MANY, La. — As the pros get ready to compete in the 2014 Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend, and as fans likewise get ready to set their teams for Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing, it’s a good time to take note of the weather and the conditions the pros will face.
With current temperatures pushing 90, Toledo Bend would lead you to believe that we would finally leave the cold behind us for good this year after nearly frigid temperatures at one event after another.
But just when you think it’s all sunshine and clear skies, Mother Nature delivers a healthy thunderstorm and a cold front to rattle the first part of competition at the Texas/Louisiana border lake.
What is initially most interesting about Toledo Bend is its size, at 185,000 surface acres. With the town of Many located roughly in the middle, anglers could find different conditions should they travel to the farthest north or south ends of the lake.
With some bucks still guarding fry, there will be an opportunity for sight fishing, but the heavy winds yesterday (up to 20 mph) will deliver thunderstorms for today and tomorrow that could make that pattern either very difficult or downright impossible.
What the storms will leave in their wake on Wednesday, the last day of practice, is much colder temperatures, particularly the lows, which are predicted to dip down into the 40s. With current lows in the high 60s and low 70s, this sharp decline is significant because it can really create conditions that are completely unlike any that the competitors had during practice, throwing all patterns the pros established right out the window for anyone on an early morning bite.
Expect those fish to be slower to eat, waiting on temperatures to reach higher levels in the afternoon, leaving anglers with earlier check-in times with less time to target those fish than guys in later flights.
A favorable west-southwest wind for the majority of the event will help the anglers who are targeting postspawn and/or schooling fish in deeper water.
The Bassmaster Elite Series pros most likely to do well, based on these conditions, are Randall Tharp (Bucket A) and Brandon Palaniuk (Bucket C).
Below is the Weather Underground forecast for Many, and you can click here to get an up-to-the-minute version.