Elite 12 at Toledo Bend
Finally, a fourth day cut thanks to a 10-pound-15-ounce largemouth that I caught with five minutes left on day two, and I made it back to check-in with 1.1 seconds to spare before I would have been late. Let me say that again; not one minute and one second, but 1.1 seconds left when I checked in.
You know, I was a little frustrated after the first day because I didn’t have such a good day; I lost a good one on a swimbait, but that can happen when you’re throwing swimbaits. I tried to put it together for day two, but the wind made it kind of frustrating with gust up to 35 miles an hour, and by the end of the day, I only had three fish in the boat.
I decided to go try and finish the day out on this one little area that I found on my Navionics chip that showed a roadbed clearly on my Lowrance HDS unit. The great thing about the combination of Lowrance and Navionics is that any place I go to I can almost feel like a local because a lot of those special, locals only, hidden hot spots are right there on my HDS screen
I was fishing along the road bed, and I came across these old pilings there, like an old dock used to be there. I pitched a Berkley Power Lizard in there with my 7’1” heavy action Daiwa Steez Compile X rod and 20-pound-test Maxima Fluorocarbon. I got a bite, and set the hook into what was a heavy fish. The fish was obviously in some sort of cover and was sawing me back and forth.
We were playing tug –o-war for a little while when I decided I was going to have to break her off in the cover. I pointed my Steez rod right at her and pulled hard, trying to break the line; but, the Maxima Fluorocarbon held strong and I pulled her out of the cover instead. She came right to the surface and laid there; exhausted.
I figured she was about eight pounds and I thought I still needed one more fish to make the top 50 cut; so I fished for a couple more minutes. I finally put everything down and took off for the check-in. The waves got really big because of the wind, but my RangerZ521 and Yamaha VMAX SHO 250 really put on a show getting me back.
When I pulled into the check in, I looked at the clock on my Lowrance and it said 4:30, then as I looked at it again, it said 4:31. I looked at the check in guy and gave him a thumbs up to see if I’d made it; when he gave me the thumbs up back; I knew I had made it.
When I was bagging my fish, I looked at the big one again and realized she might be a little bigger than eight pounds, and that I might have 16 pounds or so for my four fish. It turned out that she weighed almost 11 pounds and I had 19 pounds which moved me up into position to make the third day cut.
I went out the next day and fished hard and caught 16-pounds to make the day four cut; which was really good because my confidence level had started to become really low. But, this finish helped put me in a position to be able to fish well over the next four events and make the Classic. The lakes we’re going to make me feel like I’ve got a good shot, especially Lake Murray because the last time we went there, I finished in the top 10.
So, I’m stopping at the Arkansas River to pre practice, then I’m on to Table Rock for the Bassmaster Central Open. See ya.
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