Skeet’s Beat – Bent at Toledo Bend

Power Pole

SkeetBlogWhat more can I say than I sucked.

I gotta admit that I missed the bite at Toledo Bend. I mainly fished out in 15 to 25 feet of water with a football jig and Berkley Havoc The Deuce, and it turns out I was about 10 feet too deep.

I practiced for the deep offshore bite, and totally missed the football jig bite on shallow points that seemed to produce really well for some of the top finishers. Outside of being too deep with a football jig, I had a couple small areas that I could get a bite or two on the Rago SKT Swimmer; and that didn’t work out either.

My first fish in practice was a six-pounder on the Rago, but in the tournament, all I could get was followers on it. Two of them were big; I mean really big, and they even bit the bait. One was an easy ten pounder that swam all the way up to the boat and bit the tail of the bait. The other was an eight pounder that followed the SKT Swimmer; turned away then rushed back and bit the bait by the tail and swam away.

That sucked; but what really made it worse was finding out that there was a swimbait bite elsewhere on the lake that I never found. I started the event with super high expectations and I guess I was wrong; chalk it up to a new lake or whatever, but I just missed them.

The highlight of the week was where I stayed. I was supposed to stay at a buddy’s lake house, but it wasn’t finished, so I ended up at a place called Wildwood Resort there on the lake. They have cabins, an RV Park and a huge lodge that can sleep something like 24 people in several rooms.

I can’t believe there weren’t any other of the Elite Series anglers there, because the place was perfect, with plenty of boat parking. It was the kind of place that I’d take my family for a big event, and I had the lodge all to myself. It was a great place to stay, and I’d like to return there someday.

I got reminded why I love my boat so much while I was there. I’ve been running this Stratos Elite 210 hull for so long that I sometimes forget how good I’ve got it. The wind was big on the lake, and because the lake was so low, we had to run the boat lanes. What that means is, you pretty much have to take what the wind gives you.

I took my first day Marshal for a ride. His name was Ross; a tank driver in the military, and when we took off, I trimmed the bow down in those two to three foot rollers and let my Mercury Pro XS 250 push my Stratos over those waves at 60 to 65 miles an hour and it felt like we were on air shocks.

So many guys punched waves and Captain Nemo’d their boats this week, but I had it good in my boat. It was actually kind of fun to push the boat a little this week and see how it handled the rough water. This was the first tournament in a while that’s been rough.

I got to go to a crawfish boil put on by my Elite Series colleague Dennis Tietje’s sponsor Southern Barbeque Company while I was there. I grew up eating some crawfish; my dad was born in New Orleans and we ate them all the time. But, it had been a long time since I had them as good as that.

Dennis used to be a rice and crawfish farmer, so he had the hookup to get the best and biggest crawfish I’ve seen in a while; they looked like mini lobsters. I ate a bunch, and surprised all them Cajuns that a California boy knew his crawfish. There was enough food leftover that I had enough to put in a foam cooler and take it to my great uncle’s house on Saturday night for a family meal; I ate it all again; it was so good.