FLW series pro Todd Castledine may not fish Toledo Bend very often, but when he does, he definitely makes the most of it.
In a span of 13 months, the Nacogdoches, Texas angler who calls Sam Rayburn his home lake has reeled in two huge bass from the reservoir, including an 11-pound-plus lunker he caught Thursday afternoon, March 13, near Palo Gaucho Creek.
Both fish, including the 12.6-pounder he caught in February, 2013, were caught while Castledine was pre-fishing for a tournament.
“We started fishing around Housen, and we caught lots of 3- and 4-pounders that morning,” he said. “Since we were pre-fishing, we were trying to hit as many places as we could.”
At about 1 that afternoon, under calm conditions and bluebird skies, Castledine was casting Kicker Fish Bait Company’s Tail Slapper swim bait near Palo Gaucho Creek. He was fishing with 20-pound Sunline fluorocarbon on a Lew’s rod and reel.
“We fished pretty far back there, and the water was dirty. It happened pretty quickly,” Castledine said. “We were fishing in 2- to 3-feet of water and the fish swirled on the bait.
“I stuck her and had her in the boat in about 10 seconds. When I put her on my hand-held scale, she weighed 11.29 pounds. I was going to let her go, but I started thinking about the Toledo Bend Lunker Program and the free replica.”
The fish appeared strong, so Castledine fished for another hour and had her at Toledo Town and Tackle for official weigh-in by 3 p.m.
The big bass tipped the scales at 11.33 pounds, and Castledine’s second trophy bass with the Toledo Bend Lunker Program was official.
The program, sponsored by the Toledo Bend Lake Association, awards anglers who catch 10-pound-plus bass with a free replica if they agree to release the bass back into Toledo Bend waters.