DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

CHAPMANIA STRIKES TOLEDO BEND

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 06/09/2012

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush and Matt Pangrac

Many, LA - After taking the lead on Friday with a massive 25-8 limit, Brent Chapman entered the third day on Toledo Bend with a total weight of 43-9 and a one pound, nine ounce lead over Alabama’s Matt Herren. 

On Saturday, Chapman was unable to repeat his Friday performance, but he did enough to maintain his lead.  With a limit weighing 16-5, the Kansas pro boosted his three day total weight to 59-14.  He will enter championship Sunday with a one pound, five ounce lead over Marty Robinson. 

Brent Chapman“I don’t know what the difference was today,” said Chapman, who had all of his weight in the livewell by 8:00.   “I think that the fish are there, but the fish are on the bottom in the morning.  As the sun comes up, the fish move up in the water column and they don’t bite.  They suspend and get in a mood where they’re not ready to feed.”

While a single spot has surrendered the bulk of Chapman’s weight over the past two days, he said that he’s not going to hang around on Sunday if the bite dies like it did on both Friday and Saturday.  “I’m going to stay there until about 8:30 and then I’m making a move.  I’m not going to just sit there and hope.  This is too good of a lake, and there’s no reason why I can’t go find another spot where they are biting later in the day,” he said. 

Chapman said that he located four other areas that held solid bass during practice, but the quality hasn’t been there when he visited them during the tournament.  “I did catch some nice ones in practice, so there’s nothing to say that I couldn’t pull up on one of those areas and find a giant school.” 

Even though he has held the lead for two days, the current Toyota Tundra Angler Of the Year points leader knows that he has his work cut out for him on Sunday if he is to hoist his first Elite Series trophy.  “This tournament is truly going to come down to a guy that catches a big bag of fish tomorrow, and I just hope that it’s me.  Even a 10 pound lead isn’t a big lead on a lake like this.  Anybody in the top 12 will have a shot at winning this thing.” 

2nd Place: Marty Robinson (21-5, 58-9)
Marty Robinson has quietly put together a very solid year in 2012.  In the first four tournaments of the season, Robinson recorded three top 35 finishes, including a 14th place finish at the last Elite Series tournament on Douglas Lake. 

With a limit weighing 21-5 on Saturday, the South Carolina pro jumped to 2nd place in the standings and will enter the final day of competition facing a deficit of only one pound, five ounces.   With a solid performance on Sunday, Robinson will record his highest Elite Series finish (7th place on Grand Lake in 2007), and also have a shot at capturing his first Elite Series victory. 

Marty RobinsonOn Friday, Robinson fished a series of isolated spots to amass a limit surpassing the 21 pound mark, and he didn’t change his plan of attack on Saturday.  “I did the same thing.  Just take the report (from yesterday) and write it again and you’ll have my story,” joked a jovial Robinson. 

Robinson said that he started his day off with an early limit around 13 pounds.  He culled up to 15 pounds at his next stop, and then caught several three pound bass that didn’t help.  Rather than burn through quality fish, he opted to make a move down lake. 

“The big ones were biting in there and I caught a four pounder and a five-and-a-half.  There are obviously some good ones there, but they’re really picky,” he explained.  “Hopefully they won’t be picky tomorrow.

“I think that I have about six potential areas left that may produce a good bag,” Robinson continued.  “This is a bonus for me.  I consider myself a 20th place guy to a 50th place guy, so as long as I get in the Classic, that’s all that I’m after.”   

3rd Place: Timmy Horton (27-9, 58-1)
After failing to break the 17 pound mark on either of the first two days of competition, Timmy Horton knew that he needed a valiant effort on Saturday just to have a shot at fishing on championship Sunday. 

The Alabama pro did just that, crossing the stage with the heaviest limit of the tournament weighing an impressive 27-9.  With a three day total weight of 58-1, Horton not only cracked the top 12 but finished the day in 3rd place, less than two pounds out of the lead. 

Timmy Horton

Horton said that towards the end of the day on Friday, he discovered an area that he knew had the potential to produce a giant limit.  “I only had about 10 pounds with an hour left in the day yesterday,” he explained.  “I went and looked at a place where I caught them last year.  They were stacked on it, but I only had about 15 minutes left to fish.  I lost a five pounder and caught two three pounders. 

“When I got there this morning, I caught them on every cast for an hour,” he continued.   With an early limit weighing around 23 pounds, Horton decided to make a 30 mile run to an area where he had been fishing.   “My goal was to just cull one fish, and I caught a nine pounder,” he said. “It was just one of those days when everything that you hope works, does.”

Horton estimated that he fished for around six hours on Saturday, taking an hour out of his morning to return to the dock and get several extra bags of ice to ensure that his fish remained healthy throughout the remainder of the day.   

On Sunday, Horton said that he’ll probably follow the same game plan, hitting his primary area early in the day before making the long run in search of a kicker.

4th Place: Cliff Pace (18-0, 57-12)
Slow and steady has been the theme of the week for Cliff Pace, and Saturday was no different.  The Mississippi pro returned to the same areas that had produced limits of 23-2 and 16-10, and boxed an 18 pound limit to boost his three day total to 57-12. 

Dragging a V&M three-quarters ounce football jig, Pace explained that slowing down has been a big key for him this week on Toledo Bend.  “I’m fishing really, really slow,” he explained.  “I’m probably taking about three minutes on each cast, and it has been tremendously key for me.” 

Cliff Pace

He maintained that slow pace on Saturday, and garnered five quality bites – the only five keeper bites that he had all day.  His last keeper, an eight pound kicker, came around 11:00. 

“I think the fish are moving around some, and it’s kind of like rolling dice.  If you pull up on the right school at the right time, you can catch a huge stringer of fish.  That’s what happened on the first day – a five pounder would eat my bait every cast for about 20 minutes and then it was over.  If I can get that to happen again, things could get interesting.” 

On Sunday, Pace said that he will continue to ply the same offshore areas.  “That’s the only way that I think I can have a chance to win.  I may catch 35 pounds or I may not get a bite.  I’m just glad that I’ve been able to survive it and not have a bad day up to this point.”   

5th Place: Matt Herren (14-11, 56-11)
Even though Matt Herren ended the third day of competition at Toledo Bend in fifth place with a total weight of 56-11, the Alabama pro was less than thrilled.  After bringing his lightest limit of the week to the scales on Saturday weighing 14-11, Herren admitted that he has been plagued by lost opportunities each of the last three days. 

Matt Herren“It all comes down to execution,” said Herren.  “I’ve had a horrible tournament from an execution standpoint.  I hate it when you’re getting reaction bites and not feeding bites, because the fish that hit out of reaction are hard to put in the boat.  The hooks are everywhere but in the backs of their throats and they tend to pull off.”

That being said, Herren is still in the hunt and is sitting just over three pounds behind Brent Chapman for the tournament lead.   It’s a fact that he’s well aware of.  “Somebody is going to go out and smoke a big bag tomorrow,” he opined.  “It’s all a matter of timing and making the right cast and getting the fish in the boat. “If I’m not out of fish, you never know what could happen.  I might go out there and catch 25 pounds tomorrow.”

Relying on one primary school and one secondary school on Saturday, Herren said that at around 10:00, he made a bait change and started boating all of his bites.  While he backed off his biggest school at around 9:00 on Friday, Herren fished hard the entire day on Saturday. 

“I waylaid them today, so I’m not sure how many fish are left,” he said.  “There’s a big school there, so I’m going to keep working it.  This afternoon, the fish set up under balls of bait and I picked up a drop-shot and started catching them.  The problem is that I can’t get the bigger fish to bite the drop-shot,” Herren concluded.   

DAY 3 STANDINGS

Place Pro Angler Day 1Day 2Day 3 Total Fish Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
1 Brent Chapman 5 18- 1 5 25- 8 5 16- 5 15 59-14
2 Marty Robinson 5 15- 8 5 21-12 5 21- 5 15 58- 9
3 Timmy Horton 5 16- 7 5 14- 1 5 27- 9 15 58- 1
4 Cliff Pace 5 23- 2 5 16-10 5 18- 0 15 57-12
5 Matthew Herren 5 20- 0 5 22- 0 5 14-11 15 56-11
6 Greg Hackney 5 17- 8 5 17- 2 5 20- 9 15 55- 3
7 Casey Ashley 5 20-13 5 18- 6 5 15-11 15 54-14
8 Cliff Prince 3 9-15 5 23-10 5 19- 3 13 52-12
9 Paul Elias 5 19-12 4 13-12 5 18- 9 14 52- 1
10 Chris Zaldain 5 16- 1 5 19-10 5 15- 8 15 51- 3
11 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 18- 3 5 13-13 5 18- 9 15 50- 9
12 Mark Davis 5 20- 3 5 15-10 5 14- 2 15 49-15
13 Scott Ashmore 5 12- 9 5 14- 9 5 19-11 15 46-13
14 Ott DeFoe 5 17- 9 5 20- 9 4 7-10 14 45-12
15 Todd Faircloth 5 17-14 5 14- 3 5 13- 5 15 45- 6
16 J Todd Tucker 3 4- 8 5 18- 6 5 22- 4 13 45- 2
17 Edwin Evers 5 17- 3 4 9- 7 5 17-11 14 44- 5
18 Jeff Kriet 5 9-15 5 25- 0 5 8-10 15 43- 9
19 Denny Brauer 5 22- 8 5 11- 8 5 9- 2 15 43- 2
20 Terry Scroggins 5 13- 1 5 11- 8 5 18- 9 15 43- 2
21 Fred Roumbanis 5 18-11 5 13-10 5 10-12 15 43- 1
22 Terry Butcher 5 16- 1 5 14- 8 5 12- 7 15 43- 0
23 Keith Poche 5 12- 5 5 13-11 5 16-11 15 42-11
24 Kevin Ledoux 5 8-12 5 23- 3 4 10-12 14 42-11
25 Aaron Martens 5 15- 2 5 17-13 5 9- 5 15 42- 4
26 Brian Snowden 5 11-13 5 17- 4 5 12-14 15 41-15
27 John Murray 5 12-14 5 10-13 5 17-11 15 41- 6
28 Shaw E Grigsby 5 14- 0 5 11-11 5 15- 9 15 41- 4
29 Jami Fralick 5 9-14 5 14- 9 5 16-10 15 41- 1
30 David Walker 5 10- 0 5 14- 7 5 16- 3 15 40-10
31 Britt Myers 5 16- 0 5 15- 0 5 9-10 15 40-10
32 Chris Lane 5 11-14 5 13- 3 5 15- 1 15 40- 2
33 Kevin VanDam 5 12- 7 3 11- 6 5 14-14 13 38-11
34 Brandon Palaniuk 5 21- 2 5 8-14 5 8-10 15 38-10
35 Bradley Roy 5 18- 2 5 12- 3 5 8- 2 15 38- 7
36 Bill Lowen 5 14- 1 5 9- 4 5 15- 2 15 38- 7
37 Brandon Card 5 16-13 5 11- 2 5 10- 6 15 38- 5
38 Dean Rojas 5 13- 1 5 15- 2 5 8-15 15 37- 2
39 Davy Hite 5 10- 2 5 14- 5 5 12-10 15 37- 1
40 Alton Jones 5 13-14 5 11-14 5 11- 5 15 37- 1
41 Nate Wellman 5 10- 1 5 14-13 5 12- 2 15 37- 0
42 Michael Iaconelli 5 13- 9 5 14- 0 5 9- 4 15 36-13
43 Jared Lintner 5 10-10 5 13- 4 5 12-12 15 36-10
44 John Crews 5 10- 8 5 12-12 5 11- 5 15 34- 9
45 Pete Ponds 5 14-15 5 12-13 2 6-13 12 34- 9
46 Takahiro Omori 5 10-10 5 12- 4 5 11- 7 15 34- 5
47 Russell Lane 5 12-13 5 10-15 5 8- 4 15 32- 0
48 Rick Morris 2 3-10 5 21-14 3 6- 3 10 31-11
49 Fletcher Shryock 5 15-15 3 10- 4     8 26- 3
50 Ishama Monroe 5 12- 6 5 10- 3     10 22- 9