Most people dream of catching one 10-pound bass in a lifetime, but Bobby Burnette seems to have a knack for reeling in lunkers on a regular basis.
The 55-year-old angler from Monterey is a member of the Toledo Bend Lunker Program’s Elite Lunker Club, and with good reason: he caught his fifth 10-pound-plus largemouth bass Sunday near the Indian Mounds, and even by his lofty standards, it was a monster.
Fishing in 15 feet of water, Burnette caught a huge 12.71-pounder, easily the largest of his four previous bass entered into the Lunker Program.
His other four big bass weighed in at 10.32, 10.5, 10.72, and 11.12 pounds
“I was fishing for 9:00 a.m. and started by throwing a jig,” said Burnette, who was using a green-pumpkin/chartreuse-strands Strike King Hack Attack jig with his Abu Revo reel spooled with 65-pound PowerPro braid on a heavy/heavy 7’6” Big Bear rod.
His jig trailer was a pumpkin Zoom Super Chunk.
“I fished my spot a while but there were no takers at first,” he said. “I did manage to catch a Kentucky bass a little later.”
Then Burnette changed to casting an Alabama Rig, but didn’t have any luck, so he went back to the jig.
“It was 12:15 p.m. and I was making my way down a hump on its back end,” he said. “My line went slack so I just held it letting the fish take line until it tugged.
“I set the hook and the fish started pulling hard immediately. I thought it was a heavy catfish for a while the way it pulled. It stayed down for quite a while.”
Burnette said the fish kept fighting and pulling drag.
“It finally came up,” he said. “It showed its mouth and I knew it was a bass and I remember saying, ‘Oh Lord!’”
But the bass went back down and pulled drag again.
“I was trying to get my dip net out but she turned and headed toward the back of the boat and the motor,” he said. “I ran to the back and worked her around the motor and back to the front.”
The big bass, which was full of eggs, made one more run before Burnette finally netted her.
“I had her on the deck and I just said, ‘Oh Lord!’ as I sat there shaking.”
She weighed 12.4 pounds on his handheld digital scale, so Burnette placed her in his livewell with the aerator and circulator on, trailered the boat and headed off to Toledo Town and Tackle.
On their certified scale, the big bass weighed in at a hefty 12.71 pounds, and his fifth, and heaviest, entry into Toledo Bend’s Lunker Bass Program was official.
The program awards a free replica to any angler for any bass weighing at least 10 pounds if the bass is tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.
For more information regarding the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, visit their Facebook site by clicking here.