After 39 years of dutifully fishing the spawn at Toledo Bend, Dennis Elmore finally scored the bass of a lifetime. 

The 62-year-old Arlington, Texas angler wasn’t expecting to catch an 11-pound-plus lunker on March 24, but that’s exactly what he did on the south end of Buck Creek. 

Elmore launched on a solo trip from Paradise Point at about 10 a.m., when the sun was up and he could see in the shallows.

It was a cool morning, sunny between cold fronts, and Elmore was ready to do some sightseeing for bedding bass.

“It was 1 p.m., and I saw a 4- or 5-pound male bass on a nest and I was pitching at him,” Elmore said.

He was pitching a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver on 65-pound braid. He fished with a Shimano reel and and 7-foot 6-inch American Rodsmith rod. 

“I saw her a little bit later as she approached the nest,” he said. “She was actually hovering on the outside of the nest in 4 feet of water when I pitched in front of her.”

Unlike many other bedding females, Elmore said the huge bass picked up the bait immediately and the fight was on.

“She ran and took drag several times, coming near the boat and taking off again,” he said.

Finally the angler reached down and lipped her into the boat when she tired.

“It seemed like forever but the fight didn’t last that long,” he said.

With the lunker resting comfortably in the livewell, Elmore fished a while longer and caught his limit, including a 5 ½-pounder. 

Later that afternoon, he brought the fish for official weigh-in at Toledo Town and Tackle for entry into the Toledo Bend Lake Association’s Lunker Bass Program.

Officially, the bass weighed 11.81 pounds and Elmore qualified for a free replica since the big bass was 10-pounds-plus and was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters. 

This is Elmore’s largest bass taken, topping an 11-pounder he caught on Possum Kingdom Lake west of Dallas.