Trey Daggett received an early 10-pound-plus birthday present Saturday, March 18, while fishing on Toledo Bend.
Just three days before the Elton angler turned 27, he and his father Richard launched at 5:30 a.m. near Big Bass Marina looking for a few keepers for the livewell.
Daggett was fishing a series of brush piles, but had to motor past his first choice because there was already a boat at the location.
At the second brush pile, Daggett started casting a Texas-rigged Zoom Z-Hog on 40-pound PowerPro braid. He was fishing with an H2O reel on a Abu Garcia rod.
“It was on my second cast when she hit,” Daggett said. “I set the hook and within two seconds she came up out the water.”
Daggett said the fish came up four more times as he battled the big bass.
“She was in the net in 45 seconds and I saw she was barely hooked,” he said. “I was very surprised because I didn’t expect a fish of this size. We were used to taking bass there up to 5 and 6 pounds here – but nothing like this.”
Daggett placed the fish on a handheld scale, and the initial weight read 11.3 pounds.
“So we made the run to Buckeye to weigh her on certified scales,” he said.
Their scales officially pegged Daggett’s bass at 10.82 pounds.
“It’s the largest bass I’ve ever taken,” he said. “My previous big bass was 6.14 pounds.”
Upon examination at Buckeye’s scales, Daggett’s bass had already been tagged and released.
According to records kept by the Toledo Bend Lake Association, the bass had been previously landed by Randy Champagne on Sept. 18, 2016, when it weighed 10.73 pounds.
Daggett’s fish was later released, and became lunker No. 57 for the 2016-17 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season.
In mid-May, he will receive a free replica courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Although very excited about catching his bass of a lifetime, Daggett and his father returned to the water — but he admitted it was pretty tough to concentrate.
“We did go back and ended up catching five more keepers that day, but my mind was still on that big fish,” Daggett said.