With the fishing tough at Sam Rayburn Lake near his camp, Hunter Gothia of Bridge City, Texas, ventured to Toledo Bend last week to get in on the spectacular bass action that’s taken the reservoir by storm this month.
The change of scenery turned out to be a great decision.
He, his dad John and friend Troy Luce launched from Fin and Feather resort on the morning of March 15 to overcast skies and cool temperatures.
“We started out slow at 8:30 fishing Housen Bay,” Gothia said. “We ended up making our way to the back of a pocket where we saw the bass setting up on beds. We caught a couple of buck (male) bass – just keepers. We came to a point near a reef in the back of a cove when we saw her in 2-feet of water.
“She was hanging out on a bed, and we could see she was big. So I poled down and got my flipping stick out of my rod box.”
Gothia was casting a Big Bite Warmouth lure, a perch imitation, to entice the bass. He was using 65-pound PowerPro braid spooled on an Abu Garcia Revo Premier reel attached to a custom 7-foot, 6-inch ALX rod.
“After we saw her, all three of us started pitching to the bass,” Gothia said. “It wasn’t until 15 minutes later when she reacted to my perch.”
Gothia thought the bass was in the 8- to 9-pound range when she was sitting on the bed, but changed his mind after he tangled with her a while.
“When I hooked her, she made a couple of runs. Then I realized how really big she was when I felt her,” he said. “My father turned and grabbed the net and he scooped her in.
“Her belly was huge with eggs, and when she was on the boat I knew she had to be over 10.”
The bass weighed 10.92 pounds on their scale, but it was only 10:30, so they put her in the livewell and kept on fishing.
“We caught 20 to 25 bass throughout the day – a few 4s and 3s,” he said. “I would estimate our best five went 25 pounds.”
They wrapped up about 4 p.m. and made the drive to Toledo Town and Tackle, where the big bass officially weighed 10.41 pounds.
She was eligible for the Toledo Bend Lunker Program, which awards anglers with a free replica from the Toledo Bend Lake Association if they agree to return their 10-pound-plus bass back into Toledo Bend waters.