John Murray – Off the Mark at Toledo Bend

Atlas Jack Plate
Bucks Skeeter Yamaha
Lews Fishing
Lews Fishing
Power Pole
Bucks Falcon Mercury
Strike King

MurrayBlogAfter my first day of practice at Toledo bend, I thought I was on the winning pattern. I started out fishing in deep water and my first cast of practice produced a ten pounder on a River2Sea Football Jig.

At that moment, I committed to fishing outside, and I went about looking to further build on the program. I knew I wasn’t going to get a bunch of bites, but when I did, they were going to be good. I had another backup plan that was in really shallow water with a dropshot, and I figured I’d get two or three bites a day deep, then fill in keepers shallow.
Then tournament day came.

I fished deep the whole morning and by 1:00 in the afternoon, I only had three little fish to show for it. So I went to the bank; caught a couple of small keepers to fill out my limit and went back out again looking for a big bite.
I got it; I caught a five pounder on that River2Sea football jig and twin tailed grub and then nothing else. I weighed in around 10 pounds; which wasn’t very good.

I started the second day out deep again, and couldn’t get any bites. So, I picked up my Powell Endurance 714 mhef; my Ardent S2500 spinning reel and a drop shot rig with a 6-inch Roboworm in MMIII. The result was that I caught a seven and a half pounder on an inside grass line. That meant I had made up from the low weight from day one; I just needed a solid limit; that didn’t happen.

I caught more small ones everywhere I went, and I ended up weighing 14 pounds; with the big one thrown in.

I completely missed the bite; in fact I was fishing on either side of it. The bite turned out to be in five to ten feet of water, and I was fishing too shallow or too deep. I really thought that with the amount of pressure Toledo Bend receives, and the additional pounding an Elite Series event brings; that I would need to fish deep; but it didn’t work out.

Basically; I tried to outthink the room, and I didn’t.

Anyway; we parked the rig in Alabama at a friend’s house and are flying home for a week to visit with my mom and kind of regroup for the rest of the year. We go to Lay Lake next week to fish the Mark’s Outdoors tournament there; so it will be a short trip; but a good one anyway.

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