Florien’s Keith Arthur spent the better part of Monday, Feb. 6, installing a new depth finder in his bass boat.
Considering the extensive wiring, that work can be meticulous and tricky so the 54-year-old angler and a couple of his friends — Dave Firesheets and Danny McNeely — decided to take the boat out on Toledo Bend later that day to check out the results of their handiwork.
While Firesheets and McNeely piddled with the depthfinder’s settings, Arthur spent the better part of the afternoon casting for a few bass.
“Really, we were just out there goofing off and trying out the electronics,” he said.
The winds had picked up by 3, so Arthur headed into Negreet Creek for some protection and started fishing the creek channel ledges in 8 to 10 feet of water.
He was slowly working a Texas-rigged watermecandy Zoom Brush Hog, pitching the bait on 14-pound Sufix mono spooled to a Shimano Curado reel atop a Falcon BuCoo rod.
“I had five to six bites, which resulted in a 2 ½-pound bass in the livewell,” he said.
But around 5, Arthur felt a very hard hit on the Brush Hog and set the hook immediately.
“One of my buddies asked if I needed the net, and at first I didn’t think so,” Arthur said. “But the bass kept pulling, so I was figuring I had on maybe a 5- or 6-pounder.”
Arthur continued to work the bass as it steadily took drag.
“She pulled away from me a couple of more times, and then that was it,” he said. “Dave eventually netted the fish and we got a chance to see her. I immediately fell in love with that fish.”
It was easily his best bass ever, and a digital handheld scale onboard revealed the big bass weighed somewhere in the ballpark of 10.4 pounds.
“We immediately placed her in the livewell and headed back,” he said.
Arthur also made an immediate call to Bruce Salter at Buckeye Landing, a certified weigh station for the ever-popular Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
On certified scales at the landing, Arthur’s lunker weighed an impressive 10.39 pounds.
Since the bass was a double-digit fish that was tagged and released alive, Arthur will receive a free replica courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association in mid-May.
Arthur’s fish is lunker No. 34 for the 2016-17 Toledo bend Lunker Bass Program season.