What happens when Bassmaster Magazine names Toledo Bend the No. 1 bass fishery in the country? The reservoir is placed on the schedule for the Bassmaster Elite Series, that's what.
The announcement that the Elite Series will stop at the 185,000-acre reservoir May 12-15 was made over the weekend during a celebration at Cypress Bend Resort on the banks of Toledo Bend.
“We are thrilled to have been selected for a Bassmaster Elite tournament in 2016,” Sabine Parish Tourist Commission's Linda Curtis Sparks said. “Toledo Bend’s designation as the No. 1 bass fishing lake in the nation by Bassmaster Magazine will have lots of eyes focused on what the pros can produce from Toledo Bend.
"It will be exciting to see.”
Exciting indeed: There were four 10-pound-plus bass caught and entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Program this May. Eighty-eight lunkers have been registered into the program in 2015.
You can read the stories of many of these catches on LouisianaSportsman.com's dedicated Toledo Bend Lunker page.
“Putting the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers — the best fishermen in the world — on the hottest lake in the nation, will be a perfect storm,” added Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “It is sure to be a ‘slugfest,’ and the real winner will be the bass fishing fan base.” He predicted that the Toledo Bend Elite will qualify one or more anglers for the exclusive Century Club, open only to anglers who weigh in more than 100 pounds of bass in a single Elite event.
“When you combine the best fishery in the country and a host community that has always rolled out the red carpet for our anglers, fans and sponsors, you are certain to have a fantastic event,” said Michael Mulone, B.A.S.S. director of event partnerships. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with Many, Louisiana, and look forward to another successful tournament.”
Toledo Bend's bass fishery earned the coveted top spot on Bassmaster’s 2015 100 Best Bass Lakes list based on current fishing reports and input from state fisheries departments, the B.A.S.S. Nation leadership and a blue ribbon panel of judges.
“When a lake certifies 80 bass that weigh over 10 pounds in a 12-month time frame, it’s pretty easy to name it the best bass lake in the nation,” Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall said. “That’s exactly what happened at Toledo Bend. Plus, it typically takes well over 25 pounds to win a tournament there during any season.
“The lake is simply full of big bass. And to put an exclamation point on the lake’s ranking, an event held there just after Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes were announced saw a 38.22-pound five-fish winning limit. The lake is simply on fire right now.”
B.A.S.S. will announce its full schedule for 2016 in early September.