When Bennie Trahan of Sulphur launched his boat into the waters of south Toledo Bend last Friday morning, he never expected to catch the largest bass of his life.
After all, the 84-year-old was never a tournament bass angler and had just started fishing for bass regularly after he retired a couple of years ago.
But that’s exactly what happened on the cool, misty morning of Jan. 31.
“My son Todd and I launched around 8 a.m., not very early at all,” Trahan said.
Sometime after 9, they entered a cove near the Indian Mounds area.
“At that time, we hadn’t caught any bass yet, so we started fishing the bank edges near grassy points,” he said.
The angler was tossing a weightless green pumpkin/black-speckled 10-inch plastic worm in 2- to 3-feet of water along the banks.
“At about 10 a.m., I cast the worm out there and waited for it to go down,” Trahan said. “When the worm stopped, I felt as if I had hooked onto a log.
“I felt a little jerk, and I then knew I had something so I started reeling the fish in.”
Trahan remembers telling his son that he had a big fish so he would ready the landing net.
“The big bass then ran underneath the boat and I remember hoping that I wouldn’t lose the fish,” he said. “I kept the line tight to be sure the bass stayed hooked.
“I finally eased the fish up from under the boat and Todd grabbed him with the net,” he said. “When my son looked down in the net, the hook had come off the bass.
“I was lucky he didn’t get off.”
The father-and-son team quickly brought the bass to Toledo Town and Tackle in order to enter it in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass program.
On the official scale there, Trahan’s bass weighed in at a hefty 10.28 pounds.
The Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program offers a free replica funded by the Toledo Bend Lake Association when an angler agrees to release 10-pound-plus bass back into the reservoir.
Trahan’s lunker is the second bass weighing more than 10 pounds taken in 2014, and it’s the 15th of the TBLBP season which began last May.
After the weigh-in, Trahan and his son drove back south and launched again that day to head back to the same area.
“We could only manage just two more keeper bass that day,” he said.
You can follow the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program on Facebook by clicking here.