I guess the best way to sum it up is to say that Toledo was a lot like Pickwick for me. I really feel like I left early down there, and should have been in it on day 3. We camped out right by the launch ramp, and it was really kind of a heart-breaker to hear all of the names called, and hear all of the guys take off and not be out there. Just like in any tournament though, I did learn a lot. Toledo Bend really is a great fishery, and I think its vastness really kind of did me in.
On day 1 I felt like I fished pretty good, and did everything to my best ability to catch the fish that I caught. I went to my starting area confident that it would produce for me, because I had some good bites in there in practice. It was a bay that was fairly protected from the wind, and I was getting bit over the top of some grass on crankbaits. I figured I would be culling an hour into the first day, that is how good this spot could have been. But, on day 1, I only had 1 fish at 10a.m. So, I bailed, and went to my back up spot. Got in there, and promptly put together 14 pounds, and lost a couple of nice fish. Looking back, I feel like those fish really probably cost me a check, and a chance to fish on the 3rd day.
On day 2, I went straight to the spot that I caught my bag the previous day. This bay was pretty large, and I literally was able to fish for 4 hours down a bank without ever having to turn around. I put my nose down, and caught fish every now and then, and was confident that sooner or later I would boat some nice fish. However, it just never happened. I got too relaxed in there, and should have made some adjustments to get the bigger bites that I needed. It was a really disappointing day for me, and it took me a couple of days to get over it, and put it behind me.
In hindsight, there is some positives to the Toledo Bend event. I got some decent AOY points, and didn't fall too far from where I was going in to the event. This same time last year, I was much worse off in the points, so that is a little comforting.
During my time off back home I am getting out and doing some turkey hunting. I have already been out once, without any luck. But hopefully this weekend out on the farm we will be able to find some cooperative birds. Next Tuesday we are leaving for West Point, but before we get there we are stopping in Birmingham Alabama for the Mark's Outdoors Tournament on Lay Lake. I have been a part of this event for many years now, and it is always a great time and a good opportunity to promote my sponsors and promote the sport of bass fishing. Camaraderie and good times with the Marks Outdoors Tournament and the fact that West Point is going to set-up to be my kind of fishing makes me really excited to get the 2nd half of the Elite season underway!