Pitt Jumps Out To Strong Lead At Toledo Bend Opener
By John N. Felsher
Cody Pitt jumped out to a strong early lead on the first day of the inaugural American Bass Anglers new tournament trail, the ABA Top 150 Solo Series, held Feb. 5, 2021, at Toledo Bend Reservoir near Many, La.
Despite cold, stormy weather and drenching rain marring the first of two competition days, the Hineston, La. angler put in a solid Day 1 effort for the Southwest Division opener. He landed a daily tournament limit of five bass weighing 27.02 pounds for a 5.40-pound average. He anchored the bag with a 7.15-pound lunker.
“The weather threw everything it could at the anglers,” reported Christopher Wayand, tournament manager for the ABA Top 150 Solo Series. “A cold front slowly came through overnight and hit the guys with 45-degree temperatures in the morning. There was a chance of rain in the forecast and it showed up around noon. The rain lasted for two hours. Once it had passed, the sun came out, which was a change from the overcast skies we had at take-off in the morning.”
Holding second place after the first day, Cameron Roane of Beaumont, Texas also landed a five-fish daily limit. He trails Pitt with 23.16 pounds but brought in an 8.32-pounder.
Sitting in third place among the 84 competitors, Kevin Lasyone of Dry Prong, La. also landed a Day 1 limit. His five fish weighed 22.59 pounds. He anchored the catch with a 6.10-pound largemouth.
Cole B. Moore of Anacoco, La. set the early pace for the tournament lunker title with an 8.46-pound bucketmouth, one of several bass in the 8-pound range landed on the first day of the tournament. With five fish on Day 1 at 22.48 pounds, Moore holds fourth place.
Rounding out the Top Five after the first day of competition, Miles D. McDaniel from Milam, Texas also brought in a five-bass daily limit. His bag weighed 21.88 pounds. He anchored the stringer with a 7.33-pound kicker.
Holding sixth place, John L. Soukup of Sapulpa, Okla. landed five bass for 21.44 pounds with a 5.59-pound kicker. Harold Allen of Shelbyville, Texas sits in seventh place with five bass going 21.17 pounds.
In eighth place, Marshall E. Hughes from Hemphill, Texas caught five bass for 19.37 pounds. Nick W. Kincaid of Coweta, Okla. found five bass weighing 18.66 pounds. Wrapping up the Top 10, Matt B. Loetscher of Many, La. caught a five-bass Day 1 limit weighing 17.46 pounds.
Despite the weather, many anglers found great fish, including quite a few in the 5- to 8-pound range. Both Texas and Louisiana heavily stocked Florida largemouths into the reservoir since the 1980s. The lake record stands at 15.32 pounds.
On the first day of the two-day tournament, anglers caught fish from extremely shallow waters out to more than 30 feet deep. Fish hit a variety of lures. Some popular baits and techniques included Carolina rigs, big spinnerbaits and large jigs flipped under docks.
Anglers fishing the ABA Top 150 Solo Series compete in two divisions, Southwest and Southeast. Each ABA Top 150 Solo Series includes two days of intense competition. The anglers will conclude Toledo Bend tournament on Feb. 6. The first-ever Southwest Division event ran out of Cypress Bend Park in Many, La.
The largest reservoir in the South, Toledo Bend covers about 185,000 acres and runs 65 miles along the old Sabine River channel, straddling the Louisiana-Texas line. With numerous creeks and coves, the massive impoundment offers anglers 1,264 shoreline miles.
Anglers pay $600 to enter each of the three tournaments in either division and everyone fishes alone. If 150 anglers sign up to compete in an event, the winner will take home a guaranteed $20,000 in cash. With 84 anglers entered in the Toledo Bend Reservoir tournament, the winner will take home $13,000 in cash. The angler who catches the biggest bass will pocket an extra $1,000.
In addition to earning major cash prizes, the winner of each ABA Top 150 Solo Series tournament, plus the two-division Anglers of the Year will qualify to fish the annual Ray Scott Championship if they participate in all three division events for a possible total of eight people selected from the series. Since this is the inaugural year for the ABA Top 150 Solo Series, winners and division Anglers of the Year from the 2021 events will earn slots to compete in the 2022 Ray Scott Championship.
From Toledo Bend, the Southwest Division anglers next fish Lake Sam Rayburn on March 26-27. The Lake Sam Rayburn tournament will take off from Cassel Boykin Landing near Zavalla, Texas. The divisional season wraps up at Lake Eufaula, Okla. from April 30 to May 1.
The Southeast Division opens Feb. 26-27 at the other Lake Eufaula, the one on the Alabama-Georgia line near the town of Eufaula, Ala. Next, that division heads to Lake Guntersville near Guntersville, Ala. on April 30-May 1. Finally, the division concludes the series for the year on June 25-26 at Lake Chickamauga, Tenn.
For more information on the ABA Top 150 Solo Series, see www.americanbassanglers.com/Top150 or call 256-232-0406.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Monster Energy Drinks, Garmin, T-H Marine, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Engel Coolers, REKS Sunglasses, Power Pole, and Hotel Planner.com
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