Boyd Duckett – Mountain #2 – Toledo Bend

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We’re at Toledo Bend for the third regular-season event, and here are my quick, general thoughts about the first two Elite Series events and the Bassmaster Classic.

  1. It’s nice to start an event in sixth place in the Angler-of-the-Year points race, which is where I rank right now. In my 11 years on the Elite Series tour, even though I’ve had plenty of good years, I’ve never been ranked this high after two events. It’s a long season, but this is the right way to start.
  2. Before this season started, I said there are two mountains I’ll have to climb: Okeechobee and Toledo Bend. I took care of Okeechobee, finishing in the Top 20, but this is a new week.
  3. The Classic is over. You can’t win if you can’t catch a limit. I didn’t catch a limit.

Before I get back to Toledo Bend, let me give you the quick Classic rundown.

On Day 1, I caught a 7-3, but I lost a 9-pounder that would have put me near the top of the board. But it wouldn’t have mattered.

I saw spawners that I was going to catch on Day 2. Even after losing that nine-pounder, I thought was going to smash them on the second day, but we had strong thunderstorms and the fish moved on. I was done.

All I can do is take the next steps and get back on track.

 

Toledo Bend is a great fishery. I don’t have a good history here, but we’ve all been here enough times that we kind of know the lake.

If you fish a place enough times, you get a feel for the landscape. That’s how it will be at Toledo Bend. Even at Okeechobee, I didn’t have a good history, but I’d been there enough times that I had a pretty good idea what I had to do.

Toledo Bend is so big – about 140,000 acres. There are bedder creeks everywhere. Unlike Okeechobee, which also covers a whole lot of real estate, Toledo Bend has got fish everywhere. Housen and Six Mile and a lot of other places are going to get a lot of attention.

I figure there will be plenty of post spawns. Creek fishing, secondary points, fishing flats. They should be eating.

It also had looked like it could be a sight-fishing tournament. It still might be, but the rain has muddied up some of the shallow areas, so we’ll see what effect that has.

I certainly spent a lot of practice time considering the sight-fishing potential, which means going to the banks and looking for beds. That tells me what stage they’re in You start on the bank; you’re looking to see if a wave is coming. After starting on the bank, you work your way out.

If it was May, I’d probably do it the other way.

Last year, you might remember that I caught a 13-pounder in practice. When the first day of the event came around, I spent way too much time looking for that 13-pounder. I wasted Day 1.

I made some of it back the second day – but not nearly enough.

I need to fish smarter this time.

After a couple of days of practice, I would describe my results as marginal.

So I’ll say it again. There are two wild cards on this schedule for me. And this is Wild Card No. 2.