Breeden rolls ahead on Day 2 at Grand Lake - Major League Fishing

Breeden rolls ahead on Day 2 at Grand Lake

Image for Breeden rolls ahead on Day 2 at Grand Lake
Cole Breeden didn't let up much on Day 2. Photo by Phoenix Moore. Angler: Cole Breeden.
April 12, 2024 • Jody White • Toyota Series

GROVE, Okla. – Tallying another 20 pounds, 5 ounces to go with a 20-pound sack from Day 1, Cole Breeden cruised into the lead with a 43-1 total. For many, Day 2 of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Plains Division event on Grand Lake featured good fishing, but the results for the leaders were pretty mixed. So, while Breeden stayed strong, Jason Bonds was able to move all the way up from ninth into second with his 21-2 catch, which put him at a 40-10 total — clearly the closest competition for Breeden.

On the Strike King co-angler side, Matt Krekovich came back to Earth with 13-12 but still leads with a 36-pound total. Behind him, Justin Layton has put up two days in the teens to sit in second with 32-4, which is certainly within striking distance of the win.

Breeden sticks to the plan

Cole Breeden isn’t doing anything unusual for Grand Lake. Photo by Phoenix Moore

Prowling the shallows with Garmin LiveScope, Breeden put together another good day. It took him a little longer than it did on Day 1, but the outcome was plenty satisfactory.

“It was a slow start today — I had a small limit at like 10:30, and caught my first good one about then,” he said. “I probably caught the rest of them by 1:30. I had to rotate through stretches until I found one that had fish, and then I weighed four fish off one stretch.”

If he’d been able to land his kicker, Breeden may have virtually iced the tournament.

“I had about a 6- or 7-pounder that’s still out there,” he said. “Hopefully I can catch her tomorrow. She’s a mega giant – I caught a 5-14 on ‘Scope yesterday, and this one looks significantly bigger. She bit, I set the hook and must have popped her mouth open. She never bit again. I think I almost caught her on a glide after I missed her. She came right up, right on it, but never ate it.”

Fishing in less than 8 feet for the most part, Breeden is watching most of his fish with his electronics.

“Today, I think all the ones I caught were staging,” he said. “I didn’t have any I think were on a bed. There was one little spot where I caught a 4 1/2 and a 3 1/2 on back-to-back casts; I don’t know if they were on a bed or not. But, everything else I think was staging.”

After a good practice, Breeden has been able to ration his areas pretty well. Catching his fish on a Texas-rigged Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg, the young pro is in his element. So, despite strong winds in the forecast for the final day, he’s feeling good.

“I still have three areas I didn’t go fish today. I was about to, but then they started to bite,” he said. “So, hopefully, it ends up good. I have no idea what it’s going to be like tomorrow. It was a north wind yesterday, and the place I caught them was a north pocket. Most of my other stuff is pretty protected from the south wind. So, I think I’ll have enough stuff to fish.”

One thing is for sure – he’s looking forward to turning the key in the morning.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I’ve never led going into Day 3 before, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

Jason Bonds sacked up a big bag on Day 2. Photo by Phoenix Moore.

Sight-fishing puts Bonds in contention

A big-time threat in Texas, Bonds has also seen some good success on Grand Lake, and he’s pretty partial to it. After combining casting and sight-fishing on Day 1, he sacked up the third-biggest bag of Day 2 on the pro side, and he did it looking at them with his forward-facing Costas.

“The first day, most of my stuff came just fishing. Today was all sight-fishing,” he said. “Yesterday, the wind was gettin’ it, so I just tried to get on a windy bank — not one that was getting hammered, but something that was catching some wind. I threw a spinnerbait and a jig, mostly a spinnerbait. It was fun. The first one I caught I think was a 4 1/2, a while later I catch a 5. And, I had two sight-fish I could catch pretty easy to cull a couple 2-pounders.”

Today, he prowled the shallows with his eyes peeled to catch what he caught.

Interestingly, Bonds nearly didn’t fish, as a confluence of confusion and trickly scheduling almost sent him home to Texas early to fish a Texas Team Trail event at Lake Fork.

“I’ve been contemplating on if I go home to Fork — we’re leading triple-T for angler of the year, and it’s on Fork tomorrow,” he said. “But, you don’t always get a shot at winning one of them damn things, and I want to win one of these on Grand more than I want to win one at home.”

From the sounds of it, Bonds really likes Grand, so it would be a good place for him to pull off his first Toyota Series win.

“I like it, fishing or sight-fishing. I’ve done pretty good just fishing, and obviously good sight-fishing,” he said. “I like it, man, it beats being at home, all the drama at Rayburn and all that. I like to come up here and not know anything or anybody.”

Tomorrow, he’ll go swinging for a win, relying on one of his signature strengths.

“I didn’t burn many; I caught what I caught and culled one or two times,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of good ones to go back to. If they’ll cooperate, if they’re there. I think that’s all I’m going to do. I’m going to go for broke and sight-fish. I don’t know Grand enough to know the kind of stuff I need to be running. I feel like I would spin myself out. I think I’m just going to go for broke and sight-fish and stop on nothing less than 4 pounds. If I can go catch 21 tomorrow, I’ll give myself a shot. I don’t want to come in bridesmaid again, that’d be No. 3.”

Top 10 pros

1. Cole Breeden – 43 – 1 (10)              
2. Jason Bonds – 40 – 10 (10)                 
3. Michael Harlin – 38 – 10 (10)            
4. Matteo Turano – 38 – 0 (10)            
5. Jordan Hartman – 37 – 9 (10)        
6. Jake Lawrence – 36 – 11 (10)            
7. Jackson Ryley – 36 – 9 (10)              
8. Casey Scanlon – 36 – 4 (10)           
9. Jacob Keenom – 35 – 14 (10)            
10. Kyle Kitts – 35 – 7 (10)     

Complete results

Fishing Clash AOY

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