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Starting Off the FLW Tour Season at Lake Toho

Posted by blake on March 16, 2015

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After a solid finish at the first Bassmaster Southern Open at Toho I was pretty jacked to get another crack at it to start the FLW Tour season.  I felt good about my chances and after getting some good experience on the chain of lakes in January.  I definitely had the bites to at least make a check in the event, but losing a couple good ones was the difference.

During practice, I came in with the mindset that it would be an all out spawning deal, especially with the full moon.  The thing was, I saw a lot of fry around spawning areas and by the way it fished in practice, it seemed like most of the fish had already spawned.  Even though I expected it to be a full out spawning deal I put in the time during practice finding and fishing some of those offshore shell beds that had produced for me during the Open.  I felt good about my chances fishing that offshore deal and a lot of guys that ended up doing well ended up doing the same thing.

The first day, I was a later flight and had a decision to make, whether to take the risk of locking through Toho into the Kissimmee River or stay around Toho and try to put something together.  I ended up staying in Toho.  My first three bites of the day I whiffed on.  I didn’t feel comfortable and it hurt me.  I did put together a limit, but had a livewell issue and took a huge penalty for dead fish.

Once again I had another tough decision to make on day two.  I could try and put together another limit and hope for a couple big bites on Toho, or I could try and lock through with the early boat number and potentially catch some bigger fish off the shell beds.  Even though in my gut, I wanted to lock down, I stayed in Toho again.  I lost a good one on a Trixie Shark and then not too much happened the rest of the day.  It’s all about decisions and trusting your instincts.  I just made some bad choices.  It’s tough, but overall I’m feeling the best I have about fishing in a long time.  I’m staying positive and feel good about the season ahead.

The next event coming up before the Tour event at Smith Lake is a last minute Rayovac I entered on Guntersville.  When you get your wife is telling you to go fish an event, you need to go fish it.  It’s real close to the house and it’s a lake I have a tremendous amount of confidence in.  The A-Rig will probably win the event and I’m looking forward to it being a slugfest.  It’s really a huge blessing having two of these major events basically right in my backyard.

Smith Lake is the event I am most looking forward to this season though.  I can say I haven’t been more excited for any tournament I’ve ever fished.  I really hope it stays cool so they don’t go to the banks because that kind of throws in the luck factor, but at Smith you can catch them from the bank way out deep nearly the whole season.  This event could definitely have the best average weights of the season for a Tour event – the lake is absolutely on fire!  Like most places it goes in cycles and it’s definitely on the up right now.