In about an hour’s time Wednesday morning at Toledo Bend, George Smith had more than 25 pounds of bass in his boat, including a hog that tipped the scales at almost 12 pounds.
“It was the best day of fishing that I have had in a long time,” said Smith, 51, of Burkeville, Texas.
He launched from Willow Oak Landing at about 9 and ventured into Sandy Creek, where he found stained water due to Tuesday’s high winds and rain.
“I was working the banks with a white Zoom fluke,” Smith said. “The water was murky. I wasn’t sight-fishing.”
The angler was casting his flukes on 50-pound braid with an Abu Ambassadeur reel and a 7-foot Abu Black Max rod.
By 9:50, Smith already had four bass in the livewell when the fish of a lifetime walloped his fluke.
“I threw between two cypress trees over a log right up against the bank in 2 ½-feet of water,” he said. “The fish sucked it right in and went under the log.
“At first, I thought I had a grinnel (bowfin) on.”
Smith worked the fish around the log, and then it wrapped itself around a cypress tree.
“I got it around the cypress and then she broke surface near that log,” Smith said. “That’s when I could see that it was a bass.”
He finally got the fish to the boat, and netted her on his first try.
He immediately placed the huge bass in the livewell and motored over to Fin & Feather Resort, a new official weigh station for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
“They weighed her, tagged her and then released her back in Toledo Bend,” Smith said.
The 26-inch bass officially weighed 11.91 pounds, with a girth of 25 inches.
“She was nearly wide as she was long,” he said. “It is my largest bass ever taken.”
Since she weighed more than 10 pounds and was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend Waters, Smith met the necessary requirements to obtain a free replica of the fish courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.