Beau Loughman has fished Toledo Bend every single weekend since Jan. 20, so he knew it was likely just a matter of time before he hooked up with a big fish.
“I have a camp on San Miguel,” the 32-year-old Mansura angler said. “I had another 10-pounder on my line last year but it just didn’t make it to the boat.
“I know that at Toledo Bend, it can happen on any cast.”
That cast finally happened for Loughman when he was pre-fishing alone on Saturday, Feb. 18.
“I was between tournaments,” he said. “I had just fished Bass Champs the weekend before, and I was trying to find fish for the A.B.A. tournament.”
Loughman was on the water at dawn after launching from his camp.
“I took off to the Patroon area after looking at a place on Google Earth that I wanted to try,” he said.
Loughman settled for a promising 300-yard stretch of bank with a good number of laydowns.
He worked the location by flipping a black-blue Missile D Bomb in the laydowns. The lure was tied to 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon spooled to a Lew’s BB1 reel on a 7-foot Lew’s Custom Speed Stick.
He immediately started catching nice fish, including a 4-pounder and one right at 3 ½ pounds.
At about 9:45, Loughman reached an area with a stump positioned directly in front of his boat.
“I decided to flip out to the stump, which was in 4 or 5 feet of water,” he said.
When his lure made it to the front of the stump, it got inhaled.
“I set the hook and the fish made an immediate run to the right side of the boat,” Loughman said. “I turned her around and she came up on her side.
“I just quickly reached out and lifted her in.”
The angler had a digital scale onboard, and the bass weighed 10.12 pounds.
“I called my dad and told him I had one over 10,” he said.
Loughman placed the lunker in his livewell and added some Rejuvenade into the aerated water.
“Then I made a run to my camp and trailered the boat to drive over to T-Town,” Loughman said.
On Toledo Town and Tackle’s certified scales, Loughman’s lunker weighed a hefty 10.78 pounds.
The big fish was tagged and later released, making it eligible as fish No. 41 in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for 2016-17.
In May, the angler will receive a free replica of his bass courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
“I knew it had to come sooner or later,” Loughman said, referring to his largest bass ever. “I figured I caught 24 pounds of bass by 10.
“It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”