When New Hampshire’s Wayne England needed a team tournament partner a few years ago, his bride Lyn graciously volunteered to do what she’s done throughout their 26 year marriage – she stood by her man – this time, on the deck of their bass boat – with a spinning rod and drop shot rig in hand.
Lyn likely never expected, that four years later, they’d tow their Nitro 36 hours from New Hampshire to famed Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Texas-Louisiana border.
“We’re tired, traffic was busy in places, we left home at 3:30 a.m. yesterday morning, and it took us 36 hours to get here with a couple naps and two quick stops for breakfast,” said Wayne, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with Lyn on a picnic table, awaiting the rules briefing conducted by B.A.S.S. on the eve of the 4th Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament on Toledo Bend.
Two days of travel, and time off from Wayne’s job at the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and Lyn’s role as an Employee Services Manager at a bank, didn’t even allow the soft spoken couple time for practice on the massive 185,000 acre reservoir.
And yet, they seemed unconcerned. Clearly this wasn’t about winning – but instead, something deeper – sharing an adventure together – through fishing.
“Yep, we’re here for the adventure – that’s the biggest reason we signed up for this – and we just love to fish,” grinned Lyn.
“It’s our first year to be registered for Bonus Bucks,” explained Wayne. “Our 2014 Tundra Crew Max only has 22,000 miles on it. We used to tow with an F-250, but I really think this Tundra tows better and offers way more comfort.”
While Wayne struggled to only name one thing that he likes best about his Tundra, there was no hesitation when asked what lure they favored most. “Drop Shot for sure,” said Lyn. “I like a chartreuse worm from Bitter Baits.”
Finesse tactics indeed proved best for Team Wayne in the 4th Annual Bonus Bucks Tournament the next day. “Lyn caught two keepers on a shaky head, and I caught two keepers dead-sticking a weightless Senko,” said Wayne.
Four less-than-weighty bass later, the Englands enjoyed a trip across the B.A.S.S. stage, ate a free lunch courtesy of Toyota, and began the 32-hour trek from East Texas back to New Hampshire.
“It was a blast. The tournament was so well run, the pros were awesome to talk to, it was all great,” says Wayne.
“When we met Jordan Lee at the Carhartt booth, he was so impressed by the drive we had made to be there, that he gave Lyn his business card, and told her if we ever wanted to come to Guntersville, he’d take us fishing on a free guided trip,” said Wayne.
“I’m pretty sure we’ll take Jordan up on his offer, and I’d drive that far all over again to attend another Bonus Bucks Tournament,” he concluded.