Jason Courville spends a lot of time on Toledo Bend, but it's become obvious he is carrying around a lucky rabbit's foot.
"And I don't want to lose it," Courville said with a laugh.
The angler caught his fourth Toledo Bend Lunker Bass last Thursday (March 15). It was one of six double-digit bass caught since March 7.
The latest evidence of Courville's luck came when he landed a 10.02-pound bass. It actually was his fifth double-digit bass that qualified for entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, but he didn't enter one of those fish (although it was released back into the lake).
Last week's catch came in Mill Creek when the owner of Jason Courville Guide Service (409-365-8245) fished a creek channel.
"I was just going down there looking at the creeks, checking to see if any fish were coming in," Courville said.
His approach to catching lunkers is to focus on staging areas in 15 to 20 feet of water near spawning flats.
"I just concentrate on staging fish," Courville explained. "I focus on those little stop signs, we call them, where fish come in and come out."
On this trip, he was covering water with a Carolina rig after work, but didn't get a sniff.
So just before 5 p.m. he decided to flip to the other side of the creek and pick up a football-head jig.
"It probably wasn't but about 20 minutes when I got that bite," Courville said.
He knew immediately it was a big fish.
The guide was fishing alone, so he would have to lip the fish himself. Getting the big bass in position proved to be an ordeal.
"She fought," Courville said. "That was one of the hardest-fighting big fish I've caught."
The fish jumped four times durig the fight, diving under the boat twice.
The second time it headed beneath Courville's boat was scary, he said.
"I thought I was going to lose her then, because I felt her coming up," Courville said. "I thought she was going to hit the bottom of the boat and knock that jig out of her mouth.
"I knew I was going to have to horse her."
So he put some pressure on the fish, trusting his 25-pound fluorocarbon to hold.
The fish jumped the final time, and Courville reached out and grabbed it.
"I pretty much called it a day right then," he said with a chuckle.
The other 10-pounders caught between March 8-22 were:
• Johnny Downs — 10.33 pounds (previously caught), landed March 7
• John Fletcher — 10.31 pounds, caught March 17
• Trent Blanchard — 10.17 pounds, caught March 8
• David Crochet — 10.13 pounds, caught March 18
The sixth double-digit bass caught since March 7 weighed 11.6 pounds, and LouisianaSportsman.com is working to interview that angler for a separate story.