UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 2

Cody Huff has been red hot on Toledo Bend for the last week and with one more day to go it’s his tournament to lose. That being said, there is a laundry list of local pros looking to take full advantage of any slip he may have in the final round of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener.

Huff is the only pro who has been able to break the 20-pound mark twice this week, though that doesn’t mean the pros chasing him are out of the game. From locals to guides to regional hammers, Huff will have his work cut out for him come Saturday with the crew that’s lurking behind him on the leaderboard.

Huff’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

2. Justin Cooper – Zwolle, La. – 36-4 (10)

Growing up about 30 minutes north of Toledo Bend and having spent the last two years full-time guiding on the lake seems like a pretty good recipe to have Justin Cooper sitting in second after two days. Weighing 18-10 on day one and 17-10 today, the young Louisiana pro will start the final day 7-8 back of Huff, which isn’t an impossible gap on Toledo.  

“I’ve spent a bunch of time out here and I put my time in for this event,” says Cooper. “These fish are in transition. I’ve ran the same pattern and same rotation of spots the last two days and caught what I caught.”

Too much knowledge on a lake can sometimes hurt locals in multi-day events, but Cooper has been keeping a level head and managing his spots flawlessly this week.

“I’ve got 8 to 10 spots that the fish should be on and I’m just running those and if the fish are there, I fish, and if they’re not, then I roll to the next. But I come back to see if they load up. It’s 100 percent offshore fishing.

With a little sun in the forecast tomorrow it could change things on the water considering the fish haven’t seen the sun for quite some time. Cooper is hoping it helps the big girls fire up.

“The only thing about what I’m doing and where I’m at is that a little warmer weather may move some fish off of there, but hopefully that groups them up even better on some of these places.”

 

3. Stephen Johnston – Hemphill, Texas – 35-10 (10)

After leading on day one, Stephen Johnston couldn’t muster a big bite like the 10-pounder he had helping his 23-8 bag on Thursday, but it wasn’t for lack of decent bites. Catching 12-2 today, Johnston still sits within a big bite or two from making a run at his second Toyota Series title.

“I got a lot more bites today,” Johnston says. “That east wind got out and it stayed north-northwest and I probably had 20 or 25 bites today. I fished clean, but just didn’t get any of those fat juicies.”

Johnston is sticking to his shallow game plan – something most of the rest of the top 10 aren’t doing. A Carolina rig with a Strike King Game Hawg has been the ticket so far and he’s hoping that a little sunshine tomorrow will put the odds back in his favor.

“These aren’t pure Florida strain bass in here, but they are Floridas, and they like the sun. It’s been overcast for a stinking week.

“The only thing about if it does get pretty tomorrow is that we’re going to have a bunch of traffic on us tomorrow. The last two days I could go anywhere I wanted to go, but tomorrow it’s probably going to be a little different.”

 

4. Phil Marks – Dallas, Texas – 34-8 (10)

Catching 13-11 on day one, Phil Marks was around the fish, he just couldn’t get a good bite. Today, the big ones bit, and he climbed the leaderboard with the only other bag to crack 20 pounds – 20-13, to be exact.

“Yesterday I had just a bunch of 2 ½-pounders and today I had all 4-pounders, more or less,” Marks says. “I fished the same area as yesterday but the difference was cranking instead of rigging. Yesterday they wouldn’t eat a crankbait, but today they were eating it good.”

With the lake throwing most of the field a curveball given the conditions, Marks is keeping it simple. Find the bait, find the bass.

“There’s a ton of shad in the area and it’s classic wintertime stuff, you know, channel swings banging on the sides of ridges. I think the fish are there the whole time because I can see them (on his electronics) and then you get two or three to bite and they fire up.”

 

5. Matt Boyt – Converse, La. – 34-0 (10)

Matt Boyt knows Toledo Bend as well as anyone in the top 10 and it has shown this week. He started off with 20-13 on day one to get the ball rolling, but like others fishing offshore just couldn’t sustain that pace. With 13-3 today, he’s down but not out of the hunt for his first FLW win.

“The fish are moving around and following bait,” Boyt says. “I thought they were moving in, and it looks like if anything they are moving out.”

When Boyt says in or out he isn’t talking about moving shallow. He’s focused offshore, but says the fish are actually setting up deeper than they have been. And while Boyt has put about two weeks’ worth of practice in for this event, it never hurts to have a little luck on your side.

“I caught my fish deeper than how I caught them yesterday. I was actually leaving my spot and I rolled across them and there they were on my graph. They were 10 foot deeper and had moved following the bait.

“I was able to put together 13 pounds and I am more proud of that than the 20 pounds on day one,” says Boyt. “Yesterday they bit, today they didn’t. I’m hoping for some wind tomorrow to help the bite because I’m deep cranking.”

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

Stephens Sets the Pace at Norman

Stephens Sets the Pace at Norman

Day one of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman was about what you’d expect out of a stingy lake on an early fall day. With mostly spotted bass hitting the scale, 8-pound bags were common, and anything over 10 pounds was a really good day. Ringing up 12 pounds, 9 pounces, Michael Stephens of Gastonia, N.C., took the early lead. In second with 11-11, Martin Villa is a few ounces ahead of Alvin Shaw and Chris Baumgardner, who also crossed the 11-pound mark. READ MORE »

Burton Wins on the Detroit River

Burton Wins on the Detroit River

Boater Wilson Burton of Findlay, Ohio, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Michigan Division Super-Tournament at the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Eslinger Earns Shelbyville Win

Eslinger Earns Shelbyville Win

Boater Archie Eslinger of Paris, Illinois, brought a two-day total of eight bass to the scale weighing 27 pounds, 8 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Illini Division Super-Tournament at Lake Shelbyville. For his victory, Eslinger earned $6,197. READ MORE »

Lake County Wins at Home

Lake County Wins at Home

The Lake County High School duo of Payton Lyndall and Tyler Brant brought five bass to the scale Sunday weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Clear Lake Open in Clearlake, California. READ MORE »

Mifflinburg Wins on the Chesapeake Bay

Mifflinburg Wins on the Chesapeake Bay

Pennsylvania’s Mifflinburg High School duo of Ty Stroup and Daniel Walter ground out three fish Saturday weighing 6 pounds, 3 ounces to win the very tough High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Chesapeake Bay Open event in Edgewood, Maryland. READ MORE »

Williams Tops on Rayburn

Williams Tops on Rayburn

Boater Shane Williams of Keithville, Louisiana, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 30 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Cowboy Division Super-Tournament at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Navionics. READ MORE »

Simpson Cruises at Clear Lake

Simpson Cruises at Clear Lake

The Simpson University team of Luke Blanchard of Vancouver, Washington, and Nathan Phillips of Kelseyville, California, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Clear Lake event Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces. The victory advanced the Simpson bass club to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Adrian Wins Again

Adrian Wins Again

The Adrian College team of Grant Gallagher of Fremont, Ohio, and Ben Statly of Fenton, Michigan, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the Chesapeake Bay event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces. READ MORE »

Manson Wins on Indian Lake

Manson Wins on Indian Lake

Boater Scott Manson of Covington, Ohio, brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 10 pounds, 15 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Buckeye Division Tournament at Indian Lake. For his victory, Manson earned $3,804. READ MORE »

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »