Battle on the Bayou

Battle on the Bayou • Toledo Bend Reservoir, Many, La.

April 14-17, 2011 The Elite's first stop at Toledo Bend marks BASS' 13th professional tournament on the 186,000-acre reservoir that sits on the border between Texas and Louisiana. "The Bend" was a regular stop for BASS in the 1970s and early 1980s when it was generally regarded as the best bass water in the country. It was also the proving grounds for some of the earliest stars in the world of professional bass fishing — Tommy Martin, Harold Allen, Larry Nixon, Bo Dowden, Jack Hains and others all worked as guides on Toledo Bend in the 1970s.

BASS' last stop here came in March 2009 with the Central Open won by Elite angler James Niggemeyer. This tournament comes a month later in the season and should offer the Elites lots of options on how to catch their bass. There will likely be some spawning fish, some bass in the vegetation ready to eat lipless crankbaits and some lunkers in the standing timber around the lake.

The recent addition of Florida bass to the Toledo Bend mix has seen an increase in bass size, including a new lake record — a 15.3 caught in 2000. That record was nearly broken in 2009 by a 15.03-pound largemouth.