Oklahoma, Alabama and Texas anglers preview Toledo Bend

The 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series season kicks off this morning on Toledo Bend Reservoir. More than 230 boats of eager college anglers hailing from 37 different states are set to tackle the infamous fishery, which straddles the Louisiana-Texas border.

The story during registration was all about weather. Specifically, the cold and wet weather anglers faced during Wednesday’s final practice day. Wednesday saw air temps in the mid 30s, driving wind and consistent rain. These conditions are essentially an angler’s worst nightmare, and they’re supposed to linger during Day 1 of competition.

We asked Oklahoma State University senior Jake Biram who studies marketing and management, freshman Lawson Graves – a business management major at Wallace State Community College and Tarleton State kinesiology major Collin Reyes a few questions about the weather and what they expect out of Toledo Bend this week.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about competing in a wintertime fishing derby?

Biram, OSU: “Bass fishing in the winter is feast or famine. The teams who are catching them have a chance to weigh-in a giant bag of fish, while the teams who are struggling may find it hard to get a bite.”

Graves, Wallace State: “Honestly just the cold weather. It’s hard on equipment, but it’s also hard on me. Tough to stay in the game mentally.”

Reyes, Tarleton State: “For me it’s simply the fishing. It seems you’re either on them, or you’re not.”

Q: One quick tip to stay warm on the water when fishing in frigid temps?

Biram, OSU: ”Buy some cheap, thin latex gloves and wear them underneath your regular gloves. They’ll keep your hands dry which keeps them warm.”

Graves, Wallace State: “If it’s really cold, I’ll bring a portable Mr. Buddy Heater with me on the water. Remember to pack an extra propane tank.”

Reyes, Tarleton State: “Get a good pair of heavy-duty rain gear. I bought the Carhartt Storm Defender Angler bibs and jacket last year, and it keeps me super warm. You get what you pay for with outerwear.”

No matter the weather, Toledo Bend remains a big bass factory, and teams near the top of the leaderboard will have to catch them.

Q: Two lures you think will be a factor on Toledo Bend this week?

Biram, OSU: “Admittedly it’s been super tough on us, but I’d say you’ll see a Carolina rig and a ChatterBait on the front deck of most boats.”

Graves, Wallace State: “I don’t want to say specific baits just yet, but fishing deep will play a big role. Structure like offshore brush piles."

Reyes, Tarleton State: “Carolina rig and a drop shot fished offshore.”