On April Fool's day, there were no jokes played on 36-years-old Watkins and his fishing partner Lance Melendy while the pair was fishing the Indian Mounds section of the lake.
"Lance was working a swimbait, a Wedgetail, on the edges of the grass, and I was working the Stanley Top Toad on top (of the grass)," Watkins said. "We were having a great day catching big fish out there.
"Our five largest bass went over 26 pounds."
Watkins had taken a 5-pounder at 2 p.m. while working on top with the toad.
"Then I caught a 6 ½- pounder," he said.
It was a little later as the anglers were fishing a combination of haygrass and green grass when a huge fish that later weighed at 9.1 pounds blew up on the Top Toad.
"She came halfway out the water on that frog," Watkins said. "Lance warned me that she was headed for a stump, and sure enough she stayed wrapped up around it for seven to eight seconds. When she was on the stump, I eased up and let her swim around it and she never got off. I think those two Double Take hooks on the Toad kept her on.
"Then she made two more runs underneath the boat, and finally Lance was able to net her."
For Watkins, this lunker was the third bass taken over 9 pounds on the Top Toad this spring – with an additional 8- and 6-pounder, as well. All his Toledo lunkers have been released.
As for fishing, Watkins said Toledo Bend's largemouth population is in all three stages of the spawn.
"We started catching good fish on the Top Toad in February on the main lake and secondary points," he said. "Those fish were prespawners that were staging and feeding before moving up on the beds. We were fishing the first 50 yards or so on both sides of points that had good grass on them, and having a good outside grass line was the key.
"March was the same, but toward the end of the month we started catching a few big post-spawn bass that were on their way out."
According to Watkins, the Toad bite should be on fire in April and into May around grassy points as more and more bass will be heading out of the spawning pockets and staging to feed before they move into deeper water.