Mike "Pickle" Fontenot, a 48-year-old avid bass fisherman from Ville Platte, decided on a night trip along with a fishing buddy.
Launching at about 7:30 p.m. from his camp near Lanan, the duo's initial plan was to begin by casting Shaky Heads in 15- to 20- feet of water.
But plans quickly changed. According to the angler, they reached their first fishable point on the lake not too far from the launch.
"We were fishing by 7:50 p.m.," Fontenot said. "My buddy was casting a Carolina rig when he caught a keeper there. We were throwing in 20 feet of water.
"I decided to throw a V&M ¾ oz. football jig, and on my third cast I felt the fish hit," he said. "I set the hook, and I remember telling my buddy that I couldn't budge the fish."
Fontenot's friend thought his jig was probably hooked on a log.
"I assured him that it was a fish, and that I wasn't caught on a log," Fontenot said. "I thought then that it must be a catfish."
He kept his line tight for a while, and then the fish slowly started slowly to rise. Suddenly at about 25 yards from the boat, the fish revealed itself by jumping straight out of the water while shaking its head. Following its surface display, it retreated back into the depths.
"I said, 'Look, it's a big bass... get the net,"' he said. "I got the bass to the boat, but as it neared it took another run and I loosened the drag a little."
He eventually turned the tiring bass around and his partner finally was able to net the fish.
"We were pretty excited and were trying to estimate the size of the bass," he said. "My buddy had a scale and it read 10 pounds, 11 ounces."
Fontenot was hoping for an 11-pounder because he's been fortunate enough to have already taken a couple of 10-pounders at Chicot Lake near his hometown of Ville Platte. But he decided to immediately head over to Toledo Tackle to enroll the fish in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. Anglers catching double-digit bass are offered free replicas by the Toledo Bend Lake Association if they allow the fish to be released.
"On their digital scales, the fish weighed 10.7 pounds," he said. "They helped me do all the paperwork to put the fish in the program."
Although their night trip was temporarily interrupted by the lunker bass, the anglers went back and continued to fish in the lake.
"We had a great night of fishing," Fontenot said.