BROOKELAND, Texas – Tallying 23 pounds, 9 ounces, Caldwell, Texas, pro Harold Moore took a solid lead on Day 1 of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats event on Sam Rayburn. In second, Jason Bonds put 21-15 on the scale and River Lee also broke the 20-pound mark for third.
With Day 2 of the event also being the last day due to Wednesday’s wind and waves, there’s a good chance the leaderboard sees a considerable shakeup. But, for now, Moore has the lead and a decent margin over a lot of other big names on Rayburn.
“I got blessed, and got two big bites,” Moore said. “It was tough, I didn’t have a limit until probably 5 minutes before we left. We fished around, we covered some water, we started at a place they should have been, and the wind hurt us, we couldn’t set up right. Then, we ran up to a spot, it was just a grind, just fishing, we made a lot of casts. It was a grind the whole day, and it worked out. Hopefully, it will work out tomorrow.”
Moore says he caught his fish on 6th Sense crankbaits and a Carolina rig, which is on track for Rayburn and Moore.
“I don’t mind saying that, that’s not a secret,” Moore said. “Anybody that knows me knows what I do. If I was to say I caught ‘em drop-shotting, nobody would believe that.”
Having fished over 70 events with MLF, even some of the old Texas Tournament Trail team events, Moore is no stranger to competition or success on Sam Rayburn. Still, he’s on the cusp of a defining accomplishment.
“I’ve had some 30-pound bags out here,” Moore said. “I had one bag that was 35-7 here. Of course, it was in a little bitty team deal – by the time we took out expenses we had enough to buy dinner. That’s one of those days we got five bites, and that’s what I got today, I was just blessed to get two of the right ones.
“I’ve never led a tournament of this nature, I’ve made the cut, but I haven’t been this close,” he added. “It’s not over, but I’m blessed to be this close. I’m going to really think about my game plan. I had a spot we started on, but with the northwest wind, you can’t set up on it. I may start on it again, or I may go back to where I caught those two big ones.”
River Lee caught the Big Bass of the day, a largemouth that weighed 8-13. You can see it in video on TikTok.
On the Strike King co-angler side, Mike Casanova of Frisco, Texas, tallied 11-8 for a 1-ounce lead over Roger Dorsey. Notably, Casanova was the only co-angler in the top five to weigh a five-bass limit.
1. Harold Moore – 23 – 9 (5)
2. Jason Bonds – 21 – 15 (5)
3. River Lee – 20 – 4 (5)
4. Jason Conn – 19 – 5 (5)
5. Wyatt Frankens – 18 – 14 (5)
6. Garrett Hilton – 17 – 4 (5)
7. Ben Burns – 16 – 6 (5)
7. Dakota Ebare – 16 – 6 (5)
7. TJ Martin – 16 – 6 (5)
10. Tater Reynolds – 16 – 1 (5)