(Feb 21, 2019 - MANY, La.)
Citing concerns for angler safety, Tournament Director Chris Bowes confirmed Thursday morning Day 2 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Toledo Bend has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
The event will be shortened to two days, with a full field of 214 boats competing during Friday’s final round. A strong storm system, which brought high wind and lightning at daybreak is forecast to remain in the area for much of the day.
“Safety is always the utmost importance for B.A.S.S. and we felt like it was in the best interest and safety of the anglers to cancel Day 2,” Bowes said. “It’s never an easy decision for a tournament director to make — probably one of the toughest decisions we have to make — but it’s always about angler safety.
“Based on the stormy weather that moved through during our scheduled launch and takeoff time and the prediction of thunderstorms intensifying this afternoon when the anglers were scheduled to return for weigh-ins, we felt this was the best decision.”
Stressing the thorough evaluation behind this judgment, Bowes added, “We’re fortunate in this day and age of technology to have numerous websites that allow us to predict these things. We want to be cautious, rather than look at these things in hindsight.”
Local guide and tournament pro Darold Gleason, currently in 20th place with 14 pounds, 15 ounces, said that based on his experience with this 185,000-acre Sabine River impoundment, he agrees with the Day 2 cancellation.
“With the lightning and the wind blowing this morning and the predicted continuation of it all day, I believe Chris did the right thing and took the anglers’ safety into consideration,” he said. “At daylight when a major lightning storm came through, it would have been dangerous to be out there.
“Of course, anglers want to fish and me being a local guy, I want to fish every day. But I agree it was in the anglers’ best interest to not go out there.”
With Toledo Bend already extremely muddy from previous heavy rains, Gleason said today’s weather will increase the lake’s turbidity. However, he also points out a potential upside of the cancellation.
“It won’t hurt that the fish will get a little break. For such a large lake, Toledo Bend is fishing incredibly small. With the bad weather, there won’t be any locals out today. More mud, cold water and wind isn’t great, but it will make tomorrow a shootout.
“With the lake fishing tough, I don’t think anyone was saving fish, but I think that (the Day 2 cancellation) is going to make guys lean on everything as hard as they can on the last day. Really, anybody’s still in the hunt because Toledo Bend is capable of producing a 30-pound stringer.”
Texas pro Randy Millender led Day 1 with 22-11. Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled for 6:45 a.m. CT at the Cypress Bend Boat Ramp. Final weigh-ins are scheduled for 2:45 p.m. at the same location.
2019 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Basspro.com
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