toledo Bend

Johnston In Front at Toledo Bend
Stephen Johnston

Toledo Bend isn’t fishing like its normal self at the moment, but it still kicked out some solid bags to start the Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener. With the lack of grass and low water (it’s down several feet due to recent work on the dam), word on the street was that local knowledge would really shine through this week – and so far that’s holding true. 

Hemphill, Texas, pro and regional hammer Stephen Johnston sacked up 23 pounds, 8 ounces worth of Toledo Bend bass to take the early lead, thanks in large part to the 10-7 kicker he caught this afternoon. 

Complete results

“When you put a 10 in and throw a 2.4 out, it’s a game-changer all the way around,” Johnston says of his day-one big bass. “I really struggled all day. I didn’t have a bunch of opportunities. I knew it was going to be tough to start with.

“These fish got up there shallow and got comfortable until it started raining last week, and the water temperature has fallen and they just don’t want to bite, but they’re sitting there.”

While the majority of the field fished the offshore bite away from the bank, as did Johnston, the leader also tried to keep the shallow bite honest. And though he didn’t catch many fish, he showed that there is enough potential close to the bank to make a run at his second Toyota Series title.

“I’m running and gunning,” Johnston adds. “I fished 15, 18 spots today and just didn’t get many bites. I only caught seven keepers all day. 

“I caught some in 3 foot and I caught some in 14, so there’s no rhyme or reason. I’m going to have to re-run water tomorrow. I had 25 sticks on the front deck, and I’m just chunking and winding.”

With Johnston’s years of experience on Toledo Bend, including eight top 10s in FLW competition, he knows to take it day by day – especially with the caliber of anglers in the field and the size of the bass that call Toledo home.

“No matter what, when it comes back down to it, having that 10-pounder makes a day.”

Complete results

 

Top 10 pros

1. Stephen Johnston – Hemphill, Texas – 23-8 (5) 

2. Matthew Boyt – Converse, La. – 20-13 (5) 

3. Darold Gleason – Many, La. – 20-10 (5) 

4. Cody Huff – Ava, Mo. – 20-6 (5) 

5. Jim Dillard – West Monroe, La. – 19-5 (5) 

6. Justin O’Brian Cooper – Zwolle, La. – 18-10 (5) 

7. Billy Hurt – Spring Creek, Tenn. – 18-0 (5) 

8. Benjamin Gulett – Converse, La. – 17-6 (5) 

9. Jacopo Gallelli – Florence, Italy – 16-6 (5) 

10. Ryan Pinkston – Center, Texas – 16-4 (5)

 

Sharp leads co-anglers

Having never been to Toledo Bend before this week seems to be the lucky charm for Sam Sharp of Hillsboro, Ala., who hauled in 17 pounds, 11 ounces to take the early co-angler lead. 

Paired with pro Benjamin Gulett – who also sacked up 17 pounds – Sharp fished offshore the entire day and says he wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

“I love structure fishing,” says Sharp. “It’s my favorite thing to do. I was fortunate to fish with Benjamin today, who’s a local, and we had a good time. I culled probably at least four times today.

“This is my first trip here, but I came out here because I have a friend who lives close by, and I figured why not come see him and we could fish together on his home lake. It’s been a fun trip.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Sam Sharp – Hillsboro, Ala. – 17-11 (5) 

2. Leroy Green – Anderson, Texas – 14-10 (5) 

3. Lane Haymond – Cave Springs, Ark. – 13-14 (5) 

4. Almonzo Hillard – Arkadelphia, Ark. – 13-6 (5) 

5. Dean Krambeck – Newalla, Okla. – 12-13 (5) 

6. Aubrey Hyde – Winnfield, La. – 12-9 (5) 

7. Dustin Robinson – Glendale, Ariz. – 12-6 (5) 

8. Edward Yao – The Woodlands, Texas – 12-4 (3) 

9. Brian Bayless – Porter, Texas – 12-3 (5) 

10. Kip Passant – Lake Charles, La. – 12-0 (5)

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2020-01-30-toledo-bend 

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 2

Brian Elder took over the lead at the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga today by running the opposite direction of most of the rest of the top anglers. Elder went upstream, while many of his competitors ran south. As usual, most of the pros are keeping specific lures and techniques close to the vest. Here’s what the top five have revealed so far. READ MORE »

Elder Takes Over at Chickamauga

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Brian Elder of Locust Grove, Ga., took over the lead at the Toyota Series Central Division event at Lake Chickamauga today with a five-bass limit that weighed 25 pounds, 4 ounces. His limit today is the biggest of the tournament so far and gives Elder a two-day total of 37-6. He’s just 10 ounces ahead of second-place pro Jim Neece Jr. and 1 pounds, 9 ounces ahead of third-place pro Brent Butler, who was tied for first after day one. The top 10 pros and co-anglers compete in tomorrow’s final round.  READ MORE »

SFA Wins National Championship

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Day three of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. The link to yesterday's top patterns is below, and we'll try to check in here about every hour with updates from around the field. Today is the final day, and at the end, one team is going to walk away with a new Phoenix boat and the title of National Champions. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Chickamauga – Day 1

This story is supposed to be about the top five pros’ patterns, but it’s tough to write much when virtually every angler is fishing the exact same pattern. Miles Burghoff from Soddy Daisy, Tenn., and Brent Butler from Vonore, Tenn., both ended up with exactly 21 pounds, 9 ounces, creating a two-way tie for first place going into day two. They were mostly throwing lipless crankbaits. Here’s what the remaining top five anglers were doing. READ MORE »

Butler, Burghoff Tied for Chickamauga Lead

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Brent Butler, who won the 2019 Toyota Series event on Lake Chickamauga, is aiming for back-to-back victories this week in the 2020 Central Division opener on the same lake. His opening-day limit of 21 pounds, 9 ounces has him in first place and in prime position to have a shot at a second Chickamauga title. If he wants to do it, Butler will have to outlast Tennessee transplant Miles Burghoff, who’s coming off a top-10 finish at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at the Harris Chain of Lakes and is tied for the lead on Chickamauga after one day.  READ MORE »

McKendree Cruises Ahead on Harris

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After two days on the Harris Chain for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance, McKendree University’s Nathan Doty and Jacob Louis backed up their 22-pound, 10-ounce performance from day one with another 20-2 today to take the lead. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Midday Update – Day 1

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“Tough” was the catch word during the first morning of the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. The overnight cold front that moved in brought a dusting of snow on the surrounding mountaintops and freezing temperatures everywhere. The bass seemingly did not appreciate the quick change in the weather. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 2

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Day two of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. The link to yesterday's top patterns is below, and we'll try to check in here about every hour with updates from around the field.  READ MORE »

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

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Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain certainly didn’t disappoint. The consensus from many of the teams during practice was that the chain was fishing tough, yet would kick up some solid bags on Tuesday. With 10 bags over 18 pounds and six over 20, it’s safe to say the Harris Chain is living up to it’s potential. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 1

College Championship Updates - Day 1

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

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Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

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The final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a bit tougher than expected. After putting over 30 pounds on the scale on day two of the weather-shortened derby, Laramy Strickland worked up 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for a 61-4 total to earn the win. For the win, the Bushnell, Fla., rookie took home $100,000 and a big win over a stacked top 30 that included some of the best anglers in the country and some superstar Floridians. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

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Florida cold fronts are supposed to shut the fishing down, but that wasn’t the case for many of the leaders through two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain. Rocketing into the lead from 35th place, Laramy Strickland popped a 31-pound, 6-ounce megabag to put his leading total at an even 46 pounds. In second, Jimmy Washam stayed steady, weighing 21-13 for second and a 41-13 total. In third, Hunter Freeman also made a big jump, hammering out 25-14 on day two to get up to 39-6. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

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The weather has made a 180 here in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

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Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain has been postponed due to high winds. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, many pros believe staying off the water today was the right call. READ MORE »

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Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bab Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a catchfest, but it wasn’t quite the sight-fishing showdown that some hoped for. In the lead, Rusty Salewske weighed 26 pounds, 10 ounces. Just ounces behind him, Miles Burghoff wrangled 26-8. In third, Jared McMillan put 22-1 on the scale to kick things off. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

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Anglers are enjoying near-perfect conditions for a day-one slugfest in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »