Angler Says Texas Team Trail Tournament On Toledo Bend Could Be A ‘crazy Slug Fest’

The Texas Team Trail tournament on Toledo Bend Saturday could be a “really crazy tournament,” according to pro angler and Toledo Bend fishing guide Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas.

“A lot of the fish have made a big move towards the bank. They had a 200-boat tournament this past Saturday and it was a really tough bite, but it still took 26 pounds to win and 18 pounds to get a check.”

Since then, said Johnston who has guided on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn Reservoir for more than 20 years, a big front has moved through, bringing 30-degree nighttime temperatures.

“That is going to lower the water temperature for those shallow fish and make them sluggish,” Johnston said. “We’ve got one practice day on Friday and there is a 70 percent chance of rain which is going to keep the water temperature cool.”

But that, he said, might not be enough to give the shallow bass lockjaw for the tournament.

“I think so many of those big females have pushed up towards the bank it could be really crazy Saturday,” said Johnston, who predicted there could be several bags in the 30-pound range weighed in Saturday.

“So many of those 6- to 8- to 9-pound fish are weighing 2 pounds more than at any other time of the year. This past week three was an 11-pounder caught and a 12-pounder was caught last Thursday. I can see the tournament Saturday being a crazy slug fest.”

The trail drew 300 boats in the first tournament of the year on Lake Sam Rayburn Jan. 31, and tournament director Mike Hastings predicted another big turnout for the Toledo Bend tournament. The tournament series features the biggest team payouts in the state of Texas, plus many sponsor bonuses.

“The trail is a pretty neat deal and it is pushing 300 boats again this Saturday,” Johnston said. That, he said, means getting a good draw and getting on the water early.

“We drew 150 the other day on Rayburn and by the time we got up the lake there were people sitting everywhere.”

Johnston guides on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. His Johnston’s Guide Service is located on the southern end of Toledo Bend. Check out his guide service at To book a fishing trip or inquire about gift certificates, call him at 409-579-4213 or email [email protected].


Texas Team Trail

Sat, Feb 21, 2015

Toledo Bend Reservoir

Cypress Bend Park

Call (210) 788-4143