On Saturday afternoon, March 8, three hometown buddies from DeRidder decided to fish Toledo Bend’s southern waters.
About three hours later, 47-year-old Greg Crain was reeling in a 10-pound-plus lunker not far from South Toledo Bend State Park.
Crain, along with Joey Storozyszn and Kevin Slaydon, hit the water about 2:30 and started fishing a deep water ridge in 25- to 28-feet of water.
Crain was casting a Carolina rig pulling a watermelon/red Zoom Fluke with 17-pound Trilene Big Game line and a fluorocarbon leader. He was fishing with a Curado reel and a Dobyn’s medium/heavy rod.
According to Crain, Storozyszn had two keepers and Slaydon had one when the three men moved down the ridge to another spot.
“We were targeting deep ridges, and Joey was running the trolling motor,” he said. “We were working the area from east to west.”
At about 5:20, Crain cast his Carolina Rig in 18-feet of water and made a couple of pulls.
“I felt the ‘tic-tic’ on my line, and I reeled down and set the hook,” he said, noting his rod doubled over almost immediately and stayed that way. “I remember Joey saying, ‘That’s a good one,’ when he saw my rod doubled-over, And then Kevin asked Joey where his net was located.”
Storozyszn had forgotten it at home, but Crain knew he was in open water with no nearby obstructions.
“I had no worries about hang-ups,” he said. “I would just make some turns on the reel whenever the fish gave me some slack.
“About halfway through the fight, she was coming up but she didn’t reach the surface,” he said. “I did see her flash by, and I thought maybe the fish was 6- or 7-pounds.”
After moving him around the boat, the big bass finally came up alongside and Slaydon lipped her aboard, predicting she was a 10-pounder.
“Kevin handed her to me so I could feel the weight,” Crain said.
After snapping a few pictures and enjoying a quick celebration, the anglers trailered the boat and kept the aerator on as they headed to Toledo Town and Tackle.
“I remember Joey saying that we had to hurry since there was a leak in his livewell,” Crain said.
The fish made the trip fine, and tipped the scales at T-Town at 10.05 pounds, making Crain’s catch eligible for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, which awards anglers who catch 10-pound-plus bass a free replica if they agree to release the bass back into Toledo Bend waters.