When New Hampshireâs Wayne England needed a team tournament partner a few years ago, his bride Lyn graciously volunteered to do what sheâs 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, theyâd tow their Nitro 36 hours from New Hampshire to famed Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Texas-Louisiana border.
âWeâre 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,â 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 Wayneâs job at the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and Lynâs role as an Employee Services Manager at a bank didnât even allow the soft-spoken couple time for practice on the massive 185,000-acre reservoir.
And yet, they seemed unconcerned. Clearly this wasnât about winning; but instead, something deeper. Sharing an adventure togetherâthrough fishing.
âYep, weâre here for the adventure. Thatâs the biggest reason we signed up for this and we just love to fish,â grinned Lyn.
âItâs our first year to be registered for Bonus Bucks,â explained Wayne. âOur 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.â
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.
âDrop Shot for sure,â Lyn said. âI like a chartreuse worm from Bitter Baits.â
Finesse tactics indeed proved best for Team Wayne in the 4th annual Bonus Bucks Tournament the next day.
âLyn caught two keepers on a shaky head and I caught two keepers dead-sticking a weightless Senko,â Wayne said.
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.
âIt was a blast. The tournament was so well run, the pros were awesome to talk to, it was all great,â Wayne said. âWhen 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, heâd take us fishing on a free guided trip. Iâm pretty sure weâll take Jordan up on his offer and Iâd drive that far all over again to attend another Bonus Bucks Tournament.â