BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — “Because of unsafe conditions on Toledo and upon the advice of local authorities Thursday morning, we have decided to postpone the Costa Bassmaster High School Series Central Open on Toledo Bend,” said Hank Weldon, senior tournament manager at B.A.S.S.
The tournament was to begin Saturday. Participants were being notified of the postponement Thursday morning. It will be rescheduled at a later date.
Weldon said he was in constant communication with the tournament hosts and local authorities throughout Wednesday, when predictions were that the rains would end and the lake level would subside enough to permit fishing this weekend. Instead, rainstorms continued, dumping as much as 24 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, he said, leading to flooding of historic proportions.
In addition, major roads leading to the reservoir on the Louisiana-Texas border have been closed, Weldon noted, making it difficult for anglers and tournament staff to reach the lake.
“We have monitored weather conditions since Tuesday, and through Wednesday, we felt that road conditions and lake conditions were safe,” reported Linda Curtis-Sparks, director of the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission. “Additional rainfall through Thursday morning has created road closures across the state. Additional inflow to the lake has also changed lake conditions so that we have concerns. Louisiana has been declared in a state of emergency.”
“We regret having to postpone the High School Central Open,” Weldon said. “There were 150 teams registered for the event, a dramatic increase over the 117 teams that participated on Toledo Bend last year. In addition, the fishing on Toledo Bend was shaping up to be incredibly good for the tournament — until the floods came.”
Toledo Bend is currently ranked the No. 1 fishery in America on Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes.