Tommy Melancon and his fishing partner Trey Hebert headed out early Sunday morning to pre-fish an upcoming tournament at Toledo Bend.

Unfortunately, heavy fog greeted the anglers as they cautiously idled out of White Oak landing and slowly fished their way to Hausen Bay.

“It was 39 degrees when we launched in the morning, and water temperatures were reading 48 degrees,” said Melancon, who was casting an Xcalibur XR50 One-Knocker tied to fluorocarbon spooling on an Abu Revo reel and a medium/heavy Duckett rod. 

“The fog was just terrible until up to about 11:30 a.m.,” he said. “We just couldn’t run the area at all.”

The anglers were targeting grasslines and points – choice locations for Toledo Bend bass this time of the year.

“It was slow, although we caught a few good fish early,” said Melancon, 50, of Lafayette. “In the morning we had one at 5 ½ pounds and another at 2 ½.”

Upon reaching the mid-portion of Hausen Bay, Melancon started pulling the XR50 One-Knocker through the grass in 6- to 8-feet of water.

“It was between 11:00 and 11:30 when that big fish hit right near the boat,” he said. “It was like I was stuck on a log at first. 

“I told my buddy that the fish had hit right near the boat and he grabbed the net,” he said. “And there she was.”

According to Melancon, the big bass actually had no fight in her.

“None of the bass we caught that day fought much at all,” he said. “It could have been because the waters are still cold.”

When the big fish hit the deck of the boat, Melancon admitted to a bout of nerves. When he looked at the bass, he could tell she had eggs.

“This was my largest bass, and I was a bit nervous,” he said.

The anglers were able to get a few photographs with the bass and then quickly placed her into the livewell before motoring over to Fin & Feather, where the scale read 10.55 pounds.

Realizing the fish was eligible for Toledo Bend Lake Association’s Lunker Bass program, the anglers trailered the boat and headed to Toledo Town and Tackle.

“The scale at Toledo Town and Tackle had her at 10.54 pounds,” Melancon said. 

The bass was later tagged and released, making Melancon eligible for a free replica funded by the Toledo Bend Lake Association.

“I knew the possibility was there for a bass this big to be taken,” he said. “But I didn’t think the angler to catch one that day would be me.

“We were just there to enjoy the weather and do some fishing before the tournament.”

For more information regarding the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, visit their Facebook page by clicking here.