Reynolds rockets to Day 1 lead with 28-15 on Toledo Bend - Major League Fishing

Reynolds rockets to Day 1 lead with 28-15 on Toledo Bend

Image for Reynolds rockets to Day 1 lead with 28-15 on Toledo Bend
Tater Reynolds leads the field by more than 5 pounds after sacking up 28-15 on Day 1 at Toledo Bend. Photo by Jody White. Angler: Tater Reynolds.
March 26, 2024 • Mitchell Forde • Toyota Series

MANY, La. – Two days before the start of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Southwestern Division event on Toledo Bend, Tater Reynolds called his shot. Despite a persistent cold front that dampened the bite for many anglers during practice, the Florien, Louisiana, native predicted it would take around 90 pounds to win the three-day event — and that he liked his chances to get there. 

Through one day, he’s well on his way. Despite a one-hour wind delay Tuesday morning and a tough bite for much of the field, Reynolds sacked up 28 pounds, 15 ounces. That has him 5-13 clear of Cole Moore in second place. 

In the Strike King co-angler competition, Tanner Crim grabbed the lead with 11-13. One of four anglers to top 10 pounds out of the back of the boat, Crim leads Robert Davis by 4 ounces. 

Reynolds’ day could have been even bigger

Reynolds overcame a one-hour wind delay and several lost fish on Day 1. Photo by Jody White.

Reynolds has established himself as one of the best anglers on Toledo Bend in recent years, winning a pair of Phoenix Bass Fishing League events on the lake and cleaning up in other local tournaments. While he’s yet to notch his first Toyota Series win, he’s put himself in prime position. 

Not only did Reynolds scare 30 pounds on a day when just 40 of 114 boaters brought a five-fish limit to the scales and only seven topped 20 pounds, his total could have been bigger. Reynolds noted that his pattern is typically most productive in the morning, so the wind delay cost him a valuable chunk of his bite window. He never culled after 11 a.m. 

“How I’m catching them is a morning deal,” Reynolds said. “Usually the first few hours is all I got. So, I really caught the tail end of my bite.” 

He also hooked and lost a few fish during the day that he believes could have boosted his bag well over the 30-pound mark. 

“I really feel like I’m on the fish to win,” he said. “I did lose three big fish today that probably could have put me in the low- to mid-30s. Definitely would have been nice to have them, but the good thing is they’re there tomorrow.” 

The first spot Reynolds visited Tuesday morning yielded his biggest bass, an 8-3, plus another one over 5 pounds. From there, he rotated through a few more areas, although he didn’t hit all the spots he identified prior to the event. While he thinks the spots he fished have the potential to reload overnight, he wants to make sure he has fish in reserve for the final two days. 

Reynolds didn’t divulge too many details about his program but did say he’s fishing offshore, where he’s most comfortable. He’s identified about six staging areas where bass congregate both before and after spawning, although he believes most of the bass he caught on Day 1 were postspawner.  

Reynolds thinks one reason Toledo Bend has fished so tough for so many anglers in recent days is because they don’t realize how many bass have already finished spawning. He believes the cold weather of late, which has dropped water temperatures about 10 degrees, has actually hastened those fish’s migration away from the shallows. 

“A lot of these people still think these fish are on the bank, and they’re just not,” Reynolds said. “Those fish are kind of getting ready to get on that summer pattern, but they’re not there yet. But they’re leaving. I talked to some guys that caught them good in practice, but they didn’t catch them today. That’s just telling me that fish are leaving them. But what’s good is they’re coming to me.” 

While Reynolds’ lead is significant, he plans to keep his foot on the gas on Day 2 — within reason. Given the number of big bass swimming in Toledo Bend — the Berkley Big Bass Tuesday was a 9-7 caught by Russell Cecil, and at least three anglers reported catching 10-pounders during practice — Reynolds thinks he’ll need to replicate his Day 1 success to protect his lead. 

“My goal was 80 to 90 pounds; I’m still going to shoot for that,” he said. “I’m going to try to have at least what I had today tomorrow. I’m going to run my spots until I get my 25-plus. If I get 25-plus, I won’t use them until the last day, just trying to conserve them. And then maybe the last day, if the weights are real tight, I may have to lean on ‘em pretty good.” 

Top 10 pros

  1. Tater Reynolds: 28-15 (5) 
  1. Cole Moore: 23-2 (5) 
  1. Marshall Hughes: 21-14 (5) 
  1. Benji Gulett: 21-13 (5) 
  1. Russell Cecil: 21-10 (5) 
  1. Richard Madole: 20-8 (5) 
  1. Zane Parker: 20-6 (5) 
  1. Kaden Mueck: 18-13 (4) 
  1. Dillon Harrell: 18-5 (5) 
  1. Rylon Ganey: 18-5 (5) 

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