One area that many Elite pros will zero in on is a huge flat called Tennessee Bay. It lies just out from Cypress Bend Park in Louisiana, the official tournament site for the Elite tournament. Since nearly every major bass tournament at Toledo Bend uses this facility, Tennessee Bay is regularly supplemented with released fish.
This flat is embellished with timber, creek channels, roadbeds and drops. The past two Elite Series tournaments have been won here Clunn claims.
“The grass in this section is cyclical,” Clunn says. “The bass could be caught anywhere from 3 to 5 feet deep on the flat to 10 to 15 feet or deeper on the drops.”
When Brent Chapman won an Elite Series tournament at Toledo Bend in June 2012, his most productive lures were a 5-inch, 1 1/4-ounce silver flutter spoon and a 3/4-ounce football jig.
Some of the other prime areas that will attract the Elite pros are on the lower end of the lake, including Six Mile Creek, Housen Bay and Toro Bay. The clearer water there allows thick hydrilla beds to grow. The bass tend to be caught deeper than in the mid lake, typically 25 to 30 feet deep.
Many lures and tactics will produce enough bass to earn a check during this event, Clunn claims. However, the winner is likely to be pitching a heavy jig through hydrilla or fishing drops with deep crankbaits, big Texas rigged worms and big flutter spoons.
“It will take 14 pounds a day to make the top 50 cut,” Clunn speculates. “You’ll have to catch 17 to 18 pounds a day to qualify for the top 12. To win, you’ll need 80 pounds or so.”